Yes, my favorite article of clothing for the last four months has been an unremarkable, extremely overpriced concert T shirt that I got at a Bloc Party gig with Shelly. I shoveled out thirty bucks on a white American Apparel T shirt with the band name on it, but I can't say I regretted it. I just love the way it makes me feel, for most people its their favorite pair of jeans, or sexy high heel shoes that make them feel cool, for me its my bloc party t shirt. I pair it with black skinny jeans and converse shoes some weird vintage jewelry and I'm out the door, and I feel awesome. There is just something about the shirt that gives me immediate gratification, like a confidence boost, I feel like I'm special and just cooler than everyone else (but the "cooler" part is pretty easy if you live in Buffalo). Its almost like a safety blanket, something that makes me feel secure and reminds me of that night (it was a really kick ass concert). However, I think my love for my t shirt has become a bit too much for the poor article of clothing to handle, the fabric is starting to thin, and the color is starting to fade...but I keep on wearing it, till it needs to be retired at least (which shouldn't be anytime soon).
Anyway here is the new Bloc Party song "One More Chance"
The Source magazine debuted its new "Collector's Issue" for August...guess who's on the cover! I was never the biggest MJ fan (and saying this now is probably worse than saying I kill kittens or something...and I love kittens...). However, don't you think his family has had enough? I know that the Source probably wants to talk about the upward trajectory and eventual fall of his music career but c'mon...can't we all just leave him alone and move on? Wait for "unreleased" Micheal Jackson material to be coming to a radio station near you, as well as surprise appearences of Micheal Jackson on rap hooks...once record companies get the rights to his songs you know it will happen. Hey, if Tupac and Biggie are still appearing on mixtapes and singles, MJ can't be far behind.
Another Blog wrote a similar older post called Michael Overload and can be accessed here.
I mean seriously...I am yearning for male contact here, girls have needs too! After being called a "prude" for not putting out on a first date mostly because I have STANDARDS and don't really want to become a human petri dish for STDs I'm getting a tad impatient. Buffalo is starting to wear on me a bit...or a lot, its not my fault I live in a cultural wasteland. After analyzing my own dating history I am starting to feel like a freak of nature, I never was kissed in high school (mostly because I looked 13 in 10th grade) I have never had a boyfriend...and at this point I am going to end up alone with cats. I guess I could get caught up with the whole "maybe its me" complex but quite honestly ladies and gentlemen I really am not that bad looking (I mean I'm not gorgeous but I happen to think I'm not hideous either)...really that picture in my profile...that's what I look like! no photoshop, no tinkering....however I do have an issue with censorship, and me being way too honest may have something to do with my lack of action. You see, I am a huge jackass, and I'm proud of it. That doesn't mean I am mean or impolite, I just have a serious problem with sarcasm and I can't control myself once its starts. Especially in a place like Buffalo where I can't take anything seriously, people here take themselves seriously enough, I think its my job to scale their egos down just a tad. In the tiny dating world of Buffalo this makes me an outcast, along with the fact that I can't converse in Buffalo sports, and I hate frat parties and beer pong...ok so I'm a loser...but only in Buffalo, which makes me a generally cool person in every other major city. I learned that I could actually fit in when I moved to Toronto, I had friends, I had fun....I don't think I bored them....but now being back at home I feel like I'm banging my head against the wall every time I have to venture outside my house. Either I'm stuck with drool coming out my mouth listening to some guy talk about how much he loves the "Italian Festival" or "The Taste of Buffalo" or "The Sabres" or I'm making people scared with my sarcastic retorts...help me I'm in hell.
And that's where Peter Doherty comes in. All I need is a ticket to London, an apartment and a cute Doherty look a like with a guitar (and without the rehab and Kate Moss baggage please). If only life were that easy, I could prance around in my skinny jeans and converse shoes, go to local gigs, hang out in pubs and wander around Notting Hill looking for Hugh Grant...
