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Friday, May 3, 2013

Today's Music News: Franken-bands, non-fatal shootings, and Sigur Rós on The Simpsons

Posted by on Fri, May 3, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Tearjerker: Beastie Boys' fallen member Adam "MCA" Yauch gets a Brooklyn park named after him, coinciding with the one year anniversary of his death after a long struggle with throat cancer.

Two of your favorite things in one place: Sigur Rós announces that they will appear on The Simpsons! Naturally, they'll also be covering the shows' theme song.

98 Degrees is releasing a new album?!: Hold onto your butts, everybody! The boy band that just won't quit (except for, you know, that decade) has recorded their first album in 13 years, appropriately titled 2.0. Here's a song about their dicks/microphones.

Rihanna vs. Brooklyn Nets vs. Chicago Bulls: To the dismay of no one, RiRi's concert at Brooklyn's Barclay Center scheduled for tomorrow night will have to be postponed in light of the NBA Playoffs being pushed into an unanticipated 7th game.

Black Flag has risen: Yesterday the group released their first new song in 27 years!

Hide yo' kids, hide yo' muzik producers!: AraabMUZIK's Abraham Orellana is recovering nicely from a gunshot wound after being caught in the crossfire of an attempted armed robbery earlier this week. Classic wrong place, wrong time scenario.

The sun's out! Enjoy this song! Mikal Cronin's new album MCII is out May 7th!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Bros...Everyone Hates a Jam Band, Right?

Posted by on Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 1:41 PM

But...what if this jam band is King Crimson doing a bit of improv!?

This bit is an excerpt from Live In Central Park, NYC, which was recorded July 1, 1974 and released in 2000. If I remember correctly, this Central Park show was the last Crimson live appearance till the early '80s. If you want more and have time, listen to the entire Felt Forum (NYC) show, recorded May 1, 1974.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Record Store Day @ Everyday Music: A Correction

Posted by on Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 9:28 AM

45288_534952849879065_1864057335_n.jpg
  • Everyday Music

If you find yourself at the Capitol Hill retailer Everyday Music tomorrow morning for the holy occasion known as Record Store Day (4/20/13), you will encounter on the turntables DJ El Toro (Stranger freelancer and KEXP personality Kurt B. Reighley, spinning at 10 am) and DJ Veins (Stranger writer… uh, me, spinning old and new records you probably haven't heard before at 11 am). One thing, though: The flier for the event erroneously lists my affiliation as KEXP. Note: I am not opposed to holding down a slot at KEXP, if KEXP wants me to fill in or anything. Just putting that out there.

Also on the bill at EM are several spiffy local bands, including Tomten, Scriptures, Mystery Ship, King Dude, Steradian, and Pitschouse. Plus: Wheedle's Groove/Family Affair member Robbie Hill, in person and radiating charisma.

More RSD info here. Gird your wallets.

Monday, April 15, 2013

C/O Editions: A Label That Pays You To Listen To Music

Posted by on Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 11:51 AM

C/O Ed. Secret Decoder Ring
  • Sean Jewell
  • C/O Ed. Secret Decoder Ring
Care Of Editions is a German record label with a refreshing take on some stale ideas. They’re purveryors of experimental music, a genre renowned for its DIY ethic, but this is the first label I’ve ever heard of that goes so far as to pay you to download their music. Here’s how that crazy idea works: downloads are limited in edition, and are paid for by the sales of the record they're attached to, meaning that people can only download and get paid if others are also purchasing. The only way to “unlock” paid downloads is for consumers to purchase vinyl copies. What’s better, the more vinyl that is purchased the more a download pays. It begins with a $1 reward and goes up to $45 dollars for the last lucky downloader, provided of course that the last, the 45th vinyl copy, has also sold. C/O will do this six times between 2012 and 2013, effectively devouring itself and breaking even in the process.

As much a work of performance art as it is a distributor of art, founder Gerhard Schultz has even gone so far as literally eliminating the label's website in proportion with record sales and downloads to emphasize the zeroing out of it all. Downloads are paid in real time, too, the label writes you a check as soon as you download, and the label will keep writing checks until all the vinyl is sold. In this way the record label will always zero its own debt out by meeting exact demand with exact supply.

