In A Perfect World

Sunday, September 6, 2009

(Disclaimer: long post)

I was reading the latest issue of BRM magazine (Beyond Race Magazine) because I am patiently waiting for the next issue of Filter magazine, which, by the way, will spotlight Spike Jonze' newest film adaption "Where the Wild Things Are" on Sept 11th. Not to mention, Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses will be talking with his idol JJ Cale. (stoked!). But I'm digressing. Hard.

I'm reading BRM, right, and there is this long article on designer John Varvatos' latest venture, which I feel is the calling that has been waiting for him at this juncture of his life. He's set out to basically make "music fan" and "undiscovered artist promoter" as synonymous with his name as fashion designer. And quite frankly, he is doing it brilliantly and I am totally inspired. He's setting up a new shop now called 315 Bowery (in what used to be CBGB) in NYC where he'll sell clothes, but also hold a montly in-store music showcase. However, the clothes are purposely secondary to the overall aesthetic of the shop. Varvatos has rock albums occupying every conceivable nook of the shop, as well as iconic photos of rock stars, old school and new school. As he described it, you're not walking into a clothing store, "you walk into music. "Varvatos also has a show on Sirius radio every 1st Sunday of the month at 5pm called 'Born in Detroit' (his hometown), where he is basically putting artists that he digs out front and center. And he's holding a contest where he'll be searching for the next up-and-coming rock group. Don't know if the BRM article on Varvatos is online yet, so check this LA Times article for what John is playing in his iPod. Pretty amazing stuff: The Yardbirds, My Morning Jacket, and Kings of Leon. Yessir!

That is my only intention with this blog and wherever I go: to promote good music, good artists, and share new things. Like any music fan, when you hear something for the first time (or for the fifty-leventh time and it takes you back to the first!) you go bananas and want to share the fruit, right? (lame. Please don't judge lol).

So I've got some folks and films I am itching to spread the word about:

Movie: It Will Get Loud
One of the most solid rock documentaries you're bound to see this year, or for the next few years. It chronicles the glory of the electric guitar as it's been christened by greats Jimmy Page of The Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin, the Edge of U2, and Jack White of the White Stripes. I have a whole new level of love for these guys, but in particular for Jack White because he's perhaps the biggest enigma of them all. Born and bred as a dark Detroit rocker who has deep love for blues singer Son House, and lives in a farm house out in the country making sick guitars from string, wood, some nails, and a glass coke bottle. Well, there's an amplifier in there, too. Off stage he rocks tweed and clothes reminiscent of a 1930s rural gent, but on stage it's red or black skinny jeans and a t-shirt. But all three guitarists understand the history of the instrument that chose them, the depth of its capabilities, and the endless resolve to draw that much more out of it. This film will change the way you hear rock music.

Band: Other Lives

At the Outside Lands Music Festival last weekend, I went pretty much to see one band: Band of Horses. But thank God I also chose to meander through the music festival grounds beforehand. What I came across where two enormously talented bands with two different sounds. One of them was Big Light. And the other? The other was Other Lives. Discovering them as they played "Black Tables" live in the middle of Golden Gate Park, in the midst of trees and an open field, was a surreal, almost out-of-body experience. Guitars, cellos, piano keys and drums lifting and rising in the air, and the band playing like they are the only ones present. It's amazing what can be created with limited resources and in little-known corners of the world. Other Lives hail from sleepy town Stillwater, Oklahoma and use dreamy almost equally sleepy instrumentals as the core of their sound. They have a small studio that they moved into to make music after having created their first songs in the tiny apartment of the female cellist.

Song (at least for the moment):Radiohead's "Talk Show Host"

Radiohead by no means is an undiscovered band, as you already know. Far from it. They are, perhaps, the quintessential alt-rock group defining the genre. Warbled, drowned chords and synthesizers, "Talk Show Host" is classic Radiohead just before they chose to really capitalize on the electronic sound that would define Ok Computer.

I like upbeat, faster paced tunes as well. Promise! :) Coming soon. Perhaps a little Modest Mouse, some Feist...

So who are you listening to?


  1. Holy Crapiola!!! Other Lives rock. Thank you so much; discovering new music always brightens my day.
    I don't know if you've heard of Bon Iver; if not you need to check him out. It's so efffing beautiful. Every time I hear his CD 'For Emma, Forever Ago' I get that same feeling I do when I'm completely submerged under water: pure peace. Also, Blind Pilot, Noah and the Whale and Bense are currently in heavy rotation. Seriously though, Bon Iver...check them out, thank me later.

  2. Whoop whoop! Thanks for the music suggestions, Rekhmma! I checked out Bon Iver first thing this morning and I really love his songs "Blindsided" and "Lump Sum" from his first album. I feel like I've seen his name before, but this being the first time I ever listened to his music. I'll definitely burrow into the other artists you mentioned a little later :)

    Not sure if you've heard of the band We Were Promised Jetpacks, but these Scottish boys are really amazing on the electric guitar. They've been getting alot of press lately, and their sound is really anthem-filled. They've been likened to another Scottish group Frightened Rabbits, but there are so many other sounds they remind me of. At times The Shins, at times Radiohead, Rogue Wave, The Ramones (lots of 'R's I just realized lol) and even All-American Rejects alittle (but I think that's just because their lead vocalist is also young and has cool bangs ;) One song "Keeping Warm" from their debut album even sounds a bit like a song Explosions in the Sky would compose. Check 'em out if you haven't already.

  3. Uuuuuhhh, scottish love, scottish love (a poem on one of Idlewild's CDs). Lol. No, I haven't heard of We Were Promised Jet Packs nor The Frightened Rabbits. Where have I been???. I love the Ramones and Radiohead(who doesn't) though,so if they sound anything at all like that than I'm in.Have you ever seen the documentary on the Ramones,End Of The Century ? It's worth checking out if you are a fan. I spend a good chunk of my time last night on Youtube listening to Other Lives, and then promptly headed over to Amazon and coped their CD. Man, music is an expensive habit. Once again, big ol' thanks on introducing them to the group.

  4. I'm really interested in checking out that documentary on The Ramones. Cool. Thanks! And I'm so glad you like Other Lives. The're song "Black Tables" got a little shine on "Grey's Anatomy" awhile ago, so hopefully bigger things will happen for them soon.


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