Friday, June 26, 2009

On Michael Jackson.

As i'm sure literally all of you guys know by now last Thursday, Michael Jackson was rushed to the hospital, where he was declared dead at 2:25 PST. Though the actual cause of death is unknown, the general consensus is that he suffered a heart attack. The news pretty much came out of nowhere, right on the heels of Farrah Fawcett's death earlier in the day. Michael was only 50.

I'll be honest: I'm a late convert to Michael's music. I grew up during the controversial era of Michael's life; I was born two years after his last universally-acclaimed album, Bad, and Michael was generally more well-known among my generation for the accusations of child abuse than for his music. Then I heard Thriller.

Honestly, I don't think much more has to be said about his music, because his first two decades of work are met with universal acclaim. I will say that it's nice to see that in his death, the artist is being remembered more than the personal life.

And so, in tribute, a terrible clip from Rush Hour 2:

Rest in peace, Michael.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Make Out, Fall Out, Make Up

"What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?" - High Fidelity

I'll get to Rob's quote in a bit.

I went back home this weekend. It was really nice, but as I was getting back on a train to NYC, I realized that I had forgotten my iPod (lovingly named Patrick Carbrey Dunseith).

This is huge. I don't have any of my music on my computer at this point to save space, Instead, it's all on that glorious little piece of machinery. In an effort to save space, I also got rid of the vast majority of the music on my phone, and so, when I put in my headphones for my walk to work, all I had was this, for some reason:

This is Album of the Year by the band The Good Life. It's a concept album of a relationship; beginning when the guy and girl meet, going through the highs of the relationship, moving through to rockier times, accusations, the breakup, the fallout, the girl moving on, and ending two years after the last time the pair spoke. It's really interesting to listen to, and it's a great album, but there's one catch:

This is really the only album I have to listen to until I get that iPod back, and it is fucking exhausting to go through the trials and tribulations of Tim Kasher's relationship every day, especially "Inmates," the nine minute track that includes the breakup itself. The album's 53 minutes long; I get through the vast majority of it each day if I don't finish.

So in this case, Rob? I think pop music is making me miserable. I've heard about the guy's flaws enough that I'm starting to wonder if I'm at fault for the dissolution of their relationship. I absolutely would recommend this album to anyone and everyone, but, well, in moderation. Listen to it too often, and you might get depressed.

Come back, Patrick Carbrey Dunseith. In the meantime, included in the playlist are a couple of tracks from the album.


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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Why are all of my blog posts embarrassing?

So, I was scrolling through my iTunes today and I realized that I have a lot of music that managed to end up in there without actually getting a listen. Some of the albums I haven't really listened to are REALLY SHAMEFUL. So, I made myself a playlist called "MUST LISTEN!" and proceeded to add almost 800 songs worth of albums that I need to familiarize myself with in order to be a better person. Or, some of you may argue, a person at all. Now, just because something is on this list doesn't mean I've NEVER listened to it, or that I've NEVER listened to the artist... it just means that I didn't give this particular album a fair listen, or I don't remember it at all. So I'm going to work my way through this list and report back to you periodically with my likes and dislikes and such.

