this must be the place....goin strong , yeah baby!!!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Peace Out Homies!

so we are moving right now. Casa Vista is in disrepair. Trips bed is predictably still there with no one to pick it up. Tomorrows the last day on our lease. We are going to listen to the old M83 record in the basement tonight with friends, if you are reading this you are invited. And T-Minus 2 weeks until Casa Vista East/RanchO RelaxO is back open for business.

I have started drumming rudiments out for 1.5-2 hours a day. Its been really nice.
Saw Marnie Stern this week with Archer and Oguz and watched the drummer (Zach from Hella) 75% of the time. It was brutal (in a good way). What a monster on the kick pedal. Saw Bishop Allen the night before at a sweltering Emos Lounge. The show was pretty good, but I remembered them being a little more Neutral Milk Hotel last time I saw them. I guess they must have nixed the distortion on the acoustic and totally killed that vibe. They had this hard rolling organ on maybe 30% of the songs that was really Elvis Costello 2nd/3rd album. Pretty cool stuff, well done, it will be interesting to see where they go. Their record is more standardish well done indie fair (reminded me of a more power pop Andrew Bird and the Mysterious Eggs record sort of).

We had a Jason Chu and the Beauty Marks practice last week that started at about midnight. It was a go very last minute and Tiffany had understandably already made her way to the Draughthouse with the girls. Results were hysterical and totally fun, because we only figured out how much she had had to drink in the middle of practice. It was really nice to have the whole band together, I think we have really good chemistry. The only one who didnt end up making it was Dann who was asleep in the next room!!! Oh well.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Dizzie "Old Skool" vid ft. the Casa Vista extended fam

You may recognize this video dear reader because, well, you may have been on set when it was being filmed. Im sorry to report that unless your name is Ozii "Africa" Obiyo, your melanin count may not have been high enough not to get drowned out by the flood lights.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Johnny Rotten interview from Little Caesar #8

this was ripped straight from:
Dennis Cooper's Blog which you should all go check out. Its an early PiL era interview from a zine he did in the late 70s-early 80s and I found it really interesting. And yes, those are picture links.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Format talk with Jared Van Fleet: AKA This Luddites LP Battlecry

DISCLAMER: this post got totally fucked which is to say I had 2 windows open and hit the save now button on the less completed one at some point (that point being when i was totally finished) so I had to write this TWICE! WTF!! The first time I write this was much better too but being the stubborn ol' cuss that I am you will recieve this inferior product regardless. anyways...

So last Sunday night Sparrow House (who is Jared who also plays in Voxtrot) played on Local Live and the set was about 30 minutes and then we definately went right on ahead and used the other 30 minutes to just talk about music. The crew was me, his hotness Sir Chris Wiggington (professional gentleman, scholar, radio host), Keef and Jared in the booth. At some point we got to talking about blogs (you may notice a large number of new blog links over there to your right...thats cause i wrote them down...for my blog...which is this) and the conversation shifted again to the ages old debate "the death of the music industry as we know it."

So Jared pointed out that the LP ("Long Player") was originally just a way to sell more singles and he presented well thought out arguements about how smaller formates (EPs and Singles) free up artists to do other things. I think specifically he was talking about the EP once again becoming a viable release for economic reasons (99 cent itunes releases which also shed the overhead of having a physical disc of any sort) but I believe he was refering to Singles as well.

Now Im all for going with the flow and recognizing that the shift to LPs in the first place was made out of economic necessity and the shift in itself is no nobler than the one we are currently experiencing that is taking us back to singles. BUT (but) there will always be room for singles because singles sell (in the short run) and 2. a shift back to singles will encourage any commercially interested musician into some amount of self-censorship in the writing process. Honestly I think we owe it to ourselves as self-concious beings to recognize that the LP format is where our FREEDOM is. We might write singles for ourselves but thats whats paying the bills, and if the bills need to get paid more energy than natural is going to get spent on them and I think we are going to see a much much more conservative music scene, which I am very against. And its not the EP I have something against, there have been plenty of records that I buy for 15 buck that have had 4 (or less) good tracks on it and the rest is trash. But at least then I know the rest is trash and I can take it for what it is.

