Friday, October 27, 2006

Party x 2

I'm home sick today from massive amounts of planning, petitioning and, well, partying for the first Paste Issue Release Parties.

Went over to The Loft yesterday afternoon to catch the DAVE-FM Circle of Friends show with Robert Randolph & the Family Band. The Loft just got a facelift and looks awesome so far -- much better layout. Minus the crazy lighting at the show (neon, logos) it was unique to see Randolph in a smaller space with only 100ish people... not like the larger shows and festivals he usually plays.

Stuck around afterwards for our release party downstairs at Vinyl, one of my fav venues in town. Paste's business team and a few editors were on hand to host the VIP party before performances by Manchester Orchestra and What Made Milwaukee Famous. Meanwhile, up in NYC, Paste's senior team was hosting our release party concert with Beck, HEM, Hymns, and ?uestlove from The Roots (spinning between sets).

Atlanta was an early night... lots of other things going on across town (Criminal Records 15th Anniversary Party, Alejandro Escovedo, Robert Randolph's large show, etc) but there was a good turnout. Some folks from Turner, Coke and Delta came out to enjoy the night. Always fun to hear what our Atlanta business friends are working on.

Happy to see good shows from both the bands in Atlanta. If you haven't heard Manchester Orchestra or What Made Milwaukee Famous, you're missing out. I can't stress enough how good both debut CDs are. Was bummed that a lot of the crowd left after Manchester -- lesson learned, put local acts on last... wish more people'd seen the WMMF set.

Here's a good photo illustrating a marketing technique we'd never used before... not long til we have interns walking around Peachtree Street with sandwich boards...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Release Parties in NY and Atlanta - FREE concerts!

On Thursday Oct 26nd Paste Magazine will host release parties for Issue #26 in Atlanta and New York. Each party includes a FREE concert with awesome bands... New York will have a handful of surprise guests (wish I could be there)... Atlanta will feature What Made Milwaukee Famous and Manchester Orchestra, bands that made two of my favorite albums this year (glad I will be there).

Don't miss out on free tickets, which are going fast... if you want to go (and who wouldn't want to see bands for free?) visit

Worthy Pursuits & Playlists: Scissors for Lefty, Manchester Orchestra, Damien Jurado

New music you should look (and listen) for:

Scissors for Lefty - San Francisco, CA - Indie Electronica - New Release: Underhanded Romance

Electronica... of the indie rock variety. This band met up in San Luis Obispo and then headed for San Francisco, where they've been building up their street cred. I just heard the EP, which apparently is a teaser of the full length release (?), and it's pretty cool. When I went to Philly recently I heard the folks at World Cafe Live ( talking about them, too, so word is traveling fast. My favorite is "Mama Yer Boys Will Find A Home" and "Ghetto Ways." Hear both at

Good Chance You'll Like This Artist If You Like: Franz Ferdinand, Arctic Monkeys, going dancing in Buckhead but wish the club was more like The Earl.

Manchester Orchestra - Atlanta, GA - Experimental Pop Rock - New Release: I'm Like a Virgin Losing a Child

It's finally here!! A full length from Manchester Orchestra! Don't let the name fool you... these are young guys (ages 19 to 23) from the Atlanta suburbs and they play experimental pop rock that is gritty and gut-wrenching and sometimes emo. I had the pleasure of seeing their first real show last summer at Smith's Olde Bar. Since then they've performed at SXSW and Lollapalooza, and caught the attention of Jay Harren, formerly of 99X (now Columbia Records talent scout), who calls them his favorite band. I feel the same way. The lyrics are amazing when you consider they were written by 19 year old frontman Andy Hull. I highly recommend buying "Wolves at Night" as a single, if you can't splurg on the whole album (but you should). More info at, where you can get free video podcasts tracking the making of the album.

Good Chance You'll Like This Artist If You Like: Pedro the Lion, Smashing Pumpkins, softer songs with solid lyrics between lots of loud rock

Damien Jurado - Seattle, WA - Urban Folk - New Release: And Now That I'm In Your Shadow

Damien Jurado is a pretty important player in the Seattle music scene. He started his career by playing with Seattle punk bands back in the late 80s, including Coolidge, with David Bazan of Pedro the Lion. Jurado was signed to Sub Pop Records and put out a series of solo albums, but later split ways with the label and spent more time with his family and on his day job as a preschool teacher (I met him recently and he has a pirate flag tattooed on his arm, which is cool for a preschool teacher). He's since signed to a new label and just released a striking record with his band named Damien Jurado (how confusing). The record is full of haunting songs like "Denton, TX" and "What Were The Chances" (despite an intro that sounds like it belongs in a 1986 Genesis song). That's a great song. You can actually download that one for free (yay free music) from MySpace at

Good Chance You'll Like This Artist If You Like: Neil Young, Nick Drake, Elliott Smith

And a playlist...

There's a great blog called Tiny Mix Tapes ( where you can submit a feeling or situation and they'll generate a playlist for you. Pretty cool, right?

Hear is a good new one they just posted... appropriate since it's a big wedding/football/fall festival weekend...

"I'm hungover. Soft songs that won't hurt my head."

