Saturday, June 27, 2009

Summer In The City

All BONA FIDE fans in the tri-state area know that New York City is the place to be. You can find me there constantly, relaxing in Union Square, milling around St. Marks, shopping in SoHo and Brooklyn, or going to a show at one of the many venues, but some days the city doesn't have much to offer. Then all there is to do is aimlessly wander around NYC as I am baked by the heat from the concrete and eventually forced me to hide in an air conditioned store (Preferably an Urban Outfitters). What is my solution during these hot summer days? I attend a free show in Central Park, hosted by Central Park Summerstage.

Central Park Summerstage is a program that has been presenting free shows throughout the summer, every summer, for the past 20 years. Held at Rumsey Playfield, these shows feature unique artists who represent every genre and each show I've attended has been incredible so far. That being said, head over to the Summerstage website and mark your calenders.

You should also check out The Pool Parties in Williamsburg this summer. Eight weeks of free shows from July to the end of August? With performances from Dirty Projectors, Dan Deacon, No Age, Simian Mobile Disco, Girl Talk, Grizzly Bear, Beach House, and more? I'm so there.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

R.I.P. Michael Joseph Jackson

1958 - 2009

This afternoon, Michael Jackson, the 'King of Pop,' passed away. Redefining pop music, Michael Joseph Jackson brought us incredible music that will be remembered forever. From his days as a member of The Jackson 5 performing with his brothers to the later success of his many albums and 13 hit singles, including "Thriller" and "Smooth Criminal", Michael Jackson, with his revolutionary dance moves, has captivated the hearts of millions. His gift of music has transformed the music industry, and the world truly appreciates him for that. Rest in peace Michael Jackson.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Why Isn't Every Day Like This?

phoenix - lisztomania *brooklyn pack mashup* from ian parker on Vimeo.

My friend, Jenny, made my day when she showed me this video. It not only combines two of my favorite things, the addictive Phoenix single, "Lisztomania" and 80's movie dance moves, but I know that I will be dancing like that and having just as much fun when I'm at the Phoenix and Passion Pit show in Central Park this September. There are a few months until then, but I'm already ridiculously excited.

Links Links Links

While I'm scouring the internet for new musicians and music news to share with you, I sometimes find some interesting sites. That being said, I've decided to list a few of these music-related websites that I have found below. Some combine music with art, while others feature the timeless union of music and dancing. Two of these sites even function using the music you play. Enjoy!

What began as a collection of video postcards, soon erupted into an international phenomenon. Well, maybe David Fishel's dance blog isn't a huge sensation, but it is definitely widespread. The globe-trotting Fishel, an editor for CollegeHumor, has been dancing in the streets of famous cities around the world since 2007. He brings music and dance, two of my favorite things, to the general public, who either join in the dance or stare at his improvised moves. I'd also like to mention that his music taste is excellent, and sometime coincides with the area where he is dancing. He shuffles alongside the Berlin Wall while listening to Cold War Kids, struts to "Immigrant Song" at Plymouth Rock, hops around to The Fratellis' song, "Chelsea Dagger" in Glasgow, and dances to other great songs in many other foreign locations. All in all, I want this man's life. 

There isn't much to say about this website. Just turn up the volume on your computer as high as it can go, go to this website, invite some friends over, and soon a dance party will commence. The buzzing techno beats and thudding bass are perfect for parties, so now you don't have to make playlists anymore.

This imaginative website uses your cursor as a paintbrush that you can zigzag across the screen to create interesting shapes and patterns. The riveting music speeds up and slows down the speed at which you draw, and the inky images that burst onto the screen are designed beautifully. Labuat is an example of art and music combining perfectly.

Blast some music to bring these applications to life. 
You'll see what I mean.

I love this blog for many reasons:

1. I discover many unique electro, hip-hop, and rap artists.
2. I get great information about each artist.
3. I get loads of tracks for free.

Key word being free here. Check it out.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

UPDATE - Arctic Monkeys//Discovery//Regina Spektor

On August 25th, the third Arctic Monkeys' album will be released. We have already learned who will be producing the album. We also have seen the track list and know what the Monkeys' music will sound like this time around. All that is left to be discovered is the title of this upcoming release... And the title was revealed just recently. The new Arctic Monkeys album's title is Humbug. Humbug... Not a very attractive name, but at least it's shorter than Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

The Discovery website is now up and running. You can now listen to two new tracks by Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij and Ra Ra Riot's Wes Miles, the duo that is Discovery. Enter your email address on the website if you want to receive updates concerning their impending debut, LP. Remember, the release date of this peppy electro-pop album is July 7th. Keep checking BONA FIDE and their website for updates until then.

