Monday, December 24, 2012

Awkward family photos with Matt & Kim

Check out this video from Matt & Kim for the song "Let's Go."

They are so cute! This reminds me of Awkward Family Photos

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Celtic punk for xmas

Everyone plays Fairytale of New York this time of year but I like this Pogues song too.



Sunday, December 16, 2012

Music conversations I had at a party

"This song came on and I was like 'Oh I like Sleigh Bells' and she said 'Fuck Sleigh Bells, this isn't Sleigh Bells. I hate Sleigh Bells.'" 

 Funkadelic "Can You Get To That"


"Mike G remixes Rihanna, but slows it down and makes her sound like a man. People who like Rihanna hate it."



(Choosing a song in Just Dance 4)  "I haven't heard of any of these songs!"  "You've heard this one before." "No, I haven't. (pause) Oh wait, yes I have."  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Women's mountain biking

This looks so fun!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Spotify all over your face

I (finally?) started using Spotify recently.  I like being able to build playlists. It's just like putting together a radio show, only without the radio part!

Here's a few hour-long sets I put together.

Complaint Department: love this Lykke Li song lately so I built an entire playlist around it.




Radioland: a little darker and more weird. I started with Broadcast and then built it up stream of conscious style in under an hour.



Both are definitely reminiscent of my radioshow, Between the Bars.  I might start making Spotify playlists of old radio sets... maybe.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Key & Peele

If you guys aren't watching Key & Peele, you need to amend that NOW.

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele's show just started its second season on Comedy Central.



Listen to Key & Peele on Marc Maron's WTF podcast

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Coolest cat ever!

"My cat can ride a bike better than you can" by RudiElias86 with is GoPro


My cat would totally hate this.  Music by Ratatat

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Blueprint covers Radiohead

"Packt Like..."



For background on why he covered Radiohead, check out his side of the story at Blueprint's Printmatic blog.

Buy the new Blueprint album "Deleted Scenes" on ITunes (http://bit.ly/Wx4qwx), Amazon (http://amzn.to/TucGIG), or Bandcamp (http://bit.ly/SfKsRl). 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Tig Notaro and tragedy and time

Three days after being diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer, comedian Tig Notaro gave a memorable stand-up performance at The Largo.  Louis CK said it was "one of the greatest standup performances I ever saw."  Actor and writer Kira Hesser, who was in the audience that night, eloquently said "for the first time in my life, as far as I can recall, I genuinely laughed and cried at the exact same time, bewildered at the tragedy and the remarkably calm, clever prism through which she assessed her terrible set of circumstances."

I saw this clip of Tig on Conan discussing the Largo performance and her recent cancer prognosis a few weeks ago and even it blew me away. She's so rad!



You can now purchase an audio recording of Tig Notaro's Largo performance on Louis CK's site for $5.

via Laughing Squid

Saturday, September 29, 2012

College radio and the fear of your own voice

In all my years involved in college radio, I avoided any forays into radio journalism or public-affairs programming.  I certainly had opportunities to try if I was so inclined, but those kinds of shows were usually dominated by journalism students and required so much extra time I never had.

Besides, my brain tells me, I'm shy and awkward as it is.  Job interviews and blind dates are equally terrifying.  I never felt comfortable enough behind the microphone to have an extemporaneous conversation on-air, even conversations with no one in particular, i.e., "listeners out there in radio land."  I was a mere disk jockey.  I tended to get the speaking parts over with as quickly as possible and stuck to the music.

Oddly enough, I've become completely comfortable with public speaking.  There's something so intimate about being along in a room with a microphone that still makes me nervous.

When I think about the things I really love in life, of course they include music, humor, science, writing, public radio, and podcasts.  When I think about dream jobs, of course they include combinations of my interests and working for NPR or Radiolab.  But gee, I say to myself, if only I had any experience in journalism, or gee, if only I had any experience producing my own radio segments.  Obviously I could try to get started on my own, but is that a road I even want to go down?  I wouldn't even know where to begin. It just seems so hard.

What on earth would I talk about?

