Our next round of Take Cover takes it up a few notches. You have to guess the song and the artist covering it. As you may remember, this is the second of three rounds of the contest. We’re giving Ace t-shirts (and other assorted treats — whatever we feel like putting in the envelope) as the prize booty for the first two weeks. But for the third and final round, contenders will compete tooth and nail for a Levi’s Pioneer Sessions Limited Edition Crosley Turntable. Howie, our wild and punishing host, is going to find the weirdest thing he’s got. Something your iPhone has no chance in hell of detecting.
Howie’s spinning Intoxica Radio Live tonight in the Amigo Room at Ace Palm Springs. Come for a drink and see if you can pick up any clues…
The Rapha Cycle Club on Bowery is hosting an exhibition tonight showcasing the handmade bicycles from the Rapha Continental, and the bicycle builders who built them will be in attendance to talk about their trade. The show also features photography from Daniel Sharp and Chris Milliman, as well as drawings from Continental rider Peter Rubijono. Everybody’s welcome — champagne and beer are on the house. Look for this guy if you go.
Other Music are our friends. They curate selections of vinyl and CDs for the front desk marketplace at Ace New York, and this is their latest collection. You can come check it out for yourself — everything’s up on the wall by the taxidermy. If you come stay and want something good to play in your room, just call the front desk and they’ll send some things up. Here’s what OM have to say about their new favorites:
DANGER MOUSE/SPARKLEHORSE - DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL
This official release comes a year later than anybody intended, with much water under the bridge, yet it allows us a fresh perspective on what brought Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse together in the first place: blasted pop songs, featuring a corral bursting with some of this generation’s great vocalists. With a guest list that includes Wayne Coyne, Julian Casablancas, the late Chesnutt, Suzanne Vega, Iggy Pop, Jason Lytle, James Mercer, David Lynch, Gruff Rhys, Nina Persson, and Black Francis, it’s tough to go wrong. Each song takes on the additional burden of seeming “of a piece” with the whole concept of the album, while being composed of singers who are, to say the least, individualistic and stylistically at odds. Linkous’ glitch-pocked alt-country turns out to be the perfect kind of loose thread that wraps everything together. Combining shimmering, tremolo-heavy electric guitars and otherworldly analog static with digital hiss, Linkous and Danger Mouse create a rough-hewn texture that molds itself comfortably around crooners like Coyne, throat scratchers like Casablancas, and angels like Vega. The lush string arrangement serves as a mirror to Coyne’s voice on opener “Revenge,” while a loping loner’s shuffle accompanies Super Furry Animals’ frontman Rhys fittingly down the road of “Just War.” In my mind, the nicest surprises come from the women of the record, with Vega and Perrson (of the Cardigans) both delivering performances that are genuine and warm-spirited.
WOLF PARADE - EXPO 86
Sometimes it can be hard to define the things that make a band. At this point, trying to quantify the past and present projects with Wolf Parade ties can be a strain on the brain. Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner, the two main songwriting forces behind the Parade, have been just as prolific with their other projects as they have their better-known band. In light of increased exposure to these disparate groups, Wolf Parade starts to emerge as a precarious balancing act — one that stands and falls by how well these opposing forces can work together to spark a greater whole. Fortunately, the group sounds more like a band than they ever have here. From the start, the band have always pulled as much from art-rock and prog-rock (Bowie/Eno/Roxy) as heartland classic rock (Springsteen/Petty), creating eccentric anthems for a future breed. They keep the pillars firmly in place here, but the album benefits from better sequencing and a more seamless integration of Krug and Boeckner’s voices than we’ve previously heard. Most importantly, the band sounds absolutely on fire, coming closer than they’ve ever managed to approximating the feverish intensity of their live show thanks to drummer Arlen Thompson’s bombastic production (and tub-thumping!). For my money this band has always done the art-damaged modern anthem better than both the Arcade Fire-spawned theater troupes or the neo-Springsteen devil-in-blue-jeans contenders. Look no further than “What Did My Lover Say (It Always Had to Go This Way)” for proof of all this band’s legion rock and roll powers at work simultaneously. When was the last time an indie record sounded good cranked?
Guess who this is covering Satisfaction and we’ll send you an Ace Hotel t-shirt in the mail, SWAK. Howie Pyro picked this out for you and, true to form, it’s mildly terrifying. The contest is in honor of Levi’s Pioneer Sessions - artists covering the classic songs that inspire them. We’ll post another song for you to guess next week, and again the following week, except for the third time around we’ll give the winner a Levi’s Pioneer Sessions Limited Edition Crosley Turntable. What a mouthful. The name is actually larger than the deck itself. It’s compact, handsome, and sounds as clear and crisp as all of your records must have 40 years ago. Carry on, contenders! Send your guess to us with “Howie Pyro x Levi’s x Ace” in the subject line.
We’re giving away some signed copies of Jay Greene’s book, Design is How it Works. He likes the way we work design, and did us the honor of including us. Send your best photos of your favorite design and vintage aspects of any Ace Hotel. We’ll confer and nail-bite and debate passionately late into the night, and then we’ll send the winners their booty. Godspeed!
Winnebago Man premiered in NYC this weekend with the man in question, Jack Rebney, and Michael Moore in attendance. And filmmaker Ben Steinbauer spoke with Aaron Hillis from Greencine Daily in a loft suite at Ace Hotel New York about the film and his experiences making it. Here are some shots from the weekend.
Amazing wild soul singer known as Hannibal — The Mighty Hannibal & a bit later here as King Hannibal — returns from heroin addiction & jail to release this funky soul monster testament to the dangers of drug abuse. Nothing comes close to this! Hannibal aka James T. Shaw has made some of my most-played killer 45’s in my DJ sets (like Jerkin’ The Dog), but this is just amazing! It opens with his echofied announcement “I WANNA TALK TO ALL YOU ADDICTS OUT THERE, THAT’S GOT YOURSELF A GREAT BIG JONES, AND YOU TRIED ALL THE METHADONE, AND YOU JUST CAN’T LEAVE THAT “HER-ON” ALONE…I WONDER, HAVE YOU TRIED… .JEEEESUS???” Then it kicks into a funky insane groove with the killer echofied “I was hooked”…I can never get tired of this one…check the video and get the great Norton Records compilation Hannibalism for a career retrospective. I have hung out with the Mighty one & he is super cool & is doing shows that are amazing.