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Archives for 12/31/2006 - 01/06/2007

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Jackin’ Pop: Not Your Father’s Pazz & Jop Poll

posted by on January 6 at 9:02 PM

Some 500 critics have voted for what they think are the most important/best releases and artists of 2006, and the results are sitting ugly on Idolator, Gawker’s music webzine. The results (through about the top 50s, anyway) strike me as predictable, but it’s instructive to scan all the lists in their entirety to see the broad range of music floating critics’ boats.

Jackin’ Pop organizer Michaelangelo Matos explains the impetus for the new poll:

The Jackin’ Pop Critics Poll was inspired by the Village Voice’s long-standing Pazz & Jop Critics Poll. Note the names’ resemblance, which began with an email joke from a writer about our “P&J-jack-move.” The idea that we’re jacking off about pop is somewhere in there, too. (The nerve-wracked dancing of early Chicago house-music fans was of less consideration, but it was nice when a couple friends pointed it out anyway.) And while it does feel good to give this kind of thing a home that isn’t run by people who hate everything the Voice spent a half-century standing for, and who fired Robert Christgau, who began Pazz & Jop in the first place, it hardly makes us saints—a jack move is a jack move.

The top 10 albums:
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1. TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain (1338 points in 125 votes)
2. Ghostface Killah - Fishscale (1247 points in 118 votes)
3. The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America (1073 points in 95 votes)
4. Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury (1057 points in 102 votes)
5. Joanna Newsom - Ys (883 points in 84 votes)
6. Bob Dylan - Modern Times (749 points in 70 votes)
7. Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere (623 points in 61 votes)
8. The Knife - Silent Shout (607 points in 56 votes)
9. Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (588 points in 58 votes)
10. Belle & Sebastian - The Life Pursuit (586 points in 54 votes)

The top 10 tracks:
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1. Gnarls Barkley - Crazy (169 votes)
2. T.I. - What You Know (89 votes)
3. Justin Timberlake ft. T.I. - My Love (79 votes)
4. Christina Aguilera - Ain’t No Other Man (51 votes)
5. TV on the Radio - Wolf Like Me (49 votes)
6. Nelly Furtado ft. Timbaland - Promiscuous (45 votes)
7. Justin Timberlake - SexyBack (35 votes)
7. The Raconteurs - Steady, as She Goes (35 votes)
8. Hot Chip - Over and Over (33 votes) 1 for Solid Groove Remix
10. Lupe Fiasco - Kick, Push (32 votes)
10. Peter, Bjorn & John - Young Folks (32 votes)

You can access my ballot and those from Stranger writers Eric Grandy, Sean Nelson, Mairead Case, and Sam Mickens here.

Commence sniping or huzzahing NOW. Or, list your own damned tops 10s, and shine while you can.
[Illos by Jess Harvell]

Pretty in Black

posted by on January 6 at 3:25 PM

The Prids

You must see this band. You must hear this band.

Post punk head steam, boy ““ girl vocals, keys, and stacks of rhythm. Honed drone, heavy and tight.

3 live in Portland. 1 lives in Seattle.

Guitarist, David Frederickson, and bassist, Mistina Keith, sing. And sing real well. Eric Hold plays keys and Joey Maas drums. Joey lives in Seattle.

David and Mistina were married, but they got divorced. They still live in the same house. They are selling out clubs and just finished a 2 month tour opening for Built to Spill. They have 5 releases, the latest of which is called Until the World Is Beautiful.

They play tonight, January 6th, in Portland, at The Doug Fir. They play on KEXP Friday, January 19th at 3 pm.

The Prids - MySpace

Continue reading "Pretty in Black" »

No, This Is The Best Beattles Album

posted by on January 6 at 2:21 PM

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I was taken to see this film by a young Mexican priest when I was 13. He was visiting our parish in Chicago; I was an altar boy. It was a date, only I didn’t know it. Neither did my parents. Nothing unseemly happened, so I won’t be getting a large cash settlement—not like these guys in Colorado, these guys in Spokane, these guys in North Carolina, these guys in California, etc., etc., etc.

