stoked on Whitmore

So a couple weeks ago I went to see Will when he played the Borderline, the massive difference between this and every other time I’ve seen him play in town is the size of the crowd.

Usually Whitmore shows are somewhat “intimate” (see crobar/frith street/mucky pup) and although he’s played borderline before this time it was properly sold out. I’ve NEVER seen the borderline that busy, and a really mixed crowd, the usual whiskey drinking tattoed (everyone I’ve ever met in my life) kids, but also a little more of a Mojo reading element and some actual dads. It’s the same thing that started happen to Lucero around Rogues, Rebels…. time. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, in the slightest, just a notable one. It’s probably not going to change anytime soon either since he played on this weeks Jools Holland. It actually couldn’t be happening to a nicer guy, love that dude.

Growin' old in a bar

Wow, this week the internet just keeps producing awesome. Punknews pointed me in the direction of this video of Gaslight covering Left of the Dial. Gaslight covering the Replacements makes me happier than potential employment.

This cover is almost better than the J Page cover on “We’ll Inherit the Earth” (which is effin great by the way, you should pick it up if you don’t have it.All our favourite bands and Christy Roads artwork) and the J Page cover somehow manages to work Pictures of You and Kiss the Bottle into the end. So yeah, it’s pretty good. Watch and sigh.

Punktry

Last night’s full moon made me crazy, so I stayed home with Su, drank a bunch of wine and listened to a lot of alt.county (until it started making her sad). I’ve had a really Cory Branan heavy day today which is never a bad thing.

I was cruising videos over at vimeo and I found this one of Lucero doing Nobody’s Darlings at the Ottobar in Baltimore and it resonated with me for a number of reasons. 1) I’m pretty sure Robyn was at this show, I miss Robyn greatly. 2) I’ve had the funnest nights at the Ottobar and 3) this may be the saddest rendition of the song I’ve ever heard. (Also it’s awesome quality, I fricken love vimeo) so yeah. Lucero. Awwwww.


“Nobody’s Darlings” – Lucero from Tony Bowman on Vimeo.

so, 2009…

I decided to get a head start on the resolutions by staying in last night and not getting wasted, either that or I’m just eventually old enough to not care about New Years. Anyhow, I figured I’d put my resolutions on the internet in a bid to keep them or suffer terrible public humiliation. They are:

  • Be kinder
  • Smile more
  • Yoga every single day
  • Ixnay on the toxins.
  • Maintain 2008 focus
  • Stop going to shows at venues bigger than the Underworld
  • Have fun

Half of that list reads list a Jenny Holzer meme.

I’m thinking about getting my hair cut tomorrow, whaddaya think? I’m not sure 2009 is about the rockabilly, but as afore discussed, what else is there? Damn punx.

I’m stoked for Nick & Norah’s on tuesday. Fuckin’ aye.

best of year lists – film (part two)

It’s 9.30 on NYE, I still have a couple hours to get the last part of this blog post written so as I don’t feel like a complete slacker. Here goes:

Twilight – Catherine Hardwicke

I am well aware that this wasn’t the greatest movie made all year, and the schmaltz factor was pretty fucking high, but it can’t be ignored as a cultural phenomenon, and if you’ve been reading this blog for longer than 5 minutes, you’ll be well aware of my long time (guilty, guilty) love of the book series. Points to note about Twilight. 1)It could have been SO SO much worse 2)fuck me Robert Pattinson is hot, and born to play Ed Cullen 3) It’s hard to make a credible teen romance, and 4) If you watch the movie alone it’s a totally different story.

Snow Angels – David Gordon Green

This was at Sundance in 2007 but somehow took until this year to surface on DVD. I’m a giant geek for DGG, (see many, many previous posts) and I’d been eagerly awaiting this for what seemed like ever. It was in no way a disappoinment. It had all of the qualities that I loved in All the Real Girls – small town movie, beautiful camera work, sparse script and add to that tragedy, snow and high school and I’m in indiemovieheaven. The casting really couldn’t be any better, and this movie made me fall a little bit more in love with Olivia Thirlby.

Choke – Clark Gregg

I was stoked when I heard that this had made the Sundance 08 line up and super happy when I got to attend a screening later in the year, Choke is one of my favourite Panahniuk novels and was my suprise life- affirming- restoring-my-faith-in-first-time-directors movie of the year. Sam Rockwell shines (and everyone else does a pretty fucking good job too)  sure the movie is a little clunky along the way, but somehow at the end you feel like maybe your life has changed a little. Oh, and it’s laugh out loud funny too.

