playlist 11.19.11 mystical bohemian folk

This week’s set was inspired by mystical folk…. think incense, unique percussion, shamans, accordions, and gratuitous mustaches. I would like to refer to it as gypsy inspired (which I know is not the most P.C. of terms), but that which follows a wanderlust-based aesthetic. I also gave away a pair of tickets to The Sea and The Cake at GAMH and had guest DJ Vagabond (aka Rudy) in the studio!

Y LA BAMBA fasting in san francisco-lupon [Portland-based Y La Bamba is performing for a mere seven bucks on Sunday 11/20 at Amnesia]

AU REVOIR SIMONE stay golden- verses of comfort, assurance, and salvation

JEFFERSON AIRPLANE volunteers [I just discovered that I live freakishly close to Jefferson Airplane’s legendary past SF digs… look at this insane mansion! Just imagine it during the late ’60s Haight-Ashbury heyday, ridiculous.]

DEVENDRA BANHART bad girl- smokey rolls down thunder canyon

bombay talkie- darjeeling limited soundtrack

ANDREW BIRD sovay- andrew bird and the mysterious production of eggs

ATLAS SOUND amplifiers- parallax

COCOROSIE lemonade- grey oceans

TUNEYARDS hatari- bird-brains [Merrill Garbus & Co. is playing at the Regency Ballroom on Wednesday 11/23… are you going?]

RODRIGO Y GABRIELA diablo rojo- s/t

JARED MEES AND THE GROWN CHILDREN hungry like a tiger- only good thoughts can stay

GOGOL BORDELLO wonderlust king- super taranta!

AKRON/FAMILY ed is a portal- love is simple [feral, dance around a fire kinda-track]

SIGUR ROS gobbledigook

Y LA BAMBA juniper- lupon

COCOROSIE brazilian sun- noah’s ark [featuring devendra banhart! from 3:22 on is some of the most chillingly beautiful music I’ve ever experienced]

ALESSIS ARK maybe i know- time travel

DEVOTCHKA the clockwise witness- a mad and faithful telling

THE SEA AND THE CAKE covers- the moonlight butterfly


BEIRUT scenic world- lon gisland ep

THE ROOTS [SAMPLING JOANNA NEWSOM] right on- how i got over

MONSTERS OF FOLK map of the world- mof

BEIRUT vagabond- the rip tide

FEATHERS  old black hat with a dandelion flower- feathers

NOBUNNY chuck berry holiday- love visions [request from the darling ms. gonzo tuning in from texas… excellent recommendation bud!]

Back in 2 weeks! Thanks for listenin’ amigos.


Architecture In Helsinki got their electro-groove on at The Fillmore

Aussie quintet Architecture in Helsinki performed a neon-bright, eclectic set on Thursday November 3rd at the legendary Fillmore in San Francisco. Touring in support of their fourth full-length release, Moment Bends, the playful indie rockers performed music from their latest ’80′s-inflected, electro-pop record as well as throwback tunes which reflected their twee roots.  AIH has streamlined from a troupe of eight members down to five, and their performance showcased a sharper pop sensibility than previous outings (I last caught the band at the diminuitive Wonder Ballroom in Portland in ’07, a tiny venue that could barely contain AIH’s messy onstage cacophony).

Cameron Bird rockin' the '80s pompadour

AIH’s members were enthusiastic to return to San Francisco, with lead singer Cameron Bird exclaiming, “We’re so f–king happy to be here!” before launching into cowbell-centric jam “Hold Music.” The group “squatted in an abandoned house in the Mission” in 2004 and played two tracks they wrote during their stay in the Bay (“It’s 5!”, “Rendezvous:Portrero Hill”) which were released on 2005′s In Case We Die. Bird switched off vocal duties with Kellie Sutherland, who provided her sweetly whimsical whisper on songs like “Wishbone”.

The performance gave off an ’80′s synth-pop, Lite-Brite vibe on upbeat songs like recent single “Escapee” and classic jam “Do The Whirlwind.” The concert dragged in a few slow moments, but AIH finished strong with a fizzy, sweat-drenched encore featuring “Contact High” and tribal-inflected hit “Heart It Races.”  Dr. Dog does a mean cover of “Heart It Races” that rivals the original, give it a listen if you haven’t already!

Below is the just-released video for their latest single, “W.O.W.”, featuring lead singer Cameron Bird beating depression by cavorting joyfully with a new dolphin friend. Fun fact: the anamatronic dolphin in the video is the same one featured in Flipper!

Click here to see more photos from the show (including one that I snapped with lead singer Bird)!

’90’s Nostalgia Overload

Has our search-engine mentality taken our craving for nostalgia to a ridiculous, unprecedented level? (And why are we so obsessed with the ’90’s?)

Attention! Clarissa has an important message for you.

Romanticizing the past and idealizing one’s youth is no new phenomenon. But it seems that our capacity for pop-culture nostalgia of the not-so-distant past has risen to an absurd level, bolstered by the lightening-quick ease of our internet search culture. It’s now easier than ever to find an obscure clip from Salute Your Shorts or Hey Dude at any time due to the constant presence of iPhones tucked in our back pockets.

The 1990’s are the new target of our national love affair with nostalgia. Fashion, music, and television in 2011 have been remarkably influenced and inspired by the last decade of the twentieth century.

Remember this guy?

Nickelodeon has seen a ratings smash with the revival of beloved ’90’s programming (Kenan & Kel, Clarissa Explains It All, Pete & Pete, All That) on Teen Nick.  According to NY Mag, The ’90’s Are All That attracted ratings roughly 850 percent higher than the channel’s previous time-period average in the midnight-to-2 a.m. block. Nickelodeon is targeting the 18-34 demographic with their late-night nostalgia block, the Gen-Y young adults who grew up with old-school Nick and think fondly of Marc Summers and green slime.

The fuzzy indie rock of the ’90’s has seen a revival in music recently through “the Slumberland-streaked indie pop of the Pains of Being Pure at Heart or Best Coast, the artful squall of No Age, the achingly nostalgic paeans of Deerhunter, the ambling guitar epics of Real Estate, and the slacker punk-pop of Wavves.” (Pitchfork)  London foursome Yuck draws influence from the screechy guitars and heavy feedback of early ’90’s rockers like Dinosaur Jr. and Superchunk. Check out the video for “Get Away,” a standout track from their self-titled debut. Pretty impressive for a band with an average age of 20.

Even the fashion world has been infected by the ’90’s bug, with Fall 2011 threads that hearkened back to the days of Nevermind and the Clinton Administration.  Proenza Schouler and Rag & Bone showed modern takes on grunge, while Vena Cava showed glam Azzedine Alaia-style looks. Vena Cava even produced a lo-fi ‘zine titled Zina Cava to accompany their Fall 2011 show.

Is our ’90’s obsession related to a craving for a more stable time, politically and economically? As Generation-Y’ers, are we inadvertently trying to grasp for the warm comfort of our childhood, rather than the stark economic and social truths we find ourselves enmeshed in?

On Grantland, Chuck Klosterman analyzed the disparaging aspects of nostalgia in the way that it is “an uncritical form of artistic appreciation.”

“If you unconditionally love something from your own past, it might just mean you love that period of your own life. In other words, you’re not really hearing “Baby Got Back.” What you’re hearing is a song that reminds you of a time when you were happy, and you’ve unconsciously conflated that positive memory with any music connected to the recollection.”

Are we yearning for a time when the United States seemed like an insurmountable superpower, when a college degree would consistently lead to gainful employment,  when the phrase “National Terror Alert” hadn’t entered our cultural lexicon? Or are we simply affixing the shiny gauze of nostalgia onto the ’90’s, fantasizing about a decade that wasn’t really THAT great?

It seems incredibly appropriate that we returned to the decade that represented the height of post-modern thinking, through the recycling of aesthetic concepts and cultural movements.”There is no present or future, only the past happening over and over again, now.” – Eugene O’Neill