Sunday, December 21, 2008

Earle Brown dates

Local San Marcos blues rock band Earle Brown made up of Evan Styles on vocals and keyboard, Jeff Mills on drums, Mick McGuiness on backup vocals and guitar, Scott Morgan on backup vocals and percussion, Dan Irwin on bass and Chris Blacon on backup vocals and guitar have two show dates on their calendar. The six-piece is reminiscent of San Francisco rock quartet Tea Leaf Green with a twist of Black Keys. I’d highly recommend you check them out! For being around less than five months, they totally rock!

Tuesday, January 20th at 10:30 pm at The Triple Crown
Back to School/Inauguration Day...
Come early and see Our Favorite Colors open at 9:00 pm
$2 you-call-it's until 11:00, and cheap drinks afterwards.
$5 cover at the door.

Thursday, February 26th at 10:00 pm at The Gray Horse
Cheap Beer, No Cover, and a 2 hour set.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'm so last season....

In the midst of getting lost in school books and papers, I've found that I'm no longer sporting any of the "deck fashions." Real popular amongst the local "bike kids", who are the adolescent youths who permeate the streets on fixed-gear roadbikes equipped with Deep V's rims are Toms and canvas Champion Oxford Keds.
While I'm sure they're paying full-price for these cheap Wal-mart chic shoes which probably cost close to thirty at Urban Outfitters, they're as cool as unisex tri-blend jersey deep V-neck t-shirts from American Apparel that you can get for a cool $22. These easily crafted tees that might as well be modified fruit of the loom undershirts REMAIN a hot must even in this cold weather.
Anyhow, if any of you bump into Santa tell him I want this:
A pink track frame on non-machined lime green velocity deep-v's.
Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

New M.I.A. w/ Blaqstarr

The video only cost $9.95 to make!

Monday, November 3, 2008

A few words from David Byrne

I received an interesting email from David Byrne's fanlisting today about his ideas and thoughts about politics and the importance of voting. Here's what the man himself has to say.

Pardon the bulk mailing. I Can't Vote. I am an immigrant with a Green Card and, therefore, I am not eligible to vote in a federal election. FYI - I can get drafted (luckily, Daniel Berrigan burned my draft board's records) and I pay taxes, yet I cannot vote for President. On Election Day, I see my neighbors heading to the nearby elementary school to cast their ballots. The voting booth joint is a great leveler; the whole neighborhood - rich, poor, old, young, decrepit and spunky - they all turn out in one day.

But most of you can vote. What can I say? The Republicans have made us less safe than before 9/11, bankrupted this economy, started an illegal war they can't - and don't intend to - finish, removed what sympathy (after 9/11) and respect the world had for the US, and have robbed US citizens of many of their basic rights. Global warming? What's that? Science and education? Investment in our future? No, thanks - we'll stick with a good 'ole hockey mom. Ignorant, and fucking proud of it, as is always the case.

Although it looks like a shoo-in, it ain't over 'til Florida. And there are plenty of racists in this country who will vote against their own best interests. So please, get to your local elementary school, post office, town hall, or whatever, and cast your vote and make this a country we can all be proud of. We can get out of this mess, and life can be better than it is.

David Byrne

Yo Majesty- Futuristically Speaking… Never Be Afraid Review

Yo Majesty

Futuristically Speaking… Never Be Afraid
Domino Records

Black, Christian, lesbian rappers from Tampa, Florida? A distinctive description of Yo Majesty made up of Shunda K. (Lashunda Flowers) and Jwl B. (Jewel Baynham). Until recently the project had a third member, Shon B. (Shon Burt) who is no longer apart of the collaboration. The hip-hop duo released their first EP in 2006 and toured alongside CSS and The Gossip in 2007. Futuristically Speaking… Never Be Afraid is the duo’s first full length album. Yo Majesty formed six years ago when gospel singer Baynham met Flowers, a track star turned rapper, at a gay club in Tampa. Despite broking up for several years, during which Baynham renounced her homosexuality, married a man after a tryst with Islam, later to divorce and reclaim her lesbian identity, Yo Majesty has populated a significant underground following. A blender puree of Missy Elliot, 2 Live Crew and Salt & Pepper, the gutter mouth duo spit filthy tunes about “getting your ass on the floor” and “busting out windshields.” A hip hop party ghetto electro party up debut, Futuristically Speaking… Never Be Afraid encompasses a ‘futuristically speaking’ out of this world sound with its oozy beats, electro riffs and infectious bass lines.
The album’s aggressive opener “Fucked up,” merits an immediately effective restraining order. Seemingly, a contradictive masochistic love song which suggests schizophrenic manic desires in a love/hate relationship. An irate Shunda K bawls “I can’t live without you, so, do you want to fight me/ because I want to fight, fight you. I want to break all the shit in your bathroom.” Snarling mike in mouth she declares “I can’t stand the way you breathe, but I like the way you fuck me,” and inquires, “you want me to get away from house? Love you!! You want me to get away from your car? Love you!! You want me to get away from your dog? Love you!!” Title track, “Never Be Afraid,” is a catchy synth-and-percussion beat groove which reiterates the lyrics ‘we will never be afraid, we will never be afraid, we will never be afraid,’ over and over before, within, during and throughout the speed rap. Reminiscent of something Missy Elliot has produced, the album’s dance-y bump and grind track, “Club Action,” effortlessly incorporates F-Bomb bleeps and demands the listener “to fuck that shit.” The funky “Party Hardy” follows suit with the progression of the party-starter album and serves as a perfect ‘get up and dance’ tune. A stand out track for me, I can’t help but sing along every time I hear it--“I really want to go to the party, yo, I got a flat tire and my gas is low.”“Booty Clap” is a fast paced electro-infused tune produced by critically acclaimed UK House duo Basement Jaxx. The apt wordsmiths demonstrate their tongue-twist abilities in the concluding track “Take It Away,” amidst the energetic Miami bass and old school 8-bit beats. A ‘G-rated’ version of the punchy, X-rated lyrically driven album seems implausible - even without lyrics, the beats and bass lines remain excitingly dirty. In doing initial research on the band, it’s been mentioned by several music sources and blogs that while Yo Majesty’s in studio work is good, their live performances are even better! Their boisterous and unruly stage presence is worth every cent of the admission price.

