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
October 6, 2009
IN THE TUBE
Well, I got one wrong. In 2007, two god-loving French DJs under the name Justice released an album of throwback, Michael Jackson sounding electro-pop that they simply called † (I reiterate, these guys are religious, and in a Prince-esque move, forewent proper album title in favor of a cross – symbolism entails wackiness, which directly correlates to overall fun). It was innocuous and satisfyingly vapid electro-pop, occasionally acting like it had some higher-end order (“Waters of Nazareth”), but really just looking to make you dance, as dance music rightfully should.
Long story short † earned high critical accolades, and deservedly – it was a really fun record. But, as with most yearly buzz bands, I was immediately skeptical, and forcefully predicted that in just two years, this band would be meaningless. They were in some way the epitome of this decade’s return of dance music (which yes, if you go through my editorials, I mention far too often): while LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy held tightly to punk and Hercules and Love Affair stayed glam and new wave-y with their electropop, Justice embraced raw, leather-chap wearing, ecstasy takin’, chest hair sweatin’, coked-up moustache Eurotrash disco techno (if that can feasibly become a realized genre, my life goals will be complete). But being at an extreme side of the dance movement made them easy targets, and as with any genre, when you fly too close to the sun (in this situation, the galaxy is constructed around some kind of disco sun…a giant rotating colored light ball will suffice), you’re bound to fall.
This year is convincing me that I was all wrong about Justice. 2009 has seen two Justice remixes: first, they took to remixing U2’s “Get On Your Boots,” the god awful lead single off this year’s No Line on the Horizon. They someone turned it from a modern-rock catastrophe, to a convincing sex dance, with a ridiculously bass drum and some hilarious ragtime piano. It made Bono a whole lot easier to stomach, even as he squeals, “I’ve gotta submarine/ you’ve got gasoline.” Uh…yeah.
More on Justice Remix | Lenny Kravitz’s “Let Love Rule”
October 3, 2009
Welcome again to another edition of Brook Pridemore’s The Nineties-ist. This edition discusses 1987, revolutions, how much glam metal sucked, and the importance of The Joshua Tree, Licensed to Ill, and Madonna in light of an indie-slumber. For earlier installments, go here.
Revolution stems from dissatisfaction: early American settlers would most likely never have separated from the British, if not for the taxes and arbitrary trade restrictions imposed after the threat of French invasion. The counterculture movement of the 1960s could have just been a handful of bummed-out stoners noodle dancing in an open field, if not for Vietnam (though we might have been spared the jam bands — and Vietnam — if this were the case). If the 70s weren’t watered down by prog rock and disco, four unrelated guys from Queens might not have declared themselves brothers, and coined a term that had been on the tongue of the collective American underground for a solid decade (The Ramones, “punk”).
But I digress. This week, I’m thinking about 1987. I have almost nothing to say about the year without doing some research. After doing that research, I now understand why I have no frame of reference for ‘87: it was all about pop metal. The theatrical, androgynous “glam” sound, popularized by T. Rex, Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, and The New York Dolls in the early 70s had mutated over the subsequent decade. Having been stripped of it’s shock value (Cooper’s Billion Dollar Babies still rings particularly ghoulish to these ears), MTV-era heavy metal seemed a constant struggle between fashion-crazed prancing and Bacchanalian debauchery.
Seriously: has anyone else seen that Bret Michaels sound bite from the height of Poison’s career, where the camera zooms in on Michaels and he says, “Poison is LA fashion, and LA fashion is Poison”? That someone on the pop metal circuit (specifically, Mötley Crüe’s Vince Neil, who inspired Aerosmith’s “(Dude) Looks Like a Lady”) managed to make Steven Tyler – who has looked like an old tranny since 1972 – look butch says something about gender bending in 80s rock. It was a Bizarro World kind of gender bending, though. Whereas 70s glam stars made androgyny sexy, 80s glam stars looked like old cokeheads; these guys from the 80s who are still active today look exactly the same. It’s interesting that punk and glam were both appropriated by MTV in the 80s, with the no-rules ethos of punk chewed up and spit out as New Wave, and the dangerous, seedy content of 70s glam (again, thinking specifically of Cooper here, but also Lou Reed’s gay dance party Transformer) was homogenized and respun as “LA Fashion.” Plenty of undeniably great (at least in terms of sales) pop metal records were released in 1987: Guns N Roses’ Appetite For Destruction, Def Leppard’s Jim Steinman-produced Hysteria, and Motley Crue’s Girls, Girls, Girls, to name just a few. And while these records are all the epitome of a teenage boy’s fantasy lifestyle, I feel like the ultimate lesson behind late 80s pop metal is: “You can fantasize, but you can never be this.”
