Saturday, January 31, 2009

Fruit Bats: Love in a Compact Compartment

Band: Fruit Bats
Label: Sub Pop
Members (currently):
Eric D. Johnson, Graeme Gibson, Chris Sherman, Ron Lewis, Sam Wagster
Echolocation (2001) Mouthfuls (2003) Spelled in Bones (2005)

One of my favorite bands for a long while now has been the Fruit Bats, a self-defined indie/bluegrass band originally from Chicago but now based out of Seattle, WA. Funny thing is that they have not produced any new music since 2005, and "Fruit Bats" has been an every changing cast of musicians, the only consistent member being Eric Johnson, Fruit Bat's original founder, yet these things do not stop me from listening to the band on a steady basis. My brother turned me on to this wonderful band (as he usually does) when I was still in high school (2002?), and I've been hooked ever since. The Fruit Bats are odd, because I often feel they really personify why great music can sometimes exist without having the strongest cohesion between melodies and lyrics. (I can often love their songs, bouncing my foot and singing along, yet then look closer at their lyrics and wonder, "What the hell are they talking about?"). My favorite record of theirs is Mouthfuls, with Echolocation being a close second, and Spells in Bones a farther third. Echolocation is a wonderful supplement to Mouthfuls, but I think that they did not hit the same cord on Spells in Bones as they did on the other two, and perhaps this was a reason they drew apart as a band. Nevertheless, they tug at my heart strings, and I will forever enjoy listening to their music on a warm summer day, in the car, while driving to some distant waterhole (sorry, I am nostalgic for Austin, TX).

Why my sudden interest in these guys who have not been recording since '05, you ask? Fruit Bats recently announced that they are in the studio again and TOURING none the less! I have already put my heartfelt plea in for a NYC (Brooklyn, I hope) show through their blog, and I am sure they will give it a strong consideration. This band shows its greatness over and over again to me, because when I joined their mailing list and expressed my love of their music (along with my joy to hear that they are starting things up again) I got a personal response of, "Excited to start playing again, too! Speak to you soon!" When a band takes time to acknowledge their fans, I think that is just wonder. Please check them out! You will not be disappointed.

Tour Dates (as of today):
Feb 2: The Casabah @ 8pm (Santa Barbara, California)
Feb 3: The Echo @ 8pm (Los Angeles, California)
Feb 5: The Ike Box@8pm (Salem, Oregon)
Feb 6: Mission Theatre @ 8pm (Portland, Oregon) <--check out the link for an interesting write-up on the band.
Feb 7: The Vera Project @ 8pm (Seattle, Washington)
Mar 28: Schubas @ 9pm (Chicago, Illinois) <-- I would give my right arm to see this show. Apr 2: The Picador @ 8pm (Iowa City, Iowa)

Go to their blog, Myspace, or website for more information, music, and love!

What's Lizzie Seeing: Saturday

Motel Motel

Top Pick: Motel Motel @ Market Hotel w/ Ava Luna, 500mA, TV Partyhouse, Yva Las Vegas. God help me, I will make it to this concert tonight. According to the Facebook event for this gig, it is also the birthday for one of the guys (Mickey) in the band, so put on your party shoes and come to good ol' Bushwick for some fun!

Sydney Wayser @ The Living Room
Baby Soda @ Moto
Loney Dear @ Union Hall
DJ Rafter @ Union Pool

I'm sure there's more going on out there, but this is what's tickling my fancy at the moment.

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lykke Li & Bon Iver doing 'Dance Dance Dance' in L.A

Lykke Li & Bon Iver doing 'Dance Dance Dance' in L.A from Lykke Li on Vimeo

I've loved this video for such a long time, I thought I would finally share it today. This lovely and simple version of 'Dance Dance Dance' almost makes the sleet in NYC bearable.



Friday, January 23, 2009

Baby Soda & Burlesque @ The Glasslands (Last Night)

Baby Soda @ The Grasslands Gallery.
Photo by Lizzie.