Highlight Track: “Club Action” Track 11

Album Grade: 7/10 (increments of .5)

Ashley Cass

Monday, October 20, 2008

Brazilian Girls-NYC Review

The Brazilian Girls
New York City
New York City, the third album for NYC based Brazilian Girls reveals a more intercontinental sound than its predecessors. Unlike their 2006 release Talk To La Bomb, NYC strays away from the typical electro and formulates more of a lounge sound. Multilingual frontwoman Sabina Sciubba incorporates Spanish, French, Italian and every other language she speaks which attributes to the album’s world-savvy flair. The album which packs numerous styles and sounds into one sitting leaves little room for a cohesive progression---a schizophrenic overload of jazz, cabaret, electro and jazz.
The critically acclaimed band extend their signature, multi-lingual sound with the help of renowned Senagalese musician Baaba Maal as a guest vocalist on "Internacional," and American jazz musician Kenny Wollesen on numerous tracks. The album entitled NYC pays homage to the city which the band first got their start. The album’s first track, “St. Petersburg,” is reminiscent of the bands international percussion-driven beats and cool jazz undertones. Sciubba coolly inquires “do you like my accent?” “Good Time” the album’s essential dance sing-a-long features happy synthesizers, lively guitar riffs and a peppy drum beat. "We just want to have a good time, tonight. We just want to have a good time all the time," sings Sciubba. “Nouveau Americain,” which translates from French to “New American” is a hypnotic track permeated by Pan-African drumming and melodic vocals.
While NYC’s sound varies greatly between tracks, the album remains a feel-good chic album that will keep the listener on a rollercoaster of both up and down-tempo grooves. This album is cooler than a ham sandwich and side-dish of shitake mushrooms.

Halloween comes early

This week's Sarah Palin moment of the week...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bands I've Seen (and number of times)

Forgive me for bragging, boasting.. etc. But I'd like to have this online for reasons of convenience. Anyhow, I'd like to see at least 15 more before the year's over.

Widespread Panic- 17
Ghostland Observatory-5
Spoon- 5
The Flaming Lips- 4
Grupo Fantasma- 3
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers-3
Dave Matthews Band- 2
Neil Diamond- 2
Three Leaf-2
Holy F*ck-2
Kings of Leon-2
Amy Cook-2
Mickey Avalon-2
Dave Matthews & Friends- 1
The Strange Boys-1
Band of Horses-1
David Byrne-1
The Ugly Beats-1
The Boxing Lesson-1
Handsome Furs-1
The Kills-1
The Eagles-1
Tokyo Police Club-1
Tilly & The Wall-1
The Presets-1
Cut Copy-1
The Fratellis-1
The Muslims-1
White Denim-1
Del the Funky Homosapian-1
Vampire Weekend-1
Aesop Rock-1
Thievery Corporation-1
No Age-1
Abe Vegota-1
King Khan and the Shrines-1
The Jaccuzi Boys-1
Sound Team- 2
Aqualung- 1
Lcd Soundsystem-1
The National-1
The Arcade Fire-1
Yo La Tengo-1
The Killers-1
The Faint-1
Jaguar Love-1
Zap Mama-1
Regina Specktor-1
Bloc Party-1
Kaiser Chiefs-1
Cold War Kids-1
Queens of the Stoneage-1
Bob Dylan and his Band-1
The Bravery- 1
Buddy Guy- 1
Robert Randolph & the Family- 1
Rebirth Brass Band- 1
Cher- 1
Of Montreal-1
Pattern is Movement-1
Loren Dent-1
Cyndi Lauper- 1
Elton John- 1
Mission from Burma- 1
She Wants Revenge- 1
I Love You, But I've Chosen Darkness- 1
Shakira- 1
Ov7- 1
Ha-Ash- 1
The Walkmen- 1
Phil Lesh & Friends- 1
Chicago- 1
Earth, Wind & Fire- 1
Rachel Yamagata- 1
Keane- 1
Nic Armstrong & the Thieves- 1
Damian Gong Marley-1
Tv on the Radio-2
Built to Spill-1
Los Lonely Boys-1
The Rolling Stones-1
The Racontours-1
Gnarls Barkley-1
Steve Miller Band-1
Parliament Funkadelic-1
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah-1
Elvis Perkins-1
Jose Gonzales-1
Brazilian Girls-1
Massive Attack-1
The B-52's-1
Pet Shop Boys-1
Sons of Hercules- 1
The Black Angels- 1
Car Stereo Wars-1
Crowded House-1
Artic Monkeys-1
Stephen Marley-1
The Jellydots-1
Key-Man Marley-1
Ian McLagen & Bump Band-1
Stephen Marley-1
Clap! Clap!-1
Van Halen-1
Dandy Warhols-1
Ringo Deathstar-1
Kanye West-1
Lupe Fiasco-1
Steve Winwood-1
Broken Social Scene- 1
Jack Johnson-1
Sharon Jones and Dap Kings-1
The Cool Kids-1
Suptnik Monroe-1
Paul Van Dyk- 1
Paul Oakenfold- 1
Infusion- 1
Dj Shadow-1
Dj Logic-3
Max Graham- 1
The Chemical Method- 1
Gabriel & Dresden- 1
James Zabiela and Nic Finaciulli-1
Benny Benassi-1
Ferry Corsten-1

