August 28, 2009
M.I.A. went bananas this week upon discovering that Tenacious D will be replacing The Beastie Boys at the Outside Lands festival in San Francisco, where M.I.A. is slotted to perform. The Beasties have postponed touring and the release of their new LP, Hot Sauce Committee Part 1 until Adam Yauch’s cancer recovery. Maya twitted in ALL CAPS that she’d pull out of the fest except that she’d be sued. Instead, Maya’s Cali trip will be drowned in Jack Black crooning “Fuck Her Gently.”
Immediately after this latest Twit-fit, Maya posted that she scored some new thrift bling. I hope it makes her feel better since there is a lot of M.I.Hate out there. Watch out girl!
In other news, M.I.A. became a mommy earlier this year and her writing is still annoying to look at; in fact I’d recommend she take up writing for Hipster Runoff. From her website: “SUNDAY NITE I CA M E HOME FROM THE GRAMMY’S STILL IN THE MOOD TO PARTY , I COUDA EASILY GONE OUT BUT I WENT HOME INSEAD , LUCKY I DID!! COZ MY EARLY STAGE LABOUR KICKED IN AROUND 2 AM .” Enough Maya, enough!
by Thomas Wilk
August 21, 2009
Ahh, super groups. The anticipation, the hype… the usual disappointment resulting from all that anticipation and hype.Whenever a group of big shiny names are put together, it makes it hard to remember that a mix of great things doesn’t always equate to greatness. Take, for example, bacon and vodka or aliens and predators. One can still hope, however, that the latest, most shiny super group will be half as awesome as they should be.
Dedicated JM.com readers are already up to speed on the Vultures, but for those of you who aren’t, Them Crooked Vultures involves three really talented people: Josh Homme (of Queens of the Stone Age), Dave Grohl (of Foo Fighters), and the great John Paul Jones (I won’t patronize you). Oh yeah, and Grohl’s on drums. That’s right, a rhythm section consisting of Dave Grohl and motherfucking John Paul Jones. Keeping things round, Homme’s longstanding band mate Alain Johannes has been brought along to assist on guitars.
Well, some speculation on the band can now be lifted, as their gig yesterday at the Belgian music festival, Pukkelpop (www.pukkelpop.be/), has yielded some worthwhile YouTube fruit. The audio isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough to give you a solid idea of the band. Hommes seems to have a strong handle – the riffs have that gloomy, stoner-rock edge he’s known for. But both Homme and Grohl have often shown a large admiration for classic rock, and having JPJ around is definitely pushing them further in that direction, with one of the songs even having a strong Cream vibe to it.
So the good news is that the band seems not to suck. The bad news is that the album release date that was floating around early this month was bogus, and that there isn’t even a title for such an LP, or any idea of when it might be out. But recently a clip surfaced showing the band in the studio, which is a pretty good indication that an album is coming. How soon, however, remains a mystery. For now, keep your ears to the ground and your eyes on YouTube.
by Geoff Anstey
Them Crooked Vultures performing “Dead End Friends” at Pukkelpop:
August 14, 2009
Yoko Ono, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison’s widow and son endorse the finished version of “The Beatles: Rock Band,” a video game for XBOX 360, Playstation 3, and Wii.
However, the endorsement did not come without a heavy price. According to NME.com, Ono stormed game designers Harmonix’s offices and demanded the final scene of the game – the Beatles’ 1969 gig atop London’s Apple Building – look windier. Initially Ono had little input into the game, and many geeky game designers are huffing that Ono’s meddling is too late. Alex Rigopulos, CEO of Harmonix, cried, “She really held our feet to the fire.”
Although the Internet is rife with Yoko Ono jokes (oh, what can she break up next?), there is at least one cyber denizen defending Ono, and taking a pot shot at the suits. “Well, she was there, you sad MTV fuckers! Get a real guitar,” commented “Evokoder” on the NME.com site.
In other news, Ono and son Julian Lennon wore snappy hats and glasses to Da Silvano restaurant in Greenwich Village a couple days ago.
by Thomas Wilk
August 7, 2009
What is the current relevance of baroque-supergroup (that’s an oxymoron) Broken Social Scene? Yesterday, Kevin Drew and Co. tore through the blogs, having released a cover of Joy Division’s beloved 1980 single, “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” that is set to appear in the upcoming Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana tearjerker, The Time Traveler’s Wife.
I know what you’re all thinking – this is awesome; Broken Social Scene covering Joy Division should have happened a long time ago. Kevin Drew already writes about dreamy, lurid, sexual self-deprecation, and who did that better than Ian Curtis? That may be the case, and I want to stress how much I love 2002’s You Forgot It In People, and 2005’s Broken Social Scene.
Consider though, that BSS hasn’t released anything as BSS since. Leslie Feist has gone on to become as associated with the iPod as its forward thinking design model, white color, and fundamental ability to play music (specifically, Feist’s music). Emily Haines has recorded three times as many albums solo or with Metric as BSS has released in total. Every player outside founders Brendan Canning and Kevin Drew have refocused their attention onto other projects (Apostle of Hustle, Stars, Do Make Say Think, the list goes on).
So in 2009, two mediocre Broken Social Scene Presents… albums later, we start hearing from Broken Social Scene as a whole, again. First, a new album was announced back in April, and is currently being recorded. Then, BSS played a free show at Toronto’s Harbourfront Center and everyone was there; the entire band played a massive setlist, and anyone who likes BSS wishes they would’ve seen this. The group announced they would be working on a new film called This Movie Is Broken, about two fans trying to get backstage at a BSS show. All of a sudden, BSS got loud, and again seemed like the collective behind those first albums (I challenge anyone not to get chills from those videos at Harbourfront; the band seems genuinely in love with each other).
