You are currently browsing posts tagged with Indie Rock

DISGRASIAN’s Summer Reading: La Blogotheque’s Take-Away Shows

August 18th, 2010 | 1 comment | Posted by Jen

We’ll be away from our desks the month of August, carrying on with the non-bloggy aspects of our lives, watching mindless movie blockbusters, and indulging in summery drinks made with generous pours of bourbon. During this month, we’ll be linking each day to a different website that we ♥. Hopefully you’ll discover something delightful and new while we’re gone. If not, you are a serious Captain Crankypants and are probably in dire need of a summery drink made with a generous pour of bourbon.

‘Til September, lovelies.

If you’re a fan of the indie rock, then La Blogotheque’s Take-Away Shows are for you. The Take-Away Shows are video podcasts of your favorite indie artists–or, really, mine–like Elvis Perkins, Yo La Tengo, Lykke Li, and Animal Collective–taking their music out into the streets. The shows are spontaneous and gorgeous, both in look and sound, a perfect way to pass the time when you’re cooped up inside during the dog days of summer.

[La Blogotheque: The Take-Away Shows]

Thanks, Dave!

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ROCK OF ASIAN: The Morning Benders

February 24th, 2010 | 5 comments | Posted by Jen

Kids. Ever wonder why you take music lessons? Piano, violin, or something infinitely more embarrassing like the oboe (which maybe I played for 7 years…um, shut up)? Is it to please your parents? Or to give recitals in a scratchy lace dress or a suit too big in the shoulders that you’re supposed to “grow into” to, again, please your parents? Or is it to mold yourself into a quote-unquote well-rounded individual so that one day you can get into your first choice college instead of some safety school so that, ultimately, and sadly, you please your motherfuckin’ parents?


It’s because, one day, instead of going to a crappy 9 to 5, you’ll be rolling out of bed at noon to jam with your friends. Your friends who have cool haircuts and beards as long as they want, who are skinny and weirdly hot because they magically and mysteriously don’t need to eat like the rest of us (and maybe, too, because of the cigarettes and drugs).

Shoot, it’s because of the cigarettes and drugs.

And it’s because you’ll soon discover that making music, a fact that once made you a social pariah and a nerd, actually gets you laid in the real world. Like, a lot. And that getting laid will give you more material with which to make music. And that will, in turn, get you laid some more, and so on and so forth, even though you’re still kind of a nerd, but in the best possible way.

Watch this video of the making of the Roy Orbison-y single, “Excuses,” from the Berkeley, CA outfit The Morning Benders to see what I mean, and keep practicing, ‘kay?

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ROCK OF ASIAN: Yuuki Matthews

January 6th, 2010 | 3 comments | Posted by Diana

My friend Colin took a much-needed solo holiday to Mexico this summer, staying in a villa in Todos Santos a whistle away from the beach. He spent the week sharing accomodations with a lovely couple from Seattle on their honeymoon: the husband a musician, the wife “doing something or other to do with fashion” (Colin’s words).

Yuuki Matthews

The musician was actually a man named Yuuki Matthews, who cut his teeth in awesome artsy bands Crystal Skulls and Seldom. He currently plays bass for the Richard Swift band, but also just released his first solo effort, an electro-instrumental chronicle called Music For Savage Tropical Imagery.

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ROCK OF ASIAN: New Album From The Slants!

November 18th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

We’ve got a lot of love for Portland’s The Slants, a synth-rawk outfit whose dark dance anthems (for reference: check their record Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts) trumped The Faint and The Killers in our party playlists loooooong ago.

The Slants: Remixmasters

The Slants: Remixmasters

But they must have known: deep inside, the people even more jiggy energy in them, just waiting to be tapped. The band just released Slants! Slants! Revolution—an album of their tunes, remixed for even more lively party people than us (or funkier partays than ours). Think about rolling with all of your gaysians to da club on Fridays, or rolling large on Hollywood Boulevard after a Depeche Mode concert, or tripping out in baggy jeans in the desert with all of your, ehrm, closest friends–this would be the perfect soundtrack.


