goldfish need music too. this one's taste is ultra-refined. only the best for the fattest fish around.

read the blog. we'll drag you through concerts, websites, new music reviews and the same stuff you read everywhere else. except here, we're ruled by a creature whose memory is three seconds long. it's a tough swim.

contact the fish

 subscribe to the feed
 save to


05.2006 / 06.2006 / 07.2006 / 08.2006 / 09.2006 / 10.2006 / 11.2006 / 12.2006 / 01.2007 / 02.2007 / 03.2007 / 07.2007 / 08.2007 /

mp3 blogs

Top Music Blogs

Wednesday, September 27, 2006
  goodness gracious: Silversun Pickups/Viva Voce tour & Fliter TourZine
now here is something to look forward to.

tour Silversun Pickups and Viva Voce (team SSPU/VV!) kicks off tonight in San Diego, and along its well-plotted (sort of a pun there, plodded) destinations there are a whole TWO Boston dates. why is this so freaking awesome?

besides the fact i get to see them twice, the deal is that the second date just so happens to be at BU Central, to which i have full free access. since i'm pretty much the only Boston blogger with this ability i was asked by the brand spankin' new Filter TourZine to write up the live review.

sooooo, kids, why don't we give a double hoo-ray for the doubly sweet motif we have going - double awesome bands, double Boston shows, doubly clutch opportunities for live show reviewing and lots of Shan to go around. oh, you love it.

and the word "double" is starting to look wrong.

here's the full list of dates for this kickass tour:

27 – House of Blues - San Diego, CA
28 - Rickshaw Stop - San Francisco, CA
29 - Howie & Sons - Visalia, CA
30 - The Echo - Los Angeles, CA

1 - Modified - Phoenix, AZ
3 - Emo's - Austin, TX
4 - Opolis - Norman, OK
5 - Randy Bacon Gallery - Springfield, MO
6 - Jackpot - Lawrence, KS
7 - Courtyard Café - Urbana, IL
8 - Southgate House - Newport, KY
10 - Iota Club and Café - Arlington, VA
11 - Mercury Lounge - New York, NY
12 - Mercury Lounge - New York, NY
13 - Johnny Brenda's - Philadelphia, PA
[14 - BU Central - Boston, MA - not listed because it's so exclusively rad.]
15 - Middle East Upstairs - Cambridge, MA - we'll all be there.
16 - The Bug Jar - Rochester, NY
17 - Lee's Palace - Toronto, ON
18 - The Lime Spider - Akron, OH
19 - Little Brothers - Columbus, OH
20 - Empty Bottle - Chicago, IL
21 - Maintenance Shop - Ames, IA
22 - Mojos - Columbia, MO
24 - Hi Dive - Denver, CO
26 - Neurolux - Boise, ID
27 - Crocodile Cafe - Seattle, WA
28 - Doug Fir Lounge - Portland, OR

come out and see them, yo. i promise: zero disappointment.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
  Rogue Wave: my favorite song.

Rogue Wave - "Are You On My Side"

the notes start up densely, darkly. rippling knuckles slide the beat from finger to finger, in and out from index to middle to ring flip the hand and out, back around, steady, controlled, a steadily shimmering string. high and distant voices lure and lull and linger. falling into the crook of the drums, folded up between conveyer belts, the breath quickens as the rippling continues and the line is brought closer and closer. there is a storm rising, pulling matter from houses and gardens, growing stronger and faster and looming deep gray and brown, hiding the horizon line, pushing forwards, banging up against itself, a tornadoed dark. then a shift of light, a flutter of wind and flight, a cut from the scene (still the string weaves around the hand, incessant) and briefly the hushed voice implores you the most intimate and secretive question of its life.

are you on my side?

rising, building, storm particles swarming, infiltrating, stinging eyes, catching in the back of the throat, insistent. the beat has trapped any chance of return, any choice to get out, moving faster and farther and deeper and away - voices taunting, hushing, laughing with their twists and turns and dancing tribally, whistling, jarringly melodic. there has been nothing so hypnotically beautiful and intense by any recollection, and yet now what is the use of memory as everything familiar and important crowds the senses and presses, presses, pressures the mind and closed eyes, blood pumping so quickly as to possibly match the gasping breath - rising, building.

are you on my side?

i know you've been around.

farther, higher, the only thing to do is lose track, lose the mind, give up the fight, stare openly, blindly, directly into the storm, entranced by whipping winds and insanity, a spiraling helplessness while the knuckles continue to ripple, rolling the sound around each finger. the hand holds everything. a light surges and fires up the landscape, brilliant in yellows, the dark of the blue flashes into some crystal and the clarity hurts, blinding eyes, flashes prying into eyelids, louder and faster and brighter and bigger -

release. the knuckles have stopped. nothing has ever been so real as now, as this second when every pain topples over the edge into a slowly drifting, spinning leaf, nothing left of the storm but the dew on the grass and the explosion of color in the sky. follow the leaf with open eyes. still spellbound, still tied, still racing inside. this draws out emotion the likes of which make the tears come, make the eyelashes bat the reality away, make the feeling behind the ribcage dissolve as it burns. and just as the leaf descends upon the ground, so the sound ends, so the whirling of the brain clears, so you are new.

::::this is my favorite song.
Rogue Wave - Are You On My Side

not just by them, you see. by everyone.

there is a deserved buzz about this band. go find more of it at the hype.
buy their record, see their show, love them an ounce of what i do: their space
Sunday, September 24, 2006
  Ben Kweller gives of himself freely. and you?
we here at Noise For Toaster - the boston bloggers extraordinaire, the lovely loving losers of independent music and fish-keeping, the swashbuckling pirate and realultimatepowered ninja, the butchers and bakers and candle-stick makers - you know, us - we'd like to ask you a question.

why can't we all just be happy?

why the crying? why so pensive, so melancholy, so worrisome? why the hurrying? why rush past, why slam the door, why keep the change? why the car and not the walk? why the books, the paints, the labs, the type type type type - why backwards bending, why complication, why think it over 'til it's rotten? why the fear, the problem rotisserie?

why not sit back for just a second. no - no no, just a second. it's good for you.

why not Ben Kweller?

