August 30, 2009
We won’t be posting much this week because we are giving ourselves a little makeover, but don’t worry, we’ll be back in full force next Monday.
For now we’ll leave you with two of our favorite videos from August so you can hold on to that summer feeling a little longer.
Dan Deacon – “Paddling Ghost” | Carpark
Jay Reatard - “It Ain’t Gonna Save Me” | Matador
The end of August is inevitably a slow time of year. People, en masse, seem to start dragging their feet, trying to stop summer from coming to a halt. But not in the music biz. As this past week shows, musicians, big and small, are ready and raring to go for the fall. Announcements of new album releases were abundant. Ready for a listen the first day the leaves begin turning gold and brown will be Kyp Malone’s first release as a solo artist and Bon Iver’s first release as a non-solo artist, Daniel Johnston and Massive Attack are prepping albums for October, and November will bring us new material from 50 Cent, Nirvana, and many more. So see, summer’s impending end ain’t so bad after all…
by Elana Jacobs
If you have not heard of Spotify, there’s a good reason: the music streaming application is still banned in the United States. Nonetheless, the service is quickly gaining popularity across Western Europe, and Spotify’s founders plan to launch in the United States before the end of the year. In edging closer to a U.S. release, Spotify received a long-awaited stamp of approval from Apple when it approved Spotify’s iPhone mobile application for premium subscribers.
Spotify works like a standard P2P service, but it allows you to only stream songs – not download them to a hard disk. In this manner, Spotify avoids the legal pitfalls of downloading music but it still allows people to freely listen to and find music. In fact, you can search and browse Spotify by artists and genre selection, as well as create playlists and share them with friends.
Apple’s approval of the Spotify mobile application bodes well for Spotify’s U.S. launch. Even though Spotify links to iTunes to purchase songs, it is seen as a direct competitor to Apple’s music service. For example, Spotify’s iPhone application allows users to cache up to 3,333 songs for instant playback.
At this point though, the founders of Spotify probably see the green light to break into the largest music market. With the much-needed approval from Apple, Spotify may be able to use to additional $50 million in capital it earned earlier this month, as Wired reported.
For U.S. P2P users, the carefree days of Napster and the Pirate Bay may be gone, but Spotify could promise a progression of the music industry finally finding equilibrium with the Internet.
by Ben Benson
In a well-hidden, acoustically suited room on the Lower East Side, the sweet and dissonant sounds of Jim Campilongo fill the ears of attentive listeners. He’s a marble among the chards of glass.
Campilongo’s longtime Monday night residency at The Living Room showcases his versatility. Sometimes he goes solo, shredding a combination of classical and jazz guitar, speaking the language of sweet beauty. But when accompanied by his electric trio, Campilongo comes hard. Last Monday, alongside bassist Jeff Hill and drummer Tony Mason, the trio crossed the board with infectious blues, hard jazz, and a little bossa nova.
The electric trio started off with what one might expect to hear, minding the name, acid jazz. It was funk, it was raw, and it never shied away from a tight groove. It would have been acceptable to assume the whole night would be filled with similar tunes, but growing from rapturous harmonies, the set was counterbalanced with cross-genres of jazz. Transitions may not have been placed with the most grace, yet it all seemed so genius.
The song “Chelsea Bridge” followed the funk. Its quiet arrangement was filled with passionate chords and represented Campilongo’s respect as a musician, demonstrating that one doesn’t have to play a bunch of useless, fast notes to be heard. Refinement is key. This is also the case for “Maceo,” a tune off his upcoming album, Orange. From the venom of jazz, to the slight swing of it all, the trio went directly into the country twang of dixieland. Campilongo proves time and time again that there isn’t anything he can’t attack with style and elite composition.
Orange is set to be released in February 2010. Campilongo is prolonging the release because he doesn’t want to compete with everyone on the planet during the holiday rush. Good news, though, he will have CDs on hand within the next few weeks.
Campilongo doesn’t play every Monday, but often enough. I highly suggest taking a late night trek to the LES to check him out.
by Genette Nowak
August 29, 2009
I Am The Polish Army is the project of Brooklyn duo Emma DeCorsey and C.P. Roth, a drum and guitar pair that have been playing together for the last two years. The twosome’s name comes from a line in surrealist Alfred Jarry’s play “Ubu Roi,” a farcical play ridiculing military aggression, not ridiculing Poland. Jarry, an absurdist and trickster, expressed his ideas through mockery, exaggeration, and satire, and even coined his own antiphilosophy, “pataphysics.” Pataphysics is the “science” of making assumptions about things and inventing reasons, plausible and implausible, for why things happen. For instance, if I see my landlord and he doesn’t say “hi” it obviously means he hates me, probably because my haircut offends the upright gentry of his building. Obvious, right? That’s a pataphysical story I invent in my head to explain reality to myself. Okay, are you buying this?
