Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Top Albums of 2008

Top Albums of 2008

1. The Cardinals(Ryan Adams) – Cardinology This is such a great album. It is common knowledge that I love anything Ryan Adams puts out so I’ll spare you a long fawning write up here, just know that since cleaning up Ryan’s voice sounds light years stronger.

2. Kings of Leon – Only by the night I wrote about this album on my blog when it first came out and I still love it.

3. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago This has shown up on almost every list this year so I probably don’t need to say anything more about how awesome it is.

4. Nick Cave and the Bad Seed – Dig, Lazerus, Dig!!! Like I’ve said before, the Grinderman album that Cave and his cohorts made not long ago really added a spark to this album that sets it apart from some of his recent work. As a long time fan of the Boatman’s Call this album is right up there.

5. Destroyer – Trouble in Dreams Not as immediately catchy overall as Destroyer’s Rubies this album pays off big if you give it a little patience and a couple of extra listens

6. Okkervil River – The Stand Ins A great album, at times a little loose and jangly often poppy and melodic but superb songwriting throughout. Pop Lie reminds me a bit of the New Pornographers at their best.

7. Vampire Weekend – S/T This album is too much fun not to be included.

8. Fleet Foxes – S/T This is another album that many much better writers then myself have written about and included on their lists.

9. Girl Talk I really didn’t like this Girl Talk album when I first picked it up but being the lazy bastard that I am I didn’t erase it from my ipod, then a strange thing happened, I found myself listening to every Girl Talk track that came up on shuffle(I almost exclusively use the shuffle feature) Now at the end of the year my I tunes tells me that I’ve listened to some of these tracks more than albums I loved right out of the gate. If you haven’t heard this album it is a seemless mix of a ton of samples that couldn’t possible have been legally cleared. Part of the fun of this is trying to figure out where that bass line came from or how many decades separate the release of the lyrics and the rhythm track.

10. Herman Dune – Next Year in Zion This is a late entry for me, I’ve had pieces of this album for awhile but only recently bought the entire album. I really like the simplicity of this work and the lyrics are smart and uncomplicated. I was turned onto these guys by posters in the metro advertising one of their shows.

11. Bonnie “Prince” Billy - Lay down in the light Will Oldham at his most awesome. I’ve really not spent as much time with this album as I would like to, I’m sure it would be higher up on the list if I’d spun it a few more times.

12. Of Montreal – Skeletal Lamping I probably wouldn’t have listened to this more then once if it weren’t for Gretchen. This weirdly sung collection of funky dance tracks really grows on a fella. I think what put it over the top for me was the video Gretchen showed me where the lead singer was wearing a giant fanny pack. A Giant fanny pack!

EP Love:

One Day as a Lion – S/T While it’s no Rage Against the Machine There are three really strong tracks on this ep that I’ve listened to a lot. This ep is also to blame for me loading my ipod with the entire Rage Against the Machine discography, it ust plays so well on the Metro.

The Decemberists – Always the Bridesmaid As much as Gretchen hates them I love the Decemberists. This ep has several stellar tracks, Valerie Plame is probably my favorite.

Special Mention:

R.E.M. - Murmur(Reissue) – While I could technically place this at number one on my list and be done with it that might be cheating. I’ve probably listened to this entire album more than anything else, ever. This is still an absolutely brilliant album.

Whiskeytown – Strangers Almanac(reissue) Another that could technically be placed in my top three for this year. This expanded edition is pretty awesome it has a live and early version of one of my favorite songs Houses on the Hill.

These two tracks will forever be linked in my mind with moving to Paris besides the fact that they are great songs they were played constantly on the French music channel (one of the only places to hear English).

