Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Found this firey-flamey haired reggaetonite on my shuffle play, and started to do a little shuffle me'self. Rafter Roberts hails from a nontraditional upbringing in Sebastopol, CA - I mean, obviously. His name is Rafter. And for the record I think it's total crap that I come from equally hippie-dippie parents and ended up with KATHRYN. Why couldn't I be Luna Sailcloth or something?

Roberts did all kinds of musical things to lead to his 6th and most recent release, Animal Feelings, and win the tip of the hat as "Best Alternative Album" at the San Diego Music Awards. A few items of note; playing instruments in-utero. Partnering to start the successful commercial music house, Singing Serpent, with whom I have worked in my illustrious advertising career (weird!). And getting signed to Asthmatic Kitty Records. He has a far wittier blog than mine, which I will not share with you so you can cross-compare and stop reading ES. And I'm hedging my bets that his shows are as fun as a steamer chest of lemurs.

{disclaimer: this may or may not be our man, but those bun-bun ears are pretty slick}

Rafter // Paper

Monday, December 13, 2010

Under the Covers Monday - Freedom or Death & Nas

An unsigned Toronto-based duality, Steve Fernandez and Sway are DIYers of production and songwriting. With classical training in piano, DJ creds, and band-fronting history, their self-titled debut takes them away from the major hitmaker machine so they can do whatever they like. Goddamn right, and as this 1820's Greek War for Independence war cry crows along for their namesake:

Its the way I want to live my life
Having the freedom to make my own decisions
and not adhere to the rules of others

To make art for my own well being, not for acceptance from the masses
To listen to what my heart beats to, not to slave for anothers
Give me the FREEDOM to make a life I choose - or hand me my DEATH

If you play the "sound-likes" game, you'll have a substantial list by the end of the album - Broken Bells, Radiohead, TVOTR, Massive Attack, maybe even a little Citizen Cope? But we're supposed to loathe the sound-likes game if we're one of those who knows the what-for, right?
So we'll take that list, slice it into thirds and masticate it knowing it's not NEARLY as dirty as it reads on-screen.

After you've finished up, digest with some visual collaborations with Spike Jonze and a gorgeously synthed-out snowy lovestory. {warning: not everybody keeps their shearling loincloth on}

Freedom or Death // If I Ruled the World

Monday, December 6, 2010

the Daylights

Long distance relationships, for the majority, suck. Granted. Time zones, awkwardly long pauses on the phone, furrowed brows over the alternate lives each other is living, cathartic growling at each other.

Walter C. May, a LA-based commercial director, pondered on how to reach across the flyover zone to his gal Lex, slogging away on her MBA at Duke University. When your in the business of visuals, and your boys with an indie-trio, use your talents and DIY, right? Some shared pencil scratches with The Daylights, $100, an afternoon and some dexterous hands and you do the damn thing.

Rather than pinging her inbox, posting on her wall, or over-nighting a playable DVD - May got all social-media on your ass and tweeted it out last Tuesday. In hopes the vastly small virtual world would deliver it to her, he waited patiently for it to arrive as the constantly-connected saw fit.

3 guesses as to how this story ends.

Thanks to Josh Reese for keeping me connected since I continue to abstain from joining Twitter. And to my own bi-coastal manfriend, I accept love letters by snailmail, carrier pigeon and the Pony Express.

The Daylights // I Hope This Gets To You

Monday, November 29, 2010

Under the Covers Monday - Cee-Lo & BOH

allo allo. Hope everyone's thank-full celebrations were all you ever dreamed of. General overindulgence, drunken brawls with disconnected friends from high school and long, intensively uncomfortable silences over that second serving of squash pie as your mother looks on disapprovingly. Pilgrims might not be real, but it's the spirit of the season that counts.

I could be forcing my thoughts concerning My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy on you right now, but Mondays don't allow for it. Sorry. Get a lusty earful of Cee-Lo's class and soulful vibrato covering Band of Horses instead. While you're listening I'll be doing my best booty-drop this side of the laptop - considering limited materials.

Cee-Lo Green // No One's Gonna Love You

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Young Marble Giants

Macaron-light vocals (Allison Straton) peeping out from akimbo guitar and steel bass (Moxham brothers) were things of revolution back in '78. The post-punk act from Cardiff, Wales loosely hold hands whilst taking us on a voyeuristically eerie journey.
Helluva single-take crane shot to boot.

Young Marble Giants // Final Day

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Post-punk outfit out of SF, and not to be confused with:

Weekend the Band hailing from Buffalo.
The Weekend waving from Ontario.
Vampire Weekend, obvious.

