Saturday, February 28, 2009

Covers for a Cause

A cover compilation called War Child- Heroes vol. 1 just came out and the proceeds are being offered to help children affected by war. It's good music and it helps me purge some of my American guilt that it's supposed to be politically incorrect for me not to have. Seriously, I care about the children but I'm no Sheryl Crow fan (I fucking hate her in fact).

I downloaded Hot Chip's cover of Transmission by Joy Division and I liked it a lot. I might even download the rest of this compilation. v

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Warm Leatherette

The other day I was listening to "Losing My Edge", one of my favorite songs by LCD Soundsystem. The track is about an old-school music aficionado being outdone by a new generation of hipsters. There's a part in the song where Murphy gives a list of bands that definitely influenced LCD Soundsystem and one he named was the normal. I was like, huh...never heard of them anywhere else. So I searched iTunes and I turned up only one single and I was thinking, crap not another artist that I have to torrent...

But the normal, I found out after doing some research, only produced two tracks: warm leatherette and T.V.O.D. The former of the two is an unsettling synth-pop track about a car wreck that ends with the laughably strange conclusion of lovemaking in the flames. The ladder is about an addiction to TV and bears an unmistakable resemblance in song structure to warm leatherette. The vocals remind me of someone reading a psalm to music; like The Talking Heads or The Modern Lovers the lyrics sound almost more like a story being read than straight singing. The music consists of looped synth samples over drum machine that should sound annoying, but behind Miller it somehow works.

I figured that it's worth bringing up the normal since so few people have heard of them. They are an interesting little project and it will only take you...oh..6 minutes and 16 seconds to hear their whole
body of work.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Last week I bought the soundtrack to Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and I'm really pretty impressed. I haven't seen the movie yet and I'm not necessarily in a hurry but I found out about the album after hearing an unreleased Vampire Weekend song called, Ottoman. The song is exclusive so I went out on a limb and bought the whole soundtrack.
I'd listened to We are Scientists, Vampire Weekend, Rogue Wave, and the Shout Out Louds but the other bands were new to me. There are a couple interesting bands on there. Check out Trust Your Stomach by Marching Band. Best track as far as I'm concerned.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

How to Disappear Completely

Here are the things I'm doing in Rome to enjoy myself and to not piss anyone off or get myself killed:

-I always try to be very nice to those Italians I talk with, but not in a patronizing remember-which-country-I'm-from way.

-I am committed to learning as much Italian as I can here. I can't even tell you how annoying it is to me when I see someone (an American especially) who has obviously made no effort to learn the language and is visibly agitated when an Italian isn't one-hundred percent fluent in English.

-With a couple exceptions, I try and avoid getting hammered. I love the United States dearly and don't want to soil her reputation by yarking all over the bar. No, thank God, that hasn't happened to me (yet?).

-I don't carry my camera everywhere; I'm going to be here for 3 months so there's no need to be a slave to it.

-I avoid McDonalds like the plague (not that I frequent them in the US either).

-Being a musician, I try be generous towards buskers.

Getting lost in Rome helps me to forget about all the political bullshit going on back in the states. Sometimes it feels good to just disappear.