So to calm myself down, I decided to pick a few songs from English artists I wouldn't mind dating...because I am free! I have lots of time! Please....................................................call me?
The Libertines - Can't Stand Me Now Pete Doherty and Carl Barat wine and moan about a failed relationship, but I'll always be able to stand you Peter (even if you are a drug addict)!
Bloc Party - Sunday Another band I think people are well aware I'm obsessed with, seeing them in concert was a life changing experience, not only because I'm a crazed fan but because I got to so Kele Okereke in the flesh! I think my friend Shelly was a bit scared by my Kele obsession...
The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age of the Understatement A side project for Alex Turner of The Arctic Monkeys (who have a new album coming out by the way you can listen to the first single here) and Miles Kane of The Rascals...the music is great, and so are the guys (in that Beatles, George Harrison sorta way).
The Kooks - Naive One of my favorite songs from my last years of high school, they aren't the cutest guys, but their music is so good it adds to their overall attractiveness.
The View - Same Jeans They have the cutest accents, and made one of the most underrated albums of 2007. Although I'm not feeling the guy liner...and maybe singing about wearing "the same jeans for four days now," is a bit too honest for me...I like hygiene. But check out the song anyway!
The Cribs - Don't You Wanna Be Relevant? Yes, yes I do...and I also like dancing decaying bodies in music videos...don't you? Now THAT'S attractive, but really they are a great band. (Go here to hear the Cribs song Men's Needs as well as a Kate Nash cover)
The Fratellies - Whistle For The Choir I think if a guy wrote this song for me I would die...really just die, but I would be happy....However the lead singer looks a bit like Richard Simmons, I like to try to push that thought aside.
Maximo Park - Girls Who Play Guitars A staple of my music collection, they are my favorite weirdos.
Take a listen...I haven't really made up my mind yet. I think I prefer their debut album to this. It seems like they have been heavily influenced by eighties post-punk, especially on "Primary Colours," it sounds very similar to the Psychedelic Furs circa 1986's "Pretty in Pink."
Yes a girl can dream, even if those dreams only come in the form of scripted television fantasies (I'm thinking Sex and the City). I was having some fun browsing through the ready to wear collections of DSquared^2 and Kenzoand it really made me wish I had an unlimited budget so I could waste all my money on the three C's (coffee, clothes, and concerts). I am not really materialistic...really I'm not, however when I see something like the Kenzo fashion show I get a nagging impulse to "buy." Its too bad I don't have 500 to drop on a sweater...more like 500 to painfully drop on a couple of physics textbooks.
Anyways I figured instead I would feature some music that has been used in fashion shows or used as inspiration for designers...maybe not the most exciting topic for the guys who read this (sorry).
La Roux - In For The Kill This single was used in the Chanel couture show, I have mixed feelings about the rising popularity of La Roux, and actually did a June post about it.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Zero Karen O is probably one of the most iconic figures in alternative music and alternative fashion. She may not be everyone's poster child for beauty or style, but she keeps people talking.
These New Puritans - Swords of Truth Created music for the Dior Homme 2007 fashion shows with the experimental track called "Navigate."
VV Brown - Crying Blood She was a model before she became a singer/ songwriter and still graces catwalks from time to time.
Yelle - JeVeuxteVoir She has become somewhat of a fashion icon in France.
I have never been a fan of What The Buck, he annoys me to no end. However What The Buck plus the Jonas Brothers who also annoy me, actually makes a great comedy routine. You see the guy who runs What The Buck had a blog where he made fun of Joe Jonas for tripping on stage during a concert...well the Jonas fans were not having it, who knew 13 year old girls could be so vicious? Oh yeah well Mean Girls does come to mind, but seriously The Jonas Brothers is this generation's Hanson with uglier hair...find someone else to obsess over. Justin Timberlake is still around isn't he? A special thanks to Bradley for showing this video to me.
