Saturday, February 26, 2011

Inspired music videos

Inspired by the Olympics: Cut Copy - "Need You Now"

A hockey player hitting a soccer ball with a tennis racquet...'nuff said.

Inspired by their own past: The Cars - "Blue Tip"

They're back! Of course I wasn't here the first time around, but still.

Inspired by Madonna: Beth Ditto - "I Wrote the Book"

Gaga, this is how you get inspiration from Madonna and not just copy her.

Inspired by Gaspar Noé: Kanye West - "All of the Lights"

Proven to cause seizures.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A little more on Thom Yorke and Radiohead

Since the surprise release of an amazing new album and debut of one of the most awesome music videos ever, online content about Radiohead has surged. This goes beyond the creation of spoof videos and dubs.

Yesterday, on GraphJam, I came across this graphic, created by Brain Magazine showing some of the moves Yorke pulled out in the video, complete with illustrations and names for each move. I think I'm going to bust out the "wall pocket" (num. 5).

Thom Yorke Dance Skills

In addition to this dance graphic, a Radiohead super-fan, Jamie Gurnell, mapped out every song on every Radiohead (studio) album based on genre. The axes were anchored by Indie, Ambient, Jazz, Alt-Rock, Psychedelic, Folk and Electronic. Apparently, he created the graph after a day of listening and debating on Radiohead records. It even includes their latest album. I respect this man, I don't think I would have the patience to do it for even the most straight-forward of bands.


The Prettiest Runway: Marchesa Fall 2011

I got a bit overwhelmed by the Fashion Week coverage; so many shows, so many beautiful designs, but can't talk about them all. New York Fashion Week ended and London Fashion Week started, then that ended and we're now in Milan Fashion Week. This show, however, happened way back during NYFW. I'd be remiss not to include it in my own coverage, since the designs were so mind-blowingly beautiful and you just know you'll see several on these designs on the red carpet over the next few seasons!

Marchesa F11

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New season of ANTM

Well, I was excited about the new season of America's Next Top Model, but it's already proving to be so over-the-top, it may be unwatchable (more OTT, somehow, than past seasons).

First, the show skipped the one thing about the first episode of every season that makes it worth a watch, the auditions. It's just great to see the absolute ridiculousness of the contestants as they squeal over the judges. The producers, instead played a cruel practical joke on the girls. They did the typical "if you see your picture, you're in" schpiel. 14 girls did not see their picture and were led believe they were going home right when they had started. The girls went to collect their bags when Tyra came to surprise with the news that they were actually the 14 finalists. This isn't cruel so much towards the girls who made it, but towards those who were led to believe they were in, only to actually be the ones going home. They didn't show these girls after the first five minutes, so we will never know their reactions or which one killed Tyra.

The girls then got into their loft and already you can tell who the bitches are going to be. One girl thinks she already knows it all (Molly or Nicole or Alexandria, IDK...all the blondes look the same) and another is named Dominique. And, of course, every girl on ANTM named Dominique turns out to be a huge bitch.

ANTM Blondes

It was then time for the first runway/photo shoot. The girls were introduced to model Erin Wasson, photographer Russell James and told they would be walking in Alexander Wang. While all the girls squealed in delight, I'm almost certain that only about half of them knew who any of these people were.

Of course, in order to make this runway more ridiculous (somehow) than those in past seasons, which have included being suspended 50 feet over ground; the "models" were going to be walking on a twelve inch-wide platform...over a pool...inside of a bubble. I don't need to tell you how this ended. The photo shoot itself simply consisted of "candid" backstage shots before the runway.


Then came the portion of the show where I spend the most time yelling at my TV...mostly at Tyra. Here are my issues in handy bullet form:
  • She showed up in a t-shirt with judge André Leon Talley's face on it and said she was paying homage to fashion greatness. An ugly t-shirt is not a proper homage. A fabulous
  • She refused to refer to the plus-sized girl as plus-sized...kept calling her "fiercely real." She needs to stop making up phrases, it's not cute or interesting.
  • She criticized one of the girls for not being visible in her photograph. The judges chose the picture and picked the one shot from 20 feet away, blocked by other items and blurry. Don't criticize the girl for that.
  • Already noted that one of the girls (Dominique, BTW) is a little lacking in personality and plans to give her a make-over that will out her fiery side. So...she's getting red hair, probably. Nothing wrong with red hair except that this girl is black and has Pippi Longstocking, perhaps?
  • Can they say anything else about the first girl going home other than "she's pretty, but can she model?" Seriously, drop it.
I don't think I'm going to watch much of this season. None of the girls really seem model-ly and I can just tell it's going to revolve around ridiculous challenges and little else.

