Biscuits, Triscuits…

Joanna Newsom releases single
January 31, 2010, 3:48 pm
Filed under: music and musings

Joanna Newsom has had a triple album release in the works and it will finally be out in February. She recently released her first single from the record. Here it is:

Needless to say, I am pretty excited for this release. If you are unfamiliar with her music definitely check out tunes from Ys and The Milk-Eyed Mender. She may be unconventional but I feel like there are pieces in her music for everyone.


City Center Soundbite on Deli Website
January 30, 2010, 1:47 pm
Filed under: Deli Magazine Articles, Uncategorized

This was posted on the Deli site! Find link here!

City Center

plugged in, ready to break out
by Lauren Piper

City Center formed in 2007 as the side project of Fred Thomas and Ryan Howard of Saturday Looks Good to Me. After just dabbling and recording over the past couple years, the duo recently released their self-titled full-length City Center. The album is beautifully diverse and swims with sound and experimental electronic loveliness. With brief guest appearances by Mary Pearson from High Places, other friends, as well as tons of sampling, City Center takes sounds that would typically be dubbed as noise or strange and makes something so much more fluid and meaningful. Their raw textures and busy electronic orchestration creates a watery, floating feeling and the vocals are clear, yet soft and blisteringly sweet with harmonies. The duo also has a really entertaining blog, which is apparently how the whole band began in the first place.

City Center
Self Titled

listen to “Various Tracks”

What is the history of the blog?
The band basically started as the blog. The project was mostly Fred being broke, bored and lonely in New York with nothing to do except record jams in his bedroom and then post mp3s for the hell of it, trying to reach out in some way. It was a sort of therapeutic thing that grew into an actual band.

What was the motivation behind forming City Center?
City Center rose out of the time-honored scenario of living in New York and not being able to pay rent on a practice space, so switching from traditional rock instrumentation to headphone-based/created music. At this point it’s almost a cliche, but a combination of being frustrated with the typical means of producing guitar-bass-drums music and a more isolated/cloistered creative existence were the jumping off points. We also had an eye-opening experience when our old rock band toured with The Blow and High Places. We opened up every night with two drummers and tons of guitars feeling boring and played out, like a bad Allman Brothers or something. That was right around the time things started to change in our heads.

What is your live show like?
The live show is always a little more sprawling and exploratory than the recordings. Our records lean a little more towards soft washy pop songs, where as live we prefer to jump around and rage a little. It’s basically just the two of us standing in front of identical samplers and mixers, so we get bored and start going crazy, freaking out in a gentle, fun way.

What instruments/sounds/experimentations were used for your self-titled album?
The entire album was made with a Roland SP404 sampler and an acoustic guitar. There are a lot of samples of field recordings and some older songs, but it’s mostly just guitar, voice and samples manipulated by the 404. A few friends helped us out on it. We made around 50 songs and kinda distilled them down to their best elements and threw all the rest away.

Collaboratively what are your top five favorite songs right now?
We always go nuts on the production and disposable nature of pop radio. For instance, recent amazements include: 1.Keri Hilson featuring Kanye West & Ne-Yo &quotKnock You Down” 2.Black Eyed Peas &quotI Gotta Feeling” 3.Li’l Wayne featuring Young Money &quotEvery Girl” 4.Hurricane Chris featuring Superstarr &quotHalle Berry (She’s Fine)” 5.Beyonce &quotEgo”

These United States – “Everything Touches Everything”
January 19, 2010, 12:45 am
Filed under: H Magazine Articles


Sufjan Stevens- “The BQE”
January 19, 2010, 12:31 am
Filed under: H Magazine Articles

This was Published in H Magazine and online

it’s 2010 and I already got the flu
January 17, 2010, 5:48 pm
Filed under: music and musings

Sorry folks, but it’s been impossible to update due to fevers and the inability to live normally for the past seven days. But here is an abbreviated update of New Years Eve.

The end of 2009 involved breaking the law, trudging through the snow and providing dry knee highs and spare female shoes for males with soaked feet. The beginning of 2010 involved a broken record player, vomit in a pot, hall parties, and dancing on a stage in a random living room.

Around 3am, I attended The History of the World. An Event held by SleepWhenDead and The Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt. I came in for the end of The Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt’s set and it was honestly the most rejuvenating, exciting thing to enter into at 3am on the first day of 2010.  The whole theme to the event was that it was representing the history of the world with art installations and music. The set I entered represented The Roman Empire, which later explained why people wore togas. Dancing to upbeat keys and really jovial vocals, people were crowded around a stage and jumping ecstatically. It felt like house shows in high school. It was just really happy music, with real feeling, perhaps silly and a little overdone, but really fun and high energy.

Next up were the So So Glos, who I didn’t know were performing and it was pretty exciting because it had been months since I’d seen them live and their set was tight as ever. Everyone was going nuts, crowd surfing, falling, dancing, screaming to the new tunes that they played which were really exciting and upbeat. Wearing suits and uniforms, So So Glos looked classy as ever, bringing in the roaring 20’s. At the end of the Roaring 20’s were Blastoids with very heavy drum beats and lots of electronic whirs. The drums were bassy and booming, really energetic and bursting at times. The lyrics swayed and lulled, as they played in the middle of the floor in strange costumes. By this time it was 5am.

Never heard of Zeppelin brought in the future by singing to spastic electronic music. It was one man who would dance crazily and then fall down on the floor as really strange happy music played in a sortof interlude. He removed several articles of clothing, starting with his shirt and was wrapped in tin foil.  I think the rest really needs to be experienced first hand. His lyrics were pretty great and the show he put on was fun as hell for 6am, it’s hard to have energy by that point and he kept it high.

at 7am we were led to the rooftop of Shea Stadium (not the baseball stadium, the DIY venue in Bushwick) and there was a wooden spaceship with a man set up to play some noise music, representing the alien invasion. This was the music of Blissed out, in this case one man, turning knobs and pushing buttons. It was amazingly surreal to watch this man under a spaceship at 7am in this new day, in this new year. The sun had just come up and it wasn’t blisteringly bright, it was perfectly gray, but not ugly or rainy, just exactly what it needed to be for people who hadn’t slept in over 15 hours mostly. The music was ambient and distorted, lots of white noise and crackles of sounds and samples. The name Blissed out was a pretty perfect explanation of the sound.

The set was followed by pancakes back inside the venue and a dance party. It was a pretty perfect end to 2009 and beginning to 2010 and I was really pleased to ring in the new year with such great music and people.