The Flaming Lips Are Covering Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon On New Year’s Eve in Oklahoma City…Guests Expected to Appear at the Show: The Flaming Lips’ Families, and NBA Star Kevin Durant, Possibly the Only Current Residents of Oklahoma City [Pitchfork]
Stream First Track From Ted Leo’s Upcoming LP The Brutalist Bricks, “Even Heroes Have to Die,” Which Features a 15-Second “Oh-Oh” Breakdown; Bricks Due Out March 9, Just in Time to Influence All Kinds of Spring Teenage Love/Angst [Brooklyn Vegan]
Watch (Washed Up?) Jam Band Phish Cover (Washed Up?) Indie Band TV on the Radio’s “Golden Age;” Feel Confused, then Slightly Outraged, then Wonder How Anyone Could Feel Anything But Indifferent Curiosity Towards This [Spin]
Stream New RJD2 Track, “Games You Can Win,” Which, Sadly, Sucks as Much as Anything RJ Has Done Over the Last Couple Years – Oversaturated, Boring Electropop; The Colossus is Released January 19, and Hopefully Will Be Better Than This Pile [Pitchfork]
Stream New Spoon Single, “Written in Reverse,” Which is Officially Released Tomorrow. The Song Is Super Bluesy, Frustatingly Faux British, and Actually Pretty Good (I Have Never Said this of a Spoon Song; Transference Released January 19 [NPR]
Blur Frontman Damon Albarn Announces New Gorillaz Album Plastic Beach, Which Will Feature Contributions From Snoop Dogg, Lou Reed (?), Mos Def (!) and, Most Excitedly, Bobby Womack; Elsewhere, If You Want to Feel At All Sexy Today, Click that Bobby Womack Link [Spin]
compiled by Max Sebela
LOCAL SPOTLIGHT NYC
Since 2005, Limbs have been gracing Brooklyn with artful music that resists easy labels. Members Jeff Stultz, Oisin O’Brien, and Tommy Orza, who are currently recording their fifth release with fellow bandmate Chris Pressler, recently met up with JezebelMusic.com to discuss the ways their wide-ranging backgrounds help them produce a unique sound. See them perform live at JezebelMusic.com’s Feature Show on December 10.
JM.com: How and when did you guys meet? What drew you together musically?
Jeff: Osh and I met because we went to college together here in New York. Chris went to another school in the city with a friend of mine and I met him through a group of kids there. Tommy has been a comrade for a while now and we knew he was a great musician from other bands, so things finally came together this fall and now we’re a four-piece.
More on Limbs
November 29, 2009
THIS WEEK IN SHOWS
WEDS, DEC. 2
Jaguar Love, The King Left, Yes Giantess, Violent Soho
8:00 PM, $10 adv/$12 do, 21+
People have said that Johnny Whitney of Jaguar Love sounds like “Robert Plant on steroids.” I was gonna say he sort of reminds me of Jay Reatard in a higher register. Either way, we’re talking shrieky, jolting energy. These guys make some catchy, noisy, uptempo pop with y’know, canned beats. Enjoy!
Werewolves, Strange Rivals, Heliotropes
8:00, $5, 21+
Never underestimate the power of the keys to take something dramatic and make it cinematic. I’m using the term “cinematic” very liberally to mean that you might find yourself playing out long scenes in your head while listening to Werewolves. Or maybe it’s their sneering vocals that do it, I don’t know yet. What I do know is that they’re dynamic performers and they’re playing Glasslands this Wedsnesday…
SAT, DEC. 5
8:00, $10, 21+
Did you know that the male bowerbird hops around with a flower in his beak in an attempt to woo a mate? How sweet! On the other hand, the male angler fish sniffs out the female, bites her, releases an enzyme that fuses the two at the blood-vessel level, and then atrophies until he is no more than a pair of parasitic gonads. The world is ugly, but if you want to linger on the more poignant aspects of life, why not get all acoustic and snuggly with Bowerbirds for the night? They’re also playing Bowery Ballroom with Elvis Perkins on Thursday, but I like to promote the more intimate, boozier, cheaper shows…
Or you can just head towards Kent Ave. and then decide…
More on This Week In Shows
November 28, 2009
Welcome to another edition of Brook Pridemore’s The Nineties-ist. This edition discusses 1994, Courtney Love’s response to the death of Kurt Cobain (and how Rivers Cuomo plays into all this) and Pearl Jam, Korn, and the steep descent of metal. For earlier installments, go here.