Why? - Alopecia
Primus - Antipop
Autour de Lucie - Autour De Lucie
Ween - Axis: Bold As Boognish
My Brightest Diamond - Bring Me the Workhorse
City And Colour - Bring Me Your Love
The New Pornographers - Challengers
Mogwai - Come On Die Young
Ween - Craters of the Sac
Black Moth Super Rainbow - Dandelion Gum
Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies
Okkervil River - Down the River of Golden Dreams
Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
Animal Collective - Feels
Bright Eyes - Fevers And Mirrors
Elliott Smith - Figure 8
Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
The Bees - Free The Bees
Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
The Magnetic Fields - Get Lost
Dinosaur Jr - Green Mind
Beastie Boys - Hello Nasty
The Honeydrips - Here Comes The Future
Love Is All - A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night
Wye Oak - If Children
Wooden Wand - James & The Quiet
Liz Phair - Liz Phair
My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
Weezer - Maladroit
Man Man - The Man in a Blue Turban with a Face
Martha Wainwright - Martha Wainwright
Sigur Ros - Með Suð í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust
Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness-Dawn To Dusk
The Kills - Midnight Boom
Tomahawk - Mit Gas
Wale - The Mixtape About Nothing
Beck - Modern Guilt
Gogol Bordello - Multi Kontra Culti Vs Irony
Margot & The Nuclear So & So's - Not Animal
Iron & Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days
Noah & The Whale - Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down
Steve Aoki - Pillowface And His Airplane Chronicles
TV On the Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
Stars - Set Yourself on Fire
The Knife - Silent Shout
Man Man - Six Demon Bag
Pavement - Slanted & Enchanted
Tender Forever - The Soft and the Hardcore
Dan Deacon - Spiderman of the Rings
Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
Camper Van Beethoven - Telephone Free Landslide Victory
My Morning Jacket - The Tennessee Fire
Two Gallants - The Throes
Girl Talk - Unstoppable
Threatmantics - Upbeat Love
Wild Sweet Orange - We Have Cause To Be Uneasy
I'm From Barcelona - Who killed Harry Houdini?
Pavement - Wowee Zowee
Juliette & The Licks - You're Speaking My Language
Justice - †

So anyway, as you can see, it's kind of awful that I haven't listened to some of these... I'm particularly shy about admitting that I haven't really experienced Figure 8 or Daydream Nation. But, who knows? Perhaps my oversights are yours, and once I say "HEY BLOG, THIS ALBUM IS REALLY GOOD!" You'll listen too! And then everybody wins. Get excited!


Monday, June 15, 2009


Well, I'm back safely in Pittsburgh, no worse for the wear except for some sunburn and a smudged henna tattoo. And that means... time for me to BLOG about it instead of giving all of you faithful readers brief goofy twitter updates. I'm going to stick to the music, though there are lots of funny stories associated with the trip as a whole. To facilitate your reading, I'm going to bullet-point this, with a blurb about each of the artists I saw. Chronologically, yo.

White Rabbits
One of the acts I've seen before (At NYU's Strawberry Fest, check previous posts to see Jim's blog about it). I only stayed for about half of their set so I could get a good spot for Portugal. The Man. Not much really sticks out in my mind about this show... it was solid, but nothing spectacular, hence, my indifference at leaving early.

Portugal. The Man
As usual, Portugal. The Man's drums and guitar impressed the hell out of me, and the singer made me cringe a little bit. Aside from a personal aversion to the vocalist's style, I think they put on a hell of a show. Energetic and loud are two adjectives I love to use when describing shows I've attended.

Easily the biggest surprise of Bonnaroo. I only showed up to Katzenjammer and The Dirty Projectors to ensure a front-row spot to St. Vincent (they were all on the same stage), but I'm SO glad I did. This group of four women from Norway kicked a disgusting amount of ass. I was literally blown away by their energy and stage presence and sheer amount of talent. They all played all of the instruments... between each song they ran around switching, tossing ukuleles and THE sweetest bass guitar I've ever seen to each other. There was also a bizarre amount of growling and grinning at each other... it must be a Norwegian thing. The highlight was definitely "Hey Ho On the Devil's Back," I recommend iTunes-ing their album (Le Pop) IMMEDIATELY for a super duper boost of delicious happiness. This was definitely the second-best show of the weekend.

The Dirty Projectors
All the 'Roo-goers around me were super excited for The Dirty Projectors, and after having such a SWEET experience with Katzenjammer, I was pretty pumped too. However, for the majority of the set, I was less-than-impressed. Everyone but the drummer and two of the female vocalists was lacking a certain... vigor. In fact, I'm pretty sure the keyboardist was asleep half of the time. None of them smiled! It was such a stark contrast to the previous show, and it was far from exciting. The high point was when David Byrne came out on stage and sang with them for their last song. In general, a pretty mundane show.

