Tag Archives: guitar

Well It’s Been A Long Time, Long Time Now / Since I’ve Seen You Smile

19 Dec

Anyone who knows anything about anything knows that La Blogotheque is pretty much badass when it comes to being first (or near first) on the indie music radar. Par example, Eileen recently wrote a great La Blogotheque post about Vampire Weekend.

So its no surprise to see that they first captured Beirut in a Takeaway Show back in September 2007.

Totally beautiful.  An aimless wandering of Parisien streets with the round-cornered townhouses so signature of a Takeaway Show that simultaneously reminds you of  the gorgeous street scenes of Paris.

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I Hate Trust Fund Assholes In Frats–But I Love Trust Fund Frat Rock.

24 Oct

Go figure.

I am loving on Vampire Weekend.

After discovering them through their iTunes early preview in January, I always have liked them, but after watching Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist and hearing their “Ottoman” within the film, I’ve rekindled the romance.

I know that they’ve been dubbed “trust fund frat rock” by fellow musicians, and that Christian Lander of “Stuff White People Like” make fun, tongue-in-cheek, saying that Vampire Weekend was “the whitest band”, but I care not. (Well, as an Asian girl, I’m apparently #11 on the Stuff White People Like list, myself! But it’s true. I don’t date Asian, and I totally date white guys.)

They’re playing in NYC at Terminal 5 on 06 December, and it’s the only show that’s not sold out! So FYI to my future boyfriend out there who are wealthy enough to fly us out for a weekend:

I can be packed and ready to go in less than one hour–slinky black fringed flapper dress, extra underwear and a toothbrush. Let’s go.

Mansard Roof” is fun:

And “Oxford Comma” is more pissed off and catchy.

See what I mean? It’s like cocky “turn up the collar of your Lacoste shirt” rock, but at the same time, it’s strangely irresistible.

I’m serious about New York City, FutureBoyfriend. We can stay at The Pod.

Call me!

What’s The Diff?

23 Oct

Before I start with my devil’s advocate line of questioning, let me tell you that I own all of Coldplay‘s albums. ven the iffy one, X&Y. Rush of Blood To The Head is still in heavy rotation on my iPod, as it is still one of my favorite albums of all time, and Parachutes gets a good amount of play as well. And of course, when Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends was in pre-sales on iTunes, I laid my cash down, and I never do that.

But sometimes, I wonder. I know that Coldplay is supposed to be pop/alternative rock, but is this band just another unoriginal sell-out machine?

It’s videos like this that make me wonder. It’s of Boyce Avenue, a band out of Florida, covering Coldplay’s first smash hit single, Viva La Vida off of the latest album.

Of course there’s no string section, they need could use a drummer, backup vocalists and a bassist, but I will argue that it is all generally present in this video. Maybe Boyce Avenue, if they had the money, the fancy editing, a proper recording studio and a proper producer, could be just as good as Coldplay if not better? Raw talent is sometimes hard to pinpoint at the get-go–even The Beatles were rejected multiple times and Brian Epstein was told “guitar groups are on the way out, Mr. Epstein,” by Decca Records A&R executive Dick Rowe as he turned Epstein down flat.

So what’s the difference? 

Is it because Chris is married to Gwyneth? Have we just bought into the cult of Coldplay‘s personality? Is it because they’re English? Here’s the original video from Coldplay. Judge for yourself, and please do, let me know what you think.

On The Music Warpath: Indie Soulfulness & Infectous Pop

28 Aug

My cousin Amette took me to the Troubadour on Monday night to see Bon Iver. This has sparked a musical fever for me–almost anything related to Amette ends up inspiring me in one way or another–and now I am on a warpath to find more music I want to fall in love with.

This following song, a Sarah Siskind cover of Lovin’s For Fools, makes me want to cry, for some inexplicable reason. There’s just a quality to it that makes me think that it’s sad. It makes me feel partially sad. I think I did start tearing up when I was standing there, transfixed by Bon Iver on stage. I suppose it’s slightly strange to want to hear something over and over again that makes you feel sad, but well, maybe it’s recognizing and capturing something along the lines of, if something/someone is not worth crying over, it wasn’t really meaningful to begin with.

[Now listen, I just went all over YouTube listening to many versions and hunting down the best version of this song, so you just, just must, click play. Okay, so the sound quality isn’t the best, slightly tinny, but it’s the clearest of all of them.]

And on the opposite side of the spectrum, there’s this wonderfully infectious pop confection from French singer-songwriter Sébastien Tellier, titled Divine. This song was the 2008 entry representing France at the Eurovision Song Contest, the annual song competition held by most members countries of the European Union.

When I hear this song, I feel like I should be bopping along to it as I walk along Bleecker, nibbling away at a Magnolia cupcake in my hand. I feel it is a bonafide cupcake-eating song. Hmm. Perhaps I am onto something here? Should start an iPod playlist entitled “Playlist To Be Utilized Whilst Eating Cupcakes”?

Divine was actually a source of great controversy in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest due to the fact that it was sung mostly in the English language, despite being the official French entry.

I say bollocks. Inspiration can come from a million different places, and if Tellier wants his English language song, I say he should have been let alone to have it. After all, his nationality and his intent is what is more important, is it not? In the end, Russia won, and it was their first Eurovision win. France has boasted five wins since the program’s inception in 1956, which is the second highest number of wins in Eurovision history, after Ireland’s seven, so it was high time Russia got a round.

“Once”: Demands To Be Played More Than Just Once

26 Aug

Are you like me in that when you find a new musical artist that’s really taken your fancy, you can’t stop listening to them?

In a world crowded with Top 40 radio stations playing the most plastic fabrications they’ve irritatingly labelled as “music”, I have retreated to NPR, channeled through my local station of 89.3 KPCC. Over the years, colorful radio shows like This American Life with Ira Glass have helped me to quite successfully block out the latest horrific plastic pop, and indulge in hearing stories, a very favorite past time of mine. Simple, yet insightful episodes like “The Super” have kept me transfixed, letting the 405 traffic I am sitting in fade away around me.

But one can’t listen to public radio all the time. The human ear has a craving for musicality. How do I find new music, you ask? Most of the time I stumble across it randomly, have my super hip German friends send me some CDs, get dragged to a concert by my super hip cousin Amette, or even listen to the recommended music by the NPR program All Songs Considered. (I was introduced to The Detroit Cobras by this program. My favorite Detroit Cobras song: Silver & Gold.)

However, there is one group of artists that I have been seriously addicted to, and today, upon realising that I was playing the album on repeat for the fifth time, I knew I had get it out of my system partially by posting a blog entry dedicated to them. The music has an organic quality to it, evidenced by the fact that most of the film was shot by handheld cameras, some of the original musical performances even being captured as they were shooting, and dubbed over by their studio recordings afterwards. Here are Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, the actors and musicians behind this year’s most incredibly charming indie film, Once, singing the Academy Award-winning original song, “Falling Slowly“.

I hope that you fall in love with the beautiful simplicity and the elegance of the arrangements of this original soundtrack. Other favorites of mine include “When Your Mind’s Made Up” and “Say It To Me Now“.