::::i can't see why not.
Ben Kweller - Run
Ben Kweller - I Don't Know Why
Ben Kweller - This Is War
- deliciously upbeat.

and i want to say: wake up! get up, get back, you're fine. i promise. a hundred million things on your shoulders, a hundred million steps still left under your feet, a hundred million zings and pangs leaking out from that grayish pulp between your ears - just add a little headphone into each and stop the gap with these sounds. i promise, everything's happier with a little Ben Kweller.
to salvage the rest, run (run, let's run, let's run) to the hype.
i know his story - my love affair with the man has been long-running - but if you don't, i suggest you check out everything else by him (Sha Sha, On My Way), mind the 'space, and say hello to his lovely label, ATO.
Friday, September 22, 2006
  Beck - The Information
okay. here's the deal. it's friday afternoon, it's a nice day, you're trying to get off work early or you're just sitting there itching to get out of your last class. well i have some information for you - The Information.

Beck - The Information

Beck Hansen. commonly known only as Beck. this man is a genius of sorts. of all the music he's made, he has never done the same thing twice. no two albums are really of similar sound or theme. his lyrics may seem completely nonsensical, but it's only fitting for the image he has created.

my time is a piece of wax, too, Beck.

The Information drops on october third, the same day as eighteen thousand other highly anticipated albums, and while you and i may have been disappointed by the first track we heard from The Killers, Beck will not let you down.

it's different of course. heavy drum beats, highly produced electronic blips and beeps, barebones instrumentation for a lot of it, but so much going on - it's a smorgasbord for your ears. i loved Guero for what it was, and i am currently loving this for different reasons. there seems to be a middle eastern theme to a lot of the songs, from minor drifting melodies to plucking guitars to the harmonic tones introduced by bells and triangles and the pounding beat of almost-tribal drums, all opposite a faint rising keyboard and Beck's calming baritone. the 8-bit noises have carried over from his experimentations and remixes but he's found an entirely different groove. it's darker and creeping at points, contrasted by a harmonica solo and a string section. there's just so much that went into it, and so much that i'm hearing the second and third and fourth times through it that i missed previously; it's a whole new listening experience.

::::enough now, see for yourself:
Beck - Strange Apparition
Beck - 1000BPM

::::special bonus, because i can't get enough:
Beck - Think I'm In Love
[highly recommended]

[NOTE: our file hosting is giving us trouble right now. if the downloads do not work immediately, keep trying.]

if you're smart, you'll check out the Hype for a few tracks that have already been floating around. it wouldn't hurt to stop by his myspace, either. and seriously, preorder this now, from Amazon.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
  having trouble getting up in the morning?
sometimes you just don't want to get out from under the covers. we all experience it, don't lie. nobody wants to get up at the crack of alarm every day from their nice warm coccoon and trudge through their daily routine. nobody enjoys that first shock of cold air outside your cozy little bed.

well, while you're emerging from the depths of slumber, take a listen to these covers; some old stuff we had lying around that you may or may not have heard, but that deserves a listen nonetheless. think of it as the morning cup of coffee (or tea) that keeps you from crumbling to the floor, shivering uncontrollably. and it's on the house.

::::you can almost smell that freshly brewed aroma
The Subways - Staring At The Sun

the tight-knit little british indie pop favorites cover one of my favorite TV On The Radio songs ever. a nice gentle way to ease into things in the morning.

The Flaming Lips - Bohemian Rhapsody
let's get right to this. you're driving to work, you're stuck in traffic, you know you're belting along to something in your car like nobody else is around. think the opening scene to Office Space, but with classic rock.

Ben Folds - Such Great Heights
shan just brought this to the internet's attention, just the other day, but it's worth reminding you guys. the guy does it all, you know, including inventing percussion instruments to sound like heavy drum machine beats. just try this out on your lunch break.

Cake - Mahna Mahna
you're back home from work and the kids are jumping on the furniture and rolling on the ceiling and you just want to get some dinner and curl up in a quiet place while your brain recovers from the strain it just endured. well have no fear, the boys in Cake are always willing to take some time out for the kids. immediately recognizable from the Muppet Show, it's pretty much brilliant; classic Cake feel, and all of that furry puppet love that you remember.

Maroon 5 - Pure Imagination
and finally, after falling asleep in front of the computer screen, propped up in your excutive office chair, it's time to return to that warm place in the depths of your covers with this cover of the theme from Charlie & The Chocolate Factory. Maroon 5's take is fascinating and incredibly well done; a sort of eerie lullaby mood to contrast the lyrics, yet it complements so well - don't overlook this.

so there you are, some morning lovin' to get you through the day. we do have some more warmth to share, but it's still technically the summer, so we can save them for the first frost.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
  Jesse Gallagher, Apollo Sunshine, John Mayer, Sufjan Stevens... and you.
there is an individual in the music business that has revamped my way of thinking about it.
-well, actually, there are several.

but there is one in particular that has never quite influenced my choice of music so much as my way of thinking about it. musicians, band members, John Mayer - these are real people. they go on dates that fail, they forget appointments, they freak out and throw things into walls, they go home and eat cereal out of measuring cups with the (soy) milk still out (um. maybe that's only me). they like basketball, at five they ran around naked at family parties, they get scared by irrational things. like clowns. shudder.

thank you, Jesse Gallagher.

jesse, sam, jeremy

Jesse is the voice you hear most often when you pop in an Apollo Sunshine album. he's gone through stages when his friends say he looks like Jesus - only with incredibly blazing red hair. he's about nine feet tall and nine inches around. he was class president of the world, was the lead in highschool plays, and he's always looked up to The Beatles, specifically John Lennon. now those who know him - even just know of him - call him Crazy Jesse. that's because he is crazy. but he's crazy about what he does.

