Dear Jay Bennett

27 12 2008

Mr. Bennett, 

Your new album is a lovely, stripped-down affair that impressively shows off your talents as a songwriter. I’ve enjoyed the album for the past month or so, but i kept thinking to myself, “Where are the mellotrons and the walls of feedback?” It’s not that I didn’t like it, or that i thought that you needed it, because the songs do stand alone brilliantly, but I wondered what the songs would sound like with those sonic landscapes weaving in and out of them. 

So while listening to the album, i started jotting down notes and comments like, “i think a synth line would be nice here” and decided to put one in. Upon importing “I’ll Decorate My Love” into Cubase, I found myself adding drums, guitars, pianos, organs and some panned conet recordings. Before i knew it, i’d turned the two tracks of guitars and vocals into about 25, filled with all sorts of things. If you’re interested, here’s an mp3 of the first half of your song, “I’ll Decorate My Love”, with a little touch of the old Jay Bennett, ca. 1998-2004. If you’d ever like to collaborate you should let me know.

Listen/Download: I’ll Decorate My Love (Fabakis Version)


Record Review: Blind Pilot- 3 Rounds and a Sound

26 12 2008

Blind Pilot- 3 Rounds and a Sound


A friend recently told me that he’d met a girl, who at their first meeting/date/social event, mentioned that Neutral Milk Hotel was her favorite band. I told him to stay away, that she was crazy, deranged or too good to be true. When any person, well grounded or not, reads a record review that begins with, “and they listened to a lot of Neutral Milk Hotel, (or Joanna Newsom or Van Morrison or Times New Viking)” thoughts of songs on a grand and elusive scale begin to populate their brain. Fortunately for us, this album has nothing to do with Neutral Milk Hotel. More responsibly put, the band falls somewhere between The Format and The Kooks. Side note: TV on the Radio has to be the worst band name ever, on par with Satan’s Fingers and The Killers…  Books on Tape would have been a better name…

There’s no reason for a college aged girl not to like this album. It’s pretty and thoughtful-sounding, like a nice guy who reads for fun and who speaks with deceptive vulnerability. Add to that a dash of the wavering vocal stylings of Connor Oberst and you’ve got Blind Pilot, a perfectly mediocre excuse for a band.


Fabakis Rating 4.3




The News: Slim Slow Slider Edition

22 12 2008

What is your loneliness telling you? Read More

While most of us can successfully weather a few hours — or days — of the holiday blues, some 20 percent of people — roughly 60 million Americans — feel sufficiently socially isolated for it to be a major source of unhappiness in their lives. In fact, many lonely people are surrounded by friends and family, yet don’t feel close to any of them. Such intimate isolation — the feeling that no one understands who you are — appears to be on the rise. A study by sociologists at Duke University and the University of Arizona found that between 1985 and 2004 the average number of friends with whom Americans felt they could “discuss important matters” had dropped from three to two. The number who said they had no one with whom they could discuss important matters more than doubled to nearly 25 percent.

-Obama transition team receives over 300,000 applications for employment. Read more