Gerhardt is in Berlin, but was kind enough to allow me to take part in his label experiment from all the way over here in Seattle. He provided me with a download of two of the records—Ezra Buchla’s At The Door, and Scott Cazan’s Swallow— and mailed me a vinyl copy of of the artist known as #/TAU’s First Dew. Though I didn’t get paid to download, or pay for the vinyl, I wanted to go all the way through the process to see how it worked. I’m assuming I would have made at least a couple dollars, then helped to free up one more download by paying for a record. What I found immediately, aside from added confirmation for my love of experimental music, was that participation in the process was like having a philosopher for a record label.

C/O Editions first two releases are not European experimental artists but electroacoustic releases from couple of Los Angelinos. Ezra Buchla is a viola player who loops his own strings and synth sounds into a hurdy-gurdy like drone, and chants over them unintelligibly to spooky effect. Buchla has reportedly taken for inspiration a Jack Spicer poem, and a 16th century lycanthropy trial and conviction (damn werewolves, everywhere). His limited vinyl and download are officially out on the lables websiteApril 12th, but can be preordered (download or vinyl) now.

Scott Cazan is familiar with stringed instruments, but rather than play them in any conventional way, he attaches microphones to them, then drums on them, sometimes he’ll even hold microphone between his own teeth, then tap at tablets and laptops and soundboards as he captures the essence of the wood and flesh of his chosen materials. His record is three tracks of high pitched frequencies: feedback that sounds like steel cable about to snap under tension, wine glasses ringing, flutes holding notes at hypnotically long intervals, only interrupted by the static, beeping, and voice samples with the voyeuristic charm of a pocket call.

Continue reading »

Friday, April 12, 2013

Waiting Out Your Want List

Posted by on Fri, Apr 12, 2013 at 2:20 PM

I waited twenty three years to find this, an original copy of the Psychedelic Sounds Of The Thirteenth Floor Elevators.

Uh...YEAH, still in shrink. Dag.
  • Nipsh
  • Uh...YEAH, still in shrink. Dag.

When I say "I waited" I mean I waited till I found it the old fashioned way, in a local FUCKING STORE, not on teh internet. Honestly, I never searched hard for it online, as they usually rate a few hundred bucks, AND I've had a reasonable reissue, so I wasn't exactly DYING, but still I snagged it when it landed in front of me! Fortunately, and oddly, I didn't pay teh internet price either; I paid what I usta see it sell for in 1991, which is why I could kinda afford it. The copy I found is a stereo copy, so it's NOT a more in demand mono issue, but it's original and sooooo fucking clean I'm stoked. The stereo mix is great, actually, so not a big deal. Not for me.

I didn't really think about how long I'd waited to score my Psychedelic Sounds until yesterday; I was reminded how long record nerds can wait/pine to finally scratch those biggies off our want list after a friend finally scored a copy of Park Avenue Playground, a record he'd been seriously hunting/chasing that 45 for seventeen years.

Anyone have a good, bad, or perhaps even SAD story about searching for years to find that ONE elusive record?

EZZZZZ Listening: How Music Heard While Sleeping Can Improve Your Memory

Posted by on Fri, Apr 12, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Via The Daily Mail

A recent study co-authored by Dr. Jan Born of Germany's University of Tübingen posits that listening to music in your sleep can help to improve memory. The key is to play sounds that are in sync with "the brain's slow oscillation rhythm."

The Daily Mail summarizes the study's conclusions:

Playing music synchronised to the rhythm of the slow brain oscillations of people who are asleep enhances these oscillations.
It does this by increasing the amplitude of the oscillations and by increasing the length of slow-wave sleep.
The slow oscillations in brain activity that occur during slow-wave sleep are critical for retaining memories so boosting them in turn boosts memory.

Toward this end, I recommend snoozing to Brian Eno's Neroli, Steve Hillage's Rainbow Dome Musick, Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works, Vol. II, Lull's Cold Summer, and... this other album whose title I can't remember.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Monday, April 1, 2013

This Past Weekend's Trolling: Spin Magazine's Top 100 "Alternative" '60's Albums

Posted by on Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 11:14 AM

I'm not exactly sure what the parameters of Spin's Top 100 "Alternative" '60's Albums are 'cause it's not exactly what "in the know" teenagers/heads of the '60s were listening to. In the context of the '60s most rock music was alternative or, rather, underground. Despite most of this list's top 30 being current/must own Rock 101 records, the rest is more a list of what jazz-bo/beats, nerdy college students and some deep heads were digging on. Perhaps Spin's "alternative" here means' "Hey, y'all, here's yet another list of records you should hear?" Still, nice to see a lot of jazz and avant composer considered, no blues tho'.

