Tuesday, September 30, 2014

New Video for TV on the Radio's Single "Happy Idiot" (Plus live concert videos from the NMM archives)

TV on the Radio (Photo via Harvest Records)
TV on the Radio (TOTR) has released a video for the teaser single "Happy Idiot" starring none other than Paul Reubens, a.k.a. that iconic pop culture character Peewee Herman.  Reubens stars as a race care driver cruising past the band in white suits and Karen Gillen (most recently in Gaurdians of the Galaxy) in various female stereotypes offering come hither looks. It's a kicker of a tune, with the usual TOTR charged energy throughout. The group's fifth studio album, Seeds, is due November 18 from Harvest Records.

I have experienced this Brooklyn-based group as headliners at two festivals -- Crossing Brooklyn Ferry 2013 and Moogfest 2011.  Singer Tunde Adebimpe's smooth tenor floats above the sonic urgency provided by these over-qualified musicians, for an indie rock band at least.  Check out our live concert videos and listen up to the "Happy Idiot" below.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Funeral Songs Playlist of My Own As We Honor My Mother

 Favorite photo with my mom, Jane Rush Jansen
I'm busy planning a memorial service this week for my mother. There's relief along with the sadness after watching her slow decline from ALS these past two years, but it's amazing how the details swirl amid the heartache. This is my favorite photo of the two of us from a vacation in Florida long ago. My Mom taught me that culture makes everything worth living and maybe it's genetics, but I have the same love of music. Her favorite genres were Broadway shows, movie scores and all things classical, which was known as "Nana music" to my kids. Yet music also moves me deeply, cutting straight to the core with a vibrancy that fills my being. And as my brother says she liked her music "the louder, the better." Ditto.

On the way to see her last week, the day before she left us/her passing (insert one of the countless terms I've heard recently here), I listened to my own Funeral Songs playlist. I usually punch the lower radio dial for a college radio or NPR station along the way, but I needed a something I count on to last me for hours. It's a fluid list like the recent post listing my Top 25 Concerts, certainly not set in stone until the time comes. Like that or a desert island list (songs you'd take along if marooned), it makes for a lively conversation -- even if just in your own head. Of course, mine is in playlist form and I was even critiquing my order as tears streamed down my face, having to face mortality head on. 

Eddie Argus of Art Brut told me in a PopMatters interview that he named a song "Ice Hockey" instead of "Funeral Song," even though that was the intended purpose. Thought that was a cheeky way to approach things, to use his English term.  So if you'd like to listen to my current collection of blog faves and other tunes that have inspired me along life's path, check it out at link here or below. As I load my laptop with my mother's CD collection to get ready for the event this weekend, I am thankful for this continuing outlet for rejuvenation, however it came my way.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

New Song by Ariel Pink "Put Your Number In My Phone" (Album Due November 18)

Ariel Pink
Once again, I am smitten by a song from L.A. based artist Ariel Pink (born Ariel Marcus Rosenberg). He is musically talented to be sure, with just enough tongue in his cheek to keep things interesting. His song as Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, "Only in My Dreams," earned a spot on my Fall 2012 New Music Playlist with its swirl of hazy synths and a skeptic's view of modern romance.

I've already heard the lead single and title track for Ariel Pink's upcoming album via 4AD out November 18, "pom pom," plenty on KCRW. This pure pop confection has that same recognizable vibe. Listen closely and what you think you've all heard before is instantly rejuvenated, by this lyrical update referencing the simple act of putting one's number into another's phone. The song is part of a double album of seventeen tracks and as Ariel Pink explains, "Although this is the first 'solo' record credited to my name, it is by far the least 'solo' record I have ever recorded." Take a listen to the new song below.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Our His & Hers 25 Top Concert Lists Comparison With Video Highlights

Celebrating the anniversary in Montreal
On the way home from seeing Arcade Fire in Montreal (write up, photos and vids in the previous post) Paul and I took the long road trip to transcribe our top 25 concert moments of all time, plus some Honorable Mentions with the overflow of awesome live music.  It has been an ongoing conversation for years and yes, most of the bands we have experienced together. So on the occasion of our anniversary today, I thought I'd list them here as a his and hers compilation.  As a testament to our longevity, The Ritz is now known as Webster Hall and a big thank you to the Bowery Presents for sprucing up venues around New York City, especially the Music Hall of Williamsburg, The Capitol Theater and Bowery Ballroom -- all excellent spots to see a show. And of course we are fuzzy on some of the dates.