More on #4: 1987
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
The Beatles Get Their Own QVC Store; Weirdest Shop Item: Four Yellow Submarine Themed Baseballs. QVC: Get Authentic. I Want A Set Of Hard Day’s Night Styled Cricket Wickets [Idolator]
Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme, Foo Fighter’s Dave Grohl and Led Zepellin’s John Paul Jones Debuted Their Very Original Sludge-Rock Band, Them Crooked Vultures (And Apparently, It Was Good) [Spin]
The Upcoming $45 Million Dollar Spiderman Musical, With Music By U2’s Bono and The Edge, Facing Budget Problems “Mary Jane, My Spider Sense Is Tingling – Maybe This Is The Wrong Time To Put On A $45 Million Dollar Musical…Wait, No…That’s My Common Sense” [NME]
Watch New Video “I’m Good” From Virginia Rap Heroes Clipse (Pharrell Sings Really Poorly On It, and I’ve Never Seen Ex-Coke Dealers Having So Much Leisurely Fun); Till The Casket Drops Released October 20 [Pitchfork]
Microphones/Mount Eerie Guy Phil Elverum Does Really Great Interview In Village Voice; Calls Upcoming LP Wind’s Poem Loudest Album He’s Done (Also Has Called It His Best), Expresses Love Of Loud Things In General [Village Voice]
Arcade Fire Multi-Instrumentalist Owen Pallett, AKA Final Fantasy, Signs To Domino, Announces New LP, Heartland; Released “The First Week Of 2010” [Pitchfork]
Popular Music Magazine Pitchfork.com Announces Plans To Present “The Decade In Music” Starting Next Week…Four Months Before Decade Ends. Well, So Much For Journalistic Perspective [Pitchfork]
Sufjan Stevens Announces Fall Tour (!!!!); Four New York Dates In October (!!!!); Fans Giggle Like School Girls [Asthmatic Kitty]
Stream Black Lips/King Khan & BBQ Show Supergroup, The Almighty Defenders’ First Song, “Cone Of Light” – This Track Is Throwback, Handclap Soul And Will Be On Repeat For Several Hours; The Almighty Defenders Released September 22 [Pitchfork]
by Max Sebela
Is there a stage doctor in the house? One woman was killed and at least 15 (though possibly as many as 75) were injured when the stage collapsed at the Big Valley Jamboree Festival in Canada this past week. This coming not too long after the stage being built for Madonna’s concert in Marseille caused a similar tragedy. Maybe that $40 million stage isn’t looking so bad after all…
In other slightly less serious, albeit still injurious stage-related news, Aerosmith’s tour was interrupted (yet again), when Steven Tyler tumbled off the stage at their show in South Dakota. Not nearly as entertaining as another stage fall reported on earlier this year.
Let’s hope that none of these stage shenanigans interrupt tonight’s much-anticipated hard-rock-trio debut. More to come on that (I’m sure) later this week.
by Elana Jacobs
Psych-Rockers Dr. Dog Signs to ANTI-; Announce Tour, New LP in 2010 [Brooklyn Vegan]
Swedish Twee-Cutie El Perro Del Mar Announces Third Album, Love Is Not Pop; Released October 20 [Brooklyn Vegan]
The Perfect Gift For That Friend Who Has Everything: MC Hammer’s Parachute Pants Are Being Auctioned Off [Idolator]
Echo and the Bunnymen Tour, Announce New Album The Fountain; Released October 12 [NME]
Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke Says Bloc Party May Never Record Another Album; After 2008’s Intimacy, I Say Good Call [NME]
Pearl Jam Has Scattered Pieces of Their New Album’s Artwork, Backspacer, Around The Internet; Artwork Not Worth A Scavenger Hunt, Nor Really Worth Viewing [Stereogum]
Bruce Springsteen To Play Entirety of the Legendary Born To Run In Chicago On September 20 – Everyone Way Psyched [Prefix]
Marilyn Manson Threatens To Kill All Music Journalists Who Publish Falsities About Him. In Related News, Marilyn Manson Actually Found To Be Over 4,000 Years Old (I Dare You, Marilyn) [NME]
Deerhunter Frontman Bradford Cox’s Solo Project Atlas Sound Announce Tour With Broadcast; New Atlas Sound LP, Logos, Released October 20 [Stereogum]
compiled by Max Sebela
July 7, 2009
The Morning After Girls
2009 | Self-Released
Australian transplants The Morning After Girls have acclimated easily since their emigration to NYC. Their recent stint of live shows has been successful, at least in terms of alcohol sales. This past May, The Morning After Girls, originally from Melbourne, Australia, released the EP The General Public, a five-song digital release featuring the title track, two original songs and two remixes. Now with their album Alone coming out this month, they have ten more songs to accompany their first single, including a very short intro piece and a final outro song, “Tomorrow’s Time,” one of the holdovers from The General Public EP. “Tomorrow’s Time” features over ten minutes of silence, then a hidden mood piece that lasts little over a minute. But the old hidden track trick doesn’t really make an impression now that the CD format is passé. Everyone is just gonna move the tracker over in their iTunes until they hear music.
It’s moves like this that categorize the Girls in this new record: Traditional, Static and Boring. It’s got nothing to do with the sonic qualities of the record – not that things like that even matter anymore to a dying music industry – because sonically it resonates. But what wouldn’t resonate when it’s mixed by Alan Moulder? Just another indication that even those at the highest level of the audio game can’t save mediocre songwriting. The highly produced mediocrity of the album reminded me of U2, who can have Steve Lillywhite, Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois in one room at the same time, but are still gonna be too old to let their voices be heard. Now, the Girls aren’t too old, they just don’t have a voice that stands out from the crowd, no matter how well-polished they are. The album wanders its way around an “alternative” sound that attempts in no way to distance itself from middle America. Coincidentally, they decided to move to New York City (now itself halfway to Kansas City) only to release exactly the kind of music that continues down a well-known path already tread a thousand times over. These are no unexplored woods or even trails, but paved highways that will continue to be traversed for years to come.
by Gordon Sharp