Friends With Both Arms » 2011 » October

Archive for October, 2011

Nada Alic

C’est L’Halloween

For those who grew up going to French class. You know what I’m talking about. This one goes out to you. C’est L’Halloween, HEY.

Nada Alic

The Wooden Sky – City of Light

The Mixtape Series alumni, The Wooden Sky, recently released a new EP called City of Light to hold us all over before they release their full length in early 2012. I know I say this often, but The Wooden Sky has to be one of my favorite Toronto bands. They’re one of the few bands that do Americana well, they’re not just recycling that vintage alt-country sound that is so difficult to emulate well- they pull it off, while managing to cross genres from folk, rock (City of Light/Dancing At My Window Reprise), country (Go Straight), 50s pop lullabies (Take Me Out).

They’ve got this ability to attract legions of likeminded, flannel-clad enthusiasts to huddle together for group sing-alongs on the street. Likely credited to their Bedrooms and Backstreets tour they did a while back where they played across Canada in unconventional spaces, replacing the anonymity and divide of bars with the warmth of backyard bbqs and some couch space. Seems to have worked because there are videos floating around all of the internet of the band singing their songs to strangers and friends who know all the words. That’s a dedicated way to gain a fanbase. That and the fact that they are impossibly talented musicians.

The Wooden Sky – Angelina

Upcoming tour dates: 

11/9 New York, NY – Pianos
11/10 Brooklyn, NY – Union Pool
11/11 Boston, MA – The Lizard Lounge

Nada Alic

David Bazan Covers TW Walsh

In a little facebook campaign to gain a few likes, TW Walsh enticed fans with a download of David Bazan covering one of his songs called, “Make it Rhyme”. It worked! This is not your typical Bazan melody, but it’s good huh? TW Walsh’s original version is also great. Check em out below. Somewhere, somehow TW Walsh is probably going to ask you to like him on facebook- so go for it.

David Bazan- Make it Rhyme (TW Walsh Cover)

TW Walsh- Make it Rhyme

Nada Alic

The Shivers // More

Check out this new video for More by The Shivers. It looks similar to the takeaway show we’d filmed with them on the beaches of San Diego a few months back, except with them, you know, dead body and wheelbarrow. This song is so gorgeous and timeless that every time I hear it, I get a certain kind of feeling. The Shivers are a really unique duo and I’m totally bewildered that they’re not bigger than they are. To me, they’re classic while maintaining such an experimental spirit. It’s honest and real music, and it never deviates from that ethos.

Keith Zarriello is not afraid to be vulnerable and poetic, and when you’re around him you get the sense that he doens’t care much for the material world or anyone for that matter- he sort of just goes about life with his understanding of the world and I feel grateful that he shares that through his music, and Jo Schornikow has this delicate and fatal femininity, she’s just got this undecorated beauty. They’ve also got a new video for Love is in the Air which just recently was released as well.

Nada Alic

Kinnie the Explorer-

Honestly, the more I look at this thing, the more I get weirded out. I mean, what is it? If I don’t stare directly at it I can pretend it’s a cat on a chair. But is it a head? Tell me! Anyway, Kinnie the Explorer is a project by my friend Peter Lanceley who also runs the wonderful music blog This Music Wins is releasing his debut LP with bandmates Olly Porter, Will Porter, Kit Vincent- better known as Kinnie the Explorer, to be released on a limited vinyl run on Feb. 1st. If you live in the UK, you can find out more about their shows and such here. Their first single “Scissor Dance” has got this gorgeous percussive beat, stunning vocals and a shimmery tropical vibe. Check it out below.

Nada Alic

Little Scream (Work Drugs Smooth Mix)

Little Scream was one of those artists that immediately captivated me, and her record The Golden Record easily became one of the best releases of the year. I’m such a huge fan so when I came across this Work Drugs remix I was amped. It’s a new take on The Heron on the Fox and makes me like it in a totally new way. Take a listen.

