Matt Medlock



celan - Halo Review

One is a classically-trained pianist and composer. The other is a noise rock/hardcore metal screamer. Together, they are celan, no fans of capital letters, but more importantly, a progressive new faction in the expanding world of avant metal. Could’ve used a little more of the avant, but if this fusion sounds appealing to you, I can’t imagine you could go wrong.

They are Ari Benjamin Meyers (Einstürzende Neubauten) and Chris Spencer (Unsane), joined by three more musicians from flu.ID and Oxbow (Phil Roeder, Franz Xavier, Niko Wenner). In fits and starts, their debut LP halo is positively shattering and stirring in equal breaths. In between, you might catch yourself glancing at your watch or itching for the skip button. Or maybe because the high points are so good, the remainder just seems like filler clogging up the momentum.

Aug
26
2009
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CD Impressions: August 22, 2009

The second edition of CD Impressions, the new bi-weekly article here at JPP that offers easily-digested bites of criticism on recently released albums, features an eclectic selection of musicians along with their newest full length albums. This time around we offer you capsule reviews for British songstress Polly Scattergood, seasoned alt-rockers Sonic Youth, the pride of Minnesota Gay Beast, southern post-hardcore act Emery and the promising duo of Danger Mouse/Sparklehorse.

Aug
21
2009
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From the Archives: Queens of the Stone Age's "Era Vulgaris"

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Now that mainstream hard rock seems to be in its death throes, even a minor effort from a good hard rocker can seem exceptional simply because of the gaping dearth of quality releases. As a result, the new album by Queens of the Stone Age, Era Vulgaris (which doesn't mean what you probably think it means), may well go down as the best hard rock album of the year even if it falls short of the standard set by this still relatively young band. Frontman Josh Homme has been in the game long enough by now to have learned a few things, but that doesn't make his output any more streamlined or ponderous. He still cranks out all the vicious riffs and sleaze he can manage, but the band's more playful, winking side takes a hit this time around. Homme and crew are like depraved hedonists baked under the sun, nursing recently acquired STDs and recovering from a week-long hangover.

Aug
20
2009
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The Warm and Beguiling Sound of Elizabeth Walters

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As a male, the principle behind Lilith Fair (which bucked the ugly trend of concert promoters hesitating to ever feature two female artists/groups on a ticket back-to-back) was more appealing to me than the actual lineup that performed on the tour across the US and Canada in the late 90s. It’s not that I loathed the likes of Jewel, Sarah McLachlan and the rest, but intimate folk pop wasn’t exactly a close neighbor to the alternative/grunge phase I was still going through at the time. Maybe because I wasn’t spoiled by the explosion of those female artists or maybe (more likely) because she’s the real deal, anyone looking for a sweet little nostalgia trip would do right to check out the music of Elizabeth Walters. 

The 20-year-old Cincinnati native is fairly new to the scene, but what she may lack in experience is compensated by professional chops and polish. She began taking guitar lessons when she was twelve, is self-taught on the piano, drums and synthesizers, and began writing and recording music by the age of fifteen. Inspired by Jewel, McLachlan, Tori Amos and Regina Spektor, her work pays knowing tribute to her predecessors, but, refreshingly, the sound isn’t derivative in nature. The faintly melancholic tone that ebbs through even the upbeat moments avoids too many specifics, but any accusations of being non-descript are deftly deflected because they touch upon universal feelings.

Aug
19
2009
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From the Archives: Interpol's "Antics"

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On Interpol's celebrated debut, Turn on the Bright Lights, the swirling bursts of sonic gleaming and forceful drives were passionate and jarring, full of explosive power and emotional swells despite its dissonant vocal drone. So it must be surprising to some that on their heavily anticipated sophomore release, the band seems to step back from the harsh/beautiful glimmers and bulges into a much more bare-bones sound.

Aug
12
2009
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Cobra Starship - Hot Mess Review

I like to think I have a good sense of humor, but this joke just isn’t funny enough to justify this, ahem, mess. If your frontman (Gabe Saporta) cops to the fact that his band is having a laugh, you’d better make it work. From Spinal Tap to Tenacious D to Flight of the Conchords, plenty of comedic music acts have gained a lot of mileage out of being both silly and musically proficient. But Cobra Starship apparently thinks that they can have it both ways like the rest, yet miss the point on either side. The previous acts were funny and they wrote good songs to hang the gags from like a clothesline. But this joke is delivered too straight to be anything but a lousy attempt at imitation-as-satire, yet the compositions and hooks are so blatantly screeching. over-the-top and intentionally stupid that they make the effort to unravel any dry wit (if there is any) too painful to endure. On the surface, this is guilty of every shiny dance rock crime there is. Underneath…well, my masochistic tendencies aren’t developed enough to make the effort. Even if you somehow think its goofiness pays off, it’s still indefensible. The phrase “guilty pleasure” was made for records like these.

