Monday, December 17, 2012

Psst...Pass it On: What We Like Right Now

By Whitney Phaneuf
Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 8:28 AM


You know that moment when you get caught with an empty box of Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s at your desk? It’s a sign you need to go buy another box of Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s.— Azeen Ghorayshi

El Vez has been performing a Christmas show since 1989; he told me his first holiday album, Merry MeX-mas, is still his personal favorite among the three he’s produced, and you can stream it on Rdio. Catch El Vez live at Stranded Records today, Monday, Dec. 17, at a free in-store appearance at 7 p.m.— Whitney Phaneuf

El Vez plays a free in-store show at Stranded Records in Oakland on Dec. 17.
  • El Vez
  • El Vez plays a free in-store show at Stranded Records in Oakland on Dec. 17.


There's been a video circulating of Frank Ocean covering/improvising Radiohead's "Fake Plastic Trees." Now, as much as I love Thom Yorke's waif-y crooning, Frank threw some, well, Frank Ocean oomph into this — but it still kind of makes you want to sob your eyes out. Two things: One, I wish he had done a full cover because I'd play that shit on repeat for the rest of my life (or at least for the rest of 2012), and, two, I want to throat-punch the people in the crowd who wouldn't stop talking. Needless to say, I promptly went and re-listened to Amnesiac, The Bends, and OK Computer to soothe my Radiohead-starved soul.— Lenika Cruz

The Mountain Goats are always there when I need them. Luckily, I got to catch the band at the Fillmore on Friday, a quiet solace from the jarring events of the day. Listen to the new album, Transcendental Youth, over at Merge. — A.G.

Need more twee in your life? Don't trip, '90s Slumberland's has it covered with one of my favorite pop songs ever, Black Tambourine's "Throw Aggie Off the Bridge." Want to go back another decade? Please, please listen to The Shop Assistants (a few years before their time, sadly).— L.C.

Yoko Ono covering Katy Perry's "Firework" is actually the work of a YouTube artist who paired footage from Ono's 2010 performance at the Museum of Modern Art with the piano accompaniment from the original track. It's brilliant.— W.P.


Nevermind about Christmas presents. On December 25, the real holiday cheer will come from going to see Django Unchained and Les Mis, one after the other. Speaking of movies, The Hobbit is out, so let's take a minute to bask in the meme machine that is Nic Cage. — L.C.


While staff writer Ellen Cushing was away in Georgia learning the joys of Wal-Mart fried chicken, she sent out this tweet, which I hope means she’s hauling home an office stockpile of Bubba Hicks venison jerky.— A.G.

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