Sophia Cacciola and Michael J. Epstein
Michael J. Epstein
Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling [Music][Press][Blog][Facebook][Twitter][Youtube] bass/drum duo based on The Prisoner
The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library [Music][Press][Blog][Facebook][Twitter][Youtube] Indie ensemble
Darling Pet Munkee [Music][Press][Blog][Facebook][Youtube] garage/surf songs about items sold in comics
Space Balloons [Music][Press][Blog][Facebook][Twitter][Youtube] Children's space-traveler music
The Motion Sick [Music][Press][Blog][Facebook][Twitter][Youtube] Indie rock with emphasis on song
Neutral Uke Hotel [Press][Facebook][Blog][Twitter][Youtube] Uke based Neutral Milk Hotel sing-a-long
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
It sounds like a great title for a children's book, but that's not why we're here. Our buddy H (we played with him in Danbury a little while back) is a finalist in two categories in the Hartford Advocate's Grand Band Slam: Best Male Vocalist and Best Solo Artist.
Let's all lend the man some support and head on down to http://www.hartfordadvocate.com/bandslam/ and throw some votes his way!
He also said somethings about buying sandwiches on baguettes for everyone who votes for him, but I didn't quite catch it...
We're one of the top Spin picks here and you can read the comments from the judges on all of the bands: http://musicnation.com/contest/spin/comments. Thanks to BUTCH WALKER, PETER MOREN, AMANDA PALMER, and DOUG BROD for the kind words! It looks like we fared pretty well in their assessments.
Now, the sad news is that we've decided to withdraw from the competition. The option agreement deal with Epic just didn't match our current needs. It's really tough to turn down a potential deal with a major label, but right now, it's just not the right thing for us. That is not to imply at all that it would not be the right deal for somebody else. We wish our competitors the best of luck with the competition and hope that they find the outcome of their work with Music Nation and Original Signal very fruitful! Rock on!
"The Russian government is in the process of drafting a law to make emo and goth music illegal, says the Moscow Times."
I am not a fan of the music, but really?
The Times says the bill defines emos as "from 12 to 16 years old and wear black and pink clothing. They have black hair with long bangs that 'cover half the face,' black fingernails, black belts peppered with studs and pins, and ear and eyebrow piercings."
Ok, this must be from the Onion, right? Is it April 1st? Somebody hacked the Moscow Times Website? Right, this has to be fake...
Monday, July 28, 2008
I only recently had pot pie for the first time, at an friends house. And, I immediately had to make one myself. I guess you miss some Americanisms when your Mother was not born here. The thought of combining meat and pie probably seemed weird and wrong, which it is. However, seitan pot pie is delicious. It was also my first time making seitan, does this push me up to level-5 vegan?
These are from forever ago, both recipes are from Vegan Italiano Stuffed Zucchini and Risotto with Peas. All I remember is that I was going to substitute some matzo meal for bread crumbs but that I accidentally (the containers are quite similar) poured in some brewers yeast instead, so the zucchini tasted just a bit funny from that. Overall I do recommend this cookbook, it has the best and fastest recipe for Red Wine Marinara, that I love.
However, the mini cupcakes are bitesize and super cute. These were just simple vanilla with [vegan, obviously] cream cheese frosting and the fancy sprinkles from whole foods.
The free version only lets you make 30-second clips, but if you are a discovery educator, you are reminded that you can make a discovery of the code for a free account here: http://blog.discoveryeducation.com/blog/2008/05/07/more-appreciation-for-stars-from-our-friends-at-animoto/
Here was my first go using the song "The Owls Are Not What They Seem" and Kelly Davidson's pictures from TT's. Not sure why it got cut at 1:00 or so.
