Archive for November, 2008


Jon: We’re back!

Paul and I had a really fantastic time visiting family in New Orleans for Thanksgiving this past week, but we are happy to be back at Gaycondo. A week of eating fried food, drinking WAY to much, and walking about 500 miles a day has wiped us out. We have a bunch of fun stories and pics to share with you in the coming days, but we had a late flight and are ready to go to bed.

Really quick though, I wanted to share something with you that I saw during a lay-over in Denver when I was at one of the many Hudson News magazine shops there.  Someone who had been perusing the racks before me had put a magazine back in the wrong location, creating the following hilarious juxtoposition. I actually started to laugh out loud like a total creep.




While looking up Portland, Oregon on Google, Loretta Lynn’s collaboration with Jack White popped up. Then it occured to me that I haven’t heard this tune yet. I was wary at first since it exposes the best city in the world to the masses but it’s actually really good….

And for the record – Portland is known for it’s afternoon drinkin turning into a night haze and taking *ahem* mason jars to go.



In an attempt to describe the work of Matthew Barney, my friend Carlos Rodela explained he was “similar to David Lynch…if David Lynch was on heroin.” From my limited viewing record of Barney’s highly cerebral films and from what I hear about the out of body experience associated with opiates, I feel Rodela did a pretty good job.

I came across Matthew Barney because of his spouse (and my favorite singer), Bjork. In addition, it is because of her that I gave him a second and a third and a fourth chance and will probably continue to pretend his work is revolutionary and unpretentious seek out his work and understand his genius. Needless to say, Barney’s work isn’t the most accessible – in understanding or even finding for that matter.

The film I am most interested in finding is Drawing Restraint 9 which Bjork plays a lead role and scores the musical soundtrack. I am under the impression the layman’s premise of the film documents the “restraint” found between rituals before marriage and the emotions one has about the ceremony’s importance. However, I’m having a hard time justifying it against the abstract synopsis found on Wikipedia. Thoughts?

Here is a rather dream like clip from Drawing Restraint 9 where Bjork is bathed in a tub with floating lemons… I’m not quite sure on the context of the scene, yet I find it to be equally beautiful and disturbing.


KEEP IT ON THE BROWNLOWE: Santogold:: The next big thing

Brooklyn-based eclectic singer/songwriter, Santogold (born Santi White), debuted with her multi-genre mash up last May, yet, I still feel like I’m a little late on hearing about her. Watch out though cause Santogold is going to blow up and keep the competition heavy for Best Album of The Year. Yep, I said it, I forecast miss Santi White hitting the pop charts knocking Amy Winehouse onto the out list. Luckily, White didn’t participate in the post-millennial celebrity girls gone wild era and instead will serve as a positive role model for girls.

santogoldSantogold has been widely compared to M.I.A and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs Show Your Bones era. These comparisons may be justified, however, Santi White manages to transcend the genres of all her influences boiling them into a melting pot of musical alchemy. The result is a fresh sound; each song a glimmering pop gem extracted for the listener weary of repetition. Prior to tracking her own material, White works as an A&R rep for Epic Records and co-wrote material for pop princess Ashlee Simpson among others artists.

As the United States embraces its first minority president, racial discussion will surely remain a hot topic and hopefully continue to evolve into a celebration of the country’s “melting pot” of cultural diversity.

In recent interviews, Santogold is pushing stereotypes applied to her image to the forefront, confronting journalists who assume she listens to R&B and hip hop simply because she is black. While certain tracks off of Santogold’s record are notably influenced by hip hop, dub or reggae, the artist states she is sick of people projecting stereotypes on her musical tastes. In fact, Santi White states she is more influenced by 80’s new wave or punk rock and has little interest in R&B music. Hopefully, after such a confrontation, these journalists bite through their tounge and savor White’s musical menage-a-trois of styles – or at least mandate a rule to listen to a record before making asinine comments due to their neglect of research.

