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Stephen Colbert asks the all-important question:

Cookie Monster! - What happened to you??? I've been devastated.

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Bambi Get Over It: "Bad Man"

Bambi Get Over It - Bad Man

The night is ancient and you’re sitting across the table from the impersonation of mystery, that one person in the world you’d trust with everything. Why you trust them is something you can never quite pin down. Between you, time is growing restless, made young again. The moment stops.

To ask “who’s going to save me now?” is to make some excuse, run into the grimy bathroom as a red herring. You find yourself looking—not at the “Bad Man” now sitting alone at the table—but at the threat in the mirror, someone you barely know. And staring out at you from the mirror is the person most responsible for all your problems.

Back to the band: I owe Song, By Toad for letting me in the know. As of yet I can't figure out how to buy their music, but I'll try to keep you all up-to-date.

Bambi Get Over It's Myspace, where you can hear some more tunes.


Sometimes I wish I had a fairy godmother...

And then I remember...

R.E.M. "Hollow Man"

On the Colbert Report:

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Santogold "Lights Out"

“Lights out
shoot up the station
TV’s dead, where's there to run
watch everybody come undone”
As of this week, the Orange Line is a place where time goes to die. So when the metro was vaguely functional last Thursday, there was a tremendous sense of solidarity amongst my fellow commuters. I lent a stranger my cell phone; people gave away their seats and made room for those getting on. Even more dramatically: eye contact was established. The usual dark silence of the train mellowed.

If this doesn’t sound pretty gosh darn special, you’ve never commuted in DC – to which Santogold is the perfect soundtrack. I’m not sure I recommend Santi White's debut album as brilliant, but I know I’ll be watching to see what she comes out with next. By the way, she'll be in DC on August 3...

Santogold - Lights Out

Buy Santogold (self-titled) from
Santogold's myspace


Goshdarnit, not again!: DCFC makes yet another great album

Death Cab For Cutie - Long Division
"His head was a city
Of paper buildings
And the echoes that remained"
Plans was a gentle abstraction, an album to languish in when the sky was overcast, the future was uncertain, and the past was unbearable. Things have changed. Narrow Stairs is an album posed on the verge of a breakthrough, with a world suddenly ostensible. When I heard the album, I knew I liked it immediately.

The lyrics of Narrow Stairs no long rest on theoretical assumptions (“If I could open my arms / and span the length of the isle of Manhattan…”), uncertain predictions (“in the morning I fled / left a note and it read, / “someday you will be loved.”), and future plans (“if there’s no one beside you / when your soul departs / then I’ll follow you into the dark”) but on the concrete past and present, not to mention promises made and broken.

The album takes some interesting risks, the greatest of which is “I Will Possess Your Heart,” with its 4 and a ½ minute introduction. The arrangements are less groundbreaking as well, but the lyrics are closer to the surface, less impenetrable. The tradeoff is use of 3rd person narration, as in “Long Division” and “Cath.”

None of this is to say that Narrow Stairs is a happy album: in “Long Division” a man promises not to be a remainder (not that is works out); in “No Sunlight” and “The Ice Is Getting Thinner” the world is changing for the worse.

Narrow Stairs from (or DCFC merch from the band)
Death Cab For Cutie's Website/Myspace

Death Cab For Cutie - Love Song (The Cure cover)
Chris Walla - Sing Again
Bonzo Dog Band - Death Cab For Cutie

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The Bourgeoisie, Glass Ceilings, and Happy Feelings

The Submarines - You, Me, & the Bourgeoisie
“It's time to be so brutally honest about
the way we think long
for something fine
when we pine for higher ceilings

and bourgeois happy feelings”
Before the presidential campaign of Senator Hillary Clinton spirals into a final rise or decline (or remains in this purgatory), it’s time for an honorary political deathbed post. Will she live for another fight?

Let me just say: I've long admired Ms. Clinton shattering glass ceilings, for forging new paths, But her campaign (a video summary) was the pinnacle of political pugnacity, attacking fellow Senator Barack Obama for his high-minded elementary school aspirations, his dubious not-really-a-Muslim actually-a-Christian status, his Elvis-like youth and ability to get voters (even the press!) excited (though he wasn’t so daring as to dance like the King), and the list goes on. Oh the gaffes! Mr. Obama says she’s likeable “enough,” that Pennsylvania voters are “bitter” and cling to the something or other, and it’s like those “working, hard-working Americans, white Americans” aren’t voting for him or whatever. The blind (Mark Penn) led the blindingly blind (Mrs. Clinton herself), while Mr. Clinton unsuccessfully attempted to have Mr. Obama’s head on a platter (consider Florida and Michigan?). Judas may have been: Governor Bill Richardson, or possibly the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

I'm glad to see this race, and the consequential Democratic squabbling, over.
The lovely Submarines released Honeysuckle Weeks in May, and ever since I've been floating underwater in an ocean of pop bliss. Come to sea with me!

The Submarines - Submarine Symphonika

The Submarines - Brighter Discontent (from Declare a New State!)

Buy Honeysuckle Weeks from Nettwerk
The Submarines' website/myspace

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This is the start of a journey

Gnarls Barkley - Going On

In The Odd Couple, Gnarls Barkley has packed up the otherworldly electronic beats and gospel choirs, and is moving out of St. Elsewhere. Two of the album’s radio hits, “Going On” and “Run (I’m a Natural Disaster)” document the change, albeit with the same electronic ambience and gospel choirs. Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo Green seem to have split their efforts alternatively taking their music’s energy up several notches and returning to the conflicted, chilled-out soul of the ‘70s, as on “Who’s Gonna Save My Soul” and “A Little Better.” “Blind Mary,” one of my favorites on the album, takes the middle ground.

Buy The Odd Couple from EchoTunes
Gnarl's Barkley's website/myspace

"Run" music video

An absurdly hilarious article from the NY Times a few days ago: it's not easy being less rich.


She & Him: Volume One

I may have previously expressed my dislike for those indie bands with a token girl who plays the tambourine and sings a bit. Neither do I much like actresses turned singers (or the reverse, to be fair).

But listening to M. Ward’s recent collaboration with Zooey Deschanel, I can’t help but enjoy myself. Maybe it was because my first encounter with the duo was a live version of “Magic Trick” on KCRW. Another possible explanation: Deschanel sounds a little bit like Jenny Lewis at her least pretentious, a more charismatic Marissa Nadler, or a less troubled Jenny Owen Youngs. And thanks to M. Ward, the instrumentation is perfect.

She & Him - Black Hole
She & Him - Magic Trick (live on KCRW)

Buy Volume One from Merge Records
She & Him's website/myspace

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Rock Steady!

I have not dropped off the face of the earth, just off the face of the internet(s – as Stephen Colbert would say). I have, however, been suffering from a number of afflictions and addictions: podcasts, finals blues, audiobooks, stomach flu, amtrak trains, summer plans. This is all a rather long-winded way of saying: I think I’m about to make a comeback.

Aretha Franklin - Rock Steady


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