Passion Pit

Phillip Morris Crematorium

So my beloved Canucks have been eliminated from the playoffs. I’ve had a little while to recover from the heartbreak of it all and I think I’m ready to get caught up on everything I’ve been neglecting, including this here bloggity blog.

Ronnie James Dio and Lena Horne both passed away this month. Tip a 40 and give much respect to both of these incredible artists.

Nearly 30 years after the frightening, childhood-trauma-enducing, The Dark Crystal, they have announced they are making a sequel. I have lived in fear of this day…

I mentioned that I recently got to see Freelance Whales and they are good stuff. Here they are performing live at Grand Street Studio, up in that current music hotbed called Brooklyn.

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Speaking of recently viewed bands, Passion Pit did a pretty spectacular remix of “Undercover Martyn” by Two Door Cinema Club, that you probably should be listening to.

And to keep the NYC connection going, here’s Darwin Deez‘s “Radar Detector”, which showcases his tendrils, headband, and righteous dance moves.

Heading north, Montrealers, Think About Life, have a great vid for “Havin’ My Baby”, featuring a dancing preacher who rides one of those 3-wheeled motorcycles. Oh, and there are also puppets.

And over in foggy London town, Goldfrapp‘s got a “Rocket”.

The lovely Bat For Lashes has been paying homage to some iconic Brits in her live show and, I might add, doing a stellar job of it.

Here Comes The Summer

It’s the Stanley Cup Playoffs, so I haven’t been doing anything except watching a ton of hockey for the last month or so. I have tons to catch up on here, and I know it.

It’s Mother’s Day tomorrow and Betty White is hosting SNL tonight, along with an insane amount of returning female, former cast members. Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey, Molly Shannon, Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler, and Ana Gasteyer are all going to be joining the lovely Betty and it is going to be epic. Oh yeah, and some guy named Jay Z is going to be the musical guest. With all that star-power, this could be his big break!

So catching up on shows I have seen this year, in January I saw Asobi Seksu do an acoustic set with openers Friendship and the Fawn at the Media Club. It was a nice, mellow show – intimate, to say the least. There was no flailing drum solo from Yuki this time around.

Jay Farrar & Ben Gibbard with opener John Roderick from The Long Winters gave occasion for me to take my first trip to Portland. They had a star-studded backup band, including Ben’s bassist buddy, Nick Harmer. “You Remind Me of Home” was a nice surprise in the set list that made me smile since I was there with my olde timey buddies from back home. Portland, despite the usual PNW showers, was pretty nice. We hit Voodoo Doughnut and partook of their fine fares at Burnside on our last morning before hitting the road back North. We had to take the opportunity to swing by Cannon Beach to hit Haystack Rock. This year is the 25th anniversary of the Goonies, so it was only fitting. It was really beautiful down there and I would love to go back sometime and just chill out for a little while.

Thanks to some last-minute plans, I got to catch the Stars and Hey Rosetta show. It was part of the craziness that came with the Olympics and it was a really great night. Hey Rosetta actually stole the show. I’ve never seen an opening band have such demand for an encore! They didn’t oblige, sadly, but they really blew everyone away. I’ve seen Stars before and, for some reason, this time it felt like something was lacking. Don’t get me wrong, they sounded great, but it felt like it was missing heart. It felt a bit empty. A good show and an awesome night, nonetheless.

Got to see Cymbals Eat Guitars in March at the Biltmore with killer openers Bear In Heaven and Freelance Whales. This was a wicked show. Both openers were solid and I have never seen anyone even come close to sweating as much as Jim Adkins before Joseph Ferocious. That kid is a youngin’, but he has done his homework on late 90’s emo stage-presence.

After two cancelled shows, Passion Pit finally played at the Commodore on April 11th. It was quite a night, as other bands with shows that night included Spoon and Beach House. I would have been really pissed if PP cancelled again, because I would have totally gone to the Spoon show, but they showed up this time so all was well. Bear Hands and Mayer Hawthorne & the County opened for this one. Let me just say, Mayer Hawthorne, you are real, and you are SPECTACULAR. They were so much fun and he embodies what the old  Detroit sound and feel are in my head. A super good time, all around.

