All right, you’s guys, I’ve got opinions about albums and since everybody likes to show off their super-important and highly-refined musical tastes by way of year-end lists, I’ve decided to join everyone…like a sheep to slaughter. I’m gonna have some oldies which I’ve just been turned onto in 2008 sprinkled in there too, so please don’t be alarmed that I don’t only listen to new music. In fact, it’s not healthy to only listen to new music.
After mine, you have to show me yours though…as creepy as that sounds. So start thinking about everything you heard in this last great year of our unruly despot’s reign, and be ready to list ‘em by the time you finish looking at mine.
In no particular order…
Okay, yes, they are friends but this album is truly original and stands out in a sea of indie-rock music that is becoming more and more boring. Hooks abound, beautiful harmonies, and amazing arrangements…all with a good sense of humor too.
Here’s an album I was all over when I got an advance copy. It’s totally trippy and neo-psychedelic and totally up my alley. Here’s me singing it’s praises last January…lalala. The backlash is already present but isn’t it always there for bands who get any kind of recognition for actually being good?! They sounded great at a super-packed McCarren Park Pool this past summer too! I look forward to a second album from these cats.
Here’s another one that I got an advance of and I picked it for my year-end list last year even though it came out in 2008. Trippy , heavy, ter’riff’ic! These guys have a great loud live show too. On the album, “Wucan” will hypnotize you…and live, “Wucan” will bewitch your skull. You’ve been warned!
It’s gonna be hard to beat the heat in NYC this weekend (over 90 and humid), but what you can’t beat is New York’s bevy of free live summer shows every summer! And this weekend is especially off the charts. Here’s what happening:
Friday, July 18th: Mary Weiss with Nouvellas and the Lost Crusaders at South Street Seaport
Seaport Music: Mary Weiss of the Shangri-Las with Nouvellas and The Lost Crusaders
Date: July 18, 2008
Location: South Street Seaport
Mary was fifteen years old when she and her sister Elizabeth (Betty) began singing with identical twins Margie and Mary Ann Ganser in their neighborhood of Queens, NY. They soon shot into the charts with massive hits including Remember (Walking In The Sand), Leader Of The Pack, and Give Him A Great Big Kiss. Mary put out a new album recently and has been tearing it up ever since. It’ll be a massive garage rock party when others are announced on this bill.
This event is part of 2008′s R2R Legacy program. R2R Legacy highlights a selection of the Festival’s programs that strongly reflect, revive, newly interpret, or celebrate important cultural works, influential artists and our diverse cultural heritage. These programs are made possible, in part, with support from American Express through their commitment to cultural preservation.This show starts at 6:30!
and also on Friday, July 18th: Deerhoof and the Metropolis Ensemble: The Rite – Remixed (at Prospect Park Bandshell)
Celebrate Brooklyn & Wordless Music present DEERHOOF / METROPOLIS ENSEMBLE: THE RITE: REMIXED The mercurial experimentalists DEERHOOF, “the most creative band in indie rock today,” (LA Weekly) forge a distinctive sound out of sophisticated improvisation, fierce dissonance, and weirdly catchy melodies. They’re paired here, via the forward thinking Wordless Music Series, with a world premiere by METROPOLIS ENSEMBLE, led by Artistic Director/Conductor Andrew Cyr. The Rite: Remixed is a collaboration with composers and live electronics producer/performers Ryan Francis, Leo Leite, and Ricardo Romaneiro, who re-conceptualize Stravinsky’s monumental The Rite of Spring through the lens of the latest sounds and technology from electronica. The work combines keyboards and laptops with huge percussion and brass ensembles to create a futuristic, rhythm-inspired sonic tableau.
So far, that’s just Friday! Click through below to see Saturday and Sunday’s lineups…
Stephen Malkmus is the big daddy here, and a lot of bands I haven’t heard yet. It’s always worth the bike ride down with Paul, regardless of the over-crowdedness!
In case you all haven’t heard (and if you don’t live in NY it probably doesn’t mean a lot to ya), my friendly neighborhood watering hole/rock club has shuttered its doors, as of March 31st. The town is Brooklyn, the hood is Brooklyn Heights (or Boerum Hill, if ya like), the street is Atlantic Avenue, and the place that I will now thoroughly miss is Magnetic Field.
