Wednesday, October 29, 2008

CMJ 2008

I have a somewhat lifelong love affair with the art of college radio. It started in high school, led me to DJ at KXLU and then sat in the back of my mind for a while until I ended up in grad school and the music director of a college radio station - USC's student run KSCR. And so, 10 years after having a crush on a boy who attended the conference/music marathon and dating him for the three years following his return, I enjoyed the music-related networking extravaganza that is CMJ the week before last in new York City. I hadn't been there in a while and it was awesome to see so many people I haven't seen in a long time. Plus I got to sit around and listen to music for hours on end and ask George Clinton, members of the Funkadelic, a producer from Public Enemy and a producer from the Wu-Tang Clan about Afrofuturism.

George ended the conversation by saying, "One nation under groove" and I handed them the stickers Steven Serrato designed for the cover of Ghetto Sci-Fi by Ras G and the Afrikan Space Program.

I'm basically going to present my itinerary with links.

Saturday 10/18 I landed and was picked up by my friend Bruce and went for a big Greek dinner in Astoria with his family and friends.

Sunday he drove me out to Irvington in Westchester County where I visited with my Aunt, Uncle and cousin. My sister's father-in-law picked me up and drove me back to Wanaque, NJ where I had a big Italian dinner at their place with their other son and his family. So great to finally see the town where my brother-in-law grew up!

On Monday he drove me to the hostel in the City where I met up with the other representatives of KSCR. We followed Barry's recommendation and had pizza at John's of Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village ("My mom used to life above a shoe store around here with some guys in the late 60s"). We headed to Arlene's Grocery for Punk Rock Heavy Metal Karaoke ("I think I read a journal article based on an ethnography of that venue"). Check out Jeff's post on the KSCR blog Bandwith.

Tuesday I did some work for school at a Starbucks on Broadway on the Upper West Side and then picked up my CMJ badge near Washington Square and went with Team KSCR to the college radio mixer at The Delancey co-hosted by New Zealand in some way, with meat pies and some free kind of vodka at the bar.

The rest of the gang went to see bands they were interested in and I checked out the Spectre party at the Bowery Electric and quickly left - stumbling across Carlos NiƱo on my way out - for the Allido Records showcase at S.O.B.'s with Wale, Daniel Merriweather, The Rumble Strips and Mark Ronson DJing. I mostly sat on an amp in the corner and listened enough to keep me awake (thanks AAM Robb for helping me in the door). Somewhere along the way I had visions of a travel neti-pot and purchased one at the Whole Foods on the L.E.S. between events.

Wednesday I got up in time to see a panel called "The Stinging Reach of the RIAA" to meet up with a colleague teaching at NYU. We got sandwiches at a nearby Deli and he showed me his office and gave me the perspective of someone 4 years ahead of me in school. I headed straight to Cake Shop from there for the Terrorbird showcase. Highlights were: Mona's DJ set upstairs; Shugo Tokumaru downstairs, with their accordion, glockenspiel and distorted Japanese and English vocals; and Tobacco's electro ways. I met some folks for dinner and headed for the Stones Throw party at The Gallery Bar. I caught a bit of Edan the DJ and met some cool folks and ran into Dru but had made plans to see Ashes of Time Redux with the friend of a friend.

Thursday I made it to NYU for College Day just in time for the Music Director's summit and a free lunch before heading to the Brooklyn Vegan event at Pianos. SK's vegi-burger and fries looked really good but I'd just had the free lunch. Highlights were: Friendly Fires with their 80s Korg, MPC and rocking drummers wearing ties; San Diego's The Muslims; and Merge's Wye Oak doing an upstairs set. I left around 5:30, allowing for time to get lost on my way to Lolita Bar for the girlgroup anniversary party. It was rad but I felt shy and headed to meet up with SK at Webster Hall for the Who Made Who / Fujiya & Miyagi / Crystal Castles show. We had trouble finding each other so I stopped by the Barsuk:Merge:ReadyMade magazine:Sub Pop:Suicide Squeeze:Touch & Go party at the HiFi Lounge as it was getting started and decided to check out the Global Hip-Hop Throwdown at Drom down the street. I caught the end of South Korea's DJ Soulscape's set and the beginning of a set by France's Too Many Fish. I stopped by the Hi-Fi again but it was full of free-drinking badge-holders of varying sorts. Deciding to call it a night, I hailed a taxi and recognized the Mali cab driver's accent and he turned the volume up on some West African music on the stereo as he drove me up town.