American Teen – Nanette Burnstein

I wrote about this two weeks ago here – well, mostly I gushed about it. American Teen is my documentary of the year, and definitely not because it’s not about global warming, the recession or water. It’s awesome. Please please watch it.

The Wackness – Jonathan Levine

This year Jonathon Levine became my new favourite director, I loved All the Boys Love Mandy Lane but I fell head over heels for the Wackness, hell I even listened to hip hop for two weeks after. The Wackness was a perfect movie about the 90s, about high school, about the heat of NYC and about that moment as a kid when you realise adult have no fucking clue what they’re doing either. It reminded me a little of All Over Me, although there’s nothing queercore about this movie it is a lot about young fucked up love in the city.

Well, that’s it. My top 10 of 2008 done and dusted. It must’ve been somewhat of a relief to read one movie list this year without Dark Knight on it, huh?

Right, I’m gonna watch the Wrestler and fall asleep sober, Happy New Year Y’all. x

best of year lists – films (part one)

I’m having a perfect last sunday morning of the year, it’s freezing, but the sun is shining through my window and forming rainbow prisms all over my room, nancy is asleep on the bed next to me, I’m listening to Jesse Lacey cover Iron and Wine (from when Iron&Wine was still awesome) and everything is perfectly calm. It’s a nice end to the year, but a pretty shit segue into the first part of my end of year film list.

Before you read this and disagree I want to make a couple points about the criteria for being on this list. The film must have had some kind of DVD or Cinematic release this year to get on the list. It gets complicated with worldwide release schedules, particularly for indies. Oh, and I have to have properly enjoyed the movie, there are at least a couple of guilty pleasures on this list, but like Klosterman says, there’s no such thing. Oh, and there’s no order to this list, it’s simply my favourite ten films of the past year.

Shotgun Stories – Dir: Jeff Nichols

To begin with, yes Jeff is Ben’s brother, but neither that, nor the minimal lucero score is the reason this film makes the list. It did crazy well on the festival circuit, and it’s clear that Jeff shares the same love of Terrence Malick, that his producer David Gordon Green (huge indie swoon) does. I put this on an Americana movies list earlier this year, ‘cos although super recent, it already has that classic feel about it. The narrative is simple, 3 brothers (Son, Kid & Boy) begin a feud with their (distinctly more christian, and less poor) half brothers after the death of their estranged father. It’s beautifully shot, sparsely scripted and amazingly acted. If there was ever a film to accompany the likes of Lucero, Drive By Truckers and Two Cow Garage then this is it.

In Search of a Midnight Kiss – Alex Holdridge

In Search… reeks of 90s indie. Remember way back when indie movies were still good, Robert Rodriguez was just some dude who directed black and white 16 mls and the mainstream media didn’t give a fuck about sundance. And because of all of this movies could be more honest, and less audience driven? This movie remembers that too, and although (presumably) set in the present day the 90s themes and motifs are prevalent, from shooting in black and white, to the real time two protagonist narrative. I’m not going to lie, it borrows heavily from Linklater, but updates it and gives the characters some focus. (The exec producer, also worked on Dazed… and Before Sunrise, so the connection is formal and real) It’s the story of a 29 year old guy (Scoot McNairy) saying goodbye to the worst year of his life and trying to have a good new years eve. Scoot rules in this role and plays it perfectly, like a modern day, more forgiving, less self absorbed Ethan Hawke. You should really watch this, cos I don’t have the space to gush.

Dedication – Justin Theroux

Mr Theroux was once an indie darling, but then he acted in Charlie Angels II and suddenly all credibility was lost, it’s lucky then he had the foresight to direct this and win some back. Dedication seems like the type of fake indie you should hate. Weinstein produced, starring Mandy Moore, a touch of the rom com about it. But bizarrely, it really works. This is in no small part due to the awesomeness that is Billy Crudup, who plays this mean, fucked up,misogynistic childrens book author to a tee. There are a million and one amazing exterior shots of NY that will make you yearn to live in the city, and Mandy Moore is almost impossibly pretty. It’s a perfect sunday movie.

