February 22nd, 2008 r8e8rcom
Its both oddly comforting and alarming at the same time to think about the sheer number of Mark Lewis’ that have existed in this world. The comfortable part comes when undesirables try to track me down. Its literally impossible, there are over 500 Mark Lewis’ registered in the US, over 50 in NY alone. It can also be nice when people mistake me for those more successful Mark Lewis’, the ones you see when you google ‘Mark Lewis’, professional baseball players, world famous DJs, doctors, lawyers, the list goes on. I once got into one of the $70 per ticket guido parties at Pocha because the headlining DJ was Mark Lewis. I almost got VIP until someone realized that the real Mark Lewis was actually DJing as I rolled up. But most times I feel like all those Mark Lewis frontin’ bitches are just giving me a bad name. They’re all out there fuckin’ my shit up, trifling. Damn, remember when trifling was Ebonics slang back in the day? Someone sent me that old school delta Ebonics promo from back in 97, “you going on vacation? peep this” and I realized that the word ‘beeotch’ is well over 10 years old at this point. Its what old people say to attempt to sound cool. Fuck, I thought I was being ironic when I said it, now I just feel like an ass. Anyway, I could give a fuck about the Mark Lewis’ of the world, this entire post was really just a ploy to put r8e8r higher on google search results for ‘Mark Lewis’.
A Weather is a melodic indie pop six piece band based in Portland, OR. Band members Aaron Gerber, Sarah Winchester, Zach Boyle, Aaron Krenkel, Zoe Wright, and Lou Thomas are from all different parts of the United States. They describe their sound as “The things that stuffed animals might tell you if they’d had a few too many.” A postcard from the green and gray environs of Portland, Cove is moody and warm, rife with odes of looming loss, hopeful notes to self and hushed revelations that speak directly to the yearning heart. Produced by Adam Selzer (M. Ward, The Decemberists, Norfolk and Western), the songs on Cove are marked with an intimacy so striking that it feels like you’re eavesdropping on the pillow talk of two forlorn lovers. Indeed, this is music to curl up with. Cove is available for pre-order on Saddle Creeks web store (here
) and releases 3/4/08 on Conor O’s Team Love Records.
February 21st, 2008 r8e8rcom
Thanks to everyone for coming out to ‘The Blue Album Group’ debut on Tuesday. I know I complained about there being too many people, but it really meant a lot to have you all there to support us. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I’ve taken the stage, it certainly never will be like riding a bike. Having not been on a stage for well over a year has siphoned every last bit of confidence I had ever imagined I possessed. The days prior to the projects debut were spent making mental provisions for the show, but never once did it occur to me that a Tuesday night show at Trash bar, at 8pm no less, should garner very much mental confidence training. But as I hesitated to start the guitar part that would kick off the entire show that night I suddenly felt like a kid playing his first show ever. And as much agitation as a first show can create, nervous shaky vocals, out of tune guitars, forgotten parts, and broken equipment, there’s still something magical about it.
Kaki King (born August 24, 1979 as Katherine Elizabeth King) is an American Guitar Player and Vocalist from Atlanta, Georgia who moved to New York in 1998 to attend New York University. She got her start busking in the subway where her dexterous playing style attracted the attention of Velour Music Group, which signed her to a management/recording deal and released her debut album Everybody Loves You in 2003. The following year, she released her second album, Legs to Make Us Longer on Epic Records. In 2007, King branched out into film work, composing original music for several scenes in the Sean Penn-directed film Into the Wild, which also features two of her previously released songs. Her work for this film has garnered her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Score. In addition, she recorded two tracks for the film August Rush, in which she appears as a guitar-playing hand double. Aside from Penn, King also has a fan in Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, who asked her to duet with him on “Ballad of The Beaconsfield Miners” from the Foos’ current album Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace.
February 14th, 2008 r8e8rcom
Winter has proved yet again to be a tease, taunting us with a blustery snow day only to slap us in the face with rain the next day. This week has been no exception, but the lack of significant accumulation this year made Tuesday’s light snow a welcome affair. Precipitation has never excited anyone more than elementary school children. Watching snow flakes fall from a night sky in the glow of street lamps with butterflies in your stomach has been a pastime for kids for generations. The building anticipation of a school closing announcement is enough to drive any kid into a frenzy. Such was the case for my ever hopeful daughter this Wednesday morning. She awoke an hour early to find the streets blanketed with a layer of snow and slush and could hardly contain herself when she burst into my room, phone in hand, begging me to call the school to find out if it was cancelled. Funny how kids are more likely to wake early on a potential day off.
I didn’t blame her at first for being frustrated when we found out school would start on time, not even a delay. But the constant complaining on the walk to school was wearing me thin. After about the 20th time I heard her say, “This is so dangerous. I can’t believe they are making me go to school in this!” while walking over a patch of slush I finally broke down and yelled, “Come on, you are being ridiculous. There’s a little slush on ground, its hardly dangerous, suck it up and stop complaining.” I felt bad about it after dropping her off and thought about apologizing after work. As I was working out the phrasing for my apology in my head my feet abandoned me on a small patch of ice and I came crashing down on my back right in front of a bunch of Hasidic school girls. They giggled a bit, and I think I caught a glance of one of my daughters teachers hovering around the group, although I was too embarrassed to look anyone in the face to find out. I struggled to pick myself up from the frozen ground now knowing exactly how I would apologize to Casey. Justice can be a bitch sometimes.
