Tuesday, June 26, 2007

save net radio, darfur, tibet, the whales...

if you're reading this, you've probably been bombarded with these messages to save internet radio all day, and you might be sick of it. well, if you are, and you haven't called washington yet, you're probably a bad person. get into the politics of it here and sign the petition here.

when you do call your senators/representatives, you're gonna want to tell them to co-sponsor the internet radio equality act, which is measure S. 1353 in the senate, and H.R. 2060 in the house of representatives. here are the phone numbers of new york senators chuck schumer and hillary clinton:

schumer - 202.224.6542
clinton - 202.224.4451 (this line was busy, so i called her nyc office at 212.688.6262)

savenetradio.org supplies you with your respective representatives' numbers, so give them a call. and as a special bonus, here's a bonde do role b side from the solta o frango single.

bonde do role - "rap do cb"

body english

that phrase came into my head a few minutes ago, and i suddenly realized it would've been a much funner name for a blog than "mr. mammoth." regardless, here we are.

'ello 'ello etc., i'm back from three weeks in canada, where the women are strong, the men are sorta attractive, and the children all seem to be missing (seriously, i feel like i didn't see one kid the whole time). but we're not here to talk about me, we're here to talk about things i like (and dislike, which is more often the case). let me give you the lowdown on this situation here. i own an ipod shuffle. it is cute, clips to the bottom of my shirt, and leaves me free to experience music without the damn ipod interface. however, because it doesn't plug into the wall, it is hard to charge it when you're, say, in canada. however, i managed, and listened to the same 13 albums or so over and over until i rediscovered things i had loved about old releases (case in point: i listened to give up 6 times in 2 days) and find new albums that viscerally excited me. most of these albums will be posted on when i get around to it, and there are more than a handful here, but these three weeks of sloth has made it very hard for me to want to wake up, put my blogging hat on, and mercilessly wade through piles of irrelevant, unimportant, and generally boring music news to bring you what you value most: my opinion. i will get back into the swing of things, never fear, and this WONDERFUL piece of news has kick-started me.

when we were in canada, we had the most unfortunate luck. we missed every awesome concert by one day. menomena played the day before we came, matt and kim the day after (as well as CSS, but i wouldn't've seen them without bonde do role, who had some sickness problems), we missed frog eyes and immaculate machine twice...it hurt. so, i'm practically jumping out of my skin with pleasure that a new free music festival has been announced in new york: CITYSOL. now, as i don't pay my own electric bills (yet), i can't switch to green energy, but you all should. barring that, the $1 off brooklyn beer with your own mug sounds good, as does the lineup. menomena! land of talk! o'death (who i'm missing at the spiegeltent in august)! and, drumroll please, les savy fav! this lineup kicks siren's ass, thank you very much, and you will see me there on july 13 and 14. and brooklyn vegan is co-hosting or something like that, and this sounds awesome. by the way, menomena's friend and foe was one of the canada albums that i need to go out and buy so i can not be hypocritical when i tell you that it's worth spending money on, once i get around to it.

have a great day.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

important announcement!

it is a time for joy and for sadness, as mr. and mrs. mammoth depart today (after the bang on a can marathon) for the wilds of the canadian rockies, as well as the not-so-wilds of vancouver, victoria, and toronto. the family mammoth flies to vancouver tomorrow, so this could potentially be the last mr. mammoth post until june 24 or so. i will try to check in from the road, maybe hit you up with some mp3s or news about how good whatever i'm listening to is, but i would suggest, if you haven't done so already, to RSS/atom feed mr. mammoth so you know when something new is up, since it won't be as frequently as usual.

as a present (and a hint for a future worth spending money on), here's battles "tonto," because it's spelled almost like toronto.

battles - "tonto" buy the whole album here. i bought it on vinyl, and, damn, that exclusive poster is fucking sweet.

Friday, June 1, 2007

free music / you never had it so good

here is a list of all the upcoming free (or nearly free) nyc concerts this summer that i would consider going to (the ones with * i would consider going to only because they're free), and links to the four organizations that sponsor them.

