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November 19, 2008

Animal Collective - "Brothersport"

via Animal Collective

I can admit when I'm wrong or when I've changed my mind. Well, in this case, it's both. I've been hating on Animal Collective since I first heard Strawberry Jam and wrote them off forever. Oh, and that All Points West performance when I was standing 5 people deep or so in the crowd. My ears may have bled a little that day, but the performance did intrigue me. Mostly, I was confused when I found myself paying attention to "House" (now "My Girls") and "Brother Sport" (now "Brothersport"). A couple days ago, a studio version of "Brothersport" was leaked. I knew the link would not be up for long, and I was really anxious to listen to it. So, I asked a friend (Thanks, A.) to download the track for me and send it to my personal email.

If I'd thought the live versions were catchy, they're nothing compared to the mastered version. "Brothersport" is one of the most infectious songs that I've heard in a long time. Compared to the live versions, it is definitely sweeter and even more accessible. It's so sweet that my teeth hurt when I listen to it. In the best way possible. Oops, I just got distracted and started dancing in my chair to this song. I have to admit that I miss Avey Tare's yelping, which is left out in the studio version.

So, folks, turns out that I don't hate Animal Collective. In fact, I very much like Sung Tongs (K., I finally got around to it), too. And, I've always been a Panda Bear fan. I like when Animal Collective sounds more like Panda Bear. I can't remember where I read it, but someone wrote that this track/upcoming album sounded as if AC took the best part of the group, Panda Bear, and just went in that direction. Well, it's working for me.

The studio version is up on Grizzly Bear's Blog at the moment. I'm not sure how long that will be up, so act quickly. Enjoy the live versions of "Brothersport" and "My Girls" below.

Merriweather Post Pavillion will be released on January 20. The release date coincides with the date of the NYC show at Grand Ballroom. Unfortunately, I did not act quickly enough to get tickets. But, I will be diligently looking for some as the date draws nearer. I've decided that Grand Ballroom doesn't have the sound capacity to get that loud, so I may actually enjoy the show.

Brothersport - Animal Collective (Look in the text above)

My Girls (Live at Hove Festival 06-23-08) - Animal Collective

Brothersport (Live on NPR) - Animal Collective

Animal Collective


November 17, 2008

Girl Talk - Terminal 5 11.16.08

The remains of an inflatable basketball

I went to Girl Talk last night, and now I'm paying for it. My entire body hurts. Stiff neck, sore arms, pulled calf muscles. That's right, I've been limping around the entire day. People asked me what had happened to me. Too much dancing at Girl Talk. That's what happened.

The minutes before they left people go onstage, I thought that there was a possibility that I might die. I'd never been in such a packed crowd, and I've had my fair share of deathly crowds. When I was finally pushed up the stairs to the stage, three girls or so fell on top of me. I was legitimately scared that people would just start stepping on me, so I had to quickly squirm my way from under them. I made it out alive, and I danced my heart out. If you know me in real life, then you know that I consider myself to be a little shy and reserved. But, last night, I had no problems looking like a fool in front of 3000 people.

All in all, I would say this was the most uneventful Girl Talk show I've been to. In a way, that is a good thing since this was the first GT show that I'd been to that wasn't shut down by the cops or security. Rude Bear was at the Saturday night show, but he did not make an appearance yesterday. How disappointing since I've sorta been in love with him since I saw him at the Parenthetical Girls/Evangelicals show at Cake Shop. Also, no surprise guests made an appearance. I guess it was a very rare thing I witnessed at Pitchfork Music Festival '07 Grizzly Bear joined Girl Talk onstage for the mash-up of "Knife."

Regardless, Girl Talk is still hands-down the most fun dance show that I've ever attended. I just need to remember to stretch before starting to dance.

EDIT: I forgot to add that I noticed that Girl Talk covers his laptop in Saran Wrap. Does he do this to protect his computer from his dripping sweat and the sweat of the surrounding dancers?

