Archive for April, 2011
Well, if you’re like me, then you set your alarm wicked early this morning so you wouldn’t miss a second of the pre-game footage for Prince William’s wedding to that pretty little civilian, Kate something or other. But really…they’re estimating a billion viewers worldwide for this thing? Jesus, just when I though democracy was starting to prevail.
Seriously though, who could potentially bring equal as much hype for a wedding here in the States? I know what you’re all thinking…MILEY! – America’s salvia smoking sweetheart! Well, “Party in the USA” is only up to a quarter billion views on youtube, so I’m not sure about that…yeah that’s right, I said Party in the USA has over a quarter BILLION fucking views! Christ! That is completely insane for that crappy tune that just gets repeatedly stuck in your head to get that much, but hey, the 12 year old girls gotta learn how to dress like a slut somewhere.
Either way, I was dreaming of what would make me want to watch this wedding…What if Kate’s only request was: “I’ll do everything by tradition, but I really want my younger brother’s band to play the reception. They’re called Drooling Wankers and they do electro versions of Sex Pistols songs. Oh please Willy? Little Donny would be so excited!” I mean, does she have that kind of pull yet? I did hear them say she’s not going to say the word “Obey” in her vows so at least Shepard Fairey will be bummed about that. Oh well, maybe some naked guy will parachute in or something cool like that. Keep your fingers crossed America!
…not the hype about JC – believe whatever you want about the man, or not. Anyway, after finally seeing the brilliant Banksy movie this weekend, Exit Through the Gift Shop, I became aware of the synchronous connection the film had with the latest story about the Jersey band Delicate Steve. OK, uber-quick catch up:
Exit Through the Gift Shop – An amazing documentary about the legends of modern street art, and how construed hype over drivel crap can falsely convince a willing public that redundant tripe should be priceless.
Delicate Steve – A really basic guy/band from Northern Jersey who plays quasi-electronic tunes that are all essentially composed with the salsa beat on your grandmother’s organ cranked up to full speed. They opened up for a band I’m part of in the Magic Hat Brewery parking lot last summer. Good fellas, not neccessarily the most epic music – most moms would find it very annoying and obnoxious – but fun for a little while.
Soooo, somebody at their label had the genius idea to create the most obscure, over-the-top, all-out super-fibbing for the band’s bio. Through a link of a link, legendary sub-culture music-critic and writer Chuck Klosterman was convinced to write the bio on the account that he didn’t need to listen to the band or know anything about their music. He thusly wrote the most absurd bio with comparisons ranging from My Bloody Valentine to Led Zeppelin, and the under-lying notion that Steve was about to rip the fabric of destiny and time open with their historically important music. In a showing then of how press stories are relayed and used without any fact-checking, many venues and press printed the bio verbatim, thus leading many to a completely incorrect view of what the band actually is. And so the question is, should they feel bad for duping listeners into checking out their music on completely false terms? Of which, Klosterman intelligently replies: “I’ll be honest — I don’t feel bad. Because to me, I’ve probably helped that person to learn that you should not make consumer decisions based on some random media message that someone just fabricated for no reason.”
It’s a pretty fascinating story, and if you got the time NPR has a great detailing of how they themselves fell for the bio. They also have the full bio listed too: http://www.npr.org/blogs/therecord/2011/04/21/135568766/everything-you-know-about-this-band-is-wrong?ps=mh_frhdl2
I think the whole thing is fucking hilarious and a good example of the distance between press and actual fans of music – there are music critics out there who are not only lazy, but actually just don’t care about music. Not like myself, and the over-saturation and gorging of modern sound that I digest in such detail only to bring the cumulative truth to you, the reader, who actually makes it to the end of my blog postings. Here’s some killer Steve:
Distant, loft-inducing vocals – a dull but warmly steady, pulsing snare – raw, simple, but synched guitar licks with alot of reverb. Those are essentially the 3 characteristics that have made the LP and EP releases from Brooklyn’s Beach Fossils so appealing and alt-critically adored over the past year. So their performance at Winooski, VT’s Monkey Bar the other night, which admittedly is a very tough room to play in as you are essentially crammed into a window by the front door, thus horrible acoustics…anyway, the best way to describe their performance at the Monkey on Monday night was whiny, forced vocals – a forgotten and off-tempo snare – sloppy, confused guitar licks lost in the vacuum of the ill-conceived stage. I’m not saying I necessarily blame the band, but that shit was really fucking bad. And I only say it, because I’ve enjoyed the band’s music before and hope they can understand my constructive criticism as a way to elevate them to superior athletes of their craft and contributors to the modern lexicon of our sacr-religious musical culture, but that shit friggin blew. When they busted into their most quasi-known song, “Daydream,” I headed for the door.
