Garfunkel and Oates

Garfunkel and Oates. I don’t remember what I was reading when I first saw the name, but I’m hooked like velcro. Before I go on, here’s a video of them playing one of my favorites, Me, You and Steve (warning: contains some curse words):

The duo consists of Kate Micucci, who you may have seen on Scrubs and Riki Lindolme who you had a brief role on Buffy: The Vampire Slayer among other things. I’m not sure how to describe them… nerd-folk? As I write this, they have 9 songs available for download on their website, all of which I’ve downloaded and listened to repeatedly. Being nerdy, I value wit above all other virtues, and Garfunkel And Oates’ lyrics do not disappoint. I’m hopeful for an album that I can give them money for and a tour that includes the east coast. In the mean time, give them some folkonomic love; download their songs, and watch their videos

If you’re like me and find yourself frothing for more, Riki made a short that uses 3 of Garfunkel and Oates’ songs called Imaginary Larry which I adore and also put some of her own songs on her website. Kate has her own songs on CD Baby, mySpace and iTunes. You can follow Kate or the band on Twitter.

Youtube Music Video Mashup

This video is hot. Essentially, this guy Kutiman grabbed youtube clips of people playing instruments and mixed them together. If you haven’t already, press the play button. If you aren’t digging it right away, wait until about 45 seconds in, when it really takes off. Who knew youtube could be a platform for jam band music videos?

At the moment he’s got seven videos in all, plus a “making of” video, all of which are worth watching and can be seen at Thru-You [via Gizmodo]

(not so) Recent Concerts

Since my last update, I’ve been to two shows at the Middle East in Boston. I’ve been sitting on this post for weeks and weeks now, and in the interest of getting things off my plate, I’m posting it as-is without any images.

The first show took place downstairs and featured Freezepop, with The Information [myspace], The Main Drag[myspace] and Michael Hensley. The Main Drag’s performance was so much better then I had expected from such an early act. Their cover of LCD Sound System’s All My Friends is to die for. The Information is another great northeastern rock band that I really enjoyed. I’ve picked up “8 Track”, but I’d really like to get their other album as well. Freezepop played for an hour and a half and put on a great show. Their stage presence perfectly balances being larger-then-life rockstars and down-to-earth scenesters, and it feels like they show is a dialog with the crowd. Icy roads made it so I didn’t get home until 4am.

The second show was upstairs and featured Casiotone For The Painfully Alone [myspace], with Clue to Kalo [myspace], Musee Mecanique and Pants Yell. I went to the show for Casiotone and I wasn’t disappointed by Owen Ashworth’s performance (although he wasn’t set up to perform some of my favorite songs). The other bands weren’t my cup of tea, but the beer was good (Sam Summer and Harpoon Munich Dark on tap) and my friend Karl lives within walking distance of the club, so everything worked out fine.

Tettix – The Artist Formerly Known As Cicada

I was watching a time-lapse video of the assembly of a LEGO Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon, which I understand is the largest LEGO set ever released with over 5000 individual pieces. Personally, I’m still waiting for the DBZ set with over 9000 pieces… What really caught my attention however was the surreal, synthetic background music. Thankfully Boing Boing Gadgets editor Joel Johnson took the time to talk about the music in the post.

The band is called Cicada. It turns out quite a few musicians decide to name their group after the cacophonic insects, so make sure you’re looking at the correct group if you look them up. A lot, perhaps all, of their music is available to download – for free – from their website. I’ve grabbed 3 albums so far: Technology Crisis and Technology Crisis II seem to be in the style that they are best known for. The songs sound likey they’re ripped directly from video games except that they are original compositions. The third album I listed to, Choralsepctic is a completely different animal, being comprised of a cappella renditions of popular music and, in a few cases, more video game music. I’d highly recommend giving them a listen if any of the above sounds entertaining to you. After all, you’ve got nothing to lose except a few MBs of bandwidth.

6/17/08 – Just a quick update to avoid long term confusion: Cicada changed their name to Tettix.

Pile of Gold video redux

Pile of Gold Music Video Screenshot

Following in the footsteps of yesterdays post, I’m reposting the compilation I made of the videos posted for The Blow‘s Pile of Gold music video (which you can read about here). This time though, I’m posting the (mostly) uncompressed 163MB version. I can’t guarantee that will stay up forever due to the size, but I’ll be monitoring the traffic and I’ll update here if anything changes.

Name:Pile of Gold – Music Videos compiles
Size: 164MB
Download Link: Pile of Gold Music Video

The Blow at The MFA

Khaela Maricich, The Blow at the MFA

Adam and C2 came with me to see The Blow at the MFA in Boston back on October 6th. Although I am pretty biased towards The Blow, I think it was the most entertaining concert that I’ve ever seen. You can read Adam’s account here. For those that haven’t heard of it, The Blow currently has one member, Khaela Maricich who sings and dances to original pop music playing on a laptop.

A band called Saturday Looks Good to Me opened for The Blow and although their rock stood in contrast to Khaela’s pop crooning, I enjoyed them enough to pick up one of their albums after the show and I’d recommend giving them a listen if you’re into light, driven rock. You can download some of their songs from their webpage here, or if you just want a quick listen, check out their myspace page. Listening to their music feels like listening to The Polyphonic Spree and more recent songs by PUSA.

