Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Breaking Bad News with Baby Animals - A Postcard book

So what if I'm not a big animal lover?  Breaking bad news is made much easier when baby animals are involved.  Pick up the postcards on Amazon and check out their site for a preview

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Vet Who Didn't Vet - A Political Piece to Make Dr. Seuss Proud

I'm not sure if it's my childhood love of Dr. Seuss or the sheer simplicity of this message that I love the most--so if any of you undecideds even bothered to register, hopefully this will help you see the light. 

10 more days...

Cloud Cult - Hope

Monday, October 20, 2008

Upcoming NYC Shows

Here's some of the bands that I'm excited to see in the next month or so:

I used to watch John Fanning play guitar 8 or 9 years ago, then found him again this spring in New York.  I caught the band again in July, as their sound continued to grow with the addition of a few new members.  I'm looking forward to catching some of their new stuff that I haven't heard yet during CMJ.  The Loom will also be playing the Mercury Lounge the following week, then taking off to play at the screening of The Youngest Candidate, on which they've contributed to the soundtrack.

Upcoming NYC Shows
10.22 CMJ - The Bell House @ 8 pm with La Strada & Frances
10.23 CMJ - The Cake Shop nyctaper Showcase @ 3 pm with Naked Hearts & Sharon Van Etten
10.24 CMJ - Original Sessions Art House @ 8 pm with Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, Festival & More
10.1.8 Mercury Lounge @ 6:30 pm with Neva Dinova & McCarthy Trenching
10.21.8 Cake Shop @ 9 pm with Rafter

nyctaper has recorded The Loom twice before.  Recently at the Glasslands and at the nyctaper Anniversary Showcase in May.

I have been anxiously awaiting a Ryan Adams show in the area since Easy Tiger came out.  I had seen him briefly at Lollapalooza 3 years ago, but have loved the sound when he's with the Cardinals.  It's even better that it's on Halloween, which means I won't be suckered into dressing up for a costume party--they're just no fun outside of Athens, Ohio, anyway.  Sam and I are heading to this one and it'll be my first time at The Apollo!  

Grab their new album when it's released October 28th.

Upcoming NYC Show:
10.31.8 The Apollo 

As with many of my concert plans lately, this one was ruined by my travel schedule, but I'm still putting it out there, as I plan on seeing them at some point.  Instead, we'll be catching TV on the Radio out west.  Tommy gets full credit for handing me this EP in a stack of CDs this fall.  I'd thrown the iPod on shuffle while I was cleaning and had to come out of shower, cleaning supplies in hand, to see who I was listening to.

Upcoming NYC Show:
11.9.8 Northeast Kingdom @ 9 pm with visual artist Christina Medina

This New York band just played two sold out shows in New York, but we're catching them in San Francisco.  My musical buddy Sam and I are once again hitting a show together, as long as our flight makes it in time.  We're catching them at the Warfield on November 9th.  Then it's two days at a bed and breakfast with our co-worker Stacey and a little bit of golf at Half Moon Bay, before attempting to make it back to New York in time for Cloud Cult on the 11th.  

I have to figure that I was destined to find this band.  I first heard of them last year when I could've gone to the show with my Kelly's friend who just moved to New York, if it weren't for my Notre Dame football addiction.  I eventually got to know Jeff seven months later and saw Cloud Cult last spring.  The Meaning of 8 still causes me to cry at the worst times in public--whether it be at the grocery store or on a plane, it still gets to me, but isn't that what we look for in music?  

The band is playing an acoustic set at the Knitting factory as part of CMJ, but I'll be seeing them in New York next month if I get back in time and again the next night in my little state of Connecticut.  

Upcoming NYC Shows:
10.21.8 CMJ Knitting Factory @ 6:30 pm
11.11.8 Bowery Ballroom @ 7:30 with Mason Proper & Exit Clov
11.12.8 Heirloom Arts Theatre (Danbury, CT) @ 7 pm with Mason Proper & Exit Clov

Frightened Rabbit in Williamsburg 10.18.8

I had to dash off from dinner and drinks with my friends to make it to Brooklyn in time for Frightened Rabbit, but with all of their shows, it's been worth it every time.  I made it to Brooklyn and back to them in 3 hours and 2 minutes, catching half of Swim's set, then rushing out of Williamsburg after FR's set--although I did make sure to pick up their live cd from Glasgow on the way out.  The album isn't as loud as the live track from Sing the Greys, but it was a great treat to keep me awake on my drive home that night.  

Scott kept his usual funny banter to a minimum, as they were the second band and limited in their time onstage.  After mentioning that they played a church in Philly the night before, one of the super fans in the front asked if he still said the c word and Scott coyly grinned a confirmation.  The band kept the energy up, closing with "Keep Yourself Warm" instead of the usual set ending "Poke" before the encore, although he promised Poke for when they return in January.  The front few rows of the crowd were fantastic, singing along and white people dancing to every song.  

Set List
I Feel Better
Fast Blood
Old Old Fashioned
Good Arms vs Bad Arms
The Twist
The Modern Leper
Head Rolls Off
Square 9
Keep Yourself Warm

I've seen the band twice before--there's photos, video, and live mp3s from those shows:

I'm Back from the Break

Who knew that an attempt to listen to more albums this year as a new year's resolution would turn into such a great stretch of music.  I started the year just diving into my record collection, listening to albums that I hadn't heard in a while.  Then I had a great weekend at the end of February that kicked off a season of concerts in the city.  

That Friday I had to dig my car out of a snow pile for a few hours in order to make it to Brooklyn to see The National.  I'd posted my extra ticket on Craigslist and ended up going with a drummer from Colorado who'd flown in that day.  Since then, I've fallen in love with his band, Everything Absent or Distorted and can't wait for their new album to come out this month.  The next night was a fantastic show by Dax Riggs in Hoboken for 50 people.  Many other bands filled the next months and it all ended at the end of July with Bon Iver's show in Williamsburg.  

I took a few months off to do some personal traveling before my work travel picked up, but returned to Williamsburg this weekend for my favorite Scottish band and will be posting pictures from that and more about the upcoming shows later this week.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Nick Brown Loves Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals

Usually I don't give Nick credit for his musical suggestions until the hip-hop songs grow on me months later from random radio and bar play.  However, I have been laughing over "Mark Wahlberg talks to Animals" since he sent it to me last night and he deserves some credit--I've watched this over a dozen times already and am still laughing.  (Plus, he likes to come to the blog and check his tag, so this will finally give him something new to look at.)  

Imagine that, SNL is funny even when they're not ripping on the GOP.

"You're a donkey.  I like that.  You eat apples.  I produce Entourage."

Nick even stayed up late last night to watch Wahlberg on Jimmy Kimmel, where he threated to fly to New York and "crack that big fucking nose of [Andy Samberg]."  

The Alfred E Smith Dinner Gives Me a Respite from My Political Anxiety

I've had to put a moratorium on my political discussions with my crazy (okay, he's still my favorite crazy) Republican in Vegas as the race heats up in the final month.  However, these clips made my night as I staggered home from my 4th trip in two weeks, feeling like Ed Norton aimlessly wandering through the country's airports, night after night after night.  Enjoy the political roasting...