i've never in my life met someone as passionate and full-throttle as this guy; his work is so much of everything that he loves, absolutely loves, and so much of himself and his amazing relationships with his band members Sam Cohen and Jeremy Black. what they do and the energy they come up with is fucking astounding, and it's really just more infectious than anything else; when they're on that stage in front of you, regardless of whether you can sing along you WANT to sing along. you want to know every word, everything about these cool and comfortable and insane guys that go to such lengths to bring it. i mean, bring it.

in his own way, Jesse demanded more of me when i tried to interview him once. when you're new to the game, you need someone like that - someone to mess up with. someone for you to realize: Sufjan Stevens wipes his nose, too. and so i'm better for it. i'm never just some random fan, now, shuffled in among the crowd. i'm someone that wants to know these people, as real people, ones that can have conversations and whose lives extend far beyond their music careers (alright, maybe not far).

do you see, then, that we're really just all humans? idolization is so twenty years ago.

remind me of this if i ever see Paul McCartney in concert, alright?

all this to say: go see Apollo Sunshine TONIGHT! they'll be at the Paradise, and so will i. i'm telling you, you will not be disappointed - you will never be disappointed. you will love yourselves some sunshine.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
  Ben Folds does Such Great Heights?
yeah, apparently.

one friend of mine that could claim to be Ben Folds' brother sent me this mp3 of the man covering one of the best indie music songs, maybe ever? it's extremely electronic, electronic sounding, that is, with instruments! and so incredibly different from almost anything i've heard him do, so be prepared. i'm told that he used towels inside the higher strings of the piano to make it sound like a synth. yeah, that's pretty much a direct quote.

::::for your listening pleasure:
Ben Folds - Such Great Heights

for a little added bonus, here is the video.

watch his hands go. my god.
"this shit just will not fly."
and a fucking hilarious bit at the end of this. please watch.

ah, this man..
Monday, September 18, 2006
  Au Revoir Simone: Interview
please welcome the lovely ladies Annie, Heather, and Erika of Au Revoir Simone to Noise For Toaster. they were really wonderful and answered all of our nosy little questions about everything from their first crushes to ruminating on Nietzsche. we hope they had as much fun answering as we did reading.

by the way, pirate wins.

Noise for Toaster: Before we set in, let's get a little background on you all.

-Where are you from originally?

Annie: Brentwood, Long Island, New York
Heather: i'm a child of the tri-state area.
Erika: Boulder, Colorado

-What was your first tape?

A: Mariah Carey, self-titled
H: the monkeys
E: MC Hammer, Hammer time

-What is your favorite color?

A: None of the above
H: sunset
E: dusty pink

-What was your favorite childhood toy?

A: Aside from the encyclopedia and 99% complete LM Montomery library, those little plastic animals that came with rainbow brite and my little pony dolls.
H: a stuffed bunny with one eye and a carrot sewed onto his overalls named 'pat pat'
E: my doll house with a family of mini mice with outfits.

-What is your favorite accompaniment with peanut butter on a sandwich?

A: honey and wheat germ
H: i only eat peanut butter with green apples
E: banana and honey

-Pirate or Ninja?

A: Pirate!
H: hmmm. this one is hard. it really depends on the day, but today i'll also say pirate.
E: ninja

NfT: Now for the more band-focused questions.

I want to get this out of the way as soon as possible: Where does the bulk of your musical influence come from?

A: I find that impossible to answer.
H: broadly...pop culture.
E: beautiful songs.

NfT: What's your response to the press you've received? It looks like everyone seems to love you, including now MTV's YHIF.

A: I just love it. Can't help myself. I think it's really neat to be supported by nice people with open minds, I mean, we don't even have a record label in the US and here's MTV and all these great bands and bloggers and our sweet fans emailing us fanmail and telling their friends about us and it makes me feel so great to have outside validation of the music we make. Of course it's fun to make music for the sake of it on the bedroom floor, but spending the time to perfect song after song and playing it in practice for the umpteenth time are made worthwhile by the response of the press and ultimately, our fans. I still am completely amazing that the music that comes out of my brain can mean so much to some people. It's incredible.
H: it is incredible. i'm happy that the ones who love us are vocal about it, and the ones who don't adhere to the 'if you dont have anything nice to say...' rule.
E: its pretty overwhelming and it definately helps me stay motivated.

NfT: How was it to tour with We Are Scientists? We watched you off to the side as you danced throughout their whole set, and it all looked like quite a great time. Are they as funny in person as they come across on their site?

A: They are just about the sweetest and most wonderful boys in the music business and have made my belly hurt on multiple occassions due to their hijinks and wickedly funny sense of humor.
H: agreed...all good times.
E: i cant wait to tour with them again! (the UK in october)

NfT: What is your history with your craft? I mean, when did you start learning keyboards, etc?

A: I taught myself from the age of 8 on. No formal training on piano ever, but I did play almost every type of percussion in almost every type of band my high school offered, including, but not limited to, percussion ensemble (we played the little mermaid theme), jazz band (I was terrified of vibraphone solos), "select" band (what the heck that meant I don't know but I learned a lot about music there), marching band (sleep away and daily band camp every summer), plus all the competitions (I loved Bach interpreted for 4 mallets on marimba and even made it into all-county band as a result, though I embarrassed myself once in there because I couldn't read music too well) and music honor society. I guess one can describe me as a band nerd.
H: i too am self taught. the only music stuff i did in school was sing in the choir. i was an alto so most of the parts i had to sing were ugly low monotone backup parts for the dainty blonde sopranos who sang all the beautiful angelic melodies. alas, i'm still an alto.
E: i took piano lessons growing up & my dad is a musician & he taught me a lot. i have really long fingers so people always told me i should play piano.

NfT: Reviewers, particularly Pitchfork, keep mentioning a two-sided
album: the first light and airy, the second darker. Is this what you
were in fact looking to achieve?