Oddly, sorry I gotta get record nerd niggly, they included a few non '60s albums: Back from the Grave, a 1983 compilation of '60s punk, Nuggets another '60s compilation from 1972, and Steve Reich's Early Works a compilation of '60s recordings issued in 1987. Uh, I guess I get why they could be included, but c'mon!! OOF! If you're making a list of PERIOD albums, stick to it. GAH!

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Lollapalooza Line-Up Leaked... Maybe

Posted by on Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Someone supposedly took a picture of a poster featuring the 2013 Lollapalooza line-up and pooped it onto the internet, causing the festival to move up their announcement and ticket sale date to April 9.

The line-up allegedly includes: The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, Mumford & Sons, the Killers, Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, the National, the Postal Service, Queens of the Stone Age, the Lumineers, and Seattle's own Reignwolf, Father John Misty, and Hey Marseilles, along with dozens of others. Maybe. Supposedly.

See the whole, not-at-all-surprising thing here.

Monday, March 25, 2013

My Chemical Romance Breaks Up, Fans Petition for "One Last World Tour"

Posted by on Mon, Mar 25, 2013 at 4:08 PM

On Friday night, while watching the very great Big Eyes at the Vera Project, I received a press release screaming in all caps: "MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE DISBAND."

Says the band:

"Being in this band for the past 12 years has been a true blessing. We've gotten to go places we never knew we would. We've been able to see and experience things we never imagined possible. We've shared the stage with people we admire, people we look up to, and best of all, our friends. And now, like all great things, it has come time for it to end. Thanks for all of your support, and for being part of the adventure."

"They're still a band?" asked friends who I shared the news with. Then we all became transfixed on Deathfix's colorful projections and guitar riffs. (For real—Deathfix was SO GREAT at Vera on Friday. See them as soon as you have the chance.)

But not only were My Chemical Romance still a band until 9:00 pm PST Friday, but they still have very passionate fans who have not taken this break-up announcement lightly. In fact, one fan started a petition at change.org, asking MCR for one last world tour. It says:

They ended so abruptly without saying goodbye to their fans properly, and the MCRmy is upset. They need to do it correctly if they're going to do it at all.

MCRmy. I see what they did there.

Anyway, the petition already has 10,653 supporters!

UPDATE: There is now a counter-petition, started by Jaded Punk Hulk, to ensure MCR stay broken up.

In sort of related news, 30 Seconds to Mars frontman Jared Leto recently revealed that he once received a severed human ear in the mail.

"Someone cut their ear off once and sent it to me, that was very strange. A whole ear. The Van Gogh move. The note just said, 'Are you listening?' I never knew who it was, who's missing their ear out there," he quipped, confessing what he did with the gross gift.

"I poked a hole in it and wore it as a necklace," Leto joked, letting admirers know, "Just don't put your entire body in a case and send it to us."

Don't get any ideas, MCR fans. (No, seriously. Do not.)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Aw Shit, We've Got Some Stone Temple Pilots Drama

Posted by on Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Breaking news! Stone Temple Pilots have fired Scott Weiland!

The band said, simply, via press release: "Stone Temple Pilots have announced they have officially terminated Scott Weiland."

