Liz Phair recording new music

Reporting on somebody’s Twitter comments seems a little silly, but I guess GLONO has a long history of writing about musicians’ unofficial announcements (see “Ryan Adams: New Whiskeytown Album?” or “Mooney Suzuki‚Äôs Souls Stolen by Satan”). Anyway, it’s 2015 and stalwart old establishments like Billboard and Rolling Stone spend half their time scraping Instagram and Tumblr for juicy celebrity gossip. What once was the domain of bloggers has been co-opted by the major publications and now passes for journalism. So it goes.

Anyway…

It looks like our beloved Liz Phair has been recording new music again!

On April 8, Phair tweeted that “in 3 days I’m going rafting in #GrandCanyon w no wifi, no toilet & no way out.”

She also solicited requests, and said “We’re recording the music.”

Looks like she was off the grid from April 11 through April 21 when she tweeted a bunch of photos of the Grand Canyon and mentioned that “we recorded new songs in amazing locations.”

Then on May 6 she tweeted to Randy Reddig and asked for help remembering lyrics to a song. (“I’m here w Ollie [Oliver Kraus] and Chavez and we’re recording My Pussy”)

By the way, “My Pussy” is one of thirty song titles she was prepping back in 2013.

On May 7 she replied to someone’s question about when she was going to release something with “we’re working quickly on finishing #GrandCanyon ep, collection of new material – guitars, cello, percussion.”

So that’s exciting. Hopefully this stuff will get released. We all know she recorded a bunch of songs with Ryan Adams back in 2013 at his PaxAm Studio but she recently told Spin “it never got off the ground. We had different ideas about how to record it, so that just kind of went unlogged.” Cross your fingers that this Grand Canyon material gets…uh…logged.

Liz Phair Grand Canyon Selfie

Photo and drawing via twitter.com/PhizLair.

New Mountain Goats wrestling video featuring Chavo Guerrero

Video: The Mountain Goats – “The Legend of Chavo Guerrero”

Just like every middle school aged boy in the early 80s, I got into professional wrestling for a while. It probably started with seeing Hulk “Thunderlips” Hogan in Rocky III, but who knows? Wrestling was booming with Cyndi Lauper videos featuring Capt. Lou Albano and Hulkmania spreading everywhere. My pals and I would attempt figure-fours and piledrivers on each other in our basements. I can no longer remember who was a good guy and who was bad, but they were all impressive characters: Andre the Giant, Junkyard Dog, Rowdy Roddy Piper, the Iron Sheik, King Kong Bundy, Brutus Beefcake, Big John Studd, Sgt. Slaughter. Very exciting stuff when you’re a kid.

I’d never heard of Chavo Guerrero. As John Darnielle admits, Guerrero was “almost completely unknown outside of Texas and the west coast.” But I love him now because of this video. By now, we all know Darnielle’s back story as covered on 2005’s breakthrough album The Sunset Tree: his stepfather was abusive and cruel, but also intellectual and complex. “The Legend of Chavo Guerrero” rises above being just a tribute to a childhood hero in the verse where Darnielle directly addresses his stepfather:

He was my hero back when I was a kid
You let me down but Chavo never did

At this point in the video, JD has one hand on Chavo’s shoulder and points straight at the camera with his other hand. In the previous verse Darnielle admitted, “I hated Chavo’s enemies, I would pray nightly for their death,” and in recent interviews he has said that his stepfather always rooted for the heels. So the next lines are even more powerful:

You called him names just to get beneath my skin
Now your ashes are scattered in the wind

Chavo makes a “Whoa!” face in the video, sort of like “Dude, did you just say that? Did you just suggest that your prayers were answered? That your stepfather was my enemy and you prayed for his death and now he’s dead? Whoa, dude!”

It’s awesome.

Beat the Champ is out now on Merge Records.

Ticketstubs: The Jacksons Victory Tour, 1984

I’ve always said that this was my first concert, but I’m pretty sure I’m wrong. I saw the Oak Ridge Boys at the Ionia Free Fair around the time of “Elvira” and the internet tells me that must have been on August 5, 1981. (I think I also saw Cheap Trick there, which would have been August 2, 1983).

