VIDEO: Jawbreaker “Boxcar”

Well, this discovery made my day. Jawbreaker has released a video for “Boxcar” from its close to perfect pop-punk song cycle, 24-Hour Revenge Therapy, a mere 20 years too late. Drummer Adam Pfahler evidently found a bunch of Super 8 footage circa 1992, and thus we have a video for “Boxcar.” I suppose it’s not without its benefits considering the band just reissued 24-Hour Revenge Therapy on Pfahler’s own Blackball records.

TV on the Radio Play “Happy Idiot” on Letterman

At this point I don’t think you can call it luck that TV on the Radio has ridden a decade long wave of overwhelmingly adoring press. Must be doing something right. I’ve never been much more than a cursory admirer, following the band’s trajectory only loosely. I saw TVOTR open for Bauhaus and Nine Inch Nails in 2006, and I’ve got a few of their records. But I’ve yet to be blown away, despite all the accolades. I cringe at the concept of bands being “overrated” because it seems paradoxical to say so. I may be coming around, though. When I first heard “Happy Idiot” it instantly clicked with its unabashed new wave hooks, which is a first for any song by TVOTR and me. Seeds came out Tuesday, and I’ve had a hard time not keeping it on repeat.

LIVE: J Mascis Strips Down for NPR

Even though his de facto method of transmission with Dinosaur Jr. is at ear-splitting volume, J Mascis proves his chops are not merely a byproduct of noise with an acoustic performance for NPR. Mascis runs through a medley of songs off his latest solo record for Sub Pop, the unsurprisingly solid Tied to a Star, as well as the Dinosaur Jr. classic “Little Furry Things.” [via Spin]

VIDEO: David Bowie “Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)”

David Bowie is one of those rare artists who’s practically impervious to criticism. When you’ve achieved as much as he has throughout a four-decade-plus spanning career you can pretty much do whatever the hell you want without worrying about sullying your legacy. With another retrospective collection to promote (Nothing Has Changed), Bowie has just released a jazz-noir new single replete with a Raymond Chandler-esque lyric video. It’s Bowie in full croon mode, but he keeps it interesting with creepy imagery: “Sue, I pushed you down beneath the weeds/Endless faith in hopeless deeds.”

REUNION: Babes in Toyland Announce First Show in 18 Years

In other bizarre, unexpected reunion news, Minneapolis’ Babes in Toyland have announced its first shows in 18 years. I first saw BIT when I was in high school at a tiny club in Nashville, and it scared the ever-living shit out of me. Ket Bjelland’s manic stage presence is not for the faint of heart. And it turns out her demons were/are real, which makes it all even crazier. A trio of Google employees are footing the bill for the reunion, which is as surprising as it is cool. The fact that this band ever made it to a major label is quite a coup and just reiterates the power of Nirvana’s impact on the music business in the early 1990’s. Hit singles were not in the cards for this band, but by God they rocked.

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.

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.