Let the Right One in – Tomas Alfredson

I reviewed this one not all that long ago, so I’ll keep this one brief. You all know what a sucker I am for books with titles related to Morrissey, the novel that this perfect swedish vampire movie is based on is named after the song “let the right one slip in” Swedish indie cinema has such a weird Morrissey fixation, look at early Moodysson… It’s the tale of Oskar, a bullied schoolboy and how he befriends a girl vampire. Think “the little vampire” but violent and oddly sexual. I loved this movie and it made me long for a time when more movies actually said something, because in 2008, very few did.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno – Kevin Smith

This is another one I wrote about last month, so I’m not going to again. Suffice to say that the more I think about it, the more I realise Kevin Smith is growing up into a slightly cruder John Hughes. And that’s not a bad thing. It’s the reason adults don’t like him, and indie fans find him to schmaltzy, but I think it’s the reason I love him. Oh, and he made Seth Rogen playing Seth Rogen a little less irritating than usual.

Im gonna have a bath and think about writing the second half of this list later.

best of year lists – records (part two)

I had some food, green tea and decongestants and I’m back with the second part of my 2008 records list. (Oooh, I also made a best of 2008 mixtape, check the end of this post)

Paul Baribeau – Grand Ledge

Yes, yes I know that technically this was released in 2007, but it was released on vinyl this year so it’s going on my list. Don’t let the fact that AP called him the greatest living folk artist deter you. Paul Baribeau is a genius. Honest yet never whiny, he sings about the trials and tribulations of twenty something non corporate lifestyle. In this record he carefully jumps from super sad songs, to songs full of hope and positivity. He seems like the kind of dude you would want to be your best friend. The track Christmas Lights can sometimes make me cry (in the good way).

Fake Problems – It’s Great to Be Alive

This may not technically be out yet, but I’ve got it, and I’ve listened to it a shit ton, so it’s going on my list. I saw Fake Problems twice this year, and they ruled both times. I liked the last two records, but this one it like, wo-ah, you know? There are actual songs, but still enough crazy hand claps and group shout alongs to keep anyone happy. Positive even when dealing with the most negative narrative, they’re a band I often tag on last.fm as “impossible to be sad to”. All the songs are great, but Dream Team has had my foot tapping more in the last month than almost anything else this year.

Whiskey Trench – The Good Sun ep

The Whiskey Trench ep rules. In a simple, honest and gruffy punk kind of a way. A band made up of other bands (including Sainte Catherines) it’s not that they’re necessarily doing anything new, but they’re doing it really fucking well. This record makes me happy, and also makes doing household chores something that resembles fun. I’m excited about a full length.

Tom Gabel – HeartBurns

As if I wasn’t going to put this on my list. Everyone’s favourite credible punk rock crush takes some time out from Against me! to get back to some solo grown up punk rock angst. It actually really doesn’t sound like Against me! and has far more in common with Tom’s early stuff, just older and better produced. Random Hearts gets stuck in my head almost daily. That part of November when he joined the reunion tour? I wanted to die from not being able to go. Music swoon.

Gaslight Anthem – The 59 Sound

This is easily my record of the year, I can’t even imagine how many times I’ve listened to it, and although I had a spectacularly bad live experience with these boys earlier this month I still can’t stop being in love with almost every song on this record. From the perfect opening to the (okay I’ll give you this one) incredibly Springsteenesque Backseat, it flows the way Afghan Whigs records did. Playing pick the influences is a fun game, but joking aside, I can’t say anything bad about this record and the magical retro Jersey romanticism it  brings whenever its played. It also sent me back into the motown phase I haven’t re-visited since my teens. It kills me that my favourite current record is written by a teetotal christian, but that’s just the icing on this years weird cake.

Here, is my  kimlovesstuff best of 2008 to download and acquaint yourself with. Tracklisting is as follows

  1. Paul Baribeau  – Christmas Lights
  2. Fake Problems – The Dream Team
  3. Gaslight Anthem – Old White Lincoln
  4. The Riot Before – Threat Level Midnight
  5. Ben Nichols – Toadvine
  6. Whiskey Trench – The Good Sun
  7. Chinese Telephones – Back to You Again
  8. Tom Gabel – Random Hearts
  9. Murder by Death – Fuego
  10. For Science – East of E
  11. Death Cab for Cutie -The Ice is Getting Thinner
  12. The State Lottery – Cities We’re not From
  13. Lemuria – Pants
  14. The Ergs! – Books about Miles Davis
  15. Gaslight Anthem – Blue Jeans and White Tee Shirts

best of year lists – records (part one)

It’s that time of year folks. Since I’m home, sick, in bed I thought I should get on with it. I’m doing different posts for different mediums cos I like too much stuff to put it all in one, dig?

So without further ado…

The Ergs! – Hindsight is 20/20, My friend.