One of the funniest conspiracy theories I’ve heard about in the last few years is that Kurt Cobain and Rivers Cuomo are the same person. Right: Kurt Cobain was so affected by the spotlight that he faked his own death, only to return a few months later with a new, poppier sound and a slightly altered look. Even his wife, Courtney Love, believes his death was real. Yeah.
When you think about it, the number of flimsy similarities between the two men are astounding. Nirvana and Weezer were both signed to the David Geffen Company (their recording careers only overlap by the slimmest margin). Both men were the sole songwriters in their respective bands, though Cuomo has deferred to the other guys in recent years, and Dave Grohl got to write one of the B-Sides for In Utero. Cuomo and Cobain are both often seen wearing sweaters in photographs; Cuomo’s dapper and preppy, Cobain’s most likely intended to cover up track marks. Both debuted with music most people did not hear (Weezer’s earliest recordings are still-unreleased pop metal tracks), followed by a slicker-than-owl-shit major label debut, then followed by an intensely personal, self-produced sophomore effort. In Utero is infinitely better than Nevermind, and Pinkerton is infinitely better than The Blue Album. Weezer, after Pinkerton, have slowly pissed away everything that was great about them, while Cobain didn’t last long enough to watch his career go to shit.
Of course, Cobain was a left-handed guitarist, while Cuomo is right-handed, but have you ever noticed that Cuomo became something of a fret-shredder between the first two albums?
More on #11: 1994
NME Releases List of Top 20 Songs of the Decade, With Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” Topping the List; Elsewhere, News Slow, I Commit to Making Lots of Thanksgiving References in Honor of the Holiday (And am Very Thankful That Underappreciated In Rainbows Track “Reckoner” Made NME’s List) [NME]
Watch WHY?’s Two-Song Music Video For Eskimo Snow Tracks “These Hands” and “January Twentysomething,” Which Features a Father With a Bunch of Arrows in His Back Dragging a Child from a Car Crash (Whether or Not He Was Playing a Celebratory Game of “Pilgrims and Indians” Remains to Be Seen) [Pitchfork]
Stream Grizzly Bear Remixing German Electro-Mopers the Notwist’s Oft-Remixed Track “Boneless” – I’m Fairly Convinced that this is Better Than the Entirety of Veckatimest (But That’s Because Veckatimest is Weak-(Cranberry)Sauce) [Gorilla vs. Bear]
Inversely, Stream Neon Indian Remixing Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest Track “Cheerleader” (And Stream Another Neon Indian Version Here); Veckatimest May Have Been a Little Lacking, as I Just Mentioned, But These Remixes are Strong (Like Good Gravy?) [Gorilla vs. Bear]
Watch the Pixies Play Doolittle Opener “Debaser” on Fallon, then Watch them Play “Hey;” Both of Which Seem Pretty Restrained – But Not as Restrained as Your Usually Drunk Uncle Will Be at the Dinner Table This Year (Aunt Laura Probably Lectured Him in the Car After Last Year’s “Incident”) [Stereogum]
Former Spaceman Jason Pierce AKA J. Spaceman Announces New Spiritualized Album for 2010, and Re-releasing His Classic Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space; Expect It to Be as Woozy as the Rest of Spiritualized’s Albums (Tryptophan Woozy?!) [NME]
Portland Emo-Punks the Thermals Announce New Album, and Give it a Preemptive Release Date of September 7, 2010; Meanwhile, Pull on Your Thermal Underwear Because This Thanksgiving Weather is Cold (Okay, That’s a Stretch, But C’mon, Only So Many Thanksgiving References are Possible) [Pitchfork]
compiled by Max Sebela
Journal of Ardency
2009 | Terrible Records
Brooklyn group Class Actress’ debut album opens with an inviting electronic shimmer, drawing listeners into the polished pop of “Careful What You Say,” a perky dance track strewn with keyboard riffs mined from familiar ’80s territory. Fortunately, instead of a computerized drone at the controls, there’s Elizabeth Harper and her stunning voice, which soars breathily over the 808 handclaps and retro bleeps, smoothing out the rough bits for a mix of harmonies that sits comfortably above cheap imitators. Harper is also the band’s songwriter, and the seamless interplay of voice and instrument is no accident.
