04 August 2008

"Big ups, to all my h8rs" -- ME, ELSEWHERE, MORE

1988: Morrissey: Viva Hate
1989: The Cure: Disintegration
1990: Cocteau Twins: Heaven or Las Vegas
1991: My Bloody Valentine: Loveless
1992: R.E.M.: Automatic For The People
1993: Liz Phair: Exile in Guyville
1994: Nas: Illmatic
1995: Oasis: (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?
1996: Weezer: Pinkerton
1997: Third Eye Blind: Third Eye Blind
1998: Neutral Milk Hotel: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
1999: Sigur Rós: Ágætis byrjun
2000: Ryan Adams: Heartbreaker
2001: Against Me!: Reinventing Axl Rose
2002: Broken Social Scene: You Forgot It In People
2003: Jay-Z: The Black Album
2004: Rilo Kiley: More Adventurous
2005: The National: Alligator
2006: Brand New: The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
2007: Lil Wayne: Da Drought 3
2008: Lil Wayne: Tha Carter III / No Age: Nouns

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30 June 2008

"Me and Mariah go back like babies and pacifiers."

Tilly and the Wall -

Tilly and the Wall have never been shy about getting a little bit feisty. On their debut album Wild Like Children they famously – among their die-hards, anyway – chanted "I wanna fuck it up and I feel so alive," in an ode to those high school kids who dress in drag and can't stop touching each other. And so 'Night of the Living Dead' became the group's rousing anthem – an entire teenage experience colored by nostalgia and packed into a tight four minutes – but their fascination with naive experimentation, both in pushing the boundaries of authority and of a more sexual nature, didn't end there. Instead of "maturing" and becoming jaded, the band's sophomore album, Bottoms of Barrels, paired the passion of green youth with the expanding of sonic boundaries, perfected on the latin-flavored, Almódovar-biting 'Bad Education', a song packed with more cross-dressing and more urgent humping. Kids grow up so fast these days. READ THE REST

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08 April 2008

"I do what I do." -- NYU-LOCAL LAUNCH

NYU-Local is a beta-go. Entertainment is also a work in progress. Check back often.

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04 April 2008

"Fifty ways to get lost."

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25 March 2008

"I hate myself for hating them."

For those with a savvy eye, and who might be quick to point a finger, I'd like it to be on record that this review was turned in before M. Hogan's was even published on the 'fork. Because of site problems at WB, mine was just posted.

Los Campesinos!
Hold On Now, Youngster...

Los Campesinos!, the scrappy septet of ragtag record store regulars from Wales, have not crafted a weighty, serious record in Hold On Now, Youngster... but the questions it raises are of a personal variety and take a high level of self-awareness to confront. Ask yourself if you have the stomach for this, and be honest; it will save you some time and save us your bitching. Do you finish the sour sugar at the end of a bag candies or do your teeth shiver at the thought? Let this answer guide you. READ THE REST

Please do.

Los Campesinos! Don't Tell Me To Do the Math(s)

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24 February 2008

"Your little hoodrat friend makes me sick." -- REVIEW ROUND-UP

Remember me? I've been writing reviews. In order of preference:

Born Ruffians
Red, Yellow, and Blue

What if Born Ruffians, the hyper-active Canadian four-piece, founded their own nation? A question bordering on inane, sure, but let us just conceptualize. If the band's music is any indication, things in this land might be rather anarchic. In this fantasy world a neurotic leadership would attempt to quell a population of equally high-strung, overmedicated wanderers ('Barnacle Goose'), basket cases ('I Need A Life') and dream-chasers ('Hedonistic Me'). Still, the higher-ups would be painfully unfit for the job, their primary concern being the flag's aesthetics ('Red, Yellow, and Blue'). There would be an insatiable thirst for nothing in particular ('Red Elephant'), but the revolutionary spirit would run deep, expressed in a series of public demonstrations in which vandalism would play no small part. Granted, this is all purely speculation – with the only certainty the national colours – but that is one world that could be imagined and illustrated on Red, Yellow, and Blue through pop-rock nuggets and waltzes, vigorous gang chants, and unsophisticated but endearing charm. READ THE REST

But more importantly, get the album. ^^^^^

Jason Collett
Here's to Being Here

The quest for the next Bob Dylan has always been inherently paradoxical. After all, the reason you'd even want another is because the first was never defined, never fully understood, and never pinned down. The man and the myth – so arduously defined in last year's Todd Haynes "biopic" I'm Not There – remains as elusive a legend as pop music has ever had, culturally camouflaged and bouncing between fake idol and true prophet, sometimes playing both simultaneously. Still, bits of Dylan's legacy can be found in Conor Oberst's wide-eyed idealism and sharp tongue, M. Ward's rustic timelessness, Elvis Perkins' quirky and winding wordplay, and here noteworthy, Jason Collett's vocal timbre. READ THE REST

Last and least...

Lightspeed Champion
Falling Off the Lavender Bridge

Far too few music fans worry about the effects of the Indie Rock Machine. While McDonalds and Starbucks permeate every last inch of the globe, consumers cower in fear of the looming corporate shadow. Of course, they still line up for their decaf-double-tall-mint-non-fat mocha, but most will feel that itch of conscience about the big business invasion they're supporting. Are we paying for consistency or blindly backing homogeneity? Your answer depends largely on a semantic battle – a slight disparity in connotation. Apply this to music. What happens when an indie rock superpower starts drifting into monolith territory? What happens when your favorite midwestern basement startup-turned-empire colours the debut from a British near-sensation? READ THE REST

Born Ruffians This Sentence Will Save/Ruin Your Life

Jason Collett Roll On Oblivion

Lightspeed Champion Everyone I Know Is Listening To Crunk

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19 January 2008

"You should tip her."

SPIN.com Artist of the Day
Hello, Blue Roses
Who? The love child of two multi-talented, multi-tasking eclectics, Hello, Blue Roses pairs visual artist/vocalist/flautist Sydney Vermont with her scraggly-haired sweetheart, artsy singer/songwriter Dan Bejar (Destroyer, New Pornographers, Swan Lake), to make up this charming duo. Their intimacy beget a distinctive and engrossing debut album, complete with the awww-inspiring title, The Portrait Is Finished And I Have Failed to Capture Your Beauty... due Jan. 22 via the Locust label.

What's the Deal? Like a Sonny & Cher for the hippest sectors of the Great White North, these Vancouverites are anything but frigid, delivering 14 warm embers of by-the-fire folk fitted for the lovelorn literati. Written by Vermont and arranged by Bejar, the set sounds pristine and nearly regal -- Vermont's chandelier-shaking falsetto ever-climbing as on the autonomous lead track "Hello Blue Roses" and Bejar's compositional majesty unleashing glimmering galactic synths on "Shadow Falls" or his signature '70s-gone-bare wailing riffs riding acoustic strums during "Coming Through Imposture." Elsewhere, the almost-medieval "Come Darkness" conjures frills and flowing dresses in a flute-filled reverie while their cover of Kevin Ayers' "Hymn" demonstrates a couple's premonition in a winding acoustic duet, each idiosyncratic voice rising, falling, and breaking in harmony.

Fun Fact: "My art usually comes out of books of fiction, and tends towards women," Vermont tells SPIN.com. In fact, the band takes its name from the Tennessee Williams play, The Glass Menagerie, in which the tragic female lead Laura explains her affliction as pluerosis, misunderstood by her great love Jim as "Blue Roses." JOSEPH COSCARELLI

Now Hear This
Hello, Blue Roses - "Shadows Fall" DOWNLOAD MP3

On the Web:
Hello, Blue Roses at MySpace

via SPIN.com

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