The Wilderness Downtown ft. Arcade Fire

Google teamed up with filmmaker Chris Milk and Arcade Fire to create The Wilderness Downtown, an interactive video that combines the technology of HTML5, Google Maps and the new Google Chrome browser.

Viewers enter their home address, and the video that follows "takes you down memory lane through the streets you grew up in", writes Aaron Koblin on a Google Creative Lab blog post.

The project features the song We Used to Wait by Arcade Fire.
Start your trip here.

Are You There?

There are a thousand ways to begin a post about Joaquin Phoenix these days. Just look at him. Just look at how he's been for awhile now. He's out of it, constantly disheveled and, well, not here.
Or maybe it's all an ongoing, mystifying and bizarre publicity stunt.

Just as a side note, what a gorgeous poster. The color scheme, which looks like it was inspired by Joaquin's signature ombre shades, is ironically soft and very pretty. Additionally, this really solidifies all-caps, italic Georgia as a current typography trend.

Anyway. Sometime last year, Joaquin's brother-in-law (and one of my absolute favorite people) Casey Affleck began to follow him around with a documentary crew. At the time, this came off as another plea for attention; a joke. And then they both dropped off the radar. Until now.

The film, which is Casey's directorial debut, is slated for September 10th.


I threw up a post this time last year about summer '09 up-and-comers The Drums and Best Coast. Sure enough, it's been an eventful year, and both groups have enjoyed quite a bit of success.

New York locals The Drums came out with their self-titled LP sometime earlier this summer. It's a really enjoyable album. While their previous releases may have type-casted them as a 'summer only' band, this release manages to maintain their surf rock aesthetic without going overboard.

They're about to go out on a tour with Surfer Blood.
I hear they're a great live.


After taking Bethany and her lo-fi beach songs a la carte for the past year, she and the rest of her Best Coast have finally come up with full-lengh Crazy for You. The whole thing is packed with a load of catchy, 60s inspired lovesick songs. And I stress lovesick. If you've got some recently heartbroken friends, shy away from giving them this album. Although the tracks are generally pretty light sounding, the lyrics are, erm, sorta sad.

She did a collab with Converse as well, just like Julian Casablancas did last year with Santogold and Pharrell. This time around, Beth teamed up with (my favorite) Vampire Weekender Rostam and Kid Cudi. They came up with All Summer, a predominantly Best Coast-y track.

A neat video comes with it:

Download the song at

Our Amps

I met Julian, the man behind Up to 11, during my second summer at Grammy Camp, a GRAMMY Foundation program. He's got a really neat & honest writing style, some top notch content and the whole networking/brand thing going on, all of which I really admire.

Check Up to 11 out!

Like When You

Despite the fact that I'm bound by legal contract to love everything Born Ruffians will ever put out, their newest offering Like When You is one seriously awesome track. It's the b-side for Nova-Leigh, the second single from their sophomore album Say It.

After a 40 second Animal Collective-esque intro, some painfully nostalgic, rolling guitar riffs poke through the sax-and-synth. I'm going to go ahead and liken this to the soft opening bars of John Mayer's No Such Thing, a song I basically worshipped when I was twelve (that would explain the nostalgia). After this, the track takes on a very sweet sounding life of its own over the base riff, mixing a strong bass line, double vocals and interestingly placed rests. And the production, which was most likely done by Rusty Santos, really couldn't be more perfect.

Lyrically, it's pretty much a mystery what's going on. Something about love and two tickets to Mexico. Luke took his creative genius and 1,000 octave range and just ran with slurring a lion's share of the words, per usual. While the band usually takes some heat for this, I think it's pretty neat, because it forces you to actually listen to the music. The lyrics are another dimension.

Since I very rarely never write this much about a single song, you best be slappin' on some headphones and listening to it asap. Despite its b-side status, I really hope lots of people get to hear it. And that they're rehearsing it for the fall tour...yeah, that's not going to happen. But still!