Sunday, January 31, 2010

Winter 1:2 Mix

A day early.
Click on Steve to download.
Many thanks to the Neighbor Upstairs for introducing me to some great stuff, perfect for this promising Winter.
Why don't you start with Bill or Pete and end with Nico or Dino?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Elton or Bertrand?

Trying to decide which version to put on my mix for next month:

Thursday, January 21, 2010


The crowd during the Pastels at the MBV curated ATP 'Nightmare Before Xmas,' Dec 2009

I told myself that last year's Coachella was going to be the last music festival I would ever go to (but I had said that the year before as well...) Well, at last year's Coachella, I left early (again) because it just became too painful. As much as I love going to see bands play live, I like quality, not quantity. My spirit was slowing breaking after the 99th band and I was feeling a bit claustrophobic...

Lately, going to see a band is more about the intimate experience and less about being with the general public. Yes this doesn't sound right but all I care about is seeing what the band sounds like live, how well they play their instruments, and whether or not they are dripping with charisma. The best place for this is not in the front or amongst the folk, it's leaning against the back wall or the preferable corner.

But when my band was invited by MBV to play this past December's ATP at Butlins, how was I suppose to refuse this ultimate honor? What's one more show right? Especially as something as special as this... MBV did an excellent job curating the festival. Best music festival experience ever...

I've never been to ATP but it's the kind of festival made for someone like me: it was relatively clean and not muddy whatsoever, all three stages were within one minute of each other, the on-site accommodation was not too shabby, and most importantly, I only saw one drunkard being taken away from the venue the whole weekend... Absolutely civilized. ATP is really about the music, well the kind of music I like and grew up liking. It felt intimate enough and being amongst the folk, who were just as into it as I was, there was no other feeling like it. Kindred spirits.

Do you know how fulfilling it was to have gotten the chance to finally see Television Personalities and The Pastels at last, two of my all-time favorite bands?

TVP's Painted Word is pure genius.

Pastels' Comin' Through is pure pop.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Ulrike Meinhof

Germany has never been my thing. I tried getting into krautrock in my teenage years and only got as far as Neu!*

The Deustch aesthetic encompasses a different kind of sensibility for me. I've found it challenging, ambiguous, and a little too intellectual and serious for me.

Perhaps I've heard of Ulrike Meinhof before but during this past holiday, I was formally introduced to her in Chris Kraus' first novel, I Love Dick. An epistolary novel, I Love Dick was very thrilling and fun to read. I loved how cultural theory and criticism were used to drive the plot. Now I'm reading Kraus' second novel, Aliens and Anorexia, which further delves into the life and activism of Meinhof. It's a pretty wild book.

Without realizing what it was about, I went to a rare screening of Yvonne Rainer's amazing Journeys from Berlin/1971, which also explores Meinhof and her gang. At times super abstract and dense, this film was so unwavering in its examination of personal and political identity and power. I was in over my head but learned a lot and left a little bit bewildered and light-headed which was very exciting. And the word "terrorism" was never mentioned once in the film.

The next day, I told my precocious filmmaker friend about it and he was like, "Oh, you don't know about the Baader-Meinhof Gang? They were really hot."

He's totally right. They were dangerously hot and sexy. I wished someone had told me of their handsome countenance years ago because I would of instantly read up on them (or in this instance, google imaged them).

Here is Andreas Baader and his equally hot girlfriend, a fellow RAF member, Gudrun Ensslin.

And here is Ulrike Meinhof. Smart and sexy.

Weirdly, Meinhof died on the same day as my birthday.



*I believe this genre was more of a British conception which was not found amusing by those making said music. I find the term a little disconcerting and derogatory for my taste. Would people be okay with "chinkrock"?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hippo Facto

How amazing is this? 

From Why Travel to France blog:

"The last year or so in L.A. has proven that food trucks not only have evolved far past their “roach coach” days but also have inadvertently contributed to reducing people’s carbon footprints. These roaming restaurants that come to you, offer anything from gourmet Korean tacos, grass-fed beef hotdogs, cupcakes, Banh Mi, BBQ, sushi, crepes – you name it, you can probably find the meal on wheels you’ve been looking for. I like the idea of the Green Truck running on vegetable oil, using biodegradable containers and serving organic food. The only glitch is that the food is not local, which is understandable in L.A.

France has had food trucks for many years in the form of pizza trucks in the south and French fry trucks in the north, not to mention the awesome cheese trucks, butcher trucks, bakery trucks… oh! and roasted chicken trucks and more. Aside from the pizza and fries trucks, I haven’t seen much innovation in rolling fast food until recently, and this one is pretty cool.

Taking food trucks to a whole new level and incorporating today’s “green” needs, Christopher Mauduit and Fabrice Vanderschooten launched Hippo Facto last November near the city of Caen, which is located in north west France just about 10 miles inland from the English Channel. What’s not to love about it? Pulled by Percheron draft horses and dedicated to sustainable living and organic, local products, Hippo Facto couldn’t be more brilliant. Respecting the environment and serving fast organic and local fare that’s simple, healthful and creative, you can order fruit/vegetable juices, tartines, soups among other offerings. The containers are also compostable.

You’re right, I can’t imagine a food truck like this in a megalopolis such as Los Angeles. Picture the road rage of people behind the horse and buggy! Hippo Facto seems to work where they are. Of course, it takes them two hours to get to Place de la République in Caen. That’s all good considering there’s no fossil fuels involved, they don’t live in a speedy world and besides, some people commute longer than that in cars every single day. Now THAT’S crazy."


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Something New

It all came together a couple of weeks ago:
my favorite hike in Elysian Park,
my new favorite song,*
my favorite thing I've yet to experience: the airship.

*Expect to hear more of Dino Valente on my next mix. My neighbor just introduced me to him and I can't get enough of Dino. And it all makes sense now; he wrote my other favorite song, "Something on Your Mind" by Karen Dalton.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Team Conan

Friday, January 08, 2010

10cc - I'm Not In Love

Everything about this song and video is just perfect. The choral backing, the rhodes, the bassist!

I'm so in love. Best song ever.

repost from Bestest Song Ever.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

20 years ago...

Back in 1990, I was absolutely obsessed with these 5 English bands and had the good fortune to catch them live in Los Angeles...

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Year of the Tiger

The standout track on this mix is Be Not So Fearful by the exceptional Bill Fay... Words to live by in this new year...