St. Vincent
I hate to say it, but St. Vincent wasn't the best show I saw at Bonnaroo. Any of you regular readers know that I basically idolize Annie Clark, but I don't think she's that great of a fit for Bonnaroo... she needs to play in a small venue, not on a wide open stage in the middle of the day. That being said, she had some small amounts of technical difficulties that put me (and everyone else) on edge for the rest of the show. Her music is so complex, I'm always impressed when her backing band pulls it all off flawlessly. They even jazzed up a few songs... getting into the Bonnaroo spirit, I'm sure. I can't really comment on St. Vincent objectively, to be honest. I was smitten with the performance, but not blown away like I was with other shows.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs
So, I unfortunately didn't catch much of Yeah Yeah Yeah's set. I was way up front, ankle deep in mud, the sun blazing down on my face and my shoulders, and then... I almost fainted. Gosh darn lack of water/shade. I had to go fill up my water bottle immediately and get something to eat... so I was pretty far away for most of it. From what I could tell, though, they did a lot of stuff from It's Blitz... which I'm not yet too into, so I wasn't that upset about missing some of the set.

Ani DiFranco
Oh, Ani. This crowd was composed exclusively of 20-something women practically shitting their pants, and a few annoyed-looking boyfriends. Oh, and me. Ani has so much stage presence, and she knows she's idolized... she did some spoken word in the middle of her set, and everyone KNEW THE WORDS TO IT. My greatest-hits-Ani-fandom felt so inadequate, though I did enjoy 32 Flavors. Apparently, among hardcore Ani fans, it's not "cool" to really like 32 Flavors. ...oh well!

Beastie Boys
I could go two ways with this show. I could say that the majority of it was great, or the majority of it was fishy. Here's why: they closed their set (a lot of old stuff, a highlight was "Shake Your Rump") with "Sabotage." They started the song, and about 20 seconds into it, stopped, and said "Look at us! We're doing this shit without MP3's or any shit like that, this shit is live!" (I'm paraphrasing here, but that's the basic gist.) They proceeded to BLOW. Which makes me think... hey, Beastie Boys... was the rest of your set recorded? I mean... we won't blame you... you are getting pretty old... Anyway, at least Nas came out randomly for a song. That was pretty cool.

So, I was SO excited for Public Enemy and Girl Talk after Beastie Boys... but I unfortunately fell asleep at like 12:30. Embarrassing, and upsetting... but what can you do? I was EXHAUSTED.

Jimmy Buffet
On Friday, there were ALL kinds of rumors that Jimmy Buffet was playing a show on Saturday at noon... so I made sure I got there to check it out. Sure enough, there he was, "Cheeseburger in Paradise"ing it up. The crowd was mostly 40+... I actually saw an 80-year-old woman dancing with her walker. It was perfect. I grew up on Jimmy Buffet, so this show was pretty cool. Buffet's a PERFECT fit for Bonnaroo.

Of Montreal
Why is Of Montreal SO hit-or-miss? Especially since Skeletal Lamping, which ranks up with Stadium Arcadium on my list of disappointments. They started the show strong, with lots of non-Skeletal Lamping stuff, but then brought out the weird costumes, and with the kitsch came the shitty should-be-B-Side stuff off of Lamping. I was in a state of despair until they ended their set with a delightful "The Past is a Grotesque Animal"... all 10+ minutes of it.

The Decemberists
They played right after Of Montreal, and my thought process was: "Hey, I'm going to push my way to the front of the stage to get a good spot for the Decemberists!" Yeah... that was 5000 other people's thought process as well. After more pushing, shoving, and swearing (even crying) than I have EVER SEEN at Bonnaroo, we were all situated, packed in, with me about 10 feet from the stage (score!). Much to EVERYONE'S delight (though not Pitchfork's, I guess, but screw them, am I right?), Mr. Meloy hauled out the big guns and played the entirety of The Hazards of Love, beginning to end. Easily the best show of Bonnaroo. The crowd was entranced... everyone knew the words, we were all shouting and cheering and even silent at appropriate moments. I think The Decemberists looked surprised at such an immensely positive response. "The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid" was EASILY the highlight of the show. I was covered in goosebumps, and the kid in front of me and I kept saying to each other, "Holy GOD IS THIS INCREDIBLE." After they played their new album, they played a few standards ("The Engine Driver," "July, July!", etc.). When their set was over, the crowd stayed about 15 minutes chanting "One more song! One more song!" Until it became apparent that there wouldn't be one more song. We all embraced each other (seriously, we did) and left the stage in a daze. I NEED to see The Decemberists when they come to Pittsburgh in August.

