Auerbach Stars in “Heartbroken, In Disrepair” [Stereogum]
Beyonce Selling Tickets on the Cheap for Upcoming Tour [NME]
Bennett Family’s Letter to Fans [Spinner]
Courtney Love Being Sued for Spending Like a Rock Star – And Not Paying For It [Prefix]
Depeche Mode Frontman Recovering from Cancer Surgery [SPIN]
Michael Jackson Geography [Prefix]
Previously on Lost to Record Soundtrack for Lost Online [The Tripwire]
Hardcore Canadian Rocker to Become Regular on Fox [Pitchfork]
compiled by Elana Jacobs
The follow-up album to a band’s breakthrough record is always a tricky one. How does a group keep their sound fresh without alienating their core fans or turning off newly converted listeners? Most people stumble with the second album, the sophomore slump – it’s the norm, not the exception. Look at the mighty Strokes, kings of the new garage rock scene in 2001, then declared stale when their second album, Room on Fire, toyed with their formula, just a little. Tragic.
The same can be said for The Lemonheads, who’s breakout, It’s a Shame About Ray, basically defined alternative culture in the early 90s. Predating the trend of ironic rock/punk covers of earnest but dated songs, Evan Dando and Co. were years ahead of their time with their ridiculous-but-fun cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson.” And “It’s a Shame About Ray,” the album’s biggest hit, was pretty much exactly on par with everything else on MTV in 1992 – before the record industry hit the bottom of the alternative rock barrel, this kind of hook-y, fun music was the norm.
More on The Lemonheads | Come On Feel…
2009 | Warp Records
N/A (but pretty rad)
So here I am listening to Veckatimest, and I feel like a stupid dick. I feel like a loudmouthed sixteen-year old. And I don’t like sixteen-year olds. This is all an issue of hindsight, of course, which I’ll explain. In fact, I think I’ll go ahead take a nice fat paragraph to do that right now.
I was sixteen-ish when I first heard Sticky Fingers and In The Aeroplane Over the Sea. I think both of these albums are perfect. They’re two of my favorite albums ever. Whenever I think of Sticky Fingers now (and here’s that hindsight bit), I instinctually remember, in that long ago time, telling a friend, before I’d ever actually given it an honest listen, that it was a lousy record ‘except for “Wild Horses.”’ Right? You see where I’m going here? I am cursed to relive that moment forever. No matter what happens, I’ll always have been that sixteen-year old kid who, in an effort to seem cool, not only pretended to know Sticky Fingers inside-and-out but also said that it was only a worthwhile album because of, God-save-me, “Wild Horses.”
The day I first listened to In The Aeroplane Over the Sea, an album whose influence on my life has been pretty incalculable, I also brought home American Football’s American Football. And – this is difficult to admit, even now – I thought American Football was totally superior. Like, I thought American Football RULED, and I thought Neutral Milk Hotel was just whatevs. And that’s an unforgivable thing. If I were Jeff Mangum, and I thought that there was one single person in the world who thought that American Football was a better band than mine, I’d have given up too. So I’m sorry, Jeff.
None of this is to imply that Veckatimest is an album of Sticky Fingers or Aeroplane caliber, but it is really, really, really good – and I feel stupid for having so drastically misheard Grizzly Bear for so long.
More on Grizzly Bear | Veckatimest
May 27, 2009
JezebelMusic.com @ Santa Santo’s Party House
May 19, 2009 | No Bra
Last Tuesday’s No Bra show started off with moi half-reluctantly approaching bra’d Susanne Oberbeck and saying, “Hello. I really like your music.” I declare I was half-reluctant because I am sure No Bra would appreciate me not saying anything, or at least telling her I was embarrassed by her music (as No Bra’s mission is to create embarrassing music).
Oberbeck was slightly unaware I was talking to her, and I, being still only in her starboard periphery, was avoidable with one half-turn of a Santo’s Party House bar stool. But as a human being I felt obliged to receive a reply, even as the zombie-eyed Euro dudes flanking her shot invisible flies at me. After like seventeen seconds of silence Oberbeck mumbled out an “oh,” (not even a Munchausen “Reaaally”), and, feeling like I had to say something, I ejaculated a “well, you know, my friend’s father knows all the words to ‘Doherfuckher.’” Oberbeck: “oh.” I nodded and pretended I had to go to the bathroom.
There was a lot of weed smoke in the bathroom. Did I mention the show did not start a gothic inch before 2 AM?
Brian Eno once quipped that Americans are too revealing about their personal lives. Oberbeck, a German-cum-Brit, also remains elusive about her personal life and has few words for the art world. Read up detectives! You will quickly find out she likes fags and hates the gym.
Well, No Bra whipped through her set of top-free hits; she sang along with her laptop to most of “Dance and Walk” and performed some new songs I didn’t recognize.
No Bra is a project that is one part “a retarded take on romance,” and several other parts cultural commentary on masculinity, “art,” and dance. And the only mention I’ll make of the obvious NB performance feature is this: Oberbeck plays with the only woo woos she’s got, in the same way Eno plays with the guitar strings that came with his first guitar.
There is a funny flame about No Bra and Fischerspooner on Brooklyn Vegan.
by Thomas Wilk
SEE IT LIVE
JezebelMusic.com @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
May 22, 2009 | A Place to Bury Strangers & Holy Fuck
[All images copyright 2009 Jen McManus]
A Place to Bury Strangers
Chris Brown Defends Himself on YouTube [NME]
Gaga On Cover of Rolling Stone, Claims to Not Be Like Other Pop Stars [Rolling Stone]
New Stuff from YACHT [Stereogum]
Lord of the Rings, Movie and Music at Radio City Music Hall [Brooklyn Vegan]
Micachu and The Shapes Returning for U.S. Tour [The Tripwire]
Eminem Tops 2009 Record Sales [NME]
Brooklyn Youth Chorus Backing Grizzly Bear (and A Load of Other Appearances) [Brooklyn Vegan]
Berry Gordy, James Taylor Added to Songwriters Hall of Fame [NME]
compiled by Elana Jacobs
Several months ago, compliments of the excellent music taste of JezebelMusic.com’s Program Director, I was introduced to the Brooklyn-based, indie-pop ensemble, Twin Thousands. Within approximately three seconds of hearing the band’s single, “Like You A Lot,” I was hooked. Since then, this sunny song has kept me company on many a rainy day. Unknown to the band until its completion, a music video for “Like You A Lot” was produced by British film company Agag Films. Check it out!
As someone who grew up listening to ‘50s rock, I have a particular fondness for that moment in the ‘70s and ‘80s in Los Angeles that gave birth to ‘50s-influenced artists like The Blasters, X, and Los Lobos. Of this trio, only The Blasters would be considered strictly a throwback act, sounding and acting like rock music had failed to mutate significantly after the peak of Chuck Berry. That said, the punk rockers in X could still get a good rockabilly vibe going, and Los Lobos weren’t picked to cover Ritchie Valens songs on the 1987 La Bamba soundtrack for nothing: they had already been playing Mexican-inflected classic-style rock for about fifteen years at that point.
Los Lobos’s first full-length album, How Will The Wolf Survive?, which came out in 1984, is excellent and eclectic. The first track is “Don’t Worry Baby,” a party-starter sung by Cesar Rosas, one of the band’s two main singer-guitarists. This is followed by the more melancholy mid-tempo number “A Matter of Time,” which might be one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded – a migrant worker tells his wife about the better life they will have once he makes some more money. That worker’s story is sung in the first person by the other main singer-guitarist in the band, and our subject, the extraordinary David Hidalgo.
More on David Hidalgo, Los Lobos