The up-and-coming electronic band on Bored to Death, great undiscovered disco tracks, and a set of cufflinks you can't wear in polite company.
For some years now, Alan Palomo has been wandering around Texas, making noise in the band Ghosthustler and as VEGA, his electronic alter-ego. When he started housing his mellow electro-pop (now termed "chillwave") under the name Neon Indian, things took off; Pitchfork gave his debut album, Psychic Chasms, its "Best New Music" crown, and his druggy singles have given the blogs something new to buzz about. We were able to catch Alan on the phone as he toured the West Coast.
Bored to Death
I've really been digging Bored to Death. It has the most refreshing set of characters I've seen in a while. Especially Ted Danson's character. He reminds me of everybody's favorite uncle: a warm, eccentric character who puts everyone else in a good mood. I'm stoked about the second season. But really, because I'm on the road so much, I don't have time to keep up with most shows. Everyone tells me to get into Mad Men, but I don't know if I have time to plow through four seasons to catch up. I'll probably just stick to Bored to Death.
Handmade Electronic Music
It's basically a crash course on circuit bending, which is something that I've been on a kick with doing. When you're sitting in a car all day, all you can really fantasize about is ripping open a boombox and turning it into an impractical instrument.
Cria Cuervos is a Spanish film from the '70s about this little girl. The narrative goes in and out of her imagination. It shows the memories she's having of her mother, who died a few years before, but also what's going on in her life at the moment. It's like when you're a little kid and you have these made-up narratives playing in your head, and they interact with your real life seamlessly. The movie's not overly surreal, but it is disorienting. In one scene she'll talk to someone and you won't realize that it's not happening in the present until she walks out of the room and confronts what's actually happening that day. It's a really sad but pretty film.
Oneohtrix Point Never
I've been listening to this guy Oneohtrix Point Never a lot. His earlier stuff is lo-fi, ambient, soundscape-type stuff that's reminiscent of Boards of Canada. It's almost sad-happy, if that makes sense. His new album Returnal has a fuller sound, so it's a bit of a departure. I remember listening to it on the scariest flight I've ever been on. We were taking off in the middle of a storm, flying straight into it for some reason. I think the music complemented that well, in a terrifying, majestic kind of way. Like watching a tidal wave from a distance — beautiful, but absolutely horrific.
This really great blog is my daily dose of house and disco music, which is perfect driving music for me. The site's run by this guy who goes to old pawn shops and dusty record shops, digs up seven-inch singles, and just rips them himself. So now he has this endless collection of obscure disco music from New York, New Jersey, and even overseas. There's a lot of italo-disco that he puts up. It's great. It's like the Prelinger Archive of disco music.
I've never really been a fan of cufflinks, but I found a set that featured vintage photographs of naked women. It's like the most ballsy thing to wear. It's awesome to imagine sitting at dinner wearing cufflinks that have a naked mod girl dancing on a platform. After that, I became obsessed with finding as many weird cufflinks as I could. I've always wanted to know where Alex from A Clockwork Orange got that little bleeding-eyeball cufflink. If I could find something like that, I'd just sport it, like it's some casual item that I'd wear to, I don't know, H&R Block.