Pitchfork’s Top 50 Albums of 2008

50 Ponytail – Ice Cream Spiritual
49 Crystal Stilts – Alight Of Night
48 High Places – High Places
47 The Tallest Man on Earth – Shallow Grave
46 Beach House – Devotion
45 Lykke Li – Youth Novels
44 Marnie Stern – This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That
43 Shearwater – Rook
42 Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Lie Down in the Light
41 David Byrne and Brian Eno – Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
40 The Very Best – Esau Mwamwaya & Radioclit are the Very Best
39 Times New Viking – Rip It Off
38 The Bug – London Zoo
37 Grouper – Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill
36 Wale – The Mixtape About Nothing
35 Girl Talk – Feed the Animals
34 Arthur Russell – Love Is Overtaking Me
33 Frightened Rabbit – Midnight Organ Fight
32 Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
31 Fennesz – Black Sea
30 Los Campesinos! – Hold on Now, Youngster…
29 The Hold Steady – Stay Positive
28 Flying Lotus – Los Angeles
27 Max Tundra – Parallax Error Beheads You
26 Atlas Sound – Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel
25 Titus Andronicus – The Airing of Grievances
24 Gang Gang Dance – Saint Dymphna
23 Hot Chip – Made in the Dark
22 Santogold – Santogold
21 Kanye West – 808s and Heartbreak
20 Fuck Buttons – Street Horrrsing
19 The Walkmen – You & Me
18 The Mae Shi – HLLLYH
17 Fucked Up – The Chemistry of Common Life
16 Vivian Girls – Vivian Girls
15 Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles
14 Air France – No Way Down
13 Erykah Badu – New Amerykah Part One (4th World War)
12 Lindstrøm – Where You Go I Go Too
11 Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III
10 DJ/rupture – Uproot
09 Hercules and Love Affair – Hercules and Love Affair
08 M83 – Saturdays=Youth
07 Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
06 TV On The Radio – Dear Science
05 Deerhunter – Microcastle / Weird Era Cont.
04 Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours
03 No Age – Nouns
02 Portishead – Third
01 Fleet Foxes – Sun Giant EP/Fleet Foxes

Stuff Hipsters Like: The Holiday Gift List Edition

18 12 2008

Let us begin by stating that hipsters celebrate all holidays. The true hipster, out of work and slightly maladjusted, enjoys the holiday season and all that it has to offer. A combination of cleverer than usual gift giving and theme-based parties/drinks keep them coming back every year. As the last major weekend of holiday shopping begins, let us remember that hipster runoff began contemplating what to get on October 12th. Don’t you just hate people who get their gifts early, like in April.

Here are some gift ideas for the hipster in your life:

The Christmas Cactus

tf102-3This classic, and we’re not sure why it’s a classic, is both low-maintenance and prickly, similar to a hipster and his or her hair style on rave nights. Whether you water this excuse for a plant with actual water or PBR, it doesn’t matter… This plant will live, grow and bloom just like you!

A USB Missile Launcher

30531-99This is a PC only device. The last PC only device… Sigh… 

If you have a PC, you now have something to hang over everyone’s head. This is pretty self explanatory. Missile Launcher>Computer>Press of a button>Warfare.

The $40 launcher shoots missiles up to 15 feet so plan accordingly. Defend your area Space Marine! Get it Here

Coffee Table Books:

28170138Coffee table books are very important. Here we have a huge Ansel Adams book, the Pitchfork 500,


 a baby photo album and pens. Maybe you can get away without this one, but if you feel it necessary to impress check this out. 

Art and Sole is a book by Nathan Gale about contemporary sneaker art and design.  The next one is titled, Vinyl Junkies and is written by Brett Milano. Both books will atleast begin a conversation. “Oh, what is that red book doing here?”

These books are designed for show. Do not look for substance and or entertainment.

Christmas Drinking Glove

christmasdrinkingglove2This gift is sure to warm the heart and hands of any hipster who receives it. A glove designed to keep your hand warm on your bronson and instantly turn you into the center of the party. Red, White and able to block the light.






From the Unemployed Philosophers Guild, these are the perfect three dollar stocking stuffer for your hipster. Peach Mints will play well in the south too.

Peach flavored ImpeachMints ™ Oh, the sweetness of a Bush impeachment can be savored if only for a moment with these ImpeachMints. Fantasize about sending Bush back to Crawford. Get them Here 

Morrissey Tickets

morrisseyongrassUnless you’ve “Never Had No One Ever”, you should be able to find it in your heart to give the gift of Morrissey. The 49 year old crooner will be releasing a new album entitled Years of Refusal, and will be embarking on a world-wide doom and gloom tour starting in Boca Raton. Morrissey… you’re so Alt. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.Etc. Etc. Etc.Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.Etc. Etc. Etc.Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.Etc. Etc. Etc.Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.Etc. Etc. Etc.Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.Etc. Etc. Etc.Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.In the midst of life we are in debt etc! Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.Etc. Etc. Etc.Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.Etc. Etc. Etc.Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.Etc. Etc. Etc.Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.Etc. Etc. Etc.Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.Etc. Etc.Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.Etc. You Sweet Tender Hooligan you.

