Don’t Say Oh Well

for today’s music monday, i am re-featuring grouplove. i am super psyched for this show tonight at tractor tavern!!! so you should get acquainted with them if you have not already! there have been a few posts on here already like this one…and this one. grouplove is easily my favorite band of 2011 and they were my favorite performance at sxsw. the stateside tour schedule is quite short with the band staying on the west and east coasts over the next few months and lots of overseas dates. i’m also gonna see them at san francisco’s outside lands festival in august! i am giddy and will be front row for tonight’s show. the openers for tonight are walk the moon and people eating people.

siff picks – part II

siff picks – part I              siff picks – part III

every song is about me

Ramiro is a thirty-something man who fulfills his passion for literature in his uncle’s small bookshop. During daily strides along the streets of Madrid, he dreams about romance and poetry. One day, he comes home to find a letter left by his fiancée Andrea in which she puts an end to their relationship. In his attempt to forget her, he spends his spare time hanging out with his friend Lucas, who suddenly decides to marry an Argentinean barmaid for immigration purposes. Depressed, Ramiro gives a new try to romance, but it is Andrea he truly wants. Literature, love and life intertwine in this delightful and retro Spanish romantic drama. Like the title reflects, the screenplay explores both the absurdity and beauty of young life, set against a charming Madrid backdrop. The atmosphere of the French New Wave genre inspires this first film by Jonas Trueba, without leaving aside the contradictions of the modern world. Nominated for Best Director and Best Actor at the Goya Awards. Director Jonas Trueba scheduled to attend. (source)

backyard

Árni had an idea. He just wanted to record some group of friends in a simple way in his backyard. He’d set up some equipment in his shack, invite a few bands, and feed them all pizza and pancakes. He passed out a few flyers and before he knew it, some of the most exciting, young Icelandic musicians showed up to play. His humble project evolved into one of the most popular intimate live events of the year, gathering a crowd of neighbors and music lovers from all around the city. This concert documentary gives us a glimpse into Reykjavik’s up-and-coming music scene—a tight, supportive group of musicians who bounce inspiration off one another’s sounds, from the sweet post-rock of Borko to the bouncy synthpop of FM Belfast. Mùm—experimental electronic veterans of the scene—also perform, as do newer groups such as Hjaltalin, who won Album of the Year at the 2010 Icelandic Music Awards. Backyard is a record of the independent Icelandic music scene with some of the most celebrated artists in Reykjavik today. Director Arni Sveinsson scheduled to attend. (source)

the most important thing in life is not being dead

With a title that is as obvious as it is absurd, The Most Important Thing in Life Is Not Being Dead evokes the early work of Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro (Delicatessen, The City of Lost Children), with a little Terry Gilliam thrown in for good measure. Crafted by a collective of three directors (two from Spain, one from Switzerland), the delightfully deadpan narrative follows a piano tuner suffering from bouts of insomnia. To make matters worse, the pianos that used to mysteriously fix themselves for him during the night are now stubbornly sticking to reality and staying broken. One night, he sees a strange man in his living room, but when he tells his wife, she refuses to believe him. Or, maybe, she’s just telling him that… Set during the end of the Franco era in Spain, a period of political deceit and distorted reality, this visually inventive and funny film continually finds new ways to set things topsy-turvy. Director Pablo Torrado scheduled to attend. (source)

siff picks – part I

the seattle international film festival has officially started and runs until june 12, 2011. i am very exciting because this will be my very first year to attend! i have eagerly been making my film choices along with a detailed schedule for the next few weeks to maximize my siff viewing. it is so easy to go online and buy tickets to any film and siff members get a discount. i volunteered this year and received some free vouchers so i was able to expand my choices a bit more.

siff picks – part II           siff picks – part III

submarine

Oliver Tate is a cool literary genius…at least in his head. To others, he’s a misunderstood teenage boy attempting to stand out against the busy backdrop of 1980s Wales. Never lacking for ambition, this fifteen-year-old boy sets himself two tasks for the summer: to lose his virginity before it becomes legal to the unromantic pyromaniac bully Jordana, and to extinguish the flame between his mother and her former lover, who is also a New Age psychic performing strange rituals in the house next door. Thanks to the clever use of slow-motion and freeze frames, as well as a novel use of voice-over narration to capture the main character’s unique sensibilities, this debut feature film is a breath of fresh air, melding together New Age British arts and an ironic fairytale. Adapting Joe Dunthorne’s cult novel and citing Woody Allen as his greatest inspiration, comedian-turned-filmmaker Richard Ayoade offers a hilarious tale about teen love with all the cleverness and subtlety of British humor. (source)

Director Richard Ayoade is scheduled to attend!!!!!!