Little rant about the Grammys

The Grammys have gotten a lot of criticism in the past week and a half for Arcade Fire taking home Album of the Year for The Suburbs and Esperanza Spalding for Best New Artist. Some have accused the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (the organization behind the awards) of being "out of touch," “elitist” and “full of hypocrisy.” While I won’t say that I haven’t had my issues with how the Grammys or organized (I think, in the past, they've gone too far in the commercial direction), I also recognize that IT IS NOT A POPULARITY CONTEST, nor should it be.

Do you recall seeing any Grammy ballots open to the public? No. Do Grammy nominations directly reflect the Billboard charts for any given year? No. The awards are not fully based on what made the most money, got featured in the most ads, got the most radio play or had the most iTunes downloads of the year. Does commerciality play a part? Of course it does. Almost all of the albums nominated for Album of the Year peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Top 200. Can you guess which one didn’t? No, it wasn’t Arcade Fire, it was Lady Gaga . Gasp! Shocking (I was surprised too when I looked up chart information, truth be told). While this may as strongly indicate the state of album sales, to deride Arcade Fire or Esperanza Spalding for not being the “commercial” choice is ridiculous.

$40,000 for a full-page ad deriding the Academy for the awards not going to Eminem and Justin Bieber is a waste of money. Just because an artist sold the most doesn't mean they should take the biggest reward. I'm pretty the paycheck should be reward enough. Does the biggest grossing movie take home the Academy Award? Rarely.

I also fail to see how the biggest award of the night not going to the obvious choice ONE year indicates an issue of the awards show. Who won last year? Taylor Swift. Is she a somewhat underground artist that “no one has heard of.” Hell. NO! I think it’s good that there’s some balance in where the awards go every year. A commercial choice one year, a critical choice another, something in between other years.

I also think people need to get past this mindset of “I haven’t heard of it, so it must not be good.” Seriously? If something comes on the radio and the DJ names an artist who’s unfamiliar to you, do you also change the station, assuming it must suck? Ihope not. I see unfamiliar artist names as an opportunity. I love music, and if it’s new and unfamiliar, it’s a chance to find my new favorite thing.

Let’s say the Grammys were going for the clear choice critically (and not commercially); Arcade Fire was the clear winner. Even ignoring indie-focused publications like Hype Machine, Pitchfork (who didn’t even rank the album within their top ten) and Under the Radar, the band had more top ten inclusions than any other artist for 2010 and was only topped in number one ratings by Kanye West’s album, which was ineligible for this year’s Grammy Awards.

Regardless of all this is, one should remember that the Grammys are voted on by insiders, by the musicians and artists themselves, and NOT the public. Therefore, they are not necessarily going to reflect public sentiment, or your own personal tastes. For that reason, one should not get angry regardless of who wins what award. Does a Grammy validate your favorite artists or albums?It shouldn’t, you should love it because you love it, not because some institution or a publication said it was or wasn’t good. Get angry when the People’s Choice Award goes to the album that wasn’t the biggest commercial success of the year.

By the way, does anyone else find it strange or ironic that the Grammys seem to get the same amount of criticism when the winners of majors awards are more commercial as when they're not? Can't please them all, I guess.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Get your groove on, Thom Yorke!

On Friday, Radiohead released a new album, The King of Limbs, and a music video for the song "Lotus Flower." The video featured band frontman, Thom Yorke, dancing in the most epically awesome (and strange) way possible.

Thom's unique style of dancing has led to a slew of videos being made of him dancing to other songs. One of the first was him dancing to Beyonce's "Single Ladies."

