working towards an intellectual understanding of booty chatter.

viernes, junio 29, 2007

lovelife: br8ke free.

LOVELIFE is probably my favorite electro-instrumental musician.

Perhaps this is because I'm entirely ignorant of the genre as a whole. Perhaps he's just awesome. Either way, I like to have his music in my ears. I swore I had brought him up on this blog before, but I can't find a post.

I first fell in love with his tunes over a year ago, thanks to the all-around party jam "Spring Break, No Rules". I lacked the bloggitude back then to realize that the rest of his tunes were inc
redibly delicious...and that he wasn't an entire band. Basically he's a dude who makes music when he's not at school. I don't know how the music winds up being so good, but it does. Between him and T-Pain, I think I'm starting to really love Tallahassee. I like love! I like life! I like Lovelife. The end.

d/l: LOVELIFE- Br8ke Free (YSI)
d/l: LOVELIFE- Spring Break, No Rules (YSI)
d/l: LOVELIFE- Hi Dee (YSI)
(fun electro tunes)
- space it -

WEBBYVANDERQUACKIN': This blog will be better once I get back from vacation. Promise?

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jueves, junio 28, 2007

pop the fish: sue ellen.

POP THE FISH stormed into my life with a green plastic gun. He was singing, and I had no idea what he was saying.

I had been reading Bigstereo when I decided to check out the other 5000 finalists in the Diesel:U:Music competition. On the first page I open, this guy is staring at me. Okay, so he's not staring at me...he's standing on a beach looking away from me. However, I get the feeling that any minute now he'll take a sharp turn and shoot me with his plastic gun. I am not concerned. 'Tis only a water gun, right? WRONG. This dude was holding a fully-loaded booty gun. One shot, and I couldn't control my ass. It was shaking. In French.

For those who can't handle my crazed fictional internet fantasies, let me just give you the facts. Pop the Fish is an electroclash artist from Normandy. I like the way he says "Sue Ellen". That's all you really need to know. OK?

d/l: POP THE FISH- Sue Ellen (YSI)
d/l: POP THE FISH- Houdini (YSI)
(French electro-pop)
- space it -

WEBBYVANDERQUACKIN': I have fallen in love with Jody Rosen because of this podcast about R. Kelly and his sexosaurus tendencies. Hear it on Slate. How about that Miami Horror remix of Codebreaker? Thank you Bigstereo.

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lunes, junio 25, 2007

domingo, junio 24, 2007

girlz on bikes: workin' out.

GIRLZ ON BIKES are a female electro hip-hop duo from Philly. Their influences on the space include androgyny, massive bike rides, neon colors, dancing, spandex leotards, partying, and new haircuts.

Upon first listen, comparisons could be immediately made to New York-based group Avenue D. However, Girlz on Bikes' lyrics are less vulgar, political, or in-your-face. It seems a little silly to say, but they appear to take their ass-shaking a little less seriously. While the other two girls are concerned about asking why people call the
m sluts, Girlz on Bikes asks one question-- "Is this leotard too tight?" The answer is coupled with a sucking of the teeth, as if it's all too obvious-- "No. But this track is." And it's the truth. While "Workin' Out" may only clock in at a little less than two minutes, it is sure to be the number one anti-obesity party jam of this summer. Don't dismiss it on the first listen. By the fifth or sixth time, you'll want to throw on a spandex jumpsuit and gyrate all over your room. Not that I did that or anything.

d/l: GIRLZ ON BIKES- Workin' Out (YSI)
d/l: GIRLZ ON BIKES- Looks (YSI)
(indie-electro hip-hop)
- space it -

WEBBYVANDERQUACKIN': If you haven't yet downloaded the Flossy Bounce EP by Leif over at Chazology, it. Explain to me why I am obsessed with this song and video. It's totally romantic in a 14 year old kind of way. Plus, Ciara's the shit...and if you hate, I will 1 2 step all over your face.

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jueves, junio 21, 2007

hell yup.

I wouldn't normally post about shows, but has potential to be a life-changing experience.

Leif + PdL + Old Gold = HELL YUP

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viernes, junio 15, 2007

unicornicopia: one woman emotional sound sculpture.

UNICORNICOPIA has accordions, a Barbie Ferrari double cassette karaoke machine, a mbira from the Shona tribe of Zimbabwe, and a lot of other instruments and things that make sounds. She makes music with these things.

