Monday, January 29, 2007

time-tested and mother approved


Alex Lilly and Colorforms - 'Nothing Can Come Between Us'

Alex Lilly - 'But For You'

I've been called a lot of dirty names in my time, but the one that always sticks in my craw is "tastemaker". It's a silly buzzword that's piggybacked the mp3blog/audioblog zeitgeist for the sole purpose of being tossed around by PR hacks trying to justify to their bosses why they should fly a nineteen year old kid out to Austin. Basically, you're assumed to be a tastemaker if you're web savvy enough to hyperlink to Stereogum and reach a larger audience than the average community college newspaper. Having done this myself for a few years and clocking in over a million visitors, I guess I fit the profile; but, dig: whose taste am I making here? Are the kids falling over themselves to get Orioles box sets? Or Hugh Mundell reissues? Sure, I'll occasionally I hit a sweet spot with a Lady SOV or a Feist but, by and large, I'm perfectly happy to just unearth decade-old jewels rather than get into the astigmatic, hype-filled and overcrowded business of starmaking. It quantifies what (for me) is a job done out of love in the wee hours of the morning into a commodifiable resource to be vacuum packed as salable product endorsement from and for that all-important 18-24 year old demographic. The reality is much less glossy and opportunistic: I just want people to have a chance to enjoy music that I think is great as much as I do.

Now that I've made that cranky grampa rant, I'd like to break my own rule just this once and ask that all the label execs, web marketing kids, talent bookers and otherwise empowered types who keep telling me that I am a tastemaker pay attention and listen closely when I tell you: go find Alex Lilly and sign her. Please.

Based out of California, Alex currently backs up and occasionally opens for likewise excellent indiepop (if Blue Note can really be considered indie) faves The Bird and the Bee; your best bet to see her live right now is to go to a Bird + Bee show. One part Komeda, one part Nellie McKay and one part all her own; Lilly, both on her own and with her band Colorforms, has been an obsessively listenable pleasure for months now. In a crowded field of sometimes-electronic chanteuse/auteurs (see also Bjork, Cibelle, Colleen, Psapp, etc), Lilly's subversive songwriting, patient composition and impressive production announce an artist to be reckoned with. Her songs are pendulous, simple and lovely; as ripe and promising as a first date's end-of-night kiss.

Of the two tracks I have up today, 'Nothing Can Come Between Us' is the one I recommend the most highly; it was one of my favorite singles of 2006. 'But For You' is included more as a fan rarity; it's not available anywhere else on the web.

tell me more about it...

Visit Alex Lilly and Colorforms criminally undertravelled mySpace pages; both feature numerous full length track downloads.

I'd most strongly recommend giving a listen to 'Who Loves You Now' and 'Green and White Stripes' but they're all worth the download time. Go get 'em.

Like now.

I'll wait here for you.
Watch the video for 'Nothing Can Come Between Us'.
Colorforms had their heyday in the less attention-deficit 80's, but they're still hangin' on. If you need a solid dose of nostalgia, there's only about a zillion web-oriented dress-up doll/colorform stylee sites to fake it on... or you could ebay anything from Buck Rogers to Bravestarr.


'Check On Estelle', the Estelle Getty Workout Video with Beyonce accompaniment.
Lindsay Wagner convinces Sasquatch not to kill John Saxon, courtesy Six Million Dollar Man Central.
In an unlikely (but successful) attempt to appeal to my loves for both ghost ridin' and Werner Herzog, I give you 'Even Ghost Riders Started Small'.

Courtesy of the new, but imminently watchable, Pinglewood.
In the Studio with Rick Rubin and Ray Stevens: "As most people know, I'm currently producing my way through the alphabet..."

Travis and Jonathan continue their brilliant stranglehold on America's windpipe. Or funny bone. Or funny pipe.
They're good, is what I'm getting at.
"Girls charged with conspiring to kill classmates, Oprah"

It's hardly an original sentiment, but I do feel compelled to point out that if I had come of age in the current culture of fear, I almost certainly would've done some jail time.

Picture me in high school: black trenchcoat, pushead t-shirt, a drawstring Canadian Club bag of d20s and an afro-mullet, talking shit about Mortal Kombat and H.R. Giger day in and day out? Juvie bait for these sad times, no doubt.

I remember one of my best friends in high school once dialed in a bomb threat (from inside the building, even) to avoid taking a final exam. Not only was he never caught, it worked! Went on to join the military, as I recall... good times, good times.
Koffins for Kids
Now that Crime Mob has sampled Haddaway, everyone should prepare for inevitable remixes of 'Rock Me Amadeus' and 'Rappin' Duke' before '07 is finished.
Strictly for my Final Fantasy homies: College Saga is 40 minutes and worth every second.

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