Hey folks, sorry no column yesterday. I was sure I was going to have time either Monday or yesterday to do it, but apparently I’m bad at time management? (Really, this shouldn’t surprise anyone.) I’m still hoping to get a column up tomorrow, but in the meantime, here’s Josh Ritter’s music video for the awesome “Girl in the War”:
You can thank my friend Ann for this video, since she’s the one who’s gotten me addicted to Josh Ritter of late.
Presented without further comment:
Five Artists Whose Voices I Would Marry If Such A Thing Were Possible:
P. J. Harvey
Intro: Happy Inauguration Day! I’m a little bitter that I didn’t get today (or, indeed, yesterday) off from work.
Listening: I’ve been listening a lot this past week to two disparate artists. On the one hand, I’ve been going through all my Sonic Youth albums with gusto (Rather Ripped = crazy brilliant!). On the other hand, I finally got around to grabbing Lady Sovereign’s Public Warning. So between Sonic Youth’s grinding, fuzzy Noise Rock and Lady Sovereign’s thumping, slurred Grime, I guess I’m just not digging clear sounds this week.
I have to confess, I’m really sort of digging the whole Grime thing. I love the use of random, odd sounds, and the dark bass-heavy sound. Combine that with the fact that I’m a sucker for a well-syncopated sound and Grime kind of hits all my “get up and dance” buttons. Check out this track (called “Random”) off Public Warning:
Upcoming: Next week we get new albums from Franz Ferdinand and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. As far as I’m concerned those both qualify as Good Things. The week after that sees releases from The Fray and The Von Bondies.
Thinking: Thanks to the magic of NetFlix, I finally got a chance to see The Future Is Unwritten, the biopic of Joe Strummer that Julien Temple put out a few years ago. If you don’t mind Temple’s somewhat heavy-handed style of film making, then the film is really well done. Probably the most compelling part of it are bonfire-side interviews with artists who played with Strummer (not only in the Clash, but in his other bands) and entertainers who had been inspired by him. If you’re a fan of Strummer himself or of the Clash, it’s definitely worth watching.
News: Well, those clever bastards over at Microsoft have finally put an end to that annoying trend of music requiring actual work to produce. Their new Songsmith software completely obviates the need for all that annoying “writing music” and “playing instruments” bullshit. Just sing into a microphone and Songsmith will generate the perfect backing music for you. And as long as you’re okay with your songs sounding like they were produced by a 6-year-old with some turntables and several pounds of blow, you’re all set. Case in point? Here’s Songsmith’s version of Oasis’ “Wonderwall”:
In less appalling news, a journalist and filmmaker by the name of Alan Parker is set to release a documentary which attempts to exonerate Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious of the murder of his girlfriend. It’ll be interesting to see what, after all these years, he’s been able to come up with. The film is called Who Killed Nancy? and it’s slated to be released February 6th. I’m quite intrigued to see what Mr. Parker has to say.
Song of the Week: Sonic Youth’s “Teenage Riot”, the lead track off their Daydream Nation album:
Intro: Happy 13th, everyone! I apologize for the long delay in getting back to the column. There were a lot of very good reasons for the delay, the most pressing of which were holidays and the screaming death of my main desktop.
Listening: Unfortunately, when my desktop went down it made temporarily inaccessible most of my music collection. As such, I’ve mostly just been listening to Pandora lately. Two great new discoveries from Pandora:
The Constantines, “Young Lions”:
Thirteen Senses, “Into the Fire”:
Upcoming: Out today is the self-titled debut from Fever Ray (AKA Karin Dreijer Andersson, one half of Electropop band The Knife). Next week sees a regular hailstorm of interesting releases including new material from Andrew Bird, Bon Iver, Animal Collective, Antony and the Johnsons, Combichrist, Lisa Hannigan, and Reel Big Fish. If you have any money left after that, the week following will bring new material from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and Franz Ferdinand.
Thinking: Dead computers suck; I really want to listen the I’m Not There OST, but am too lazy to disembowel my dead machine to yank out the hard drive.
News: So apparently Amy Winehouse is off drugs! So say the totally sketchy, not-reliable-at-all tabloids, anyway. For the record: I sincerely hope it’s the case and if it is, then many hearty congratulations to Ms. Winehouse. Kicking drugs isn’t easy for regular, work-a-day addicts, and even less so with addicts where their habit is measured by the percent of their body weight that is composed of cocaine at any given time.
Rumor has it that this year will see new releases from Sonic Youth, Green Day, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. These all qualify as Good News.
Finally: Britney Spears may, in fact, be the least classy lyricist of all time. I mean, seriously, if you’re going to get banned from the radio, at least have the guts to go the Sex Pistols route and since about abortion and anarchy. None of this Junior-High, “tee hee, that sounds like a back word spelled out!”, amateurish bullshit.
Song of the Week: I know I mentioned it only in passing when it came out, but here’s the latest single from Third Eye Blind. It’s called “Red Star” and I can’t get enough of it:
Okay, sorry there wasn’t a column last night. I meant to write one, but then didn’t get home until late and passed out before I could even think about it.
So to make up for me and my lame excuses, here’s Morrissey’s new single, “I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris”:
*N. B.: the single isn’t actually supposed to be out until early next month, and Moz’s label has been yanking down Youtube videos as fast as they can. If this one gets pulled, as well, either do a search on YouTube or head on over to Morrissey’s myspace to hear it.