01. Velvet Underground - "Sunday Morning" (The Velvet Underground and Nico)
02. Andrew Bird & Nora O'Connor - "Oh, Sister" (Dylan Covered)
03. Beck - "Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometimes" - (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind soundtrack)
04. Elliott Smith - "Pitseleh" (XO)
05. Nick Drake - "Man in the Shed" (Five Leaves Left)
06. Old Crow Medicine Show - "We're All In This Together" (O.C.M.S.)
07. Regina Spektor - "Braille" (11:11)
08. Ryan Adams - "Damn, Sam (I Love A Woman That Rains)" (Heartbreaker)
09. M. Ward - "The Undertaker" (Transfiguration of Vincent)
10. Bob Dylan - "Shelter From the Storm" (Blood on the Tracks)
11. Nouvelle Vague - "Friday Night and Saturday Morning" (Bande A Part)
12. Iron and Wine - "Sunset Soon Forgotten" (Our Endless Numbered Days)
13. Rolling Stones - "Factory Girl" (Beggars Banquet)
14. N.Lannon - "Spy" (Chemical Friends)
15. Kings of Convenience - "Homesick" (Riot On An Empty Street)
16. Otis Redding - "Cigarettes and Coffee" (The Soul Album)
17. Caetano Veloso - "London, London" (Caetano Veloso, 1971)

(Repost of my weekly email; reposted again to

Saturday, October 14, 2006

East Coast Tour Report - NYC

On Monday morning I returned from my East Coast Tour 2006. I think I picked up the flu somewhere along the way (perhaps on one of the planes, trains, automobiles, metro cars, subway cars, or cabs I used to get around).

I like to think I'm pretty worldly, but sometimes I feel like a foreign tourist even in my own country. I love that. I'd also like to think that, given the chance, I would travel around full-time, but that would take the fun out of it.

The point of my trip to NY was to attended a fantastic Internet advertising seminar on Wednesday at the NY Friars Club. I'm pretty certain I saw Cher and John McEnroe there. I spent the rest of the afternoon walking from the East Side to West Side, which took a heckuva long time, especially with a 20lb laptop bag (I have an old heavy computer, alright?).

When I lived in NY, I hardly ever ventured to the West Side, but that's where I was staying this time and I really liked it alot. I hadn't spent a lot of time in The Village either, so I met up with my Aunt Judy (my mom's cousin) at a jazz club on Christopher St, which was a lot of fun. The People Watching was fantastic, as I'm sure you can imagine.

Spent the next day doing whatever I wanted -- wandering down through Soho, Tribeca and the like. For the past 6 years I've been writing a novel that I can't seem to finish. It's set in the NYU area so I went down there and had coffee while I did some writing -- good inspiration, you know? The Starbucks had a great playlist going -- Josh Ritter, Guillemots, Devotchka, and some other stuff I didn't recognize. I ran into an old boss there from my internship days, and thought what a small world.

Had some time before my train so I went to the newly renevated and reopened MoMA. I only had about 45 minutes in there, but it was enough time to be thoroughly stunned by the collection. "The Starry Night" by Van Gogh, "Les Desmoiselles d'Avignon" by Picasso... some Pollock and Kandinsky pieces... Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein pop art (which fascinates me)... and "The Sleeping Gypsy" by Henry Rousseau.

When I was a kid I took art classes after school with a great teacher named Elise Harrison. She used that painting, "The Sleeping Gypsy" as an example in one lesson, and had us come up with our own Rousseau-inspired painting. The only condition was that our painting had to have each of the elements in "The Sleeping Gypsy" -- an animal, an instrument, a drinking container, a landscape and someone sleeping, completly unphased by the situation. I painted a zookeeper sleeping on top of an elephant, as the elephant carried a bucket of water through the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. He wore bells on his tail. So seeing that particular Rousseau painting brought back some happy memories and made me laugh to myself.

Took the Amtrak train to Philly, which is always an adventure. More to come later.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Coke, Nestle product... burns calories?!

I love Coke, but sometimes, you gotta know when to stop...

If Diet Coke isn't good enough for your calorie-conscious diet, you're in luck -- enter Enviga, the new carbonated calorie-buster that speeds up your metabolism and claims to be the "negative calorie" drink. Enviga uses a blend of green-tea extracts known for boosting metabolism called Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) -- two times that of competing brands!

Are we really that screwed up in the head that we need a negative calorie drink??

Here's what I'm thinking for an ad campaign...

Active, pretty people... climbing rocks near a waterfall... friendly voiceover explains the drink... lots of laughing, bare stomachs showing off the negative calorie impact. Lots of product placement -- maybe they grab the drink out of trees as if it fruit?

Then a friendly health reminder: "Enviga is not for everyone. Symptoms may include rapid weight loss, heart failure, high blood pressure, Dysentery, Type II Diabetes, sores, caffeine headaches, spontaneous combustion and increased irritability. Enviga should not be taken as a meal replacement or if you are pregnant or nursing. Ask your doctor before you drink Enviga."

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

East Coast Tour Announcement

I'm currently sitting in a comfy apartment on the Upper East Side with my friend Alyssa, preparing for a busy week of business, travel, and wedding extravanganza. If you are an old friend currently in MoCo -- I'm sorry, I won't have the chance to see you this trip since I'll be in MoCo for all of 3 hours. But I'll be back again real soon. Yup, you better believe it...

East Coast Tour Soundtrack

Here are some songs I was listening to on the way to New York:

Marching Bands of Manhattan, Death Cab for Cutie
New York Song, Modern Skirts
Chemicals, Of Montreal
Cold December, Matt Costa
Postcards from Italy, Beirut
City Song, Matt Pond PA

Off to a conference tomorrow... stories and pictures to come.