the future

A cat named Paw-Paw narrates from within his cage at the animal shelter. A young man stops time and has a conversation with the moon. A woman is coerced into a bizarre dance by a suddenly sentient t-shirt. From these moments it should be clear that we are once again in the world of artist, author, and filmmaker Miranda July (Me and You and Everyone We Know). Sophie (July) and Josh (Hamish Linklater), are a young couple who realize that their plans to adopt a pet could mean a big step forward in their lives. So they make a pact to take thirty days and simply follow their dreams. While their experiment starts out lighthearted, they both soon uncover insecurities that threaten to ruin their relationship. July’s second feature is as assured and inventive as her much acclaimed debut, filled with droll humor and pathos, and punctuated by surprising moments of magical realism. The story of Sophie and Josh is a reflection of our fears of romance, aging, stagnation, and all the other uncertainties of the future. Director Miranda July scheduled to attend. (source)

perfect sense

Recently heartbroken, Susan (Eva Green) devotes herself to her medical practice, where she encounters a peculiar patient: following an intense, yet inexplicable bout of grief, he’s lost his sense of smell. Soon afterwards, she discovers other similar cases emerging throughout the globe. While the number of victims swells to epidemic proportions, Susan meets Michael (Ewan McGregor), a talented chef at a local restaurant, and commences upon a sudden, intense affair. Meanwhile, the mysterious disease progresses—first causing ravaging hunger, before robbing people of their sense of taste. Even as they succumb to the disease, the newly forged couple embarks on an increasingly sensual adventure, experiencing head-spinning, stomach-tightening moments of pure connection. Influenced by such recent films as Blindness and Children of Men, director David Mackenzie, a SIFF 2008 Emerging Master, fashions an intimate apocalyptic drama, aided by McGregor and Green’s erotic on-screen chemistry, in which love blooms anew even as the world outside their bedroom window wilts away. (source)

There is a tribute to Ewan McGregor this Sunday that includes a Q&A session with him and SIFF will present the Golden Space Needle Award for Outstanding Achievement in Acting to McGregor. (info)

love

In 2007, rock band Angels & Airwaves approached writer/director William Eubank to collaborate with them on a visual work inspired by their music. LOVE, the resulting film, perfectly captures the intense, dreamlike quality of their music, while offering so much more. Beginning during the American Civil War, Lt. Lee Briggs embarks upon a secretive mission to report on a mysterious object found in a Western desert canyon. Following Briggs’s discovery, the action jumps ahead to the near future where astronaut Lee Miller is nearing the end of his service onboard the International Space Station. However, contact with Earth grows erratic, as he’s told, Something is going on here. When all communication stops, Miller finds himself stranded alone, his life-support systems and his sanity dwindling away, until he makes an unexpected, strange discovery aboard his ship. Drawing inspiration from such films as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Solaris, and the recent Moon, Eubank fashions a visually dazzling piece of cerebral science fiction that explores the fundamental human need for connection and the limitless power of hope. Director William Eubank, Producers Tom DeLonge and Mark Eaton, and actor Gunnar Wright scheduled to attend May 21 and May 22 screenings. (source)

Music Monday: The Shy Trafficker

the shy trafficker

local band to: seattle washington, san antonio texas

riyl: indie, jazz, progressive

this post might be considered a lost cause since this fantastic trio is no longer together. but it is truly good stuff and while great bands don’t always last, the music will always live. the halves and have knots album is my favorite. there is a new band emerging from this one and it will be, well, pretty damn cool. just wait and see.

listen & love

everything in its right place

so for some reason i can’t listen to anything but radiohead today. i am still getting use to the new album, the king of limbs. i like it but am still at the acquaintance stage, as is the same with meeting a new potential friend. the new album and i will become very good friends real soon!

i actually forgot to post this last month…but radiohead released a newspaper to accompany the release of the king of limbs album. seattle was one of the select cities to get them… and with 2 locations in ballard and capitol hill!! i happened to see lots of posts on twitter about a radiohead newspaper the day it was released and had no clue what was going on. so after some quick research online, i realized i had less than 20 minutes to get to the hand out location in ballard (i figured capitol hill would be a zoo). so i rushed out the door with no makeup (and no bra) in hopes of getting a copy. i made it and to my surprise, there was no line. weird. so, i got 3 copies! there is a silly picture of me with my copy on the universal sigh website here. haha

here’s a blurb from the universal sigh:

To commemorate this momentous occasion, Radiohead have produced a newspaper which will be given away, free, gratis, without cost to the consumer by accredited vendors from a multitude of locations WORLDWIDE! In the USA, in the Netherlands, in Belgium, Poland, Germany, Austria, in the Czech Republic, in Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Ireland, France, Italy, Slovakia, Finland, Greece, Norway, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Hungary, Australia, Latvia, Iceland, Romania, New Zealand, the UK and a load of other places around the globe, our dedicated teams of newspaper delivery people will be handing out copies of THE UNIVERSAL SIGH to anyone who wants one, until we run out!

