Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Gogol Bordello Hit Up NPR

Because I can't pass up typing "gypsy rock" when the chance presents itself. Check out this Tiny Desk Concert from NPR's All Songs Considered. Sadly the video is not embeddable, but you can always click the link! I bet it would be a blast to play with these guys.

The set list is below.

01. Immigraniada (We're Comin' Rougher)
02. My Compenjara
03. Alcohol
04. Pala Tute
05. Start Wearing Purple*

*Sidenote: Heard this song for the first time in high school on the soundtrack to Everything is Illuminated. High recommendations for the soundtrack, the movie, and book.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Game of Love : Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders

When you wake up humming a song you haven't thought of in years, you sort of have to honor that strange occurrence, especially when it's a song as good "The Game of Love" by Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders. It's just so wonderfully mid-60s-- the drums, the tambourine, the energy shift in the chorus-- if you haven't heard it, I'm pretty sure you can sacrifice 2:11 of your time.

In other news, if you're curious where I've been/why TMI's been slacking, check out where else I've been channeling my energies.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Adventures in Vinyl : The Record Player

Two weeks ago, I launched a blogging series of sorts called "Adventures in Vinyl." Going light on details, I promised future elaboration after a quick rant on the diminished value placed on listening to music as a sole activity. I explained that my main objective in this project is to change the way I listen to music, or rather, take it back to the way it used to be when I could listen to an album without feeling guilty for not "multitasking."

While not an end-all answer, I figured the best way to go about this would be diving into vinyl. In the past I avoided starting a record collection because certain members of my family may or may not already have enough to program a radio station. Recently though, I couldn't help but think of the warmth of an album not burnt onto plastic or stored somewhere inside a palm-sized slab of metal. Digital files are something novelty for me because they defy standard conventions of space, but at the end of the day I really want something to put my arms around-- a nice big, glossy, square, well-illustrated cardboard sleeve. I want to gingerly slip out the record like it's made out of crystal, like if something happened to it, I might never hear those songs again.

It's only fitting that something begging of that sort of care become the center of my attention at the expense of whatever else I should be doing.

That's where the record player comes in. With modern advances, there are tons of turn tables out there, loaded down with USB ports, radios, cassette and CD players. They can be cold, silvery devices aimed at serving multiple purposes, namely converting vinyl to MP3s.

I just wanted something to do what the record player was originally intended to do-- play records.

Meet the Crosley Traveler Turntable, a portable record player whose fanciest feature is a feeble lever that raises and lowers the needle. It's simple yet specific. When I turn it on, I know I'm going to be doing one thing, and one thing only-- listening to a record. Therein lies the point of "Adventures in Vinyl." You can't put a record player in your pocket. The music ceases to be about your uses for it and returns to being about you making the effort for the sake of the music.

Phew. Still with me?

Well, turns out picking out a record player was relatively easy. The hard part is building the collection. Could there be such a thing as a perfect 10-record collection? What would that look like, more importantly, what would it sound like, and how would you even put it together? Guess we'll see. Stay tuned for my next post, "Adventures in Vinyl : The Plan."


Friday, June 11, 2010

So, You're Not at Bonnaroo

First off, take a moment to note the fresh smell of the people sitting around you. Next, hop over to NPR's All Songs Considered blog. Starting this afternoon, they'll be streaming various shows, including The National's set tonight at 5:45 p.m. central. Check the link above for the skinny on which bands you can hear live-- or hear archived in case you can't get out of that hot date. (Yeah, we know how it is.)

If audio isn't your thing, Youtube is also streaming a ton of performances.

Here's what TMI's going to try and catch:

Michael Franti and Spearhead
The Avett Brothers
The National
Kings of Leon

Here's what TMI's going to avoid like hell:

Dave Matthews Band

Hey, never said the lineup was strong. Anywho, enjoy your air-conditioned, well-hydrated, clean-smelling, hippie-free (not that we don't love hippies, it's the dancing that's the turn-off) Bonnaroo experience.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Adventures in Vinyl : An Introduction


Auditory wallpaper. For the past two years or so, I've been rolling around that phrase in my head. Last March, it finally came to a point when I wrote an editorial for the Belmont Vision about committing to your music library, or rather the way we don't anymore.

The gist was that 5 days of music can fit on a hard drive the size of a cigarette case, but having a massive collection doesn't mean as much because we don't have to engage with it the way we would if it was a physical presence, say a shelf of CDs or vinyl albums.

Partly, I think the value we put on our music shifted when it became portable and digital, something completely on our terms, something that we could mold into our daily activities like cleaning the bathroom or getting ready in the morning.

Maybe it was nostalgia, maybe it was boredom, but I decided that I wanted to change the way I listen to music.

In up coming posts, I'm going to outline a plan I came up with involving getting a record player and crafting the perfect 10-album collection.