Thursday, November 30, 2006
Just a friendly reminder that glaciers are still melting rapidly, the CO2 levels continue to rise, and the 'moral' issue of global warming has not gone away since gracing the cover of every magazine over the last summer.
Please go to the website below and join the virtual march. It is the first step toward solving the problem.
Then go here: http://www.climatecrisis.net/ to find out what more you can do about this problem. It is all of our responsibility. Not just Al Gore's.
It's been a long time coming, but THE BLOW's "Paper Television" has slowly creeped up on me, becoming one of my favorite records this year. What has finally grabbed my undivided attention is the closing track, "True Affection". "You were out of my league, and I was twenty thousand underneath the sea" - I can't seem to get that lyric out of my head these days.
Their new single "Parantheses" is out now on K Records. I suspect we'll be hearing much more about the Portland, OR duo in the coming year.
Monday, November 27, 2006
This relatively softcore selection from THE GOSSIP's latest album shows us, in mild increments, just how sizzling hot BETH DITTO is. This chick is seriously rivaling PJ HARVEY and KAREN O for hottest femme-fatale of the modern age. She exudes fearlessness, struts her inhibitions, and has pipes that blow every frill bitch off the stage.
And she has time to knit!
Loves me some Gossip!
Their recent album "Standing in the Way of Control" is one of 2006's best. For sure.
A girl and two guys comprise the French electro set that is KLANGUAGE. I've been obsessed for weeks with their track "Priceless Things". "The Message" is nearly as good. And I can't wait to hear their newest single, "All This Time".
I'm sooo intrigued. Every track (so far) sounds different. And I love the throwback to the minimalist-bass heavy sound of early-90's trip-hop/house.
Check out the only decipherable info about KLANGUAGE on the internet at their MySpace site:
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
One of my all-time favorite directors ROBERT ALTMAN died in a hospital last night at the age of 81. No cause of death has been announced, though Altman had underwent a heart transplant some 10 years ago.
Of his dense back catalogue of films, some of my favorites include "Nashville", "Come Back To the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean" and the sprawling 1994 L.A. opus, "Short Cuts".
Most recently, Altman directed the nostalgic comedy, "A Prairie Home Companion", starring MERYL STREEP, LILY TOMLIN, VIRGINIA MADSEN, and LINDSEY LOHAN.
Altman accumulated five Best Director Oscar nominations in his time, winning none. Though he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Oscar a couple years ago.
Not only will Coachella be expanded into a three day festival next year, but the same organizers are also putting together a Country Music festival on the same grounds one week later. Big names are already tapped for the Country fest, including legends Willie Neslon and Emmylou Harris.
The festival returns to the Empire Polo Fields in Indio, CA, after speculation that the festival would be moving. The line-up for Coachella is expected to be announced around the beginning of February.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
I'm a giddy teenager again. Yet another act from Sweden is blowing my mind these days. LO-FI FNK are currently riding the wave of Swedish electro, turning out a sound that conjures a nostalgic dancefloor atmosphere, while maintaining a modern edge at the same time.
These boys are extremely young looking, as evidenced by their catalogue of videos on YouTube. But they conjure a sound so confident and contagious; I can't wait to see where they go in the future.
The Sky Report officially endorses C.S.S. as one of the hottest breakthoughs of 2006. 'Let's Make Love and Listen To Death From Above' is an instant classic. Their new single "Alala" is not a bad follow-up. Check it out.
But I still wonder why, when I made an attempt to meet lead singer LOVEFOXXX when CSS played The Mezzanine recently, did she just throw her hands up in the air in a sort of psycho-shimmy when I tried to shake her hand at the T-Shirt stand.
LOVEFOXXX, I love you. You are the shit. But don't forget it's geeks like me that are making you what you are. Shake a music nerd's hand when he offers. I'm just sayin'.
According to the restless kids in the Coachella message boards, HOT CHIP are the first act to publicly confirm a slot at the greatest festival on Earth when it rolls around again in April.
HOT CHIP are probably my favorite thing about 2006. Their album 'The Warning' is definitely gonna land itself in my top ten albums of the year. The track 'No Fit State' is the hotttest shit in years. Soooooo fucking good!
The official Coachella rumor season usually doesn't really get going until January, but why not start the party now? I'm excited.
Now, let's just add THE KNIFE, PORTISHEAD, GUS GUS, LO-FI FNK, BOARDS OF CANADA, MY BLOODY VALENTINE, and THE SUGARCUBES and I'll turn my life upside down to make it out to the desert this spring.
One of my all-time favorite ladies is in San Francisco this weekend, making an appearance at the annual MISS TRANNYSHACK PAGEANT at The Regency Center. Parker joins DEEE-LITE lead singer LADY MISS KIER, "Wigstock' star LADY BUNNY, and ALEXIS ARQUETTE (of 'Clubland' fame') for the gala, hosted by the one and only HEKLINA.