Oxblood Masquerade Music and Arts Festival

The fourth-annual Oxblood Masquerade Music and Arts Festival, produced by Austin-based promotions company They Will Come Productions will be held October 31-November 2 at The Ball Farm, a 62-acre venue located 25 minutes from downtown Austin in Lytton Springs. The event which used to be called Melody & Josh’s Halloween Bash stemmed from the mastermind of Josh Ball, event organizer. “Initially, it was just a big party about 125-130 people in attendance and Funkotron performing. But now it’s grown into something larger,” says Ball.
The event which gets its name from the oxblood lilies that grow throughout the venue’s area will feature a 36-band lineup, local art, food vendors and beer. Festival attendees will be allowed to bring their own food and alcohol. Due to liability, alcohol brought is to be consumed in the designated campground area only ---no kegs or glass bottles are allowed. Vehicles occupied by minors carrying alcohol are prohibited from entering the campground. Ball highly recommends that festival attendees facilitate the free campsites. “We emphasize camping to minimize drunk driving, it’s free for all, although you can’t get back into the ground with a one day pass,” says Ball. “Campers must be attendees in order to camp on the grounds. We aren’t letting any outside guests use the campsite.”
The community based event which promotes the sharing of fans among the bands, previously relied on word of mouth advertising but has extended its promotion to radio, internet and flyers. “We expect at least 2,000 to attend,” said Ball. Texas State Senior, Bryan Wasetis who attended last year said that he first heard about the event through his friend who had attended the year before. Wasetis further stated that the Oxblood festival is an enjoyable way to discover local music and have fun with friends. “Instead of doing the conventional Halloween thing in Austin, my friend who had gone the year before suggested we go to Oxblood instead because it would be more fun,” said Wasetis. “Oxblood is revolutionary in how it supports the local music scene. I had an incredible time at last years, a great mix of people and good times.” Bands on the bill include local favorites Three Leaf, Funkotron, The Olive Street Band, Green Mountain Grass, The River Hymm and Word Association to name a few.
In support of the going green trend, all food and beer will be served in compostable containers and the main stage will be run by solar power. All attendees are encouraged to wear costumes in lieu of Halloween.
For ticket prices, complete line-up and more information visit

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It's Britney, bitch....

Britney's new single Womanizer, for her upcoming album Circus was featured on 20/20 Friday night. While the shower scenes were edited for content, the song and video are sure to be instant gold. I like the 4/20 reference in the video. See if you can catch it. She's back! Here's the unedited version:

Sarah Palin Remixed

Our weekly Sarah Palin fix.

Maya Preggers!

A very pregnant M.I.A. took the stage with rapper T.I. and N.E.R.D., last night in Brooklyn, New York at the Diesel xXx Rock & Roll Circus. The Sri Lankan rapper who recently got engaged to Benjamin Brewer , the son of CEO and Warner Music Group Chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr., had been said to have cancelled her summer tour due pregnancy rumors.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thievery Corporation-Radio Retaliation Review

Thievery Corporation
Radio Retaliation
ESL Music

Radio Retaliation is the fifth studio album for Washington D.C. based duo Thievery Corporation, which consists of deejays Rob Garza and Eric Hilton. While the album is the follow-up to 2006 album Versions which consisted primarily of remixes and their popular 2005 release The Cosmic Game, which rose to No. 1 on Billboard's Top Electronic Albums chart and sold over 150,000 copies in the United States, Radio Retaliation falls short of its predecessors. Despite the incorporation of numerous world guest singers, the down-tempo, ambient, lounge theme remains central and really doesn’t present anything new or out of the ordinary. Often categorized as “world music,” Thievery Corporation remains true to this notion through the inclusion of Brazilian, Nigerian, Middle-Eastern, Afro-rhythm, and Latin beats. Guest musicians joining Hilton and Garza on the album include Anoushka Shankar, daughter of renowned sitar player Ravi Shankar, Slovakian violinist and vocalist Jana Andevska, Brazilian singer Seu Jorge, award-winning Nigerian afro-beat star Femi Kuti, and "Godfather of Go-Go" Chuck Brown among others.
“Sound the Alarm,” kicks off the album with an emergency alarm sample which lasts about 18 seconds and fades into an energetic reggae dub ordering to “sound the alarm, order the attack.” The album’s second track entitled “Mandela” featuring Shankar is an instrumental manifestation of rich drum beats and sitar strumming which transcends into an innovative acid-jazz funk jam. “Radio Retaliation,” the title track features reggae singer Sleepy Wonder who sets forth the political agenda of Thievery Corporation---“50,000 watts of Thievery hit them like poison darts, and watch the whole system what them build up fall apart.” The last track entitled “Sweet Tides,” featuring vocalist LouLou, is a sweet soft boss nova tune that provides a perfect ending to this “chill” album.
The CD comes in a rustic cardboard packaging enveloped loosely in a poster fold-out insert. The leaflet itself measuring 20” x 30” when unfolded contains the lyrics of each song randomly placed along the front and back. The artwork consists of a large Rasta-colored bulls-eye on both sides, surrounded by cut and paste images of electronics, music equipment, cameras, bullets, pixilated people, and infamous quotes from the likes of Timothy Leary, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Hunter S. Thompson, Joe Strummer and numerous others. In addition, a footnote included amongst the other quotes implicates that “the quotes and images assembled on the enclosed poster collage are intended to convey a transformative political and social message” and are in no way intended to represent the significance of Radio Retaliation but of Thievery Corporation itself. Interestingly enough, the deliverance of their message is subtle and doesn’t outshine the music.
While, I wasn’t a fan of Thievery Corporation until I saw them live a few months ago in Austin, Texas, I’ve come to realize that their live performance is much more captivating than their studio work. Whereas, you’d typically hear this style or type of music at a lounge or coffee shop, Thievery Corporation has reinvented the genre into something more appealing to the masses. I was blown away by their stage presence which included a belly dancer clad in archaic Arab garb, an array of backup musicians and guest singers Federico Aubele and Seu Jorge. The gravitational effect of the music was prevalent in the crowd’s endless dancing and celebration of being “one.”