Continue reading ROCK OF ASIAN: New Album From The Slants!

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January 28th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

I’ll be honest you. I pretty much didn’t understand hardcore until I started playing Guitar Hero. It’s not that I don’t own Black Flag and Minor Threat records, that I didn’t vibe with straightedge kids in high school, that I don’t think Ian MacKaye is a damn genius. I just–yeah, I just didn’t understand it. Not much more to it than that. Eventually, of course, when I started fiddling around with my little plastic guitar, and realizing how insanely hard it is just to wrap my head around 8 measures of chugga-chugga-chugga…well, I learned my lesson.

I’ve come around. I love those lickety licks, I love the raging vocal energy, I’m down with music so intense and raw that it hurts you in the sternum. Hardcore is the shit. And I’ve gotta give it credit–hardcore has raged on while it’s sensitive little brethren, emo and indie, have clipped on ties and gone corporate-soft.

So bravo to King Ly Chee, a fuggin’ batshit hardcore band out of Hong Kong that rocks a stage so hard it makes my chest ache.

Enjoy more here. Protect your earnest organs while listening.

Source Source

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August 13th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

What happened to the Indie Rock Chick? When did that DIY lady get so pretty, preening, and slight? (Answer: right around Liz Phair’s third album and Courtney Love’s eighth nose job.) We’ve been waiting for the badass indie rock chick–cut from the beer- and sweat-soaked cloth of Kim Deal–to re-emerge for some time now, and we think we’ve found her in Renminbi. Although their name is the word for Chinese currency, Renminbi is Brooklyn-based and riot grrrl-rooted. Co-founders Lisa Liu (guitar, vocals) and SMV (keyboard, vocals) take us back to the early 90′s, when indie rock chicks could drink, smoke, shit-talk, and play anyone under the table and didn’t wear precious girly gear like leggings and shiny headbands. Despite being a three-piece (different drummers have cycled in and out) and not having a bass player, Renminbi still makes a big, badass, unapologetic rock-us. And that, friends, is what we call being “lady-like.”

Trade in your old currency here.

Thanks, Jennson!

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Natalie Portman in Bollywood Drag

July 22nd, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Who doesn’t love Natalie Portman? She’s got a face you could stare at for days and that cute mole on her right cheek. As annoying as it is, she even looks great with a shaved head. She’s both the person you want to make out with and the person you want to discuss 700-page novels with over a few bottles of red wine. You wanna hate her, but you just can’t.

That’s why I love this Devendra Banhart video of “Carmensita,” from his latest album Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon. Bollywood send-up? Meh. Racial Drag? Yawn. Freak folk? Get me the fuck outta here. Natalie Portman?! Yippeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

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WTF, M.I.A.?

June 16th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen
M.I.A. performing at Bonnaroo Friday, where she announced her retirement, and Not-Me-and-Diana down in front

I leave the country for 3 weeks and, as soon as I return, I find out that M.I.A. is retiring from touring?


The best concert I’ve been to in 2008 was the M.I.A. show I saw with Diana LAST SUMMER. No show I’ve seen since has matched the energy or fun. That night, we guzzled cheap, gigantic beers, danced a little with our purses, got jostled by frat boys in sweat-soaked button-downs, giggled at all the saucer-eyed people tripping around us and throwing rave hands, envied the wasp-waists of the just-out gay boys who were wearing sunglasses-at-night and Mardi Gras beads as necklaces, felt fat, realized that American Apparel isn’t ugly if you’re 19 and a waif and believe that leggings are the second-coming of pants, felt old, danced some more with our plastic cups, guzzled another round of cheap, gigantic beers, forgot to be awkward, bought some yellow M.I.A. flip-flops that looked like a bunch of ripe bananas, and were approached in the parking lot afterwards to have our picture taken for some recently-launched fashion blog, which made us feel for one brief, damp, summer second like we could still hang with the cool kids.