Here's my 2nd go at it with a ton of random pictures. It's pretty silly:
The 80s were really hard! There were so many albums vying for top place, so I did my best picking favorites:
1984 Bruce Springsteen - Born in USA
1985 Sisters of Mercy - First last and always
1986 The Smiths - The Queen is Dead
1987 New Order - Substance
1988 Leonard Cohen - I'm your man (honorable mentions: Y Kant Tori Read -I legitimately like this album, Blue Clocks Green "Hemingway" - a longtime favorite of mine and many Upstate NYers)
1989 Pixies - Doolittle
1990 Ministry- In case you didn't feel like showing up
1991 Bob Dylan - The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991 (this is a great collection, and is the only legitimate way to hear the original recording of "Blood on the Tracks" which is a very interesting listen to the avid fan)
1992 Tom Waits - Bone Machine (as any fan of blitzkriegbliss would know)
1993 Violent Femmes: Add It Up (1981-1993)
1994 Nick Cave - Let Love In (1994 had bunches of contenders, but this album would make any top 5 list for me -same goes for my 1995 choice)
1995 PJ Harvey - To Bring You My Love
1996 Concrete Blonde - Recollection: The Best of
1997 Joy Division - Heart and Soul Box Set
1998 Placebo - Without You I'm Nothing (there wasn't much to choose from for 1998, and I actually like "Black Market Music" better)
1999 The Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs
2000 Einsturzende Neubauten - Silence is Sexy (if for "Sabrina" alone)
2001 Kylie Minogue - Fever (again, not my favorite album ever, but the pickings were slim for 2001, and I did actually listen to this album a bunch at the time-me and all the other record store hipsters)
2002 Bright Eyes - Lifted or The Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground
2003 Muse - Absolution
2004 Modest Mouse - Good News for People Who Love Bad News (I actually like We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank better, but I like Neon Bible much more than Arcade Fire's first album)
2005 The Cardigans - Super Extra Gravity
2006 Silversun Pickups - Carnavas
2007 Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
2008 Dead Confederate - S/T EP
Flash forward to the 2000s and Bullet LaVolta lead singer Yukki Gipe is now the frontman for the Boston band The Konks. You may also know them from their inclusion in Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Here's some video I took of the band recently:
...and doing a Brian Eno cover:
Sunday, July 27, 2008
From what I can gather, this is El Mundo - Chacarron Macarron. The title refers to some slang Spanish term for cocaine. I think maybe they should show this video to kids in Junior High. It would be at least 50 times as effective as the "Just Say No" stuff. Just let the kids know that if you use drugs, you will think this is music.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Anyway, they are awesome, we love them, and we're sure they are going to totally show up Coldplay.
I can't quite totally follow what she is saying, but I kind of enjoyed Courtney Love's stream-of-consciousness blog on myspace for July 24th:
Perhaps the funniest part is where she says:
So I wont be back for a while. I have a sign on my computer, "DO NOT BLOG. EMBARRASSES CHILD. LACK OF GRAMMATICAL CORRECTNESS AND SPELLING MAKES ONE LOOK ON DRUGS FOR SOME REASON..."
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
Touring isn't cheap or easy. We know, we've done it for years. We thought of this as a way for bands and music lovers to offer up their floor and couches. We've stayed in some great and not so great places while on tour, so we know it can be hit or miss. We figure people are fans of bands and bands become fans of other bands. If we give them all a place to meet under a common need, good things will come of it."
Thanks to The Tripwire for pointing out this one...
As a freebie, here's ANJ's tribute to the former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev (thanks to Ryan from Ryan's Smashing Life for pointing this one out to us):
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
We've been searching for a while for a band to have a feud with. Music feuds are awesome and hilarious. Oasis vs. Blur. Neil Young vs. Lynyrd Skynyrd. It's all good stuff. Anyway, yesterday at The Digital Bear Studio Party, The New Collisions (playing their first ever show) , "accidentally" knocked our commemorative framed album off the wall of the studio onto the ground shattering all of the glass encasement. They were so sneaky about doing this that it APPEARED that they didn't even touch it. Somehow though, none of the other displays fell off the wall. They are in big trouble!!!!!!!!!
Here it is in slow motion:
Thursday, July 17, 2008
This was a far more exhausting process than I would've initially imagined hence, the week-long delay with the post. Like Mike and Travis there were definitely some years that had far too many viable choices, but my biggest surprise was that I never listened to many albums in the 80's (and the Mid-80's to be specific) and to this day, haven't really made a decent effort to revisit some of the music from those days, so that's my next task, right next to finishing all those books I've been meaning to read....
Without further ado, here's the list:
1978 - Van Halen - Van Halen
1979 - Rust Never Sleeps - Neil Young
1980 - Zenyatta Mondatta - The Police
1981 - Signals Calls And Marches - Mission Of Burma
1982 - Tie: Signals - Rush, Thriller - Michael Jackson
1983 - Genesis - Genesis
1984 - Double Nickels On The Dime - The Minutemen
1985 - No Jacket Required - Phil Collins
1986 - Graceland - Paul Simon
1987 - The Joshua Tree - U2
1988 - Day Dream Nation - Sonic Youth
1989 - Full Moon Fever - Tom Petty
1990 - Ah Via Musicom - Eric Johnson
1991 - Fear - Toad The Wet Sprocket
1992 - Gordon - Barenaked Ladies
1993 - August And Everything After - Counting Crows
1994 - Superunknown - Soundgarden
1995 - The Bends, Radiohead
1996 - Tiny Music From A Vatican Gift Shop - Stp
1997 - The Colour And The Shape - Foo Fighters
1998 - Moon Safari - Air
1999 - The Unauthorized Biography Of Reinhold Messner - Ben Folds Five
2000 - Parachutes - Coldplay
2001 - Take Offs And Landings - Rilo Kiley
2002 - Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots - The Flaming Lips
2003 - Such Great Heights Ep - The Postal Service
2004 - A Ghost Is Born - Wilco
2005 - Be - Common
2006 - Everything All The Time - Band Of Horses
2007 - Ga Ga Ga Ga - Spoon
2008 - In Rainbows (Cheating A Bit, But The Year Isn't Over)
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
As always, a variety of nonsensical videos are available here.