And it turns out Weiland didn't find out about his termination until this morning, when the rest of us did. He tells Rolling Stone:

'I learned of my supposed "termination" from Stone Temple Pilots this morning by reading about it in the press. Not sure how I can be "terminated" from a band that I founded, fronted and co-wrote many of its biggest hits, but that’s something for the lawyers to figure out. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to seeing all of my fans on my solo tour which starts this Friday.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Non-Comprehensive List of Band Names That Sound Delicious

Posted by on Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 2:37 PM

A Non-Comprehensive List of Band Names That Sound Delicious:

Orange Juice
Weekend Nachos
Breakfast Mountain
Fresh Espresso
The Lemonheads
Cake
Candysound
Jawbreaker
Pudding
Assorted Jellybeans
The Cranberries
Hot Butter
Peaches
Ice T(ea)
Wild Cherry

A Non-Comprehensive List of Band Names That Do Not Sound Delicious:

Moldy Peaches
Pearl Jam
Seaweed (which is GROSS tasting, do not argue with me about this!)
Poison
Bad Brains
Meatloaf (I am a vegetarian)
Anal Vomit

Friday, February 1, 2013

Never Stop Refreshing This Page About the New My Bloody Valentine Album

Posted by on Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 8:42 AM

How high is your frustration tolerance, long-suffering MBV fan, from waiting for the follow-up to 1991's Loveless? This tumblr will keep you abreast of breaking news on that front. Just keep refreshing, chump champ.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

It's Over and Done, I Deleted All the Fugazi Off'a My iTunes™

Posted by on Tue, Jan 22, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Turns out I just...don't...like...FUGAZI. OKAY?! This ain't the first time I've mentioned this. In fact, it was here in this post, "Ten Failed Attempts at Line Out Posts," where I expressed my lack of lerve for the Fugazi.

3) "Gosh, I Admit It, I Hate Fugazi"
It's true. The last time I listened to 'em, five years ago, I wondered why/how I ever gave a shit. All I could think was "What a terrible band." Thing is, I saw 'em twice, before the first EP came out, in late '88/early '89, AND I fucking LOVED 'EM, then bought their records and LOVED 'EM, etc...now, totes hate 'em. Weird, right?!

So at one point, yes, I did like the Fugazi. I guess from '88-91-ish, and during that time I saw 'em, prolly, ten times. Yeah, I was a fan. Then today as I was working, just letting my iTunes™ play, from my speakers burst these fine recordings: End Hits, Instrument Soundtrack, and The Argument. I let 'em play through, all three records. First, I didn't know who it was, it's been a while since I purposely listened to the Fugazi AND these ain't the HIT songs that changed EVERYTHING, so I checked who was playing. Seeing what I was hearing I thought "Oh, GOD!" and then I'm quite sure I made a SNEER FACE! Right, I have NO IDEA when I loaded 'em into my shit (perhaps 2004?!); I'm sure it was just to "check out" those last few LPs, but then I forgot. Anyways, so yeah, I listened to 'em...uh, seems like, by the end of the '90s, unintentionally, Fugazi ended up sounding like the bands they'd influenced. BUMMER! I feel so much better now the tracks have been deleted.

Also: does ANYONE remember FUEL, or Fuel-gazi, as they were referred to at the time. They were a straight Fugazi cop, prolly the best at the time. I saw 'em once, tho it was super impossible to listen to 'em. Currently, internet punters seem to regard them...HIGHLY.

Monday, January 21, 2013

My Pazz & Jop Ballot

Posted by on Mon, Jan 21, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Every year in its Pazz & Jop poll, the Village Voice asks over a thousand music critics to rate their favorite albums and singles (aka individual album tracks, MP3s, etc.) and then tabulates the results. It's very important business.

Last week Josh Bis posted about this year’s results. Every year I am wildly out of step with the consensus, although sometimes stuff I like—even if I didn't vote for it—ranks pretty high (SwansThe Seer coming in at #7 and Andy Stott’s Luxury Problems at #29 are cases in point).

Anyway, here is my ballot for your edification, apathy, or mockery. Maybe you’ll find something you didn’t know about in these lists that will improve your life in some microscopic way. If you have any questions, you know how to reach me.

Continue reading »

Friday, January 18, 2013

Why Mac Miller Owes Lord Finesse 10 Million Dollars

Posted by on Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 1:14 PM

You may have read that Mac Miller and Lord Finesse settled in December over the dispute of Mac's use of Lord Finesse's work. You may have also read everything from ridiculous YouTube comment section reasoning to Mac Miller’s own lawyer's press release. You may feel like one is better than the other, or that the spirit of hiphop is being perverted somehow, but there is a logical explanation for this, which stands outside of your spurious reasoning. Rest at ease.

