Archive for February, 2010

Foreign Born: “Vacationing People”

February 24, 2010

After the skies parted like the Red Sea and let loose buckets of rain earlier this week, my roommates and I discovered a leak in our apartment, and then another, leading us to wonder when it might be time to start collecting pairs of animals (you think this guy would mind if we borrowed his heap o’ beast?)  and planks of lumber for the ark. While the landlord promptly sent reinforcements, the situation has yet to be remedied, and all this wetness makes me pine for sunshine (and moonshine) in distant lands. With our home being invaded, clearly it’s no time for a staycation, which is why “Vacationing People” by Foreign Born serves as the perfect antidote to the poison of potential flooding. I’d better pack my swimsuit and my sunscreen before I second-guess myself.

However, if you’re like me, an endless stream of engagements has left you with zero cash to take a trip not accessorized with a couple bands of gold—but not all nuptials end in I-wish-I-were-in-Brazil-style bitterness. In fact, during the 2003 post-collegiate summer wedding circuit, Lewis Pesacov and Matt Popieluch, who had played together at SF State University, started jamming and decided to give the whole band thing another go. A bassist (Ariel Rechtshaid), drummer (Garrett Ray), and two albums later, that particular union of souls seems like quite the providential event. Foreign Born plays the Rickshaw Stop as part of Noise Pop tonight.

Foreign Born – Vacationing People

Who: Foreign Born

What: Person to Person

When: 6.23.2009

Where: Los Angeles, California

Why: “We live a life of vacationing people / Take a long walk slowly.”

How: Secretly Canadian


Lovin’s for Fools

February 19, 2010

On Sunday I was too busy eating sandwiches atop Twin Peaks and, later, drinking whiskey to bother blogging. And no, I wasn’t trying to drown my single sorrows in the anesthetizing arms of that amber liquor—or attempt to reassert my feminine power by surrounding myself with independent, kick-ass women (although I did), only to drunk text all my ex-boyfriends and quietly sob myself to sleep (I didn’t). I was simply having a damn good time. In case you live in a cave, Sunday was Valentine’s Day, a “holiday” which cannot really be deemed as such because no one gets the day off whenever it falls, and which I maintain makes single people feel like lepers (even if they are perfectly content living on their islands of blissful sovereignty and boundless opportunity, which is, in essence, the San Francisco zeitgeist) and encourages couples to celebrate their enduring passion through contrived, bank-breaking, and generally garish notions of romance.

And though, for the aforementioned reasons, I tried to ignore it, my efforts were futile at best. Even in the sweet, shadowy, slightly malodorous safety of Thieves lingered evidence in the shape of heart-covered cupcakes. And then I realized: even if I put down my dram to pen something I could post for you all, you would read something into the music which may or may not be true, whatever I chose. And I guess, regardless of previous personal outpourings, that I don’t want, right now, to be so emotionally transparent. I thought it would be safer to wait until Wednesday, and then I didn’t find time. So here it is, Friday, February 19, and I am presenting a sad, sad song about love lost and its cynical aftermath, but on no particular day, and for no particular reason.

Sarah Siskind – Lovin’s for Fools

Who: Sarah Siskind

What: Studio . Living Room

When: 2006

Where: Nashville, Tennessee

Why: “Go on and love her, love her forever / I will not tell her you told me, too / You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you / Lovin’s for fools, lovin’s for fools.”

How: Infrasound Collective

Don’t Think Twice

February 13, 2010

It’s not every day that you are informed that the person you’ve been seeing for a few months is seeing someone else…via text message.  And despite the various substances I abused last night in order to numb the pain, the indignity of it all still stings. (Or is that my hangover? I can’t tell.) As I had already found someone else myself, I can’t say I’m entirely heartbroken…but I still think a fuck-you song would make me feel better. (As would a bottle of bourbon, if anyone is willing to contribute to my cause.) And after searching far and wide for a new favorite torch song, I’ve come to the conclusion that nothing, nothing is as cathartic as Susan Tedeschi’s amazing rendition of Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice.” Oh yeah – and no, I don’t want to be friends with you.

Susan Tedeschi – Don’t Think Twice

Wild Beasts: “All the King’s Men”

February 12, 2010

By now you’ve probably realized that a lot of the music I’m writing about these days is not necessarily brand spanking new (hello, David Bowie), but there’s so much of it these days that it’s easy to gloss over—or never even stumble across—something really worth hearing. Such is the case with Wild Beasts. Though their first full-length, Limbo, Panto, debuted in 2008, I didn’t hear about it until recently. And, of course, they date to well before that. When Hayden Thorpe and Ben Little originally formed the UK band as a duo in 2002, they went by Fauve, the French word for “wild beast.” After acquiring drummer Chris Talbot in 2004, they deferred to the English translation. Finally, bassist Tom Flemming joined the group and their sound was cemented. 

As frontman, Thorpe brandishes his breathy, vibratto-full falsetto as a weapon against falling between the cracks as an indie nonentity, but Fleming’s deeper vocals serve as a more masculine counterpoint to his high-flying stylings. These guys are more poetic—thought not overly so—than beastly when it comes to lyrics—but don’t expect poeticism to translate to sensitivity. “All the King’s Men,” for example, lists the myriad types of girls that could mother the children of a British Don Juan, and he is not trying to rack up his spawn in a romantic way. For all of you bummed about Mumford & Sons being sold out at Popscene tonight, rejoice. There are still tickets left for the Wild Beasts show at The Independent.

Wild Beasts – All the King’s Men

Who: Wild Beasts

What: Two Dancers

When: 9.8.2009

Where: Leeds, England

Why: “Girls astride me / Girls beneath me / Girls before me / Girls between me / You’re birthing machines / And let me show, my darling, what that means.”

How: Domino Records


February 9, 2010

I don’t use CAPS, I’m allergic to exclamation points, and, until now, I haven’t written about a band more than once. Yeasayer has made a heretic of me and my heretofore strictly abided writing doctrine. (Rest assured that I still won’t be using smiley faces, frowns, or any other emoticons anytime soon. The thought of them makes me downright nauseous.) Back in November, I told you all about the free MP3 of “Ambling Alp,” off of the Brooklyn band’s sophomore effort Odd Blood, and now they’re giving away “O.N.E,” another equally infectious, highly danceable track.   

When the album leaked onto the World Wide Web in early December 2009, the band tweeted “Presents are always spoiled for those who open them before they are supposed to.” Maybe that’s why they kept a steady stream of singles coming to appease us good girls and boys. Full of synth, handclaps, singer Chris Keating’s angsty, urgent vocal delivery, and the occasional brass embellishment, this record claims more pop territory than ever before with its accessibility, but in a good way. Playing The Fillmore on Saturday, April 17. Here’s hoping the 3-D light show comes to San Francisco.

Yeasayer – O.N.E.

Who: Yeasayer

What: Odd Blood

When: 2.9.2009

Where: Brooklyn, NY

Why:  “No / You don’t move me anymore / And I’m glad that you don’t / Cause I can’t have you anymore.”

How: Secretly Canadian