Grand Buffet and Hearts of Darknesses supported Gregg Gillis at this show. Hearts of Darknesses is the solo project of Frank Musarra, who collabs with Gregg Gillis under Trey Told 'Em. Gregg also has a production credit for one of Grand Buffet's EPs. Both Grand Buffet and Hearts of Darknesses have been sampled by Trey Told 'Em on their In-DEED mix.

Dutch Hex (Trey Told 'Em Remix) - Professor Murder

Bounce That - Girl Talk

Legally download Feed the Animals here.


November 16, 2008

Girl Talk - "Give Me a Beat"

via Music For Kids Who Can't Read Good

It sucks to be home on a Saturday night with the beginnings of what I predict will be a nasty cold. The kind that will turn into bronchitis and force me to see a doctor. Knowing this, I knew that there was no way I could go to Girl Talk both Saturday and Sunday nights. So, I parted with my Saturday tickets via Craigslist a couple days ago so that I could rest up for Sunday night. Tomorrow night, I will be going with the same group of friends that accompanied me to the GT show at Webster Hall last Fall. That night, people in the crowd were giving us more room to dance because we were going crazy. A "before" picture here and "after" here to show how much dancing I did at the show. I hope the Terminal 5 crowd will be less violent than it was at the Ratatat show.

I just got off the phone with Trash For Your Eyes and Ears, and he had an amazing time at the show. If you've been to Terminal 5, then I'm sure you're aware that there is a gap between the gate and the stage. However, if you want to go onstage to dance, you must rush up the stairs (located stage-right left) during the first 10 minutes of Girl Talk's set. Gregg went on around 10:45 PM last night.

See you tomorrow! I've seen Gregg Gillis three times in the last year or so, and his shows are always so much fun for me. I hope there's a mix of Night Ripper, Feed the Animals, and some new stuff. For now, enjoy "Give Me a Beat." Gregg is a genius for mashing up Of Montreal's "Gronlandic Edit" and Ali's "Breathe In, Breathe Out." Yes, I listened to the St. Lunatics. I'm from the Midwest, what do you expect?

NOTE: Tickets for tonight's show (11/16) have gone back on sale!

Give Me a Beat - Girl Talk

And my favorite off Feed the Animals:

In Step - Girl Talk

Legally download Feed the Animals here.


November 14, 2008

Little Joy - Mercury Lounge 11.13.08

There's been quite a bit of Little Joy coverage on here, especially since I put up a post on "Next Time Around" a few days ago. Like I said before, I don't think that Little Joy's music is mind-blowing in any way except that it simply puts me in a good mood. After hesitating to buy tickets to the Mercury Lounge show last week, I decided that I could use a bit of feel-good live music in my life. Thanks to Craigslist (and Noah), I managed to get a pair of tickets to the Mercury Lounge show at the last minute.

As this was their first show in New York, Little Joy was visibly nervous. Although they've been professional musicians for years, I guess a small venue in the Lower East Side can still refreshingly phase them. Fabrizio and Rodrigo both managed to knock over their beers within the first ten minutes of the show. As much as their past musical reputation has been used as a marketing tool for Little Joy, it was endearing that they didn't expect to ride on the Los Hermanos/the Strokes wave alone.

For the most part, I really enjoyed being at the Little Joy show and listening to the songs that have put a smile on my face the past few mornings. Musically, my only complaint was that Binki Shapiro's mic was turned down too low. She really has a fabulous voice, but I could barely hear her, even during her solos. Maybe it was because I was standing right in front of Fabrizio? Either way, it was such a shame that I couldn't hear her during her brief part in "Next Time Around." Also, I hadn't been to Mercury Lounge in about 8 months, and I'd forgotten how loud their system can be. My ears are still ringing from last night, and that makes me feel old.

So, I've been reading in other places that Albert Hammond, Jr was indeed at the show, along with Aggy. This leads me to conclude that, yes, the tall obnoxious photographer that was standing behind me was indeed Albert Hammond, Jr. The one who hit my head and shoulder multiple times with his lens. Yes, I may have snapped on him, but I don't think he heard me, unfortunately.

Check out my past post for more songs.

