Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lucksmiths in the Studio

According to The Lucksmiths' website, the band has begun recording their first LP since 2005's Warmer Corners. The band says that the release date is "not too far away," whatever that means. Given the strength of Warmer Corners, I can only hope that the album arrives in time for "Best of 2008" lists.

Here is the song I will be listening to most as my friends and I leave for school this fall:

BUY Warmer Corners

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Via Maureen Dowd

I usually end up reading Maureen Dowd's op-eds in the NY Times, even though she rarely makes a point. Usually one can find some moderately interesting Obama interview tid-bits scattered throughout. But in today's paper, something struck me particularly:

The British opposition leader David Cameron gave Obama a copy of Winston
Churchill’s “A History of the English-Speaking Peoples” and a box of CDs by
British bands, including the Smiths, Radiohead and the Gorillaz.

Hey, what do you know? Radiohead? The Smiths? Very nice. It sounds like this Cameron guy gave Obama everything he needs to know about the UK: Churchill and brit-rock. World tour = success!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I Love My New Ukulele!

My new ukulele is da' bomb. I bought it in New Hartford directly from the Magic Fluke Company. I also got an opportunity to peek into the shop where they build all of the Fluke ukuleles. It was a really cool place with really nice people. It wasn't very expensive either. I highly recommend it. I posted some pictures below, along with some of my favorite ukulele songs (besides "Tonight You Belong to Me").

Monday, July 28, 2008

Nusrat = Elvis

"It's Nusrat, and he's my Elvis. That's my guy. I listen to him every day... I know everything about him... I know his nickname as a child." - Jeff Buckley, 1993

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was a Sufi singer from Pakistan. He is the most recent qawwali performer in the Ali Khan family, which "has an unbroken tradition of performing qawwali for the last 600 years." Yikes. According to Wikipedia, "Nusrat is responsible for the modern evolution of Qawwali," including its "popularization" in the Western world. He worked with artists like Eddie Vedder, Peter Gabriel, and Alanis Morissette. His music even appeared in the film, Blood Diamond. (Oh, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers wrote a tribute song about him after his death in 1997.)

Nusrat has a remarkable voice and is worth checking out:

BUY Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Over at The American Scene, Republican blogger and co-author of Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream, Reihan Salam, has had a pretty good idea: a series of alternate histories involving Barack Obama. My favorite?

Having displaced Yuri Andropov as General Secretary, Comrade Obama, a
controversial figure barely in his twenties, son of a Kenyan exchange student at
M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, chooses to take an aggressive stance
against the cowboy Reagan. By launching a crash-course in the new computing
technologies, he successfully revives the Soviet economy and the Soviet war
machine, which goes on to extend a kinder, gentler brand of communism across the
Afro-Asian world. Western Europe abandons NATO to join the Warsaw Pact.


Check out the rest of the post here.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

**NEW** Okkervil River Album, Tour

Lo, I bring tidings of joy! The always fabulous Okkervil River is releasing their latest studio recording on September 9th. The LP is entitled, The Stand Ins. Given the title, I suspect that it may recycle some cinematic themes from their previous masterpiece, The Stage Names. You better live up to my impossible expectations, Will Sheff.

Then, the band is going on tour. Zang!

09-12 Lawrence, KS - The Bottleneck

09-13 Omaha, NE - Slowdown

09-14 Madison, WI - Barrymore Theater

09-15 Fargo, ND - Aquarium

09-17 Seattle, WA - The Showbox

09-18 Vancouver, British Columbia - Richards on Richards

09-19 Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom

09-21 San Francisco, CA - Treasure Island Festival

09-23 Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theatre

09-24 Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up Tavern

09-26 Tucson, AZ - Club Congress

09-28 Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Music Festival

09-30 New Orleans, LA - The Republic

10-1 Birmingham, AL - Matthew's Bar & Grill

10-2 Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club

10-4 Richmond, VA - The National

10-6 New York, NY - Webster Hall

10-7 New York, NY - Webster Hall

10-8 Northampton, MA - Pearl Street Nightclub

10-9 Millvale, PA - Mr. Smalls Theatre

10-10 Buffalo, NY - Tralf Music Hall

10-11 Montreal, QC - Les Saints

10-12 Toronto, ON - Phoenix


Beyond Words...

