The Breeders

Various backdrops in a Dayton alley

The Breeders kick-off show at the Southgate House last night was awesome.

They played a mix from every album and sounded extremely great.

Man I love this band.

And this type of succinct articulation is exactly why I am not getting paid to write about music.

Extra bonuses of the evening:

  • Sushi
  • Running in to Shiv from WOXY before he heads down to big hot Texas
  • Seeing for the first time, the new full color version of the Fate to Fatal EP
  • Hanging out with lots of friendly folks I haven’t seen in a while
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All Tomorrow’s Parties

In the UK

So somehow I ended up on a plane and a train and a bus, and now I’m in Minehead which is in Somerset I think, which is most definitely in the UK.

This marks my first time to this country.

Exciting.

I should be out experiencing things, but I thought I’d pop on and say howdy.

Hope to enjoy lots of the bands performing at this edition of All Tomorrow’s Parties.

I’ll be posting photos here through the weekend: PhotosUK Trip photos

record store day

sweet set

I didn’t actually take this photo, a kind stranger with a better view did the honors with my camera as I was pinned in a corner. She might have been with the prevalent rollergirl contingency, but I’m not entirely sure.

Either way, I love what she captured.

It was an excellent set, my mom finally got to see the Deals perform, snagged some new music, and we ate at one of our favorite places in Northside for dinner.

All sorts of win that evening.

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Fate to Fatal

Kim and Kelley take a break after printing up 1000 limited edition “Fate to Fatal” EPs.

I’m going down to Shake It Records tonight (8pm) to see these fine ladies play some music in commemoration of their release and Record Store Day.

Things have been so pedal-to-the-metal that I haven’t really taken the time to talk about this record. The cover is the first one I’ve ever designed proper, and it’s a helluva an honor to work with The Breeders. Vaughn Oliver’s work with them is one of the biggest reasons I do what I do these days. The fact I love their music? Gravy. The best gravy ever.

Total honor.

If you’re curious how to get the EP on vinyl, it is out there at independent shops on 4/18, then it will likely show up in more places on and offline soon.

A recital, a Chamber Orchestra concert

I doubt I will ever be able to spell embouchure without a dictionary.

This is the busy season when it comes to music. With multiple performances each week and the tizzy of the quarter ending at school, I’m lucky to see Dan for large chunks of time.

He had his faculty recital last month—a quite enjoyable affair followed by reception.

This year we were able to comfortably entertain colleagues, students, friends and family at the house, which is proving to be a fine setting for such events.

And last week there was a performance by the university’s Chamber Orchestra in which Dan was a featured soloist. I’m sharing two of the movements for your enjoyment. They blend together at 9 minutes in length. New word (for me) bonus: attacca means no pause between movements.

MP3Neruda: Trumpet Concerto In E Flat, (Movement II. and III.) MP3

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Bang on a Can All Stars

David Cossin and Glenn Kotche percuss (I think that’s a word)

Our friend Meredith is always getting tickets to good shows and festivals. We work with her on a handful of different projects that combine our love of music.

She alerted us to a Bang on a Can All Stars performance at Miami University last week and all the guys at the studio met up with her to catch the show. (Mental note: Introduce Joel. He’s been coming in part-time to help us out at the shop. Expect to see him on these virtual pages soon.)

Back to the show, it was weird (in the best sense) and excellent.

If you’re not familiar with their style, they’re tough to peg. I’ve heard it described as amplified chamber music. The band’s comprised of clarinet, cello, keyboard, electric guitar, bass, and drums.

They recreated a piece from Eno’s “Music for Airports” with full analog instrumentation along with a handful of other original works commissioned and arranged for the group. The second half of the show brought Glenn Kotche from Wilco on stage to close out the night.

Good stuff.

Current music: Bang on a Can “Believing”

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Flashing lights

Kanye West plays Cincinnati

Saw Kanye’s Glow in the Dark tour on Friday. Why? Because I think his latest album Graduation is awesome and I was looking forward to a big fun show, a spectacle.

I suppose it was delivered.

