Monthly Archives: April 2008

White Williams to play free Boston gig.

Photo by FensePost

Good news from the inbox:

“White Williams is playing a free show at Urban Outfitters (11 JF Kennedy St.) in Boston on Wednesday, May 21st at 8 PM to benefit WERS as part of the Toyota/Urban Outfitters Free Yr Radio campaign. Although each show is free, concert-goers must present an invite upon entry which can be printed at prior to each concert.”

I’m not so surprised that White Williams would be playing the Urban Outfitters gig – Free Yr Radio tends to snag either Blog Buzzed Bands (which White Williams has been over the past few months) or cult favorites, a la Dinosaur Jr. last year. Still, even faux-vintage clothing haters have to admit it’s a pretty sweet deal to catch a free outdoor well, nearly outdoor show (it’s at least not your usual dark, steamy concert venue), especially once Boston decides to throw us a bone with non-crappy weather after months of cold and slush. And who better to drag us all out of our grumpy winter stupor than White Williams, aka Joe Williams, the Cleveland-based dance pop purveyor, whose “New Violence” single (which has a backbeat that sounds vaguely like “I Wanna Be Sedated”) has been firmly lodged in my brain since, oh, November or so? The Stranger recently described him as “a Cure & The Bunnymen kind of dance-rock,” and I like that, but don’t slot him with the Killers, the Bravery etc. Williams eschews all that drama – he just wants to dance!

MySpace: White Williams
Live: White Williams on PRI’s Fair Game
Free tix to the show: Free Yr Radio

Claudia Kishi, the hipster idol.

The dream originally materialized because Hutt, like many other women now in their 20s, idolized the fictional members of the The Baby-Sitters Club (BSC), a series of books about a clan of middle-school-age Connecticut girls with a passion for child care. The series was created and written by Ann M. Martin (and later, a team of ghostwriters), and sold more than 175 million copies between 1986 and 2000. A year ago, Hutt stumbled across a few tattered BSC books in a thrift store and, inspired anew, started a hilarious — if somewhat mocking — blog homage to BSC fashion. “What Claudia Wore” is named after Claudia Kishi, who, as any fan of the series well knows, is indisputably the most fashionable BSC character.

The BSC members were oddly frozen in time, remaining in eighth grade for more than 10 years, so it’s strange to imagine what they’d be like now, but Hutt has an idea: “You know Claudia grew up to be the woman who, after spending the night with a man, sneaks out of bed and spends an hour making herself all glowing . . . and then sneaks back into bed all, ‘What? I always look like this in the morning!’ ”

Read on here.

Blog: What Claudia Wore.

Garfield minus Garfield.

And speaking of not detoxing, here’s more shizzle from the Interwebs. Garfield Minus Garfield is exactly how it sounds: the lonely, depressing tale of John Arbuckle or, as the GMG mastermind puts it: “Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life?” A sampling:

More here.

Mental Detox week

Via the Phlog:

Happy Mental Detox week! Yeah, so Mental Detox week began on Monday and I have yet to actually turn anything off – or at least the things that AdBusters, who launched the original TV Turn-Off week (now renamed Mental Detox Week) back in 1994, want me to. AdBusters has changed the guidelines to be both more forgiving and more inclusive. Sign of the times: I actually (unintentionally) haven’t turned on my TV at all this week, which means if it was still plain-old TV Turn-Off Week, I’d be all “Hey, no problem! I can go without TV easily,” but the Internet?! Here’s the thing, a job that requires staring at Snap Judgments and bus stop street art on the Internets all day + IFFB + newly downloaded episodes of My So-Called Life, which I can’t believe I’m still obsessing over, via Miro + Does seeing live music count? Because I’ve already done that twice this week = Too Many Complications for Mental Detoxification. FAIL.

Here’s what AdBusters wants me to do:

“Today you’re not going to listen to your iPod. You aren’t going to stare at a computer screen any more than you absolutely have to. Today you won’t worry about unanswered email, and you’re not going to login to Facebook. You’ll cut the time you spend on digital devices right down to the bone.

In the evening maybe you will watch your favorite TV show for an hour, but after that you switch off, have a conversation, wash the dishes, read for a bit, and just relax. You do that for five days, and then on Friday night you make a decision to unplug completely for the whole weekend.

For a couple of days you might feel like an addict in withdrawal: peevish, agitated, and distracted. But then something will happen. Your over-stimulated brain will cleanse itself. You’ll relax. You’ll feel calmer, more grounded.”

The fact that all of this is posted on a website (and now I’m reposting it on a blog) is sort of cloaked in irony – how are we supposed to spread the word about Mental Detox Week and actually detox at the same time? Smoke signals? Snail-mail chain letters? Don’t get me wrong, Mental Detox week would be great if I could take the week off and go camping at Yosemite, gather a group of friends and a cooler of cold beverages (but no road-tripping tunes, of course!!), but I can’t. I guess this is just my way of saying “Hi, My name is Caitlin, and I’m addicted to glorious, musical, visually-stimulating technology, AKA mental toxins.”

Songs like stories.

In January, Scituate native Casey Dienel blogged: “For the present and foreseeable future, there won’t be any more Casey Dienel.” It wasn’t an Internet suicide note but news of a musical departure of sorts. Critics adored the homegrown folk quirk of her 2006 solo debut Wind-Up Canary (Hush), which was recorded on a farm in Leominster. Yet as she noted in a recent NPR interview, Dienel’s a collaborator. So she formed a quartet, reinvented herself as White Hinterland, and schlepped to Portland (no cows or silos in sight) to record her first post-Dienel album, Phylactery Factory.”

Read the rest here.

MySpace: White Hinterland

Radiohead + the Grizzlys

Posted yesterday, via OTD:

Last week OTD scooped the news about Radiohead’s August 13 concert date at Tweeter Center (tickets go on sale this Saturday at 10 a.m.) and set the music blogs abuzz. Today word from ye olde Inbox, via our friends at LiveNation, is that opening duties will be divvied amongst Grizzly Bear, whom Radiohead covered at their recent top-secret London gig, and Liars, who Thom Yorke raved about when he guess DJ’ed NPR’s All Songs Considered in February. So who’ll be gracing Mansfield with their Yorke-approved presence this summer? Grizzly Bear, those Brooklynite kings of fuzzy, buzzing, eerily quiet, then extremely loud indie rock. Their Friend EP was firmly lodged at the top of my “Most Played” list for a solid chunk of 2007, along with In Rainbows, to the point where I thought my iTunes might protest and throw whatever’s at the top of their “Most Purchased” list at me instead. Which means that I’ve now progressed from excited about the show, to high on summer concert plans, Fitter Happier, Everything In It’s Right Place, shaking in my desk chair excited. It’s notable that launched today and, in a perhaps serendipitous, or perhaps expertly calculated move, posted some excellent live footage of Radiohead performing Disc Two’s “Bangers & Mash” in Nigel Godrich’s basement (that’s infinity times cooler than our basement, which mainly just has spiders and an old ping pong table). Of course that shit’s already on You Tube, so here you go:

And, to get you all in the Radiohead/Grizzly Bear combo mood, here’s the video for Grizzly Bear’s “Knife,” made by the San Francisco-based duo Encyclopedia Pictura, who also just released Bjork’s astoundingly trippy/picturesque video for “Wanderlust”:

And here’s that Bjork vid: