Archive: August, 2008
It's time for yet another Local Support transmission courtesy of fearless leader and MP3 fiend Jon Solomon. We've got some hip-hop, some punk rock, some ambient noise, some true oddities that defy description of any kind, etc. Boot up your Podcast Player 3000, kick back and please enjoy.
Audible's "Dust From a Broom" kicks us off with a fresh leak/world debut from their forthcoming full-length, brimming with chopped up samples, circular riffs spoken through four and six strings, and some pretty boy-girl harominzinin'. Carl Franke's "Berks County Bike Ride" is a slab of funky synth jazz that sure sounds like the most fucked-up, awesome bike ride of all time. Expo & Screwtape get "Ohh So High" with their fresh "(Radio Edit)," safe-proofed for your virginal minds (err, sort of). Gianmarco Cilli makes use of those pretty slide guitars that sound right out off of I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning, but with some almost Beach Boys-ian ahh-ahh backups to put some sand between the folk's toes. Meanwhile, B Mulvey takes us mountain climbing with the acrid leads and head-banging retro-metal riffs of "Super Himalaya."
With a track running around the minute mark, Von Hayes recalls a more raucous version of Guided By Voices' lo-fi glory days, which makes sense — even Bob Pollard would be impressed that this is their second full-length in two months. Bells Bells Bells provide a haunting Halloween anthem for your August, while Writtenhouse & Eshon Burgundy's "Way To Go" brings back the early '90s hip-hop vibe, allowing you to choose between a head-bobbing lounge session or some smoothed out grinding. Pilot Cloud's "Map" gets its Seam on with an atmospheric guitar/bass/drums jam that builds into cascading rockouts with whispered vox, and the Situation serves up a vintage Dandy Warhols pop jam with some funk guitar that doesn't play around. Is that Axl Rose wailing in the background every now and then?
BC Camplight has a kind of Belle & Sebastian/Los Campesinos! vibe about their wistful orch pop, and while the DVD Ensemble certainly hates the living shit out of Blu-Ray, they sure do love hypnotizing ambient noise jams, if "Intellectual Sight" tells no lies. Recently reunited CBGB's favorites Neighbors & Allies make a rallying cry for punks with "Punks" — that being of the punk rock, not the Wawa-loitering potheads — and Dwizz does some kind of weird, mindfucking, chopped/screwed MIA thing, and you're just going to have to listen to it — I won't even try.
Beat Frequency continue the trend, but now with guitars and random-stream-of-consciousness lyrics about dead dollar bill man on "President's Day." Finally, Stuntmen see us off with some of that punk rock edge that Neighbors & Allies were begging for a few tracks prior. It's been fun, kids — see you in two.
Audible - "Dust From A Broom" - In Simple Intervals
Carl Franke - "Berks County Bike Ride" - First Berries After Hibernation
Expo & Screwtape - "Ohh So High (Radio Edit)" - mp3
Gianmarco Cilli - "Let's Promise To Be More True (To Us)" - Homely Joys
B Mulvey - "Super Himalaya" - Cascades
Von Hayes - "Boo Hoo" - Evident Eyelid
Bells Bells Bells - Carolina In A Cornfield" - Throw Down Your Anchor
Writtenhouse & Eshon Burgundy - "Way To Go" - mp3
Pilot Cloud - "Map" - Cdr
The Situation - "Cherry" - mp3
BC Camplight - "Soy Tonto" - Rock The Net: Musicians For Network Neutrality (c)
The DVD Ensemble - "Intellectual Sight" - Road Closed
Neighbors & Allies - "Punks" - Separate Ways
Dwizz - "Salt, Pepper, Ketchup & Hot Sauce" - Party Music
Beat Frequency - "President's Day" - This Is Harrisburg, Not Topeka (c)
Stuntmen - "Snake Oil" - Small Time
So I'm not quite sure who the adjective aggressive belongs to here, you, the obviously Germanic skier racing down the Alps, or the soldiers trying to shoot you from the gondolas along the course. Apparently, skiing is now a crime punishable by death.
