Archive | June, 2011

steal the boat

29 Jun

Big changes here at TUATE. This week I purchased my domain and dropped the .wordpress from the url. I will still be using WP for my hosting, but excited to present this sleek and sexy abridged version of the site address, straight up theuntzandtheemo.com.

And the beat goes on.

Today’s Emo: If I had a Boat / James Vincent McMorrow

‘this is not the end / this is just the world / such a foolish thing / such an honest girl’

Another JVM song because I have been lost in his album, Early in the Morning, all week. This track manages to make me sleepy and wake me up at the same time, with a silvery sleek intro building into a tragic chorus of love lost amongst the rocks. The more I listen to James, the better that voice sounds… lately stirring up an Amos Lee feel. Interesting that he crafted the album in a similar fashion to Bon Iver’s creation of For Emma, but forfeited the seclusion of a cabin in Wisconsin for an Irish beach house. Glad that he did. #emo

Today’s Untz: Steal the Rainbow / MonstaR

Rise and shine, we made it to Wednesday and it is time to celebrate. So close to the luxuries of a three day holiday weekend, sink into these double rainbow inspiring beats of MonstaR and feel that much closer. Thanks to Chubby Beavers for debuting this newbie onto the scene last night. #untz

kiss popstars

27 Jun

Wine tasting, lake swimming, BBQ hosting, sleep lacking few days with new friends and old. The busiest weekends lead to my briefest posts.

Today’s Emo: Kiss Quick / Matt Nathanson

Kiss Quick

‘kiss quick, I’ve got a line out the door / who all think they can save me’

Matt Nathanson was the first of many singer songwriter crushes, totally charming me during our spring fest my freshmen year of college. His shows are part stand up, part sap drenched guitar and swoon inducing vocals, and I have kept him on my radar all these years although his newer music has fallen a bit short for me.

He released a new album last week, and this is one of my favorite very emo tracks off of it. Matty is great at articulating all the tumultuous side effects of time spent between the sheets, and Kiss Quick captures the sentiment of when your love life starts to feel like a revolving door, where people are quick to push their way in but then suddenly equally quick show themselves out. Have found myself in this position in the past, but also participated as the inverse.  #emo

Today’s Untz: Song for Lisa / The Japanese Pop Stars (Benny Benassi remix)

The Japanese Popstars, aka The Jappy Pops, Jap Pops, or The Japsters, are from Northern Ireland and are killing it with Benny B vamped up track. Turn it up and it’ll speak for itself. #untz

disarm promises

24 Jun

It is almost the end of June and I am left wondering where the month went. Throughout early life, we define the passing of time by our academic years. The six years of pre-adolscence get lumped into one’s elementary school period, then the three awkward in between years of middle school, followed by two rounds of being freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. Suddenly we emerge from it all and have no way to qualify our time, no freshman fall to refer to or that really wild spring of junior year. All we have are the growing number of years between us and our academic based selves, and the changing of seasons and coming of holidays to keep time.

I suppose I am now entering the summer before my senior year of being an adult. I tend to fair well as a senior, having picked up on things along the way, so this should be a good thing. But then what… super seniors foreverz?

Today’s Emo: Disarm (Smashing Pumpkins cover) / The Civil Wars

‘I used to be a little boy / so old in my shoes’

As I mentioned, Civil Wars really brought a show to the Great American Music Hall on Sunday night, and I heard Saturday’s sold out show was equally as dazzling. The Music Hall is a perfect venue… grandiose and intimate at the same time, with a sprawling domed ceiling and wrap around balcony, it is big enough to accommodate a solid crowd, but boosts acoustics that make you have to whisper and try to hide coughs during guitar strums. A great backdrop for the delightful banter and beautiful americana that Joy and John Paul delivered, the duo managed to make their original songs sound even better than the studio recordings, and also delivered two covers: Billy Jean and Disarm.

A folky Billy Jean was loads of fun, but they made Disarm their own… respecting its sanctity but stripping it down and weaving arching harmonies with gentle guitar while quietly building the chorus into something epic yet hushed. Chills. A really special moment that I have been reliving all week. This recording is from a prior show, but does the experience justice. Enjoy. #emo

Today’s Untz: Promises / Nero ft. Sub Focus

‘you got me so high / don’t you see it in my eyes’

England untz forces unite to present Promises: a little drum and bass, a little dubstep, and a lot of fun. Nero and Sub Focus’ track exudes energy, packing a lot of punch while still being totally easy to listen to. Volume down, charges me through the work day / volume up, time to play… a perfect Friday find. Check out the heavier, tougher stronger version a la Skrillex for all those that like it a little harder. #untz

we don’t fake

22 Jun

I camped out on the couch and watched The Shawshank Redemption on AMC on Monday to combat a tough day at work and a nagging headache, and immediately lost myself in how good it is. Definitely cried when Brooks kills himself, and again when Andy and Red get reunited on that beach at the end.

But it was a moment that I had almost forgotten about that struck me the most… when Andy locks his supervising officer in the bathroom and plays an opera over the loudspeakers of the entire prison. Everyone throughout freezes, and you see the sound wash over their faces like light. Imagine going years without hearing music, and then hearing it for the first time again. Such an emo/magical moment.

Get busy living or get busy dying.

