Lower East Side Art; Cake Shop Not Just Music

Cake Shop is now displaying monthly art exhibits on the upper floor curated by Ben Furgal. The show in January featured the work of artist Evie Falci. A closing reception will be tonight.

Evie Falci's medium of choice is playful childhood craft items like googly eyes, pom poms, studs, rhinestones, and glitter. These materials are meticulously assembled to form repetitive surface transformations on various shaped mounts.

The formal compositions create a visual dialogue between perception and reference. Masterfully assembling visual juxtapositions. The googly eyes form an industrial metal-like surface, while the soft, colorful pom poms yield the desire to touch. Simplicity meets complexity, creating a minimal stoic effect.

Dina Kelberman of Important Comics and Wham City notoriety will present new works from February 1st to March 1st. Opening reception on the 1st with The Creepers, Mason Ross, and Santa Dads.


Hold Your Nose and VOTE. Don’t stand on principle

Register Now Young People, wake up Please!!

Another four to eight years of Republican rule. Believe me the country will do it again. Swift boat ads, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Just remember, Bush’s
misuse of the "bully pulpit" to advance his agenda. Do you recall the orange alerts in NYC timed before major legislation and elections? They will do anything to win.

Issues such as gay marriage, “don’t ask don’t tell", abortion are unmentionable hot button issues.

I have to admit I get annoyed with the Democratic field. No one has any balls or ballets. Unfortunately pandering is a necessary part of being elected. Even now, I am certain that the Republicans will win especially if Obama or Hillary are to rely on young people to vote. Many are not registered and don’t even bother. Remember the last presidential election?

Click Rock the Vote to register now....


kimya Dawson; Deserving of Recognition

The music world is upside down and inside out. The soundtrack for the movie Juno featuring seven tracks by a little-known DIY songstress, is at the top of the Billboard charts. Through subliminal exposure, Kimya Dawson’s recordings are featured predominately on the soundtrack. Kimya Dawson is in a unique position.

She has been creating great music for years with her first band, The Moldy Peaches, her solo projects on K Records, and a new side projec
t, Antsy Pants released on Plan-it x Records.

About seven year
s ago, I remembered a family car trip listening to the Moldy Peaches. We are an open-minded lot, and we sang along to “Whose Got The Crack” from the Moldy peaches 2001 release with giddy delight. Not to worry, anyone listening to the Juno soundtrack is not savvy enough to find this little-known gem, and what would they think of it?

Kimya Dawso
n is well-known in DIY circles. It is great to see a talented, hardworking musician songwriter like Kimya gain deserving recognition. She has given and shared with her fans and other musicians and will not take her success lightly. She will bring others along.

It is out of the ordinary when DIY culture meets the mainstream. When music artists, directors, screenwriters, and filmmakers on the fringe meet the mainstream culture. What happens? People like the movie and the soundtrack. Exposure is an interesting concept!

Non-commercial entities are now being positioned next to commercial properties. The Placement for Indie bands on commercials, TV placement in dramas and movies.

Listeners who think they hear all the latest in Indie music by tuning into college radio or hearing a playlist from KCRW would not have been familiar with Kimya Dawson’s music. To know about Kimya and the many musicians she tours and collaborates with, you must be a proactive music listener, familiar with the DIY culture, a Web board surfer, and a house show participant.

Web boards like Plan-it X, Absolute Punk.net, and Punk News.org support local DIY scenes all over the country. Word-of-mouth mixed tapes and house shows, doing it DIY style in full. This does not mean just booking and arranging shows. It is about communities where music is the focus, and everything else revolves around it.

Music is about sharing. If your only sharing with a chosen few, that is OK, but reaching the broader culture is a more interesting scenario.

Kimya Dawson MySpace


Fun Sound of Contagious Delight

Drink up Buttercup does something few bands know how to do. They put on a great show. Headlining at the Cake Shop only makes it better. Their insanely zany acrobatic stage antics mixed with a full-bodied sound of harmonic delight, produced an atmosphere of sensory overdrive.

The garbage can and auxiliary percussion were banged and harmonies fully intact. Involuntary operatic passages and rough bawdy instrumentation all came into play. What emerged is a band worthy of praise.

The crowd was deep in the dank basement of the Cake Shop, comprised of new and recent converts. After the show one newbie on vacation from Dublin, enthusiastically rattled off a list of influences that she felt comprise their sound. She sited, The Beatles (Sgt Pepper), Beach Boys (circa Pet Sounds), The Kinks and punk influence The Clash. It was nice to hear a fresh point of view and one that was so acute.

Drink Up Buttercup’s sound is an experimental melding of the best of various styles. Unbridled and openly, unchecked.

I derive pleasure from content driven songs and music that enhances lyrics. It is very unusual for me to LOVE a band like Drink Up Buttercup. I don’t give a shit about their lyrics. “Sosey and Dosey”, who are they, who cares. They played that song with a one two beat adding the crashing drunken keyboard. The sound broadly grew when the harmonies reached an explosive volume, singing / he held her mittens in his HAND......Every song in their set was delivered with that kind of gusto and bravado.

Accompanying them on stage for their last song “Gods and Gentleman” was the ramshackle audience orchestra, beating any form of percussion they could find. That was the clincher. The crowd craved more and Drink Up abandoned their mics and delivered an acoustic rendition of “The Lovers Play Dead” in the middle of the venue. With their shakers in hand, they included us in their energetic music circle of warmth.

For me, the only downer of the night is when a very beautiful young woman asked me quite sweetly, if I was one of the band members mother. Damn, I might be old but life is short, seeing Drink Up Buttercup is worth my time and yours.

: Trtl soup
Trtl soup combine cool geeky tech mixed with a DIY low-fi attitude that is refreshing. Bass, guitar and drums are interspersed with an audio system of spliced sound frequencies. The bands occasional ranting vocals, stood out in a funny way / girls go to college to gain more knowledge / boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider /. United with the light moments is a socio political edginess and sound assemblages that reflect our subliminal communal consciousness. Interesting Group!

Flickr Set Drink Up
Flickr Set Trtl soup


Obsession Collection: Noteworthy Music News and Dates

Langhorne Slim Has Found a Home!! Langhorne Slim has signed with Kemado Records. The much anticipated self-titled album their fans have been waiting for will be released on April 29th.

Visit their myspace page to listen
to two great new tracks.

"Rebel Side of Heaven" and "Diamonds and Gold"

Langhorne Slim myspace Page

Photo credit : the great Crackerfarm

Drink Up B
uttercup @ the Cake Shop 1/19/08 Saturday night. You know what I'll be doing!! If you can't catch them tomorrow, they are doing a residency at Piano's during February, on Tuesdays!
Philadelphia Weekly
Drink up Buttercup myspace

t AKA Damien Derose Coffee Shop Series: Starting on January 29th with a creative acoustic lineup at the Cake Shop: Chris Archibald of the band Illinois doing a
solo stint, Peasant, and Ben Thornewill of Jukebox the Ghost.
I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be.

Peasant's myspace for a complete schedule.

Illinois myspace
Jukebox the Ghost myspace

Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned
 the new Release
The Thing About Time
Looking forward to seeing them again!!

Nice words from My Old Kentucky Blog

myspace site


Sasha Frere-Jones: Full Exposure, Article Rant

MySpace is today’s lifeline and reality for bands and musicians to gain exposure. To put it down is irresponsible, even in the context of an article about the sudden rise of the young British singer Kate Nash. Sasha Frere-Jones's article in the New Yorker, 
“Full Exposure, Making it on MySpace,” presents the perils of early MySpace exposure. While he cites specific pitfalls like adolescent blogging entries and massive hits before gaining experience, he devalues the necessity of MySpace as a tool for others.

I think full exposure occurs when hungry predatory labels are willing to promote artists before they have ever performed live. They are exploiting a situation and are blinded by dollar signs. The Kate Nash phenomenon would not have happened so fast without label intervention.

Sasha Frere-Jones states that Nash deserves a shot at stardom because of the strength of the song “Foundation” on her album Made of Bricks. This assertion contradicts the premise of his article.

The UK is unique, and Mr. Frere-Jones underplays the power of geographic location. In the UK, the airwaves are free and without the domination of the Clear Channel. Their radio system can facilitate the major label promotion of a quirky, commercially viable talent like Kate Nash. That is what makes her sudden Web-to-chart success possible. The hype machine can be generated at mock speed. This does not happen in the US, where the radio playlists are in every category but new music.

MySpace is the preferred vehicle for band exposure and plays an important role, especially in the States. Many bands that get recognition eventually have to do it the hard way, self-promotion via MySpace. That includes constant updating, posting tour dates, sharing pictures from the road, and communicating with fans.

A band's website is a dinosaur
. It is stale compared to the fluidity and interactive nature of MySpace. I say fuck the Website. Bands generally write on their Website; please visit our MySpace page for updates.

Until there is another vehicle with more unique features tailored to music, MySpace is here to stay. MySpace is a band's history; like email history, it is filled with information that would be difficult to replace. I’m not saying that MySpace doesn’t have its problems; it can be a royal pain in the ass. Ever been "phished"?


Drink Up Buttercup

A little treat for all my readers: A video clip of Drink Up Buttercup! They have had quite a year and the New Year looks very bright. They have recently worked with Bill Moriarty the recording engineer for Dr. Dog and Man Man, and have shared some of the new tracks on their myspace site. Their site will make you dizzy or smile! Seeing them live is an experience! The show dates in NY and Philly are listed on their site.


Music Blogger, Year End Thoughts

Viva! The Blog
Years ago it took an eternity for any publication to write about a band or write a live review. There is a place for those magazine relics, but for current up to date coverage the online community is the destination. Bloggers are now a very relevant part of the mix giving exposure to varying genres that are neglected by the mainstream press. Google has taken note and is offering new ways to find Blog content. There are music Blogs that have established a level of trust and a point of view. Matt and Mike at Ear Farm come to mind as one of the standouts. Ear Farm is honest, personable, informative and very entertaining. So Viva the Blog!

Romance of the
DIY Movement

Another thought I've been pondering is the romance of the DIY movement. Doing music for the love of it. I think that all musicians agree that music will be apart of their lives no matter what happens to their future plans. The romance is perpetrated by the young and kept alive in houses, garages and alternative venues all across the country.

Talented and spirited bands embrace the ethic of non-commercialism. I understand this is a point of view but here is where I part company.
Things start to sour, when they get older and have to find viable financial alternatives to live. Someone at twenty-one has different concerns then at twenty-seven. As many of their peers graduate from college, they find themselves financially lost. There is nothing wrong with music being a life long endeavor, without monetary compensation. If music is a career choice, money should be an important factor.

Commercialism, Strange Bedfellows

It is a sad state of affairs when bands have to choose strange bedfellows like commercials and TV spots to gain exposure. I welcome it but it does leave me with a bad taste. I realize it now is a staple in exposing new music. I also understand the reasoning behind using new music for such spots. The music is good and has had no radio play.

I work with young people whose musical taste is driven by pop culture and whose only exposure to music is what they hear on the radio or TV commercials. So it was quite interesting when I played the Feist tune, "Mushaboom" from her 2004 release Let It Die and watched their ears suddenly stand at attention. The voice recognition was powerful. Last year I played it with very different results. So exposure obviously works. Unfortunately, they are not open to new things they have never heard.

A Declaration of Independence

Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned forwarded the Declaration of independence via a myspace bulletin. It is from a site called 001 Collective. It is a very impassioned document, one I feel was written with the utmost sincerity. My only complaint is their assumption that creating and performing and doing what you love is not work. I beg to differ. Bands work hard! Their life on the road is grueling and the tenuous nature of the music business is stressful as well. Yes they are doing what they love but at a cost. Many have other jobs they do between gigs. That is called dedication and hard work.

The 001 Collective premise of offering music for free will ultimately be good for some bands. The concept is one that is being explored by bands like
Beat Radio and labels like Team Love. This is a collective concept with one person being the arbiter of whose music is included. I guess the success of this collective all depends on his taste in music. I wish them luck.


Wish List Rant: Independant Music

  • I wish bands and musicians, old and new, who have monetary success or a large fan base, would share the stage and help musicians/bands who are not as fortunate. Two great examples; are David Bowie and Bright Eyes.
  • I wish that Bookers would be bolder and create eclectic and diverse lineups that are not genre specific but sound great together.
  • I wish more Bloggers would take a chance and try not to present the same buzzed-about playlist.
  • I wish that audiences would commit to listening.
  • I wish that there were better venues for solo acoustic performers.
  • I wish that more people that get music for free would find it in their hearts and reach into their pockets and support the music they enjoy. Go to a show, buy a tee shirt, and pay for a recording. Support the music you love, or it will not survive
  • I wish that a wider audience could hear great music. (That’s a pipe dream). It could change the culture in a good way.


Hop Along Queen Ansleis/ Great Cover Song

This is just too good! I had to share it! It's easy to spread around, so press the envelope and make someone happy!