Disappears - Superstition
Disappears, already a shoe-in for my 2010 year-end list, is set with an album for 2011, Guider. The first track released, “Superstition”, is short, sweet, and astoundingly identical to the sound and feel of their debut Lux. If you’re down with why that album was so cool, then another just like it can only mean good things.
Found This Band, “Empire Records” Edition, Part 1: Chainsaw Kittens
I was watching “Empire Records” one day when it occurred to me that the movie is just one long obscure popculture reference. I suppose when I was young I just thought that the posters in the background were for made up bands, or something like that. It’s possible though that I knew it was all real, but obscure=imaginary to a ten-year old.
So I started looking in the background at posters to see if I recognized anything. I didn’t recognize a whole lot. But I caught this pretty obvious one staring me in the face midway through the movie:
Ethan Embry wearing a T-shirt that says “Chainsaw Kittens”. It sounded vaguely familiar, so I Wikipedia’d it:
“The Chainsaw Kittens were a part of the American alternative rock scene…For various reasons, primary among them a pronounced lack of major label support, the Kittens saw little commercial success. However, they have since gained recognition in such sources as Allmusic and the Trouser Press as one of the best groups of their era.”
Fair enough. I was able to track down a couple of their albums. I got Flipped Out In Singapore:
I got Pop Heiress:
I got High In High School:
Straight forward alterna-rock drums, jangly guitars, sort of weird singer. It all works; not just as an artifact of 90s independent rock, but also for it’s own purposes as a kick ass band.
Check out this shit!
Pop Heiress Dies - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8kwPdsZ1Cg
Connie, I’ve Found The Door - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsdBXHp5WrU
High In High School - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzGX3EBg954
This Year May Actually End On A Positive Note
This Is Gross
This article makes me feel like a loser for knowing it exists.
I always thought that Of Montreal made music for broads, but I never really thought Of Montreal knew that they made music for broads.
The worst part of it, even worse than writing an article about Pitchfork writing an article about Of Montreal, even worse than The Of Montreal Guy starting a words war with group-think behemoth Pitchfork Media, and even worse than actually showing the guy’s dong in the article, is the fact that I read all the way to the bottom. How could I not see this coming?
Why You Like Your Music, Part 1: Dave Fridmann
Preface 1: As audiences, it’s always about who we give the credit to. We understand that most things in life, especially modern western art, are collaborative processes. Nevertheless, we generally need a “brains” or a leader, to whom we give the praise reverence. I don’t know whether this is an American thing, or a more expansive human phenomenon.
Preface 2: We don’t treat out musicians like we treat our filmmakers. In film, the director is the brains, or spokesperson. When a movie is good, it’s the director’s movie. The screenwriter, though he often had the great idea in the first place, is just the writer. The producer, though it’s often his creative vision, is just the moneyman. The actors, though they actually are the screen representation of the movie (and admittedly get a certain degree of credit themselves in the acting world), are just the director’s puppets. For all intents and purposes, it is always the director’s movie.
We don’t view music in this way, at least not anymore. In 2010, the performer is also the writer – we call him the musician. The record company, which would be the “moneyman”, isn’t really a factor anymore, for reasons irrelevant to this analogy. Most importantly though, a producer/engineer is given nowhere near the same degree of credit for a finished recording as a director is given for a finished film. Simply put, no album is a producer’s album.*
This is pretty unfortunate, considering that the success of almost every indie band since the year 2000 has rested on the texture, authenticity, and overall feel of their sound recordings. However, it is this unsophisticated observer’s honest opinion that much of that “feel” can be credited to Dave Fridmann.
If that name sounds familiar, it’s because you read it on the back of your Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots CD jewel case back in 2002. Fridmann co-produced that album with the Flaming Lips, as he has every one of their albums since Priest Driven Ambulance (with the exception of Satellite Heart).
