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.

New Handsome Family video: Gold

YouTube: The Handsome Family – “Gold”

A great new Handsome Family song from their album Unseen, due September 16. It’s crazy to realize they’ve been putting out spooky, heartbreaking music for over twenty years now. I’ve been a fan for almost that long. In the very early days of GLONO we did an interview with Rennie Sparks. She gave better responses than my goofy questions warranted, which just goes to show how cool she is.

I was elated when the HBO drama True Detective chose their song “Far From Any Road” as its theme song for its first season. They were finally getting the attention they deserved. Hopefully all those new fans continue to dig what Brett and Rennie Sparks are whipping up in their Albuquerque home studio.

I also love that the Handsome Family still maintains their own web site. It’s awesome.

Help fund a new documentary about Creem Magazine

There’s only a couple weeks to go to fund Boy Howdy! The Story of CREEM Magazine, a new documentary by filmmaker Scott Crawford about the world’s only rock and roll magazine.

This looks like a pretty cool project. It’s being produced by Creem founder Barry Kramer’s son, J.J. Kramer, whose dad died when he was four.

Kramer has been embroiled in the sad resurrection and fizzle of Creem online since he invested in “Creem Media Inc.” in 2006 after photographer Robert Matheu and his shady cousin Jason Turner licensed the Creem brand in a deal that gave them an option to buy the magazine’s intellectual property rights five years later. They ended up getting it for $70,000, according to court documents. That deal resulted in a coffee table book but little else. In fact after the book was published, the Creem brand fell into a sour mess of “litigation and bad feelings.”

Creem Media, Inc. has been defunct since 2011. Its former web site is a sad content farm and there’s something new calling itself Creem Magazine that just makes me want to punch myself in the face. So good job, everybody.

This documentary is apparently the only hope we have in keeping the real CREEM memory alive. Go fund it!

Free Download of New Wilco Song Available

Celebrating one year since the surprise release of their last album, Star Wars, Wilco has posted a new song free for the taking—just give ‘em an email.

Wilco – Locator

If you like the somewhat stutter rhythm and cryptic lyrics of the band’s recent work then you’ll dig this song plenty.

Remember these guys?

Watch This Bro Get His Funk On

It’s the summer festival season, which is my favorite time of year. For someone who has an arbitrary limit of both ticket price and venue capacity, I have an enduring love of festivals. Mostly because an outdoor festival is devoid of most of the shit I hate at music shows: I can avoid the crowds if I want to by skirting the edges and sitting in the trees, I get lots of variety in the acts for the price, I fucking LOVE falafel and cheap beer, and there’s the fresh air.

One thing I don’t like about festivals is the preening and pretense you sometimes encounter, just like at an indoor show. You know the dudes who walk around shirtless and waxed and the gals wearing high-waisted cutoffs cut so high you can see their ears? Yeah…that.

And so I was genuinely delighted to stumble across this clip of a bro getting down to some Uptown Funk. It’s a display of pure, uninhibited joy. And he doesn’t even seem wasted!

Seeing this kid get down in the middle of T in the Park lets me know everything is going to be just fine. And I hope to see some of this unbridled funk at Wildwood Music Festival this weekend.

Related: Wildwood Music Fest 2015 Recap

New Courtney Barnett video: Elevator Operator

YouTube: Courtney Barnett – “Elevator Operator”

She’s the best. More than a year after the release of Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit Courtney Barnett releases a star-studded video for “Elevator Operator.” Glad to see she’s doing well enough to invest in a high production video.

I’m too much of an old square to recognize very many of the cameos in this but I caught Sleater Kinney and Jeff Tweedy. How many do you know?

Previously: Pedestrian at Best.

Goose Lake International Music Festival Documentary

We grew up hearing snippets of the stories: first joints, flying tents, incorrect memories of the acts who played, and even a fabled master recording from the sound board secreted away in a friend’s basement (recently rediscovered). The event was more legend than an established piece of Michigan history, but staged almost exactly one year after Woodstock, the Goose Lake International Music Festival did indeed happen and it was glorious.

Annoying music bed and even more annoying local commercials aside, this 30 minute documentary has an oral history from organizers and attendees with fantastic archival footage of Michigan’s entrant into the 60s and 70s music festival culture.

Continue reading Goose Lake International Music Festival Documentary

New Of Montreal video: It’s Different For Girls

YouTube: Of Montreal – “It’s Different For Girls”

Innocence Reaches is due August 12, 2016 on Polyvinyl. “It’s Different For Girls” sounds like Kevin Barnes is back to embracing electro-disco pop again, so that’s fun. But it’s also serious if you listen to the lyrics: “It’s different for girls. From when they are children they’re depersonalized, aggressively objectified.” And yet it’s still playful and silly. “They don’t spit on the street, they don’t piss on the seat.” Dude’s clearly never been to a music fest where girls hover over the porta-potty with uncontrollable aim…

Continue reading New Of Montreal video: It’s Different For Girls

Watch a newly digitized Elliott Smith video: Coming Up Roses

Vimeo: Elliott Smith – “Coming Up Roses” (raw play back take)

This is wonderful. Ross Harris recently transferred the original 16mm negative from his 1995 video for Elliott Smith’s “Coming Up Roses” and this is the entire play back take. Harris says, “I was overcome with emotion watching the tenderness in which Elliott gently prompts Raul the back up singer when he is supposed to chime in with the harmony. The few moments that Elliott drops the music video facade and lets that shy smile his friends knew so well are precious to me.”

Look for a profile on Ross Harris and his work with Elliott Smith in an upcoming issue of Monster Children.

Via Sweet Adeline.

Continue reading Watch a newly digitized Elliott Smith video: Coming Up Roses

The Oral History of Walk This Way

Stop what you’re doing and read this Washington Post piece: The inside story of when Run-DMC met Aerosmith and changed music forever by Geoff Edgers. It’s as amazing as you could hope for. Even if you don’t have time to read the whole thing right now, at least watch 4-minute collection of unreleased MTV News footage from the recording studio on that day.

I love the fact that DMC’s first reaction to listening to the lyrics was: “Hell no, this ain’t going to happen. This is hillbilly gibberish, country-bumpkin bullshit.” Glad he changed his mind!

I remember loving the video as a kid, and then one day I was at my cousin’s house watching MTV. He was three years older and by 1986 was a heavy metal stoner. His reaction to the video surprised me. “They ruined a perfectly good song.” I had never heard the original. When I finally did, I was let down. The Run-DMC version is way better.

Video: Run-DMC – “Walk This Way” ft. Aerosmith

Audio: Aerosmith – “Walk This Way”