December 1, 2009
IN THE TUBE
For some reason the blogosphere was rich with a certain phenomenon this last week: videos of bizarre, ridiculous, and sometimes baffling cover songs. There was that clip of seminal jam band Phish doing a live cover of TV On The Radio’s “Golden Age” in Albany, turning a decent four-minute song into a boring ten-minute song (but not turning too many heads, because, besides the fact that this cover makes no sense, who really cares about Phish?)
There was that uncomfortable video of tabloid ruffian and Babyshambles frontman Pete Doherty (accidentally?) singing the Nazi-era German national anthem to a German audience (who greeted the song with a mix of cheers, boos and FUCK YOU’s).
And then there were the videos of some older looking band doing half-hearted live covers of Pixies songs on the The Tonight Show and Late Night.
More on IN THE TUBE: What the Hell Was Broadcast Over Thanksgiving?
The Flaming Lips Are Covering Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon On New Year’s Eve in Oklahoma City…Guests Expected to Appear at the Show: The Flaming Lips’ Families, and NBA Star Kevin Durant, Possibly the Only Current Residents of Oklahoma City [Pitchfork]
Stream First Track From Ted Leo’s Upcoming LP The Brutalist Bricks, “Even Heroes Have to Die,” Which Features a 15-Second “Oh-Oh” Breakdown; Bricks Due Out March 9, Just in Time to Influence All Kinds of Spring Teenage Love/Angst [Brooklyn Vegan]
Watch (Washed Up?) Jam Band Phish Cover (Washed Up?) Indie Band TV on the Radio’s “Golden Age;” Feel Confused, then Slightly Outraged, then Wonder How Anyone Could Feel Anything But Indifferent Curiosity Towards This [Spin]
Stream New RJD2 Track, “Games You Can Win,” Which, Sadly, Sucks as Much as Anything RJ Has Done Over the Last Couple Years – Oversaturated, Boring Electropop; The Colossus is Released January 19, and Hopefully Will Be Better Than This Pile [Pitchfork]
Stream New Spoon Single, “Written in Reverse,” Which is Officially Released Tomorrow. The Song Is Super Bluesy, Frustatingly Faux British, and Actually Pretty Good (I Have Never Said this of a Spoon Song; Transference Released January 19 [NPR]
Blur Frontman Damon Albarn Announces New Gorillaz Album Plastic Beach, Which Will Feature Contributions From Snoop Dogg, Lou Reed (?), Mos Def (!) and, Most Excitedly, Bobby Womack; Elsewhere, If You Want to Feel At All Sexy Today, Click that Bobby Womack Link [Spin]
compiled by Max Sebela
November 5, 2009
Kyp Malone has a great beard. Iced neatly with distinguished gray highlights, it’s thick and scraggly and prominent and manages to capture the dueling sensibilities of man both wizened with experience and broiling with unpredictability – or, at least, a man who wants to look that way. In the new video for “Give Blood,” a song from the TV on the Radio frontman’s recent side project Rain Machine, it’s hard not to focus on his beard at first – not just because it’s awesome – but because there’s not much else going on. He’s in a hotel room, there are some jump cuts: a phone, a chair, some fabric, a bed, Malone, close-up on Malone, medium on Malone, guitar. The first verse seems to roll away behind Kyp’s fabulous beard and the manic, nervous energy of the song’s first chorus (“GIVE BLOOD GIVE BLOOD GIVE BLOOD…”) sounds trapped and misplaced. Then he starts to pull out other band members from under the bed.
At this point it feels like the song’s energy might finally escape, that it was really just hiding under the bed the entire time, and that maybe someone will actually give blood now. Mostly, the video just gets weird. The jump cuts continue, but the band is just sitting around, switching positions and instruments every cut. There’s an energy to it…but it’s a strange, jittery energy. There’s no explosion, and no one seems to want to GIVE BLOOD. But there are monsters.
Two types of monsters: a human-sized, one-eyed, (Egyptian?) bird monster, and a group of miniature, faceless glob people. Personally, I find these monsters terrifying. What are they? Why are they? Their bizarre, arbitrary existence and seeming benignity, combined with the video’s jumpy stop motion create a general sense of uneasiness (like the kind that usually permeates David Lynch films), especially when they start bleeding all over the place. When the band members disappear again and the hotel gets dark, Malone puts his guitar back on the bed and leaves the room. No one gave any blood – except for the monsters.
There’s nothing bad about this video, it just feels incorrect. There are two different forces at work here: the building of manic, explosive energy, and the slip into a jittery, alternate monster universe. Unlike Kyp’s beard, which juggles conflicting sensibilities beautifully, the video just can’t pull it off.
