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Thursday, May 20, 2010

We are the wild beast

Indian Jewelry is an extremely talented psych/electro/rock group based in Houston.  Let's get to know Tex from Indian Jewelery, shall we?

Hi, this is Tex. 
What is the art/music scene like in Houston?
Here, everything is feast or famine.  Art with a capital A has lots of money.  Music, at least our kind of music, doesn't attract that money. But a lot of our musician friends also have strong visual aesthetics.  As much as I hate to say it (I don't like to encourage the art world since it has done very little to encourage me) we all have some of that art mixing with the mercury in our blood.

How did you meet one another and did you start making music right away or was it a gradual process?

We fell in love in 1999.  After that we started working together.

Can you discuss the album art for Totaled and Free Gold (i.e. who did the art/photos, the symbology, etc.)?

Our friend Domokos Benczedi (Future Blondes/Rusted Shut) made the art for Free Gold. I think it was meant to be a sigil, a spell to take us all to Europe and to Africa. The original lettering read "EU IJ." We switched it to "FU IJ" trusting that our meaning would be clear, and subsequently went on a psychologically punishing tour of Europe. We never made it to Africa. That's what you get for messing with magic.

For Totaled, we took a different route. Erika and I came up with the idea of a photograph of us standing beside a wrecked white porsche.  
We liked the image. I don't know what it means exactly- the lie of appearances, the collapse of glamor, time's winged chariot drawing ever near....  Anyway, as soon as we had the idea we called our photographer and friend, Aaron Farley. We've been working with him off and on for five years, he photographed us in 2005 for the cover of a LA alternative magazine, and he photographed us again in 2006 for our "Invasive Exotics" publicity stills on horseback. This time, per usual, we told him what we wanted and we told him we had no money for props.  He, being resourceful, found the car within an afternoon. 

Where do you think the best music scene is right now?  Have you been there/played there?

We've been touring with this band for seven years now, so we've played in a lot of cities in the US. I don't mean to cop out, but it is always changing.  The midwest in 2004-2005 was truly jamming and exciting.  The Coasts (Pacific, Atlantic, Cook County-Lake Michigan, seldom the Gulf) always get attention, I think most of the magazines and labels are based there. Occasionally that attention is justified.  Our friends here in Houston do an awful lot of great things for almost no return. Anywhere, the work of a few tireless creative people can set an entire city reeling. 

Who is your biggest inspiration, creatively speaking?

Nicanor Parra, Willie Nelson, and my mother.

What are your touring plans for the next year?

When the whip cracks the bear in the tutu will dance.

Do you have anything else you'd like readers to know?

Get off the internet and meet your neighbors.  When you can't do that: read about some of our friends here  Thanks!
Love and peace,

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Waves in the Dreaming

Peter Wolf Crier's Inter-Be opens warmly, bringing to mind Justin Vernon's vocals and Granddaddy's musicality on "Crutch and Cane."  This drum and guitar duo bring you lots of fuzzy, minimalist indie pop and oodles of charm.  While this might have you thinking this means they are insincere, you would be sorely mistaken.  The second track, "Hard as Nails" showcases the fine finger work Peter Pisano is capable of on guitar, and the level of intensity you can get with just two instruments and vocals.  The first standout track is number 3, "Down Down Down," beginning with M. Ward style strumming, slowly layering in light cymbal, and vocally building toward a moving crescendo of guitar and drums.  Great tune to calm you down!  "Untitled 101" and "For Now" feature excellent effects and upbeat guitar with beautifully layered piano and drums.  "You're so High" rolls on with smooth vocals, and their signature noisy but subtle mix of drum and guitar.  "Demo 01" reminds me of lazy Sunday afternoons spent listening to Trampled by Turtles.  This song makes fantastic use of palm-muting, successfully incorporating a light melody on keys and is not lacking in harmony or rhythm, but then I must admit, these two seem to have a strong grasp on technical musicianship, to which they add a hefty dose of soul.  "Lion" has some classic folk and country essence, reminding me of some Porter Waggoner if he had a sexy indie voice.  "Playwright" uses down tempo drums melded with impeccably strummed guitar and longing vocals, all layered with fuzzy effects reminiscent of Beach House and Elliott Smith.  We move on to "Saturday Night" a true roots-rock gem needing no explanation.  You really have to hear this for yourself to experience the emotions evoked by this musical expression.  Ending with "In Response" which has more wonderful pairings of primitive drums and guitar strums, lending a slowly rolling wave of sensuous sound to beautiful vocals.  As an end to an extremely promising debut,  you couldn't ask for more.   I hope we get th hear fantastic future sounds from these fine young gentlemen very soon.  They are surely worthy of the praise already received, and I hope you will look into buying this album, which comes out May 25, 2010 on Jagjaguwar.