I really enjoyed reading this post Behind The Goat by Lulu Miller on the Radiolab Blog, which talks about the struggles to produce a great Radiolab segment.  Turns out it actually IS hard.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Music that got me through college - Part 1

This is an understatement for those who know me well, but I was in college for a long time.  I started attending community college at 18 years old, bounced around two undergrad universities, then endured a long stint in graduate school before finally finishing my Ph.D just after my 33rd birthday.

Another understatement: I love music.  A LOT.   Music has been a constant companion of mine and certain bands, songs and albums will always remind me of different times in my life.  And not in a general "this reminds me of being 20" way, but some music reminds me of specific moments, like "this reminds me of moving into my first apartment."

This series explores music that got me through my years as a college student.


Part 1. Community College  (1997 - 1999)
Memories of commuting to class and taking the scenic route, sitting in the dining room of my parents house while I plowed through Calculus or Engineering Physics homework, and sitting alone in the basement chatting with geeky guys on IRC and obsessively reading online bulletin boards for The X-Files.

You might tell from the playlist that I was morose and a bit of a recovering goth.


The Cure - "A Forest"



R.E.M.  - "South Central Rain"




The Smiths - "What Difference Does It Make"


Other bands I was into at the time: Ben Folds Five, Soul Coughing, Supergrass and Tori Amos.  At this point in my life, I went to my first club concert to see Portishead in DC's 9:30 Club.

x-posted to my engineering/science/academia blog, My Laser Boyfriend.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Ben Folds Five and Fraggle Rock

"Do It Anyway" produced by Chris Hardwick's The Nerdist.  (Chris is the security guard in the blue shirt.)


Cute!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Drums

I'm so behind the times.  Check out The Drums.

"Days" from the album Portamento on Frenchkiss, which came out seven months ago.

Download a free remix of this song by Mates of  States on Stereogum

Thanks, Gingersnap!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

DENA

DENA is a Bulgarian artist and media studies student currently living in Berlin.  She started experimenting with sampling with her friends, who also helped her direct this video for the track, "Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools."



Love it?  Hate it?  It may take a few listens, but it's damn catchy.
Chorus: "Cash, one thing I ain't got in the hood. Diamond rings, I don't need them, all I want is chill with my friends by the swimming pool."
Check out German-based blog Stil in Berlin recent at-home interview, you can also download the mp3 via Stereogum.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Trying new things

A few weeks ago, on a whim,  I signed up for an introductory climbing class at the university's gym.  A few friends thought it was out of character, but I'm desperate to take up a new hobby and get back into shape now that "but I'm working on my dissertation" is no longer a valid excuse.  Oh, the excuses.

Besides, rock-climbing was one of those things I always wanted to try.  Why not now?

What I like about climbing is it's not only a full-body workout, there's also a lot of mental strategy involved.  It often rewards the bold too, which is not something that comes naturally to me.  Some of the best advice, when I get stuck on a move and don't think I can make it, is JUST TRY IT.

Yoda says "Do or do not. There is no try," but trying is the very least you can do. Trying allows you to fail. And when you fail, you at least learn what doesn't work, then you try again.  And try again.  And when you finally get it, you realize it wasn't so bad.

I'm not particularly adept at climbing, in fact I'm probably pretty horrible at it.  But it's fun, and seeing my confidence and ability improve over the course of a month is pretty rewarding.

So here's to trying new things.  You don't have to be good.  You just have to try.  


Last saturday we did our first outdoor climb.  Here's a picture of my ass getting past the crux.  

Monday, August 27, 2012

Best or the worst?

LA Weekly's Music section just posted The 20 Worst Hipster Bands: The Complete List which could actually be called "DJ Kate's Top 20 Bands of the 2000's (so far, plus or minus a few)" because nearly all the bands are actually great and the author(s?) seemingly don't know anything about music.

First of all, are we really still talking about hipsters?  REALLY?  In 2012?  This is journalism?

Secondly, do The Black Keys suck because they're basically ripping off The White Stripes, who also suck? Is Grizzly Bear vague and depressing, in a bad way? Is Beach House "derivative electro mush" because Stereolab and Massive Attack did it first and that's as good as it gets?  NO. FUCK NO. And FUCK YOU for saying so.

I'm wondering why they didn't include other bands I like such as Local Natives and the XX?  Is it still ok to like them?  Or is this opposite day and they actually suck and all the bands on the list are good?