A: We didn't mean to do that, but that's how it turned out, and our new one appears to be following a similar format. It's just one of the consequences of the many sides of Au Revoir Simone.
H: or evidence of shizophrenia? you decide.
E: perhaps we are referring to the comedy/tragedy mask? (the universal symbol for theatre) because i did used to have that on a charm bracelet, along with a sailboat, ballet slippers and a heart.

NfT: Grey's Anatomy is pretty much the only show I've kept up with in quite a while. I think it's the classiest production on TV in a long time (and I'm one of those people that would sport a "kill your TV" bumper sticker if I cared to spend the money on it). They also have some of the best use of popular and independent music that I've ever seen, including films. All of that said, how does it feel to have your single used on that show? Any more recognition from it? Calls or comments?

A: All my family proudly told everyone they knew that we were on it. That felt good to be part of something people can relate to.
H: i liked that our song was used while bloody hearts were removed and transplanted. that was special.
E: it was pretty awesome to hear our song on tv. heather had friends over and we all watched it together.

NfT: Who does the bulk of the lyric writing? Do you work towards anything in particular - an image, a quality, etc? Biggest inspirations there?

A: We split it for whomever brings in the song for the most part, though the other members are frequently enlisted as helpers to complete missing bits, which can be whole stanzas or just a few words. I'm inspired by a little phrase that pops into my head and grows and grows like magic into a song.
H: inspirations for lyrics come from everywhere...but i find that i most often write something that i want to say to someone in reality but can't out of fear or shyness... better to say it in a song and let people guess if its about them.
E: i like to write lyrics that are pretty open ended and can mean a lot of things because those are my favorite songs to listen to.

NfT: As for your separate personalities, are you looking to be categorized almost like the Spice girls (ignore the comparison, it's only to illustrate my point) where Heather is the dark one, Erika the tall one, etc? If not, do you mind the labeling?

A: Whatever people need to make sense of us is okay, I guess. We are kind of a weird group and I think people tend to stereotype each member of every band anyways, at least almost every band interview you read in magazines has a quick descriptive rundown of each member. I have no problem with this, since it shows people are thinking about us, which is good for our career. I just live in fear of being publicly labelled "the gawky one."
H: what people will think of us or how they might label us is so impossible to predict or control that there is almost no point in attempting to market ourselves a certain way...if people see as individuals thats fine, if they see us as these exaggerated caricatures of our real selves (ala the spice girls), that could be fine too...but i would hope that the image is as honest as possible.
E: i would rather be noticed for how i dress or something than my tallness, but whatever.

NfT: Now for the ones about you guys as actual people:

For my own personal interest: where do you SHOP ladies?

A: Every thrift shop and street sale and garage sale I can find. I am very picky but love the thrill of the hunt. I am also poor.
H: the smaller my wardrobe is the better. for me, fashion variety just complicates and confuses my morning, i'm much happier in a uniform that i know fits well and looks good. so each season i tend to buy a few choice items from reliable stores and wear them to death. i like APC alot and a store called Otte, in brooklyn.
E: i like picking things up when we tour because i always like having something that no one else has. i get stuff from neighborhood shops in williamsburg and i *love* ebay.

NfT: Along the same lines, you can imagine my shock as I was innocently sitting in a waiting room and perusing Lucky Magazine and happened upon Erika's unmistakable mug. Shock! I felt almost star-struck. How does that feel, for one member to be recognized in terms of your New York image? That's a very different kind of recognition, for an independent music artist to end up in such a mainstream magazine. (it was a lovely two pages, by the way)

A: That's cool!
H: it was very cool, and erika looked super cute.
E: yeah, i hope some new people found out about our band because of it.

NfT: What are your lives like outside of the band?

A: I'm getting married in 12 days. I devote my time to that endeavor, also bookkeep professionally and am voracious reader and cook. I also started a club for people who don't work in the day called the casual daytime cardplayer's league where we play hearts and drink tea and chat.
H: you'll never find me at one of annie's cardgames because i'm deathly allergic to cats and, i'm afraid, will always place second to her precious little Jumpsuit. when i'm not bitter about cats or playing music, i'm studying. i should be finished with school sometime in the next 15 years if all goes well.
E: im a freelance textile designer for a lovely bedding company called dwell. we practice a lot but in my freetime i like to hang out with friends, see music, be outside...

NfT: What are your individual interests? Extracurricular activities, that sort of thing?

A: See above.
H: astrophysics, graphic novels, nerd stuff in general.
E: i like reading new-age books and doing yoga.

NfT: What were your first crushes like?

A: Intense, plentiful and unrequited.
H: the typical stuff of moony moping doodles in diaries...and yeah, unrequited, always.
E: i usually decided who to have a crush on based on the previous years yearbook pictures. and it would always be boys who were way out of my league or that my friends also had crushes on so i never really had to face any of them.

NfT: Any good first kiss stories?

A: I had mine when I was fourteen on a date that consited of a seemingly endless walk around our school waiting for him to kiss me. When he finally did I remember it was kind of weird to have someone else's tounge in my mouth, I didn't know where the heck it was supposed to go! The relationship ended when summer started and he didn't return my phone calls. That was a pattern to emerge throughout college and all I have to say is, boys, if you are reading this and you have a girl in your life who you don't want to date, please just tell her instead of being a wimp who doesn't know how to communicate anything important to someone.
H: ugh, no. some drunk boy pushed me into another drunk boy and the rest was history. i was 15 and had an asthma attack from anticipation. does that even count?
E: all my friends left the room so my first boyfriend and i could kiss. my friends brother was hiding behind the couch and my sister was honking the horn of her car outside to pick me up. it was totally gross, but exhilarating.

NfT: What was the most embarrassing thing you were involved in/did during highschool? (marching band, math team, horrible Halloween costume...)