Here is a small taste courtesy of the label:
Crutch and Cane and Hard as Nails (right click to download, or left click just to listen)

And here's a video of "Untitled 101":
Untitled 101- youtube video

Love and peace,

It's a soft shock

To make up for my inability to post music yesterday, here are a couple of awesome songs for you!

Gorillaz- Some Kind of Nature ft. Lou Reed
As a die hard Lou Reed fan, I will try listening to anything he puts out or contributes to, never to be disappointed.  (Even the crazy canine concert sounds fabulous.)  This track is well thought out amongst a sea of interesting tunes by this quirky bunch of musicians, and Reed's voice adds a unique sound to an otherwise mellow tune.  I recommend sipping something smooth and delicious to go with this tasty track.

Xiu Xiu-Dear God I Hate Myself
With a self-explanatory title such as this, you might think you'd hear a few whiny vocals and poorly strummed chords on a mangy guitar, but thank goodness for our sakes that this is not the case.  Jamie Stewart, the man behind the music, gives us an incredible mix of noise and vocals, as well as excellent keyboard and drum machine work on this haunting piece.  "If you burn a candle while listening to this record, you can see your future." (Almost Famous)

After some technical difficulties, prepare to have your minds blown!

I am delighted to bring to you today one of the most well-known pinup artists of the last few decades, the artist responsible for the most iconic images of the lovely Bettie Page (may she rest in peace.)  For those of you who have been living under a rock, I'm speaking of Olivia de Berardinis, an extremely talented artist who uses mainly oil and canvas to portray the true beauty in the female form.  Olivia was kind enough to answer a few questions for my via myspace, and you can read her thoughts below.

When did you know you wanted to be an artist or did it just happen?
I always knew I wanted to be an artist, I didn't know what kind of artist, but in retrospect, it seems obvious now.  I had been painting women my entire life, the first was my mother.  Since there were no Barbie dolls when I was a kid, I drew women that looked like them.  Knowing you want to be an artist and being able to exist as one is the hard part. I was an artist all my life but didn't start my career until I was 25.  It's too long a story. you can find more of those details on my website:

Who is your favorite modern pinup or artist?
Modern pin up- Sorayama is my favorite.  I love his half metal, half woman pinups.

Do you prefer painting from photos or from live models?
I work from photos only, having naked women around could get tiresome.

Do you listen to music while you work, and if so who?
I listen to a bit of everything when working, NPR, Howard Stern, KCRW morning becomes eclectic is one of the best stations on the planet.

Who in your work and/or personal life is your biggest inspiration?
I don't have one inspiration,. that comes from everywhere for me.  I have many people I admire and inspire me, but too many to list.

All the best to you!

Some spectacular examples of her work:

Thanks Olivia!  You truly are an amazing person and have such vision, I look forward seeing what you have for us in the future.

And thank you dear readers, as we are now getting more and more responses from incredible artists, and labels willing to share materials for review.  Keep spreading the word:)

