Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Purdie Shuffle Is Profiled in the New York Times!

I mention this because you can hear the "Purdie Shuffle" in the "Mother of All Funk Chords" video that Eric posted a few weeks back. Also if anyone has seen the video: "Classic Albums: The Making of Steely Dan's Aja" you can hear Bernard "Pretty" Purdie waxing eloquent about his signature beat, which is heard on that magnum opus of an album.

Anyway, check it out.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Vic Chesnutt Sends Chills Down My Spine

I've put Vic Chesnutt in a few Top 10 lists or praised him in passing or whatever, but have you guys ever really listened to him? Guy gives me chills. Honestly.

This is from the deluxe edition of Drunk, which everyone should own.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Why Pitchfork and I Agree on the New Animal Collective

Pitchfork and I are are in rare agreement: The new Animal Collective record is the best album to come out in the first 3 months of 2009.

Here's why they like it:

1. It maintains the kind of folk-period Beach Boys glow that so many of their favorite records exhibit. (Think Fleet Foxes, Of Montreal, earlier Animal Collective, etc.)

2. Despite all the musical "adventures" the album sets off in, these guys still aren't trained, chops-style performers, which is a Pitchfork essential. If you can really play, Pitchfork marks you down. (BTW, I'm not claiming that many of my favorite bands or even I personally can really play; I'm just pointing out that Pitchfork tends to favor those with more rough-hewn performance skills.)

3. They named Panda Bear's solo album as the single best record of 2007, so a gushing review was necessary here to save face.

Now here's why I like it:

1. It's experimental without being self-indulgent. Animal Collective has always had at least 5 or 6 really great songs on their albums, and then they slap their fans in the face with absolutely dead-awful masturbatory noise pieces, such as "The Bees" on Feels. What a "fuck you" to the people who pay your salary. Anyway, on this album, they don't pull any of that. Every song is worthy of their lofty reputation. I really appreciate their doing that this time.

2. Their lack of traditional "chops" has no bearing on the fact that these 3 guys really are very musical. They might not know the names of the chords they are playing-- or even that they are changing keys when they do-- but they know how to play and they let their relative ignorance guide them into new, exciting directions. It's like when John Lennon read an academic article analyzing a Beatles chord progression. He had no understanding of the author's terminology or the academic theory behind what he wrote, but that didn't change the fact that he had written the song. The knowledge was innate.

3. Their album cover is delightfully trippy. Just stare at a big, blown up version for a couple of seconds and enjoy...

Pitchfork got it totally right. Best of the year so far.

Wilco + Feist???

What the hell?

Wilco has confirmed rumors that Feist will appear on its next album, a still untitled set due for a late June release.

In a posting Friday (March 27) on the band's website (http://wilcoworld.net/news/), the alternative rock band says that singer-songwriter Feist lends vocals to the track "You and I" on the Nonesuch release.

The first order of business is getting excited that we're getting a new Wilco album in June! (With Dinosaur Jr and Sunset Rubdown already slated for that month, it's going to be one to remember.)

But Feist? This is an artist that I do not "get." I'll grant you I know almost nothing about her beyond that iPod song. A lot of my friends like that track, some even like the whole album it comes from. For me personally, it does nothing at all.

That said, if Wilco's involved, I'm at least curious.

Something is happening to me...

I can't keep up with the new music this year. I haven't bought any new releases, and I can't even summon the faintest interest in the latest incarnation of Animal Collective. I suppose I'm planning to buy a few things by artists I wouldn't miss (Bob Dylan, Mos Def, Steve Earle) but for the most part I'm neck deep in Mozart operas and violin concertos, and the occasional Miles Davis fusion experiment. I'm daunted at trying to write about any of that stuff, as I'd feel too completely out of my depth and am sure I'd lack the ability to say anything very insightful.

But seriously, look at the dragon costume! The way they stage the dragon's death is kind of lame, but think of the directorial possibilities...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

New Dinosaur Jr Will Be Awesome

If Pitchfork just posted videos like these all day, they'd be my favorite website.