Hear that, M.I.A.? My only point is, We need you, Girl. Without you, who else will get uptight indie snobs to shake it on the dance floor? Who will bring frat boys in broadcloth and gay boys in beads together in one room? Who, if not you, is going to make us feel young, free, and delusional enough to wear neon?


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March 5th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Jen and I will tell you from firsthand experience that taking on two rock responsibilities at once (i.e. playing Rock Band guitar while singing into a microphone that is duct taped to your chest) is difficult, if not damn near impossible. Perhaps this is why we’re so mystified by the fact that Chicago duet Sanawon (which apparently, is Korean for “fierce”) makes melodious music happen with only two members. Frontwoman Jenny Choi rocks vox, keys, and a saucy haircut all at once–which, quite frankly, might speak more to an upbringing of “be good at everything” than a desire to overextend.

We love their anti-folk-indie-pop vibe so much, we’d even be inclined to brave the winds of Chi-town to see them. How often is a person and her partner, as stated, actually as “fierce” as promised?

Check out Choi’s quirky vocals andPhilip Stone’s bumping beats here.


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BABEWATCH: Kazu Makino

January 15th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Name: Kazu Makino

Occupation: Lead singer of Blonde Redhead

Why She’s a Babe: Cuz she’s a gazelle, with legs up to here, making the rest of us look short and stumpy, yet we still love her. Cuz her voice is dreamy and otherworldly. And because she’s a lady who rocks.

If you’re on the East Coast, check out Blonde Redhead’s four-date tour beginning tomorrow.


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Cat Power to the People

January 11th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Singer-songwriter-cover queen Cat Power, née Chan Marshall, has been touring India and Bangladesh this month on behalf of charity: water, a non-profit that provides clean water to impoverished areas around the world. Marshall’s new cover album, Jukebox, also drops January 22nd, around which time she will be kicking off her musical world tour.

I’ve seen Cat Power twice in concert. The first time was before she famously got on the wagon, at the Troubadour. At that show, she was glued to a bottle of Jose Cuervo, got wasted, started and stopped one song at the piano 7 times while muttering to herself, disappeared and began to sing using her wireless mic from some other part of the club where she couldn’t be seen, came back and did a bizarrely perky lip-sync of a Swoosh song, disappeared again, came back and wandered through the crowd dead-eyed, got down on her knees in the middle of the crowd, sang some more, and then disappeared for the third time, ending the show early. Her backup band just rolled their eyes the entire show and looked depressed. Everyone shuffled out of the club shell-shocked. I thought she would be dead in six months.

But then she got sober and released The Greatest, which was actually not the greatest record, but I believe in second chances. So I saw her again in concert this past September. She was still awkward, kicking around the stage in her white jazz shoes, shrugging her shoulders, getting the crowd to like her by being so teeny and cute as indie chicks are wont to do, and sneaking off now and then to the wings to steal a smoke. She seemed, however, upbeat, and there were no real off-putting antics. That said, I was bored out of my gourd. The music, despite her magical, smoky voice, sounded very adult-contemporary, flat, monotonous, and forgettable.

Cat Power isn’t making it out to L.A. to tour Jukebox. But when she does eventually come west, I won’t get suckered in a third time; I’ll spend my money buying a toilet for someone in Bangalore instead.

Click here to find out more about charity: water.


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ROCK OF ASIAN: An American Chinese

October 24th, 2007 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Ladies and gents–meet An American Chinese. They’re a shoegazey band from Philly with a curious but cool name (we’ve been trying to get the story behind it from them, but no word yet) and an awesome lo-fi sound. This is their vid to “Panic Pilgrim, Quick Grab Your Suitcase,” which looks like a moving diorama (i.e. so effing cool):

Listen to more American Chinese on their MySpace page.

And while you’re at it, if you haven’t already done so, befriend us!

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