PP was awesome, as expected. They had the heavily-hipster crowd jumping and singing along from the second they hit the stage. H&M and Urban Outfitters attire could not be avoided, no matter where you looked, but my friends and I couldn’t stop watching the meathead in the tight white Ed Hardy gear trying to grind on his girlfriend and “dance” in front of the bar. It was like a bad version of a Girls Gone Wild commercial. You couldn’t look away and you couldn’t stop laughing either. Lots of holding his drink in the air and thrusting of the general crotch area – you know what I’m talking about.

The one thing I did not like was that Michael Angelakos made mention of having to postpone their last show here, but said it was due to sickness. He could easily have gotten his wires crossed, but they did NOT cancel due to sickness – it was because they decided to play Jimmy Kimmel instead. Kind of a burn, but then to not only claim it was due to sickness, but ALSO to not even mention that the December show was actually a rescheduling of their October show on top of that was pretty lame. I know they’re huge right now and touring can turn into a blur of cities and days, but it definitely put me a bit off. Still a great show, overall.

More to come between games…

The Vast Spoils Of America (From the Badlands Through the Ocean)

What can you say about the Magnetic Fields? They are amazing, and have been for the last 20-plus years. Songwriters can only dream of being as genius as Stephin Merritt. They’ve been making this documentary on him and the Magnetic Fields for the past ten years, and it’s finally getting screened out in the world. I’m excited to see it and bask in the glory that is Merritt, but for now, I can watch this trailer.

I was thinking about all the awesome upcoming shows in this humble city, and could not believe I had not mentioned Sleigh Bells here yet. I’ve been into these guys since I first heard them last year and, as a former co-worker of mine would say, they are killin’ it. Seems like Brooklyn, in general, is killin’ it these days. Sleigh Bells will be releasing their debut album, Treats, on May 11th in cahoots with M.I.A. Yeah, I’m going to call that a win.

Miles Kurosky, formerly of Beulah, released his first solo album, The Desert of Shallow Effects, at the beginning of this month. Here’s a little sampling and some puppets for you.

Oh yeah, have I mentioned Passion Pit are huge?

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Thank Lorne Michaels, this song finally has a video. Samberg incorporating old people make-outs just gives me one more reason to compare him with Adam Sandler. They are both funny, musical, Jewish guys who are down with the octogenarian generation. I’m into it.

Michael Rapaport could be the whitest guy ever, but I will always have a soft spot for him thanks to Beautiful Girls. I wondered what had happened to him over the past few years, and it turns out he’s been working on a documentary… on A TRIBE CALLED QUEST.

New York may have its good and bad, but this is most definitely good. It’s also a plus to hear the good Dr. Brule will have his own 11-minute show. Remember when shows were in 30-minute increments? Ah NYC, the media just makes you seem so glamourous. If you were Marilyn Monroe, this would be your beauty mark.

Broken Bells is the new collaboration between James Mercer, (he of the Shins fame,) and Danger Mouse, (he of the everyone fame). Their first album came out earlier this month and, based on the talent involved alone, is worth a listen. Here’s the vid for the first single, “The High Road”.

Hailing from Florida, Surfer Blood is pretty good stuff. They’ll be playing at the Biltmore on April 5th so check them out if you are able.

Lemonade is one of my favourite beverages. So it makes sense that I would also like a Brooklyn via San Francisco band called Lemonade. They, much like the beverage or a Junior Mint, are very refreshing.

Passion Pit is huge now. HUGE. I’m a little mad at them since they have cancelled their shows here TWICE now, but they have another show coming up on April 11th at the good ol’ Commodore, so hopefully they don’t back out of that one too. Anyway, here’s a vid for that mega-hit, “Sleepyhead”, that was rejected by the band but is still a good time.

There Is A Light That Never Goes Out

Let’s do some math. Wes Anderson + stop motion + Roald Dahl + Owen Wilson + George Clooney + Meryl Streep + Bill Murray + Jason Schwartzman = Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Passion Pit was on Jimmy Fallon this past week. Of course, I can’t link to it since it’s on that dipshit Hulu,(lucky you, if you’re in the land of America,) but here’s their video for “To Kingdom Come”.

You’ve probably heard by now, but MCA from Beastie Boys has cancer. Hot Sauce Committee Part 1, which was supposed to be released on September 15th, is being pushed back and they’ve cancelled shows while he has surgery and starts treatment. He says it’s very treatable, but scary shit, man. Hear it direct.

