Tales From Last Night, Mindfuck Edition

So, Sunday night I decided to go to Mercury Lounge to see an acquaintance’s band play.  It’d been a tough week for HIE, and Saturday was shit.  So he needed to be around boozed up people and loud loud music.  Lucky for me, I’m on the Jaguar Club‘s mailing list, and they had announced a show, so the choice was easy.  Done.

Let me say first off, the bar at Mercury Lounge is a terrible place to just drink.  Everything is too expensive.  Examples: Tecate can is $7, Powers was $9.  Another strike: On entering I immediately realized that this was the bar where I reconnected with The One Who Got Away…. back in 2008ish?  Blah blah we were super close friends in college for about 6 months and that clicked over into unrequited crush for me and I’ve been pining ever since.  She plays bass and is tortured and fragile and sooooo much cooler than me, and was still wrapped up in a decade-long infatuation affair with the lead singer of some seminal Alt-rock group or other.  Her last sentence to me: “We could make out, but I’m really messed up and you shouldn’t get involved with me.” That is my crack, bitch! Oh well.  Anyway…. I didn’t wallow, just saying, it was portentous.

So.  I see that Jaguar Club isn’t up for at least another hour fifteen so I check out the band that IS playing and they turn out to be amaaaaaaazing.  Wand.  Headliners of the early show, apparently, and they fucking KILL. Continue reading Tales From Last Night, Mindfuck Edition

Sad Sack Chronicles Vol 1

Well, so it’s a new year and shit, huh?  It’s also my first sad lonely Saturday with nothing to do and no one to talk to.  I’ve decided to not make the trek to Park Slope, to find a random bar in which to drink and hope for social situations to present themselves (as I tend to do in these situations).  Instead I’m here trying out being at home on a Sat night.  Maybe working on some projects and whatnot. Continue reading Sad Sack Chronicles Vol 1

The MoMA PS1 Questlove Kraftwerk Thing

Ok, so I went to this event at the PS1 space out in Long Island City (yeah that’s definitely in Queens, and it definitely took a while to get there).  I didn’t really bother reading the hype, because I pretty much thought I knew what it was.  See, Kraftwerk did this retrospective thing at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) like last month or something and it way sold out bigtime.  I think some people even made videos of the online waiting.  Actually, here’s a hilarious one… not a screen grab of the actual torture, but much funnier: Dude turned off embedding, so that sucks.

Anyway, I was tipped off by a coworker that they (MoMA) were going to be milking the Kraftwerk magic for a few more dollars from those of us who want a piece of that action at a series of Kraftwerk-themed weekend events at their hip space out in LIC.  Ok, well, it’s Sunday and I could either bake some bread and stare at it again, or I could head out there and maybe even see some people I know.  What the hell, tickets were only 10 bucks, right? Sunday Sessions.

I went.  It was Questlove doing a DJ set loosely inspired by the music of Kraftwerk.  Pretty interesting concept.  I could yap on and on about it, but the point is this:  I soundhounded the whole set.  What’s soundhound? It’s shazam.  Only I like it better.  Anyway, I’ve put up a playlist on spotify for people who know who I am.  For those of you who don’t, I’ll paste it below.

A quick snap at the Sunday Session

I suppose I could give some of my impressions of the event….  Hmmmm…  It was an amazing place to meet single hipster chicks.  Inasmuch as the hipster chick is no longer an incredibly desirable distillation of Hollywood’s and Literature’s most fascinating muse archetypes, but rather a run-of-the-mill girl in her mid-20s to late-30s with some bold lipstick choices, a couple of oddly fitting pieces from her wardrobe, and probably a tattoo or three.  So.  Some lovely ladies wandering around, a nice comfy place to sit and get blasted by a weird mix of the history of electrosynth “rock”.  I think Questlove did a really good job, considering.  A whole set inspired by Kraftwerk (yawn, sorry!), spun for an art museum crowd in NY on a Sunday afternoon, in a big dome bubble with a large platform couch in the middle and a projection on each wall (8).  Not exactly the best kindling to light a party fire on.  But even I got up and moved after a while… The Miami Vice Theme broke something loose in me, I have to admit.  Bravo, QL, bravo.