Word has it Parker and the whole glitterati will be descending on Trannyshack's weekly casa The Stud sometime in the wee hours following the star-studded event. SKY REPORT chum DJ PHILLIE OCEAN will be spinning the sweetest beats and his even sweeter ladyfriend IRON MEGAN will be working the door. Maybe I'll get some inside dish on the late night action.
TROPHY was there, but got too drunk and went home early.
Friday, November 17, 2006
James Murphy and his New York electro outfit LCD SOUNDSYTEM are prepping their second proper full-length studio album, 'Sound of Silver' for release on March 20. I still lose sleep some nights wondering how I have continuously missed out on LCD's live show extravaganza. Particularly, I regret not catching their tour with M.I.A back in 2005. What was I thinking!? I vow not to miss them when they tour the new record. YAY! I can't wait!
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Pitchfork reports today that 'Pocket Symphony', the forthcoming album from French electro duo AIR will be released by Astralwerks on March 6, 2007. Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Beck) produces.
I will never forget their sunset performance at Coachella 2005 - simply breathtaking.
LOST unfortunately went on another three month hiatus. The first six episodes of the new season were just a tease and it's killing me! What happened to the crazy "security system" invisible monsters! How are Jack, Kate and Sawyer going to get back to the camp? And what the hell is going on with everyone else? And what about that chick from the outside world who got the call from the Russian submarine?
I'm sort of a LOST fanatic, as you can probably tell. It's gonna be a long winter...I feel so...well, lost.
The video for "What Else Is There?" by ROYKSOPP featuring THE KNIFE's Karin Dreijer Andersson was released nearly a year ago, but it is well worth revisiting. The song is gorgeous and the video is eerie and visually stunning.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
THE RAPTURE are simply awesome live. Their headline spot at the Riottt Fest was quick, tight, and had everyone's asses shaking. Even without their usually fantastic light show, the band rose to the occasion and seemed to enjoy the fairly rushed set. The sax player alone was worth the price of admission for the whole festival. I can't really say much more about the show, as I was pretty drunk and wiped out by the time they went on. But check out their super fun new video for "Whoo! Alright! Yeah! Uh-huh!" It's a grand old time!
In the last six months I have become increasing intrigued by EMILY HAINES, lead singer of METRIC and part-time singer for BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE and STARS. I had toyed with the idea of catching METRIC's set at Coachella back in May, but since I wasn't too familiar with their albums at the time, they lost out to one of the thirtysomething other acts I did end up seeing that weekend.
Then, over the summer I rented the indie flick CLEAN, in which METRIC performs in a seedy rock club at the very beginning of the film. I immediately wanted to know who this band was and when I discovered that it was METRIC, I was kicking myself for missing them at Coachella. Ever since this revelation, I have scanned the internet for more info about EMILY HAINES and was ecstatic to find out that she was also releasing a solo album this year, "Knives Don't Have Your Back". So, needless to say, I was very excited to see METRIC at last weekend's Be The Riottt! Festival.
The set was, for the most part, solid. But perhaps I placed too much expectation on them to really be blown away. And strange as it may seem, I think Haines may have felt the same way in return. Throughout the show it seemed the singer was struggling to win the love of the main stage crowd. At one point the increasingly concerned Haines flat out asked the stoned and seemingly immobile crowd, "Are you okay?" When she got a lukewarm reaction, things just got stranger, as Haines meandered into a sort of art-chick rant of a monologue, almost losing the crowd completely. That was until the band brought out the big guns and slammed through a number of their more popular uptempo rockers like "Monster Hospital" and "Dead Disco".
All in all, the band sounded tight, but the thing about it is, Haines steals every ounce of attention from her bandmates, that I occasionally forgot that they even existed. She is absolutely mezmerizing to watch, at times abusing her keyboard like a scorned lover, shaking her beautiful mess of blonde hair into a frenzy, or slithering suspiciously around her bandmates like a hunter after it's prey.
Art Rock + Drama = METRIC
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
THE PRESETS had a lengthy sound issue, delaying their set by a good 35 minutes or so. Julian Hamilton, the singer/keyboardist half of the Aussie electro duo, was visibly frustrated and it almost started to feel like the show wasn't going to get off the ground. Luckily, the over-stressed soundman in the Polk Room eventually figured out how to get Julian's mic working, because what ensued was the talk of the festival.
A nonstop new wave dance factory, THE PRESETS delivered, slamming through the sinister pop of "Are You the One?", the funked-out electric "Kitty in the Middle", and the electro-nostlagia of "Girl and the Sea". The duo literally had the room jumping with the infectious neo-rave anthem "I Go Hard, I Go Home". For a second I felt like I had been teleported back in time to the hottest underground party in San Francisco circa 1989.
For a duo comprised of a drummer and a keyboardist, I was amazed at the energy and sound these guys created. The crowd was nearly epileptic in it's show of affection, as sweating 20-somethings poured out of the room at set's end, spilling euphorically back into the Civic Center's brightly lit corridors of beer vendors to chat about what just occurred.
