At first I thought it was just a coincidence—or that I was perhaps operating under an exaggerated sense of self-importance (as is my wont) and maybe a bit of paranoia. I know it's not exactly a great sign when you start seeing signs everywhere, messages directed at you. (That was one of the important messages in A Beautiful Mind.) It's been a stressful month, I figured, what with the earthquake (which I at first thought was someone coming to get me, by driving a tank through the walls of my house) and the hurricane and all. (The hurricane, I didn't take personally. I don't believe in God.) And I [...]
Each time I visit Northern California, I remember how it's funny that I never seem to remember how beautiful it is when I'm not there. This happened again last week, when I went there with with my wife and my kid over spring break.
A woman who works in finance and lives in Fort Greene recently got three chickens to keep in her backyard so that she could eat fresh eggs every morning. Yesterday, she was walking her kid to school when she heard someone shout, "Hey, how are the chickens?" She looked across the street and saw a man waving, but she didn't recognize him. She was a little freaked out. Until another woman, ten feet ahead of her on the sidewalk, also walking a child to school, turned and waved to the man and said, "They're doing great!" Brooklyn.
The video for this song from Duck Down Records' indie-rap supergroup Random Axe is good looking but sort of confusing. It takes place in a hotel, where, in one room, rapper Guilty Simpson keeps a man tied to a bed while he builds a Rube Goldberg machine with which to kill him (kind of like if OK Go were James Bond villains.) Next door, Sean Price makes anthrax powder to send to record label offices and, for some reason, decides to taste some (!) as he's concocting it. And in another room, Black Milk, who produced the track, plays poker. The coolest thing about all of [...]
Miles Klee: I think I have a little bit of a crush on Generation X. And seeing Pavement play a concert in an apocalyptic Central Park thunderstorm last night took it to a whole new level. It also didn't hurt that Cece and I ran into you, Dave, an authentic Gen X-er (if my math is sound)-by the way, you do the meanest air guitar I've seen in ages. But the point is, I pretty much swooned when I heard the opening bars of "Spit On A Stranger."
Nerd heaven: "After an 11-year break, beloved indie rock band Pavement is reuniting and will be performing on Late Night on September 23. If that wasn't incredible enough, Matador Records and Late Night are joining forces to give one lucky person a chance to PLAY GUITAR WITH PAVEMENT ON OUR SHOW! Just submit a video of yourself playing one of their songs (from our approved list) by September 8. The band will help pick finalists, and then you at home will pick the winner via on-line vote!"
So surely you've heard that Pavement is reuniting. (Are you as thoroughly enthused about this as I am? Are you wearing corduroys and New Balance running shoes? Well, you're boring. But that's okay. We can meet at Starbucks and play Scrabble or something.) Anyway, another great band from that decade is also coming together again to make old people happy: the seminal Atlanta rap quartet Goodie Mob.
Here's another thing to worry about while you're up all night tossing and turning because you can't fall asleep because you're worrying about stuff too much: Norwegian researchers recently found that "people who had trouble falling asleep had a 45 percent increased relative risk of heart attack" compared to people who didn't have sleep problems. Oh, but also, scientists in Colorado have discovered the chemical secret to the healthy elasticity of python hearts, and have have had success in transferring it to lab mice. So in the future, we may prevent heart attacks by drinking the blood of giant snakes. If that helps you to relax.
It's May! It's May! How are you feeling? Merry? This is supposed to be such a merry month. If you were outside this past weekend, you could see why. Spring has sprung, the weather is warming. All those April showers seem to have done their job. Flowers are everywhere—on the ground, in the trees. It was raining pink cherry blossom petals in Washington Square Park over the weekend. One fell right on to the banh mi sandwich I was eating; I couldn't even complain.
How Pavement Became the Greatest Band of the Nineties This Year: "If this really is the moment in which a Gen X sensibility gets to celebrate itself, well, it could turn out to be a fleeting one. Pavement is being set up as exactly the kind of legendary band younger people love to reject – especially since that wry disaffection isn't as useful anymore, what with there not being much of a monoculture to be suspicious of."
The new Pavement retrospective/best-of gets a Pitchfork 10, despite the mandatory disclaimer: "To be sure, it's all very much of its time and no band aside from perhaps Guided By Voices better epitomizes the sound and style of 1990s indie rock, but the material transcends its era as much as it defines it."