If you're like me (and I pray [ironically as I'm a card-carrying atheist] for your sake that you're not), you heard of the Dresden Dolls, knew that they were avant-garde and thrilling in some vague, critically-acclaimed way, but had never actually heard any of their music. They'd get referenced by other musicians in interviews and critics compared whatever band they were reviewing to them, but they never seemed to be played on any outlet. And until the past couple of years, I allowed music to come to me rather than hunting things down like an ancient hunter-gatherer on the savannah trying to get his spear into a tasty okapi. Who has time for that? I's gots bill to pay, man! Leave me alone!
Why you should check the cover before going to print. Seriously, you are beautiful. Put down the hair product and let's go.
Mother Nature's killer angel, Typhoon Sanba, will soon punish Korea for opening the Pandora's Box of GangnamStyleparodyvideos, so we are busy getting the Breadome ready for the storm. Gotta make sure our stash of vintage cosplay porn isn't ruined. But do not worry your ugly misshapen head, Danny W. Vogel of Clearwater, Florida, we will never not have time to give you your weekly recommended dosage of vitamin U(rls).
If this week were a kangaroo, and if you believe in the infinite universe model of...the universe...then somewhere in the vastness of all that is, was, and ever shall be, there is a place where this week is a kangaroo...
Anyway... if it were a kanagroo, then in its pouch you'd find these bonza joeys:
Canada Day can be a frightening, conufsing time for Americans. To help you through this troubling period, we have prepared a guide for interacting with our cousins to the north. And remember: they may look and sound similar to us, but snow and syrup run through their veins. So yes, Canadian blood tastes great on pancakes. Oh, and Canadian bacon...mmm...
The band YACHT (or Y▲CHT) comes to us from Portland via Texas and LA. They might not be the best lyricists, but their music's catchy and fun (e.g. 'Dystopia', 'Paradise Engineering'), with a couple you'll want to skip (I'm looking at you, 'One Step').
I first learned of them on NPR's All Songs Consideredpodcast. You can see their Tiny Desk Concert (which is, as we've noted before, an awesome series) here.
I posted about the Flaming Lips/Erykah Badu remake of "The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face" over on Two Kilos of Bread. If you haven't seen or heard about it yet, I suggest you not eat for 30 minutes, then click and check it out.
Researchers are crafty devils. If you ever find yourself in a research position, definitely use your funding to excuse watching women's asses as they walk across the room, or check strippers' ovulation/money rain correlation, or anything else that would be considered creepy if you weren't wearing a lab coat. FOR SCIENCE!
During my last trip to the motherland to secure precious Coney I-Land coneys and frozen custard, I happened upon "Young Blood" by The Naked and Famous.
Being that Tulsa was in a hundred year heat wave, my brain had partially melted and I cannot now remember if I heard this song on commercial (i.e. Clear Channel or Shamrock) radio, or if it was on the Risk! podcast. Either way, I slammed the brakes on the rented Nissan in the middle of Peoria and proceeded to hunt for signs of nearby wi-fi. A clump of fixed-speed bikes. The hawk-like ornamentation on a shirtless dude's back. Truckers' hats in pristine condition atop expensively mismanaged coifs, followed by piercings and bushy beard. The pack of hispters, when not in motion - such as performing a Critical Mass bike ride, or ironically playing Jenga - often rest near available streams of wi-fi where they can use the hot-spot to digest freegan-foraged nutrients and update Foursquare.
Maybe I just have Vietnam on the brain after seeing the Epic Nguyen textbook prank, but I woke up with Thao's song Yeah, So On and So On playing on repeat in my head. There are worse ways to wake up (True story: while sleeping on a poorly-patched air mattress in a yurt in the Mongolian steppes, I am awakened by something on my chest.It takes my eyes a moment to adjust to the gloom. When they do, I see that Pikachu is sitting on me.)
My introduction to Thao came via the always-interesting Tiny Desk Concert on NPR. She had a young, folksy, slightly-awkward vibe that made listening to her very inviting. If you want to label her, she'd fit in the female singer-songwriter group with Regina Spektor and Rilo Kelly, but I find sound a little more laid back and breezy. Fraught or frenetic would not be adjectives to use with her. Like a good singer/songwriter, she knows her way around lyrics. One favorite of mine: It was brave to play, it was an honor to lose. Or I am going away, but not away from you. I have learned the difference between the two. Nothing groundbreaking, but enjoyable. When she sings, it always sounds like she enjoys what she's doing.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a nerd in possession of a mobile device is in wont of a good podcast. And for such nerds, it is the best of times.
Let's get our definitions clear. This category is specifically about book reviews and readings. We'll save podcasts about authors and writing for another day.
Man Booker is a name for a Dick Tracy character, not a book award.
This is a category that is close to my heart, (somewhere in the costomediastinal recess). As you may know, Americans are not eligible for the Man Booker Prize, which is why I haven't been short-listed. That and I haven't had a novel published. Yet!
In anticipation of my future literary success, I kept close tabs on my soon-to-be enemies, er, colleagues. In fact, book podcasts were my gateway drug into the seedy world of online audiophilia. It all started with the Washington Post Book World podcast. My interest in the subject outlived that winsome lass, sadly. But as gateway drugs always do, I moved on to New York Times Book Review and Selected Shorts and Libravox and Books on the Nightstand and Book Lust and and and...
What can I say? They're all great. Choosing the one essential podcast for this category, that's about as hard a task as man hath ever undertaken since the Deluge. "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."
If any publication knows fiction, it's the New Yorker. Name an author and there's a sporting chance that they got their break in its hallowed pages. And it is this hallowed history that makes the podcast essential. The setup: an author who's been published in the New Yorker selects another writer's story from the archives to read aloud, followed by a discussion with fiction editor Deborah Treisman. Freakin' fantastic. My personal favorite (another Herculean task, picking that) is The Colonel Says I Love You by Sergei Dovlatov.
All you need to know about the Moldy Peaches is that they are an ultra lo-fi, mostly-defunct duo whose biggest claim to popular fame is having a song in the movie Juno.
Want more? Okay, check out these lyrics for Downloading Porn with Davo.
Now that's what I call good music!
Sleepin' in a van between A & B
Suckin' dick for ecstacy
Paid a 70 year old hooker to make out with me
Now the "get high shack" is just a memory
Downloading porn with Davo
Downloading porn with Davo
Put a latch on the door so Mama don't know
That I'm downloading porn with Davo
Tried to buy your love, but I came up short
So I fucked a little waitress in exchange for a snort
My girl's got a dick hangin' out of her shorts
Me and Eric in the bathroom with the weather report
Adam Green and Kimya Dawson formed The Moldy Peaches in the halcyon days of the Clinton era, when our only concern was making sure everyone properly dry cleaned their dresses lest they endanger the free world. They've been associated with the anti-folk music scene, and are probably best remembered for their whimsically homemade albums. After the band went on hiatus in 2004, Kimya has had a bit higher profile, releasing a children's album called Alphabutts in 2008 and popping up on soundtracks here and there. Adam Green has a number of solo albums and plays in Regina Spektor's band, which is pretty damn cool.
And here's a little trivia nugget for you: Kimya means 'silent' or 'silence' in Swahili.