Sunday, April 27, 2008

Not a Grey Day

Friday I got the long awaited email from iTunes that the next episode of "Grey's Anatomy" was finally available for download (yes, I am a big spoiled dork with a season pass). The episode they released during the strike blew (those scabs sadly couldn't write worth bird poo to be honest). But I was anxious to see the next developments in the Grace-McDreamy-nurse triangle and crossed my fingers that the writers were back on track. And so I pressed play on Saturday (sorry Liz, I meant this to be a little extra birthday surprise but I just couldn't help myself!).

For starters, here's some "Grey's Anatomy" music trivia for ya: all the episodes are named after songs! This episode was "Where the Wild Things Are" (I had to look this one up, it's by Metallica). It however did not start out with a heavy metal headbanging, but instead it lucke-ly (hint hint) opened up with "I'm Good, I'm Gone" by (if you got my hint) Lykke Li!!! (What I wouldn't give to set my favorite songs as the background music to my favorite shows for a living.) Anyway, I didn't think it was possible, but after this magical music opening the episode just kept getting better and better (pure, beautiful McDrama). And now, move over Soko, make room for Lykke Li!

P.S. I was oh so sad and disappointed that I missed her at SXSW. I keep telling myself, "Next year, next year." Check here out in this video with Robyn (who I DID get to see) doing an acoustic version of "I'm Good, I'm Gone" (it's goosebump material!).

Friday, April 25, 2008

Chuck It To Me!

It's ads like this that make me never ever want to touch another creative brief in my life--not even with a ten-foot pole!

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Translation: "I finally hear the balls whizzing!" Heike Albrecht, German tennis talent. Hard of hearing since birth. Her goal: Wimbledon 2010. Germany-wide scientific hearing study: Test the arguably best hearing system of all times!"

And it's campaigns like THIS that make me wanna do nothing else but advertising (and wear nothing on my feet but my Chucks) for the rest of my life.

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Such a simple, why-the-hell-didn't-I-think-of-that yet powerful and nicely executed idea. Let's wait and see what Cannes has to say.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

SXSW 2008 Recap: Santogold @ IHEARTCOMIX/Mad Decent Party

The IHEARTCOMIX vs. Mad Decent Austin Blowout 2008 took place on the rooftop of a parking garage in Austin's warehouse district. It didn't get as crowded as I expected, but there were enough party people about to make up for it (quality vs. quantity).

That morning I had gotten a last-minute email from Liz to be sure to check out Santogold at the party, and for some reason I was picturing a Klaxon or Shit Disco-like UK band. But what I got was a million times better than I ever imagined!!! Backed by two dancers and Diplo on the turntables, she turned out to be my favorite act from this party (possibly even all of SXSW). Despite a few technical difficulties that almost got Diplo "fired", Santogold kept her cool (I couldn't believe how girl-next-door down-to-earth she was!) and the party FUN FUN FUN!!!




Santogold "You'll Find a Way" Live


Santogold @ IHEARTCOMIX / Mad Decent Blowout SXSW 2008



More on the other performances later alligators.

I think I'm pregnant.

So Tuesday I decided I was getting stuck in a bittersweet music rut and would not listen to any of my same old same old itunes playlists at work but only myspace music instead. I think I spent almost a whole day just listening to The Brunettes (so much for branching out!). But then I jump-started some Top 8 surfing yesterday, which sent me to Au Revoir Simone (who I hadn't listened to in ages), then Moshi Moshi Records (I just watched "Domicile Conjugale" last weekend and the "moshi moshi" scene was one of my favorites), on to Metronomy (where I was seduced by the Peter, Bjorn and John meets The Rapture meets Neue Deutsche Welle "My Heart Rate Rapid"), followed by The Teenagers, then a quick jaunt over toLadyhawke, and back to The Teenagers. Which is where I discovered and quickly fell in love with the "Love No" cover by Soko. I even liked it better than the original (Désolé, boys!). Intrigued to the T, I decided to finally scope her out her profile. And OMIGOD, she's amaaaazing!!!

I honestly thought Soko was Swedish and was pleasantly surprised to find out that she's actually French! Then after listening to all her songs, her lyrics, vocal delivery and acoustic melodies made me think she's equal measure The Teenagers, Jens Lekman and Björk all in one (with her whole being greater than the sum of her parts)! So I've basically been listening to the same five songs on her profile on repeat all day. My favorites are "I will never love you more" and "I think I'm pregnant". So honest and so giggle-inducingly funny.





