A Remixed Superstition and a Remixed Carly Rae Jepsen

1. “Stepping Outside” - Val Hollie: The first track from New Orleans’ Val Hollie’s upcoming self-titled EP, which is due out November 13 at the Saturn Bar.

2. “This Must Be the Place” - Kishi Bashi: Kishi Bashi recorded his cover of this Talking Heads song for a collection of 45s, and again for his upcoming album, String Quartet Live!, November 13. 

Last night: Kishi Bashi Takes More Chances Than Guster

Much of Guster's appeal is that they come off as nice guys who make deeply satisfying music. The "good guys" of alt-rock weren't interested in what's cool or revolutionary, or in following the pristine persona of the major label band they're expected to be. Last night, Guster eschewed smoke-and-mirrors for a solid glass windowpane that highlighted their sincerity and likability, but that translated to tame rock music.

Last Night: GOASTT is Indistinct; Kishi Bashi Lives (and Lets Die)

Last night, Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger played downtown at One Eyed Jacks while Kishi Bashi performed Uptown at Gasa Gasa. My night started with the plan of trying to see both. I’ve generally liked Sean Lennon’s music, and Midnight Sun, the recent album by the band, is beautifully psychedelic and heavy.

Weaponized Music, Christmas Song Wars, and Hermaphrodite Carols

What are some of the things you have to think about when making Christmas music? During the year, I interviewed Kishi Bashi and hip-hop singer Suave for other purposes, but we got around to Christmas music and a little insight.

Kishi Bashi: “It’s Christmas but It’s Not White Here in Our Town”

“That was for one of my Kickstarter backers. He lives in Florida and it never snows at Christmas. It’s a weird, melancholy twist on a traditional view of Christmas. 

Hip-Hop for the Holidays

Christmas music has had an age problem. The classic canon started in the '40s with the first mainstream, secular Christmas single - Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" - and it arguably ended with the British Invasion. After The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, songs about dancing around the Christmas tree seemed hopelessly uncool, so much so that few songs have entered the canon since then.

Have Yourself a Flexi Little Christmas

Kishi Bashi played New Orleans twice this year, once opening for Of Montreal at the Howlin' Wolf on the way to SXSW, and once early in the fall at the Circle Bar. These days, it's hard not to hear him almost daily on television as his "Bright Whites" is the soundtrack for the omnipresent Windows 8 ad. He'll conclude his winter tour in New Orleans at One Eyed Jacks on March 9.