Thom also dances to "It's Raining Men."

"The Hokey Pokey"

and "Bad Romance"

There is a website already dedicated to Thom Yorke dancing to a variety of songs. Mashable is saying that this may be the new Sad Keanu!

New music from Adele and Toro Y Moi

This week is not quite as epic as weeks past, but I was eagerly anticipating at least one of these releases!

Adele - 21
So, maybe Adele isn't the most creative when it comes to naming her albums, both being named for the age she was when she was writing the songs. No mind, though, her voice is amazing and the songs are even better on this release. I was already loving the lead single, "Rolling in the Deep," but the rest of the songs live up perfectly!
"Rolling in the Deep"

Toro Y Moi - Underneath the Pine
Underneath the Pine
This was Pitchfork's and Urban Outfitters' highly hyped favorite child. I don't think he's living up to the hype as well as some other recently hyped artists, it's still a good listen.
"New Beat"

Both albums are available for online streaming; Adele's over at NPR and Toro Y Moi's on Urban Outfitters' website.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Interesting bunch of videos

OK...: Yeasayer - "I Remember"

I expect Yeasayer videos to be weird, but this is a different type of weird. It features a biker going on what seems to be a soul-searching mission in the desert, with all type of strangeness ensuing.

Up close and personal: Deerhunter - "Helicopter"

Very simple video with lead singer Bradford Cox's face filmed up close with other videos faded over.

Chilling: PJ Harvey - "Let England Shake"

The creepiness of this video begins before the music even starts, with an old man reading the lyrics of song. Creepy images of an abandoned amusement park that still operates with no people seems simultaneously post-apocalyptic and haunted.

Cabin Fever: Bright Eyes - "Shell Games"

This video takes place primarily in a house from whose windows you can see shots of a wintry wonderland. The band plays the song and rearranges some furniture. They then set some stuff on fire. Oh, and there's a monkey on a typewriter...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Music predictions for the rest of 2011

Hyped genres
You can usually tell what genre will get the most attention in the indie world based on what artist(s) Pitchfork currently is spending all their time hyping. Right now, they're spending a lot of time on Toro Y Moi. I also see a lot of attention towards this guy from Urban Outfitters, who don't often feature artists quite to this extend. Like lo-fi and dream pop last year, I think this will be the year of chillwave.

toro y moi for flaunt - spektacles

Also, while not a genre in and of itself, I see a lot of artists popping up that have a stripped down sound, minimalism, essentially. James Blake is the major artist representing this move and Pitchfork was not the only one spending time on the hype. He was also featured on NPR. This year has also seen the sophomore release of Lia Ices and a new album from Destroyer, both of whom embrace the minimalist sound in much different genres.

New British Invasion
The past few years have very much been about American artists and I've seen a lot of the new directions in music coming from the American music scene. What I've seen recently, however, is British artists running with what many American artists have started. Just this past Grammys, two of the nominees for Best New Artist, Florence + The Machine and Mumford & Sons, were British. I think we're going to continue to see greater output from across the pond. Along with their takes on folk and soul, I think we'll see them playing and experimenting with the post-punk sound that had come to define British indie rock. Two bands to keep an eye on, The Crookes and Little Comets.

The Crookes

Return of the '80s bands
While newer British bands will be playing with the post-punk indie rock sound the country is known for, post-punk and new wave bands from the '80s seem to be making a comeback. Post-punk band Gang of Four released their first studio album in 16 years a few weeks ago. It was also announced earlier this week that The Cars would be releasing their first album in 24 years, with the original line-up (minus one who passed away in 2000). Another '80s staple, Blondie, has an album planned for this year. It will be nice to see what other bands come back this year, I'm hoping for Violent Femmes or Talking Heads!


This one needs some smiles: House of Holland Fall 2011

NY Fashion Week ends and London Fashion Week begins! Just like on this side of the pond, featured designers are showing a wide range of style and types of clothing. House of Holland showed a fun collection of mixed patterns and bright colors. However, unlike Anna Sui and Betsey Johnson in NYFW, these models were not smiling. While I do like the collection, it would have been better shown with smiles. Save the sullen expressions for the cocktail and evening dresses.