Anyway, I'm super bummed because not only did I miss her playing White Trash last December, she's back in Berlin on my birthday. But I'm going to be in London!!!! Uuuggghhh...

For all my lucky London friends, she's playing an acoustic set at the Spread Eagle on Kingsland Road (next to no.one and across from Jaguar Shoes) tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. Please go so I may live vicariously through you!

Tell me, how can I abort my fat earworm? Ees getting beegga and beegga! Beegga and beegga!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"The Beginning of the Twist": The Futureheads Take On Me!

My trusty and faithful source just tipped me off about the newest video from The Futureheads (their third album "This Is Not the World" is being released online only May 26th!). From the same guys who brought us probably the most amazing Kate Bush cover ever (with Purple Crush coming in second), "The Beginning of the Twist" is a little less barbershop quartet and a little more British punk than what I'm used to hearing from my fave Sunderlanders. But it didn't need a lot of getting used to, and I just love this A-Ha-esque video ("Take on Me" was my all-time favorite when I was little and I think they did a brill job referencing it without doing a copy-cat modern remake). Ear worm and eye candy in one for sure!



Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Free Gossip Download @ RCRD LBL!!!

The Gossip just released their "Live in Liverpool" album. Get your free "Yr Mangled Heart" download here!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Egyptian Lover DJ Set @ Rap History 1984

Last Thursday was Rap History's 1984 party with a special DJ set by none other than the legendary Egyptian Lover, who kept all the gold chains in the house swingin and the asses shakin. If you missed this party, then go ahead and mark your calendar for Rap History 1985 on May 8th with DJ Haitian Star.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Who Got the Funk? My Earworms Got the Funk!

I normally don't watch much TV, but the other week I decided to be more frugal and cancel my cable subscription--as soon as the Germany's Next Top Model finale has aired, that is! Until then, I guess I've subconsciously decided to get my money's worth cause I've started leaving the TV on in the background. When I got home from work today I set it on VIVA, which retriggered an ear worm I had completely forgotten about and sparked whole nother one.

Exhibit A:

"My Man Is a Mean Man" by Stefanie Heinzmann



It's almost hard to believe that 19-year-old, Swiss Stefanie is the powerful, raspy soul voice behind this song. When I first saw her perform on TV Total when Stefan Raab hosted a mock-German Idol competition, I think my jaw dropped to the ground in disbelief. She ended up winning, and I first heard her new single the night I spent packing for my U.S. trip. It was an immediate ear worm, and it was one of those rare occassions where I was actually happy to see a music video in heavy rotation. But once I got to the States, I had SXSW on my mind (and unlike Tokio Hotel, it'll probably be a while till she makes her U.S. breakthrough--yes, I actually did see Tokio Hotel on American MTV--at like 5 a.m. though). Anyway, it wasn't until I saw the video again tonight on Germany's Top 100 that my ear worm arose from the dead.


Exhibit B:

"Beggin" by Madcon




As soon as this Norwegian hip hop duo's song came on, I started bustin a move. If you ever need some motivation to get up outta your chair, then I'm sure this'll help do the trick. There's even some nifty old school dance moves in the video. Be sure to practice for the next time I hit the club.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

SXSW 2008 Recap: Playboy Party

Believe it or not, but I didn't make it to ANY official showcases Day 2. And I had my schedule like 85% planned out and everything! But my friend Josh took me to the Playboy party instead (his friend, also a Josh, was bartending and put him on the list). Some girl he knew had bailed so I was going to use her name to get in, but then we realized they were checking IDs for the guestlist (d'oh!). There were like 5 people checking the guestlist and I set my sights on the black girl (you know, to try an milk the "us sistas gotsta stick together" schtick, whatever). But Josh went to her instead so I got the white girl and just went ahead and told her my name. She was trying hard to find it (and I already had this whole spiel ready in my head like, "Are you sure I'm not on there? I like totally RSVP'd like ages ago and so-and-so said I was on it, so please check again, etc."), but before we got that far, black girl asked Josh who his +1 was, and I was like "ME!!!". Pfew! Good thing, cause I would have been super bummed if I hadn't gotten in and it was already too late to make it to any showcases.

