Biscuits, Triscuits…


The Most Serene Republic is oh so serene
August 22, 2009, 9:40 pm
Filed under: music and musings

I saw The Most Serene Republic a couple months ago at Cake Shop completely by chance. I had gone to attend Cake Shop’s midnight show with a performance by Asa Ransom and DJing by DJ Coochie Cutter. When I got there, the show that had been going on earlier that night hadn’t ended, and it happened to be The Most Serene Republic. So I got to catch about six songs of their set completely for free. They were really amazing, and it was even more awe-inspiring that the key players are only 24 and putting out their third full-length on Broken Social Scene’s label, Arts & Crafts. It reminded me how much I really enjoy them and that they had a new album out at the time. It’s not quite so new now, but it’s still excellent.

The Most Serene Republic

…And The Ever Expanding Universe

Arts & Crafts

Released July 14, 2009

Seven people strong, The Most Serene Republic’s army of instruments have once again created an album that is stimulating, exuberant and unique. Pulling definitely from label mate’s influences, TMSR also bleeds together styling of other music in a way that sounds really vibrant and refreshing. With jumpy, bubbly instrumentals, strong, clear vocals, and an addition of electronic drums, these songs bounce up and down and come together in a quirkily mismatched, eclectic style of whirs and buzzes. “Heavens to Purgatory,” is beautifully upside down with guitar plucks, and Emma Ditchburn’s jazzy female vocals that melt nicely with Adrian Jewett’s voice.

Managing not to sound like Broken Social Scene is the first feat, but also being able to create really colorful, songs that meld 50’s pop tunes, jazz, electronic music and more modern rock styles in a successful way is pretty great. With plodding bass-lines and swaying vocals that sound like tall grass, it’s really educational listening to The Most Serene Republic. Not because it’s all new, but just because of how they twist it all around. “The Old Forever New Things,” is a beautiful, whispering tune with glistening guitar parts and vocals that sound like two voices dancing together to the fast-paced quiet drums and the sweet piano melody that layer over top. “Don’t Hold Back, Feel A Little Longer,” enters as almost a techno number with clattering electronic drums, but the vocals pinch the song with this modern feel that pulls it out of the 80’s along with the colorful keys.Their songs are extremely well thought out and clearly took time and energy to perfect because of how effortless each piece feels.

Listening to this album I never really want it to end, and at the same time because of how nice it is, I want even more from it. I feel as though their next album will burst out of the seams even more so than this one has, which is quite a lot. There is an amazing bittersweet factor to these songs, where they feel so peaceful and lovely but you know from the lyrics that there is so much raw intensity going into this music. The Most Serene Republic explores their instrumentals even further with completely instrumental numbers and long piano pieces or entrances that are just horns. The shaking percussion is a real exceptional surprise in their music because it could be so much milder than it is, but then they introduce this great backbeat that keeps it fresh and tight.

It would seem that perhaps their style of vocals, this high pitched, swaying, jazzy male/female thing would get tiring, but it still just feels so amazingly light and airy that I can’t get over it. They are just so ruffled and thin yet amazingly aesthetic in their range.  I just can’t really cease to be amazed with The Most Serene Republic; I just wish their name were shorter to type. I recommend this album to any who enjoys the energetic mixtures of instrumentals and a combination of time-warped vocals and upbeat dance drums.

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Cincinnati
August 21, 2009, 12:36 pm
Filed under: music and musings

I haven’t written in a little while as I’ve been preparing for my trip to Cincinnati, Ohio where I am currently. I will update a couple times throughout my trip as I’m visiting a friend and the days she works I will have downtime to continue some promised CD reviews.

Preparing for this trip was a giant pain as I had a lot of things to do before I left. I tried to spend my time cooking and listening to good music but it was interrupted by phone calls about our rooms for rent and talks about money and bullshit. But here I am now, in Cincinnati with my love Casie Fox. She lives in a house with her sister but will soon live here all by herself. The rent is pretty unbelievable as it is a full 2-story house. There are two cats. One is named Muzzy after the amazing french educational program, and the other is named Flood, which unknowingly is perfect for him as he pees on things a lot. But only on things that are waterproof where he can watch the puddles, like plastic bags and pots and stuff. Real smart cat. He also fakes sick when he wants attention.

So far we have walked around Cincinnati near where Casie works, which is the Freedom Center. We walked down to the water to this area of poles with speakers that normally plays the radio to the baseball games but was just playing weird noise, which was kindof awesome. I learned about a flood that went above the flood markers on one of the bridges and people’s cars were covered in water. We went to Chipotle for lunch yesterday and I was thinking “Wow, people who work here are much nicer than in New York.” But then immediately after I thought that, the woman who was supposed to put the sour cream, guac, etc… on my burrito just like walked away, and then took off her apron and left for her lunch break. And like no one else knew what to do since that wasn’t there job. So after like literally three minutes of confusion, the woman who had put the veggies on my burrito moved over and gave me the rest of the fixins and apologized profusely and I got a free soft drink out of it.  So they are a lot nicer, and much more laid back…perhaps to a negative extent… hah.

I also saw Casie’s old high school which is like an arts and drama high school and there is an MTV reality show about it now. There was a small film crew there and students appeared to be in school even though it’s like August?? Also, that neighborhood has been rated the most dangerous city in America, so we drove through it, Casie still things that’s weird, but who knows. We came back to her place and just sat on her nest of a bed and got back some energy. Enough to go out and get ice cream from one of Casie’s favorite places.

Yesterday we went to the Aquarium and saw penguins and jellyfish. I think I’m in love with Sea Horses, they just hang by their curly cue tales on branches and sticks and then every so often they let go and float majestically to another branch. It was just awesome, we watched them for like five minutes and every time one of them floated it was just like “yes yes yes yes!”

There will be pictures so I won’t go fully into detail, more later, but that should be amusing enough for now.



Sunday Pool Party
August 12, 2009, 5:31 pm
Filed under: music and musings

This past Sunday, Kristen Felicetti and I went to the waterfront on the later side to catch Fiery Furnaces, and we did just that. We caught the tail end of what I believe was Dark Meat, they played a song that felt like it was ten minutes long and had no real words to it. Bottom line we weren’t too impressed, but we did sit on a blanket and chill out in the not so sunny, almost gonna rain weather. It wasn’t cold, it just looked pretty dim. Though it never did rain.  We were surrounded by couples making out and people with crazy cameras and I decided that Kristen and I should just do a review in Haiku of what we have dubbed “Sexy Sundays.” So for your entertainment, here are some haikus written by Kristen and I to describe what happened during the Fiery Furnaces set:

SEXY SUNDAY HAIKUS

New York looks cloudy,

I see so many bra straps.

Sexy Sundays rule!

Fiery Furnaces

Makes people make out nearby.

hot hot hot hott town!

Hug your lover now,

The speakers are full of sound.

Sneak peak some panties.

If you play old stuff

Lauren will flash her panties.

Ain’t that enticing?

(bear in mind they never did play any old stuff, so I did not in fact have to do that, nor would I have anyway.)

The park’s full of babes,

SLR cams and legs shaved,

Cutoffs with crotch holes.

Sexy times in front

of us. Yo, get a room or

let me in on that

Spit out those lyrics

In your sexy baritone

Though you are a chick.

You sound like a man,

But hip boys would still bone you.

Ooh Eleanor yeaaah!

You’re hair is so pink

It would make a ring in my

bathtub. Please call me.

That’s it. That’s what happened at the Williamsburg Waterfront on Sunday. We left, missing the following acts because it looked like it was going to pour. If only we had stayed so we could have written more Haikus.



Posted in the Deli Blog
August 9, 2009, 12:09 pm
Filed under: Deli Magazine Articles

Picture 1

can be found here as well: http://thedelimagazine.com/nyc/index-new.php?name=thedeli&itemId=220319&mode=comments#comments



This is why technology is bad?
August 8, 2009, 2:03 pm
Filed under: music and musings

So my friend Nicholas Fiore of the blog Ihatethisfuckingblog wrote to me the other day on the internets and quoted the song “Kiss Me Thru the Phone” by Soulja Boy.  It was recently after I read the CNN article about the girl from Staten Island who fell into a manhole because she was texting on her cell phone and didn’t notice that the cover was off of the manhole. Her parents are apparently sueing the city now.

So I began to think about this song, and cell phones and the roles this technology, as well as Internet, google, blackberries, etc… play in everyday life. It’s kindof absurd, kindof depressing. Granted, I walk and text too, I am guilty of being addicted to technology. I hate myself when I leave my cell phone at home and check my email/texts every five seconds. At the same time though, I don’t think I could ever kiss anyone “thru” the phone. Or have intimate conversations or moments on the the phone, especially the cell phone. Get me a rotary phone and a plush chair and we can see about some serious talk seshes but intimacy and cell phones? NO WAY! It’s a piece of plastic, I ain’t kissing that shit.