Even though I haven’t seen this film again since our date—and that priest never called again, the bastard—I still have odd dreams about it. Yellow Submarine did not have that impact on me. So this has to be the best Beattles’ album—and film—ever made.


Friday, January 5, 2007

Re: Question for New Staffer Eric Grandy: Revolver or Rubber Soul?

posted by on January 5 at 6:33 PM

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VS.
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Grandy: I’m proud of you. You answered Frizzelle’s question correctly.

Frizzelle: You still haven’t seen the light (or taken acid). This is most troubling.

Granted, Revolver’s worst song (“Yellow Submarine”) is more ghastly than Rubber Soul’s nadir (“Drive My Car”), but, as I said in previous posts, Revolver’s peaks are so damned high, they tilt everything in that LP’s favor. “She Said She Said” and “Tomorrow Never Knows” are like having Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain in your starting 5 (to put it in terms Josh Feit can appreciate).

Rubber Soul’s summits—“Norwegian Wood,” “Nowhere Man,” “I’m Looking Through You”—tower over almost any other band’s high points, but they lack the sonic adventurousness and ambitious lyrical existentialism of “SSSS” and “TKN.” And Revolver’s other allstars— “Taxman,” “I’m Only Sleeping,” “I Want to Tell You,” “Love You To,” “And Your Bird Can Sing” etc.—are among the greatest in the Beatles’ genius-laden canon. They pack too much firepower for Rubber Soul, as fine as it is, to compete with it.

Rubber Soul is the Beatles album for pop traditionalists and those who prefer safe bets, familiar tropes; Revolver is the Beatles album for pop avant-gardists and psychedelicsts. In the grand scheme of pop music and with regard to the Beatles’ oeuvre, Revolver has had more historical impact. That being said, I wouldn’t want to live in a world without either album.

Remix the Bear

posted by on January 5 at 3:22 PM

Click here to hear Plan B’s remix of the Minus the Bear song “The Fix.”

Coooool.

Madness By Way of Da Mixtape

posted by on January 5 at 1:11 PM

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After the wrath of God decided to make my car collateral damage as part of Windstorm ‘06 I was left carless, which didn’t matter until I returned from my extended trip to the east coast. Wednesday I picked up my rental car, and yesterday I noticed that a previous renter left a CD in the stereo. I took it out and saw the above. I figured it to be a hip hop CD, but I was only partially correct. The CD is an incredible mix of genres, starting with Zeppelin, The Cure, then moving onto Prince, Black Sheep, and Quannum. It manages to follow all the rules of great mix-making, sticking with familiar territory yet throwing in a few surprises. I kept expecting there to be a dud in there, but even the inclusion of Bell Biv DeVoe’s “Poison” fits right in. Through the magic of the Internet, it’s available here. I hope you’re as impressed by the mix as I am. I’m intentionally not posting a tracklisting since that’ll ruin the surprise more than I already have.

Question for New Staffer Eric Grandy: Revolver or Rubber Soul?

posted by on January 5 at 12:50 PM

The Stranger’s new staffer Eric Grandy (best known as DJ Fits) has been asked the question that has been asked of many others before him. You remember, don’t you? The Great Revolver Vs. Rubber Soul Debate of Fall ‘05? Amy Kate Horn just said: “Not that old discussion again.” Yup! It’s baaaaack!

(For those of you who weren’t alive a year ago, a recap: erstwhile music editor Dave Segal stated that Revolver is the best Beatles album. I dissented, because the best Beatles album is Rubber Soul. Segal told me to grow up. Sean Nelson said we were both wrong. David Schmader rejected the premise. Josh Feit yawned.)

Quoth the new guy:

I’ll say Revolver.

That’s not the right answer, Mr. Grandy. I don’t think this is going to work out.