Nine Inch Nails
Not much to say. I was probably 1/2 mile away from the stage, so Trent Reznor's voice was nothing more than a vague angry buzzing growl. I had a hard time even recognizing the songs he was playing, though I'm FAIRLY certain I heard "Closer"? And that was good enough for me. Bedtime.

A. A. Bondy
Sunday was an extremely chill day... I heard lots of artists (High On Fire, Erykah Badu), but didn't actually "go" to any shows except for two. A. A. Bondy was adorable, and seemed genuinely surprised that so many people showed up for his noon slot. He's really talented, and punctuated his set and his excitement with "I'ma get DRUUUNK tonight! That's not such a profound statement for this place, is it?" Enough said.

Snoop Dogg
Oh, last show of Bonnaroo. I think Snoop kind of forgot where he was, to be honest. These are a bunch of hippies gearing up for a Phish show, not die-hard fans. He kept saying "Where all my sexy ladies at?" and I could almost feel the ladies in the crowd thinking, "Uh... I mean... I might be a sexy lady? But I'm just so.... dirty...." Consequently, when he sang "Gin and Juice" (was SO excited for that song), he only sang about half of the words, and NONE of the choruses. Was he expecting everyone to sing along? I mean, me and the lady next to me did, but there was awkward silence for the most part. "Laaaaiiiiiiid baaaack.... no? Uh.... guys?" Blahh, oh well. He was still Snoop, and Snoop is Snoop.

OVERALL. Bonnaroo was an excellent time... met lots of awesome people, did lots of awesome things, heard lots of awesome music... now, time for me to go nurse my sunburn and perhaps take another shower. Grosss. Don't forget to download Katzenjammer!


Friday, June 12, 2009


So at that David Byrne show, my friend Val brought her flip camera and took some video. Behold, this quick highlight of some superb dancing. 

From Val:

"After arriving haphazardly, sans food, jackets, or any compelling need to be able sit where we could see, my friends and I landed a spot on the grass in the amphitheater. From there we couldn’t see the band, we could, however, see the back of all the idiots standing in front of us so that they could see the band. And then it dawned on me, the fans of the Talking Heads really, really can’t dance."

Couldn't have said it better myself.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sighs, Both Wistful and Disgusted. Also, Please Listen To The Song At The End of the Post and Tell Me I'm Not Losing My Mind.

Yesterday afternoon, I found out about a free concert in Brooklyn being played by David Byrne (of Talking Heads fame, as well as a great solo artist). Logically, I had to make the trek. Obviously, about 10,000 other people had the same idea.

And so I went with my friend Val to Prospect Park to check it out. Thinking that we would get there early, we got to the park at 6 for what we thought was a 6:30 show. I can't even begin to tell you how wrong we were about this, which we realized immediately after we arrived.

It was packed. Of course it was packed. David Byrne has been making music for over 30 years, and he has an enormous fanbase. In addition, it was a free show, in a park, on a nice day. We really should have thought about these things even a little bit before we decided to arrive at 6.

And so, after hanging out in the park for something like two and a half hours in line, we got into the bandshell at 8:30... which is when they promptly started the concert. Apparently, only 6500 of the people in line got in, and the rest got to watch it outside. I can't speak for Val (or our other friends who showed up, wandered around lost in the park for about an hour, then met us in line with about 45 minutes to spare), but I feel like it was worth it.