The title track is the album’s best, all ominous synthesizer bubbling and agile lyrical delivery full of defiant emotions from Harper that would otherwise be lost in translation if merely read off a lyrics sheet. The surging keyboard chords behind the chorus hint at a power that she’s only controlling with her voice because she doesn’t want to hurt you yet – like a cat toying with her prey, she’s simply waiting with infinite patience for the right moment to strike. In between verses, juicy keyboard interludes swell lushly in the speakers. What exactly is a “journal of ardency”? Just a pretty metaphor, but hearing her say the words conveys a spine-tingling thrill amid the icy beats and predatory sweetness.
“Let Me Take You Out” is a breezy, smooth ride, upbeat and poppy, but the breathy vocals start to grate quickly, especially during the chorus. Harper sings sweetly, but there’s no edge at all – the seductive whispers have turned sedative. Overproduction turns her blissed-out “oohs” into yawns, and the next track, “Adolescent Heart,” continues the downward slide. Pleasant, woozy lyrics and twinkly synth swirls are anchored by only the most minimal percussion track, with more elongated vowels piled on like shovelfuls of Ambien.
More on Class Actress | Journal of Ardency
And in Competition for Best Video of The Day, Watch The Muppets do “Bohemian Rhapsody.” [Idolator]
compiled by Erin Sheehy
IN THE TUBE
When I saw that Vampire Weekend released a new music video this week, my first thought was: great, this week’s In The Tube will be easy. All I have to do is watch this new video and then write about how awful Vampire Weekend is; maybe throw in a line like “I liked them better when they were Paul Simon,” and then top it off with a joke about Cape Cod (Kwassa Kwassa). Easy. When I finally watched the video, however, something strange and profoundly disturbing happened: I liked it. And not in an ironic way. I sincerely liked it.
But why? I hate them. I hate their inane, unapologetically self-aware songwriting, and I hate their stupid Ivy League clothes and their annoying proclivity for Afro-pop. So why did this video make me feel so…good? I played it a second time, and as I watched each band member take turns banging wildly on a church bell while being dollied through explosions of white confetti, it came to me: I like this video because it is good. Honestly, it’s a good video. Quick, succinct, somewhat creative, and undeniably fun. Even the song itself, in its own contentedly meaningless way, is good. I still hate Vampire Weekend – in fact, I might hate them even more now, but I can’t deny how this video makes me feel.
It’s like watching the TV show Friends. Just like Vampire Weekend, the entire cast is made up of white, post-grad 20-somethings who live in the Upper West Side of NYC, a place where, apparently, people have no real problems, only heart-warming comical hijinks. I despise show’s premise, characters, and ridiculously saccharine opening sequence. And yet, whenever I watch an episode (which, admittedly, I do from time to time) and Chandler makes a sarcastic, self-effacing retort to one of Ross’s whiny foibles, I can’t help but laugh. Because it’s funny – despite what most of my brain thinks. And that’s the key, I think, to enjoying Vampire Weekend. You just have to turn off the critical, discerning part of your brain, and like their music for what it is. Later on, when “A-Punk” starts playing at a party and the girl next to you starts singing along, you can let the hatred seep back in.
by Tom Mooseker