This is where thoughts become things.

Hi, I'm Daniela. Welcome to my personal lair on the Internet. This is where I write about storytelling, activism, technology and pop culture. Sometimes I post videos. I update my lair when the mood strikes me. Follow me on Twitter for daily updates (@dcap).

Tag : review

#InMyEar: Teams, Bo Grumpus, Le Butcherettes, Lucinda Williams, Light Asylum

The one thing that always brings me emotional relief is music, so I’m starting this #InMyEar semi-weekly category on The Lair to ease my angst-riddled/vlog jitters mind. Here we go, guys. Hold on to your eardrums and sanity. It might get a little weird. These days I’m all about anything that is reminiscent of three sensations:

1) driving down a highway on a sunny day
2) being in Roger Corman’s 1967’s film “The Trip
3) gettin’ real riot grrrl on some fools
4) feeling glorious about my angst


I miss Bay Area rode trips with my “seester” Wayane Rose. I love riding shotgun with my lil’ sis, on our way to Current HQ in San Francisco, while I skip through the same old CD she’s had in her car for like 5 years. I am going to make her a mixed CD for my next trip out there and will definitely include some tracks by Teams, who is really a creative dude named Sean Bowie who is from Knoxville, Tennessee, but is now in LA where he probably belongs.

Here is one of my favorite older singles by him: “Anml Life” from last years “CATCH POOL” EP. It sounds like a happy hangover drive to In-N-Out. I love the usage of Instagram pics in this video too. I just love everything about his chillwave-on-speed sound.

Teams – Anml Life from Caseytography on Vimeo.

Teams’ new album Dxys Xff is out now. If you like audio Christmas to explode in your ear with musical gifts made of synthesizers and moon dust, cop that. They make me happy to have iTunes purchasing power on my iPhone. Brooklyn Vegan has barely mentioned Teams’ existence, proving to me yet again how irrelevant they are to my “Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy” music escapades.

Bo Grumpus

“Yeah, man. Tune out. Turn on. Winter solstice. Let’s hold hands, walking in the sand and smoking a j. Far out.” This is what the 1968 gem “The Sparrow” makes me think about.

Thank you, The Rising Storm blog, for bringing me this exquisite New York-based folk-rock outfit in the style of the Byrds. I want to drop acid with you and paint splatter paintings with our toes.

Le Butcherettes

Uhhh. They are a Mexican garage punk band formed in 2007 in Guadalajara. They make me want to drop kick stupid dudes who demand I smile at them when they pass me on the street. What’s not to love about Le Butcherettes, GRRRL??? <3

In an interview with Tunecore, Teri Gender Bender (band founder/vocals/guitar/keyboard) explains the importance of feminism and art:

“I don’t want to yell my whole life. I want to express myself in a darker way now. I don’t want to use feminism anymore because I was let down by the non- existent movement. I want feminism to use ME as an example instead. I won’t let the movement down because I am not a movement, I am an individual. I just have to be myself and work on art with the purest of intentions. Sin Sin Sin was made to free me of my “so-called sins” laid on my mind in a machismo country which has so many strong and unfearing women and men. I am not afraid. This album is for the men and women that are fed guilt mixed with hatred for not marrying young, for thinking of themselves before others, for trying to see life differently.”

Lucinda Williams

This is going to make me sound like a moron who doesn’t know how to Google, but I honestly thought Lucinda Williams was black before I listened to her music. I think I saw an album cover somewhere with a striking black woman playing a guitar and thought it was her. I really can’t stand most country songs by white folks (sorry, guys), so a reference in BITCH magazine and my mistake is what led me to purchase Lucinda Williams’ latest album “Blessed” on iTunes. I’m so glad I did. It’s beautiful, and made me rethink hatin’ on country whitey. I am now an official fan of Lucinda Williams.

I respect her strength and honest lyrics.

I’m not just a doormat. I’m not just being stepped on all over the place. If you look at the bulk of my material, it’s about trying to find some strength through that. – Lucinda Williams

Rock on, sista.

Light Asylum

My friend Catgirl turned me on to this rabbit hole of amazing sounds. I say rabbit hole because once I start listening to Light Asylum, I start trying to imagine her different influences and begin a Google quest to unearth related tunes. Light Asylum’s Shannon reminds me of Skin from Skunk Anansie — a black woman, with a unique style, who was initially embraced more by goth/rock/electro white music fans than by brown folks.

I love her surreal videos and plan on going to one of her shows in the near future.

Light Asylum is Shannon Funchess-Vox as vocals/percussion and Bruno Coviello on keys/drum machine. Shannon shared this back story with TOKION MAGAZINE:

“I came here from Seattle,” Funchess explains, “where there were a lot of punk bands and D.I.Y., indie two-pieces and stuff. We would play shows with our friends, like Seven Year Bitch and Sky Cries Mary. I was here for CMJ in 1996 with another band, and I decided that I had to move here. Five years later, I made the move.”

It took her five years, but she eventually made the move in 2001 and started working with then up-and-coming groups like TV on the Radio, !!! and Telepathe. Coviello, on the other hand, grew up in Newark, New Jersey, making club tracks and house music. “I used to go see Danny Tenaglia, sneaking into all the downtown NYC clubs when I was a teenager.” It wasn’t until a few years ago, when they were both in bands on tour with the rap group Bunny Rabbit, that they met and bonded over their arcane musical tastes.

