INDIEchouette


L’AMOUR PEUT NAÎTRE D’UNE SEULE METAPHOR

I tried on Deerhunter for size because I have tickets to see them with Spoon and Strange Boys in March, and they fit.  This trying-on also caused me to intensely long for the ability to take Bradford Cox into my arms and carry him everywhere.  Here’s why I fell in love with Deerhunter: Alex showed me this video on Pitchfork, which follows Bradford Cox around 2008’s Pitchfork Festival.  Guest stars include King Khan, High Places, Britt Daniel, and the late Jay Reatard.  It’s seriously the most hilarious and uplifting video I’ve seen since Will Ferrell’s Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.  I know that you want me to be joking, but I’m seriously not.  If there is one useful fact to know about me, it is that I actually adore that film.

Anyway, here’s my favourite track by Deerhunter, “Agoraphobia”.  It’s actually one of the few songs penned by Lockett Pundt and not by Bradford Cox, and it therefore retains a far different, more mellow, more spaced-out feel, but it’s a great introduction to Deerhunter for those who have only heard stray tracks.  To give you a more typical Deerhunter sound, I’m also going to throw in the album’s title track, “Microcastle”, because it completely changes by the end and really, how can you not love the transition in the middle?

Agoraphobia | Deerhunter
[mf] [buy]

Microcastle | Deerhunter
[mf] [buy]

I just managed to cover my glasses with accidental glitter for two reasons.  One, I am wearing one sparkly-ass skirt and two, I just returned from a Valentine-making sesh.  Here is the front of one of the few sweet-ass valentines I made.  Um, plus my face?  You might have noticed, too, that over the past four or whatever years that I’ve been maintaining INDIEchouette, I’ve omitted my face.  You can click links to get to my Facebook, MySpace, whatever <<< that way somewhere, but I’ve kept my face out of it.  I recently realized, however, that this keeping-my-face-out-of-things has rendered certain years of my life more graceful but completely undocumented in photographs.  Upon sifting through my Photobucket for photos of my olde “emo” self (harhar), I realized that I couldn’t really find many.  This might be for the better, but I remembered that when I took the ones that I did find, I felt extremely ugly in one hundred percent of them.  Looking four, five, six years into the past, I realize that youth is fleeting.  I thought I looked ugly then, but I’ve got to give myself some credit.  I looked young, and even though I didn’t look the way I wanted to, I still wasn’t unattractive.  Just uncomfortable.  Now, however…

I suspect that the cycle will continue so that by the time I have gained a mere thirty years of age, I will simply begin to wear a bag over my head.  And maybe I’m wrong.

Speaking of thirty years, let’s talk about the thirty-some-year hiatus Vashti Bunyan took from the music industry!  I am late to catch on to things, but when I found out that Feist and Ben Gibbard’s “Train Song” was a Vashti cover from long, long ago, I was kind of impressed and excited, because I love to hear covers.  I immersed myself in Vashti Bunyan and in the work she did with Animal Collective, and from three of her most renowned works, I surfaced with three favourites.

First of all, you have to love “Train Song” from Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind.  Lyrically, there is this sense of anxiousness for the singer to finally see her lover (if this person would still accept the title of lover) after an incredibly long time, and you can’t help but grasp some of that anxiousness too.  But if you didn’t listen to the lyrics, it would be a chill and slightly melancholy piece.  Feist’s proud voice and Ben Gibbard’s lullaby croon make the cover a real keepsake.  Vashti’s got a voice like cotton candy clouds, which washes over the song with an air of effortlessness.

Train Song | Vashti Bunyan
[mf] [buy]

From her work with Animal Collective, I prefer “Prospect Hummer”, the title song from the Prospect Hummer EP.  According to ReynoldsRetro, Vashti says of her work on the EP, “My daughter says she can hear me smiling on the title track […] and I was. I loved having the freedom to sing as I wanted. I was still finding my voice after burying it for years.”  That’s why I love this song.

Prospect Hummer | Animal Collective & Vashti Bunyan
[mf] [buy]

And of course, on 2005’s Lookaftering, the track that stands out most is “If I Were”, featuring the harp stylings of sweet, sweet Joanna Newsom.

If I Were | Vashti Bunyan
[mf] [buy]

But I haven’t even told you that I’ve developed a huge crush on Joanna Newsom’s Appalachian voice!  Agh.  Right now, my favourite is “Bridges and Balloons”.  It makes me feel cool and floaty, possibly because somewhere in all that seriousness is a bit of whimsical crazy.  In case you’ve been living under a rock, she has a new album due out on the twenty-third of this month, entitled Have One On Me, which sounds strangely drinky and down-to-earth for the country fairy tale girl who wrote Ys.

Bridges and Balloons | Joanna Newsom
[mf] [buy]

Some day, I will take music reviews more seriously, but for now, I will just write from the heart.  I like these songs.  They make me happy.  That’s all you need to know.

Also, if you get bored, you might as well hit me up with questions on formspring.me/almostness, where I am trying to figure out whether or not life has meaning.  I am kind of kidding, but I know that truth box-esque formats like this can tend to lead to many interesting escapades.  If you have a formspring ID, tell me so that I can pose you some questions.  Since I now have a Twitter, a Tumblr, and a Formspring.me, I’m starting to think that I’m almost too tech-savvy.  Something is bound to go wrong!

It will snow this weekend in Richmond after last weekend’s humongous catastrophe of a blizzard, and I will not be prepared.

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MIX: SEPTEMBRE 2008

Derek has a CD player in his car.  He kept spinning the same CD every time he drove me places.  He told me that these were the songs that were constantly stuck in his head.

Since it was the same CD over and over again, I volunteered to make him a new CD with the songs that are constantly stuck in my head.  He thought that was a good idea because his sister allegedly makes him listen to very bad music sometimes.

This CD was only semi-hard work because I had to hunt down the MP3s online via the Hype Machine and then cut two at the end because a CD only holds 80 minutes.  The rest of the work was easy peasy, just picking out songs that I can’t get enough of lately.

The songs are in no particular order because it’s just a bunch of songs that blitzkrieg my brain in no particular order with no warning.  Because of this random order, I am an advocate of putting this mix on shuffle whenever you want.

And here’s my reasoning for each track in no particular order (main reasoning = catchy).  There are also download links over yonder.

Virgin Suicides [ysi] | Van She
Okay, I’ve already written about how awesome this song is, but I honestly don’t see how anyone could dislike it.  It’s upbeat and happy.  Think “Look Up” by Stars, except without all the encouraging parts.

Two Silver Trees [ysi] | Calexico
“Two Silver Trees” is what “Young Bride” by Midlake was to me about a year ago.  I take this song seriously.

Kids [ysi] | MGMT
The first time I heard “Kids,” I wasn’t paying attention.  And then I ended up downloading it, and for the first two weeks of school, it was my silly anthem for walking around campus.  I felt so MGMT.

Little Monsters [ysi] | Charlotte Gainsbourg
I love bells and I love her whispery Jane Birkin/Serge Gainsbourg-inherited voice.  This song is small furry mystical creatures on the beach on a fall night night during a meteor shower.  Charlotte Gainsbourg could make death by bubonic plague sound good.

Af607105 [ysi] | Charlotte Gainsbourg
What I also love about Charlotte Gainsbourg is that most of her songs are night songs with an accent, for when you’re warm and comfortable and relaxed and in some kind of indescribable state of bliss.  Maybe naked.

Irene [ysi] | Caribou
I think I picked this one up from AllThingsGo once, but disregarded it for the most part.  However, upon moving into college, I discovered that I had a snoring roommate.  My methods of coping during the wee hours of the morning included turning the AC on high, turning on the TV, making banging noises and pretending I couldn’t help it, using earplugs, and listening to my iPod.  During one of the iPod nights, I was able to sleep, but was roused not by loud, unsettling music like the Fall of Troy, but in fact by some of the most peaceful and beautiful music I had ever heard.  In my heavy-lidded, half-conscious state, I noted that the song was “Irene” by Caribou.  It’s been constantly replaying since.

St. Petersburg [ysi] | Brazilian Girls
I lurk the Hype Machine frequently and actually found this track in the “Popular” section.  I downloaded “L’Interprete” because it looked like a French name.  “St. Petersburg” was a tagalong, but I actually like it more because while it’s very chill and catchy, it also soars at some parts and comes down from those orgasms appropriately.

Evening Life [ysi] | The XYZ Affair
While this is a summer song, um, hello?  Most of September is still summer.  We just don’t consider it summer because it’s a transitional month, and we have school and work again.  Well, work for teachers.  It’s the same as June being spring, December being fall, and March being Winter.  I know they’re out of order.  Anyway, I just like the melody, I think, and the singer’s fairly high voice.

Id Engager [ysi] | of Montreal
We all know that of Montreal is crazy fun.  I just think this a subtle improvement on their old stuff.  Less senselessness, but still enough.  Still high-quality, same genre, same Kevin Barnes, same play on words.  Of Montreal is still creepy sex.

Parisian Skies [ysi] | Maximo Park
This one’s an Ali.  You can always tell Alis because they’re British.  Much like “I Adore You” by Melpo Mene “Parisian Skies” floats like clouds.  But they’re more aggressive, passionate clouds.  I have enjoyed this track all summer at the beach, in the car, in bed, walking.  It sounds like I’m a sex addict.  Oh, also, I’m a francophile, so of course I love an amazing indie rock song called Parisian Skies.  Come on, guys.

Gold Mine Gutted [ysi] | Bright Eyes
I used to listen to the Metronomy remix nonstop, but I’ve begun to reappreciate the glory of the original now.  It’s a lot sadder.  In many ways, I think that’s a plus.  It more accurately represents Bright Eyes.  There’s something so chill and spacelike about the original.  It feels like floating.

Two Doors Down [ysi]| Mystery Jets
Yet another fabulous contribution from Ali.  While I initially disliked the eighties touches, now I know I’m in love.  I guess it depends on how you listen.

Gobbledigook [ysi] | Sigur Rós
While a lot of Sigur Rós’ other material is often floaty and dragged out, Gobbledigook is a definite rock piece, all business, no nonsense.  But the percussion makes me want to skip around gleefully.

I’ll Kill Her [ysi] | Soko
She said, “Please can you make some beautiful baybeeez?!”
Little angry Frenchwoman who has her entire life planned out.  I definitely don’t mean any harm to blondes, ever, by putting this song up here.  “All she’s got is blondeness, not even tenderness!”  If I had the space or the patience, I’d put all the lyrics here.

I Blame Coco [ysi] | I Blame Coco
I am a fan of delicate, pretty voices, which is one of my problems with a lot of French music.  A lot of them have deep, raspy voices.  Not a fan.  Coco’s not French, but she is Sting’s daughter and she is my age, and she does have a deep voice.  But her song’s fun, and her voice is a classy addition to this very low-key chanson.

Dishwasher [ysi] | Fujiya & Miyagi
My main obsession with this song is the low-key nature.  Then there’s the percussion.  Then there’s the “raspberry rrrrripple ice cream” part.

Complicated (Avril Lavigne Cover) [ysi] | Ben Gibbard
Shut up!  This is serious!
Wanna know my secret?  I listen to Avril Lavigne to fall asleep some nights.  IT’S OUT.  And while Ben points out that her life isn’t very complicated, man…this is a good cover, especially with the talking at the beginning and at the end.  Those parts make the song.

Hello Benjamin [ysi] | Melpo Mene
I’ve already declared that I’m in love with this band.  But there’s something about the melancholy tone of this one that just gets to me.  That, and it’s always moving.

Broadripple Is Burning [ysi] | Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s
I will haunt you like a ghost
I keep running into this song.  It’s more delicate than a Bright Eyes song.



LA NOURRITURE!

The last time we went to the grocery store, my mother told me that I should lay off of pre-packaged and frozen special-made vegetarian and vegan foods because they are too expensive and I need to be more resourceful. After all, when I am in college, I will need to learn to cook. By the by, just typing about college makes me get butterflies in my stomach. I am so excited.

Anyway, I bitched and moaned about “OMGZ, Mom, I’m vegetarian! You can eat anything I can eat, but I can’t eat everything that you can eat! Make a Venn Diagram! UGHGHGhghghghhh!” I think that I was so irritated because of two reasons. One, my period was on its way. Two, I have wanted to cook for myself from scratch for a long time (because it would give me more of an opportunity to slip into going vegan), but I have always figured that my mother would be pissed about it. The fact that she was not even remotely pissed somehow set me off.

So I ate my boxed couscous and pondered on gathering recipes.

I am the sort of person who always needs a project. I rarely finish my projects, but what I get done is grand. So in order to aid my attempt at veganism/learning to cook, I decided that I must gather recipes. And in order to organize that, I should gather them in a cookbook of sorts. Since I love composition notebooks, I grabbed one from my drawer.

The question was then where I should gather them from. Well, a while back, I found this website featuring a Jenny Lewis interview–and at the bottom of the page, it had her recipe for vegan “chicken” and then Mike Mogis’ recipe for vegan gravy and this recipe for vegan Worcestershire sauce. Although I had bookmarked it, I lost all of my bookmarks once in a Firefox update sesh, but FORTUNATELY, I had preserved my bookmarks on my LiveJournal in anticipation for the move. And let me tell you, this modest site has changed so much.

