Xoe Wise’s bio begins, “Xoe Wise is a heart from a dream, a mind from the ocean, a thought from a memory and a musician from the lack of difference between the three.” Thankfully, her music is less inscrutable. Here’s our interpretation: Xoe Wise is a North Carolina singer-songwriter with a talent for beachy, sing-a-long folk songs. Think Colbie Callait meets Elliott Smith. Multi-tracked vocals, acoustic guitars, twinkling keys and shuffling beats permeate her music. “NC 101” is soft and diaphanous, with breezy vocals that nudge the melody along. “Sail” and “Take Me Away” are folksy acoustic pop nuggets that share the same sunny insouciance. But our favorite has to be “My Heart,” a romantic gem where Wises’ lovely voice sails up the scales. Heart from a dream, a mind from the ocean—yeah, maybe. All you need to know is that she’s good. Put on this Carolina girl’s music and it feels a little less like winter.
That Beyoncé. Always looking so hot, dancing so nubile, making the rest of us feel like big, warty ogres lumbering around, bumping into things. Well, she’s done it again with her video for “Why Don’t You Love Me.” This time Sasha Fierce serves it up ‘50s style — as in pin-up model meets sexpot housewife. Shot by Melina Matsoukas (who directed Rihanna’s “Rude Boy” video) as grainy, vintage Super 8 footage, “Why Don’t You Love Me” begs the answer, “Because we’re seething with jealousy, Beyoncé. That’s why.” Check it out below.
The iconic swirl mural featured on the cover of Elliott Smith’s “Figure 8” got an unwelcome facial from Roger Waters’ street team this week. The former Pink Floyd front man hired street artists to wheat-paste or project images and an anti-war quote by Dwight D. Eisenhower around NYC and LA to promote his upcoming The Wall tour. The mural, located on Sunset Strip, has served as a memorial to Smith since his death in 2003 so fans were none too pleased to see it wheat-pasted. Rogers released the following statement in response to all the hoopla:
“It was absolutely an accident. I didn’t want to disrespect Elliott Smith’s fans, and I’ve instructed [the team] to remove the wheat-paste immediately. It was a random pasting in the normal course of this, and I want to make it public that we had no intent to offend or cover up something precious.”
We would be much more indignant about this whole thing if we had any idea what wheat- pasting was.
Looking for the perfect song to beat the beat up? Want to start a bar brawl to a sick techno mix? Need something to listen to on your iPod while you take care of GTL? Juiceheads and guidettes, MTV has heard your cries, and will soon deliver a “Jersey Shore”-inspired soundtrack. Pauly D and Snooki-wannabes — rejoice!
There’s a certain sort of music that any self-respecting indie lover keeps loaded on the iPod for the most emotionally sensitive of situations. Like when you’re facing your first makeout session with a new sweetheart, or recovering from a bad breakup that leaves your black-rimmed glasses fogged with tears. Bon Iver, Iron and Wine, Fields —any of these soothing salves work wonders on aching hearts, frazzled nerves or restless sleeps. Here’s one more to add to your playlist: Northampton, Massachusetts’ Winterpills.
Vivid and visceral, Winterpills create spacious slowcore rife with romanticism. Led by the gossamer vocal harmonies of singers Philip Price and Flora Reed, the band takes listeners through songs of sad boys, chamomile breezes and bee-stung hearts. The arrangements are minimal and organic, but never too sleepy. The electric whinny of guitar, analog crackles and shifting rhythms keep the mood dynamic, if low-key. Next time your Elliott Smith CD skips, or you’re sick of Fleet Foxes, give these guys a spin—they’re sure to seduce and sedate.
From: San Francisco/Bay Area
Sounds Like: Pavement meets Elliott Smith with an MT 500 Casio
Albums: Modern Cuts for The Modern Man (5/08)
If California-based duo Lazertag makes it big, they may want to thank Brad Ungar, whose music video for “Silver State” introduced the band to thousands of fans on OurStage by winning the video grand prize for September. Ungar, who befriended the band at San Francisco State University and now works as a PA in hollywood, says the guys are too humble and laid back to promote themselves as much as they should. Sounds fitting for a couple of college grads from the Bay Area who make lo-fi pop gems on forty-dollar Casios and acoustic guitar.
I caught up with Mitch Buttress (guitar, lead vocals) and Ryan Spratt (keyboards) via phone to talk about South By Southwest, Casios, and why they hate/love jamming…