NEW YORK (Reuters) – Rock ‘n’ roll royalty held court on Thursday night as Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Sting and other music legends staged a marathon show to celebrate the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 25th anniversary. The six-hour concert at Madison Square Garden included over 50 songs and also featured performances by Crosby, Stills and Nash, blues great B.B. King, Smokey Robinson, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, Jackson Browne and others. Actor Tom Hanks introduced rock pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis, who kicked off the show with his classic “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.” “This is the music of our generation, this is the music that we grew up with, this is the soundtrack of our lives,” Hanks said to reporters before the show. Some of the biggest acts played several of their hits before bringing out featured guests who sang their own well-known songs. Crosby, Stills and Nash began their set with “Woodstock” and “Marrakech Express” before inviting Taylor, Browne and Bonnie Raitt to the stage. Paul Simon, who performed selections from his solo catalog before introducing and performing with his former partner Art Garfunkel, gave the spotlight to early rock heartthrob Dion DiMucci and his hit “The Wanderer.” The audience enthusiastically greeted some of the best-known songs, but emotional high points were registered during tributes to deceased Hall of Fame members. David Crosby and Graham Nash harmonized with Simon on “Here Comes the Sun,” written by former Beatle George Harrison. Stevie Wonder, who brought out singer John Legend to perform Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy Mercy Me,” was so overcome with emotion while singing the late Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel” that he was unable to sing one of the verses and briefly laid his head down on his keyboard.
Springsteen and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s John Fogerty shared vocals on Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman,” and “The Boss” followed with “London Calling,” in tribute to The Clash. The show’s energy level peaked during Springsteen’s set.
He brought out Sam Moore, half of the soul/rhythm and blues duo Sam and Dave, to perform “Hold On, I’m Comin’” and “Soul Man.” The only unannounced performer of the night was Billy Joel, who performed three of his songs as well as Springsteen’s signature rock anthem “Born To Run.” A second concert celebrating the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 25th anniversary is set for Friday night with scheduled performances by U2, Aretha Franklin, Metallica, Annie Lennox, Lou Reed, Ozzy Osbourne and others. U.S. cable television network HBO will air a four-hour special containing highlights from both nights on November 29.
Archive for October, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Music legends rock the Hall of Fame
The Dead Weather to record second album in December
The Dead Weather appeared live on NME Radio yesterday (Oct 29) and – Jack White revealed that the band have “15 or 20″ songs ready to record for their second album.
White said that the band will be getting together in December to record the follow-up to this year’s debut ‘Horehound’, and that the band would “maybe finish the record if we can”. Watch the video interview now by clicking on the right.
“We’d love to have the second record out within a year of the first one,” said White.
Flying in from Paris that morning, the four-piece band joined Iain Baker in the NME studio and When asked if there were going to be any surprises for the London crowd for their O2 Academy Brixton show in the capital that night, to laughter from his bandmates White deadpanned: “We’re just gonna hold everyone hostage and threaten them to be energetic, chain them up and fire blanks, machine gun blanks across their heads. We won’t tell them they’re blanks.”
He then jokingly told bandmate Alison Mosshart not to stop him from saying things, adding: “This shit doesn’t happen in The White Stripes, I’ll tell you that much.”
White then talked about the Third Man Records pop-up store, which is open today and tomorrow in Shoreditch Church in London, which White said will bring “what we have happening in Nashville to London”.
The shop will be selling limited-edition vinyl which is only available at the store, with only 100 records of each design on sale. “We’ve been blowing our minds back in Nashville for the last couple of weeks designing it,” said White of the records.
The London Third Man Records pop-up store follows similar events in an “abandoned porno theatre” in Los Angeles as well as New York.
The band also revealed details of their free show at the Shoreditch Church tomorrow (October 31), starting at 8pm.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Google Music Fires Shot Over iTunes’ Bow…
Google’s announcement will be seen as a direct challenge to Apple’s iTunes, the download store that has become the world’s leading digital music retailer….Although iTunes currently offers over 11 million songs, it requires the installation of free software and the opening of an account to function. If Google is successful in marrying its normal ease of search to music retailing, it could take a slice out of Apple’s business.