Santogold’s debut opening track “L.E.S. Girls” breaks through with a palm muted guitar arpeggio and mutates into fist pumping power pop enveloped by a catchy sing song melody chanting “I hope It Will Be Worth What I Give Up / If I could stand up for the things that I believe”. The record continues the pace in “You’ll Find A Way”, an anthem which seems to be a smash up of No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom and the political riot of Le Tigre. From here, the album takes a refreshing downward dip into an alt-reggae hip chip on the shoulder groove, “Shove It”, and then transitions into the catchy punk shakedown, “Say Ah Ha”. The ethnic hip hop mantra “Creator” gives journalists pats on the backs for comparing Santogold to M.I.A. – although such a reference point is not especially creative.51jw-9eft0l_sl500_aa240_


One of Santogold’s captivating qualities is her ability to wrestle and fold her voice into many different harmonious personalities. During the album’s midpoint track, “My Superman”, she plays a provocative persona reminiscent of the sensuous smoke-in-mirrors curled lip of Siouxsie and the Banshees.

It is hard to pick a favorite tune on such an impressive diverse record that flows together seamlessly. Perhaps it is Santi White’s wide range of musical influences or her experience writing a handful of songs for “people in the biz” that makes this record such a refreshing hit maker in my book. Regardless, I encourage you to follow Santi White’s advice and throw away your whole record collection and buy this record….or at least just buy the record.


KEEP IT ON THE BROWNLOWE: Happy T(of)urkey Day!!!

Oh and how many Americans love to celebrate holidays that depict murderous debauched scenerios (ahem, Columbus Day, Xmas (Jesus plundering through a virgin), Easter (risen from the dead). Thanksgiving is no exception. Americans love us some face stuffing opportunities of turkey sacrificial glut!!!

For all the turkey’s out there: The blood you shed shall be in my belly and this video was made for you (and all your vegan supporters):

But seriously, even if you don’t like the gory history of Thanksgiving or the inevitable excess of food there is a lot for us to be thankful for.

2. Staples of life (love, food, clothes, shelter, friends)*
3. Having a job in this day and age*
4. Beth’s Infused Vodka
5. Free Speech which allows us to say whatever the eff we want on

If you aren’t too busy getting shit faced, hugging your friends telling them how much you love them or falling asleep on that wacky chemical found in turkey, we would love to hear what you are thankful for!

* If you don’t have these terrific things in life I promise to keep you in my thoughts so miracles will happen


KEEP IT ON THE BROWNLOWE: remember this?

In efforts to get an “A” in my Spanish class my group will incorporate this gem into our final “discoteca” scene.

I’m sure this song came out when the word “bad” was slang for cool. Sometimes bad is just bad.



Jon just called me from a bar in New Orleans – flaming drunk – to verify I won’t starve the cats and to remember to keep the blog updated while he and Paul are out of town.

What a wonderful opportunity to launch my new column, Muse-Sick which will highlight my favorite songs in no particular order. [readers vote: is this a lame title? If so, you better come up with a cooler suggestion that I can steal]

The first song I’d like to acknowledge is “Kiss” by Scout Niblett. The heartfelt tune appears off of 2007’s This Fool Can Die Now and features guest vocal talent Bonnie “Prince” Billy.


I have to admit, the first time I heard this song I wasn’t very impressed. I thought Mr. “Prince” was stealing Niblett’s thunder by singing half of the song. The somber guitar notation mimicked R.E.M’s “Everybody Hurts” meanwhile I was amused by Niblett’s crazy high pitched vocal range. It sort of made me think of the time I went on an elementary school field trip to the symphony and would awkwardly hold back socially inappropriate laughter while the high pitched instruments (think piccalo) had their solo. In Niblett’s case, I think I was jaded because this ballad was different from her sparse and heavy hitting previous album Kidnapped By Neptune which I had fallen in love with years ago. Upon my initial listen, I accused this song of over extending into the indie-pop realm, a dimension that had the capacity to suck the soul from the most primitive of artists (think The Greatest/Jukebox era Cat Power).

However, after going to see Niblett perform last spring my perspective changed after watching her sing “Kiss” solo. Stripped down from it’s flailing vocal harmonies and string orchestration the song was quite effective as Niblett squints her eyes, grits her teeth and begs you not to break her dreams. After hearing a barren rendition of the song I decided to revisit the decadent version found on This Fool Can Die Now. I decided I was the fool for writing it off without really listening to it. In fact, Niblett and Mr. “Prince” conduct wavering vocal harmonies brought reverent mist to my eyes as the song hit between 3:30-3:40 as I drive home alone in the rain hoping my own dreams wouldn’t be broken.

Got any good leads?

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