Zoe likes beeps.
Sophie likes strums.
They both like the Decemberists.
Two best friends on a mission to make the world a better place for music.


Band Plug: Seabear

I decided to listen to the Icelandic indie folk/pop band Seabear for amusement, due to their band name's similarity with my brothers west-Sonoma-County-high-schooler ska band Fishbear. So I got their album (The Ghost That Carried Us Away), knowing nothing about them whatsoever. I was surprised to find that I like their music more than many other better known bands I have heard lately! I'd say they sound like what would happen if Sam Beam did the vocals on Architecture in Helsinki's first album (yes, finally figured that out!). However, I'm pretty bad at that kind of thing, so you might want to just check out their music for yourself!


Los Campesinos! at GAMH (28.11.07)

After discovering crazy-awesome British indie pop band Los Campesinos! about three weeks ago, the Super Awesome Squad knew that if we didn't see their show at Great American, we'd regret it when they played a larger venue next tour. Apparently not many people shared our views: it was the smallest show we've ever been to at that venue. The balcony was closed, they put up tables on the edge of the dance floor, we got there half an hour after doors opened, and we were still in the front row. Zoe got really weirded out by the tables, which had never been on the floor in her presence before; Sophie had to reassure her. It was a bit traumatizing.

The opening bands were...amusing. Sugar and Gold had kind of frightening outfits but played very danceable funk music. The read-headed lead singer of The Most Serene Republic marched about in an odd fashion reminiscent of both the singer from Voxtrot and Ian Curtis. He also brandished his trombone with impressive command. They were OK but could have been much more impressive considering the array of instruments covered. All of their songs sounded pretty similar and were too loud to distinguish between all of the instruments. Unfortunately a drove of what Zoe described as "old people" (in reality people who were probably about 28) left immediately after MSR. Tragedy.

Los Campesinos! put on a really good show despite horribly unenthusiastic crowd. Their lead singer ("Tom Campesinos!", Wikipedia tells us) was practically-wait, no, just straight up was-the definition of twee. He was bashful and adorable, had a very high pitched, quiet speaking voice, and a haircut that covered half his face. Most of the band looked about our age. Due to their very limited material, they played every song off their EP and a bunch of new material, all of which was really good. We danced and screamed our heads off the whole time, and it was a ton of fun, but we didn't get an encore as apparently our feelings were only shared by a few people around us. Also, living note from the Squad: if a guy named Casey who goes to Berkeley is standing behind you at a show in the Bay Area, MOVE IMMEDIATELY. He is creepy.

And another living note: if the song is called "You! Me! Dancing!" .... fucking DANCE! Come on people. Hopefully by the next time the band tours, more people will have come to appreciate the awesomeness that is Los Campesinos!

Here's a video of a new "love ballad" they played ("Knee-Deep at the ATP"):


Given a whole new meaning to just desserts.

Skimming through The Bohemian, a local free and sometimes amusing (mostly for the strange personal ads) arts newspaper, I found this article about the connections between food and music. The Beck reference in the title caught my attention and I was surprised to see mentions of Joanna Newsome and Battles (what? people in Sonoma county actually know about music?). I thought it would be of interest to our um, many readers.

So enjoy, maybe later I'll think of a bunch of songs that reference food and make a radio show out of it. Points if you know which one the title of this post is from (googling = cheating)!


Thom Andrew Condon?

A week or so ago at Sophie's house, we put "The Penalty" on while our parents were having dinner together. My mother turns her head to inquire "Is this Radiohead?" and is met with appropriately puzzled looks. I tell her no, this isn't Radiohead, and while you're at it why do you think it is? She says his voice sounds similar. I tell her no, and that also there is no ukelele in Radiohead.

Today I figured out how to hook my iPod up to my stereo, a move motivated by an extreme desire to listen to Mysterious Production of Eggs while doing my calc homework. I put on "Sovay" and my mother immediately asks "Oh, is this Radiohead?" I tell her no, this is Andrew Bird, and while you're at it why do you think everything is Radiohead? She says his voice sounds similar. So according to my mother, by the transitive property:

Zach Condon=Thom Yorke
Thom Yorke=Andrew Bird
Andrew Bird=Zach Condon.

I think not.
Though in all fairness, my mother's efforts to like my music are largely successful. And when also considering Sophie's mom's inquiry regarding "math music," we've gathered that our parents, while old, are also pretty damn cool.


Of Montreal at GAMH (14.11.07)

Due to the insanity of life right now (moving + school + college applications), I hadn't been able to write about this show yet, but guess what? IT'S HAPPENING NOW, PEOPLE.

This was my second time seeing Of Montreal at Great American. The first thing I noticed, obviously, was the stage setup. There was a big platform that lighted up and smaller platforms which would flash different colors (check it out in the videos, below).

The crowd at the show was pretty interesting and different than the general hipster-y crowd that I expect to see at most shows I attend. There was a group of guys next to us who were all wearing dresses and Kevin Barnes-style makeup. There were some girls behind us with crazy neon colored wigs and weird dresses. Most people in the front few rows looked like they were dressed for a rave.

Before MGMT started, there was a weird comedian who came on for a few minutes. I don't really know if he's worth describing. MGMT were pretty ok, if not that interesting. They were a pretty typical opening band; too loud and vaguely good. However, they weren't good enough that I didn't get kind of tired of them after twenty minutes.

I struggle to find words to describe the strangeness that was Grand Buffet. Try to imagine a skinny red haired bearded guy in a Chinese style outfit and a kind of large guy with chains on his huge shorts, rapping, singing and dancing with great conviction about subjects such as finding a cat. It was WAY weirder than Alaska in Winter.

Of Montreal came on, and from the very first second of music the crowd turned into some kind of insane indie pop mosh pit/rave. Literally, I was not standing still for one second of the show, from their opening Prince covers to the last song of the encore. They played mostly Hissing Fauna material, but we did get some Sunlandic Twins and Satanic Panic stuff as well (sadly, I have STILL not seen My British Tour Diary live). Highlights included Grondalic Edit, the closing cover of Purple Rain (video below) and Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games as the first song of the encore (halfway through the song Kevin Barnes broke into "Let's go Outback tonight!"). This wasn't one of those shows that I wanted to go on forever, as I would have probably collapsed from exhaustion, but it was still a ton of fun.

As one last note, something must be said about Kevin's costume change midway through the show.... he started out wearing a almost normal blue jumpsuit type thing, but when he came back from the costume change he was wearing the tiniest and tightest denim one piece EVER, along with blue fishnets, boots, and innumerable sequins. I don't think I ever needed to see that much of Kevin Barnes thighs. But it was pretty amusing.

The second half of this video really displays the overall mood of the show.

Purple Rain!



I just discovered Blender Magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Indie Albums Ever," and I must say that it's been a long time since I've felt this confused. How is MIA better than Guided By Voices? What is Strawberry Jam doing here instead of Feels? WHY ISN'T IN THE AEROPLANE OVER THE SEA IN THE TOP 30? I could go on, but I'll just let you come up with your own questions! Enjoy...

