Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sharp Dressed Man on Drums

Eric's brother posted this on his Facebook wall. I think it might be old, but I'd never seen it before.

Note the similarities to a certain dead SNL alum.

Friday, February 18, 2011

So King of Limbs Is Already Out?

A day early! Anyone got it yet? Honestly, I'm torn. I know I'm going to want to buy the CD later and I don't want to pay twice. But I also want to hear it... legally if possible. Streaming site?

Here's the video in case you haven't seen it:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Overdue Pitchfork Criticism

I was just looking through some old files I'd downloaded, and I came across this screenshot from Pitchfork that I'd meant to share with you guys. It's an American Express ad starring John Legend. (Click on the image for a better view.)

I don't have much to say other than one of the following things is off base with the others: Pitchfork's current identity, advertisers' concept of Pitchfork's identity, or my concept of Pitchfork's identity (or at least what it should be.)

Now having posted that, it's actually my opinion that Pitchfork criticisms are kind of passé at this point. I've been the most guilty member of this collective in railing at them every couple months on schedule, but in truth I hardly care anymore. Short of going the Rolling Stone route (i.e. multi-page puff pieces on Kei$ha), they're not really going to surprise me. We all know their script and it doesn't merit much further analysis. Personally, I barely read the site at all these days.

Still an amusingly misplaced ad though.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Meanwhile, New Radiohead Album? New Radiohead Album.

Looks like I'm going to have to pay cash money for a digital album for what may be the first time ever! (I don't count emusic, because that was more of a subscription fee, and I quit long before they started listing album prices in dollars).

Clear 10" vinyl sounds cool but I don't think I need to spend fifty bucks on one album. Either way, this is pretty fucking badass and exciting. The cool thing about In Rainbows for me, more than the Met Museum style "suggested donation" thing, was the fact that they controlled when their music got out so that everyone could hear it at the same time. I really miss that experience. (I realize that makes me a dinosaur, but at this point I'm embracing it. After all, I still purchase CDs.) I was traveling in Peru when it came out, so I couldn't hear it for a few days, but this Dutch guy who I was on a hiking trip with had left after it came out, so he had it on his iPod and I listened to it on the van while we drove around the rim of the Colca Canyon. That was a good day.

Grammys Post!

I'm still working on my epic post about the RZA's production style and the brilliance of Inspectah Deck's wordplay on Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), but in the meantime, a couple of quick comments about the Grammys and the shocking (!) upset by the Arcade Fire, Texplush's most hated of bands.

I actually watched the whole show last night for the first time in years. The Grammys are kind of hilarious. They go out of their way to make themselves as irrelevant as possible, starting with the idiosyncratic eligibility period of September - September. So you get Grammys in 2011 for Lady Gaga's album from 2009.

Then there's the fact that the nominations/winners have very little correllation to either critical acclaim (ie, music publications' year-end best-of lists, etc) or sales/popularity. No knock against Steely Dan, but Two Against Nature was far from the best album from 2000-1, but neither was it the best selling. So then what was it? I'm not saying it was bad, but what does it mean to have an "Album of the Year" that's neither critically acclaimed nor popular.

Anyway, Arcade Fire's win is a rare nod to the critical community-- it might not have been the critical consensus favorite of the year (Kanye will have to wait until next year's awards, because his album came out in November), but it definitely appeared on all of the usual lists. I liked how genuinely surprised they were-- they even *gasp* smiled!

And the thing is, despite Arcade Fire selling out MSG, having a number 1 album (which at this point, seems like one of the less impressive achievements out there), and now Album of the Year, most people still don't know who they are!:

Rosie O'Donnell!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

J.S. Bach: Total Badass

Well, I guess I'll just keep posting even if nobody else is.

I've been listening to a lot of Bach recently...for whatever reason, he's a composer that I've never delved into very deeply before. I think when I was younger I was turned off by how orderly (and thus conservative) he sounded, but listening to him now it's exactly the order and precision that I'm especially astounded by. There's something almost contemporary in the deliberateness of his structure, something which fell out of fashion with some of the great European composers who followed him. There's no mistaking a Bach composition for the lyricism of Mozart or the mysticism of Beethoven; the structure is always right out in front in Bach, like he's communing with the laws of mathematics.

Plus, sometimes he gets astonishingly weird. Check out the below clip, especially the harpsichord breakdown that starts around the 50 second mark. If I didn't know it was Bach, I might have thought Phillip Glass or Frank Zappa wrote it in the 1970s:

In some ways it gets even weirder in the following movement.

Also, just to point it out, these particular clips come from his concerto for four fucking harpsichords. Maybe that was more common than I realize, but on the surface I have to say it sounds kind of insane. It sounds like a Trey Anastasio side project or something: "Dude, on Trey's latest album, he's ditching that guy who only plays the washboard, and is bringing on four harpsichord players! I hope they do 'The Squirming Coil!'"