Monday, July 21, 2008

ML Presents: DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist Present: The Hard Sell (& More Artistic Love)

This week was full of music & art & happiness.

Wednesday Ben & I went down to the 930 Club to see DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist Present: The Hard Sell. It was excellent.

The basic concept is the two master turntablists make music using exclusively first pressings of 45s, 8 turntables, a couple of mixing boards, and some effect pedals. Lots of cameras provide a live feed to the mega-screens, alternating with trippy animations. AWESOME.

It was really difficult to get pictures, but here's one of the best:

DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist
DJ Shadow on the right, Cut Chemist on the left

A short video I took - it's crappy, but came out way better than I had expected:

Saturday we went to Artscape, "America's largest free public arts festival." Except it costs $15 to park and $3 to use the ATM. But you know, it's free.

//end rant.

It's a Baltimore institution, taking place over the weekend with lots of music, art for sale, installations, etc. We saw some awesome stuff, and some mediocre stuff. and it was HOT.

We rode the ferris wheel for $1 each.
Ferris Wheel Artscape 2008

We snuck into the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, and it is gorgeous.
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

I met a nice guy who let me play with his hula hoop.

Sunday we went to Whartscape, Wham City's alternative version of Artscape. Basically a major hipster music festival, with lots of awesome/awful fashion and short sets.

Dan Deacon played and he was incredible as always. His shows are like the best dance party you've ever been to, where everyone loves each other. There are few people who can get an entire mosh pit to run in a circle and then switch directions with a shout, but Dan Deacon can.
Dan's in the orange.
Dan Deacon Whartscape 2008


Friday, July 11, 2008

First Post from the Booberry

But I just need to share this.

I'm really fucking obsessed with this song.

UPDATE: video!!

(I promise my next music post won't be about Deathcab.)

What's you latest song of obsession?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

America, Fuck Yeah

This weekend was awesome. Tiff visited from NYC, Reza visited from Montgomery county, and Becca came all the way from AZ!

Some highlights...

Wednesday night:
Becca arrives! We go out to dinner at LP Steamers and for drinks at Lime.

Silly ladies

Ben, Scott, Becca & I went over to Canton for lunch & to pick up some party supplies.

We got a watermelonbaby.

We decided to bottlefeed the watermelonbaby.

Thursday night:
Ben, Tiff, Reza & I went out in Fed Hill.



Friday: Sarah & Maggie threw a fantastic 4th of July party.

Showin' the Red, White & Blue some love

Blue Hens, in the rain, down at the harbor, for fireworks!

Saturday: Ben, Tiff, Reza, Kristyn & I went shopping in Fed Hill, then met up with Eric at the O's game.

We got new sunglasses.


Saturday night:
Ben, Eric, Kristyn, Tiff & I went to Aloha Tokyo for karaoke. Kristyn, Tiff & I found our new calling in life.


Brunch at Little Havana's & serious detox.

It was a really, really good weekend.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Happiness is a Warm Robot

I discovered this absolutely incredible video on YouTube today. If you are a fan of Wall-E, Pixar, animation, or general cuteness, you MUST watch.

Which robot is your favorite?
I'm a huge fan of M-O.

There are a ton of great Wall-E videos out there on the interwebs. Many of them consist of Wall-E meeting various household objects (hula hoop, bouncy balls, vacuum - remember this one from teh superbowl?) and all of them are priceless.

I fucking love Pixar.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Your Heart Was Dying Fast

A couple of weekends ago, Ben & I ventured over to Fells for a lovely summer Sunday afternoon. We stopped by the fantastic and independent record store The Sound Garden to pick up some new tunes.

My selections:
Hard-Fi - One Upon a Time in the West
We are Scientists - With Love and Squalor
Death Cab for Cutie - Narrow Stairs

I'm really enjoying all 3 albums. If you haven't checked out any of these artists, I highly recommend you get yourself to the nearest MySpace.

The main motivation for this post is to discuss Death Cab's Narrow Stairs. I'll admit, I had my doubts, based on historical events.

I liked Transatlanticism (2003) better than Plans (2005);
and I liked The Photo Album (2001) & We Have The Facts And We're Voting Yes (2000) equally more than I liked Transatlanticism.
You Can Play These Songs With Chords (1997, re-released 2002) will always hold a special place in my heart, in its rawness and youthfulness. And for having a physical photographic slide as the album art (not done justice in an internet image).


Plans felt too mainstream and safe to me. I love Transatlanticism for being my first Death Cab album, and also for the intensity and the shadow of some serious rocking out.

The Photo Album and We Have the Facts... are very emotionally naked and the music is sparse, in a good way. You can see how the band was creating their sound and point of view. The lyrics on those two albums are incredible, and the drum beats are captivating. They delicately and successfully toed the line between too much emo-whining and too much rocking out.

But Narrow Stairs might be breaking my trend of disliking. Based on preliminary listens, it might not be the least favorite despite being the newest. The lyrics are good, not quite as enigmatic as I might expect but still thoughtful, and they do a great job of painting the mental picture. Ben Gibbard's voice has never been better. The beats and melodies reference (dare I say it?) "classic" Death Cab - in the best possible way.

"Long Division" reminds me of "A Movie Script Ending" from The Photo Album. Anyone else get that feeling?

Feedback? I'd love to hear some fellow DCFC fan thoughts.