02.15.07 playing with playlists

NP: "Snowshoes" - Precious Fathers. A bunch of nice bearded gentlemen playing instrumental rock in Vancouver. Filled with lots of important chords, it's just crisp and solid and nice.
NP: "Snakes And Tea" - Metallic Falcons. I got this because of John Darnielle's review up on emusic. It's nice (and better than the last Coco Rosie album), but perhaps a bit too willfully obtuse.
NP: "Tesselation, Formerly Plateau One" - Mahogany. A pretty song I downloaded because Wincy Pouter likes it so much.
NP: "Newborn Life Teething" - Novi Split. The double-tracked vocals in this song are sublimely beautiful. I'm assuming this is a one-man band. It certainly sounds like it.
NP: "Fake Palindromes" - Andrew Bird. One day about a month ago I woke up with this song in my head. The bombast of when the ramshackle drums first kick in and the violin soars and swells. Just those 10 seconds on perma-loop. And I couldn't get it out of my head and I couldn't identify it for a week. It was really to the point of driving me crazy.
NP: "Mercy, Me" - What Made Milwaukee Famous. I don't remember them being intricate when I saw them play live. Good song. I still haven't really digested the album.
NP: "Danse Sur La Merde" - Prototypes. They Might Be Giants crossed with Plastic Bertrand? I love it. It's tough and mean and catchy as hell.
NP: "Not Witherspoon, But Silverstone" - Thunderbirds Are Now!. I also never realized how much these guys sound like "Rome EP" era Les Savy Fav.
NP: "Dart For My Sweetheart" - Archie Bronson Outfit. The new album speaks to the intensity of the live show I saw them play in London a couple of years ago. The first album was pretty flat, but the new album is just plain smoking.
NP: "Let It Come Down" - Blood Meridian. Slow and kinda non-descript, it's still a bit interesting.
NP: "Browns Town" - Beaten Awake. Really can't get behind the band name, as it's just too much of a distraction. His voice reminds me of someone, and I can't put my finger on it.
NP: "Plantage" - Under Byen. Blonde Redhead on a bad day? That's just mean. It's better than that, but not as good as a lot of other folks are saying. Maybe i just need to hear more of it.
NP: "Writing On The Wall" - Cities. Chiming U2-esque guitars and vaguely brit-pop-y vocals add up to this being pretty unmemorable. Certainly not offensive, but nothing to write home about.
NP: "We're Just Temporary Ma'am" - White Whale. And, well... more middle-of-the-road stuff.
NP: "I Could Move" - Please Step Out Of The Vehicle. I like the vaguely Built-To-Spill-ish-ness of this song. Don't know anything about the band, nor do I even know when and where I downloaded it.
NP: "songwriter_03_NEW.m3u" - stream all of the above songs.
NP: "songwriter_03_NEW.zip" - zip file of all of the above songs.
NR: Finally finished Last Exit To Brooklyn. The final chapter or vignette or whatever the hell you call it is absolutely lovely. The first four are all just set up, and the last one is simply sublime. Wow. Truly.

Nothing really to write. Just finishing off the mp3 playlists above.