Today’s Emo: We Don’t Eat / James Vincent McMorrow

‘I moved to the coast, under a mountain / swam in the ocean, slept on my own / at dawn I would watch the sun cut ribbons through the bay’

The Civil Wars killed it during Sunday night’s show, but I was equally blown away by their opener. I walked into the Great American Music Hall shortly after James started his set, and I heard him before I saw him. He was doing one of his songs in a sharp falsetto, and I literally  thought I was listening to a middle aged woman singing. Then we stepped onto the floor and low and behold it is a cheeky, scruffy, scrawny young Irishman on stage, pouring his soul into the microphone. What a formidable feast. Between breathtaking songs James got in some clever jabs on us Californians and our coconut water hangover cures, and expressed sincere gratitude for being able to play in front of an American audience.

The pleasure was all ours. Bon Iver meets Ray LaMontague with a tinge of Marcus Mumford in those soulful smokey crisp chops, McMorrow delivered the kind of music makes me take pause. Have been devouring his album since. #emo

Today’s Untz: I Think I Like It / Fake Blood

The first time I heard this song, I didn’t think I liked it. I was gearing up to see FB play a Halloween gig at the Mezz, and going through his tracks before the show. I found it shrill and (gasp) a little annoying. Then I listened to it a few more times, and a few more, and then I saw it live and danced my face off to it, and the song has become a feel good go to ever since.  Beyond repetitive and yet it never gets old.  #untz


mitten post

20 Jun

Beautiful, sun filled weekend. Sad to see it over.

Today’s Emo: Cavalcade / Mitten

‘see how I’ve been living / I didn’t give up I just got busy and now / there are things I have been given / I’m trying not to throw them out’

Two things going for these girls before I even played their tracks. 1. Group name is Mitten. 2. Mitten’s recent release is called See You Bye, which is pretty damn close to kthxbai.

Naming convention skills aside, Mitten has me smitten. Brooklyn’s indie poptresses Maia Macdonald and Joanna Katcher look like they shower weekly at best, laugh at bras and only wear men’s hoodies, but they sound delightfully smooth and feminine, reminding me of a softer Tegan and Sara, or as a blogger on The Tale of the Tape put it, “Matt & Kim with loads of restraint and without Matt.”  #emo

Today’s Untz: Post Physical / Pictureplane

Denver’s Pictureplane, aka Travis Egedy, lives in a warehouse called Rhinoceropolis where he apparently likes to throw epic ragers and to tweet about transcending physical boundaries and his bowel movements. Accordingly, I was surprised how chill and mellow this track is off his upcoming album, Thee Physical, due out July 19th. Chill wave beats, gentle crooning, and slinky synth, Post Physical is the perfect track to take with your cornflakes on a sleepy Monday morning. #untz

dj clap your hands

17 Jun

I was going on a run to de-stress after work on Wednesday and doing my usual hyper critical people watching as a distraction from being fatigued routine, when I noticed a hipster seven year old. Chucks, skinny jeans, stylish across the forehead headband and that “I don’t care what you think but really I am trying pretty hard” look alongside her shleppy father. The girl was in the wrong neighborhood (Marina) for this kind of ‘tude, but I was still impressed/alarmed.

I thought to myself, ‘only in San Fran… and maybe Williamsburg.’ Then I realized when I was in grade school in Oregon I was rocking a hand me down Hello Kitty sweatshirt, leggings, high tops and an unintentional mullet… so I actually might have fit right in. Clearly before my time. Emo in the making.

Today’s Emo: Same Mistake / Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah were garnering serious momentum and critical acclaim during their first few years together, and then right when things were getting hot and heavy, the members decided to take a break in 2009 to work on their own projects. A break, not a break up, the Brooklyn (surprise) indie rockers have had a hot make up sesh in the studio, delivering Same Mistake as a teaser off their upcoming album due this September, Hysterical.

It is not the pieces of this song but the way that they are blended together that have me won over, and I like it enough to not even care that I can’t share any lyrics because I have no idea what they are saying. You can download the track free on the band’s site. Applause. Cheering. Yeah. #emo

Today’s Untz: Dancing with the DJ / The Knocks

‘we don’t care if the sun comes up / cause you know we’ll be dancing with the dj’

I posted the acoustic, striped down version of Dancing with the DJ a couple of months ago, but have migrated back to the feel good beats of the original to take with my afternoon coffee. I picture ladies of the 80’s dance-skating through a disco light filled roller rink with their hands over her head in shiny Lycra whenever I hear the song… and it’s hard not to smile. Friday time. #untz

king hollow

15 Jun

Which legs are mine? Whose mystery stems?

Today’s Emo: Barton Hollow / The Civil Wars

‘miles and miles in my bare feet / still can’t lay me down to sleep’

Funny how people cringe and turn their nose up at the idea of “country” only to embrace a similar sound as long as it is “folk.” Guilty as charged, I have long distanced myself from my Oregon country radio roots of Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban and their songs about American flags, kissing on porch swings, and who keeps the cat after a breakup, but happily settle into folk groups using similar instruments and sounds to produce rolling harmonies, foot stomping sensations, and that feeling of home.

A fresh, beautiful and simple but sassy tune, Barton Hollow makes me really excited to see these two play live on Sunday. I am admittedly a little bummed they are married to other people as I really hear some fire burning in these vocals, but maybe they are having an illicit affair. At least they are not siblings. #emo

Today’s Untz: The Immortals / Kings of Leon (Royksopp remix)

‘spill out on the streets of stars / and ride away / find out what you are / face to face’

Another electro gem borrowed off my friend Tom’s BlogJuice, I am totally digging Royksopp’s crazy mix of this Kings track off Come Around Sundown. The two headed Norwegian monster of untz take the slow and steady ballad The Immortals, flip the vocals into something childlike, and inject some serious beats, mixing things up to the point that you need the chorus to trace your way back to the original song. Pleased to dance my face off. #untz