On Saturday, we played in Washington, DC at The Grog and Tankard. It was an interesting room with a shallow setup, but kind of a cool vibe. It's in the nice part of town and we had a fun time. We were on super early, so the place wasn't exactly full, but our friend Pia did an awesome job recruiting friends. She made the whole thing fun for us and then took us on over to a nearby bar called Breadsoda.
We got a little lost on the way to Breadsoda, but met some friendly people on the street who helped guide us. Samantha, our new GPS - who Sony should be paying us for using and plugging (you reading this Lisa?), didn't have the place in her directory because it's too new.
We sat outside at Breadsoda and had a relaxing chat about books, movies, and other fine topics. I got to know some of Pia's friends including the one she affectionately refers to as "The Tall Guy." They were all totally awesome people and it was an all-around fine time. As the night progressed, PJ, as in Pamela Jean, decided to rib a fellow walking by in a striped polo shirt. She yelled, "nice shirt!" and laughed a bit. He walked away without responding. About ten minutes later, he returned and started yelling at Matt and Travis for making fun of his shirt (they, of course, hadn't said a thing to him) and called us all "fucking hipsters." We sort of sat there puzzled by the whole thing, but also sort of amused. His friends shook their heads, giggled, and dragged him back inside. It put kind of an amusing cap on the night.
We woke up the next day and hung out with Pia, Aaron, PJ, and Annie for a while before heading off to the fine town of Danbury, CT.
We arrived in Danbury at Cousin Larry's. We rocked the Sunday night with our buddy H (video of his set on our video page) and our formerly of-Boston pals Sarianna and the Swell. It was awesome fun except for the moment where we were playing "Grace Kelly" and I looked up and saw 6 TVs, each with a different show on. I started wondering, "what are all these shows?" Then, I realized I had already failed to sing one line and had no clue where we were in the song. Whoops!
Our visit to Danbury:
A couple of related photos.
We returned to Boston for some excitement. We had an interview with Ryan's Smashing Life, which was a fun time. Ryan was an awesome guy and asked a lot of great, insightful questions, particularly about some of the content and sources of the lyrics. Just as we were getting up to leave the 1369 Coffee House at the end of the interview, our song "The Most Beautiful Dead Girl" came on. It was kind of surreal.
We hopped on over to TT's. We were lucky to have Joel Simches doing sound for us. He definitely made the place sound good! We played really well and rocked our short set. Patrick mangled himself on the guitar. I got only a pretty poor photo of the injury, but here it is:
Our pal Kelly Davidson, who we met in Austin, took some of the best live photos of us ever yet taken. I will post those in another post shortly along with some fab video by Sophia. I will also post all of the video I got of Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. They were awesome and nice, as were Ha Ha Tonka. All around, a fun and successful show!
Also, this weekend, Travis learned his lesson...
I also took some photographs for the 10 seconds when I wasn't videotaping:
Sophia also took some awesome video of us rocking the place.
Here's "Jean-Paul" to celebrate Bastille Day!
The rest are here.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
So I saw Mike's last post about picking his fave records from each year he's been alive, and I thought it was a great idea. Unfortunately, I got through 3 years and realized there was no way I was going to be able to pick my favorite records, mostly because there are just too many. Instead, I made a list of the records that came out in each year (according to the wikipedia list ONLY) and picked one record for each year that I felt I wore out. These are by no means my favorites... I'm also sure that I'm missing some great records I listened to, but I only used the list posted on wikipedia, so I apologize to all of the records I listened to a lot and got the shaft. Here goes.
1977 - Fleetwood Mac: Rumours
1978 - The Police: Outlandos d'Amour
1979 - Fleetwood Mac: Tusk
1980 - Christopher Cross: Christopher Cross
1981 - Def Leppard: High N Dry
1982 - Fleetwood Mac: Mirage
1983 - The Police: Synchronicity
1984 - Prince: Purple Rain
1985 - Phil Collins: No Jacket Required
1986 - Bon Jovi: Slippery When Wet
1987 - Def Leppard: Hysteria
1988 - N.W.A: Straight Outta Compton
1989 - Billy Joel: Storm Front
1990 - Poison: Flesh And Blood
1991 - Guns N Roses: Use Your Illusion 1 & 2
1992 - Soul Asylum: Grave Dancers Union
1993 - Paul McCartney: Off the Ground
1994 - The Cranberries: No Need to Argue
1995 - The Smashing Pumpkins: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
1996 - The Refreshments: Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy
1997 - The Refreshments: The Bottle and Fresh Horses
1998 - The Smashing Pumpkins: Adore
1999 - Matthew Good Band: Beautiful Midnight
2000 - Our Lady Peace: Spiritual Machines
2001 - Ben Folds: Rockin the Suburbs
2002 - Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers: Sonoran Hope and Madness
2003 - Dashboard Confessional: A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar
2004 - Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers: Americano!
