Tag Archives: music

Song of the Day: Sexy Singles for ya!

Tonight as I sat in my bedroom wondering what to do with the evening I contemplated a few things. I could move some furniture and vacuum all the fur tumbleweeds I’m sure are collecting behind them. I could move the big pile of books on the window ledge that have a layer of pollen and dust on them, clean them off and organize them. Or I could watch more episodes of Nip/Tuck online (because watching three seasons in about a week isn’t sad or anything). And as I sat on my bed, trying not to move too much for fear of sweating, I glanced over to my records. My eyes wondered over to the tiny red bin that holds all my 45s. I couldn’t even remember what was in the bin. What gems would I uncover? Surely there must be some musical masterpieces that I could share with the wonderful readers of Matterful.

Never fear, dear Matterful reader, I found you some sexy gems to warm up your hot and sweaty summer nights with.
Click to get your groove on

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Just Did It: Yeasayer and Animal Collective…Outdoors

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost the end of the outdoor activities season in NYC.  Weather be damned!  This week, we decided to buck up and catch what we could in fresh air music.  Thursday night it was Yeasayer at Pier 54:

The sound at the Pier leaves a lot to be desired, but Brooklyn-based Yeasayer know how to put on a solid show of beats and tribal fancies.  I was far back enough and my eye sight (even with contacts) is unreliable enough to miss out on what’s plain to see in the You Tube video above — the lead singer should start a cult preaching psychedelia to the masses!  He’s like a pint-sized, living gospel.  A quick note about Amazing Baby: not so amazing after all.

Saturday night was the closing Celebrate Brooklyn Prospect Park Bandshell show featuring Animal Collective.  We went as a result of good fortune and a guy that had bought tickets to the show before realizing it was out-of-town wedding weekend (thanks, Brandon!).

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By the time the show started, Judy and I were picknicked up and ready for some tunes.  Animal Collective delivered.  They were energetic and playful, best highlighted by their memorable stage design which included moving waves, dancing fish and sharks, jellyfish lamps, glow in the dark balls that we were encouraged to volley and tiki towers.  They must be big fans of Ariel and her crew who proclaimed: “Darling it’s better/Down where it’s wetter/Take it from me.”

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About halfway through, the Collective turned up the party and the eager crowd bumped, swayed and clapped along.  I love their song “My Girls:”

We left the park with smiles on our faces and full-on band crushes.

Posted by: Mariela

Radiohead, Say It Ain’t So!

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Today, Sasha Frere Jones blogged about the death of the album.  This isn’t news, but it was alarming because it was precipitated by Thom Yorke’s admission in Believer Magazine that Radiohead will probably never release a full-length album again.  Ever.

For most bands, this probably spells relief.  No longer will they have to worry about creating a solid 30+ minutes of cohesive, engaging and original music.  And let’s be real:  how many full-lengths have you loved over the past few years?  Off the top of my head, I can think of Green Day’s American Idiot, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s It’s Blitz, Arcade Fire’s Funeral, M.I.A’s Kala, The National’s Alligator and Sufjan Steven’s Illinois.  And how many bands of your lifetime can you say really mastered the art of the album?  In my world, it’s Built to Spill, the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, REM, U2 and…Radiohead.

 This is where I get sad.  I’m all for Radiohead’s music industry innovations – the pay-what-you-wish model, digital pre-releases – but I’m also massively, head-over-heels in love with their albums.  While I welcome more frequent, short-scale releases from the band, I can’t bear the thought of not having a Radiohead album that I can just press play on and achieve instant music bliss.

Posted by: Mariela

This Week’s Top 5: Songs to Kick Summer Into High Gear

 

Praia Piquina by Christian Chaize

Praia Piquina by Christian Chaize

 Mariela:

  1. Heads will Roll, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs — My number one summer dance request.
  2. 1901, Phoenix — I will definitely want to scream, “Hey, hey, hey, hey!”
  3. Mr. Blue Sky, ELO — The ultimate ode to sunny skies.
  4. Bruises, Chairlift — Oh, summer lovin’.
  5. Here Comes that Feeling, El Perro del Mar – A sad story in a deceptively bubbly package.

