Gibson Guitars Under Investigation by U.S. Police for Using “Illegal Wood” to Manufacture their Instruments; Remains Unclear Whether or Not this “Illegal Wood” Was Norwegian in Source (In Other News, Stream that Version of “Norwegian Wood,” It’s All in Pan Flute) [NME]
Brooklyn’s Small Black to Release Two Singles Over the Next Couple Months; I Use Small News Story to Plug My Review of Small Black’s Debut EP, Our Recent Interview With Small Black, and to Take One More Moment to Say Small Black is a Really Awesome Band [Pitchfork]
Formerly Elusive MC DOOM up to Old Tricks, Never Showing Up to a Concert in L.A., and Having a Doppleganger Fill on a Laptop…Watch the Depressing Footage Here. Depressed? Well, Check Out Doom’s Madvilliany 2 Snippets, and Remember that Most Hip-Hop Sucks Live, Anyway [Prefix]
Stream New Track, “Press Corps” From Canadian Garage Duo/2009 Blog Darlings Japandroids, Which Sounds Lifted from You’re Living All Over Me, and Merits (Most of) they Hype This Band Has Gotten [The Tripwire]
Watch Video for Indie Rock Legends Polvo’s “Right the Relation,” off their Recent Reunion Album In Prism — I’m Fairly Sure This Entire Creepy, Montage Video Is All an Enormous Reference to the Made For TV Adaptation of Stephen King’s It…Don’t Ask Me Why [Pitchfork]
The Roots and David Byrne Joined Dirty Projectors on Stage during their Fourth NYC Show on Sunday Night; Brooklyn Vegan Posts Great Pictures of it Here – Did ?uestlove and David Byrne Get Along Amicably? (Yes, Probably, Both are Pretty Good Guys, and Nothing Brings Dudes Together Like a Mutual Love of Funk) [Brooklyn Vegan]
U2 Set to Headline England’s 2010 Glastonbury Festival, the Biggest Music Festival in the World; I Make Early Prediction: 2010 Glastonbury Festival Will Be Boring, In Light of U2’s Music Being Performed [NME]
Stream Track From Cameron Stallones’ (of L.A. Noisemakers Pocahaunted) Sideproject PLATOON, Which Sounds Like The Doors Covering the N.W.O.’s Entrance Music (Obscure Wrestling Reference; Get Down With It) [Gorilla vs. Bear]
compiled by Max Sebela
November 15, 2009
THIS WEEK IN SHOWS
The most noteworthy concert this week is Sonic Youth with Dinosaur Jr. and Cold Cave, one of the few lineups that’d get me to Terminal 5, but that’s been sold out, so let us non-ticket holders lick our wounds at some of these other, very worthwhile shows.
MON, NOV. 16
The Jesus Lizard, Skeleton Key
9:00 PM, $25, 16+
In case you haven’t heard, The Jesus Lizard have been kicking ass all over the place this year, crowd surfing and stage diving like its 1989. It’s Monday night, and who knows how long this reunion thing will last. Get in front, put your arms up, and get ready for a handful of David Yow.
TUES, NOV. 17
Kurt Vile, Wild Yaks, Home Blitz, Pink Reason
7:00 PM, $10, 18+
I think it would be really fun to book a show with either Kurt Vile or Wild Yaks, because both mesh well with any number of bands on a lineup, but you can’t automatically pair them with anybody in particular. There’s something more “classic rock” – I almost want to say masculine – about Kurt Vile than a lot of other “woozy” psychedelic pop acts, and there’s a poignancy to Wild Yaks’ songs that’s lacking in other bands who’re equally rowdy and debauched. Maybe they go perfectly together? Maybe not, but I feel like you can’t go wrong with this one. (For something completely different, check out Kurt Vile on Wednesday with Big Star.)