More on Broken Social Scene: The Time Traveler’s Wife
July 31, 2009
An online auction from Gotta Have It! will hawk love notes that Madonna faxed to her boyfriend in 1993. Madonna faxed thesecorny notes, calling herself “Lil’ Booty” and “Lola Montez,” to her bodyguard-cum-boyfriend, James Albright, between 1992 and 1994. Also for auction is a “very personal and intimate video” of Madonna and some of her crewmates from the 1993 Abel Ferrara film Dangerous Games. As of Thursday, there were no bids on any of these items. Starting bids are around $20,000 per facsimile and $10,000 for the videotape. Of course, Perez Hilton claims to know what is on the tape: “Madonna appears to snort cocaine, inhale nitrous oxide and expose her breasts while allowing [costar James Russo] to snort cocaine off her body.”
by Thomas Wilk
July 24, 2009
To us bloody yanks, the Latitude Festival doesn’t mean a whole lot. We have our Lollapaloozas, Bonnaroos, and Coachellas; who cares about a three year old festival in the quiant coastal village of Southwold in merry old Suffolk, England? But even in the massive shadow of its older brother Glastonbury, the young festival seems to have a lot going for it. And this year got some impressive acts: Bat for Lashes, !!!, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (nice), and, in one of the more significant sets, a Radioheadless Thom Yorke.
Though listed as a headlining act, Thom started his gig at the crack of noon this Sunday, and even quipped to the cheering crowd, “Shhh… there’s people sleeping.” Hopefully there weren’t too many incapacitated Brits still in their makeshift beds, because not only would those lazy sods had missed a set from one of the best musicians around, but also, a new song that may make its way to one of today’s best bands. The new track’s name wasn’t announced by Yorke, but instead was introduced by him saying, “A new song, so, you know, go for a piss.”
Seeing as there’s little chance the title is “So You Know (Go for a Piss),” the internet gods have been calling the song “The Present Tense,” and already it’s an effective little number with some real potential. Radiohead fiends (*cough* such as myself) will be anxious to see where this song is going; on its own, it’s a nice mixture of Yorke’s lilting beauty and brooding, but who knows what wonderful touches Radiohead could put on it, especially with the mad genius of Jonny Greenwood. For now, we’ll just have to thank the blokes who recorded and leaked the track, since the BBC, even after promising to broadcast the entire gig, only played two songs from the set. Goes to show what you get with nationalized broadcasting, Britain.
Here’s York performing the new track, “The Present Tense”:
by Geoff Anstey
July 17, 2009
According to a recent interview given to the Philippines-based Inquirer, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails has announced that “NIN as a touring live band or live band that’s on the road all the time is stopping.” Reznor explains his intention is to pursue other musical collaborations and keep NIN active sans touring. Reznor says, “the only way to get a paycheck is to play live,” so one can estimate he’s financially comfortable for now.
Over the last couple years, Reznor has relied heavily on information technology to promote and sell NIN. On NIN’s Myspace page you can find avenues to purchase hi-res photos of this lady-killer or follow him on Facebook. And of course, there was the NIN iPhone app fiasco. Apple rejected NIN’s app because of objectionable content on NIN’s “The Downward Spiral” album, although Reznor harshly criticized Apple’s reasoning on a NIN forum.
Regardless, a break in NIN’s touring only means that Reznor will reunite with Exotic Birds, a Cleveland electro band that he was in during the 80s. In this video of a 1985 interview on Cleveland TV, Reznor, looking like a cross between Screech and Jason Schwartzman, explains concepts of electronic music to us. Young Reznor’s voice cracks and his hair looks something like a jerri curl. If all goes well, Exotic Birds will playing “Rhythm of Machinery,” at Bar Matchless before we see the end of 2009.
by Thomas Wilk
July 10, 2009
For those of you who aren’t yet aware, Deerhunter is one the best bands out there; yeah, that isn’t “objective” journalism, but fuck it – they’re great. So when frontman Bradford Cox announces a release by his solo outfit, Atlas Sound, there’s reason to be excited. But there’s even more reason when he reveals that some of the guests on the upcoming Logos include Animal Collective’s Noah Lennox (Panda Bear) and Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier. This guy must go to some pretty cool parties.
The last Atlas Sound LP, Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See but Cannot Feel, was deeply personal, largely recounting a summer Cox spent in a hospital at age 16 on account of his condition Marfan syndrome. This time around, Cox is feeling more extraverted and freewheeling, stating in the Logos press release that, “The lyrics are not autobiographical…I became bored with introspection…”
Logos had its beginnings around the time Deerhunter’s 2008 release Microcastle was written, and actually got leaked in its early stages, when many of the tracks were, as Cox described, “…simply ‘placeholders’.” The experience left him quite sour, with Cox even considering abandoning the project. Luckily, this is no longer the case, and after throwing around musical ideas with some friends (including those previously mentioned) Cox seems excited about the album, and has even kept a natural feel to the work, stating “Almost everything you hear on the album is a first take. This makes it almost like a ‘live album’ where a band sets up in a studio and just rolls tape. There are songs on here I don’t even remember recording.”
Logos is due out October 20th on Kranky. Tracklist after the jump.
More on Bradford Cox: New Atlas Sound LP in October, Bitches!