Loosely related mp3 from excellent Okkervil River "side project," Shearwater:

Shearwater - The Snow Leopard

BUY Shearwater's new album, Rook

Thanks to Marginal Revolution for the tip.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Sun Kil Moon's Ghosts of the Great Highway is one of my favorite albums of all time. Each song is exceedingly sad. Repetitive drums and guitars are well paired with less predictable strings and Mark Kozelek's beautiful, lofty voice. The songs rise and fall, and then they just linger there, beating away.
April, Sun Kil Moon's latest effort, shares many of the same characteristics. Its drums and guitars are just as unchanging, and Kozelek's voice is just as good. However, the songs are more sparse and more relaxed. The emotional hooks Kozelek presents on the previous album are just not there on most songs. The result, overall, is a more boring album. It's still the great Sun Kil Moon, and anyone who enjoys the classic aesthetic of Sun Kil Moon or the Red House Painters will enjoy this album.

Sun Kil Moon - Carry Me Ohio (Ghosts of the Great Highway, 2003)

BUY Ghosts of the Great Highway

BUY April

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bunny's Got a Crush On: Tim Meyer

Tim Meyer is Wrapping Paper.

Tim Meyer is Cemetery Cemetery.

Tim Meyer is Workhorse Industries.

Tim Meyer is on the label Borrowdeer, and he is from Minnesota. He makes excellent lo-fi pop music. He harmonizes with himself on recordings very effectively. If Pete & Pete were still on television, Tim Meyer's groups would appear frequently on the soundtrack.

Right now, you can download all of Cemetery Cemetery's new album FOR FREE. Then, go over to Wrapping Paper's site and buy their Hold Up the Neon Sign EP. With your purchase, Wrapping Paper will (HOLY SH*T) write a song for you! According to the site:

The song could be about whatever you want. It could be for a significant other,
or to commemorate a graduation, it could be about your favorite color or your
ideas on the best way to approach a wild animal without getting hurt. The songs
will be acoustic and I can GUARANTEE they will make you happier than you've ever
been (not a guarantee).

So go forth and purchase. Here is a sample to pique your interest:

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Leave Your Youth Far Behind!

Some people don't like Beat Happening. I am not one of those people. Beat Happening is awesome. They make songs so simple and familiar that you'd swear you'd heard them before.

But you haven't. Because you've never heard Beat Happening. They released their self-titled debut album in 1985 and, within five years, were a fixture in the indie rock community. Beat Happening is like The Velvet Underground in that they can make an interesting song with only one or two chords. Excellent rock voices, too.

Listen for yourself:

Beat Happening - Teenage Caveman (You Turn Me On, 1992)
BUY Beat Happening

Monday, July 21, 2008

F**k Don Cherry!

I like to consider myself a fairly moderate American voter. Sure, I went to Obama's rally in Hartford in February, but, what can I say? He reminds me of Reagan. However, when someone like The Consumer Goods comes along and puts these liberal ideas into such neat, tidy, poppy packages, it is just hard not to hate capitalism. (j/k, capitalism is awesome.)
But seriously: The Consumer Goods "are the next medium-sized thing in Canadian indie pop." They're like Moxy Früvous, but from Winnipeg. The band describes its philosophy on Myspace:
"It's about creating absurd, problematic and sometimes disgusting images of
things that really happen, but dressing them up as lighthearted pop songs. The
Canadian media worships its troops, but rarely do they have to sing along with
'kill a couple of carpet riders.' The fact that this kind of racism is
fundamental (and necessary, if you're going to create killers) in a military
occupation is an aspect of our hero worship that we tend to ignore when we mourn
their passing on Hockey Night in Canada."
Their third release, The Anti-Imperial Cabaret, comes out this month.
The Verdict? Any song that links war with hockey, specifically Don Cherry, is worth checking out. Listen to this band:
Thanks to Joe (from Toronto) for the tip!

Down the Bunny Hole with: New Japanese Technology

Just recently, I was able to sit down with Justin Ferraro, frontman, backman, and sideman of New Japanese Technology. NJT has just released a promising debut album, California Blue, and Ferraro, it seems, cannot be stopped:

Pablo Bunny: When did you start writing music?

Justin Ferraro: I believe the first song that I wrote was in 6th grade. However, it could hardly have been called a song, and I'd prefer if we all just forgot about it.

PB: If NJT were an animal, which would it be?

JF: It would probably be a leopard. A sexy leopard. But then it would be poached and made into sexy illegal leopard seat covers for pimped-out Cadillacs. But if it wasn't a beautiful animal which would be immediately snuffed for it's coat it would probably be a baby horse: young, fragile, and awkward.

PB: Why "New Japanese Technology?"

JF:Last September I was walking in West Hartford, making my way down to a music store to find a saxophone book that my band teacher said I needed for the next year. Unfortunately, they didn't have it but luckily I didn't need it. Anyway, walking back from the music store to my car I pasted by a camera store and there was a sign in the window that said "New Japanese Technology". And that just sorta stuck with me. I was kinda puzzled by it because I wondered if anyone would see that sign and say "Wow! They have Japanese Technology? And it's new? Wow I gotta get me some of that!" And I decided soon after that one day I would start a band called New Japanese Technology. Or you know, just do a solo thing...