New York Times:
Google users who put the name of a song into the search engine will get, as the top result, information about the musician and an opportunity to stream the song from one of two services, Lala and MySpace Music. People who click on that link will, in most cases, get a pop-up window that allows them to play the full song once, for free, along with a link to buy the song….Entering an album name or band name into Google yields similar free listening opportunities.
The service could significantly change how people look for music online. Music searches on Google, heretofore, have typically generated links to Wikipedia, random ad-filled lyrics sites and, in some cases, YouTube videos. But it usually took a few hops across the Web to actually sample a song. Not anymore. (It will be interesting to see, in this new environment, whether the music labels are truly comfortable with allowing all these free streams on Google.)
Los Angeles Times:
One of the more enticing new features is the ability to find a song for free streaming based on a lyrical query alone. MySpace and LaLa.com will provide the music, and search results will include album art and a special Google-branded player….The player will come with a “buy” button. The user will purchase the music from the online retailer providing the stream. Thanks to Google licensing Gracenotes lyrics, Billboard also reports that a search for lyrics will now direct users to an authorized database, allowing users to stream or buy a track.
Spike Jonze & Friends Drop Free Mixtape, Feat. Arcade Fire, Jens Lekman, & More
Arcade Fire’s partially re-recorded version of “Wake Up” pulled on all of our heartstrings recently in the Where The Wild Things Are trailer, but the song isn’t actually in the film, you see, nor is it on Karen O and the Kids’ official soundtrack.
No worries, though, director Spike Jonze feels your pain: The trailer version of “Wake Up” and 19 other jams are available for free download as Sound Advice 23: We Love You So, a mixtape curated by Jonze and his blog contributors (Dallas Clayton, Graham Kolbeins, Molly Young, and Matt Rubin).
01 Lust For Life – Girls
02 Wake Up (WTWTA trailer version) – Arcade Fire
03 I Want a Dog – Pet Shop Boys
04 Hey There Stranger – Pamela Blue
05 The Wimp – Capybara
06 Animal Crackers (in Cellophane Boxes) – Gene Pitney
07 Yekermo Sew – Mulatu Astatke
08 Water To Wine – Saintseneca
09 Tong Poo – Yellow Magic Orchestra
10 Rumpus – Karen O and The Kids
11 Overnight Religion – Kurt Vile
12 Green Bean (Binki Shapiro) – Green Bean
13 No Time, No Hope – Times New Viking
14 Ode to an African Violet – Mort Garson
15 Como Pudiste Hacerme Esto A Mi – Alaska y Dinarama
16 Overmuch – The Long Lost
17 Turkey Sandwich – Mika Miko
18 Poet, Fool or Bum – Lee Hazlewood
19 Hultsfred ‘98 – Jens Lekman
20 Seigneur Apprends Moi – Hermas Zopoula
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
AC/DC Warn Fans About Italian Concerts, McCartney Sings Frank Loesser, more
AC/DC have told their fans in Italy to not buy tickets for shows in that country because, well, they aren’t scheduled to play there. An Italian newspaper recently claimed that they were set to play Olympia Stadium in Turin next June 8 and 9 and the news spread across the web. The band’s Italian promoter, Barley Arts, quickly issued a statement before the underside of the ticket scalping industry could get into high gear.
Paul McCartney played Broadway Monday night as part of a salute to the late composer Frank Loesser. McCartney has owned Loesser’s catalog for some time and put on the show with Jo Sullivan, the late composer’s widow.
A long list of Broadway stars sang songs from Loesser’s shows, including How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Guys & Dolls and The Most Happy Fella. Also taking the stage was Art Garfunkel, performing Two Sleepy People, and McCartney himself singing On a Slow Boat to China.
Morrissey has announced he will play his Royal Albert Hall show tonight (Tuesday) in London after canceling last night’s performance. The singer had collapsed on stage Saturday night and was hospitalized for a short time with breathing problems.
On the other hand, Elton John is still too ill to perform at London’s Wembley arena. His promoters hope to reschedule for sometime in December.
Finally, Rod Stewart canceled his Tuesday appearance on ABC’s The View after catching a viral infection from his 3-year-old son Alastair. He recorded an apology for the show, saying “Viewers and ladies, I woke up this morning to do a vocal warm up and there was no voice. It’s just one of those things. It’s a viral thing that’s going around at the moment.”