Regina Spektor's fifth album, Far is almost available, so make sure to pick it up on June 23rd. For now, you can go here to hear the new song, "Folding Chair" and watch three music videos for the tracks "Laughing With", "Dance Anthem of the 80s", and "Eet". You can also pre-order the album or LP. I predict that Regina will not disappoint. If you want to hear some of these new songs from Far live, she will be performing at the Beacon Theatre in NYC this Wednesday. Hopefully BONA FIDE will be able to stop by.

I've Got A Lot To Say Part III

Summer is here, and while the sound of the surf is relaxing, I suggest you listen to the bands making their debut this summer while you lie on the beach instead. The Drums, a surf-pop duo from Florida, will be releasing their appropriately titled debut EP Summertime! on August 4th. Harnessing a sound that seems to be inspired by 50's surf culture and The Smiths, The Drums made me fall in love with them instantly, and hopefully you will love them too. Pre-order Summertime! from Insound now so it arrives in time for those nights of bonfires on the beach. Want to learn more about The Drums? Read Brooklyn Vegan's appraisal of the best friends' live debut here and and check out their website.

Another band making their debut this summer is Blind Man's Color. Said to be the next Animal Collective (They hate being called the next Animal Collective), their music consists of rejuvenating psychedelic beats that spark and vivify. Kyle Wyss and Orhan Chettri started the band back in 2005 and it wasn't until they remixed some Animal Collective tracks that they got the recognition they deserved. Kind of like how Phoenix didn't become extremely popular until their fourth album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix was released. Lack of recognition aside, Blind Man's Color's debut album entitled Season Dreaming will drop on August 18th. While you wait, you can explore the band's Blogspot which has mixtapes and old mp3s available to download.

Don't have anything fun to do during the summer? Are you stuck at home? Are you so broke that you can't buy tickets to see a show or even a CD? Do you have an unsightly rash that prevents you from going outdoors in a bathing suit? If any of these difficult situations are true then I have found something that will solve your problem. On July 22nd, The Indie Rock Coloring Book, a collaboration between artist Andy J. Miller and the T-shirt company Yellow Bird Project, will be released. Stemming from a passion for art, music, and philanthropy, this book is filled with mazes, coloring pages, and connect-the-dot games based on artists such as Devendra Banhart, MGMT, The Shins, The National, Broken Social Scene, and Bon Iver. There are more than 20 artists featured in this book, and the profits made by The Indie Rock Coloring Book will be split between charities chosen by these bands. I imagine this will be a great way to pass the time this summer, and to get children interested in indie rock before Hannah Montana gets them first. Whether you are concerned about the musical fate of the next generation or how you will quell your boredom this summer, remember that no one is too old to color.

Speaking of books, it looks like Kanye West is writing one, despite the fact that he does not read or respect them. Entitled Thank You And You're Welcome, this book consists of 52 pages of "Kanye-isms" that offer his philosophy on life. If I hadn't been laughing so hard that I was crying when I discovered that the self-centered "creative genius" was going to be writing a book, I would have been appalled. Since I find this hilarious though, I'll just share a few of my favorite quotes from Kanye's interview with Reuters. I have no words to describe this.

- "West said he put his thoughts in a book because "I get paraphrased and misquoted all the time."

- "Sometimes people write novels and they just be so wordy and so self-absorbed," West said. "I am not a fan of books. I would never want a book's autograph."

- "West, a college dropout, said being a non-reader was helpful when he wrote his book because it gave him "a childlike purity."

Personally, I don't think Kanye needs to write a book. 
He already "just be so wordy and so self-absorbed."

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Up And Coming Series... Is Up And Coming

Over the past three months, I've been receiving e-mails from bands and musicians all over the world. They share their opinions about bands and articles I have written and even share some of their music. This interaction with so many people and all the different music they make has lead me to create the Up And Coming Series (Or U&C Series) for BONA FIDE. Throughout the summer, look out for articles on undiscovered and obscure bands and musicians I have had the privilege to speak to. This Up And Coming Series will give you a chance to discover music that hasn't hit the mainstream yet, so make sure to follow BONA FIDE so you can be in the know.

UPDATE - Arctic Monkeys

The released date has finally been announced. The still untitled third Arctic Monkeys' album will be available on August 25th. Produced by Simian Mobile Disco's James Ford and Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme, this latest album seems to be heading in a new direction, especially since Diddy is "the newest member of the Arctic Monkeys". See the tracklist for the album below:

1. My Propeller 
2. Crying Lightning 
4. Secret Door 
5. Potion Approaching 
6. Fire and the Thud 
7. Cornerstone 
8. Dance Little Liar 
9. Pretty Visitors 
10. The Jeweller's Hands