Lisa:

  1. Hot Child in the City, Nick Gilder
  2. Kokomo, Beach Boys
  3. The Boys of Summer, Don Henley
  4. On a Sunday Afternoon, Lighter Shade of Brown
  5. Summer in the City, Loving Spoonful

Can You Identify 100 Theme Songs in 10 Minutes?

This is the most fun I’ve had in 10 minutes in a very long time.  

I probably could name about 25 at first listen, but I’m about to break out a pad and pencil (non mechanical) to be sure.

Posted by: Mariela

This Week’s Top 5: Best Concerts Ever

Mariela:

1. Radiohead, Liberty State Park, 2001.  An other-worldy experience. I had stayed out very late the night before, had a rough day at work and was beyond tired.  But the band, the crowd, the energy and the camaraderie shot me straight to the moon. Thom Yorke was manic, silly and intense.  The ride back to manhattan on the ferries was completely silent and magical.  Back then, the ferries took off from the World Trade Centers.  Three weeks later, the Twin Towers were no more.

2. U2, Madison Square Garden, 2001.  Tickets were hard to come by and I ended up going by myself, which didn’t matter one bit.  U2 can rock an arena like no other band I’ve ever seen in one.  Even Radiohead at MSG didn’t compare.

3. Flaming Lips, Irving Plaza, 2003.  The first time seeing the Lips is a special occasion for many people, I’m sure.  It’s like being a kid at your fifth birthday party — tremendously joyous.  I’m pretty sure Mariola and I even hugged random people.

4. Built to Spill, Irving Plaza, 2003.  I’ve loved every BTS show I’ve ever been to (and there have been many) but these two dates in a row were particularly awesome for a few reasons including:  somebody yelled “Freebird” and the band actually played it; and  The Strokes and a few other “it” bands were in the audience paying serious tribute to Doug Martsch and crew, who paved the way for many others but will never be as big or as “cool.”

5. Violent Femmes, Tipitina’s, 1995.  Here, I realized I was in love for the first time.  It happened during the song “Good Feeling” and was beautiful.

Autumn:

1. smashing pumpkins, the ritz in ybor city, 1992. just before ‘siamese dream’ came out and they were still playing small ‘gish’-like clubs. i met billy corgan before the show on the street and i had him sign my copy of kerouac’s ‘on the road.’ [note to reader: i was 16, give me a break.] the venue was small and i was up front and screamed every word of every song right back up into his face. ethereal.

2. radiohead, all points west festival at liberty state park, 2008. besides the fact that all points west was the worst organized festival i have ever been to (too much wasted time locked in the refugee beer camp for the blind), radiohead saved the day as usual and powerhoused their LED-led show. gorgeous. 

3. avail, multiple venues around florida, 1995. i got to know these guys pretty well. a group of friends, an ex-boyfriend and i traveled around and saw them multiple times in 1995, but specifically spent a week going to all their florida shows. ‘dixie’ is a great anthemic album. these guys were INSANE live and their energy is contagious and sweet. fist pumping mandatory. 

4. jawbreaker, covered dish, 1996. i finally got to see blake schwarzenbach shake his sweet thang and sing me lover’s lullabies. at this point i think we all knew the band was breaking up. bittersweet.

5. radon, several ‘last show ever’ shows at the hardback cafe, gainesville, 1990s. radon brought people out of the gainesville woodwork and you were guaranteed to see 300 of your closest friends squished into the smelly, cramped quarters of the infamous hardback cafe. brilliant fun with the band barely playing because the swaying crowd constantly overtook them in one big sweaty floridian embrace. legendary.

Mariola:

1. primal scream, hammerstein ballroom.  violent white light. the intense vocals of bobby gillespie. the soaring guitar of kevin shields. a roaring crowd made one with the help of some friends. 

 2. radiohead, an outside stadium in ft. lauderdale.  just brilliant. 