The Blow’s live show has changed quite a bit from when Jenny and I saw them earlier this year. In the earlier show, most of the performance was about putting each song into the context of a particular timeframe of a relationship. The performance this time was about still about relationships (since that’s what a lot of the songs are about), but Khaela also talked about how and why she writes songs, and even made use of some props.

Unfortunately, this was the last show of the last US tour where The Blow would be performing songs written in collaboration with Jona Bechtolt, who wrote the music for all of the songs on the albums Poor Aim: Love Songs and Paper Television. Jona left the band in oder to focus on his other band, Y.A.C.H.T. If that knowledge didn’t make everyone in attendance feel special enough, we were also made aware that Khaela’s mom was in the audience.

With the songs written with Jona not being performed anymore, I’m not sure how long I’ll have to go until I can get my next live The Blow fix, or even what it will sound like, but I really can’t wait to here what Khaela comes up with next.

Khaela Maricich, The Blow at the MFA

Both photos used in this post were taken by Steve McFarland (also check out his Flickr) during the show at the MFA and were released under a creative commons Attribution-Share Alike license.

The Blow, Khaela Maricich, MFA, Museum of Fine Arts, Concert, Music

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iPod Nano Commercial

Jenny and I were at Zach and Sara’s house tonight when an iPod Nano commercial came on TV. The commercial features a series of hands moving various colored iPod Nanos around, and they are all playing the same music video (seen below). Zach asked me if I knew who the artist in the video was, and although they sounded familiar, I couldn’t place the band. When I got home tonight, I opened up yahoo and saw that their featured news story was titled “That iPod Nano Video”. From the article:

Queries on “ipod nano commercial song,” “ipod nano song,” and “ipod nano commercial” all jumped over 350% over this past weekend. Seems everyone wants to know who possesses the enchanting voice behind the raspy “1, 2, 3, 4.”


It turns out I have heard the band before. They’re called Feist (see also Feist’s myspace page), and their song Sea Lion was getting good rotation on Pig Radio some months ago, and Karl had mentioned to me separately that as band I should check out.

The Ladies

Khaela Maricich posted a hand-puppet interview on her blog, The Touch Me Feeling. In the video, the puppets represent two of The Blow’s songs, and the unidentified interviewer is obviously Khaela herself. I must admit, that for all that I claim to be a rabid fan, I obviously haven’t been keeping up with her blog well enough, or I would have known that Jona left The Blow when it happened rather then months later. From what I’ve seen on The Blow’s myspace page and Khaela’s blog itself, it seems like (unsurprising) the path the band will take is up in the air (although I don’t doubt continued awesomeness from her).

Hock It and Hey Boy

I’m posting this as a trackback rather then just a comment because I was certain that I’d ramble on in classic LJ-style, and probably talk more about myself then the video that I meant to write about. Also it seems rude to me to post a comment on an artist’s site pondering what’s going through their head as they create something.

I guess that I really just want to encourage Khaela (there were no comments on her last blog post, despite my best intentions to comment with something). I want to do something more then commenting on The Blow’s myspace page saying that I’m super excited to see them/her in Boston next month, but I don’t want it say something like “Your next album should be a folk album (like you want to make) about the time between when things happening, like how you’re between having Jona in the band and creating new songs”, because that just sounds lame. I buy all of The Blow’s albums that I can get my hands on and I try to go to at least one show everytime The Blow is playing somewhere in New England, so I’m already providing my financial support.

I’d offer my tech support (in the unlikely case that Khaela needs it) because that’s really the only marketable and useful skill I have, but I’m unsure how to do that with without seeming stalker-ish (resume available on request!). I suppose I could help with things like *cough* getting videos on youtube so they get more exposure. But instead I (sortof) just end up here, offering my “support” in the form of a drawn out and poorly written post on an oft-neglected blog.

As my AIM profile has said for quite some time, The Blow is still the best band ever.

The Trachtenberg Family Slideshow Players

I was reading up on the band King Missile [wikipedia], now known as King Missile III, and saw that Wikipedia said “Trachtenberg Family Slideshow Players member, Rachel Trachtenburg, has served a subsitute bass guitar player for King Missile.” The group name Trachenberg Family Slideshow Players was enough to pique my interest. As the name implied, the group consists of the Trachtenberg family: Jason Trachtenburg, his wife Tina Pina Trachtenburg and their daughter Rachel Pina Trachtenburg (yes, it’s the 13 year old daughter who’s played for King Missile). They perform to a series of slides that they collected from “estate sales, garage sales, thrift stores, etc.” but I think Eugene Mirman sums them up best:

I think the Trachtenburgs are basically like a really fun Batman, where it’s sort of like revenge against not fun, i.e. it’s very fun.

You can get an idea of what their performances look and sound like on youtube, but here’s one of their catchier videos for a song called Mountain Trip to Japan, 1959:

They look like they would be wicked awesome live, so I’ve added them to the list of bands that I check periodically for local regional shows.

Trachtenberg Family Slideshow Players, Trachtenberg, bands, music, slideshow, Rachel Trachtenberg, Jason Trachtenberg, Tina Piña Trachtenburg, Rachel Piña Trachtenburg, King Missile, King Missile III, Detachable Penis, Eugene Mirman