The thing about singles is you forfeit the right to define your own context. I recently got into the idea of listening to podcasts and I loved it, but the thing about a band that gets played that way and only has the single or 2-3 tracks is that they will be contextualized by the DJ without having a rebuttal statement of their own (aka their music). And the fact of the matter is with singles, they are only 3:30 minutes long. There is only so much you can say, especially when you have to repeat the chorus "yeah x19" three times in that span. Thats why I took 15 seconds in paint to make this and then uploaded it:

also: Check This Shit. My Granddad likes The Eagles

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Casa Vista vs. Strawberry Jam

Tuesday and Casa Vista were host to a basemented, moodlighted listening experience. Animal Collective provided the content (Roughly filtered through layers of pre-arcanized-vernacular 'Casa Vista' translates to good friends and good music)

Now, I've followed this band. I've heard most if not all of their released material and even a decent amount of their instantaneous/spontaneous goods. They've most always excited me; I seem instinctively to correlate intrigue to interest. What I mean by this in the context of this review(if you will), is that when I listen to an album in its entirety and get the sense that I haven't really "listened" to the "entire" album, it strongly piques my interest. Animal Collective has often provided me this. Feels and Project Hummer did not (although both were very strong and very enjoyable releases).

Don't worry, everything has relevance.

It seemed to me that the biggest influence on this album could have been previous Animal Collective works. They have a sizable catalog these days and I wouldn't be surprised to hear that they sat down and studied it all. In this sense I feel they've grown without necessarily providing anything new. Which isn't a bad thing. The album is heavily reminiscent of Spirit They're gone, Spirit They've Vanished, which is my favorite of theirs ('Bat You'll Fly' is a near perfect pop song soaked in ink and ornamented with day-glo stickers) as both albums seem to operate under the paradigm of the sunken pop song. But where STGSTV took you to the depths of the ocean where light and fluorescent color seem to joyously and elusively dart around you, Strawberry Jam takes you to the shallows where colorful reefs and schools of tropical fish overwhelm the senses and the sun is comfortingly in full view. Vocals are turned up, screeches are brought down. Pretty Panda Bear samples are front-and-center, dissonant synth work moves to the back.

Again, none of this is necessarily negative, I simply feel that it's not as progressive as their other works. From a band that's always seemed to want to stretch itself (look at the differential created between Here Comes the Indian and Campfire Songs/Sung Tongs), this release feels like a band growing old and wanting to settle down. I could be entirely wrong, but I would expect future Animal Collective releases to sound much like this one.

All in all I love the album after having only heard the whole thing once and still feel it's some of the most creative music being made right now. My only complaint is that it feels like a mean of their previous work, which isn't much of a complaint I suppose.

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Monday, July 9, 2007

Matt and Kim: W T F

Until today, all I knew of Matt and Kim was the Flosstradamus remix of "Yeah Yeah".

That video has been on like every blog in the world, so I'm sorry, but it's awesome. However, after listening to the Matt and Kim album today, it is apparent that "Yeah Yeah" is their only good song. The rest of the tracks on their album are like throw away Mates of State material.

Since the only song I like has a chorus comprised entirely of the word "Yeah!" I can't really complain about the trite lyrical nature of their songs, but it seems mostly stream of consciousness, uninteresting, and uninspired.

The chord progressions are really simple and are somehow reminiscent of early Get Up Kids songs to me. Some people might think this is a complaint, but this is really the only compliment I can give this album. That it made me want to listen to Four Minute Mile by The Get Up Kids. And also the secret track with Matt saying "Matt and Kim!" over and over and talking about buying donuts was alright.

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Boredoms + 77 Drummers in Brooklyn 7-7-07

I should have just made a vacation out of it. Pitchfork posted a couple videos but you didnt really get to see the ensemble work together like in this first one of these. New Yorkers are really lucky to have things pop up like this every so often. It reminds me of this story I read in John Cale's autobiography about John Cage doing this thing where he had a large group of piano players repeat this one Satie piece like 800 times. Cool!