Shoegazers with exceptional hooks, Sports was released November 9 on the Slumberland label. If it's defined a lo-fi or noise, I'd like to think it's just that poured through some cheesecloth. Distilled to something a little more potent. Pupil dilation inevitable.

Weekend // End Times

Friday, November 19, 2010

the Diamond Center

Majorly stoked about these recent immigrants to the RVA scene. Brandi Price and Kyle Harris are the core to this psychedelically tribal thrum. Originating in Athens, GA, a rotating cast took them across state lines to Lubbock, TX where they recorded and released their second official LP, My Only Companion. Brief cameos of house pets and gatherings of friends to stomp, clap and holler make for a crafty album, full of voodoo percussion and Price's brass bell vocals.

Now calling RVA home, you'll see them this coming Sunday at Strange Matter. Feathered headdresses and peyote cactus chew will likely fit in fine.

The Diamond Center // Wtt {Live at Ipanema 19}

Thursday, November 18, 2010

music vids all up in your eyeball this week

I saw these and thought of you.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

brothers from other mothers

Speaking of mcKay, he bears a near-uncanny resemblance to Bryce Dessner {....or is it Aaron? shit} of the The National. Whom I lovelovelooooove. A lot. Both of them. mcKay and The National. And this chair dance. And eating dry cereal, preferably Shredded Spoonfuls. My heart nearly bursts with all this g-d terrible love.

Not like you haven't heard it a billion times this year, but for the sake of it.

The National // Terrible Love

The Man Who Would Live

You'll notice my name isn't the sole listing as contributor to this 1-Trick Pony of a posting vessel. David Mckay, who posts about as often as I wash my hair on the weekends, has been a hard-working sonova this past year. He quit his safe and comfy job as an art director in the advertising world and proceeded to pour blood, sweat and tears into a black void known to a choice few as Endie Filmmahkin'. His own, and a number of poached liters from a number of cute & cuddly creatures.

Countless iterations of a script, sinkholes of WTF-am-I-doing, blistering moments of soul-sustaining creativity, several months worth of frustrated outbursts from his girl {cough.} and a spontaneously combusting credit card brings him to this precipice - the finish of the film is just within reach.

It took a group of fantastic people, true dedication and artistic vision to make it happen. If you have a few quarters in your pocket, help him see this through at his Kickstarter page. Maybe then I can stop carrying him piggyback on ES, and would get a datenight some place other than Arby's. If I have to eat any more curly fries, I will punch a baby.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Diamond Rings

John O, you are fun with a capital R A I N B O W U N I C O R N I C I N G.

Glitter napalming you from Toronto, John O grew up this side of jock before ditching the athlete's foot to fully embrace a well-sequined pair of ballet slippers. A boy of many talents, at a young age he managed to pack in piano, football, guitar, basketball, saxophone, and dress-up seshes pulling from the Tickle Trunk all before he was legal. Makes for an understandably difficult search-for-self growing up. "Are my friends goths or goalies? Punks or pointguards?"

You could presume John O leaned hard in one direction, eventually leading to the October release of Special Affections. Sort of. The other direction isn't too terribly far behind him, which makes for an ecstatically-camp wtf outburst over the "Show Me Your Stuff" music video. Might need 9 more views before I decide if my teeth hurt from irritable grinding or cavity-inducing sugar rush.

Regardless, the grating baritone over excitable synth has me dancing all the way to the color copier.

Diamond Rings // You & Me

Monday, November 15, 2010

Under the Covers Monday - Peter Silberman & Holly Miranda

Peter Silberman of The Antlers / Hospice recognition covered one of my all time favorite songs on this Earf, "Waves" by Holly Miranda. It kinda makes me want to die; in the most painless, cotton-soft, seagull swooning way possible.

Peter Silberman // Waves

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lydia Ooghe {& the Lux Vacancy}

I don't flirt nearly enough with the local scene, with the exception of my dedicated groupie-attentions to Autocue. No longer! I'm completely diverting my eyes from the PacNW and Brooklyn scene, and lay gaze solely upon RVA.

That is total horseshit malarkey, but I do intend to love on my citymates more.

This coming Sunday, Nov. 14, let's meet up for some grenache at Ipanema and check out Lydia Ooghe. Her songs are stuff of sugar and batting, helium-balloon pop on acoustic guitar and occasional pedal steel. And she looks a-freaking-dorable. By my professional estimation, she's impressing the River City with her talents and gracefully sunny stage presence. We shall see, Lydia.

See you Sunday evening cheetahbabies.

Lydia Ooghe and Lux Vacancy // Baby Yay

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Houses, down the street

Some article mentioned Houses, the OTHER Houses (remember the opiate drifting I promised yesterday?), had some of the same hebetudinous haze of Washed Out. You know how I feel about Washed Out. Woof. So of course I'm down.

Chicago bliss-pop lovebirds Dexter Tortoriello and Megan Messina wrote nearly all of the October-released All Night in one week. Show-offs. I guess some time and inspiration living off the grid in Hawaii will do that to you.
Signed to Lefse, same label as Neon Indian and How to Dress Well, their chillwave sound is a natural fit. What is not a natural fit is implemented imperfections to emote vinyl. LBH Houses, you're on a Mac powerbook. I'm not expecting any 45s from you this Christmas. But thanks anyway. Very thoughtful.

Houses // Reds

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Houses the band is not the first of it's namesake, and not an easy one to hone in on. I'm still not sure if I'm writing about a chillwave husband/wife duo or eight merrymakers who got ripped a new one for joking about Switchfoot. {for seri, read the comments, it gives me second-hand embarrassment and adds to my monthly urge to disconnect, delete my FB account and never look at the Internets again}. To clarify for the group: merrymahkin today, opiate drift tomorrow.

Andy & Kinsey Hamilton, crunchy cuties, are the first two lego blocks of the Denver, CO ensemble. If you like We Are Magic and long for Crosby, Stills & Nash, you're pretty set. Over 2009 they recorded and released an album per season in it's evocation; an upbeat Spring, rock'n'roll Summer, etc use your context clues. People seem to dig their live shows, "will leave you covered in goosebumps and ready to f*cking wrestle a buffalo." Little did they know I already wrestle a f*cking buffalo, on Thursday nights in Chesterfield. And I listen to Switchfoot while I do it. Chew on that!

Houses // Red Feather

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

KiD CuDi ptII

Man on the Moon, Vol. II: the Legend of Mr. Rager dropped today. Who is Cudder? Mr. DoLo Loner? Teeny bop heartthrob? Kanye protege? Maybe you need to chill the f*ck out, smoke some get some make straight A's and wait to see where on the moon this man will land.

KiD CuDi // Maybe

Monday, November 8, 2010

Under the Covers Monday - Rogue Wave & Buddy Holly

By the decree of the Purple Falcon by the order of Lord Darcy, under the darkness of a new moon and Steak-Um on the cafeteria menu - every Monday from henceforth on this vessel shall be Under the Covers Monday. Heark, hear ye and open sesame.

Rogue Wave // Everyday (Buddy Holly Cover)

Friday, November 5, 2010


A little extry and easily related BECAUSE...
Dominant Legs is featured in the music video premiere from Tamaryn. And she's in there, too. I owed you one from earlier in the week, anyway, so now we're squares in circle chairs. Pardon me while I stab a #2 in to my cornea.

Tamaryn // Dawning

Dominant Legs

A quickety-split trick to leave you with this Friday. SF native Ryan William Lynch leads with the right with his ramble-jangle reedy sound. Funky jazz with some carribean 80's flat-top, pop razor lines on the side over the ears. Slick it back with some melancholy LA Looks gel and head out the door. I could think of a handful of artists to relate him to, but the sound is oddly more of his own. How often does that happen? How often does a guy look far better with a flower over his ear than I do? Crap.

Dominant Legs // Just Silly Ones

To add fuel to my defeated flames, an old friend from ago turned me on to this bobo blog. It has stanky hepster written all over it. Maybe if I stop wearing babypowder fresh deodorant I can funk it up like them one day.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Twin Shadow

yellow balloons are fancy

Slow // Twin Shadow

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

James Vincent Mcmorrow

A young man wanders along salt roughened Irish cliffs, returning to a cabin teetering over the sea. Over a season's change, he writes lyrical prose of ghosts and loves, towering trees and keening winds. He recalls times of great change and scrawls their desertion in rushed strokes of ink, spatters bleeding through the paper's fiber.

He returns to Dublin and squints into the glare of a life lancing forward, rushing past him as water breaks around the rock. He holds in his hand a humble EP, nothing much but a man and his words playing instruments in a solitary room. It is February of this year.

once i had a dream
once i had a hope

that was yesterday
not so long ago

this is not the end

this is just the world
such a foolish thing
such an honest girl

James Vincent McMorrow // If I Had a Boat