The other night I watched this documentary, “Kill You Idols”, that bills itself as “Thirty years of alternative NYC rock n’ roll”. Sounded pretty enticing to me, so I jumped right in. Well, not quite. More correctly, it’s a bunch of bitter, burned out, indignant No Wave dinosaurs like Lydia Lunch (never heard of her? well, don’t bother, because she sucks), DNA, Suicide and Theoretical Girls ripping on the second half of the movie, featuring the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Black Dice, LIARS and Gogol Bordello. I guess these bands are supposed to represent the product of the No Wave movement (which lasted about 8 months, for those who don’t know) in NYC during present day. Right, ok…I’m not saying that any of those bands are going to change lives or spur some sort of cultural revolution, but they don’t deserve the whipping that they receive from said old, pretentious folks. Just like advertising, tv and movies receive unfair accusations of corrupting society, so does music. Well, just like all other mediums, music is a direct byproduct of the capitalistic, narcissistic culture we live in. It’s really easy (and embarrassingly cliche) to romanticize the flithy, dirty needle-laden, gutter pit that was NYC in the 1970s, because now it sounds so “rock n’ roll”, but, let’s be honest, pain and misery that bares forth raw scum rock is only truly appreciated from the safe confines of a comfortable, sanitized era like the NYC of today. Sure, The Yeah Yeahs Yeahs might receive endorsement deals and sign to major labels, rip off predecessors with their sound, but, firstly, that’s the reality of today’s music business, and secondly, nothing is new. Nothing. Every single sound, paint stroke, word, feeling and thought is completely unoriginal. Get over it. And, it’s so clear that Lydia Lunch completely wanted to be famous, against her denials, due to her insessant raving rants about how much the current NYC scene sucks. Tired, worn out hag. It’s on Sundance OnDemand. Watch it, if nothing else than to be indignant and see an amusing interview with Thurston Moore, which is the highlight.
It’s Blitz!!!!! April 5, 2009
After listening to the new Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “It’s Blitz!”, all I can say is that I feel like you’d feel (hopefully) about an ex that you once deeply loved: you wish the best for them because they have alot to offer and congratulate their success, but can’t help but miss the good ol’ days….In my case, I miss them in their “Fever to Tell”-era. There are very few albums that stand the test of time for me like that one. It absolutely never gets old for me. Maybe because it’s a heady mixture of NYC grit, sex, angst, rock and passion. It’s an utterly primal album and it speaks to me on a completely subconscious level.So, while I can appreciate the glossy synth beats, organic layers, and carefully channeled vocals of Karen O to sound more pleasing to the ear, I miss the raw urgency, tastelessness, flagrant eroticism, chaos and animalistic yelping. Kinda like this:
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So, after a few video posts, I feel rather lazy posting this, but I’ve been anxiously anticipating this music video ever since I heard the first Bat For Lashes single, “Daniel” a month or so ago. As I’ve already mentioned, I am completely enamored with her new album, “Two Suns”. I think it’s without a doubt the best album of the year thus far. And, it’s not even released yet. Not till April. Yeah, I know, I’m awful…But this video is so perfectly suited to the song. It’s unsettling, haunting and creepy. I get the same feeling from this video that I get from really powerful art installation pieces or movies. Lynch, of course, comes to mind. And the “Karate Kid” references don’t hurt, either. I’m diggin it.
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And, of course, I can’t not include this “Mulholland Drive” homage set to “The Big Sleep” off the new album…
Karen O’s still the baddest bitch in rock. March 10, 2009
I don’t love this track. In fact, I find it rather soulless…but also a little fun. I’m sure it’ll inspire me to dance like a fool come 1am on a Friday night at Creekside. After my initial disappointment with “Zero” and “Heads Will Roll”, though, I’m reserving my judgement for “It’s Blitz” until a few unbiased listens. Bottom line, it’s really exciting to see Karen O back in top shit-kickin’ form and fully embracing her role as a true rock star, especially in an age where there are so very few. Even with glossy production, choreography and disco beats, she’s still the baddest bitch in rock.
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Most Anticipated Concert Since Moving to ATX: Cut Copy March 5, 2009
So, I’m going to see Cut Copy tomorrow evening at Stubb’s. The road to this show has been very long and arduous. I bought tickets to see them and The Presets the day after this last Austin City Limits festival. Needless to say, after 3 very long (and amazing) music, Lone Star, and dust-filled days in the 110 degree sun, I was down for the count when Monday came along. More specifically, I had a dear friend drive me to the UHS. Not fun. But, I digress…
“In Ghost Colours” is hands down, my favorite album of 2008. There’s nothing that I could say about it that hasn’t already been said by every music writer, publication, blog, etc…It is the definitive representation of music (and culture) in 2008, beautifully blending rock and New Wave electronic beats in a way that doesn’t feel sterile or soulless. With the album, they managed to nail what basically every band of the last year has attempted, and spectacularly failed. It is unabashedly referential of the 80’s New Wave synth sound ala New Order, Depeche Mode, etc…yet manages to still sound extraordinarily fresh and original. The opener, “Feel the Love” is unapologetically naive, poppy and disarming. It’s the kiss of death and you’re hooked.
We have a very intimate relationship. It’s been there for me through incredible highs and occasional lows. My go-to album of the last year and the undeniable soundtrack to my life in 2008, if you will.
I absolutely love, and simultaneously hate, how albums can bring you right back to a place in your life. I know that when I’m 80 years old, I’ll be able to listen to “In Ghost Colours” and remember how I felt as a 24 year old just having moved to Austin. All the pent up anxiety, hopefulness, passion and lingering doubt will come flooding back to me with the simple click of a finger. Hazy memories of languid, unbearably hot summer days spent at Barton Springs, sweating it out on the shores of Town Lake with the faint smell of bat dung (you have to live in Austin to get it…), the torturous drive up I-35 to Seiko every morning and the giddy exhuberance I felt going to more shows than I’d ever been to in my life within the span of a month. Whether good or bad, I treasure those memories. Just like TV on the Radio and Camera Obscura brings me back to Miami in 2007, Cut Copy encapsulates my introduction to Austin. So, thanks Cut Copy.
And, no, this isn’t them…But I adore this video and wish I’d made it because “RAD” is the best.