Thursday, May 28, 2009

We've Come A Long Way, Baby

WOW! These sexist vintage ads are amazing. What's even more amazing is how they were approved in the first place.







[Thanks to Ladies Lotto for pointing this out.]

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Blur's 'Midlife' Crisis



Blur is set to release a new spanning compilation, Midlife: A Beginners Guide to Blur July 28 via Capitol/EMI (it's out June 15 in the UK). Do we need another Blur retrospective? I quite fancy the Best of Blur that the band issued in 2000. But it's Blur, after all ... and we need some of that Think Tank stuff, right? And it's fabulous to see the Brit-pop foursome back together, thus this cleverly titled double-disc is highly welcomed. In addition to featuring 25 songs from the band's seven studio albums, Midlife will also feature a long out-of-print track. Oooooooooh! Wish I could see them at Glastonbury this summer.

YAY! "Popscene" and "Advert" made the cut!

Midlife: A Beginners Guide to Blur
CD1:

1. Beetlebum
2. Girls & Boys
3. For Tomorrow
4. Coffee & TV
5. Out of Time
6. Blue Jeans
7. Song 2
8. Bugman
9. He Thought of Cars
10. Death of A Party
11. The Universal
12. Sing
13. This Is a Low

CD2:
1. Tender
2. She's So High
3. Chemical World
4. Good Song
5. Parklife
6. Advert
7. Popscene
8. Stereotypes
9. Trimm Trabb
10. Badhead
11. Strange News From Another Star
12. Battery In Your Leg

Thanks NME

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Birthday Wishes for the Banana Split Lady


Happy Birthday to Miss Siouxsie Sioux. She turns a fabulous 52 years today. The former Banshees frontwoman recently issued Finale: The Last Mantaray and More Show. The DVD set captures Siouxsie's gig at London's KOKO (September 29, 2008), which was also the last show of the Mantaray and More Tour.

In true Siouxsie fashion, she offers a healthy batch of Banshees classics with Creatures tunes and new songs from her latest solo LP, Mantaray. Miss Sioux also delivers cover versions of the Doors' "Hello, I Love You" and Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'") as well as Basement Jaxx's "Cish Cash," a smashing dance track which Siouxsie co-composed and sang on in 2003.

Finale: The Last Mantaray and More Show

1. They Follow You
2. About to Happen
3. Hong Kong Garden
4. Dear Prudence
5. Right Now
6. Sea of Tranquility
7. Christine
8. Happy House
9. One Mile Below
10. Into a Swan
11. Israel
12. Arabian Knights
13. Here Comes That Day
14. Hello, I Love You
15. If It Doesn't Kill You
16. Night Shift
17. Loveless
18. These Boots Are Made for Walkin'
19. Spellbound
20. Nicotine Stain
21. Cish Cash
22. Swansway/Reprise

Click here to view my 2007 interview with Siouxsie via SPIN.com.

I must include the video for "Dazzle." I still absolutely adore this song and Siouxsie looks fantastic! I wish Budgie was in it a bit more, but you have to love Steve Severin striking a pose near the end of the clip.

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Portrait of Art Spiegelman

Many thanks to Julie for bringing this to my attention! The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit is featuring one of my favorite graphic novelists, Art Spiegelman. The "Portrait of the Artist As a %@&*!" exhibit -- on display May 29-July 28 -- features his earlier works entitled Breakdowns.

Originally published in 1978, Breakdowns gave comics a socially acceptable name and landed in mainstream libraries and universities. What Spiegelman did was test the spheres of comics, while also redefining their social impact as a form of art. MOCAD's exhibit will showcase several excerpts from this iconic book as well as Spiegelman's many films, drawings and mementos. In his near 40 years in the art world, he's constantly questioned life and its behavior. That's exactly why I love his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Maus.

"It's a manifesto, a diary, a crumpled suicide note and a still-relevant love letter to the medium I adore." -- Art Spiegelman

If you find yourself in the Motor City this Friday (May 29), head over to MOCAD (4454 Woodward Avenue, Detroit) for the opening of this fantastic exhibit! At 8pm, the event will open with performances from Pittsburgh/San Diego dance duo, Extreme Animals, and Detroit-based hardcore funk outfit, Will Sessions.

Get your hands on the recently reprinted Breakdowns hardcover here.

[Photo courtesy of MOCAD: Art Spiegelman, Breakdowns (Process sketch)]

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Heeeelarious!

