Saturday, October 22

Happy Weekend

Here are some gems that I couldn't wait to share. 
They work well with a giddy weekend vibe.
  1. Tycho - A Walk
    Tycho released his much anticipated new album Dive this month.  With these seven new tracks (and three re-releases) Scott Hansen breathes new life into his sun-drenched, Northern California wonderland.  You can't say this sound comes from the Haight & Ashbury 60's, because it's far too optimistic and perfect to be rooted in reality.  It's more like the soundtrack to your memories of a perfect day on the Mendocino coast.  I love a good album opener and A Walk delivers.  This is the best intro I've heard since the Secret Machines'   Alone, Jealous and Stoned.
  2. Real Estate - It's Real
    The new surf rock of New Jersey's Real Estate returned this month with Days.  RE really gets me, because you can listen to their whole albums straight through and then easily decide to do it again.  I wish they had released Days on tape so it could be that album that never left my car's tape deck player - a perfect go-to that is creative and laid-back but not without it's sing-a-longs (see It's Real).
  3. Os Mutantes - Bat Macumba
    The next time I come back from a particularly fruitful banana picking adventure, I'm going to load up my old wheelbarrow and throw this on.  The bass sounds like a rubber band.
  4. Daphni - Yes, I Know
    I could never really get into Caribou, but Daniel Victor Snaith's side project, Daphni, has my full attention.  Snaith picks his samples wisely: a soulful chorus, native chants and tribal drummings - then he arranges and tweaks them in the true Caribou fashion to make an utterly timeless piece of music that is as much for your body as it is for you head.

Friday, October 14


1% of Americans own 42% of US financial wealth.
The US ranks 93rd in "Income Inequality" (behind China, India and Iran.)

Occupy protests have spread to over 50 cities.
Over 10,000 people marched in Portland last week.
JP Morgan & Chase donated $4.6 Million to the NYPD on the eve of protests.
(The largest in the foundation's history)

There is a lot of unrest out there.  People that are not normally politically active now find themselves in an emotional throng of protesters.  The apathetic, confronted with the 99% statistic, are provoked to think about the nature of our political system.  Regardless of your perspective on the protests, there is no denying that there is a movement taking place that has challenged the status quo.  It is refreshing to know that common people, when organized, still have a voice and are capable of creating an atmosphere that makes change possible.

I hear people saying that they are frustrated with the lack of structure and demands from the swarming masses, but this is still the early stages of a movement.  I say let them voice their frustrations.  Give them the mic.  We'll get into the specific financial and legal corporate reforms once leaders organically emerge.

And of course, unsettling times call for unsettling music.  These songs are on the darker side that reflect the greedy, dog-eat-dog nature of capitalism.  If you think about it too long you start to worry where we will be in 50 years...
  1. Radiohead - Up On the Ladder
  2. Do Make Say Think- The Landlord is Dead
    Half of Canada's Godspeed! You Black Emperor make dark, winding multi-instrumentals that scare the hell out of me.
  3. The Constantines - Life or Death
    Wish I could sing like this.
  4. Radiohead - Go To Sleep (Little Man Being Erased)
    "We don't want the monster taking over"
  5. Radiohead - Codex
    Sorry about all the Radiohead, but this was a quick mix and they kind of own this sound.
  6. Bob Dylan - When the Ship Comes In

Here are some good reads on the movement, it's methods and what can actually be achieved.

Business Insider "What the Protesters Are So Angry About"
Krugman, Panic of the Plutocrats
Video: Kristof, Advice for the Wall Street Protesters
Must see video explaining Citizens United vs. FEC
Foreign Policy: Why the Wall Street Protests Actually Matter
The stats behind "The 53%"
Brooks, reminding us that simply protesting will get us nowhere in The Milquetoast Radicals

And a video from the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective. 
I like how they let the ambient sound tell the story rather than a narrative.

Thursday, October 6

Drinkin Beers

There's something to be said for drinking beer with a group of friends.  The camaraderie and low key vibe allow conversations to flow and occasionally drift into goofy territory.  On one hand it's an opportunity to have a long, in depth conversation and on the other it is a vacation or an escape of sorts - a reminder not to take things too seriously.  What follows is some crisp rock, sweaty funk and the occasional "Oh what the hell is this? I gotta get up and dance!"  Ideal for pregames and tailgates.

  1. Booker T. Jones - Rent Party
  2. Stretch - Why Did You Do It?
  3. Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra - Che Che Cole
  4. Cyril Ferguson - Gonna Build a Nation
  5. Al Green - I'm a Ram
  6. The Barons - Making It Better
  7. The Black Motion Picture Experience - 2001
  8. Pearly Queen - Quit Jive'n
  9. Dazz - Brick
  10. Stealers Wheel - Stuck in the Middle with You (Todd Terje edit)
  11. James Brown - Give It Up or Turn It Loose

Also how sweet are these vintage beer can photographs?

image: Heidi
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