I’m going to tell you something most Oregonians don’t want you to know for fear that it will remove the final barrier that keeps even more people from moving out here: It doesn’t rain out here nearly as much as you probably think it does. In fact, the summers can sometimes be long, dry affairs that leave you praying for rain come September. The temperature will inch up to the triple-digits some days and the western sun feels more intense, but that may be my imagination.
It was over a three-day stretch like this that my family and I again made our way to the West Valley to the small town of Willamina, Oregon. We were in the middle of a welcomed break from a stifling summer when the weather report showed a slight return to the upper 90s. You guessed it: during the three days that covered the Wildwood MusicFest.
You know I love Father John Misty. Sure, I’ve poked a little fun at the TMI tendencies of his latest album, but I still really love it. His live show at this point is legendary, so it’s always great to see him perform on television. And as expected, he doesn’t phone it in for Conan.
This live version of the title track starts out sexy and gets progressively more intense until it’s downright scary by the end. I prefer it to the orchestrated album version.
I’m not so sure about Tillman’s appearance though. My man Phil calls it the “sexy hobo look.” He looks clammy and his bushy beard makes him seem bloated like a late-era Jim Morrison. Dude needs to visit a barber. Clean yourself up, man!
I’ve been using Apple Music for a couple weeks now, just like everybody else. And I’m starting to think this might be the thing that finally pushes me over the edge away from the purchasing/owning/collecting mentality that has been a part of my life and identity since I joined the Columbia House tape club and got thirteen 8-tracks for a dollar. In high school I would take my dishwasher paycheck and buy a new imported Smiths 12-inch every week. I’ve got boxes and shelves full of CDs. I like physical media.
But the truth is I listen to 90% of my music via iTunes on my computer in my office through decent Klipsch speakers. I have a real stereo and the remaining 10% of my at-home music listening is divided between vinyl and SACDs through a vintage Project One amp and Advent Prodigy Towers. I listen to CDs in my car.
With new music my process has been to buy the CD and rip it to MP3 or ALAC and then add the songs to my iTunes library. I then throw the CD in my car or in a box or on a shelf. Or I’ll buy the record and use the download card. I have an elaborate series of smart playlists that help me make sure I give all new music at least four spins before falling out of heavy rotation. Higher ranked songs get played more frequently. Everything with three stars gets played at least once every four years or so. I’m anal. And this system works for me.
I rarely buy downloads, and almost never from iTunes. I think downloads are grossly overpriced for what you get: lossy files with no liner notes. I’ll happily spend $20 on a record, but I won’t pay more than $2.99 for an album download. Especially when you can usually get the CD for $9.99. CDs are not very glamorous but they’re lossless and they’re permanent.
I hate podcasts. Transcribe that shit, you lazy motherfucker. Don’t make me spend 45 minutes listening in real time. I like to blare my own music and just skim your stupid little interview in between battles on Clash of Clans.
That said, sometimes it’s cool to hear people’s voices. Talking to each other. Shooting the shit. Personality comes across a lot clearer than on the page. I say I hate podcasts, but the truth is that pretty much every time I listen to one I like it. Marc Maron does great interviews and I can’t imagine that edited transcriptions would convey the enthusiasm he brings to the table.
And now our pals at Buddyhead have jumped into the podcast scene with Buddyhead Radio.
Welcome to Buddyhead Radio! Our new, sometimes-weekly, radio show / podcast hosted by Travis Keller that focuses on art, music, film and the internet.
In this third episode, Travis gets over the fear of hearing his own voice played back to him and gets to talk with the always interesting, and always charming, Duane Denison. Their talk covers if there’s ever going to be a new album from The Jesus Lizard, life in Nashville, giving guitar lessons, Kurt Cobain and a whole lot more in between all that! We think you’ll enjoy listening…
And that’s true. I did enjoy listening. You might too.
I am generally torn when it comes to my favorite defunct bands reforming. Sure, I am as easily swayed by nostalgia as the next guy, if not more so. But I am also keenly sensitive to the concepts of legacy and expectation, and we all know what can happen to the former if you miss the latter.
And so it’s with cautious optimism that I’ve been waiting for the return of The Likely Lads. The Libertines have been maybe my favorite band of the last 15 years. They personified so much of what I love about music: Punk attitude with smart lyrics and even smarter melodies, all wrapped up in a dream of Albion.
Today marks the beginning of the test with the release of a new video and song, “Gunga Din,” which is somewhat appropriate in the context of the relationship between Peter Doherty and Carl Barat. The Rudyard Kipling poem of the same name is about an English soldier in colonial India and his water carrier, who eventually sacrifices his own life to save the soldier…despite abuse. Without getting too analytical about it, let’s just say the two have had swings of abuse and intense love over the years that seems to have returned to a place of genuine appreciation, respect and brotherly affection.
The video finds our heroes stumbling and sweating their way through crowded streets in what I am guessing is Thailand, where the band wrote most of the new album as Doherty was completing a stint in rehab.
The 12-track record will be titled Anthems For Doomed Youth and comes out on September 4. Info on the various version is available on the band’s website.
The album was produced by Jake Gosling, best known for his work with Ed Sheeran and One Direction.
It was recorded at Karma Studios in Thailand.
It’s expected to be 11 tracks in length, and it only features one old song, a re-recorded version of “You’re My Waterloo.”
There are synths and piano on the album. Bassist John Hassall joked: “We’ve gone progressive… No, don’t get scared. It’s still The Libertines, but it would be weird if we came back and just did exactly the same thing.”
Pete Doherty claimed that fans “are going to love” the record.
I love Kacey Musgraves. This song might not be the best thing she’s ever written, but the video is fantastic. Hee Haw and the Muppets? What else do you need? “Biscuits” sounds like a sequel to “Follow Your Arrow” and I guess that’s pretty much what it is.