Well, opposite the absurdity of Alfred Jarry, I Am The Polish Army chronicles real life stories of “sex, lost love, drinking, [and] suicide,” on their newest Club Demos EP. “Us In The Woods” recounts the story of three friends sleeping in the woods, Chan Marshall (of Cat Power) narrative style. “Dead Men” reminisces about what a lost lover leaves behind. The realism of DeCorsey’s lyrics contrasts with the borrowed Jarry namesake, and perhaps the Jarry reference is a defense mechanism IATPA uses to speak of uncomfortable human emotion. DeCorsey says in email that she is a “young, emotionally fragile, and ultimately passionate woman living in the city right now,” and listeners will hear this in her unguarded vocal delivery, which combines Loretta Lynn’s twang and Katie Eastburn’s (from Brooklyn’s Young People) straightforwardness.
Just as Jarry inspires us to create personalized narratives out of our surroundings, I Am The Polish Army uses their union of Appalachia and indie rock to inspire listeners to muse over their city life in New York and Brooklyn. IATPA’s shrewd bass and guitar interplay inspire thought, and could easily pass as a soundtrack for a drizzly stroll under the JMZ underpass on Broadway in Brooklyn. And it is this brooding thought that produces the dual nature of I Am The Polish Army: nonfiction and fable, modern and folk. But finally, I Am The Polish Army embodies the characteristics of the Brooklyn it is in – a modern, electric city. DeCorsey says IATPA has consciously chosen only to play its Appalachia electric. “It doesn’t make sense,” she says of performing acoustic, “electricity…is important…because the city is electric to me and that’s the world I’m in.”
by Thomas Wilk
Michael Jackson’s Death Officially Ruled Homicide [Rolling Stone]
Official Nirvana Live At Reading CD/DVD Due Out November 3 [Pitchfork]
The Doors’ Final Four New York Concerts To Be Released In Six-Disc Set [Rolling Stone]
Get The Deets On New Beck/Charlotte Gainsbourg Album [Pitchfork]
Blackalicious’ Gift Of Gab To Drop Solo LP, Escape to Mars [Pitchfork]
Listen To Previously Undiscovered Elliott Smith Song, “Grand Mal” [Pitchfork]
And, For Something To Think About After An Unusually Pitchfork-Heavy News Day: Buddyhead Gives Pitchfork’s “Top 500 Tracks Of The 2000s” A 0.0 [Prefix]
compiled by Erin Sheehy
JezebelMusic.com @ Death By Audio
August 25, 2009 | Vivian Girls, The Beets, Real Estate, Best Fwends
Every night at eight pm, as the sun melts into New Jersey, bodies rise out of the sunflower patches and ashen alleys of Williamsburg’s South Second Street and saunter up to Death By Audio. Inside, Todd P is playing mash-ups that sound like April March on Adderall at a Bollywood circus. A girl with a wandering eye is talking about living in the ghetto and a woman near me is wearing her new “Eraserhead” tank top for the first time. I am drinking Efes, a Turkish beer available in Kensington for $.99 that gets its signature taste from the rice that is added to its brew. According to Efes Beverage group, Efes has a “tangy malt and hops aroma, rich malt in the mouth, and a bitter-sweet finish that becomes dry and hoppy,” precisely the tangy and dry feeling that night in Death By Audio.
After riding my bike through the dogged heat to the show, there was a new ecosystem growing down my neck, shoulders and back, and I sure was ready for some music to begin. Austin, Texas’ identically dressed Best Fwends opened the show with crowd-bombing jump kicks as they spazzed to their iPod, playing descending guitar chugs and fast beats. The vocals of this pair could be borrowed for a cartoon about evil motorcycle rats, who often take breaks from loitering in front of truck stops to belt out a Robert Palmer song.
More on Vivian Girls, The Beets, Real Estate, Best Fwends @ Death By Audio | 8.25.09
ART OF SONG
“Cat People (Putting Out The Fire)”
Inglourious Basterds (Soundtrack)
2009 | MCA
Few auteurs can claim mastery of both the art of filmmaking and the art of filmmaking scores as categorically as Quentin Tarantino. Starting with his spot-on use of a harmonically gleeful “Stuck in the Middle with You” smack dab in the middle of the violence of Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino has gone on to engrave a series of unforgettable song-scene associations on the celluloid consciousness. This tradition continues with his latest achievement, Inglourious Basterds, a film that does its own fair share of engraving—not only through the auspices of music, but through the machete-skilled hands of Brad Pitt’s backwoods brigadier, Aldo Raine (whose canvas consists of the foreheads of captured and defected Nazis).
The scene which sonically steals the show comes toward the film’s incendiary finale, courtesy of David Bowie’s “Cat People [Putting Out Fire].” Originally made with producer Giorgio Morodor for inclusion in Paul Shrader’s 1982 film Cat People (a remake of the 1942 horror film of the same name), Bowie re-recorded the song for his 1983 album Let’s Dance. Tarantino snatches the original soundtrack version from the shallow depths of the ’80s and places it in the vengeful hands of fantasy WWII heroine Shoshanna Dreyfus. Shoshanna is a French Jew who escapes from the countryside to Paris after witnessing the horrific murder of her family at the hands of SD officer (and Shoshanna’s main target), Hans Landa, and conveniently lands a job as a cinema proprietor after her theatre-owning relatives pass away.
More on David Bowie | “Cat People (Putting Out The Fire)”