House of Holland F11

Smiling models!: Anna Sui Fall 2011

Anna Sui presented a fun, youthful collection at NY Fashion Week and seems to have instructed her models to match their expressions to the clothes. It seems, though, that some of the models are too used to their sullen expressions often required in other shows and can't seem to form a real smile. It doesn't surprise me, though, that one of the youngest on the runway, 16-year-old Lindsey Wixson, has the most genuine smile of them all!

Anna Sui F11

Spice up Your Life: Victoria Beckham Fall 2011

Who knew a former Spice Girl could make such beautiful clothes? Victoria Beckham's clothing line has been characterized by structured sheath dresses, but she's starting to expand her range a bit with this collection. The sheaths are still there, but so are gorgeous gowns, separates and jackets. She's also experimenting a bit with shape and draping. The results are beautiful.

Victoria Beckham F11

Friday, February 18, 2011

I rarely played with paper dolls, but...

It only makes sense that one of music's biggest fashion icons should get her own set of paper dolls. The company, I Love Mel, has created dolls for fashion models Jessica Stam, Erin Wasson and Kate Moss; musicians Beyonce and Lady Gaga; as well as Blair and Serena from Gossip Girl. But I think Debbie Harry (of Blondie, if you somehow don't know) takes the cake. I would like that red and white dress in real life please!

Debbie Harry Paper Dool

And just to top it off, here is one of my favorite Blondie songs!

"Attack of the Giant Ants"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rodarte all the way

Rodarte is one of my favorites among the newer design houses. The designers behind the brand, The Mulleavy Sisters, designed most of the costumes in The Black Swan and much of their work follows that same romantic feel. Being such a hot item, they of course showed at this Fashion Week. The collection featured some beautiful, flowy skirted matched with more structured pieces and a lot of interesting details.

Rodarte F11

The girls of Rodarte have also continued their film work beyond The Black Swan. They were involved in a recent fashion short-film featuring their clothes on Elle Fanning with music by Deerhunter, directed by Todd Cole. It's a beautiful video and Elle seems just perfect in the clothes. And, it being Deerhunter, I absolutely love the music. As much as Rodarte seems to have a continued future in costuming films, I think Bradford Cox may have a future in scoring films!

Rocking new videos

Ok, so only two of these videos are really "rocking," the other two are ethereally popping and noisily popping, respectively.

Symbolic: Lia Ices - "Daphne"

Every time I see Lia, I'm struck by how gorgeous she is. Her music is equally beautiful. This is one of those videos with a lot of high-level symbolism; you know the artist is going for something lofty and maybe it gets a little lost on the audience. But it's still a good video to watch.

Simple: Vivian Girls - "I Heard You Say"

This video features the three girls of the band in a frozen forest wearing matching furs and in a dinky motel room wearing matching dresses. The hotel room starts to burn around them about halfway through the song, but of course they don't notice. Love the song, which is from their upcoming album, Share the Joy.

Trippy: The Kills - "Satellite"

A video that looks like it was filmed at the tail-end of a very crazy night. With fish and chips! Great song, cool video, can't wait for the album to drop.

Just Plain Awesome: The Black Keys - "Howlin' for You"

I guess The Black Keys are big-time now. This video features a slew of famous faces, including Todd Bridges in his best role since "Diff'rent Strokes." The fake trailer is cool, but the song itself gets a bit lost in all of it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hardest working man in fashion: Marc Jacobs

Although I'm sure he has tons of assistants and sub-designers working for him, Marc Jacobs created two collections for Fashion Week, one for his eponymous line Marc Jacobs and the second for his other eponymous line, Marc by Marc Jacobs. Both collections were beautiful.

The Marc Jacobs show featured pieced of polka dots and lace (not together!) that defied attachment to any particular era. The basic silhouette, though was high-waisted pencil shirts and full-sleeved tops.

Marc JabobsF11

His collection for Marc by Marc Jacobs was true to its form, featuring more playful, colorful pieces inspired by '70s silhouettes. The collection feels somewhere between Mrs. Robinson and Ali McGraw (Love Story) to me. And there was something for the boys!

