Out and about: Via Warped Reality, news that the retro international pop-obsessed La Lalaque is in the studio working on their new EP. Sample tracks are available for download on their Myspace page...
You can read that profile of The Long Winters in Paste that's simply awful -- misattributed photo credits and overstuffed metaphors ("the album is a grande-sized mug of the smart-assed synthesis of sweet and sour that characterizes Roderick’s best songwriting") and bad
Here's something to get you all revved up: Wired's article on "The Pitchfork Effect," which, again, as seems to be the prevailing trend in articles about the state of the music/mp3 blogoteria, gets all excited about something, somewhere -- but just never gets there. My official position, btw, is that there will never be another Travistan debacle or Arcade Fire/Broken Social Scene blow-up. A bad review in P-fork doesn't cement failure, nor does a rapturous one ensure scary-big sales. So yes, yes -- this is more of a paradigm shift in the way people -- journalists, consumers, record executives, and the bands themselves -- view this 70,000 headed-hydra we call the independent music business. In a way, I sometimes feel like Pinkie and I are the pirate queens of a blockade-running ship that brings you yummy provisions daily. The good kind, natch -- triple creme cheeses instead of American pasturized procesed cheese food. Or something like that. Oh shit. I just turned myself into a Decemberists and/or Brecht/Weill song. Sorry about that. Anyway, you get the drift, right?
Interlude: Kind of related not one but two of the items above: The Long Winters -- Medicine Cabinet Pirate
Which reminds me, I should tell you about my visit to Pitchfork HQ 2 years ago (which was, at the time, the basement of a carriage house in Lincoln Park, Chicago full to the brim with promos and Diet Dr. Pepper cans) sometime. Mr. Schreiber and I nearly came to fisticuffs over, of all things Franz Ferdinand and the "future of indie rock." No. Really.
The Feeling -- All You Need To Do ("Never Be Lonely" b-side that's a perfectly modernized 'sophisti-pop' number... Sorry for this hiss and pop -- it was ripped from the 7" single.)
Last night Pinkie and I finally got around to watching Downtown 81, which is something we'd talked about doing for ages. It's a gorgeous little picaresque (dang it, can't get away from The Decemberists today, can I? Gah!) film (barely over an hour long) that's short on plot but long on gorgeous visuals and great performances from the NYC scenster bands of 1981. And naturally -- a lovely, naturalistic acting performance from Jean-Michel Basquiat. The first band featured in the film really caught my fancy, with their stacks of pwangy Fender amps -- I was not surprised to find as the credits rolled, that it was the possibly immortal Tuxedomoon.
Tuxedomoon -- In A Manner of Speaking (sorry, it's the only track I have with me today...)
The collective consciousness is a weird thing: I was going to post about how I found a copy of Heaven 17's first album at Cheapo last night -- and Mars Needs Guitars posted about them today. WEIRD!! Go over there and check out what Merz has on offer.
I also picked up a copy of a record I've been looking for for ages -- The Joan Baez Ballad Book. Its existence was made totally redundant after all of her back catalog was released on CD so you can only get Ballad Book on vinyl -- and I swear, I really had been looking for a copy for about 10 years! I LOVE LOVE LOVE creepy traditional ballads, and no one does them quite like Joan...
Joan Baez -- Silver Dagger
I'm very, very amused at the recent spate of ca. 1994 Built to Spill sounding-bands. (Oxford Collapse, anyone?) Not that this is a bad thing really. I adore ca. 1994 Built to Spill -- it's everything after that which I loathe. Anyway, at first I thought that Rafter (which is actually just the one-man-band of Rafter Roberts, engineer/producer extraordinare) was chief among those, but that wonderful throwback flavor is probably due to the fact that the bulk of the album 10 Songs was recorded in 1998. It's available as a download and as an internet-only release from Asthmatic Kitty on Sept. 12.
Rafter -- Bicycle
Built to Spill -- Big Dipper
Random factoid of the day: on my office's iTunes network, there are 174 Radiohead songs. There was one Boards of Canada song -- and yeah, I admit, it wasn't even mine, so I guess I can't complain too loudly.
Boards of Canada -- Julie and Candy
And finally -- and really, I've been dying to be able to post this: a non-gritty, not-ripped-from-Myspace copy of Jarvis Cocker's latest. You're welcome!
Jarvis Cocker -- Ruling the World
And, I'm really behind on the email -- I'm sorry if you've sent something over, and you haven't heard from us. We're getting to it, promise!
OH AND!!! My favorite favorties The Sadies are going to be on Late Night With Conan O'Brien tonight (check your local listings!) with the lovely and glamourous Neko Case. Watch if you know what's good for you. Mmmm. The Good Brothers. So very, very good. *ahem* Stream "Jason Fleming" (with Neko and Garth Hudson of The Band) and "Tailspin" (with Kelly Hogan).