Wonky pop!

No, this isn’t about Alphabeat (as much as I really do love them). But things are going to be a bit wonky around here for the next month to six weeks while I work on several guest posts for other blogs and this opera libretto I agreed to write back in October. Oh, and I’ll also be working on a new website—a real, functioning one with separate pages for news and reviews and interviews and features and the like instead of an endless haphazard stream of what’s on my mind and in my inbox much like the blog is now and this sentence has been.

Maybe, I’ll even have a little bit of a merch section with some badges and t-shirts for you all to promptly not buy and leave gathering dust in my bedroom. (That up there on the left is a rough version of the new logo thing designed about a year ago by the inimitable Brittney Dunn—whose birthday was last week and who I really ought to pay already.)

In the meantime, I’ll be making a more concerted effort to post news, mp3s, photos, new songs and videos on Tumblr. Things here won’t go completely silent. I’ve been promised a few guest posts and have a couple features of my own lined up You will, of course, be updated via Facebook, Twitter, and your various RSS feeds when those things happen.

And, just to reward you for reading this, here are a few tracks that have been keeping me busy lately.

And there’s this brand new one from The Secret Love Parade.

Dutch Week, Part the Third: Ember

Today, Kristin and I heard from one kind reader offering to answer any questions we may have about the Dutch. Admittedly, my knowledge of the Netherlands is limited by the fact that: a) I am not Dutch and b) I have never been there. I would like to invite any of you Dutch folks reading this (and I know there are some of you) to share with us anything you think we ought to know, though I can’t think of any specific questions at the moment. For now, here is a short list of a few things I do know about the Dutch:

1) They are tall.

2) They speak better English than most Americans I know.

3) They are, consistently and without exception, among the most excruciatingly beautiful people in the world.

4) Tulips.

5) They have a killer football team with a relentless and potent attack style offense and an luminous orange kit that can surely be scene from the moon who, ultimately, did not live up to my expectations in the last European Cup.

6) Yes, Kristin, Dutch is a language.

7) The music scene is, apparently, perfect.

Take, for example, Ember, a five piece from Haarlem/Amsterdam. No pretentious, abstract descriptions are necessary to categorize Ember, and apparently the band agrees, content with a one word description. They are a rock band. That is all they are. And that is all they ever need be. It’s like Letters to Cleo as Josie and the Pussycats, slightly tousled, with a flair for the dramatic, and Dutch.

But don’t take my word for it. Please, please, please go listen for yourself (I say please because I know that most of you have still not downloaded The Very Sexuals’ Post-Apocalyptic Love like I told you to). There are three tracks up on their MySpace. I would love to describe them to you, but my internet connection has gone wonky on me and I can’t even begin to think about streaming anything. But I was really digging it this afternoon.

Coincidentally, I found these guys through a link on We Swim You Jump‘s MySpace (yes, in fact there is a bit of an incestuous streak running through The Indie Handbook). So, if you have failed to stay current on our Dutch Week festivities thus far, I suggest you get caught up. Come Saturday, you’ll wish you had.

Now that I think of it, I do have one question for you all:

Do you know my Dutch friend? She lives in Amsterdam.