Crank up the hype machine: Evangelicals interviewed in Pitchfork. Remember, we told you how rad they are first! We're only kind of kidding.
Could this be the most pathetically annoying music column of all time? I mean, if Mr. Berrier is trying to be ironic, he's failed miserably; if he's sincere, it's terribly grating. I mean, we've contended for ages now that, like it or not, Pitchfork Is The Man now, but seriously, we've never quite whinged on the topic quite so ... annoyingly. (Chuck Klosterman vs. Corey Feldman? What an odd comparison!) This may be why I never went to work for newspapers... Sometimes that sense of journalistic entitlement demonstrated by mostly-print journalists can feel so odd at times. Still, I suppose I should be happy that old-guard (read:print) music critics are taking music bloggers seriously, or something. Um, did this piece have a point? Let me know if you find it floating around in the muddle.
Speaking of which, I hate it when an article in the NYT brings aspects of the Austin scene to our attention. I mean, we know that there's a big alternative art scene on the East Side (in fact, two friends have a rather lovely studio not mentioned in the article), we just didn't realize that it was quite so chic! That's what we get for being a tad too insular, I suppose! Anyway, it's a nice feature, rather impressionistic in tone though -- it gives you the odd impression that San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, and Marfa are all cozily near each other, which I'm here to tell you, they're not.
John Darnielle reveals a whole lot (and maybe more than some music listeners are willing to know, really) about the genesis of The Mountain Goats' Get Lonely in a piece for the LA times. I remember reading about Goats' King of Prussia misadventures in Peter Hughes' tour diaries last year; the connection between the desolate tone of the album and those bleak three days really, really cracked open the album for me. Speaking of, it's a weird criticism, but we're really not the biggest fans of the typeface used on the cover (especially after the possibly pointed use of recognizable and well, pretty 4ad typefaces on the previous three releases), though the pitch black gloss inner sleve and the tiny credits on the outer sleeve on the vinyl edition speak volumes. Nicely done there.
Speaking of Nick Cave ... we got a nice promo from Brassland in the mail the other day from Aussies Devastations. We think they sound like a nice cross between The National and er, yeah, Nick Cave (they're probably WAY sick of that comparison) -- maybe with a smidge of the Afghan Whigs/Twilight Singers vibe as well. But the use of acoustic guitar throughout, somewhere in the middle of the mix, calls to mind the kind of goth peddled by The Cure and Echo and the Bunnymen. As a whole, their debut album, Coal, isn't nearly as consistent as say, the self-titled debut release from The National -- but really, how can you not love a band with a delicously wrong and mellow song called "Sex and Mayhem"?
Devastations -- Sex and Mayhem
Speaking of Australia and 4ad, then -- the lastest band to totally sneak up on us out of the shadows is Wolf & Cub. Somehow we missed the flurry of excitement over the Phones remix of their track "Thousand Cuts," so we don't have that for you, but here's a couple winners from their new album Vessels, out today on Dot Dash in Australia and New Zealand and 4ad in the rest of the world on Sept. 2nd. A goodly amount of the album is blues-y psych and glam-tinged stompy rock dripping with fuzzed out feedback over a sassy rhythm section -- as demonstrated in "This Mess." Other tracks are neat-o, desolate soundscapes dripping with spiky feedback, bizzaro keys and beats, and ... the occasional digeridoo -- as demonstrated by "Condundrum." Really, how could we not love that combination of sounds?
Wolf & Cub -- This Mess
Wolf & Cub -- Conundrum
Just for fun, a few remixes and etceterata:
Dntel -- Rock My Boat (feat. Mia Doi Todd)
Ladytron -- Destroy Everything You Touch (Archigram Remix)
The Knife -- We Share Our Mothers Health (Radio Slaves Secret Base Mix)
The Gossip -- Listen Up! (A Touch Of Class Remix)
Hot Chip -- Colours (Fred Falke Remix)