Love and peace,

Monday, May 17, 2010

Oceans of Totaled Noise

For our second review of the day, we're going to enjoy Totaled, the latest album by the utterly fabulous Indian Jewelry.  Opening with "Oceans," a swim through bouncing drum beats and synthesizers with a wonderful background loop, your senses are freed to enjoy the remainder of the album.  "Look Alive," where frenzied fuzz converges into steams of rackety rhythm, pumps blood through your veins and sound through your ears.  The keyboard goes through spasms of chords while synth filters through a mellifluous melody all washed in trippy beats.  "Excessive Moonlight" opens with rolling drum beats and waves of synth moving toward a booming voice singing of a frightening night sky.  The guitar creates a tunnel of sound through which the other instruments soar, culminating in a hollow, but strong end, a great transition into my favorite track, "Sirens."  This piece of tribal fusion has insanely good female vocals over strong, thumping bass chords, well-timed drum machine beats and undulating synth.  We next find ourselves on "Vision," beginning with backward tracked vocals and an '80s goth-electro rock inspired synth line.  This musical expression of sight includes solid bass riffs and stripped down percussion, shifting the focus to the keys and vocals.  "Tono Bungay" picks the pace back up through the use of droning bass and drums, and heavy synth, building up to the vocals and remaining steady throughout the first verse.  Into the chorus, the middle-eastern influenced guitar line comes in adding another layer of sonic gold to this towering album.  "Simulation" follows the tonal wind-down at the end of the preceding track with sparse vocals powered by Sabbath-like bass, guitar and fuzzy synth yumminess.  Next we have "Diamond Things," with Bowie-esque background vox and hefty drum beats, echoed by bass guitar and key chords, creating more wave-like patterns of sound which has been and is continued throughout the album.  "Never Been Better," with its retro goth punk synth, staccato cymbal, and rolling drum and bass line, is an example of how dark Indian Jewelry can be, and also how good they sound while doing so.  Sitar-like guitar rounds out one incredible track.  "Parlous Chapel and Siege" provides a warped gush of sound billowing into vocals and slowly working in synth keys with adds awesome ferocity, especially since they subtly increase the tempo as they go.  "Heaven's World Destroyer" pummels your ears with ever-evolving synth and drums that are out of this world.  The pulsing rhythm of "Touching the Roof of the Sun" has an almost mandolin-like effect, which gives creepy, tin-y sound to the guitar, paired with rolling, thunderous bass and drums. Nice... "Dog Days" ends the album as strong as ever, rocking out with harmonic keys and bass backed by vocals and drums.  Did I say this album is great?  Because it really is fantastic, and my vocabulary is currently incapable of getting across just how good these musicians are.  This is just one in a list of many fine albums Indian Jewelry has to offer.

Check them out at:  Indian Jewelry on Myspace

Love and peace,

4 x 10 = 0mg

You have a Gristleizer, a bass guitar, an old casio keyboard, and two bored dudes in Little Rock who happen to be musicians, so what can you do?  You record an album called 0 mg under the name Medicide.  Sid Sickness and Alex Death bring you 46 minutes of fuzzy, glorious noise, often resulting in an overdose of bass euphoria due to a wonderful gadget known as the Gristleizer.  Using this analog fun house Medicide supply an abundance of warped bass and keyboard, amalgamating into a pile of twisted beats and looping chords.  This is one continuous but evolving track which succeeds in capturing the feeling of being up in the wee hours of the morning pounding your bass and percussion to death, even though this particular piece was recorded in the afternoon.

Get the details on this extremely limited release (only 40 copies and many are spoken for) at Retro Virus Records or contact Alex at Facebook.

Love to your mother,

Burning Down the House

Since I still don't have internet at home, I can't blog over the weekend.  Thus I will have 3 posts today to make up for the lack of quality product since Friday.

Good morning to all.  Today we are lucky enough to have our second interview here at Things I Don't Remember, with a fantastic musician named Aria C. Jalali, who makes music under the moniker Railcars.  You can read about his recent album here: Cathedral With No Eyes.  Please read on to find out what music is really like in California and just who this fine young gentleman is about whom I've been speaking.

What is the local music/art scene like in Berkley?

eh, berkeley is pretty dismal relatively speaking, even san francisco for that matter. in the bay area, in my opinion, oakland is where the music scene really resides. (i just preferred to live in san francisco.) but i've since then moved back home-ish to Los Angeles, home to - again, in my opinion, the best music scene in the US. but soon i'll be headed to new york, and i'm excited to be going to a lot of shows there and nearby, like baltimore. they've always been a blast when i went through on tour.
i guess you just caught me at a bit of a transition stage.

Do you have mostly house shows or bar gigs?

hmm... i guess it depends where we are. Usually in the U.S. we are playing a lot of DIY spots like the smell, in LA, or shea stadium or the market hotel in New York. i guess in a lot of ways they feel more like houses (though they aren't. well, i guess a few of my friends live @ market hotel, so kind of it is... anyway it doesn't matter)
but in Europe, for instance, we end up playing much more proper venues with all sorts of fancy flashing lights and places to buy cocktails. im not sure, maybe because we're an 'import' over there. 
i like the feel of houses/diy spots much more, but i won't lie, having a backstage area loaded with free drinks is also quite choice.

You've previously spoken about touring w/ Handsome Furs (one of my fave bands ever), what was that like?

oh yeah, they are just great. railcars owes a lot to them, the whole project started when i was asked to do some shows with them in 2008. played with them again after that too, and they were always the most down to earth people. i think most recently was a show we had together @ great american music hall in san francisco about a year ago. they fucking killed it that night. they are so talented that sometimes i must suspect wizardry or witchcraft. its just too good.

Do you record your albums all at once or do you record songs as you come up with the ideas and piece them together to make an album?

oh always at once. im really into writing albums instead of songs. to me thats the whole point of an album - its an extended piece of work with multiple movements. an album as a collection of singles, having nothing to do with each other doesn't make as much sense to me... i would rather just release the unrelated singles as... singles. on 7" vinyls or something not as album. though, thats not to say i haven't heard albums-of-singles that didnt rock. sometimes they do, its just not for me. an album, to me, is "heres the big picture i've been working on since we last saw each other."

Who/what is your biggest inspiration?

pop music, and the ensuing guilt that follows for liking it.

Who does your album art?

cities vs submarines and cathedral with no eyes, both had their album artwork done by Claudia O'Steen. she lives in tennessee and she's one of the most talented artists i've ever met. i'm very fortunate. the upcoming 'remixes' EP's artwork was done by Hunter Mack (who runs Gold Robot records), the upcoming Kate Bush cover album and the upcoming railcars full length album are both being done by Claudia O'Steen. She's an integral part. 

Thanks for reading, may love and peace follow you or hatredy.  Take your pick.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Peering into a Cathedral With No Eyes

If you haven’t heard Aria Jalali- aka Railcars- and what he does with loops and keys, you are in for a treat.  His latest album, Cathedral With No Eyes, is an exquisite view into the world of indie noise/fuzz pop, and all that the term entails.
 The journey on this album begins with “Life of Saint Edmund (ponds)”, a jangly piece free from corporate restraint, ripe with fluid chords that remind me of something off of Harmonia & Eno ’76.  “Life…” brings to mind dragonflies and anime parades, childhood loss and love, all resounding with a giant layer of guitar strumming madness.
Next we have “Castles,” reminiscent of early Stooges’ but with keyboard and drum machine.  I don’t know whether to get up and dance or pen a grand romance while listening to this canticle.  It has a faster pace, but is equally as graceful as the previous track.  It’s a solid second song.
“Passion of Saint Edmund (rebirth)” sparkles with bells and Spencer Krug-esque key chords.  Undertones of underwater bliss flow sweetly, until you’re brought up out of the water and are flying through a dense sea of clouds woven with melody.  An aptly named track indeed, as I feel music is quite possibly being reborn in the hands of this capable songwriter.
For “Passion of Saint Edmund (miracles)” we move on to another fabulous beat.  I love the Handsome Furs-style drum machine here, and the seamless transition from the previous number.  It really evokes the idea of one’s life as a journey, and makes you want to hear more.
Luckily for us, we aren’t finished yet, as we now move on to the title expression.  “Cathedral With No Eyes” proves my point that every album should have an epic free for all, and this is one of the best I’ve heard in years.  It makes me feel as if I’m running down the halls of an ancient abbey being chased by ghosts that turn out to be my friends and we end up having a dance party!  Mixed incredibly well (as is the entire album for that matter), this cutthroat piece of music succeeds as a climax rather than allowing the album to fall apart.
Our last stop is with the end, or “Martyrdom of Saint Edmund.”  A warm blanket of sound wraps around you, cradling your soul after and arduous journey through a fantastic sonic landscape. This is truly one of the most beautiful ways to end a tumultuous album- in peace.
This album would be pleasant enough when idly listened to, but diving deeper you find that it's truly a unique musical experience, and one I would hope many of you will endeavor to enjoy on your own. His accolades are well-deserved, and I fully believe that we can all expect to hear some more wonderful sounds coming from this guy in the near future.  (Including his Hounds of Love - Kate Bush cover album!!!)

Thank you all for reading today's review, and stay tuned for an interview with the man behind the music!

Love and peace,


Go here to listen to some sweet Railcars tunes.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I just want to shake you up baby.

Today will be a light day, but one with a couple of treats for your ears.

Track numero uno:
"Lullabye"- Followed by Static
Dang it I'm sad I missed the show in Hot Springs, but at least I can listen to some of his music on the internet.  This is a great track which exemplifies the aggressiveness of vocal harmonies produced by this talented fellow.  While the journey begins in ambient loops, this song steadily moves toward a foul and rather fantastic blend of rock-inspired riffs and in your face lyrics.  Not to be missed!