Little Scream – The Heron and the Fox (Work Drugs Smooth Mix) by Work Drugs

My San Diego homies continue to impress me with the creative content they pump out on the daily. This is a video from the beloved Youth Lagoon for Pitchfork Tunnelvision filmed by Charles Bergquist and Chadwick Gantes (Invisible Children/Sezio). Really beautiful stuff guys. And the song is great- doesn’t it sound a little like early Andy Hull stuff?

Nada Alic

Costume Talk with Milagres

I did this piece for NBC SoundDiego and thought I’d come up with something a little different. As Halloween is fast-approaching and Milagres make their way to San Diego just days before (Oct. 28th) at Soda Bar I thought it’d be fitting to ask the guys about their best Halloween costumes-passed. They sent me photographic evidence, along with a strange photoshopped picture of Chris.

Fraser McCulloch:

“My fav was Magnum PI because I got to grow out my moustache non-ironically; just Halloweenily. In fact, ditto that reasoning for the Hawaiian shirt that was part of thecostume. A costume fit for a king (of comfort)… or Tom Selleck.”

Eric Schwortz

“My Tom Cruise costume (2006?) was lazy, I never worked out the choreography for my Thriller-zombie (2010), and everybody dresses up as a Ghostbuster (2003) or Richie Tenenbaum (2004) these days. My most rewarding costume was homemade, simple and semi-conceptual. I was a Storm Cloud (2008). I spray painted and glued cotton balls to a gray thermal, constructed a hand-held lightning bolt out of foam board–painted bright yellow–to carry around, and had a spray bottle with water for the rain. It was graphic and cartoony in the best way. I felt like a super hero.”

Steven Leventhal:

“Billy Mays… Definitely Billy Mays. Although admittedly it did lack some amount of taste as he had recently passed away, I wasn’t so much making fun of him as remembering his persona. I remember growing my beard and mustache out just for the part. I think that’s actually when I started to wear my facial hair the way I do.”

Kyle Wilson

“I am generally pretty great at Halloween, if I may say so myself, but my crowning accomplishment was my Bag of Trash costume.  It was improvised using what I had around the house: TRASH!  I cut arm and leg holes out of a trash bag, got in, emptied my kitchen trash into it and then paper clipped a bunch of trash all over myself, including a banana peel on top of my head which did not look pretty by the end of the night.”

Chris Brazee

*Chris denied comment on this particular issue.  The heart throb lead keyboardist of Milagres has become notoriously protective of his private life due to accusations that he leads a double life as the guitarist for Phish, Mr. Trey Anastasio.

Milagres- Halfway

Nada Alic

Phantogram : Nightlife

Admittedly I’ve only listened to Nightlife a couple times over since it was released, but I’ve just got that feeling, you know? Like you prematurely want to share something without giving it much thought, mostly feeling. And this mini record feels good. They’ve really come into their own sound, “Don’t Move” seems like the front runner- it’s got those great samples and a shimmery beat. While “Make a Fist” sounds like a more anxious “Running from the Cops”. Not surprisingly, their title track “Nightlife” is one of my favorites, it sort of just floats along like with Sarah Barthel’s soothing vocals echoing throughout as she sings, “I’m okay, only in the nighttime” which makes a lot of sense since these songs were conceived on the road, usually after shows wrapped up around 1am. You start to feel okay with those hours.  You can stream the album on their facebook page.

Phantogram – 16 Years

Nada Alic

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper

I just found out about Lady Lamb the Beekeeper when CoS posted her video cover of Cher’s interpretation of Dylan’s “All I Really Want to Do” (64) You can watch that video here. Her real name is Aly Spaltro and she’s tiny and young- but she’s got this big smouldering voice. It’s a little jazz, and a little folk. It’s got a bit of that gravel, too, that makes it sound like she’s already lived a life. She grew up in the SouthWest then moved to Germany for a while, and was touted as the best new band from Maine- so maybe she has in fact, lived a life. Her latest release Mammoth Swoon features rareties and old songs (which makes sense when you know she’s already super prolific and three albums deep). Seriously though, what am I doing with my life? Hah! Check her out here.

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