Missed opportunity: Come on Pixies, you know we love you!

You may have heard that the Pixies are celebrating the 30th anniversary of Surfer Rosa with a big box set.

Three CD and Three LP editions out on September 28th, 2018 with new artwork reimagined by original designer Vaughan Oliver and the bonus disc, Live From The Fallout Shelter – one of the earliest recordings of the band, a radio concert that first aired in late 1986 on WJUL-FM in Lowell, MA.

It’s cool that they’re digging up a rare old concert for this, but what a missed opportunity to reissue these classics with the respect they deserve by gathering up all the music they recorded during this era.

It’s easy to imagine what could’ve been.

We all know that Come On Pilgrim was originally recorded as a demo tape to try to get a record deal. It worked, of course, because 4AD heard it and signed the band. 4AD selected 8 of the 17 songs from the demo and released them as Come On Pilgrim, clocking in at a generous twenty minutes and thirty seconds of music.

Most of the remaining nine songs were subsequently re-recorded and released on later albums and singles. Songs like “Broken Face” and “Here Comes Your Man.” All of those nine original demo versions were eventually released by spinART Records in 2002. They’re awesome.

And there’s no reason they shouldn’t be included in a special deluxe anniversary edition. Especially since the 17 songs altogether add up to under 39 minutes.

Continue reading Missed opportunity: Come on Pixies, you know we love you!

New Noel Gallagher video: If Love Is The Law

Video: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – “If Love Is The Law”

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – If Love Is The Law (Official Video)

From Who Built The Moon? out now on Sour Mash/UMG.

There’s an awesome bonus feature to the for the career-spanning 2010 Oasis box set Time Flies wherein Noel talks shit about pretty much every video the band has ever done. The whole thing is great, but check out the supercut after the jump with all the highlights. It’s enough to make you wonder why he’d ever make a video again, especially one thick with imagery and thin on plot.

The Chief’s new vid is all that. Noel with his great head of hair singing into the wind while star-crossed lovers run roughshod through a desolate landscape of gas stations, diners and dirt lots. Riding on the top of train with a fiddler’s hat and rolled jeans? Fuck yeah, why not? We don’t need to know where they’re going or why, we just need to know they end up together in the end. Will they? To be continued.

Continue reading New Noel Gallagher video: If Love Is The Law

New Waxahatchee video: Chapel of Pines

Video: Waxahatchee – “Chapel of Pines”

Waxahatchee – Chapel of Pines (Official Music Video)

From the Great Thunder EP, out September 7 on Merge.

Waxahatchee’s “Silver” was one of the best songs of 2017. And now Katie Crutchfield is back with a stripped down acoustic collection recorded at Bon Iver’s studio in Wisconsin.

Crutchfield says the new stuff “is a complete 180 from the last record: super stripped-down, quiet, and with me performing solo, it’s a throwback to how I started. Overall, the EP is a warm, kind of vibey recording.”

Great Thunder was originally the name of Crutchfield’s project with former Swearin’ bassist Keith Spencer, and they released a couple of cassettes on Stupid Bag Records and then a double album on Salinas Records in 2013. The original Great Thunder recordings of all of the songs on the new EP (except “Slow You Down”) can be found on those releases, but only Groovy Kinda Love is currently available on streaming services.

Waxahatchee: web, twitter, amazon, wiki.

Continue reading New Waxahatchee video: Chapel of Pines

New Father John Misty video: Date Night

Video: Father John Misty – “Date Night”

Father John Misty – "Date Night" [Official Music Video]

Directed by Chad VanGaalen. From God’s Favorite Customer, out now on Sub Pop.

This video from Strand of Oaks freaked me the fuck out when we posted it last year. In the best possible way, of course. But freaky just the same. To say animator Chad VanGaalen has a way with imagery is to say it’s crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide, unless you put one grunch (but the eggplant) over there.

“Date Night” is my favorite track off of Father John Misty’s new album, God’s Favorite Customer. It’s two and a half minutes of free association mumbo jumbo that turns me on. The accompanying video is just as kooky and two times more colorful. There’s a cat licking its butthole.

I love the acoustic guitar tone and the “woo hoos” that make it sound as if this were done in three takes, max. It’s not over-thought. It’s not slick. But it’s such a great little stew of the things I love about FJM that it gives me hope that he hasn’t completely lost his humor. Or his mojo.