Born Natalie Weiss, she has been performing as Unicornicopia since 2001. The project has taken many forms-- a rock band, a musical with puppets, and now "a one woman emotional sound sculpture". I know, I know...a one woman WHAT? Don't fear listener. All you need to know at the moment is that she is a pretty girl with a pretty voice, and she makes pretty extraordinary experimental pop music. You can figure out the rest later. Her vocals are very reminiscent of someone I can't really think of. Essentially, if you like the voices of Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs of The Finches or Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley, then you will probably like Natalie Weiss when she sings. You will especially like her if you always wished those other two bitches* had accordions.

Currently, she is recording a new album produced by Joe McGinty, a former member of The Psychedelic Furs who has also worked with Nada Surf, Amy Rigby, and Ronnie Spector. She promises that it will be "uplifting". If you like this uplifting music and happen to be in the Brooklyn area, be sure to check her out on June 24th (Luna Lounge, 8PM). I would if I could. But I can't.

d/l: UNICORNICOPIA- Grace. You're a Dear. (YSI)
d/l: UNICORNICOPIA- Crash My Bike (YSI)
(experimental pop with a pretty voice)
- space it -

* Okay, so they're not bitches. They're just girls! But sometimes I like to call people bitches. Sorry.

WEBBYVANDERQUACKIN': Unicornicopia also worked with Travis Stewart of Machinedrum, who just so happens to be streaming "OOHEE", a Yo Majesty track that a lot of the internet might not have heard yet. Hear it on his space. Justice's "D.A.N.C.E." is the single of the week on iTunes, and it seems that the general iTunes community doesn't like it much, eh?

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jueves, junio 14, 2007

rondo brothers: crazed.

THE RONDO BROTHERS are Diamond Jim and the Bastard Prince. They aren't actually brothers.

I've been particularly drawn to the Collette remix of their song "Crazed", featuring vocals by 20 Minute Loop lead-singer Kelly Atkins. This version of the song takes a completely different direction than the original, in which Atkins sings over a tortured trip-hop instrumental. Instead, we get a happy-go-lucky tune with semi-fucked up lyrics. Essentially, it's like listening to Lily Allen but less annoying.

The Rondo Brothers are already established as producers, and it's likely that you've heard their work in commercials and didn't notice it. They've also worked with MC Lars, Handsome Boy Modeling School, and toured with The Cure, The Rapture, and Interpol. Apparently, they also do mash-ups and remixes, such as the addictive "Princess Maniac". Who knew that 50 Cent and Michael Sembello would make beautiful music together? I didn't.

d/l: THE RONDO BROTHERS- Crazed (Collette remix) (YSI)
d/l: THE RONDO BROTHERS- Princess Maniac (YSI)
(two very different version of pop song & mash-up)
- buy it - site it - space it - hype it - amie it -

WEBBYVANDERQUACKIN': Join Jackson Mehoff in the virtual opposite of Queer Eye For The Straight Guy--- Nailing It Straight. Fergie gets called a methface and Ciara and GotdioN get some love over at Club Contact.

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martes, junio 12, 2007

rihanna: performance @ gramercy theater.

"It's great to be bad! I love being bad. Good is boring. You should be bad."

"Before a show, I usually just drink tea. Me and everybody, we get in a circle, all the dancers, the whole entire band...we hold hands and we just say a big prayer before we go out and we usually have a great show when we do that."

-- Rihanna, web interview after her appearance on TODAY show (link)


A few days before attending Rihanna's free show at New York's Gramercy Theater yesterday, I came across the above video. From the beginning of this album's promotion, I found the idea of Rihanna being "bad" to be laughable. I mean, for god's sake! The girl drinks tea and prays before she goes on stage. If she were actually bad, she'd drink a handle of whiskey and kick some orphans. The only thing I expected to be "bad" about yesterday's performance was the performance itself. Rihanna isn't necessarily known for her impeccable vocal performance and ease of movement on stage.

Apparently Rihanna's not known for her punctuality either. While the doors opened at 8PM, the show didn't begin until a little before 10PM. I guess her tea took a very long time to steep. Fans didn't seem to mind the late entrance, as a select few sang along and waved their complimentary Rihanna umbrellas (courtesy of the Totes brand) as several DefJam releases blared over the speakers before the performance. At approximately 9:15PM a man in a suit emerged from backstage. A lot of people started cheering, and I had no idea why. Was he the opening act? No. Given that Sprint sponsored the event, he was giving out a free Sprint Upstage to one lucky fan*.

