Where I Am: Austin

I'm in Austin for a few days to soak up everything that is Austin City Limits.  It's a three day marathon of all things music in the 45 acres of Ziker Park.  Some of the bands I'm most looking forward to check out are Arcade Fire, Foster and the People, TV on the Radio, Empire of the Sun, Chromeo, Cut Copy and some new to me--Beardyman, Gary Clark Jr, Young the Giant and Bomba Estereo.



Image via Dan Thibodeau

Live: LCD Soundsystem

Last night I went to Terminal 5 for one of LCD Soundsystem's final five shows.  It was an incredible concert.  Three full hours of nonstop music, coupled with an amazing light show, made for the. best. concert. ever.  Seriously, it was that good.

If you're not familiar with LCD, you should check them out.  And if you're an LCD groupie/fan check out Pitchforks's song by song breakdown here.

*Photo by Will Deitz

Monday Morning Inspiration: Albums of 2010

We were hit with a foot of snow last night, which means I am home enjoying a snow day. Seeing as we are just four days away from 2011, I thought I'd share my favorite albums from 2010.  I realize not all of these albums were released in 2010 but they were part of my 2010, so they still made the list.

My Picks for Top 9 Albums of 2010 (or the albums I listened to and loved the most in 2010)

Band of Horses - "Infinite Arms"

Beach House - "Teen Dream"

LCD Soundsystem - "This Is Happening"

Kanye West - "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy"

Arcade Fire - "The Suburbs"

The Walkmen -"Libson"

Florence + The Machine - "Lungs"

Dr Dog - "Shame Shame"

The Roots - "How I Got Over"

Go have a listen.

Marcel Dzama

marcel photo from We Make Money not Art

Last December, we were visiting our friends in Seattle when I came across a book that featured a number of pieces by Marcel Dzama, a Canadian artist who is probably best known for his figurative sculptures as well as his pen and watercolor compositions.  I find his work to be beautiful yet creepy. His characters and the environments he places them in are elusive, leaving me to dream up interpretations of what the stories he creates mean.

Since that weekend by the fire in Seattle, I’ve been drawn to his work so it was really exciting when I heard that PopRally, a program of events at MoMA that targets a younger, more hip audience, would be doing a special premiere of the video for Department of Eagles' "No one Does It Like You," which is directed by Patrick Daughters and Marcel Dzama. Dzama was also responsible for the costumes and sets. The video feels like Dzama's illustrations and sculptures coming to life in a choreographed battle of women vs. men that plays itself out during the course of the song. Definitely worth a watch.

au revoir simone

aurevoirsimone It is very rare that a day goes by where I don't feel blessed, fortunate or lucky.  It is only 3:28pm on this Monday afternoon and I have already felt that feeling a handful of times; it helps that I woke up to gorgeous sunny skies.  After opening the curtains, I made a delicious breakfast of fresh ricotta, thinly sliced tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of aged balsamic on toasted whole wheat bread. But I'm not here to tell you that I'm in a good mood or had what I deem the perfect breakfast.  What I'm here to write about is how damn lucky I am to have so many talented and amazing friends.  Tonight, after an event at The Eldridge with the Dining and Libations Society, I’ll make my way out to Williamsburg to cheer on Au Revoir Simone, an amazingly talented group of musicians.

Our friend, Erika, who plays in the band, graduated with us from Skidmore College and we’ve been fortunate to stay in touch with her since then.  Tonight they are surprising people and doing a small show in Williamsburg.  Then they head off to Europe to release their new album, Still Night, Still Light.

Congratulations lovely ladies.  This is an amazing journey to watch from the sidelines!

You can preorder the album here.


Bloc Party

Perhaps one of my all time favorite take away shows: Bloc Party, 'This Modern Love' - A Take Away Show on Vimeo.

Bloc Party- from La Blogotheque

"It was an October evening. We were insistent, helped by some fans and people passing by. In the end, it was worth the trouble: Bloc Party agreed to play one of their best songs, all acoustic.

There are times when you know you should be a bit bothersome and persistent, because sometimes the reward is worth the trouble.

We arrived at Place de la Bourse at 10:30 PM with the German band Get Well Soon. We had made some noise in the empty Place, danced with a guy who sold oysters and made us taste them, and shot a bunch of beautiful songs (which will be online soon). It was our director Colin’s first Take Away Show. We had already been shooting for an hour, but a rumor compelled us to keep going.

Bloc Party had just finished their surprise show at the Nouveau Casino, and guys from their label told us they’d probably go have some drinks at the Truskel right after. Get Well Soon had to meet their team there, so we lead them to the pub, and then asked them to play a song in front of it.

While the Germans were playing, Kele Okereke popped out of the bar. He was standing next to me, and he asked me who was singing and what they were doing there. I told him it was a Take Away Show, and he said shyly, "Oh great, that’s good." I patted him on the back, joking, "Hey, good timing! After they finish, it’s your turn!"

We’d been told it would not be easy. A year before, we already tried to set up a Take Away Show with them in London, with the support of JD Beauvallet, but nothing could convince them. They never play acoustic. They’re very shy. It’s impossible. So, back in the present, on October 14th, we tried harder.

We had some help. Matthieu of Coop was drunk and happy. Both of the bands’ managers were drunk and happy. We were also drunk and happy, and that’s how Kele found himself pressed against a wall, facing a dozen enthusiastic people, urging him to play a song.

We cut during the editing, because it took us 25 minutes to talk them into doing it. Just enough time to stop him from running away, go get Russel, decide what song they were going to play. When Kele finally started singing, Colin was pressed against him, and it felt like Kele was jumping from a diving board too high for him. He caught us off-guard. Everyone was speechless. There’s nothing more to add. Five minutes of rare sincerity, two artists doing something with no safety net and without really understanding why. They took that risk, and we thank them for it."