The Rolling Stones’ Bill Wyman has given up smoking after 55 years after being advised by his doctors warned him about the health effects (really? Now is the first time?). Wyman said “They told me: ‘If you carry on, you are going to get emphysema.’ So I thought: ‘Sod it! I’m going to stop.’”
Ozzy Osbourne and his wife Sharon are set to host next Monday night’s WWE Raw broadcast.
Rod Stewart, Robert Plant Stoke Reunion Rumors
Whenever news gets slow, it seems Faces, Led Zeppelin, and many more classic rock band reunion rumors start taking over the internet. These days, however, the artists themselves aren’t doing much to quell the gossip—If anything, they’re fueling it.
“[Faces had] a reunion… in London without me because I’m promoting this album, and they’re got Paul Rodgers to sing — who is the lead singer of Bad Company, and Free, and of course with Queen,” Rod Stewart told CNN in response to Faces reunion rumors. “Hopefully, I’ll get me old job back. It’s on the cards. I’ll do it eventually.”
And if that wasn’t blatant enough, drummer Kenney Jones concurred after a recent Faces minus Stewart gig that “it’s just down to getting the schedules right for all of us to do it at the same time,” he said, “because everyone’s doing different things at different times.”
Zeppelin reunion talk is much more speculative, but a small quote from Robert Plant has done anything but dash the hopes of fans hoping to see Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and Plant reform for a one-off at next year’s Glastonbury Festival. “I’ve just been talking to Michael [Eavis],” Plant told BBC 6. “There’s [a] place for me there, but I have no idea who with.”
Plant could have ruled out the iconic rock band’s potential for a headlining set at the festival’s 40th anniversary, but instead we might get a vague quote from Page shortly, perhaps a non-denial from Jones (now of Them Crooked Vultures), and the reunion rumor mill will grind away nicely for a bit. Meanwhile, at least we’ve got that Creed reunion to help bide our time.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Morrissey Cancels Gig Tonight
The rest of his tour is still on, though.
The bad news: Following his onstage collapse at a show in Swindon, England on Saturday, Morrissey was forced to cancel his planned gig in Bournemouth, England tonight “on medical advice,” according to his site.
The good news: Moz’s spokesperson says the singer is doing much better and will resume his current tour tomorrow night at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Morrissey’s world tour is set to run through December. Check here for dates.
Tom Waits Recording w/ NOLA´s Preservation Hall Jazz Band
“Why wouldn’t Preservation Hall do a project with Tom Waits?” mused Ben Jaffe, musical director and son of Preservation Hall founders Allan and Sandra Jaffe, in a 2006 piece on the post-Katrina New Orleans music scene in the NY Times.
U2’s the Edge had just performed “Vertigo” with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band at a benefit to replace instruments destroyed by the hurricane, including those of five Preservation Hall members who had lost their homes. The famous French Quarter music club was one of the first to reopen after the tragedy, but they needed (and still do) more star power to stay financially afloat.
Well, Jaffe and company got at least one of their wishes: Tom Waits is in New Orleans right now, recording a benefit track for and with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Also, according to a news bulletin on Waits’ official site, he will be recording a song for an upcoming 2nd volume to Anti’s sea chanty series while in town. The first installment, Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys, included contributions from Nick Cave, Bono, Bryan Ferry w/ Antony, Lou Reed and more, so a planned follow-up is great news in and of itself.
Though I’ll admit I wish Marc Ribot played guitar on every Waits recording, one listen to Preservation Hall’s “St. James Infirmary” and I’d say he’s got a perfect new backing band, complete with tuba.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Them Crooked Vultures– New Fang (New Single)
WATCH: MOBY’S DROOL-WORTHY SYNTH, DRUM MACHINE COLLECTION…
Morrissey is discharged from hospital
Morrissey has been discharged from hospital after collapsing on stage in Swindon last night (October 24) with breathing difficulties.
The former Smiths frontman fell to the ground as he was performing opening song ‘This Charming Man’ at the Oasis Leisure Centre before two of his band members carried him offstage.
“Good evening… probably,” he said before opening the show with what would be his only song.
Onlookers said he appeared to be “straining” to perform, “wincing” as he did so, and when the song came to the end he sagged to his knees and slumped to the stage.
