Friday, January 30, 2009


No, there is no Kanye on the mix. Apologies to you, Autotune fanatics.

I've got a friend who's feeling a bit down these days and so, I made her a very special mix. I am sharing that mix with you.

Now bear in mind, this is a very specific theme and that theme is heartbreak, optimism, and the amalgamation of both. Now there's also a Mix For Friends, IV forthcoming. This is just a little something to whet the appetite in the meantime.

Don't Let It Get You Down

Please enjoy, but in a melancholic way. Kind of like bittersweet chocolate. But the posh kind, not the cheap Hershey's Special Dark stuff.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


"I've got two reasons why I'm keeping my Blackberry, beeyotch."

Of all the marketing opportunities from the inaugural craze, Ben & Jerry's Yes Pecan is by far my favorite. Granted I haven't tasted the flavor yet but if it's anything like Oatmeal Cookie Chunk, I'm sure we'll have our first unanimously adored African American ice cream flavor!

And bonus points for this limited edition batch not being as nearly as offensive as this New York baker's homage to our dear President. I tells ya; Italians be nutty sometimes.
Yes, this flavor is pro-choice. Although, we don't know where it stands on lactose-intolerance.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Most people liveblog award show. Me, on the other hand, I'm liveblogging the last hour of CBS and Hallmark Films present Loving Leah.

- Lauren Ambrose, or "Leah," a hasidic runaway, is arguing with her secular, non-observant brother-in-law, or "husband" Jake (yes, this is all very confusing) and this is the epitome of preposterous cheese, yet I can't look away. I want more.

- Leah and Jake are in a kosher Chinese restaurant. It looks too fancy for a kosher restaurant and thus makes this portion of the movie unrealistic.

- Jake explains to his shiksa girlfriend that he couldn't reach Leah on the phone for the past 24 hours because it was shabbos. He then leaves Leah for a booty call while she returns to his apartment all alone where she will presumably make a challah or circumcise a child, or do something of a religious nature.
(She goes to bed. Unclimatic)

- The next morning, Jake helps Leah with her SAT prep. She is frustrated with studying so much so he suggests that she needs a break.
Next scene: they're at a pool. "I told you," she says, "I don't really know how to swim."
"I'll teach you," he says.
And the water then suddenly turns to blood.
Well, not really. But that would've been cool.

- "I'm in love with him," Leah finally reveals to the sassy black cleaning lady.

- Mama, or Curb Your Enthusiasm's Susie Esses, is coming to town and so Leah is making brisket. She has to make Mama believe that this marriage is real. And so a brisket is the only way.

- Mama: "Do you belong to a shul, Jake?"
Jake: "No, but I belong to a gym."

- Leah and Jake must convince Mama that they are in fact married and so they share a room. [Jake inexplicably has Judaic needlework on his wall.] They sleep in the same bed but put a wall of pillows between them. Unfortunately, they are not the "Shalom" and "Mazel Tov" pillows Mama complimented earlier in the night (yes, that really happened).

- Leah takes off her sheytel for a fancy black tie affar. Shana is disappointed in Leah because, as she yells out, "why should she change for him?!!?" To be honest, Shana is not wrong. If she takes off the sheytel, the least he can do is use "shmooz" or "schlep" in conversation.

- Jake and Leah finally lock lips. And...commercial?!? Really?!?

- A year has passed since Jake's brother and Leah's ex-husband has passed away and Jake is now feeling the guilt of being married to his brother's wife. And so he runs off to be alone and deal with the pain. Thankfully, he's got a wise-cracking best friend with an available couch.
"I liked you better when you didn't date relatives."

- Leah left Jake because, well, it got awkward, and so she returns to Brooklyn to her Mama because there's an oft-chance that she could get a cameo on Curb.

- Leah passed the SATs and so Jake drives up from Washington, D.C. to deliver the scores to her. She did really well. The end.

[Note: The original title of the movie was Unorthodox. I wonder what the intentions of this film were...]

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Let me introduce you to Herr Bear....wait, you're not Jewish, are you?

Bravo to Entertainment Weekly for thinking it was appropriate to give Suri Cruise a Nazi teddy bear. Really, of all the presents to give Tom on his Valkeyrie promotional tour, was an eye-patched, Jew-hating stuffed animal the most appropriate thing? It's true that said teddy bear did attempt to kill teddy Hitler...but think about it; a Risky Business teddy would have been the most adorable present ever.
Suri, I can imagine Tom saying, this is Daddy in his tighty whities. Oh, and there's a million years-old alien living inside of it. Wheeeee!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I'm not inclined to post a couple of music videos two days-in-a-row--after all, this isn't MTV circa '92--but this Coldplay video is so incredibly charming, I can't help but share. Now before I post the embedded link (that's tech speak for "pow"), as time goes on, I must confess that I'm enjoying last year's Viva La Vida way more than I thought I initially would. Considering my general and overall lukewarmness for this band, their fourth album was a genuine surprise. Who knows if it was Eno, who knows if it was the inspired drive to not create boring drivel like X & Y...whatever that source of inspiration was, "Viva La Vida," "Lost", and "Lovers In Japan" are sweet and inoffensive much like Gwyneth Paltrow.