More on This Week In Shows
Stream Four Songs Off Gil Scott-Heron’s New Album, I’m New Here, Which, According to Brooklyn Vegan, Will Be Remixed By Goth-Brits The xx; Elsewhere, Does Anyone Know Whether or Not the Revolution is Going to Be Televised This Year? I’m Pretty Sure I Saw It On TV Last Year, But Who Knows…[Brooklyn Vegan]
Watch New Video From Clipse, “Doorman,” From the Oft-Delayed Till the Casket Drops, Due Out December 8; Clipse, We Get It, You Love Cocaine, It’s Played Out, No One’s Career Has Ever Been Defined By Their Love of Coc – Oh, Wait, Nevermind. Keep Doin’ What You’re Doin’ [Pitchfork]
Stream Flying Lotus’s Remix of Lil Wayne’s “I Feel Like Dying,” Which May Make You Feel Like Dying (I Apologize For Easy Joke, But C’mon, Flying Lotus’s Doom-Glitch Is Supposed to Make You Feel Like Dying) [Myspace]
Stream Memory Tapes Take On New Yeasayer Single, “Ambling Alp,” Which Retains All of the Original’s Inspiration, But Cuts Away the Almost-Sickening Attention to Detail (Read: Overproduction); Yeasayer’s Odd Blood Released February 9 [Gorilla vs. Bear]
Stream Solange’s (Beyonce’s Little Sister) Cover of Dirty Projectors’ Bitte Orca Highlight “Stillness is the Move,” Which is as Awesome as It Sounds – Elsewhere, Remember When Jay Z Went With Solange to Go See Grizzly Bear? That Was Cool [Pitchfork]
compiled by Max Sebela
Danger Mouse (DJ From Gnarls Barkley) and James Mercer (Megalomaniacal Frontman of The Shins) Team Up For New Band, Broken Bells; Debut Released Early Next Year [Pitchfork]
Whoa, British Post-Punk Legends Echo & The Bunnymen Are Playing New York’s Tiny Lower East Side Club the Mercury Lounge On October 17; Tickets On Sale Friday – It’s Sure to Be One Mopey Evening [Brooklyn Vegan]
Lil Wayne To Appear On Weezer Track, “Can’t Stop Partying,” Off Upcoming Raditude; A Copy Of Pinkerton Rests At My Feet, As Smashed and Broken As My Once Youthful Heart (See, Rivers? Melodrama is Still Awesome…Go Back to It) [Spin]
Electro-Hip-Hop Artist RJD2 Announces Follow-Up to 2007s God Awful The Third Hand; The Colossus Released January 19 (And Apparently Be Largely Sample Based…And Will Hopefully Not Feature RJ Singing; That Was a Bad Idea) [Pitchfork]
Watch Dirty Projectors Debut New Song Jimmy Fallon; Then Watch Them Do An A Capella Jam Backstage For ?uestlove; ?uestlove Recorded the Thing And Gets Pretty Liberal With His Excitement Over the Performance (i.e. Camera Shaking) [Brooklyn Vegan]
Stream New Burial Track “Fostercare,” From Upcoming 5 Years of Hyperdub Compilation; Feel Uncomfortable, Ghostly, and Surreal, and Then Get Psyched, Because How Else Should a New Burial Track Sound [Youtube]
compiled by Max Sebela
Bob Dylan Picked Up By Police While Wandering Into A Jersey Front Yard, Mistaken For Vagrant; ABC Makes Unreported Conjecture That Dylan May Have Been Looking For The House Where Springsteen Wrote Born To Run [ABC News]
Brooklyn’s Dirty Projectors Announce Temecula Sunrise EP With Two Unreleased Songs; Released September 28 [Domino]
Memphis Session Musician Legend Jim Dickinson Passes Away [Pitchfork]
L.A. Noise Band HEALTH Announces Most Awesome Contest Ever…Seriously, Buy Their Album – You Can Win A Bag of Their Cat’s Hair, Or Conference Prank Call A Prominent Indie Rocker [Prefix]
compiled by Max Sebela
July 13, 2009
IN THE TUBE
It’s been a string of wonderful months for me as a music listener. My enthusiasm for contemporary music had been kept alive, for some time, almost exclusively by the prospect of new material from Bowerbirds or Bon Iver. Otherwise, my listening rotation was confined almost exclusively to Willie Nelson, Gene Clark, and Andrew W.K. The thrill was gone, the flame had embered. Subsequent to the release of Phosphorescent’s To Willie – and for a time preceding it – I felt dustbowled, draughted, desertine. And then, almost relentlessly, the releases of Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest, Dirty Projectors’ Bitte Orca, and Bowerbirds’ Upper Air, three astoundingly strong efforts that have already achieved, in my mind at least, canonical status.
And now there’s this, perhaps the release I’m most overzealously enthusiastic about: Brooklyn’s own Hem is releasing the material they composed for The Public Theater’s recent production of Twelfth Night.