Play the Part
Shoulder to Shoulder
Brand New Start
Next Time Around
With Strangers
Don't Watch Me Dancing
How to Hang a Warhol
No One's Better Sake
New Song
Keep Me In Mind

Evaporar - Little Joy

Someone please put up the guitar tabs for this one

Brand New Start - Little Joy

With Strangers - Little Joy

Little Joy


November 11, 2008

Little Joy - "The Next Time Around"

via gorillavsbear

Okay, so I've found my new Vampire Weekend. My current guilty pleasure is Little Joy, a band with Fabrizio Moretti of the Strokes, Rodrigo Amarante of Los Hermanos, and Binki Shapiro. Yes, it seems like the band's major marketing blurb is "Little Joy with the Strokes' Fabrizio Moretti," but Little Joy is probably the best effort involving any member of that band. I have to admit, I was reluctant to listen to the Little Joy album at first because of the Strokes association. Although I am a fan of the Strokes (Only music haters don't like "Reptilia" or "Alone Together"), I wasn't enthralled by the projects of Albert Hammond, Jr. or Nikolai Fraiture. But, Obscure Sound's review finally convinced me to give Little Joy a spin.

One of my favorite tracks is "The Next Time Around," an upbeat tune complete with a ukulele intro and barbershop harmonies. The melodies are so sweet that you can't help but uncross your arms and maybe tap a foot or your fingers along. Clocking in at barely over two and half minutes, the song is a very quick listen. It's over before you know it, so you hit the back button so that you can hear all the pieces again, like Binki Shapiro's voice that comes in, very briefly, near the two-minute mark. I'm getting my ukulele in a couple weeks, and you bet I'm going to be attempting to learn this one.

And, so, Little Joy has become my routine morning listen. While Little Joy's self-titled album is not groundbreaking, I have to (reluctantly) agree with Pitchfork's review of the album; Little Joy's music is very accessible and rather enjoyable. And, that's why it's a guilty pleasure for me. I like these tracks simply for their ability to pick up my mood and plant a smile on my face. Life doesn't always have to be so serious, n'est-ce pas?

Try not to be in a good mood while listening to "The Next Time Around," I dare you. I've also posted another favorite, "Keep Me In Mind," which has a very Strokes-like intro and overall feel.

Little Joy will be performing at Mercury Lounge this Thursday, November 13. If you have an extra pair of tickets, please send them my way! See you there!

The Next Time Around - Little Joy

Keep Me In Mind - Little Joy

Little Joy


Metric - "Help, I'm Alive"

via Riaz

According to iTunes and Last.fm, I've listened to the new Metric song nearly 100 times in the last five days. That's about 20 times a day, which adds up to over an hour devoted daily to this one song. What can I say, I really like "Help, I'm Alive."

"Help, I'm Alive" is not a complex track, but it's got something that has me mindlessly hitting repeat every single time. Essentially, this song is a very listenable rock-pop song with simple lyrics. But, whenever the song ends, I'm left wanting to hear more. So, I hit the back button on my iTunes/iPod. If "Help, I'm Alive" is any indication of how the new Metric album will be, then it definitely makes my list of most anticipated albums. The album is expected to be released in early 2009.

I have writer's block, so I'm going to keep it short so that I can play around on the guitar for the rest of the night. Love that Tuesday is Veteran's Day.


Help, I'm Alive - Metric



November 7, 2008

Happy One Year!

via Partyware Supplies

Happy 1st Birthday (to me)! I can't believe that it's already been one year since I started this blog. I created Look at me, I made a blog because, well, it made me feel less worthless during my very laid-back last year of college. You know that you have senioritis when you're taking guitar lessons and a pilates class as filler points in order to stay a full-time student. All my close friends had blogs, so I figured I might as well jump on the wagon. It was an easy way for me to share what I was listening to and what shows I was attending. Also, because I was an engineering student (Surprised?), I needed an outlet for my non-math thoughts. So, this blog was born. Maybe one day, I will show this blog to my kids as proof that their mother was sorta cool in her 20s. But, they will probably roll their eyes at the archaic blog-form and terrible default layout, and call me a music nerd. Touché.