I'm so confused.  Maybe the authors are trying to be edgy and ironic.  Or maybe they wanted to intentionally piss-off a bunch of music lovers to attract traffic to their site.  (Even bad attention is still attention!  Side bar revenue!)

Anyway, people are really ripping into this article in the comments, which I find justifiable and hilarious.

Divine Fits

Divine Fits features Spoon's Britt Daniel, Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs, Sam Brown of New Bomb Turks, and  keyboardist Alex Fischel.  

You can stream their entire album online.




Video teaser for the song "A Thing Called Divine Fits"

A Thing Called Divine Fits - August 28
from Divine Fits on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012

Listening to music to distract yourself

Earlier today, I was waiting at the busstop to come home from work when I realized I left my iPod on my desk.  I lamented having to ride the bus then walk home from the bus station (about ~30 minute trip) listening only to "the sounds of the world in my head," which is how I phrased it to my boyfriend later.

In this case I was specifically bummed because I was in the middle of a Marc Maron WTF podcast interview with Mindy Kaling* that I really wanted to listen to more of.  But it did get me wondering how much I depend on music/podcasts to get through things.  

Is the world so boring that I can't move through the world for thirty minutes without distracting myself?

Or, having depressive tendencies, do I need the distraction to keep my mind from wandering to negative things like feeling insecure about what I look like, replaying awkward social situations in my head, or thinking about how much I hate riding the bus/work/whatever?

Do I love my iPod because I hate my life?

I'm curious if anyone has any thoughts on this.  If you wear headphones while doing hour long cardio sessions it may be for an entirely different reason than wearing headphones while you're commuting or while you're sitting at your desk at work, formatting coversheets for your TPS reports.

* Level 1 girl crush - can we be friends?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

By the way...

I started a new blog devoted to science and life as a scientist (technically I'm engineer, but that may be one of the topics to discuss in the future.)  I work on lasers and LEDs so I will talk about that, as well as graduate school and academia in general.  But I will do it with a twist of humor and self-loathing!

I figure it will be kind of like OkStoopid, but instead of being a 31-year-old woman and dating and dicks it's about being a 33-year-old woman and science and lasers.

Anyway, it's called My Laser Boyfriend and it lives at: http://laserboyfriend.blogspot.com/


Answers to questions nobody asked:

Is this the end of Auntie Cake?
No!  I will continue to post random stuff about music, bikes and cats here at Auntie Cake.

Why start a new blog?
Because I'm bored.  Because I like new projects.  Because I want to find a way to bridge my interests in science, writing and humor, and a blog seems like an easy way to begin.  Also because I want something separate and a little more professional than posts I've written in the past so starting off fresh seemed like the way to go.

Why the name "My Laser Boyfriend"?
It started off as a joke between some friends of mine on Twitter when I was doing my graduate work and hopelessly dateless.  The joke was that lasers were better than boyfriends.  I'm not so sure it's true anymore.  Anyway, I may change the name.

Will I give up after two years and end up archiving the entire blog on Auntie Cake?
Maybe.

Does the world need another science blog from a female perspective?
Yes.  (The answer has to be yes, right?)

Thee Oh Sees

San Francisco band Thee Oh Sees.  They have the best album covers.


"I Need Seed" from their 2011 album Castlemania on In The Red Records


"Floods New Light"from 2012 album Putrifiers II on In The Red Records


"Tidal Wave" from a 2009 7" single on Woodsist Records


"Meat Step Lively" from their 2009 album Help on In The Red Records


"The Sun Goes All Around" from their 2009 album Dog Poison on Captured Tracks records.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Grizzly Bear "Yet Again"

From their upcoming album "Shields" on Warp



via Pitchfork

Marc Maron & Carrie Brownstein

I just listened to Carrie Brownstein's interview on Marc Maron's WTF podcast and I highly recommend it if you're a fan of hers.  She discusses living pacific northwest, not being a lesbian, dogs, guitars, Fred Armisen, and being inadvertently rude to Peter Buck of R.E.M. one time.  

