Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

sonic youth did a killer performance of "no way" last night on that show with the guy who used to be on snl on it. the song's from awesome new album "the eternal," which sees the band back on an indie for the first time in ages:

can't quite see what's on thruston's tee? i wonder why not...?uestlove called it "the riskiest shirt ive ever seen on broadcast tv" and commended the act as a "gangsta move". as if you needed more proof that SY still got it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I promised something about Randy Newman, so here it is, my second-to-last post ever (?) on this blog. Here’s an amusing video that sums up the dilemma of being Randy Newman quite well (almost as well as Greil Marcus’s musings on the man in Mystery Train):

Newman has long been the unsung genius of pop songwriting. When The Chills wrote “Song for Randy Newman Etc.” they placed him in a pop landscape that included Brian Wilson, Scott Walker and Nick Drake. You might call him the original of Stephin Merritt, a man who works like hell churning out won’t-be hits with an endlessly moldable formula. Newman has just never been ambitious enough for great fame, or his ambitions have merely been cumulative—a body of work composed of two-minute glimpses into the lives of despicable people. You might find him offensive if he didn’t hate his characters as much as you do.

Here’s a great example of his method, a song that could never ever be a hit single in a million years but that is so much more pleasurable and repeatable than just about anything I’ve ever heard on the radio. This narrator’s not despicable though, just sad, self-doubting, a bit funny.

[mp3] Randy Newman - "Memo To My Son"

Friday, June 19, 2009

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Yesterday marked the ten year anniversary of the release of Pavement's final album (and the first album I ever waited for), Terror Twilight! It got a four star review in the above issue of Rolling Stone, which also four-starred Moby's Play, The Chemical Brothers' Surrender and Red Hot Chili Peppers' Californication. That was a fruitful summer in modern music, even if it was the beginning of the end for Moby and The Chemical Brothers and the end of the end for Pavement. I can only hope that a Pavement reunion is more likely than another Jar Jar Binks RS cover, but I know that the only image more startling than the one above is the cover of Terror Twilight itself.

Monday, June 01, 2009

may has come and gone, and we're now deep in the thick of summer jam season. my favorite jam thus far is a 1968 track by the brazilian psychedelic outfit os mutantes, "panis et circensis". i may have missed out on mutantes mania a couple years ago when the band reunited, but better late than never, right?

"panis et circensis", the opener on the group's self-titled debut, is an absolute delight. written by caetano veloso and gilberto gil, which is like having j mascis and kevin shields write the first track of your new indie band's first album, and opening with a few floydian flourishes, permutations of the song's baroque, circular melody anchor "panis". it sounds a lot like stereolab. trippy without being indulgent, or perhaps so good it doesn't matter how indulgent the song is, "panis et circensis" is ideal for injecting a bit of psychedelia into your saint paul summer:

[mp3] os mutantes--"panis et circensis"

what jams are you rocking this summer?