3. the flaming lips, irving plaza.  a jolly re-union with human-size fluffy animals running around in the crowd. it was a glee-full experience. more good-hearted fun than i have ever had at a concert. the band is so sincere and desiring of putting on a good show. i really appreciated it.

 4. palatka, downstairs at full circle.  ode to the good ole’ days of being a drummer’s girlfriend. to hardcore. to two-minute sets. to sweaty boys.  check out the video of one of their shows

 5. the strokes, mercury lounge.  i felt part of the zeitgeist. like the ramones before them at cbgb’s the strokes played every monday (or was it sundays? mariela help me out here) for a month at the mercury lounge, which was just down the street from my apartment. before they got bigger and moved their venue to the bowery ballroom and eventually hammerstein. i still like the strokes.  

Lisa:

1. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blaisdell Arena (Honolulu, HI), 2003.  Small venue and I was right up front–it was so surreal and full of energy. (Didn’t hurt that I was crazy in love with the guy I went with.)

2. Garth Brooks, San Jose Arena, 1997.  No one puts on a show like Garth. No one even comes close. I went three nights in a row. The final night we had floor seats and spent the whole show standing on our chairs singing like crazy.

3. Coldplay, Sacramento Valley Amphitheater, 2004.  I didn’t really know Coldplay that well before this concert. It was a warm night, sitting on the grass and being utterly amazed. 

4. Bridge School Benefit (James Taylor, Ryan Adams, Jack Johnson…), Shoreline Amphitheater (Mountain View, CA), 2002.  I used to go to Bridge School every year with a big group of friends. In 2002, a new love of Jack Johnson and a longstanding love of James Taylor made it one of the best.

5. Stevie Wonder, Jazz Fest, 2008.  The Jazz Fest experience as a sum of its parts is more important to me than one particular show and Stevie Wonder’s performance made me sit back and realize that. I was in New Orleans with two friends and also part of my brother’s 10-man bachelor party. It had rained all day and we were muddy and drunk and worn out from a big night out the night before, but it couldn’t have been more perfect. He literally sang ‘You Are the Sunshine of My Life’ as the rain stopped and clouds parted.

This Week’s Top 5: Songs That Instantly Transport You

Autumn:

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Everything In Its Right Place, Radiohead

It’s grey and cold. I’m tired and something is in its right place but it’s because it is new, and it is different, and there is a chance I’ll be somewhere different tomorrow. It’s contented and my chest is filled with speculation and anticipation. I’ve just fallen in love and have this song to remember him by as he’s gone to a slower place for a long time. I join him there and there were times for walking and watching. It’s a period of immense openness. 

I Only Have Eyes For You, The Flamingos

There was a stretch of Keene Road in Largo, Florida, that felt like the 60s in the 80s: blooming orange blossoms in the Sunday night air, big stars in the sky, and it was a long, straight and always free of red lights drive. My dad used that road to take me back home to my mom’s house after a weekend spent at his place. At least, that is how I remembered it all. It is bound to be a radically different thoroughfare these days where the orange groves have been razed down for the sake of the almighty condo. But then, as I lay somewhat melancholy in the back seat of my dad’s baby blue Maverick and listened to the Sunday Night Oldies show on the radio, it was a very transitional time. That song came on every Sunday night at somepoint during that drive and as my regular bout with ‘Sunday Blues’ settled in I knew another sunny and relaxing Floridian weekend with my dad was ending. 

Southern Cross, Crosby, Stills and Nash

Nothing like a cold beer, clear skies and a 34′ sloop sail boat hauling ass through the Gulf of Mexico on a sunny summer afternoon. 

Smooth Operator, Sade

The drums and bass that start Sade’s ‘Smooth Operator’ throw me directly into the dream state of the 9 year old girl I used to be. I remember endless hours anchored in front of MTV and this video was a favorite. Mysterious and sexually in control, Sade was a woman of intrigue in a dangerous place and I wanted to be her so badly. I tucked myself away in a tropical oasis in my head and ran with the quick and the powerful. My life was going to be exotic too. Every time I hear this song I struggle with packing up my belongings and moving to the Caribbean to live on the sailboat from the song above. I see a theme here…

Anything from the album ‘Protection,’ Massive Attack

This entire album was the soundtrack to some inner-metaphysical shift in my early 20s. These songs remind me of times slow, sleepy and suggestive. I’m reminded of Europe and cigarettes, French critical theory and bloody marys, Latino men and dance. 

Mariela:

bittersweet-symphony

Bittersweet Symphony, The Verve

Many last song calls meant Bittersweet Symphony would play, a dance with Michael, and a mix of sadness and satisfaction.

Gravity Rides Everything, Modest Mouse

There’s something about the acoustic guitar, the dreamy sound and the simple drumstick beat keeping that makes me just want to sway.

Where Did You Sleep Last Night, Nirvana

This song is raw and desperate and when Kurt Cobain’s voice goes from the barely-audible, solo breakdown to the straight-out howl, I swear I’ve never heard so much emotion.

This Mess We’re In, PJ Harvey and Thom Yorke 

I always hear this song in my dreams.  I’m lost, it’s night-time, the landscape is vast, the options many and I’m being chased.  But I still have you.

Blew Away, Smashing Pumpkins

Another example of how dreaminess and good melody captivate me.  The Pumpkins never sounded sweeter with James Iha at the mic.

Lisa:

american-pie-by-don-mclean

American Pie, Don McLean

When I was seven or eight driving home from a soccer game on the last night of summer with my brother and mom, we had the windows rolled down in our station wagon and sang American Pie at the top of our lungs. It reminds me of the freedom of summer, excitement about a new school year and being young and in the moment. 

True Fine Love, Steve Miller Band

My boyfriend T.J. and drove around in his truck in college and listened to this song, holding hands and smoking cigarettes. Young love.

Jimi Thing, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds

I listened to this song–and album–obsessively when I lived in Mexico and traveled in Central America. It takes me back to a simple time in a foreign country with endless beautiful beaches.

(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay, Otis Redding

Countless night feeding the juke box at P.J. Clarke’s right when I moved to New York, Dock of the Bay always made the playlist.

I’m Goin’ Down, Mary J. Blige

Right after my friends and I all started driving, we’d cruise around and belt this one out in off-key chaos. It was the first taste of freedom. 

Mariola:

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(I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight, Cutting Crew

Pretty sure it was sixth grade and I was at a Big 5 dance, and the boy I liked would not ask me to slow dance to this song. 

All of My Life, Phil Collins / Heal the Pain, George Michael

One word — Encounter. 

Across the Sea, Weezer

First loves.

Don’t Look Back in Anger, Oasis

To being young(er) and with friends. Life seemed simpler and more fun. Makes me feel nostalgic, which I did not used to feel until lately. Sort of sad.

Bodysnatchers, Radiohead

Makes me wish Radiohead could be brand new again to me. Like I see the white heat of space.

Wendy:

gazebo

Gazebo, The Wedding Present

Always makes me think of a certain boy the I obsessed over for two years.  My first of many one sided love affairs.  You always want the one you can’t have.

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah – The Wedding Present

Another Wedding Present song, but who cares.  This song always makes me think of Autumn.  Of us driving around in Gainesville, and me bouncing around in the car to this song because it is so madly poppy that you have to dance to it without shame. 

Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac

Always makes me think of my first boyfriend.

Freedom ’90 – George Michael

Dancing with my ladies.  I never feel more alive than when I’m on a dance floor with Mariola, letting it all out to this song. 

Into the Mystic – Van Morrison

1989.  For the first time in my life, I was grounded.  For a month.  This destroyed me for one reason.  The movie ‘Dream a Little Dream’, starring my beloved Corey Feldman, was coming out the first weekend of my punishment.  I was right to be panicked since the movie didn’t last in the theaters very long and was gone by the time the month was over.  All I had was the soundtrack for the movie to listen to over and over.  This song was on the soundtrack.  It was the first time I realized how magical music could be.  This song is so dreamy and beautiful.  It still gives me shivers and makes me want to fall in love.

BONUS:  Check out the songs here.