In New York City’s Grand Central Station, right outside the Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant, the underpass possesses a peculiar charm. At this particular location, four archways of resplendent Guastavino tile provide a unique listening opportunity, especially after midnight, when foot traffic is at its lowest. Stand at one corner of the underpass, and have someone in your traveling party stand at the opposite corner, which is about thirty feet or so away from you. Step so that your face is within inches of the walls and begin whispering. Whisper something, anything, and sit in silence for a few moments. If your compatriot plays along, you’ll hear him/her reply clear as day, as if he/she is standing right next to you.
The so-called whispering gallery (Grand Central Station isn’t unique to having one; it’s just my personal favorite since I don’t foresee me dropping in on St. Paul’s Cathedral in London anytime soon, and the effect at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry isn’t as impressive) is a delightful phenomenon. Hearing the whispers seemingly shoot off the walls and traverse the concave ceiling is a haunting, alluring effect, which brings us to our tracks of the day.
We last heard from Digital Daggers in 2010 with their debut EP, Human Emotion. It was an auspicious debut, with soothing, gorgeous instrumentation complemented by mollifying, radiant vocal melodies. Throughout the new record, entitled The Devil Within, multi-layered vocals and effect-laden guitars filter in and out of each channel,…
Can I just skip the token introduction about how we’ve made it another year?
I mean, shit, am I the only one who WASN’T in that fucking New Year’s Eve movie?
If I know our readership (and trust me, with all the reported posts I’ve had to moderate this year and spam I’ve had to clean up, I believe that I do in more ways than I’d care to mention), you couldn’t care less about [these awesome things that happened to me] and [these shitty things that happened to me] and you just want to get right to the list.
The fact that you’re reading this sentence implies that you might actually look at my list before scoffing at it, so it’s with the utmost sincerity that I say, “Thanks!”
Obviously, there’s going to be a lot of “Well, no shit, it’s a Jom list…” picks on here; however, if, by chance, you stumble across an artist you haven’t yet heard, I encourage you to read my ramblings and listen to the stream provided for each record. I’m not promising that you’ll love it, but my goal is for you to have an understanding as to why it made it onto my list.
To conclude, I wish you all the best, with good luck and good health in 2012; at least, until the zombie Mayans come back from the dead to fuck our shit up.
Pictured: what happens when you Superman the wrong ho.
In what’s arguably the most bizarre (and strangely adorable) collaborations of the summer, indie dance duo Matt and Kim, the swagalicious Soulja Boy, and the Godfather of Partying Andrew WK recently took part in Converse’s “Three Artists. One Song.” campaign, spawning the so-called ‘party anthem to kick off the end of summer’, entitled “I’m a Goner.”
Just scroll down to the song if you are not in a story-reading mood.
This is going to be kind of a sob story, so I’ll try to keep it brief in the interest of not turning this into a pathetic Xanga entry.
When I was in junior high, my parents thought it was a brilliant idea to move to a new city without bracing me for the move. For any twelve year-old, that can be pretty devastating, and sure, thanks to Facebook and things like that I keep in contact with my ‘old’ friends, but I had a bit of a tough time readjusting to my new surroundings because, as a socially-awkward adolescent at the time, I didn’t exactly have the gift of gab to make friends easily.
WHAT UP, BITCHES! You guys wanna play some POGS?
However, I did make one immediate friend right away — for the sake of this story, I’ll call her Beth. She was a grade higher than me, and while it’s seriously frowned upon to talk to kids in lower grades, she never treated me any differently. Unfortunately, she went off to high school while I wrapped up junior high, and her parents got into a colossally-shitty divorce. She wound up moving a couple counties away with her dad while her mom and brother continued to live next door. I had no idea where she went because it was that…
Greetings and salutations, friends and acquaintances.
Life’s been pretty hectic lately (attending your buddies’ bachelor parties kicks ass; I highly recommend it) and I know I haven’t written anything that doesn’t suck in awhile (if ever — HEY OHHHHH), so I’m not really gonna bore you to tears. Instead, I wanted to pass along something that’s caught my ear (and later, my eyes, which’ve recently been Lasik’d in all their glory).
Today’s catch o’ the day (or whatever you wish to call it — I wanted to incorporate Trap Door somehow but I like Berk too much as a friendly blue blob…) is by an Adelaide-based group known as the Funkoars; the song is called “Where I Am”. Unsurprisingly, they have a tight connection with Hilltop Hoods and are part of the Aussie hip-hop conglomerate known as the Certified Wise crew: sixteen South Aussie artists collaborating, producing, and appearing as guests on one another’s works. You may remember Trials’ guest verse on “The Light You Burned,” for instance, or his producing credits on Drapht’s Brothers Grimm record.