Marc by Marc Jacobs F11

And you gotta love this matching pair!

Marc by Marc Jacobs Pair

Become your favorite band's biggest fan!

Fans Forever and Ever

Mashable posted today about a site that allows you to create the creepiest, Geocities-esque fanpage for any band you'd like. Fans Forever and Ever compiles info from several sites to create this site, including lyrics to a random song, pictures of the band and puts it together with Mad-Lib like sentence completion to create the ultimate fan.

It's really to type in a random band name and see what it generates, Justin Bieber for example.

Love one of the last lines on most pages: "Of course I've heard every song!"

Fun on the Runway: Betsey Johnson Fall 2011

Betsey Johnson is all kinds of awesome. She held a show during Fashion Week that alternated between a funky, high energy stomp featuring everyday girls (and boys) all dressed as Ms. Johnson herself and a more traditional show with tall, skinny models. Both sides were awesome. The Betseys were all shapes, sizes, races and ages! It's nice to see a designer having herself some fun.

Betsey Johnson F11

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Radiohead doesn't give much of a heads up!

The King of Limbs

Yesterday, Radiohead announced that they would be releasing a new album this coming Saturday. The album, entitled King of Limbs will be released digitally this weekend and the physical version will come out in May.

The project sounds pretty epic. It's been referred to as the first newspaper album (I'm unclear of what that means exactly) and the vinyl version will include two albums, the CD and a ton of artwork. You get all this an more for a mere $50.

I don't think I've ever seen a band's release fly this far under the radar, there wasn't even much speculation of an upcoming Radiohead release. I'm excited to hear what this "newspaper" album will present, though.

Best and worst dressed at the Grammys

I love Grammys fashion because the stars tend to be braver and choose more interesting fashion choices. While other awards shows will see a lot of beautiful dresses, the Grammys are where things get interesting and it's always fun to watch.

Best Dressed

5. Nicole Kidman in Jean-Paul Gualtier
Nicole Kidman
So it takes the Grammys to make this woman dress like she should. It's not the most interesting dress of the night (but some of the others are hard to beat), but it's flattering on her and I have a hard time, for once, finding something I really dislike about it.

4. Julianne Hough in Malandrino
Julianne Hough
This was one of the prettiest dresses I saw on the red carpet. Julianne Hough usually isn't big on the fashion radar, but this was one of the best choices of the night.

3. Rihanna in Jean-Paul Gaultier
What I like about Rihanna is that she does edgier fashion without it looking like a gimmick (and, yes, that was a jab at the Gaga), I honestly feel like it's truly her style to dress like she does and she usually looks amazing. She does edgy romantic really well and this is another great example.

2. Selena Gomez in J. Mendel
Selena Gomez
Wow! She looks amazing. It's still really easy for me to pass Miss Gomez off as just another teen queen. Maybe she is, but she does have an amazing sense of style. She looked incredible.

1. Florence Welch in Givenchy
Florence Welch
I'm probably biased since I love her music so much, but this was by far my favorite gown of the evening. It was unconventional and avant-garde, but romantic at the same time. And I loved the bright pop in the back.

Worst Dressed

5. Katy Perry in Giorgio Armani
Katy Perry
This was just too much. I feel like Katy's trying to push forward this image of herself as something other than what she actually is and I'm not buying it. Angel wings...seriously???

4. La Roux
La Roux
I'm a big fan of menswear, but at the point that I see red carpet pictures of you and actually think it's a picture of a man, you need to find a way to feminize it.

3. Jennifer Hudson in Versace
Jennifer Hudson
This would have been one of my favorites if it weren't for the bodice. Nothing should do that to your chest!

2. Hayley Williams in Jeremy Scott
Hayley Williams
No no no no no no no! Looks like a slutty 13-year-old (or prostitot) playing dress up.

1. Snooki
I've been asking this question of the Kardashians for the past couple of years and now I guess I'll be asking it about this girl: Why is she even there??? Looks like an Oompa Loompa playing the flag football sparkle division.

WTF of the night
Lady Gaga, of course. You all know what she showed up in, it's not even worth posting pictures...

all pictures from

New albums out today

New music Tuesday, it's a slower week, but still some great releases!

