the new amsterdams

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The Sound
by Kim Addonizio

Marc says the suffering that we don’t see
still makes a sort of sound — a subtle, soft
noise, nothing like the cries of screams that we
might think of — more the slight scrape of a hat doffed
by a quiet man, ignored as he stands back
to let a lovely woman pass, her dress
just brushing his coat. Or else it’s like a crack
in an old foundation, slowly widening, the stress
and slippage going on unnoticed by
the family upstairs, the daughter leaving
for a date, her mother’s resigned sigh
when she sees her. It’s like the heaving
of a stone into a lake, before it drops.
It’s shy, it’s barely there. It never stops.


The New Amsterdams — Change My Mind

Regina Spektor — The Noise

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by Maxine Kumin

And suppose the darlings get to Mantua,
suppose they cheat the crypt, what next? Begin
with him, unshaven. Though not, I grant you, a
displeasing cockerel, there’s egg yolk on his chin.
His seedy robe’s aflap, he’s got the rheum.
Poor dear, the cooking lard has smoked her eyes.
Another Montague is in the womb
although the first babe’s bottom’s not yet dry.
She scrolls a weekly letter to her Nurse
who dares to send a smock through Balthasar,
and once a month, his father posts a purse.
News from Verona? Always news of war.
   Such sour years it takes to right this wrong!
   The fifth act runs unconscionably long.


The New Amsterdams — Adeline, Out Of Tune

The Carpenters — All You Get From Love Is A Love Song

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[Before I start, make sure you check out this post from Largehearted Boy, which details all the full length albums you can stream at Spinner this week. I love LHB! I love Spinner less, but dude, I’ll compromise my principles for the fabulous charms of Alex Church.]

Today is a great day, for it is the release date of the New Amsterdams’ new album, “At the Foot Of My Rival.” I am a huge, huge fan of the New Ams. I was not too enthused about their last release, “Story Like A Scar,” but the band has been through many changes. The first time I saw them, there were some Get Up Kids (and someone from Reggie and the Full Effect, I seem to recall) playing behind Matt Pryor, but mostly he played everything — keyboard, guitar, harmonica — and sang too, while I stared up adoringly at his tattoos musical talents.

Then the Get Up Kids broke up, and Pryor left Vagrant records, and the band got a new lineup (featuring Gretchen the bass) and got jazzed. There is a certain nostalgic quality when I listen to “Para Toda Vida” now, or “Never You Mind” — many times there it’s just Pryor and his guitar and his passion. But I really like the new lineup, and I think that now they’ve been together awhile, they’ve turned out a nice collection of songs. The lyrics are more mysterious than usual, not as easy to unravel as the old songs like “Idaho” or my favorite, “Drama Queen.” But the passion is still there, and Pryor’s voice only gets better on each album.

So give their Myspace a gander; for not only is it set up beautifully and cleanly, you can even — I LOVE THIS, SERIOUSLY — buy the tracks off them, right there, and you can use Paypal. That’s the free market at work, folks. And at $9.99 for 14 tracks, you absolutely cannot do better.

The New Amsterdams – Myspace | Label (Curb Appeal)

[ed note – tracks removed. please contact me for a copy (or buy them from the myspace)]

The New Amsterdams — Hughes

The New Amsterdams — Wait


What? You want something patriotic? Cable & Tweed has you covered.

[ed. note — all tracks removed. contact me for a copy.]

01. Michael Stipe — The Last Day Of Our Acquaintance (Sinead O’Connor)

02. The New Amsterdams — Thirty-three (Smashing Pumpkins)

03. Tom Jones — I Bet You Look Good On the Dancefloor (Arctic Monkeys)

04. Taj Mahal — Honky Tonk Women (the Rolling Stones)

05. Lambchop — Beyond Belief (Elvis Costello)

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The Buzz

John Legend has a new album coming out. Which I mention, because if I was FORCED to spend ten hours in a tiny room listening to one artist that’s been on VH1 in the past year, it would likely be him. He’s got a good (if moderately bland) sound.

