STREAM: St. Vincent’s Complete Live Set at Pitchfork Music Festival

St. Vincent’s self-titled fourth record is without a doubt in my top ten for the year. Her music is an idiosyncratic mix of post-Bowie stylized weirdness, syncopated, dance-able rhythms, and off-kilter guitar bravado. There is no one in her league. Her lyrics are intellectual and articulate with the requisite amount of oddness to match the music’s strict left-of-center bent. She’s clearly come into her own musically with this record, and her live show brings a theatrical element that elevates her bizarre stories and dystopian commentary. If watching her perform doesn’t make you want to buy her records, I can’t help you.

Comments Off on STREAM: St. Vincent’s Complete Live Set at Pitchfork Music FestivalPosted by eric: November 22nd, 2014@ 9:50 am
Tags: liveshow · stream

REUNION: Ride

I’m always completely torn when a band I worship – or have worshiped – decides to reunite. Of course, there’s the selfish desire to relive the nostalgic emotions a certain record may have evoked during the formative teenage years. But then there’s the cynical desire to understand the invariably disappointing motivation, which always points to the potential pile of cash. The Pixies have reduced the reunion act to its basest form: an obvious (and unending) play on fans’ collective nostalgia followed by the dreaded yet inevitable failure of “new music.” When I read that Ride had decided to reunite, I felt the usual dose of inner conflict. On the one hand, Nowhere was a seminal record for me. I immersed myself in it, obsessing over every note for months and basking in the wash of glorious shoegaze feedback its majestic wall of noise created. I can return to it any time and still feel the same rush- a rare feat for any album to sustain that sort of impact, especially outside of the context of being 17. A Ride poster adorned my freshman dorm room, much to the bewilderment of my TLC-loving roommate. But decades have passed. I used to think rock n roll was a decidedly youthful endeavor. But, as I age, I am less strict in my cut off points for what is “too old” for rock n roll. Obviously, part of it stems from my reticence to accept my own age and relative stage in life. I used to be appalled by the fact that The Rolling Stones existed a day past 1975. Now, I find myself starting to justify their longevity, despite the obvious cash cow their “brand” generates. I once heard a guy say, “there’s nothing sadder than an old punk.” I get that. And my 19-year-old self would completely agree. I probably still agree. Certain genres do have a lifespan that has a definite expiration date. But being so cut and dry is probably missing the point. I’ve seen plenty of reunited bands over the years. Some lived up to the idealized potential while others were beyond embarrassing. If you can still pull it off without compromising the integrity of the music, I don’t see why you can’t forge on. But then the thought of watching a bunch of haggard ass has-beens trying to act like they’re 25 sounds like hell on Earth. Nostalgia and curiosity almost always win. So, I’m definitely erring on the side of excitement at the thought of Ride existing in any form in 2015. It’s just not without a healthy dose of trepidation.

Comments Off on REUNION: RidePosted by eric: November 22nd, 2014@ 8:56 am
Tags: commentary · news

STREAM: Chromatics “White Light”

Johnny Jewel has been unearthing a slew of Chromatics jams lately on his SoundCloud page. Not sure to what end but since it’s been a minute since the last Chromatics full length, these scraps are making up for lost time. “White Light” is brocade of wispy synths, over-reverbed guitar, and the requisite ethereal vocals.

Comments Off on STREAM: Chromatics “White Light”Posted by eric: November 21st, 2014@ 4:27 pm
Tags: stream

Always Pay Your Sound Guy: Courtney Love Edition

Unless you have God-given perfect pitch, singing live is no easy feat. So many variables with which to contend. If you can’t hear yourself, you’re totally effed. So, I feel slightly bad about posting this, but at the same time I love these isolated tracks when they show up on YouTube because, you know, trainwrecks and all that … can’t avert your eyes or ears in this case. Speaking of train wrecks, it’s Courtney Love. And, man, there’s not enough pitch shifting software in the world to fix this catastrophe. And then there’s the isolated guitar playing. Good God. This was posted out of spite by a sound man who was commissioned to record this particular show, but no one wanted to pay the invoice. So, he shared his recording. [via Buddyhead]