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Crotch on Fire in Missouri

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Sunday, July 8, 2007

How Not to Throw a House Show

I think if I ever write an autobiography thats what its going to be called. The answer is....dont have it last for 10 hours without a damn good reason! I dont know I dont really want to talk about the first part of our little 7-7-07 party (the part with all the sitting around and the bands not playing) nor the last part of the party (the neighborly violence). I shouldnt say I dont want to talk about the last part of the party at all, because thats when Zach Stacey got off work and brought over 2 dozen pipping hot cookies from Tiffs Treats. Thats 21 for the guests and 3 for me. Good vibes shout out Zach! thanks for the Sun City girls concert, maybe Ill figure out a way to post some of that in mp3 format for the people.

Anyways the middle of the party was pretty fun. It was my first time to see Mermaid Blonde so now I think ive seen all of Arts bands (even though thats really Pauls band). The Black played under really beautiful changing light right at sunset. Jason Chu played and Polaris really liked it (as well as everyone else). Polaris is a guy who I never expect to see, am never surprised to see, and am always glad to see. Polaris is the recipient of the 2nd official Casa Vista Good Vibes Shout Out Award of this blog post. Shout out 3 goes to Taft for bringing the mic stands which totally saved the day. I think this is the last time to attempt an all day event like that (outside of SXSW). Its just not worth it. Why would you want to be at the same house party for 10 hours, you know? Bands + DJs = 5 hrs max, thats the rule. At least nothing got stolen this time. It sort of reminded me of my 20th birthday party. My 19th birthday was the best party I have ever been to. It was at the coop and all the people there were my friends and all the costumes were incredible. The best was Sturart who dressed up like a caveman, complete with a surrounding frozen block of ice made of ciran wrap. He would dance and you could see him dancing inside this ice cube, but it was also in the context of this very bulky costume bouncing side to side in rhythm. Totally funny. Anyways, I tried to do the same thing for 20 (just bigger) and it just didnt work as well. Circumstances were slightly different and went unaccounted for. But life is about learning and I dont feel really drug down at all, well just do it again next time hopefully better. I think for a while it was really something special, and I think the people who didnt make it there until everyone started showing up and then left before we had neighbor problems probably had a really good time. I know a few people had a good time and I had an interesting late night jam with the SUNSET crew.

Also Taft mentioned that he had read the whole Beatles vs. Rolling Stones post, which makes him the first person besides myself to bring this blog up in conversation. While apologizing I was relieved to hear that although he didnt agree with me (maybe because he has half a brain...the complement his other half...) it made him feel something down there in his body, so thats good. Also dont let your interest be peaked--if you havent read that post yet...dont. :P xoxo

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Charlie has a 2nd house show

I got no pics, but I played a show at Charlie's last night. I had a Spanish test this morning and pre-show was in his music room doing Spanish homework for a little bit. That dude (maybe + roommates) has a killer record collection. Anyways, it was his second show in 3 days. It rained for this one which killed turnout a bit, but the people that were there had a great time. I think (hope) he is going to start putting more shows like that together, hes got a great house for it, and especially if it is sunshiny and the living room gets moved outside.

I started the show, playing the first Ethan, Master of the Hawaiian Ukulele set since the Oneida show last June. It was solo and 75% cowboy love songs on a guitar but we wont let the facts get in the way of keeping the moniker. It was nice to do it in a living room. The moment I finished about 6 more people came through the door. I think I will probably do it again on Saturday at our house. Eric Archer and Oguz came but after I was done. They brought this semi-spicy trail mix which was delicious.