Before you get to the list, here’s a few warnings:

  1. Programs like Soundhound can mess up when they identify a song, so I have many a track that QL actually played the instrumental to, or a 12″ remix, or whatever, or one that’s completely wrong, see track 2 and 3 (heheh).
  2. The music was so effing loud and sometimes fairly primitive (monotonous) that the more “minimal” tracks probably only registered basic kick drum beats used in trilllllions of songs, so I didn’t get a reading on them.  In other words, this list is not complete by maybe 10 tracks.
  3. Usually, QL did not play the whole track.  In fact I would guess he averaged about a minute and a half for most.  So don’t be afraid to skip when it gets old.  This stuff resembles Kraftwerk in that regard as well.  Oh shut up, you know I’m right.
  4. The PS1 staff, in a fit of giddy celebrity-loving elitism, decided when the next act (James Franco and his new book) arrived, they would no longer let ticket holders re-enter the performance space.  So. Having gone to get a beer, I was locked out for the last two tracks.  They are missing from this list, and I hope you all burn in hell, jerks.

And now, the playlist:

Stereolab – Come And Play In The Milky Night
Guilty Simpson – I Must Love You
Busta Rhymes – Turn Me Up Some
J Dilla – Big City
Jaylib – Heavy
Joyce Sims – All And All
Cat Stevens – Was Dog A Doughnut?
Newcleus – Jam On Revenge [Remix]
Herbie Hancock – Rockit
Michael Jackon – Bad
Double Dee & Steinski – Lesson One: The Payoff Mix
Break Machine – Street Dance
Art Of Noise – Beat Box (Diversion One)
Kraftwerk – Trans Europe Express – 2009 Digital Remaster
Prince – D.M.S.R.
Ollie & Jerry – Breakin..There’s No Stopping Us (Breakin)
Man Parrish – Hip Hop Be Bop – Original Version
Jan Hammer – Miami Vice Theme – Miami Vice/Soundtrack Version
Harold Faltermeyer – Axel F from Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
Connie – Funky Little Beat
Paul Hardcastle – 19
Paul Hardcastle – Rainforest
Hot Streak – Body Work
Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force – Looking For The Perfect Beat – 12″ Vocal Version   Remastered
Information Society – Running [Extended Version]
Midnight Star – Freak-A-Zoid
Hashim – Al-Naafyish (The Soul) [The It’s About Time Remix]
Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam;Full Force – Can You Feel The Beat
MC Cool Rock & MC Chaszy Chess – Boot The Booty
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Rhythm Trax – House Party Style
2 LIVE CREW – Throw The ‘D’
M.I.A. – Bucky Done Gun
Deise Tigrona – Injecao
Diplo, Sandra Melody – Diplo Rhythm
Major Lazer, Vybz Kartel – Pon de Floor
Nero, Alana Watson – Promises [Skrillex & Nero Remix]
Radiohead – Idioteque
The Gladiators – Pocket Money
Kraftwerk – Tour de France [Original 1983 Kevorkian Extended 12″ Remix]

If I get bored or there’s enough interest (you can let me know through comments below) I’ll try to work out some way for you to listen to this without doing any work other than clicking.

On my walk home I saw this in the sidewalk in front of my apartment:

How much more symbolic and apropos does trash GET?

How to tell you’re an asshole

So I’m clearly posting here more often.  Playin’ it fast and loose with the topics and practically flooding the internet with garbage.  This post aims to be absolutely no different.  I’m sitting here cleaning up the ole cavernous den of loneliness (my apartment) and I’ve got my itunes playing on random.  And it’s one of those times when all the songs that come up are all the songs I kind of hate.  So here I am in front of the computer (instead of making breakfast-I’m-thinking-eggs-and-toast) skipping every track.

