We’ve been friends with Soft Spot for a while now and we’ve always loved them, but seeing them play last night at the cake shop made it clearer than ever that their evolution is in full blossom. Their grace, momentum and exuberance has teamed up so seamlessly with their musicianship that watching them play now brings to forefront things that were only hinted at when we first started watching them play. They seem to have effortlessly found a place all of their own in the midst of some of our favorite bands today. Evoking the immediacy of Future Islands (who they covered last night beautifully) and the witchy femininity of Beach House with a more progressively rock sound than either, they are finally riding a wave of transcendence all of their own. Though live performances will be rare in the coming months due to cold weather and the creation of new material, we recommend keeping your ears to the pavement and your eyes on their myspace. You want to share in this before it ends up costing you twenty dollars a ticket.
In my entire 27 years of living there has not been another year that has been as equally challenging and rewarding as 2010. Aside from moving around from job to job and struggling to find creative inspiration, I have also watched as my and all of my friend’s lives have been challenged in similar fashions. The romantic DNA of 2010 has been the most tangled and complicated I’ve borne witness to. The relationships of those closest to me were all set upon by a cosmic clouding these last 12 months that has made consistent engagement and a tracking of time close to impossible. It is the general census of most of those around me that this year has been hard to re-cap in terms of things that happened outside of ourselves. While we all seem to remember where we were when shit hit the fan and where the revelations our collective and individual healing processes have brought forth started to take place, we find it harder remembering when certain movies, albums, songs, art openings, theatrical events and other artistic and/or public happenings went down. This is detrimental to creating an end of the year list that’s in any way comprehensive because unlike other years where art events serve as touchstones to my emotional life, this year that logic was reversed.
The main thing I will say in 2010’s favor is that it is by far the most present I have felt in a long while. While I don’t wish any sort of overarching hardships for me or for any of my favorite people in the universe, the timing of the events this year that resulted in a psychic domino effect beginning at the start of summer and trailing us all right up into the holidays, has fused us all closer together as a unit than I had ever formerly thought possible. In the background of our crisises and at the forefront of our celebrations, here is some of what we were listening to.
My ten most re occurring favorites of 2010 in ascending order:
After the Jump…
More music reporting from the depths of a generous and beautiful summer…
It had been a while since either of us had seen The Flaming Lips, but with a friend in from out of town and the universe full of strange and confused energies, we figured it was a good time to check in with one of the most consistently cool bands on the planet. The Lips have yet to disappoint either of us and Monday’s show at Central Park’s Summerstage was no exception. After all emerging from a giant, glowing vagina the Lips ripped through an epic set, hitting lots of favorite touchstones but focusing mainly on their newest album “Embryonic,” which by the way is fucking stellar and should be listened to by all of you. “Embryonic” is by far the most angular and abstract Lips album in a long time and watching them play it’s songs live only adds to the song’s intensity. All the loved Lips shtick remained intact with unparalleled projections, inflatable costumes, tons of confetti and of course the crowd surfing bubble all making welcomed appearances. Wayne talked more during this show than he has in shows I’ve seen in the past and it did pull down the energy a bit here and there but Wayne always knows the right things to say somehow. Being in Central Park with him and his band on one of the most beautiful nights of summer so far with some of our favorite people in the universe, geeking out on how much love was all around us was just about all that we could ask for in terms of a memorable evening. Singing “Do You Realize?” at the top of our lungs at the end of the night with our faces full of S&S cheesecake was even more than we could ask for. Sometimes the universe is such a simple, beautiful place.
Greetings oh patient blog subscribers. For the past month or so I have been missing in action, due mostly to squaring away a new home, hooking up the internet and getting two new jobs. At last my bloodshot eyed minions, I return to the interweb to bring you tidbits of knowledge that will hopefully help make your days a bit richer.
Though I know the summer has been going on for a little bit now, it still feels like it arrived about a week and a half ago. To help you make the very most out of your last month (and a bit more) of summer, I have compiled a list of free music and arts happenings that go through the end of August. So, if you are sulking about not getting to take that little vacation you’ve been dreaming about, don’t fret! Buy some better grass than you’ve been smoking, invest in an easily concealable flask and impress all your friends by taking them to see free awesome music! They will love you a lot for it and you don’t even have to tell them I gave you the idea. Just consider it my consolation for disappearing for a while.
FREE SUMMER MUSIC LIST AFTER THE LEAP
Words by Popejohnpaul12 and Brokenbrooklyn
Pictures by Brokenbrooklyn
Our day started out (though it shouldn’t have) with Whispertown2000 (omg… check out their stats – are they really listening to themselves that much???), a southern, dual female, lead vocalists jam/ alt country band. This was the kind of annoying, forced, twang fest that scared me away from Texas daydreams in my youth. They closed their set with a song about time which made me want to barf (they love time? Wasting mine maybe?…). I’d suggest staying far, far away from them.
Afterwards the band we were there to see came on (thank God), the Evangelicals. Hailing from Oklahoma city are an Oklahoma City they often get compared to The Flaming Lips, but the band is comprised of sexy/hip Midwestern boys (which the Lips never really were) and share the Lips penchant for the strange. Their sound is more whimsical post-punk psychedelic than the Lips stuff nowadays with vocals reminiscent of early Robert Smith with a more helium croon.
Dear Mr. Fantasy,
play us a tune
Something to make us all happy
Do anything take us out of this gloom
Sing a song, play guitar
Make it snappy
Ok, so I’ve been busy working on other projects and getting ready for a much needed vacation in two weeks to SXSW, which rules!!! I apologize to everyone for not updating as frequently this past two weeks. Here is my official list of free events happening that I plan on attending. I hope to see you there::::::: Continue reading
Picking up where the other five left off, here is the remainder of my favorites of the year:
DEERHUNTER – MICROCASTLE
Deerhunter – Microcastle
Bradford Cox had a good year. Though things looked bleak when guitarist Colin Mee left the band in late 2007, Cox refused to loose his head and somehow released two proper albums and one full length bonus disk over the course of 2008. Add to this the numerous other tracks he posted on his somewhat notorious and usually highly entertaining blog and you only begin to get an idea of what I’m talking about. Although the Atlas Sound album that Cox put out early in 08′ is worthy of much attention as well, it’s “Microcastle”, the newest Deerhunter record, that got my juices flowing and has spawned many salivating mouths and eagerly listening ears over the past few months since it’s been released. Though I’d found Deerhunter an interesting band before, there was an obtuseness that roamed through large shady spots of their back catalog that often wounded my attention span. This isn’t to say that I don’t like to meander, or that I feel pop music should always be pristine and simplistic, but the more structured moments of theirs on albums past made me so swoony that when they got all cryptic and self indulgently abstract, I would be left a little disappointed. “Microcastle” is the Deerhunter album I always wished for. Their sense of structural gradualness is still present and the atmospherics are still just as important as the songs themselves, but we have an album that is mostly made up almost entirely of actual songs here and damn fine ones at that. The fat is trimmed, the guitars pave a more melodic course and Deerhunter arrive fully formed as the pop band I always sort of secretly wished that they would become. Yay!
Here they are playing at the now defunct McCarren Park Pool, a favored venue that we Brooklynites bid farewell to this year: