cold cave – death comes close
listening to this with my roommate, she asked me “is this electro?” and i said, “no, this is new wave” and then next song corrected myself – “well this is kind of electro”. truth is, i was wrong both times. cold cave sways between heady, bleached out melody and something more aggressive – it can’t easily be categorized. whatever bucket you put them in, they’re creating songs that deserve to challenge you.
julian casablancas – phrazes for the young
with such a distinctive voice it’s hard to listen to casablancas without making straight up comparisons to the good times that were the strokes albums, but phrazes for the young is a different beast. reviews for this album have been pretty acerbic, but when he’s good he’s very very good; “out of the blue” and “river of brakelights” are both beauties and once you let “glass” warm up you’re going to be happy you gave this the chance to grow on you.
bricolage – bricolage
there’s seems to be a pattern in scottish music which has veins part bitter and part raucous. this glaswegian band has created an album of poppy goodness that every once and a while bites back. i’m trying to avoid using sour patch kids as a reference…
the big pink – a history of love
with vocals that swoon and swell with shards of guitar and drums, this album is a sonic gem. by far one of my favorites of the year, a history of love lives up to its bravado.
patti smith – horses
horses doesn’t prove that smith has an exceptional voice or that she needs to work only with her own material. but it is her real, pure music at its core, and that is rock and roll.
perez prado – havana, 3a.m.
better known as the “mambo king”, prado leads his band in the perfect cuban mix of spanish and african rhythms. he finds himself with a better flow on this record than some of his others . the band is so tight, and yet when sections break way into solos they feel like an entirely different entity.
bonus: following the break up of the clash, paul simonon named his (short-lived) new band after this album!!
various artists – 41 original hits from the soundtrack of american graffiti
this is mostly a mix of rock and doo-wop hits from the late ’50s and early ’60s. george lucas and francis ford coppola spent almost all of the money allotted to music in the film on obtaining the rights to these songs. because of that the film doesn’t have a score – think of what that could have meant for some of their other, less known, films…
the national – alligator
very understated, yet feels a bit rambling. it is amazingly gloomy and catchy all at once. how can you not love a man with that deep baritone?
(side note from the blogger…this is one of my favorite albums…ever.)
and for your listening pleasure, here is a mixtape featuring songs from the above albums!
good morning everyone…i am so excited to announce about the launch of the book club! we have chosen on the road by jack kerouac as the first book featured in the free people book club! this is one of my favorite books of all time, and I can’t wait to hear what you all have to say about it.
since we’re new at this, we’re just going to learn as we go…if you look to the list of categories on the right you’ll see we’ve created one for the book club. you will still be able to see the posts on the main page, but if you ever want to see only book club posts, click there.
here’s how it’s going to work:
on the road is broken into three parts, so we’re going to give you all some time to read the first part and then we’ll start discussing! check back for a post – maybe in the form of a question, a highlight, not quite sure yet – on monday november 23 about part one of the book, and leave any comments you have in the comments section as you normally would. but make sure you don’t spoil the ending for anyone who might not be finished the book yet…
i recently came across the work of rachell sumpter, an artist who lives in tiny island, n. puget sound. some of her work is currently on display at the richard heller gallery in santa monica. what I love about these images is that the subject matter invokes fall, winter and coldness but the colors she uses are so cheerful and warm…perfect on a day like today.
brothers in sport, 2009
molten kin, 2009
other interesting facts about rachell…she is inspired by big, big trees, and living off the grid…she is reading born to kvetch, the orchard keeper, the lone ranger and tonto fistfight in heaven…and she is listening to beach house, bonnie “prince” billy, and bruce.
check out more of her work on her website.
one of our we the free designers and our creative director were out shopping in la and took this video because the weather was so weird…windy.
do you love animals? do you love yoga? do you live in philly? then you’ll love this event…
this saturday, practice yoga studio and the monster minders present upward dog: a yoga benefit for paws. the event will take place in the beautiful sanctuary at fleisher art memorial (8th and catherine) at 4pm, with two full hours of yoga led by ellen greenberg, owner of practice yoga studio on fabric row.
