Seems Dave Grohl’s Not the Only One Employing a Nasty Notorious Bassist For His Hobby Project. Thom Yorke Brings Flea Aboard for His Latest Venture, Atoms for Peace, Set to Play Roseland Ballroom April 5th and 6th. Dust Off Your Folding Chairs. [NME]
Emotional Trauma Suffered by Florida Woman at the Hands of 50 Cent, Whose Impeccable A/V Skills Surfaced Yesterday in the Form of A Well-Edited, Personally Narrated Sex Tape [NME]
Jeff Buckley’s Minimal Catalogue of B-Side and Live Recordings Are Seeing the Light of Day for the First Time Since His Death Over a Decade Ago. His Mother (and Arbiter of His Estate) Has Licensed the Songs to a Musical Version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet entitled The Last Goodbye, Which Will Undoubtedly Go to Broadway in the 2011 Season to the Chagrin of Toddler Toting, One Time Sine Regulars Everywhere. Hey, It’s Working for Green Day [Perez Hilton]
Bristol Trip-Hop Pariahs Massive Attack Plan Spring Tour Dates, Including Early May at Terminal 5 [Pitchfork]
After Hearing That He “Always Tells the Truth,” Lil Jon Sent a Case of Crunk Juice to the Vampire Weekend Boys, Sparking a Lasting Friendship. Also Featured in the Adorable New “Giving Up the Gun” Video – RZA, Joe Jonas, and Jake Gyllenhaal [Stereogum]
compiled by Drew Citron
February 24, 2010
From wholly original soundtracks like Curtis Mayfield’s work for Super Fly to iconic oldies compilations like American Grafitti, the 1970s was the first golden age for the movie soundtrack.
After a glut of ’80s crap, the art form of the movie soundtrack bounced back in the ’90s. Pulp Fiction is the key example of a soundtrack that was not only essential to the movie it supported, but became essential listening on its own (although the soundtrack to Tarantino’s follow-up, Jackie Brown, gets my vote for soundtrack of the decade). Other soundtracks were so popular (Lost Highway, Empire Records) that more people had them in their CD collections than had ever bought a ticket to see the movie. The following 4 selections were not so popular, but they remain worthwhile listening experiences whether you’ve seen the movie or not.
Out of Sight | Music From the Motion Picture
1998 was the moment when DJs were making their biggest impact as solo artists in mainstream music, thanks partially to Fatboy Slim’s “Rockafeller Skank.” One DJ who got a leg up in this climate was David Holmes, whose first 2 albums were more often groovy than glitchy. Hired to do the music for Steven Soderbergh’s French New Wave-style take on an Elmore Leonard novel, Out of Sight, Holmes delivered a super-cool score that’s funky without being hectic and is ambient without being somnambulant. The soundtrack album seamlessly blends Holmes’s music cues with dialogue from the film and classic hits by The Isley Brothers, Dean Martin, and more. Twelve years later, it still sounds fresh and unembarassing in a way that those Fatboy Slim records sadly don’t.
February 23, 2010
Welcome to another edition of Brook Pridemore’s The Nineties-ist. This edition discusses 2002, the melancholy mood of the year, exemplified in the album releases by Beck, Wilco, and the Flaming Lips (with a healthy dose of Brook’s own nostalgia thrown in, as he set off for the Big Apple to pursue his personal musical ambitions). For earlier installments, go here.
On September 1, 2002, I made good on my as-long-as-I-can-remember dream of leaving Michigan for New York City. Like senior year of high school, (and the subsequent summer) those final Midwest summer days crawled by, like sweet tea tectonic plates. I worked something like ninety hours a week, “saving” money—but really spending most of it on crazy record store finds, things only I could care about—like the Meat Purveyors’ “Madonna Trilogy.” A big part of my problem has always been that no one around me can match my enthusiasm for miniscule little records by cheeky, insurgent bluegrass bands (and, in fairness, I’ve come to realize that a bigger part of my problem is that I care less about the music than I do about the acquisition). I have long had a reputation for only caring about music, which until recently felt like a character flaw, something to be pilloried for. Unhealthy obsession with those twelve notes and the multitude of possibilities within has permeated every aspect of my life for as long as I can remember, and acquisition of music (and arcane knowledge of its minutiae) has taken precedence over friendships, food, shelter, education, you name it. The list goes on.
February 22, 2010
ART OF SONG
“Rock & Roll Must Die”
Rock & Roll Must Die 7
Frantic City Records | 2010
My god, it’s just been Valentine’s day. We need, or at the very least, I need, something shameless. Loud and absolutely goddamn shameless.