MGMT – Time to Pretend

Estelle featuring Kanye West – American Boy

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Le Lesson 2: Nutella

The French don't seem to eat peanut butter but by God they eat a lot of Nutella. So when in Rome... like the French we have switched, in large part, to Nutella. (A tiny jar of Peanut Butter runs about 6 euro,around 8 bucks)
The lesson in this switch to Nutella is this; if you get a little Nutella on your hand or shirt it looks just like shit. This can be terribly confusing if you've just gotten up. About twice a week I have to stop what I'm doing and run it down mentally, like this.
1. Have I taken a shit this morning? No i need a little coffee and a bite first thing so... not mine.
2. Has a child touched me this morning? I'm generally the first one up and if i'm not Liam has woken me and i've automatically made him a bowl of cereal. This is done with no touching so... not ours.
3. Have i touched something D might have touched without washing his hands last night? Alarm clock, sweatpants, coffee press, water pot, coffee cup, cereal bowl, milk. Nope, so...not his.
4. Should i taste this? Why not, ohh it's Nutella. I've been lucky so far.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Stuff for G

Gretchen will go nuts when she sees Largehearted Boys compilation of top ten lists.
She might pee herself when she hears the Of Montreal cover of Petty's American Girl.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Wow, some people really like those Eames Chairs. Does this give you any ideas Scot?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Le Lessons 1

I've decided to impart some of the lessons i'm learning here in Paris, some of them are Paris specific and some might apply to life in your city.
Lesson One: Ordering at Mc Donalds.
If you have small children you will find yourself at a McDo's, even in a city like Paris with so many other food options. Ordering at Mc Donald's isn't as easy as you might think even though most everything on the menu is the same in French as it is in English.
Here is the secret to ordering, numbers need to be said in french but the items need to be said in english but with a wicked thick french accent. example; "deux aumbeergers, un sheecan sanwich et deux appee meel". That's all there is to it, good luck.

Mike Giant in Paris

I just found out that Mike Giant will be part of a show with Dalek at the Magda Danysz Gallery here in Paris on April 25th. Magda Danysz is right down the road from our place.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Post it show

Tom, one of the Igloo Tornado members(he of the Blot fame), is taking part in a post it show. Like it sounds, the art is done on post it notes and Tom has done several portraits of famous artists. Check out his work here.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

