September 29, 2009
IN THE TUBE
In case you haven’t heard, indie monolith and the hip’s go-to consumer guide/whipping boy Pitchfork.com has been running a long series of articles related to this decade in music, temporarily branded “the aughts.” They are calling it P2K (OMG I GET IT, LIKE P4K, ONLY WITH A TWO), and it pisses me off in so many ways. First of all, the decade isn’t over. Secondly, revisionist history demands that we will not know what this decade “meant” musically for another five years or so; attempting to throw together a list of important releases in the midst of the decade forgoes perspective, foresight, and fails to admit fallibility. Or, in laymen’s terms, no one knows shit enough about this decade to adequately comment on it, even Pitchfork (even though they knew about Death Cab waaaaay before you did).
In the midst of their recklessly irresponsible feature, they released a “Top 50 Music Videos Of The 2000s,” and gave “Fell in Love With a Girl” by the White Stripes the coveted #1. You’ve all seen it: it’s the one with the Legos. Jack White shreds guitar, Meg White sucks at drums, and they both get into a variety of hijinks…as Legos. Yeah, it’s pretty simple: a music video…only instead of real stuff, there are Legos. You get the point. In any case, here’s the video:
Now, I’m not here to trash this thing – I love it. I think that it is incredibly entertaining, and I love the Stripes’ seminal White Blood Cells as much as any self-respecting fan of electric guitar. The way colors wash out on Legos when they are shot up close, and the soft pastel swatch Michel Gondry filters everything through work very well with the song’s barebones garage rock. Jack and Meg are both pasty enough to actually have their faces reconstructed in white blocks. And I love Legos – sure, I admit I went through a Duplo phase from the ages of three to six, but out of all standardized systems of multicolored blocks, I feel Lego reigns supreme (yeah, fuck you Mega Bloks).
More on Dismantling Pitchfork’s Top Video of the Decade
Mary Travers, Known For Her Work in Classic Folk Group Peter, Paul, and Mary, Passes Away at 72 [Brooklyn Vegan]
Billy Corgan Announces 44-Track Smashing Pumpkins Album Called Teargarden by Kaleidyscope; I Set Fire to a Copy of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness In Attempt to Feel Something [Spin]
Stream Animal Collective’s “Banshee Beat” vs. Beach Boys’ “I’m Waiting for the Day” – If Animal Collective Won That Fight, They Would Still Lose, As They Would Cease To Exist In That Back To The Future Paradox Way [Gorilla vs. Bear]
Kermit the Frog Tells People That He Is Not Dating Lady Gaga; People Fails at Differentiating Between “People” and Fuzzy, Marionette Puppets (Due to Deteriorating Eyesight of Journalism? Eh?!) [Idolator]
Watch Chicago’s Andrew Bird and Brooklyn’s St. Vincent Collaborate in La Blogotheque; Experience Long Performance of Pure, Unadulterated Pleasantness; Feel Kind of Sick Afterward [Pitchfork]
The Clash’s Mick Jones and Topper Headon Rerecord The Clash’s “Jail Guitar Doors” With Billy Bragg and Prison Inmates – Headline Gets Progressively More Awesome Every Word Added [NME]
Grizzly Bear Joins Bon Iver, Thom Yorke, and Death Cab for Cutie on Twilight Sequel New Moon’s Soundtrack; “Cool” Listeners Finally Forced to Admit That The Bands Are Listened to By Shit Tons of People (Note Again: Distinction Between People And Puppets) [Prefix]
compiled by Max Sebela
Watch Kanye West Completely Ruin Taylor Swift’s “Best Female Video” VMA Win, Believes “Single Ladies” Best Video of Decade; Elsewhere, Kanye Apologizes (Sort Of: “I AM VERY HAPPY FOR TAYLOR” Followed By: “I GAVE MY AWARDS TO OUTKAST WHEN THEY DESERVED IT OVER ME”) [Entertainment Weekly]
Watch Trailer For Documentary On Michael Jackson’s Last Planned Tour, This Is It (From The Look of It, Film Features Less Emotive Footage of Jackson’s Last Days; More Dancing and Pyrotechnics) [Prefix]
Former Rolling Stones Guitarist Mick Taylor Broke As Hell; Meanwhile, Keith Richards Sleeps On Seemingly Bottomless Pile of Gold, Cocaine, and Mickey Mantle Rookie Cards [Prefix]
Jim Carroll, “Basketball Diaries” Author, Punk Frontman of The Jim Carroll Band, Passes Away at 60 [New York Times]
Atlanta Psych-Artists Deerhunter Announce Hiatus “For A Long Time”(Boo-Hiss); Frontman Bradford Cox Releases Atlas Sound LP Logos October 20 [Spinner]
Stream Toro y Moi Remix of Blog-Loved Washed Out Single “Feel it All Around;” – Not For Those With General Propensity To Feel Sadness/Regularly Tear Up At Brand New’s “Soco Amaretto Lime” [Gorilla vs. Bear]
compiled by Max Sebela
Well, It’s Memorable, At Least. Check Out The Cover Art For Ghostface Killah’s New Album, The Wizard Of Poetry [Idolator]
Death Cab For Cutie Reveals New Moon Soundtrack Single, “Meet Me On The Equinox.” Sounds Rather Middle-School Romantic, Till You Realize That Means “Meet Me Twice A Year.” [Stereogum]
Goodness, Gracious! Jerry Lee Lewis To Release First Country Album Since 1978, Chock Full Of Kris Kristofferson Songs [The Tripwire]
Malaysian Muslims Banned From Black Eyed Peas Show. “Non-Muslims Can Go Have Fun,” Says Ministry Of Information [NME]
Shot Down By Sound! Download No Age’s New Track, “You’re A Target.” [Pitchfork]
Watch Talking Heads, Reunited For 1999 Press Conference, In The Blu-Ray Edition Re-Release of Stop Making Sense [Rolling Stone]
compiled by Erin Sheehy
September 25, 2008
The first tape I ever owned was a Beach Boys greatest-hits, the first CD I ever owned was the soundtrack to the Big Chill—thanks Mom—and the first vinyl record I bought was a hardcore punk 7” EP. Were I to enter the new technological age, and purchase a digital download, it almost certainly would be a single mp3—the new Rihanna song, let’s say—in any case, as with my initial forays into all other music formats, it would not be an entire album. Ah, yes, the album—that doomed and anachronistic medium (we are told)—at every turn of my music-buying life has been diverted, chopped up, abbreviated, made irrelevant, and at the same time (we need look only to hip-hop as a genre) bloated, crammed with filler, expanded to the full 80 minutes allowed by the CD.