100 The Shaggs - Philosophy Of The World
99 Dream Syndicate - The Days Of Wine And Roses
98 Palace Music - Viva Last Blues
97 The Mekons - Rock 'N' Roll
96 TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
95 The Dismemberment Plan - Emergency & I
94 Half Japanese - Greatest Hits
93 Big Black - Atomizer
92 Dead Kennedys - Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables
91 The Chills - Kaleidoscope World
90 Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
89 Art Brut - Bang Bang Rock & Roll
88 Daniel Johnston - Yip/Jump Music
87 Wolf Parade - Apologies To The Queen Mary
86 Flipper - Album - Generic Flipper
85 The Clean - Anthology
84 Beat Happening - You Turn Me On
83 The Misfits - Walk Among Us
82 The Embarrassment - Heyday 1979-83
81 The Vaselines - The Way Of The Vaselines
80 Feist - The Reminder
79 Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
78 The 13th Floor Elevators - The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators
77 Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
76 Le Tigre - Le Tigre
75 Galaxie 500 - Today
74 The Fall - 50,000 Fall Fans Can't Be Wrong
73 Meat Puppets - Up On The Sun
72 The Mountain Goats - We Shall All Be Healed
71 Stereolab - Refried Ectoplasm
70 Mudhoney - Superfruzz Bigmuff Plus Early Singles
69 Nick Drake - Pink Moon
68 Descendents - Milo Goes To College
67 Hüsker Dü - New Day Rising
66 Young Marble Giants - Colossal Youth
65 Various Artists - No New York
64 Cat Power - The Greatest
63 Nirvana - Bleach
62 The Feelies - Crazy Rhythms
61 LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem
60 Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
59 Nine Inch Nails - Pretty Hate Machine
58 Built To Spill - There's Nothing Wrong With Love
57 Bikini Kill - Pussy Whipped
56 Archers Of Loaf - Icky Mettle
55 Bad Brains - Bad Brains
54 Unrest - Imperial F.F.R.R.
53 Smashing Pumpkins - Gish
52 Bright Eyes - Lifted Or The Story Is In The Soil, Keep Your Ear To The Ground
51 Interpol - Turn On The Bright Lights
50 Rilo Kiley - More Adventurous
49 Spoon - Kill The Moonlight
48 Mission Of Burma - Vs.
47 Green Day - Kerplunk
46 Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
45 Fugazi - Repeater
44 Various Artists - Wanna Buy A Bridge?
43 Black Flag - Damaged
42 Brian Eno - Another Green World
41 Modest Mouse - The Lonesome Crowded West
40 New Order - Power Corruption & Lies
39 Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
38 The Strokes - Is This It
37 Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever To Tell
36 Elliott Smith - Either/Or
35 Liz Phair - Exile In Guyville
34 Superchunk - On The Mouth
33 The Shins - Oh, Inverted World
32 Neutral Milk Hotel - In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
31 Guided By Voices - Bee Thousand
30 Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
29 Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes
28 The Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs
27 M.I.A. - Arular
26 Belle And Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister
25 Sebadoh - III
24 The New Pornographers - Mass Romantic
23 Yo La Tengo - Painful
22 Meat Puppets - Meat Puppets II
21 The Modern Lovers - The Modern Lovers
20 The Hold Steady - Separation Sunday
19 Sleater-Kinney - Dig Me Out
18 Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures
17 The White Stripes - White Blood Cells
16 Slint - Spiderland
15 X - Wild Gift
14 De La Soul - 3 Feet High And Rising
13 Hüsker Dü - Zen Arcade
12 Dinosaur Jr - You're Living All Over Me
11 Minutemen - Double Nickels On The Dime
10 The Smiths - The Smiths
09 Big Star - Third/Sister Lovers
08 My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
07 The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground
06 Arcade Fire - Funeral
05 Pixies - Surfer Rosa
04 R.E.M. - Murmur
03 The Replacements - Let It Be
02 Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
01 Pavement - Slanted And Enchanted


John Darnielle = God

A few weeks ago in a thread on the Mountain Goats message board, some one was asking about an older, obscure song (shocking, I know).

The part that actually IS shocking is that this prompted John Darnielle (who frequently reads and posts there), to try to remember the old song, and subsequently record a new version and post it on the thread. Seriously, is it possible to be any more connected and dedicated to your fans?

So here is the song, and of course, it is amazing.

Counting Song for Bitter Children


Take it to the limit...as x ->c!

Tonight at dinner, Sophie's mom asked us what "math music" is.

Sit there and think about that for a second.
Yeah, we were laughing too. Anyways.

We know she was asking about this:

But it got us wondering what actual "math music" is. We concluded it was something like this:

Jens Lekman Interview (9.11.07) and Show Review

As promised, I have uploaded the interview with Jens here for your downloading pleasure.

The sound quality isn't the best, we were in a tiny backstage room that was quite echo-y. But it's still awesome! Listen to me as I nerdily mention Beirut for no reason!

Before I talk about the show, I want to say a little about what happened before it (which was a lot, I spent a total of 7 hours in Bimbo's on Friday). When I got to Bimbo's at 5 pm as instructed, there was no one there and it was locked. I called Jens tour manager and no one responded. I waited about a minute more outside (just slightly freaking out) before two vans pulled up. Jens was in the passenger seat of the second one.