He was then taken to Great Western Hospital, at around 9pm where he was kept in overnight.
A Great Western Hospital spokeswoman said he was kept in overnight as a “precautionary measure” but was “much improved” and had been discharged, reports BBC News.
A statement posted on his website itsmorrisseysworld.com also read today: “Morrissey is in stable condition after his collapse in Swindon Saturday night. Thanks go out to all his well wishers, more information will be posted as soon as it is available.”
Friday, October 23, 2009
Sufjan Stevens: The BQE (Album Review)
The whimsical career path that the increasingly enigmatic singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens has embarked upon takes another unconventional twist with the release of his mixed-media tribute to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, a move that will turn heads and raise suspicion in equal measure. Commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music in late 2007, the project began as a series of live performances complete with a 36-strong orchestra, a throng of female hula dancers, and Super 8 footage that Stevens filmed and directed himself. Despite this well-received string of sold-out performances, it has taken almost two years for an official CD release of these coveted orchestrations. The BQE, then, is another feather in the capricious cap of this endlessly exciting talent, a singer-songwriter who shows very little interest in singing or writing “songs” these days.
As Stevens’s most elaborate endeavor to date, BQE should be admired for its sheer ambition alone. Pretentious song titles aside (“Interlude I: Dream Sequence in Subi Circumnavigation” and “Movement III: Linear Tableau with Intersecting Surprise” are surely his most ghastly tongue-twisters to date), Stevens seems remarkably comfortable in this environment, crafting each track with an air of confidence and grandeur. Following two preliminary flourishes, “Movement I: In the Countenance of Kings” plays as a faultless pointer to the album’s lush scope and elegance. The track’s hollow, melancholic piano melody meanders along a subdued overture before tremolo bass work rouses urgency from the string and brass sections. The clamor intensifies and wanes back and forth, gathering steam for a climatic fanfare that never arrives. The piece instead saunters en route for “Movement II: Sleeping Invader” with its charmingly sullen ivory hook, a splendid twist to the tale.
The album moves sinuously through its series of movements and interludes, executed with understated grace for the most part, but this rule is shrewdly breached whenever Stevens sees fit. “Movement III: Linear Tableau with Intersecting Surprise,” for instance, is a swelling woodwind arrangement that inflates and expands relentlessly, gradually mingling with the orchestra’s string, brass, and percussion sections before exploding into an electronic tour de force with “Movement IV: Traffic Shock.” Here, the orchestra’s piccolo and alto flute duel with an electronic symphony akin to Enjoy Your Rabbit, a flurry of cacophonous screeches and deep thuds. Even when stretching his chops in these new environments, Stevens retains a flair for daring and innovative musicianship.
Some will find it unfortunate that traces of Stevens’s indie-folk roots are scarce; the bubbly piano melody of “Interlude III: Invisible Accidents” toys with his erstwhile sound, arriving as a welcome change to the album’s byzantine nature, but this is merely a pit stop. The most ostentatious arrangements are reserved for the home stretch and “Movement VII (Finale): The Emperor of Centrifuge,” banishing his beguiling melodies altogether in favor of the album’s most grandiose compositions. It’s no coincidence BQE begins to lose momentum here, caught in a traffic jam of overblown sonatas that unfortunately highlight the pretentious side of Stevens’s highly wrought venture.
If one can ignore this overexcited curtain call, though, BQE can be deemed a hugely successful gamble for Stevens. His ideas are realized with the confidence of a seasoned composer, comfortable with implementing all corners of the orchestra to wondrous effect. From here, there’s no telling where his fanciful and bizarre career path may take him, though calls to backtrack a few steps to his Illinois mindset will plague this immensely gifted singer-songwriter wherever he decides to go.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Them Crooked Vultures Announce Debut Album at Long Last
Ever since the triple-headed stomp-rock supergroup Them Crooked Vultures whirled into existence, we’ve been keeping up with just about every little scrap of whomp-ass they’ve released into the world.
Finally, on November 17, Dave Grohl, Josh Homme, and John Paul Jones will leave the shadows and come into the light. That’s when their self-titled debut album will finally hit North American shelves, via DGC/Interscope. (It’s out November 16 in the UK on Columbia.)