I know I've posted about Carrie Brownstein a few times before... because she's rad.  On the Jenna Marbles girl crush scale she falls in the Level 2 "I want to be you." 

source: @deejaykate & aunticake




Monday, July 16, 2012

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Riding bikes in skirts

The NYC bike shop Vanmoof sponsored a skirt ride last summer as a light-hearted protest against the NYPD (allegedly) threatening to ticket a rider for basically wearing a too-short skirt, which got some press many months ago. As part of the event, they posted this video showing a clever way to mount a bike in a skirt without showing off your snatch. I don't think I could do this but she makes it look really easy.



The skirt ride is part of a growing trend of fusing fashion with cycling, like the cycle chic blogs whose philosophy is to convince people that cycling is a valid form of transportation for everyone.  You don't have to be a spandex-wearing road cyclist. You CAN wear normal clothes and be into bikes. You can even wear a skirt! 

If I could only give you four words of encouragement, I'd tell you: Just go for it.  Throw your leg over the seat and get going!

But, just in case cycling in a skirt for the first time makes you nervous, I compiled some additional tips.


 - Equip your bike with a skirt guard (aka coat guard) or rear fender. A rear rack will also serve the purpose of a fender. This will help prevent longer, flowing skirts from getting caught in your chain or rear spokes, which can only end badly.  Here's instructions on how to make your own skirt guard.  

Chain guard and skirt guard
from http://sophiewrites.files.wordpress.com
Rear fender with homemade skirt guard
 http://www.simeli.nl/welcome/page.php?ID=761&lang=1
Beautiful fender from Fast Boy Fenders

If she didn't have a fender she would be eating asphalt with no skirt on.  Please sit ON the back of your skirt.
http://www.superstock.co.uk/stock-photos-images/1838-1524


- For long skirts, tie it up.  If you don't have a fender or chain guard this may be a good option.  Sit on the back of  your skirt and make sure that knot isn't going anywhere.

from http://phillygrrl.com/
from: http://letsgorideabike.files.wordpress.com


- Opt for knee-length to mid-thigh skirts with an A-line cut, pleats, or a narrow cut with some stretch to it.   You want it long enough so you can sit on the back part of the skirt and pedal without flashing everyone.  You also want it roomy or stretchy enough to mount and dismount easily.  Loose, fluttery skirts and wrap skirts that will billow when you get up to speed, so you may want to wear something extra underneath (see below for ideas).

Knee length summer dress, from The Sartorialist
http://www.thesartorialist.com/
A knee-length A-line.  Easy.
from http://www.bikecommuters.com/2009/02/04/commuter-profile-bike-skirts-elisa-munoz/

A short stretchy skirt.
from http://lapetitechoue.blogspot.com/2011/07/riding-on-bikes-with-skirts.html

Rocking a full sized skirt... hope it's not windy!


- My favorite option: Tights or leggings!  I have a pair of black ankle-length tights that I wear with skirts a lot, they go with everything!

from Pinterest

From http://galadarling.com/tag/bicycle-love/
Tie that puppy down with a bike garter DIY options include headband + paperclip.

From http://www.sodapopgirl.net/cycles/bicycle-skirt-garters-bird-industries/


- Wear a slip.  A ruffly one can take up the volume of a short, full skirt.

From http://vintagebikesmelbourne.wordpress.com/
From http://abrahamsandduffy.blogspot.com/2011/07/bike-it.html


- Wear shorts under your skirt.  For rides longer than 30 min I almost always wear cycling shorts because bike shorts are awesome. The extra padding helps cushion and pull moisture, which is really necessary to stay comfortable on longer rides. You could also wear unpadded bike shorts, running shorts, or even a pair of lacy bloomers.  You can always take them off when you get where you're going.  (If you wear cycling shorts, don't forget to pack a pair of underwear!)

from http://www.bikingbis.com/
From: http://www.forestcityfashionista.com/2012/05/superhero-inspiration.html


- Last resort: wear a cute pair of underwear, keep your knees together, and hope for the best! You don't want to be in a situation where you have to decide between holding down your skirt and braking to avoid an accident.  (In that case, always choose the brakes!)  But modesty and NYPD aside, what's the worst that can happen?  

From: http://krupokbolet.blogspot.com/

From: http://www.bakfiets-en-meer.nl/

THE END


More tips for riding bikes in skirts and dresses:

Edit: included regular shorts in addition to bike shorts 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Jenna Marble on girl crushes

Ha. Loved this.