I was quickly introduced to him by his tour manager and then this happened.

Jens: "Hi..... can you carry that guitar in for me?"
Me: "Okay, sure!"

So that was pretty surreal to start out with. I passed the next two hours until the interview actually happened sitting around in the basically empty Bimbo's watching people setting up equipment and listening to them speak in Swedish. Sound check was pretty sweet as my mom and I were the only people in the room other than the sound guy.

So. The show. The opening band, Throw Me The Statue, were overall pretty good. The first few songs were a little too slow and made me kind of tired, but the middle few songs were pretty damn awesome. They reminded me of a strange mixture of Voxtrot and Grizzly Bear. But maybe I'm completely wrong, you can go listen to their music and decide for yourself! One thing that was pretty sweet was that they gave about 20 people in the audience little egg shaped shakers for one song (these came in useful later).

After the break, Jens sample and computer handling guy (and the only male in his band) came on stage and started playing music. This was very confusing. He was playing songs by The Tough Alliance, all of which Jens uses samples from. We didn't really know whether the show was starting or not. Thankfully, after about ten minutes of this, Jens and his incredibly adorable all female band came on. They were all wearing matching white outfits, which all had different things embroidered on them (the bicycle was my favorite). I struggle to describe the awesomeness that ensued. The sample guy played the backing samples, but with the viola, violin, trumpet, sax, bass, drums and guitar on top of them, the songs sounded even more crazy and beautiful than on the album. His voice was much more impressive and perfect sounding. The songs that were preformed solo (such as "Shirin") were very gorgeous and completely different than the album versions. Overall it was an awesome brightly colored disco-ball-spotted Swedish dance party. I doubt I have ever laughed so much at a show. "A Postcard to Nina" was completely epic. He filled in the other parts of the story between verses.

"Then her father said to me 'Jens. I found you on the internet. You have a beautiful voice.' Then dinner got very awkward. It was like that scene from Buffalo 66. But in Germany. "

The crowd was really enthusiastic and thanks to that we got two encores of solo songs, including "Pocketful of Money". Someone started using their shaker from earlier. Jens said "Oh, someone has a shaker!" When 20 other people joined them, the expression on his face was pretty memorable.

Band Plug: A Pack of Wolves

Electro-rockers A Pack of Wolves are based about ten minutes away from my house, boast a whopping 68 listeners on last.fm, and certainly deserve far more. Their sound is simple and danceable, two things that, when combined, ensure my love for a band. I just listened to their song "Best Defense" seventeen times in a row- yes, it's that good. Check out their MySpace at the above link and give them a listen.


Can you hear the beat of my heart?

In my introductory post I mentioned that I would soon be interviewing one of my favorite artists. For those of you who don't know, it was Jens Lekman, who I interviewed before his San Francisco show tonight.

The show itself was incredible and I will discuss everything more at a later date when I am not this tired.

So look out for the interview on my radio show this Sunday, and definitely on here as well!


Interview: Battles (11.1.07)

Indie kids, for the most part, are frustratingly reluctant to dance. They stand at shows and bob their heads, maybe shuffle a little from side to side. Generally, though, they are either too cool or too embarrassed to shake it with abandon. But add Battles into the equation and the whole thing changes. At the band’s show with No Age at Great American Music Hall in San Francisco on November 2, the front row went from passive to frenzied within seconds of the first guitar riff. I myself wasn’t a particularly good judge of the rest of the crowd seeing as I was standing in the aforementioned front row, but when the mosh pit pushed me into the stage I figured everyone was in the same boat.

And yet somehow it was unsurprising: Battles’ music has a transcendent quality that can unite seemingly disparate fans. Their skill for striking the perfect balance between catchy and complex, dense and precise, dispels any argument over the band’s merits. No one, hipster or otherwise, can resist music this good. You can’t help but rock the fuck out.

Several hours and a public transportation nightmare before the show, I spoke over the phone with Battles multi-instrumentalist Tyondai Braxton. We spoke about the band’s approach to music, Braxton’s solo work, and the omnipresent label of “math rock” perpetually hovering over Battles’ achievements.