Smashing Pumpkins Fans, Get Blessed!

posted by on January 5 at 10:54 AM

From the Smashing Pumpkins’ MySpace blog:

Dear Beautiful Souls, Happy New Year to you! May 2007 prove to be a blessed year in every respect and every way…I send you every ounce of love I have in my heart…May the grace of Mother be with you…This year for us will see a new album of songs and a world tour of tears, and we truly look forward to playing again for fans young, old, and missed…So yes, tunes are being dusted off, while others are being asked to kindly submit to an upstart millennia and all it’s asking…In our daily prayers, we send out the signal that all who should hear us come forward and be seen, and by extension, heard…when we opened the lid on this music box, we were pleasantly suprised at the music that played: familiar yet unknown, welcoming but not sentimental…and that is all we can ask…God has absolutely blessed us in every respect…for many years there were private laments about opportunities missed and hearts so broken, but no more…we have turned the page and moved on, from places and faces, names and games…this age calls for resolve and certitude, and the fire within to burn ever bright…if that fire should be connected to absolutely deafening guitars, thundering drums, and the melodies of snakes, then so be it! We love you! If you are meant to be with us, find us!! We have need, and our arms are ever-open…although I can say definitively we don’t need jugglers…but we do need ???? (what?) what do we need!

With a smile and a wink,
billy corgan

Ah yes, “the grace of Mother” and “the melodies of snakes.” Well, it’s good to see Corgan still has that insufferable, incoherent (junk addled?), unedited five-disc b-side boxed-set spirit. Don’t hold your breath for another Siamese Dream, kids.

(Hat tip to Brooklyn Vegan)

KEXP Can Jock Some Lame-Ass Shit

posted by on January 5 at 10:30 AM

I mean, they play some great stuff too, but seriously, KEXP, Wild Sweet Orange? Fo’ real?

For those of you who don’t know, Wild Sweet Orange is a band—a band from Birmingham, Alabama, actually, and KEXP has been playing their song for some time, and everyone over there apparently loves them. So much, in fact, they had the band fly to Seattle last weekend to play KEXP’s “John in the Morning at Night” shows with Jeremy Enigk (Jeremy Enigk was great, for the record; read more about his performance here). WSO is a five piece (although six were onstage) with three guitarists, a lead singer named Preston Lovinggood (I wish I were making that up), a girl who can’t dance (or even sing) all that well, and yeah they’re all pretty and young and smiley, but after watching them two nights in a row and then watching the crowd absolutely eat that shit up”¦ I wanted to stab myself in the brain with one of those cardboard Happy New Year’s tiaras.

They’re completely derivative—the majority of their songs sound like they were written by piecing together the scraps from Conor Oberst’s songwriting journal circa Letting Off the Happiness (seriously, go to their MySpace page and listen to the songs “Stupid Chords” and “House of Regret” and then try to tell me I’m wrong). They sing about lying on the floor and loving the rain and not loving pain”¦ Christ.

And the singer”¦ the singer, man, with his utterly unnecessary acoustic guitar. Sometimes he’d not play the guitar at all and instead opt to take the mic out of the stand and really “rock out” by bending over and clutching the mic in both fists and stomping his foot in a fit of adolescent passion. When the Washington Post wrote up the Birmingham music scene earlier this fall they said “Preston Lovinggood of Wild Sweet Orange was John Mayer with a backbone.” Maybe so, but even John Mayer with a backbone is still fucking John Mayer!

They’re young, they haven’t even cut a record, and man, I should probably be nice, but I don’t have the energy to sugar-coat anything, and honestly I’m pretty bummed that I had to sit through that crap TWO NIGHTS IN A ROW. As soon as the band broke into “House of Regret,” a song about sitting cold and alone in the shower where the water and soap will never make you feel clean, all I could think about was how I would rather be at home, cold and alone, with a urinary tract infection.

