Ok my dear friend Laura made me this great compilation that I really must share. I met Laura at a signing/performance by Rufus Wainwright in L.A. 2 years ago. She nearly left without getting him to sign her Want One cd. I'm so glad that I convinced her to stay, because we spent about an hour or so together in line...and we've been pals ever since! She's a great friend. Oh, and she's about 20 years younger than me! She's a film student and she's very smart and incredibly gifted, in many ways. I always tell her that I want my daughter to grow up to be just like her.
Oh - and Who fans - she's an intern for Gerber Pictures - the fine folks who will be bringing us the Keith Moon biopic! Cool.
Anyway - when I see her I'm always picking her brain. "So what are the'kids' listening to these days Laura?'" Well, for my birthday she gave me this wonderful cd, complete with a cd booklet and pictures no less...I just had to share what she wrote (I've added my 2 cents in brackets).
1. neighborhood #3 (the arcade fire)- "everyone likes the arcade fire. everyone. you know you've reached the top of the heap when news stands in paris have your face next to the phrase "next big thing." i was a hold out. i really really really wanted to hate them based on principle. (namely everyone telling me how much i should like them). I failed. miserably. what can i say. i'm a sucker for a few well placed french phrases. [john lydon meets U2].
2. oh fine (the french kicks) - they opened for keane [when she saw them in paris], although it would have been more appropo opening for the strokes. by the third song i resolved to buy their cd, and it seemed as if half the audience agreed. added bonus: no one told the lead singer the eighties ended! [ fee fi fo fum i smell the edge...again!].
3. do not feed the oysters (steve malkmus) ok, so I cheated [we saw him together when Martha Wainwright opened for him at the el rey in L.A. last summer. fantastic show, btw. steven malkmus must be a big XTC fan. i'm not that familiar with his music, but i do love it, especially after seeing him live].
4.half jack (the dresden dolls) are what i like to call a "peer pressure" band. i'd heard their name and the words "punk caberet" for awhile. finally, i looked them up. how could you not love a band with songs expressing desire for a "coin-operated boy" (as is every girls true want) and being driven crazy by an ex's car? i'm told they're amazing in concert [anyone seen 'em?]. sorta a traveling circus meets 1940s german caberet...fingers crossed for a fall tour. [a must have if your cd collection is sadly lacking pretentious/poseur music. no, seriously... i like it ...it grew on me!].
5.title and registration (death cab for cutie) all hail indie king ben gibbard and his band death cab for cutie! i actually stayed out the night before a film shoot until 2 am just for his autography. ( i got a handshake out of the deal too!).
6. camp fire kansas (the get up kids) is about the stupidest name for a band of grown men ever. however, considering their music is sorta the soundtrack to a high school experience you actually might want to live. it is strangely appropo considering society's penchant for instant nostalgia - it's nice to know real nostalgia actually exists.
7. remember me (the zutons) stinking kcrw, forcing me to blow my musical budget...yet another kcrw find. the zutons are decidedly groovy. picture big bad voodoo daddy being fronted by jack white [exactly]...and you can dance to it too! out of all these bands they're probably the most accessible. one of those moments when you can only blame the populace for not knowing good music rather than the band for not making it.
8. another traveling song (bright eyes) watch out. conor oberst (aka bright eyes) is cute but the tape's over his mouth for a reason. [picture of a cute boy with duct tape on his mouth]. the boys got...a few anger issues. but he can also throw down a mean jam session a la bob dylan. the guy's 26, has many records, two record companies and is a genius. i listen to some of his stuff and i'm a genius too! [wilco lovers will appreciate this guy].
9. sadie (joanna newsom) you're either going to love her or think i've gone insane. think bjork with a harp. [yes! annoyingly gorgeous. if she doesn't watch out, she may just out-bjork bjork!].
10.clark gable (the postal service) combining the sweet sounds of death cab for cutie with the bleeps and bloops of nintendo, the postal service turned me on to electronica. how can you not love a band who's so punk rock they got sued by the U.S. Postal Service for stealing their name! naturally, if someone in some form of government actually stopped to listen to the album they'd realize it's physically impossible to "go postal" while listening to this music.
11. on and off again (sondre lerche) [picture a VERY cute young man with robin egg blue eyes] just stare into those eyes for a moment. oh yeah sondre lerche makes music too! i like to call him the best late night music video find ever...as if brains and beauty weren't enough, he's got the sweetest, most unassuming stage presence ever, shuffling aroung and not making eye contact, right before bursting out in some of the most lyrical and well played ballads this side of, well, rufus.
12. toposphere (steve burns) once upon a time there was a boy named steve burns. he liked to solve puzzles with a puppy named blue. the two took on the world one missing salt shaker at a time.
but steve grew tired of this life and with tears in his eyes bid his friend blue farewell. freed from the confines of his green jersey he set off to find his way in the world. along the path he met a strange band of merrymakers calling themselves, "the flaming lips." together they set off on a quest: to bring the sweet sounds of love, science and indie rock into the world. thusly, "songs for dustmites" was born.
blue currently resides in silver lake living off the royalties of her ghost written memoirs "'getting burned'" a look behind the clues." [steve should have kept his day job! I mean who is this new guy anyway? jimmy/ joey whatever. it's just not the same,and it never will be...seriously, this is my least favorite track, but i do know ALL the blues clues songs!].
13.the last time (keane)girly squeel. [very sweet, melodic. but where's the guitar? i think they already had their 15 minutes of fame, though! sorry laura. don't hate me.].
14. chicago (sufjan stevens). nothing is more attractive than an ambitious man. (ok well looking like this doesn't hurt anything). sufjan stevens has the ultimate ambitious project in the works: fifty concept albums about the fifty states. the first two, "Michigan" and "Illinois" are pure magic - tone poems that had me looking through my road trip photos and sighing happily. not only is sufjan literate [well he was an english professor], he knows music like no one's business. everything on the album but the horns...played by the man. now if we could only get him to move on. he's gotta finish before he's eighty. [laura saved the best for last! this track. completely. blew. me. away. i'm not a critic, but do check this guy out. you won't be disappointed...and i think rachel (and mikey) fans would especially enjoy him.
The end. Until Christmas maybe? (hint hint Laura?).