the photography, music and ramblings of Matt Lipstein


Pecan pie in effect on Xmas.

Santa drives a jeep

Saw Santa on ninth street this morning. Turns out he drives a jeep
with Xmas stuff all over it! Photo courtesy of the iPhone.

Happy holidays!

Hope everyone is having an awesome holiday season. I have been having
a ball.

This message is coming from my new iphone (thanks moomer & don). I
just figured out how to do mobile blogging from my phone!

Here is a shot of the webpage teaching my how. Lots of love and peace
in the new year!


The Sixteen Most Stupidfresh Songs of 2007

And away we go! 2007 was a great year for music across the board. New releases from some of my favorite artists, and tons of songs by new bands provided the soundtrack to the past 12 months. As usual, I was also exposed to some tracks that have been around for years, decades in some instances, that have been totally off my radar.

Many thanks to all of you who have shared your music with me - we're all in this together!

I humbly present the the Sixteen Most Stupidfresh Songs of 2007. Almost all tracks were released in the past year, but some are classics that warranted inclusion here. Have a listen and let me know what you think! As always, if you download something you like please support the artist by buying their album or seeing them on tour.

1. Wilco - Either Way
A lot of people were not down with the latest Wilco record Sky Blue Sky (and even fewer supported their "sell-out" in Volkswagen ads. To me, the new tracks were a bit more adult and less adventurous, but they still packed the same emotional wallop of the past few albums. Mind the guitar riffage about 3/4's in.

2. The Blow - Parantheses
You can thank Rebecca for this one. This track is just so darned cute! The remix for this track showed up on
the CD for this year's Believer music issue, but I'll take the original, thanks.

3. Justice - D.A.N.C.E.
They said it was going to be the biggest indie club hit of the summer, and they weren't kidding! You could hear this coming out of bars, clubs, cars all summer. If there was a white belt nearby, D.A.N.C.E. wasn't far behind.

4. Elliott Smith - New Monkey
The posthumous double-disc New Moon was a stand-out this year. It completely reinvented Elliott for me and reminded me why his music resonated so deeply in the first place.

5. The Magic Numbers - This Is A Song
When this track come out, I described it as the perfect pop song. Almost a year later, I'm going to take that back and offer that it is a perfectly constructed song instead. It's a musical journey rather than a piece of pop candy to be enjoyed frivolously. Maybe it's all those pop harmonies that duped me the first time around.

6. Toots and the Maytals - Pressure Drop
Sure, I love the reggae as much as the next guy, but somehow this track eluded me until a few months back. I had probably heard the
Robert Palmer
cover version while riding in elevators by and the like, but this original immediately chills me out and before I know I'm sipping on an ice-cold Red Stripe.

7. Esau Mwamwaya - Tengazako
Music for Robots passed along the demo of this African artist. It took me a while to make the connection that he's simply singing over the instrumental of M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" - but who cares? I honestly didn't quite feel the power of this song until I passed it along to a few unaffiliated friends who each came back singing its praises. And yes, I agree the gun shots at the end are a bit aggressive but you gotta take the good with the bad.

8. Tigercity - Other Girls
If you, me and my iPod were at a party this summer you probably heard "Other Girls". Falsetto galore and tight transitions make for a good time. I foolishly missed Tiger City while they held a residency at the Mercury Lounge this summer. Were you there?

9. New Buffalo - Cheer Me Up Thank You
Slow and steady wins the race on this one. When it pops up on shuffle it always brings a smile. You may also want to check out the a capella cover (posted today!) over at Infinite Regress and their cover song project.

10. Amy Winehouse - Tears Dry On Their Own (NYPC's Fucked Mix)
All tabloidery aside, the girl's got chops. This remix by New Young Pony Club would make LCD Soundsystem head back to remix school. A perfect, in not unexpected, collaboration. Put this on and let it all hang out.

11. Stars - The Ghost Of Genova Heights
My first reaction to the new Stars record In Our Bedroom after the War was "feh". Kind of a mediocre step back in my opinion. Genova Heights however is one of the few stand outs. It reminds me of the afore listed Tiger City track in many ways - falsetto vocals and quality dong writing. But Stars is more mature, with a much higher production value. The panned guitars at the song's close make it all worthwhile.

12. LCD Soundsystem - Time To Get Away
This song speaks for itself.

13. Kevin Drew - Tbtf
Is it considered a side project if the front-man from Broken Social Scene records his own album largely with the members of BSS? Maybe it's all in the marketing. In any event, Spirit If was a triumph. It was presented this summer live, opening for Feist (heard of her?) at McCarren Pool in Willy-B. While the chorus of TBTF is not safe for work, the song is still a beauty.

14. Bright Eyes - If The Brakeman Turns My Way
And you can thank Big Ranz for this. I have shunned Bright Eyes for years, feeling he is the pretty-boy version of Eliott Smith, and resenting him for no good reason (yea - I can be like that at times). Thank goodness Ranz told me to shut it and listen to Cassedega. It instantly reminded me of The Band with its production and instrumentation. And he wasn't nearly the whiny little punk I though he would be. In fact it appears he's all growns up and cutting great tracks.

15. Page France - Without a Diamond Ring
I don't know much about Page France, except their tracks seem to make it on every music blog I read. And thank goodness for that! This song is subdued and smoky. I love his awkward voice.

16. Aretha Franklin - Bridge Over Troubled Water
This song had more effect on me than any other in 2007. A hidden gem in the ruins of pop music, Aretha's take on the Simon & Garfunkle classic has it all. It is such a fresh interpretation of the song's essence. Treating it as a gospel song, Aretha let's the song breathe, allowing instrumental passages to weave around the vocal. I played this as my last song when I DJ'd this past Fall at Last Exit and their wasn't a dry eye in the house.


The Best of the Best of 2007

Hey there Internet reader. Long time no see.

Here we are at year end and many a website you know and trust is offering it's Best Of 2007 lists. I do love me a list, and I have a few go-tos for the music. It reminds me of some of the great tunes from the past year, and more often than not it exposes me to tracks completely off my radar. You may like to peruse:

Said The Gramophone Best Music Songs of 2007 - 50 downloadable (for now) songs with an indie slant but some rap and miscellany in there as well

Pitchfork's Top 100 Tracks of 2007 - This is a lot more all over the map, but their indie selections are fairly snobby (hey it is Pitchfork after all). A mix of downloadable MP3s, streams and videos. Worth a look, overwhelming at times.

And for the visual learners out there, check out the 12 Best Music Videos of the Year. Something for everyone.

I'll be posting my own Best of 2007 list, with possible d'loads for you, but these should whet your whistle for now. In the meantime, let's round it out with my pick for the best video of the year:

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Bang That Door

I've been quietly working on this one for a minute. I used to work with a guy named Hakim - he's one of those people you hope you have the pleasure of being around when you're on the j-o-b. Hakim would sing his way through the workday, and would often make up songs about things that happened and the people he interacted with.

The thing is - the dude has chops. Sure, I know you have some dude at your job that does the same thing, but they don't sound as good as Hakim.

Before moving on to a new gig, we recorded a bunch of acapella tracks to have on hand. I now present the first of what I hope are many Hakim's Moods remixes. I know isn't my normal "style" of music to make, but whatever. It sounds right, and I like trying new things. Let's go hang gliding together sometime.

Lippy (ft. Hakim) - Bang That Door


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