the ghost robot -

Saturday, December 31, 2005
  out on the streets, they call it black ice

Here's to another new year.

The Dismemberment Plan- The Ice of Boston

Note: The Simian Mobile Disco mixtape is pretty great. It ends with Gene Wilder signing about pure imagination.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
  interpol opening, maps bridge
In tribute to one of the greatest songs of 2005, in dedication to the inspiration for the Kidz Bop cover and video, in praise of a top of your lungs anthem that brought people together, including the socialites and the punks, and in recognition of my own ambivalence towards Kelly Clarkson, here is:

Ted Leo- Since You Been Gone/ Maps
  pocket novels
Now is the time to make resolutions for the next year. That means you are supposed to look back at the last year and finding all the things wrong with yourself, then come up with ways to fix them. You're probably off from school or work, visiting your old stomping grounds, eating mom's cooking and trying to figure out what the hell happened.

Well, forget it. You're not really going to piece things together. Autobiographies are a messy affair. Have somebody else write it. Shoot, you might as well just wait for the movie to come out. While you're waiting, listen to Belle & Sebastian. It's like emotional methodone. They sing catchy pop songs full of great stories and picture perfect portraits of made-up people, and you feel like you've "reflected" without all the confusion.

Belle & Sebastian- The State That I Am In

Belle & Sebastian- Act of the Apostle

The second one is from their new album, The Life Pursuit. It's like the Life Aquatic, but more purposeful. Eventually you could order it here. You really should.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
  the problem is all inside your head, you see
Adding electronic elements to folk music is at least as old as Bob Dylan, who is the world's oldest living American. I've been trying to mix folk songs with dance records lately. While my Woodie Gutherie/Felix tha Housecat blend sounds alright, it's nothing Erlend Øye hasn't done before. In the summer of 2001, the bespectacled half of Swedish folk duo Kings of Convenience got bored of waiting for his bandmate to finish med school, so he went traveling. Over the course of a year he visited ten cities, made a song with a different dance producer in every city, and released them all on an album called Unrest. While it sounds like a case of too many cooks, Erlend's hushed singing voice and his meloncoly brand of storytelling are the dominant ingredients here, and the various producers work to compliment these flavors. "The Talk" sounds like early Chicago house, but it could work just as well with an acoustic guitar. Have they invented the Folk Remix yet?

Erlend Øye- The Talk

Here's the Baltimore Bass Connection (Spankrock dudes) chopping up Paul Simon's "5o Ways To Leave Your Lover." Same idea: Gentle Folk Vocals+ Great Drums= Intimiate Club (Not the Lil Jon kind).

Chris Rockwell- 50 Ways

Other Links:
Why America's Twenty and Thirty Somethings Can't Get Ahead

SXSW video featuring Erlend and Hot Chip
  got me doing the dishes!
I've been having trouble writing this post, so I'm lean on that crutch (manufactured by Post-Modern Cliche Medical Industries) and write about having trouble writing the post. I've wanted to do a 'serious music writer/somebody-give me a job' post on the emmergence of reggaeton, and I've also been thinking about a Belle & Sebastian indie rock kid thing about how winter break is tuff. Neither one is really working out, so I'll split the difference and write about this unreleased T-Pain/ Pitbull collaboration. T-Pain's orignal, with its strung strings, handclaps and candy vodocoder sweetness, shared some of the production trends of the biggest reggaeton hits this year. The handclap comes on the downbeat, giving it that head-nod hip-hop rhythm, while reggaeton tends to emphasize the offbeat and creat more a hip-shake salsa feel. T-Pain just nails it the hearfelt/goofy thing-these are the sort of embarrassing but liberating lyrics that are perfect for the shower, the hairbrush mic, or the club. Pitbull adds some charming, PG-13 sex raps, but he's best over faster tempos (see "Shake" by the Ying-Yang Twins.) The whole thing reminds of Four Weddings and a Funneral or something. It's like a musical romantic comedy, except dudes are allowed to like it (right?).

T-Pain- I'm Sprung (Feat. Pitbull)

ps- I didn't draw that picture, though I really wish I had.
pps- Bonus! Here's a baile funk remix by the guy who did Kevin Federline's album.

T-Pain -I'm Sprung (Disco D remix)
Friday, December 23, 2005
  holiday revelations

I'm working on a reggeton post, but this series of discoveries will have to do for now.

Santa Clause Is A Black Man. (At least according to this little girl.)

JD Twitch Is An Indian.
(According to his this mash-up. Well, he combined two covers of "I'm an indian too." So I guess it's a mash cover up, which isn't very funny.)