That picture is from last September, but it was the same basic idea: Byrne, his backing band, his backup singers, and dancers, all in white. And look at that suit. If I spent my days walking around in a white suit, would people respect me more or less?

Anyway, Byrne played a lot of songs from his albums with Brian Eno, which was to be expected: After all, this was another stop on the "Songs of David Byrne and Brian Eno Tour." Everything was pretty well-received, but he really brought the house down (I'm trying so hard not to make a "Burning Down the House" reference) when his band played some old Talking Heads songs, They sounded absolutely unbelievable, which is nice, because I feel like more often than not classic rock artists have some sort of falling off when they play shows thirty years later.

To put things into perspective, when I was in high school, I went to a "Battle of the Bands." the band that won did a rendition of a song that I later learned was "Crosseyed and Painless," and after hearing it, I went and got Remain in Light soon after. Yesterday, after actually hearing David Byrne play it, I wanted to go and actually get David Byrne. Not an album, not a discography, the person.

Anyway, the wistful sighs come from the show. The disgusted ones come from this, the song I mentioned in the title of this post.

Dear readers, I admit: I read Pitchfork. It's probably not the best thing, but I do read it daily. Generally, though it's admittedly pretentious, I tend to agree with them on a lot of things. This, however, is not one of them. There's nothing intelligent about this song. There's nothing good about it, short of a 30-second instrumental portion pretty early on. There's no statement that's being made. What makes that good and this (see below) bad?

Pitchfork trashed it, despite the fact that Scroobius Pip actually had something to say. I don't get it.

Unrelated news: I actually might eat lunch at a commmmmmmbination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. Not kidding. More on that at a later date.

In the meantime, I'm off. Be sure to follow Kristina's Twitter for stuff from Bonnaroo, and enclosed in the playlist are some Talking Heads jams.


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HALLO THERE. Also, Bonnaroo.

Hey, so. First and most importantly, I am THE WORST BLOGGER EVER and I apologize to Jim and all of you for never ever updating ever. But I FINALLY have something to write about, and that something is Bonnaroo! I'm leaving in a day and a half, and I was wondering how best to keep you lovely readers updated. My solution: I shall tweet Bonnaroo for you! You'll get to know how crazy NiN's show was, how drunk everyone was at Girl Talk, and if Bruce played just hits at his set, WAY BEFORE YOUR FRIENDS!

How excited are you?
The correct answer is: Really excited, Kristina!

So here's the deal. Instead of starting up a new twitter for this momentous occasion, I'm just going to use my existing twitter account, and from this point until post-Bonnaroo, only tweet about things Bonnaroo. If you'd like, you can follow me on twitter, or you can just check it out occasionally to get updated on all the fancy Bonnaroo happenings. I'll definitely be tweeting about the music, but also about funny things I see, cool people I meet, and other random goodness. So, without further ado, my twitter information:

And here are the bands that I'm planning on seeing throughout the weekend:
White Rabbits
Portugal. The Man
Passion Pit
The Dirty Projectors
St Vincent
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Ani Difranco
Beastie Boys (Sorry, David Byrne)
Public Enemy
Girl Talk
Elvis Perkins in Dearland
Robin Hitchcock and the Venus 3
Bon Iver
Of Montreal
The Decemberists
Bruce Springsteen
Nine Inch Nails
MGMT (Perhaps the end of the set if I'm still alive)
A. A. Bondy
Ted Leo
Andrew Bird
Snoop Dogg (...SO EXCITED OMG)
Phish (Maybe if I feel like it... but y'all know how I feel about Phish)

So yep, provided everything goes well, I'll be seeing all of those bands. And tweeting about them for YOUR PERSONAL ENJOYMENT. Perhaps even twitpic'ing some stuff. Get excited.

See you later, internets!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

In Which a Previous Post Comes to Fruition (sorta.)

This post, to be exact.

On October 1st, 2007, I was sitting at my desk in my dorm room, procrastinating on the Internet, when I came across the news that a new Radiohead album coming out.

I immediately fell out of my chair.