june 1: animal collective, south street seaport
june 2-3: bang on a can marathon, world financial center
june 13: booker t. & the mg's with guest sharon jones, rockefeller park
june 16: television w/ the apples in stereo, dragons of zynth, central park summerstage
june 20: poetic city with musical guest taylor mcferrin, rockefeller park*
june 22: ralph stanley & the clinch mountain boys, prospect park bandshell ($3)*
june 24: superchunk w/ oakley hall, dj todd-o phonic todd, mccarren pool*
june 24: sloan w/ apostle of hustle, duhks, central park summerstage*
june 26: the living room feat. martha wainwright, world financial center*
june 27: john pizzarelli and paula west, rockefeller park
june 30: ozomatli w/ babylon circus, dj joro boro, central park summerstage*
june 30: the stills w/ sam roberts band, malajube, prospect park bandshell ($3)
july 1: man man w/ illinois, dengue fever, mccarren pool
july 1: rodrigo y gabriela w/ vietnam, jdh and dave p, central park summerstage
july 4: the new pornographers w/ midlake, battery park (reserve tickets online june 20)*
july 5: shearwater, castle clinton*
july 6: fujiya & miyagi, south street seaport
july 7: cinematic orchestra w/ ramp, el michels affair, kevin michael, dj spinna, central park summerstage
july 8: dan deacon w/ erase errata, octopus project, mccarren pool
july 11: spoon, rockefeller park*
july 12: brooklyn philharmonic: 8 seasons, south street seaport
july 13: menomena w/ beat the devil, south street seaport pier 17
july 15: frank london's yiddish carnival, prospect park bandshell ($3)
july 17: marc ribot, world financial center*
july 19: drive by truckers, castle clinton*
july 20: neko case w/ eric bachman, central park summerstage*
july 20: bishop allen w/ rock plaza central, south street seaport pier 17
july 21: village voice siren festival feat. new york dolls, we are scientists, coney island
july 22: brazilian girls w/ cat empire, himalayas, central park summerstage*
july 26: sharon jones & the dap kings, castle clinton
august 3: krs-one w/ ladybug mecca, prospect park bandshell ($3)
august 5: blonde redhead w/ i'm from barcelona, mccarren pool
august 9: the hold steady w/ the big sleep, the teenage prayers, prospect park bandshell ($3)
august 10: au revoir simone w/ metronomy, south street seaport pier 17
august 12: ted leo and the pharmacists, the thermals, birds of avalon, mccarren pool
august 17: the national w/ the forms, takka takka, south street seaport pier 17*
august 19: ghostland observatory, mccarren pool*
august 24: camera obscura, south street seaport
august 31: battles, south street seaport pier 17

river to river nyc, central park summerstage, celebrate brooklyn!, the pool parties

(maybe) worth spending money on, volume two

stop the presses: illinois is (probably) fucking awesome.

it's such a revelation, i know. certainly no one else has caught on to how (potentially) good their what the hell do i know? ep is, released march 6 on ace fu. so no one is tired of hearing about how they're from pennsylvania, not illinois, how they use (possibly) bitching banjo samples, and how they're touring with the hold steady as we speak (technically, we're not speaking, but it's a phrase, so lay off). oh, and i almost forgot - they're playing with labelmate man man on july 1 at mccarren pool in brooklyn. for free.

so since you didn't know any of that, you might also not be aware that what the hell do i know? is (maybe) absofuckinglutely brilliant. it starts on a solid, if unoriginal tack, with"alone again"'s whiny guitar and ba-ba-ba harmonies, but you, the listener, are thrown a knuckleball (not a curveball, mind you...this is better than a curveball) with the next song, "nosebleed." it comes out of left field (sorry for all the baseball references, but my team is 13 1/2 games up and i'm pretty effing excited) with a distinctly sampled-sounding banjo, on loop, which is then reinforced by a drum machine and lilting bass, before chris "arch" archibald busts in with seriously fuzzy vocals about how bad someone needs a good nosebleed. the song is perfect for hipsters - it has the exact rhythm that you can cross your arms and bob your head to without looking like you're doing it deliberately because you can't dance/you're white (<- not a legitimate reason to not dance, for the record). come to think of it, all of what the hell do i know? fits into that category. it doesn't detract from the overall good-ness of the record, which is generally characterized as plain, simple, indie rock. it feels like a long time since any band has tried to do that, though, with the same ease that illinois pulls it off with. unsurprisingly, "screendoor" evokes a lot of uncle tupelo-esque feelings for me, beginning with a rocking acoustic guitar and keeping that energy throughout the song, underlying archibald's slightly twanged vocals. "headphones" borrows from, of all people, the flaming lips, namely "fight test." listen to both songs again, and tell me i'm wrong. "headphones" is a good song, driven by a strong guitar melody and fuzzy vocals, which, as you might be realizing, is a device frequently used by illinois.

do you remember king missile? there's no reason to, except that they wrote the best song ever*, "detachable penis." well, with illinois' m.o. of borrowing sounds, king missile are probably the least recognizable, and, trust me, i had to do some serious thinking in order to remember them. in any event, illinois's best song, "bad day," chiefly borrows king missile's deadpan, spoken vocals, though, as is their wont, illinois makes theirs fuzzy and layer it under the music. it's also the only track with dirty language...naughty, naughty, illinois. archibald's vocals are buried beneath a heavy curtain of fuzzy bass, massively distorted guitar, and rumbly drums, so you lose most of the words anyway.

most of what the hell do i know? is excellent; where illinois falls apart is in their sameness. on "nosebleed," illinois shows off their original songwriting chops, but their influences, though varied, are too obvious in their other songs. the promise evident in their work is profound, and whatever comes next from illinois will definitely be worth spending money, volume whatever. thanks to the hype machine, you can test drive nearly all of what the hell do i know? and decide for yourself if its really worth spending money on.

illinois - "headphones" (auralfitness)
illinois - "screendoor" (berkeleyplace)
illinois - "alone again" (instrumental analysis)
illinois - "nosebleed" (under the rotunda)
illinois- "bad day" (me!)

buy what the hell do i know? here and fine independent stores nationwide (disregard the itunes, amazon, and b&n links).