But we got in in time to catch the last bit of MGMT, and the other Josh hooked us up with the stiffest whiskey and cokes I've ever had (but kept slinging back like koolaid nonetheless). I didn't feel the full effect until the taxi ride home (read more of my shamefully tragic story here). After MGMT, Moby DJ'd. The last time I had seen him DJ was in like 1996 (the climax of my techno phase) at Nature One (this outdoor rave at an abandoned airfield in Germany), and I must say, I didn't think he still had it in him. In fact, that was one of THE best DJ sets I've ever experienced. Unfortunately I can't remember half of what he played (I think there was an 80s rock song thrown in there somewhere) and I was too busy drinking and dancing to take many pictures, but it was amaaaaazing! The Justice DJ set paled in comparison and Josh (unable to be heard over the voluminous beats) kept pointing to his cell, into which he had typed "blasphemous". Towards the end, two guys in some kind of bear costume got on stage. It was like, "What happened to the Playboy bunnies?!" Ah well, I think the ones that WERE at the party were fakes (or at least D-rate bunnies) anyway.






SXSW 2008 Recap: Jens Lekman @ Club de Ville

I couldn't help but see Jens Lekman again, even though I had seen him barely a month before in Berlin. This time was different anyway (so I told myself), since it was an acoustic set and he wasn't backed by a full band but only one musician on bongos. His swedeness was again my weakness. And this time I even caught all of "A Postcard to Nina" on film. Have a look!

"A Postcard to Nina"

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"The Opposite of Hallelujah"

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Monday, April 7, 2008

SXSW 2008 Recap: Lou Reed, Moby and N*E*R*D @ Levi's/Fader Fort

After the Filter party on Day 2 I returned to the Fader Fort. The number of stylish hipsters had increased and the Lou Reed tribute was underway. Moby was the last artist in the tribute lineup and to everyone's surprise Lou Reed actually showed up on stage and joined in to play "Walk on the Wild Side". See the video below! Sorry it's not steady. I was a bit tipsy from the SoCo lime and couldn't keep my soulful swaying under control (trust me, trying to hold my arm up for that long was an accomplishment in and of itself). My video of N*E*R*D (who performed afterwards) isn't much better. In fact, it's a LOT worse because they got me (and the whole crowd) jumpin and dancin around like crazy mofo's. But I couldn't not try to capture footage of all the fun (and simply swaying from side to side just wouldn't do). So I suggest taking some dramamine before pressing play.

















Lou Reed and Moby




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N*E*R*D





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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Bud-acious Sounds from fred flare!!!

The past three years I've been using various ugly, junky black hand-me-down desktop speakers. Of course, all that time I've yearned for some sleak, white earworm-dispensing eye candy, but techie gadget things (of any sort) are usually one of the last things I spend my money on, so I rarely actively go hunting for them. But I just discovered the coolest speakers at fred flare for $60 (which I think is a decent price). I just haven't dared looking at how high international shipping and import taxes are yet!

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

F**ck Cancer Benefit @ Mercy Lounge, Nashville (3/27/08)

I interrupt the regularly scheduled SXSW-recap blogging to post the following...Yes, I'm still alive. Going through some sort of belated quarter-life crisis. But I'm alive. At any rate, last week I flew to Nashville to visit an old college friend. It was quite an ordeal getting there. The trip that took me like 4 hours on the way back, took me nearly 13 hours on the way over and involved waiting 30 minutes for the plane in Atlanta to get back from the mechanics, sitting on the plane for 2 hours while waiting for the luggage to be loaded and excess fuel to be pumped out, after which a fuel leak was discovered and the flight was finally cancelled, THEN waiting in line to reschedule my flight and almost getting to the service counterafter about an hour only to realize that there were courtesy phones nobody was using, calling someone on the courtesy phone and at first being told that the next flight would be the next morning, telling that person to please LOOK again, and luckily being able to get on a flight that evening after all. Which was also delayed but at least got me to Nashville.

So after all that for a friggin 40-minute flight, I was looking forward to a cold beer and some live music. Luckily, my friend and her boyfriend had already made plans for us: the F**k Cancer benefit show at the Mercy Lounge. The venue and the crowd reminded me a lot of Austin (though I did feel more naked than usual without a tattoo). And we got there right on time for her favorite Nashville band, The Features, who I thoroughly enjoyed. As did I Tommy and the Whale.


The Features






Tommy and the Whale