Saul Williams is a well known American poet, writer, actor and musician...I heard this and was blown away. I am a bit late...it came out in 2006, but its really an incredible song, its angry and empowering at the same time. Its the ultimate protest song for the 21st century.
I was tooling around mush records, a independent record label based in Los Angeles that specializes in electronica and shoegaze. I basically go to different record labels from time to time to "shop" for artists I think may make cool blog features....well I didn't find anything I liked this time, in fact quite the opposite. These guys scared me so much I had to feature them...they are just that bad.
The majority of comments, supported this type of hip hop experimentation, and hey I'm all for creativity...but I don't get this at all.
One of the things that really irks me about living in a place as closed minded as Buffalo, is not the abandoned buildings, or the chicken wings, or even the annoying Sabres fans...its the douche baggy Elmwood guys. You know the type, they walk around in their meticulously chosen urban outfitter threads, and the "I just got out of bed" hair and stubble. they are quite good looking, and know it, and hang together in droves outside Spot coffee, and play hacky sack on Bidwell Park. They work at Panos and like to think they are really "deep" and creative, just because they know how to play four chords on that guitar they have had since ninth grade (because they think it will get them girls...and it does). They are the ultimate indie snobs (or so they think) listing off obscure band after band (but they have never met me). These are the guys that make dating in Buffalo even harder for a girl like me. You see I can deal with the general stupidity of the frat boy type, the tendency to be drawn to shiny things and listen to All Time Low... well not very well but if they can kiss I can overlook that stuff...for at least a night. However, the Elmwood "hipster" dudes are a demanding and obnoxious crowd.
This weekend, me and my friend Lynn had another one of our "study" sessions and decided that this time we should venture out of her apartment into daylight to rejoin society and our peers. We went to Spot the "watering hole" of the Elmwood village. At this innocent looking cafe you get the sixteen year old scene kids mingling with the twenty year old burnouts and "artsy" types. Here, everyone thinks they are in a mini Greenwich Village (what I'd give to be in the real thing). They all dress to impress each other in their urban outfitters skirts and "vintage store finds" which you know they only dust off when they feel like parading around on the avenue. So of course a gaggle of guys was already positioning themselves outside Spot in order to survey the in-coming customers for potential mating partners. Who knew we would be barraged with musical pollution? I mean I have dealt with guys who sing, Mr X being the most notable, but guys singing with guitars and banging on beer bottles? Not so much....the worst part was I couldn't hold in my laughter, and I let out a huge snort/ laugh at the worst moment...oh boy. I just remember them all turning in our general direction and lecturing us on "musical appreciation" in which I laughed again...it was just so bad...like the guy at the party in Animal House bad. You know, that guy on the stairs with the guitar that John Belushi smashes into a billion pieces? (I posted the vid below) I have decided to stick to my normal haunts on Main St near UB and Allentown for a bit so I can hide in shame...
All I want is a guy who doesn't get off by looking at himself in the mirror, isn't an idiot, and can submit to my musical superiority? Please...is this like ultra demanding or something?
It came out two years ago, I like the play on words and the distortion of lyrics using the exaggeration of their accents and local slang. Not to mention the Middle Eastern inspired background beats make the song.
In terms of the major labels, Island seems to be the most innovative. With acts like Frankmusik, Ladyhawke, Portishead, and VV Brown, Island leads the pack when it comes to trend setting performers.
Leon Jean Marie - Bring It On I normally hate the growing eighties nostalgia trend but when its mixed with Motown and the essence of Marvin Gaye I dig it. This song has to get some radio play, its so smooth, so on point, and so right now.
Attic Lights - Bring You Down Cute Scottish band make irresistible Brit Pop jams. I have a soft spot for Brit Pop bands, some people collect clocks others collect garden gnomes, I collect UK rock bands...I am definitely going to check out their other stuff!
The Feeling - Turn It Up They sure love the Beatles, and Bowie but instead of imitating them they take what they like from the 1960s and 70s and make it their own. This is classic rock for the modern alternative rock fan. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSpCWLWFRiE
Innerpartysystem - Don't Stop Electronic rock that has a real bite to it.