the seedy seeds

the cincinnati trio that is the seedy seeds was on my list to see at sxsw a few weeks ago, but i decided to skip them since they were playing back in seattle just a week later. i missed the two opening acts at high dive in fremont since i played in a poker game earlier and couldn’t pull myself away from the table (i was doing good).

i’ve been a fan since last year when i heard them on a 2009 sxsw compilation. the seedy seeds have a cohesive indie pop folk sound and i just love the banjo and accordion. the show was so fun and i met a nice couple who happened to be in town from cincinnati and have seen their local seedy seeds about 2o times live…crazy! kudos to the drummer, brian, who played with the flu.  it was a great little set in a sweet venue. see the videos below, but please forgive the filming/formatting…i left my camera at home and had to rely on my iphone which still sounded pretty damn good, i must say. the camera shake is due to juggling a beer, filming and a bit of dancing.

the seedy seeds were featured as my very first music monday band last year. hope you like em as much as i do!

the seedy seeds: telephone the constrictor and coyote song (my favorite, as you can hear in the video). these versions can be found on the roll deep ep.

the seedy seeds: drive me to the center. it can be found on count the days.

count the days: 2008

verb noun: 2011 

F**k Me…

yann tiersen was amazing on saturday! so incredible that i haven’t listened to anything else all morning.

i feel very lucky to have been able to see the frenchman twice within one year, the last time being with  my little sis at the granada theater in april 2010. i had a horrible cold that day and even called in sick to work  just so i would feel good for the show that night.

i’m still kinda speechless about the show at nuemos. it was completely magical and mesmerizing. i love when artists constantly swap instruments during a set. yann played the guitar, mandolin, melodica, moog synthesizer and of course his violin. ahhh, the violin!

i still get goosebumps just watching the videos. i hope you do too. and i love yann’s pairing of a striped hoodie with a flannel shirt on top ♥

yann tiersen also made my favorite live shows of 2010 list.

Music Monday: Astronautalis

astronautalis

local artist to: seattle washington

riyl: electric president, indie-rock-rapping, radical face

etc: his improv songs at the end of his set are impressive. check him out at sxsw 2011!

it was only after having chosen the name astronautalis for himself while in high school in jacksonville, florida, that the rapper (born andy bothwell) began to make himself heard in the local circuit, winning battles and competing at the scribble jam. though he was known for his witty freestyling, astronautalis’ musical influences and interests fell outside the hip-hop realm, as well, and he performed on the Warped Tour for three years. It was his rhyming, however, that he pursued while studying theater at college in dallas, and in 2003 he self-released his debut, you and yer good ideas (which was sold only at his live shows), with production help from friend and fellow musician ben cooper (from radical face). It wasn’t until two years later that the album was picked up by orlando-based fighting records (who signed him after seeing him perform), which reissued it and then in 2006 released his follow-up, mighty ocean and nine dark theaters, a record that found astronautalis moving away from rapping and more toward shoegazer-inspired indie rock. from last.fm

listen & love

a night of pi(e)

i love theme nights and this particular one was all about pie. we started at pies & pints just down the street. they serve delicious little pot pies, but don’t be fooled by the size because they are quite filling. the mini ruebens (corned beef, sauerkraut, and swiss cheese in a puff pastry) are to die for and my fave pie at this point is the spinach and feta. the beer selection is good too although we skipped the beer to save some room for dessert.

the next stop was high 5 pies in the capitol hill neighborhood. i fell in love with the place instantly with the classic 1950’s seafoam green accents on the chairs, espresso machine and even the telephone. i ordered a mini apple crisp with some scrumptious molly moon vanilla ice cream. it was a bit dry but the ice cream helped. we took our sweet pies and coffee to-go to continue our themed night at home.

our movie selection was none other than darren aronofsky’s 1998 film, pi. i had never seen it and it is one of michael’s favorites so it seemed fitting to cap off our evening with such a stellar film.

i love seattle: unique districts

the districts of seattle

i love the variety of districts that make up the great city of seattle. i have had so much fun exploring some of these neighborhoods in the last six months. so far my faves are fremont, ballard, wallingford, capitol hill and most recently west seattle. each area has its own unique identity and i just love that! this seattle districts screen print is pretty damn cool too and they are for sale at ork posters along with a slew of other cities.

this song from the postal service has always reminds me of this rad city:

a very annie christmas

happy holidaze ya’ll! may your days be big and bright and your nights be dark and mysterious! merry christmas, happy hanukkah and all that jazz…

happy captain crunch!

merry frakkin’ christmas!