That being said Souja Boy decided to write this song or someone wrote it about how he misses someone so much and wishes he could kiss her, so he says for her to kiss him through the phone. He also says “I know that you like me, you my future wife-y,” which is just precious! The video is absolutely ridiculous with a chick is working out on the tread mill and texting. If only it included a girl texting while she’s walking and falling into a manhole. That would have been the best.

So…just think about it, how often do you use your cell phone? Do you kiss through the phone? Do you have a future wife-y? Have you fallen in a manhole recently? Just sue cell phones or throw it out the window. I dunno. Just watch the video. Also, according to spellcheck “texting” is not a word. That should be a sign/message to everyone.  Ed: Unfortunately, this video has disabled embedding so you can just click to watch it on Youtube. Sorry!!



Do you know how much I love Home Alone?
August 7, 2009, 7:10 pm
Filed under: music and musings

This is a day late but I was pretty bummed out to learn about the death of John Hughes yesterday.  Especially since it was in New York where he was visiting family! Mostly though, I love almost every movie that hewas a part of. The most near and dear to my heart of course being Home Alone. I own that shit on VHS. It’s honestly one of my favorite movies ever. I could sit and watch it any day, anytime, it’s one of the best feel good movies ever. That movie along would make me sad that John Hughes passed away at such an early age. Doesn’t matter that he retired, he did great movies.

I can’t even pinpoint a favorite part in Home Alone beceause it’s all just so funny and ridiculous and awesome. It might be the part about getting his toothbrush and how he had to make sure that it was approved by the American Dental Association.  Then of course there’s the misunderstood neighbor who looks like a total axe murderer and stares like a motherfucker but turns out to just be a sad old man who misses his granddaughter. Precious.

So RIP John Hughes, thanks for some fun movies that helped define youth in the 80’s and 90’s. I chose that picture above of him because he looked like a badass.



Chris Garneau- El Radio
August 1, 2009, 3:14 pm
Filed under: music and musings

a shorter, more edited version of this will appear in the Deli at some point.

Chris Garneau

EL RADIO

Absolutely Kosher

Chris Garneau’s second full-length release, months later than expected, is chalked full of horns, rolling keys, and whispery vocals. The use of strings, blues-y piano, and klezmer style organs makes Garneau somewhat of an oddity in the indie-pop world. He still maintains his attachment to cutesy things (he says the word “cuppycakes”) and strange analogies (“I don’t want your pirates anymore”?) but he does sound much more matured as a songwriter. There are strange sounds on this album which I believe is called percussion, something not previously associated with Garneau, but it gives him a fuller, more developed sound.

That being said there seems to be something missing as well. He is either extremely passionate and confident in his songs or he just sounds so so sad, but it’s hard to pinpoint why. There are overpowering strings and accordion that are just drowning with their misery and his cracking voice seems to scream for something but I don’t know what. In “The Leaving Song,” the entering note feels like a car crash and then wailing strings enter, creating an awful pit in one’s stomach. Then “Fireflies” enters with an almost “Flight of the Bumblebees” organ drone and quirky clanging and whistling bursts up and down. Garneau sings high-pitched and quick until the chorus, which bends with a baroque feel. It’s very quirky and a great combination of seemingly traditional styles of instrumentation with a newer experimental sound. It’s beautiful and raw sometimes and provocative and then he bounces into this vibrant silly quickness and while the musicianship is impressive, any message seems lost.

The great thing about Chris Garneau is how easily he can portray emotion through his instrumentation. Just a strike of a chord or a banging of a drum and you know what type of song it will be and it can just swallow you up. But there still seems to be an element of being lost in Garneau’s songs. I want more from him and I feel like it’s just on the other side of this invisible door. I love how he can write tunes that are flowing with musical talent and bursting with emotions and how he can also create pieces that are bubbly and funny and strange but it’s sometimes hard to connect the two. Perhaps I am expecting or asking too much because the album is gorgeously orchestrated and the songs are so well written. But I think there was a liveliness in Garneau’s previous releases that perhaps has been overshadowed with maybe too much thought and maturity.

-Lauren Piper