“Where I Am” will be featured on the group’s fourth LP, The Quickening, slated for a September 16th release through Golden Era Records. The…
For those of you already dreading that some random bloke named Kaz (operating under the moniker Redlight King, named after the so-called ‘tree’ that kicks off a drag race) is going to butcher a Neil Young classic, fear not, as it’s not a cover song.
Hell, it’s not even about a ranch hand who looked after some cows. It is a rather heartfelt tribute to his father, a schoolteacher by day and a stock car racer at night (“The life he demanded / Kept us all in a struggle / When he ruled with his fist / It kept us all out of trouble,” writes Kaz, before jokingly relaying that there are no father issues).
He has added in recent interviews that his songs on his forthcoming debut “are written about real issues, real experiences. I like to bring listeners in deep, and give them time to look around . . . . [w]riting songs when you’re in a dark place is dangerous. The songs I wrote for this album I won’t write again. I won’t have to. I hope people will be able to connect with it and take from it what they need. It’s about the human condition; in the end, we’re all the same.”
Kaz did ask Mr. Young, however, for rights to sample the song. Rarely one to entertain sample requests, Young (and/or his lawyers) refused multiple times before finally relenting.
See, I just wanted an excuse to post a South Park clip, although everybody knows that Randy Marsh has convincingly overtaken Cartman as being the funniest character on the show.
No, no, it wasn't me – it was a SPOOKY GHOST!
All tangents aside, the review covered Digital Daggers’ debut EP, entitled Human Emotion. Sonically, it sounds a bit like Frou Frou meets Boards of Canada. The group is comprised of Andrea Wasse (The Weekend, not to be confused with newcomer artist The Weeknd) and Space (he of many hats, including his solo effort, Memento, and Kevin Martin & The Hiwatts), the band has garnered a bit of buzz from their covers of “New York New York” (Liza Minelli, Frank Sinatra) and “Head Over Heels” (Tears for Fears), not to mention their original tunes being spotted in various television shows (“Surrender” on ‘One Life to Live;’ “No Easy Way” on ‘Nikita’).
Today, I wanted to highlight the title track, which is my personal favorite from the EP.
Digital Daggers – “Human Emotion”
Never again with your human emotions
I won’t take the hate from your heart
I’ll take my chances outside of your kingdom
You know when I stop I won’t start
I long to be where the stars still shine brightly
You know they won’t breathe where…
Those of you in the Sarnia-Windsor-Detroit area are familiar with 88.7FM/CIMX, the so-called “new-rock alternative” for the region. If not, you’re free to stream them live anywhere in the world [[from their official site]].
While their 5:00PM all-request hour seems to be the same people calling in (just once I would love to drive home from work and NOT hear “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails at the same fucking time every day), the station does have its perks on days I forget my iPod: The Top 9 @ 9 (which is exactly what you’d expect it to be), the People’s Choice (two songs ’square off’ with the winning song advancing to the next day to take on a new challenger), the “Catch of the Day” (at 4:30PM, prior to the aforementioned Request Hour, a non-single or forthcoming single is aired) are 89X mainstays.
Also, Dave and Chuck The Freak’s morning show (which rivals Grand Rapids’ “Free Beer and Hot Wings Morning Show” as the funniest morning show from my former home state) can be so hysterical that I’ve thought I pulled a rib or two, and all of 89X’s DJs remain attuned to their listeners and go out of their way to give back to the community.
For example, each of the 89X radio personalities served as guest baristas at Caribou Coffee locations throughout Metro Detroit, as part of the station’s “12 Days of Christmas” celebration. Proceeds from this event were donated to charity:
I love music. I would argue that I have the ability to love all music (except for country… sorry, ex-girlfriend!), although some would argue that they think that I have absolutely no sense of taste when it comes to music (see: my pie chart).
And somehow, I wound up a music journalist for a print publication (amongst other things, anyway) and an editor for an online publication (take a guess as to what that might be – and if you haven’t figured it out by now, drink the first thing you find underneath your kitchen sink).
Note: festive attire optional.
I have interviewed famous people (and not-so-famous people) about their bands and I have a blast doing so because I make it fun for them. I would ask them questions like, “Do you think homeless people hate knock-knock jokes?” or “What smell would you NOT want your shampoo to smell like?” and other such unprofessional absurdities to facilitate the more important (and significantly more appropriate) questions.
For the record, Andrew W.K. thinks homeless people LOVE knock-knock jokes and thinks that a shampoo that smells like Ranch dressing would be the worst shampoo ever.
And, while being a music journalist and a music editor are fun gigs, there came a point when I stopped liking being the former for a bit.
In particular, I stopped liking the unprofessionalism exhibited by bands.