Category Archives: Shorties

Kara DioGuardi writes worst song EVER

Unjustifiably smug Kara DioGuardiI’m a big fan of American Idol. I’ve watched it from the beginning…and I vote. I sincerely enjoy the show and every season I find myself unironically drawn to at least a few of the performers. That said, the undeniably worst part of the show is the music.

Wait wait wait, isn’t this show all about music? No, it is not. It’s about singers: their personalities, their drama, their interpretive abilities, and their voices. In that order. But the music generally blows. It always amazes me that they select the worst songs in any given theme week, and how on the rare occasional that they choose something good that they can manage to cheese it up.

Continue reading Kara DioGuardi writes worst song EVER

The Lucksmiths Break Up

The Lucksmiths, back in the daySad news for fans of Australian pop group the Lucksmiths. In a message sent via their label, they’ve announced that “after sixteen years as The Lucksmiths, the band has decided to break up.”

They were a great band who deserved a lot more recognition than they ever received. Perhaps their lyrics were too clever or their sound too precious for their own good. While it would be difficult to argue that they weren’t the very embodiment of “twee,” if you ever got the opportunity to see them out live, your impression might changed a little.

In appearance, they actually reminded me of a young, mod Who. Tali White has the same, piercing eyes and undeniable charisma as Roger Daltrey, despite the fact that White’s subdued, gentle vocals are the complete opposite of Daltrey’s histrionics. And Marty Donald reminded me of more than a little of Pete Townshend. Donald wrote most of the songs, sang occasional harmonies, and strummed lovely chords. He even has a respectable honker like Pete! Mark Monnone isn’t really anything like the Ox, and there’s clearly no place for anyone resembling Keith Moon in the Lucksmiths. Regardless, my point is that they were far from puss-pop, especially live.

I’m mad at myself for not getting out there and seeing them the last (several) times they came through town. I always figured I’d catch them next time. Which you’d think I’d realize by now is a very shortsighted way of thinking about bands at this level. Hell, bands at any level. If you care, catch them when you can…you might not get another chance. They’ll be finishing up their European tour and some final dates in Australia, but then that’s it. They will be missed.

MP3s:

The Lucksmiths – “Up with the Sun”

The Lucksmiths – “A Sobering Thought (Just When One Was Needed)”

The Lucksmiths – “A Hiccup in Your Happiness”

The Lucksmiths – “Up With The Sun”

The Lucksmiths – “Pin Cushion”

Lucksmiths: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki.

Full announcement after the jump…

Continue reading The Lucksmiths Break Up

John Lennon: New York exhibit shows bag of bloody clothes

John Lennon's bloody clothes

BBC News reports that a new John Lennon exhibition in New York will feature a paper bag containing the bloody clothes from the night he was murdered.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annex display also features the piano from his apartment and handwritten lyrics.

His widow Yoko Ono, who has created the display, said the clothes were “hard to include” and she feared she “might be criticised as well” for including them.

Ono apparently “received the items from the medical examiner after Lennon’s death.” I know a lot of people will give her shit about this, but she’s never tried to hide the graphic horror of her husband’s death. John Lennon was shot and killed, and if we try to shy away from that fact, how can we ever expect to honestly deal with issues of violence in our society? I applaud Yoko for her idealistic efforts toward working against gun violence. I don’t see much evidence that we’ve gotten any closer to that goal since 1980, but hey, more power to her.

John Lennon: The New York Years

Most Popular GLONO Items: April 2009

Glorious Noise: a nicer place to be.Once a month we look back on the stuff we wrote that got the most attention. We don’t do any special weighting for items that appeared later in the month, or anything fancy like that. These are simply the things that received the most views last month, according to our stats. If an item carries over from last month’s chart, its prior rank appears in parentheses.

Current Chart

1. Elliott Smith’s Archives: The GLONO Interview with Larry Crane (March)

2. 21 Free MP3 Label Samplers (April)

3. Fun with Forkcast, Round 12 (March)

4. Review: Chris Cornell – Scream (April)

5. Beatles Remasters Finally Coming (April)

6. Dammers Still Out of The Specials (March)

7. Brian Eno on Innovation (April)

8. Gonna Use My, My, My…Imagination (April)

9. The End Of It All: Acknowledging The Awfulness Of Jandek (April)

10. Neil Young Archives Volume 1 on CD (April)

See the Catalog Chart after the jump…

Continue reading Most Popular GLONO Items: April 2009

Neutral Milk Hotel Needs Your Help

Paragon Carousel

Neutral Milk Hotel multi-instrumentalist and Music Tapes frontman Julian Koster has sent out a request for fans to help save an 81-year-old carousel that needs some repairs. The National Trust for Historic Preservation will be awarding funding to a number of sites in the Greater Boston area, but the winner of a public vote is guaranteed to receive a grant.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where the great whirling contraptions of mechanical music and light are not as profitable to operate as other things, and carousels are worth much more taken apart and sold in pieces to museums, where one must pay to look at them behind glass, rather than having them simply existing in the world that we now all share.

I spoke with Jeff and Scott and Jeremy about this and they agreed that I should, on behalf of Neutral Milk Hotel, make an appeal to the good people who might have enjoyed the music made over the years, because we think you’d understand especially, and want to help.

Those dudes certainly love their “whirling contraptions,” so you can see why they’d support something like this. Then again, instead of asking internerds to vote online, maybe they oughtta just get the band back together and play a fundraiser!