Why, KEXP, why did you have to bring it to Seattle? There’s tons of local shit that’s massively better, and that’s what you decide to jock? Really? Ugh.

Whatever. End hissy fit. Now I feel better.

I Had No Idea an Eldopa Discography Came out Last Summer

posted by on January 5 at 10:13 AM

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As I mentioned yesterday, I’m slow (if not completely stationary) in the record-buying department. So, I just found out via Prank Records that there is an Eldopa discography out now, The Complete Collection, on Tee Pee Records. It came out last summer. Who knew? This pivotal East Bay grind/crust band only put out one 7-inch (on Prank) and one album (on Easy Bay Menace) during their short time as a band, and both are out of print (though Prank has copies of a re-press of the 7-inch; it’s put out now under the name 1332, which they had to switch to after being confronted by another El Dopa band). This discography includes those two records, plus some live stuff and a couple demos, so it’s an important CD for an Eldopa fan to get, especially if you’re not fortunate enough to have that 12-inch (personally, I am that fortunate). And look at it; it’s sort of beautiful. Buy it here.


Thursday, January 4, 2007

Sebadoh Fans, Get Stoked

posted by on January 4 at 11:03 PM

Just got this press release in my inbox:

Classic Sebadoh line-up announces first tour in 14 years
The classic Sebadoh line-up of Lou Barlow, Eric Gaffney and Jason Loewenstein has re-united and will tour the US for the first time in 14 years in the spring of 2007. Sebadoh began in 1987 as the solo project of Dinosaur Jr. bassist Lou Barlow, who quickly teamed up with kindred spirit Eric Gaffney. Jason Loewenstein joined the band in 1989. The band’s line-up changed quite frequently over the years, but the trio of Barlow / Gaffney / Loewenstein was responsible for the classic 90s albums III, Bubble and Scrape and Smash Your Head on the Punk Rock. All three members contributed their own unique songwriting styles and also switched instruments frequently, which they will also do on this tour. Expect a set list drawing from all eras of Sebadoh’s existence.

They’re playing Neumo’s March 4th.

Kylesa to Rock Seattle Next Month

posted by on January 4 at 5:41 PM

I have a hard time finding shows I want to attend in Seattle. Sometimes I just don’t know where to look; sometimes I forget to look. Often, however, it’s because there aren’t any. But here’s one—a very good one. (It’s a little in advance, but I’m excited. I’ll post a reminder when the date gets closer.)

Kylesa are playing Monday, February 5, at Chop Suey, 8:00 p.m., $10 adv, 21+ (with the Hidden Hand, Wino, Middian, and Slave Traitor).

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Kylesa’s newest LP, Time Will Fuse Its Worth, came out at the end of October. I haven’t heard it yet (I’m slow in the record-buying department), but I did just listen to an MP3 from the album on their website: Upon first listen, I deem it pretty damn good. Also, the band’s guitarist/vocalist Laura Pleasants did the record’s beautiful artwork and layout. I didn’t like their last LP, 2005’s To Walk A Middle Course, as much as their previous stuff, but, whatever, that happens sometimes. I love the rest of their records—they play excellent sludgy, metally, crusty punk rock (and some of the band members used to be in Damad).

Rock is not Dead

posted by on January 4 at 5:03 PM

From Odegaard Undergraduate Library

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Then I saw one of those hot chocolate / espresso / latte machines. I was going to get some sort of vanilla beverage, but the stains and this picture kept freaking me out:

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The guy’s like, “You may be happy now, but what you are about to drink is not just coffee. There you go, take another sip. Isn’t this cozy? Once you have ingested my love drug, you will do exactly as I say. And from my layer, no one will hear you scream.”

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It was really the stains that killed it for me. I got a Gatorade instead.