One need hardly point out that the “maximizing” of the album (compare Metallica’s Black Album (1991) at sixty minutes to Slayer’s Reign in Blood at twenty-nine minutes (1986) for an index of the CD’s tendency to promote, uh, “epic” ambitions in music) and the album’s increasing irrelevance are two sides of the same coin—the longer and only inconsistently-rewarding $18 album begs to be summarized, stolen, and cherry-picked from. So it is both a relief and an aggravation to remark upon Pitchfork Media’s continued dedication to the album as the only serious work of musical art (while Lil’ Wayne’s mixtapes are treated as charming “deconstructions” of the album’s untroubled supremacy).
In what does Pitchfork’s allegiance to albums consist? Alas, this can only be answered as a tautology (though it is the tautology of their aesthetic, and not mine). Pitchfork’s reviews treat albums as deep and meta-critical meditations upon…the album form itself. It is as though every album (in indie rock) were a minor recreation of Fellini’s masterpiece 8 ½, with its mise-en-abyme of the director’s making a movie about making a movie (or several?) about…artistic dilemmas. Applying this ready-at-hand formula to reviewing occasionally tedious and usually unprofound contemporary rock music does, as one might expect, yield some tedious and unprofound results.
You don’t need me to tell you that the most-acclaimed and innovative art is often a meditation on the medium itself: from Velasquez’s Las Meninas to Don Quixote, until Godard’s Contempt, this is a reliable way to produce one’s masterpiece.
More on Pitchfork’s Review Reviewed
|Photo by Andrea Barsanti|
Odds are that if you like Death Cab for Cutie, you probably enjoy at least a handful of Wilco songs. If Wilco is your cup of tea, you’re likely to have an accompanying appreciation of Neil Young and acknowledgment of his broad influence on modern rock, “indie” and folk music. If you’re a fan of all three acts, you are quite in luck. On October 14, Neil Young departs on an eight week North American tour. DCFC and Wilco are scheduled to support Young and his band on the first and second half, respectively, of this potentially legendary tour. Read more to view the dates.
More on Neil Young to Tour North America with Wilco and Death Cab for Cutie
August 15, 2008
If you happened to have connected to the World Wide Web in the past two months, there is no doubt you’ve seen the name Fleet Foxes thrown around like a Frisbee before a Phish show. Seattle quintet Fleet Foxes will be touring the US and Europe in support of their latest, eponymous release. The band will be opening for Wilco on the tour’s first four dates; one show in October will support Death Cab for Cutie; and the final group of shows will feature drummer J. Tillman as the opening act. Read more to view the full list of tour dates.
More on Fleet Foxes to Tour US and Europe
August 12, 2008
Death Cab for Cutie is taking to the road (and air) once again in support of their latest release, Narrow Stairs. After the band’s latest NYC performance at Brooklyn’s McCarren Park Pool, a number of DCFC enthusiasts were less than enthused. Have the kings of indie-pop lost their edge?
Aug 12 | Esplanade Concert Hall; Singapore
Aug 15 | ETP Festival Seoul
Aug 17 | The Palace; Melbourne, Victoria
Aug 18 | The Enmore; Newtown, New South Wales
Aug 20 | Metropolis; Fremantle, Western Australia
Aug 22 | The Tivoli; Fortitude Valley, Queensland
Sep 1 | Bumbershoot; Seattle, Washington
Oct 3 | Agganis Arena; Boston, Massachusetts
Oct 4 | Chevrolet Theater; Wallingford, Connecticut
Oct 5 | Showboat Casino Hotel; Atlantic City, New Jersey
Oct 6 | Radio City Music Hall; New York, New York
Oct 8 | LC Outdoor Amphitheater; Columbus, Ohio
Oct 12 | University of Illinois; Assembly Champaign, Illinois
Oct 13 | Fox Theatre; St. Louis, Missouri
Oct 26 | Voodoo Music Experience; New Orleans, Louisiana