Highlight Track: “Sweet Tides” Track 15

Album Grade: 6.5/10 (increments of .5)

Ashley Cass

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Electric Mayhem every Wednesday at Lucy's

Funk, punk, indie, electro, pop, house, hip-hop, mainstream are only some of the types of music being played at Lucy's on Wednesday nights. While typically referred to as "Hip-Hop Night" by the local scensters and hipsters in San Marcos, Lucy's General Manager Brian Scofield says he dislikes the term because it doesn't really describe the encompassing theme or agenda. "I don't really like the term 'hip-hop night' because I think it is too narrow a description of what Electric Mayhem play."

When one thinks Electric Mayhem, instantly an image of the Muppets house band comes to mind, unless you're a college student at Texas State University. Electric Mayhem, made up of resident deejays Chief and Dj Crown real names Greg Williams and John Crownover have played a significant role in San Marcos nightlife for the past six and a half years. The duo who adapted their name from Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem grew out of former musical venture Liquid Stereo Project, a seven piece hip-hop group. On the eve of one of Liquid Stereo Project's performances at Lucy's, one of the members had a family emergency which resulted in the show's cancellation. In an attempt to fill in last minute, Williams and Crownover volunteered to deejay and Electric Mayhem was born. Despite a slow start, the duo began to gain steady popularity through word of mouth by the end of the summer in 2002. By 2005, Lucy's was hitting max capacity every Wednesday which continues to date. Texas State Junior Veronica Sanchez says she's been going to see Electric Mayhem every Wednesday since last year. "I started coming because I used to see the advertising for 'Electric Mayhem at Lucy's' around town and friends just kept telling me how much fun it was," says Sanchez.

Both Williams and Crownover, who hold other jobs during the day, sample all types of music which include rock, old funk, soul, and reggae. "We play a variety of music. About 75% are personal tastes and maybe 25% is what we think people want to hear. We try to be an alternative, we play what we feel comfortable playing," says Crownover. Williams says the duo find their music through the use of XM-radio, Myspace, music blogs, and magazines. "We get our music from sources that most people get their music, we use music that an open-minded crowd appreciates," says Williams. Philosophy major Hannah Jordan enjoys the varied genres Electric Mayhem play throughout the evening. "They keep it real diverse. I never know if I'm going to hear James Brown or M.I.A.," says Jordan.

The duo is incredibly appreciative to all of the members of the crowd who come out and enjoy themselves. "This is our 'bread and butter, we just have a blast when we're up there," says Williams. Crownover reiterates his and Williams' gratitude to the people who attend and says that he wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fixed Gear Bicycles

My first stand-up package... I hate my hispanic accent, but oh well!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fun Fun Fun Fest

The second annual Fun Fun Fun Fest will be held at Waterloo Park in Austin, Texas, November 8th and 9th. This year's eclectic lineup features retired punk band
Dead Milkman whose sole reunion performance will take place at the event. Several of widely anticipated acts include The National, Atmosphere, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Dan Deacon and Clipse to name a few.

FINAL LINEUP for 2008:
Stage 1: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, The National, Atmosphere, Minus The Bear, St. Vincent, Black Angels, Trail of Dead, Deerhoof, Rival Schools, Islands, The Annuals, Bishop Allen, Centro-matic, Black Heart Procession, Frightened Rabbit, Spinto Band, Parts and Labor, Colourmusic, Experimental Dental School, 27, Til We're Blue or Destroy, Paul Green's School of Rock, Ume, Black Joe Lewis

Stage 2: Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Neil Hamburger, Tim Fite, Magnetic Morning (adam franklin of Swervedriver, sam fogarino of Interpol), Kevin Seconds (of 7 seconds), The Revival Tour w/: Chuck Ragan (of hot water music), Tom Gabel (of against me!), Ben Nichols (of lucero), Tim Barry (of avail), The Cynics, The Ugly Beats, El Paso Hot Button, Walter Schreifels (of quicksand, rival schools, GB, YOT), Coldtowne Comedy Hour, Pepi Ginsberg, Altercation Punk Rock Comedy hour, Frank Smith, Matt Beardan, Chris Fairbanks, Dragon Boy Suede, Golden Arm Trio, Grampall Jookabox, spot & Albert, James Petralli (White Denim)

Stage 3: Bad Brains, ALL, Dead Milkmen (reunion/only show), Adolescents, Integrity (only US/worldwide show), Bouncing Souls, Swingin Utters, DOA, Killdozer, Cromags (jam), Scared of Chaka, Young Widows, Leftover Crack, Trash Talk, World Burns to Death, Krumbums, Mammoth Grinder, Cute Lepers, Bitter End, High Tension Wires, Born to Lose, Camp X-Ray, Municipal Waste

Stage 4: Clipse, Z-trip, Dan Deacon, YACHT, Grupo Fantasma, Kool Keith/Dr. Octagon, Dengue Fever, Brownout!, Franki Chan, Toxic Avenger (paris), Hawnay Troof, Starlynx/bigface, Richard Henry, J*Davey, Shane Tyson, The Octopus Project, Zeale & Phranchyze, Terp 2 It

Tickets can be purchased here!

Mad Decent Tour date in Austin!

The Mad Decent Tour featuring Diplo, Abe Vigoda, Boy 8-bit, Telepathe and other special guests will be making a stop in Austin at Emo's Friday, November 7th.

You can get your presale tickets to the event here.

Fey as Palin continues to boost SNL ratings

Tina Fey's reprising role of Alaska governer and Republican Vice President hopeful Sarah Palin has continued to boost ratings for NBC's "Saturday Night Live". With a viewership of 7.4 rating, ratings jumped 23 percent since last week's episode. The skit featured special guest star Queen Latifah as debate moderator Gwen Ifill. Here it is in case you missed it:

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Cool Hand Luke

Hello friends, I just wanted to share with you my first "real" cd review for Stereo Subversion.

