Last summer Robert Smith curated the Meltdown festival in the UK with handpicked acts ranging from My Bloody Valentine to Nine In Nails to The Church. The Cure, of course, headlined but were billed as CURÆTION-25 so as not to violate a contract for its massive headlining slot a few weeks later in London’s Hyde Park. Both shows are being combined for a DVD/Blu-Ray release this October to celebrate the band’s 40th anniversary. The setlists are expectedly massive, showcasing every idiosyncratic incarnation of the band.
Smith recently revealed an update for the band’s progress on its first new album in 11 years in an interview at the Fuji Rock Festival, claiming that the record will be delayed until next year. He had originally claimed it would be out close to Halloween this year. Even casual Cure fans know not to trust anything the man says with regard to release timelines.
This interview with My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields is worth a read even without the conspiracy theory that Britpop was pushed by the Labour Government in the mid-90’s (ha!).
‘But when it is jokingly suggested that, had Shields released m b v in 1994, as initially planned, he could have kiboshed Britpop, his mood changes. “Britpop was massively pushed by the government,” he says. “Someday it would be interesting to read all the MI5 files on Britpop. The wool was pulled right over everyone’s eyes there.”
However, this interview by Ian Svenonius of Nation of Ulysses and The Make-Up over at Vice is probably more fun, though:
In an uncharacteristic act of act of restraint, Ryan Adams has been relatively quiet on the new album front the past few years. He did put out that weird proto-metal record last year (Orion), but that somehow doesn’t count as a “Ryan Adams” album. The media is assuming the man has developed some kind of internal editor, hoping that Ashes & Fire out October 11, 2011, will be a cliched “return to form.” If you want to decide for yourself, you can stream the new album here. I’ve never been in the camp that complained about too much product output from Adams. But his new album is amazing all the same.
But, if you’re also interested in a more in depth look at what Adams’ motives are, this interview with the Guardian is extremely informative and shows Adams in his most stable frame of mind.
It’s often hard for me to believe it when bands say they have no direct influences on their sound. And when I recently spoke with The Joy Formidable’s bassist, Rhydian Daffyd, I heard a familiar refrain: “Sometimes we feel like we live in a bubble.” Yeah, yeah. Bands always hem and haw when asked to describe their sound or list their favorite artists, so I always make a point to do so, just to see how much they squirm or if they’ll play along. Daffyd predictably begged off at first, but when pressed let slip quite a few. His list caught me off guard. While I was coming from a very narrow-minded and specific shoegaze angle with a little Curve and Britpop thrown in, he lobbed “Springsteen, Costello, Orbison, and Motown” back at me. Touché.
Steve Albini says seemingly outrageous things in interviews, but he never comes across as glib or unprepared. The guy means what he says, and he’s actually thought about his opinions before giving them. He’s one of the most uncompromising musicians I’ve ever admired. Sure, he can sound like an asshole, but he makes sense. Most of the headlines about his recent Q&A with GQ focus on the lashes he gives Sonic Youth for signing to a major label, but they’re just the simple example in a much bigger picture. His over-arching point gets lost in the supposed “controversy” of his remarks, which is in regard to mainstream culture as a whole:
“I’m not really interested in participating in mainstream culture. Participating in the mainstream music business is, to me, like getting involved in a racket. There’s no way you can get involved in a racket and not someway be filthied by it.”
The entire interview is a must read. The culture of “selling out” seems to have been lost on today’s youth, as bloggers tend to sympathize with bands who sell their music to any old car company or sausage factory willing to shake a few bucks in their faces. Since it is accepted as a given that nobody actually “pays” for music anymore, the attitude seems to have shifted to allow for what used to be anathema to rock ‘n roll, which is the corporatization of counter-culture music. My attitudes were shaped long before the era of illegal downloading, so I find myself agreeing with just about everything Albini says.
Former Idolator honcho Maura Johnston interviews one of my heroes, Mark Robinson (of Teenbeat, Unrest, and Cotton Candy fame), in a cool, informative, and laid back Q&A session over at eMusic. In it Robinson discusses the nostalgic personal touch of home-dubbing cassettes, Unrest’s reunion tour, his proclivity for patterns in numbering, and his favorite designers. I failed to make the three-and-a-half hour drive to Chapel Hill last Sunday to catch the Unrest show, which I knew I would immediately regret. So, I will have to stock up on any leftover merch if/when it shows up in the Teenbeat store to make up for it.