Stream New Liars, “Scissor,” Which, For the First Two Minutes, Sounds Like Tom Waits Singing a Waltzed Cover of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and then Proceeds to Become a Speed Metal Track, Which is as Confusing, and Not Nearly as Great as It Should Be; Sisterworld Released March 9 [Gorilla vs. Bear]
Jeff Mangum, Indie Folk’s Howard Hughes, Emerges From Seclusion to Record Cover of Tall Dwarfs’ “Sign the Dotted Line” For a Chris Knox Charity Album (Stream 30-Second Sample); Mangum Most Likely Heavily Bearded, Pasty [Pitchfork]
Weezer Frontman Rivers Cuomo, Who Was in a Serious Bus Accident on Sunday, is Recovering Well; Elsewhere, Thousands of Bloggers Breathe Sigh of Relief After Making Slightly Morbid “Say it Ain’t So” Reference Toward the Accident Yesterday; I Instead Choose to Wonder Whether Any Muppets Will Visit Rivers in Hospital [Spin]
British Post-Punk Outfit The Horrors’ Primary Colours is Awarded NME’s Album of the Year, with The xx Taking Second Place; NME Stands Firm in Stance That Britain > U.S.A., Even Though U.S.A. > Britain in Revolutionary War [NME]
Apple Purchases Popular Streaming Media Site/Pitchfork’s Number One Main Squeeze Lala For $17 Million – All Who Purchased Music On Lala May Lose their Songs (But Not to Worry, It’s Mostly Just Copies of Owl City’s “Fireflies”) [Prefix]
Stream “The Old Graveyard” a Track From Gigi, a Canadian Duo Consisting of One of the Guys From No Kids, and Destroyer’s Producer – They Claim It’s Supposed to Sound Like Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound Stuff…I Think It Sounds Like an Olivia Tremor Control Cover Band, Which is a Good Thing; Debut LP Maintenant Released Early 2010 [Gorilla vs. Bear]
Wisconsin’s Eau Claire Memorial High School Jazz Band Announces Debut Album, A Decade With Duke; Released Today (And Cindy and Britney are So Excited that Justin Vernon is On the Album – He’s Like SUCH an Indie Heartthrob <333) [Pitchfork]
compiled by Max Sebela
Watch Yoko Ono Duet With Antony and the Johnsons’ Antony Hegarty; Feel Melancholy [Pitchfork]
Stream Little Joy’s Binki Shapiro Singing a Cute Little Lullaby, “Kids Song” – If Only Kids Listened To This Instead of Stuff Like This…Or, To Take Things One Step Further Into Pseudo-Reality, This. [Gorilla vs. Bear]
Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon Announces Hiatus For Bon Iver; Luckily, Unmap, The Recent LP From Vernon’s Side Project Volcano Choir Is Haunting, Sprawling, and Provides Vernon in the Meantime [Prefix]
Blur/Gorillaz Frontman Damon Albarn In Running For London Olympics’ Artistic Director (My Guess: Albarn Replaces All Athletes With Cartoon Characters, Who Perform As Avatars of Real Athletes, A La Those Food Races at Basketball Games) [NME]
Ryan Adams Has First Art Gallery Opening At New York’s Morrison Hotel; In Other News, Ryan Adams Doesn’t Seem A Very Talented Artistl; Should Probably Stick To Releasing 30 Albums a Year and Hanging With Elton John [Spin]
compiled by Max Sebela
Stream Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Frontwoman Karen O’s First Single Off Where The Wild Things Are Soundtrack – Features A Huge Children’s Sing-Along (Though, Those Kids Don’t Compete With Ryan Gosling’s) [MySpace]
Unheard Recordings By Folk Legend Woody Guthrie To Be Released As 4-Disc Boxed Set, My Dusty Road; Released August 25 [Brooklyn Vegan]
50 Cent Announces New Album Before I Self-Destruct Will Be Released in November; Packaged With His Directorial/Screenwriting Debut…Also, 50 Seems Unsure of What Music He Enjoys [Prefix]
Stream Battles Weirdo Tyondai Braxton’s Second Solo Single, “Platinum Rows” (It Sounds Like A Charlie Chaplin Film Soundtracked By A Speed Addict); Braxton’s Debut LP Central Market Released September 15 [Pitchfork]
compiled by Max Sebela
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s Frontman Alec Ounsworth Releases A Surprise Solo Album, Skin and Bones, Buy It Here; Ounsworth’s Solo Debut (Uh, I Guess Not Anymore…Follow-up?) Mo Beauty Released October 20 [Brooklyn Vegan]
Stream The Notebook Star Ryan Gosling’s Band Dead Man’s Bones’s New Song “My Body’s A Zombie For You”…Weirdly, That’s Exactly What The Song Is About, And Features A Chorus Of Children Singing About Said Zombies; Dead Man’s Bones Released October 6 [Pitchfork]