A: It wasn't so embarrassing because somehow I was all over the high school yearbook senior year for being best dressed, most popular this and that and ended up in the cool crowd, nominated for homecoming and prom queen, all while being in all that band stuff I listed above and in leadership roles in about 15 different clubs. It really showed me that as long as you have integrity, treat people well, and do what you believe in, people will like you and champion you, even if you are a big nerd. And gosh, look at me now, a gawky 26-year-old who started this project with no major keyboard abilities, really going places with my band. Or maybe that's just because of Heather and Erika!!!
H: ha, wow, my highschool experiences were much different than annie's! i found that (despite my integrity and kindness) if one was a nerd, one was pushed into lockers and subjected to much speculation about one's sexual orientation. but then i was also in star trek club. so maybe i'm to blame.
E: i was an editor for the school newspaper...and the v. worst player on the volleyball team.

NfT: Now I'd like to give the chance for you to say absolutely anything you'd like about yourselves, whether it's something you've noticed recently, a life philosophy, a music philosophy, something you believe in, a good story... anything at all. The floor is yours.

A: Please vote on election day! There are a lot of important local and statewide elections this year, where your vote is most valuble, so please educate yourself about the candidates and go out there and vote! It's what all the cool kids are doing.
H: dont go to art school.
E: peace on earth

NfT: Just to mix it up:

What city would you live in (any time period) and why?

A: I don't know. I like a lot of places.
H: Oooohhh...I like these questions. Um...due to my generally poor constitution I often imagine that I wouldn’t have lived past the age of five had I been born anytime before the turn of the century, when epinephrine was first prescribed for bronchial conditions (not to mention improving standards of hygiene) so I don’t really ache for days past. I would prefer to travel a thousand years into the future and see what life is like then.
E: the 60s. maybe in Switzerland...

NfT: About what book or movie would you feel comfortable judging somebody based on their appreciation of it? For instance, I'm such a believer in greek and roman classics, and in highschool those people that dissented reading them drove me crazy.

A: Anything by Ayn Rand or Bill Graham.
H: Philip K Dick enthusiasts are alright with me.
E: little britain (actually a tv series) or kath & kim (from australia) are pretty much the best shows ever.

NfT: Do you believe that, as Nietzsche says, "Laughter is the death of an emotion?"

A: No it is the start of one.
H: i'll have to think about that one more.
E: i just googled for that quote and couldnt find it. but i do agree with this one: " The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude."

NfT: If you fell in love with someone whose wife had died awhile before, would you feel uncomfortable with your place in his heart?

A: I don't know this one, either. Probably not, I mean people break up with people all the time and the breakupee who may not be over the first spouse still manages to get along. There's different types of love for different stages in your life.
H: congratulations on asking me the singularly most weird question i've ever been asked during an interview. um...i dont know. i guess it would depend on the guy. are we talking about a 'rebecca' like situation here? cause if then, yes. yes, i think i would be a little uncomfortable.
E: yeah, it pretty much depends on the situation.

thank you so much, ladies.

Friday, September 15, 2006
  Rainer Maria @ BU, 9.14
last night i was thanking the good people at BU Central for their luscious Polyvinyl booking - grabbing Rainer Maria within the first couple weeks of the semester. impressive.

more impressive was the show itself. they truly brought an incredible performance, even if it was to an unresponsive though adoring crowd (welcome to the university). never pass up an opportunity to see this trio bring it to you live; it has always been my opinion that their albums, especially their latest Catastrophe Keeps Us Together, are insanely better in the flesh. my favorite of all last night was "Burn" as the bottled angst of that song is already very powerful, and five feet away almost knocked me off of my feet. oh Rainer Maria.

[full flickr set]

Thursday, September 14, 2006
  Wolfmother and Rogue Wave? 9.12
hey there cherubs. interested in what we've been doing lately? no? how about if i told you that on Tuesday we went to two shows? that's right, two.

no time for talking, no time for reading, here are the pictures:
[full flickr set]

Wolfmother at the Pavilion:

- through extremely ironic means we acquired free VIP tickets to see Wolfmother and The Strokes at the Pavilion. why not take advantage? well, a time conflict with Rogue Wave's show, of course. so we decided to split them up. the incredible performance by Wolfmother was so worth the trip on the silver line, and we were able to conveniently catch two songs by The Strokes and then check out in time to head to Cambridge. they're... okay. meh.

Rogue Wave at the Middle East:

- i am going to say something that makes Alex queasy and my readers aghast: i think the performance i saw by Rogue Wave last night surpassed almost every single other show i saw this entire summer. if it doesn't, it at least matches the very best. if you've been following along at home, i've seen far over twenty bands, and i went to Lollapalooza; now you see that i'm saying something. this is one of my top five favorite bands, literally, and i was floating just to see them again. the second time was even better than the first, i'm telling you. i could rave for hours but there you are - awesome guys, awesome music. expect an interview coming soon (be still my heart).

ironic that Zach joked about The Strokes opening up for them; i wanted to tell him we left the show to see them. i guess i'll be able to.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
  Jed and Lucia - Candles In Daylight
do you remember the first time you hear songs? i don't mean the first time the song is played, music notes in some progression that goes quickly in and quickly out, essentially unregistered. i mean actually hearing, really getting deep into the music as a whole, sifting through the tendons of words and guitar parts and electronic splices and the heaviness, the gooeyness, the sentimentality, the blazing fire - whatever. me? i always remember. i can hear a song for the hundredth time and i will still picture exactly where i was the first, and i will flash there and feel always the same feelings i had at the time, mixed with the issues, the heartbreaks, the happy things - the whole great big package in a moment of who i was.

enter: Jed and Lucia. somewhere in my head there was a stop in the gap, and i caught the music instantly - no discretion between first time heard and first time heard. a mix of vocals that combine sounds of Kings of Convenience's Nordic duo and the breathy soothing of Colin Hay, layered with breathtaking (yes) and simple chord progressions, tinkering guitar that - though impossibly quiet - seems to fill every space with its eery majesty (yes). it is a strain of pop reserved for those accustomed to stopping time, slowing it down, taking it patiently one footstep after another. the entire album ebbs and flows in energy, laying out an almost Buddhist purity (yes) with ambient touches and even a very faint chant (yes) - of which i'm thinking specifically Answers. you can find yourself to this album, a soundtrack of spiritual essence and emotion that rubs its fingertips along nerve endings and sore, beating hearts, provoking. it is not another boy/girl collector's item; it is merely Jed and Lucia, audibly bearing their souls and banding up my memory to this place and time that i cannot let go.