New Young Pony Club - The Bomb Screw the Tings Tings and their manufactured sound, you want edgy? New Young Pony Club is edgy.
Melanie Fiona - Give It To Me Right She may be my favorite female R&B artist besides VV Brown to debut this year. Give "Give it to me right" a real good listen. Oh yeah and she's from Toronto. The only side note I have is if the beat sounds familiar it should, its from "Time Of The Season" by The Zombies.
I really don't get it. I keep listening to his stuff because I feel like I'm missing something. This guy has so much hype surrounding him, and so many devoted fans I feel bad even hating on him...but I must. Everything he does sounds so generic, its about girls, money and "swag." The hooks disguise the boring rap dialogue, at this point I just think Drake is filling the public void for Weezy (since he's working on "Rebirth" which I am not waiting in anticipation for). I almost get upset every time I log on to Facebook and see someone with a status update using a quote from a Drake song. The line "You the best" has become quite popular, and it annoys me to no end, how the hell is "You the best" profound rap dialogue? How is it creative? How is it pushing the rap game further in terms of innovation and edginess? Please explain this to me. I just don't get it. I actually heard Drake before he became a phenom in the US, I heard him three years ago when he was still on Degrassi and I wasn't impressed, and I'm not jumping on the band wagon now. However, I feel like I'm banging my head against a wall trying to figure this kid out. All I honestly see is a white collar version of Plies, same shit, different guy spitting rhymes about screwing girls and buying them stuff in a more articulate manner. Gentlemen please, we know you want to get laid but it wouldn't hurt to write some better material first, this stuff gets old real fast. So, if you are a Drake fan, please, enlighten me, what makes his music so special to you?
Big Sean's song "Getcha Some" is basically one big arrogant anthem about how fresh his kicks, chains, and jackets are, but by the way he dresses in the music video (which is pretty hot by the way) I believe it. I can't help but noticing the change in hip hop fashion as exhibited in rap videos, most notably "You're a Jerk" which I shamefully featured in one of my "Guilty Pleasures" posts. The pants are tighter and flashier with brighter colors and wilder patterns, and the t shirts are even more creative. Yes, the huge chains are still there, but they're not as decked out in ice, they are chunkier and thicker instead with less sparkle. A lot of people don't really dig the new trend, however I'm kind of feeling it. I never liked the whole "matchymatchy" look that dominated the rap scene for years (you know all that color coordinating, the shoes matching the hat matching the belt...). I like the experimental feel, and the whole gangster meets skater appeal. Maybe its the rising popularity of "Ice Cream" Pharrell's joint venture with Japanese designer Nigo, or Lupe Fiasco's street skater style but I'm loving the clothes, baggy pants and white t-s are so overrated.
He's an "Atheist Turned Christian when he rocks his true religions" this song is just one big shopping list, but I dig it.
The Library!!!! Surprised? Don't be, most people don't even bother taking out CDs in the age of the Internet...so the library acquires them all. I have had really great experiences record hunting at my library downtown, they have a wide variety of albums to choose from and most of the CDs are in good condition. I have discovered obscure indie acts, rap groups, classic rock, classical, blues, jazz...you get the idea. Anyways I figure I'd share some of my better finds (and if you live in Buffalo the downtown library still has many of these records).
Paloalto - Heroes and Villains I think I discovered this record when I was in ninth grade, the album cover looked intriguing, and it paid off, I listened to it non-stop for weeks.
South - From Here On In This is one of my favorite indie albums of all time, and I found it at the library.
Jem - Finally Woken A beautiful album, she has an amazing voice.
Nada Surf - Let Go I discovered one of my favorite bands of all time at the library, and haven't stopped listening to them since.
Matsiyahu - No Place To Be I had heard about this mythical Hasidic Jewish reggae artist before I found his album in the library, but hearing it for the first time made me an automatic fan.
