Take Five

Live Music

  • This past weekend, I had the delightful occasion to go to central New York with some awesome people to celebrate a friend’s birthday and graduation. Among the hostess’ friends in attendance was one Benjamin Costello, an Ithaca-based singer/songwriter. I had seen his name linked and touted in various outlets, but hadn’t yet pursued his music. I now know that the ideal way to get exposed to a new artist is on a back deck with a good drink and an intimate audience not exceeding a dozen. He’s a soulful singer and a talented musician, and a fun guy to boot.

Here’s an original I had the good fortune to see him perform live, “The Little Left Behind”:

And here’s a cover of the Weepies’ “World Spins Madly On”:

He often does live streaming video concerts, which I think is a pretty great way to spread your fan base. I look forward to the next one. Follow him on Facebook to learn more.

  • I am going to see Stars at the Paradise this Tuesday, thanks to Jay Breitling at Clicky Clicky. I won one of his Twitter contests. Check out his blog and follow him on Twitter for great content, and contests. Thanks again!

Second Thoughts

Last week, Jennifer blogged about memory and song, and she specifically referenced R.E.M.’s “Automatic for the People.” When she described that “bright yellow tape,” I was immediately propelled back into 1992. I was in full-on angsty teen mode then, and I remember sitting in the green armchair in the corner of the living room, scowling and scrawling horrible poetry into a spiral-bound notebook, listening to that album practically nonstop, flipping the yellow cassette over and over as if the next time I did so, I would discover the answer to some burning adolescent query.

The other day, “Find the River” came on my iPod, and I was instantly transported back to that green armchair — but not in a bad way. Rather, I saw where I had been when that album meant the world to me, and I saw where I am now, where the album still means a whole lot but my life does not seem to hinge on the integrity of the plastic-encased tape reels. And I felt pretty good about who I am, even who I was, and how a song like “Find the River” really epitomizes the journey between there and here.

Hey now, little speedyhead,
The read on the speedmeter says
You have to go to task in the city
Where people drown and people serve.
Don’t be shy. Your just deserve
Is only just light years to go.

It was a nice moment.

New Releases

  • I was excited to learn via a free song offered by Amie Street that We Are Scientists are releasing a new album, “Barbara,” on June 15. I am a tremendous fan of their pop-perfect rock, and that free song in question, “Rules Don’t Stop,” is quite promising.
  • I’m not really jazzed about the movie “Get Him to the Greek,” but Mike Viola always excites me, and he wrote a bunch of songs for the soundtrack, which is available via Amazon MP3 on Tuesday. Also, Mike is doing some limited touring this summer, so check him out if you can.
  • I am really enjoying the new LCD Soundsystem. It’s a party in a box.

Finds of the Week

  • Via Andrew Careaga, Filter’s 8th Coachella sampler, featuring free downloads of new tracks by Broken Social Scene (who may finally be growing on me), Tokyo Police Club, Hot Hot Heat and more.
  • Speaking of summer festivals, SPIN compiled a mixtape for Bonnaroo, which you can download for free. Great songs by The National, Blitzen Trapper, Dawes, Mumford and Sons and more.

Around the Web

  • Normally, I wouldn’t hype a newborn blog. But I’d really like to see my friend Annie keep this one up, because I think she would have some fun observations about music. And I thought that maybe blogging about it would apply a little pressure. So, here’s my plug for Music Moves my Feet, which begins with Annie describing a contest win that feeds her love of New Zealand (Zealander?) music. The second post is about knitting, but what can you do? Go, Annie, go!
  • One year ago, Jay Bennett died. Soon, the Jay Bennett Foundation will launch in his memory, supporting music and education. On July 10, a posthumous album, “Kicking at the Perfumed Air,” will be released as a free download and a CD for purchase. In the meantime, Paste links to a free download from the Bennett Foundation’s compilation, “Twice a Year.

One response to “Take Five

  1. Thanks for the nod!

    You know what that yellow tape reminds me of? My friend Carol wanted a Jeep so badly in high school, and she finally got one – that had been sitting in her dad’s backyard for years. It was a gross clunker, and one day she and my friend Theresa and I (also the creators of our school’s underground newspaper) painted it with daisies on the wheels and “I sound my barbaric yawp!” on the dashboard and glow-in-the-dark spider stickers everywhere. We would drive around South Jersey in that Jeep, bumping and clanging along, blaring that bright yellow tape and feeling a sense of longing for something we didn’t understand and a fear of ever finding it.

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