Asobi Seksu - Fluorescence
It's time for all these new dream pop acts to step aside and let the veterans show them how it's done. These guys have been at it for 2001 and now they're out with another great release.

Bright Eyes - The People's Key
The People's Key
Conor Oberst has been doing a lot of other things since the last Bright Eyes album (Monsters of Folk, solo albums) and has hinted that Bright Eyes was done. Well, not quite yet, though some believe that may be the last Bright Eyes album. The full album is streaming over at NPR. It's good, but I still really like Lifted the most. This one is more accessible, though.

PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
Let England Shake
I woke this morning to find that Pitchfork has already added this release to its Best New Music list. It's a good album, it was also streaming on NPR. It's almost upbeat at times (in terms of the music). It's another shift in her sound, but a good one.
PJ Harvey - The Words That Maketh Murder by VagrantRecords

Monday, February 14, 2011

Project Runway does good: Christian Siriano

I'm certainly not implying that none of the Project Runway winners or runners-up haven't done well in their careers, but Season 4 winner Siriano has had one of the best careers of any of them after the show was done. And he's so young, only 25! He might just be a bona fide genius (both in style and in marketing). He sent some beautiful dresses down the runway this Fashion Week, and featured shoes from his Payless line, as well (for better or worse).


Arcade Fire wins the big one at the Grammys (and other awesome things they've done)

Arcade Fire wins Grammy

Last night was already a big night for indie music, with over 50% of nominations in major categories going to independent label artists. No one guessed, however, that one of these indie artists, Arcade Fire would take home the main prize.

Due to not yet having cable (thank you DirecTv), I was unable to watch the show on CBS. I did, however, try a live stream on-line. I gave up about halfway through because the video was bad, the audio was out of sync and it was overall very slow. I didn't find out until the next morning that Arcade Fire had won, but I was excited none-the-less.

Of course, they being an indie artist, a lot of people are asking who the band is; there's even a website dedicated to some of the tweets and other posts questioning who the band is. To these people, I say, "It's good music, you should try it some time!" The Grammys have gotten a lot of flak in the past few years for awarding commercial appeal over actual quality, and I think the criticism has been justified. I'm incredibly happy to see them go the other way for once.

In other Arcade Fire news, the long version of their video for "The Suburbs," directed by Spike Jonze and named Scenes from the Suburbs will be screening at the Berlin International Film Festival. It's a great video and I hope to be able to see this long version soon.

Also, if you haven't gotten the chance, check out their interactive video for "We Used to Wait." (best viewed on Google Chrome)

March of the Asian designers: Peter Som, Jason Wu and Prabal Gurung

I remember reading an article last year about the rise of Asian designers, given that several of the hot new faces were from the continent. These three designers were three of the main ones listed and they're still going strong.

Peter Som is actually American, but was born to Han Chinese parents. I seriously think he's one of the best at structure. It seems so many designers try to create billowy looks, but you can tell this guy puts a lot of thought into how everything will look on the wearer. Beautiful pieces.

Peter Som NYFW Spr11

Jason Wu became famous for designing Michelle Obama's inauguration dress, which was a gorgeous piece. He still creates beautiful work. This collection is full of sophisticated, "modern lady" silhouettes, almost any of which I could imagine the FLOTUS wearing.

Jason Wu NYFW Spr11

Prabal Gurung has been getting his fair amount of attention lately. He was recently featured in a Graduate-like photo spread with fellow designer Diane von! As beautiful as he is, he also makes beautiful clothes. I love the details and fabric-play that he exhibits in this collection.

Prabal Gurung NYFW Spr11

A trip to the Scottish highlands: Rag & Bone

This collection was inspired by the Scottish highlands, according to the designer. The collection, to me, also evokes elements of sportier style as well as some grunge (but, of course, plaid can go many ways...lumberjack, grunge, Scottish...)


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Kick back to the '70s: Vanessa Bruno Pre-Fall 2011

Vanessa Bruno's pre-Fall 2011 collection featured '70s-inspired silhouettes in soft florals and beautiful leathers. She complemented the fashion with floppy hats and hobo handbags. She also brought in more modern touches, like wide-leg trousers and harkened back to a major trend of the era with thigh-high leather leg-warmers.