02.14.07 wincy pouter

NP: "Giants And Tigers" - Great Lakes. Continuing the post from yesterday, these are some more tracks that I selected for the songwriting friend that is about to start writing his new album of material. Yesterday's playlist is called "OLD" because it's songs that are older. Today's is called "MEDIUM" because it's songs that aren't old and aren't new. (Can you guess what the next playlist is going to be called?). To start this one off is Great Lakes. They added this song to their set halfway through the tour with The Clientele. It was always a highlight when they played it.
NP: "Really Dave Matthews" - Don Lennon. One of the Dungen guys bought this album on tour. It's kinda a gimmick, but... it's enjoyable if you haven't heard it at all.
NP: "Kathy In Her Bedroom" - Bedroom Walls. Just a great song from the new album.
NP: "Rose" - The Race. A pretty pretty song. Was hoping they were going to be available to play with Frightened Rabbit in Chicago, but alas they weren't available.
NP: "Down At Columbia And Cameron" - The Physics Of Meaning. I don't even remember when I downloaded this, and I've never tracked anything else down by this band. But I like this song.
NP: "6/8" - The 101. One of the best songs The Self-Starter Foundation ever put out.
NP: "Plan B" - The New Year. I need to get the Bedhead albums on CD one of these days. And I need to pay better attention to the great The New Year records.
NP: "One And Only" - Grand Champeen. I never got this album. I should track it down one of these days.
NP: "I'm With You And The Constellations" - Mazarin. Another band I've just never paid enough attention to, even though I know how good they are.
NP: "Summer Special" - Land Of Talk. I look forward to hearing an entire album from these folks. Maybe it's already out and I don't even know about it? Maybe I should do some research before I go and type away, eh?
NP: "Sunday Bell" - Audible. Sweet song from this Philadelphia band. Always great.
NP: "Life Is Still Sweet" - White Hassle. One of my favorites ever. Just a perfect perfect PERFECT song.
NP: "The Melody Of A Fallen Tree" - Windsor For The Derby. Pretty song.
NP: "Lost To The Lonesome" - Pela. Should have been the next U2 or The Church (and I mean that in a good way), but... I think they kinda just disappeared. Again... I should do some research.
NP: "Track 2" - The Paper Chase. Like... maybe I should also find out the name of this song? Before Gracenote CDDB you used to actually have to type in all the mp3 metadata yourself. Do you remember that, kids?
NP: "House Of Cats" - Meneguar. Local favorites really coming into their own.
NP: "songwriter_02_MEDIUM.m3u" - stream all of the above songs.
NP: "songwriter_02_MEDIUM.zip" - zip file of all of the above songs.
NR: Finally starting the new Alice Munro.

Took Wincy Pouter out for Valentine's Day. Had very ambitious plans. Three inches of snow in Staten Island and the entire car service and taxi industry decides that it will just close. Fucking ridiculous. Dinner at Aesop's Table was actually quite nice. But, anyway. Trudging most of the way back to the ferry before finally getting a bus, we get onto the 1 train and make it to The Met in time for the start of Act 2 of Jenufa. I can't say it was really very good, but... It was nice to go to the opera.

The timing would have all worked out if it weren't for the storm. Which is just plain ridiculous. The entire city acted as if they weren't prepared. The sidewalks in the East Village are still really poorly taken care of. Walking to BBBB is so much better because there are so many homeowners that they're taking care of it themselves.