After me Martin Crane from Brazos played. I had never seen him before. I had heard good things and tried to go see them at Local Live last month, but they played during this torrential downpour and I woke up from a nap and saw it and went back to bed. Anyways, I didnt make it and was glad to finally see it. Martin played 4 songs on acoustic guitar: a Beck cover, a Mark Ashworth cover, and then 2 of his own. Im glad he played after me because hes got this great high voice and I dont like to play after people who have actual vocal talent. Maybe its standard insecurity, but I think as a general rule in Western Society people prefer higher voices. For every Johnny Cash there are about 20 Justin Timberlakes, not to say Martin sounded like that. Anyways, hopefully he will be able to play the show at my house on Saturday, Ive been busy with school so I havent really gotten around to confirming the acts yet and I have a feeling maybe 1 or 2 slots will open and close back up before its all said and done.

Anyways the last band to play was The Shift from Colorado. They were a heavy instrumental 3 piece and they were great, though even with ear plugs in i felt like i was going deaf. Candice said the drummer was the fastest shed ever heard. I didnt think he was especially especially fast but i did think he was realy original and really good. I wouldnt say he made it look easy, but he looked very comfortable making some very complicated changes. Those guys really met my criteria for an instrumental 3 piece in the sense that I could focus on any of the instruments and be impressed and they all worked together. The bass was shockingly funky considering how often they changed or played in weird time signitures. The guitarist was doing these crazy crazy arpeggios and making really strange shapes. I want him to take a video fo the fretboard while he plays and post it on youtube. I told those guys after the show that they would go over really well in San Antonio and I am definately going to alert Crotch on Fire to their presence. They dont sound like those San Antonio bands, but knowing what those guys flip out about they would really like this band. They were so tight and always sounded heavy first and proggy second, even though they were doing really wacky shit sometimes.

ALSO: on a blogging note we may have some new voices joining us here pretty soon, so get ready. :P

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Monday, July 2, 2007

Yes, I like Jam bands, and how thats related to the Stones being better than the Beatles

Theres a couple ways to start this little thought of mine. The most obvious starts out "hey, FUCK you guys!..." or "forgive the spelling mistakes," but I think its better to go with the historical perspective. When I was in middle school this "cool" older kid turned me on to jam bands. I liked it because he did and Phish was his favorite band. He was really into it, he had the cassette tapes and everything. He had somehow managed to follow them around one summer even though he was only like a Freshman in High School. He must have had bad parents. Anyways, so I developed a liking for jam bands. I can tell you the basic principal is learn a large number of stock licks for your instrument (which is not unusual in an international could compare it to having some stock rhymes for freestyling which is in many cultures, not just hiphop) and improvising around them. But what makes the jam band good is the actual improvising and what that is is personal style. The Rolling Stones were that personal style (aka "attitude"). The Beatles were those well crafted and ultimately middle of the road stock riffs.

Me and Shane were at this (awesome) show Charlie Alvarado and Michael Schernberg's (sp?) place and they had this jam band from Colorado playing. Those guys were just having a great time and everyone (including yours truly) sat in at some point towards the end. I had pulled my Berklee 5 week blowout shirt out of the woodwork and i think it gave me some jam band cred, even though I got stuck on keys which I really dont know how to play very well. But yeah, the drummer wanted to play this one tune that his band didnt know so he just told them "uptempo, bluegrass, G C D G 12 bar" or something and then he sang along. It went off without a hitch. The downside to this is that the individual songs lose their flavor, with the benefit being you can play any bluegrass song as long as you have 5 or 6 bluegrass riffs because in the course of a jam band set you will only play 1-3 of them (and if you are the type of jam band to play 3 of them you will likely have more than 5-6 bluegrass riffs). And they are definately premade riffs, learned like "hey check this one out" "oh thats cool." Another downside is sometimes it sounds like 6 riffs in a row one after another and not necessarily connected (which its not).

OK that being said I still like jam bands and it was great for the party.