orange lantern cookies made by geekboy, @fatskamike

the elves: josh and helo

bungee cord glass markers by @musicjunkeeee

aunt pina’s sour cream cookies, an italian tradition

gloria’s sausage balls, a mexi-tradition

]

?!?!?!???

mrs jena j.

may the force be with your holiday glow and watch a plenty.

my version of seafood salad minus the conch (i threw in two, and only two pieces of tentacle in honor of rissa).

charles say relax!

cozy sweater, never fear!

this guy likes last minute wrapping.

a very merry, merry christmas to you!

i love seattle: kexp

kexp 90.3 fm

where the music matters! i know, i know… i can stream kexp on the interwebs but it’s a whole other ballgame being able to listen to it in my car. i love it. i support it. did i mention that i love it? some of my favorite dj’s are cheryl waters, quilty 3000, and kevin cole. i recommend a listen and you will be happy you did! the station is listener supported, so show some love and donate. oh, there is also a free iphone app!

also, kexp has thousands of performances on youtube. the quality is ahhhhmazing!

Best Live Shows of 2010

taking a departure from the usual music monday…

the end of the year is almost upon us and i have been thinking about this incredible year of music. there have been amazing albums releases by beach house, arcade fire and janelle monáe just off the top of my head. but even more memorable are the live shows i attended in 2010. and yes, i am kicking myself for missing freelance whales on several occasions and i know they would definitely be on this list. it is a toughie to choose the best of the best live performances, but here goes it…

9. dan black @ sxsw shiner party (austin)

prior to this sxsw day party, i was only aware of dan black’s hit, symphonies. he is a bit pop-dance for my taste but after seeing his energetic performance live, i am a dan black fan. he kept me so entertained, i had forgotten the temperature dropped to 40 degrees that day! more dan black…

8. the middle east @ sxsw – galaxy room (austin)

these australians were one of the most talked about bands at sxsw and after seeing them at the paste party, i understood why. their set was cut short to only three songs, but they were lovely. more middle east…

7. seabear @ showbox at the market (seattle)

i have been lucky to see this icelandic band three times this year and each time was better than the last. they are easily my favorite band of 2010. ♥ sindri ♥  more seabear…

6. octopus project @ whole foods (austin)

waiting in line a few hours prior to the first hexadecagon show (a sixteen-sided audiovisual panorama of awesomeness) was completely worth it! miss yvonne was adorable as ever with her flipped up hair and mad theremin skills. see the VIDEO!

5. le loup @ sxsw day partay – epoch coffee shop  (austin)

wow! go see this band! more le loup…

4. balmorhea @ granada theater (dallas)

it seems that balmorhea is always on tour and i am more than ok with that! they create the perfect blend of classical, post-rock and experimental for a truly beautiful sound. each performance is more lovely than the last. i get goose bumps in the presence of this gorgeous music. balmorhea makes me happy…

3. flaming lips @ denton fairgrounds (denton tx)

who doesn’t love the flaming lips??? i’d pay a pretty penny to see a live performance by wayne coyne and steven drozd. compliments of the nx35 festival, this show was made completely free and was one of the biggest shows ever in this kinda small college town. i miss denton!

2. yann tiersen @ granada theater (dallas)

absolutely incredible! this show was promoted as being very amelie-esque (as tiersen composed the soundtrack). everyone was in for a surprise and a real treat when he played experimental non-amelie music. i was completely mesmerized. i had a cold that day and called in sick for work so i would feel good enough to see him because it is rare for him to tour the US. but i hear he might be coming stateside again early in 2011. here’s hoping! more yann and new album is out…

1. sufjan stevens @ paramount theater (seattle)

this show was both visually and musically amazing. sadly, my photos were limited with my two cameras in the shop and just an iphone in hand. the show length was about two hours, but i argue it was not nearly enough. the sound was perfecto as i had never heard a live show to be that clear. kudos to the sound guys and sufjan’s band. i was in awe the entire show. about halfway through the video you can see sufjan bust a move with his signature wings flopping around (not the best video, i know, but i had to). this show was by far one of the most unique live shows i have seen yet. this one will be difficult to top! love it, love it, love it! yes, more sufjan…

funny little frog

aahhhhh! belle & sebastian has a new album coming out on october 12th and they are touring! see you at benaroya hall!

sufjan stevens also has a new album releasing the same day. it is called the age of adz (pronounced ‘odds’). i will see him as well at the paramount. october is shaping up to be an amazing month for live shows!

99 bottles of beer

actually our output is 66 bottles of beer. three of us went to gallaghers in early july to brew a batch of beer. the beer we chose is very close to diamond knot india pale ale. it was surprisingly easy to do but there are various different hops and knowing what goes good together is the true art of brewing. the beer is ready to bottle this week! next, it’s time to make some experimental batches at home. i’ve always wanted a tasty tomato beer!