Friends With Both Arms » 2011 » March

Archive for March, 2011

Nada Alic

Papercuts: Fading Parade

I’ve been listening to Papercuts’ “Fading Parade” but was slow to post about it until well, just now. His brand of AM psychedelic dream-pop is masterfully done with vocal harmonies drenched along tracks like “Marie Says You’ve Changed” or ” Do What You Will”.

There’s an evocative tone, a sunny disposition that seems to attach itself to every San Francisco singer-songwriter type. The ominous clouds huddled over the Bay Area calls for it. It’s a longing for a brightness that’ll stay. I say, all are welcome down south.

This is his first release on Sub Pop. You can buy the record here.

Papercuts – Do What You Will by subpop

I’ve never met Yohuna (Johanne Swanson), but I’ve already had the pleasure of creatively collaborating with her in a way- through the recent Woman was the Word project, where she interpreted a poem I wrote and put it to music. Immediately, I fell in love with her voice and was so impressed by what she’d done to my long-winded piece. She conveyed the emotion that I was going for, wrapped it up in melodies and dressed it all in a blissed-out, haunting echo.

Her voice has the powdered fragility of a little girl, a purity and melancholy that makes everything she sings about the honest-to-goodness truth. With the help of Vacation Dad, she came out with a mixtape that’s sold out online but you can buy it digitally HERE for something like a dollar. She’ll be playing here tomorrow for the Canadian Invasion  at Tin Can.

What’s the Canadian Invasion? Well, it’s this kickass show happening tomorrow night, literally up the street from my office featuring three incredible Canadian acts- along with Yohuna and San Diego’s own, Raw Moans. Come join me, for more info, go HERE.






Grab Yohuna’s “Revery” HERE.

My San Francisco transplant-friend, contributor, Brandon Tauszik hit up the Milagres show last night and took some photos and wrote some words. Check out more of his stuff at Sprinkle Lab.

The night started and ended with local talent, Squeezing Brooklyn’s Milagres into the San Francisco sandwich. First up was Tortured Genies: Cute, whimsical, girl/guy vocals, laid back, mellow, dreamy, lead guy was on an acoustic with reverb. Girl was on synth.

Then Milagres: Definitely best act of the night: Moody, brewing, bursts of energy mixed with beautiful synthy verses and interludes. One guitar player played the drum pad and also a tambourine sometimes.  Lead guy was rad, lot’s of energy and cool guitar solos.  Another guy in the back pounding away on 2 synths, it was pretty incredible. They really communicated their energy well for such a small venue/audience. I’d say there were 90 people watching and it was pretty full.

Lastly The Lambs Locals. Very reverby. Girl fronted. More up-beat than Tortured Genies. Organ usage.  Continue Reading »

Nada Alic

Fleet Foxes- Grown Ocean [video]

I’ve been on this Fleet Foxes kick for about a week now, their latest album “Helplessness Blues”- it’s this sort of existential exploration of self, who you ought to be, who you are, who you aspire to be- and you, the only thing standing in the way of all of that. He always so elegantly wraps it up in this type of Appalachian folk. He sways between the warm sincerity of vocally-charged beginnings, falling into a more shimmery orchestral sound, with traditional folk melodies.

Songs like “Helplessness Blues” and “Battery Kinzie” speak to that. Wrapped up in narratives, Pecknold sings of the disenchantment of being a snowflake, and the noble glory of being apart of a machine that operates towards something bigger than I. Other themes of unrequited love, feeling lost, being a stranger to yourself.

Pioneers, or at least revolutionaries of the looped harmonies that sprung about in the revivalist folk sounds from 5 or so years ago, they maintain their sound while developing something matured. More intricate instrumentation, matured lyrics, an ode to Simon & Garfunkel- this is a welcomed sequel to their self-titled debut and Sun Giant EP. Check out the beautiful video above.

Fleet Foxes- Battery Kinzie

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Nada Alic

Norwegian Arms “Run! Ran! Run! Rah!”

After his brief and culturally shocking time spent teaching in Russia, Brendan of Norwegian Arms returned home with a batch of songs and had Eric Slick of Dr. Dog to perform drums for the project to ‘breathe new life into it’. The sound is decidedly minimalistic, just a mandolin drums and ‘found percussion’ for the live show.

He’s hoping to eventually put together a book of short stories and poetry to be released with his Siberian songs. If there’s anything I know from Canadian winters, is that it produces some of the most creative workflows, without distraction besides a mild lethargy and the shivers. I’m sure the Russian climate had done him the same. Despite the cold, his songs sound sunny and bright. It’s got this sort of tropical folk sound to it.

The photo/album artwork is printed on a brown paper lunch bag.