So true though.  I have girl crushes all the time.  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Best Coast covers Fleetwood Mac

I love Fleetwood Mac a lot. I love Rumours. Hell, I even love documentaries about Rumours. Talk about pain inspiring art. They really nailed it.

Here's Best Coast performing "Rhiannon," which originally appeared on Fleetwood Mac's 1975 self-titled album. She sounds so lovely and great, as usual.


Best Coast's "Rhiannon" appears on an upcoming compilation of Fleetwood Mac covers on Hear Music/Concord.  I'm looking forward to hearing the compilation when it comes out in September. It also includes tracks New Pornographers, MGMT, Lykke Li, Gardens & Villa, Craig Wedren with St. Vincent, and more.

In the meantime, check out Best Coast's latest album: The Only Place. So good.  Check them out performing on Letterman

It's too nice outside. Get off the internet.

Le Tigre "Get Off The Internet" off of From The Desk Of Mr. Lady (2001).

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Music and paying for it

Bob Boilen from NPR's All Songs Considered recently uploaded his entire music library into the cloud, deleting his 25,000 song collection from iTunes in the process. He says: "I'm a bit scared, but I backed everything up, took a deep breath and stepped into the future."

In response, one of the NPR interns, Emily White, explained that she never owned any music in the first place. She says: "I never went through the transition from physical to digital. I'm almost 21 and since I first began to love music I've been spoiled by the Internet." She explains her entire musical library has been acquired digitally, and she's "never supported physical music as a consumer," adding, "I honestly don't think my peers and I will ever pay for albums. I do think we will pay for convenience."

Her post has stirred a debate. David Lowery, a musician (remember Cracker?) and University of Georgia lecturer on the economics of the music business, wrote a very well-written response at The Trichordist to call out Emily and those like her who claim to love music but have grown up in a time when it's all too easy to download music (illegally) for free. He says: "Fairly compensating musicians is not a problem that is up to governments and large corporations to solve. It is not up to them to make it “convenient” so you don’t behave unethically."

He also explains that using a $1000 computer and a $30 - $60 internet plan to download music for free is really nothing compared to the cents per song that an artist legally deserves to be compensated. In fact, it just goes to show that people are willing to spend much more money on technology to big tech companies than to artists for their music. For this, he says, "Congratulations, your generation is the first generation in history to rebel by unsticking it to the man and instead sticking it to the weirdo freak musicians!"

It's gone viral. Go read Lowery's entire essay here.

And then... someone at a record label wrote in support of Emily White, not for illegally downloading music, but for addressing the need to make music easier to listen to online, which was actually the point of Emily's article.  (Things are different now!  Get with the times!  It's not all bad!)

And then...NPR's Robin Hilton summarized: "the debate over compensation doesn't break down along generational lines, and didn't begin with Emily's essay," and has been debated and will likely continue to be debated for some time.

I remember closely following the A&M Records vs. Napster case back in 2001 for a class project.  Seems like so long ago because technology has changed so much over the past ten years and yet we're still having the same conversations.

(continued below)


David Lowery's band Cracker performing "Low" off their 1993 album Kerosene Hat, a real cd I bought with real money in the 1990's. 




I too spent my 20's downloading music for free online, making copies of cds for my friends, ripping cds from my campus radio station onto my laptop (which was tolerated but certainly not condoned by the radio station staff). Is it as easy to do these days? Probably. College students are always going to find a way to not to pay for music. There's always going to be some computer science major who figures out a way to do it. And they're cheap, and when you're young and cheap, you don't care so much about ethics.

I'm in my 30's now. I'm not as voracious with my music acquisitions. I don't even know how to torrent something and although I imagine it's easy to figure out, I have no desire to learn. The last album I acquired was Grimes "Visions," which I bought on iTunes. And you know what? It was really easy to do that. And it felt good to know I was doing it in a legal and ethical way. I understand lots of people hate on iTunes and Grimes only gets some fraction of my money, but at least it's something, right?

If it's just as easy to get music for free, I think some people will choose to not pay. But at a certain point in your life, if you want to support artists and have the desire to own the music for yourself-- in whatever form that takes-- I think you're willing to pay for it and not deal with the guilty conscience.