Tour Dates:

02/28 – Boca Raton, FL @ Mizner Park

03/01 – Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock live

03/03 – Jacksonville, FL @ Florida Theater
03/04 – St. Petersburg, FL @ Jannus Landing
03/06 – Myrtle Beach, SC @ House of Blues
03/07 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
03/09 – Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel
03/11 – Durham, NC @ Durham Performing Arts Center
03/13 – Richmond, VA @ The National
03/14 – Washington, DC @ Warner Theater
03/16 – Montclair, NJ @ Wellmont Theater
03/17 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Carnegie Music Hall
03/19 – Buffalo, NY @ University of Buffalo Center for the Arts
03/21 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
03/22 – Philadelphia, PA @ Acadmy of Music
03/25 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
03/26 – New York, NY @ Carnegie Hall
03/28 – Mashantucket, CT @ Foxwoods
03/29 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues
03/31 – Ann Arbor, MI @ Michigan Theater
04/01 – Columbus, OH @ Palace Theater
04/03 – Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Ballroom
04/04 – Chicago, IL @ Aragon Ballroom
04/06 – Minneapolis, MN @ State Theater
04/07 – Kansas City, MO @ Midland Theater
04/08 – St. Louis, MO @ Pageant Theater
04/10 – Dallas, TX @ Palladium Ballroom
04/11 – Houston, TX @ Jesse H. Jones Hall
04/12 – Austin, TX @ Bass Concert Hall
04/14 – El Paso, TX @ Chavez Theater
04/15 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater

William, It was Really Nothing. 


Look for a best of 2008 list in the next few weeks. 




Blog-o-Vich: Fabakis Takes on the World of Chess

13 12 2008

A doping scandal rocks the chess world!


Let me begin by saying, the Apple Chess game always beats me. I am not skilled at chess nor at math or playing the violin like other people of my particular descent. I do type fast, and I do have a string of people that I upset on a daily basis. So onto the world of Chess!

The third ranked chess player in the world is in the middle of what seems an unlikely news story. A doping scandal has errupted after Ivanchuck, who was competing at the 2008 Chess Olympiad in Germany, refused to take a urine test. The Ukranian team had just lost by to a lower-seeded American team to keep the Ukranian faithful out of medal contention. 


 The German magazine Der Spiegelrecounts the scene:

“(Ivanchuk) stormed out of the room in the conference center, kicked a concrete pillar in the lobby, pounded a countertop in the cafeteria with his fists and then vanished into the coatroom. Throughout this performance, he was followed by a handful of officials.”

Ivanchuk has won several major tournaments including the New York Open 1988, Corus 1996, Linares 1989, 1991, 1995, Foros 2006/7 and the Montreal International 2007. However, he hasn’t been able to lift up the Ukrainian team to a medal since the 2004 Olympiad in Calvia. 

The News: Records of a Flagpole Skater Edition

10 12 2008

The past few days have been hectic. Yesterday we took the day off and here’s why.


Here’s the news:

A Definition:

6a00d8341d6b4a53ef00e54f3595928834-800wiGrass-web: (1) The new term to describe any web-based movement for a cause including but not limited to gay marriage, animal rights and R. Kelly’s innocence. Taken in part from the term”Grassroots”, this type of movement typically begins with liberal arts students and young up and coming professionals and ends with Republican Senators.  (2) A group of individuals who buy, sell and smoke marijuana, with the intent to live off of the profits and stems. 

-Obama taps Asian. Read On

-From AD, an amazing video of “Ashes of American Flags” by Wilco, live on Austin City Limits. HERE

-From the New Zealand band Surf City, and courtesy of Pitchfork, here’s a link to “Headin Inside”,the single off of their new self-titled EP. Get it HERE 

-From Rolling Stone: The Top 100 Singles of the Year/Top 50 albums. Who knew that RS had such a hard on for Blitzen Trapper? Has anyone heard. And lastly, how could “Single Ladies”, anything by TV on the Radio and Kid Rock beat out “Skinny Love”?  And No, I do not “hate” TV on the Radio. 