Tragically, I cannot understand how anyone could derive pleasure from this, guilty or not. It’s not enough to be fluff; it has to shove its “fluffiness” in your face (and cotton candy is never as tasty after it gets smushed). They can’t coast on candy charm when it’s “funnier” to be obnoxious about it. One gloriously awful usage of cheerleader chant breakdowns won’t do when they can do it a half dozen times. They can’t just trash superficial dance punk—they’ve got to drag synthpop, R&B, hip hop and emo through the mud, in ways that make you wish you were listening to the worst breed of the straight-faced “real deal” instead.

At least they don’t draw the suckers in with some offbeat charisma before unleashing the horror. The leadoff track is “Nice Guys Finish Last,” one of the most evil slices of pop trash to be unleashed on my ears in some time (and I heard the recent School Boy Humor album). It’s like the Ark of the Covenant versus the Nazis, only you gotta shut your ears, too, to survive it. By the time that the bland female backups add, “Bad boys, bad boys, all we want is bad boys!” to the chorus, your head is swimming in a dark place. The bridge where Saporta asks the single ladies (“yeah!”) for their help (“tell us what you want us to do now!”), you’re in the fetal position, crying. They follow that up with a song called “Pete Wentz Is the Only Reason We’re Famous.” Check, please.

Saporta singing about how he’s “not street” but has a crew on that “Wentz” cut isn’t a lyrical nadir, but rather the norm. On “Good Girls Gone Bad” (inexplicably climbing the charts fast), he flatly seduces, “I know your type/Yeah, daddy’s little girl/Just take a bite/Let me shake up your world/’Cause just one night couldn’t be so wrong/I’m gonna make you lose control.” Apparently, he took the advice from “Nice Guys” and became a smirking jerk; he didn’t take common advice because this song features one of those cheerleader-esque singalongs that’ll make you cringe. And instead of recruiting an actual singer to join him on this duet-from-hell, they bring in an actress named Leighton Meester. I don’t know who that is, but based on what I just heard, I’m in no hurry to peruse her career resume on imdb.com anytime soon.

Lest you think that the entire album is stuffed with vapid bubblegum-on-steroids junk, give a listen to “Fold Your Hands Child” (or better, don’t). Suddenly, the bad idea hawker veneer wears out enough for Saporta to deliver a (gasp) inspirational message. Something about following your dreams, as unsubtle as you’d expect from this out of control outfit. Any misappropriated goodwill that might have afforded them disappears by the arrival of “Living in the Sky with Diamonds,” which has his vapid heroine not wanting to grow up at all. Still, the worst idea on this track is the name—the one about Wentz was a less offensive reference. There is no nod to The State on “Wet Hot American Summer” (thank God…), instead just settling into an unredeemable summer “cruisin’ song”: “'Cause summer's in the air now/I gotta get my game down tight/It's all right/Yo, go and get the word out/We're gonna rock this party tonight.” Remind me to never accept an invitation to a party thrown by Gabe Saporta.

Hot Mess wears me out emotionally. I was so numb by the final song that I wasn’t even outraged when B.O.B. shows up to drop a rap verse on “The World Will Never Do.” I wasn’t amused, but it flitted by with a shrug and a somber headshake. On that song, you can grimace through the line, “I know it sounds cliché, but you know it’s true—girl, there’s no me without you.” Proof, again, that Saporta realizes that this stuff comes across as pitiful. And yet he’s selling you thirty-eight mindless minutes of it. So it’s not that he doesn’t have talent (though that’s questionable) or that he doesn’t have a clue; he’s simply cruel. By listening to it, I’ve become a victim of this vindictive hoax; please, don’t be the next. Treat this Starship as you would the Jefferson variety and just stay away.

