It seems like it is always reissue time, but here is news of a return engagement that is very worthwhile: "Intoxicated Man (1995) and Pink Elephants (1997) are Mick Harvey’s interpretations of the songs of legendary singer, songwriter and poet Serge Gainsbourg and are the first major works translating Gainsbourg’s infuential work from French to English. The double CD collection will include two unreleased tracks, 'Dr Jekyll' and 'Run From Happiness.'" I was there when this happened the first time, and the claims made for these records are true: They really did inspire interest in Gainsbourg in a lot of people who had never heard of him before. [...]
"Oh, wait! I just got it! Like… 'chants."
"I will never be able to hear his songs the same way again."
"You're an idiot."
Emo 4.0 champions Future Islands.
Recently I’ve found myself over-emoting in unclever ways. To keep a handle on things I have decided to call myself emo, although I never used that term as a self-descriptor when it was actually appropriate in the early 2000s. I didn’t even learn what an emo was until the summer of 2005, at debate camp, when a boy with one of those pretentious monosyllabic names like “Chad” or “Brad” or something came into the lunchroom wearing a Death Cab For Cutie t-shirt and blew my mind. I’d heard of DCFC before but had subconsciously conflated them with Hootie and the Blowfish, which [...]
You have to laugh, mostly because you have lived long enough for this to be more or less unremarkable as an example of modern-day popular music, but also because you don't actually hate it. It's a funny old world. [Via]
Lindsay Lohan’s debut album, "Speak," will be ten years old this year. What a world! But with the debut of her OWN docu-series, "Lindsay," what better time is there to consider Lohan’s long-abandoned music career?"Ultimate"
Kelsey McKinney: This track, from Freaky Friday, is Lindsay’s first big blockbuster hit, but all I remember about it is that Jamie Lee Curtis takes her door off and then my father threatened to do that to me for YEARS.
Aleksander Chan: I remember this movie teaching me that the House of Blues is a thing and that if you get really pissed at your mother and you both wish [...]
Which Lykke Li do you like better, menacing Lykke Li or heartbreaking Lykke Li? Most days I will go for heartbreaking Lykke Li, but it feels like there has already been heartbreak a-plenty this week (they keep telling me it is only Tuesday but that seems impossible) so today let's stick with menacing. [Via]
People always focus on the "guilty" part of "guilty pleasure," but let's not forget that the next word is "pleasure." I mean, pretty much all pleasure contains a certain amount of guilt anyway, right? It does for me at least. Anyway, apropos of nothing, here's a song from Chromeo with the guy from Vampire Weekend.
The only possible reason I could ever conceive of wishing I were Australian is so that I could say, "Courtney Barnett is a national treasure." I mean, otherwise, gross, the idea of being Australian. But good for them for being the country that gave the world Courtney Barnett. Here she is doing some songs for NPR.
Apparently everyone from The Walkmen has a solo record coming out (see also) and I have not been disappointed by any of them thus far. We're All Young Together "drops" next month. The title track with Alec Ounsworth sounds like a terrific Andrew Bird outtake, the Karen O. number is great… I cannot ever remember being less antagonistic to "family-friendly folk music." It's really something.
You don't have to know the original track from the Afghan Whigs' Uptown Avondale EP to enjoy this countryish cover from Butch Vig's new band, but why would you want to remain unaware of something that will so clearly make your life a little bit better? WHY I ASK YOU? [Via]
I kind of aged out of "liking new things" a few years back and, as a consequence, stopped caring before I was able to make concrete distinctions between the Black Lips and the Black Keys, which means now I can never keep them straight in my head. So just to be on the safe side, here is something from each of them. If there are other bands with the Black Something in their names let me know and I will iterate this post. [Via]
"Mr. Gunn is neither a DJ nor a computer programmer. From his studio apartment in New York, the 32-year-old musician does a job that essentially didn't exist a few years ago. Music "curators" make mixes that serve not just as primers on broad genres or eras, but as soundtracks for increasingly narrow slices of the human experience, from romantic heartbreak to a bad day at the office. Professional playlist makers are suddenly in demand as the post-CD music economy reshapes itself."
I think I might like the idea of a single-serving site dedicated to just a song and its lyrics better than I like the concept in practice? Like, maybe you are doing a song as a whole a disservice by hanging its lyrics out there as the only thing for the eye to focus on, particularly if they are not strong enough to stand on their own and the visual aesthetic is already kind of "high school poetry journal." HOWEVER, when the song is by Lykke Li I can make no complaints, because [...]
If you can't listen to that amazing Todd Terje/Bryan Ferry cover of Robert Palmer's "Johnny and Mary" without being overcome by a sadness so intense that your heart feels constricted and you need to look away from anyone nearby so they don't see your eyes starting to water up then you are either me or someone just like me, which puts you in a world of tragedy even without having to listen to the song. The rest of you can probably just appreciate the song for what it is. Either way, here's a pretty good interview with Todd Terje that [...]
"It was set up by Fat Possum, who I'm signed to, so there was no thought in getting me involved, really. Plus I was broke. That was my main motivation. They said they've give me $1,500 to do a drone, which I can do in my sleep. And they got lucky, because I didn't go in to write a tune, but I came out with that song, so it kind of worked out." —Spiritualized's Jason Pierce discusses inspiration.
I am old and I remember when the original version of this song was new and just the other week a random series of searches resulted in my traveling down a Robert Palmer rabbit hole, all of which is to say that I was perhaps more primed to find this unexpectedly moving than you might be, but you should probably still give it a chance anyway, because you might just think it is full of the same feel I got from it, which is, "wow, that's really something."
Awl pal/karaoke authority Dan Kois is pretty big on this song, and usually that would be enough for me to pass it along, but also it takes some of the edge off any earlier menace you might have experienced from certain people's musical choices today. This is just fun. Enjoy.