new romantic

February 24, 2008

something quiet and beautiful for a sunday night…

laura marling ‘new romantic’

http://www.lauramarling.com/

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drummer boys.

February 23, 2008

i come from a musical family.

my eldest sister is a cellist, my other sister is a violinist, my brother was a concert-pianist-grade musician before he gave it up to become a surgeon. when we were younger, my parents used to force us to all sing and perform together in front of our church – that’s right, there are some priceless photos of us wearing matching outfits, standing in birth order, with our hands clasped at our chests… it was all very ‘von trapp family singers’.

my dad plays some guitar, my mother, some piano and in the past, gave the accordian a go (i remember the sad day when i could no longer fit my entire body into the accordian case). together, my parents put on a mean harmonica duet. when time has allowed, my mother has joined a choir here or there and my dad instinctively and very noticeably sings in harmony rather than the melody like anyone else would on any given occasion.

when i was still very young and it came time for me, the youngest of the lot, to start joining in the family fun, i started at the very beginning… a very good place to start: the piano. piano was where they had all started. the brown, yamaha upright in our ‘music room’ started to call my name… but i resisted. in response to my resistance and downright refusal to practice like i was told to, i was slowly given a violin. again, i rebelled and a cello was fitted one day, but without any hope of longevity. in grade school, i taught myself some basic guitar chords on my dad’s classical guitar. however, my extra small hands and the extra thick neck of his guitar, in addition to the widely spaced frets limited my development as the next riot grrl.

in high school, i picked up the oboe as sort of a favour to the music teacher who i had never taken classes from before. with about three lessons, i was shipped off to band camp for a couple weeks in the summer so that, upon my return, i could be in the school orchestra for its inaugural year. i got through the season thanks to my dear clarinetist friends who covered for me when they could. in the end, my performances were alright i suppose, but then i lost my instrument one evening when i forgot it in the dining hall. who would steal an oboe? seriously.

despite the endless hours and dollars wasted on trying to make me into a good musician, i recall when i was very young (not yet in school, not yet playing music), being asked by my dad what instrument i would like to play.

“the drums,” i said without hesitation.
and it has pretty much always been the drums. i more readily play air drums than air guitar. i tap my fingers, my hands, my teeth, nod my head, tap my feet as though i was sitting at a drum kit… once, i played some percussion for a high school production of west side story after a 10 second crash course on how to change pitch on the timpani and how to turn on the vibes…. but that was it. my parents refused to accept ‘drums’ as a real answer to their question, which is understandable given the quiet nature of our neighbourhood and their already loud, four-child house.

despite having never realized my little drummer girl potential, i still gravitate towards good drummers. videos like this make me so happy:

?uestlove (the roots) vs. travis barker (blink 182)

abc123

February 21, 2008

had the pleasure of seeing germany electronic trio to rococo rot this evening at the ica. lovely set. they played mostly stuff off their latest abc123, which was created mostly on computers (as explained in the video below), and was the result of an experiment to mark last year’s 50th anniversary of the helvetica font. the album pieces together midi tracks arranged in alphabetically-related order and represents a rather stark contrast to their previous releases.

some notes not so much on the performance, but on the ethnographic aspects of the gig:

1. i thought it a bit odd that i was surrounded by many middle-aged men. i’m almost certain to be ageist for saying this, but i just never thought to rococo rot would attract such a huge following in that particular demographic. i know i’m not great at judging people’s ages, but there can be a rather obvious difference between a man in his early 30s and a man in his mid to late 40s… and all the men standing in front of me, blocking my view, and all the men standing around me, kicking their empty beer cups at my feet, were of the latter grouping… just something i noticed.

2. the lighting tech at the ica theatre blows. hard.

more info here: http://www.dominorecordco.com/site/index.php?page=artists&artistID=180

and here: http://www.myspace.com/torococorot

Danke shön für einen schönen Abend.

after hours.

February 16, 2008

’cause sometimes you just need to bop around…

’cause happy fun times are comin’ to town…

(extra points for including a cast member of 30 rock)

‘after hours’ by we are scientists.

follow the was blog trail here: http://wearescientists.wordpress.com/

i’m infected.

February 7, 2008

first time i heard them, meh. not the greatest musicians, i thought the singer’s voice was great, but wasn’t convinced it suited the rest of their sound.

went to see them, meh. the singer’s voice is still the best thing they’ve got going for them (musically… 5 cute swedish chicks though… that counts for something to some people) and her hair fucking rocks… but again, not the greatest musicians, cute, but nothing special.

i was lying awake in the dark at 1.30am today and realized: fuck, i have 1 bar, one lick of one of their songs stuck in my head. i have to turn my computer back on. i have to find the song online. i have been listening to it non-stop since.

i’m still not sold, but i am definitely infected.

‘hitten’ by those dancing days