Numero dos:
"Infinity Guitars"- Sleigh Bells
Don't call it electro-pop!  This electronic hard rock outfit could kick Abba's ass and dance while doing so.  I'm loving the songs I'm hearing on their debut TREATS, on which you'll find this swanky tune.  A marvelous look into what could be your new favorite album, this particular number could easily have been written by Karen O and Phil Lynott, if such a thing had been possible.  Even if you don't normally enjoy female vocalists, this could be the song to change your mind.  Fo reelz.

Hopefully we'll have another interview and an album review soon, so keep spreading the word!

Love and peace,

Reniazen     Preorder Treats by clicking this link!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Sound of Her Wings

Thanks to Neil Gaiman, Sam Keith and Mike Dringenberg, I have an undying love for beautiful raven haired women with fantastic eyeliner, and a penchant to use clever titles.

I welcome you today with a huge smile on my face, as one of my absolute favorite modern models has given us the first ever Things You Don't Remember interview.  Cherry Dollface, a 27 year old model and entrepreneur currently residing in L.A. answered some questions for me on Facebook.  

Did you grow up thinking about becoming a model or did you have other aspirations?
No, not at all. I was always the goofy awkward friend of the beautiful girls. I always got by on my humor and brains growing up. I always wanted to be the best and the brightest...
Who inspires you the most in your work and/or personal life?
My boyfriend Trevor. He has such an amazing outlook on life. He has gone through some crazy stuff and he is always positive and always smiling. No matter how bad things get, I can go to him with anything and he is always patient and always makes me feel better. He inspires me to be more like him. I am definitely lucky to have him in my life.
When did you first get into modeling? Did you begin as an "alternative model?"
I first got into modeling about 5 years ago when Ol Skool Rodz put me on the cover of their Viva Las Vegas issue. Yeah, I started as a hot rod mag model...
Who can always make you smile?
My best friend Caitlin. He and I are ridiculous when we are together. We seriously laugh at the silliest things and have so much fun.

Some wonderful samples of Cherry's work:
Courtesy of

Alex Hartmark for Bound By Ink's first issue- onsale now:)

Katchlight photo for Portland Pinups on

Contact Ms. Cherry Dollface at: Cherry's Facebook

You can also see some photos in:

A great insight into the art and culture of modern tattoo!

Thank you all and stay tuned for more awesomeness to come:)

Love and peace,

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Let's get started off right: 05/11/2010

Here are two tracks for your listening pleasure:
Pat Boone covering Crazy Train

You might look at this and wonder whether or not your sanity is still intact, but fear not my friends, you are not going crazy.  Pat Boone has a metal covers album, and this is absolutely the best track.  I never knew this song could sound good when covered in a Franki Valli style, but I've been disproved once more.  And I'm glad that I have, because this is one of my new ipod musts for the moment.  Enjoy!

St. Vincent- The Strangers
I'm starting to find it easier to find female vocalists I enjoy, rather than some whiny blonde bimbo singing songs she can barely read.  St. Vincent provides polished tunes that your mom might like, but that you can still rock out to.  Witness "The Strangers" from 4AD's SXSW compilation- which you can still grab on their website (or ask me nicely and I'll get it to you:)  The opening melody reminds me of my childhood summers wandering through damp rice paddies and trying to fish in muddy reservoirs.  This is only the beginning of a beautiful, if somewhat melancholy, song which I highly recommend.  (Don't worry, I'll try not to overuse that phrase friends!)

I took intro to philosophy, twice, no big deal.

As with most things, the best way to begin is with an introduction of sorts.  Thus, here we find ourselves with my first post on a new blog, and so I will introduce myself and my intentions with this blog.
I'm married to an awesome guy named Michael who will (hopefully) contribute some art and maybe some music to this site.  We live in a small 60s home in Arkansas and have no kids or pets. One of my greatest passions in life is listening to music and discovering new music, something which will quite often be explored right here.  You will find everything from Pat Boone covering Crazy Train, to Seu Jorge covering David Bowie, to soundtracks, and more.  I also enjoy art, especially pinup art and photography, so be on the lookout for a lot of interesting pieces (and maybe even some interviews!)  I hope to exhibit a wide variety of articles so that even a random passer by could enjoy at least one post or maybe two.  I welcome comments and suggestions, but do not welcome intolerance.
I hope that we can get to know each other better with each post, and maybe we can all learn more about what our interesting world has to offer.

Love and peace,