There as been alot of talk around my house about how tame my music tastes have become, here's what i listened to on the metro today and yesterday. BTW i've been using my wife's shuffle so i just go with what it wants.
Fallen from the sky - Glen Hansard
If you need a reason - Mason Jennings
Take the power back - Rage Against the Machine
Come on! Feel the Illinoise! - Sufjan Stevens
Ripchord - Rilo Kiley
Disturbance at the Heron house - REM
Harborcoat - REM
Pickpocket - At the drive in
Gimme Sunshine - Ryan Adams
Chapel Hill - Sonic Youth
Helicopter - M. Ward
Sausalito - Conor Oberst
We Fight We Love - Q Tip
Wolves - Iron & Wine
Rock the House - Run DMC
How I could just kill a man - Rage Against the Machine
Amie - Damien Rice
Stupid Girl - Rolling Stones
Candy Everybody wants - 10,000 Maniacs
Regina - Possum Dixon
No Rolling Back II - Jay Farrar
junkie Man - Rancid
Parental Discretion Iz advised - NWA
Bad Party - The Dead Milkmen
Oh my god, Whatever, Etc - Ryan Adams
Up in the North - The Fiery Furnaces
Neighborhood #1 Tunnels - Arcade Fire
Glory Days - ruce Springsteen
Mother's Little Helper - The Rolling Stones
Pretenders - Ryan Adams
Walking with a Ghost - Tegan and Sara
Evil Urges - My Morning Jacket
Waste of Paint - Bright Eyes
Wicked Gil - Band of Horses
You are a runner and i am my fathers child - Wolf Parade
Man on the Moon - REM
Vibrate - Ghostland Observatory
A small victory - Faith No More
Olympia Wa - Rancid
Jesu the Mexican boy - Iron & Wine
The Hardest Part - Ryan Adams
Such Great Heights - The Postal Service
Artichoke - Gabrial Mann
Superstar - Lupe Fiasco
Six Pack of Beer - Hank III
The Rat within the grain - Damien Rice
Houses on the Hill(early version) - Whiskeytown
Jus De Canneberges - Malajube
Secret Meeting - The National
Miss Sunflower - Ryan Adams
Paper Kitten Nightmare - Margot and the Nuclear so and so
Why would you wanna live - Wilco
Losering - Whiskeytown
Dirtfloor cracker - Mofro
Monty Got a raw deal - Catfish Heaven
Someone Great - LCD Soundsystem
Another Sunny Day - Bellle & Sebastian
Metronome Arthritis - At the Drive in
Ship Of Fools - Ron Sexsmith
Mendocino County Line - Willie Nelson
Bonita Applebum - A tribe called quest
Dead mans will - Iron & Wine
Get Busy - The roots
Let me ride - Dr. Dre
making Friends - Bishop Allen
Sheila Take a Bow - The Smiths
War on War - Wilco
Benzie Box - Danger Doom
Someday soon - Wilco
Suffer - Smashing Pumpkins
Greatest Hits - Sublime
The Gulag Orkestar - Beirut
I Ain't the 1 - NWA
I can see clearly now - Johnny Nash
Answering Bell - Ryan Adams
Fake Plastic Trees - KT Tunstall
I Can't wait - Hepcat
Wild Internatonal - One Day as a Lion
Maria - Rage Against the Machine
Hysteria - Def Leppard
Fuck the Creationists - MC Hawking
Gold Digger - Kanye West
Flatheat - The Fratellis
Sad Sad City - Ghostland Observatory
Cosonaut - At the drive in
Ain't no nigga - Jay Z
First Tube - Phish
Mr. Jones - Counting Crowes
Blue - The Thorns
Ask me lies - The Replacements
I may know the word - Natalie Merchant
Instant Pleasure - Rufus Wainwright
Wild flowers - Ryan Adams
10 Seconds - whiskeytown
Happy Alone - Kings of Leon
Good Intentions - My Morning Jacket

Ok, i guess i might be a little lame.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Jane's Return

Somehow the fact that Jane's Addiction has reunited with the original lineup totally slipped past me. Jane's Addiction is one of two band's that really did the most to shape my musical tastes(R.E.M. being the other). I can't find any information on tour dates but they've been playing around L.A. a little and Shepard is doing posters for them, Dave Navarro is keeping everyone in the loop over at 6767. Phil is gonna shit a brick when I tell him.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Chinese Klosterman

Chuck Klosterman has a hilariously sincere review of Chinese Democracy here.
Yes, I chose that picture because of the shoes.

Art a choke

Mike Giant is back in SF(I'm not stalking him, it's on the Rebel 8 blog) and getting stuff done. The Rebel 8 blog as a nice post on drunk tattooing, this is why it's probably good that i'm not good friends with any tattoo artists or even people with tattoo equipment.
Fecal Face does a studio visit with Faile, the woodwork pieces are insane. I'd like to see how they did those columns.
Andrea has some sweet new pieces up(The Frida obsession continues) on her site Owl My Love. Congrats on the Etsy love.
Shepard goes off on Ebay resellers on the Obey site.
Scot has added a couple more letters to his most excellent ABC project. Obviously S is my favorite so far, check it out on the Loser Goes 1st site.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

One day as a Lion

I've been listening to the Ep form One Day as a Lion which is Zack from Rage Against the Machine on vocals and keyboards and Jon Theodore formerly of The Mars Volta on drums. I really like it, the first song, Wild International, is probably my least favorite while If You Fear Dying is by far my favorite. A couple of the songs sound kinda the same which isn't a terrible thing on an ep. This has also sparked a frenzy of Rage Against the Machine listening and video watching on my part, damn those guys were amazing.