Yet something else has changed over the past ten years. Not only am I more discriminating with the music I acquire, I also don't value my music collection as much as I used to. Not as I valued my cd collection back in high school, which I lovingly organized alphabetically, or by genre, sometimes by the color of the album. Not as much as those low quality mp3s I downloaded painstakingly in my Napster days in those first years of college (deleted long ago). My iTunes library is 12,500 songs and feels like a burden. When I bought a new Macbook in January, I only copied a few albums from my old computer. What is going on? Have I burned-out on music? Maybe it's just too easy to listen to music online. Why dig around for a cd or search for it on iTunes if I can just as easily play it in my web browser?

One of the problems with paying for music online, is this: how can anyone be expected to pay much money for something that has little perceived value? I mean, I love music, but an mp3 isn't something I often feel the need to own anymore (aside from the rarities, like Grimes). And this is the problem. And this is what Emily White was getting at.

There's plenty of music available online that is both free and legal, like official Youtube channels, streaming album previews, mp3 samplers from record labels, online radio stations and music podcasts. At work, I listen to a lot of Pandora, which I merely tolerate because I don't have the energy to look for something better. But I feel good knowing I'm technically paying for it because I'm forced to listen to advertising every once in a while and at least Pandora claims to pay artists royalties through SoundExchange.

Maybe the subscription model is the next big thing. I haven't joined Spotify yet, but it lets you listen for a limited amount free with ads, or pay $5 a month to stream unlimited music, ad-free. However, it requires a Facebook account to join, so I'm unclear there's not some hidden costs in terms of privacy. (Does everyone on Facebook need to know how much I listen to Fleetwood Mac?)

It's amazing how entitled we are in terms of online services. I can't believe that I don't pay Google for host my Gmail, blogs, and backups of my dissertations and research papers.  They earn their revenue entirely through AdSense. This is a whole other debate, but it leads me to a similar conclusion, that maybe it's better to just pay money for things.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Song for summer weather

Dirty Projectors "Dance For You" off their new album Swing Lo Magellan


Makes me miss summertime BBQ & cocktail parties on my patio.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Stereotypes in music

This is great.



Makes you want to listen to some Isley Brothers, doesn't it?

via Doobybrain

Song of the day: I am a Scientist

Guided by Voices "I Am A Scientist" off their 1994 album Bee Thousand on Scat Records.  So great.


Fun fact: the Dandy Warhols have a song of the same name off their 2003 album Welcome To the Monkey House but it's a completely different song.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Out with the old


It seems every two years I get an urge to start something new.

I launched Auntie Cake near the end of 2008, after a trip to Portland to see my friend Sayward who was just beginning her blog, Bonzai Aphrodite.   I had also recently gone through a bad break-up and was looking for ways keep myself busy.  Maybe there's something about pain inspiring creativity, or something.

In May of 2010, when it seemed my graduate research and love life were majorly stalling out, I decided to take out my frustrations with online dating sites and started another blog, OkStoopid.  I lost interest after I started getting angry emails from guys I posted about.  (They figure out ways to find you! Mainly Google.)  Anyway, eventually I got a BF and all my relationship-related posts ended up converging into Auntie Cake.  (I still tag relevant posts under 'OkStoopid'.)

Another two years have passed.  It's 2012.  I have another project on the back burner.  Something totally different.  That's all I'm saying.  No spoilers.

In honor of my defunct OkStoopid, I urge you to read someone else's blog: OKcupid Enemies. It's hilarious and sad, as it is to be human.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

New Grizzly Bear!

Yay!  Check out the opening track, "Sleeping Ute" from Grizzly Bear's upcoming fourth album



I love them.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Best Groupon ever

...if you're a single lady in Chicago with a predisposition for boys in nerd glasses.





Saturday, June 2, 2012

Liars

NPR Music called Liars forthcoming album WIXIW "the best Radiohead album since Kid A."  Supposed to be more dreamy & electronic than their previous albums.

"No. 1 Against The Rush" the first single off WIXIW on Mute.


This video is really creepy.  It too reminds me of Radiohead.  (Or am I thinking of UNKLE's "Rabbit In Your Headlights?")

You can listen to the entire WIXIW album on Pitchfork.  It comes out June 5.