Aug
12
2009

CD Impressions: August 8, 2009

We busy writers don’t always have time to bring you in-depth reviews of the music we listen to, what with regular jobs and personal lives and all, but we work hard to bring you all the need-to-know info that you, well, you get it. The new feature CD Impressions will give you more easily-digested bites of recent albums that we just plum couldn’t find time to write more about. Better to share a little than nothing at all, yes? This time, capsule reviews for recent releases from Spoon, Suicide City, RH+, the Dead Weather and Our Lady Peace.

Aug
08
2009
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CONCERT REVIEW: Breeders / Times New Viking @ Southgate House (Newport, KY)

kdealI felt like an out-of-touch old man when I overheard the bartender saying that tickets were still available and that they probably wouldn’t sell out. How did it come to this? With several hit singles and a platinum-plus album under their belt, the Breeders shouldn’t have difficulty selling out a venue that has a capacity of only five or six hundred. Maybe it wasn’t promoted well or maybe too many have forgotten about the band (despite releasing an album last year and a fresh, spanking EP a few months back), but they deserved better. Or else I can enjoy the intimacy of the raucous show and wear the ringing in my ears (that still hasn’t subsided after twenty-four hours) as a badge of honor.

Aug
08
2009
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Fifty Years of Great Music: The Top 100 Songs of the 1980s

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We’ve reached the halfway point for 50 Years of Great Music now as we enter the 1980s. The transition into this decade wasn’t as abrupt as the one that signaled the end of the 60s, but mid-80s trends clashed mightily with the vogue of the mid-70s. Image, of course, played a larger role than ever before, mostly because of the rise of the music video culture. In response, alternative rock was forced to be invented, beginning in college dorms and music shops and the low end of the dial if you were lucky enough to live in the right setting, and eventually finding some degree of commercial success at the decade’s end. Straight rock and roll didn’t die but it did take a hiatus; New Wave flourished for a time before being replaced by the next fad; hip hop still remains popular to this day. On a whole, popular music seemed to get shallower and the more underground stuff seemed to get louder. It was a polarizing era because of the divide (ridiculously, I actually once casually dismissed nearly everything there was to hear in a ten-year span), but there were still more than enough great songs to keep most of the population satisfied. Read on to see the best the 1980s had to offer.

Aug
02
2009
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From the Archives: British Sea Power's "Do You Like Rock Music?"

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The new "From the Archives" feature on JPP will showcase album reviews previously unavailable on the site. They’ll range from recent history to the distant past. As they are culled “from the archives,” they will not look back beyond the moment the review was first written but will instead represent the first impression and impact of each album. First up: Do You Like Rock Music? by British Sea Power from February 2008.

Jul
29
2009
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MacGruber... The Movie?

macgruberI rarely watch SNL these days, but even I haven’t been oblivious to the recurring sketch called “MacGruber.” It’s a mildly amusing spoof of MacGyver, everyone’s favorite brainy, mullet-sporting action hero. If you are unfamiliar with the premise, it’s absurdly simple—MacGruber (played by Will Forte) has about twenty seconds to defuse a bomb. He starts by assembling various household objects (paperclips, pipe cleaners, etc.) the same way MacGyver did, gets sidetracked in some sort of argument, personal issue or conversational tangent, and the bomb blows up, the end. Each one lasts about half-a-minute, and many of the broadcasts feature several “episodes” scattered across the entire 90-minute show.

Usually good for a smile, there’s very little variety (though Richard Dean Anderson appeared in one I didn’t see), but absurdity seems to be the venerable sketch series’ best friend now since all other attempts at recurring characters are often embarrassing. So to any MacGruber fans out there, I’ve got some great news—Universal/Relativity Media is fast-tracking a feature-length movie based on the character. No, seriously.

Jul
21
2009
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We Were Promised Jetpacks - These Four Walls Review

Of course, the brogues give it away, but figuring out that We Were Promised Jetpacks come from Scotland requires no effort. The dense production overkill of Glasvegas is there in a diluted form, as is the occasion for somewhat empty balladeering via Snow Patrol, the gruff but twee-ish twinkle of the Twilight Sad, an occasion for angular and anthemic riffs in the vein of Franz Ferdinand, and, in most every conceivable way, the entire sound of Frightened Rabbit. The latter makes sense since the band got their start from a song of theirs posted on FR’s MySpace page, but is it too early for such a dominating love affair? FR is, of course, the dominant one, since WWPJ seems to be cowed by every move. Maybe it’s the hem haw way Adam Thomson goes about the non-sloganeering stuff, but using louder electric guitars in place of the Rabbit’s preference for the acoustic variety seems more desperate than muscle flexing. But there I go comparing—gotta stop doing that. Maybe the problem is that when they go quieter and moodier, I just wish they were Frightened Rabbit.