Aggressive Alpine Skiing is so simple, and that's what makes it horribly addicting. You use the arrow keys to move (up jumps) as you race along collecting stars and hitting insane jumps, all the while leaping over shacks and avoiding lead death from above. There's not much more to say, other than the music is goofy, but that adds a bit of charm to the game. It's a bit like being in a Flash game rave, so don't forget your glow sticks.
Play Aggressive Alpine Skiing here.
|Me llamo El Vez. Estoy awesome.|
Every Monday, the Showdown tells you who to see and where to see ‘em.
Monday: We gave the skinny on the solo Connor Oberst (and the Mystic Valley Band) show way back in June. Even though it's sold out, you've had your tickets for months. See, people, this is what happens when you read the Clog. With the Evangelicals, at the Troc, doors at 7 p.m.
Tuesday: This is what Pat says about Millionaires: "Ridiculous, sexed-up, taunting, teasing, smirking, lipsticking, eye-lining, tough-fronting, grill-flashing, blinged-out, hip-hoppish, Lauperistic, Carlisle-humping, Beastie-boiling, keytarded, drum-machinated, narcissistic, dirty, flirty, hurty, The Hills-worshiping, mojito drunk, catchy, ultra-ridiculous, over-the-top dance music by three girls from California. It's really super mega-ridiculous." Take his adjectives for it. With Hypercrush, Brokencyde and Arrival, at The Barbary, doors at 6 p.m., tickets are $10.
On the other side of the pop music spectrum, there's Justin Townes Earle, who doesn't have the same snotty, badassedness of his pop (don't worry, you'll see him later in the week) but he does have the same quiet power as his other namesake — "songwriter's songwriter" Townes Van Zandt. With Lucero (think Drive-By Truckers with less guitars or a less awful Black Crowes) and The Glossary, at the North Star Bar, doors at 8 p.m., tickets are $15.
Wednesday: Don't lie. You love American Idol. See the Top 10 before they end up on various VH1 shows talking about their drug problems. With David Cook, David Archuleta, Syesha Mercado, Brooke White, Carly Smithson, Chikeze, Jason Castro, Kristy Lee Cook, Michael Johns and Ramiele Maluba, at the Wachovia Center, doors at 7 p.m., tickets are $42.50-68.50.
GET FOLKED UP — Philadelphia Folk Festival
Friday: Today's must-see is J.D. Crowe and the New South, THE name in bluegrass since the '70s. If you don't know his name, you should. Scheduled to go on between 7:30 p.m. and midnight, tickets are $52 for the day.
Saturday: You saw the fruit of his loins earlier this week, so you owe it to Steve Earle to check out his set. Aptly called the Hardcore Troubadour, dude dropped out of school after eighth grade, has been married seven times and he did time on drug and firearm charges. Hardcore, indeed. With wife #7 Allison Moorer, scheduled 4-6 p.m., tickets are $68 for the day.
Sunday: Two picks for today: Look out the "Pennsylvania barn rock" of the Tin Bird Choir. Singer Heather Hurlock has a smokey, jazzy quality to her voice. Then there's fractured folk of Kimya Dawson, she of the Moldy Peaches and mega selling Juno soundtrack. She's doing two sets — one for kids (1-1:45 p.m.) and her own showcase (2:30-3:30). Tickets are $68 for the day.
|Episode 4's winning design
CP fashion platelette Rebecca Grites sizes up Season 5 of Bravo’s Project Runway every week on Critical Mass.
One trip to the Armory Track and Field Training Center, one Apolo Anton Ohno and one half hour of looking at antique Olympic Opening Ceremony outfits added up to a challenge that stumped the majority of The Gunn Gang this week. Most of the designers couldn’t wrap their heads around the abstract concept known as "athletic," and decided that strong, muscular and larger-than-size-2 women would be best fit in skinny cocktail dresses or "whackadoodle" vintage-inspired airline stewardess uniforms. This week, there was far too much fashion and not nearly enough function.