According to Coviello, “I remember Shannon mentioned this obscure dark-wave band, Clan of Xymox, that only, like, a handful of people talked about—and I just knew.” Funchess adds, “I had done Light Asylum previous to Bruno, but I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to perform it.” When the tour was over, they reconvened in Shannon’s practice space with Coviello’s Casiotone and a fifty-dollar drum machine from 1988.

“With Bruno I wanted to start from scratch,” says Funchess. “We did that and there was just no question.” In coming together, they have produced some of the most powerful, dark and emotional music that has come out of Brooklyn in a long, long time. To figure out how that’s possible, you just need to hear Funchess explain it: “To me Light Asylum is a metaphor for the lack of genuine self-expression in the world, where people suppress their sexuality, their creativity, their entire lives. This music is for them and for people to realize that they’re not alone. The music is dark, but it’s at a place where you can see there is light at the end of the tunnel. The darkness isn’t all around us; it’s inside us.”

I think Shannon is amazing for remaining true to herself and putting out this incredible music. She’s definitely inspiring and Light Asylum tracks are both brooding and inspiring enough to make me lurk around my apartment making art.

Five Things You Missed At The 5/2 Bat For Lashes Show @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg

On Saturday night, Natasha Khan, creator and enchantress behind Bat For Lashes, played the Music Hall Of Williamsburg and blew the crowd away with her range (she’s one of few artists who sound the same live as they do on their albums) delicate dance moves and journey-through-your-grandma’s-attic set design.

>>More Bat For Lashes Photos In Bashira Webb’s Flickr Set<<

The former pre-school teacher’s last Brooklyn tour date to support Two Suns held a special meaning for me; I’ve been a fan since Fur & Gold and her Donny Darko-inspired video, but had never seen her live before.

What delighted me from the moment Natasha stepped on stage was that she lacked all of the snobby, jaded affectation that I’ve grown accustomed to at BK shows. With her genuine performances and limited but beguiling stage banter, she gave everyone in the crowd permission to smile, to love good music – openly – because it’s cool to care about things too, you know?

There are plenty of reviews up about the BFL tour, but here are some things you missed if you weren’t at Saturday’s show:

1) Lewis & Clark Made Everyone Want To Take A Nap/Buy More Beer

After gracing the stage at 9ishPM, Lewis & Clark explained that they had been asked to “calm the crowd.” They did a fab job … maybe a little too fab. My feet fell asleep, I wished I had a blanket nearby or at least a chair and although I appreciated their masterful and dramatic chamber rock, I was secretly glad when their set was done.

I guess I’m not a low-key kind of girl at live shows – but I would definitely listen to them if I was trying to snooze after a picnic in a park, which holds genuine value for me.

2) Scary Hipster Fart

Perhaps the lukewarm reception to Lewis & Clark wasn’t entirely in their control; Right before the show started, someone epically farted in the first two rows of people crowding the stage … It was not me, but I report this for thoroughness (journalistic integrity). But seriously, who does that? I’ll tell you who – Dirty, dirty hipsters. Like this one.

3) The Most Perfectly Shaped Heiny In All Of Creation

Although the house requested no flash use, people did indeed light up the night to capture Natasha Khan’s amazing zebra inspired bodysuit and her even more impressive fanny. I am in no way attempting to objectify/detract from her musical skills, but just imagine for a moment, all her talent manifesting as a perfect, perky bottom that 1000 years of pilates wrought – that is the back that baby got.

I overheard several butt specific conversations after the show, held by pining boys and admiring/jealous/horny? girls.

She makes my butt look like I’m dragging around two deflated beach balls.

4) Natasha Khan Intermittently Blowing Into A Wooden Box

I wish I had a photo to share. Was I the only one fascinated by this? I don’t know what the box was, but every once in a while she would blow into it and then move it about like an accordion. It made ghostly noises and now I’m kind of obsessed with figuring what it was. If you know, please share the deets.

5) The Four Mary Statues – Sign Of The Apocalypse?

Virgin Mary

In addition to a wolf blanket, a plethora of christmas tree ornaments and a few scary glowing dolls thrown in for good measure, Natasha had four eerie little Virgin Mary dolls propped right at the front of the stage. If I had thought of it before writing this post, I would have asked folks in the crowd what their significance was – why 4? Why not 5, or 3? Perhaps seasoned BFL attendees know the answer, but alas, I do not. I prefer to think of it as a sign that we share similar tastes

Two Suns is available now on Amazon for under $12 bucks. If you purchase it, you will be helping to chip away at an increasingly depressing deluge of bad music that is currently saturating the market.

The economy sucks, but do yourself a solid and purchase Two Suns. Anyone who can turn Daniel from The Karate Kid movie into a haunting song about adolescence and young love deserves major props.

Stuff I Love: Things By Jen

Jennifer Ruiz is an artist from Patterson, California, who I discovered through the Chicana/o Art, History, y Cultura pool on Flickr.

I am in love with her Dia de los Muertos/Virgen de Guadalupe-modified  figurines, charms and jewelry.

She describes herself as “a peaceful chick who loves art and creating! You can usually find me at thrift stores or yard sales on the weekends or in my room where I spend a lot of time working on my things. I love blues, jazz and old movies! I create everything from canvas art, jewelry, figurines, beads, dolls and pretty much anything I can slap some paint and glue on.”

Not limited to strictly Chicano inspired art, Jennifer creates all kinds of delightful items from playful dinosaur earrings to vintage shadowboxes.

You can browse and purchase her wares on Etsy.

I am so inspired by people like Jennifer who are actually creating. I am committed to making 2009 the year I do the same.