Here's a new band to check out if you like peppy acoustic music. They were featured on an iPhone commercial a long time ago. You'll recognize the song right away, but if you're like me you had no idea that it was a real song.
You can find two songs to download here, including the song from the commercial. Below is the iPhone commercial as well as a music video for a song called "Gravel." Here is a link to their Myspace. Enjoy.
For those who like Broken Social Scene, here is a little gem I found yesterday. BSS performed a live, acoustic set for a French radio station. The highlight, for me, is their version of "Almost Crimes."
This is available for download here. Or you can buy it from their record label here.
I'm in the process of making a mixtape full of cover songs. This one is probably my favorite. John Mayer covers Radiohead's Kid A. I've had it on my computer forever, but it is definitely worth checking out. I don't know how to post the actual file to download, so I'm putting up a youtube video someone made with the song in the background. I can't vouch for the video, only the song. Is there any doubt about John Mayer's level of awesomeness? I doubt it. He's dating Jennifer Aniston. He covers Radiohead. He's awesome.
I had a conversation this weekend about Oasis, which reminded me of how much I loved 90's alternative rock. Back then MTV actually played music videos. I can remember spending a week at my grandma's house one summer and soaking up MTV. We didn't have cable at my house, so watching MTV was like a holiday for me. Here are some videos/songs I loved as a youngster.
Don't Look Back in Anger - Oasis
I can remember thinking the drummer in the pool was so cool.
I had a great stumble upon moment about a year ago in San Diego. My brother had recently moved so he and I drove his car from KC to SD. I spent an afternoon in La Jolla and stopped in a local boutique. There on the hat rack was a fantastic hat, by Brixton. I picked it up and then couldn't take it off for about a week.
This happenstance started my love with Brixton hats. Started in 2004 by three southern California friends Brixton blends traditional and modern together brilliantly. Not to mention that the quality and detail is fantastic, especially for the price. My current favorite is the straw castor in natural, with a great silk lining, it's becoming my summer hat for sure. (you can buy Brixton hats on their website or just google it.)
I know what you're saying, "I can't pull that off", and I said the same thing. This is a look for everyone, that includes you girls. It's refined but masculine, old but new, dressy but casual. I'll even give you a styling tip, wear it with a simple fitted button down shirt or t-shirt, and jeans. My advice is keep it simple. Then wear the hat with the front of your hair line showing. I promise you'll look effortlessly cool. As with anything, you look good when you feel good, so love what you wear.
Last March, Daniel and I made a trip to Chicago to catch a Clipse show. Not to brag, but we were first in line at the show, stood right up against the stage, and got mad love from Pusha and Malice. That night was, unknowingly, our first encounter with The Cool Kids. At the back of the stage, quietly taking it all in was Mikey Rocks. It's true, he's cool. Actually, we saw him roll up and go into the show while we were standing in line and thought, "Who's that?" I'll bet Daniel could even remember what he was wearing - skinny jeans, dunks, and a leather hoodie I think, with a Bulls flat bill...I may be a little off.
The Cool Kids represent the next wave of hip-hop. Young. Intelligent. Creative. In some ways, they're a blast from the past, but in most ways they're brand new. Their Bake Sale EP, which just came out on iTunes today (in stores in June), is going to be my summer jam. Have fun. Listen to The Cool Kids. Or just do what you want, because it's cool to be yourself.
People ride around in a black car and play acoustic versions of their songs. What a fun idea! Check it out. If it's good enough for Ben Gibbard, Brit Daniel (Spoon), and A.C. Newman (New Pornographers), it's good enough for me.
The videos on this site take a while to load. Don't worry, it's not your computer.
Which version of The Office is better, English or American? I've participated in this debate recently. It's hard to argue that anything but the original is best. This goes for a lot of things - Beatles songs, the movie Home Alone, Apple's operating system (which Microsoft ripped off and called Windows), Borat's character on Da Ali G show, etc. According to this sketch from last night's SNL, both versions of The Office ripped off ideas from someone else.
Last night's Saturday Night Live was, in my opinion, the funniest since Justin Timberlake hosted two Christmases ago. Steve Carrell's opening monologue had me laughing out loud. Speaking of J.T., there used to be a big debate over who was cooler, Timberlake or Usher. It's no longer a valid debate - Usher is now strange and awkward. His performances last night were completely uncomfortable to watch.
Here's another recent SNL Digital short that I found pretty funny.