White Stripes meet The Morning Benders: Yellow Ostrich

A couple of days ago, I posted on Take Away Shows. Well, I was still perusing their selection at the time and came across something pretty amazing, Yellow Ostrich. Their music is hard to classify; as the title states, they sometimes evoke The White Stripes (really only on one song) and The Morning Benders, as well as some Fanfarlo and Neutral Milk Hotel.

I've already ordered their album, The Mistress, out Tuesday on vinyl, which apparently is bright yellow in color! I can't wait, though I already have the mp3 and the whole album is streaming on Bandcamp. Check out what, I think, is their best song, "WHALE."

If you like what you hear, they are offering their album à la Radiohead, as in, name your own price. You can download it for free if you'd like, or pay $100, it's up to you!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Modern style: Jenni Kayne Fall 2011

The pieces here are simple, but feature great textures and colors. What really caught my eye about this collection was the beautiful lacework that I want in my closet right now. But what irks me are the shoes. The colors are great, but that shape is horrendous. For some reason, it's been really popular on runways lately. While I understand designers wanting to go with something other than killer heels, is this really the best alternative, in terms of aesthetics?


Les concerts à emporter

Les concerts à emporter, or Take Away Shows, are a project by La Blogotheque, a French site that features artists playing a show in a strange or unconventional location. Pitchfork has been posting a lot of them lately and they're really quite amazing. Some of the locations include wine cellars, a phonograph repository and a gallery. They feature both newer artists and more established acts. Perhaps the most interesting aspect is the type of acoustics the artists get in these locations.

The best I've seen so far was Local Natives, who performed "Who Knows, Who Cares" (pretty much my favorite song of theirs) in a gallery that echoed their vocals in a way that perfectly matched their style.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A cut above: Vena Cava Fall 2011

Vena Cava showed yesterday at New York Fashion week and sent some amazing pieces down the runway. I love the fabric and the stripes, but what I think works best is the cutouts featured on many of the pieces and the cut of the necklines. And am I wrong in thinking some of these pieces look très français? Maybe it's just the berets.

Vena CavaF11

I listen to bands...that don't even exist yet

Earlier this week, my cousin sent me an article about a web meme going around right now. The meme is Hipster Little Mermaid and it's pretty much awesome. It consists of images of Ariel wearing Ray-Ban glasses with an angsty look on her face. She's griping about some hipster loves like fixies (fixed-gear bikes), indie music and shunning the mainstream. Loves it!

Little Mermaid

See more Hipster Little Mermaid here!

Also on Twitter.

Sustainable fashion: John Patrick Fall 2011

Organic is definitely a growing trend. First, we were eating it, then, we were feeding it to our pets and now, we can wear it. H&M followed the trend by releasing a collection of organic cotton clothing, all light-colored with dreamy cuts. During this Fashion Week, however, John Patrick showed a more structured view of organic clothes, featuring more saturated colors and a variety of types of pieces.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fashion I'd totally wear: Mara Hoffman Fall 2011

Before I forget to mention it, New York Fashion Week is currently going on, so there will be a higher volume of fashion-related posts during the next few days.

This collection, Mara Hoffman's Fall 2011, features beautiful colors, textures and patterns that I would wear in an instant if I had access to this type of clothing. It's very wearable (I think) and I knew I'd love it just looking at the thumbnails.


WTFashion??? Maison Martin Spring 2011

While I commonly accept fashion as a form of art and can appreciate more extravagant designs, some things just go a little bit too far in that direction. Maison Martin put its models in floral boxes. The florals and embellishments are quite beautiful, but I can't get past the shapes in this one.


I'm done waiting for Weezer

It's no secret that the band Weezer hasn't been at the top of their game lately. The music on their last three albums (kinda last four, but I don't mind Make Believe) just sounds like a band trying to hold on to a sound they did well 15 years ago, but have since grown out of. I've been optimistic, though, hoping and believing that they would realize that they should stop trying to appeal to the masses and just make good music. They are capable of that.