‘Pronounced ee-poks, this band has created a sprawling record from bombastic electronics to seething orchestration to playful rhythms. It never stops in one place long enough to be pigeonholed. It’s this diversity that has allowed them to share the stage with such artists as The Walkmen and Tokyo Police Club to Lady Sovereign and Spank Rock. RIYL: Spank Rock, TV On The Radio, Klaxons, The Avalanches.’ -insound.com.
These tracks are from their upcoming self-titled debut LP, which drops Feb. 19 via the Rebel Group. Buy it here.
mouths to feed
NY’ers, come out to Trash bar this Tuesday at 8pm to see the triumphant return of Mark Lewis brandishing six-strings and pretending to be a rockstar. It will be a sight, but if that’s not enough its also an open bar. Here’s the deets: http://www.bluealbumgroup.com/
February 8th, 2008 r8e8rcom
I had an entire review written today and then my laptop crashed and I lost it. So now I’m just gonna bitch about it.
21-year old Lykke Li (real name = Lykke Zahrisson) is a Swedish songstress. She was recently featured on the Shout Out Louds record, Our Ill Wills, which was produced by Björn Yttling (of Peter Bjorn and John fame). Lots of peeps have been gushing over ‘Little Bit’, and with good reason. Its hyper-catchy sugar-pop, but its a song about obession and infatuation. Reminds me a bit of Annie, Victoria Bergsman (The Concretes/Taken By Trees), and maybe Fiest. Shes also been compared to Lilly Allen and The Blow. Anyway, it’s good, you should check it out.
February 7th, 2008 r8e8rcom
As I attended my first fashion show the other day, I was struck by how completely insane Bryant Park appears during fashion week. I would never have guessed being inside one of the monstrous heated tents that I was actually standing above a vibrant green lawn as long as a football field. The parks tree lined promenades overshadowed by the enormity of the maze of tents. I felt a bit like a fish out of water with everyone dressed to the 9s as photographers whizzed around snapping photos of random people with interesting outfits, their subjects breaking whatever they were doing to strike a perfect pose on cue like Ford models……and perhaps many were. Meanwhile, I’m wearing tattered jeans I haven’t worn in 5 years because its laundry day, and the guy I’m with is wearing a pair of jeans he bought that morning because he got wasted and vomited on his only clean pair the night before.
The other thing that struck me were the various levels of privilege in this institution. There are the fortunate few lucky enough just to get invites to be allowed into the tents, not even guaranteed to get in to see the show. Then there are the invitees with actual seat assignments, the priority invites, the B-list celebs, the A-listers, and the super stars with their entourages. It’s pretty easy to separate the privileged from the over-privileged in this crowd. You see the juxtaposition of the “I can’t believe they are making me wait in line” people and the smiles of the “I can’t believe I’m waiting in line!” people. However, the truly privileged, it would seem, are the ones not waiting in line at all. And it’s crazy how the rest of us are willing to wait over an hour to see a show that lasts roughly ten minutes.
Kates and Ags – you guys did an amazing job, the show and the party were amazing!!!!
Die! Die! Die! is a 3-piece punk/indie band from Auckland, New Zealand. Since their formation in November 2003, they have solidified their reputation as one of New Zealand’s most popular bands. With an emphasis on rhythm and volume, Die! Die! Die! create a driving sound that is immediate and visceral, while retaining enough melody to keep their songs in your head long after their short set has come to a close. The band has gotten support slots for bands such as Wire and Franz Ferdinand, and also two large-scale national tour supports already this year for the reformed Straitjacket Fits and the renamed Shihad, and numerous shows in the USA and UK. These tracks are from ‘Promises, Promises’ which was released this week on SAF.
Sideways Here We Come
buy it here
February 4th, 2008 r8e8rcom
Justin Vernon, the primary force behind “Bon Iver” (pronounced: bohn eevair; French for “good winter” and spelled wrong on purpose), is no stranger to the world of indie-folk. His endeavors with former band DeYarmond Edison and his contributions to the Rosebuds and Ticonderoga have earned him the respect, if not attention, of indie-folk fans. I’ve never considered myself a fan of folk music, be it indie or otherwise. That is not to say that I think every folk song is bad, I can appriciate a good troubadour as much as the next guy, but I’ve always felt the genre itself drew too heavily on lyrical story telling alone, often dulling an otherwise tantalizing story with repetitive guitar parts and unimaginative song structures, trying to make up for it by offering some kind of proverbial message. But Justin has managed to create a folk record that’s more passion than proverb. With lyrics that are minimalist, and at times perhaps enigmatic, Justin paints a visceral image from his subconscious rather than telling us a story. These are songs about doubt, dissolution, and helplessness. There are the ‘Iron and Wine’ comparisons floating out there amuck the barrage of reviews. Then there are the obvious ‘TV on the Radio’ comparisons due to Vernon’s heavy use of layered vocals, which can ultimately be thrown back to Peter Gabriel. But I was glad to see the genre listed as “Neo Soul” on Bon Iver’s myspace page, which tells me either a) he has a sense of humor; b) he doesn’t care to concern himself with genres; or c) he prefers to think of his music as soul rather than folk.
“For Emma, Forever Ago” was initially self-released in July of 2007. A culmination of four months time spent writing and recording in isolation in his father’s hunting cabin in the woods of Northwestern Wisconsin. A blitz of blog buzz and media hype followed with both sides of the industry fence gushing with accolades, from pitchfork to the New York Times. The unexpected surge fueled interest from a slew of indie labels as the initial run of self-released albums ran out of print. A re-release is now scheduled on 2/19/08 on Jagjaguar records.
The Wolves (Act I And II)
buy it here