As far as compiling the lists, it was hard to put things in any particular order or consider many festival slots since it usually means not seeing an entire set. Both of us did list Franz Ferdinand at Austin City Limits Music Festival (2013) and Flaming Lips at Moogfest (2012), as we got to the stages early to secure a good view for the complete set. I've added videos from those shows here along with one from LCD Soundsystem's first night of the final week of shows for the band, truly epic.  Other matches are the Talking Heads in 1983, which I wrote about recently with the 30th anniversary of the concert doc from the tour, Stop Making Sense, and David Bowie's 1983 "Serious Moonlight" tour. But can you guess which list is Paul's and which is mine? Listen to some of our fave songs on a Spotify playlist here.

1. Talking Heads 1983 (Forest Hills, NYC)
2. David Bowie 1983 (Madison Square Garden, NYC)
3. Flaming Lips 2011 (Moogfest Asheville, NC)
4. Arcade Fire 2014 (Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal)
5. LCD Soundsystem 2011 (Terminal 5 NYC)
6. Franz Ferdinand 2013 (Austin City Limits Music Festival, TX)
7. Moby 2009 (Irving Plaza, NYC)
8. Beck 2014 (Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC)
9. Elbow 2014 (Webster Hall, NYC)
10. Art Brut 2012 (Music Hill of Williamsburg, NYC)
11. Weezer 2006 (Roseland, NYC)
12. Spoon 2018 w/Grizzly Bear (The Captitol Theatre Port Chester, NY) *Update
13. Hot Chip 2010 (Moogfest Asheville, NC)
14. Phantom Planet 2004? (Irving Plaza, NYC)
15. Paul Westerberg 2005? (The Globe Norwalk, CT)
16. David Byrne 2009 (Oxford, UK)
17. David Byrne 2001 (Apollo Theater, NYC)
18. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. 2011 (Bowery Ballroom, NYC)
19. Peter Bjorn & John 2011 (Bowery Ballroom, NYC)
20. The National 2010 (Brooklyn Academy of Music, NYC)
21. CAKE 2010 (Irving Plaza, NYC)
22. Gang of Four 1984 (The Ritz, NYC)
23. Octopus Project & Devo 2010 (Moogfest Asheville, NC)
24. Sufjan Stevens 2010 (Beacon Theater, NYC)
25. Iggy Pop 1986 (The Ritz, NYC)

Honorable Mention:
Dandy Warhols 2011 (Webster Hall, NYC)
The Walkmen 2012 (Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, Brooklyn Academy of Music, NYC)
Band of Horses 2014 (The Capitol Theatre Port Chester, NY)
Portugal The Man 2012 (Terminal 5, NYC)
Fitz And The Tantrums 2010 (Mercury Lounge, NYC)

I was there!!!!
1. Talking Heads 1983 (Forest Hills, NYC)
2. David Bowie 1983 (Madison Square Garden, NYC)
3. Flaming Lips 2011 (Moogfest Asheville, NC)
4. Arcade Fire 2014 (Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal)
5. LCD Soundsystem 2011 (Terminal 5, NYC)
6. Franz Ferdinand 2013 (Austin City Limits Music Festival, TX)
7. Frank Zappa 1978 (Felt Forum, NYC)
8. Police 1982 (Syracuse University, NY)
9. Gang of Four 1984 (The Ritz, NYC)
10. The Clash 1981 (The Bond, NYC)
11. Beck 2014 (Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC)
12. Phantom Planet 2004? (Irving Plaza, NYC)
13. Orbital 2012 (Moogfest Asheville, NC)
14. Allman Brothers & Eric Clapton 2011 (Beacon Theater, NYC)
15. Yes 1978 (Madison Square Garden, NYC)
16. Paul Westerberg 2005? (The Globe Norwalk, CT)
17. Band of Horses 2014 (The Capitol Theatre Port Chester, NY)
18. Peter Bjorn & John 2011 (Bowery Ballroom, NYC)
19. Spoon 2009 (Roseland, NYC)
20. Weezer 2006 (Roseland, NYC)
21. Atoms for Peace 2013 (Austin City Limits Music Festival, TX)
22. Hot Chip 2010 (Moogfest Asheville, NC)
23. Grateful Dead 1987 (Providence, RI)
24. Fitz and The Tantrums 2010 (Mercury Lounge, NYC)
25. Iggy Pop 1993 (The Ritz, NYC)

Honorable Mention:
The Walkmen 2012 (Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, Brooklyn Academy of Music NYC)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. 2011 (Bowery Ballroom, NYC)
Jeff Beck 2009 (B.B. King Blues Club, NYC)
CAKE 2010 (Irving Plaza, NYC)
Sufjan Stevens 2010 (Beacon Theater, NYC)