Then, when I finally composed myself enough to read the second half of the sentence, I found out that it would be out in ten days. I think I blacked out.

But most importantly, I finally got to the end of the announcement, and came to the most bizarre part: that fans would be able to pay whatever they wanted for the download of the album. My head promptly exploded.

I thought that this was one of the coolest things I had heard in a while. At the time, I wasn't thinking about the lasting repercussions of what would eventually become known as "the Radiohead model," I just wondered if anyone was actually going to put down money for it. Of course, it did: over a million people ordered the album by the time it had come out, and while not everyone paid, a good amount of people bought the $81 discbox. In addition, when the band finally released the album on CD, it went to #1 on the Billboard chart. Within the next year, other artists started releasing their music this way as well, most notably Girl Talk and Nine Inch Nails, and though nobody had the same success as Radiohead, sales were generally pretty good. Everybody wins, right?

Apparently not. Robert Smith, the frontman of The Cure, came out earlier this year against it, with this to say:

"The Radiohead experiment of paying what you want - I disagreed violently with that. You can't allow other people to put a price on what you do, otherwise you don't consider what you do to have any value at all and that's nonsense. If I put a value on my music and no one's prepared to pay that, then more fool me, but the idea that the value is created by the consumer is an idiot plan, it can't work."

Here's the thing: it... kind of did work. In fact, having your album reach #1 in sales in multiple countries months AFTER giving it away for free... I'd argue that it really couldn't have worked much better. I see what he's saying, and to an extent, I agree with him: overall, people should probably not be deciding what they should pay for all music. But, well, this worked. Smith responded with this (a little bitterly, if you ask me):

"In the way of our bright and brave new wired world, these idiot critics have tried very hard to turn my general point - a point I made using Radiohead’s ‘In Rainbows: pay what you want’ marketing ruse as it is the most widely known example - into a mock shockhorror: 'how dare anyone question the famously independent and anti-capitalist Radiohead, they sell more ‘product’ than The Cure so their strategy obviously ‘worked’ (huh?!!)…and anyway, Robert Smith is way too old to comment on contemporary culture moment…'
Any famous artist with a huge and devoted fan base (often arrived at with a little help from a wealthy and powerful ‘patron’ or two?) can afford to do what he, she, or it wants…"

At any rate, just recently, in a piece in The Guardian about Sonic Youth's new album, there was this:

"The band could, of course, have put out the album themselves, but chose not to because, as [Kim] Gordon says, 'there's a whole machinery you have to build up.' Radiohead did it, though, with In Rainbows, initially released online for whatever fans wanted to pay.

'I don't really think they did it by themselves,' Gordon counters. 'They did a marketing ploy by themselves and then got someone else to put it out. It seemed really community-oriented, but it wasn't catered towards their musician brothers and sisters, who don't sell as many records as them. It makes everyone else look bad for not offering their music for whatever. It was a good marketing ploy and I wish I'd thought of it! But we're not in that position either. We might not have been able to put out a record for another couple of years if we'd done it ourselves: it's a lot of work. And it takes away from the actual making music.'

This, I disagree with a bit. Regardless of who was responsible for the idea to self-release the album, whether the promotion took away from the music is kind of unproven. Even though there was a good amount of media coverage, it's not as if the music suffered as a result: In Rainbows and Feed the Animals are both good, regardless of how they were brought into the world (Ghosts I-IV and The Slip, the Nine Inch Nails albums, are both pretty hit-or-miss, but it's been that way since 1994 with them anyway).

I really don't think Gordon gave us, the people who buy music, enough credit. If anything, the idea brings the music to people who hadn't heard it before and were unwilling to pay because, let's be real, who wants to shell out $10 or more for an album they know nothing about? If people like what a band is doing enough, they'll shell out money to support them or see them one way or another. It probably bolstered sales for Radiohead (In Rainbows sold more before its physical release than Hail to the Thief made overall.) In my case, I paid $10 for the Radiohead CD, then paid to see them in concert; I didn't pay for Feed the Animals, but still bought tickets to a Girl Talk show.