Friday I caught up on sleep and got to NYU in time for much of the One Nation, One Groove Panel on the Changing Role of the Producer before hitting up the Choueette showcase at Cake Shop. Running into Ami Spishock on the street was one of the highlights of the trip. Juliana Barwick was the upstairs highlight and while I waited to see The Castanets downstairs, I chatted with the current KXLU music director, which was rad. I got a text about happy hour at Pianos a few doors down before the Sub Pop / Hardly Art showcase and was excited to have my chance at the bar food that had been on my mind the past 24 hours. I caught Hardly Art's Pretty & Nice upstairs but didn't realize the downstairs had filled up so tried to catch the Social Registry event at Santo's Party House but the line looked long so we were early attendees of the Beggars/Matador afterparty at Stanton Public with DJs from bands such as Times New Viking, where I ran into Ian MacKinnon, which was rad.

Saturday I met up with a friend from high school. It was the first time we'd seen each other since graduation. She suggested Sarabeth's for brunch, which was yummy. We headed to The Music Hall of Williamsburg for the AAM extraveganza, caught the end of The Ruby Suns, some of A Place to Bury Strangers, and the incredible live show of Monotonix (who my friend described as Borat meets The Wedding Singer). In between bands I purchased a hat. My friend wanted to take advantage of Williamsburg and, as a fan of Diner Journal, suggested an excursion through rain and wind to Marlow and Sons where we started with soup, continued by splitting the potato tortilla and ended up sharing a salad, too. Since she isn't often across the bridge from Manhattan, we decided to check out another spot on her Williamsburg to-do list and visited Pete's Candy Store. We caught a beautiful set by Matt Bauer on banjo, accompanied by friends on an upright bass, guitar and glockenspiel. After a couple acts that didn't match our post-Matt Bauer expectations, my friend decided to head home and I headed to The Blender Theater at Gramercy to meet up with the KSCR crew at the Fanatic showcase. The Octopus Project was rad. The boys had matching outfits and as Aisah noted, the girl manning the electronic elements had a dress that matched her hair. She was also very impressive with a Theramin, something you don't see everyday. Yo Majesty were rad. Shunda K's brilliant delivery of fast paced rhymes and Jwl B's harmonizing, singing and dancing were inspiring and a great last act for my week. I decided to take the train down the street and catch Lee Perry's set only to find he'd canceled and I'd extended my evening a couple hours waiting around for the subways that would bring me back to the hostel.

On Sunday 10/26 I packed and dashed to The Whitney for a 15 minute run through the Calder exhibit and thought of my mother, my writing class last Fall, and the words I'd found through it, about the sources of inspiration connecting my childhood, the people I'd seen on this trip and the work I still wish to pursue. I bought a Calder Tshirt for my brother and a chocolat chaud for myself with Macaroon gift boxes from the La Maison de Chocolate I passed on Madison Avenue. I gave one box to Bruce for his family when he and his son picked me up. They got me safely to the airport with plenty of time, even with a stop at Bruce's high school to demonstrate a story he was telling on the way.

Hopefully I'll go back to New York in March '09. I can't wait.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Set List: Tuesdays with Maura 10/14/08

There were so many great adds this week. See below for links about the artists.

Top Event Picks for the week:

