Saturday, January 30, 2010

French size

I just bought this amazingly comfortable organic cotton shirt by Nike and Parra, a sweet dutch artist who has had a couple of shows here in Paris since we've been here. Without question the shirt is all kinds of rad but it's the size that i want to comment on.
I brought two nike t-shirts with me from the states, they are both size large and fit perfectly. My new Parra shirt is a size XL(they were out of Large and it was on sale) and it fits tight. Often time a shirt will have a few different sizes listed US, UK and Euro, all different but the US size is always the largest. Do we do it to make ourselves(as Americans) feel better? I'm sure if I told a Parisian I wore a Large they would look at me like I was crazy since a Large is really a medium to us. I'm gonna have to be more careful with my shirt purchases.

Wolfmother Bataclan Show

Jeremy and I caught the almighty Wolfmother at our neighborhood music venue La Bataclan on monday night. I caught a Wolfmother show in Oklahoma about three years ago so I knew we were in for a full on rock show but I really had no idea.

Alright, you watched the above video, now imagine that times 100. The energy level at the Paris gig was off the charts. They kicked off the show with Dimension and ended the encore with Joker and the Thief and rocked the entire time in between. Andrew, the singer/guitarist, mentioned several times that this was the best show of the tour and twice said that they should play Paris every three months.

French crowds still surprise me, this show saw all the elements of a midwest rock show; lots of leather jackets, mosh pits and crowd surfers. I guess i'm all ways expecting the crowds here to be quiet and fairly reserved like the Montreal audiences.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sigourney Weaver Flashback

This is how Sigourney Weaver looks in my head. I caught her on SNL last week(when did SNL get funny again?) and she did a great job but I was a little surprised that she didn't look just like this plus some clothes. It was cool to see her still looking great but she is still Ripley in my heart and mind.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Vic remembered

NPR has a great piece on Fresh Air with the interview they did with Vic Chesnutt just a few weeks before he took his life and a second part with three of his closest friends sharing their rememberences of him. Michael Stipe, Guy Piccotto and Jem Cohen all have really heartwarming things to say. It makes me think I should get out and make more friends and do more awesome things so I can field at least three people to say nice things about me when I die.
Thanks to Phil I was lucky enough to see Vic Chesnutt on his second to last tour with Elf Power here in Paris. It was a pretty amazing performance and although I wasn't much of a fan going in for the simple fact that I had never really listened to him, I came out a convert.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Star Wars Sugar

Yes, a storm trooper sugar skull tattoo.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Best Albums of 2009

The year is done with so it's time for my best of list, here's the run down in no particular order.

The XX -"xx". This is a great collection of chilled out songs heavy on electronic instruments and couldn't be concerned vocals.

Stand out track - Has got to be "Basic Space". I had this song stuck in my head for weeks partly due to the fact that I listened to the song several times a day.

Eels - "Hombre Lobo". What an amazing album, beautiful light songs and gas soaked barn burners stand side by side. That voice seems to fit perfectly into a wide variety of styles on this loosly themed album. Major bonus points for the majestic beard.

Stand out track - "The look you give that guy" is as good as it gets.

Regina Spektor - "Far". Another great, quirky piano driven album by the lovely Regina Spektor. I wish the Ben Folds track she sang on "You Don't Know Me" was on here so I can talk about how much I love it.

Stand out track - "Laughing With". Sad, serious, funny what more does this song need? Ok maybe a keytar would be cool.

Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. I love me some French indie dance pop. This album is just fun.

Stand out track - "Lisztomania" no, "1901" it's a tough call.

The Flaming Lips - "Embryonic". This album is weirder and more challenging then any of the last four by one of my favorite bands in the world and that's saying something. I can't help but wonder how jammy they will get with these tracks in concert.

Stand out Track - I couldn't possibly pick a favorite.

The Maccabees - Wall of Arms. A great British indie band who to my ears made the best Arcade Fire album not made by the Arcade Fire.

Stand out track - "Kiss and Resolve" is by far my favorite, it's got that rousing feeling that got me into music in the first place.

Harlem Shakes - "Technicolor Health". It seems that i've gotten into easily accessible indie dance rock in my old age regardless this band does it right. Sadly they've broken up so enjoy this one.

Stand out track - "Nothing but Change Part II" but "Sunlight" is a close second.

Dinosaur Jr. - Farm. The boys are back and they sound great. J. Mascis is a criminaly overlooked guitarist.

Stand out track - "Over it". Mascis has such a distinctive guitar sound and it just jumps out at you on this track. I wish someone would apologize to me with a song this awesome, no wonder they got back together.

The Dead Weather - "Horehound". Somedays you just need a great straight forward rock record.

Stand out track - "I cut like a buffalo", "Treat me like your mother" i had to go with two for this album although "I cut like a Buffalo" might be my song of 2009.

Dan Auerbach - "Keep It Hid". Great blues songs that I assume didn't quite fit into the Black Keys groove. Dan has a great blues voice and his guitar chops are stellar but we knew that from the Black Keys, what we didn't know was that he could do nice and easy so well.

Stand out track - "Whispered Words", "When the night comes" again two songs that are too good to choose between.

The Cribs - "Ignore the Ignorant". Another great British indie rock group, this year the Cribs officially added Johnny Marr to the group and you can hear his fingerprints on this album. The Cribs come from the sharp guitar school of rockers and they've managed to keep that sound and their sense of humor intact.

Stand out track - "Cheat on Me" I like it when they scream.

Blakroc - "Blakroc". Damon Dash, The Black Keys and a bunch or rappers team up for this album. The Keys provide the music and some back up vocals, Damon Dash produces and the Rappers do their thing it sounds crazy but it really does work.

Stand out track - "Dollaz & Sense" love that guitar lick.

Built to Spill - "There is no Enemy". How many great albums is that in a row? Another band with a guitar sound you can pick out in a second. Overall this album is a little less driven then the last one but not in a bad way, the music stretches out and breaths a little more.

Stand out track - "Life's a Dream". I know, i usually go for the more driving BTS songs but this one flows so smoothly and Doug gets into his guitar thing a little at the end.

Beirut - "March of the Zapotec/Holland". This is technically an Ep but I'm going with it. The back story is well known, half of this is tracks Zac did with musicians from south of the border and the other half has a more electronic bend to it. I prefer the Holland side but it's all good.

Stand out track - "My night with a Prostitute from Marseille". This could be my song of 2009 based on the number of plays it got. I think it also made it onto every mix cd i've done since it came out.

Animal Collective - "Merriweather Post Pavillion". I'm at a loss as to how to describe Animal Collective's sound, you can dance to it, it's electronic and repetitive but still organic. I do know that this is the most accessiable album they've ever made as far as i'm concerned. Bonus points for allowing Alien Workshop to use two of their songs.
Stand out track - "My Girls" is uplifting and you can get down to it.

Honorable mentions:
There were several albums this year that I really liked and even more that I know i'd love if I had time to listen to them a little more.
Iron & Wine - "Around the Well". Excellent album but all old stuff, great old stuff.
Isis - "Wavering Radiant". Very hardcore.
Pearl Jam - "Backspacer". Yes! This album rocks.
The Mars Volta - "Octahedron". Songs short enough to put on a mix cd.
Fanfarlo - "Reservoir". The singer sounds just like David Byrne and I really like David Byrne.
Woodhands - "Heart Attack" This didn't come out in 2009 but i've listened to it a lot in 2009.
Hockey - "Mind Chaos" More British dance rock.
Lisa Hannigan - "Sea Sew". Maybe getting kicked out of Damian Rice's thing was for the best.
Weezer - "Raditude" I like it, I won't apologize.