Check it Here!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Radiohead Reckoner Video

Radiohead has decided to use an animated feature directed by Clement Picon, who is one of the winners of the Radiohead Reckoner video contest, as the official video for the track. The video is pretty cool and depicts the rise and destruction of a futuristic world.
Radiohead - Reckoner - by Clement Picon

The Walkmen- You & Me Review

The Walkmen
You & Me
You & Me, the fifth album and follow-up to A Hundred Miles Off exhibits The Walkmen ‘s evolving sound and style. While the album is sulkier and gloomier than its predecessors, it puts the band’s lyrical genius forthright. Unlike the success of their first album, Bows and Arrows, which features hit single “The Rat,” You & Me is slowly gaining popularity in the indie world. An introspective analytical proverb of interpersonal experiences, You & Me explores the human emotions of lust, love and heart-break.
A burning bass riff and melodic drums compliment singer Hamilton Leithauser’s whiskey soaked voice nicely on the album starter entitled “Donde Esta La Playa,” which translates from Spanish to “Where is the Beach?” The mention of a one night stand on the track sets the mood and encompassing theme of the album. “Flamingo (for Colbert),” a melancholy instrumental piece which serves only as a filler between the first and third track provides nothing more than carefully crafted musical noise. The album’s standout track “In the New Year,” a heartfelt emotion of self-induced optimism is conveyed by Leithauser proclaiming that “it’s going to be a good year, out of darkness and into the fire.”
It’s great to see a band such as The Walkmen experiment with a darker undertone and lamentation of words. You & Me truly proves to be an engaging masterpiece for the brokenhearted and barstool depressed.

Ashley Cass

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Interpol's "Slow Hands" used in new Armani ad

Ohhh, Josh Hartnett is lookin' oh so hot.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin

In case you missed it Saturday night, you can watch it
here. Tina Fey's impersonation of the Alaskan Governor and Republican VP was dead on. While the McCain camp was unhappy about the bit and called it sexist, Palin "thought it was quite funny, particularly because she once dressed up as Tina Fey for Halloween," according to spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A real music reviewer position, oh boy!

So I just finished my first CD review for Stereo Subversion, an Indiana based music blog which I feel is a step closer to achieving some sort of notoriety in the music industry. While I was assigned a Christian Rock band, something which I believe may have been some sort of test, I think I owned it! Instead of automatically putting my biased opinion forward, I explored the genre with an open-mind and ears.

Check it yo!
Cool Hand Luke
The Sleeping House

A progressive follow-up to their sophomore album Fires of Life, Cool Hand Luke continue their devout journey with The Sleeping House. After an extended four year hiatus and a new cast of members, the Nashville-based Christian band deliver a powerful and thought provoking message in their spiritual orchestration of intelligent lyrics and profound instrumentation. Founding member Mark Nicks (vocals/keyboard/drums) explores new musical territories alongside Joey Holman, in place of guitarist Chris Susi and Casey McBride, in place of bassist Brandon Morgan. Unlike previous releases, the songs on the new album carry a more aggressive, deeper, darker undertone.
Implicative of this is the album’s first track “Fast Asleep,” a slow-tempo experimental groove that employs deep piano progressions and cascading electric guitar. Serving as an ambient intro, “Fast Asleep” provides a connective lead in for “Cast Your Bread,” a soulful, heartfelt track interwoven with Bible versus from the books of John and Mark. Nicks’ soothing tenor vocals in “The Mirror”-- a song about a contemplative, conflicted persona Nicks sees in the reflection of a mirror--match perfectly with the foundation and dynamic of The Sleeping House. In the song, Nicks implores the Lord for individual guidance as well as for a girl who “turns on the T.V. to escape for free.” The well-constructed cry for help serves as the standout track and further exemplifies the band’s musical abilities.

Written on piano first, the twelve track album showcases Nicks’ divergent lyrical approach that ranges from the descriptively transcendent to the introspective contemplative nature of all humans. The soft, soothing sleep-provoking tracks live true to the “sleeping” theme with the exception of the ending track “Wide Awake,” which begins with soft redundant piano riffs and escalates to penetrating guitar and cymbal noise, leaving the listener anything but asleep.

The album’s art is pretty impressive and features an eight panel fold-out consisting of a diver’s underwater exploration drawn in an Aeon Flux fashion.

While I’m hardly a fan of Christian Rock and found it somewhat difficult to put my biased opinion aside and listen to the album without an “Eww, Christian music” attitude, I put forth my best artistic judgment and realized that music is more than the listeners interpretation. Despite the get rich/sell out scheme seasoned by most bands; it seems quite the opposite for Cool Hand Luke. Rather than implementing their remarkable musical talents to something more conventional or mainstream, Nicks sings about something more meaningful and personal. Nicks remains faithful and beseeching of the Lord’s presence throughout the entirety of the album especially in the track “The City Prevails”---Don’t be silent… Please, God, don’t be silent. From a questioning, to a pleading stance to a helpless desire, Nicks’ second to the last track, “The House” sets forth the message of necessity with the redundant lyrics “You, O God, I need you. You, O God, I need you.” Perhaps, more than anything, this retrospective album is just a personal outlet of devotion for Nicks and rest of the band.

Highlight Track: “The Mirror” Track 05

Album Grade: 7/10 (increments of .5)

Ashley Cass

Finally Out!

Limited to 1,000 pieces and solely available on her website, M.I.A.'s fashion designs have been available since yesterday. Ranging between $75-$210, the line features only four types of hoodies, several colorful, yet plain design t-shirts, one type of legging and one style of romper. While supplies are thought to sell fast, the creative designs fall somewhat short from Maya's personal style.

Monday, September 1, 2008

One of the pictures I took for a NylonMag photo-op mysteriously (cough, cough.. I know you who you are) made it on VICELAND.COM as a fashion DON'T.

Check the the reader input here.

------ Forwarded Message
From: Ashley Cass
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2008 17:41:36 -0500
Subject: misuse of image.