One of the reasons 2008 sucked was The Ergs! break-up. Which is one of the reasons this comp gets on my list. Also, it features the covers Hey Jealousy and the awesome Only Babies Cry, off the Books About Miles Davis 7, originally by the amazing Paul Baribeau. The Ergs! always had the capacity to make everything better.

Murder By Death – Red of Tooth and Claw

It always feels a bit weird putting your friends bands on lists, but really, Red of Tooth and Claw rules. This was the kids first record on Vagrant, and as with each previous release they’ve continued maturing into better and better musicians. Adams vocals are much stronger and deeper, Sarah’s cello glides effortlessly in and out of the melodies, it’s all fucking great. Fuego is the stand out song, and Spring Break 1899 is near perfect too. Murder by Death have always sounded like the soundtrack from HBO’s (too short lived) Carnivale. You should probably get this now.

The Riot Before – Fists Buried in Pockets.

The Riot Before make me remember why I fell into punk in the first place. Gruff enough for the earnest not to leave a bad taste in your mouth. Songs about having books to depend on after break ups and politic injustice sit side by side with tracks entitled You Can’t Sexy Dance to Punk Rock. The Riot Before frequently make my morning commute almost enjoyable.

The Gaslight Anthem – Senor and the Queen EP

Right at the beginning of 08 this EP cemented Gaslight as my new favourite band, and made my (now ex) boyfriend happy, because now something other than Sink or Swim would be played. I can’t gush enough about these 4 songs. And hell, Blue Jeans and White Tee Shirts became one of my favourite songs ever this year. This ep was still a little bit Lucero before it became all about The Boss. It’s perfect. Oh, and Brian hates it when people mistake the Sam Cooke thing for a Tom Jones thing.

Ben Nichols – The Last Pale Light in the West

You know what’d be nice? A new Lucero record. You know what is almost as good? A Ben Nichols record. This mini album is based on Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. Far less riffy than Lucero, and being an *inspired by* album, there’s no space for songs about girls. All of this being said, it’s superb. Ben’s vocals lend themselves perfectly to this subject matter, the lyrics are vivid, and the guitars are just melancholy enough.

I’m going to post the next five later, I got sidetracked with IMing during this one and now I’m all tired. More meds = more sensical writing.

and everybodys waiting on the end of the world…

I found this on someones flickr the other day:

It seemed sort of apt, since I’m currently 2 pages away from the end of Girlfriend in a Coma, and reading it this time has been more poignant than any other time I’ve picked it up. The things Karen notices, and juxtaposes about modern society and 17 years previous are the exact things I can’t stand about 2008. I’m a child of the 70s, and I definitely remember people actually having leisure time back then. There was a theory in the 90s about the reason shows like Friends and Seinfeld and Frazier were so popular, the notion was time porn. All the characters did was hang out with each other, rarely working, just hanging. Western society tuned in en masse and swooned a collective swoon at the notion of being able to just drink coffee for 4 hours straight. The other thing that Karen picks up on is the hardness to people and the lack of sincerity. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll rarely meet anyone more pro the internet and personal space than me, I don’t like to interact with people unless I choose to, but look around in the streets, it’s not just anti-social fuckers like me who can’t leave the house without an i-pod. Thousands of us all walking around in our own little worlds, with little to no connection with the real one that’s going on around us. And I for one am praying for the death of irony. I don’t know whether I feel these things because I’m now nearer the age of the characters in the book, or because things have gotten even more fucked up since the last time I read it. But back to the point, I do feel like I’m trapped in a Coupland novel, although me and my friends feel like the only characters who have read it before.

you're like a simile, like totally

And the awesome mood continues. Life is getting good again. After last weeks post american boys in town come down, things are on the ascent again. New gossip girl last night. How much hotter did everyone get over summer? Dan in a vest was actually attractive, and Nate. Wowzers. I know they’re both about 12, but apparently that’s my vibe right now.

I’m crazy into the notion of fall/autumn.. summer has been over a long while in London, but only on September 1st did it start to feel autumnal. Leaves are starting to fall, make up colours are getting darker, hoodies are becoming essential and you can just about get away with a light scarf. Fuck yes. Great TV, better (smarter) movies, new Chuck Klosterman book, my birthday, Halloween, it being cold enough that the first cigarette and coffee of the day (outside of work) taste perfect. Oooooooohhhh, and leaf stomping in the park. It getting darker earlier, listening to American Football and Gameface and Polyvinyl stuff every night. I’m stoked on Autumn.

I’m gonna make another mix tape this week. When i have some time, right now I have to go and paint my nails.