To Be Continued...METRIC...
It was a rainy Saturday afternoon leading up to the first (annual?) BE THE RIOTTT! Festival in San Francisco. And even though I only live a short two-blocks' stroll from the Bill Graham Civic Center, I and my SKY REPORT cohorts TROPHY (XLR8R) and JACOB LANE (sf painter/artist) were hungover and slow-moving in our quest to get off our asses and head down to the festival. After a late brunch, many cups of coffee and a few beers shots, we finally made it down the street.
We missed TOKYO POLICE CLUB, which wasn't such a bad thing. I kinda dig their songs, but they sound really young. They're still growing on me.
ASOBI SEKSU took the stage shortly after 6PM. The band seemed a bit perplexed at first, enduring what seemed like their first soundcheck under the ironic blasting of AC/DC'S "Back In Black" album. Lead singer/keyboardist Yuki Chikudate distracted herself by wrapping red Christmas tree lights around her microphone. But, what felt like a lukewarm start slowly built into a captivating set, and the crowd's momentum followed the same pattern. The first real highlight was the blazing "New Year's", which soared like a driving, dream pop juggernaut. The song climaxed into an ear-deafening wall of noise, then gave way back to the pounding, angelic chorus - a few moments of pure heaven.
After a warm rendition of their recent single "Thursday", the NYC post-shoegaze fourtet teased the audience with a few bars of THE CRYSTALS' 60's girl-group classic "Then He Kissed Me" before blasting through the hypnotic opus "Red Sea". As the searing finale disintegrated into a droning maze of guitars and synthesizers, puncuated constantly by Yuki's high-pitched melodies, the band erupted into a ferocious cover of "Kissed Me", played out in it's entirety.
ASOBI SEKSU were a great start to a solid night of fresh music.
To Be Continued...THE PRESETS...
Sunday, November 12, 2006
More on the Bring the Riottt Festival later, but the high point was definitely when mash-up DJ GIRL TALK invited hundreds of fans onto the stage for a full-on dance party. Ignoring the security guards' attempt to contain 'the riottt', Girl Talk didn't even play for 10 minutes before the venue pulled the plug and ushered him and everyone else off the stage. It was so exciting, I only wish I had made it onto the stage so I could dance around Girl Talk at his laptop. A rock star in the making!
According to themodernage.com and AOL Music, Shirley Manson, lead singer of Garbage, has been working with Jack White (The White Stripes) and Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins) on her first solo album. The CD is expected to be released sometime in 2007 (if CD's still exist by then anyway).
I was saddened by the announcement that Garbage were calling it quits, but maybe Shirley's solo career will be even better. Let's just hope she doesn't follow the same path recently set by Gwen Stefani. Not that I don't love Gwen, but I want some rock'n'roll dammit!
Friday, November 10, 2006
Despite the sudden controversy over NME reporting the birth of 'New Rave', I am hooked on the new acts associated with the ill-fated new genre title.
The thought of such a genre conjures the memory of 'Electroclash' in the early Y2K's. Music snobs around the globe find a subtle terror in the phrasing of a, well, let's face it - a hipster music scene. But for one second, cast all pretentions aside and enjoy the music. New artists like Le Castle Vania, Simian Mobile Disco, Lo-Fi Fnk, Klaxons, The Black Ghosts, Klanguage, and even Brazilian electro-unit CSS are expanding upon electronic music's founding elements to further the sound into the modern atmosphere.
Yes, the term 'New Rave' is nauseating. But the music is solid, fresh, and inspiring. Even more important, it is fucking fun! Let's focus on that. Rather than killing a sound before it gets on its feet.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Only two days left until the Riottt Festival descends on San Francisco.
I am especially excited since I live only two short blocks from the infamous Bill Graham Civic Center, where hot hot hot acts like THE RAPTURE, GIRL TALK, THE PRESETS, ASOBI SEKSU, METRIC, DEERHOOF, XIU XIU and DIPLO will be lifting the roof off of said historical building.
I can't wait.
The Knife's bizarre, but completely infectious set at the Mezzanine last week was the city's hot ticket of the year and I was there! Check out this clip of a very reworked version of their classic track, "Heartbeats".
Love the throbbing red lights in the background, creating the illusion of, well...a heart beating.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
But I just finished a five month marathon of '24' and I have to say, it really is one of the best TV shows ever. Non-stop action, suspense and drama. Jack Bauer and Chloe O'Brian are the shit! Season 5 is the topper. I can't wait until Season 6 kicks off in January.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
I cannot express enough how vital this election is. There is a real chance for the Democrats to regain control of the Senate and the House, a much needed predecessor for the 2008 Presidential Election. Please make your voice heard, get off the internet (if only for an hour) and GO VOTE!!
This is pretty much a test post, but still!
This is pretty much a test post, but still!