Giant news

I'm not going to pretend that i don't have a slight Mike Giant/Rebel 8 obsession. With that having been said the new Rebel 8 collection is out at Giant Peach these are my favorites.
Several pieces from the last collection are on sale at Karmaloop, i've got my eye on those socks and you can't go wrong with any of those shirts.
This one might be my favorite(Phil you feelin it?).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


If you check in to BME on a regular basis for tattoo, piercing, scarification inspiration then you've seen this already. If not then check out this article about eagle tattoos. Obviously this guy is taking the piss out of the practice but i really like the classic eagle design. The one above is from Mike Giant's current show at White Walls in San Francisco. The picture at the top is a Mike Giant t shirt design from the rebel 8 website (if anyone needs a last minute birthday idea i wear an XL).

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Round One: All smiles

Warning: The majority of the French in this post is wrong.
The first trip to the prefecture was a success. A good 90% of stories involving the prefecture are laced with a healthy dose of horrors, hours wasted, documents rejected, flaming hoops jumped through, but we had a smooth first encounter. We were in and out in an hour and a half, one hour of that time was spent waiting for the one clerk who supposedly spoke decent English to return from lunch. One of my biggest concerns was the wait, it seems that most people are there for a minimum of three hours, Gretchen was there for almost five. I was mainly worried about how to keep the troops from revolting so we came laden with books, video ipods and gameboys, ready to set up camp. We weren't there long enough for me to stop sweating from the 30 degree temperature between the inside and outside before my number was called, literally five minutes.
I got through the first two or three questions; she asked for my passport, i gave it to her, she asked if the kids were there i said "oui" and pointed behind me, she asked me where i lived, "J'habite en onzeme arondissment", then she flipped to my visa and let fly with two or three paragraphs worth of unknown words while pointing to the date. I knew it had expired two days ago. I fell back on the old "Je ne parle pas francais bon". Still smiling plesently my lady went for backup and founda co worker that possesed a good knowledge of at least two dozen english words(more then the number of french words i know if you subtract the curse words). I think i managed to explain that the rest of the families visa's expired in another week and i had been perating with that date in mind(it could have been that i opened chloe's passport and pointed to the date on her visa). Somehow they, quite pleasently, tagteamed an explination that the English speaking clerk was at lunch and i would have to wait for an hour, either that or they were dumpingme(the nonfrench speaking ass hat) on the new girl. I gathered up my novels worth of documents and took a seat.
Almost exactly an hour later i was called back to the window where the very cute, miniuly english speaking clerk greeted mein French and then asked for several things all in french. After a few minutes of typing she asked for my picture, in english, and then disappeared. A few minutes later she returned with my three month visa extention(if the internet is to be believed this is the way it works, you get an extension every three months for a year and then you get a real long term visa). She then set up an appointment for me in french and explained to me what i would have to bring(everything i had with me right then). I then asked in my half English half French patois if the kids had to be there and she said NO!! This is good news, i hope she really understood my question. I then thanked her profusely and wished her a bon semane and she told me "good by, have a nice day" in perfect English!!

p.s. It took me three tries to find out how much money was in my account at the bank. The try that worked was in spanish; Combien euros(point to account number raise eyebrows questioningly).
I'm on a roll.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Herman Dune in the 11eme

I've blogged about this cool French duo Herman Dune before but i just found these videos. If you step out my front door, take a right and walk 30 steps that's where this video starts.

This video is on the same street, it ends in our bakery.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ryan Adam and the Cardinals - Cardinology

Wow, it seems like all i blog about anymore is Ryan Adams. Well I heard the new album tonight. I was so excited that i emailed Andrea while i listened to it, here is the email, unedited.

