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Archive for October, 2010

Welcome back to The Chatterbox, Playtonics! Each week, all of the contributors to Playtonic will answer a question posed by our glorious readers. The question, while generally concerned with the same topics as the rest of the blog (music, philosophy and the like), is entirely up to you. How’s that for power? And then hopefully the answers will carry on in the comments. Power to the people!

This week’s question for The Chatterbox comes from reader Twin, of Washington, DC:

What’s your “guilty pleasure song” that you don’t feel guilty about at all?

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According to a BBC Northern Ireland article:

“A woman charged with wounding her partner with a knife has had her bail conditions relaxed so she can go to a Lady Ga Ga concert in Belfast [on Saturday].

Hayley Mitchell, 32, of Sullenboy Park, Cookstown, is alleged to have attacked the man twice earlier this month…

The victim suffered a four inch cut on his upper lip, a cut to the head which required two staples and a number of other injuries to his face.”

…is that safe?

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(Editor’s Note: This piece appears on The Bowery Presents The House List. Check it out here)

Against a starry backdrop, Four Tet, the stage name of Kieran Hebden, quietly blended into the celestial scenery. But for a neon yellow T-shirt, he allowed the music, rather than his presence or performance, to occupy the foreground. That the bulk of the songs came from his most recent LP, There Is Love in You, seemed wholly appropriate given the audience’s excitement and familiarity with the album. When the glitchy, haunting female sample from Love in You’s lead track, “Angel Echoes,” emerged from the soundscape, appreciative cheers followed. And an extended buildup and breakdown of “Sing” gripped the crowd, moving bodies while enlivening minds.

Hebden’s talent for creating introspective yet dance-oriented electronic music, stimulating rhythmically and challenging aurally, turns out to be his greatest strength. While many electronic musicians are capable of creating interesting sounds, he blends, isolates and removes samples in an effort to engage and disrupt his listeners’ expectations. A few times, as the crowd began to clap with the songs’ rhythms, Hebden switched the beat, either tricking those who hoped to participate or working to deconstruct convention, depending on your interpretation.

This is the spontaneous and original element that Hebden brings to his live music. With the twists of knobs and the pacing of samples, the album’s tracks became a reflection on Hebden’s process and intentions. Love in You is intimate but entirely conscience of its audience, and Hebden showed an awareness of the crowd, flashing the occasional smile while modestly going about his business. Such a brilliant yet humble performance turned out to be as impressive as the set, a tribute to Hebden’s musical intimation.

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Win isn’t the only resident of a region with a bizarre, musically inclined politician. It turns out that since this mid-term election cycle is bat shit crazy, who but Jimmy McMillan, a representative of the “Rent Is Too Damn High Party”, would present the most compelling platform and campaign song in New York’s upcoming gubernatorial election. (more…)

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I know all you Playtonics want to pick our little brains, and here is your chance to do it! It is our sincere pleasure to introduce Playtonic Dialogues’ newest feature: The Chatterbox. Each week, all of the contributors to Playtonic will answer a question posed by our glorious readers. The question, while generally concerned with the same topics as the rest of the blog (music, philosophy and the like), is entirely up to you. How’s that for power? And then hopefully the answers will carry on in the comments. Power to the people!

This week’s question for The Chatterbox comes from reader Chad Frisbie, of Branford, CT:

What is the best album to accompany the drinking of a fine tumbler of whiskey?

 

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(Editor’s Note: This piece appears on The Bowery Presents The House List. Check it out here)

Close to a year ago, Here We Go Magic presented themselves as a newly formed quintet, a group constructed around the layered songwriting and folk sensibilities of musician Luke Temple. While the band had a strong head start with Temple’s solo album, the eponymous Here We Go Magic, when they arrived at Music Hall of Williamsburg in January to play a headlining gig, the audience’s expectations derived solely from the album’s representation of a collective sound. Now, after extensively touring behind Here We Go Magic’s second album, Pigeons (though it is technically their first as a fully realized band), their listeners are familiar with the cast rather than just the director. And, on Wednesday night at The Bowery Ballroom, Temple and Co. returned to New York City with an expanded collection of songs and a reformed sense of self.

Most notably, the group went from background to foreground. When once Temple stood singularly as the identity and focal point of Here We Go Magic, now the interplay of the musicians defines their sound. Whether keyboardist Kristina Lieberson’s droning tones color the sound space or bassist Jennifer Turner’s deep groove pulsates on such songs as “Hibernation,” each musician makes a significant contribution. Selections from Pigeons exemplified these cooperative arrangements, however midset, the audience was also treated to a medley of two of Here We Go Magic’s most coherent pop songs, “Fangela” and “Tunnelvision.” Temple appeared to have left the acoustic guitar at home, opting for a Stratocaster, which, matched with his wide brim hat and cowboy boots, made him look like a vision lifted from the Band’s antiquated press photos. The arch of the show peaked and closed on Pigeon’s “Collector,” the height of the band’s pop potential and propulsive songwriting. The next step for this extremely talented group is to focus their energy on songs like “Collector,” which capture a unique sound and, dare I say, magic.

Additional pictures I took from the show after the jump: (more…)

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(Editor’s Note: This is Rachel’s third piece for her weekly column, “The Lady Doth Protest)

Lately I can’t stop listening to the song “Smoke Dope and Rap” by Andre Nikatina.  An anthem about Andre’s love for weed, rapping, and his hair, the song also demonstrates his disdain for everything not included in the aforementioned list. Women in particular get the short shrift; take Janine for example. “Ooh it’s Janine, she licks my dick clean,” Andre croons when she calls him, yet her fellatio skills aren’t enough for Andre to want to smoke with her. He boasts that, “I know she got mad /Because I killed it and I didn’t bring the weed/ I did bring the weed but I left in the my Cutty /Did you really think I would smoke some dank with you dummy? No!” That line is hilarious. At the same time, it illuminates the misogyny pulsating through the song. Since my obsession with “Smoke Dope and Rap,” I have tried to reconcile my feminist* perspective with Nikatina’s clear disregard for women throughout the jam. (more…)

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