Patrick Wolf

March 28, 2007

What, dare I ask dear Patrick, is the magic position to which you refer? I suppose, my darling “classically trained” UK pop musical prodigy, that it isn’t really anyone’s business, and we should all just mind our manners and enjoy the music. But maybe, just maybe, all the indie girls and all the indie boys have developed crushes.

We’re certainly glad that with the new album it sounds like you’ve got the kids dancing again. “The Magic Position” is a favorite pop song of the moment. Have the opening slots for the Bloc Party and the Arcade Fire got you on that natural good times high? (Is it true that redheads have more fun?)

The album has been out in Europe for about a month now (on Loog Records), and will hit the US in about another. The reviews on the third record look pretty promising (8.3 on the Pitchfork Scale), so it looks like you won’t have to subject yourself to a stint on American Idol, though a duet with you may be just what that kid, Sanjaya Malakar needs.

Patrick Wolf – “Accident and Emergency”

Patrick Wolf – Bluebells

Listen: “The Magic Position” from the forthcoming album of the same name on Loog Records.


The National

March 25, 2007

The National is slowly taking over the United States, inch by inch, one club at a time. Their appeal is undeniable and universal: mid-western good-looks backed by Brooklyn bravado, sold out shows without the immediate household name recognition; they are the soundtrack to your drinking/dancing/fucking life.

The follow-up to their critically-acclaimed album, Alligator, is due out in late May. The record is called Boxer, and the initial track offering, “Fake Empire” demonstrates the band is in full control of their intoxicating mellowed pulsed-dose baritone power build, adding some piano and horns into the mix.

If the rest of the record is as good as everything presented here, the band will have produced three excellent consecutive records, and finally outshone their Brooklyn/Philadelphia friends and openers, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, who unwittingly borrowed much of the media spotlight during an earlier tour. (Take that, New York Times review!)

If they aren’t already, The National are your new favorite band. This isn’t a suggestion, just a statement of fact.

The National – “A Skin, A Night (promo)” by Vincent Moon

See two live versions of new National songs, “Start a War” and “Ada” (as well as many other cool people singing) at Vincent Moon’s incredible Blogotheque: Take Away Concerts at:

The National – “Start a War”

Listen: Fake Empire from the forthcoming Boxer, which will be available from the Beggars Group on May 22, 2007.

The National are playing four times at the Bowery Ballroom between May 28-31. Two of the shows are sold out.

American Zombie

March 17, 2007

American Zombie is the latest film by independent film maker, Grace Lee (formerly of the Grace Lee Project), and produced by one of my favorite people in the world, my near-sister, In-Ah Lee.

Thus far, the film has been making the rounds at Slamdance, SXSW and now the Asian American Film Festival in San Francisco (just in time for the holiest of Asian American holidays, St. Patrick’s Day).

The movie tells the story of two independent film makers, documenting a community of “high-functioning” zombies living in LA. These zombies (much like your friendly neighborhood psychopaths) live and look just like us (well, with the exception that they are undead and sometimes have bits of flesh hanging off).

Andrew O’Hehir from ranked American Zombie among his favorite films of this year’s Sundance. (Although technically, American Zombie was actually a part of Slamdance). You can read his full article here.

Please check it out and support cool independent film.
Check out the trailer here.

American Zombie actress, Suzy Nakamura.

The Dismemberment Plan

March 11, 2007

So the rumors (which have been confirmed) are true. The Dismemberment Plan is back, for not just one, but TWO reunion shows in April. They will take place at the Black Cat Club in the band’s hometown of Washington, DC on April 27 and 28.

The April 28 show is a benefit for Callum Robbins, son of ex-Jawbox, ex-Burning Airlines and Channels front-couple J. and Janet. In an interview with Robbins for (several years ago when the first Burning Airlines record was being released), the singer told me that Travis Morrison of the D-Plan was one singer/lyricist he truly admired and was inspired by.

Surely, the reunion-benefit show is reflection of this mutual respect and longtime friendship, as have been most of the benefit shows organized by the rallied indie-rock community for little Cal.

For those who haven’t seen the D-Plan play, it’s always a good time. Bring an interesting little tchatzkah, add it to the on-stage shrine and request your favorite D-Plan song. Maybe in honor of Callum, take a ride to the local toy shop and pick-up something fuzzy.

The Dismemberment Plan play with The Beauty Pill and Owls and Crows.

See you in DC.

Listen: The City from Emergency & I; Pay For the Piano, Academy Award from A People’s History, Superpowers from Change. All records are available from DeSoto Records.

Also, a personal favorite: The Beauty PillLifeguard in Wintertime from Unsustainable Lifestyle available on Dischord Records.

And… Owls and CrowsStatic Blood, New Blood.