Sadly, Rolling Stone has an exclusive stream of the video right now; watch it here.
by Tom Mooseker
September 20, 2009
THIS WEEK IN SHOWS
MON, SEPT. 21
The Bell House
7:30 PM, $15, 21+
In case you haven’t heard, TV On The Radio is going on a yearlong hiatus to pursue some of their other projects. But you won’t be hurting for music from these guys – Kyp Malone, for one, is already going full-force on his new project, Rain Machine. His album drops on Tuesday, and this show at The Bell House kicks of a month-long US tour. Hells yeah, this should be pretty interesting.
TUES, SEPT. 22
The Drums, Knight School, Kordan
The Mercury Lounge
8:00 PM, $10, 21+
I’ve yet to see Knight School live, (though I desperately want to), but I will tell you that The Drums and Kordan played our JM.com Feature Show in July and had the crowd in a frenzy. I hate to use the word “poppy,” but The Drums are just the poppiest, most endearing live band I’ve seen in a while. They combine eighties synth with a fifties girl group sound and sing songs about the beach. They even whistle. The whole thing is terribly cute, but not in a gross way.
More on This Week In Shows
September 4, 2009
We won’t be posting much this week because we are giving ourselves a little makeover, but we’ll be back in full force next Monday.
Turns out some other Brooklynites are taking a break too, albeit a longer one. We were a little sad to hear that TV on the Radio is taking a year off, but we’re excited for the TVOTR side projects this year will bring. Listen to the new track from Kyp Malone solo project, Rain Machine, and maybe you’ll get excited too. Rain Machine plays The Bell House on September 21, and his self-titled album hits stores the very next day. Then it’s off on a monthlong U.S. tour. Whew, some break.
TLC To Play First Show In Seven Years In Vegas – Now, It’s Not So Much That I Don’t Want “No Scrubs;” I Just Can’t Fathom Anyone Using The Word “Scrub” (Definition: Guy Who Considers Self “Fly”) In 2009 [Idolator]
Jay Z Announces Plans To Play Massive 9/11 Benefit Show At Madison Square Garden [Spin]
Watch Bill O’Reilly Insult Jay Z On The O’Reilly Factor; Describes Jay As “A Regular Otis Redding” – Funny Enough, Jay Has Fused Rock, Hip-Hop, And Jazz Similarly To Redding’s Rock-Gospel Fusion, Making O’Reilly Sort Of…Right [Idolator]
Popular Lower East Side Venue The Annex Closing Down And Becoming A Sports Bar; This Writer Confused As To When There Became A Demand For Sports Bars On The Lower East Side [Brooklyn Vegan]
Bob Dylan Apparently In Talks To Become The Voice On Navigation Systems – Just What You Need In An Emergency: Dylan Leading You Nowhere Through A Series of Unconnected Allusions To A Jester [NME]
TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimbe To Appear As Vocalist On Trip-Hop Pioneers Massive Attack’s Upcoming EP, Splitting the Atom; Released October 5 [Pitchfork]
compiled by Max Sebela
New Air France Song is Really, Really Hot [Gorilla vs. Bear]
N.E.R.D. Release Videogame With Completely Inexplicable Plot [Spin]
Summer of Wu Continues: New Wu-Tang Compilation Chamber Music Sees Release June 30th [Pitchfork]
TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone Announces Solo Project, “Rain Machine” [Pitchfork]
Stream Belle and Sebastian Leader Stuart Murdoch’s God Help the Girl [Matablog]
Broken Social Scene Debut New Song at Secret Show in Toronto [Stereogum]
Philly Dream-Poppers A Sunny Day in Glasgow Announce Second Album, Ashes Grammar [Pitchfork]
Emo Pioneers Sunny Day Real Estate Book First Shows in Nearly a Decade [Idolator]
compiled by Max Sebela
HEALTH Announce North American Fall Tour, Three Summer Shows in New York [Prefix]
UK DJs Arrested for iTunes Scam [NME]
Backstage Passes to Whoever Finds Alice Cooper’s Bag of Horror Films! [NME]
Ghostface, Method Man, Redman Will Hit the Road With “The Footprints In Hip Hop Tour” [Brooklyn Vegan]
TV On The Radio Remix Gang Gang Dance’s “First Communion” [Stereogum]
What? Pete Doherty Arrested? [NME]
SPIN Magazine Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Purple Rain with Free Tribute Album [SPIN]
Fiery Furnaces Debut New Album at Philly Show [SPIN]
Girl Punk Legends The Slits Announce New Album [Prefix]
Sonic Youth Take North America, Take Down Radiohead [Stereogum]
New Raveonettes Track From In-Progress LP [Stereogum]
compiled by Erin Sheehy