Comments Off on Always Pay Your Sound Guy: Courtney Love EditionPosted by eric: November 21st, 2014@ 3:36 pm
Tags: humor · stream · video

VIDEO: Iceage “Against the Moon”

I can’t be sure how deliberate it was, but Iceage‘s new sound is the smartest career move I’ve seen from a band in a long time. What makes it so utterly genius is the fact that it sounds so natural and uncontrived. Iceage could have easily fallen into the “bands that could have been” heap after two better than great post-punk records and no small amount of fanfare, but any more of the same would have pinned Iceage against either critical backlash or just general apathy (ask Interpol how that works). Plowing the Field of Love is the band’s best record, which I realize is a bold statement, but it allows Iceage room to breathe both musically and in its career development. Punk bands don’t normally think in terms of careers. It’s a burn out and die mentality. But this third record is the birth of a new band- one that understands what made it great to begin with and what makes it even even better now. Yes, there’s a drunken swagger that reeks of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, but it’s so brilliantly filtered through a (post) post-punk lens that it sounds completely new. This record will go down as one of the greats- not just of the year but of a career and possibly an era.

→ No CommentsPosted by eric: November 21st, 2014@ 10:46 am
Tags: video

Mark Kozelek Wants The War on Drugs to Fellate Him

Last week, Mark Kozelek seemingly joked that he’d written a song called “War on Drugs: Suck My Cock.”

“I challenge War On Drugs to let me join them onstage and play a hilarious song I’ve written called ‘War On Drugs: Suck My Cock/Sun Kil Moon: Go Fuck Yourself’ at the Fillmore, October 6,” Kozelek wrote in on his website (in a post that seems to have since been deleted), “provided they let me handle the beer commercial lead guitar.”

He wasn’t joking. Kozelek released the song to his Sun Kil Moon website at midnight EST, presumably right before The War on Drugs took the stage at its sold-out show at The Fillmore in San Francisco. In addition to repeatedly inviting the Philadelphia band to “suck my cock,” he talks about the Sun Kil Moon Hopscotch performance where he called the crowd “fuckin’ hillbillies.” (He’s still selling T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan.)

The War on Drugs dudes, Kozelek concedes, are “pretty nice,” but “definitely the whitest fuckin’ band I’ve ever heard.” “Sounded like basic John Fogerty rock,” he sings, and, later: “The War on Drugs loves John Mellencamp.” Also: “Bridge-and-tunnel people love them some War on Drugs.” Burn, yo.

The song is actually, as Kozelek claimed it would be, kind of hilarious — whether it’s intentional or because it paints Kozelek as an increasingly crochety, curmudgeonly dude. For instance, he follows up following up a line about The War on Drugs’ “beer commercial lead guitar” by yelping “Wait, there’s more!” and deploying a harmonized dual-guitar line. After needling the band with “To make three albums, took ’em nine fuckin’ years!,” a canned audience applauds.

It’s not all tongue-in-cheek: He lashes out at Indyweek writer Allison Hussey with the particularly vituperative couplet “Someone got offended and wrote a piece of crap / Some spoiled bitch rich kid blogger brat.” Not cool, Kozzy.

The War on Drugs, meanwhile, have yet to respond with a song called “Sun Kil Moon: Go Fuck Yourself.” I’d pay to hear that one.

Stream the song from Sun Kil Moon’s website, or download it from Pitchfork.

Comments Off on Mark Kozelek Wants The War on Drugs to Fellate HimPosted by pat: October 7th, 2014@ 9:52 am
Tags: article · controversy · humor · news

Impluse! to (Finally) Officially Release John Coltrane’s 1966 Temple University Concert

Back when I had, y’know, steady employment, I bought a lot of records. I made a particular mission to pick up every piece of John Coltrane vinyl I could afford. (I’m really, really regretting not buying a mint first pressing of Om when I had the chance.)

Now that I, y’know, don’t have steady employment, I don’t buy many records. But I still search out Coltrane gems when I have the extra scratch — and in September, Impluse! is releasing one.