8-bit Weezer of varying eras. I am glad to see Tugboat doing “El Scorcho”.

Yes, Bobby McFerrin did a song that was so catchy you hate it, (with a video starring Robin Williams and Bill Irwin). BUT, he’s a pretty cool and clever guy.

What do you get when you put together an 80’s compilation and a silent film? Well, this:

This lovely couple from Idaho had a Katamari Damacy wedding. Nerdy, but pretty darn cute.

The second Flight of the Conchords album, titled “I Told You I Was Freaky”, will be released on October 20th. That song about balls is going to be on it.

If Andrew W.K. was my local weatherman, I would actually watch the news. REGULARLY.

Strangely, I really love the Octopus Project, yet really don’t like actual octopuses. Either way, here’s their new vid for “Wet Gold”.

Eee! New Echo & the Bunnymen!

People who are knocked up or have gotten someone knocked up and don’t plan on fleeing like a pansy-ass, read up and learn a lesson or two from W.N. Kellogg. Do NOT raise an ape alongside your baby!

This would not work on trash cans in Hawai’i, since they say “Mahalo”, but at least there’s always Bachelor Party to help up cope! Mahalo for that!

Man Out of Time

If anyone had any doubt about the ridiculousness of Billy Corgan, I’m pretty sure this should put that to rest. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Passion Pit, I like you. In fact, I’ve liked you for a while now. But I’m scared you’re blowing up too fast, what with your PSP commercial over the holiday season and all. That kind of “skyrocketing” freaks me right out! But alas, I cannot help but still like you.

Sweden has a Pirate Party and they won two seats in Parliament. Perhaps there is hope for the world yet, and that hope is named Sweden!

Speaking of Sweden and its many delights, last night I saw Jens Lekman at Richard’s on Richards. He and his band were completely delightful and charming, which seems to be consistent with all the Swedish crooners I have seen. It was all so… nice. Just NICE! There was sing-along-ing, dancing, and head-bopping from side to side.I smiled throughout the show and even as I waited for the bus after it was over. If a show can leave you smiling while waiting for the bus, I’d say that’s a win. I wish there was more merch though. I know getting over the border with merch can be a challenge, so bands don’t always have a full variety when they come up here. There was one t-shirt design in a couple of different colours, some CDs and vinyl, and that was about it. I was hoping to get one of these keys, but they sold out before they got up here. Blast! Oh well, it just gives me another excuse not to miss him the next time he comes through town.

I’m not sure what the name of the opening artist was. He was a tall, slender guy with his acoustic guitar which he softly plucked. He wore an oxford shirt with khakis that were rolled into small cuffs right above his ankles. Oh, and also some loafers with no socks. He seemed like he would be from somewhere like Nantucket. I wish the sound had been better during his set, as his voice sounded very soothing and pleasant from what I could hear.

Matt & Kim made a video where they get nekkid. I would like to know more about this. Were they really nekkid or were they wearing strategically-placed flesh-toned garments that, when blurred out, would make one appear to be nekkid? Were those real cops laying the beat down on Matt? Kim sure as hell didn’t get hit by a bus, obviously, but so many questions…

More cuteness from The Boy Least Likely To:

And something to inspire some bopping around, courtesy of Pains of Being Pure At Heart.

All The Way Down

Over the summer I heard this track by Passion Pit called “Sleepyhead” and liked it. Now it’s got a video.

I would not call myself an Amy Adams fan and frequently get her mixed up with Mrs. Borat, but her upcoming movie, Sunshine Cleaning, seems like a gooder.

There is also a Swedish kid-vampire movie called Let the Right One In that I am really interested in seeing. Sweden – thumbs up. Vampires – thumbs up. You do the math. This one is getting all kinds of attention and they are already talking about making an American (read: shitty) version.

This week I stumbled upon the ION TTUSB turntable at Costco of all places.

The miShare seems like a good idea, but the price tag feels a bit high to me.

Mini, digital Rolleiflex. So expensive, but so awesome.

I actually saw the Kidrobot Interior Chairs series while I was out buying a birthday gift and was very tempted to get a few, but thought, “What the hell would I do with a bunch of tiny chairs?” Looking at them again now, I find my previous logic flawed.