Singles of the Year

1 | Beyoncé — “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”

2 | Santogold — “LES Artistes”

3 | MGMT — “Time to Pretend”

4 | Blitzen Trapper — “Furr”

5 | Lil Wayne — “Lollipop”

6 | Beck — “Gamma Ray”

7 | Estelle feat. Kanye West — “American Boy”

8 | My Morning Jacket — “I’m Amazed”

9 | Coldplay — “Viva la Vida”

10 | T.I. — “No Matter What”

11 | Rihanna — “Disturbia”

12 | TV on the Radio — “Golden Age”

13 | Ryan Adams and the Cardinals — “Magick”

14 | The BPA feat. David Byrne and Dizzee
      Rascal — “Toe Jam”

15 | Al Green — “Lay It Down”

16 | Young Jeezy — “My President”

17 | The Killers — “Spaceman”

18 | Kid Rock — “All Summer Long”

19 | Guns n’ Roses — “Better”

20 | Katy Perry — “I Kissed a Girl”

21 | Vampire Weekend — “One (Blake’s Got
      a New Face)”

22 | Jay-Z and T.I. — “Swagga Like Us”

23 | The Black Keys — “I Got Mine”

24 | Lykke Li — “I’m Good, I”m Gone”

25 | Leona Lewis — “Bleeding Heart”

26 | The Rapture — “No Sex for Ben”

27 | The Ting Tings — “Shut Up and Let Me Go”

28 | Kevin Rudolf feat. Lil Wayne — “Let It Rock”

29 | Pink — “So What”

30 | Weezer — “Pork and Beans”

31 | Conor Oberst — “Moab”

32 | N.E.R.D. — “Everyone Nose”

33 | The Raveonettes — “Aly, Walk With Me”

34 | Gnarls Barkley — “Run”

35 | Kaiser Chiefs — “Addicted to Drugs”

36 | Usher feat. Beyoncé and Lil Wayne —
      “Love in this Club, Pt. 2”

37 | Bob Dylan — “Someday Baby”

38 | Jamey Johnson — “High Cost of Living”

39 | The Academy Is… — “About a Girl”

40 | Kings of Leon — “Sex on Fire”

41 | Duffy — “Warwick Avenue”

42 | The Raconteurs — “Salute Your Solution”

43 | Erykah Badu — “The Healer”

44 | Panic at the Disco — “Nine in the Afternoon”

45 | Foals — “Cassius”

46 | Taylor Swift — “Fifteen”

47 | Janelle Monáe — “Many Moons”

48 | John Mellencamp — “Troubled Land”

49 | Jonas Brothers — “Video Girl”

50 | Jackson Browne — “Time the Conqueror”

51 | Ashlee Simpson — “Rule Breaker”

52 | Lee Ann Womack — “Last Call”

53 | AC/DC — “Big Boi”

54 | Cat Power — “I Believe In You”

55 | Sigur Rós — “Gobbledigook”

56 | The Hold Steady — “Constructive Summer”

57 | Charles Hamilton — “Brooklyn Girls”

58 | Jazmine Sullivan — “Bust Your Windows”

59 | Low vs Diamond — “Don’t Forget Sister”

60 | Ne-Yo — “Closer”

61 | Robyn — “Cobrastyle”

62 | The Gaslight Anthem — “The ’59 Sound”

63 | LCD Soundsystem — “Big Ideas”

64 | She and Him — “Why Do You Let
      Me Stay Here”

65 | The Virgins — “Rich Girls”

66 | Jenny Lewis — “Acid Tongue”

67 | M.I.A. — “Shells”

68 | Fall Out Boy — “I Don’t Care

69 | Missy Elliott — “Ching-A-Ling”

70 | Busy Signal — “Tic Toc”

71 | Phantom Planet — “Do the Panic”

72 | Sam Sparro — “Black and Gold”

73 | Ciarra feat. Ludacris — “High Price”

74 | Ra Ra Riot — “Dying is Fine”