What’s On Megan’s Desk?

posted by on January 4 at 4:57 PM

Hey dudes- thanks for tuning in for this week’s edition of “What’s On Megan’s Desk?” Each week we dive deeper and deeper into the abyss of despair and weirdly labeled canned foods that is Interim Music Editor Megan Seling’s desk, and we grab onto something and hold tight while we pedal towards the light at the end of the tunnel.

Good lord, it’s a heavy experience. It’s like a Scottish Funeral Dirge combined with pure eau de Richard Simmons.

Anyhow, what did we grab?

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A CD by local band Vanilla!

I love when a band looks at all of its members’ skin tones and picks a band name based on that.

I have a really structured way of looking through a new album, and that involves looking at the liner notes as I am listening to the first song. I am usually looking for pretty pictures. In this album, there aren’t really many of those. There are a lot of words instead. Every song’s lyrics are printed, along with the full names of everyone who played on every track, even if they are members of the standard band. Then there are the thank-yous, and then there is the unexpected bit-the “Song Notes”.

In “Song Notes” the supposed creative genius behind this album gives a paragraph long synopsis about what each song is supposed to be about. Some of them are dumb:

Pure nonsense about a malicious bird. I based the title on the cover of an old record I saw aimed at teaching parakeets the fundamentals of proper human speech. The image of that record is only a Google search away.

Some are dumber:

New Year’s Day, 2000 was supposed to be something spectacular. The banks were to fail, the computers[sic] systems were set to collapse, and all of the end-of-the-century millenial fears were supposed to materialize. Instead, it was a quiet morning in Tacoma, WA, and as I sat in my little sun room running through chord progressions.[sic] I recalled a poem by Thomas Hardy about the change of the last century…

There is an idea in perfomance that you never want the audience to know too much- if they know how you cut the woman in half, the romance is ruined. This idea is very much alive and well in song lyrics. I really would not like to know the incredibly mundane middle class circumstances under which you write your music, Vanilla.

I have seen Song Notes in one other set of liner notes”“The Best Of Leonard Cohen. They were interesting there because Leonard Cohen was having sex with Marianne Faithfull and living in the Chelsea Hotel and shooting up heroin and also his music is way better than anything Vanilla or most anyone will ever be able to pull off. But generally, please do not tell me about your imaginary backtalking bird.

Also- the music was pretty boring lounge-type pop with lots of weird samples.

Thanks for tuning in to this week’s edition of “What’s On Megan’s Desk!”

Setlist

posted by on January 4 at 12:36 PM

A new episode of Setlist is posted here.

Go. Listen. Hear songs from bands like Ape City R&B, Head Like A Kite, the Fucking Eagles, and Sera Cahoone.


Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Belated New Year’s Report—Jeremy Enigk at Chop Suey

posted by on January 3 at 2:25 PM

I spent my New Year’s Eve with Jeremy Enigk at Chop Suey. It was incredible. I went Saturday night as well (he played both the 30th and 31st), and while both nights featured the same set list for the majority of the show, it was a good mix of both new material from World Waits and older tunes from Return of the Frog Queen.

He played most of the set with a full band—Joe Skyward on bass, Josh Myers on keyboards, Kaanan Tupper on drums, and Billy Dolan on guitar (who was sporting some awesome white shows for Sunday’s show).

On Sunday night, New Year’s Eve, he went on just after midnight and began the New Year with “A New Beginning.” So perfect. He also played “Been Here Before,” “River to Sea,” “City Tonight,” “Cannons” (hooray!), “Damien Dreams” (complete with an apology/dedication to Damien Jurado, who was in the crowd Saturday evening), “Dare a Smile” (Saturday only), “Abegail Anne,” “Return of the Frog Queen,” “Lewis Hollow,” and “Carnival.”