Cheering, Not For Florida, But For What It Has To Offer
I checked Millionyoung out at Circle Bar, somewhat on a whim. I was pointed to this South Florida act a couple of weeks ago, so I downloaded an EP. It was straight up Electronic, with a nice ambience, which, let’s be honest, is pretty easy to do these days. Because of this, nothing really jumped out at me about the EP. But like I said, it was pretty good, and they were playing right by my house, so I figured why not check them out?
For the opening act, we were treated to some pretty morose Witch House/Killyourself Wave provided by a DJ who appeared to enjoy it much more than we did. Though no one should be surprised that a small-but-growing number of tone-deaf losers are trying to make this a viable genre of music, part of me is still astounded that this noise is getting ink.
More Goddang Mothafucking Time, Would Be Nice
MGMT, what to say about these guys…
They were one of the few bands that during Voodoo’s Halloween weekend to join in the festivities, all decked out in Scooby Doo-themed costumes. Festive look aside though, this band simply didn’t sound good.
For most of the weekend I found myself saying things to the effect of, “[Insert band] would have been better served on one of the smaller stages.” However, that didn’t really appear to be MGMT’s problem. They drew a humongous crowd, so they probably wouldn’t have realistically fit on a smaller stage.
Nevertheless, the voice of Andrew VanWyngarden sounded so shallow and emotionless that you’d forget he was singing if he didn’t make for such a gorgeous Daphne up there on the big screen. The bass, along with the other miscellaneous instrumentation was lost among waves of unintentional white noise and bizarre dead space.
Spoon, Republic, New Orleans, Louisiana
Spoon was one of those concerts that I was going to see, regardless of the fact that I don’t know their music. When I saw on Poll Star that they were coming to New Orleans, I pretty much decided right then and there that I was going. Of course, not being a devoted fan, I didn’t stand in line the day tickets went on sale, and apparently they sold out quickly. I wasn’t really bothered because, as I told my bearded friend Baldwin, “I’m sure I’ll see them eventually.”
Baldwin isn’t as passive as I am however. The afternoon before the show, he texted me, “Spoon tomorrow night? $22.” So I said yes, and I caught a ride to the show on Thursday night with Baldwin, his date Caroline, his younger brother Pike, the noteworthy and broken-footed Jon Guidroz, and Guidroz’s lady Meghan.
Foburg Festival, New Orleans, Day 3
I woke up Sunday morning feeling like I was underwater. I had a 10 am meeting that lasted until around 2. I coasted through most of it, partially because I couldn’t hear anything, but mainly because I got 4 hours of sleep. Needless to say, Sunday would be the first day in several years that I got to enjoy a nice, lengthy nap.
I called Matt at around 5 in the evening. “I slept ‘till 3:30 today man!” he boasted. After Friday night, he had slept until 2:15, while I was up at 10:30.
“Shut the fuck up dude,” I muttered to him. “You want to do this between 8 and 9?”
“You read my mind,” he said. “I feel rough today.
By the time Matt and I showed up reenergized at Maison, the early show had already ended. Though it would have been nice say that I was there for everything, I wasn’t bothered. With 23 solid hours of live music in a span of 48, it’s safe to say I was pulling my weight.
Foburg Festival, New Orleans, Day 2
I awoke, incredibly hungover, to a text message from my good friend Megan: “Just farted so bad that it went through my pants and left a spot on the couch.” Sometimes, I could just marry that girl.
We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day a few days early on Saturday. We had the uptown parade, and I happen to live on the route with my roommates, David and Lillie. Five weeks prior, I had ordered a Kelly green windbreaker that bore the CAKE logo – it was really awesome – but it never arrived (you can see it here). Later, it would arrive just in time for real St. Patrick’s day, but I had work and couldn’t party. I was pissed.
Nevertheless, I had the opportunity to try my first taste of crawfish for the season at my friend John’s house, so I wasn’t that pissed. Before I dug in I asked John, “Are they good?”
“My boy Cusimano makes ‘em HOT,” John replied in a thick New Orleans accent. You know you live in New Orleans (or Jersey?) when your “boy” is Cusimano, whoever he is. But John wasn’t lying, Cusimano indeed made them hot, and by that I mean great.