Archive for June, 2010

No Real Article Here, Just a New Video from Harlem. Word.

June 27, 2010

Something good got posted on Stereogum today. It was the new video for your-friend’s-favorite-band, Harlem. Fuck parents, right? Yeah – fuck yeah!


‘I Know, I Know,’ or, ‘Such Thing as Too Much? No.’

June 25, 2010

I post this with the awareness that is on the brink of becoming a Hank & Cupcakes fanpage, and it don’t seem to bother me none.

I happened to be shuffling through Union Square Park yesterday because it’s pleasant to be outside surrounded by concrete when the temperature reaches 140, when I came across a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. He was setting up drum mics on a stage that had been built in the square and I asked him who was playing. “Uh, Hank and the Cupcakes, or something?” Must say, was not a very big surprise, after all, this event was sponsored by Best Buy where the dynamic duo had played several months earlier. And, shit, they seem to play once a week, and somehow garner bigger and bigger crowds each time.

This dirty, sweating, heaving fucking hipster wiped the hair from his burning eyes as he entered the square from the southeast corner to see the silhouette of about 100 people standing or sitting on the steps observing the band playing their initial single, “Pleasure Town.” As the show carried on and picked up momentum, a momentum that could be deciphered from Cupcake’s cheeks, which grew from pink to red in the beating summer sun, the crowd multiplied steadily throughout the set until nearly the entire southern quarter was packed full of children dancing, grown men crying (for real, dawg, for real) and cell phone snapshots going off every ten seconds.

This was certainly the biggest crowd I had seen the band play in front of. On a sweltering New York summer day Cupcakes was the only thing in the universe shining brighter than the fat old sun, and right there with her, playing flawlessly and sliding gracefully around the stage with her as always was Hank, the perfect Edith to her Archie. Whether it was a ballad or a banger, I felt as though I saw hundreds of New Yorkers all falling in love at the same time, and it was a very special site. I couldn’t help but wonder to myself what it would be like to be the band’s William Miller on their first national tour, but for that I’d have to give up my secret identity. Might be worth it. -DFH

PS – The band just released a video for their cover of Joy Division’s “She’s Lost Control.” It’s pretty damn good. Check it.

Out with the Old, In with the Not-So-New

June 17, 2010

As the scope and pervasive nature of the internet have increased to a profoundly (overly-?)integrated level we begin to see its direct impact on our music, and, specifically, our musical recordings. A post I came upon earlier today on Stereogum points to a band who seem to be taking full advantage of the rather forgiving (I think that’s a proper adjective to describe what I’m getting at) nature of the music distribution database that is the interweb.


There appears to be a new Brooklyn band on the scene. They’re called Minks, and their tunes are alright. But it’s their production that stands out. It seems to this dirty fucking hipster that the band may not be in possession of a microphone and have recorded their tracks straight into a computer, likely a 13″ MacBook from 2007, the ought’s version of the StarTac. While many purists may reject this method as “improper recording technique,” this opinionated fucking hipster digs it. If the public isn’t going to pay for their music – and they’re not, get over yourselves, majors and distributors – why the fuck should the band pay for it?

It would be great to see this become a common trend. And it’s not a middle finger to the music-consuming public, but, rather, a shake of the hand. “You’ve got yourselves a deal, fans. NOBODY pays for music now!” This, of course, comes with the caveat that if a listener would like to hear what the music actually sounds like, he or she will have to shell out 6-10 bucks to catch a live show. Ain’t that the way it oughta be?

As a hipster it is my duty to both scrutinize and defend my hipster culture. Too many folks take the easy route and point at the artificial nature of the clothing and the quintessential lethargic attitude towards professional and economic progress that rests at the core of hipsterdom, but not enough are pointing out its merits. If nothing else, it certainly endorses an ethic of open critique and investigation, particularly into the arts, and particularly into music. Like Dylan said, and I’m paraphrasing here, a song can’t change the world, but rather, acts as a mirror and bluntly illustrates that which already exists but may go unnoticed. The term P2P was invented, what, 20 years ago? But it isn’t until this very moment that mankind has spent the appropriate time – about one generation – living in a P2P world to have the full realization of its affects on natural cultural reproduction. Kudos, Minks. Let’s just hope that you bring it live, otherwise it may all be for nought. -DFH