2005 - American Hi-Fi: Hearts on Parade
2006 - Butch Walker: The Rise and Fall of Butch Walker and the Lets Go Out Tonights
2007 - Modest Mouse: We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
2008 - Dead Confederate: S/T EP (so far)
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Some years, it was a struggle to find anything much I liked (I'm talking to you 1977) and some years were tough to narrow down from 10 viable choices (late 80s/early 90s).
Anyway, here's what I've got. I reserve the right to change my mind...
1976 - Ramones: Ramones
1977 - The Sex Pistols: Never Mind the Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols
1978 - Tom Waits: Blue Valentine
1979 - Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures
1980 - Devo: Freedom of Choice
1981 - Go-Go's: Beauty and the Beat
1982 - Michael Jackson: Thriller
1983 - Def Leppard: Pyromania
1984 - Bruce Springsteen: Born in the U.S.A.
1985 - The Cure: The Head on the Door
1986 - The Smiths: The Queen is Dead
1987 - New Order: Substance
1988 - Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man
1989 - Pixies: Doolittle (close call with Nine Inch Nails: Pretty Hate Machine)
1990 - Depeche Mode: Violator
1991 - Nirvana: Nevermind
1992 - Lemonheads: It's a Shame About Ray
1993 - Violent Femmes: Add It Up (1981-1993)
1994 - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Let Love In
1995 - Radiohead: The Bends
1996 - Belle and Sebastian: If You're Feeling Sinister
1997 - Spiritualized: Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space
1998 - Neutral Milk Hotel: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
1999 - The Magnetic Fields: 69 Love Songs
2000 - Bright Eyes: Fevers and Mirrors
2001 - Clem Snide: The Ghost of Fashion
2002 - Rilo Kiley: The Execution of All Things
2003 - The Postal Service: Give Up
2004 - Modest Mouse: Good News for People Who Love Bad News
2005 - The Decemberists: Picaresque
2006 - Rock Plaza Central: Are We Not Horses
2007 - Arcade Fire: Neon Bible
2008 - Dead Confederate: S/T EP (so far)
Monday, July 7, 2008
Please go to this page and rate our video (preferably a 10, but it's your call) by looking for this:
Feel free to rate other videos if you see fit to do so, but it's not required.
This is a huge and wonderful opportunity for us and we greatly appreciate your support. Thanks!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
The cookies are Peanut Butter Bombs from the dessert book My Sweet Vegan. The first recipe I made from this book (a cheesecake) was a complete disaster, but I decided to give it a second chance and given my recent need for peanut butter and chocolate this recipe caught my eye. It has three different kinds of sugar (confectioners, white, and brown), and a lot of it and aside from the cocoa powder and peanut butter, not much else. The cookies were really good, especially when they were still warm out of the oven. So the cookbook has won me back for now, I'll have to try out a few more things before I give my final verdict on it.
a close up of the inside:
Sadly, not pictured are the chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting I made for a friend's BBQ. I was on a rampage, but now it's safe to say that my pb&c sweet tooth has been satiated.
I visited the Quechee Gorge, otherwise known as "Vermont's Grand Canyon" back in May. This photo was taken from the bridge alongside the road, BB tells me that this is quite the popular spot for suicides.
I enjoyed photographing the driftwood:
I had never made stuffed shells before, but it occurred to me that I would enjoy them more than lasagna (which has always been too messy, and too cheesy (when I ate cheese) for my liking). Anyway, stuffed shells are awesome. I used the potato masher to mash up firm tofu, and added a handful of chopped fresh basil, and a dash of fresh-squeezed lemon juice to the mixture. I used one entire box of shells (boil before stuffing). I tested making the "sauce" in the casserole dish (for speed/laziness reasons), so I used a can of tomatoes, spices: more basil, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, and about 1/4 cup (maybe more) of dry red table wine, and let it cook together along with the shells. After stuffing the shells and arranging them on the sauce in the dish, I covered them with some of the sauce and Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet shredded mozzarella. This was in the oven for roughly 45 minutes at 350F. This was super easy to make, and really good. The broccoli was quickly steamed in a cast iron pan.