But, I could just be more into Radiohead than I am into Sonic Youth.

On that, I'm out. But before I go, I'm trying to figure out what I should do the weekend of July 31st. Is it more worth it to go to the Newport Folk Festival or All Points West? APW has the better lineup, but, well, Newport is probably less than half the cost, even including getting to Rhode Island. Here are the lineups:


SATURDAY, AUGUST 1 ~ 11:30 am - 7:00 pm

Pete Seeger, The Decemberists, Fleet Foxes, Gillian Welch, The Avett Brothers, Billy Bragg, Iron & Wine, Mavis Staples, Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Ben Kweller, The Low Anthem, Brett Dennen, Tift Merritt, Tao Rodriguez Seeger, Langhorne Slim

SUNDAY, AUGUST 2 ~ 11:30 am - 7:00 pm

Pete Seeger with Judy Collins, Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie, Neko Case, The Campbell Brothers, Josh Ritter, Elvis Perkins in Dearland, Tim Eriksen & Shape Note Singers, Del McCoury, Guy Clark, David Rawlings Machine, Deer Tick, Balfa Toujours, Dala Girls, Joe Pug




Thursday, June 4, 2009

This One's Optimistic! (This One Went To Market, This One Just Came Out of the Swamp...)

Again, apologies for a lack of posting. I've just moved into a new place, and I won't even have the Internet until the 11th. I'm writing this in a coffee shop with my friend Amanda, who's updating her movie blog as we speak. Check it out.

Anyway, this is from Prefix Magazine:

Grizzly Bear's Veckatimest Hits the Top Ten

This week's number one album is no surprise; it's Eminem's Relapse for the second week in a row, as the set moved 211,000 copies, selling 819,000 copies in two weeks. But the Top Ten had a surprising inclusion: Grizzly Bear's Veckatimest hit number 8 with 33,000 copies sold. Granted, that's 1/7 of Em's sales, but it's pretty damn unlikely that a subtle album from a New York art-folk band would hit the Top Ten.

Under no circumstances do I want to fall into the cookie-cutter mold of the music blogger who falls all over himself praising Grizzly Bear; I'm trying to avoid that like I did with Fleet Foxes/TV on the Radio last year, and (a little bit less so) with the Animal Collective album in January. I think all of those records are very good, to be sure, and well worth your time, but gushing over them is a bit of time, as everyone who likes music these days seems to be doing it.

With that said, it's hard not to be really excited over this for a couple of reasons. In a time where music sales are plummeting, it's nice to see a so-called "indie" band making a serious dent in the sales chart. Take a look at the rest of the top 10:

1) Eminem, Relapse
2) Green Day, 21st Century Breakdown
3) Hannah Montana, Hannah Montana: The Movie
4) Marilyn Manson, The High Side of Low
5) Lady Gaga, The Fame
6) Kenny Chesney, Greatest Hits II
7) Wisin and Yandel, La Revolucion
8) Grizzly Bear, Veckatimest
9) Taylor Swift, Fearless I would like to add that this is inexplicably the highest-selling album in the United States this year, and one of only two to sell over a million copies. The other, even more inexplicably (less explicably?), is Hannah Montana.
10) Rascal Flatts, Unstoppable

I suppose disappointing follow-ups to former greatness are really "in" this year (see #1, #2, and #4, though I was never a huge fan of Manson to begin with).

Even more impressive about this Grizzly Bear top 10 debut is that Veckatimest leaked on the Internet something in the neighborhood of THREE MONTHS before its release last week (guilty, I think I got it in March). Hopefully, this kind of thing continues. Maybe we see the new Sunset Rubdown album at #1?

We won't see the new Sunset Rubdown album at #1.

I'm sorry for ever suggesting that the new Sunset Rubdown album would be #1.

Anyway, as Amanda just informed me that David Carradine (from Kung Fu, and more importantly, Bill from the Kill Bill movies) died today, enclosed in the playlist are a couple of favorites from the Kill Bill soundtrack. Rest in peace, Dave.


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