02.13.07 the easiest game in the world

NP: "Rana" - Pitchfork.I spent a couple of days working on a series of mixes for a friend who is about to start the songwriting process for a new album. He asked me to send him some stuff that maybe he hasn't heard or should listen to again. Of course I totally nerded out and ended up making him fiftenn 72-minute playlists. But in the process I listened to some things I hadn't for a while, and some new stuff I hadn't really thought about. And then I nerded out even further and decided to break out some of the lesser known songs into a couple of playlists to upload to Stealth. So... Here's the first of three installments. Leading it off is my favorite song from one of my favorite bands ever. With so much attention given to Hot Snakes, Drive Like Jehu, and Rocket From The Crypt, I'm always amazed at how few people are aware of the first band, Pitchfork.
NP: "Instrumental" - Love Battery. Another sadly overlooked band... Love Battery were the punching bag of the 90's Sub Pop roster. Or maybe that was Pond. But damn if they weren't a fucking amazing band.
NP: "Rising" - Flophouse. I loved this band, and nobody had ever heard of them, and then I learned years later that Gerard Cosloy loved them, too. I never could understand why they didn't end up on Matador.
NP: "Slackjawed" - The Connells. Somehow The Connells are barely a footnote to melodic rock of the late 80's and early 90's, even though they were every bit as good as The Replacements, Soul Asylum, R.E.M. Maybe because they never really made a truly great album. Or maybe blame TVT? Or maybe blame the typical Tarheel student for being known for having taste as bad as, say, a student from Tulane.
NP: "Swollen Sonnet" - Cold Water Flat. Ironically, I just realized that Cold Water Flat were managed by the same guy as The Connells. If The Connells are a footnote, Cold Water Flat are at best a small mention in an exhaustive text about Buffalo Tom.
NP: "Chinese Balls" - Red Red Meat. I never loved Red Red Meat at the time. I loved The Grifters way more. But I've turned into a big fan of Califone through the years, and have gone back with a bigger appreciation for Red Red Meat.
NP: "I Told A Lie" - Flop. A sorely underappreciated band from Seattle. Two-minute pop gems.
NP: "Jennifer She Said" - Lloyd Cole & The Commotions. Solid pop craftsmanship. Lloyd Cole makes it seem easy. Still does, actually. That new album from last year is actually quite good.
NP: "Cliquetown" - New Bad Things. I wish I had the 7" version of this somewhere. One of these days I'll start to think about thinking about digitizing my vinyl. Until then I'll just write stupid sentences like these.
NP: "Dupe, Richard ('Ricky')" - Chevy Heston. I think Tim Harrington and I are the only two people that remember this band. Wow they were amazing.
NP: "Waint" - Vanilla Trainwreck. If these guys had been on Merge instead of Mammoth they probably would have been huge.
NP: "Jeremy's Growin Tips" - Pie. Another very strange Boston band (along with Chevy Heston). Strangely I just saw that somebody put out a compilation of songs from old Pie cassettes.
NP: "Anger Battery" - Verbal Assault. Just an amazing song from latter-era Verbal Assault.
NP: "Pet Tricks" - Swiz. And one of my all-time favorites from DC.
NP: "The Lonesomes" - Haynes Boys. A pretty song from Tim Easton's band before all those solo albums. "It's called a job; they're called the bank." One of the best lines I've ever heard.
NP: "Morrissey" - The Sextants. A silly song. But it still kinda makes me laugh a little.
NP: "songwriter_01_OLD.m3u" - stream all of the above songs.
NP: "songwriter_01_OLD.zip" - zip file of all of the above songs.
NR: more random New Yorkers from the last three months. Have gotten through a couple, and have decided to work my way back to the issue from October and November I never finished, but then I realized that i'm actually just flat-out missing a bunch of weeks from last summer, that clearly I must have never read, or have given to Kendel and don't even remember doing it.

Sat down to play at BBBB the other night. Was scheduled to work, but then we didn't get a game and didn't get a game and didn't get a game. Finally close to 2:00 AM a game is about to start, and I decide that I'll let the other dealer deal the entire time, and I'll sit down to play. I sit down with $220. I can't risk any more because I've got to take Kendel out for Valentine's day and my plans are going to cost around $400. But the table is weak, and I really haven't played in many months... the opportunity is there, so I go for it.

And I'm reminded about how easy this game is. You wait until you have the nuts or close to the nuts, and then you go all-in and somebody calls you with a clearly inferior hand and you make a lot of money. I make $900 in two hours, most of it on 47suited and 47off, and most of it off the same player both times.

The first time I'm holding:

There's a small raise... I go to the flop with 4 players total and $50 in the pot. The flop:

First guy checks, second guy bets $30. I call, guy on button calls, first guy folds. 3 players to the turn, $140 in the pot:

I don't like the paired board, but I'm not worried about the straights anymore. First guy bets out $60. I call. The guy behind me goes all-in over the bet. It's back to the first guy and he's hemming and hawing and saying "how can I lay this down" and asking how much it is. It's $89 over the bet. The first guy calls it. It comes back to me. At this point I think the guy on the button has a boat, and the first guy either has the straight or trip Js. Either way, i decide that the only way I'm going to make any money out of the pot is to put the first guy all-in. I go all-in for about $300 ($149 of which is going to go into the main pot... $60 of which i already put in the pot). Again the guy is talking to himself even more and final says that he has to call. He calls. There's $590 in the main pot, and $300 on the side. The river:

player #1 hand:

player #3 hand:

I take down the entire pot. I have almost $900 in front of me.

