At this point I have set the bar for myself so close to the ground that I consider it a victory that I am able to recognize the photos of three out of the four acts here. Anyway, what were your favorite albums of 2013? Seriously, let me know, they will probably all be new to me.
The first reports early last week told the story of a disgruntled young man who had been kicked out of a band called the Yellow Dogs, a band of Iranian expatriates. The man, traumatized by his exile and enraged at his friends, the story went, killed his former bandmates before killing himself.
"Iranian 'murdered bandmates' after group ousted him," read the New York Post headline. "Rafie betrayed his bandmates, stealing money and equipment last year," that story went. "Rafie was kicked out of the group, but on Monday returned with a vengeance." A source told the Post that Rafie shouted, "something like, 'Why did you bring me over here [...]
Funeral Selfies What a fine time to be alive! Quick rundown on ME: I’m a fun loving radical anarchist who stops for garage sales, goes all in for allspice, and enjoys a low-cal beer bong. I’ve got feet for hands and my hobbies include Godzilla, being ~cheeky~, and totally breaking down barriers, whether they be social, cultural, political, or literal barriers at concerts, sporting events, Thanksgiving Day parades et. al, because CAN'T TELL ME NOTHIN and also HARDER BETTER FASTER STRONGER. Whip the lambo when drunk but still got love for PETA. You see, we out here, and we are the change we want to see in the [...]
If you've ever wanted to know how a nice Jewish girl like Merrill Nisker became Peaches, the new feature film slash documentary "Peaches Does Herself" won't exactly connect the dots for you.
If you'd like to see Peaches and her Fatherfucker Dancers reenact her rise to fame—complete with a giant bed that looks like a vulva, dancers in pink zentai that are orgiastically unzipped, and a surgery gone awry, then Peaches Does Herself offers all of that and more. Besides Peaches and her dancers, "Peaches Does Herself" stars Sandy Kane, of New York City public access fame—she's a former stripper in her sixties who wields a dildo [...]
Few musical ensembles are so thoroughly synonymous with New York City’s underground scene as the Hungry March Band. Over the past fifteen years they have established themselves as the band that will play anywhere and everywhere, at any time and under all circumstances. Dedicated to “in your face” encounters with mostly unsuspecting audiences, they are a “public” marching band and frequently take to the streets with their instruments, whether they have been invited to do so or not. Once dubbed “Best Anarchist Parade Group” by the Village Voice, HMB gave performances on the streets, sidewalks, and subways of the city that are legendary. The band is large, loud, and [...]
Crazy times: Godspeed You! Black Emperor won the Polaris Prize, which celebrates a Canadian musician each year (they'll run out soon, having already been through Caribou, Arcade Fire and Feist). Now Godspeed may be going on tour with Nine Inch Nails, but they are not prepared to accept life in the big gross leagues and the kind of hoopla that accompanies $30,000 prizes at this point twenty years into their life as a band. So they said this:
-holding a gala during a time of austerity and normalized decline is a weird thing to do.
-organizing a gala just so musicians can compete against each other for a [...]
Tonight, Will Oldham, aka Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, is performing at Town Hall. Among other things, he is an enemy of poetry.
His sharpest and most prominent attack came in an essay in Poetry, in the June 2012 issue, in one of my favorite sections of the magazine—a feature each month in which non-poets write about poetry. I suppose it was generous of the editors of Poetry to allow what could be called a dissenting voice. Faith, after all, necessitates doubt. But it was not so much a dissenting voice as a voice that said we should shut down the proceedings. It made me ponder canceling my subscription [...]
The reviews are in for "Britney Jean"!
• "It’s her most disappointing release yet, a snoozefest of shallow mid-tempos and limp club tracks that chase trends rather than invent them."
• "It’s just straightforward pop music, and that’s just fine."
• "Like Wile E. Coyote realizing too late that he's walked off a cliff and is standing on thin air, "Britney Jean," the new studio album from Britney Spears, is marked with so many sleights of hand, dubious lyrics and bombastic but boringly simple melodies that the too-rare levitation of its better moments seems an animation trick."
If you're not all that busy this afternoon why not listen to a bunch of versions of Al Green's "Take Me To The River"?
People are always saying things on the Internet all the time. But they are such teases. We like details. So we have to ask.
Interviewing @lordemusic over dinner, I suggested sharing truffle pizza. Her reply: "Then you'll write about it like Lynn Hirschberg!"
— Jonah Weiner (@jonahweiner) October 11, 2013
Jonah! So what happened here?
Rolling Stone asked me to write a short profile of Lorde, a young musician from New Zealand whose single “Royals” has been the number-one song in America for three weeks now. This was just the other week. She was in Los Angeles to tape a performance of “Royals” for Ellen, [...]
