Raffi Youssoufian

Are we gonna let the elevator bring us down?

Are we gonna let the elevator bring us down?

All conversations converged to one singular point at the close of 1999:  The End of the World, and because of it, every possible best list of the century.  Whether it was about greatest album, or greatest toenail clipper, a list was compiled by the fanciest per-milenium robots.  Now the singular list missing from the cornucopia of lists was: The Music of 1999.  Everyone, consumed in their chicken little theories of Y2K and end of the world were too mad to see what was really happening.  The end of music as we knew it! In reality it seemed to set the youth of America back about twenty years. (If you take a look at the top record sales for 1999, trust me, you’ll want to cry). I’m as easy going as the next guy, but the Grinch himself would have shuddered at the sound of pop music sung by teen queens, boy bands, and all the music to come out of the entire state of Florida.  They all belonged on the naughty list, and should have been banished to the island of misfit albums.

Luckily I was able to see through the doomsday smoke, and find some albums to balance out the slew of trash on radio airwaves or Total Request Live. [read the whole post]

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All Photos by Michelle Viray

Oh great music philosophers, Sorockcrates and Rufus (yes dudes, I went there), I beseech thee.  Is there ever a good answer to the following question? Do you want your favorite artists to evolve or stay the same?

Unless you move to a desert island accompanied by your top ten albums of all time, there probably is no good answer.  But like anything, we must realize, no matter how much you want your adorable puppy to stay that adorable puppy, it’s going to grow up.  Being “excellent to each other” requires room for growth.  Without growth, the chance for something even greater might as well be stuck in a phone booth stuck traveling through time.  So unless you’re one of those people who go to great lengths to breed puppy versions of dogs (I’m looking at you desert island folk), I implore you to keep an open mind.

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There’s always that one show you always kick yourself for missing.  In the span of our lifetimes, some end up more important than others.  Yes I still kick myself for missing that second night of Portishead at The Warfield back in 1998.  Oh, I’ll catch them next time they come around I said.  No big deal I said.  10 years and another Portishead show later, I vowed not to make the same mistake.

In 2009, Still Light, Still Night was one of my top 5 records of the year.  They played Bimbo’s and what did I do? Lazy Raffi took over for some reason that night, and I laid still. Oh, I would see them next time.  What idiot misses three girls playing three keyboards! Four years later I wasn’t going to miss that opportunity again.

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Oh Fauxchella, how do I count the ways?  While most of the world waits diligently to attend something overly populated with clutter, annoyance, and unwelcoming weather, the locally abounding intellects know you will be there for us.  Engrossed entirely inside night four of eight, you gave me Bat For Lashes.  While there were about seventeen other shows that night, none were more sincere than this one.  So much so I’m sure the Great Pumpkin would have agreed.

While I may not be comparing Natasha Khan to a pumpkin patch, in an utmost elegance, I must say: she squashed it.

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I know it’s the biggest cliché you can think of, but somehow, I keep falling into it.  Sure I’ve liked Rachael Yamagata, that’s been “Known For Years” now.  She’s a great song writer, great husky emotive voice, the piano, you know, the whole nine.  But at times, I get bored.  She gets the mood going, this dark depressing mood, and…actually, I think she explains it very well.  On stage, she mentioned how she’s always surprised that people ask her to play their weddings.  In her opinion she’s better suited to play their divorce proceedings.  I thought she just might be a little stale and boring live. “The Reason Why” these clichés have apparently “Worn Me Down,” I really can’t say. But what I can say is that I was entirely wrong.   There’s a reason you go see an artist play live.  Sure they can always disappoint and sound exactly like they do on record, but the gamble is worth it when it pays off. [read the whole post]

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I miss Netscape sometimes...

“What’s wrong Chazzy Black, you look sad?”

“I don’t know Linux, I know we have all this great music that came out in 2011 (Spinning Platters Top Ten Albums of 2011), but I’m just not happy.  I like dreamy guitars, sad depressing themes, and booty shaking grooves and all that, but I’m just not sure it means anything anymore.  All these albums are derivative…”

“Chazzy Black you’re the only person I know that can take a wonderful thing like the music of 2011 and turn it into a problem.”

“Isn’t there anyone that can tell me what music is all about?!

“Sure Chazzy Black I can tell you what music is all about”

“Time Machine Please…”

“And there was my favorite music of 1998…”

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Show Review: Loney Dear, Harbors at Cafe Du Nord, 11.9.11

November 15, 2011

Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m just getting old, but maybe it’s everyone else who might have thought 9:30pm was too late to start a show, well on a Wednesday anyway.  You’d think someone who has become a critical darling in Sweden, would have had people coming in by the truckload.  Upon arrival, at best […]

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Show Review: Lisa Hannigan, John Smith at Slim’s, 10/2/2011

October 5, 2011

After looking up Lisa Hannigan’s past show archive, I have definitely missed her more times than I remember.  Twice I’ve seen Damien Rice while she hadn’t been on the tour with him.  (She was the better half of Damien Rice in my opinion).  Then I systematically missed her only U.S. solo tour, her Apple Store […]

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Spinning Platters Interview: Lisa Hannigan

October 5, 2011

Lisa Hannigan is a wonderfully warm Irish Singer Songwriter who just released her second full length album Passenger which was written while she was on her last tour for her first release Sea Sew.  Prior to her solo work, she worked with Damien Rice, as part of his band.  When I called Lisa, she was […]

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Show Review: PJ Harvey at The Warfield, 4/14/11

April 17, 2011

PJ Harvey is simply an artist.  It just so happens her medium is music.  Every tour for each new record is an engrossing sensory experience, completely different than the last.  Having seen her perform at the Warfield for every record, minus White Chalk, (she left SF off the tiny tour), since 1998, I’ve had the […]

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