We’ve got the tracklist below, but all you really need to know is that Dave Grohl is back behind the drums and that there’s a song called “Mind Eraser, No Chaser”:
Them Crooked Vultures:
01 No One Loves Me & Neither Do I
02 Mind Eraser, No Chaser
03 New Fang
04 Dead End Friends
06 Scumbag Blues
09 Interlude With Ludes
10 Warsaw or the First Breath You Take After You Give Up
13 Spinning in Daffodils
Weezer: “(If You Are Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To (Video)
The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn Co-Writing Fargo Rock City Movie
Bringing Chuck Klosterman’s memoir to the big screen
As much as any writer in America, Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn is equipped to tackle provincial fandom of hair metal. He’s an expert at combining screamingly triumphant guitar solos and bleary Minnesota hardcore show reminisces in the same song. So it’s pretty awesome news that Finn, along with “Late Show With David Letterman” writer Tom Ruprecht, will adapt Fargo Rock City, rock writer Chuck Klosterman’s memoir about being a teenage metal fan in North Dakota, for the screen, as The Hollywood Reporter’s Risky Business blog reports. (Via Idolator.)
According to Risky Business, Finn and Ruprecht acquired the rights to Klosterman’s book, and Finn, Ruprecht, and Klosterman will all produce the film adaptation together. The blog reports, “The 1980s-set screenplay will revolve around a group of high school seniors facing graduation as they try to find success with women and generally break out of their geeky cocoons.”
So: Dazed and Confused but with Aquanet? That sounds promising!
Finn says, “Seventeen or 18 is the perfect age for characters in a movie like this, because it’s at that age that you have drivers licenses and a certain amount of independence, but you’re still young enough that you can totally make terrible decisions. And you’re still young enough that you can have a two-hour argument over whether Mötley Crüe would beat Guns N’ Roses in a fight.” (Mötley Crüe would totally beat Guns N’ Roses in a fight, at least before Matt Sorum joined GNR.)
Ruprecht and Finn are still working on the script’s first draft. Risky Business reports that they’ll seek studio and third-party financing.
MGMT To Deliver ‘Congratulations’ In 2010
After nine months of surfing the Pacific and recording in a Malibu home studio, MGMT member Andrew VanWyngarden is paddling back to shore and suiting up for the band’s sophomore release, “Congratulations.”
The album is slated to drop in early 2010, as VanWyngarden told the San Francisco Examiner when the band performed at last weekend’s Treasure Island festival. “Congratulations” is produced by Pete “Sonic Boom” Kember of Spacemen 3/Spectrum, and Jennifer Herrema of Royal Trux contributes vocals.
MGMT’s 2007 debut “Oracular Spectacular” created a tidal wave that carried the psychedelic indie-pop duo from Brooklyn buzz band to international fame. The album has sold 508,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
MGMT’s ricochet to popularity was inevitably accompanied by mass attention and a share of ordeals, including a recently settled lawsuit with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. VanWyngarden and bandmate Ben Goldwasser headed west in January to escape the commotion and focus on recording. There, VanWyngarden learned to surf and found solace in the waves, as he told the Examiner.
Fans can expect “Congratulations” to ride a bleaker edge than the happy-go-lucky “Oracular Spectacular,” as the duo reflect on their journey.
“The song ‘Congratulations’ itself is pretty dark,” VanWyngarden told the Examiner. “It’s us trying to deal with all the craziness that’s been going on since our last album took off. Sometimes it just doesn’t feel natural
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Run-DMC in Talks to Make Broadway Musical
While U2’s Bono and the Edge are still prepping their Spider-Man musical, Green Day’s American Idiot musical is finishing up its run in Berkeley, and Regina Spektor is penning songs for an upcoming Sleeping Beauty adaptation, a couple of hip-hop pioneers want to get their piece of the musical theater pie.
Rev Run, aka Joseph Simmons, and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels are teaming up with Tom Cruise’s film producing partner, Paula Wagner, to pursue a Broadway musical about the group’s career, reports Variety’s Liz Smith. “I feel their story lends itself perfectly to the stage,” Wagner says. “This project has been a passion of mine for some time and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with them.”
As U2 found out the hard way, Broadway musicals can get very expensive and difficult to pull off, so there’s no guarantee that Run-DMC’s story will make it all the way to the stage. Of course, Wagner did manage to produce Valkyrie and Death Race, so anything’s possible.
