Okay, not true. In fact, I was not yet born. But it turns out that the building where I chose to take the leap and buy my first (and current) apartment used to be an art gallery (which I knew) and used to host loft shows in the 70s (which I did not). Apparently Sam Rivers, who had his own famed loft/frequent show venue, Studio Rivbea (see some awesome pics here), played here, as did Suicide. I knew I had a good feeling about this place. This is the sort of thing that was going on:


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My ladyfriend knows I like old drum machines. And she knows I can, on occasion, be just a tad obsessive. And so, she pointed me in the direction of this post on The Rumpus, wherein I learned:

  • Moby has a massive collection of mostly analog drum machines, only some of which work.
  • The drum machine used for the well-known beat to Sly and the Family Stone’s “It’s a Family Affair” was called the Rhythm King.
  • Rick Moody wrote a piece that appeared, in part, in The Believer’s 2010 Music Issue, in which he apparently argues against the use of drum machines in contemporary music. This was interesting to me partly because of the topic of the essay, but mostly because I read that issue of The Believer and have no recollection whatsoever of such an essay. Reading retention is not my forte.
  • James Murphy hangs out at Moby’s house. (Well, at least the once.)

In my inevitable follow-up internet research, I read that Sly first used the Rhythm King on a record he produced by Little Sister (originally Sly and the Family Stone’s backup singers) that is seen by some as the first widely released record to feature a rhythm track created around a drum machine–their version of the Sly song Somebody’s Watching You:


Neat. And with that, I can head off to bed and sleep soundly, comforted by the thought that this guy’s watching me:

Way back. Back to a time when Democrats controlled the House, when despots across the Middle East had nary a care in the world, and when Charlie Sheen was just that super-rich prick on that painfully unfunny sitcom that somehow attracts 10-15 million viewers every week. Yes, folks, we’re going back…to 2010.

Shortly after the new year, I made a couple of mixes of songs from some favorite records of 2010. And now, after a few months of procrastinating, I’ve finally dusted them off, bounced them, and uploaded them to this here blog. Since I think I missed the window for timeliness, I’m thinking maybe I can get away with marketing them as retro. So put down those vuvuzelas and take a listen:

2010 In Review (Electronic)
Right-click here to download.
Track list:

Nancy (Not Her Real Name) – Intro
Javelin – Vibrationz
Games – Heartlands
Sleigh Bells – Rill Rill
Das Racist – Who’s That? Brooown!
Kanye West – Power
Flying Lotus – Computer Face//Pure Being
Stereo Total – Hello Ladies
Tanlines – Real Life
Oneohtrix Point Never – Returnal
Emeralds – Double Helix
LCD Soundsystem – I Can Change
The xx – VCR (Four Tet Remix)
Four Tet – Love Cry
Caribou – Leave House
Major Lazer – Jump Up
M.I.A. – XXXO
Crystal Castles – Baptism
Nancy (Not Her Real Name) – Whoop…They Both Ride Horses

2010 In Review (Rock)
Right-click here to download.
Track list:

Belle and Sebastian – Write About Love
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Round And Round
Here We Go Magic – Casual
Toro Y Moi – Minors
Nite Jewel – Am I Real?
Best Coast – Boyfriend
Woods – From The Horn
The Corin Tucker Band – Doubt
Marnie Stern – Transparency Is The New Mystery
Zach Hill – House Of Hits
Daughters – The Hit
Harvey Milk – I Alone Got Up And Left
Zs – Acres Of Skin
Joanna Newsom – ’81
Warpaint – Undertow
of Montreal – Coquet Coquette
HEALTH – USA Boys
High Places – The Longest Shadows
Zola Jesus – Poor Animal

Luxe Pop has a new website, thanks to Mr. Loren Wohl.

Plus, we’re working on a video. Or rather, we pretty much hung out and looked pretty–T and the good folks of Planet Thieves are the ones actually working. Check out some pics from the shoot here.

When you’re an established band with a loyal following and an instantly recognizable sound and your singer is, for whatever reason, no longer available, what do you do? Do you find a replacement who has made a name for himself in your genre and is gonna rock it out regardless of how much it changes the band’s sound, à la Black Sabbath/Ronnie James Dio or Van Halen/Sammy Hagar, or do you take your chances with someone who may be less known and less proven but who sounds more or less like your old singer, à la AC/DC/Brian Johnson (or, if you want to take the principle to the extreme, with a much worse result, Judas Priest/the tribute band dude who replaced Rob Halford)?

I’m going to have to say that The Ex went the Brian Johnson route. I did kind of miss G.W. Sok while watching them at Poisson Rouge the other night. I mean the guy was in the band for 30 years and, to me, his delivery–about equal parts singing, speaking, and shouting–sat kind of perfectly atop the chugging, herky-jerky pulse set by the rest of the band. But new singer Arnold DeBoer can do a pretty mean G.W. impersonation when circumstances call for it. Plus, he brings his own thing to the act, adding the occasional electronic blip or bloop to the mix and generally dancing and moving around the stage like he’s enjoying himself in a way that G.W. seldom did. I picked up their most recent CD, Catch My Shoe, and, while it’s no Back in Black moment, it’s as good as their last couple of discs, which have definitely gotten their fair share of airplay chez Weekday Worrier over the last several years.

