I was never a punk. In high school I was a trendy little femme who liked the Smiths and sixties music. Duckie was my fashion icon. The only punk rock I listened to was the Dead Milkmen.
The king of the punks at my school was a senior named Alex who came to class one morning with perfectly spiked hair. Multiple four-inch spikes of Ziggy-red hair held up with egg whites or Elmer’s or some other gravity defying concoction. While he was walking down the hall some big dumb jock took a donut and placed it on one of those epic spikes.
Alex left the donut on his head for the rest of the day.
To me, that epitomizes punk rock. You make a personal statement that goes against the grain, you get hassled for it, but ultimately you subvert that mockery by reclaiming it and making it your own.
I didn’t see any donuts at Riot Fest this year but there was no shortage of that same punk rock attitude.
I don’t watch whatever show this video is promoting, but the song is kinda funny. Let’s hope Josh Tillman gets back to work on the third FJM LP. He gave us more of a hint of what that might actually sound like (maybe?) when he released “Real Love Baby” a couple months ago.
Personally, I wouldn’t mind if he finished up his album of Taylor Swift/Velvet Underground mashups…but that’s probably just me.
Three months after Beck released the song, he’s finally made a video for it. “Wow” is easily the most fun Beck song I’ve heard since “Hell Yes,” which came out over a decade ago. And he’s apparently “putting finishing touches” on his forthcoming album on Capitol Records with co-producer Greg Kurstin. Hard to believe it’ll be his 13th studio album.
I can clearly remember the first time I saw the “Loser” video, cracking up that they let a slacker like that on MTV. He was like a better-looking, California version of me and all my dopey pals. And by the time I heard “Beercan” I was a fan. My goodness!
I still wish Beck would hook back up with Karl/Carl Stephenson, who co-wrote and produced all the best songs on Mellow Gold, recorded the brilliant Forest for the Trees album, had a nervous breakdown, and dropped out of sight. Could potentially be cool. Or terrible. Who knows? And whatever happened to the Dust Brothers? Now I’m just rambling…
Third Man Records is pleased to share the genius surprise gift they received from their friend MICHEL GONDRY. On his own and without anyone’s knowledge, the legendary filmmaker shot a video for “City Lights,” which he sent them the other night. The video is Gondry’s fifth visual collaboration with The White Stripes.
It’s a cool video and a good song. I’ve been a little skeptical of Jack White’s Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016 compilation. At first it seemed like a cheap cash-grab built around the discovery of one newly uncovered White Stripes outtake (“the first new, worldwide commercially released song by The White Stripes since 2008”). I mean, come on, right? Everything else on this comp has been previously released in one form or another.
Plus, even “City Lights” — which was apparently written for Get Behind Me Satan “but then forgotten until White revisited the 2005 album for Third Man’s Record Store Day 2015 vinyl reissue” — is a little dubious. White admits “the track was finished in 2016 with help from collaborator and childhood friend Dominic Davis.” Where’s Meg? How much of this recording is White Stripes and how much is solo Jack White? Were any vocals recorded back in 2005? Were lyrics even written for it at the time? (Third Man Records did not immediately respond to our query.)
There’s something to be said for recontextualizing the work of an artist. And this is the first collection of Jack White’s songwriting that covers multiple bands and projects. And it presents a different angle than just “Jack White, guitar hero.” This side has been there from the get-go, for anybody paying attention and actually listening to the albums, but I can see the value in putting all the pretty stuff together in one spot. So there we have it.
And there’s more rare stuff than just “City Lights.” There’s the acoustic mix of the jingle White wrote for Coca Cola (“Love Is the Truth”) plus a handful of remixes of other songs. And one of the songs he did for that Renée Zellweger movie. So I probably shouldn’t be such a grump about it. And hey: new White Stripes song!
I maintain a playlist called Golden that pulls together a bunch of songs that give me fall shivers and nostalgic heartstring tugs. There’s loads of Beck’s Sea Change, Kurt Vile’s Walking on a Pretty Day, Steve Gunn’s Sundowner, Elliott Smith, Damien Jurado, Lord Huron, and now…Chris Staples.
Staples’ new album, Golden Age, shares more in common with those songs and that feeling than its title. There’s a type of sadness, without being maudlin. And maybe that’s to be expected. After a rough patch where Staples was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes that resulted in pancreas failure, a bike accident that required surgery, and the dissolution of a long-term relationship, Chris Staples is afforded some sad bastard time.
But that’s what’s great about this record: it’s not sad bastard music. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE me some of that. But Staples’ album maintains a bit of pop bounce with lovely melodies and simple production. It’s been described as a “subtle” record, which I guess is as good anything I would come up to describe the production. Because subtlety implies hidden complexity, and this record has that in spades.
Give a listen to lead off track “Relatively Permanent” and tell me you aren’t ready to sit down with Chris, have a beer, and talk about where you grew up.
This is awesome. The video is so well acted. I don’t know if they give best acting awards for music videos but Igor Tsyshkevych and Ian Bailey deserve some serious recognition for their performance here. Truly amazing.
And what a brilliant idea to hook up Run the Jewels with DJ Shadow for a collaboration. The guitar break is super dope and proves what a brilliant crate digger DJ Shadow continues to be after all these years. It samples “Ol’ Man River” as performed by Italian singer Caterina Valente with the Heinz Kiesling Orchestra off a 1968 record that looks like something you’d find at Goodwill. It’s the type of album I would’ve picked up on a lark in the 90s to see how awful her cover of “We Can Work It Out” was. I would’ve been pleasantly surprised. But that’s the genius of DJ Shadow.
You’ve gotta love Run the Jewels. El-P has the best lines in this one. “Picture this / I’m a bag of dicks / Put me to your lips.” I mean, come on. How can you not love that? Later he boasts, “Claim your crew quicker than Trump fucks his youngest.” Better watch out, Peter Thiel might fund a lawsuit to put you all out of business.
Until then, I’ll be listening to this on repeat through November. Remember everybody: register to vote. Don’t boo. Vote.
Dawes have released a new single ahead of their fifth studio album, which is titled We’re All Gonna Die. The video, and the single, show our boys fully embracing much of the “we’re all fucked so let’s party” attitude that dominates the Top 40 these last few years. It’s a pretty catchy tune too with a chorus that alerts us to the fact that “when the tequila runs out we’ll be drinking Champagne.”
We’re All Gonna Die, will be released via the band’s own HUB Records on September 16. Preorders taken now.
Be Here Now was the 1997 follow-up to Oasis’ massive hit, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? To say the former met with mixed reviews given the bar set by the latter is an understatement. In hindsight, everyone seemed to just be confused. Lots of people initially praised it as “bold” and “ambitious,” only to turn around and poo-poo it as “self-indulgent” and “bloated.” Noel Gallagher himself adding to the chorus. As The Chief said in Live Forever: The Rise and Fall of Brit Pop:
“It’s the sound of … a bunch of guys, on coke, in the studio, not giving a fuck. There’s no bass to it at all; I don’t know what happened to that…And all the songs are really long and all the lyrics are shit and for every millisecond Liam is not saying a word, there’s a fuckin’ guitar riff in there in a Wayne’s World style”.
Of course, they say hindsight is 20/20 and with 20 years of reflection, maybe we can give Be Here Now another look…another listen.
Posting on Facebook, Gallagher said, “As the years went by I’d started to accept that the songs on Be Here Now were in fact insanely long… too long! Someone (I can’t remember who) had the idea that we re-visit, re-edit the entire album for posterity’s sake.”
A total album remix? Now that’s interesting. And this might not set off the shit storm George Lucas faced when he revisited the original Star Wars trilogy. No, this was not tampering with a beloved title, but the opportunity to right some wrongs. Han will always shoot first.
Alas, “We got as far as the first track before we couldn’t be arsed anymore and gave up….it does sound fucking mega though!”
Oh well. Here then is the remix of the lead-off track, “D’you Know What I Mean,” which hilariously is only one second shorter than the original. Also, where’d those big ass NWA drums go?
“Belle and Sebastian dig the Olympics, love the Olympic ideal, love that the world gets together for a big ‘sports day’ once every four years. We can’t be part of it, though we’d like to be. So we recorded a piece of music with Rio in mind: specifically the Track and Field. Here it is.”
It’s a fun little instrumental that makes you want to chuck a javelin or attempt a pole vault. Or something. Stuart Murdoch and co. are no strangers to the topic of track and field, having previously recorded a song about its stars being beautiful people.