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: