Merry Christmas from The Shoe (and also from me)

The Shoe

I got you something. Well—I wanted to get you something. I was recently given some demos of dubious legality that I thought I might pass along to you all, but serendipity and my fear of the RIAA finally got the better of me. And besides, I’ve got something even better for you. More specifically, Jena Malone has something better for you.

A few of you may remember this post from about 20 months ago (that’s about 12,000 years in Internet Time) in which I confessed to one of my several celebrity crushes and passive-aggressively suggested that Jena Malone and Lem Jay Ignacio (a.k.a. The Shoe) record a Christmas song that I could one day include in an Indie Handbook Christmas compilation. Well, I may not have a full compilation album to give you, but I do have a new track from The Shoe called ‘Mary’s Xmas’.

It’s been a while since I’ve featured something quite like this, but it’s a cool track that bears repeated listening, especially if you dig some of the more off-kilter stuff like The Babblers, Slapp Happy, or The Fibonaccis. You can download ‘Mary’s Xmas’ below.

While we’re at it, you might like to know that The Shoe should have their EP on iTunes some time in January coupled with a few shows in the vicinity of L.A. And, even more exciting, there’s a new album due in March as well as even more tour dates. Hopefully, I’ll have more information for you as details become available, but you should probably keep an eye on their website anyway.

Download – The Shoe, ‘Mary’s Xmas’ mp3

It’s a landslide nation

Among certain circles who think along these lines, Jena Malone is the perfect woman. And while I confess I have never seen any of her movies, I have seen her on Craig Ferguson and I was beginning to see their side of things. Then I found out that she is a musician. Then I heard her music. Then I saw the face of God and I died.

OK, OK, so Jena’s music (along with Lem Jay Ignacio, of course) did not exactly result in an encounter with the divine (or the Divine, for that matter) and the last check of my vitals confirmed that I am, in fact, very much alive. I can’t even promise you that there are actual circles that consider Jena to be perfect (they tend to be more elliptical). But I can assure you that, of all the movie-star-turned-singer-side-projects, this is the most ambitious and least pretentious. It is also one of the best (on par, I think, with Go-Getter co-star Zooey Deschanel’s work with M Ward if completely different).

In the past, her music has been performed with Jena Malone and Her Bloodstains, but now she works with Lem Jay Ignacio (“Lem Jay Ignacio: playing water love, wurly and hand claps. Jena Malone: playing with fire always”) as The Shoe. From what I understand, “the shoe” itself essentially amounts to a steamer trunk full of keyboards, processors, mixers, pedals, a guitar, and various other buttony things I wouldn’t know the first thing about using, ready to be plopped down on a street corner at a moment’s notice for an impromptu concert, which, I think, is sort of the point.

If you’re not lucky enough to find yourself on one of these street corners or dive bars, then I suggest you head over to MySpace and listen to the Shoe and the Bloodstains while you’re at it. I love the rant at the end of “Landslide Nation” and Raccoon, but there is a special place in my heart for “freestylechuckp’s radio show”, not only because of the David Byrne and Suicide Girl references, the use of the word “fictionary”, or the fact that it may actually be freestyle number 46,700, but also because she coins what could very well become our motto: “I’d know what is indie if it hit me”. Suddenly, I feel vindicated.

This is one band I would love to have on our Christmas album. I think they would do something truly incredible.

And, if you want even more electrified-pseudo-anti-folksy-bang for your buck, head over to therewasanoldwomanrecords.com and explore. There are even more tracks available there. They’ve got a YouTube channel, too. This video is my favorite, even if it isn’t exactly from the album.

[Apparently, I am not allowed to embed the video, so you will have to click here, or here, or here.]