I’m the new member of the Beggars Street Team. (I’m sure they’d want me to use their name. It makes it easy that I have a very high opinion of them: they’re one of the most prominent independent record labels, if not the most, in the world.) I’ll take pictures of my promotional progress. In the meantime, please enjoy these tunes. This mix is called “This Is Where I Leave You.”

1. The Roots ft. John Legend- The Fire

2. Local Natives- Wide Eyes (Fool’s Gold Remix) (Ft. Aristotle Pop A Bottle)

3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs- Softshock

4. Dangermouse and Sparklehorse ft. Julian Casablancas- Little Girl

5. Storyhill- Avalon

6. The xx- Heart Skipped a Beat

7. LCD Soundsystem- Dance Yrself Clean

8. Arcade Fire- Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)

9. Stornoway- Zorbing

10. Secret Cities- Boyfriends

11. MGMT- Pieces of What

12. Blakroc- Ain’t Nothing Like You (Hoochie Coo)


Icing Funnyman

I always ask people if they watch the OC that because I think it’s a question that gives a telling answer. And the answer is usually a) “Fuck that,” b) “Just the first season,” or c) “OMG I love that show!!!!!” For me, B is the preferred- I won’t say correct- answer. Because I love the first season of the OC. The characters develop, the plot thickens, odd couples you want to hook up do, and everything that happens generally makes for great TV you can watch over and over again.

Which brings me to my next point. I come up with a lot of analogies that fit perfectly for me but rarely translate: “Do you watch the OC?”

“The first season, yeah.”

“Are you familiar with it at all?”

“Sort of.”

“You remember X? Well, I realized that coworker/friend/acquaintance Y is just like them! Y is X. He’s totally Funnyman.”

“Oh yeah, I guess.” Pause. “I guess I don’t really remember the show that well.”

Leaving me to think that my Astute Observation is not actually insightful at all.

Here’s an interesting development: I applied for a job as a Street Team member at a record label that has, essentially, all the bands I love on it. I’m a little wary since it is such a huge label and I’ve done promotions before for a radio station (let’s not go there again, shall we?), and people at the radio station where I work said this particular label was not cooperative.

That said, this job comes with some sweet perks; namely, I get tickets to any concert I want and access to new albums that come out (such as this one, “Beachcomber’s Windowsill” by Stornoway). All I have to do is promote bands and events on my blog, poster and flyer around town, possibly hand out merch and CDs at concerts. Like I said, transforming into a boisterous promotions girl seems analagous to joining the popular girls in “Mean Girls.” But maybe I can get over it. If there’s free shit to be had, I’m there.

Anyway, this album’s pretty good. Cut me some slack, as this is my first music review, but it hews close to this lo-fi beach-y theme I’ve been enjoying lately (i.e. Morning Benders, Miniature Tigers- surprise, since they’re produced by the Benders- Girls). Stornoway the place is a town in the Hebrides, and Stornoway the band is a four-piece out of Oxford. They have a stand-up bass and an occasional trumpeter and violinist, which makes for a warm, folk-y sound. The first track, “Zorbing,” starts out with the lead singer’s rich, almost choir-boy voice supported by only the bass. Then, the monk-like vocals support him to bring the song to a rollicking new level. Finally, horns kick in a la Camera Obscura to bring it from a solemn song to something more energetic. It’s a durn toe-tapper, that’s fer sure.

And the rest of the album is much like that. Stornoway samples from various artists- Fleet Foxes, the Twilight Sad, Vampire Weekend, and as I said earlier, Camera Obscura with the horns and organs-instruments, and genres. I’d recommend it. Good summer jamz.

Wow, that was a little scary. Writing my first record review! Hopefully more will come. If I take this job. But we all know me with jobs, so I’m approaching this one with a little more circumspection.

“This song is uplifting. It’s about cannibals.”

You know how I always talk about that one time I met the Arcade Fire? I’ll never tell that story again. Because on Friday I hung out with the fucking National and Justin Vernon, all right. One of the best nights, if not the best night, of my life. I wish I had taken pictures! From now on, I’m bringing my camera with me to concerts. I’m surprised that no local blogs covered the show last night; at least, none that I can find.

It was so, so good. I’ll spare you the details because at this point, even I’m sick of telling them. Highlights include getting hugged by Aaron Dessner (after he said, “Nice one” to a witticism I said that I wish I could remember); hearing one of the guys ask Jusitn Vernon, “Oh, you’re going outside with Harley?” (THEY FUCKING KNOW MY NAME); and last but not least, smoking up Justin Vernon and almost getting busted by cops on horses (who asked Joe, “Where’s the rest of the hookah?” Newbs).

You should for sure check out their in-studio at the Current below.

The National\’s in-studio

“Rabbit rabbit” really does work

I’m seeing the National tonight. And going backstage to hang out with them. I’ll keep you posted.

New shit

Check this shit out.

1. The Love Language- Heart to Tell

2. Les Savy Fav- Let’s Get Out of Here

3. Devo- Fresh

4. Fort Wilson Riot- Forgotten Language

5. Miniature Tigers- Bullfighter Jacket

6. Paper Tiger ft. Dessa- Palace

7. Calexico- Pepita

8. Apache Beat- Another Day

9. The Thrills- Big Sur

Well, I can’t upload the tenth track. It’s “Publish My Love” by Rogue Wave. Who are (is? I never know whether to refer to bands in the singular or the plural) coming to the Twin Cities on September 20th with Midlake and Peter Wolf Crier! I bet that’ll be a great show. There are so many good acts coming to the Twin Cities. I went to Fort Wilson Riot’s CD release show at the Kitty Cat Klub with Phantom Tails and Zoo Animal. Both openers were phenomenal: Phantom Tails sounded just like their CD, but louder; and Holly Newsom, the lead of Zoo Animal, mesmerized. She sang like she was possessed, and then snapped out of it between songs and acted cute and laid-back. In an interview with Citypages, she said that when she sang it felt like something fought to get out of her, presumably the Holy Ghost or something like that. But, wow. You should see her sometime. In fact, she’s playing this Saturday with Red Pens and First Communion Afterparty at the Triple Rock.

The Ask

(Sam Lipsyte reference? Anyone? [I’ve been meaning to read that book for a while…]) Today, I asked a boy out at work. He comes in pretty frequently, orders a spearmint tea in a teapot, and sits with a man who’s on crutches. They talk sometimes, but mostly seem to sit in silence. He’s tall and thin and a hipster. Seems pensive. Exactly my type. And he always, always stares at me. Which is kind of nice. Anyway. Today, he orders his usual tea and my co-worker behind the espresso bar says, “He’s cute. You should talk to him. Introduce yourself.”
“I don’t know.”
“He looked at you for, like, thirty seconds.”
“Well, cool, but I can’t now because we’ve been talking about it.”
“Just do it.”
“Fine.” So I get his tea and say, hey, I’m Harley, what’s your name? And he tells me and we chat for a little bit. He went to CVA, not Macalester, as I had thought. Fascinating. After he departs I ask my co-worker again, “Should I ask him out?” Of course, she says yes.
After another while and frequent eye contact, he gets up and puts his teapot into the dish bin and my co-worker says, “Do it! Do it now!” So I practically chase him out the door and ask him if he wants to hang out sometime.
“I have a girlfriend. Sorry.”
I don’t know what kind of a face I made, but I’m sure it was embarrassing as I stumbled over his crippled friend trying to make it out the door as I was trying to make it back inside with some semblance of my former dignity. When I told my co-worker that he had a girlfriend, she said I should have asked, “So?” And then she said he’d be back. We’ll see.