Tag Archives: indie rock

The Most Annoying Question

I am not a fan of chitchat.  To paraphrase Bethenny Frankel (sorry), I don’t like small talk, I like big talk.  Perhaps the most annoying question – more annoying than “where are you from?” or “what do you do?” is – What kind of music do you listen to?I fucking loathe this question for a myriad of reasons.  First, when asked my mind inevitably goes blank, and all I can think of is Bob Marley.  This answer is almost as annoying as the question because who the fuck doesn’t like Bob MarleySecond, it’s a loaded fucking question.  The asker is really leveraging this question to bathe you in judgment.  For example, if you say indie, then you become Indie and all that it implies.  The most commonly tired-ass trite answer to this question is, “…anything but country.”  But for those hedgers, I have one word for you: Jolene.   If you go super obscure, you risk looking like a try-hard douche, and if you answer Maroon 5, then you are a douche. Third, the people who like to ask this grating question also like to follow it up with a pop-quiz.  Oh, you like techno, have you heard the new Trentemøller?  (Word of advice, if you must answer this dreadful question don’t ever answer with “techno” even if you fucking love techno).  Oh, you like The White Stripes, have you heard Jack White’s new solo album?  These questions just become an opportunity for the asker to act like an all-knowing asshole.  Asking someone’s music taste is a generic inquiry and answering it is rife with potential dignity issues.  Nobody really cares what kind of music anybody listens to anyway, so let’s all come up with some new thinly-veiled opportunity for judgment.

 

The Current Rotation

Passion Pit • Constant ConversationsAlthea & Donna • Uptown Top Ranking Other Lives • Folk Songs (thanks Leah Love)Bat for Lashes • I’m on FireKimbra • Plain Gold Ring (live)

Drop the needle on Frankie Rose ~ Interstellar

I’m fucking obsessed with Frankie Rose.  You may know her from her other projects Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, and the Vivian Girls.

Her recent solo release Interstellar is sublime.  Someone else somewhere compared the album structure to Disintegration, and I have to agree that there are definite similarities between the two records.   That’s not to say Rose’s Interstellar is derivative in the least bit unlike many, many, many, many artists inspired by The Cure. Couple of my favorite songs ~ Know Me and Pair of Wings, but listen to the whole collection of songs as a complete thought because it is absolutely excellent from top to bottom.  Catch Frankie on tour with Real Estate this summer.

See You at Coachella Biatches!

Which of you persistent whores scored Coachella tickets?  If you succeeded, congratulations.  Both weekends sold out in 3 hours, with most of weekend one tickets snatched up during last year’s presale.  If you didn’t, no worries.  Demeter Clarc’s coverage will make you feel like you experienced the giant human stank that is Coachella first hand.With over 130 different musical acts scheduled to perform, only the most musically well-versed have familiarity with the entire roster.  For the rest of us who need a remedial, over the next few months we’ll explore the best of what the Coachella line-up has to offer.  Here’s the start of a cheat sheet to help you cram for your Coachella final in April.  Consider listening to the whole album out of respect for the effort as a complete work and (hopefully) a complete thought.

Artist: SBTRKT

Album: SBTRKT

Songs: Wildfire, Trials of the PastArtist:  Feist

Recent Album: Metals

Songs: Caught A Long Wind, How Come You Never Go ThereArtist: Beats Antique

Recent Albums: Blind Threshold, Elektrafone

Songs: Spiderbite, VardoArtist: EMA

Album: Past Life Martyred Saints

Songs: Breakfast, CaliforniaArtist: tUnE-yArDs

Album: w h o k i l l

Songs: Es-so, Powa

Sunday with Jenny Lewis

Last Night with Lykke Li

Hey music muffins.  Last night was all about Lykke Li and the Swedish Star didn’t disappoint.  She made us wait, but when she arrived on a sparse stage with white lights and super long black curtains, she served up the best of her 2 album catalog.What she wore?  Proving once again bodycon is dead, she appeared in a very interesting get-up indeed.  Mizz Li werked some kind of black pants (possibly a bodysuit?) with some flowy, scarvy type action.  There might have been a robe involved.  See below.  Very Stockholm.  This totally modern choice kept the focus on the music.  The hair?  Ombre bitches.The music was fantastic.  We had some serious bass moments, a dance break, some Kanye, and even a little Righteous Brothers.  She kept the energy up through the relatively short set and took off like a whirling dervish prior to breaking for the encore.  Lykke Li proved again her vocal nuance is no studio magic.  This girl can sing and she does so in an original, creative, and self-restrained way.  Her cover of Unchained Melody was enchanting perfection, and that song usually kind of annoys me.

THE STROKES: ANGLES

After listening to this album several times and feeling strangely repulsed and confused, clearly the only way to process Angles is to acknowledge and accept that the boys are serving 80′s rock nostalgia.  This has got to be an homage, right? First, The Strokes do Duran Duran on Machu Picchu.  Then Tom Petty gets his due with Two Kinds Of Happiness.   The Cars pop up on Taken For A Fool.  Try and deny Billy Joel’s influence when listening to Gratisfaction.   Without mincing words, this is their least listenable album.  The record’s a disappointment – even Strokes apologists will have a hard time defending this collection of lackluster cast-aside tracks. In terms of interpersonal conflict souring creativity, The Strokes could easily become America’s equivalent to Oasis, and sadly Angles sounds like a harbinger of the band’s demise.  Gentlemen, in the future, please show us different.

THE XX: XX

Sorry for the delay on this; it was released a year ago.  Not really sure how it slipped through the butt crack, but 2010 can be the year of The XX in the US.  Procure XX by The XX immediately.  Need an extra nudge?  This one is Karl Lagerfeld approved.Their sound, brimming with dichotomies, is at once familiar and new, atmospheric and intimate, feminine and masculine.  Think Cat Power paired with Pete Yorn singing over Radiohead, and then subtract fifteen years.  The XX is sadly one of the few examples I can think of where a male and female vocal pairing strengthens rather than diminishes the overall sound.Strong composition and musicality backs up the interesting vocal arrangements.  The XX ain’t no one trick pony; the whole record is worth your time.  The down tempo vibe may annoy some, but critics need to puff a doobie and relax.  This is the good shit.

This is a perfect record for a nascent love affair, but don’t waste it on just anyone.