Man I have some boring ass shit.  The problem is that I’m so open to new experiences (please tell me you got the sarcastic tone) that I’ve got basically a mountain of really boring mild awfulness in my library.  So I came across a track from an ex which inspired the title of this post.  But first a digression:

When I got tossed to the curb 4 years ago by the ex-who-lasted-for-six-years I of course went on a voyage of self discovery and misery that consisted of me holed up in my studio apartment in Bushwick sipping whisky and desparately trying to figure out just what the kids were listening to these days.  I discovered of course a world of free tracks being posted all over the music blog world, and a chunk of websites that would aggregate those into an online player for you to suffer through.  I’m thinking of Hype Machine, but there were tons of those suckers back then (okok, there were tons of startups trying to figure out legal ways to stream us copyrighted music, and also hype machine).

So I stumbled on a few podcasts that provided a free song every day.  Specifically some by KEXP, and some from this thing called indiefeed.  And what’s awesome about podcasts is you get access to all the past issues back to a certain point…so I went to town and hit the jackpot.  But this was when Band of Horses, MGMT, Vampire Weekend, etc, etc, were just getting noticed so there were plenty of incrediballz songs to snag.  But now I’m even mildly embarrassed to list those specific finds as “finds,” they’re so overplayed these days.  And new shit now is so fucking formulaic I almost can’t stand it immediately.  Like the first half of a track like this:

is great but by the end I’m rolling my eyes and sighing in anticipation of their triumphant appearance on SNL (why the fuck am I so obsessed with SNL these days?).

Ok, stage set for how I know I’m an asshole.  In those past four years I’ve had some flings with some really aces dames (let’s all work together to diversify the slang we use, ok?).  And a few of them even made regular mixtapes (cds with mp3s on them) for me.  Now it wasn’t like they decided to take up making mixes just because I was such a swell guy.  These girls, namely “Red” and “Kiddo” let’s call them, were very into music and making mixes.  So that was my excuse for not even really listening to the mixes they gave me.  Let’s zero in on Red’s gifts to me for example, but assume that what I say also applies to Kiddo (she was 23! HIGH FIVE!).

So it went like this: I got a mix, I set it next to my computer.  In a week or two, I ripped the songs to my compy.  Around this point I’d hit play, and wash some dishes or something productive while it played.  Eventually I notice the music has stopped so I go back to my podcasts and hit play.  The end.  Red would ask me, did you like the mix I gave you, you listened to it right? To which I could truthfully reply, Of course I did! There was some good stuff on there, thanks!

Inevitably these relationships ended and I hit the musical dry spell we’re still kind of suffering through (although there are signs it’s getting better..summer save us).  Also I got an iphone and needed to put some shit on it.  So I went back to the mixes.  Holy shit.  There were messages on them! I mean bona fide, I made you a meaningful mixtape and this is the 90s messages.  Months were going by between us and I was operating on business as usual mode and Red was operating on “message received by him and ignored on purpose” mode.  Example: “Shut up and Kiss me” by Pony Up!, or “My life is starting over again” by Daniel Johnston near the end of our relationship run.  Another good one is “Straight to Hell Boy” by the Clash.  All this SIGNIFICANCE that I was missing.  But not only that, I was nodding my head and going “Oh yeah totally good mix,” like an idiot.  Like an asshole.

So here’s my advice to future me (I would never presume to assume that my 2 readers are anywhere near as egocentric and clueless as I am): when someone gives you a mix, fucking PAY ATTENTION to what’s on it.  Sit and actually LISTEN to the words in the songs.

HOLY SHIT a great example just came through my speakers; here’s a snippet of the kinds of lyrics I think you’d be wise to catch before it’s too late to not look like a dick:

Tell me how would it feel with an open heart?

You cruise around and play the field with your gropin’ heart.

Break it down to the beat and it’s brokenhearted

And I’d love to see you with an open heart” – Pardon Me by  the Blow

Sighs sighs, the shame never ends.  Also read the song TITLES.  I mean for real.  It’s important.  That mixtape may seem like a cliche throwaway chunk of mildly good music to suck into your giant and pointless music library, but it’s not.  It’s a love note.  It’s a friend note.  It’s a break-up note.  It means something.

If upon listening and paying attention you find that it really is just a random assortment of catchy tunes they thought you’d enjoy (that’s always my approach to mixes, fyi), then no harm done.  And you did the right thing, so pat yourself on the back.  One more day you weren’t a total asshole, congrats.