Illustrator Natalie Dee is great! I absolutely love her bit on Morrissey entitled "Don't Invite Morrissey to Your Birthday Party."

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Steven Patrick Morrissey Turns 50

Happy (Unhappy?) Birthday to my favorite handsome devil, Morrissey, who turns the big 5-0 today. Tonight, he'll celebrate with a few special gigs in England, including one at the Manchester Apollo.

Mozzer to NME on growing old: “Age shouldn't affect you. You're either marvelous or you're boring, regardless of your age.

In the NYC, there are a bunch of shindigs going on to honor the former Smiths frontman, including The Music Slut's Trash party at The Studio in Webster Hall. Also, Kaki King is playing a special set at Glasslands in Brooklyn. Bodega Girls, the Stationary Set, and Beta Beta are also slated to perform.

Also, to commemorate Morrissey's big birthday The Music Slut has issued the digital LP, TMS Hearts Moz. This 19-song set features Morrissey or Smiths covers from the likes of digital LP features artists like Chris Garneau, Exit Clov, The Glass, Laura Palmer, Mixel Pixel, Pattern Is Movement, Sharon Van Etten, and more. Each afternoon at 4pm, TMS debuts a new mp3 for free download and will continue to do so through May 28th. Hot stuff!

Click here to send the Mozzer some birthday wishes.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

'C' is for Cookie

While perusing the various vendors at the BUST Spring Fling Craftacular last Sunday, I came across the beautiful and yummy cookies of Tasty Morsels Bakery.

The Brooklyn-based company was founded by Crystal L. Horton, an award-winning artist who came to NYC in 2004 to for Masters in Fine Arts at Parsons. Once completing graduate school, Horton went on to work in the fashion world as the Visual Designer for a high-profile French company. But her interest in baking started long before school.

Seriously though, her cookies are a work of art and so so soooooooooooo good. She can help you with your own custom decorated sugar cookie, for she also makes her own cookie cutters. The sugar cookies featured in the photo above were amazing! Get online and check out Tasty Morsels. YUM!

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

She Was a 'Crayon Angel'

Four years ago, I was fortunate to receive Judee Sill's first two and only LPs, Judee Sill (1971) and Heart Food (1973), as gifts from my dear friend Brady. It was the first time I heard the lovely folk-tinged sounds of this obscure singer/songwriter. I later learned she was the first artist signed to David Geffen's Asylum Records, for which her self-titled effort and Heart Food were released.

To my enjoyment today, I learned that some of indie rock's finest have gathered to commemorate the American songstress with Crayon Angel: A Tribute to the Music of Judee Sill, out September 22 via American Dust. Artists such as Ron Sexsmith, Final Fantasy, Nicolai Dunger, Marisa Nadler & Black Hole Infinity, Colossal Yes (with members of Six Organs of Admittance and Comets on Fire), Meg Baird, Frida Hyvönen, and Daniel Rossen of Grizzly Bear and Department of Eagles contribute their own cover versions of Sill cult favorites.

In addition, there are two new Judee Sill-penned songs that come to life for the very first time. "Reach for the Sky" and "Like a Rainbow," covered by Beth Orton and (Smog)'s Bill Callahan respectively, originally had sheet music, but no known recordings exist. "Like a Rainbow" was also co-written with Sill's onetime boyfriend, Lal Baum, who is the great-grandson of Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum.

While she never achieved super stardom, Sill's music lives on. Sadly, Sill passed away after a drug overdose in North Hollywood, California in 1979. Rediscover or discover her brilliance with Crayon Angel.

Crayon Angel: A Tribute to the Music of Judee Sill

1. Ron Sexsmith - "Crayon Angel"
2. Beth Orton - "Reach for the Sky"
3. Daniel Rossen - "Waterfall"
4. Frida Hyvönen - "Jesus Was a Cross Maker"
5. Shalants - "Lopin Along Thru the Cosmos"
6. Final Fantasy - "The Donor"
7. Nicolai Dunger - "Soldier of the Heart"
8. Trembling Blue Stars - "Lady-O"
9. Colossal Yes - "The Phoenix"
10. Marissa Nadler & Black Hole Infinity - "The Kiss"
11. Princeton - "Down Where the Valleys Are Low"
12. The Bye Bye Blackbirds - "There's a Rugged Road"
13. Meg Baird - "When the Bridegroom Comes"
14. Bill Callahan - "For a Rainbow"
15. P.G. Six - "Til Dreams Come True"

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Happy Birthday Joey Ramone

Happy Birthday to the coolest punk that ever lived, Joey Ramone. He would have turned 58 today. For those looking to raise a glass to the late Ramones frontman, head over to the Fillmore at Irving Plaza for the 9th annual Joey Ramone Birthday Bash (read more about it here).

