November 14, 2009
Welcome to another edition of Brook Pridemore’s The Nineties-ist. This edition discusses 1992, Pavement sticking their heads out of the sand for the first time, Sinead O’Connor tearing up a picture of the pope, and John Frusciante’s love of herion. For earlier installments, go here.
All eyes on Seattle in 1992, right? Warrant lead singer Jani Lane commented (after the dust had settled) that in August 1991, Warrant had stepped into the offices of Columbia Records to their hit, “Cherry Pie,” blasting from every speaker in the house, giant posters of the iconic album cover all over the place. By the time Lane and Co. made their way back into the Columbia office in Spring 1992, they were practically persona non grata: their posters had been eschewed for an equally large, but bleak poster for the new Alice in Chains album, and that band’s specific, dour sounds were pouring out of the stereo, in place of Warrant’s party rock. Times had changed, and fun dumb stuff was out. Intellectual (or at least faux-intellectual, in the case of Alice in Chains) sounds, ushered in by the release of Nirvana’s Nevermind in September 1991, were in. American pop culture had changed for the good, and things would never be the same.
It couldn’t last, though. Within just a couple of years, all of the avenues that had been opened to forward-thinking, eclectic rock groups were closed again. Prefab music came back into vogue. The watershed of rock bands who had benefited from the early 90s boom mostly failed to capitalize on their initial momentum (Sonic Youth being particularly notorious for making a slew of bad albums in the 90s), sinking back into relative obscurity. But many still remained firmly enough planted in the public consciousness to make it impossible for any new upstart scenes to come up.
More on #9: 1992
Watch Oberst/Ward/James/Mogis Folk Supergroup Monsters of olk Perform With the Roots on Late Night; Experience Shock as the Four of Those Guys Approach Some Level of Danceability for the First Time in their Lives; See Oberst Hear Bass for the First Time [Prefix]
The Fiery Furnaces’ Matthew Friedberger Calls Out Radiohead for Releasing Song About WWI Veteran Harry Patch, Claiming They “Brazenly Associate” With Things Others Find “Cool;” Meanwhile, Friedberger Thought Radiohead Released the Song About Music Innovator Harry Partch, and the Fiery Furnaces Are Releasing an Album that Contains Absolutely No Music [NME]
Scottish Post-Rockers Mogwai to Release Live Album, Special Moves and Live Documentary, Burning; Expect Them to Be Abrasive, Angry, Angular, and Contain Very Little Alliteration [Pitchfork]
Sufjan Stevens Calls the “50 State Project” a Joke, Implies It Will Never Happen, Confirming What All Intelligent Fans Realized When he Didn’t Release Another Album Two Weeks After Illinois [Paste]
Strap on Your Petticoats and Climb the Parapets! The Decemberists’ Antiquated and Verbose Frontman Colin Meloy is Writing a Children’s Book, More than Appropriately Called The Unfortunate Demise of Whitley Rackham; If the Book is Anything Like the Decemberists Career, Kids Will Find it Full of Promise, But Ultimately Just Kinda Shitty [Pitchfork]
Vivian Girls Launch Record Label, World Wide Records – Begin by Releasing a Compilation by Yellow Fever, and the Debut Single from Woods/Vivian Girls Super (Only in Extremely Scenester Circles) Group Babies [Brooklyn Vegan]
Pavement to Release Collection of Radio Sessions and Outtakes “Sometime;” NME Runs Story With Headline “Pavement Planning New Album Release.” NME Remains Hotspot for Facetious, Hyperbolic, and Counterfactual Headlines, Journalism Cries [NME]
compiled by Max Sebela
Joe Satriani’s Lawsuit Against Coldplay, Claiming That “Viva La Vida” Had Ripped-Off “If I Could Fly” Dropped, Most Likely Due To Out of Court Settlement (Too Bad – Satriani v. Coldplay Could’ve Split As Many Lines As Roe v. Wade [Brooklyn Vegan]
Stream a Piece of Sufjan Stevens’ Indie-Orchestra Suite The BQE, Entitled “Movement VI – Isorhythmic Night Dance with Interchanges” (First Impression: Eh, It’s Not Tha — Oh! So Pretty!) [Asthmatic Kitty]
Masked Rapper DOOM, Formerly Known As MF DOOM, Announces Odds and Ends Compilation Unexpected Guests; Allegedly Working With TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek [Pitchfork]
Scarlett Johanson, Courtney Love, and U2 To Headline AIDS Benefit Concert At Carnegie Hall…(Not) More Importantly, Spin Calls The Trio “Music’s Biggest Stars;” Blows Last Vestige Street Cred [Spin]
compiled by Max Sebela
September 12, 2009
One Saturday night about six months ago, I was standing outside Academy Records in Williamsburg. It was one of those rare Saturday nights in New York, one where everyone you know decides to go out of town and, just as you get all set to go party, you find yourself in the middle of the perfect stay-at-home-and-catch-up-on-Grisham night. Not one to sit at home on a Saturday night, I found myself hanging around N. 6th Street, trying vainly to stir up a ruckus.