When the lights on the stage came down, the rest of the unlucky fans went crazy. When the lights came up, the crowd went even crazier. The band started with a short reinterpretation of Rihanna's first single "Pon de Replay" performed by her two back-up singers. This led into the pop/R&B star's first number one hit "S.O.S." Rihanna entered in a short poofy black & white dress**. She was accompanied by four dancers in black-- two male, two female. The choreography for this number was remarkably well-done, so much that it added to the performance without distracting the viewer or seeming like it was overcompensating for something that wasn't there vocally.

Now that I've mentioned vocals, I should say that Rihanna sounded much better than expected. In fact, she sounded remarkable. I say "remarkable" in the sense that if you can appreciate the unique nasal, robotic quality of her recorded voice, you could appreciate it live. There seemed to be little or no use of backing tracks, which can't be said of all pop artists (I'm looking at you Lindsay, Ashlee, and Britney). Beyond her vocal improvements, Rihanna seems to have improved as a performer. It's as if DefJam sent her to a modern-day equivalent of Berry Gordy Jr.'s Motown charm school. Her movement quality and facial expressions left us believing that the mechanical voice was accompanied by a genuine human persona with true feelings.

This emotional quality was demonstrated exquisitely on the next song in her set, the heart-wrenching ballad "Unfaithful". Rihanna began the song with minimal instrumentation, sitting on a stool without her dancers on the stage. The initial energy on this song could send chills down your spine. But as the band began to swell instrumentally and the song went on...the energy died. Rihanna had a tendency to overperform on this song. Her face scrunched up as if she wasn't the "murderer", but rather the murdered. The presentation almost got campy at points, as she resorted to tapping her perfectly-styled bob on the line "bullet to the head" and dropping her head for a long pause before uttering the closing line "...a murderer".

As if teasing the crowd, the band began to play Rihanna's second single off of Good Girl Gone Bad, "Shut Up and Drive". Rihanna interrupted. She took this moment to congratulate herself on having an international number one single and thanked her fans for making it happen (blah blah). She told people to buy her album (blah blah). And then she yelled at a few people who didn't raise their hands when she asked who bought the album (blah blah). There was some sass and attitude in the way that she spoke when doing this, to the point that I may have actually thought she was "bad" for a second. And you know she loves being bad.

"Shut Up And Drive" has to be my least favorite song on the album. I'm no elitist when it comes to pop music, but all I can say is that it's pure pop drivel. The metaphors and similes comparing her body to an automobile are overboard and cliche. I really can't take it, and the sample of New Order's "Blue Monday" doesn't help it at all. However, I have to give Rihanna's band a huge amount of kudos for filling the venue with a driving (no pun intended) amount of sound. The live version of this song is exceedingly more compelling than the recording. Rihanna could have easily remained stationary on the stage and looked like a true rock star***. Despite that, the four dancers ran in with chairs, surrounding Rihanna and performing mechanical movements around her as if she were a car. Needless to say, these movements appeared more forced than the lyrics, encouraging the viewer to focus way too much on the visual elements when the power of the song was in the aural elements.

The final song in the evening's set was a lackluster version of "Umbrella". Once again, the back-up dancers proved to be unnecessary, moving in uninteresting ways with some umbrellas. The performance could have benefited from taking a cue from the video's minimal choreography. Despite it's shortcomings, there was no way to hate this finale overall. Rihanna, the band, and the back-up singers rocked this. HARD. There were even points in the song where a smile crept onto her face, leading us to believe that she might actually *GASP* be having fun.

It was easier to hate Rihanna after she announced that "Umbrella" would be the final song of the evening, but hey...what do you expect for free? A few resentful audience members took posters home with them after tearing them off the wall. For some reason, this must have made them feel better.

Despite a number of hits under her belt, Rihanna is hardly a household name at this moment in time. If I learned anything from seeing this performance, it's that she's about to be. She is the new archetype for a futuristic R&B dance-rock star. I suppose this could be considered an overstatement, but I truly believe it. Good Girl Gone Bad can easily please a hip-hop, club, R&B, or pop-rock audience, which was evident in the diverse group of folks who showed up for the show. The amazing part about this is that Rihanna hasn't even came close to her potential yet. Perhaps a few gulps of tea and a few ounces of praise will help her get there...

* The lucky fan was me. It was actually kind of embarrassing.
** The dress she wore was the same as in the image above, courtesy of
*** By true rock star, I mean true rock star with very little charisma.

d/l: RIHANNA- Umbrella (Divide & Kreate remix) (YSI)
(electro-rock remix of pop single)
- buy it - site it - space it - hype it - wik it / site it - space it -

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lunes, junio 11, 2007

herman jolly: candy stairs.