In the meantime, here's another track, "Octagon"

Friday, June 1, 2012

Sample Police

Blueprint discusses his journey from DJing to sampling to writing his own music.




Here's an old track from his collaboration with RJD2, Soul Position.

"1 Love" from 2003's 8 Million Stories


EDIT: added the video below, it's brand new and really great.

"Wanna Be Like You" from his latest album, Adventures in Counter-Culture


Check out Adventures in Counter-Culture on iTunes.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chemical Party

This amusing video about chemical reactions was produced by the European Commission for Research and Innovation.  Sometimes I feel like a noble gas.

Being 29 versus 31

Another great one by the comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates.



(If you're on headphones, you may want to turn down the volume.)

Jeff Buckley

Today, Huffington Post commemorates the fifteenth anniversary of Jeff Buckley's death.

"Last Goodbye" from his only studio album, Grace, released in 1994 on Columbia Records


That bassline.  That voice.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Nerd decor

Totally digging these elements pillows from my gal pal over at Dolphin and Condor.
Lots more to view and purchase at her Zazzle shop!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Rage Quit

If you get easily frustrated by video games, you will find this really funny.



It's part of a series of Rage Quit videos from Achievement Hunter.  Here's another one about a cat game that made me laugh so hard I cried.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Girl, You Got Skrillex Hair

This cracked me up today (a little NSFW)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"When I get compared to artists like José González or Bon Iver, I can't help but think, 'I've been doing this since they were in third grade.'"

Mark Kozelek, as Sun Kil Moon, is slated to release a new album on May 29, called Among the Leaves on his own label, Caldo Verde Records.

This interview with Pitchfork about his new album and growing older is pretty great.

"Sunshine in Chicago" from 2012's Among the Leaves


Favorite line from this song: "My band played here a lot in the 90's when we had lots of female fans and fuck they all were cute.  Now I just sign posters for guys in tennis shoes."  Looking forward to hearing the rest of the album.

Kozelek's the former lead singer of Red House Painters, which formed in 1989.  He's been releasing albums solo as Sun Kil Moon since 2002.  One of my favorite albums is Tiny Cities, which is solely compromised of covers of Modest Mouse songs.  He has such an amazing, distinctive voice that songs sound completely different.

"Ocean Breathes Salty" from 2005's Tiny Cities


I also really want to see this "Mark Kozelek: On Tour" documentary.  

Carrie Brownstein's after-parties

Carrie describes some disappointing after-party experiences for Pitchfork's "Frames"

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

New Liz Phair!

Love this.  She's amazing.

"And He Slayed Her" from her 2010 album Funstyle
 [embed from Perez Hilton]

45 years old and as rocking and hot as ever.  

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Ting Tings

Heard this song on NPR's All Songs Considered and can't stop thinking about it.

"Guggenheim" off their 2012 album Sounds from Nowheresville on Columbia Records.


It rocks, right?

You might remember their song "That's Not My Name" off their debut album, We Started Nothing, but I'll always remember them for performing the Altered Images song "Happy Birthday" on Yo Gabba Gabba.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Young Marble Giants

I swore I posted about this band before because I played them so often on my former radio show.  Turns out I hadn't!


Young Marble Giants were a three-piece post-punk band from Wales.  They were only together between 1978 and 1980 and released one album, "Colossal Youth" on Rough Trade Records.  IT'S GREAT.  Stripped down and minimal: just a drum machine, bass, and guitar, and Alison Statton's introspective vocals.  Their sound is unique yet is so timeless.  One of the youtube comments said they sounded like a combination of Kraftwerk and Joy Division, which I don't necessarily agree with, but they definitely come from that era of music.  "Colossal Youth" is one of my favorite albums and I'd definitely recommend if you're a fan of The xx.

Fan-made video for the track "Choci Loni"



Short set on Peel Session in 1980.  Songs include: "Searching for Mr. Right," "Posed by Models," "N.I.T.A.," "Final Days," and "Brand New Life"


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bike Path Love

The song is pretty silly and the video is terribly objectifying towards women.  However, it's still pretty cool to see so much of UCSB in a music video.  They roll right by my research lab at 3:04!

Sex With the Hulk

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ask a grown man

This is Jon Hamm from "Mad Men" answering questions about relationships from teen girls in a segment called Ask A Grown Man for Rookie magazine.  It's funny because he doesn't give a shit.