My optometrist is a cartoonist. No, really. Everybody needs a day job.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
  are you interestd?
She's easily one of the most awesome people I know, and we've been friends since elementary school. It's hard to see her since she goes to school out in the middle of the desert and lives at the wrong end of the state, but we try to call and write and have a good summer and all that.

So we're still at the coffee shop, and it comes out that Joanna Newsom, indie fanboy crush of the year 2004, was a junior at her high school when she was a freshman. "Yeah. I hated that bitch." Why? "Well everybody liked her and thought she was so cute. When the buddist monks came to town she gave them a cherry tree cutting, cause it was so beauutiful and poetic and childlike. I couldn't really stand her - I liked to think it was all a big act, that she was a big fake." Any evidence? "No. Duh." Jealously? Inevitable consequence of high school politics, minor difference, local celebrity, and a dash of jealously. "Yeah, probably. Wanna go buy that yarn now?" Yes. We need envelopes too.

So in summary, i like my awesome friend more than Joanna Newsom. I hope they don't run into each other this holiday season, but if they did, I'd bet they'd make fast friends.

Joanna Newsom- Bridges and Ballons (Pocket Mix)

(mixtape killer, son)

Scott Walker- Joanna
(name related, classic song, look S dot up)

Final Fantasy- Peach, Plum, Pear

(Arcade Fire affiliate cover)
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
  and away we go
I heard Clap Your Hands Say Yeah on THE RADIO today. Pretty exciting. I remember the time when I used to hear a new song on KROQ, get my tape player ready and wait for hours for it to come on again. Now, I read about a great new grime riddim, then download somebody else's pirate radio rip. Has it come to this?

Ruff Sqawd ft. Wiley- Together

I thought Cam'ron had the Police sample game sewn up, but I was wrong.
Top Ten Bands on the Facebook:
(Stolen Fancy Web Stats)

1. DMB 2. Coldplay 3. Jack Johnson 4. The Beatles 5. Green Day 6. The Killers7. Led Zeppelin 8. Incubus 9. Sublime 10. John Mayer

What does this say about the facebook? It's mostly white, young, and it enjoys very popular music. It would be easy to make fun of this list of competent, white, middle class musicians, just as it might be easy to make fun of the kids who listen to them. Easy, but a waste of everyone's time. Snobbery has got to be one of the lowest forms of criticism. I mean, Number Four is like All-Time Number One, and Dookie has a special place in your heart, right?

This post got kinda scrambled. Here's a great piece on popism, rockism, and indie identity. Here's that Clap Your Hands Sing Along, and here's somebody that doesn't like the best song on their album.
  there's something i've got to tell you

I posted my reaction to the Pitchfork top 50 singles list on ILM. I'm not sure whether I should be proud that I enjoy critical discoure or ashamed that I have entered the third circle of music nerdom.

Either way, "Dance With Me" may not have made the list, but I think you should give it a try anyway. In my junior year of high school, my friends came up with a fairly exhaustive set of rules for your first album. The last, and most important rule, was that your debut album (and all subsequent albums, live discs, or compliations) had to end with "Only In Dreams." Nancy Whang doesn't coo that perfect nerdlove line about "oxygen and carbon dioxide," and this song isn't about the bittersweet perfection of impossible crushes. While Weezer guitar solos on about inaction, Nancy+Juan+Tim get up the courage to call the crush, breaking the romatic crystalline spheres, sending shimmering disco ball shards to the floor. When the crush gets there- well... um... there's something i've got to tell you, uh , i don't know where to start, ha .. ah, ...... wanna dance? I guess I still can't tell whether this is a happy song, a sad song, or both and neither, which is probably why I put it next to "Only In Dreams" on the To Be Sorted Out shelf.

The Juan Maclean- Dance With Me

This is interesting and scary. It's put out by the Swedish department of health and human services, and it's a web-info-graphic-thing that shows how magazine covers are photoshopped. It's especially appropriate since i'm back in los angeles, and girls who are magazine covers litter the streets. And dude, get your brain out of the gutter. She's 14.

Personal questions, mostly unrelated to crushes or female body image: Can anybody I know lend me a copy of Rosilin Murphy, the Upper Cuts, or Broadcast? Are DVDs worth buying anymore? Who else has netflix?
Saturday, December 17, 2005
  best short friction, 2005
Tiga- Burnin' Down the House

What does David Bryne thinks of this? Does this sound like it was produced by Soulwax? Do you and your friends play this loud, and do you wear sunglasses at night?
Monday, December 12, 2005
  the burned bridge over the river kwai

Islands- Bucky Little Wing

I was such an asshole. I mean seriously- is it too late to take it back? We were driving through campus before school started, the Corrolla's struggling enginge protecting us from the bitter cold outside. I was riding passenger side in my best friend's ride, and the driver had his new favorite band blastin out the tinny speakers. I wasn't really listening, probably worried about something at the end of my to-do list, but I turned to my internet t-shirt friend anyway and asked, "What is this shit? Do we really like this, or is this just a Pavlovian response to whiny kids with guitars and kiddie keyboards? What the fuck have the music listmakers been feeding us?"