HERMAN JOLLY is part of the collective known as The Bedroom Trio, along with Diamond Jim and Trevor Childs.

Together, The Bedroom Trio is a group of solo indie-rock artists who have decided to create their own musical designation-- "bedroom music". As deceptive as this name may be, bedroom music is not necessarily sexy. (I suppose it's not necessarily unsexy either.) Bedroom music is the sound of artists crafting and recording music within their homes, "more confessional, more genuine and generally more creatively adorned and arranged than typical 'lo-fi' or whatever categories are employed to ghettoize indie solo artists". The designation isn't necessary something that I would call a "genre", as each artist's sound is entirely unique in comparison. Essentially, each artist is dedicated to creating quality music without the help of a big ol' studio. I'm not sure if I buy into this whole separate category, but I certainly don't mind if they create good music.

Herman Jolly's Bunker Life is one of three albums released this month under the Bedroom Trio banner. The first single "Candy Stairs" is accompanied by a video featuring Jolly lip-synching down a street with a guitar. It certainly has a bit of a Pixies vibe to it, but in a way that doesn't seem like it's trying too hard to have a Pixies vibe to it. You might like it. You might even like it enough to buy his album for $2.07 on Amie Street. Maybe.

d/l: HERMAN JOLLY- Candy Stairs (YSI)
d/l: HERMAN JOLLY- Key On A Kite (YSI)
(bedroom indie-pop)
- buy it - space it - amie it - hype it -

Check out M.I.A.'s new video "Boyz" at the new Oh No! Oh My! has a "new" song (as in an old song appearing on a new EP) available for your ears on their space.

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the umbrella sequence: urban lull (at once charmed).

THE UMBRELLA SEQUENCE seemed to be really pissed off about being compared to Radiohead, so let me start this off by saying that "At The Great Lake" doesn't sound like anything Thom Yorke ever touched.

Now that we've cleared that up, I have a bit to say about the first single off the band's latest album Events
, "Urban Lull (At Once Charmed)". As soon as the intro chimed in for this tune, I was instantly attracted to their sound. I am intrigued by the band's ability to take all the beeps and blips, guitar lines, drum beats, "twinkling keyboards", and melodic vocals and develop them into something entirely cohesive and catchy as a whole. It maintains an element of chaos without being entirely jarring.

Events was released exactly a month ago on Princess Records. Though I have yet to hear the entire album, it seems to be all over the place in the good sort of way, drawing on the best aspects of the band's influences (Muse, Daft Punk, The Unicorns, Super Furry
Animals, and The Flaming Lips). Apparently, their live show is the shit, as they've shared the stage with some bands you may have heard of (Tapes N Tapes, Dressy Bessy, Starlight Mints, Cloud Cult, Of Montreal, and others).

Oh! I almost forgot to mention that there is a video for "Urban Lull". It involves drinking beer, cardboard space helmets, confetti, and everything else that you need more of in your life.

d/l: THE UMBRELLA SEQUENCE- Urban Lull (At Once Charmed) (YSI)
(electro indie-pop)
- buy it - site it - space it -

WEBBYVANDERQUACKIN' (Jadakiss Edition): Sure, she's in jail...but why is every story about Paris Hilton on tmz? Why aren't we talking about the iPhone ads? Why is Hilary Duff suddenly hot and making out in elevators and bellydancing? Why is the MOVES!!! remix of Ciara's "Promise" the only remix of that song that I ever liked? Why haven't you downloaded it off of Palms Out Sounds? "Question: Tell me what you think about me." <-- Why isn't that a question? I've been wondering about that a lot lately. Beyonce has deceived us.

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domingo, junio 10, 2007

chris broke it: end. (the ep).

CHRIS BROKE IT creates "simple, beautiful songs immersed in gritty and powerful swirling electronic textures". Well, at least that's what they say they create. Personally, I feel their music is an appropriate soundtrack for lying in bed and exploring the negative space beneath your blankets.

The duo is composed of two individuals going by the names of Chris and Broken, who had known one another for quite some time before they decided to collaborate musically. The two come from very different musical backgrounds--- Chris having studied composition, audio-engineering, and performance (influenced by Debussy, Radiohead, Her Space Holiday) and Broken being a self-taught musician with a heavy indie/rock foundation (influenced by Badly Drawn Boy, NIN, The Robot Ate Me). With their talents and influences combined, they are Chris Broke It. And they are damn good.

