Artist: Vacationer Album: Gone Hails From: Philadelphia Featured Track: “Trip (MMOTHS Remix)”
12:30 AM. On deadline. Grumpy. Wishing I was back in Nicaragua, on holiday, sipping Toña and playing on the beach. Instead, I seek solace from my inbox and find it in the form of a lovely remix of a track off Vacationer’s debut, Gone. Just what I needed. A 3:30 mental vacation and audio back drop to revisit some of my favorite Nica moments. So thank you, Vacationer, for pulling me out of my 12:30 AM tailspin and getting me through this deadline. It worked.
You may not know Dutch artist and designer Parra by name, but likely you’ve seen some of his iconic illustrations around. Brands everywhere have been slapping his distinctive drawings on everything from sneakers, to t-shirts to skateboards and even iPhone cases. Now he’s taking to the walls of SF MOMA in his first US museum exhibition, Weirded Out, officially opening to the public on March 31. To celebrate, SF MOMA is hosting a party along with his band, LeLe, and a bunch of local DJ acts for a grand ‘ol shindig tomorrow night, March 29, at Mighty starting at 9PM. Live from Amsterdam! The event is free. But you gotta RSVP. Free drinks from 9-10, so get there early. And be sure to check out the exhibit.
I had the pleasure of dining with Academy Award nominated documentarian Sam Green a while back when I heard of this amazing SF MOMA art project and collaboration with indie super stars Yo La Tengo he was masterminding called, “The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller.” To put it in context, the SF MOMA is on the verge of launching an exhibit honoring Buckminster Fuller – the eccentric designer, inventor, theorist and futurist forever associated with the creation of the famed geodesic dome. The exhibit will open at the SF MOMA on March 31. Part of the programming schedule will feature a documentary retrospective by Sam Green exploring Fuller’s utopian vision. Green’s imagery and narration will be backed by live music from Yo La Tengo. Two live performances will take place May 1 at 7PM and 9PM. Tickets are on sale now through the San Francisco Film Society. An event not to be missed, so get on it now! They won’t last.
Jeff the Brotherhood debuted a video for “Bummer” this past week featuring family vaction-style highlights of their tour with Volcom this December in Hawaii. (A good brand/band partnership, I might add.) Like all their videos, it’s silly. But put into the context of a band who aspires to be as famous as Twisted Sister and Black Sabbath, it all makes sense. I love them.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to judge people by the music they keep. It’s a sure indicator for me of whether or not we’re going to get along. It may be unfair, may be a little harsh but I can’t help myself. It’s an ongoing fascination I have with compelling and notable people too. It’s all I can do to NOT rip their iPods out of their hand to find out what they’re listening to. And then I realized…wait, I can do that legitimately! And thus the series, ‘Recently Played’ was born where I ask those that I respect and admire (either musically or otherwise) to send me the last 10-12 tracks they’ve recently played. It’s been enormously enjoyable for me. I hope it’s as much fun for you. And that you’ll get to discover some cool new tunes and people along the way. So, without further ado…
Yes…he’s all that and a bag of chips. But most importantly, Sean is the founder of Drowned in Sound (DiS), one of the UK’s first and most established music blogs. Celebrating 10 years of blogging this month, DiS has become an award-winning destination for more than half a million music fans a month. And if that’s not impressive enough, Sean writes a column for The Sunday Times, does a monthly selection of playlists for the Spotify blog, is the driving force behind DiS Records (Kaiser Chiefs, Metric, Bat for Lashes, Martha Wainwright, Emmy the Great, etc) and was recently named one of the London Times’ most-influential people under 30. You should definitely listen to what he has to play.
Welcome to the modern day version of “Name That Tune.” Except in this day and age, it’s “Name that Sample”. I find myself getting quite obsessed with trying to figure out the classic tracks these fancy new electronic artists are layering into their music. It’s a fun game I like to play with myself and the debut album from Kamtin Mohager’s Chain Gang of 1974, called White Guts, has given me lots of good fodder to keep me busy this summer. I’m very smitten with this album and his clear obsession for 70s/80s music that is prevalently sprinkled throughout the record. Listening to it is both a treasure hunt and a flashback. It’s just good fun up, down and all around.
So now I bring my fun mind game to you with The OCMD’s Name That Sample contest for the track “Stop”. The first reader to correctly name the artist and song that Mohager is sampling in this track will win this free Chain Gang of 1974 t-shirt. Go!
The OCMD has been planning this post for some time, but as of May 13, it became top priority. On May 13th at the Verdi Club, OCMD’s @indierockgirl, Julie, was treated to a surprise birthday party with live music provided by her local favorite Ty Segall. While shredding 2 guitar strings to pieces, Ty finished the set with a pogo-inducing cover of T.Rex’s “20th Century Boy”, and our new series was born: UNDER THE INFLUENCE. In this first installment we recognize the profound influence of T. Rex.
Marc Bolan founded Tyrannosaurus Rex in 1967 and released 4 essential albums before shortening the name to T. Rex, and making 8 more records including the most infamous, Electric Warrior, which held his biggest hit “Get it On (Bang a Gong)”. With a bit of glitter under his eyes and a deep sense of his feminine side, he single-handedly created glam rock- the first in a long line of androgynous rock idols (Bowie, Lou Reed, New York Dolls, and many more to come…). Tragically he died 2 weeks before his 30th birthday when his girlfriend drove his purple Mini into a tree less than a mile from his home.
Bands have been doing covers of Bolan’s work ever since (Big Star, Replacements, Shins, Yo La Tengo, Flaming Lips, Blondie, the Melvins, KMFDM, Elf Power, Teenage Fanclub, Bauhaus…..). But in recent years the first true echos of Bolan’s sound came via Devendra Banhart. His warbly singing, guitar style and dedication to freak folk revival are clearly influenced by T. Rex (as much as he denies it).
Perhaps the most blatant rip off goes to Chicago’s excellent Smith Westerns -just check out “Girl in Love”. These kids are way too young to know T. Rex this well, yet they have the glam looks and Electric Warrior sound to truly honor the musical genius.
If you don’t own some of Bolan’s work, get to it. I know there is a lot of music out there and many of these recordings need a few listens to reveal themselves, but do yourself a favor, make time! Long live T. Rex, RIP Marc.
The perfect album for Mother’s Day. The perfect song. Portland-based Nick Jaina’s newly released album, A Bird in The Opera House, is a complex, lush and beautiful endeavor worthy of attention. His sound evokes a richer, folkier Elliott Smith. Kind of a contradiction, I know. But listen and see for yourself. It’s simple and complex all at the same time. Each listen opening up new layers and textures. His band alone is quite impressive with a strings section, clarinet, trumpet, steel guitar, banjo. No wonder it sounds so good. Happy Mother’s Day.
San Francisco has a new artist in residence and his name is Banksy. The notoriously reclusive British street artist has hit SF with at least six known locations of his signature graffiti art, which are nicely documented in this video from the Warholian. The artist has garnered quite a following and his reclusive mystic only adds to the allure and value. Banksy does not sell photos of his street graffiti but industrious art auctioneers have been known to attempt to sell his street art on location and leave the problem of its removal in the hands of the winning bidder. Let’s hope our installation survives.