Hearts of Palm UK Record Release Party at the El Cid on Sunset Blvd. 10/15/08

Low End Theory 2 Year Anniversary Party with Free Moral Agents, also 10/15/08

Ernesto LaClau at the Redcat Theatre 10/16/08

Set List for 10/14

Hearts of Palm UK - Trust - For Life - Hypnote
Ghostland Observatory - Stranger Lover - Paparazzi Lightning - Trashy Moped Recordings
Mercury Rev - Senses on Fire - Snowflake Midnight - Yep Roc
Gang Gang Dance - House Jam - Saint Dymphna - Social Registry
Her Space Holiday - Sleepy Tigers - Sleepy Tigers EP - Mush
of Montreal - An Eluardian Instance - Skeletal Lamping - Polyvinyl
Ra Ra Riot - Can You Tell - The Rhumb Line - Barsuk Records
Stereolab - Jenny Ondioline - Jenny Ondioline Single - Duophonic
The Little Ones - Waltz - Morning Tide - Chop Shop
Vivian Girls - Where Do You Run To - Vivian Girls - In the Red
Heavenly - And the Birds Aren't Singing - Le Jardin de Heavenly - K
Tiger Trap - Words and Smiles - Tiger Trap - K
Comet Gain - Stay With Me Til Morning - Casino Classics - X-mas Records
Marnie Stern - Roads? Where We're Going We Don't Need Roads - This Is It And I Am It And You Are It And So Is That And He Is It And She Is It And It Is It And That Is That - Kill Rock Stars
High Places - The Tree With The Lights in It - High Places - Thrill Jockey
Herman Dune - Next Year In Zion - Next Year In Zion - Everloving
Pretty & Nice - Wandering Eye - Get Young - Hardly Art
I'm From Barcelona - Mingus - Who Killed Harry Houdini? - Mute
Gregory & The Hawk - Doubtful - Moenie and Kitchi - Fat-Cat USA
Little Joy - Evaporar - Little Joy - Rough Trade
The Sea and Cake - Weekend - Car Alarm - Thrill Jockey
Lettuce - Blast Off - Rage - Velour
Parts & Labor - Satellites - Receivers - Jagjauwar

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Last Week's 9/30 Set List

I wasn't able to make my show this week, but it seems like a good time to post my set list from last week. There were some exciting new releases and some recent ones I hadn't played yet. My favorite new things I would have played today are Department of Eagles, El Guincho, Echo Park locals Rainbow Arabia, Larytta, The Japanese Motors and a new Antony and the Johnsons EP. Those of us from KSCR heading to NYC for the CMJ conference later in the month are getting excited. I am also excited to host Herman Dune in studio during KSCR's weekly Live Show this Friday 10/10 at 2pm PST, so please tune in at

My event picks for the upcoming week are:

Low End Theory's 10/8 Scottish Invasion with Hudson Mohawke, Mike Slott, Rustie, and Dom Sum Wednesday at The Airliner in Lincoln Heights

The Best Music Writing Live Reading at Skylight Books in Los Feliz on 10/10 at 7:30

9/30 Set List

Land of Talk - Got a Call - Some Are Lakes - Saddle Creek
Deerhoof - The Tears and Music and Love - Offend Maggie - Kill Rock Stars
The Ettes - I Heard Tell - Look at Life Again Soon - Take Root Records
Lady Dottie and the Diamonds - I Ain't Mad at Ya - Lady Dottie and the Diamonds - Hi-Speed Soul
Yo Majesty - Get Down on the Floor - Futuristically Speaking... Never Be Afraid - Domino Records
Women - Sag Harbor Bridge - Women - Jagjaguwar
Pivot - O Soundtrack My Heart - O Soundtrack My Heart - Warp
Blank Blue - Blank Blue (Flying Lotus Remix) - Dive EP - Ubiquity
Madlib - Ratrace w Murs - WLIB AM: King Of The Wingflip - BBE
The Bug - Angry - London Zoo - Ninja Tune
Koushik - Buttaflybeat - Out My Window - Stones Throw
Roots Manuva - Kick Up Ya Foot - Slime & Reason - Big Dada
Restiform Bodies - Ameriscan - TV Loves You Back - Anticon Records
Dub Gabriel - Cheree (feat. Michael Stripe) - Anarchy and Alchemy - Massive Music
Herman Dune - An Afternoon Dance Party - Next Year In Zion - Everloving
Lambchop - A Hold of You - OH (Ohio) - Merge
Cold War Kids - Against Privacy - Loyalty to Loyalty - Downtown Records
Killer Mike - Can You Hear Me - I Pledge Allegiance To The Grind Pt. 2 - SMC
Gaby Hernandez - The Tropics - When Love - Armed Orphan
Mayra Andrade - Dimokransa - Navega - Sterns
David Mccallum - The Edge - Droppin' Science: Greatest Samples From the Blue Note Lab - Blue Note
Jay Reatard - See / Saw - Matador Singles '08 - Matador Records
Crystal Antlers - Until the Sun Dies (Part 2) - EP - Touch & Go
The Spinto Band - Later On - Moonwink - Park The Van Records