For the encores each night, he mixed it up a little. He closed both nights with amazing performances of “Shade and the Black Hat,” which is one of my personal favorites. On Saturday, though, Jeremy coyly asked the crowd if they wanted to hear a Sunny Day Real Estate song. Of course everyone went apeshit. Someone even shouted “Get back together!” and I swear he grinned and quietly replied “Someday.” Anyway, then he grabbed his acoustic guitar and performed a solo version of “How it Feels to Be Something On.” I had goosebumps. It was incredible; I never saw Sunny Day Real Estate live. He also played “Ballroom Blitz” and “Explain” during the encores both nights. “Lizard” replaced “How it Feels” Sunday night.

Here’s a video from Sunday’s show. The song is called “Set it On Fire,” which is from the United States of Leland soundtrack. It gets really good at the end, the band goes off.

(Please forgive me for shooting the first 20 seconds of the song sideways. I stupidly thought that it was like a picture and you can just flip it later in Photoshop but DUH MEGAN, it’s a video. It doesn’t work like that. I catch on and correct the problem, though. Sorry I’m an idiot.)

VOTE SEATTLE HIP HOP!

posted by on January 3 at 12:48 PM

MTV has selected Seattle as a finalist in its “Your Block” Video Contest. The “Your Block” Contest gives MTV2 viewers a chance to have MTV2 profile their local hip hop scene—this is a chance for Seattle to be showcased on a national level. Seattle’s Blake Whitaker and Arie Pytel are currently one of four finalists in the contest.

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!

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The video entry was edited down to 2 minutes for MTV, and a longer version of the documentary is in the works. The video involves interviews, performances, and collaborations with an A-List of Seattle characters including: Alpha P, Grayskul, Blue Scholars, Silver Shadow D, Massive Monkees, BYC, Circle of Fire, Macklemore, Gabe Teodros, One Family Inc. (Big World Breaks), Bean One, Red Eye Flight, Godspeed, D Black (Sport n’ Life), Fatal Luciano, Oldominion, DJ Scene, DJ B-Mello, Lace Cadence, Khazm, Hip Hop 101, Soul Gorilla, Obese Productions, Larry Mizell, Charles Mudede, Neezie Pleezie, The Grynch…. and more!


Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Big World Breakdown

posted by on January 2 at 4:51 PM

Blue Scholars, Common Market, and Gabriel Teodros played sold out shows at Neumo’s on Dec. 30th and New Year’s Eve. Blue Scholars were accompanied by a backing band for the first time ever, called Big World Breaks. Bass player Camilo Estrada spoke by phone and broke it down.

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“The shows went off real well,” said the super low key Estrada. “At midnight for New Year’s Eve, we played James Brown’s “˜Gonna Have a Funky Good Time’, and there was definitely a surge of energy doing that song as 2007 rolled in.”

Other treats were a medley of Yung Joc’s “It’s goin down”, Curtis Blow’s “The Breaks”, and Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up.” They also played with Dr. Dre’s “Ain’t Nothin but a G Thang”, which Camilo said the crowed reacted to with bumping glee. Sabzi broke out the talk box for a Zapp song. And the Blue Scholars song “Long March” was extended and given new life as a live take.

“It was cool to see emcee Geologic and DJ Sabzi react to the songs being fleshed out by a live band,” Estrada said.

Continue reading "Big World Breakdown" »

Modest Mouse Track Leaked

posted by on January 2 at 4:22 PM

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Should you care to sign up for Sendspace, you can check out this recently leaked Modest Mouse track, presumably from their forthcoming album/maiden voyage with Johnny Marr, We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank.

Via Rolling Stone.

More Local Break-Ups

posted by on January 2 at 3:38 PM

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Metalcore act Playing Enemy have called it a day. Props to Line Out reader Andrew Chapman for the unfortunate heads-up.

Whitey Fro’s are the New Black

posted by on January 2 at 1:59 PM

Overheard at the Aaron Lacrate show at Neumos on Friday:
“Is that girl trying to look like one of the dudes in the Melvins?”

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Overheard backstage at the Melvins on New Years Eve:
“That’s the best hair Jared’s had in years.”

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Don’t sleep on either Lacrate or the Melvins in ‘07— they ‘both gonna rock!

