Meet the Next James Murphy/Beck/It Boy

Tom Vek, We Got SoundRichard Panic has been acting as my niche music guru and been exposing me to music I didn’t even know I love. One such instance is this British dude named Tom Vek who’s album We Have Sound comes out April 5th–next Monday–on Tummy Touch/Go Beat.

Don’t be surprised if in the not-so-distant future you start hearing the 23-year-old Londoner’s song “I Ain’t Saying My Goodbyes” burning up a dancefloor near you. (Music (for Robots) has the mp3 up on their site.)

One listen, and you’ll know why we’ve dubbed him the “One Man Bloc Party.” How do I know he’s soon to be a hot commoditiy? He’s set to play the hipper-than-hip “Trash” club night at The End in London on the night his record drops. Can you just sense the NME hovering ’round this one? You can check out his entire album on their site.

Check out a live session on the BBC’s Collective Web site.

Give Me a Break

Some have already made comments about the fact that I’ve reverted to writing in the first person–something I haven’t done on this site for…years, actually. The question was posed, “Have we come back down to earth?” to me by a snarky reader. The answer to that question is, I suppose I have. Basically I was totally tired of pot shots made at the whole use of “we”. And perhaps now everyone can stop concentrating on my inexplicable use of the third first person plural and start focusing on what really matters–my bad grammar and poor spelling.

I’m going to continue this entry with a bunch of ideas/links that have nothing to do with one another.

Former Miss New York Doll sent me this link today from Fashion Week Daily, which reminded me that I forgot to write about those little girls at the Kaiser Chief’s SPIN performance so let me just mention it now. When I got to the party, I noticed these really young looking girls in the crowd. Granted, I see a lot of young looking girls at shows all the time, but they’re probably in college or something. These girls looked positively like they were 13…and as it turns out, they really are 13. The one with the bob haircut looks like Dakota Fanning’s slightly older sister who probably listens to The Clash and will end up in Teen Vogue one day. I love little girls…because I used (?) to be one.

Unbeknownst to me, this has already been spread around, but the caustic New York Press takes time out of their busy Pope-bashing schedule–now that Jeff Koyen has officially “left the building”–to make sure they terrorize those closer to their home (and their hearts) by flinging a list of the “50 Most Loathsome New Yorkers” out into the world.

It’s really hard to imagine a group of grown individuals who have enough time in the day to actually sit down and compile a list of 50 people they supposedly can’t stand. Shouldn’t they be doing something more productive with their time? Like pushing children off of swings or making fun of people with mental illness? I dunno, but there sure seem to be a lot of bitter folks working at the NYP. I feel like some of the folks who work there must be in desperate need of a hug–or a blog.

A lot of people also seem to be down about The Walkmen show at Irving Plaza, saying they “looked bored” and the sound was bad. That kind of made me laugh. Have you ever seen the Walkmen before? I think they always look kinda bored and/or pained in some way and their music always sounds like a jumbled mess. I really didn’t have a problem with the sound, but I was all the way in the back, so I don’t know what’s up with that.

I gotta say, the only time I’ve ever been bowled over by The Walkmen was back in 2001, when I was first discovering the band. The first time I’d ever heard of them was in Shout! magazine–the issue with The Strokes on the cover. I was intrigued by what I read and I rushed down to St. Mark’s place to find their self-titled EP. I ended up playing that damn thing over and over all summer long, as I stayed in a Columbia dorm.

Interpol at Brownies, 2001The first time I saw them play was October 12, 2001 at Brownies (now the bar known as Hi-Fi) during CMJ. I wasn’t old enough to get into the venue, but the bouncer let me in anyway. I got there early because this girl in my journalism class had been telling me about the opening band for weeks and weeks because her roommate was in the group. I was kinda excited to see them, but then they started playing. They were a mopey, unpolished quartet whose music made me want to hit my head against the wall. They were called Interpol. Even though I didn’t like them very much, I grabbed their set list for no apparent reason.

Needless to say I was really psyched when the Walkmen came on, playing their amazing blend of…I don’t know what you call it–melodic jangling rock. It was so wonderful to be exposed to a band who didn’t sound like anyone else.

The Walkmen at Barnard College, 2001I mangaged to head out to see them play Barnard a month later, and I still loved them. At the time I felt that I was part of a handful of people who knew of this special band. It was a very exciting time.

I like to remember times like these when I see bands like The Walkmen…especially because to me, bands like them are hard to tolerate in the large shows they play now. Sometimes the environment is so distracting–there are too many people around you, you just bought an overpriced beer, some really tall dude is standing in front of you and you can’t see–that it’s hard to focus on not being a snot about the whole thing.

Granted, The Walkmen show was far from being the best show I’ve ever seen by them. But all I gots to say is that the tickets were only five bucks, and the money is going toward a good cause, and The Walkmen really are a special band with some excellent songs–so just save your whining…Preferably for the next Interpol show.

Oh My God I Can’t Believe It!

