Invisible Children

Being part of the blogging community is a privilege. The ability to write and express one’s love and interest in (new) music to a group of readers is one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. I think anyone that runs a blog would agree with me on that aspect, it becomes a part of what you do everyday. Sometimes, outside the realm of the music scene, there are things that grab a blogger’s interest strongly – making them want to share it with their readers.

This is one of those times.

Recently a tour stopped by my school (and Connor’s as well) to screen a documentary on the Ugandan War. It was a great film- full of raw footage, emotion, and hard-hitting truth. Any more it seems that documentary films are too reliant on the creator’s opinions and bias, which isn’t always a horrible thing, but isn’t exactly what a documentary film is supposed to be full of.

Invisible Children documents three young Californian filmmakers travel to Africa the day the Iraqi invasion begins. They intended to film about the Sudan but end up finding their story in northern Uganda by means of an 18-year long war that few Americans are aware of. The film documents the tragedy of child soldiers and more generally how war affects the thousands of children in the region. Observing the changes the three filmmakers undergo, from naïve college grads to compassionate creators of a new movement, is eye-opening. Their movie is well made and very powerful.

Watching this movie will not only open your eyes and inform you but more importantly, make you want to do something about this horrifically cruel situation. Hopefully posting about such a movie will move you guys as it’s moved us. Take the time to watch it, if you can. It’s not even an hour in length- yet its impacts are life long.

[MOVIE] Invisible ChildrenRough Cut

Head over to their site for all the ways you can help fuel the movement.


Chebeague is essentially the work of August Brown, a talented singer/songwriter out of L.A. (of all places). Their sound is best metaphorized by the obliteratedly raped cliché of a tumbleweed blowing in the wind: light and bouncy with a bit of twang, confident and directional, and a little rough around the edges (but not too rough to damage it’s character), and they’ve been compared to such greats as Elliott Smith, Neutral Milk Hotel, and perhaps most accurately Bright Eyes.

Melancholic, hopeful, delicate and mysterious, Chebeague is a home for those haunting stories and melodies that stay with you long after you think youve left them behind. – Chris Barton

[MP3] ChebeagueKeeping Quiet

In other news…

The Raconteurs have a new singe, which means they also have a new b-side. It’s not exactly what I would expect (an instrumental, and I’m pretty sure it’s a standard too…) but it’s not bad.

[MP3] The RaconteursThe Bane Rendition

If you remember the interview I did with Josh Ritter, then you’ll remember how talented of a musician and nice of a guy he is. Shortly following the interview, Mr. Ritter was so kind as to get me on the guestlist for his show at the Southgate House. Since obsessively listening to his latest CD and having seen him at Bonnaroo, I was very stoked to see him live with new music and acting as the headlining act.

In short, the show was amazing. Like always, Josh was extremely excited to be performing in front of people and couldn’t stop smiling. He told a many jokes as well as stories about various songs and life experiences. Who knew that if you install a doorbell incorrectly that it can kill someone? Or so he claimed. He was (almost) too appreciative of the audience that came to see him and played his heart out. I got a chance to hang out with him after the show for a little bit and realized that he is (one of the) neatest people I have ever met. He said he is going to log on to the site and comment on some posts. We’ll see what happens; if you get a chance I urge you to go see Josh Ritter!

Posted below are some pictures from the show at the Southgate House. The lighting, for some reason, was extremely dark that night so some of my pictures are dim and not the best of quality. Be sure to click “Continue Reading” for some more pics!

The concert was unforgettable, for a few reasons. First off, I had lost my wallet earlier that day and was searching for a solid hour or two attempting to find it. Since I was on the guestlist, I wasn’t too concerned if I couldn’t find it before I left. No big deal, right? We arrive at the Southgate House and make our way to the front of the (rather long) entrance line. I tell the lady my name, only so she can’t find it on the list. This is fantastic, right? I tried to tell her that I had interviewed Josh a few weeks back, his agent put me on the list, etc. She wasn’t buying a single word of it, despite my honest-to-God demeanor.

What does a blogger do? He gathers the balls to call Josh Ritter (since I had his number still stored in my phone) and tell him of my complications. To my surprise (and embarrassment) he answered. I told him what had happened and he apologized over and over about the problem and that he was going to send someone up from backstage to get me in. His tour manager comes up and resolves the problem, much to his own displeasure, and leaves once we get checked in. To top it all off, the security guard asks for my ID. He wouldn’t let me in without an ID.

Enter: lost wallet.

Now this guy was skinnier than me, shorter than me, and looked so greasy I often wondered if his name was Lee and that he was a chicken master. Despite my arguing, facial hair, family resemblence to my little sister (who just turned 18), 2 vouching friends, and being on the gueslist.. This guy was like the Berlin Wall of non-intimidating security guards. I was forced to call my mom who was kind enough to bring me my wallet (which she had found under a stack of “submitted to iGIF” material…Go figure!) and I finally got in after the bastard read every line on the license from my eye color to who the country clerk was. Asshole.