::::maybe something you haven't heard before - haven't heard before:
Jed and Lucia - Wasn't Right
Jed and Lucia - Fish
- appropriate for NfT, no?
Jed and Lucia - Perpetuate the Cycle [quite lovely]

i direct you to the Hype to gather the other tracks most everyone has. as well you can travel to their myspace to directly download another four tracks.

also, please buy this album. i promise you it isn't the same without the entire experience.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
  Camera Obscura - mp3s for a night with me.

you have put on your best. you are alone, staying at this hotel alone, walking through corridors alone, and you have put on your best. no lady to lean on your arm, no man with whom to stroll along. and you have put on your best.

love passes by you with their second-best, their next-to-best, their i'll-try-harder-tomorrow-night-dear best. they laugh or they bicker and regardless, you watch as they continue on, growing smaller in one-point perspective down the fluorescently lit hotel hallway, cushy 70's rug bending under their happy weight. you are floating; your feet barely reach the ground. your jealousy is somewhere in the corners of the ceiling, billowing out like smoke machines on an upside-down stage. oh to turn this whole thing around, alice down the rabbit hole, bending the hotel inside-out until indeed the ceiling is your platform and your feelings set the stage. after all, you have put on your best.

but your steps keep some kind of weightlessly fuzzy, inebriated time down the hallway behind them towards a wedding you don't understand and lots of people that will ask you your relation to the bride or groom. you will smile, pretend to be foreign, roll your eyes to the side and continue on into a corner with your punch, remembering your last high school dance and that date that danced the night away with someone else. you are autistically confused, helplessly comical and dancing by yourself. it is your best - your very best - and not to go to waste.

and then the awkward elevator ride, shoulders stiff, you are shorter and taller and like a beacon of light as the music fades and you have won your return home.
::::sounds familiar.
Camera Obscura - Tears For Affairs

and maybe..
Camera Obscura - I Need All The Friends I Can Get

the Hype will help you.
also, thank Glasgow, officially.
consider putting money on it.
read more! the educated folk do it for band blogs.
and please respect their space but don't leave us.

in celebration of the Let's Get Out Of This Country single, out today. and no, no nights with me.
Monday, September 11, 2006
  Hem - Funnel Cloud

as posts have been scarce the last couple of weeks (no more, sigh no more) a few things have slipped under my nose as a result of purely unreasonable discrimination. for instance. when i received the album by Brooklyn's Hem, i took one look at the name of the band and completely disregarded all other signs (antique gold frame, blue sky, hay grass, album name, bumblebee) and thought to myself: "ah, Hem. sounds like a bad metal band."

i kid you not.

three weeks later, after taking my first listen to track one, We'll Meet Along The Way, i truly laughed out loud at my own mistake. Hem is so far away from being anything that resembles metal, it's almost horrifying that i would have made that assumption (a bumblebee). it is some of the most beautiful alternative contry that i've heard in a long time. taking their cue from folk giants and story-tellers, they bring the best of steel and strings (beautiful violin work) to create a sweet country-lane soundtrack. Sally Ellyson's vocals are ripe for heartfelt, honest songs and are layered over melodies that can tear your heart out. by far the best moments on this album are those quiet and subdued ones, thoughtful delicacy rising up into bubbling human emotion. the sounds and feelings are universal and make it easy for positively anyone to hear something that holds fast to their ear. Funnel Cloud is a collection of natural images that conjure strolls in meadows, flower picking, apple orchards exploded in bloom and conversely an autumn breeze, a chilled day that turns warm just at noon, a city walk that is all to yourself. really quite beautiful.

::::don't just take my word for it, take it for a spin yourself.
Hem - We'll Meet Along The Way
to be followed by:
Hem - He Came To Meet Me always a sucker for piano: my personal favorite.

Hem - Funnel Cloud *bonus track
Hem - Curtains **bonus bonus track
- beautiful song right here.

to get the full repertoire (because you know they have it all) visit the Hype. you know it.

myspace loves you. Hem does too. check for tour info.
support their habits and buy their album and t-shirts, if you'd like.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
  Brazilian Girls - Talk To La Bomb
sometimes there is an album that i hear about vaguely. it's only a whisper, a passing mention, a flash of words (damn impermanent computer pixels), but for some reason it gets stored in the little recesses of my memory. each and every time i hear a second mention, a third mention, a fourth, fifth, sixth - the memory is conjured instantly, perfectly. i know exactly who the band is, the name, where i first heard it, even for just a split second there is full recognition. post-its of personal reminders "i have to check that out" pile atop one another, a neon mess of removable stickies, sharpied notes lining the interior of my mental to-do list like graffitti in club bathrooms. a seventh mention, an eighth, a ninth, tenth, eleventh - okay!! alright!! who are these people, what is their music, why won't they leave me alone?!

whether it's a stroke of incredibly good intuition or just a frustratingly lucky series of coincidences, i seem to discover all amazing bands this way. one of those bands was Brazilian Girls - one that needs little to no introduction as one of the hottest and most seductive bands to explode onto the scene in quite a while.

i'm aware that the major-label band has been blogged about quite a bit recently, but i usually prefer to do things in a little more timely fashion: and that is to say (sing scream): this piece of musical and performance mastery is available in places that you buy albums September Twelfth. you read me correctly: buy it this tuesday. Talk To La Bomb is one of my favorite things to come out in 2006 (if i had a top 15 list, say) and i highly recommend you skip to your local stores (Boston kids: yay Newbury yay) or pre-order online. i think their work is always original, their style is almost unmatched and their ability to ooze catchy electronica, world, and dance beats into my music collection is somewhat astonishing; all of this said, i think you should pay attention and watch as they just get bigger and bigger.