But this video for "Life In Technicolor II," the debut single from their Prospekt's March EP (this extended version with vocals was originally known as "Life In Technicolor," the two-minute opening instrumental track on Viva) uses puppets. And children. And a remote control helicopter. Sold yet? You should be, you cold hearted Obama-hater.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Calling all music supervisors of romantic comedies everywhere: You know what's a tad better than that U2 song? This insanely amazing Florence and the Machine single "Dog Days Are Over." Snap, krackle, and so so pop.

If this post doesn't start a blog flare-up, I'm worthless.


L'chaim! It's a new record!

So they're finally back, eh? It's been five years since a U2 record (seriously, that's insane. Five years? That's no way to keep up with the Internet) and now my no-not-being-ironic-here-heroes premiered their newest single "Get On Your Boots" which my bud Andrew posted on our self-titled site. What do you think?

Me? I dig it but considering I'd probably dig three minutes and twenty-four seconds of Bono insisting his hair isn't thinning, I might not be the most objective critic. But I'm trying. I'm trying.

Oh, and by the way, seriously, I'm conflicted over which version to purchase. If there's one band that will actually make me use my torrent-happy purchase-resistant credit card, it's this band. Even if "a new film from Anton Corbijn featuring the music of U2" sounds like the definition of mind-numbing boredom...I'm kind of a completest. What do you think, Sincere Reader?

Thursday, January 15, 2009


"Hey, Arye, how's it going?"
"Pretty good. You know, living the life."
"Cool, cool. Good to hear."
"Right on."
", are those wings on your sneakers?"
"Think so."

Honestly, this upcoming MTV College Humor show does look rather entertaining but really, this kind of thing happens at everyone's workplace. Right?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

--Or-- I Did The First Five The Other Day Because As You Already Know I Have A Full-Time Job

Why?, also known as Yoni Wolf, can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned. His third solo album is perfectly weird and weirdly perfect. I've taken every opportunity possible to interview Wolf and cover his art for various outlets and every time, he is an accommodating and consummate gentleman.

This is a recent interview I did with him at self-titled. Spend some time in Why?'s company and you'll assuredly be rewarded by his disarming self-awareness.

-- Listen here
TV On The Radio
Dear Science

Really, this selection isn't all that original and there's something about that that bothers me. Maybe it's my contrariness bursting forth fighting my tastes ("hey. jerkface, everyone picked this album. Haven't ya' heard anything else worthwhile this past year?") or maybe it's that I feel compelled to include it because everyone else thinks its the cow's nightgown. Whatever the reason, TV On The Radio's third full-length is their most accessible yet and for that I give them the BBS nod. Welcome, Brooklyn experimentalists. Enjoy your entry.
(Cherry Tree)

Why do the antics of pop stars always have to outshadow their music? For instance, Madonna released a competent dance album this year but most can only recall her man troubles with Guy Ritchie and A-Rod. And then there’s the fact that more is being made of Britney’s comeback than her actual comeback record.One guilty pleasure that’s skirted this trend is Sweden’s Robyn, who finally released her self-titled record a whole three years after its import-only pressing. It’s a damn shame the critically-acclaimed, but commercially flat, album took so long to get here. The coolly self-assured singer delivers a sexy, uncompromising listen, featuring collaborations with the Teddybears, Kleerup, and the Knife. Euro-trashed tracks like “Handle Me,” “Bum Like You,” and “Who’s That Girl” could easily play alongside Leona Lewis and Natasha Bedingfield, but the production value of these songs are infinitely more sophisticated and bizarre. Robyn expertly combines real instrumentation (the crisp violin on “Be Mine”) alongside the creepy blips ‘edgy’ Swedes are known for, and “With Every Heartbeat” may be the best evocative club track of the year.

- Listen here
Plants & Animals
Plants & Animals
(Secret City Records)
I've never ever been a huge Neil Young fan. I like his stuff here and there but there's never been a real gravity pull to the old Canuck. Strangely, I love all the stuff that he influences. 'Splain that! P&A's debut is a lovely, rustic record and an homage to classic rock. Frankly, they're natural heirs to the Young throne.

