27 May 2007

New Issue at Wireless Bollinger

The Blow
Poor Aim: Love Songs

Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, and I'm pretty sure The Blow's Khaela Maricich is from another galaxy (or at least Jupiter). Maricich first made a name for herself as a solo performer and member of Phil Elvrum's lo-fi masterwork The Microphones, but it’s with The Blow (her partnership with laptop guru and YACHT idea man Jona Bechtolt) that she has forged her role as a staple figure of indie female notoriety. Garnering their share of attention as a result of 2006's Paper Television, many were unaware of the spitfire heroine with seemingly unprecedented audacity that fronted The Blow. But it was on the band’s debut, limited edition, EP Poor Aim: Love Songs (originally released in 2004), that Maricich honed her electric persona by remaining so earnestly revealing that it became impossible not to commiserate when she was ailing or swagger when riding high. I've never met a girl like her, but through the record, she becomes an intimate companion. Gender aside, she is both candid and relatable for any victim of human interaction who might cringe at their social missteps or awkward blunders. Bold in her occasional inelegance and backed by Bechtolt's crafty electronic textures, the result is a balanced taste of uplifting, frisky numbers that lyrically reflect a sometimes clumsy personal discourse.

Spiced up for a K records re-issue, Poor Aim: Love Songs now contains a ‘remix’ section, including seven alternate versions on top of the six track, 17-minute burst and bustle of the original. Mostly minor embellishments, the subsequent re-imagining of the natural tracks do provide playful, if not entertaining, interpretations. Constructed by mostly Washington-based artists, friends and tour-mates, the remix portion is a friendly affair, as even Jonah and Khaela get in on the action, each redoing a track on their own. The YACHT remix of 'Hock It' conjures a rubber-band orchestra of loose drums, and loops the title line to create a recognisably different chorus from the blurty synths in the song's sexed-up verses. Successfully clubbed up, vocoder-ed vocal loops are a reoccurring theme on the album's second half, with each of the EP's stand out tracks receiving a similar chopped, spliced and screwed treatment. ...Read the rest.

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24 May 2007

Sally Struthers and The Black Keys Team Up To Throw Live Music Fans A Proverbial Bone

I know you remember those late-night cable TV specials with Sally Struthers and the Christian Children’s Fund. For only cents a day, you could support a child’s health and overall well-being somewhere in Africa. Lately, as a music fan, I’ve felt like maybe I needed a sponsorship group, or at the very least a counseling group. In a day and age in which fans can end up paying for their favorite artist’s album with their entire paycheck, kidney, and first-born child, the musical panorama from a fan’s point of view is looking rather bleak. Flip me a quarter a day and I might be able to buy a major label release in a month or six. It wears on us as fans and most of all on our loyalty, to stores, bands, labels, and music in general...READ THE REST...

This (besides a good, free EP) is an example of the news stories I write every week for Tiny Mix Tapes which has been one of my favorite music websites for as long as I can remember. I've received the great opportunity to get involved with them and I highly recommend giving the site a chance if you're not familiar with it already. You might discover a great band (per day). All of my stories are collected here. Definitely check it out.

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21 May 2007

Retro Issue 1997

Modest Mouse
The Lonesome Crowded West

The long-woven connection between Jesus Christ and rock 'n' roll appears as varied as it is storied. Through lyrics, myths, praise and persona, Christ's incorporation is unavoidable; as prevalent in the sounds of the secular, as in the hymns of the holy. We bequeath the role of prophet to our musical heroes in response to the boldness and poignancy of their words. Consider Jim Morrison, a mythically large creature, whose own belief in this fact contributed to his downfall. By buying into his own legend, Morrison deflated the mysticism by which he was surrounded.

The counterclaims are equally noteworthy, as the late ‘70s and early ‘80s saw Bob Dylan's rejection of the title, favoring Christian imagery and humbling the critical masses on albums like Slow Train Coming and Saved. For G.G. Allin, Christ was a namesake at the hands of his evangelical father and served as an antithesis to the manner in which he lived. Legend has it that Robert Johnson even sold his soul in spite of the Savior. But it is in Modest Mouse's front-man Isaac Brock that we see a departure from a tradition of mystical figures and martyrdom. Instead, in Brock we find a representation of the Messiah free of pretense, bare-faced and filled with cynicism – a sort of Christ complex for the Generation-X set – one that is burdened, dark and downright fed up. Read the rest...

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20 May 2007


Tumblelog- ...short-form, mixed-media posts...

All in good fun.

Give it a look: Envelopes

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Ratatat and Battles Live

I've written two live reviews for Wireless Bollinger. The first is of Ratatat's recent show at Webster Hall and that can be seen here. The other is a review of an NYU-sponsored show featuring Dirty Projectors, O'Death, and Battles, and that can be read here, also on Wireless Bollinger.

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