Nathan Rabin is a staff writer at the forthcoming site The Dissolve, which was formed with Pitchfork from the mass exodus from The A.V. Club, where he was head writer. Back in 2010, Rabin set out to write a book about Phish and Insane Clown Posse, two bands who are as ignored by the mainstream music world as they are adored by their fans. He followed Phish on tour that summer and then went to the Gathering of the Juggalos, ICP’s annual 4-day festival, finding both experiences to be intriguing but less than affecting.
Then, as they say, everything went wrong. Rabin went broke, lost a year’s worth [...]
Tomorrow Matador Records is reissuing Come's "11:11." If you don't remember the 90s, and really why would you, it's one of the great rock records of… all time? Yup, absolutely. Come toured with Pavement and Nirvana, considered their major label options, and put out three more albums in the 90s, even as half the lineup left. And then… everyone sort of drifted away. Now the original four-some is on tour in Europe; they'll wend their way to America in mid-June. Over the weekend, we Skyped with Come's Thalia Zedek about getting the band back together. She was in Berlin, getting lost; she also has a new album [...]
While we have already addressed many fine full-length vanity albums, our album-oriented format has not allowed for the discussion of vanity singles: songs released by otherwise un-musical celebrities that are never followed by a full album. The most common contemporary source for these singles is undoubtedly reality TV stars. They are so common, in fact, that we can divide them into sub-genres, and this column will address the most visible one: singles by cast members of Bravo reality shows, which exist in their own little Bravo universe. The songs are often about their actions on the shows and often made with other cast members. They become the subject [...]
The new book by music critic Marc Spitz, Poseur: A Memoir of Downtown New York City in the '90s, out this week from Da Capo Press, is a wistful, candid recounting of Spitz's struggles with career, love and drugs as he made his way into adulthood. The memoir's also enjoyable for its many anecdotes of downtown New York during the 90s, the time when Chloë Sevigny was coming off Kids, the actress Adrienne Shelly was the reigning indie queen, and Bennington graduates seemed to be everywhere. Spitz's anecdotes about the actors and musicians he meets have a wayward namedropping charm—they also, all together, form a fascinating portrait of the [...]
A failed engagement leads Ben (Bradley Cooper) to quit his job as an analyst at a NYC hedge fund and retire early in a small town upstate. He buys a fixer-upper and begins to find a place among the town's kooky residents, including the town's unlikely plumber, Jess (Kristen Wiig). It isn't long, however, before both his ex boss (Jeff Bridges) and fiancee (Rose Byrne) attempt to bring him back to his old life. Music: Vampire Weekend – “Ya Hey” (4:19) Placement During Trailer: End
For my thirty-third birthday, my husband pre-ordered "The Barsuk Years," the Death Cab for Cutie vinyl box set. "That way you’ll only have the good ones," he said.
He said "good ones" with an uptick in his voice, almost as if he was asking a question. Neither of us can tell how much of the gift, or any part of it, is a joke. I opened up the box, and I laughed. I love these records. Or: I loved these records?
It's a time in music—or a time in music for me?—when the definition of Good Music has never been murkier. Are these the good ones? The idea of "good [...]
This being the day on which Erik Satie was born way back in 1866, let's take a couple moments to listen to a few of his compositions. If you're at work put on some headphones, and wherever you are free yourself of all distractions, and let these wash over you for a short while. You will feel calmed, refreshed and ready to face the rest of the day. And then? Weekend! Everybody wins.
Recently I went to Carnegie Hall for, I believe, the second time in my life, to see Gabriel Kahane and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra perform Gabriel's "Guide to the 48 States." I went to college with Gabriel, where our closest contact was probably when I was an assistant stage manager on a musical he co-wrote. Since then he's established himself as a songwriter, singer and composer, one of the polymath hopes of classical music. The New York Times Magazine called him “a one-man cultural Cuisinart.” He's composed concert music for himself, string quartets, and orchestras; he wrote the music and lyrics for a musical at the Public Theater; he first attracted [...]
"Hundreds of fans lined up outside the El Rey Theatre across town earlier Saturday for a chance to attend the spontaneous show. Buyers were limited to one ticket, and they were required to pay with cash, show a government-issued ID, wear a wristband with their name on it and be photographed. Their names were verified at the venue, which has a capacity of about 700. Cameras and smartphones weren’t allowed inside the Echoplex, which usually plays host to hipster bands and mash-up dance parties. The lack of personal recording devices made the [band's] performance feel even more exclusive and old school, freeing concertgoers’ hands of the gizmos that have [...]
Isn't it great that there's a musician that almost literally everyone can agree on? From the punks to the hippies to the yuppies to the militants, from the people that buy one album a year at Starbucks to the people who buy zero albums a year through FilesTube, errybody reasonably loves Ms. Neko Case.
It says here that Lori Carson's Where It Goes was one of the 10 best albums of the '90s, a decade that had a pretty good amount of best albums in it. Anyway, her debut novel The Original 1982 is out today. I don't know much about it, but there's a whole long-ass interview with her here that is worth listening to. (Also if you have never heard Where It Goes I should warn you that it is just a tad bleak, so if you're currently in a staying-away-from-the-sharp-objects mood you might want to steer clear for the moment. Unless you want to wallow, it's a great [...]
"Although the notion of listening to music to improve mood may not come as a surprise, researchers at the University of Missouri found that an individual can indeed successfully try to be happier, especially when cheery music aids the process." Coming hot on the heels of yesterday's revelation that sad music helps sad people feel happy, the question is obvious: Is there any kind of music that won't bring you joy? Insert Skrillex joke here!
"Honey Locust Honky Tonk is supposed to be a mock country album even though it's not country, although it is a little more straightforward than albums I typically make. I was going to use a pseudonym – Cash Rivers." —Robert Pollard, you don't need to try to convince us that there's something different about your songs. We like you just the way you are!
Last weekend Mark Kamins died of a heart attack at age 57. The legendary DJ and producer—who worked with David Byrne, the Beastie Boys and Sinéad O'Connor—was best known for producing Madonna's first single, 1982's "Everybody," and helping sign her to Seymour Stein's Sire Records. Around that same time, Kamins produced another popular single, the dance-rap track "Jam Hot" by Johnny Dynell. (The song was featured in the iconic 1983 graffiti documentary Style Wars, and its lyrics—"Tank Fly Boss Walk Jam Nitty Gritty/You're listening to the boy from the big bad city"—were sampled in the #1 U.K. single "Dub Be Good To Me" by Beats International, the 1990s [...]