Lord Finesse isn't owed 10 million dollars by rap’s cutest start up because he's decided to betray the roots of hiphop. US Copyright Law is actually pretty easy to follow and available to digest in many forms over at this website. In addition to the usual FAQ section, they’ve also got pamphlets covering a series of specific subjects, and a series of cartoons for explaining things like copyright infringement to school children. There's also the entire law just sitting there for you to read. I grant you that the sections on sound recordings are incredibly dated, referring to transferring sound via phonograph doesn’t even sound civilized, but the principles of the law do still apply.

It's easiest to first begin with the popular Mac Miller fan defense (no, not the gormless, air-headed defense about the honor of hiphop) which is stated reasonably as:

Lord Finesse never paid Oscar Peterson for his sample of "Dream of You" used on his track "Hip 2 Da Game" either, tho.

This is the first and best argument, which attempts to establish Miller's innocence and show that Lord Finesse is a greedy ’90s monster back from the dead, participating outside the lines of hiphop historical allowances. This argument is, however, wrong.

Here’s why:

Continue reading »

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Critics Choose Frank Ocean and Carly Rae Jepsen as King of Pazz and Queen of Jop

Posted by on Wed, Jan 16, 2013 at 8:16 PM

In what might be the most difficult arithmetic they'll do all year, 493 music writers managed to cast their ballots for the best albums and singles of 2012 by the December deadline. This week, the results of the Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop survey have been tabulated and, by runaway margins, we have a new king and queen of the last year in music: Frank Ocean's confessional R&B crossover hit channel ORANGE handily won as the year's best album while Carly Rae Jepsen took the prize for best single with the inexhaustible "Call Me Maybe".

While Ocean was the decisive favorite—mentioned by 35% of voters—the albums list represents only a minor reordering of the medals platform that was Pitchfork's verdict on the year in records—their hivemind put Kendrick Lamar's musical memoir good kid, m.A.A.d. city on top, but both agreed that Fiona Apple's multifaceted return The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do in the number three spot. Beyond an indulgence of a certain level of textual creativity in album titles, though, the votes reveal a year of "weak consensus" or "inspiring diversity."

Beyond all of the accompanying essays and commentaries on "what it all means", my most favorite part of this annual tradition is the giant piles of resulting data. For instance, on a local front, the Village Voice's results disagreed with KEXP listeners' album of the year selection, with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis's platinum the Heist garnering just four votes (one of which was from Charles R. Cross). Two Sub Pop albums—Fear Fun by Father John Misty and Bloom by Beach House—cracked the top twenty. And, in contrast to my own terminally mainstream tendencies, Dave Segal maintained his place among the "least centric" of all critics.

While you peruse the full results, possibly making this face at the injustice of how your own favorites fared, here's a playlist of the critically-endorsed top forty-one singles of last year:

Let us know how you would have voted—being careful to apportion your hundred points such that no album gets less than five or more than thirty (see, math is hard!)—in the comments.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Losing the Vegan Challenge

Posted by on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 3:20 PM

UGH. I lost $100 to someone who thought they could be vegan longer than me.

Here's the thing, I'm a life-long vegetarian, am not super into milk, and think eggs are foul (HA, like fowl)! But seriously, SEE HOW THIS WAS GOING TO BE THE EASIEST $100 EVER? I love cheese dearly, but the person I was betting against is the meatiest meat eater of all meat time.

So, after six days of easy breezy veganism, I was felled by a goddamned Andes chocolate mint. On accident! I don't even like Andes mints! I know they have milk in them! The mint just happened to be on top of my Bait Shop check.

Apparently if you put even sort of edible candy in front of me, I will eat it. Sugar is my best frenemy. Sugar will tell me my new bangs look nice, even if sugar noticed they go waaay too far back on my head like Rod Stewart. Sugar thinks it's funny when I look bad.

I've been quelling my rage by searching for vegan/vegetarian songs, which is the funniest thing to write a song about. I could only think of Gorilla Biscuits - "Cats and Dogs", the Smiths - "Meat is Murder" of course, and Hot Lava - "Blue Dragon"... Are there more?

It's Only a Matter of Time Before Taylor Swift and Mumford & Sons Collaborate

Posted by on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 11:27 AM

It's coming. It has to be coming. Just you wait and see.

Friday, December 21, 2012

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