Jul
16
2009
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Music Video Corner IV

franz_ferdinandWelcome back to Music Video Corner with another group of music videos to check out from the comfort of your computer chair.

This time, you can check out recent vids from Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Dirty Projectors, Band of Skulls, Oh No Ono, M. Ward and Franz Ferdinand. And the classic video this outing comes from none other than the Beastie Boys. Check them out after the break.

Jul
09
2009
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Odium - At the Bottom Review

Canada unleashes another Lamb of God-loving metal band upon the world; this one is called Odium. Not the most original name around (naming rights in the originality department is usually relegated to some unpronounceable word that’s derived in some way of something like Succubus or Netherworld or Bloodguzzler or whatever), they have no difficulty living up to that value prejudice by delivering fare best described as standard issue—never a compliment for the radical noise and pomposity of death metal. This death metal is, of course, tempered with cleaner melodies than usual, a style beloved by roughly three hundred groups of the ilk hailing from Sweden (Soilwork, In Flames, etc.). Maybe the cold air affects something in these songwriters.

The actual performance leans towards the commendable. Andrew Fullerton and Bo Louther wind their churning guitars together well, though they lack the divergent interplay that could have set them apart. And Joe Mullen and Dale Burrows are even tighter with the rhythms, especially on “Population Zero” and the pummeling epic “Need to Exist.” But on the songwriting side, there’s not much here to really sink the teeth into. On the first listen, there wasn’t a single song that didn’t simply flit out of the brain the moment they barreled into the next track. There’s too little urgency gleaned from the songs beyond tempo cues; the melodies are richer than usual, but they’re not interesting melodies. Metal has always been music of the moment, but the failure to linger is one of the chief faults. Sure, it’ll fill the background of most any metalhead, but since when has that ever been a headbanger band’s goal?

Thomas Emmans’ vocals help somewhat, especially when he raises the register and sings with regal melodrama—any accusation of affectation disappears because you’re happy for the break from the chugging growl that’s all too commonplace these days. The album’s midsection benefits from this direction most—“At the Bottom” and “The Failure” even have brief snippets worth revisiting after the disc runs its course. Unfortunately, its implementation seems born from triviality more than maximum impact—should all successes sound so accidental? It doesn’t help that the lyrics are mostly a batch of trite phrases, wallowing and clichéd. “Rising from our bridges/There will be nothing else/Just ashes and tyrants/I’ll watch the smoke block out the sun,” Emmans howls on “Need to Exist.” And on “It Goes Cold”: “Put the locust in a syringe/Everything’s plagiarized/Every urge a sin/My life is a consequence now…A breach in the walls of paradise may be the last thing we all know/I’ll tear every feather from your wings and smell your skin as it goes cold.” You get the idea.

Attempts to punch holes in the tenacious repetition aren’t cleverly integrated. The title track is inflated by strings and closes in static, “Serenity’s End” flushes with electronics, an eerily somber synth bleed opens leadoff “Oblivion’s Gates,” and so on. Not only are these efforts rather shallow, but they don’t really break anything up. Only the prog-metal ambition of the impressively mounted but ultimately unspectacular “Need to Exist” and the acoustic guitar passages on the penultimate track, “The Abyss Stared Back,” seem to strive for breaking the mold, but both come at the very end, and even the latter eventually folds its hand and settles on a smoothly distorted guitar riff before melting into a stew of overearnest piano keys. 

Considering the volume and tuning, it’s hard to believe that At the Bottom could frequent the territory of blasé as much as they do. It’s an album of virtually no highs or lows, just a series of fast, thrashing guitars, double bass kicks, tom tom abuse and vocal lurches between gravelly yelping and porcelain rafter soaring. The only reason to reach for the skip button is because you want something different, but different is not Odium’s specialty. For all of the attempts at novel (and mostly superfluous) flourishes, the formula is either an inescapable tedium or the limit of the band’s powers. Let’s hope not—they seem to have the individual ingredients for a worthy metal outfit—but no matter where it was aimed, At the Bottom winds up settling somewhere in the middle.