I bought a MacBook today. I can't tell you how exciting it is to walk out of the Apple store with a product in hand. This has only happened twice in my entire life (once was getting an iPhone a month ago and the second was today). Props to my friend Cassie for the moral support throughout all the excitement.
A few thoughts for today...Death Cab For Cutie will never top Transatlanticism. That album, in my opinion, should be considered one of the all time great independent records. I'm done comparing Death Cab's subsequent work to Transatlanticism. (Also, We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes is a great record) Instead, I'm taking their music at face value. And I really like the song "Bixby Canyon Bridge" off of the new album.
Second thought, Kanye's new Nike shoes are nuts. I will most likely buy a pair when they come out. Below is a picture of the shoes. Kanye is completely obsessed with himself, but he is definitely one of the more creative minds in the pop world right now.
Finally, I've started watching How I Met Your Mother on DVD. It's really funny.
I never thought I would ever say this, but I can barely stop wearing khakis. Everyday I feel like I have to pry myself away from slipping on those tan colored pants and it's thanks to two men. Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos are co-creators of the appropriately named Shipley & Halmos. Shipley and Halmos aren't new to the industry though, they're two of the creators of what is becoming a super line Trovata.
Spring 2008 Shipley hit stores with a more refined quirkiness than the former Torvata, and for me the signature piece is the khaki. Even a few months ago Khaki was a swear word in my world of raw denim but spring has seen the rebirth of casual preppy. These aren't your dad's pants though, with the perfect slim cut, white salvage hem, and slight wax coating. They defy the mainstream ideas of the chino.
So, here I am out of the khaki closet...my name is Daniel and I love my Shipley & Halmos Khaki pants.
Please watch Lars and the Real Girl. I never made it to see the movie in theaters but bought the DVD by recommendation of Daniel. It has now become one of my favorites. Ryan Gosling is the best actor no one knows about. Ok, people know who Gosling is because of his role in The Notebook, but he is racking up quite a resume. According to Daniel, and I would have to agree, Ryan Gosling is the best actor of our generation. Please watch this movie.
When Daniel and I were roommates, we were one of the first people to have Tivo. Actually, Daniel got Tivo and I reaped the benefits. We happened to record a show called "John Mayer Has a TV Show" on VH1. Take a look. It's an all-time classic...plus it reminds me of one of the funnest years of my entire life. Daniel and I have lots of stories from that year. Below is the show. YouTube has it broken into two parts, but it's really just one episode. Check it out.
Want to impress your friends? Ask them if they've heard of The Republic Tigers. Most likely, they haven't. Maybe they have if they like local, Kansas City, indie pop. But how many people look to KC as a breeding ground for indie popsters? Not many. The Republic Tigers just came out with an album called "Keep Color." I've known about them for awhile but could never find their EP in any stores. Now they've released a full length and I think it deserves attention. Their first single is called "Buildings & Mountains" but my favorite song (I don't even have the album yet so it's my favorite song of the few that I've heard off the album) is "Made Concrete." You can find it on iTunes. Check them out.
The Bait Shop has been in hibernation for the winter. Neither Daniel or myself have put much time into the blog. But we're back. It's time to strike up the chorus that is "the things we like." Maybe you'll like the melody and sing along. There are things we like that we think are worthy of the attention of others.
I DVR American Idol every week but haven't watch an episode in more than a month. If David Archuleta wins, is there any doubt that his short career with consist of guest appearances on Nickelodeon and a role as minor character on High School Musical 4?
What To Buy
Nothing is more worthy of your economic stimulus money than an iPhone. If AT&T/Cingular is your service provider, get to the Apple store the same day you get your check in the mail.
What to Watch
LOST - the most important show on television right now. We live in a world dedicated to participation. LOST can only truly be appreciated by a steady, intensifying obsession. Do yourself a favor and watch Seasons 1-3 on DVD this summer, Season 4 when it is released in the Fall, and set your Tivo to record and save every episode from now on.
What to Read
I've always been into old, well-respected novels. These are the two I've read lately.
Everyone's favorite "no-longer indie" band drops their second major label release; out May 13th (or you can just listen to one of the many radio stations around the country and their "exclusive" preview of the album this weekend)
Cool Kids - Bake Sale EP
The long awaited EP from the Chicago duo; out on iTunes May 20th and in stores June 10th
Mates of State - Re-Arrange Us
Indie-darlings, husband/wife, originally from Lawrence, KS, this will be a fun record; out on May 20th