The site is actually called Cooking With Rockstars, a…I want to say subsidiary…of Jenville. Cooking With Rockstars chronicles a bunch of interviews conducted by the lovely Jennifer Robbins with various stars in the musical mainstream. But I don’t want to say mainstream. I almost want to call it the indie mainstream. You know, the artists you know and love. Probably. I mean, considering you’re on this blog. Rufus Wainwright, Ben Gibbard, Sam Beam, Britt Daniel, Annie Clark. I mean, just to name a few. And the artists contribute recipes, and Ms. Robbins publishes them on her site. I actually think that she is Mrs. Robbins, because she has an official “Wedding Site.” And also, she is a charming interviewer.

Fortunately for vegans, there are many vegan recipes on there (mainly salads, but I should think that Jenny Lewis’ “chicken” should be grand), as well as several vegetarian recipes where you’d only need to alter one or two minor ingredients (like swap butter for vegan margarine). While there are a few non-vegetarian recipes on there, eh, I took eighteen edible ones away (and those were just some of the ones that were to my taste).

Anyway, I guess as I begin the transition and learn to cook, I shall chronicle my adventures. You know, what tastes good, where I got my recipes from. Yeah.

On a completely different note, I am the creepiest creepster with Facebook. Every time I see that someone has a new album, I’m all over it. Like, holy shit yes. I’d like to think that it is all about my obsession with aesthetically pleasing things. But maybe I am just a lurker.

Now. All weekend, I sat on my ass, collecting music to offer to you-all. My first noteworthy find is “Wake The Sun” by the Matches. It’s quite a catchy, cheerful tune, like 10/10, almost sure to start off a good day. It is necessary, kind of like coffee or OJ. In retrospect, I now realize that I heard it once in art class when someone plugged in his (probably his, maybe her) iPod to the art room speakers. Actually, that day, someone was playing spectacular music that I did not recognize. It was one of those rare days.

Wake The Sun | The Matches
[zshare] [mediafire]
[buy] [mp3 direct link]
The Matches’ MySpace
The Matches’ Website

The next song is a Vampire Weekend, equally impeccable and equally catchy. Automatic love right here. Plus, the lyrics are familiar in a good way. Maybe I’ve never been in a situation like that before personally, but it sounds like something that happens all the time.

Campus | Vampire Weekend
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[buy] [mp3 direct link]
Vampire Weekend’s MySpace
Vampire Weekend’s Website

This last track is actually my mother’s finding. While she was at the Matt Nathanson concert with her friend, she texted me and told me that I would like the band that opened for him. Of course, the text was in like teeny bopper talk, with “u” for you and “r” for are. That’s not important. I looked up the opening act, since she omitted the name, and came up with the name Honeyhoney. There was also like Jason Reeves or something, but I figured she was talking about the band. I checked for them on the Hype Machine and failed. Then I iTunes’d them and came up with five tracks–apparently they have recently released an EP. I laughed at the clips I heard. They sucked. This is an example, though, of iTunes sucking at picking out 30-second clips. Gaddamn.

This morning, my mother slipped into my room and sat on my bed and started unwrapping this CD case. She gave me the CD and told me I would probably like them because they were an “off” band. I kind of cringed, but loaded it on my computer anyway. And then I gave them a second shot.

While I didn’t love the first two songs, the last three were slower and more my style, and they really allowed Suzanne Santo’s voice to shine. I basically loved the last three tracks. Thus, I am jealous of my mother.

My madre was sort of concerned about the parental advisory on the CD, and then she asked me if I ever buy CDs with that. I was thinking, “You should hear some of the music I listen to,” but instead, I just affirmed that I do, indeed. Well, I did not hear any explicit lyrics in the first three songs, so I was wondering why there was a warning (maybe because the first song is about a gun?). That is, until the third song came on. It’s raunchy and sexy, but mellow at the same time. Thus, I shall present you the reason for the parental advisory.

Thursday Night | Honeyhoney
[zshare] [mediafire]
[buy] [mp3 direct link]
Honeyhoney’s MySpace
Honeyhoney’s Website

Also, while I’m at it, I might as well say that I love being a senior in Pennsylvania and getting to sleep in again tomorrow because underclassmen have to take the Terra Novas and PSSAs. LOVE IT.

*By the by, I have revised my host site so that mp3s show up on the Hype Machine.  You now have a variety of options for downloading them.  I really recommend MediaFire or the direct link because there is no waiting time, but if you’re more familiar with YouSendIt, just click on the title.  Or if you’re more familiar with zShare, click on that link.  Anyway, I am not sure how long I am going to keep this three-host thing up because it will get old fast.  I guess I am just transitioning.  Also, I am in debt to the Hype Machine help staff.  They’re so nice and easy to work with.  Plus, they responded to me right away.  No guarantee that they will always do that, but I was impressed.