Born into a light is the first track. Nice acoustic riff. This sounds gooood.
track 2 Go easy. I like it.
track 3 Fix it. Wow this is alot more laid back then the live version we've been hearing. It has a little slinky feel to it.
track 4 Magick. A rocker! Is this political? Weird but me like the rock. Sweet a lyric about zombies. I like this song. Is it the halloweenhead of this album?
track 5 Cobwebs. Solid, mid tempo heartbreaker.
track 6 Let us down easy. This is a good song. I'm not sure how to categorize it. I hear a country guitar sound in there but it's not a country song. Maybe a little sixties do wop feel to it. I like what he's doing vocally in the chorus.
track 7 Crossed out names. He's just so sad.
track 8 Natural Ghost. Classic Ryan Adams alt country sound. Pretty chorus. Man his voice sounds good.
track 9 Sink ships. Sounds good. He's doing that thing where he cams a lot of words in some versus. There are some nice lines in here "blackbirds inside a bell". He is hitting his notes, nice. Tempo change. What a perfect ending.
track 10 Evergreen. This is pretty. How many times have i said that? Who is singing backup?
track 11 Like Yesterday. A classic laid back song. It's so comftrable sounding.
track 12. Stop. I was praying it was a Jane's Addiction cover for a millisecond. This is like September sad, but in a great way.
That is one hell of an album.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Wayne's house

Check out this great article in the New York Times about Wayne Coyne's house(s). As any Oklahoma based Flaming Lips fan can attest Wayne is a great, warm, accomidating man. I think we've probably all cruised around OKC hoping to find him in his yard and be invited in for dinner.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


There are a lot of cool things on the web.
Of all the ridiculous ways to spend money this library makes the most sense to me.

Due to some cool posters in the metro i've been listening to a French band called Herman Dune(don't worry they sing in English). Check out their website, they have a cool thing going on.

Wooster Collective have the latest by everyone's favorite street artist BANKSY.

Scot has one lucky kid.

Somehow, this makes me feel better.

I wish I were in San Francisco.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Ordering Blues

The new not-yet-released Ryan Adams book Infinity Blues is available for preorder from Akashic books in New York City. The book is 50$ with a 10$ shipping fee in the states and a 20$ fee outside the states. The book is a hand signed hardback edition with a book of poetry titled Sad American Mythology thrown in. I guess i've paid more for books but i guess i better ask the boss before i order. Needless to say i'm super psyched about this release and it's always great to get a package in the mail.
I noticed while perusing their website that Akashic publishes one of my favorite beat poets Amiri Baraka. I caught one of his poetry readings about 12 years ago and actually got to speak to the man and get some books signed. If you get a chance to hear him read, jump on it. He has an awesome style and presence.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Infinity Blues by Ryan Adams

Preorders for Ryan Adams first novel will start on October 6th on the Akashic Books web site. Here is some info from their site:
Preorders for the forthcoming Ryan Adams book titled Infinity Blues will be available on this page starting Monday, October 6, 2008. Preorders will include a signed HARDCOVER copy of Infinity Blues, with a bonus poetry chapbook by Ryan Adams titled Sad American Mythology. The chapbooks will all be signed and numbered; it will be a limited edition available only through the Akashic Books website as part of this preorder. The official publication date of Infinity Blues is March 16, 2009, but preorders will be sent out before then, in December or January.

No price but who cares, i'm buying this book.
Big thanks to Andrea for the heads up!!

Go drinking bear

Friday, September 26, 2008

Flite #1

Scot has a great new print about to go on sale, get the detail at Loser Goes 1st.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mad Max for Muscles over motors

Chloe and I watched The Road Warrior, the second movie in the Mad Max trilogy a couple of nights ago. It sparked some talk about the oil crisis, i'm impressed by how much she knows about the current energy crisis. She pointed out that instead of battling ass chap wearing mohawked punk rockers for gas in the post apocalyptic future she is going to ride her bike. Thank you Mad Max, you've created another biker.
Last night we watched Beyond Thunderdome... we couldn't figure out what it was about.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Stuff Parisians like

Modeled on Stuff White People Like this blog Stuff Parisians like is just as funny and just as true.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Kings of Leon Only by the night

The Kings of Leon have a new album coming out next week that i am completely in love with. Only by the Night is a huge step forward for the band this album really sounds like they've found their sound. It seems like a lot of their obvious influences have been so integrated into their music that they are left with a true unique voice. There are so many high points on the album that i don't know where to begin. One of the most striking things is the way Caleb sings on this album, he isn't holdin anything back on these tracks. The first single Sex on Fire has a pretty awesome video and for some reason it sounds particularly excellent on the Metro. The album opener is titled Closer and right away it's obvious that the Followill boys are doing something different. Crawl has one of my favorite lines from the album "you better learn to crawl/before i walk away" sang over a perfectly fuzzy rhythm part. Manhattan slows things down in an absolutely perfect way with Caleb taping into that elated feeling you get at the end of a great night. All in all a great album and destined to wind up in my top 10 of the year.

