With Draw

In the past few months, I have had the chance to see music from Australia, France, and Canada, in addition to the Texas, New York, and LA-based acts that typically come through. That’s been nice.

Gojira were very polite, which stood in contrast to their precise and pulverizing metal. Their French accents were cute. I don’t know if Courtney Barnett spoke or sang or mumbled or what, but whatever it was I couldn’t understand it but totally loved it (as always). Crystal Castles were Canadian, and I also saw Phantogram. Both were about as antiseptic as expected.

Along with Barnett, the Sound on Sound Fest one-day pass also provided close access to a rock legend (Bob Mould) and a local legend (Explosions in the Sky). The latter was the clear highlight of the fall for live music. These guys’ near-telepathic chemistry and their mastery of dynamics was put over the top by the coolest light show I have ever seen (thanks, weather).

Personally, it has been a crushing few months, but discovering new music and seeing old favorites is a helpful tonic. Listen to some of what I have been listening to, if you d/care.

Open Playlist (Google Play)

An Intro to Hammock

As Hammock, Marc Byrd and Andrew Thompson have very quietly built one of the most-enviable back catalogs in post-rock music. Transcending even the limits of the genre, the Nashville-based duo even hint at the possibilities of pop success beyond wordless soundscapes. Download this now! It’s free!


Friday Playlist – Sunny Day Songs via Bandcamp

I realize that the way the title is phrased might lead one to believe that today’s playlist features songs by emocore pioneers Sunny Day Real Estate. That is not the case, rather, these are some songs for sunny days. Which around these parts, are plentiful. However, good songs to soundtrack your spring are not always as easy to come by so we picked a couple that you should download right away and burn to a playlist to play in your Scion.








Capital Cities – Kangaroo Short

capital cities

Heidi-Anne Noel (Capitol Music Group)
This short film was co-directed by Carlos López Estrada (Passion Pit, Goo Goo Dolls, Jesse & Joy) and Capital Cities‘ front men Sebu Simonian and Ryan Merchant, who also teamed up for the band’s “Kangaroo Court” video, which has more than seven million views. “Kangaroo Short” was scored by Los Angeles based composer John W. Snyder and performed live by an ensemble of local musicians.


“The ‘Kangaroo Court’ video was originally conceived by Ryan and Sebu as a narrative so we were all very interested in the possibility of turning our music video into a lengthier short film,” says Carlos López Estrada. “In order to do so, we had to revisit the footage and re-edit all of the scenes in the video. It was an incredibly challenging task, but it allowed us to explore each scene in detail and incorporate some new footage that hadn’t made the music video cut. It also gave us an opportunity to showcase more of the incredible/ridiculous performances delivered by Shannon Woodward, Darren Criss and all the guys in the band.”

Sebu agrees saying “The ‘Kangaroo Court’ music video was my first attempt at co-directing. It was extremely challenging, because we were all so passionate about the project and wanted to get it right. Thankfully, we worked with director Carlos Lopez Estrada, whose unique sense of style and creative work flow made the experience fulfilling and fruitful. The end result was magical. It felt a shame that all the wonderful footage of beautiful scenes with amazing actors in awesome animal makeup was squeezed into a three and a half minute music clip, and so much of it would go unseen. When Carlos informed us about the idea of taking the footage and creating a short film, I was thrilled, because it meant that our fun-yet-twisted narrative would be shown in a more complete and cinematic way. The short film, along with the goosebump-generating original score, tugged at my heart strings. I concluded that we should quit music and pursue acting.”