There seemed to be no better way to relax after a long days work yesterday than with some "hot" jazz music, wonderful Italian food, great friends, strong drinks, and of course, burlesque! This is what The Glasslands Gallery brought us last night for $10, and I think it was quite a wonderful deal: The Bearded Heart Cabaret and Dinner Theater Soiree. Baby Soda (see above), brought us down to the streets of New Orleans with some good-old-fashioned street-marchin' jazz music that you just had to swing your hips to, and then the lovely Coco La Pearl and Della Dare provided us with some slightly awkward but rambunctious and uproarious burlesque. We laughed, we cried, we drank much wine. It was lovely.

Soda Baby is playing again tonight at The Glasslands Gallery for their "Dancing Party" Debutantes and Suitors! Costumes required! Free beer from 10-11! I suggest everyone gets all fancy and comes on over!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Change :) GO OBAMA!

Barack Obama, created by Joe Crimmings Photography

I am a huge Obama Family fan (that's right, not just the Barack, but Michelle, Malia and Sasha) and today I was insanely verklempt to see that lovely African American First Family, all smiles and bounces in their steps, stand in front of the American country and say to us "thank you for giving us this opportunity".

I had to go into work today, and around 10am, my office set up a hi-def televsion in one of our conference rooms, and everyone gathered together with our laptops (to 'work' ) while we watched Biden and Obama swear in to office, and Obama give him speech, and I swear guys, I nearly bawled. Even during Yo-yo Ma (who I adore) and the poem about love (which was so new agey...but I like that haha), and Aretha Franklin (love the hat. seriously.), I was tearing up and going verklempt all over again. I was texting my brother, and my dad during the whole thing (who kept sending "goosebumps" over and over to me, until I asked if his phone was broken, and he responded, "No, lots of goosebumps."), and gmail chatting my friends... We were all 'together' for this amazing day.

The only down side? It has been a really hard day to work, knowing that America is on to some BIG changes. Some of my friends insist they will not celebrate Obama's presidency until they actually see some kind of change come from the white house and the hands of this young man. I agree that Obama has alot to prove, based on his own extensive promises and how Obama truely does need help from the citizens to make things happen (make things change).

For me, the change I'm excited about is how the spirit of a broken country can be healed, and how emotional rifts between different races, cultures and social class (well, maybe less of the last) can be repaired and we can once again have a strong and steady foundation for our country to grow from! I'm excited about knowing there is a person leading our country whom thinks of American citizens first, and not himself. I'm excited for change; I love change. Change has been my life, and I've leaved to embrace it because it allows you to expand your knowledge, intellect, tolerance and love for all things.

Oh, and did I mention I'm excited for Bush to be out of office? I think that this one fact is something out ENTIRE country can get behind and smile about!


ps - I'm becoming a HUGE fan of Joe Crimmings photos of Barack. So amazing!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

'Anti-Oxidant' Video Salon @ Northeast Kingdom

Marissa Nadler - Famous Blue Raincoat from Greg Eggebeen on Vimeo.

In my little corner of Bushwick, we have this wonderful restaurant called Northeast Kingdom, and for awhile now, it was the only reason that young, hip adults of Brooklyn to venture over to the Jefferson stop on the L. Like a little bubble in this otherwise fairly non-gentrified neighborhood, Northeast Kingdom serves a variety of exquisitely produced comfort foods, all compiled from local and organic farms. They also have lovely beers on tap (like Allagash, a personal favorite for the summer). It takes all of 3 minutes to settle into Northeast Kingdom and feel like you are in a wooden lodge somewhere far away from Brooklyn, eating food cooked by your cheek-pinching grandmother as you converse with long-lost friends.