It was the Unicorns.

Please forgive me. I'm off my high horse now. I don't even have a horse. I sold the horse. It's hard to think that I sold one of the most creative, imaginative, wonderous albums of the past few years so incredibly short. After a couple of listens, I realized my error and saw the magic-fantasy ghost music live in concert. Now I realize how lucky I was to catch them before the irreconcilible differences set in, before the band that broke every mold broke up and broke our hearts.

Islands is 2/3 of the Unicorns. Specifically, it's Nick Diamonds and Jaime Tambour with some of Montreal's unnamed finest. They scored two spots on the Beck remix album, which ain't too shabby.I think this is an early version of the song that ends the new album. It's about rascism.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
  planet rocka, beta blocka

If you got You Are Free back in 2003, and listened to it a couple times, and didn't really see what all the fuss was about... well, I don't blame you.

But now it's 2005. You're a couple years wiser, a couple older. You've sent your first flirtatious text message. You know that it's safer to fall in love with a song than a real life person with their own fears and plans and life narrative and all that.

You are now free to enjoy Cat Power. New album comes out soon.

Cat Power- Free
Thursday, December 08, 2005

Any party that you can walk away from is a good party, but any party where you play 'house of jealous lovers' is automatically the best party ever.

Last night, at the best party ever, people danced, friends talked, aquaintences met, neighbors complained, things got dramatic, logs burnt, things got resolved, and everybody had a good time. Let's do it again!

Model 500- Night Drive (Time, Space, Transmat)
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
  eggnog and kegnog

We're throwing a huge party over at my house. It's called the 'the epic holidaze blowout.' I'm DJing. I just got Serato, which lets me play mp3s on vinyl and may or may not be more complicated than it sounds. I probably should be thinking about other things, ie things of a professional type nature, but it has been hard to focus of late. It's alllll happenin, mane.

I sent this little ditty out with the invitations. It's short edit of a song by Sexual Harasment, with some garbage computer voice thrown in for good measure. I goofed up the drum sync on one of the later cuts and faked the fade out, but it's alright.

Sexual Harasment- If I Gave You A Party ( Well I Did Edit)
Monday, December 05, 2005
  December is also a month of cruelty
Link coming soon.

Steam- Paperclip People
After Dark (Diplo Remix)- Le Tigre
When I Hear Music- Debbie Deb
Well Alright- Buddy Holly
Dance to the underground-Radio 4
I'm Ready-Kano
Wu Tang Clan Ain't Nothing To Fuck With
Sympathy For The Devil
Y Control-YYYs
Optimo-Liquid Liquid
Losing My Edge
Sunday, December 04, 2005
  rappers need to get out of movies and start singing like actors

I'm in a film music class right now. I'm learning a ton of stuff, but the whole thing makes me wish I had more formal music training. It's fun, and while I might be having some trouble with all these "grades" and "assignments," at least I'm buying more soundtrack albums.

I just wrote a middling paper on Kill Bill - Tarnatino just steals all these great themes from horror pix, blaxploitation flicks, seventies western kicks and hong kong kung fu trixx. It's more than just record nerd showing off- using other movie music let's him shift moods and genres from scene to scene and even cut to cut. The final fight scene with the Crazy 88 goes through at least ten distinct emotional phases, and Tarantino "turns on a dime" and nails every transition without sacraficing narrative unity or pacing. He appropriates the stylistic gestures of snarky post-modernism but still tells a fairly timeless revenge story, making good points about feminism (!) along the way.

"Crazy" feels like film music, and it's more than just the swelling strings or vocal melodrama. Cee-Lo is one of the most under-rated voices in contemporary hip-hop. The man is a star, not a extra, and he's ready for his breakout role. His newish duet with Jazze Pha was definetly not it. DangerMouse is a fairly hot producer these days, and while I've enjoyed a lot of his work, I can't ever picture myself asking "Oh shit, is this DangerMouse?" Starting listing hip-hop's most famous producers (Timbaland, Dre, Lil Jon) and a particular phrases, styles, and instruments come to mind. DangerMouse isn't not bad, he's just not easily summarized. Film music's strength is a harmony of sorts- image and sound sing independent melodies that complement one another. Cee-Lo does his thing, and Danger gives him great underscoring. I'd like to develop these ideas a little more coherently, but shit, it's a blog.

Gnarles Barkley- Crazy
pen to paper, fingers to keys, mind at work, never at ease.

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