To those few (hello!) followers of the blog, it has been apparent that my posting has been dropping off of late. Between an extremely busy period of time at work, an array of personal committments, and an imminent vacation to London and environs following shortly by a for-now permanent move to Chicago, 21dB has unfortunately been the least of my worries. I do intend to get back in the saddle soon after the move; however, I hope you will forgive a short, but at least official, hiatus from me*. I’m sure that Kyle will continue to fight the good fight in the interim. Also, once I’m back, I will be broadcasting LIVE from fabulous Chicago, bringing another wonderful city into the 21dB sphere of awesomocity.

*save one 52 in 52 update, which will be posted shortly.

Please let this robot represent my displeasure at this interruption:

See you soon!


From the Intersection at Discover online:

Today begins a very important initiative called Silence Is The Enemy to help a generation of young women half a world away.Why? Because they are our sisters and children–the victims of sexual abuse who don’t have the means to ask for help.  We have power in our words and influence. Along with our audience, we’re able to speak for them.  I’m asking all of you–bloggers, writers, teachers, and concerned citizens–to use whatever platform you have to call for an end to the rape and abuse of women and girls in Liberia and around the world.

Speaks for itself. Read the whole thing.

Welcome to the inaugural New Music Tuesday here on 21db! NMT is usually about reviewing new music releases, but that’s not what I’m particularly interested in. I consume a lot of music, and I intend to talk about what’s new to me. Any music that I have procured since the last NMT is up for consideration. Old, new, indie, underground, mainstream, local, free, it’s all good. And, really, I hope to introduce y’all to rad new tunes!

Without further ado, the first 21dB New Music Tuesday: Waxploitation‘s Causes 2 benefit album and St. Vincent‘s Marry Me.

Causes 2

Causes 2

I only know about Causes 2 because I love The Decemberists. Being an unabashed fanboy, I added myself to their mailing list not too long ago. In addition to the sweetness of ordering The Hazards of Love early, I enjoy the pleasant ramblings that enter my internet-box once a month or so. The most recent missive included a promo for Causes 2, as it contains a live rendition of After The Bomb. I checked out the set list, and decided that it was totally worth my 8.95 to check it out (LCD Soundsystem, Matthew Dear and RJD2 all help). And, oh yah, the money goes toward Doctors Without Borders, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam to aid in humanitarian efforts in Darfur. What’s not to like?

After giving it a couple of listens, it’s totally worth the money, but it’s not the greatest album I’ve ever heard. It’s about 1/3 totally rad, 1/3 good-but-unmemorable, and 1/3 really? like, for real? For the most electronica-influenced remixes and exclusive tracks, with some more world beat and indie-rockish stuff to spice it up.

My picks/new bands to check out: in addition to the aforementioned Decemberists (After the Bomb), Matthew Dear (When She Don’t Need Me) and RJD2 (Wherever), I will keeping an eye out for Black Moth Super Rainbow (Happy Melted City reminds me of the Samurai Champloo opening music) and Neon Neon (how can any dance track called I Lust U not rule?). I also like the My Morning Jacket Highly Suspicious Remix.

I recommend it if you’re into weird electronica-ish stuff AND/OR you want to feel good about yourself for making a largely symbolic effort to help Darfur. I will probably end up putting about half the album on my regular rotation, methinks.

St. Vincent - Marry Me

St. Vincent - Marry Me

Kyle: Can I borrow your car?

Me: Sure.

Kyle: Cool. I feel like I should give you a present to signify my gratitude.

Me: Yes, you should.

Next thing I know, there’s St. Vincent on my passenger seat. Well, not Annie Clark herself (St. Vincents street name), but a copy of Marry Me, which I believe is her debut album. The best way I can describe her sound is like a weird mashup of Jesca Hoop and My Brightest Diamond, but with not as polished of production. Don’t get me wrong, I really like her voice, and the album is very solid; I’m just a huge audio production nerd, and the recording quality of the CD I have is just not very high. That aside, I’ve given it a full listen-through about four times in less than two weeks, which is a good sign.

This album encompasses a wide variety of variations on a theme. That theme is, of course, “I got some pipes and really good music-writing abilities, don’t fuck with me”. My favorite track by far is Your Lips Are Red. Which sounds nothing like the rest of the album, but it gets me. Check it out:

Just a quick little update (on a personal note):

I am back in Albuquerque, New Mexico for the summer, and shall be here until early September (not counting the very strong possibility of road-trip style adventures to Austin, Wyoming, Oregon, and more!)

In demonstration:

Not Pictured: Me

Not Pictured: Me

So, expect more Burque centric news from me for a few months, though if anything particularly interesting is happening in Boston (and that I am sad about missing out on), check this space.

Also: stay tuned for more contributer related location news in the near future!

So I have a resolution. Which I made over New Years. It was not, however, conciously framed in my mind as a New Years Resolution.

I love film, but I never watch movies, for various (mostly lame) reasons. Mainly, I always prioritize other things over watching a movie, because “I can always watch that later”…and then I never do. So, in 2009, my goal is to watch 52 movies in 52 weeks.

The rules:

  • One movie a week. If I miss a week, I’m allowed to double up the next week, but if a month goes by in which I haven’t watched 4 films, I have failed.
  • All feature-length films count, even if I’ve seen them before!
  • Only feature-length films count, no shorts or TV or anything. Unless there’s some kind of festival or something. I’ll be the judge of any edge cases that come up.
  • I have to watch it in one sitting. Usually not a problem, but we just got a DVD player in the break room at work, and we’ve been watching Super Troopers in 30-minute installments. Hilarious film, but doesn’t count.

Also, I plan to keep a vague ranking of the films, both to track what I’m watching and to provide content for the blog (about time I did that, huh)! There’s three categories: New Releases, New To Me, and Old Favorites. Pretty self-explanatory, yes? New Releases just means that I see it in the first run in theatres.

Rankings are based on my whim. Higher is better.

So, here’s the current rankings, as 1/16/09:

New Releases

  1. Milk (Week 1)
  2. Gran Torino (Week 2)

New To Me!

  1. Hellboy (Week 3)

Old Favorites – none yet

Wish me luck!

Happy New Year 2009

Happy New Year 2009

2008 was a pretty crazy time, all things told. Here at 21dB headquarters we’ve seen some pretty big upheavals and changes, including Kyle making the leap to higher education and me making the leap to independent adult(ish)hood. The world saw a bunch of crazy shit. Economy crashed. Obama got elected. Ugly slouchy boots are back in. Etc.

So, let us (and VNV Nation, if you haven’t caught the reference) wish you the best for the coming year. If you could integrate robots in some manner, that would be best.

Me? I’m pretty hopeful. I mean, it couldn’t possible be WORSE, right?