However, I saw something today that makes me think it's a lost cause at this point. Weezer has recorded the jingle for State Farm. Obviously, all they really care about anymore is a buck.

Ah well, maybe one day they'll see the light. And, at least, most of their side projects are pretty good...

Video of the jingle below, if you think you can stomach it:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

These music videos smell like honey

R.E.M. - "Mine Smell Like Honey"

The band released a lyric video for this song a couple of weeks ago, but now they have an actual video. It features a group of people painstakingly flipping Michael Stipe up several flights of stairs and then leaving him in what look like uncomfortable positions at each flight. Gotta imagine how they felt when they responded to the call for extras...

The New Pornographers - "Moves"

This video tells the story of the "Rise and Rise of the New Pornographers." They got a lot of famous people in this one (including half the correspondents from "The Daily Show"). There's a lot of awesome talent, but I'm not sure that I like the video much. It's interesting, to say the least.

Toro Y Moi - "New Beat"

I know Urban Outfitters did a lot of in-store music promotion, but this is the first I've heard of them actually producing an artist's music video. The video certainly has a very UO feel to it (not a bad thing in my opinion). And they picked a great artist to throw their muscle behind.

Jenny & Johnny - "Big Wave"
Video (couldn't grab the html, so link!)
These two are a very cute couple and they look good together in this dreamy, hazy video. But then they add blood and it just gets weird. I say, either more blood or none at all. Great song though, I love Jenny Lewis's ability to combine country with more laid-back chill vibes.

Erykah Badu - "Gone Baby, Don't Be Long"

Erykah Badu is just cool. She's seriously one of those people I wish I could be more like. The video is awesome; simple, but telling as Badu moves through a factory floor with Big Brother-like television monitors watching her as she progresses. She always has these messages in her videos that I can't completely understand. I think that's what I like about her.

Akron/Family - "Silly Bears"

My new favorite band has a new album out and this new video for its first track. Colorful, psychedelic and crazy demonic teddy bears. Awesome!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New Music Tuesday

Tuesday is here again and this is another pretty epic week for releases.

Akron/Family - Akron/Family II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT
Akron_Family II
This band's name has always intrigued me (especially since I have family in Akron, huzzah!), but I never got around to checking them out until this evening, since their album is streaming in full over at 3VOOR12. I must say, I really like it. I guess I would call it experimental folk, cool stuff.

"Silly Bears"

The Babies - The Babies
The Babies
Two small, still up-and-coming indie bands (Vivian Girls and Woods) come together and this is what you get. What I've heard so far, it's nothing particularly special, but it seems like it will be a nice listen.
"Breakin' the Law"

Cut Copy - Zonoscope
This is the third album from the Australian dance-rock band and the reviews so far are pretty good. Pitchfork suggests listening to it as one chunk for best effect, but I don't yet have the release. The lead single, however, is a lot of fun.
"Take Me Over"

James Blake - James Blake
James Blake
I wrote about this guy yesterday and still think he's pretty much amazing. I've been listening to "Wilhelm Scream" almost non-stop, but it's not the only great track on the album. It also features a cover of Feist's "Limit to Your Love" that's almost as good as the original (and you all know how I feel about covers!)
"Limit to Your Love"

Little Comets - In Search of Elusive Little Comets
In Search of Elusive Little Comets
I first heard of this band when Nylon magazine did a feature on England and upcoming British bands. This was one of the better bands that were featured. They represent what I consider a second coming of British indie rock, which is starting to incorporate broader influences and styles than just post-punk and new wave.
"One Night in October"

Nicole Atkins - Mondo Amore
Mondo Amore
This album was supposed to be out with my last wave of releases, but got pushed back (it had actually been pushed back a couple of times. Well, now it's finally out and I'm hoping it's a good one. I haven't had the chance to listen to it all the way through, but the lead single, "Vultures," is a great song.

The Streets - Computers and Blues
Computer and Blues
The Streets has this slow, introspective style that like a lot. And there's just something amazing about rap in an English accent. This is the artist's (Mike Skinner's) last album under this name, so let's hope he made it a good one!
"Going Through Hell"