::::to convince you further!
Brazilian Girls - All About Us
(highly recommended and all of that)
Brazilian Girls - Never Met A German
Brazilian Girls - Sexy Asshole

please skip over to the Hype to check out the tracks everyone else has (like the amazing Jique. say it right, kids!).

ALSO. tour stuff. come out on the 7th of October if you're in Boston and catch them with us. if you're not, go to their 'space to look up tour stuff. it all kicks off this thursday, so check soon.
Friday, September 08, 2006
  Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton - the album
technology is generally horrible. i'm allowed to make this blanket statement because of what i've been through the last week; the old non-click wheel iPod nearly exploding, electrical appliances overheating, rewiring everything until i'm Samuel L Jackson fighting these snakes lining the walls from corner to corner, cords and power strips and glaring, demonic electrical outlets - then the computer decides to be fickle, and it's all over. i'm over at Radioshack telling them i'm so sick of these motherfuckin'...


but even through all of these issues, there has been one album that by hook or by crook i managed to hear playing from some electrical source or another. it was important to me. there are only a few times in life that i actually manage to say that about any one thing, and though usually it is a piece of music, it's still an unusual statement. hearing the noise was actually a crucial thing. and even while i wait for that perfect pair of headphones to be sent my way, i am rest assured that every song, every beat, every lyric i can conjur is circling through my head constantly. i am a walking playback of Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton - Knives Don't Have Your Back.

in what will be the third wildly popular project from the lady we were introduced to by Broken Social Scene, Metric's sole vocalist takes those quiet moments of vocal build that they would use to explode into sometimes-proggish pop delight (i'm thinking particularly of Glass Ceiling) - and she runs away with it. Emily's generally-considered solo effort is an album of tension, of constant build, of sexual and emotional frustration. her already seductive style oozes and drips, coats you with the stuff, and begs listen after listen. the instrumentation is so slyly deep, wandering in and out of piano and strings and drums that leave you positively fuzzy. the lyrics are some of the best that i've managed to pay attention to in a long time, probably since John Roderick on Putting The Days To Bed. they are sometimes dark, sometimes pensive, and sometimes humorously clever - but they are always lovely. i am astonished at my own reaction to this entire CD and even though i thought i loved the singles Our Hell and The Lottery as they trickled out and i posted on them, it has been with each repeated listen that i have come to appreciate their depth and musical quality on a level i'm not sure i ever expected.

::::and i prove it to you:
Emily Haines & tSS - Our Hell
- in case you don't already have it.
Emily Haines & tSS - Doctor Blind
Emily Haines & tSS - Detective's Daughter

the album comes out in a little over two weeks: September 26th. i so highly recommend buying it. in the meantime, you know the drill:
official site (+ another coming soon)
the myspace
Emily Haines on the Hype (get yo'self some tracks)
Thursday, September 07, 2006
  i'm sorry!
guys -

my computer isn't working.

it will be, first thing tomorrow morning.

i know you know these troubles.

okay? okay. so you will hear from me tomorrow and it will be amazing.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
  your silence most offends me.
by definition of this craft, i am obligated - personally contracted, i think - to be frank with you. i won't make any joe or george jokes for fear of alienation, and also because i'm female. but the truth is, sometimes it's hard. sometimes i sit down to the little laptop keyboard, breathe in deeply and try to forget that there is a specific audience i'm catering to; as in all good performances, the performer must keep her witnesses in mind as she goes. a flurry of fingers scaling over inanimate buttons plugging pixelated squiggles to represent the sounds in these words, alphabet's condemnation by Plato is nothing now with this impersonal technology and virtual bunk. his worry was wax tablets; my worry is cyberspace. i have so much to say and so little time to say it; your attention span just about ends in another paragraph or so, and then you'll jump back to other blogs, your online newspaper subscription, coffee nearly spilt on the precious inanimate buttons. with so little time, my truth often gets muddy from fear and greasy fingerprints and figurative obsessive compulsive disorder. everything must be perfect; the stage is set, you are primed for today's topic. will i tell you what i really mean to say?

this insecurity in speech, in communication rising up between angry journalists with formal training, the "ultimate proof of democracy," this is regular. i am one of millions. it's how it is in cities, in all Life - we'll capitalize it, make it a cereal - we are one body amongst millions. in reality, this online universe doesn't exist. all we have to show for it are billions of tiny dots to make up pictures. printers running out of ink, fading the writing as the barrel flicks back and forth like a cubic hummingbird: it cannot keep up. this is nothing. where is the truth? it's running around outside my window. my view into other buildings, lit up windows with bodies moving in and out of view, eating or smoking or naked or yelling. there is nothing more than this, nothing more than man-made constructions to hold us, bricks and mortar, gypsum and plaster and cement and awful white paint. it's not the refrigerator or the desk or the 5-foot screen TV or the Jaguar ("my wife always wanted one..") that's being protected by those walls. it's the human. it's the being running about, passing me without a word, one with a nervous system, a circulatory system, a digestive system. that Starbucks is going to go somewhere, and so is mine. if a piano were to drop on that body's head, it would hurt just as much as if it were my head. we have no Hercules walking among us, no one so different.

this truth is humbling. it's not my truth; it's yours. it's both of ours. i am here to write these words that will reach bodies that essentially work the same as mine. i am here to write my truth, my thoughts, my honest opinions and my genuine passion. these things i deliver to you, virtual red bows tied up around my thoughts. a present of nothing, of dots on your computer screen. you see that this is pressure. with each passing moment, i am risking a lost audience member, someone not quite catching my drift, someone unable to hear or understand the opportunity for mistakes. for erring. for throwing too much stock into this craft that - let's face it - i almost don't deserve. it isn't about the wax tablets, it's about the intangibility. it's about a nonexistent journalism degree. it's about my sitting down to music that i love, and want you to love too. and so i flurry along these buttons and hope you'll cast your gaze across the squiggles i produce. and i silently ask, do you love it? and there can ever only be silence back.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
  Goldenboy - Underneath The Radio

