I’ve been a huge fan of Trey Parker and Matt Stone since I was like 9 or 10 years old and started watching South Park. It’s an awesome show. The last couple seasons have been amazing. Their movies – especially South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut and Team America: World Police – are genius. And their latest endeavour, the Broadway musical The Book Of Mormon, which I saw in New York a couple months ago, is amazing. Clearly the Tony Awards even agreed, which is pretty amazing considering how ridiculous the play is, not to mention offensive. Finally I was able to download the soundtrack. Here’s one of my favourite cuts.
Oy. My wi-fi access here in Israel is a little tough, so I’m having trouble updating as frequently as I’d like to. This week’s artist is an artist I’ve heard about a lot but never really listened to until now. He’s kind of good, kind of shitty, but worth talking about. The artist of the week is…
After listening to the album Night Moves, I understand why Bob Seger became something of a rock star back in the day. He’s got his own shtick, it works, it’s in that Springsteen/Petty vein, it’s that ‘voice of the average American’ kind of thing. And there is something homey about music like that, something that always just feels very comforting, even to a Canadian like me.
You can hear the influence of that kind of music today in the music of indie artists like Kurt Vile, and even to a lesser extent bands like Titus Andronicus. Sure, these guys deliver a very twisted take on the aforementioned variety of music, but the influence of it remains apparent regardless.
Interestingly, the reinterpreting and re-evaluation of what is commonly considered by critics, music snobs and hipsters to be ‘uncool music’ – such as 80s synth and drum-machine abundant pop, 70′s and 80′s soft rock, classic 70′s am pop, Americana highway rock and other similar kinds of music – is becoming more and more prominent, talked about, and ultimately accepted. (For respective examples, see Class Actress (and debatably the last decade of music); Destroyer‘s Kaputt and of course Bon Iver‘s “Beth/Rest”; Ariel Pink; Kurt Vile (as mentioned before). Within a musical environment like this, classic ‘uncool’ mainstream artists such as Bob Seger can suddenly become celebrated by the musical elite, while still being loved by their longtime mainstreamer fans.
Though Bob Seger hasn’t gotten this kind of re-evalutation yet, and it might very well pass him by. Sure, the shout-out the other night from Colbert and Jack White was significant, but Seger’s place in the history of cheese might not be, or at least not on the level of Springsteen and Petty. On the other hand, though Seger’s cheese isn’t quite as classic as the aforementioned, it is seriously cheesy. Sometimes it’s bad cheesy, like in “Sunspot Baby”, which is a blatant rip-off and cliche-fest lyrically, stylistically and musically, but sometimes it’s awesome pure American cheese like in “Rock And Roll Never Forgets”, where Seger’s raspy voice and blue-collar charm supercharges the simplistic joie de vivre of the song.
Unfortunately Colbert was wrong, there exists that which is “what not to love”, but on the other hand, there is also stuff worth seriously loving in Seger’s catalogue.
Alt Altman (better known as Toronto electronic-pop maker Digits) and Lesley (of noisy Toronto electropoppers Powers) have teamed up in what some might call a case of…Bad Passion. There’s a good chance they’d call it that, actually, because that’s the name of the band. (ho ho ho). Despite the jokey-sounding title, their first track together “Rockin’ Your Beats” is a cool, smooth electronic groover.
Knoxville, TN chill-gazer/ambient-pop maker Brandon Biando (also of a band called COOLRUNNINGS that I will check out after posting this) makes some very nice music on the track below. Anyone else getting a serious Grandaddy vibe? (Via No Fear Of Pop)
You might’ve seen this song posted on Pitchfork today – it’s called “I Might” and it’s the first release on Wilco’s new self-owned label dBpm Records – but you probably didn’t know what to think of it…until now…
Marc: Wilco have settled into a comfortable place these days. They’re no longer the old school hit-makers of Being There, the boundary pushing, fearless computer-wise folkies of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, or the schizophrenic jam-band that made A Ghost Is Born. I think Wilco (The Album) announced a new Wilco, one that’s comfortable with strange, interesting sounds (though perhaps not that weird) but still writes damn good, damn hooky, and lyrically sound pop songs. So yeah, basically it is kind of like Summerteeth-era Wilco in a way, but not really because it’s a totally different band with a different feel for doing things. They’ve already broken down the barriers; the strange sounds and innovative productive don’t feel striking anymore, but expected and fully integrated. They’ve got nothing to prove, and they’re even better, sharper songwriters, and by ‘they’, I mean Jeff Tweedy is. The new track “I Might” is more of this version of the band – and it’s damn good and enjoyable as that. It’s not “One Wing (Part 2)”, as great as that would have been (or not), but I’m sure we’ll get some mindblowing songs on their next album, this is just the casual, nice, poppy first taste, the way “Wilco (The Song)” was for the last album. And that’s cool, it’s always nice to have Wilco back, no matter what kind of song they put out. Chances are it’s going to be pretty solid.
Just arrived in Israel and what do I find in my email? An email from a band called RIVKA (a common female Hebrew name). It’s a girl-boy electro-dream pop project from Pittsburg, I assume one or both of them must be Jewish (my bet is on the girl, Rebecca Dulberg), so shalom aleichem guys. Good stuff.
Banter just hit us up with these guys Parts of Speech, an electronic pop duo from Kansas City that makes pretty cool tunes with synths, bits and bytes and such, but live drums if the song below, “Canopy”, is anything to go by. Pretty solid stuff.
Why is every band called young this or youth that these days? Nobody digs old age? Experience? You know who’s old? Bob Dylan – and he’s the guy who sang, “But I was so much older then/I’m younger than that now” (in “My Back Pages“), a song about becoming younger idealistically with age. So…yeah…that totally doesn’t help my point…
Anyways, I get a lot of emails, if you actually want me to read them, I want you to have actually read my blog and display evidence of this! These guys Youth Cattlefrom Fuller, California did and they’re pretty cool, make indie-rock/pop with some nice Strokes-y guitars.
Hut is this great, warped garage-rock band from Toronto that consists of Daniel Lee (Hooded Fang, Tonkapuma), Daniel ‘Moon King’ Woodhead (Moon King, Hellaluya, ex-Spiral Beach), Alex Low (Hellaluya, ex-The Miles) and some other stars from the Toronto indie scene, sorry I’m forgetting exactly which ones right now I didn’t even know they had like two full albums up on their soundcloud (!), but yeah, check that. They’ll also be featured on a mixtape being put out by Daps Duo and Buzz Records in July, also featuring Tonkapuma and Trans Defonce.