if…t-shirts, paste mag, & school of seven bells

Before I talk about music, I have some other things to talk about.

If we sold The Indie Handbook t-shirts, would you guys buy them? No, this is not a rhetorical question. We really desperately want to make them and sell them to you. We promise they’d be just as charming as we are, but we need some definite opinions before we take any action. Also I need to get married before I spend any more money. (Unrelated? Sorry.)

If you saw Where the Wild Things Are and didn’t like it, you have no business reading this blog anymore. Just kidding. But okay, seriously, I saw it and of course I loved it–I knew I would–and the soundtrack was incredible, including all the “music from the motion picture” stuff that isn’t on the official Karen O & the Kids soundtrack. There is an enormous amount of beautiful music in the movie…but that isn’t why I’m talking about this. I know maybe this isn’t related to indie music, but this was the most beautiful film I’ve seen in some time (then again, I’m not much of a movie buff) and once again, Paste Magazine doesn’t like it and definitely doesn’t love it. Paste angers me. A lot. And it kind of sucks, because I’d love to have Paste on our side–after all, they do like music I like, and they even interviewed Thao recently and I cried a little on the inside because interviews scare me and I would still love to have coffee with Thao. It was a pretty decent interview, too. They also like Welcome Wagon, which is cool. But then they go and make She & Him the best album of 2008 and so often I feel like their reviews miss the point…and it makes me so angry!! And jealous!! They don’t define what’s “cool,” they just write about it. …right? Anyway, The Indie Handbook is all about what we love. No matter if anyone thinks it’s cool. Difference.

If you thought I didn’t like electronic music, you were only sort of right. I don’t like bad electronic music, and I don’t listen to much good electronic music. But I found a cool band that is pretty electronicky and I think you will like them too. Ok, I didn’t find them, they’re nominated for MOJO’s Best Breakthrough Act of 2009. They’re pretty cool.

School of Seven Bells released Alpinisms in July, and when I have money again, I will most certainly purchase it, because I like it way more than I expected to.  They have been called psychedelic and futuristic–they are those things, but when I think of futuristic, I often think of hard, cold lines.  School of Seven Bells achieves futurustic in a lovely, soft sort of way.  The female vocals are reminiscent of Stars, or especially Au Revoir Simone.  I like that the focus seems to be on atmosphere and creating a beautiful line rather than on voice or lyrics or rhythm or whatever people tend to put more energy into.  Everything flows in an even consistency, and they’ve created so many layers that they’ve got the Mates of State “wall of sound” thing out-walled to infinity.  I do love Mates of State.

They’ve only got about six songs from Alpinisms on their myspace page, and who can blame them for not giving it all away?  But I think this is going to be one of those albums that needs to be listened to all at once and in order, like Sigur Ros.  I could be wrong.  I have to say, anyway, that I could listen to “Half Asleep” or “Connjur” on repeat for hours.  They’d be badass to see live, so if you’re in Brooklyn this weekend, you should check them out.


All is Love!!

from entertainment geekly!
from entertainment geekly!

Ok, I was a little eager yesterday.  I freaked out because I thought the Where the Wild Things  Are soundtrack was only streaming for a day, and I had already missed half the day, and I better hurry up and tell you about it!  But I was mistaken, and it is still  streaming, and I don’t know when it will stop or if it ever will, so I’m just going to talk about it now.  And you have more time than I thought to listen to it, which is pretty great.

First of all, if you don’t know about this movie, you’re a little freaking behind and you need to catch up!!  Check out the trailer or something.

Now, for the music.  Karen O & the Kids are doing the soundtrack.  Who are Karen O & the Kids?  They are a lovely assortment of indie rockers from everywhere!  And I’m just going to copy & paste them from imeem because let’s be honest, there are a lot of them.  We’ve got Tristan Bechet (Services), Tom Biller (co-producer with Karen O and member of Afternoons), Bradford Cox (Deerhunter), Brian Chase (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age, The Dead Weather, The Raconteurs), Aaron Hemphill (Liars), Greg Kurstin (The Bird and the Bee), Jack Lawrence (The Dead Weather, The Raconteurs, The Greenhornes), Oscar Michel (Gris Gris), Imaad Wasif (New Folk Implosion, Alaska), Nick Zinner, (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and an untrained children’s choir.  Here is a new rule: whenever a children’s choir is involved,  and it isn’t a lame Christmas song or Michael W. Smith, awesomeness abounds.

What I love about this soundtrack is very closely connected to what I know I’m going to love about this movie.  Spike Jonze is taking this dearly loved children’s book,  which interestingly enough “belongs” to a generation that is older now and adjusting to adulthood, and making it something that will speak both to children and to “everyone you have ever known.”  Check out the featurette w/Maurice Sendak and Spike Jonze.  The soundtrack portrays this beautifully.  Karen O has assembled this group for their talent and their spirit.

Much of the soundtrack is percussive, full of humming and finger snaps, with simple melodies and spirited vocals, sometimes  from the kids’ choir which always rocks (“Animal,” for instance…who doesn’t love it?).  Of course as a soundtrack, there’s a decent number of instrumental tracks which are full of gorgeous harmonies, sometimes sparse and sometimes loaded with layers, and also sometimes with some la-de-da’s (“Cliffs,” “Lost Fur”).   I am in love with the emotion–the constant changes in mood are absolutely perfect–the angsty “Capsize” melting into a vulnerable “Worried Shoes”…freaking AMAZING.  Every song seems to have its own meaning, musically reflecting subtleties that we often can’t put into words when describing “how we feel.”   Sometimes  you want to dance (“Heads Up”) and sometimes you want to cry (“Worried Shoes”).  All in all, the whole thing is just beautiful.  And you should listen to it, and also you should go see the movie, and also you should watch this video.

“To Oscar-nominated Where the Wild Things Are director Spike Jonze, however, Karen O and her music possess something of a child-like innocence, a guileless charm that put her exactly on the right emotional wavelength to sonically capture the film, be it a tender moment or a wild rumpus.” –you got it, imeem writer guy/girl.  This soundtrack is utter perfection.  And I haven’t even seen the damn movie yet.

Karen O & the Kids

Quick post (because i’m at work and all)…

Guess what!  My fiance is really excited about movies, and I am really excited about music, so we both have something to be excited about with Where the Wild Things Are coming out in a few weeks (October 16, actually).

So, yeah, guess what!  Karen O and the Kids = Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack = streaming: http://www.imeem.com/karenoandthekids/

Karen O is so cool, like a mix between Thao and Joan Jett.  Enjoy.

What do Spike Jonze, Dave Eggers, Arcade Fire, and the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s have in common?

This awesomeness!

Ok, so when I was little, I used to love this book, and now Spike Jonze has made it into a movie that will be coming out in October 2009.  Dave Eggers even helped write it!  I’m going to pee my pants with excitement!

You know what else is cool?  You might recognize the song from the trailer–it’s a re-recording of “Wake Up” from Arcade Fire’s Funeral (2004).  Love it.

And to top it all off, the soundtrack for the movie will feature the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, who are apparently BFF with Spike Jonze (or something like that).  Holy crap.  Does October 16th, 2009 sound like it’s going to be the best day of your life?  I think it does.