NPR goes to the EMP conference →
The rule book was thrown out the window a while ago, and the people at PopCon have questions. What is the game music fans, scholars and journalists are playing now? How do you think about contemporary music — the stateless, blurred area between genres, between niche and mainstream? How much, and where, does anybody want to read, or hear, your thoughts? Are you responsible to the people who make...
Joe Levy writes about the Weezer cruise →
This is terrific. I want to go. I wonder if this squashes my R. Kelly cruise pitch, though.
An interview with the Staves, a charming UK trio →
The Haim/Staves sister-trios Interview Magazine cover story seems inevitable. I like them both.
A good NYT piece on CASH Music →
A non-profit start-up I’m watching with interest. Also, Graeme Flegenheimer, perhaps indie rock’s youngest influential publicist, makes a one-quote appearance!
morerobots replied to your post: Have you ever tried making beer yourself? Also, fave Parks & Rec character that isn’t Leslie? It’s fun; not perfect but sometimes better knowing you made it yourself if that makes sense. Totally. Most of my creative impulses are music/writing/photography-related, though, and for food/clothes/imbibing I take a lot of pleasure in supporting people who are much,...
lafontusa replied to your post: not actually a question but that blinker the star album you mentioned a while back is really good and thank you for alerting me to it constant rotation on Y107. Someday I will write a lengthy essay in praise of The Chris Carter Mess, which basically changed the course of my life.
morerobots asked: Have you ever tried making beer yourself? Also, fave Parks & Rec character that isn't Leslie?
murkytimeistimeschool asked: not actually a question but that blinker the star album you mentioned a while back is really good and thank you for alerting me to it
Weekend questions? →
Hot topics: Parks and Recreation, synthesizers, beer, feelings.
Rihanna Has 'Pitch Problems,' Says Clay Aiken →
Clay Aiken Has ‘Shitty Songs,’ Says Everybody
In nearly 9 months of full-time freelancing
I’ve written 330 articles and blog posts. (Not to mention hundreds — millions? — more here, Rawkblog and on Twitter.) Sheesh.
"Chops have always been a touchy subject in indie...
Uh, for whom? Certainly not for anyone who’s ever listened to Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Pavement, Built to Spill, R.E.M., the Smiths… (from this, an otherwise on-point — even generous — review of Hundred Waters’ nice new record.)
Hacky Sack '99: VH1 Deep Cuts →
A Spotify playlist. Requirements: no major singles, only tracks I still love, nothing that I couldn’t listen to all the way through without giggling. (Almost cut the Jewel track.) All tracks from the bizarre late ’90s soft-rock/power-pop window that’s probably best described as “modern rock” but really made its home on the VH1 top 10 countdown. I used to watch it...
Diane Chang responds to the New York magazine... →
worldclassfad: For reference, here’s the original article on the foodie trend. I don’t see why she’s being so defensive. She seemed a little silly in the article, maybe, but no more so than anyone who devotes their money and obsession to their hobby. It seems being a “foodie” is the new “hipster,” too. Also, a lot of grave-digging in “I go out to eat...
The NYT's decision fatigue article →
Super-fascinating and comes with actual life advice! (Eat something before you make a big decision, and make it in the morning — this is why “sleeping on it” works.)
Going to blow yr minds with this late '90s Spotify...
Can’t believe I ever bought this ridiculous Jewel sophomore album, though. (Was she the Best Coast of her time? I think she was!) The ’90s were such an embarrassing time for drum machines.
Had no idea that Millard Powers, one of my... →
Wikipedia! He briefly played in the Semantics with the late, great Owsley and in Majosha with Ben Folds. Update: He played on a JoBros record, wow.
"Beez in the Trap"
Bites “This is Why I’m Hot” uncomfortably hard, right? I can’t even The borderline-whiteface of her album cover makes me uncomfortable. If it’s meant to be subversive, it only feels sad and plastic.
April Fool's gags I thought about pitching and...
1) Dress Sexy At Your Funeral: How To Go Out In Style (i.e., “Wear a bowtie. Fuck ‘em, it’s your funeral. But skip the go-to-hell pants because, well, you know.”) 2) 11 Must-Have Spring Coffins (“Eventually, your everyday carry is going to become your everyday bury, and you don’t want to be caught dead without the right resting place. Trust us, maple is...
This drunk guy singing "Bohemian Rhapsody" in the... →
Somewhere, Judd Apatow is kicking himself and calling Paul Rudd to apologize.
Sleigh Bells + Yeah Yeah Yeahs
jakec: So CollapseBoard just published this piece about how Sleigh Bells are FUCKIN’ ROCK’N’ROLL and who cares about authenticity and so what if they’re shallow and so on. In the past few months I’ve gone from being fucking psyched for Sleigh Bells to being mildly disappointed to now finding them indigestible, and the rate of this decline was heavily accelerated by the interviews they were doing...
Have finally re-established freelancer zen
For the moment, I have the exact amount of work necessary to make a living without going crazy. I went to the gym today! Don’t go anywhere, schedule.
News from Captured Tracks
Wild Nothing LP: Done. DIVE LP: Almost done. Holograms LP: Done. Dignan Porch LP: Done. WIDOWSPEAK LP: Recording in June. The Soft Moon LP: Finishing touches. Beach Fossils LP: Currently recording. Heavenly Beat LP: Finishing touches. Hoop Dreams LP: Mixing. This year is going to be insane. Can’t wait to hear Wild Nothing, Widowspeak and Beach Fossils. No MINKS, though!
An intense fact about Counting Crow's Adam Duritz →
The doctors decided to take me off a bunch of meds they had me on—nothing I was abusing, they were prescription medications that had been prescribed to me for mental illness—but they were very addictive, I guess, and very powerful, and coming off of them was a nightmare. It took about seven months to get off all seven different medications, which I weaned myself off. Going to go to the gym...
grandweerachael replied to your post: grandweerachael replied to your post: A short list… If you ever want to visit Atlanta/Decatur, mid-October is usually a pretty good time… decaturbeerfestival.org… If time and funds ever allow, the future wife and I want to do a huge, eat-until-we-die Southern road trip. I’ll keep that in mind.
grandweerachael replied to your post: A short list of beers I love If you can get stuff from Atlanta’s Sweetwater brewery out there, I recommend their 420—I’m not huge on IPA’s but it’s one of my go-to’s! ALSO, have you tried Allagash’s Curieux? Doooood #beernerd I’ll keep an eye out for it, sounds familiar. I’ve had the Curieux, way too intense for me. That shit’s serious.
joey replied to your post: A short list of beers I love +1 for Pliney and Racer 5. So good. (Also: I know next to nothing about beer, except that I really like those two.) I wound up writing a lot about craft beer at the L.A. Times and got caught up at the right time in the local scene with some expert friends, so I’ve tried a reasonable amount but not what the beer-nerds would consider a...
A short list of beers I love
Chimay Red, my first favorite beer and the one that turned me on to the craft movement. Shipyard Imperial Porter Surf Brewery Black IPA Gouden Carolus Grimbergen Dubble Abita Purple Haze Alaskan Smoked Porter Pliney the Elder Brother Thelonius Abbey Ale Racer 5 IPA Alagash White I generally prefer porters and stronger Belgians, but I’m moving into IPAs, black ales and stouts....
The thing you should know about craft beer
But what if you were sitting next to me nursing a $3 pint of Coors Light and I said, “OK. Do you want to try one of the best beers in the world instead for $6?” and handed you a pint of Firestone Union Jack? There’s really no excuse. A lot of people say, “Oh, I’m not a beer drinker,” but that’s like saying “Oh, I’m not really into rock...
