New DJ Shadow video featuring Run The Jewels

YouTube: DJ Shadow feat. Run The Jewels – “Nobody Speak”

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.

From The Mountain Will Fall, out now on Mass Appeal Records.

Continue reading New DJ Shadow video featuring Run The Jewels

Dawes – When The Tequila Runs Out

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.

Noel Gallagher Remixes Oasis Track for Reissue

On second thought…

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?

And the original…

New Belle and Sebastian song: “Olympic Village, 6AM”

YouTube: Olympic Village, 6AM

“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.

Live: Graham Nash in Portland

If I am being honest, I am just as guilty as anyone—maybe more so. I see “legacy” acts touring and think, “Why bother? They can’t be as good as in their prime.” Sometimes I’ve been proven right when a band that hasn’t spoken in 20 years gets together for a tour only to realize they stopped speaking for a reason and should leave us all out if it. But sometimes I am proven wrong; gloriously wrong.

Graham Nash has always been the secret ingredient. His harmonies are unmatched, and that’s evident in the work he’s done from The Hollies, to CSN(Y), and anything else he’s lent that magical voice to. It’s a high harmony, which is a big responsibility to hold in a singing group because those are the notes everyone really hears. Guys like David Crosby and Chris Hillman have a special gift for the harder to find middle parts, but they can also hide a little easier. With Nash, it’s right out there hovering over the entire song. That means his voice needs to be in top form, lest we all walk away just a little disappointed.

Continue reading Live: Graham Nash in Portland

Who The Fuck Is Julie?

I spent a week or so with my grandparents in the spring of 1977 when my sister was born. I was very close with my grandparents and loved getting to stay with them for a WHOLE WEEK. As a bonus, my aunt secured permission from her principal to let me attend a day of classes at her high school.

If you’ve seen Dazed & Confused, you have a good idea of what my experience that day was like…with a rural flair. There were a lot of muscle cars mixed in with non-ironic overalls and cowboy boots. Of the many memories I have of that time what I remember most clearly is the music. There was one song in particular…

Jessi Colter wrote “I’m Not Lisa” and recoded in 1975 (I guess it took a while to catch on in the Midwest) with her producer and husband, Waylon Jennings. On its surface, it’s a pretty standard country tune about a woman lamenting the fact that her man isn’t over a previous lover. The first verse of the song is:

I’m not Lisa…
Lisa left you years ago
My eyes are not blue
But mine won’t leave you
‘Til the sunlight has touched your face

Who can’t relate to that? Competing with the ghost of a lost lover is frustrating, if for no other reason than having to answer the phone with, “No, I’m not Lisa. Can I take a message?”

But then things get weird. Because I left out part of the first line of the song.

I’m not Lisa, my name is Julie

Wait, what? Colter made it clear she’s not Lisa, we understand that. But guess what? She’s not Julie either! She’s Jessi! Who the fuck is Julie?

We know she’s not Lisa, because Lisa was “your morning light/Her smile told of no night/Your love for her grew/With each rising sun.” Lisa sounds pretty awesome. I wonder what happened to her?

And then one winter day
His hand led hers away

Of course! It was…HIM! But maybe Lisa wasn’t so awesome if she could simply be led away by some dude in the middle of a winter day. It wasn’t even under the cloak of night!

I’m still wondering though: WHO IS JULIE? Did Jessi Colter have a breakdown of some sort? Was she in witness protection and just blew her cover in a highly successful MOR country ballad in heavy rotation?

I don’t have any answers, I don’t even have a conclusion to this post. But this song has baffled me for years.

Lollapalooza 2016: Has it really been 25 years?

It’s been 25 years since Perry Farrell kicked off the annual freak show of Lollapalooza. The definition of “freak” has changed a lot since then. Back in 1991 it was still strange to have blue hair and a bunch of tattoos. All of the imagery that made Jane’s Addiction so outlandish back in the day has gone mainstream. Sorority girls watch porn. Bachelorettes get lap dances at strip clubs. Housewives openly read 50 Shades of Grey at the country club swimming pool. Nothing’s shocking.

It takes a lot to freak us out these days. And we certainly don’t expect to see anything genuinely disturbing at a summer music festival.

This year Lolla expanded to four days with 175 artists. The slogan of Lollapalooza in its original touring incarnation was “Take the whole day off,” but now they’re expecting grownups to take off both Thursday and Friday? That’s ridiculous. Then again, passes sold out immediately just like they always do, so what do I know?

Well, one thing I know is that with 175 artists there ought to always be something great happening on at least one of the seven stages. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. More is not always more.

Continue reading Lollapalooza 2016: Has it really been 25 years?

Perry Farrell changes his tune on EDM at Lolla

Good old Perry Farrell has changed his tune on EDM at Lollapalooza. Back in 2011 he told USA Today:

“My mission is one day there’ll be live music on one side and electronic music on the other side,” Farrell says. “It looks like the world is really going in that direction where dance music is the new punk rock. I’m going to tell (event producer C3 Presents) next year it should be half and half. So expect it in three years.”

But this year Farrell told the Chicago Tribune:

“When they said they wanted to name a stage after me (when the festival relaunched in 2005), I was honored,” he says. “I like the adulation. But now you say, ‘Perry, what’s going on with your area here?’ Believe me, I’ve got questions myself. I hate EDM. I want to vomit it out of my nostrils. I can’t stand what it did to what I love, which is house music, which was meditative, psychedelic — it took you on a journey. … I sometimes cringe at my own festival.”

I can’t say I disagree. Back in 2011 Perry’s stage was very obviously the most exciting part of Lollapalooza. That was the year I suggested that “Perry’s made the rest of Grant Park feel like a tired twentieth-century throwback to a place where bearded old cavemen rubbed pieces of wood together hoping to make fire.” It was the same in 2012 and 2013, but Perry’s stage has been going downhill since then. I’m no expert on dance music, but maybe it’s just not that cool anymore? I guess we’ll see this weekend…

Winaloto – A Song and Video for Trump’s America

It happens in every election cycle: Some candidate tries to co-opt a popular song to punctuate a message in a rally or other live event, only to raise the ire of the artists who created the song. It usually happens to Republicans, because…well…they suck. And really, who can they turn to? Ted Nugent?

This week, Republican presidential nominee and human bag of spoiled Orange Julius sludge, Donald Trump took heat from the Rolling Stones, Queen and George Harrison’s estate for playing their music during live events. It seems nobody wants to be associated with the Donald though the Internet is having a field day with suggestions.

And I have my own: TOMMY CASH – WINALOTO

Continue reading Winaloto – A Song and Video for Trump’s America

Don’t be a sucker. Register to vote.

This is a reminder that it’s important to register to vote if you haven’t already. It’s not hard to do, and it really does matter. Even if you live in a very “safe” state, the national popular vote determines how big of a mandate the winner has received. You can’t vote if you’re not registered, so please register to vote.

If you’re paying any attention at all, you might have noticed that we are approaching some very dark times in this country. Things are getting more and more weird and ugly and mean. Let’s all do what we can to make it better. Elections matter. Don’t fuck this one up, America.

Main image by Thomas W. Benton. And follow @poljunk on twitter.