So, how does this relate to Greg Eggebeen's video done to Marissa Nadler's cover of Famous Blue Raincoat? Well, according to BushwickBK (my fav Bushwick website), Northeast Kingdom hosts (randomly, really) an event called the 'Anti-Oxidant' video salon, and it has only been getting better and better. The event has really taken shape since local artist Christina Medina has taken over, and this weeks videos were all centered around local music (hence Marissa Nadler!) Man, oh man, if Eggebeen's video is any representation of the caliber of art being show at these events, I will NOT miss the next one on February 11th. It's beautiful, flowing and haunting yet still lovingly nostalgic. Eggebeen did an amazing job of capturing the subtle emotions at play behind Nadler's cover.

Other videos/artists showcased that night:
Opening video by Fritz Donnely.
Drew and the Medicinal Pens (who performed live afterwards!)
Matthew Dunehoo (formally of Baby Teardrops)
Ryan Power of Burlington, Vermont

Friday, January 16, 2009

Kids Who Love Obama

The NYtimes did a great piece today on letters from children (ages 6 to 12) to president-elect (until Tuesday!!) Barack Obama.

Left: "Dear Barack Obama, you look too skinny", from Below, a letter from Holly.

Dear President/Mr. Obama,

The best thing about living in the White House would be running around like a maniac. The thing I would like least is the work.

— Holly Wong, age 9, San Francisco

So, so adorable and really, quite interesting. Kids are just so endearingly smart and simple-stated. I'm currently reading The Stuff of Thought by Steven Pinker, and the majority of the first chapter is centered around first language acquisition and how children inherently know how to speak English grammatically correct. And he points out many times, that when a child says something that seems to simply be a babble of words stuck together, there is actually massive intelligence behind what they are saying

i.e. - "I don't want it because I spilled it of orange juice."

Technically, the sentence is fine, based on all of the grammatical rules a child would have inferred from hearing other people speak. We just have come to accept a sentence (semantic construction like this) to sound off and that it is not acceptable to us.

Hopefully, this isn't just me being a linguistics dork :)

Can't wait for Tuesday!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

What's Lizzie Linking to in Brooklyn?

a bright day in brooklyn, originally created by 6161810 reports on the controversial Walentas Dock Street project, which got its first okay yesterday with a 30-7 vote. Bye-bye beautiful Brooklyn Bridge view if this goes through!

I'm extremely excited about the Brooklyn Flea Winter Antique Market that has opened in DUMBO! Located in the ground floor store at the corner of Front and Washington street, the market will be open for 12 weekends (starting last weekend).

BushwickBK reports on what REALLY makes a vintage store cool (i.e. - clueless-ness!)

If you have not see Fifty People, One Question yet, please please do. Happy, sad, bittersweet and uplifting, fifty Brooklynites were asked the question, "Where would you like to wake up tomorrow?"

Head over to for their new section titled One in 8 Million that will explore a unique story from a different New Yorker each week. It's GORGEOUS. Finally, the NY Times is using this medium in the right way with wonderful photography and crisp audio recordings. Sensationally satisfying!!

My wonderful father, founder and owner of the Brooklyn Stained Glass Conservation Center, was featured in an article in the Brooklyn Eagle for his wonderful craftsmanship in reconstructing the 7 stained glass windows that were blown out of the Bay Ridge church on August 8, 2007. Remember that terrible storm that flooded all of the subways lines? Yup, that's the one. which also created Brooklyn's first recorded tornado that touched down in Bay Ridge and subsequently destroyed all 7 windows in the church. Work from a single digital image taken some time in the mid 90s, my father recreated the windows (including a 23 foot chancellor window) from scratch, using only his own artistic skills to get the job done.

Ciao Ciao!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Above My Head

Today Was Terrible

Subway Study, originally created by JKonig.

So, I normally don't use this blog as a reason to vent, but today warrants it. Besides waking up late and having to deal with "20 degrees and below" temperatures here in this wonderful city, I also found out a terrible thing happen to a person my father describes as "the sweetest guy you will meet."