Jul
08
2009

Wilco - Wilco (The Album) Review

If this is the sound of a band floundering without inspiration, I’ll take it, and so should you. Whenever a band rises to a once restricted plateau, suddenly there’s no excuse to wander down the path sloping into the valley. For Wilco, as they ascended past Summerteeth and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (pick your own favorite), they were expected to keep going. And A Ghost Is Born was nearly of the same height, yet suddenly the consensus said, “too far.” Then when they “played it safe” with a mostly ordinary batch of summery pop and country rock tunes on 2007’s Sky Blue Sky, the fanbase was split, and fears of settling began to ripple. Now we have the amusingly titled Wilco (The Album), which could be called a retread (no matter the implications of insult or applause you consider with such a remark). So it’s the sort of stuff they do, and more of it. Stale? Not quite, but isn’t more of the same still better than a bad turn?

Jul
01
2009
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Fifty Years of Great Music: The Top 100 Albums of the 1970s

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Another decade comes to a close in the fourth chapter of 50 Years of Great Music, looking now at the albums of the 70s before moving on to the Reagan-ites. If you thought the 60s album list was chockfull of winners, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Jun
26
2009
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Dinosaur Jr. - Farm Review

Beyond was the left hook of 2007. Dinosaur Jr. had been pretty much missing for a decade. Bassist Lou Barlow was kicked out in 1989 to form Sebadoh and drummer Murph took off in ’93. Since then, frontman J Mascis kept the name alive for a couple more albums and the occasional show, but it seemed to everyone but the eternally optimistic that the band was done. But even when rumors of a reunion began circling, there was little hope for new material—a transparent cash grab to the jaded. Even when a new album was announced, there wasn’t a huge amount of furor; descending quality of records in the 90s hinted that Mascis’ best stuff was behind him. But then we listened to Beyond and we were stunned. Not only was it one of the best rock albums of the year, but it was the band’s best since You’re Living All Over Me from 1987. Mascis, Barlow and Murph were back, and we couldn’t believe our ears. Not in an “oh, shit, are they still relevant?” sort of way, but rather a “these guys still write and sound great” way. They didn’t become the, ahem, dinosaurs we feared.

Farm proves it wasn’t a one-shot, either. This and Beyond is the sound of a collective reinvigorated and ready for action. Even with diminished returns and a few problems, it’s a reliably solid entry in their canon; calling it a “typical” Dinosaur Jr. album is both backhanded and somewhat inaccurate. There are far fewer surprises (and memorable tunes) here than on Beyond, but it still sounds deliberate and controlled, the result that the band was aiming for, and another notch in their belt. Even if it doesn’t blow you away, I doubt you’ll walk away unsatisfied.

As usual, they get the ball rolling with their tighter and heavier side, pounding through sheets of melodic fuzz on “Pieces” and “I Want You to Know.” The viscous pummeling comes with Mascis’ trademark sensitive slacker drawl, mimicking their well-loved heart friction. “Pieces”’ rumbling bridge and the jerky guitar sequence leading up to “I Want You to Know”’s chorus are musical highlights—the band’s melodies are never impenetrable, but they can become swampy at length. On “Ocean in the Way,” the most memorable bit is when the tempo slows, the guitar sounds almost clean and there are gaps in the noise.

Such highpoints demonstrate one of the two chief problems on Farm. Because Dinosaur Jr. isn’t interested in abandoning their roots (applaud them, please), there’s a ringing familiarity to many of these songs. Even the best ones echo our record collection. Just as many of their best moments in the 90s came courtesy of pace-changers, so too does Farm excel when their identity is shed in favor of newly inspired tricks. It also doesn’t help matters that since it runs more than an hour, the second half has a tendency to drag, reducing serviceable songs to the drudge of filler. More variety or more careful pruning might have helped Farm approach Beyond’s plateau.

On that variety side we crave, we get Barlow, who contributed two of the twelve tracks. Coming after “Plans,” “Your Weather” opens with a refreshingly loud and robotic stomp, executed by his blurry bass and Murph’s huge cymbal fills. It’s lacking a great chorus, but the verses stand apart with original zeal. “Imagination Blind” follows suit with more percussive clatter and spaced out blasts of distortion. Neither one is a Dino classic by any stretch, but their individuality is refreshing. A shame, then, that “Blind” ends the album instead of the second-to-last epic jam “I Don’t Wanna Go There” when it would have been better served in the ninth or tenth spot.

