1. this was a really hard picture to take
cc infinitefreefall

    this was a really hard picture to take
    cc infinitefreefall

  2. this is the desk I used to make music at when I was sixteen, with one of those Windows 98 off-white computer mics. everything is new and upgraded except the desk. but I feel very at home.

    this is the desk I used to make music at when I was sixteen, with one of those Windows 98 off-white computer mics. everything is new and upgraded except the desk. but I feel very at home.

  3. this spoon has a frequency of the F above middle C and I’m having way too much fun with this fact

  4. alf pogs’ day out

  5. so John Goodmanson is the person who produced the middle-era Sleater-Kinney albums as well as every single LC! album after their debut so I guess that’s… my life dream and my goal, now. cool

  6. Happy New Year from Alf Pogs and Pep.
squawk on, my droogs, squawk on.

    Happy New Year from Alf Pogs and Pep.

    squawk on, my droogs, squawk on.

  7. BOAT – Pretend to Be Brave 
BOAT just so happens to be one of those bands I discovered very early on in their career, back in 2006, when I was very enthusiastic about finding obscure bands.  They were very small and very scrappy, back then; they had just transplanted themselves from Chicago to Seattle, and since then they’ve released an LP in every odd-numbered year.  For a band that describes themselves as “sloppy pop” (my favorite kind!), their records have consistently great songwriting, but they’ve really become more professional, more confident with each successive album.  That’s what bands are supposed to do, usually! BOAT does it really right.
Pretend to Be Brave is a record that’s nothing but hooks and charm.  Songs like the infectious opener “Sharpshooters” or the jangle pop “Sore Toes and Elbows” are great examples of love songs that aren’t so much directly about love as they are, instead, disarmingly honest monologues where when D. Crane sings the word “you”, you can’t help but think of a someone.  Then there’s the classic “bright sound, dark lyrics” trope played by the likes of Belle and Sebastian and Beulah featured in “Inside an Aquarium”, which has my favorite lyric of the whole album because of its simplicity, how it resonates with me, and how perfectly it fits the music change: “You cried when you realized it was good just to be alive.”  The guitars on this album are also top notch—like the warm mellifluous tones like on the killer “Interstellar Helen Keller”, or the complementary riffing alongside the vocals on “The Big, The Bright”—there’s something great on every single track, really.  There’s also the moments in between verses on “This Isn’t How I Pictured It” that sound straight-up like early Beulah, so like, you couldn’t ask for more from a sloppy pop album. Least I certainly couldn’t.

    BOAT – Pretend to Be Brave

    BOAT just so happens to be one of those bands I discovered very early on in their career, back in 2006, when I was very enthusiastic about finding obscure bands.  They were very small and very scrappy, back then; they had just transplanted themselves from Chicago to Seattle, and since then they’ve released an LP in every odd-numbered year.  For a band that describes themselves as “sloppy pop” (my favorite kind!), their records have consistently great songwriting, but they’ve really become more professional, more confident with each successive album.  That’s what bands are supposed to do, usually! BOAT does it really right.

    Pretend to Be Brave is a record that’s nothing but hooks and charm.  Songs like the infectious opener “Sharpshooters” or the jangle pop “Sore Toes and Elbows” are great examples of love songs that aren’t so much directly about love as they are, instead, disarmingly honest monologues where when D. Crane sings the word “you”, you can’t help but think of a someone.  Then there’s the classic “bright sound, dark lyrics” trope played by the likes of Belle and Sebastian and Beulah featured in “Inside an Aquarium”, which has my favorite lyric of the whole album because of its simplicity, how it resonates with me, and how perfectly it fits the music change: “You cried when you realized it was good just to be alive.  The guitars on this album are also top notch—like the warm mellifluous tones like on the killer “Interstellar Helen Keller”, or the complementary riffing alongside the vocals on “The Big, The Bright”—there’s something great on every single track, really.  There’s also the moments in between verses on “This Isn’t How I Pictured It” that sound straight-up like early Beulah, so like, you couldn’t ask for more from a sloppy pop album. Least I certainly couldn’t.

  8. Gregory Alan Isakov – The Weatherman 
I had the good fortune of meeting and talking to Gregory Alan Isakov at a show in San Francisco in late 2011, where he opened for adorable PacNW folk band Blind Pilot.  My sister and her husband did most of the talking; I was nineteen and a little bit drunk and sort of just accidentally told him that I loved him.  Still, I have very little room in my heart for acoustic guitar-playing singer-songwriters, because Elliott Smith takes up all the space, so it’s rare that I really, really love a folksy sound like I do Gregory’s.
His music has everything I ask for: a beautiful voice—it’s gentle, low, sensitive, and always on point; never strays too far from his guitar and piano and banjo, yet always keeps you occupied; the kind of beautiful lyricism and imagery that stirs the imagination and tugs at the heart.  I am a simple person, and I don’t know any music theory at all, so I’m always really happy to hear artists who keep using basic chord progressions in the keys of C and G and such without ever sounding tired or recycled.  Plus this record has probably my favorite refrain of the year, from the single “Living Proof”, which starts with the line, “Oh, darling, pardon me…” to give you an idea of the things that please me.  He sings it in such a way that’s polite, inquisitive, and quietly sexy all at once that I melt every time.
When I saw Gregory (I’m on first name terms with him) as an opening act, he played many new songs he was working on at the time which he announced as being on his upcoming album.  I specifically remember him playing “The Universe” because in his banter he talked about how he was influenced a lot about space and the universe and nebulas and shit.  Thus with his latest album The Weatherman he definitely tries to create a soundscape that represents the enormousness of the universe and the space around us, while never doing much more than playing his guitar.  At the same time, though, he still hits close to home, stays close to humanity, by communicating as directly as possible rather than through metaphors, such as in “Honey, It’s Alright”—the title of which leaves out the most important part:  honey, it’s alright to be alone.  Honestly, I get lonely a lot of the time, but when I listen to this record, I feel a little bit more than reassured that maybe I’m okay.