PB: What are your major musical influences?

JF: Well the real principle influence would be my guitar teacher, Andrew Decker, who taught me things (e.g. chords and soloing techniques) that would directly impact the kind of songs I wrote. Other influences come from all corners of the pop music spectrum from rap to folk. The most major groups/artists that have influenced my music would probably be Radiohead, Wilco, Aesop Rock, Neutral Milk Hotel, Rage Against the Machine, Jimi Hendrix, Sigur Rós, The Strokes, Tom Waits, Gorillaz, and The Fratellis. Oh, and Chris Baker.

PB: Would you say that any particular non-musical source (e.g. Man Ray, flowers, Eric Morrissey) has made a significant impact on your music?

JF: Well, besides Eric Morrissey, the greatest non-musical source is life, of course. But I am also often inspired by movies. In fact, the song "Say I Love You" was inspired by the movie Juno.

PB: What instruments do you play?

JF: I play guitar, bass guitar, harmonica, and saxophone. I used to play cello but I fell out of the practice. I also play a little piano but it's so small you can't hear it. I create all the keyboard and drums sounds through a computer program called Reason. I can draw-in and program different sequences and patterns and export them from Reason. Once they're exported I import them into my sequencing program as samples and put them where I please.

PB: Do you have any side projects?

JF: Eh sort of. I had something planned with my good friend Joe but that's but nothing but an idea for 3 years. My acoustic-metal duo with Mr. Morrissey dubbed Turn Your Head and Cough fell through as well. I am, however, looking forward to two possible prospects. The first is a funk project with my friend Collin, the lead guitarist from the last band I was in. And the second is a Beets cover band dubbed Taco Friday.

PB: What's next for NJT?

JF: Well right now I am working on another album which should be completed by the end of August. It's going to be called Strobe Lights and Hurricanes and it will be heavier than the last album. I haven't decided if any singles will be released before the album's debut.

Tempted? You can stream/download all of California Blue here.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Holy and Low

"There Will Be Rest" is a choral piece written by contemporary American composer and professor Frank Ticheli to the words of a poem by Sara Teasdale. This may be the best piece I sang in my four years of choir in high school. Teasdale committed suicide in 1933, and while the poem itself can conjure images of death and depression, Ticheli deftly transforms it into an ode to the beauty of a white winter night. The choir glides through delicate dissonance and gradually ascends into a goose-bumps-inducing descant. Then the piece slows down, falling from the heavens to return to the snowy city below. Just awesome:

Sexy, Sexy Bicycle

Luke Santy attends Skidmore College, plays the cello, is friends with Greg Gillis (aka Girl Talk), and looks like Zach Efron from High School Musical (kind of).
He also makes original pop music. His 2006 debut, Sexy, Sexy Bicycle and Other Tales of Woe, showcases his knack for clever hooks, thoughtful experimentation, and his ability to get the most out of an acoustic guitar. In other words, it is really fun to listen to.

He just recently released his sophomore effort, a concept album called Patience. I'm still not sure what the concept is, but Santy is definitely not speaking English. (Hint: He just went to India!) It's really, really good, though.
Anyhow, listen to these:
Luke Santy - Sexy, Sexy Bicycle (from Sexy, Sexy Bicycle and Other Tales of Woe, 2006)
Luke Santy - ???????????????? (from Patience, 2008)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bunny's Got a Crush On: Wild Beasts

Well, well, well... what have we here? Another amazing British rock outfit, I presume?
Yes: Wild Beasts are a four piece that immediately impresses. I think that their name is very fitting. On their debut album, Limbo, Panto, lead singer Hayden Thorpe is well equipped for both wild falsetto yelps that evoke a less tearful Antony Hegarty and crunchy, primal screams. All the while, the band pulsates with the energy of a fierce jungle.
Strum away, Wild Beasts!
BUY Limbo, Panto

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Part of My Heart...

The Jerk may not be the greatest movie ever made, but Steve Martin is hard to beat (pre-Bringing Down the House, that is). One of the things that makes him great is his musical prowess. In addition to excelling at the banjo, Martin scores on a ukulele rendition of the classic American love song, "Tonight You Belong to Me." Bernadette Peters completes the song with precious vocals and a great cornet line. I think my favorite thing about this recording may be the gentle ocean ambience throughout.

The Broadway Hush also did a pretty good version of the song.