And you know…I’m sure any band based on echoey vocals like My Morning Jacket or something, would also sound horrible in the Monkey Bar, but they would be willing to adapt. And sometimes that’s what you gotta do, you need to be willing to change up the gameplan a little bit so it at least seems like you’re in control of the situation, and not just letting yourself accept an ass-raping from a stage not well constructed to your sound. If any bands out there are looking for lessons in constructive adaptation and communal interaction with surroundings, I’m available for a rather steep fee. Contact info can be found above.
And fans attending these shows need to realize that it is definitely in their place to acknowledge when the band you’ve been rocking on your iPod because Pitchfork gave their album a 7.8, are pulling off a rather wankerous and dodgy performance. If you just roll with it and put a fake smile on your face to pretend like the show is just as dreamy as you could imagine, then the next time they roll into town the band is going to be comfortable with just sonically pissing in your beer. I’m just saying, not to say anything about the Monkey, or MSR Presents with Matt Rogers and Nick Mavodones who fucking work their asses off to bring alternative music into our Northern Vermont community that otherwise would speed right by on their way to Canada. Nor against the hipsters of Burlington and Winooski, who really are very nice people when you get to know em, just a little shy and more full of Phish-angst than your regular Brooklynite. Anywho…here’s the studio cut of said track from before – good, summertime Joy Division-esque stuff.
Here’s the intro and link to my review on Cleveland’s Dylan Baldi and his radical neo-punk band, Cloud Nothings: Good shit:
I had a grand epiphany recently when I realized there was a whole outlet of interpersonal music geekness that I was neglecting – the digital mailing list. Sure, a decade or so, writing your email address on some band’s list usually just meant you got a list of tour-dates every few months. But this is 2011 baby! Shit’s happening, and bands these days love to hook up their list folk with sweet things. I’ve gotten some dope downloads from Yeasayer and Akron Family among others as of late. But the biggest satisfaction came this morning when Radiohead sent everyone on their list copies of the two new tracks they only released in the UK last Saturday.
“The Butcher” is a glitched out, somewhat dark but steady charger. It was recorded during The King of Limbs, but it has even more of a stand-alone sound than other tracks on that album, and subsequently they couldn’t make it fit into the equation. Killer track though, and I would love to hear it grab full hold of its’ spookiness in a live setting.
“Supercollider” was started during the Limbs sessions but just finished up a few weeks back. They had been playing a rough take on this track for the past few years, but it was essentially just Yorke on the piano as I anticipated this cut to be. Rather, this is a much more lofty and synth driven track with a steady drum/fake-bass beat rolling throughout. It’s beautiful, very moon-landing kind of vibe. Definitely a must-have.
The most satisfying part? The fact that I went into my local record shop on Record Store Day, and the random bitchy chick working there looked at me like a complete ignorant asshole when I asked if they had the new Radiohead. Sure I had my release-date-countries mixed up, but still she thought I was an idiot, and seemed really pissed off when I told her that I obviously already had a copy of The King of Limbs and she needed to take that off my bill. I hope she loves Radiohead and subsequently can’t ever listen to these tracks without aching in the guilt of knowing that the asshole kid was right on Record Store Day. Eat it homegirl, I’m gonna listen to these songs 10 times each today.