I guess what it comes down to is that The Ex basically can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned. You get punk, noise, politics, Hungarian folk songs, Ethiopian funk, Congolese trance…and the list goes on and on. For a band that somehow works so many different stylistic influences into one, cohesive sound, I’m thinking that replacing a vocalist may end up not being much of a challenge. That’s certainly what the show the other night suggests.

The Ex - Theme From Konono


The Ex - Hidegen fújnak a szelek

I just got back from former fave live music venue Le Poisson Rouge. Why “former”? Well, as I previously posted, just about a year ago in fact, one can buy a membership to LPR for a reasonable price. When I bought said membership last year, the main benefit was free admission for the member plus one to a wide range of shows by acts both established (Glenn Branca–free) and up and coming (many random out jazz and modern composition acts–free). But not too long after I joined, they dropped the plus one part of the benefit. That was disappointing, but seemed fair enough–it was probably not sustainable to allow so many free admissions for the $45 or $50 cost of the membership. But it didn’t take long for the number of “free for members” events to start dwindling. There were several months in there where I felt like the only thing that was free for members were freakin’ DJ nights, and that ain’t what I signed up for. There are more free shows again now, but they’re not quite of the caliber as last year’s free shows. So I think you’ve lost me as a member, LPR. I know, I know, I’m sad too. Give me a free ticket or two and I assure you, I’ll drink like a poisson. That’s just win-win, people! But alas, I think those days are gone.

Anywho, onto the show. Billed as “an evening of trio treats,” the night did not disappoint. First up was Weasel Walter playing drums/percussion in a trio with Mary Halverson on guitar and Peter Evans on piccolo trumpet and, er, normale trumpet. The last time I saw Weasel Walter play, his hair was much shorter and I was frequently spending weekends in Pittsburgh, where, at some point (2002ish, I’d say) I saw The Flying Luttenbachers play a show with Arab On Radar at the apparently now (or at least for-now) defunct Mr. Roboto Project. Tonight, WW (him, not me) brought the spastic beats and silly faces I remembered from that show years ago and I dug it as much tonight as I did then. Mary Halvorson’s guitar was particularly awesome–she weaved in and out of long vaguely bop-ish runs, almost folk-rocky chord progressions made all woozy with some sort of whammy bar-type foot pedal, and Derek Bailey-esque skronks. I couldn’t help but feel that the set would have been perfect if it had just been Walter and Halvorson up there–I liked Evans’s playing but it just didn’t gel with the other parts for me–but in any event then it would have been an evening of one trio and one duo treats, which just isn’t nearly as catchy. Luckily for me, I picked up a copy of Walter and Halvorson’s duo release from a couple of years ago on the way out.

Weasel Walter, Mary Halvorson, and Peter Evans


Then it was on to trio number two, with Matthew Shipp on piano, Mike Bisio on bass, and Whit Dickey on drums. Somehow this was the first time I’ve seen Shipp live. And it definitely grabbed me way more than any of the recordings I’ve heard. I recently wrote about seeing Paul Bley for the first time and, while I wouldn’t say the two pianists sound particularly similar, I definitely got a similar vibe from the two shows–both of them take the material way, way out without sacrificing melody or, I think it’s fair to say, a “traditional” jazz flavor. And what do you know, just as I was mulling that point over during the show, the trio unexpectedly broke into an almost straight (well, for the head at least) statement of What Is This Thing Called Love. Long story short, I suspect I’ll be re-examining some of those Matthew Shipp recordings soon. Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Bisio’s practically violent, string-bending, bow-breaking bass solo about halfway through the set. It was a thing to behold–blurry picture below.

Matthew Shipp


Matthew Shipp Trio


Mike Bisio Bass Solo


Finally, as my friend and I settled our tab (WTF, why doesn’t the paypal app bump function ever seem to work anymore?) I thought back to the Wayne Shorter show I wrote about recently and how Brian Blade kicked the shit out of his drums in a way not unlike Shipp kicking the shit out of the LPR piano at a couple of points. Gotta wonder what a trio with those two would sound like. At the very least, they could have some kind of skinny, bespectacled jazz dude duel.

Matthew Shipp


Brian Blade


So, although there are a couple of other good shows coming up at the old Poisson Rouge, I think the love affair is officially fini. Much like my blog post, as I start falling asleep at my keyboard. And much like Shipp’s set after his unexpected rendition of Frère Jacques. Dormez vous? Pas encore, mais bientôt…

…Luxe Pop played a show with Lady Gaga. Hence our entry in Gagapedia:

Yep. And, in fact, since we played the 11pm slot, I guess you could say Lady Gaga opened for us. You know, technically.