Ellen Willis Tribute to Air Tomorrow

posted by on January 2 at 1:29 PM

A tribute to the late, great music and cultural journalist Ellen Willis will air tomorrow at 10 a.m. (EST) on WBAI in New York City (you will be able to listen the live stream here).

Willis’s husband Stanley Aronowitz and the couple’s daughter, journalist Nona Willis-Aronowitz will appear on the program City Watch to discuss her work and legacy.

This is the New Year

posted by on January 2 at 1:25 PM

It’s raining, and I’m ill, lying on the couch, reading De Capo’s Best Music Writing 2006, listening to the Smiths, and marveling at the postmodernism (which Wikipedia currently defines as “a load of McFlaps”) of “Paint a Vulgar Picture”. Same as the old year.

New Year’s Eve was a busy, unremarkable night. I caught the Coconut Coolouts at a Wallingford house party—they were literally bananas, a terrifically drunken party monster, and I figuratively danced my ass off. I also had an all too rare in person chat with Ms Levin, which was a pleasure. Next time I must introduce my friends as well.

I caught a cab to School House Rawk in time to get to the Decibel room for the countdown, which occurred on a number of projector screens, and as a barely audible chant by the crowd. After the count, nothing happened. Not a cheer, not a swell of techno, nothing. There was a moment of hushed deflation, before the electronic beat quietly resumed. No fireworks. My guests decided I had taken them to a lame ass rave full of tacky burners. “At least wait for the drugs to kick in,” I pleaded to no avail. They split. Even altered, the party was not the explosion I had hoped for. Thomas Fehlman played a technically flawless but not gripping set, although his enthusiastic, head-bobbing dancing was enough to hold my interest for a while. Jerry Abstract’s set seemed a bit more restrained than usual. It felt like deference to the crowd—not his usual Krakt/Decibel hardcore audience—but then I heard that he was playing a set “just for himself” that night, of mostly new stuff. Weird. In any case, I left after only the early part of his set to hit the Lo-Fi, so if things really caught fire after 3am, I missed it.

The Lo-Fi was in the grip of Dj Recess and Jen Wolfe’s battling when I arrived. It was chill—lots of friends, a little dancing, everyone happily dazed in the early hours of the new year. I caught a ride home, and watched Life in the Undergrowth until I fell asleep.

How was your New Year’s Eve? How is your New Year?

Pull Shapes / Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls

posted by on January 2 at 12:17 PM

Here’s the brilliant video for The Pipettes single Pull Shapes. One of the best emerging bands from 2006!

And the bit of video from Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls which it’s paying homage to!

“I’d like to strap you on sometime!”

R.I.P. Mon Frere

posted by on January 2 at 12:00 PM

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2007 has its first band break-up—Mon Frere have confirmed that they have officially disbanded.

Dammit.


Sunday, December 31, 2006

Banging New Year’s Eve?

posted by on December 31 at 2:30 PM

So there’s a million things to do tonight. Informal poll: What are you doing to ring in the new year?

I’m going to try to “party hop” as the kids say, but I’m kind of dreading how much time that probably means i’ll spend waiting for and then riding in cabs. Oh well, I have been told I need to get out more.

On another note, I’ve been reading Psychotic Ramblings and Carburetor Dung, a collection of Lester Bangs’ writing ever since my mom got it for me for christmas along with some other great books and magazine subscriptions (my mom said she “couldn’t resist” the title of this one, so there you go, Lester, consider baby-booming middle America conquered). It’s got me feeling pretty misanthropic these days and pretty impressed at the kind of shit he got away with in the alternative press of his time. Maybe it’s just that said press has become way more commercial and normalized since then, but I find it hard to imagine much of that kind of writing flying today. I sort of think Nick Sylvester touches on some Bangs shit once in a while, but we all know how that worked out…

No real point about Bangs, except that the kind of gonzo rock journalism he represented seems almost impossible in these highly mediated and info-soaked times. I mean, CBS was flying his ass out to England to tour with the Clash, and he’d just write idiot-savant amphetamine rambles about the whole experience. Nobody’s swindling rock’n’roll like that anymore.