Before we start, could you tell me how to pronounce your first name?

Yeah, no problem. It’s Tie-awn-day.

Ok great, thanks. So this is the second tour in support of the LP [Mirrored]. Have you noticed different people, a wider variety, coming out to the shows?

Absolutely, and it’s been something we’re all really happy about. I think it has a lot to do with the videos we did and airplay on the radio, we’re getting more of a general audience reeled in. So it’s great, it’s nice.

Yeah, I was on a plane a couple months ago and I heard Atlas on one of the radio stations. It was nice to hear something different. Do you find appreciation for your music in unexpected places?

Yeah, sometimes. We’re just generally getting out to more people now. I think it’s a testament to the fact that our kind of music can be more widespread than it has been in the past. It’s funny in a lot of ways, and it’s cool as the person who’s making it. It’s really humbling to have one person like your music, let alone all the people you wouldn’t expect to be interested.

All the layers and sounds that get put into a Battles song really intrigue me-how do you write music that’s so complex?

Well, it can start from a number of things. People are surprised to find out that the foundation of our songwriting is usually a simple idea. We’ve all been playing music for a long time, so playing outside of a common time signature or only playing in a major key isn’t that shocking to us. A lot of people are like “Wow, you play in odd time signatures” but it’s not that big a deal. It’s more of an accessory of the song itself. It’s just a quality. It’s not like we sit down and say “Oh, we’ve gotta play this in 7/4 or do this in 11/8 just to trip people out.” It really just has to do with fleshing out small ideas and watching where they go. Sometimes it calls for an orthodox approach and sometimes it calls for unorthodox ones.

So it starts with an idea and you use all your respective outside experience to form an ability to be creative and expand on something.

Absolutely. It’s not necessarily just one process, one way. Sometimes someone will bring in a concept and we’ll have to fill in the blanks around it. Sometimes someone will bring in a whole song and we’ll have to learn parts. And everyone does it-it’s a 25% each kind of writing process, not just one person. In the end I think you can really hear that in the music, I think you can really hear the polarity of the band members. It’s a very healthy way to write, a very healthy creative process. Again, I think we’re proud of the fact that we’re at a level of playing where we can all get something out of the music, as different as we each are.

One thing that gets me is how everyone always says “Oh, this is Battles, they’re math rock.” Does that ever feel limiting or inaccurate that it’s so often categorized as one thing?

Absolutely. Every single journalist asks us that, and it’s always in the same way you said it.


No, it’s OK, in fact I think it’s a testament to how eager people are to put things into categories. We get asked if we really agree with that and it’s like “Of course we don’t agree with that.” On one hand you have labels that people need to have as a foundation to get into your music and kind of find their way into what you’re doing. They shouldn’t have to read a thesis to understand it. But on the flip side, to define somebody by a single quality you think exists in their music-and then only define them as that- I think is dangerous. It marginalizes what musicians do. If Aretha Franklin had a song out right now that was in 5/4 people would say “Oh, she’s math rock, or math something” just for the simple reason that the song was in an uncommon time.

Now another thing that’s funny is that most of our songs, even on Mirrored, are in a common time. Most are in straight tempos and the few that aren’t are the ones that people have latched onto and turned into this global description. It’s inaccurate at best. As a person in the band, it’s frustrating to see that people aren’t noticing qualities besides those in the couple of songs that are in odd time signatures. It’s kinda weird, you know?

Yeah, I agree. The music is definitely varied, and there are a lot of songs that are in straight time. The only one I still can’t seem to count out is Ddiamond.

(Laughs) Yeah, that’s a hard one.

One difference between the EPs and Mirrored is the prominence of vocals. The EPs were so much about instrumentation. The vocals on Mirrored are noticeable. How did you decide to include them more prominently?

That was an element that I wanted to pursue more in the record. In my solo music I sing and I wanted to find a way to incorporate that into the band and I think everyone was into that. It was a matter of being able to play multiple roles, as everyone does in this band; to be able to play lead and also be able to play a neutral instrumental role as well, as opposed to lead vocal all the time and an instrument behind it.