--Listen here

Herman Dune
Next Year In Zion, 1-2-3/Apple Tree, I Wish I Could See You Soon
I love Herman Dune and the sheer unpretentiousness of this project. Go forth to the Heeb website to read more about this worthy French anti-folk band. I wrote it. So there's that.

--Listen here

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


Before we go into the second half of 2008, I need to know why this dance scorcher wasn't a hit in Oh-Ate? Have we learned nothing from T.A.T.U.? We need more flirty, mildly subversive female duo pop awesomeness in our otherwise Rihanna-heavy lives.

And I love how the Veronicas spend equal time on hooks and articulation. In fact, I nominate the opening verse "I go ooh ooh, you go ah ah lalalalalalalala, lalalalalalalala/ I wanna wanna wanna get get get what I want" as the closest thing I'll get to to summing up my personal life's philosophy. Like I always say, Veronicas, like I always say...

Oh, and while we you don't love this:

And incidentally, they are totally still releasing albums! That is blowing my mind!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

--Or-- I Would Do All Ten Right Now, But, Hey, I Have A Full-Time Job, Ya' Know

One of the New Year's resolutions that I've made to myself is to visit the Sanctum of Sincerity more often than the very shameful '08. Considering my abandonment, it's no wonder that last year feels so ironic in retrospect. Let us tarry no further and get to the content. Yes, to the content!

But before we move further, it would be best to leave last year behind with a nifty Best Music of 2008 list. Well, gosh, what are we waiting for?
Vampire Weekend
Vampire Weekend
(XL Recordings)

Consider 2008 the "Year of the Vampire." Four virtually unknown, well-dressed preppies from Columbia University released a self-titled debut and found themselves soon thereafter on the cover of Spin Magazine and as musical guests on Saturday Night Live. Dismiss the insta-success as a result of the regurgitating hype machine, but you can’t ignore the fact that Vampire Weekend’s first album is sensationally accessible and abnormally transfixing. The haters standing next to you will inevitably claim that the purveyors of Upper West Side Soweto stole their sound from the Talking Heads and Paul Simon, and, well, they’re right. Musicians, however, call that "being influenced."
- Listen here"
(Downtown Records)

[Ed. note: The second self-titled record on the list--are artists finding all their creativity sucked up when it comes to titling their debuts?] Brooklyn musician Santi White is vomiting gold on her album cover, cuz that's pretty much what she does. She justifies this bizarre artwork by releasing a seamless platinum platter of urban-pop that sounds like everything she's musically ingested throughout the past twenty years. And contrary to haters, these 12 tracks go way beyond aping M.I.A. (although, we’ll give them that “Creator” is mighty Maya).
- Listen here.

Lykke Li
Youth Novels
(LL Recordings)

Swedish vocalist Lykke Li, or Li Lykke Timotej Zachrisson crafts unpretentious and fragile pop gems on her debut full length Youth Novels in a time when record labels are clamoring for husky-voiced Amy Winehouse clones.

While Lykke has been outspoken about her ambition to be the blogger generation's Madonna, her songs are way too precious to exude sexuality and manipulation. There's an inherent youthful naiveté in "Dance Dance Dance" a minimalist groove ride about the need to do just that, and the loungey "Everybody" epitomizes shyness and insecurity, with confessional lyrics about jeans being too tight and finding comfort by standing in the corner. This Swedish vocalist is more likable when she's not parading herself as a material girl.
- Listen here

Apes & Androids
Blood Moon

This New York band came out of nowhere and blew minds with their robotic glam rock and live show theatrics. Influences are so disparate and random (Beck, Queen, Love, the Outfield) that Blood Moon could be an effective argument against administering Ritalin. Their live show, equally thrilling, is completely over-the-top in its theatrics, and what's best is that the band provides the audience with glow sticks. No need to bring your own.
- Listen here
Jay Reatard
Matador Singles
(Matador Records)

While you're reading this, Jay Reatard has probably just written a handful of songs. The twenty-seven year old punk rocker known for being incredibly prolific (really, that feels like an understatement) has spent the last few years releasing dozens and dozens of brilliantly catchy rock nuggets. This compilation—his first release for the indie label Matador Records—is thirteen songs short clocking in at a touch over thirty-minutes, and once again, it showcases Reatard's brilliant and consistent ability to be sugary sweet-accessible while maintaining a frenetic, off-the-cuff spirit.

With shades of Husker Du, The Pixies, New Zealand indie rock, and classic garage rock bands of the '60s, the Memphis-based wunderkind boasts a policy of zero filler on this record, every song serving the sole purpose of kicking the door down and inspiring an instant mosh pit. And incredibly, every sloppy composition nails you at the chorus.
- Listen here

[To be continued]