Tour Dates: Because these guys can put on a show.
10/11/08 Las Vegas
10/12/08 San Diego
10/15/08 L.A. (Get on it Scot)
10/17/08 San Fran
10/18/08 San Fran
10/20/08 Seattle, Wa
10/21/08 Portland, Or (Luke i'm looking at you)
10/23/08 Denver, Co (Phil have a Fat Tire for me)
10/25/08 Austin,Tx
10/26/08 Oklahoma City (Practically a home town Crowd)
10/28/08 Houston, Tx
10/29/08 Dallas, Tx

Friday, September 12, 2008

The man who fell to Earth

French tv is a pretty mixed bag. There is a football match on every single night(yeah) and they often show entire sets from big festivals in and arounf Paris(Clap Your Hands last week) but the rest is crazy French produced hings and then American stuff that has been dubbed. They show a lot of recent movies which is cool, i've found it pretty easy to follow the plot of most action films and of coarse they don't take out the nudity.
Last week they showed the David Bowie gem, The Man who fell to Earth. This was cool in and of itself. If you hven't seen it it's a pretty weid film but just to make it even odder it started out dubbed for the first twenty minutes then it switched to English and then it just randomly went back and forth, five minutes of French here, ten minutes of English there. All of the music was in English which is what i expected and why i was watching(and i knew there were boobs and that crazy shot of Bowi as a naked alien). Gotta love the french tv.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Oklahoma in the news

Check this out, a tattoo shop in Moore, Oklahoma giving away free Obama tattoos.

Could it be?

This is what it kinda looks like a poster advertising an upcoming production of Grease in Paris. The only thing on the poster in English is "Grease" which begs the question "Are we looking at a French language version of the musical"? If so I'm in. In fact I'm in even if it's in English with heavy French accents. Grease is the word.
Sorry for the picture, my camera is broken, no viewfinder and only taking pictures without a flash.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Rock en Seine

Wouldn't you know it Rock En Seine is starting today and i'm as broke as a joke. The really horrible thing is that the French music television channel(not MTV) which is one of the five channels we get keeps playing blokes of videos from artist performing at the festival.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Way late REM

This concert was forever ago but i had to share a few pictures. After missing the National(don't ask) and rocking with Modest Mouse REM came out and blew us away.
They played an extremely varied set and sounded great. They all still have it goin on.

Johnny Marr came out and played the encore with REM. Can you imagine how awesome that was? I still can't believe it.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

D Fest day one

We got a late start to D Fest but with the temperature in the upper 90s at 10:00 that was probably a good thing. The only band we really wanted to see on day one was the mighty Ghostland Observatory. As you can see from this sweaty picture of Gretchen with Aaron Behrens we managed to see them.
After a little bit of Moe's set the lasers were set up, the smoke machine was cued up, the cape was fastened and the hair was braided for an unbelievably show. I can't remember ever having danced that much at a show, the video that i shot was shit because i couldn't stop dancing.
Aaron's dancing really has to be seen to be believed, that kid can move. They played my two favorite songs, Heavy Heart and Move with your Lover, i couldn't have asked for a better set.

After the Ghostland set we hustled over to Blank Slate to catch the last half hour of the Apples in Stereo set. They sounded great but we were all jazzed up from Ghostland and ready to dance so i didn't give them my full attention. We left the festival at about 1:00 and wouldn't you know it, it was still hot as hell.