So check it, yo:

Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters - Tonight You Belong to Me

The Broadway Hush - Tonight You Belong to Me

Buy The Jerk


Filligar is a damn good band. They are currently in a contest to open for Coldplay at Banknorth Garden in Boston.

Vote for them here!


Oh yeah, and those douchebags over at Hipster Doucheblog just reviewed Pablo Bunny. Go take a look at what they have to say. I thought the review was rather generous and was quite pleased. I thought these guys were supposed to be snobs or something.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

New I'm From Barcelona Album!

Hey, guess what?

Pablo Bunny fav I'm From Barcelona is releasing their sophomore effort, Who Killed Harry Houdini?, on October 14th!

Spin Magazine has more on the forthcoming album, as well as information about their first single, "Paper Planes," due for release on August 19th.

No, the Swedish 29-piece is NOT covering M.I.A., even though that would be mega-awesome.

Will the non-Catalonians be able to achieve the greatness of Let Me Introduce My Friends a second time?

Pablo Bunny will keep you posted.

What does that greatness sound like?

Here you go:

Buy Let Me Introduce My Friends

Bunny's Got a Crush on: Adam & the Amethysts

Adam & the Amethysts is a Canadian four piece that is not Moxy Früvous. Their debut album, Amethyst Amulet, was released this June. The band's website callis it a "supernatural lo-fi opus... about love and small-town remembrance." That's good enough for me. The band's music speaks for itself.

For anyone who likes Sufjan Stevens or Page France, or pop music in general, this band is for you.

Adam & the Amethysts - Bumble Bee

Adam & the Amethysts - Stupid Ocean

Buy Amethyst Amulet Now

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bunny-Style! Fall Fashion Flash

Well, according to Malina V. Joseph (not to be confused with Miranda v. Arizona) at, I have been suffering from "F.A.D.D. (Fashion Attention Deficit Disorder)."

Why is this, you ask? Well, it seems as though banana paints and "a neutral, if not nude, color palette" are back in style for this Fall. Where have I been?
However, Ms. Joseph kindly warns, "If you’re not prepared to handle the whistling construction workers, then try mixing nude tops or bottoms with black for a severe and modern twist."

Hmm... "severe and modern"... who does this remind me of...?

What a weirdo...

And here's a song to brighten up your fashionable day. You might recognize it from some hit movie starring a loveable robot that's not R2-D2...

Michael Crawford(?) - Put On Your Sunday Clothes

What Did You Kill?

Now, I've never been a huge fan of Deerhoof, aside from maybe the song "Milkman". I just don't get it. "Deerhoof hearts Radiohead" , and I'm pretty sure Radiohead likes Deerhoof, but I just don't get it, for the most part.

I do, however, really enjoy their cover of The Beatles' "The Continuing Story of Bungalo Bill." I really don't know why. I think Deerhoof does an even better job than The Beatles of conveying the zany safari story embedded in the lyrics, along with the sick juxtaposition of killing things and singing children. Satomi Matsuzaki's voice is perfect.

What do you think?

Deerhoof - The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill

Buy Milk Man at Amazon

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Plan for Iraq

Second blog post and I'm already speaking from the soap box.

Well, not really. I just thought you might want to read this op-ed by Barack Obama that is featured in today's New York Times. It's not too often that you get written statements by presidential candidates in a major newspaper. In my estimation, the plan is relatively comprehensive and sensible, at least when compared to Nixon's "secret" plan to bring about "peace with honor" in Vietnam in the 1968 election. I just hope that this isn't Vietnamization all over again.

Anyway, here is an excellent a cappella song written and performed by the Canadian quartet Moxy Früvous. It was written in 1994 and expresses Canadian sentiment toward the First Gulf War. (So it's semi-relevant.) I wish that the "First" weren't necessary.

Oh, it's funny, too.

Bon appétit!

Moxy Früvous - The Gulf War Song

BUY THE ALBUM (Very Cheap!)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My First Post

Hello, World,

Welcome to Pablo Bunny, the best blog I've ever started. I will post cool things... mostly music that I think you will like. It should be sorta fun, no?

I'm glad I finally have this blog as another outlet for my narcissism. As if my Facebook profile weren't enough. Anyway, I'm going to try to keep this blog as original as possible. That said, the first song I post here is one I wrote while I had Mono and recorded on Mr. Wolf's ukulele. (Thanks, Mr. Wolf!) Having Mono sucked, but I have the nerve to call this song pretty catchy. I guess that I will go by the moniker "Yig Yig." It reminds me of the sweet Chris Van Allsburg book.

So here you are, cyberfriends!

Yig Yig - Mononucleosis

P.S. Did you know that it is theorized that Epstein-Barr virus causes cancer?