Goldenboy - Underneath The Radio
album review

if ever given a choice, i would have to say that i default to melancholy. it's a beautiful emotion, isn't it? it's not emo in the least - there are no crying black mascara boys wearing black wristbands and girl pants with too many belts (it might be your guilty pleasure guys, but eventually you have to face the, er, music). the representatives are pensive, usually well respected, and write both beautifully toned-down instrumentation with meaningful lyrics. you can bop your head along to whatever bubblegum pop masterpiece you can find and i'll be right there with you, but in the end, the stuff that really sticks to you is the music that doesn't go down as easily. if anything can relate to your emotion in the complexity of sadness or even just rumination, it's genius.

this is what i've discovered in listening to Goldenboy's Underneath The Radio. there is no getting around such comparisons as Neil Finn or Matt Sharp or, most often, Elliott Smith, seeing as the resumes for both musicians include instrumentation and vocals for such big names - but the tone of this music sometimes manages to bring in something a little newer. opening track "Ice Breaker Blues" instantly smacks of the track from Death In Vegas on the Lost In Translation Soundtrack - so much so that i immediately placed it and went to play it. the difference with Goldenboy (aka Shon Sullivan) is that his voice packs so much garnered understanding and a constant melancholic innocence. it is not, however, only Shon; in the mix is Bryan Bos on drums, methodically yet organically keeping beats that match the tone and the mood of the sad and lovely pop.

the music is beautiful, the lyrics are thoughtful, and it's sad, lonely, and pure. there is always sun behind clouds, isn't there?

::::give it a try:
Goldenboy - Motorbike
Goldenboy - Ice Breaker Blues

Goldenboy's myspace = extra listening.
until Goldenboy's new album is on store shelves, you can look forward to their upcoming tour this fall. i'll give you any news i receive on them. you can depend on me! (arm swing)
Monday, September 04, 2006
  Annuals Album Review

Annuals - Be He Me

taking a quick break from the move to tell you - to impress upon you further, in fact - about a band i can't stop listening to.

by now i feel like i've told you all about Annuals, but it's truly only begun. their debut album from Ace Fu is perfect for me. i mean, not euphorically perfect, but equationally perfect; indie rock meets noisy intensity meets emotional vocals. uh, hi. my name is shan, have we met?

to tell you the truth though, it's hardly the guilty pleasure listening that you might think. their instrumental, compositional, and productive prowess are positively outstanding and, by all means, shocking. a superb mix of raw, ear-bending and emotional vocal ripping presents both a persistently demanding howl and commandingly sonorous melody. knock-me-down emotion - and no, nowhere near emo. the combination is always very well arranged over a miss of instruments from strings to interesting and sometimes noisy guitar riffs. Annuals manages to produce walls of sound that i haven't liked as well since, i suppose, Band Of Horses (still undeniably one of my favorite albums).

i highly highly highly recommend "Be He Me." and you know i've been telling you to see them live. you can't miss them now.

::::again, check out this track, you'll be sold:
Annuals - Bleary Eyed

the album drops sometime this fall. keep yourself updated (i will too, don't worry) and buy it.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
  the most amazing thing i have ever discovered in my entire life. no, really.
woooo. hey kids. i'm coming back from the dead here (i promise, after this weekend, post irregularity eats its prunes and gets all straightened out) (...sorry for the imagery) to tell you about one of the single greatest websites i have ever encountered in my entire life, bar none. no, i'm serious.

hark! the gig is called Tour Filter. the angelic people behind the ordeal decided (like the rest of Boston bloggers) that it was about time someone stepped up to the plate and stopped the madness! that's right - you will never miss a show again. my gorgeous Boston people, just jog right up to that site there, add yo'self and yo' email, and voilà - you have the key to organizing your live performance schedule for the rest of eternity. i kid you not. check my work-in-progress here.

soon you will find on our sidebar a little box with a bunch of bands and dates next to it. this curious little contraption is also the genius of Tour Filter. so if you have a blog, and don't want to keep up with the sidebar madness, you have another solution! they do it for you! if you feel faint, put your head between your knees and breathe in and out.

but wait - there's more. they make searching for your favorite bands easy as pie - however easy pie is. type it in and press enter. mm, smells like strawberry rhubarb. another option (and i recommend this, considering it's hard to sit in front of a computer and type in all of your favorite bands. "let's see... well, i like the beatles... the smashing pumpkins, maybe...") is to check the calendar and browse through the artists other people have already searched for. then it's only as strenuous as clicking on the artist name, clicking the "track this" link, and, uh, you're done. no really, i'm totally serious. if multiple pies mean increasing simplicity, then we've got the rhubarb, the apple, definitely the cherry, some key lime maybe..

duck soup, i'm telling you. duck soup.

so go check it out! they also support lesser-than cities, such as chicago, new york, austin, LA, seattle, san francisco bay area (woot), new orleans... (p.s., i just mentioned five cities that i adore to the ground. i'm not that hardcore.)

i love you, tour filter.

and i love you, loyal readers. less than three.

NOTE: as much as toaster loves free music, he'd like to encourage you to buy the cds of the artists you enjoy. he'd also like to remind you that any music hosted by or linked to from this page is property of its respective owners, so if that's you and you'd like it to not be here, just let us know.

READ ME: if files are not working properly upon opening or saving [ex: unknown file type], make sure that there is a .mp3 at the end of the filename, and all will be well.

also: all files posted will only remain available for two to three weeks. if you find something in an old post that you'd really like to hear, tell us.

be our god damn myspace friend. damn it.