On January 4th, at 7:30am, Ronald Melichar (a top official of the Department of Small Business Services and friend of my father) was at the City College stop on the No. 1 train at 137th St. and Broadway. At some point, Melichar had a seizure and fell onto the track and the third rail, and was electrocuted. Observers ran to the token booth clerk and explained the situation, pleading for the power to be turned off (which the clerk said would happen right away). Yet a full two minutes later, Melichar was still on the tracks and, to the horror of the observers, a train pulled into the station and ran over Melichar. The Fire Department was only called at 7:38am (8 minutes later!!), and rescue teams arrived at 7:42am to find Melichar still alive, though riddled with electrical burns and several fractured bones. Apparently, he had a heartattack as well before he was taken to the hospital. Amazingly, Melichar is still alive (though barely and in the ICU); his leg had to be amputated to save his life.

I just don't really know what to say to something like this. One, why did it take so long for the power to be turned off in such a dire situation? And two, what did this sweet and loving man do to deserve such a thing? My father informed me that Melichar also lost his life partner really recently to a strange virus which took his partner's life absurdly fast. It pains me to think of what his family is going through, and to know that Melichar touched so many lives (like my father's).

I guess you just never have any idea what is headed your way, and that we should all be grateful to simply be alive and breathing. My prayers go out to Melichar's sister and family.

All information for this post came from the following sources:
The Daily News

Monday, January 5, 2009

Magazines and the Dodo?

dirty magazine, originally created by

I found out today that one of my friends was let go from her job as an Associate Photo Editor. Such a bummer. It's just about the hardest thing in the world to be an artist during an economic recession, because alot of what artists create are luxury items and not essential to life (you don't REALLY need to commission that panting of your dog to survive, do you?), so a good amount of really talented artists are pushed under the table during this time.

Searching around the internet to see just HOW bad the artistic employment opportunity was right now, I came across this list of the Top 9 Predictions for 2009 from, a site started by two young women who simply aspired to be Editors of magazines by 2010. Actually, I wonder how they are doing... The list revolves around where print and online publications will be headed in 2009 (unfortunately, some are oh so close to seeing the Dodo).

These are simply written by someone in the business, who has been around the block a time or two, and I think they hold greatly true to the times.

What artists are NOT being hurt by the economic recession? I'd say MUSICIANS, most definitely. Everyone loves a wonderful melody, and it's very voyeuristic (meditative, even). We are allowed take a moment away from the stresses of life and believe in love and life again (or, atleast that's how the music I listen to makes me feel :) Who else? Thank god the internet, the medium in which I work now a-days. We're just rolling along because, guess what, it's free!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Here We Go Magic

GorillavsBear (through my bro) just turned me on to the wonderful Here We Go Magic, a band that is based in Brooklyn and scheduled to play at SxSW this spring! Oh, South-by, how I miss the years when I had a Spring Break and you were my destination...

Anyway, the whole self-titled album is very...ethereal, which I've been really into lately through the likes of Horsefeathers and Bon Iver, though these two bands go towards folky and Magic is much more post-modern... ethereal post-modern rock, yes, that's it! Kind of like they wish to take you away with the wind of their instruments and emotional melodies that still hold a strong beat. On their Myspace, they list sounding like, "Joyful, we hope," which I think pretty much sums it up. I adore music that is joyful. It makes life so wonderful, and lifts even the darkest of days.

Apparently, the creator of Here We Go Magic is a man by the name of Luke Temple, and the whole album was recorded by Luke at his Brooklyn home using analog synths, a cassette 4-track, and an SM-57 mic. It's due in February, right in time for the tour. Here We Go Magic also has a Daytrotter session coming up in March, according to Myspace, which I hotly anticipate.

The band plays on February 15 at Southpaw in Brooklyn, which I will be sure to check out...right after I check out Beirut on February 4th at BAM. What?! That's right! Woot!