I don’t know if they celebrate Valentine’s day in England. I don’t see why they wouldn’t, I’m sure they have Hallmark cards there…but anyway, I should get to the point. England: home of Atomic Suplex, garage rockers with accessories.
Atomic Suplex’s lead singer has the most amazing microphone-helmet-thing (see here). It’s olive green, it looks like it will protect him from nuclear warfare, and it says “rock * roll” on it. I guess it achieves the crazy lo-fi sound on the track, which prevents me from being able to discuss its lyrics in a meaningful context. But who gives a fuck? It’s not that kind of song. Anyway, Atomic Suplex put on their rock and roll helmet, it seems, and just get to work being rock superheroes.
February 21, 2010
No, you won’t find anything about Sufjan Stevens here.
Loudon Wainwright III | High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project
Maybe this gem isn’t quite so hidden—it did just win the Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album—but I doubt you’ve heard it yet. Loudon Wainwright and some of his famous family (son Rufus, daughters Martha and Lucy, plus the ex-wife’s kin, The Roches) create an odd sort of tribute album to Charlie Poole, who was an old-time banjo player from the 1920s. You see, Poole wasn’t a songwriter, so Wainwright and Co. instead perform old-timey-sounding original songs inspired by Poole’s life, along with various other songs that Poole made famous with his recordings. The tales of boozing and hard living contained within wouldn’t seem out of place on an average Loudon Wainwright album, making the resemblance between the old-time picker and the modern-day musician who is paying him tribute a bit uncanny..
February 14, 2010
Welcome to another edition of Brook Pridemore’s The Nineties-ist. This edition discusses 2001, specifically 9/11/2001, and the significance of four albums released on that day. For earlier installments, go here.
So, our exploration of music in the 1990s has come to a close. Things were “bad” for creative rock music at the beginning of the 90s, then they were “good” for a while, then by decade’s end, things were “bad” again. The modern record industry didn’t die entirely on January 1, 2000, though; things crutched along for another couple of years, and so we’re still here, trying to figure out exactly when the industry hit critical mass.
Rather than do a serial exploration of 2001, as we have about other years in this column, I’d like to talk about one specific date: September 11. Many New Yorkers who were living here on the day have insinuated to me over the years that all things New York City can be divided into two categories: “pre”-9/11 and “post”-9/11. I was still living in Kalamazoo, MI, at the time, staring at my watch through my last year of college, obsessing over alt. country, and doing my small part to run one of the nation’s few remaining freeform independent radio stations, 89.1FM WIDR Kalamazoo.
WIDR’s director’s staff, myself included, were booked and all set to attend that fall’s CMJ Music Marathon, four days of music and conference all across Manhattan’s greatest clubs and shitty bars. Sure, it’s corny now, but we’d attended the year previous (my first visit to the city), and I’d gotten to meet some of my heroes (David Lowery, John Flansburgh), see shows that I still talk about to this day (Low, PJ Harvey, Sean Na Na) and left what was supposed to be my last pack of cigarettes on the bar at CBGB (the actual physical sight of the marquee made my breath stop in my throat). I was hooked, and my (then) girlfriend and I swore we’d be living in New York as soon as we could.
February 11, 2010
ART OF SONG
“Do What’s Right By You”
Do What’s Right By You
Dirty Water Records | 2010
In my blind, ignorant times, as I held fast to 2003 and prayed the Soledad Brothers would get back together, I sometimes felt that garage rock was dead. It’s not, obviously. But bear with me for a second here, and take my mental journey. “All the Detroit groups I love have changed or become culturally irrelevant!” I wailed. “All the other music journalists make fun of me!”
But of course I was horribly wrong. Garage rock is still alive and well, in a couple of different forms. Now I’m all for Thee Oh Sees and other indie lo-fi bands who keep that garage rock sound alive while still being acceptable to reference in the ‘I know cooler music than you’ game, but I’ve found, when you want pure, unadulterated garage rock…classic, 1960’s style garage rock, you need to step outside the country.
Like to, oh, I don’t know…Japan?
The Routes are an interesting bunch. Founded by a Brit, Chris Jack, joined by Shinichi Nakayama (drums) and Toru Nishimuta (bass) in Japan, they are currently signed to a British record label. And their songs are in English…a fact which both delights and slightly disappoints me. I can’t help it. I’m a sucker for group sounds.
February 10, 2010
Here’s hoping everyone made it home safely on this blizzardy day in New York. Matt Pond PA’s song “Snow Day” seems like an appropriate thing to be listening to on repeat over my steaming cup of hot chocolate. Keep an eye out for his album Dark Leaves, due out in April, and bundle up out there!