Also, check out Worn Free for special Joey Ramone tees. Worn Free has recreated some of those famous t-shirts once worn by Joey Ramone and includes everything from the hilarious "I'm Not Joey Ramone" shirt he wore in 1977 to the famous Capitol Theatre shirt he wore in 1976. I love love love the NYC shirt Between now and May 31st, get 20% off all Joey-themed shirts with the coupon code NOTJOEY at checkout. Hey ho! Let's Go!

The Ramones - "Baby, I Love You" (Top of the Pops, 1980)



Joey Ramone, we miss you!

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Monday, May 18, 2009

The Return of Dolores O'Riordan

Irish songstress Dolores O’Riordan, best known for fronting the Cranberries for five studio albums, is prepping to release No Baggage, her first solo offering since 2007's 2007's Are You Listening?. The 11-song set will be available August 25th via Zoë/Rounder Records.

In a press release, O'Riordan says: "I probably haven’t worn my heart on my sleeve like this since the second Cranberries album [1994’s No Need to Argue]. It’s at times very confessional and dealing with my true emotions. Everyone, through their experiences or their background, has had terrible moments where they think they can’t handle it. With this record I’m trying to show that, no matter how bad things may seem, it’s not really that bad in the big picture."

I was a massive fan of the Cranberries as a teenager, and still like listening to Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? and No Need to Argue. The band earned four top 20 Billboard albums, 8 hit singles, and worldwide sales of over 40 million records. They even reunited for a small show in Dublin this past January to commemorate Dolores becoming an Honorary Patron of Trinity College's Philosophical Society. It's nice to see Dolores back in the fold. Details of a U.S. tour is forthcoming.

No Baggage:

1. Switch Off the Moment
2. Skeleton
3. It's You
4. The Journey
5. Stupid
6. Be Careful
7. Apple of My Eye
8. Throw Your Arms Around Me
9. Fly Through
10. Lunatic
11. Tranquilizer

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Feelings

I heart illustrator Marc Johns. His drawings are simple, fun and incredibly witty. He also released his first book, Serious Drawings, last month via teNeues. Be sure to check him out here or via his blog



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Friday, May 15, 2009

Dollface



Aaaaaaaagh! The folks at Uneek Doll Designs have created a Susan Boyle doll. How brilliant! I mean, who doesn't love Susan Boyle? If you don't, you're a cranky old soul.

As most of us know already, the 47-year-old Scottish singer dazzled all three judges on Britain's Got Talent last month when she sang "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Misérables. I think she's incredibly charming and sweet and so do 21 million other people who've viewed her YouTube performance.

Purchase your very own Susan Boyle doll here.

Thanks to Fluffy Bricks to pointing this gem out to everyone. LOVE IT!

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On the Record

Thanks to my rad friend Jeremy for pointing these out. Littlepixel™ is definitely on to something with his retro portraits of classic albums a la Pelican books. Pretty amazing and fun if I do say so myself. Here are some of my favorites.






Be sure to check out his Flickr profile. The Phil Collins one for No Jacket Required is heeelarious!

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BUST's Spring Fling Craftacular



I heart BUST magazine! On Sunday (May 17), the magazine for "women with something to get off their chests" will host the second annual Spring Fling Craftacular at the Warsaw in Brooklyn. The event takes place from 12pm to 7pm and admission is $2.

This year's theme is "Garden Party" and BUST is giving the over 2,000 expected attendees a chance to really get their hands dirty, with eco-conscious demos on guerilla gardening, growing your own food, and DIY screen-printing, presented by Trees Not Trash, The Farm Sanctuary, Provocraft, the makers of Yudu and many others. WOO HOO! Fifty of the best indie crafters from around the country will also be on hand at the event, offering their clever and cool crafts.

So yeah, get there early for you chance to win fabulous raffle prizes and snag a goodie bag, all while enjoying good food and drink and most of all, great rawk.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Remembering Joey Ramone

Next Tuesday, get your rock'n'roll butt to the Fillmore at Irving Plaza for the 9th annual Joey Ramone Birthday Bash. The punk icon, who passed away from lymphoma April 15, 2001, would have celebrated his 58th birthday on May 19.

