Month: June 2013
Stuart Sutcliffe: Not for the Faint of Heart
I won’t even pretend that this is anything other than a Stu Sutcliffe picspam. But first, for non-Beatle fans, Stu’s tragic story in a nutshell: joined the Beatles because he was John Lennon’s best friend, learned how to play bass and got harassed on the daily by Paul, fell in love with a German photographer and left the band to pursue art, suffered a brian hemorrhage and died at 21.
Listen to!: Vampire Weekend, Foxtails Brigade, The Howls
Since it came out last month, I’ve been listening to Vampire Weekend’s album Modern Vampires of the City pretty much nonstop. It’s just about the only thing I listened to during our trip to Germany (oh, I went to Germany, btw), and has also become my morning commute soundtrack…it just doesn’t get old. I can’t even pick a favorite song to post here, because I would seriously listen to any of them for 24 hours straight and not even mind.
But, that said, here’s a good video of “Ya Hey” (which you will have to go to YouTube to watch), a song that I’m pretty sure I’ll always associate with the riverside towns and grassy fields on the train ride from Prague to Berlin:
If you want more, Step has a beautiful lyric video and the performance of Unbelievers from SNL is super cool (dat octave jump). I’m so excited to see them at Outside Lands this August!
Another wonderful group I’ve recently become aware of is Foxtails Brigade, whose members have shared the bill with my friends of the Spencer Owen Timeshare and Body Parts in the bay area these past few months. Most recently, I was lucky to see Laura and Anton from the band perform at a funky taqueria show in Berkeley, and they rocked it. You can see them playing one of my favorite songs below (not from the taqueria, in case that wasn’t clear):
Definitely a fantastic band to see live, if you get a chance. The music makes me think of sideshows and busking and Halloween and wintry forests…if that makes any sense. Other favorites include the eccentric Steak and Cookies, and these great covers of I’ll See You In My Dreams and La Vie En Rose.
And while we’re on the subject of bands that I have one degree of separation or less from, Lauren and I recently discovered that the punk kid from our high school drumline is now the guitarist/producer for a really awesome San Diego band called The Howls, whose influences are listed on facebook as: Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Hank Williams, Gram Parsons, etc. Obviously, I bought their album without a second thought, and you should too. I hope I get to see these guys perform in SoCal sometime!
Check them out (our high school buddy is the one in the beanie):
Hope you enjoy the music, and goodnight!
Welp, just when you thought I couldn’t get any nerdier, my new goal is to watch the entire Star Trek franchise from beginning to end.
It all started when Alex convinced me to see Star Trek Into Darkness last weekend. Having never seen any Star Trek in my life, ever, I was skeptical. Sci-fi/space isn’t really my thing, but since it’s one of Alex’s *favorite* things, I went along with it (plus, the trailer did look pretty good).
Halfway through the movie I had the realization that I was super into it. I wanted to stand up and yell to the theater, “THIS IS AWESOME” but decided to let the movie do the talking. Seriously though, I was blown away. I’ve seen a lot of negative reviews from hardcore fans, but for a non-Trekkie like me, the movie was a really cool introduction to the world of Star Trek. How badass is Spock, by the way??? Hate to jump on any bandwagons right away, but he’s totally my favorite character.
Of Mods and Rockers
Tonight I’m remembering that one time I saw The Who in concert and how flipping awesome it was. Seriously one of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen and probably ever will see. I’ll never listen to Quadrophenia the same way again.
I’m also remembering the first time I listened to The Who. It was the summer of 2002 and I was sitting in the garage (because that’s where we kept the record player), thumbing through my dad’s records and discovering The Kids Are Alright, the soundtrack album to the documentary made in the 70s.
The vast online Beatles fandom (which probably had a lot to do with my early Internet obsession) had made me familiar with the British Invasion, and I knew this was a band I should listen to. So I put the record on and got my first taste of The Who. And literally the next day (as recorded in my spiral bound journal), I read about John Entwistle’s death in the newspaper.
At the time I wasn’t a big enough fan to be super upset, but I did realize the ironic timing, and made it a point to listen to as much of The Who as I could get my hands on (pre-Youtube = actually finding physical records/CDs to listen to). The result? It took me a while, but by the summer of 2005 I was a full-fledged Who Fanatic. I spent that summer making Mod collages and learning Pinball Wizard on guitar and trying to perfect my windmill. And since then, I’ve never looked back. :)
So it’s no surprise that my recommended film/documentary of the moment is….*ta-da!*: The Kids Are Alright, chronicling The Who’s career up until Keith Moon’s death in 1978. I will never, ever get tired of watching it. Action-packed and full of guitar smashing, all the way to the ending credits.