Dashboard Confessional has a new album out (and they’re touring). Here, have a piece of glass. Pushi it right into your eye. There! Now you’ve had the same experience as listening to a Dashboard CD, and I saved you $18. Upgrade!

Bishop Allen is going on tour, but sadly going no further east than Chicago. Please imagine an artistic tear trickling its way down my face, a la the Environmental Indian. Their bass player is also leaving to form her own band … I hope they can replace Christian with someone of equally high caliber. If you’re out east and you want to catch a show, hop on over to Bishop Allen’s site.

When Gwen Stefani takes her baby out, she does it with a $790 Gucci baby sling. See, AJ? Even your Posh mom can’t top that. According to Save the Children, you could sponsor a child for about 2 years with the $790 that Ms. Stefani spent on her completely oblivious son. But hey, who’s counting?

The New Amsterdams have a video for their song “Turn Out the Light” (in Firefox, you can’t open this link in a new tab, or it won’t play). As a big fan of early New Ams, I’ll say I wasn’t so fond of Story Like A Scar, but I did like “Turn Out the Light,” and so I recommend the video. Other bonuses: the video is beautifully made, has some lovely peaceful scenery, and if you watch in just the right places, you can see Matt’s tattoo, the one on his right arm right under the shirtsleeve. Please excuse me while I go squeal in a corner.

The New Amsterdams: Site | Myspace | Label (Vagrant)

The New Amsterdams – Turn Out the Light

Italy won the World Cup. What a shame it had to be decided in penalty kicks, but all in all it was a great game played by two evenly matched teams. Now, yay! I don’t have to think about soccer for four more years. If only the Yankees would curl up and die, I wouldn’t have to hear about sports until … football season. Never mind.

Semi-celebrity quote of the week: “That was the most bizarre moment of this entire project — was standing on stage with Alice Cooper in Fargo, N.D., with a giant, red paper clip.”

Kyle MacDonald, former giant red paperclip owner. From ABC News, about a guy who (eventually) traded a paperclip for a house. Mysterious and intriguing!


I feel like I really ought to say something profound and interesting. But, having gorged on an entire bag of TJ’s chocolate pretzels, my brain can only say, “BZZZZZZZZ.”

So! I was at the gym the other day, and listening to the Mountain Goats while watching an insanely thin girl doing her workout. The super duper thing about gyms in L.A. is that there is a very high percentage of Beautiful People, doing their crunches and whatnot while you sweat through your workout, grind your teeth, and hate them.

Therefore, I present our first mix: songs referencing body parts in their titles. Make no mistake about it, I have more songs than this. However, I thought I’d spare you the live VH-1 version I have of Kelly Clarkson singing “Behind These Hazel Eyes.” Oddly enough, this mix referenced mostly the top half of the body. Why do I have so many songs about teeth? Freaky.

Welcome to Bon Ton! BZZZZZZZZ

Twin High Maintenance Machines: A Bon Ton Mix

[These tracks have been removed. You can contact me if you’d like a copy.]

1. Neutral Milk Hotel – Two Headed Boy
2. Ryan Adams – Expressway To Yr Skull
3. Mountain Goats – Lion’s Teeth
4. Tarkio – Devil’s Elbow
5. the New Amsterdams – All Ears
6. Rocky Votolato – Without Eyes Still Seeing
7. Iron & Wine – Teeth In the Grass
8. The Format – Sore Thumb
9. the Decemberists – Red Right Ankle ( Live at the Quad in London 11/15/2004)
10. The Old 97’s – Big Brown Eyes
11. Flogging Molly – Rebels of the Sacred Heart
12. Blanche – Redhead
13. Air – Dead Bodies
14. Bishop Allen – Corazon
15. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! – Skin Of My Yellow Country Teeth

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