And this next part is completely reactionary against "Sir" Paul McCartneys recent trip on the press circut to promote his new record (available in Starbuckes everywhere). That fucker just goes on and on about how great he is and the Beatles phenomenon etc etc etc. Those aging british playboys are all the same* (*actually not true)

Beatles fans always say they were the most creative or inventive band of their era but thats simply not true. While they made advances sonically (much of which can certainly be attributed to Phil Spector and not the Beatles proper) the songcraft remained mostly traditional through their career. I mean there are tracks less innovative than Revolution #9 (which was actually just a popularization of something that had been going on in France for TWENTY YEARS) straight through to the end of their catalogue. Also the Stones get lumped into the debate as Beatles vs. Stones even though the Beatles were broken up by 1970 and the Stones put out Sticky Fingers in 71 and then Exile on Main St. in 1972. But lets back up.

Meet the Beatles is 64. Their tracks are great sure, but could not be called innovative. I Want to Hold Your Hand is not an innovative track. They were innovaters sure, Im not here to take anything away from them* (*also not true) but I think 80% of what most people love about Beatles songs is the same thing that can be found in I Want to Hold Your Hand.

What are the lyrics to that song? What is the form of that song? Does it work? Fuck yeah it works but the fact that I can even ask such rhetorical questions proves a point. its not really self aware music in alot of ways. Maybe aware of what charted at the time. Alot of that cool shit on their later records is the drugs talking, and props to them for having the pop chops/song craftsmanship to pull it off, but really thats what does pull it off.

In my opinion the early Stones singles blow the early Bealtes singles out of the water. When you are talking 1965 I think its fair consider something as basic as the adaptation of the American Blues as an innovation, and its what their whole fucking sound is based off of. But they do shit with it. Their tracks sound different, and they found a way to make different instrumentations work. The vibes on Under My Thumb or even for christs sake you could count the sax on Satisfaction if you are gonna compare it to Buddy Holly.

I dont know, I sort of want to compare specific tracks and it only highlights one aspect of each of the bands. Compare the song "Yesterday" with "Wild Horses" or "Angie". Yesterday is a perfectly constructed pop song with well orchistrated strings and one chord in particlar (on the strings) that is just really awesome songcraft, but the point is arrived at the same way jam bands arrive at their points, which is make a chord progression and then build something off it. 90% of what the Beatles do is built off of chords with a melody on top with lyrics to fit in. Im mainly talking Paul here. But the real difference to me is that the lyrics are total fluff, and also totally self-absorbed. They hint at the 64 year old man and his Starbucks publicity tour. There are 2 very real parites in both of those Stones songs and they actually speak of life. Beatles songs sound to me like if you taught a 12 year old how to really write songs, what he would write, which is maybe why they are such a "phenomanon" (sp?) or whatever.

So that was longwinded enough, maybe ill let Mick do the talking for me and I want you as you read this to try and think of the best Beatles lyrics you can and then admit to yourself they are not as good:

Angie, angie, when will those clouds all disappear?
Angie, angie, where will it lead us from here?
With no loving in our souls and no money in our coats
You cant say were satisfied
But angie, angie, you cant say we never tried
Angie, youre beautiful, but aint it time we said good-bye?
Angie, I still love you, remember all those nights we cried?
All the dreams we held so close seemed to all go up in smoke
Let me whisper in your ear:
Angie, angie, where will it lead us from here?
Oh, angie, dont you weep, all your kisses still taste sweet
I hate that sadness in your eyes
But angie, angie, aint it time we said good-bye?
With no loving in our souls and no money in our coats
You cant say were satisfied
But angie, I still love you, baby
Evrywhere I look I see your eyes
There aint a woman that comes close to you
Come on baby, dry your eyes
But angie, angie, aint it good to be alive?
Angie, angie, they cant say we never tried

Childhood living is easy to do
The things you wanted I bought them for you
Graceless lady you know who I am
You know I cant let you slide through my hands

Wild horses couldnt drag me away
Wild, wild horses, couldnt drag me away

I watched you suffer a dull aching pain
Now you decided to show me the same
No sweeping exits or offstage lines
Could make me feel bitter or treat you unkind

Wild horses couldnt drag me away
Wild, wild horses, couldnt drag me away

"I know I dreamed you a sin and a lie
I have my freedom but I dont have much time
Faith has been broken, tears must be cried
Lets do some living after we die"

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