While smoking a cigarette on the street, I happened to overhear a snippet of conversation that set my teeth on edge. Two girls in their early twenties, obviously from money and most likely on vacation from some exclusive private college, walked past Academy. One girl said to the other, “So…do they still make records? And do people still buy…music?” The surprise and disdain in her voice were such that she might as well have been saying, “Remember when people thought the Earth was flat?”
My heart sank at the tone in her voice, because she’d illuminated the problem without even knowing there was one. The mainstream music industry, comically flawed since its inception, has been a creative wasteland for years. While I would posit that the old model for promoting and distributing mainstream music has been showing stress fractures since the fake “vinyl shortage” of the early 70s – in which albums by fringe bands like the Modern Lovers were shelved, the excuse being there wasn’t enough vinyl to meet production demands – it is my astute opinion that the old standard of modern pop music breathed its death rattle in 2003. Sometime after the White Stripes’ Elephant and before Radiohead’s Hail to the Thief (and, in fairness, the industry’s corpse may have kept flopping until Good News For People Who Love Bad News came out in April ’04) the rock-music-as-big-moneymaker model jumped the shark. The last wave of new, compelling rock music (aka the garage rock movement of ’01 – ’03) had failed to ignite: The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and their ilk had all somehow managed to follow up stunning debuts with tepid sophomore efforts. The lifers – bands with no real hits but respectable catalog sales and devoted followers – began jumping ship from their respective labels (either by necessity or design), many realizing the benefits of working with a small organization, many more marginalized by the continued consolidation of the big label infrastructure.
More on #1: A Prologue
Northside Festival Badge Holders Turned Away at Shea’s Stadium [Brooklyn Vegan]
Ballet Troupes to Perform to Music of Arcade Fire and Spoon [NME]
Raekwon, Method Man, and Ghostface Killah Re-Bring Da Ruckus on “New Wu” [Gorilla vs. Bear]
Weezer, Christina Aguilera, and the Eagles Get Their Own Radio Stations [Idolator]
Bright Eyes, My Morning Jacket, and M. Ward Create Monsters of Folk [NME]
Andrew WK’s New Show Consists Solely of Destroying Stuff [Idolator]
Thurston Moore Gets a Signature Guitar; Can Be Played Without Bow [Pitchfork]
Post-Punk Heroes At the Drive-In May Reform [NME]
Animal Collective Video For Merriweather Cut “Summertime Clothes” is Frightening [Prefix]
Phil Elverum’s Mount Eerie to Release Wind’s Poem August 18th [Pitchfork]
compiled by Max Sebela
M. Ward Covers Chuck Berry [The Tripwire]
Jarvis Sets Up Camp Cocker [Idolator]
Kanye West and Jared Leto Really Are Working Together [Pitchfork]
Tour Bus Gone, But The Dears Persevere [Brooklyn Vegan]
The Blender Theater at Gramercy Goes on the Market [Idolator]
More Swine Flu Cancellations [Pitchfork]
Coldplay CDs FREE for Concert Attendees [The Tripwire]
Lou Reed Performs “Romeo Had Juliet” Live at WNYC [WNYC]
compiled by Elana Jacobs
March 20, 2009
Wednesday, I wandered down and around 6th St., which houses the main concentration of SXSW shows in downtown Austin. Besides sweating profusely and eating hot dogs, I caught the Harlem Shakes and Mia Riddle at Maggie Mae’s, then went on to an NYC band showcase at Creekside Lounge, where Dynasty Electric rocked everyone’s socks off. After that, I attempted to see M. Ward at the Central Presbyterian Church, but after noticing the huge line, decided I’d be better off settling in at Club de Ville. There, I saw Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers, Those Darlins, and Phosphorescent, whose fantastic set of Willie Nelson covers was the perfect end to a long first day.
by Jen McManus
December 26, 2008
If you’re excited by the following description – “Gothic country music, all doom-y and fretful with what concerns the average poor American” – then you should immediately mark your calendar for March 3. On this date, Neko Case will be releasing a follow-up record to the highly acclaimed Fox Confessor Brings the Flood.
The album, entitled Middle Cyclone, was recorded in Brooklyn, Vermont, Tucson and Toronto, and is highlighted with a slew of guest appearances including M. Ward, Calexico and a handful of New Pornographers. Out of the record’s substantial 15 tracks, Case features two cover songs: “Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth” by Sparks, and “Don’t Forget Me” by Harry Nilsson. See the full track list below…
More on New Neko Case LP Due March 3