So with all my chatter on the beauty of a band like LCD Soundsystem walking away in their prime, before they fuck up their legacy, it’s led me to ponder some other notable retirements or lack thereof. Here’s the 5 that come to mind:
Talking Heads - In my head, the most obvious comparison when it comes to LCD, the T Heads are the most genuine walk-away ever. They were huge, they were successful, they were full of ideas. But Byrne shut that shit down just when people were fiending for more eternally, and even though they’re all still alive, it would be a disgrace to try to conjure up some of the magic that blossomed on those sweat filled stages of the early 80′s. End result: The Heads are one of the most beloved and pined for bands of all time, and their history is not construed with any bullshit.
The Police – I had always wanted to see the Police. They were one of the bands that I wished I had been ten years older so I could have raged them in my teens. When they first announced their reunion run a couple years ago, I was initially excited – until show reviews began to trickle in. Horrendous show reviews about the lack of cohesion between anyone in the band. Then I pictured myself trying to smoke a joint while a 45 year-old couple complained to me about lingering asthma or something – just a vision, but enough so that I knew there was no way I could ruin my childhood dreams by seeing this band butcher their history. Let that one pass by.
Led Zeppelin – When they did the one-off show to remember Ahmet 4 years ago, I said to myself: “Go now, or never see anything close to seeing this band.” And God, it must have been glorious just to have JPJ back in the rotation. But Jason Bonham is no John, not by a longshot – so obviously it would have never been the same. And as much as I would have hit a string of U.S. shows if they played them, I have nothing but huge respect for Robert Plant moving on with his life and succeeding in other musical endeavours. Hell, he wouldn’t have been able to hit most of those notes anyway.
Phish – When Trey first announced they were breaking up, I thought it was a beautiful thing. The band had fallen out of its’ groove, drugs ran rampant, and I thouroughly agreed with Anasatasio when he said, “Nobody loves Phish more than me, and I’d hate us to turn into characterizations of ourselves like some bands I truly admire.” And yes, he was speaking directly to you Bob Weir and Phil Lesh. But 5 years later, sober and raging, I can’t really argue with the Bad Lieutenant for getting the team back together. Shit is still uber-radical. Almost always.
Jane’s Addiction - Ahhhh, the ideal example. In the early 90′s Jane’s was fuckin’ nasty. Nothing’s Shocking and Ritual de lo Habitual are 2 of the greatest rock records ever made. They’ll sound innovative for another hundred years. They were big, powerful, psychedelic – everything rock and roll was meant to be. And they just made those albums, crushed Palooza, and stopped before they could fuck up their musical history. And then in 2003, Farell gets some sort of the band together to make this horrible comeback album. Unfortunately, Dave Navarros’s botox injections had weaseled down into his musical soul, and it was just another album of new millennium post-poprock garbage. Why Jane’s? Why? Their bassist, Eric Avery, was smart enough to stay away. He only returned for a bit in 2008, when they received a lifetime achievement award, and Avery felt a few shows would be to “honor the band’s legacy, rather than recreate it.” Unfortunately, they wanted to keep going and make new tunes, and he subsequently left again. And now Jane’s is touring again…and I’ve never seen them…and God I fucking want to…but I know it’s not the same, and I know it will create resentment in my heart, and I know I shouldn’t go…but I still might. Even though I know it’s gonna rub my soul the wrong way. Hell, at least I know the audience behind me won’t tell me to sit down like they told my best-friend at the Montreal Police reunion show. Here’s some Jane’s back from when the world was a better place.
No, not Todd and the Monsters… So anyway, in preparation for today’s beloved celebration of International Record Store Day, and the anticpation of blowing my figurative and financial load at my beloved Pure Pop Music here in Burlington, VT – I spent last night putting away my latest stack of need-to-file albums. As an audiophilic collector, I’m actually a big fan of the Compact Disc, and thus steadily accumulate quite a few. But my biggest pet peave is with the obnoxiously, slightly oversized CD case.
5 and 1/2 by 4 and 3/4s!!! Those are the fucking dimensions people. You never see vinyl records that are randomly extra large – I mean, there are some weird shaped ones but never huge ones. So what the hell is up with bands that are like, “Oh, let’s make our CD an inch too wide, so that way it won’t fit in people’s CD racks, so then they’ll just have a special murale wall-display for our one random album in particular.” The fucking nerve of some of these bands. Sure I’ll gladly buy the book version of Radiohead‘s Amnesiac. And hell, I’ve probably been close to making a friggin’ wall murale for em before, but my latest over-sized disc is the new EP for the Dum Dum Girls. The new EP for the Dum Dum Girls?!!? Sure, they’re fun – but does a 4 song EP for these weird neo-punk chick rockers from LA really something that needs to be permently highlighted in my album collection?? Of course not! But their gargantuan packaging motif leaves me no other choice. It does however, leave a sizeable scar on my own jaded ego that will probably lead me to never buy another physical album from them ever again. Even if they do create the album that unites all humanity like that of Wyld Stallions lore. Anyway, here it goes into my special mutant CD rack to join it’s other obnoxious friends: Tool – Ten Thousand Days, Sigur Ros – Takk… Thom Yorke – The Eraser, My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges, Coldplay – Viva La Vida, The Low Anthem - What the Crow Brings, Deerhoof – Offend Maggie.
Here’s the link to my drool-puddling raving rant over how ridiculous the LCD farewell show at MSG was: http://www.stateofmindmusic.com/entry/1219/LCD-Soundsystem/
“On countless nights MSG has risen to the center of the city that is the center of the universe‚ and it was gonna take a lot more than a bunch of drunk scenesters from Brooklyn throwing a farewell dance-party to be able to find a place in the Garden’s books. That is‚ unless they were LCD Soundsystem and they just so would happen to throw down one of the most legendary room shakers in the building’s history.”
Here’s a view from the pit of my favorite part of the night – the insane outro of “Yeah” into “Somone Great” – Not the best video, but if you weren’t there, no video can emulate the emotion in that room anyway.
…But actually one hell of a killer band. So I don’t know how much network television you watch at 3 in the morning, but essentially Carson Daly is the only non-infomercial on at that point. And I’m not sure if I really have any sympathy for the man, but it must kinda suck when you keep getting passed over for other talkshow gigs and then they completely change the format of your show. But it does work out for the insomniac audiophiles of our nation, as his show has essentially become a nightly pre-taped, audience-free, showcase of unknown bands. Long story short, the other night the band was these new cats out of L.A., Grouplove.
Yeah, I know…really bad band-name, but they do seem pretty collectively into each other so maybe it’s valid. Either way, I think they’re my new faves when it comes to collective pop-rock outfits of explosive celebration. If you’re like me, and you feel like you want to like Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros but they’re just a little too corny for you, then you might appreciate the somewhat more forceful edge of Grouplove. Lead guy, Chris’s voice sounds alot like Wayne Cohen or Jeff Mangum from Neutral Milk Hotel. He fucking goes for it big time though, and their live shows have been getting bumping accolades. They’ve opened up for Cold War Kids and Florence and the Machine but their biggest gig so far is probably gonna be at San Francisco’s Outside Lands Fest in August. Killer lineup, and they’re definitely worth hittin up a small stage for. They’ve got some insanely awesome, simple, big songs and I highly recommend their debut EP which just came out in January. You can stream most of it at their website: www.grouplovemusic.com Get into em now, before they become the next hip thing and face-painted freshman girls buy up all the tix. Here’s the heavy video for “Colours.” And another fresh track, “Naked Kids” too. Check em both if you got 10 minutes.
As previously reported, HotSauce Committee Part II comes out May 3rd. There’s been a quasi leak of the dope single, “Make Some Noise”, but the best place to hear it is on the Beasties’ own website www.beastieboys.com - It’s ever so hot, and ever so more refreshing – can’t wait for the album to enter the rotation.
Today they also released the trailer for the 30 minute B-Boys movie about Fight For your Right 25 years later or something like that. It literally has everybody you love in modern comedy in it, watch the trailer below – it’s gonna be fucking stupendous.