    Gregory Alan Isakov – The Weatherman

    I had the good fortune of meeting and talking to Gregory Alan Isakov at a show in San Francisco in late 2011, where he opened for adorable PacNW folk band Blind Pilot.  My sister and her husband did most of the talking; I was nineteen and a little bit drunk and sort of just accidentally told him that I loved him.  Still, I have very little room in my heart for acoustic guitar-playing singer-songwriters, because Elliott Smith takes up all the space, so it’s rare that I really, really love a folksy sound like I do Gregory’s.

    His music has everything I ask for: a beautiful voice—it’s gentle, low, sensitive, and always on point; never strays too far from his guitar and piano and banjo, yet always keeps you occupied; the kind of beautiful lyricism and imagery that stirs the imagination and tugs at the heart.  I am a simple person, and I don’t know any music theory at all, so I’m always really happy to hear artists who keep using basic chord progressions in the keys of C and G and such without ever sounding tired or recycled.  Plus this record has probably my favorite refrain of the year, from the single “Living Proof”, which starts with the line, “Oh, darling, pardon me…” to give you an idea of the things that please me.  He sings it in such a way that’s polite, inquisitive, and quietly sexy all at once that I melt every time.

    When I saw Gregory (I’m on first name terms with him) as an opening act, he played many new songs he was working on at the time which he announced as being on his upcoming album.  I specifically remember him playing “The Universe” because in his banter he talked about how he was influenced a lot about space and the universe and nebulas and shit.  Thus with his latest album The Weatherman he definitely tries to create a soundscape that represents the enormousness of the universe and the space around us, while never doing much more than playing his guitar.  At the same time, though, he still hits close to home, stays close to humanity, by communicating as directly as possible rather than through metaphors, such as in “Honey, It’s Alright”—the title of which leaves out the most important part:  honey, it’s alright to be alone.  Honestly, I get lonely a lot of the time, but when I listen to this record, I feel a little bit more than reassured that maybe I’m okay.

  9. Bottomless Pit – Shade Perennial 
I’m a 21 year old queer first-gen WOC from California, but honestly, at first glance (barring One Direction) I think I have the music tastes of an old straight white man from the Midwest.  This is entirely Silkworm’s fault.  It’s not that I’ve lost interest in seeking out new sounds and experimental artists, but also, I have definitely lost that interest.  I can still listen to non-rock music and appreciate it and love it to bits just as much as I do music with guitars, but honestly, nothing makes me happier than a really great rock album.  I think it’s the simplicity of the rock band setup that gets me so much—while I like hot messes and overstimulation, I’m most comfortable and satisfied when something truly great is created out of seemingly basic means.  That’s why the three-piece incarnation of Silkworm will never get old for me, and Bottomless Pit, the new, different band that arose from SKWM’s ashes, fills that void in my heart quite snugly.
Because I can’t quite describe a great rock band as anything else but great guitars and great instrumentation and great rhythm and great chemistry, though, it’s kind of hard to articulate in words what makes this record so special.  All I can tell you is that these dudes are professionals, and passionate ones at that.  No one plays guitar like Andy Cohen, and no one plays a bass like Tim Midyett, but he doesn’t even play bass with this band, he plays baritone guitar.  No one does that except for Sleater-Kinney.  Shade Perennial is engaging in every way you want your music—it’s driving, it’s evocative, it’s more than competent, and it’s beautiful.  Just trust them with your ears.

    Bottomless Pit – Shade Perennial

    I’m a 21 year old queer first-gen WOC from California, but honestly, at first glance (barring One Direction) I think I have the music tastes of an old straight white man from the Midwest.  This is entirely Silkworm’s fault.  It’s not that I’ve lost interest in seeking out new sounds and experimental artists, but also, I have definitely lost that interest.  I can still listen to non-rock music and appreciate it and love it to bits just as much as I do music with guitars, but honestly, nothing makes me happier than a really great rock album.  I think it’s the simplicity of the rock band setup that gets me so much—while I like hot messes and overstimulation, I’m most comfortable and satisfied when something truly great is created out of seemingly basic means.  That’s why the three-piece incarnation of Silkworm will never get old for me, and Bottomless Pit, the new, different band that arose from SKWM’s ashes, fills that void in my heart quite snugly.

    Because I can’t quite describe a great rock band as anything else but great guitars and great instrumentation and great rhythm and great chemistry, though, it’s kind of hard to articulate in words what makes this record so special.  All I can tell you is that these dudes are professionals, and passionate ones at that.  No one plays guitar like Andy Cohen, and no one plays a bass like Tim Midyett, but he doesn’t even play bass with this band, he plays baritone guitar.  No one does that except for Sleater-Kinney.  Shade Perennial is engaging in every way you want your music—it’s driving, it’s evocative, it’s more than competent, and it’s beautiful.  Just trust them with your ears.

  10. Top Albums of 2013

    I’m gonna be posting little blurbs about my favorite non-major label albums of the year. First up: Bottomless Pit, of course. Stay tuned for the rest of em, I got eleven on my list—haven’t ranked any, because I don’t really know how, but I love each one.