Also, J Mascis looks so hilariously old with his long white hair, but he's only 43.

Anyway, I've loved this band since I was 13, which is over half my lifetime ago (terrifying), and I'm thrilled they're still at it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Top 5 Albums of the first quarter of 2009

2009 is looking pretty good so far....

1. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
2. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
3. Vetiver - Tight Knit
4. Dark Was The Night - charity compilation
5. Justin Townes Earle - Midnight At The Movies

Honorable Mention: Neko Case, DM Stith, Beirut, Phospherescent, A.C. Newman

List your picks in the comments....i will be surprised if I like anything this year better than that Grizzly Bear album. Wowzers!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An Unprecedented Hip Hop Post from Eric!!

This may well singlehandedly justify the entire existence of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (or at least The Roots' participation in same):

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Chris Cornell Hits Rock Bottom

It's almost tragic that the man who brought us Badmotorfinger and Superunknown is now making shitty James Bond-style trip hop with Timbaland, who sounds trapped in 2001.

Chris Cornell has gotten progressively worse since breaking up Soundgarden. First came his unspeakably boring solo albums. Then, the shit show that was Audioslave. Now this utter stinking turd of a record.

Awful Awful Awful.

Here's a link to the AV Club review, which has a stream of one of the songs. Which, bad though it is, was actually cited by the LA Times as the best track on the album! Makes me never want to hear the rest.

And how about that joke of a glamour shot? By my math, Cornell should be pushing 50 by now. Botox can be the only explanation for that look he's sporting. Either that, or they cast him in wax which, given his ego, wouldn't surprise me.

Can't believe this is the same guy who rocked my world at my first real rock concert in the 8th grade.

Chris Cornell, RIP. You officially suck balls.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Where did you lose this interview?"

A couple of heroes of mine on camera together.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Bob Dylan!

Tell Tale Signs may havecontained songs recorded over the course of 2 decades, but the vast majority hadn't been heard by anyone. So in effect it was like a new album from Bob Dylan.

And now we get another one... in a little more than month! Very very cool.

Here's the Rolling Stone write-up.

Monday, March 09, 2009

This is the remix

The great thing about the internet is that it used to be when you had too much time on your hands and did stuff like this, only your close friends would every appreciate it. Now, we all can.

Also, in a similar vein, this is awesome (took me a minute to figure out what was going on, but once I did, I was very impressed):

Steve Earle does Townes!

I'm really excited for this Townes Van Zandt tribute album by Quinapalus and my favorite Steve Earle, coming out in May.
You can stream two tracks here. Check out the Tom Morello guitar solo on 'Lungs'!


Thursday, March 05, 2009

Neko Case's New One...

...is Awesome.

I'll edit this post and write more later, but it's really great. And the credits are like a who's who of indie (and other) rock. (At various times, most of the New Pornographers, Kurt Heasley of the Lilys, Nora O'Connor, Kelly Hogan, Calexico (and their former Giant Sand-mate, Howe Gelb), M. Ward, Lucy Wainwright Roche, and Garth Hudson (plus others who are probably in famous bands but whose names I don't recognize).

And I don't know who Paul Rigby is, but he co-arranged nearly all of the songs, and it all sounds beautiful.

EDIT: Not much more to say actually except that I love the Piano Orchestra concept (check the lengthy NY Times profile of her for pictures/description: LINK)

Also, my favorite thing is that she covered a song by SPARKS. I am going to a post on them at some point soon because they're awesome and not very well known.

Horton Foote

A great American playwright died this week at the age of 92. As I remarked to Drischord, one of the most inspiring things about Horton Foote was that he didn't do his best work until he was in his 60s and 70s, and he was still putting up new plays as late as last year. He won his first Oscar in the 1960s for writing the screenplay for To Kill A Mockingbird, and below is a clip from another Oscar winning movie he wrote in 1983, Tender Mercies. The clip starts out with a couple of pretty great country songs, which in the movie Robert Duvall's character wrote for his ex-wife...and the clip closes with the kind of quiet, subtle, heartbreaking scene that nobody else could write better. Horton Foote will be missed!