Monday, October 25, 2010

TVD Takeover Week | Diego Garcia

I have to credit Jon Sidel who delivers TVD's very own free form radio show/podcast, The Idelic Hour each Friday afternoon, for putting Diego Garcia on my radar.

I had been a fan of Elefant, Diego's previous band and their Mc5 meets Bowie and Suede leanings (where 90% of my musical tastes reside.) I wasn't aware though that he'd struck out on his own and in a wholly different direction.

Diego referenced Julio Iglesias to me as a marker for his new musical trajectories which at once seemed very appropriate upon hearing the tracks and at the same time a little limiting. Perhaps in tandem with the fresh material, it's the production behind his new recordings which wraps Diego in the warm blanket of an entire era—the romantic, pop sensibilities of the 1960's to be exact.

To my ears it's somewhat similar to what The Clientele have achieved, which makes that band such a personal favorite and what has kept Diego on constant play over the past few weeks.

We'll be hanging out with Diego over the coming days here at TVD, dipping into his new music and into the bands that inform his background and tastes.

All this week, it's Diego Garcia's Vinyl District.

“My Plastic Jesus” | The Education of Diego

The following is my take on a quote from Tarkovsky: “The purpose of music should be to help people live, even if it sometimes causes unhappiness.”

“Peel Slowly and See,” the box set by the Velvet Underground released in September of 1995, months before my 19th birthday, should have come with the following warning: These 5 records listened to all at once will mess your brain up and you will sound like the “Velvet Underground” when you make your first record.

Add a little Bowie, the Ramones, Stooges, some Beatles, The Smiths, Stones and you pretty much start getting it…

Any relevant artist today had to have gone through at least one of these bands.

And then there are the records with songs made just for me. Records that I owned the only copy of.

1. “Plastic Jesus” from The Flaming Lips' “Transmissions from the Satellite Heart.”

Fifteen when I first heard this record. And over the years I would play it on my guitar to anyone that might listen , and no matter how wasted or high I was, it always felt good.

Chapeau Mr. Wayne Coyne.

You changed my life with your cover of “Plastic Jesus.”

And continue to inspire.

2. “Weird Horses” from Teenage Fanclub's “Thirteen”

Around the same time I got into the Flaming Lips, I heard the track “Weird Horses” and had the same kind of reaction. Had to learn it. Saying “fucked up” in the opening of this song was always fun… immediately drew people in…

3. “The Strange Effect” by The Kinks' “The Songs We Sang for Auntie: BBC Sessions 1964-1977”

Important to note that I recently sang this song for Karl Lagerfeld at a dinner held in his honor… why is this important? I don’t know, but singing the line “you got this strange effect on me and I like it” to Karl while wearing a chef hat should not be left out….

Check out me and Zeke Zima from my new band playing it acoustically poolside in Miami a few months ago. Please note the mistake I make on the guitar at the 1:09 mark.

Goes to show a good song is really hard to mess up. Simplicity is key.

Maybe it was part of the discovery, or the vulnerable nature of the recordings that made these songs so special to me.

TVD Takeover/CMJ Spotlight | Kitten

CMJ (and New York City for that matter) being what they are by nature—a whirl—forestalled Kitten's final day with us last week. But fear thee not, Chloe and the band tie it all up in a fine bow - today:

Hey TVD,

Chloe here again, couldn't bear to read another blog entry written by Chris with all his coffee references..what is this, baristas hour? Just kidding, he buys me coffee almost every dreadful morning and is probably going kick my ass when he reads this.

Anyways, I say dreadful but other than some rough mornings, this has really been amazing week, yesterday being one of the highlights.

I nearly peed my pants because I realized we were playing a show on the world famous Ludlow St. (see Julian Casablanca's "On Ludlow St...") we rolled on into Arlene's grocery and played a solid show. We felt good about it and, more importantly, got a great reaction from the crowd and promoters.