To Whom it May Concern,

It was brought to my attention that one of my photography subjects was added to your website on your Do's and Dont's;
while I was somewhat upset by this because it was in my personal collection, my subject is enjoying the attention.
Yet, I'm quite interested in knowing how you obtained it.

Ashley Cass

On 7/15/08 11:25 AM, "Vice Intern" wrote:

Hi Ashley,

Sorry for the mix-up, your picture was submitted to us through email back in June by a person who claimed it as theirs. Let me know if there’s any other questions I can help you with.


Thomas Morton
Associate Editor
97 N 10th St, Suite 204
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Saturday, August 30, 2008

4 Stars for Top Ranking

Derided as an M.I.A. knockoff, Santogold's mixtape TOP RANKING collaborated with Philidelphia based DJ Diplo has proven otherwise. The album has been well received by fans and was given a 4-Star rating by Rolling Stone, as well as an 8 out of 10 review by music heavyweights Pitchfork Media. The 35 song album features 12 of Santogold's original tracks as well as a versatile array of hip-hop, new wave, classic rock, indie, dubstep, and reggae tracks.
Late Night (Unstoppable Mix) - 3-6 Mafia

M.I.A. coming out of hiding?

Despite retirement plans, M.I.A., has hinted to Entertainment Weekly Magazine that she may consider coming out of hiatus. The 31 year old Sri Lankan rapper's new found fame came from her song "Paper Planes" being featured on the 'Pineapple Express' movie trailer. While she regrets the early retirement, Maya Arulpragasam, real name, has posed for Marc Jacobs and has been working on her own line of clothing which has not yet been released but can be viewed on her website.
The line includes bold and colorful bomber jackets, leggings and T-shirts, all reflective of the rapper's own style.
Paper Planes - Diplo Street Remix ft. Bun B & Rich Boy - M.I.A.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Acl Night Shows posted!

Aftershows for The Austin City Limits Festival went on presale earlier today.

The Artists that will be performing at venues around Austin during the September 25-28 week include: Manu Chao, David Byrne, The Butthole Surfers w/ The Kills, Mugison, Gnarls Barkley w/ CSS, The Black Keys w/ The Black Angels, G. Love & Special Sauce, Jamie Lidell w/ Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears, The Swell Season w/ Bill Callahan, Drive-By Truckers w/ Shooter Jennings, Heartless Bastards w/ Dead Confederate & Wax Fang, Car Stereo Wars, Okkervil River w/Man Man & Crooked Fingers, Jose Gonzalez w/ Neva Dinova & McCarthy Trenching, Jakob Dylan and The Gold Mountain Rebels w/ Back Door Slam.

If you missed the presale, more tickets will be available to the public Saturday, August 16 at 10 A.M. Get Them Here

Saturday, July 19, 2008

M.I.A + Santogold= Get it UP

"Retired" artist M.I.A. teamed up with Santogold alongside Gorilla Zoe and collaborated on a song called Get it Up remixed by Radioclit! The track is pure genius. Beginning in sirens and Streetfighter game soundeffects, the trio lend their vocals to the tribal indian chant and drum-beatesque track which can be found on Santogold's upcoming mixtape Top Ranking.

Check it out here: Get It Up

Monday, July 7, 2008

King Khan and the Shrines

A voodoo resurrected James Brown playing alongside the 13th Floor Elevators would be an appropriate comparison to King Khan and the Shrines. "The Supreme Genesis of King Khan and the Shrines," title of their current tour album, proved to be true to its name this past Sunday at Mohawk in Austin. While King Khan has collaborated and recorded under the numerous names of The King Khan & BBQ Show, The Spaceshits, The Sensational Shrines, King Khan & His Lonesome Guitar, and The Ciaoculos; this is the first time the 9 piece band has toured the U.S.
Sporting a black long sleeve button down, retro nylon pantsuit, cobrasnake staff in hand, King Khan made his entrance from the balcony, through the crowd and onto the stage with his personal pom pom cheerleader. While his entrance was less grand than his exit, Khan made it a point to get up close and personal with the fans by parading around through the crowd several times. At one point, Khan made all the surrounding people "get low" and crouch for a significant amount of time.
The band's energy was incredible and frontman Khan kept the crowd in stiches. Aside from his colorful personality, Khan's lyrics and commentary left room for laughs and gasps. “It’s gonna get nasty tonight,” commented Khan during the show. And indeed it did, in a gospel inspired sec Khan went into detail as to how he "enters his baby". While his story is a bit too crash and inappropriate to repeat, Khan was so creatively descriptive that he left little room to the imagination. Stripped down to tight-black undies, gold cape and a plastic helmet, Khan made his exit to "No Regrets" through the crowd preceded by the band's saxophone player at the end of the show.
No Regrets - King Khan & The Shrines

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Borderline Obsessed.

In the past several months my fascination with David Byrne, former Talking Head, has grown immensely. Upon seeing his name on the Aclfest lineup a few months back, I immediately purchased my ticket. Disregarding of the major headliners, or lack of, I specifically bought the ticket just because he was going to be there. I'm not saying or insinuating that I'm going to stalk him or anything crazy like that, I just truly appreciate all the artistic expression he's contributed to the world.
I've been listening to his 1981 collaboration album with Brian Eno, titled My Life in the Bush of Ghosts.
Regiment - Brian Eno/David Byrne
I can only describe it as an instrumental ambient pop-rock third world sampling of the ages... This album was definately ahead of its time, and I'm looking forward to Byrne and Eno's upcoming collaboration and tour.
In consistancy with the temporary infatuation, I also checked out Stop Making Sense, a highly acclaimed concert movie featuring the Talking Heads. Shot in 1983 during the Speaking in Tongues tour, the film was notable for its state of the art audio techniques.