Going to university in a city like Toronto exposes you to a wide range of music. With China Town a block a way, Korea Town a half mile a way, and Little India a thirty minute subway ride away cross cultural music exposure is bound to happen. These are songs I have been introduced to by friends, heard while walking around the city, and found on my own.
Epik High - One, and Love Love Love I love the woman's airy voice mingling with the more aggressive Korean rap.
Jujin - Hey Ya (Feat Son Dambi, Bigtone) Look, the English lyrics make absolutely no sense, and they try too hard to add Americanized rap beats to the song, but at the same time it all seems to work for me. Sometimes the lyrics feel a bit forced, but they also feature one of my favorite Korean songstresses on the track (Son Dambi). However, this tune really should be located in my guilty pleasures list...
The Black Skirts - 좋아해줘 I don't know the English name of this song, but its indie Korean rock, I found it through orienkorea, the indie Korean rock YouTube channel I featured in a previous blog post.
Asian KungFu Generation - Rewrite You cannot tell me you don't love this song, its been featured on the widely popular Naruto anime series, and you just got to love to the catchy hooks. Plus, the band is composed of wiry nerdy looking guys who look like they would be more comfortable reformatting your PC than wielding guitars...but at the same time that's what makes them strangely appealing (although I am a science nerd).
Sorry for the fan video...I couldn't find it anywhere.
Utada Hiraku - Tokyo Nights Featured this woman in a blog post about two days ago, but she really is the best Japanese mainstream has to offer. (Hey Shelly I'm using the song you suggested in my Utada blog post--"Tokyo Nights"!!!)
Nami Tamaki - Heroine Another song that should be on my guilty pleasures list, but whatever. She's so cute and this song is so addictive!
Sonu Nigam - Aaj Ki Raat Featured in the Bollywood movie, The Don as well as Slumdog Millionaire, its sexy, and catchy. (A.R. Rahman's soundtrack for Slumdog is not bad either.)
Mohammed Rafi - Chunari Chunari Featured in Monsoon Wedding (a very good movie by the way) just a great party song. However the video is questionable...VERY QUESTIONABLE
Bally Sagoo - Aaja Nachle Another song featured in Monsoon Wedding, its Indian dance music.
Hans Raj Hans - Punjabiyan Di Shaan Featured in Bend it Like Beckham (another awesome movie) and featuring Bally Sagoo, just really really good dance music.
b21 - Darshan Another Bend it Like Beckham soundtrack song, I honestly am reminded of the Indian N'Sync every time I listen to this tune, but its sooo good I feel no shame in tuning in.
I am always dissing mainstream stuff but I never really bitch about my indie rock pet peeves, so today this blog is reserved for bands I don't quite understand...and for all you indie rock fans who may be offended, this is an advanced apology.
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah They are indie rock darlings, have been featured in countless issues of the most respected indie rock magazines, and they annoy me to no end. Maybe its the singer's voice, and the mumbling whiny thing he has going on...but its like nails on a chalkboard to me. The monotonous chord progression also bothers me its like their songs never go anywhere, but top music critics disagree with me as well as avid indie rock fans...oh well.
Deerhoof Where to start with this band, they are so loved, and yet I hate them so very very much. I know the lead singer's voice is supposed to be cute and off key but dear god she can't sing for anything...and I know that is supposed to be the appeal along with the "lets play instruments like we are a middle school band" but I just can't get into it...AT ALL.
Animal Collective I feel like even mentioning their name on this list will have me shunned by the general indie population, like I'll be excommunicated or something. My converse shoes and cardigans confiscated FOREVER. But it must be done, and for that I am sorry...no hate mail please? This band is worshiped by almost all "high brow" rock and indie music magazines "they are so innovative!, they are so experimental!, they are indie rock royalty!" and I hate them. Maybe I am just too backward to understand their unique sound. I belong to a musical dark ages that cannot appreciate "their organic music," but every time I listen to them it just sounds like a mess.