Hear the Mountain Goats with a classical vocal... →
The collab starts at the 64-minute mark. The arrangements don’t quite gel for me, but it’s a fascinating look down another path for Darnielle’s songwriting.
natashavc: Everyone currently emerging into the workplace will be economically scarred for life by the misfortune of their timing. The initial wage loss for a worker emerging in a bad economy is 6 to 7 percent for every 1 percentage point increase in the unemployment rate, which means a twenty-one-year-old starting a job today makes about 24 percent less than he or she would have five years ago....
Premiered the video for SBTRKT's great "Hold On"... →
The Great Electro Hope.
Jon Hamm's appearance on "7 Minutes in Heaven" →
Roughly 3.5 minutes of laughing.
If only Pinterest had become popular six months earlier so every Lana Del Rey review could’ve referred to her as “less an artist than a badly curated Pinterest board, cluttered with pictures of James Dean and Marilyn Monroe gathered with all the passion and ardor of a Google image search.” Also, it’s nice that we’re not talking about her anymore. I’m glad she...
I made a career-spanning Fiona Apple playlist →
Enjoy. Please share. Notes: Her first album is a fine effort though it’s best viewed as the warm-up for When The Pawn, a partnership with Jon Brion that yielded perhaps the best album of 1999 and a total classic regardless. Her third, Extraordinary Machine, is her Spider-Man 3 (a tragically flawed but lovable maybe-classic): after the unfinished Brion sessions were leaked/shelved,...
A good Q&A with the Weakerthan's John K. Samson →
And there are people who are just churning out incredible work. Darnielle of the Mountain Goats is making a great record every year and I think pushing the form forward. There are countless people like that. Seems like every week I discover someone new. Craig Finn is another writer who has an exceptionally unique voice and burns with a creativity that I really admire. Both of those guys, I know...
"The Complete Earl Scruggs" →
An essential doc: great performances and a fascinating look at the generational overlap between the old-school banjo icon and Dylan, Baez, etc. R.I.P. Watch it at Rawkblog, or YouTube.
Buzzfeed: We Need a Private Mode for the Whole... →
I am actually against this, at least in terms of music/film/television consumption: people should either be the content consumers they purport to be in their carefully maintained Facebook likes and Pinterest boards or they should take the opportunity to be brave and reject the damaging, cultural capital-driven conceptual frameworks of high/lowbrow and guilty pleasures. I feel bad for anyone who...
"I miss your face"
What’s the dude equivalent of this? Is it “miss u bro”?
There is an Everclear/Lit/Sugar Ray/Gin... →
Somewhere, Dan Wilson is smirking and counting his Adele money. (Also: June 29 at the Greek!)
People spent more than $100 million on vinyl records last year. Unit sales and...– The Music Industry Is Finally Turning Around! (via yvynyl) And realistically, many of the vinyl numbers are unreported. They’re probably much higher. It’s not rocket science: if you make music that people like, you can probably make some money on it. Just not Hootie and the Blowfish...
The NYer on the human side of Chinese factory... →
This is interesting perspective but it doesn’t really justify Apple and its multi-billion-dollar war chest not straight-up buying these factories and running them humanely. (He said, typing on the MacBook Air you can pry from his cold, dead, wi-fi-less hands.)
If you are white you experience privilege in...
morerobots: tranqualizer: You can still experience anti-queer, anti-trans hate, classism, ableism, etc. But NONE of that cancels out how you benefit from the framework of race as a white person. I wish more people would realize this. I may experience a lot of shit because of my disability, but I still have privilege because I am white…doesn’t seem hard to understand at all. As a general...
Pitchfork interviews Skrillex →
You know what else I really like? When Jack White did that Insane Clown Posse song. That’s so fucking cool to me, so badass. He’s like, “People see me as the coolest guy— whatever.” Because it’s not about being the coolest guy, it’s about being yourself. Skrilley comes off pretty good here. I’m glad he’s out there doing what he does, even...
Thanks for the photography recommendations. I’ll report back.