More Ask A Grown Man segments

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Delta 5

Their 1979 debut single, "Mind Your Own Business"


Classic post-punk!  So timeless!  They were a guy/girl group out of Leeds, friends of Gang of Four.  They also remind me a lot of a funked out Young Marble Giants.

Unfortunately, Delta 5 disbanded after the poor commercial success of their 1981 debut album, See The Whirl.  There is a compilation of Singles & Sessions on Kill Rock Stars.



Monday, May 7, 2012

Emiliana Torrini

"Sunny Road"


Here's a live performance of the same song.  She sounds perfect.
I also love her song Beggar's Prayer.

Friday, May 4, 2012

RIP Adam Yauch

Adam Yauch aka MCA of Beastie Boys has died.  I feel like part of my childhood has gone.

Ad-Rock, MCA and Mike D, from left.   Photo by Phil Andelman via Pitchfork
My family moved to Maryland in 1987 in the middle of a school year.  I was in the 2nd grade.  The first week at a new school  is hard, but the thing that affected me the most, in fact the only thing I even remember from then, was all the other kids on my bus were singing "Brass Monkey" and I was really upset that I didn't know that song too.  

"Brass Monkey" (live)

I grew up in front of cable television.  I had friends who weren't allowed to watch Mtv, which was so bizarre to me.  I'm glad my parents didn't care, as I'm sure it shaped my taste in music.  (In case you hadn't noticed, I mention it a lot!)

I feel like every music blog is going to post Beastie Boys videos today.  They had so many good ones!   In fact, Adam Yauch directed many under the pseudonym "Nathaniel Hornblower."

From Wiki's article for Sabotage: 
The video for "Sabotage" was nominated for Video of the Year, Best Group Video, Breakthrough Video, Best Direction in a Video, and Viewer's Choice at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards. However, it lost all five categories it was nominated in, losing Video of the Year, Best Group Video and Viewer's Choice to Aerosmith's "Cryin'", and Breakthrough Video and Best Direction in a Video to R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts".
During R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe's acceptance speech for the Best Direction award, Beastie Boys member MCA bum-rushed the stage in his "Nathaniel Hornblower" disguise, interrupting Stipe to protest the shutout of "Sabotage" from every category it was nominated in.
I'm sure I watched the award show alone in my parents basement, riveted and scandalized when this happened.



Every song from 1994's Ill Communication will remind me of high school.  


Beastie Boys - Sure Shot by BeastieBoys-Official

Every song from 1998's Hello Nasty will always remind me of the first few years as an undergrad, those few years I was floating between schools and majors before I moved to CA.

"Intergalactic"

In 2011, Adam Yauch wrote directed and wrote "Fight for Your Right Revisited" to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the original video's release. Star-studded!

The Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just this year.  Not sure what's in store for the surviving members of the Beastie Boys.  Best wishes to them, and the rest of Yauch's friends and family.  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Living Colour

For Brad... Living Colour's debut album Vivid was released 24 years ago today.

"Cult Of Personality"


"Glamour Boys"

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Song of the day: "SOS"

Started reading 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die and couldn't get past ABBA's "S.O.S" from their self-titled 1975 album.  


That hook, it really hooks.  According to Wikipedia, John Lennon and Pete Townshend have both admitted this was one of their favorite pop songs.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Pear Jam "Twenty"

Really enjoyed this documentary on the 20th anniversary of Pearl Jam and their breakout album "Ten."  It was written and directed by Cameron Crowe so you know it has to be good!


Watching this, I was amazed how fast they became popular in the early 1990's.  All the Pearl Jam albums I owned were ones released after "Ten," but for some reason never went back and bought "Ten" because by the time I got my first cd boombox in 1993 I thought it "wasn't cool" to buy "old cds."  Hehe, I was so dumb.


You can watch the entire Pearl Jam documentary on Netflix Instant!

Tegan and Sara

They are so cute!  (music starts ~3:20)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

RuPaul's Drag Race: Season 4

Obsessed with this season of RuPaul's Drag Race and anxiously awaiting to see who becomes the next drag superstar.   I'm rooting for Sharon Needles!



Watch full episodes online here
Watch spin-off show Drag U here