MTV Gives Up Times Square Studio, Famous As TRL’s Home – Backstreet Boys Unsure Of Where They’ll Announce Umpteenth Reunion Tour, And Perform A Capella Cover of Some Boyz II Men Song In Front Of Dwindling, School-Cutting Preteens [Idolator]
Stream Justin Vernon’s (Bon Iver) New Project Volcano Choir’s First Song “Island, IS” (This Song Is Proof That Bon Iver Could Record A Dance Album); Volcano Choir’s Debut, Unmap, Released September 22 [Pitchfork]
Dave Grohl, Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme, and Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones’ Them Crooked Vultures Unveil 14 Seconds of Song, “Nobody Loves Me And Neither Do I” [Spin]
The Lower East Side to Tribeca And Now to Williamsburg New York Venue The Knitting Factory Announces Les Savy Fav Will Headline Their Opening Show On September 9; Knitting Factory Also Announces Plan To Get Priced Out In a Few Years, And Be Forced To Move Again [NME]
Popular LA Venue (And Birthplace of No Age and Abe Vigoda) The Smell Announces DVD Live at the Smell; Released September 1 [Pitchfork]
Norwegian Electopop Queen Annie’s Second Album Don’t Stop To Finally Be Released October 19, Nearly A Year After It Leaked [Pitchfork]
compiled by Max Sebela
February 2, 2009
IN THE TUBE
So, alright. I love Bon Iver and I love For Emma, Forever Ago. I’m clearly not alone on this one, and that’s alright. Sometimes there’s nothing more satisfying than success allotting itself where it seems truly deserved. And I think Justin Vernon truly deserves the surprising commercial success he’s garnered. That said: do people actually like the Blood Bank EP? I mean really like it? As a toss-off gift to his frothing fans, it’s a fine gesture; but as a follow-up to – or even a place holder after – a masterpiece of modern folk music? I don’t buy it. “Blood Bank” is a beautiful song. “Beach Baby,” too, is beautiful, but overly slight, barely even a sketch. “Babys” is, well, nothing much. And “Woods” is an outright mess. I just don’t get it.
To sooth this frustration, I often find myself listening to Bon Iver perform “Blood Bank” live. I should note: this is not Blood Bank EP’s “Blood Bank.” This is a wild and dirty little beast. When he performed this song at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in July, I was stunned and smitten: he announced a new song and then barreled immediately into an overdriven, organ led rock song. My first thought was: way to go, Justin. Why follow up a flawless folk album with more folk songs? Why not set the barn on fire and rock the fuck out? I thought: god, how amazing would it be if he not only altered his genre but his voice? Yes, his sacred voice. And then… he did. “Blood Bank” featured Vernon in full blue-eyed soul mode: the falsetto was there but seemed more a logical extension of his dusky, throaty rasp then it did the star attraction. And this is perhaps the real issue I take with Blood Bank EP: Vernon might have broken a lot of hearts, but, lord. What I wouldn’t have given for an album of Bon Iver performing the greatest 90’s rock ballads I’d never heard. I guess I’ll have to wait on that one.
by Chris Kiehne
January 12, 2009
IN THE TUBE
“Lovin’s for Fools”
Ever heard of Sarah Siskind? Me neither. Ever heard of Bon Iver? Me too. If you haven’t heard of the latter — Justin Vernon’s popular acoustic project (translating to “Good Winter” in French) — a good place to start might be the first and (so far) only Bon Iver LP, the massively-lauded For Emma Forever Ago. But in lieu of spending any money, and particularly if you enjoy live, first-person bootleg video recordings, YouTube has you covered.
Vernon has been performing a cover song at shows, inviting whoever he happens to be playing with that night on stage to accompany him as he sings lead and strums a six-string (almost as if this is the due you must pay in order to perform with the illustrious Bon Iver). The song is “Lovin’s for Fools” by Sarah Siskind (now we’ve heard of her!). On YouTube, you’ll find Vernon and an array of characters putting their vocals to the tune, including Bowerbirds (footage below), Anaïs Mitchell, and Siskind herself.
Must be a damn good song to warrant continuous covers, no?
by Dan D’Ippolito