this event is free but there is a suggested donation of $25 that will go to the philadelphia animal welfare society to aid in their efforts to save shelter animals.
you can rsvp for the event here.
sounds like a win win situation to me :) is anyone attending any cool yoga events this week/weekend?
what’s not to love about fall leaves? isn’t it sad how quickly the bright oranges, reds and yellows go away? check out this awesome DIY activity from creative kismet to make some pretty autumn leaves! i think they’d be great decorations at home, or even to spruce up your desk at work.
here’s a step by step tutorial on how to make them…
what you’ll need:
A brown paper bag
acrylic craft paints in assorted autumn colors (yellow, orange, green, red, brown, copper, gold)
paint brushes, sponges, old toothbrush
blow dryer (optional)
1. take one brown paper grocery bag, tear it open into one flat piece. tear into 3-4 large pieces and crumple into a ball to give it lots of texture. flatten out.
2. prep paints by diluting with a bit of water
3. slop paint all over paper.
4. allow to dry. use a blow dryer to speed the process (optional).
5. lightly sponge on metallic gold and copper paint
6. spritz some diluted brown paint with a toothbrush to create speckles.
7. admire your pretty paper :)
8. when paper is completely dry, cut into leaf size squares and cut out leaves. if you are lucky to have sizzix machine with leaf shapes, that would be a really easy way to make leaves. If not, try stacking several squares together and cutting multiple leaves at the same time. another way to cut the leaves would be to use leaf shaped cookie cutters!
9. glue stems onto twine and hang your pretty garland on a window or around a door.
grizzly bear, one of my favorite bands right now, just released this awesome video for their song “ready, able” on friday. the video is directed by allison schulnik, a claymation artist that the band likes…if you dig this video, you may also enjoy her short film “hobo clown,” which also features the music of grizzly bear.
i have always loved album covers…i think they’re a very special form of art that tends to get lost in all the online sites that allow you to download music these days. having the actual album means something to me, and to a lot of people who still insist on buying them, and when my dad gives me his old record collection one day (i hope…!), a lot of the albums are going in frames and up on my wall.
so i think it’s really cool that next year, britain’s royal mail will launch a new series of stamps that celebrate ten classic british album covers. for the near-impossible task of selecting which ten to use, they did a series of polls and conferred with music editors, designers and writers. the stamps will have the unique shape seen in the images above, allowing for the vinyl disc poking out of the sleeve.
here’s the full list:
the clash – london calling
rolling stones – let it bleed
led zeppelin IV
david bowie – the rise and fall of ziggy stardust and the spiders from mars
pink floyd – division bell
blur – parklife
primal scream – screamadelica
coldplay – a rush of blood to the head
mike oldfield – tubular bells
new order – power, corruption & lies
don’t be too shocked that no beatles albums made the cut…they have already been on stamps.
do you agree with the british choices? if they did this in the US…what classic album covers would you want to see on stamps?
this would be at the top of my list:
i saw the monsters of folk last night at the academy of music in philly, and i was so impressed that i felt compelled to write about them today. MOF is a “supergroup” consisting of jim james (frontman of my morning jacket), m. ward, conor oberst and mike mogis (brighteyes), all of whom have had great success in their respective careers. so it seems odd then that they’d put their main projects on hold to record an album and tour together, but seeing them live makes it clear why, as they have amazing chemistry together on stage. they each bring something different to the table, and they feed off of each others talents to create a sound that is incredibly unique – sometimes folky, sometimes it rocks out, sometimes you’re not really sure what it is (“dear god”)…but it’s always good. what i also really enjoy is that they don’t lose their individuality, and seeing them live is almost like seeing several shows in one, as they play a mix of their new music along with my morning jacket, conor oberst and m. ward songs.
i highly recommend checking out their album, monsters of folk, which was released this fall, and seeing them if they play in a town near you! in the meantime, you can watch this video for the song “the right place.”