End. (the EP) is a collection of four experimental-pop arrangements recorded within a span of months. It opens with "Thank You Toni", which sounds deceptively simple at first-- "I'd like to thank you for always being there. Everywhere I go I find your hair." It's the type of lyric that 14 year olds might find endearing and romantic, but then the next line catches you by surprise-- "You're the only bitch for me." This may actually be the most endearing and romantic lyric of the entire song. It's a type of love that 14 year olds just wouldn't understand. It's like...You can be a bitch sometimes. But I love you. And I love you more than any other bitch out there. If I was ever told that by my significant other, I'd shrug cutely, hug them, and then I'd punch them in the stomach. Because I'm a bitch.

"Thank You Toni" is followed by the much darker "I reK", which isn't just darker in theme but also in musical quality. "I reK" opens with plucked strings, quickly joined by a hypnotic electronic layer. As if this song was a bit too heavy for the listener, it is followed by "Pavil's Song", a very listen
-able electro-folk tune with dual-vocals.

End. (the EP) is appropriately closed by a song titled "End of the Year". Its lethargic pace may be off-putting for some listeners, but it seems that it has received quite a bit of love on the space. Either way, it's certainly one of the most interesting and complex arrangements on the album. This song is worth it alone for the moment when the background vocal layer overlaps with the trumpet solo. Beauty.

Chris Broke It is currently recording their first full-length album. If you'd like to listen to songs off of End. (the EP), head to their space or take a listen to "Pavil's Song" below.

d/l: CHRIS BROKE IT- Pavil's Song (YSI)
(experimental indie electronic)
- space it -

WEBBYVANDERQUACKIN': Learn where the hell the name for this new feature came from on wikipedia. Explore the wonderful self-centered world of Wonderella (ella ella, eh?). Hear two live songs by The Knife at Distance Has The Way. Explore the nation of Elgaland-Vargaland.

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lunes, junio 04, 2007



A few days ago, I found Ali Spagnola's free paintings project online. It was damn refreshing. In the often pretentious art world, I find comfort in an artist who can draw inspiration from cute things, as well as take non-cute objects and translate them into a cute aesthetic. Ali is also a musician, taking on the ambitious project of recording a power hour concept album--- "Sixty songs about drinking, and they're all one minute long". Hear a preview of the album and a few of her other songs on the space.

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domingo, junio 03, 2007

bark bark bark: haunts.

BARK BARK BARK wasn't really the artist who I expected to take me out of my great blog depression, but thankfully he did the trick.

Bark Bark Bark's debut album Haunts was released May 22nd, and it's a collection of tunes about a lot of weird stuff made with a lot of weird toys and instruments. The album was released on Retard Disco records, a home to similarly odd but delightful acts such as 14 Year Old Girls, Totally Radd!!, and Gravy Train!!!! Their roster is kind of all over the place, so don't expect this to sound like any of those bands.

Comparisons have been made to Beck, !!!, Panther, Spank Rock, Liars, Chromatics, Final Fantasy, and Deerhoof...but Bark Bark Bark's sound is far too inconsistent from song to song for any of these to directly make sense. Haunts is full of playful chaotic numbers that are all over the place musically. If you asked the artist himself what he sounded like, his answer would be simple-- "baby kittens". Then you'd probably laugh a bit, noting in your head that these tunes may be good, but they're nowhere near as cute as baby kittens. As expected, the songs on Haunts are, well....haunting. Don't fret though. They're not haunting in a "holy shit this zombie is going to eat my brain" kind of way. They're haunting in a "if you don't motherfuckin' dance right now then this motherfuckin' zombie will eat your brain like my ex-girlfriend ate my heart" kind of way. Got it? Good.

If anything comes close to being as lovable as a pile of kittens, it's the "I'm Needy" remix, which pays tribute to the genius jam "Boom! I Got Your Boyfriend". I guess it also sounds a little bit like Beck. You can download that shit at So Much Silence.

d/l: BARK BARK BARK- Haunts
d/l: BARK BARK BARK- One Thing Stands
(chaotic tunes to make you dance and ponder)
- buy it - site it - space it - hype it -

BLOGWATCH: Pop Tarts Suck Toasted
brings us some new tunes off of Architecture in Helsinki's sophomore album Places Like This. The Yellow Stereo and a few other blogs have the new New Pornographers' song "My Right Versus Yours". Arjan Writes points us in the direction of an exclusive acoustic podcast by Amy Winehouse.

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