You talked about how you used voice in your solo work. I was listening to it and I noticed that you beatbox. I tried to learn once and I was horrible at it. How did you learn to do that and to be able to sustain it? Because when I did it I would just get light headed and fail miserably.

Well, let me tell you, your motivation increases when you’re younger and you can’t afford a drum machine and you think “Well, fuck it, I’ll just do it with my mouth!” That’s really how it came about. I appreciate the form of it in the hip-hop community, but my approach wasn’t really from that. It was more motivated from a place of wanting to use percussion and not make it sound like it’s my mouth. I don’t like how people showcase the fact that beatboxing is from their mouth, how they’re proud of it. I try to obscure it more. Hopefully that comes across.

I think it did. It didn’t sound as prominent as when people make a big deal with all the fancy tricks they do.

Yeah, I’m not a trickster. I try to be more practical.

Well, thanks. Looking forward to the show tonight.

Come say hi. We’ll be around.

DCFC Interview (8.12.06)

The Squad saw Death Cab for Cutie when they played at the Greek Theater at UC Berkeley a little over a year ago. At the time, Zoe was interning at a radio station, a position which landed her an interview with Nick Harmer, the band's bassist. Sophie came along for moral and technical support. Here's what happened:

We're from northern California, about an hour north of here. Not many people where we live listen to Death Cab. But you've just sold out the Greek Theatre twice over. Do you think you've really made it?

I haven’t really had a big realization yet. But you have little moments. Like it’s nice to make a living off playing music, it's nice to be able to pay my cell phone bill from playing rock shows. Those kinds of things make me feel as successful as I want to be.

Do people ever come up to you on the street and say "Hey, you're in Death Cab for Cutie!"

Sometimes. Certainly it happens more in other cities than it does in Seattle. Because of the whole explosion of music in Seattle in the early 90s, theres sort of this anti-cult of celebrity, or a cult of anti-celebrity I guess is the better way to word it, so that you can walk around and its kind of looked down upon to make a big deal about it. You're not supposed to freak out because everyones sort of just a normal person at the end of the day. I'll get recognized and people are usually really polite. It certainly happens to Ben [Gibbard] more frequently than me, which is nice. I live a comfortably anonymous life.

As evidenced by the Directions DVD, it seems like you guys have really managed to keep a good relationship with your fans. Is that something that happens consciously?

It is conscious, in the sense that it’s important to us. There are a lot of creative and interesting people who also happen to like our band and that’s always interesting for me. Directions was very much an extension of us knowing a lot of really creative people and wanting to find a way to work with them and make our two worlds coincide for a little while. It turned out well, and I certainly think were going to be doing a lot more fun things like that in the future. We wanted a nice formal and official place to collect all those wonderful ideas and projects. It'll be fun to see.

Speaking of wonderful ideas, we have this burning question: were you in the video for [the Decemberists] "Sixteen Military Wives"?

I was indeed, doing the slow clap. (Laughs) In fact, Chris [Walla] is also in it.

Really? Where?

He's the news reporter. It was really funny because all we did was put him in a hat and this really, just terrible black mustache. For all intents and purposes, to us it just looks like Chris wearing this really bad black mustache. But that was just enough of a disguise that people argued about that, whether it's Chris or not, time and time again. And so we say, "You know, Chris, apparently all you have to do is tape a black mustache to your face and you'll fool everybody." It's not like we went and changed his hair color or that sort of thing, all we did was put on a cheap Halloween disguise and everybody's fooled. And I'm one of the students that does the slow clap. There's a lot of people in that video that you can pick out. It's funny. It's a good video. It was really fun to be a part of.

Sometimes we think that Colin [Meloy] bears a resemblance to Ben.

Oh certainly, they're brothers from another mother. We note that as well. It's very funny because when we played shows with the Decemberists, those two guys would be standing next to each other and people would walk by and go "Aren't you in...." and they have this moment of "I don't know!" (Laughs) And we always think it would be really funny for them to run out into a crowd and then run in separate directions and see what happens-you know, is that two Gibbards or two Meloys?