Atlas Sound: Logos (Album Review)
One of many unsatisfactory things about end-of-decade retrospectives is that musicians are rarely so accommodating as to plot their careers in nice, convenient ten year cycles. Nonetheless, that’s how posterity tends to remember them, regardless of finer details. Thus the Kinks are Sixties artists, the Clash a Seventies act, Talk Talk an Eighties band, Nirvana from the Nineties, and you’d comfortably stick a punt on The Strokes and Sufjan Stevens ending up defined by this decade we’re exiting.
But what of Bradford Cox? Even if you were aware of Deerhunter’s raucous 2005 debut ”Turn It Up Faggot” at the time, you’re a wizard or a liar if you foresaw how their frontman was going to fill the years 2007 to 2009. That is to say: three Deerhunter albums (‘tis a fool indeed who views Weird Era Cont. as anything other than a record in its own right), two EPs, and a solo project as Atlas Sound that’s yielded God-know-how-many free downloads, as well as last year’s Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel, and now – an epic 22 months later – Logos. That all of this bar the odd freebie has been good to exemplary is simply astonishing, and points to an artist whose profligacy and cult popularity has him nicely set up to be a defining artist of the next decade.
And yet… anomalous as ”Turn It Up Faggot” may seem, such scabrous origins are indicative of a palette that has been cooling and quietening ever since Cox first intersected with the limelight. The soundbite-friendly ‘ambient punk’ aesthetic never really lasted beyond Cryptograms, with Microcastle canning the abrasiveness in favour of reasonably straightforward shoegaze set off with dreamlike Fifties flourishes. Having arrived at something like a commercial sound, another artist might have stopped there; however, Cox has ploughed right on through, this year’s Rainwater Cassette Exchange far and away Deerhunter’s most introverted work, a retreat into quiescent childhood reverie.
Logos has much more in common with Rainwater… than Let the Blind…, for the most part ditching the dissonant electronics in favour of delayed acoustic guitars and old-time pop structures. On the face of it, it sets out Atlas Sound’s stall as simply being whatever Cox may do sans Deerhunter. Yet in a way the ‘ambient solo project’ tag still kind of makes sense. Strictly speaking ambient music is defined not by instrumentation, but by its evasion of the consciousness. Whole swathes of Logos are blurred and indistinct – technically melodic, hooky songs treated and delivered in such a way that they all but self-negate, leaving nothing but fleeting impressions: the winsome viola that arrives in ‘Attic Lights’, just as Cox mutters ”maximum pain, maximum effect”; the gay singer’s unsettling yearning for traditional marriage on ‘Sheila’ (“we’ll die alone, together”); the barely discernible mantra ”all is love” that briefly ghosts through ‘Washington School’.
This might sound like a way of romanticising an unmemorable album, but that’s far from the case. These songs are bunched together into two dreamy, fog-like passages that serve as a backdrop for a handful of the most tangible tunes Cox has ever written, soaring atmospherically above the misty dreampop. Opener ‘The Light That Failed’ roots itself in the consciousness through eerily torpid glitching, Cox’s disconcerting use of something approaching a falsetto, and the doomy langour of its titular lyric. It sets up an album that frequently drifts into disquieting areas, yet never quite follows through on this early moment of dread. Indeed, delightful Panda Bear hook up ‘Walkabout’ serves as definitive proof that the light hasn’t failed at all. While much of Cox’s early pop obsession speaks of a desire to creep out of the now entirely, ‘Walkabout’ is far more tangible and good natured, thanks largely to Panda Bear’s high, comforting tones and the appropriation of the hook from actual vintage Sixties pop gem ‘What Am I Going To Do?’ by The Dovers. Ironically for a song built around a 40-year-old tune, nothing, else on Logos has ‘Walkabout’s immediacy, though the excellent title track comes close, a rattling Strokes-alike number slightly removed from the world by Cox’s arsenal of floaty FX.