I hate to comment on this production of Twelfth Night because the other night was its final performance and, thereby, nobody will ever be able to experience it again. But it was absolutely incredible, certainly the best production that I’ve seen – and I’ve been fortunate enough to attend each production of Shakespeare in the Park for the past half decade. It was, I shamelessly laud, “magical.” And perhaps the most critical element of its success was Hem’s orchestral score and inspired re-envisioning of Feste’s songs. I will, without hesitation, say that the cast-wide performance of Feste’s final song, “The Rain it Raineth Every Day,” was (with the exception of seeing Andrew W.K. for the first time) the most singularly revelatory musical performance I’ve ever seen. Of course, a lot of this is context: you can’t remove the weight of the play itself, of the momentum propelling the playgoer towards those final moments. But the possibility of in some way reliving that wonderful performance is deeply exciting for me.
Hem’s not for everyone. In many ways, they’re too pristine and polished to appeal to many Brooklyn listeners, yet they’re far too talented and interesting to appeal to a mainstream audience. I find a lot of their recorded material too saccharine. Still, there’s no denying its beauty. Below are two of their finer compositions: a wonderful live performance of the inspired “Half Acre” and an incredibly clichéd music video for “Redwing.” The music Hem composed for Twelfth Night – a gorgeous marriage of Irish and English folk music and American Appalachian music – is, in my mind, their best work. I am getting all English Lit geek here, but I’m more excited for this release than any other upcoming release (that I’m aware of). I can only hope that the recording (featuring the full cast of the Public Theater production) can prove a tenth as effecting as the play-going experience itself – which was, truly, once-in-a-lifetime.
Videos after the jump.
More on Hem | Twelfth Night
July 2, 2009
2009 | Domino
Were Bitte Orca reduced to only its first thirty-five seconds, it’d still be one of the finest albums of the year. Opener “Cannibal Resource” stutters to life with ringing guitars, tangled in a magisterial phrase that feels immediately canonical. It segues masterfully into a jagged, stomping verse, and Dave Longstreth’s broken-bell delivery of what is unquestionably one of the finest album-opening lyrics ever conceived: “Look around at everyone/ Everyone’s alive and waiting.” And then the ladies enter: soaring, squawking, and riotous, they deliver the album’s first and finest, impeccably interwoven, wordless harmony. It’s an incredible start to an album; it’s a battle cry, a statement of purpose, a synopsis of what’s to come.
Bitte Orca is consistently revelatory and complex throughout. Its finest songs are maniacally composed pop symphonies that consistently and unexpectedly change and manipulate genre, tone, and rhythm: “Temecula Sunrise” begins as a fractured folk song yet somehow evolves into tumbling crashes and lunatic electric guitar lines; the inspired “Useful Chamber” is comprised of equal parts delicately finger picked acoustic folk, hip hop, R&B, choral music, chugging distorted guitars, and that same tumbling, crashing and sinewy guitar shredding that previously asserted itself on “Temecula Sunrise.” Neither of these songs can be logically explained. And, often, the changes in tone are so abrupt that it’s difficult to keep up. But they’re flawlessly and seamlessly conceived. Whereas they might have felt like patchwork, like fragments pieced clumsily together, they instead feel organic and spontaneous, like living documents.
More on Dirty Projectors | Bitte Orca
My Morning Jacket’s Jim James to Release George Harrison Covers EP [Billboard]
Highline Ballroom Curate Concerts at The Beach on Governor’s Island [Brooklyn Vegan]
Dirty Projectors in Van Accident. Band Safe, Dates Canceled, All a Bitte Shaken Up (Awful Pun) [Brooklyn Vegan]
Franz Ferdinand, Weezer, The National (and more!) to Play Free Virgin Festival in Maryland [Spin]
Snoop Dogg, Talib Kweli, Soulja Boy, and Buzz Aldrin?! Collaborate on Single?!…Uhh?! [Spin]
The Roots Debut First Single From Upcoming How I Got Over Tonight on Jimmy Fallon [Pitchfork]
Pavement Singer/Guitarist Scott Kannberg to Release First Solo Album The Real Feel as Pavement Pseudonym “Spiral Stairs” [Matablog]
Bon Iver/Collections of Colonies of Bees Side Project Volcano Choir Ready Debut Unmap – Due Out 9/22 No Surprise: Artwork Features Snow [Prefix]
Lil Wayne Drug Possession Trial Postponed Until August 11 [Prefix]
compiled by Max Sebela