In further, True Stories and Ile Aiye: The House of Life are both monumetal in Byrne's directing career and are must-sees.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

No Age

Last night I went to go see No Age, a garage post-punk duo from L.A. I really enjoyed the show. Both Dean and Randy had huge smiles on their faces as the energetic crowd moshed and headbanged. If you throw Boston based post-punk band Mission for Burma and alternative rock-band Sonic Youth in a blender you'd get No Age.
Another band I was extremely impressed by last night was Austin based band The Strange Boys. Ryan, the lead singer implenets bluesy Chuck Berry vocals to the band's retro Cali beach sound. Definately, a must check out. They'll be playing a couple of show in the Austin area as well as ACL.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thievery Corporation

So, my friend Tati from Laredo invited me to go see Thievery Corporation with her last night in Austin at Stubbs. When she first made mention of the band and that they were coming to town, I was willing to go just to put them on my "have seen" list, but I wasn't too thrilled since I hadn't really heard them before. While we lost each other in the crowd before the show, we managed to meet up during the last song after me and Lindsey got off stage. Yes, off stage. We had been walking around the side bar area looking for Tati and Marge and the security points to us and motions us to follow him. In my mind, I thought I had managed to look too messed up (even if I hadn't been drinking) and was going to get kicked out of Stubbs again like at the Wilco show a few months back. But to our dismay he pointed towards the stairway on the stage. All I can say is woooow.
Apprehensive about the whole Thievery experience initially, I was blown away! These guys rocked the venue! Everyone was united and dancing! The musical style of the Washington D.C. based duo consisting of Rob Garza and Eric Hilton could only be described as worldly bossa nova with a dub, Iranian-Brazilian lounge flair. Apart from their supporting band, they had a belly dancer on stage as well as Brazilian songwriter Sue Jorge. All in all, the sold out show was spectacular in every way imaginable. Being so in tune with the music reminded me of my whole Radiohead experience.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Boy George denied Visa

Having just bought tickets last night to Boy George's August show at Stubbs in Austin, I'm troubled to hear the former Culture Club lead man was denied a U.S. Visa. According to CNN, the pop star was denied a Visa by U.S. immigration officers because he faces trial in London in November for charges of false imprisonment relating to an incident back in April of 2007. Boy George, real name George O'Dowd has several U.S. dates on his upcoming tour. His management and attorneys are currently trying to sort out this mess.

5 Bands You Need to Check Out, Yo!

In an attempt to remain on top of my recommendation game, here are 5 bands you need to check out if you haven't already. While they've been in the loop and on the scene for a while, some of you may have not yet heard of them or decided to check them out.

1. The Cool Kids- A hip hop due from Northern American States Michigan and Chicago. These guys have opened up for M.I.A. and have played at both the Pitchfork Media Festival and CMJ MusicFest. They first caught my attention when they played the Gorilla Vs. Bear Party during SXSW.

2. No Age- The LA experimental group will be playing in Austin Tuesday July 1st--their noise rock style is something to be appreciated. Colin Greenwood of Radiohead has been said to be an advocate of the band. He was sporting a No Age tee at Radiohead's Dallas, Texas show.
The Eraser

3. Crystal Castles- The Toronto based duo consisting of vocalist Alice Glass and multi-instrumentalist Ethan Kath released their self-titled album Crystal Castles this year. The full-length LP features the song Crimewave which was collaboration with American Noise Rock band Health.

4. Holy Fuck-
The electro-experiemental band hailing from Ontario, Canada opened up for M.I.A. at her Austin show a few months back. They've played several festivals including Coachella, Vegoose and SXSW to name a few.

5. Beach House- This indie rock duo from Baltimore, Maryland implement soft lyrics and somber organ to their second full length album Devotion.Gila

Monday, June 23, 2008

New Girl Talk

In following the footsteps of Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead, Dj Gregg Gillis aka Girl Talk is allowing his fourth album to be priced by fans. Fans are encouraged to name their price for album just released last Thursday entitled Feed the Animals. The sample based includes an array of song samples from the past and present, the list of artists sampled are numerous. Some of the songs and artists featured in the track Give me the Beat include Gimme More by Britney Spears, American Girl by Tom Petty, Crank Dat Soulja Boy, Renegade by Styx, Kiss by Prince to name a few. Girl Talk even samples Brian Eno's An Ending (Ascent) remixed with Lil Wayne's Lollipop in the post-terrier portion of Shut the Club Down. The album is awesome! You need to check it out. Name Your Price Here!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

NylonMag: What are you lookin' at?! street beat...

Several pictures I took today to submit to a nylonmag photo-op... I think they came out killah.

Monday, June 16, 2008


In the past weeks, I've heard a lot of buzz about Santogold. While her debut album was released in April, it wasn't until recently that I heard about her.
Santogold, real name Santi White, is being called the new M.I.A., respectfully so if now retired. Santogold's attire and vocals are very similar to the retired Sri Lankan performer. She attributes the similiarities to having the same influences as Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam (aka M.I.A.) and working with some of the same people. Check out the single I posted below. The vocals sound hauntingly familiar... hmm.

Santogold Creator (vs. Switch and FreQ Nasty).mp3 -

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Austin Bands and misc music news...

I need to be more dilligent about writing on this thing, however I've been pretty busy with work. Okay, I'm totally lying, I've just been too lazy...

So apart from feeling a tad out of the loop, I got to check out this band called The Boxing Lesson at Beauty Bar in Austin on Thursday. While the place wasn't too happening as it usually is on days such as Friday and Saturday, the band was really good. Their sound is somewhat difficult to categorize since it seems each song varies in genre. The song Muerta can only be described as Pink Floyd's Dark Side of Moon with a hint of Parliament Funkadelic's Maggot Brain. Dark Side of the Moog has a Bowie feel to it, only darker. Upon arriving from their tour of the West Coast, The Boxing Lesson will play the following Texas Dates:
Jul 5 2008 10:00A
Exit Music Festival @ Waterloo Park Austin, Texas
Jul 18 2008 11:00P
TBA Austin, Texas
Jul 24 2008 10:00P
Double-Wide Dallas, Texas