75 | Flo Rida feat. T-Pain — “Low”

76 | The Roots — “Rising Down”

77 | Hercules and Love Affair — “Blind”

78 | Love as Laughter — “Holy”

79 | Kid Cudi — “Day ‘N’ Nite”

80 | Mudcrutch — “Crystal River”

81 | The Knux — “Cappuccino”

82 | Santogold and Diplo — “Icarus”

83 | Get ‘Em Mamis — “Cold Summer”

84 | Lil Wayne — “A Milli”

85 | M83 — “Kim & Jessie”

86 | The Rumble Strips — “Cowboy”

87 | Friendly Fires — “Jump in the Pool”

88 | Bon Iver — “Skinny Love”

89 | Old Crow Medicine Show — “Alabama

90 | Busta Rhymes — “Don’t Touch Me
       (Throw da Water on ‘Em)”

91 | O’Neal McKnight — “Check Your Coat”

92 | White Denim — “Shake Shake Shake”

93 | Madonna — “Candy Shop”

94 | Los Campesinos — “Miserabilia”

95 | Lucinda Williams — “Real Love”

96 | Little Joy — “Brand New Start”

97 | Sheryl Crow — “Now That You’re Gone”

98 | Teyana Taylor — “Google Me”

99 | The Enemy — “You’re Not Alone”

100 | — “Yes We Can”

RS Top 50 Albums of the Year

50 No Age-Nouns

49 Hot Chip – Made In The Dark

48 Raphael Saadiq – The Way I See It
47 Of Montreal – Skeletal Lamping
46 The Academy Is… – Fast Times at Barrington High
45 Be Your Own Pet – Get Awkward
44 The Raconteurs – Consolers of the Lonely
43 Nas – Untitled
42 David Byrne and Brian Eno – Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
41 AC/DC – Black Ice
40 Jonas Brothers – A Little Bit Longer
39 Taylor Swift – Fearless
38 Ra Ra Riot – The Rhumb Line
37 Nine Inch Nails – The Slip
36 The Hold Steady – Stay Positive
35 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
34 Stephen Malkmus – Real Emotional Trash
33 Ne-Yo – Year Of The Gentleman
32 Jamey Johnson – The Lonesome Song
31 MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
30 Duffy – Rockferry
29 Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
28 The Knux – Remind Me in Three Days…
27 Brian Wilson – That Lucky Old Sun
26 Mudcrutch – Mudcrutch
25 The Magnetic Fields – Distortion
24 Girl Talk – Feed The Animals
23 Conor Oberst – Conor Oberst
22 Jackson Browne – Time the Conquerer
21 Kaiser Chiefs – Off With Their Heads
20 Kings of Leon – Only By The Night
19 Erykah Badu – New Amerykah, Part 1 (4th World War)
18 Lucinda Williams – Little Honey
17 B.B. King – One Kind Favor
16 Randy Newman – Harps and Angels
15 The Black Keys – Attack & Release
14 Ryan Adams And The Cardinals – Cardinology
13 Blitzen Trapper – Furr
12 Guns N’ Roses – Chinese Democracy
11 Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
10 Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
09 Metallica – Death Magnetic
08 Beck – Modern Guilt
07 Coldplay – Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
06 Santogold – Santogold
05 John Mellencamp – Life, Death, Love and Freedom
04 My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges
03 Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III
02 Bob Dylan – Tell Tale Signs:The Bootleg Series Vol. 8
01 TV on the Radio – Dear Science

The Very Best: Esau Mwamwaya & Radioclit are The Very Best

5 12 2008

That’s a mouthful. Now that Pitchfork has cleared the air for the month old mixtape collaboration of Esau Mwamwaya & Radioclit, everyone can get the album. Bee tee dubs, The album is a free download. Ever wonder what Vampire Weekend would sound like with actual african drums in the background? Or what even more over-production could do to “Paper Planes”? Here’s your chance to find out. At 127 Megabytes, this collaboration is worth your time and erm… money.


Download it HERE


Sniveling indie kids…




 Meet Esau Mwamwaya