Speaking of jams, there lies another surprise. Considering the quibble of overlength and the tendency to meander the same style set ad infintium, the longer tracks are all among the album’s watershed moments. “I Don’t Wanna Go There” has already become a live staple (with a searing extended solo lasting more than four minutes), “Plans” grinds away its world-weary attitude with exceptional guitar flourishes and “Said the People” has a strong vocal pull, with Mascis’ adenoidal whine being put to good use singing, “I’ve been staring, I’ve been staring in the space/All this time, not a smile, such a waste…All the people drag me down.” As a lyricist, Mascis has always dealt in vague solipsism and quandaries, but it always fit into his slacker ethos. As the catalogue builds up, though, rehashing the same old ideas can become burdensome, but careful phrasing and inflection help. “Said the People” is forgiven of such sins.

Solos on second side numbers like “There’s No Here” and “Friends” can be a bit tedious, but positioning is a factor as much as writing/performance. Notice how a solid effort like “See You” is amplified for its more cutting guitar edge and trilling effects before “I Don’t Wanna Go There”’s greasy sludge. But then notice how you don’t really care. A good Dinosaur Jr. album is precisely that, and just because it doesn’t blow your mind (and speakers) the way that their best do doesn’t mean the band is running out of steam. Mascis will never escape the overused Neil Young comparisons courtesy of his vocal tone and boggy reverb (though, if anything, Barlow actually sounds more like Young singing), but if he were wise, he’d do his best not to escape the company of Barlow and Murph. The latter rocked with the Lemonheads, Sebadoh had several terrific songs and Dinosaur Jr. wasn’t awful when only Mascis remained from the original lineup, but these three reach their peaks as a single unit. The grey in Mascis’ long hair is finally matching the grizzle in his guitar, but with Barlow and Murph filling the gaps with gorgeous, grungy noise, they’ll be tough to beat for as long as they wish.

Jun
25
2009

Michael Jackson (1958-2009)

mjacksonMichael Jackson was the last true music superstar. For all of the love and sales heaped upon artists as diverse as Kurt Cobain, Whitney Houston, Madonna, Garth Brooks and Eminem, none of them could match Jackson mania in the 80s. Being only a year old when Thriller was released, I can only confirm this second hand, of course, but the absolute proliferation of name, body of work, image and status is staggering. Even in the quick fix celebrity gossip pop culture world we live in, no one was bigger. His entire life is virtually one astonishing event after another: massive boy band success, solo dreams, early teenage defeat, Off the Wall comeback, Thriller explosion, Motown 25, King of Pop, fashion and dance icon, sponsorship, tabloids, commercials, music videos, hugely expensive follow-up albums, massive worldwide tours, Neverland, plastic surgery, allegations of sexual abuse, multiple marriages, fatherhood, label conflicts, baby dangling, criminal trial, financial ruin and spotlight departure. It’s only fitting that the final chapter in Michael Jackson’s life would be as shocking and newsworthy as this: dead of an apparent heart attack at the age of 50.

Jun
25
2009
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Music Video Corner III

stvincentAnother batch of recent music videos to check out, including the latest from Animal Collective and the new Dinosaur Jr. video of “Over It” from their upcoming Farm LP. In addition to those two, you can also check out stuff from Sonic Youth, Fever Ray, St. Vincent and Kasabian. Plus, there’s a new feature to Music Video Corner: a classic video tagging along at the end. This time: Britpop. Check them out after the break.

Jun
17
2009
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Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca Review

I wish I could skirt the issue of accessibility, since it had been the dominant topic of pre-release buzz and the slew of glowing reviews that popped up after its release, but it’s unavoidable. Dirty Projectors has long been a maddening band, one inspired by that effusively abnormal songwriter, Dave Longstreth, who frequently annoys even those who worship him with his music’s aggravating instability. The songs have usually been off-kilter trainwrecks, amazing half the time and virtually unlistenable in between. “Tour Along the Potomac,” “Fucked for Life” and “I Will Truck” were pretty great, but some of the rest? A mildly charming (but sadly unnecessary) “interpretation” of Black Flag’s debut LP, bizarre nonsense about a suicidal Don Henley, and unflattering blockades of aggressive glitch, choppy R&B and savage art rock crank. Selling out isn’t even a part of the vocabulary.

Jun
16
2009
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