Another worth-mentioning band is Austin's The Black and White Years, a modern more-updated Talking Heads. I really dig their songs Power to Change and and Broken Hand, which were actually produced by former Talking Heads keyboardist Jerry Harrison. While I haven't seen a live shows of theirs yet, I intend to catch one of upcoming Texas Shows. If they're as fun as they sound, this act will blow up.
Jul 3 2008 10:00P
Emo’s w/ Andy Rourke of the Smiths Austin, Texas
Jul 5 2008 12:00P
Exit Fest - Waterloo Park Austin, Texas
Jul 26 2008 9:00P
The Aardvark Ft. Worth, Texas
Sep 27 2008 12:00P
Austin City Limits Festival Austin, Texas

Since I'm writing about Austin Music, I thought I'd mention White Denim, a trio whom I first read about on Gorilla VS. Bear. This act first broke out at SXSW 2007... I really like their song ShakeShakeShake--prevalent bass and quirky guitar riffs repetitive "shake, shake, shake" lyrics. Their next Texas date is September 27, 2008 at the Austin City Limits Festival.

In other music news, M.I.A., Sri Lankan rapper and vocalist, is reported to have retired. Throughout her performance at Bonnoroo this past weekend, she kept telling the crowd that she was retiring and at the end thanked them for coming to her last performance. Mathangi Arulpragasam, real name, announced her engagement to Benjamin Brewer, fellow musician and son of Warner Music Group Chairman and CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr just two weeks ago.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Hercules and Love Affair

Despite the terrible headache I have right now, I must say I had a really good time last night. In addition to that, I think I learned a lot about myself and others. It's sort of weird to just say that without providing any sort of exposition or basis, however me and Rachel (a really cool girl I sat next to in Philosophy class my first semester at Texas State and reminds me of Laredo friend Cindy) figured it all out. Basically me and Rachel decided that we're all going through what our parents went through. Since we're made up of two separate entities our lives are paved for us, however, different scenarios or emotions experienced by our antecedents are picked and implemented---that's why abuse and fucked up shit happens in cycles. I also think we're strongly swayed and enforced by the actions of others--that's why environment is important during childhood, etc. But my belief is all too vague and far-fetched, but I thought I'd make a light intent to describe Rachel and I's deep conversation from last night.

Anyhow, going back to this party... I had an amazing time. It was a "pool party," but when I was the first loser to arrive with a bathing suit I realized that "pool party" meant party by the pool. I guess I take some things too literally? I was a bit taken back by this but regardless, I did make it into the water after Mike Robbins, the guy pictured to the left (he looks like a young Gary Busey) got in. Some girl was trying to coerce Mike to get in because she wanted to get in (me and Brian thought she wanted him, really), but Mike didn't have any boxers on underneath his jeans so he was walking around asking people for their underwear so he could borrow them. I told Mike that if he jumped in with his jeans I'd follow lead. Mike is one of my dear friends who's honest and sincere about his ideals and emotions. He does what he feels right, even if it's just at the moment--I admire him for being so unique and disregarding of what people think. But enough of an ego boost for Mike, I've made some really good friends here at college and I'm so happy about that and being that last nights party was full of them made it all the better. So anyways, in addition to the free booze and pool, there was a dj, a strobelight, a projection screen and Veronica fire danced--I included video of that. Being that everyone was either really drunk or high, made the anxiety level amongst the crowd thick and unrelenting, especially when Veronica started twirling the fire around Hannah J. and Petty, the birthday celebrants.

Anyways, I'm going to start showering and getting ready for work but I wanted to share with you the musical group Hercules & Love Affair; their sound can be described as experimental funky electro disco. I really dig them and think you should check them out if you're at interested in the type of music-

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Got some kicks

So, I bought Reeboks 25th anniversary series tennis shoes today and I just can't wait to sport them... I've always enjoyed tennis shoes, however not to the extreme of becoming a collector. In my youth, my mother would give me and my brother each a $100.00 bill (maybe bi-monthly) and she'd allow us to buy whatever. Not having a job at the time, and being given such a large amount of cash (then), I'd have the capability of buying almost anything I wanted! Instead of saving the money or using it to buy clothes, cd's, makeup...etc... I'd blow it on funky/weird/loud tennis shoes! Several times I went to Joe Brand or Dillards and bought the weirdest shoes I could find. Of coarse being that I bought them at either store, I'd end up spending the entire amount on one pair. Now that I make my own money and pay more bills, I'm more wise about how often I buy and spend on these types of shoes, but I'd say I have at least 12 pairs of them. I usually wear my funky stuff to work where I get numerous compliments from co-workers and customers---I guess I like the attention.

In consistency with my intention, here's a couple of cool worthwhile shows next weekend...

Fri. 05/30
The Black Angels @ Emo's
Grupo Fantasma @ Mohawk
The Archibalds @ The Parlor
Big Head Todd and the Monsters @ Stubbs

Sat. 05/31
Car Stereo Wars @ Beauty Bar
Prayer for Animals @ Trophy's

Sun. 06/01
Centro-matic @ End of an Ear (free)
Dresdan Dolls @ Stubbs

There There

The title of this blog is Sky Saw, the title of a Brian Eno track. It's an enjoyable ambient little number that really doesn't make sense, but it's easy on the ears. Give it a listen if you'd like, I provided a link to a short clip.

All the clouds turn to words All the words float in sequence No one knows what they mean Everyone just ignores them

Being that I really enjoy writing and feel the need to tell people of the occurrences and happenings in my life, I felt rather compelled to start this blog. Lindsey (my roomate) once pointed out that I use my facebook notes as a blog... Um, yeah I do. I guess instead of blabbing off to an innocent bystander about my ideas, troubles, concerns or views I'd rather write about them and the people who are interested can either read or pass.

However, instead of writing about frivolous things such as dreams, let-downs and relationships, I think I'm going to use this blog to write about things I'm truly passionate about--music, fashion, trends, people, experiences. All in all, I'm using this blog to develop a stylistic writing technique which I can use in my future career in Journalism. Hope you enjoy it.