From the days that Steve Hall and I both moved to the neighborhood from the nearby Carroll Gardens in 2002, we had met many a night at good ol’ Mags. I have great memories there and always loved the staff… big ups to Devon, to name a fave! As a music-lover, I was always the one trying to sway the group towards Mags because I would always hear cool shit there, whether it was a band, a DJ, or simply Lee’s iPod. And it rocked, goddammit! No disrespect, but never would you hear Shakira or the new Timberlake single there. Or the song they did together, because I’m sure they did.
And maybe for that reason it was the great escape. Like the music that was played there, Magnetic Field was the ultimate throwback. A throwback from the days when people knew each other at bars and gathered for the love of music rather than the love of a scene. But maybe I just see it through rose-colored glasses since I spent so much good time there over the past 5 years. Read on to recap some memories…
I was pretty blown away when I found New York’s super-hip independent paper, the Village Voice, writing up the recently remastered and rereleased Emerson, Lake & Palmer live document, Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends. Then I almost swallowed my eyeballs when I saw that the review was resoundingly positive! Check it out HERE.
We’re talking about what was a triple live album when it was originally released in the 70′s, which has a 27-minute long song, AND a 35-minute long song (and there’s still 7 other songs)! It is nice to see that someone has listened to the music before writing a review, in this age of albums which are super-rushed to press, and the reviews are even more rushed to print. Here are some of the quotable accolades that Phil Freeman thrusts upon these ‘bloat-tastic motherfuckers’…
- …the band’s brand of epic, classical-soaked prog was actually tight as hell
- Simply put, Emerson, Lake & Palmer fucking rocked.
- Revisiting this catalog 35 (!) years later, it’s amazing how little music has “progressed.” Snip 20 random seconds of Emersonian Moog-frenzy from the live album and play it for a Wolf Eyes fan—see if he can tell the difference.
- These six studio albums and two live discs are the gateways to a world of balls-out craziness the likes of which is nowhere to be found in rock circa 2008.
Mr. Freeman ends the review with that last line which not only compliments the Welcome Back My Friends live release, but the entire rereleased catalog that our friends at Shout Factory! have done such a beautiful job at remastering and packaging. Believe me, I’ve heard them all! But if you don’t believe me, here’s a couple samples so you can hear for yourself (but listen now, for they will soon be removed)…
Emerson Lake & Palmer – Hoedown (Live), kicks off the album
So, what do you think? Are today’s music fans beginning to embrace progressive rock again. It does seem to be slipping into the rock music scene, as we’ve seen with a lot of newer indie bands. I think the one thing that most bands have to embrace about it, is it’s limitlessness. If you’re a going to be a band with staying power, you’re definitely not going to want to limit yourself to making the same album over and over, and I think that’s where the spirit of progressive rock will probably always live on. Have you been hearing any newer bands rocking the prog style lately?
Wow! A couple recent reviews are really helping to reinforce the fact that music is purely subjective and that there is a huge difference between a good music critic and a bad one.
In a recent Village Voice review for Vampire Weekend‘s debut album, Julianne Shepherd jumps on the backlash bandwagon and reaffirms her love for 80′s punk. Unfortunately, it seems that Julianne is airing out her own baggage with trust-fund boys she knew in college and overusing the term steez, whatever that may be. Take a read and see what you think?
I don’t work with or for Vampire Weekend and I couldn’t care less what direction their career goes, but it annoys me to see people who think they know all about music rip into bands for the wrong reasons. And why is Paul Simon (and even Peter Gabriel, as I’ve seen in other negative reviews) an originator of African music? Is it because he could actually afford to pay to fly out the whole Ladysmith Black Mambazo to Nashville and use them on his album? How punk rock is that!? There is lots of African music before Graceland, Julianne. Paul Simon stole another culture’s steez! And why are you talking about punk rock? It’s like talking about Big Band music when you’re reviewing a Radiohead album, or ‘dancing about architecture’, even. Oh yeah, and you’re so punk rock that you think these guys are stupid for reading sheet music!? Maybe if you read sheet music, you’d make a better music critic, Julianne. Hang up your hangups before you start trashing someone else’s art.
Another awful review comes to us from Maxim, and here it is…
*review photo courtesy of Scotty B at Hidden Track
Not inherently evil, but what we find out is that this reviewer, David Peisner, never even heard the record, as no advances were given out AT ALL! Meaning that he was probably only judging the album on the one single that has been released. The Black Crowes fought back.
So, a big NewmRadio SHAME ON YOU to David Peisner and Julianne Shepherd.
What do you guys think? Am I too hard on these two?