So where is it exactly that you're from?

This small town called Sebastopol. It's about an hour north of here. It’s a lot of wine country, pretty boring. Where you grew up, was it a small-town atmosphere, was there anything? What did you do when you were just sitting around as a teenager?

I read comic books and I played guitar and started bands with friends. I always think that growing up in a small town is kind of a blessing and a curse at the same time. Its definitely a curse, because you feel like theres nothing exciting going on and you're always looking to the outside world. But it's also a blessing because you have to create your own fun, you have to come up with your own things, and I think it kind of makes people more proactive and more creative in coming up with things to do that are other than your average "Lets all go to a party and drink beer!" Its like, "C'mon, man, thats boring as fuck." Nobody wants to do that, so let's all strap on some guitars and make music for the people at the party drinking beer. Or something like that.



Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Oh man.

Hello, adoring readers.

This is Sophie, the other co-author of this blog. Here is the part where I introduce myself.

As is referred to in the post below, Zoe and I do indeed have "shared music taste" (we are Super Compatible). This extends beyond our shared favorite band (The Decemberists). We both strongly enjoy bands such as Sufjan Stevens, Neutral Milk Hotel, Beirut and Final Fantasy, and I am happy to report I am successfully converting Zoe into a semi-hardcore Mountain Goats fan.

The top of this page says that I enjoy strums, whereas Zoe enjoys beeps. Though this is true in a way, most music I like could be better characterized as either pretty or catchy. In addition to the bands listed above, my favorite artists include Andrew Bird (who puts anyones whistling to shame), Iron & Wine, Okkervil River, Jens Lekman and a huge list of indie pop bands (notably Belle & Sebastian, Of Montreal, The Pipettes and The Unicorns/Islands).

This brings me to my radio show, entitled "Comfort in the Sound". For about four months now I have done an hour long show every Sunday at 5 pm on a tiny independent station in Guerneville, CA. The shows usually have themes (i.e. light v. dark, places, wordplay) and I play mostly indie pop/folk/rock with the occasional other genre thrown in. Here is the website from which it streams, if you don't want to scroll down to the link below.

One more note just to keep you interested: in a few days there will be an exclusive interview on here with one of the artists I mentioned above! Don't believe me? Check back later (or listen to my radio show this Sunday) and be AMAZED.

I'm just a love letter away!

Sobre Moi

So I figured all you fabulous people out there might want to know a bit more about me specifically (I'm sure Sophie will be doing this soon).

I write for Tiny Mix Tapes, the intelligent, faux-pretentious antidote to the self-congratualting, faux-unpretension of Pitchfork. I'm mainly a news writer (the articles with strange headlines that are the first thing one sees on the site), but I'm slowly starting to write interviews and other features. I write as Elzee; my posts are collected here.

When I deviate from the Squad's shared musical taste, it's usually in the hip-hop/electronica direction. I love YACHT, Jus†ice, Air, Ratatat, Blackalicious, and A Tribe Called Quest, among many others.

Right now I'm listening to Certified Air Raid Material by edIT. It's a fabulous mixture of super-funky electronica and not-too-serious hip hop:
Dan Deacon + Jus†ice + the rap from Islands' "Where There's A Will, There's A Whalebone" =edIT.

Bet you thought you'd never see Jus†ice and Islands used to describe the same thing. Well, now you've seen it all. And what does that mean? Yes, Bjork and Thom Yorke, there is no more to see.

Still awaiting silent Tristero's empire.


This is the blog for the Super Awesome Squad, aka best friends Sophie and Zoe. Because we live in a really shitty small town, we're the only people we know who listen to the music we like. So we talk to each other about it all the time. But seeing as we devote most of our lives to it, we've started doing more than just talk about it with each other:

Sophie has a radio show called Comfort in the Sound every Sunday from 5-6pm PT. Stream it here

Zoe writes for Tiny Mix Tapes as Elzee. Read her stuff here

We'll be posting thoughts, complaints, and hecka things about music on a regular basis. Check up on us when you need a break from pretentious hipster blogging.

Don't let anyone stand in your way
Yours truly,
Zoe & Sophie