As we’ve known ever since last year’s leak of the Logos demos, the centrepiece is the eight and a half minute, wholly electronic ‘Quick Canal’. Though tamed a little from the leaked 13 minute instrumental, this more mannered, Laetitia Sadier-sung incarnation is a better fit here, and still towers above the skyline. The Stereolab singer adds an inescapably Enya-ish quality to the gentle early stages, but by the time the song’s swooshing, snowy motorik has kicked into full gear she fits in immaculately, an aloof Old World passenger on a song charged with haughty European electronica. It perhaps doesn’t sound so jaw-dropping as it did in isolation, but a lot of that can be attributed to an intentional effect of the surroundings. Those short, subliminal songs serving to filter away reality and focus, like half remembered dreams that leaves the senses baffled and feverish.
Logos is a gorgeous, hallucinatory and somewhat sickly outing. While there’s every chance he’ll wrong foot us, and soon, this record is entirely in keeping with the increasingly self-erasing route Bradford Cox has taken as a musician; it’s hard to stifle a shudder at that blanked out cover image. Maybe Cox will go on to be a star next decade – he’s a gregarious, prolific man liked by critics. But listen to his music, and that doesn’t feel quite right. Maybe he’ll become an icon. Or maybe he’ll finally make his escape from our timestream entirely, leaving us to wonder if he was ever there at all.
Wilco to Start Recording Next Album in January
Now that Wilco has taken all the proper album release steps (touring, late night television, internet interview invasion, etc.) and the well of Wilco [The Album] puns has finally run dry, Jeff Tweedy and company are ready to bang out Wilco [The Follow-Up]. That’s not the title, sorry. I just couldn’t resist one more.
“We have a big session in January and [sic] start on the new record,” bassist John Stirratt told The Ampersand. “We’re trying to get on the ball as fast as we can because the touring has been pretty much non-stop.”
Stirratt imagines the album won’t come out sooner than 2011, but a fall ‘10 release is possible. The planned upcoming sessions will have to move swiftly, though, as Wilco are set to tour Canada (plus a free show at the Olympics) in February and early March. That shouldn’t be a problem, however, as Stirratt added, “we all have families, and we have to make the time really count in the studio. We work a lot more efficiently now. I imagine it would happen faster, in the way Wilco [the album] did.”
Sounds like Wilco has become quite the well-oiled machine. Here’s hoping they include a couple guitar duels on the new record. Okay, not really.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Karen O & The Kids- Where the Wild Things are (Album Review)
Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are means so much to so many generations that Spike Jonze’s film adaptation couldn’t be just a typical kids’ movie — it had to be a movie for the entire family. And on every part of the production, Jonze worked with artists so close to him that they might as well have been a family: while bringing the book’s story to the big screen, he developed a tight friendship with Sendak; for Where the Wild Things Are’s music, Jonze recruited former lover and frequent collaborator Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. In turn, O drafted a who’s who of indie rock talent, among them her chief co-writers Bradford Cox of Deerhunter and Yeah Yeah Yeahs associate Imaad Wasif and her bandmates Brian Chase and Nick Zinner, all of whom perform under the aptly storybook name Karen O & the Kids. With their help, O uncovers new musical directions. Wildness abounds in her work with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Native Korean Rock, but neither band’s music is particularly childlike. Here, she taps into a rainbow of youthful expression, from “All Is Love”‘s pure joy to the tribal festivity of “Rumpus” to “Animal”‘s feral folk, which puts O’s ferocious scream in a completely different context than her other work. Yet on “Igloo” and “Sailing Home,” her voice is gentler than it’s been almost anywhere else — the only other time she has sounded so soft is on “Hello Tomorrow,” the song she wrote for Jonze’s 2005 Nike television commercial. Likewise, despite the wealth of indie rockers on it, Where the Wild Things Are rarely sounds self-consciously indie, even on the cover of Daniel Johnston’s “Worried Shoes.” Cox’s xylophone gives the album a dreamlike feel, particularly on “Rumpus Reprise,” while Zinner’s guitar is unmistakable on the excellent “Capsize,” which moves from a fierce tantrum to sweeping mystery like its own self-contained story. Balancing abstract pieces with more attention-getting pop songs like the adorable “Heads Up,” Where the Wild Things Are doesn’t resemble a typical children’s film soundtrack, although it will make a great first soundtrack for kids’ music collections. Neither a straightforward score nor a collection of kid-friendly indie rock songs, it lies somewhere intriguingly in between — and it’s just as good, if not better, than the music these artists make with their main projects.