Then about a half hour later I'm in a pot with:

A premium starting hand. I limp for $2, then it gets raised to $10. Four callers and it's back to me to close the action in middle position. I call. The flop comes:

Early guy bets $20, I call, two other players call. 4 players to the turn, $130 in the pot:

I hit the gutshot to the second nuts (not that I'm really worried about 84 being out there, but... i guess you never know. But I don't like the possible two-pairs and sets and flush draws, so... I decide to bet big. First guy checks to me. I make it $120. Next guy makes it $300. Other two players fold. It's back to me. Now I'm worried that the other guy is freerolling on me: does he have the 4diamonds with another diamond? or is he just full of shit. He's a big bluffer, so... I'm not too worried when i push all-in on him. he only has about $450 total ($150 over the $300), so he calls. The river:

He never shows his hand. I take down the entire thing. I guess he had two pair.

I dick around for an hour. Am up exactly $1000 and vow to myself that I'm not going to lose any of it and just fold every hand for 15 minutes until the game is going to break, but... of course I lose $100 in the last hand. But... I get up with $900 in my pocket more than I started with.

01.27.07 frightened rabbit shows, kinda

NP: "(Believed You Were) Lucky" - 'Til Tuesday. Was explaining to Scott from Frightened Rabbit about how this is one of the three most brutal break-up records of all time (along with Seam's "Are You Driving Me Crazy?" and The Wedding Present's "Seamonsters"), and played it for him in the van. And then it hit me: this song is written almost exactly like a Frightened Rabbit song. Similar structure, and the drums move the melody forward in the same way. I was kinda floored.
NP: "Pete Standing Alone" - Boards Of Canada. Finally actually getting to listen to some of the stuff I've been downloading and compiling. Such good walking music this is.
NP: "Edit" - Regina Spektor. The new album still impressing me with every listen.
NP: "America" - Simon & Garfunkel. Put this on in the van the other day while driving, umm... while driving on the New Jersey Turnpike. Duh.
NP: "Wake Up" - Dr. Dog. En route to Philly, felt like this needed to be put on. Just got the new record, but haven't listened yet. I need to go do that.
NP: "Just Can't Get To You" - Toto. I now have, I believe, the entire Toto discography. I'm really loving this song.
NP: "I'm Not The Only One" - The Brother Kite. This song reminds me of some stuff I really love: Buffalo Tom (the latter not-as-good era, but I still liked it anyway), and for some reason The Cure song "2 Late" comes to mind, too. Something about the pace and structure. They were pretty great the other night at Sin-e, and awfully nice folks, too.
NP: "Day My Eyes Came Back" - G.W. McLennan. I miss this fucker. I really can't believe he's gone. Awful.
NP: "Red Rain" - Peter Gabriel. Strange coincidence the other night: I come home late from BBBB in the rain, and somehow this song pops into my head. The next day Kendel asks me if I have the Peter Gabriel "So" album. Swear to god. Completely unrelated. How weird is that?
NP: "Since I've Been Loving You" - Led Zeppelin. I uploaded this and the next song forever ago, but just never posted them. So, here they are now.
NP: "Helter Skelter" - The Beatles.
NR: random New Yorkers from the last month or two. Have actually managed to get through 3 full issues in the last week.

Video of "Square 9" from Micheline's In Brooklyn on the first night of the tour:

Haven't written about the Frightened Rabbit shows yet. They were all amazing, and it was a wonderful 2 weeks. My liver is still recovering, but I already can't wait for them to be back.

01.12.07 frightened rabbit

NP: "The Greys" - Frightened Rabbit.
NP: "Music Now" - Frightened Rabbit.
NR: The press releases and emails I've been writing. Yawn.

So it's finally happening. The dates are really confirmed and the shows are really going to happen. I can't believe that they get on a plane on Sunday night. Insane. Really insane.

Click the photo for everything you need to know about Frightened Rabbit and their U.S. tour dates that I set up.

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