I mean, I love merry-go-rounds as much as the next guy, but it’s sort of hard to suggest that the Paragon Carousel is more historically important than the Paul Revere House or the Perkins School for the Blind, but whatever. You can vote once a day through May 17 once you hand over an email address (verification not required).

MP3: Music Tapes – “Majesty” from Music Tapes For Clouds and Tornadoes

Neutral Milk Hotel: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki.

Full press release after the jump…

Continue reading Neutral Milk Hotel Needs Your Help

Cool Band: Shoeshine Blue

Shoeshine BluePortland is thick with singer-songwriter types. It’s like Leonard Cohen himself gave birth to a commune of slightly weird, slightly malnourished but very well-read troubadours. I imagine they have secret dinner parties somewhere in the Hawthorne District where they talk about Denis Johnson and eat exotic couscous while smoking flavored tobacco and drinking organic beer. I’m sad I haven’t been invited yet, but I’m glad they have each other.

Shoeshine Blue is clearly an outcome of Cohen’s planting. Lovely melodies, sometimes in the form of ballads that present both sides of a less than perfect union. Led by Michael Apinyakul, Shoeshine Blue started out as a solo, one-man lo-fi bedroom recording project, delivering haunting indie-blues with spine-tingling melodies and have developed into a lush production of painstakingly crafted songwriting and loose, but perfect playing.

Their one-sheet describes Shoeshine Blue as “an indie-folk act, which melds elements of classical, blues, folk, gospel, old-time, and pop, all with an indie twist.” Yep, and I love it.

The band celebrates the release of their latest full-length, Howl At The Wooden Moon on May 24.

MP3: Shoeshine Blue – “All The Pretty Women”

Shoeshine Blue: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki, website, MySpace.

Cool Band: Pomegranates

Pomegranates Remember when Kirsten Dunst was kinda indie, kinda unknown but mega cute with those fangs of hers and that quirky laugh? Back before Spiderman. She was all I could see in The Virgin Suicides. She completely took over the screen and made it golden. I don’t even remember much else about that movie but I know she was young and secretly depressed and flirty and eventually killed herself, but for that moment she was a stone fox.

Pomegranates sounds like they could be that girl’s personal soundtrack. There’s a lot of reverb and digital delay all over the place and a strange mixture of joy and despair, kind of like any number of Manchester bands who came out in the mid-80s. Making matters more confusing is the fact that they hail from Cincinatti, Ohio. What!?!?!

Anyhow, I love it. Give ’em a listen and tell me that don’t make you feel a little younger. A little depressed maybe, but in that gloriously youthful way.

MP3s

Pomegranates – “Corriander”

Pomegranates – “Beachcomber”

Pomegranates: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki, MySpace.

Tour dates after the jump…

Continue reading Cool Band: Pomegranates

Record Store Day: What'd you get? What's the point?

By the time I got to my local record store shortly after noon, they were sold out of pretty much all of the Record Store Day exclusives. On top of that, they didn’t have the new release I was looking for, the Handsome Family‘s Honey Moon. I left empty-handed…once again.

Makes me wonder: what’s the point? It kills me to admit it, but the fact of the matter is that the internet does it better.

What real value does a physical record store add these days? The only thing I can think of is…cheap used vinyl.

Update: Over on FISTFULAYEN, Ian Rogers explores these same mixed emotions, much more eloquently.

Neil Young Archives Volume 1 on CD

Neil Young Archives Volume I (1963 - 1972)Just a little note to let people know that you can pre-order the CD version now for $72.99: Neil Young Archives Volume I (1963 – 1972) (8 CD with 160 page book).

This is the first volume of the Neil Young Archives series of box sets, produced by Neil Young himself. This series is the definitive, comprehensive, chronological survey of his entire body of work. Volume I covers the period from his earliest recordings with the Squires in Winnipeg, 1963, through to his classic 1972 album, Harvest and beyond, including studio and live tracks with the legendary Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Neil Young with Crazy Horse. This CD edition contains 8 discs, each in its own custom sleeve, with a total of 116 tracks, all presented in HDCD quality sound, and featuring over 40 previously unreleased songs, versions, mixes, or rare tracks. This edition is housed in a custom disc keeper holding the 8 sleeved discs, a descriptive booklet, and a foldout archives poster.

Except we know it’s not actually 100% comprehensive. But oh well, it still looks totally dope. And at $72.99, it’s even reasonably affordable. Especially compared to the Blu-ray version ($281.99) and the DVD version ($199.99). Then again, those versions have 10 discs (including the movie, Journey Through the Past) with tons of interactive features…

You can order the individual Blu-ray discs, DVDs, and CDs for $27.99, $18.99, and $15.99, respectively, from Neil’s Warner/Reprise shop. So I’ll probably end up dropping another Jackson for Journey Through the Past.

Full CD track list after the jump…

Continue reading Neil Young Archives Volume 1 on CD

Conor Oberst documentary – One of My Kind

Video: Conor Oberst – “One of My Kind” Documentary

This 60-minute long documentary was made by Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band‘s guitar-tech Phil Schaffart over the past year and a half. Schaffart began video taping the band in Tepoztlan, Mexico in 2008 while they were recording their first album and continued filming as they toured around the world, up through the recording of their new album, Outer South, due May 5 on Merge.

The documentary is being made available as a free stream or HD download on Causecast.org, “in the hope that you will make a donation to a nonprofit or cause of your choice.” Additionally, IFC.com, The Huffington Post, and Myspace IMPACT will feature outtakes, trailers and live acoustic performances from the film.

MP3: Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band – “Nikorette” from Outer South

Conor Oberst: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki, web.