I swear, between my dorm catching on fire and that concert experience.. I have the worst karma.

nathanielxc (1:04:44 AM): so i was posting.
nathanielxc (1:04:49 AM): and my dorm caught on fire.
themacrobaye (1:05:04 AM): no way
nathanielxc (1:05:10 AM): yes way.
nathanielxc (1:05:12 AM): welcome to my life.

Yes! That is a true conversation that I had with Connor right after being let back into my dorm, that unbeknownst to me, was a fire hazard. I’ll tell you this, it feels weird to not post at least once a day, but to be evacuated mid-post to the front lawn only to see flames pouring out of a window (on the same floor as my room!).. Isn’t a very comforting site. All the while, I’m saying tragic farewells to my iMac and dozens of gigs of music in my head. Fortunately, the blaze was contained to that room and all seems to be well.

That being said, I am back like a Dick Cheney heart attack and full of good things…also like a Dick Cheney heart attack. My momentary lapse of a hiatus was unexpected, but clearly in need with finals starting up in a few days. No fear, I’ll be posting in full non-flammable effect tomorrow. Until then, let me express my pyrotechnic joy of being alive.

[MP3] Franz FerdinandThis Fire
[MP3] Bob Dylan/Johnny CashRing Of Fire
[MP3] Josh RitterMan Burning
[MP3] NellyHot In Herre
[MP3] The Arcade FireVampire Forest Fire
[MP3] Jason CollettFire

Catching on fire = not one of my life goals.

MP3 Grab Bag

You have to admit it…life is pretty random. Thanks, Apple. But seriously, rather than sugarcoating this into something of meaning, I’ll just say it: this post has got to do with nothing, just music. These are just songs that I’ve been digging recently, but posting on each one separately would be an exhaustive process, and I just don’t care about you guys enough to do it (edit: that’s a lie, I care about 3 of you) (edit: sorry Lenny, didn’t mean to forget you. that makes 4) (edit: just so I don’t actually offend anyone, I care about all of you except those four people) (edit: yes Lenny, you’re one of them. stop calling me).

[MP3] Ray LaMontagneCrazy (Gnarls Barkley Cover)
Last week, the disturbingly relentless RIAA gave me a lot of trouble for hosting a Gnarls Barkley song. In their honor, here’s a pretty damn fine cover of a different GB song, sung gracefully by Ray LaMontagne, who was unavailable for comment.

[MP3] CalexicoCast Your Coat
Garden Ruin just came out about two weeks ago, and if you don’t have it yet, get it. This one’s a “bonus track” from the album, but is about as great as everything else on the record. The end gets pretty noisy and disjointed, which is actually really refreshing coming from these guys.

[MP3] SOUND TeamMovie Monster
Have you heard SOUND Team yet? They’re like super-mega-oprah-hyped, but something tells me it’s all worth it. Maybe it’s how good the upcoming Movie Monster is… this shiz hits stores June 8th (my birthday!), make sure to pick it up then!

[MP3] FeistMushaboom
[MP3] Bright EyesMushaboom (Feist Cover)
[MP3] FeistMushaboom (Postal Service Remix)
God…. this song. Somehow I didn’t catch on to Let It Die back in 2004 and have been playing the crap out of it recently. As I’m sure you all know, Mushaboom is without a doubt one of the best songs of 2004. Here are the three versions of it that I have. The Best Part: there are even more remixes coming out on a Remix and Collabs CD called Open Season, due out tomorrow! Get it here)

[MP3] Eagle*SeagullHoly
Jeeze, how many moods does this band swing?!? I got into E*S a number of months ago and literally can’t put the album down. This is the song I’m addicted to now, a slow-moving dedication to reassurance: “You make me want to be a saint / who kills people…” Brilliant. If you haven’t heard of this band, march immediately here to get more. Thank me later.

[MP3] Gilberto GilBat Macumba
This is the first track off of the wildly popular, critically hailed Tropicalia: A Revolution In Brasilian Sound, an amazing collection of 6 or 7 artists who worked within the tropicalia movement of 1960s Brazil. Buy this one too.

[MP3] We Will Build1214
Here’s another great song from iGIF favorites, We Will Build. These guys won one of our contests a little while back, beating out a lot of great competition. For fans of Ratatat, The Postal Service, DNTEL, and the like. More of WWB here.

[MP3] José GonzálezLeft Behind
Jose teamed up with Zero 7 on their upcoming album, The Garden, which comes out on May 22nd. This song may be pretty short, but it’s a great reminder of Jose’s talent he showed us on Veneer. Preorder The Garden here.

[MP3] Erin McKeownBlackbirds
Just heard Erin McKeown for the first time yesterday…very impressive. Her voice actually sounds a bit like Feist, which is nice, while her style’s a little more rock n’ roll. What do you guys think?

That’s it for my random grab bag mixer thinger. Gimme some love!

Posted By Connor at

FILED: Mixes