Over the past year, I've made some great discoveries (Fleet Foxes, Chairlift) and went to many shows, some more memorable than others. In only a year's time, some bands that I considered to be underrated in 2007 became some of the most over-hyped in 2008. I've had mini-celebrations when I was linked by the Gothamist, Metromix, Brooklyn Vegan, The Hype Machine, and Elbows. Honestly, I can't imagine a life without constant music discovery. The excitement that I feel when I listen to a new song or a band that truly leaves an impression on my day, my week, my year... it's irreplaceable. I am one of those people who can listen to something and can't help smiling.

The number of musicians that live in and come through New York is truly amazing, and it's been a huge motivating factor for me to stay in this city that I love-hate. Sadly, over four years of NYC-living has pretty much killed the Midwesterner in me. Yes, you can take the Hicksville out of the girl...for the most part. Sometimes at shows, I catch myself crossing my arms and ambivalently tapping a foot, and I think, "Oh no, I've become one of THEM." Uh oh, is it time for me to move to Austin or Seattle? Not sure if I'm ready to add that much plaid to my wardrobe.

Anyway, thank you for reading. Without you, the only person reading this blog would be my mother. I didn't realize that she was actually keeping up with the posts until she asked about my camera after this one and asked about my bruises after this one. So, thank you again. I am always surprised and flattered that you are somewhere out there, reading some of the absurdity that I write. Special thanks to Sarah, Andrew, and David for supporting Look at me, I made a blog from the very beginnings. And, of course, thanks to Mama Kim.

I leave you with a few appropriately-titled songs.

Whoever You Are - Geggy Tah (Who doesn't like the 90s?)

Geggy Tah

In the New Year - The Walkmen

The Walkmen post here.

The Walkmen

Each Year (RAC Mix) - Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot posts here.

Ra Ra Riot


November 5, 2008

Ponytail - "Beg Waves"

via SPIN
Molly was the Kool-Aid man for Halloween and, yes, she broke through a brick wall drawn on brown paper

Things have been a bit quiet post-CMJ, and I miss the music-craziness of October. I've had the election to distract me for a few days, and I've never been prouder to hold an Illinois ID, to be an alum of my alma mater (I'm still waiting for that email, PrezBo), and to be an American. It's been an exciting week, but it's time for me to pick up where I left off.

During the BrooklynVegan CMJ Showcase, I saw a certain band named Ponytail that has a band website that appears to be very circa 1990s. I should warn you that you may find yourself clicking around for awhile. Anyway, let's be honest. When I first saw this band, I thought, "What the hell is going on..." Molly Siegel, the lead singer (if you can call her that), bounced around and made a lot of cat-like noises. Screeches, purrs, she had them all. This guy in front of me was rocking out while everyone looked on with their arms crossed in an appropriate CMJ-like manner.

Regardless, I kinda liked them. I couldn't really explain why they intrigued me that night, but I have been listening to Ponytail ever since the MHOW show. I put Ice Cream Spiritual on my iPod, which turned out to be a dangerous move. Now, I've been finding myself moving to the beat while walking, waiting in front of restaurants, and riding the elevator at work. Uh oh, I guess Ponytail is a little infectious.

While I'm still confused by the "vocals" of Molly Siegel and Dustin Wong, they entertain me at times. I especially enjoy Dustin's monkey sounds in "7 Souls," in all seriousness. I've seen him do the bit live twice, and I may be a little obsessed. But, the track that I've had on repeat for awhile is "Beg Waves," my current favorite. When I saw them perform the song live, the guitarists and drummer managed to make the complicated sequences look so easy to perform (damn them). Up until about time 2:26, the guitars and percussion become increasingly layered on top of each other, making the song seem almost chaotic as the different sounds attempt to fight each other for domination. Then, a melodic guitar riff emerges suddenly, and it's a surprise that manages to put a smile on my face. While I'm the elevator with people in suits. Oh, if they only knew what I was listening to.

Ponytail will be performing with Yeasayer on November 15 at NYU's Skirtball Center. Details here.

Beg Waves - Ponytail



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