Recently I was driving upstate to visit my brother Tom on the farm he lives and works on with other disabled people. Because I was by myself for the drive and it’s good to have something fun to listen to I made myself a mix of Elliott Smith songs. Why not! Even though it’s sad that Elliott Smith died at age 34 ten years ago today, his music wasn't all broken bottles in empty parking lots, stained floors, naked mattresses and irreversible damage.
A few months ago, Awl Music switched over to a new kind of curation. (Yes, sorry, "curation." You know: choosing videos.) Instead of picking videos one at a time, by hand (by mouse?) we started picking shows from YouTube and Vimeo, and set the site up to automatically post new episodes from the shows that we like. Right now there are 8 shows that get fed into the stream: La Blogotheque, a live music series produced by the French music website of the same name; Beat Making Lab, a PBS Digital Studios program in which some guys introduce a compact electronic music studio to various cultures [...]
If you don’t like reading interviews about musical performers taking mushrooms, washing meat out of semi trucks, and about biblical figure Moses creaming his robe, Billy Corgan’s friends, Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock’s jaw, or first girlfriends dying way, way too soon, then just don’t click on this, or touch it or however you were planning on interacting with this, just stop.
If you like Califone, you know that their new record Stitches is very good, and you love how the music they make is an amalgamation of organic, folksy-type string instrumentation combined with technology (and by technology, I mean broken, misused/abused technology or often just the sound of electronic [...]
While we await the next credit bubble, and with it the circumstances that justify pursuit of my master’s thesis, "Metaphors of Technology in R&B," plz allow me to share some notes for the chapter "Prince//The Komputer."1.
Prince was an early adopter. He got down with l’ordinateur in the early 80s, and quickly established himself as a pioneer of romantic cybernetics. On this extended version of "Computer Blue," from 1983, we hear a Wendy (Lisa?) monologue around the 10 min. mark:
Narrow-minded computer, it’s time someone programmed you. It’s time you learned. Women are not butterflies, they’re computers too. Just like you, Computer Blue.
Chauvinistic computer, it’s time [...]
50. Twisted Sister (H)
49. Tamar Braxton (H)Lyric Legend: M - “Until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow” used H – “Hang a shining star upon the highest bough” used M/W - Both used
48. John Denver & The Muppets (H)
47. Christina Aguilera (H/M)
46. Jessica Simpson (H)
45. Michael Bolton (H)
44. Neil Diamond (H)
43. Joe (H)
42. Clay Aiken (H)
41. Kelly Clarkson (H)
40. John Travolta & Olivia Newton John (H)
39. Captain & Tennille (H)
38. Scott Weiland (M)
37. Sufjan Stevens (H)
"People who only like 'Midnight City' are going to be disappointed. Mellow and romantic, this soundtrack pays tribute to French soundtracks from the 70's and is much more intimate than Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming and the Oblivion Soundtrack. This score is really for lovers and ghosts," says the M83 guy, but whatever, this is very pretty and if it disappoints you I am not sure what your problem is. I mean, "Midnight City" is kind of ONE NOTE. Move on, everyone, there's a whole world of other sounds out there for you.
It is funny how the farther away we get from the '80s the better it seems in retrospect, but I suppose that is true of everything, which should give you all hope: No matter how miserable today is—and today is indeed miserable, you are correct in feeling that way—if you somehow survive another 30 years you will look back on it as a time when you weren't as filled with sadness and desperation as you are now (and by now I mean "then," i.e. 30 years from today, when things are going to be so much worse). Anyway, the soundtrack to 30 years from now will feature the bands [...]
Tonight, Blondie and X are playing at Roseland, the last stop on their big Aging Fabulous Legends Of Punk tour. (It's not really called that.) Tickets are $70 on Ticketmaster and about the same on Stub Hub. They're like old pals now, according to USA Today: "'I think there's a lot of respect' between the group's members, says X bassist John Doe."
Superfreaks will remember the live version of "Nausea," recorded in 1982 in San Diego, released on "Beyond and Back: The X Anthology." Exene gives an introduction: "Well. Well, well, well, well. I bet you guys wish Deborah Harry and Blondie was playing tonight, right? I bet [...]
An early issue of Girl Germs, one of the zines archived in the Riot Grrrl Collection at NYU’s Fales Library, is made of ten sheets of standard-size office paper stacked on top of each other, folded lengthwise, and stapled twice down the spine. With the fold on the left, so the surface is taller than it is wide, the sheets become a half-size book of 38 pages and two covers. When the master copy was made in the early 1990s, its pages were hand-pasted with illustrations, essays, and letters either torn from notebooks or cut to size, then photocopied into a small print run by Molly Neuman and Allison [...]