I said it before and I'll say it again. As soon as I'm 18, it's NY for me. I'd move here now but a few pesky little things like school and are parents getting in the way of a full on East Coast adventure. It's cliche but you can't beat NY for energy, food, diversity. The people (at least in Manhattan) dress better way than we do in LA.

Food. Yes, it's true the pizza is better. Yes, the street corner gyro's are amazing. Cannoli's, eclairs.... yup, yup.

Hey all, this is Max. Chloe seems to have left her unfinished blog for one of us to complete so I'll add my two cents. After Arlene's we went to the Pure Volume house to drop off some gear and Sam and I somehow got stuck in an Epic Records © conference? It was pretty weird. The record company rolling out videos of all of their latest singles with all of the employees pretending to groove on bands no one's ever heard of.

Have you ever seen anybody with closed eyes and a fake smile, FAKE dance? A whole room of it is a trip. We were going to leave (the blind, corporate devotion of the event gave us the shivers) but we stayed on until the end. Free Amstel Light will make men do strange things.

After a few hours of wandering around the city, we all came back to the same place to start setting up our gear. Andy had a little trouble with the door man (let's be honest he had his fake ID confiscated by the bouncer at the Surfer Blood show) but it all worked out in the end. We played, in my opinion, one of the best sets ever, and as always, Chloe went a little crazy. She threw a keyboard at a few lucky audience members, climbed a pipe running across the ceiling and knocked down a drum mic, crash cymbal, and floor tom. All in all, Thursday was definitely on of the most rad we've had at CMJ.

Alright, so it's Chloe and I'm back. Thanks so much for having us TVD. It's always such an honor and a surprise when people we respect want to host our music and promote what we're doing.

I apologize for not posting on Friday but we were just incredibly busy with acoustic tapings and interviews (I realize that makes us sound sooooo much more important than we actually are) that I just ran out of energy and time.

Oh! and I got to hang out with one my closest friends Maddie! She just moved to NY a couple of months ago, so it was a treat grab Chinese, hit the Salvation Army and roll over to Top Shop. The only bummer about what I do is that I rarely get to hang with peeps my own age on the road. So shout out to Maddie Mackey!

I'm actually writing from sunny (believe it or not) London! We have three shows booked and a whole week to explore yet another exciting city. We're staying in Camden, strains of Morrissey - "Cooome baaack to Camden..." and I must say, that if we never quite make it to your car radio or greatest hits collection's that we're still blessed to have such an adventure through music.

If, by chance you're reading this from atop doubledecker in London, maybe we see you at the show. Otherwise,

Until we meet at Madison Square Garden...


Kitten - Kill The Light (Mp3)
Kitten - Chinatown (Mp3)
Kitten - Johnny (Mp3)
Kitten - Allison Day (Mp3)
Kitten - Kitten With A Whip (Mp3)
Approved for download!

TVD's Press Play

It's our weekly Twitter #MusicMonday recap of the tracks from last week that the folks in the press offices and PR agencies want you to be hearing. We postyou decide.

Bonobo - Stay The Same feat. Andreya Triana (Live) (Mp3)
Turzi - Bombay (Mp3)
Botany - Agave (Mp3)
Brahms - Another Time (Laurel Halo Mix) (Mp3)
The Luyas - Tiny Head (Mp3)
Fujiya and Miyagi - Sixteen Shades of Black and Blue (Mp3)
The Concretes - Good Evening (Mp3)
Kermit Ruffins - Hey Look Me Over (Mp3)
Kordan - Closer (Mp3)
Yusuf Azak - Eastern Sun (Mp3)
The Heavy - That Kind Of Man (Mp3)
Zach Hill - Memo to the Man (Mp3)
Men - Off Our Backs (Lemonade Remix) (Mp3)
The Hush Now - Please Mephistopheles (Leave Me Alone) (Mp3)
Ima Robot - Ruthless (Mp3)
Sistol - On The Bright Side (Mp3)
TV Buddhas - Let Me Sleep (Mp3)
All approved for download!