Sponsored by Manic Panic, Trash & Vaudeville & Tripp, and Village Voice, the annual Joey Ramone Birthday Bash will be headlined by Fishbone and Supersuckers. Matt Pinfield and Peter Aschner will emcee the evening's festivities, while Tommy Ramone's Uncle Monk Richie Ramone, Handsome Dick Manitoba, Jean Beauvoir, and Bebe Buell are just some of the many people who will be in attendance.

Joey Ramone's brother and event organizer Mickey Leigh says fans will have the chance to hear previously unreleased rough mixes of Joey Ramone solo recordings. Numerous producers, including longtime Ramones producer Ed Stasium, are prepping these tracks for a full, brand new album to be released before the year's end.

Tickets are $25 in advance/$30 day of the show. The Fillmore is located at 17 Irving Place, corner 15th Street, near Union Square. Doors open at 7PM. A portion of the proceeds made from the Bash will benefit the Joey Ramone Foundation for Lymphoma Research.

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Kira Fontana's 'Inner Revolution'

People, do yourself a favor and check out Los Angeles-based songstress Kira Fontana. Her debut album, The Inner Revolution -- produced by Kira, and mixed by Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, British Sea Power) and mastered by Howie Weinberg (Sonic Youth, Modest Mouse) -- is absolutely stunning. An intricate blend of pianos, strings, and guitars easily ebb and flow along to Fontana's emotive vocal delivery. Her classical background is perfectly honed, too, particularly on tracks like the ethereal "Bloom" and "Home." Other highlights include the acoustic-driven "Spark the Fire" and epic album opener "Always" (free download featured below). For fans of Tori Amos, Sinead O'Connor and Imogen Heap.

DOWNLOAD:
Kira Fontana - "Always"
[For Mac: option-click to download. For PCs: right click, select "Save Target As" and choose "desktop".]

[Photo by Stephen Churchill Downes]

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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Muppets 4-EVER

How COOL is Marc Palm's Muppets-themed piece to the right? So cool in fact, the artist extraordinaire, who moonlights as a video store clerk by day, drew inspiration from American artist and illustrator R. Crumb's cover for Janis Joplin's 1968 album, Cheap Thrills.

Palm's painting is a part of the "Muppet Rawk II" exhibit at Seattle's Ouch My Eye Gallery. As the story goes, participating artists had to rework any album cover with Jim Henson's Muppets as the main theme. Awesome!

Palm says via his blog: "When I got to join in on this I searched a little bit for some cool covers. The previous show had some gems in them see here. I knew that I had to do something really cool. So when I ran across Cheap Thrills over and over in lists of the "best rock covers ever". Someone had to do this cover with Muppets! I wasn't sure if I could really do it, but I thought I'd bite off more than I could chew and do it myself.

If you're in Seattle, catch "Muppet Rawk" May 9th through May 31st at the Ouch My Eye Gallery. Wish I could!

In other Jim Henson-related news, if you're in the NYC tomorrow, be sure to catch a special screening of Henson's short film, Youth '68 at 92YTribeca. Long before making a name for himself with Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, Henson made short films, including the hour-long documentary, Youth '68. It debuted April 21, 1968 as a part of the "NBC Experiment in Television" series. Tomorrow's screening will mark its first public viewing in over 40 years.

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Monday, May 04, 2009

Check the 'Compass'

One of my very favorite bands from my old nabe of Ann Arbor, Michigan, the dear lads of Great Lakes Myth Society, are offering their latest LP, Compass Rose Bouquet, on vinyl for the very first time. WOO!

Not only is this band made of a bunch of truly nice guys, but they make some pretty amazing music, too. Some like to call it "Northern Rock." From the rollicking good time of "Debutante" and barroom stomper "Summer Bonfire" to the easy acoustics of "Days of Apple Pie," Great Lakes Myth Society will forever be your summer soundtrack if you let 'em. And hey, they were singing about Michigan long before Sufjan Stevens, so eat that Sufjan!

Cue up the MP3 player:
"Heydays"
"Summer Bonfire"

Only 200 copies are available online via Quack! Media, so hop to it and order one. Their self-titled debut is equally brilliant ... check out "Across the Bridge" for a preview.

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You Know Them Well



"I keep six honest serving men (they taught me all I knew): Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who."

-- Rudyard Kipling

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