On Sept. 23, John Coltrane’s birthday, Impulse! will release Offering, a long sought-after 1966 performance by Coltrane that took place in Philadelphia. It was one of Coltrane’s wildest but last performances; he’d be dead in less than a year. It features most of the lineup that comprised his live band in his later years: Alice Coltrane on piano, Pharoah Sanders on reeds and flute, and Rashied Ali on drums; Sonny Johnson filled in for regular bassist Jimmy Garrison.

Bootlegs of this concert have been circulating for years; to wit, Discogs currently has two for sale. But the bootleg doesn’t feature the entire show, and the sound quality is poor. Offering, uh, offers a remastered version of the entire 90-minute performance. It’ll be available as a double CD and double LP. The concert spans Coltrane’s entire oeuvre — extended interpretations of earlier material like “Naima,” from Giant Steps, and the title tracks from 1961’s My Favorite Things and (a personal favorite) 1964’s Crescent, and of later, freer jams like “Leo” and “Expression.”

Coltrane’s late ’60s concerts, when he was entrenched in the most difficult but most fascinating work of his brief but bright career — see: Concert in JapanThe Olatunde Concert — were often physically thundering affairs that nonetheless overflowed with emotional and spiritual energy. Coltrane, nearing the end of his life, played with the incendiary fury of a man in pain, but his energy — songs often stretched to near hour-long lengths — is nonetheless unflagging. If the Temple concert — I’ve never heard it — resembles anything on Concert in Japan or Olatunde, it’ll be a wild ride.

Anyway. I’ll be saving up for this one.

 

→ No CommentsPosted by pat: April 2nd, 2014@ 12:10 pm
Tags: news

Nirvana’s Going to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame — Without Chad Channing

There’s one big sticking for eligibility for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (outside of that whole, y’know, being good and important thing). As in baseball, it’s all about time: To qualify for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, there must be a passing of 25 years since the band’s first release.

It’s been exactly 25 years since Nirvana released Bleach, and if there are few first-ballot decisions as no-brainer as Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl.

But Grohl didn’t play on Bleach. Chad Channing did. (He’s the guy on the far right in the above picture.)

But Chad Channing isn’t getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Worse, he found out via text message.

“Can you tell whoever looks after Chad Channing that he isn’t being inducted,” the Rock Hall wrote to Nirvana’s manager, reports radio.com. “It is just Dave, Krist and Kurt.”

Cold. Blooded.

“I’ll be there at the table ready to walk up,” Channing told the site in an earlier interview about Nirvana’s imminent induction. “When I told my daughter about the induction, she was super excited for me! So much of my excitement about it is for her!”

COLD. BLOODED. I haven’t been this upset about a Hall of Fame snub since Tim “Rock” Raines.

(Then again, if the Hall inducts Chad Channing, shouldn’t it induct Dale Crover, who played on Bleach‘s “Floyd the Barber”, “Paper Cuts” and “Downer”? Then again, isn’t the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame kind of stupid to begin with?)

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is April 10 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

→ No CommentsPosted by pat: March 19th, 2014@ 12:01 pm
Tags: commentary · controversy · news

VIDEO: Hamilton Leithauser “Alexandra”

Hamilton Leithauser may (or may not?) have played his final show with The Walkmen, but his first solo record, Black Hours, is definitely coming out this May via Ribbon Music. This first single is an uncharacteristically upbeat affair. It’s odd hearing Leithauser’s voice in such a self-confident and cheerful setting, but when you can sing like that you can get away with just about anything. I dare you not to like this.

→ No CommentsPosted by eric: March 2nd, 2014@ 1:31 pm
Tags: video

Lily Allen Names Her New Album Sheezus, Wins the Internet This Week

Lily Allen has announced the name of her new record with the following post on Instagram: “Oh Christ” adorned with the above photo. This is amazing. Kanye West is going to hate this so much, and I can’t wait to see his reaction.

And here’s the video for the second single off Sheezus, “Hot Air Balloon,” featuring Allen all blinged out and in fine form.

→ No CommentsPosted by eric: February 23rd, 2014@ 5:52 pm
Tags: news · video