Big LED screen with animations = check
Smoke, some pyrotechnics = check
Flashing lights = check

Potential spoilers: In addition to all these big fun show features, there was an inflatable doll with breasts and a godzilla-like creature—all wrapped up in the context of Kanye’s spaceship crash landing on an unknown planet while his onboard computer…

Hold up.

None of this matters and maybe you don’t want to hear about it.

It was an fine show. Pricey… (though I can see how such a production isn’t a cheap endeavor.) But it was too loud, and the sound was muddied by the echoey arena.

The visuals didn’t add up to much. The band was on this rising platform that kept going up and down for reasons unknown to the audience.

Don’t get me wrong, Kanye rapped and sang his heart out, working his tracks over with tremendous sweat and bearded energy. But ultimately he seemed distant on his makeshift planetary platform and I don’t see how this experience was any better than watching it at home in high definition. At least I wouldn’t have had guilt about not waving my hands in the air.

I don’t mean to sound all bummed, but I was really hoping Kanye was going to glow.

On the flipside, I had a blast with my friends and the view from our seats was nice.

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Listening: May 08

Above? Lyrics from Vampire Weekend’s “Walcott.” So cheeky.

I finally set aside In Rainbows because a healthy music diet should have a steady flow of new dishes.

Also, it was time to update the sidebar of my home page with recent favorites (a last.fm list isn’t enough as I don’t use iTunes that much).

I figured an archive of these selections might be nice to capture in an entry. So here goes:

Madonna "Hard Candy" — A guilty pleasure. Madonna’s latest strays away from fame angst and religion mumbling (largely), moving directly on to the dance floor. I thought Justin Timberlake’s last album was one of the best of the year, so his presence here is quite welcome (no matter how calculated.) At times songs feel like old-Prince, old-Madonna, 70’s disco (is that cowbell?) and something else. An appearance by Kanye just adds to the sweet ride.
FAVORITE TRACKS: HEARTBEAT, MILES AWAY, BEAT GOES ON, DANCE 2NIGHT, VOICES

Vampire Weekend — Some albums take a while to really sink into the brain. This is not one of those albums. The hooks sink in immediately. It’s poppy, bright and brings some different instrumentation to the traditional indie-rock mix. I have no idea what these vampire kids are talking about in their lyrics (and I’m still not sure how they feel about the bears in Provincetown), but they usually rhyme and that’s enough for me.
FAVORITE TRACKS: CAPE COD KWASSA KWASSA, OXFORD COMMA, I STAND CORRECTED

Bon Iver "For Emma, Forever Ago" — To balance out all the sunny stuff, I like to have a little mellow available. When the view out the window is overcast, this is currently what I’m playing. Mind you, it works on a sunny days to boot—adding a bit of urgency the day’s soundtrack.
FAVORITE TRACKS: RE: STACKS, FLUME, SKINNY LOVE, LUMP SUM

The Breeders "Mountain Battles" — You’re thinking, oh Chris, you’ve been brainwashed by listening to this album over and over (while editing the release party video). You may be right, but it still occupies a slot in my CD player and I give it a spin, often. Every single track has a decided vibe, with little details that creep out of the corners and tease playfully. It’s always genuine, and a little weird in the good way.
FAVORITE TRACKS: NIGHT OF JOY, WE’RE GONNA RISE, GERMAN STUDIES, ISTANBUL, WALK IT OFF, REGALAME ESTA NOCHE, NO WAY, MOUNTAIN BATTLES

Related: I’m looking forward to heading back to St. Louis this weekend, to catch The Breeders on tour.

Also enjoying these albums: Goldfrapp “Seventh Tree”, The Black Keys “Attack & Release”, Coconut Records “Nighttiming” – next on the list, delve into Portishead’s “3”.

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Home button

An extra thrown in a package from record label Hometapes

I make light of my studiomate’s obsession with vinyl, but when something like Brad Laner’s “Neighbor Singing” shows up at the door with an album cover complete with Josh Keyes creations, I am smitten.

A couple photos here and here.

In other news, Tom filed away all the CDs and records in the office proper, and this makes me ecstatic.

Compounded with a successful tackling of an overflowing closet this weekend, I think the tide of spring is washing over me.

Current music: The Icicles “La Ti Da”

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