Kaiser Chiefs at SPIN offices

Kaiser Chiefs at SPIN offices

Kaiser Chiefs at SPIN offices

Look! It’s the Kaiser Chiefs cornered in a nook at the offices of SPIN.

Tonight, for a special SPINhouse session, the boys from Leeds did a rousing, stripped down set for a packed and liquored-up crowd, doing about 5 (? or was it 6?) songs before heading off to do their headlining concert at Maxwell’s in New Jersey. Tunes included “Oh My God”, “Everyday I Love You Less and Less”, “Na Na Na Na Naa”, and “I Predict a Riot”.

Although I saw them at the Tribeca Grand a couple months ago and was not really bowled over by their performance (despite they had great energy), this time I was much more taken with them. Probably because the songs were slower and I could actually hear the music. “Everyday I Love You Less and Less” actually sounds better a bit slower and with less “rock” to the sound. It actually sounds…pretty instead of an anthem for hyperactive adolescents.

All in all, totally positive musical experience. Although I still probably like the Futureheads much more, the Kaiser Chiefs aren’t half bad–and their mid-song banter, absolutely hilarious!

Ricky Wilson hoists mike stand in the airDuring a dull moment, when technical difficulties were taking hold on the sound system, singer Ricky Wilson panned the crowd to find someone to tell a joke. When the girl in front of him had no funny ha-has to tell of, he hoisted his mike stand up in the air so a girl on the mezzanine could tell her laugher, which started off as, “The Pope is in a car…”

But before she could finish her sentence, Ricky paused and told the crowd on the main floor what the girl looked like who was telling the joke (brown hair, tall, big top on, wearing a bit of lipstick…) in order to “set the stage.” However the tech bug was fixed before the girl could even finish the joke, although Ricky said, “Pope in a car…heard that one” and insisted that people shouldn’t be telling jokes about the Pope since he’s “quite ill” and to make fun of Michael Jackson instead.

Listen Up!

Catch the Radio 1 program “One Click Magazine” this Monday night at 10pm EST (3am GMT on Tuesday) to listen to our pal Imran do his first (and only???) full Radio 1 broadcast–he’s filling in for Miquita Oliver. This occurance is a clear indication of how the quality of British radio is rapidly declining.

Oh, and check out the mockup of the “issue of NME you always wanted to read” found on the Sleeping with the NME LJ. Headlines include: “ShockWaves NME Awards: Pointless bollocks or just bollocks? YOU decide.” and “See what happened when I thought Pete Doherty was spelled Pete Dochery!”

Gruesome Twosomes and Dave LaChapelle

These links just in from the e-mail bandit known simply as “Beat Royalty”:

Dita von Teese for Vivienne WestwoodMarilyn Manson and his buxom lady love, Dita von Teese, are the official faces of Vivienne Westwood’s spring/summer 2005 collection.

R.Crumb loves Stella McCartney.

David LaChapelle hits the Tribeca Film Festival with a 84-minute film, Rize.

We found these on our own: From the Flaming Lips to Bright Eyes, insta-tributes are the trend. Says TV on the Radio’s vocalist Tunde Adebimpe, “It’s pretty much just saying: ‘You know that song you wrote? I love it. I was singing it all day yesterday, but like this. Please don’t sue me.'”

White Stripes to release new album on June 14th? Also, Jack waits for “technology to advance” in the US before attempting to again play live in America.

Best birthday party ever! One totally awesome 9-year-old kid decided to buck the traditional bowling and ice cream cake trend and have his old day festivities at the Amoeba Records shop in LA! Check out the kid doing a gansta pose with Nelly’s Sweat album in vinyl! Link from Sea of Angels.

Also found from a link on SoA, this suspect movie, Lords of Dogtown. Says the official site: “Starring Emile Hirsch as Jay Adams, Victor Rasuk as Tony Alva, Heath Ledger as Skip Engblom and John Robinson as Stacy Peralta.” This story is based on the legend of the Dogtown skaters, in which all of the “fame would take its toll on the friendships that they thought would last a lifetime as the sport that started out as an afternoon hobby turned into big business.”

(Un)surprisingly enough, the man behind this madness is Stacy Peralta himself, who has made a second-stage-of-life career of using a skewed version of his life story to make some money. Catherine “Thirteen” Hardwicke has the dubious honor of being the director of this potential trainwreck. Who knows, maybe it’ll be good…but as of now we’ve got a headache.

Ryan Adams: Still Crazy

What the hell is that? At least the worms are gone.

In other news, Cold Roses–one of the 3 million albums Adams will release this year–is set to come out on May 3, pushed back from the original April 19th drop date. It’s a double album. This summer he’ll release September and in the fall he’ll release “29.”

In totally un-Ryan Adams-related news, here’s the Metro Times’ review of SXSW. Plenty of negative things to say about various British Press darlings like Bloc Party and Louix XIV and the ubiquitous picture of James Iha DJing.