Norwegian Arms- Run! Ran! Run! Rah!

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Nada Alic

Yellow Ostrich @ Bottom of the Hill 3/26

My SF correspondent Genesis, ie- rad girl who takes photos in the Bay area, hit up the Yellow Ostrich show on Saturday, a day after I checked him out at the Echo in LA. It was so cool to see him play with a full band, on his first tour- opening for Say Hi. I wondered what he would sound like with a backing band because I was so used to hearing all of his solo vocal loops and echos on his bandcamp- but his live show killed it.

I’ve been in love with his record “The Mistress” for sometime now. He’s got this pure voice that cascades across catchy pop hooks and soft echos of “ha ha ha ho ho’s” to more stripped down tracks that are entirely simple and elegant like “Mary” which begins in building harmonies where he sings, “Mary says it’s okay, she can see the future. Everything turns around” There’s something so powerful and naive about it all.

I love that I get to watch him grow and develop as an artists- ever since he first popped up on the blogs last year, and soonafter played our CMJ Blogotheque show, and now- touring. You absolutely must check him out if you haven’t yet- he’s got some of the best covers out there.

Check out more of her photos below: Continue Reading »

Nada Alic

Woman was the Word

I’m so honored to have been asked to be apart of this project curated by Absent Fever- a digital label run by the lovely Eloise of verb reverb and Tyler of Flashlight Tag.

“The idea of the project was to unveil and illuminate the persistent talents of females whilst tying together all aspects of this community. We asked three remarkable female bloggers to write pieces, poetry, stories, about anything that made them feel inspired to put pen to paper.”- Eloise

Meant as a collective effort among females across all mediums, bloggers writing poetry, artists interpreting their words into songs along with a beautifully created music video. Some pretty incredible women were also involved, like Holly of East to West and Katie of Heavy Percussion along with artists: Elizabeth Rose (who’s song was inspired by Holly’s piece), Rachel Levy (who’s song was inspired by Katie’s piece), and Yohuna + Adelyn Rose (who’s song was inspired by my piece).

So I re-interpreted a short story that I had and created something of a poem, mostly inspired by my mushy love for my boyfriend. I was pretty stoked to hear how the girls would attempt to make a song out of my words- and when Eloise sent me the track I was completely floored. They created this textured, ethereal sound with a beautiful melody and soft vocals. It was everything I wanted it to be. Very cool stuff.

Although this project was meant to illuminate females in an artistic realm that doesn’t necessarily allow for them to express themselves in those formats (ie blogging) while encouraging a collaborative environment among creative females I think it’s a huge testament to the creativity of the curators themselves- Eloise and Tyler. I had the pleasure of first meeting them at one of the best SXSW parties #MEGABLAAG and was so blown away by how ambitious they were. So big thank you to both of them for putting this together. Seriously so honored. Read more of the poems HERE.

Elizabeth Rose- Throw Me to the Stars (East to West)

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Rachel Levy- Pierced (Heavy Percussion)

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Yohuna & Adelyn Rose- All the Slow Songs (Waiting) (Friends With Both Arms)

Maybe I was late on the game for this one, but I really wanted to tell you guys about was a band called Little Scream. They’re from Montreal and they’ve got that Dirty Projectors, Land of Talk vibe.  They opened up for Sharon last night at Soda Bar and totally stole the show. Beautiful reverb, stunning vocals, two front women and a violin = perfect. Their debut album is called “The Golden Record” and was co-produced by Richard Reed Carey of Arcade Fire and recorded in the home studio of Aaron Dessner of The National with guest musicians from Stars and Arcade Fire, so yeah, you might say it’s good. I love it when supporting bands blow me away and she totally did. You gotta check her out here.

Sharon was pretty wonderful too, of course. She played a supershort set because she was en route to an early morning KCRW performance in LA. She played a new song that sounded pretty spectacular, the girl crush continues.

Little Scream- Heron and the Fox

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Sharon Van Etten- Same Dream

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Nada Alic

Indians “Magic Kids” [via IMF]

Great video/song recommended by Indie Music Filter by a relatively unknown band called Indians. Washed-out images over a dreamy song. Literally not much more to tell you other than that- but hopefully soon!  Thanks Chris!  Indians – Magic Kids by speedofsoundrec

Nada Alic

unouomedude :: frequency

unouomedude just released his Frequency 7″ which is two songs: Frequency and Frequency II. I just came across the second track today, and it’s got a way more mellow vibe, but I love them both. I don’t know if unouomedude can make a song I don’t like, he’s just reached that realm where everything sounds all vibrant and fuzzy. Wonderful stuff as I play catchup post- SXSW.

unouomedude: frequency

Frequency by unouomedude

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