But the Jacksons Victory Tour was the first concert that I was super excited about. I was 12 years old and I was a very big fan of Michael Jackson. Like everybody else on the planet I had been completely captivated by Thriller. I had watched all of his videos and cheered for him on the American Music Awards and the Grammys, but this was the chance to see him in person! At the time of this show I don’t think I had yet listened to Off the Wall and I had definitely never heard Destiny and Triumph (still haven’t). All I knew was that I was going to see Michael Jackson!

Getting tickets was something else. First of all, they were $30 each which may seem cheap now but was crazy at the time. Especially for my recently widowed mom. And you couldn’t just buy them. There was some convoluted process whereby AAA members could purchase blocks of four tickets. My mom’s best friend had AAA and she had a babysitter who was about my age and liked Michael Jackson too. We came up with a plan where the babysitter would stay in line all night and buy the tickets for us. In return, my mom’s friend would buy her a ticket.

This seems preposterous to me as I think about it today. We dropped an 11 or 12 year old girl off in the evening to wait in line all night long with a bunch of strangers? With $120 in cash? Her parents let her do this? Really?

Continue reading Ticketstubs: The Jacksons Victory Tour, 1984

New Rentals video: It’s Time To Come Home

Video: The Rentals – “It’s Time To Come Home”

I love the Rentals. I still think Return of the Rentals is an underrated 90s classic. Maybe “Friends of P” had “one hit wonder” written all over it (one minor hit, of course: it peaked at No. 82 on the Hot 100), but it works great in the context of a perfectly conceptualized and executed album. Neither Return of the Rentals nor its 1999 follow-up Seven More Minutes charted on the Billboard 200 but they both rank pretty high on my personal all-time Top 200 Albums chart.

This site’s first real interview was with Cherielynn Westrich back in 2001, and we caught up with Matt Sharp himself in 2003 while he was doing his solo project. The Rentals released an EP in 2007 and some kind of multimedia project in 2009, but just last year they released their first full-length album since 1999: Lost in Alphavile on Polyvinyl. I pre-ordered it on Coke bottle colored vinyl.

And it’s good. None of the people from the first two albums other than Matt Sharp have anything to do with it, but the guy from the Black Keys plays the drums on it, so that’s kind of a big deal, right? It came out last August, but they finally got around to making a video for it, and it looks like a bunch of semi-futuristic, quasi-scientific mumbo jumbo, so it’s pretty much perfect!

The Charlatans are still around

If you would’ve told me back in 1991 that the Charlatans would still be making music twenty-something years later, I would have scoffed. Back then, as much as I enjoyed their Some Friendly album, it was obvious to anybody reading imported copies of the NME that these guys were total bandwagon-jumping posers. The Stone Roses were the real deal and everybody else was a sad imitation. But time has a funny way shaking things out. So here we are in 2015 and the Charlatans are still touring and releasing albums and making videos.

Video: The Charlatans – “Let The Good Times Be Never Ending”

…in which our boys walk around Japan and show off their terrible haircuts. Modern Nature is out now.

Continue reading The Charlatans are still around

New Desaparecidos video: City On The Hill

Video: Desaparecidos – “City On The Hill”

Conor Oberst leads his “political punk” band on a cheerful little ditty about how everything is bullshit and we’re all doomed.

All the founding fathers
sowed their seeds into servant girls
All the godless heathens
had to leave to make a newer world
So we could live together in America
Justice is blind and so is love

Good times. From Payola, due June 23 on Epitaph. Directed by Rob Soucy.

Via punknews.

New Morrissey video: Kiss Me a Lot

Video: Morrissey – Kiss Me a Lot

Good old Moz. He scheduled a new tour and has released a new video for a song from his latest album, World Peace Is None Of Your Business, which he pulled from iTunes and other digital services back in August of 2014. The “Kiss Me a Lot” single, however, is now available on iTunes.

The video looks kinda crappy with bad lighting and egregious shots of half-naked women. But you know: gotta get those eyeballs, right?

Morrissey - Kiss Me Women

Right. Cross your fingers for the old grouch to stay healthy and make all of his upcoming shows.

Continue reading New Morrissey video: Kiss Me a Lot

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