Jerell made his first (and hopefully last) hat, Terri busted out a three-piece sportswear suit and prevailed over Keith The Thief — fabric ganking is uncool, Keith. The most uncool moment of Episode 4, however, was Blayne’s ignorance regarding Sgt. Pepper. He may hold the bronze medal in tanning, but he earns no merit with the world by dissing the Fab Four.
This week also featured our first fight: Joe vs. Daniel. Red thread vs. white thread. Two men. One sewing machine. Who will come out alive? Well, they both survived, but let’s deem Joe victorious, since he almost won the overall challenge while Daniel almost got auf’d.
As for the actual winner: Korto?! WTF?! Her '70s-inspired caped suit was all too white and — let’s face it — hideous. Terri totally should have taken it; she's been robbed of the win, and even just recognition, every week. I’ve got my eye on her for the final three, and she’s the only competitor I feel 100 percent comfortable saying that about thus far. And we said goodbye to Jennifer — you can’t sit on the chopping block for too long without getting cut.
Stay tuned: a Brooke Shields group challenge can only mean butting heads for Episode 5.
View all the designs from Episode 4 here.
Three German kids have named their band after our fair city. Only we can save them.
|This is what we have to work with.|
For reasons that, as yet, remain lost in translation, a fun little folky-pop trio from Freiburg, Germany, has chosen to name itself "Philadelphia." Which is weirdly adorable. They're weirdly adorable: Playing their catchy little ditties out in public with big smiles and an open guitar case for spare change.
But we should probably be strict with these kids, right? I mean: We have a stake in this. Whether we like it or not — whether they like it or not — Philadelphia the band and Philadelphia the city are stuck together. We're, like, their managers. And as such, it's up to us to check them out and steer them in the right direction.
After the break: We'll watch their debut video and I'll provide some quick notes. Please feel free to add your own in the comments. We can help these kids. We can.
1. So. I would ditch those little moments where you have pre-planned synchronized dance moves. It can work, but it's coming off a little corny when you guys do it. I know you're European, but come on. Dance all you want; keep it impromptu.
2. This message is for Lugi, the guitarist on our right: Lugi, you have fallen in with the wrong crowd a little bit, taking cues from poor sources. The hat. The rolled up pants. But the main problem is your stance. I can tell you've seen Dave Matthews/Jack Johnson/whoever play their guitars while holding the jam band yoga position (feet planted, thighs ball-clenchingly glued together). I'm here to tell you those people suck, and you can do better. Move your whole body, not just your knees.
(Apologies if you were actually playing the song while fending off diarrhea — that's a good excuse.)
3. I can't really tell what you guys are singing — "You gotta be what it's gotta be" ? — and that's okay for now. The song's really bright and upbeat, yay, but unless you wanna come off as some edgeless bunch of kooks, I suggest you come back at us with something dark and sexy next time.
4. Alright, I was looking over your band's site (good call on scoring philadelphia-band.com AND providing an English version of everything. One thing though. On Lena's page (she's the drummer), we find this curious description:
Lena is a all-night-trough-party-girl.
Look, that's cool, we've all got our quirks. But if cute little Lena's into trough parties — what is that? some extreme horseplay? a farm fetish of some sort? — it's probably too early in the game to put that news out there. Wait to deal with it when some scandalous pictures show up online of Lena drunk off her ass and covered in oats.
5. Hey Max (the bass player). No notes on the video. Good stuff. But I'm looking at the press photo and: That hat is terrible. You don't need a hat that big. You are not a pie-man. You do not hold stock in Hats in the Belfry. You will not suddenly find yourself in a lottery situation which requires 5,000 names to be pulled out of a hat thus making you a hero. Also: thumbs out of the pockets. We don't do that anymore.
|Don't get me wrong! Some of my best friends are ... in advertising.
First, the answer to what seemed to be everyone’s big question at the beginning of Season 2: What happened to office slave-turned-successful copywriter Peggy Olson’s (Elisabeth Moss) baby? You know, the result of her one-night stand with everyone’s least favorite account executive, Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser)? The baby she wasn’t aware of until she went into labor? The baby we saw being taken out of her hands in the hospital during the Season 1 finale? That baby!
We find out about two-thirds of the way through "Flight 1" that, in true 1950s fashion (for it was still the 1950s until probably around 1967 or so in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn), Peggy’s kid is living with her widowed mom back home. We see Peggy and the kid — a boy, coming up on two years old — twice: once in the bedroom he shares with his cousins when Peggy stops by for a perfunctory hello, and again when she’s guilt-tripped into attending mass with her family. Peggy is a full-on lapsed Catholic at this point, so she can’t/won’t take communion. Instead, she sits in the pew holding her chubby, estranged kid while mom and sister line up for the body and blood of Christ. The mass scene is this episode’s dramaturgical triumph — it’s pre-Vatican II to the letter, with the priest intoning in Latin with his back to the congregation, and the altar servers holding those weird, flat spittoon things under people’s chins while the priest puts the wafer on the tongue.
So what’s the kid’s name? Pete Jr.? Doubtful, since we have no reason to think he has any idea the kid exists or that he intends to make him heir to the Campbell throne ...
And that’s just as well! Because the other big action in "Flight 1" is the death of Pete’s father, who it turns out — club memberships and Mayflower pedigree aside — died totally insolvent! In addition to this meaning no hypothetical inheritance for Pete’s love child, it also means there’s not much to go around for Pete’s dad’s funeral, or his mom’s subsequent widowhood. What to do?
Showcase some remarkable ensemble acting, that's what! From the moment Pete finds out about his dad’s death in the famous American Airlines Flight 1 crash over Jamaica Bay, Queens, through the strange pre-funeral family scenes that follow, Kartheiser, Alison Brie (she plays his wife Trudy) and whoever plays Mrs. Campbell do some of the weirdest, Beckett-type overlapping-monologues-masquerading-as-dialogue that I’ve seen on TV. It’s an abrupt shift from everything else in the series, but the mission — to take Campbell, up to this point a spoiled, pathetic, unsympathetic mess, and watch him develop into something vaguely human — is accomplished.
Campbell has an opportunity to test out his newfound humanity when Head of Accounts "Duck" Phillips (Mark Moses) approaches Campbell with a Faustian bargain: use his personal connection to the tragedy of AA Flight 1 to help Duck win the American Airlines account. Campbell, still in shock, refuses. Sensing that principle is at stake (even if he’s still figuring out exactly what principle is), Campbell instinctively turns to Don Draper (Jon Hamm). Draper, already having a bad day because he’s been ordered to cut loose an existing airline client to make room for AA, tells Campbell to get lost without hearing him out. We sense immediately that this miscalculation will eventually take on Oedipus Rex-size proportions for Draper. It’s a painful moment to watch.
Our worst suspicions are confirmed when Campbell turns up unexpectedly at the meeting with the American Airlines guy. Campbell, his moral ambitions thwarted by Draper, turns the bullshit up to 11, informing the AA executive that his father died aboard Flight 1, and for that reason, he'll pour his heart and soul into rehabilitating their corporate image. Campbell has seen the big picture. It is senseless and hellish as a Bosch painting — and he’s totally on board.
Nothing else earth-shattering happens in Episode 2. Ascot-wearing Paul Kinsey (Michael Gladis) throws a party where he introduces his co-workers to his African-American girlfriend. Joan (Christina Hendricks) opens her mouth, and what tumbles out could double as the template for American, white, liberal, post-Civil Rights movement racism. She actually uses the phrase "open-minded" at one point!
It’s unforgivable, but Joan fares better at the office a few days later, when she calls Kinsey out for what he is — a slumming, pompous fraud. Retort-less, he retaliates by borrowing Joan’s driver’s license from her purse, photocopying it and placing it on the wall in the break room. Joan’s most closely guarded secret —that she is over 30 — is revealed, much to the amusement of her charges in the secretarial pool.
Draper and family don’t do much this episode. They play some bridge (or is it canasta?), have a nice, sublimated argument about Don’s infidelity, and instruct their daughter in the fine art of mixing an Old Fashioned. It’s a triumph for the child labor movement: In just a few generations, they’ve gone from chimney sweeping to bartending.
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