So, to tie it all back together, it’s new year’s eve, I’m a misanthrope who loves parties, and I’m ready to hit the town with a notepad and plans to get addled. Where’s the shit going down?

Update:Duh! I forgot to mention possibly the most obvious tie-in, the Bangs essay “New Year’s Eve” which appears in Reactions. In it, Bangs recounts, year-by-year, his shitty New Year’s Eve experiences. Like the best of his work, it was singularly awful yet universal. Worst New Year’s I can remember? Probably ‘96 or ‘97: driving around the suburbs, looking for pot or a party, finding none, returning home with a friend, and at my parents’ doorstep lighting the single black cat firecracker we’d saved for midnight; it was a dud, the fuse flickered and nothing happened, we went to bed. ‘98 was a good one too: my (first ever) girlfriend became massively ill, we ate soup in her parents den and watched tv, she fell asleep around 11 and i drove home alone.

My Top 10

posted by on December 31 at 1:35 PM

Nobody asked me to submit this for print, and there was no organized effort to get us freelancers to throw our lists up on Line Out. Maybe no one really cares about top 10 lists. But whatever, I figured fuck it, I’m gonna be that rogue dude and post this on my own volition. My thoughts on top 10s: I like to read what others think about music. Published critic or not, I think that if you genuinely love music, you probably have something of value to say about a few records that piqued your interest in the last year ““ I look at other people’s lists as a great way to catch up on shit I missed. So, with that same philosophy, I give you my list… not to show you what a hot shit I am, but simply to share. I’m cheating just a bit by adding two categories: best podcast and most exciting personal musical discovery of the year, despite its release date. Here’s the list along with a bit of explanation:

1. Joanna Newsome Ys (Drag City)
2. J Dilla Donuts (Stones Throw)
3. Wire Pink Flag (EMI/Pink Flag)
4. Battiato Fetus (Water)
5. Giuseppe Ielasi Giuseppe Ielasi (Hapna)
6. Keith Fullerton Whitman Lisbon (Kranky)
7. Jazkamer Metal Music Machine (Smalltown Supernoise)
8. Colleen Colleen et Les Boites a Musique (Leaf)
9. Wooden Wand Second Attention (KRS)
10. Final Fantasy He Poos Clouds (Tomlab)

The Podcast: AA Podcast 03: Keeping In Time
(February 19, 2006) From: http://www.nosordo.com/downloads.htm

The Discovery:
Luciano Cilio Dell’ Universo Assente (Die Schachtel)

I think some of my selections are pretty obvious; The Stranger has reviewed many of these at length. But a few thoughts”¦ Donuts: I get chills each time I listen to this and I never tire of it. I think The Shining was a nice homage, but nonetheless fell short of my expectations. I consider this Dilla’s coup de grace and his last official release. Jazkamer: Noisenik Lasse Marhaug has been obliterating eardrums for some time now, but with MMM, Marhaug and Hegre team up with an all-star cast of Norwegian black metal notables, including members of Enslaved!, Toy and Manngard to create a fuckin’ destructive noise/metal behemoth. Cilio: From the Italian label Die Schachtel, famous for compiling the forgotten work of pioneering avant-garde and early electronic music composers, this collection of Cilio’s recordings features his legendary Dialoghi del Presente LP from 1977, along with several unreleased tracks. A self-taught multi-instrumentalist, Cilio’s intuitive edge on the piano, guitar, flute, bass and mandola ““ alongside the layered vocals, cello and oboe contributions of his colleagues ““ envelops the entire album in a disconcerting, melancholy haze that is made all the more troubling when you consider Cilio’s tragic suicide at the height of his career in 1983.

Feel free to chime in with your thoughts… and lists!