Father John Misty: web, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Soccer Mommy video: Scorpio Rising

Video: Soccer Mommy – “Scorpio Rising”

Soccer Mommy – Scorpio Rising

Directed by Jonny Look. From Clean, out now on Fat Possum.

Sophie Allison told Consequence of Sound that “Scorpio Rising” is “the climax of the record. It’s this huge moment where I realize that while I’ve been trying to be cool and detached, I’ve become attached — and now I’m about to lose everything because I’m pretending to be something I’m not.”

Now you want to start
With someone not so far
Oh she’s bubbly and sweet like a Coca-Cola
I watch from my drink as you look her over

I like the way this song starts out quiet and atmospheric for the first verse before she realizes that her relationship has fallen apart. And then it gets more and more loud and dissonant as she sees what she’s lost.

Soccer Mommy: bandcamp, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Jack White video: Corporation

Video: Jack White – “Corporation”

Jack White – Corporation (Official Video)

Directed by Jodeb. From Boarding House Reach, out now on Third Man.

We all know Jack White is from Detroit. It’s an elemental part of his whole persona and that city’s musical past is a crucial element to influencing his music. That influence has largely focused on a sliver of Detroit’s musical heritage: the screaming power of garage rock and proto-punk. Yes, The Stooges and The MC5 loom large in White’s record collection.

What’s always amazed me though is the fact that Iggy and Sonic Smith and the Asheton brothers and Rob Tyner were bellying up to the same bars and scuffing up the same stages as George Clinton and Fuzzy Haskins and Eddie Hazel around the same time. Detroit’s racial strife in the streets of the late 60s and early 70s is much better documented than what was going on inside The Grande Ballroom, and that’s too bad. Imagine what it was like to see such a diverse set of musical influencers emerging at the same time from different directions? Here we have the prime ingredients of Punk and Hip Hop percolating in the midwest as the politics of unrest were driving everyone mad. And did I mention Motown or Bob Seger?

And so it’s great to hear Jack White tapping into some of the funkier influences in “The Corporation.” I don’t claim to know what is going on in this video beyond White acknowledging that he has multiple facets to his personality, and that extends to his music. I hope he settles into this character for a bit and gets the kids to dance.

Jack White: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Bully video: Guess There

Video: Bully – “Guess There”

Bully – Guess There [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

Directed by Aleia Murawski and Samuel Copeland. From Losing, out now on Sub Pop.

On the weekends
I’ve been taking it easy
No, I swear it’s my choice

“Guess There” is a grungy breakup song, but the video is about a happy little snail going about its business, shooting some hoops, playing with its hamster, and enjoying some videogames. That is, at least until the snail starts imagining what life would be like with a snail partner and snail baby.

Well, I guess there could be something I’m missing

And after that the snail is just sad and lonely and depressed. No happy ending for you, bubba.

Bully: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Bully video: Guess There

New Del the Funky Homosapien video: Help

Video: Del + Amp Live – “Help” (ft. Adult Karate)

Del + Amp Live "Help" feat. Adult Karate

Directed by Anthony Cole. From Gate 13, out now on IOT Records.

Del the Funky Homosapien was hurt pretty bad earlier this month when he fell off the stage while performing with the Gorillaz in Denmark. He posted a message to Twitter on July 12 saying he was getting better and then released a video for the second single from Gate 13, his collaboration with producer Amp Live.

“Help” features a chorus sung by Adult Karate and opera vocals by Andrea Blunt.

“More than any other song on the album, Help was the song that we wanted to make sure had the biggest impact in terms of message. So its visual interpretation was important. The Help video represents the struggle that many people are having right now with differentiating between an act and reality. A young Del in 2018 quickly grows into his present self and we are seeing the journey he has to take in discovering who he is. The final destination is his big awakening.”

And yet the video omits the second verse of the song. What’s up with that? The second verse is good as the first with the intricate and unconventional rhyming that Del is known for.

They get the foot in the door, I’ma slam it shut
Tryin’ to break their ankle, thank you, don’t try to cut
You stay in line, you wait in line
Take a number, be patient, don’t blame the line
Don’t blame the game, ain’t nothin’ wrong with the game

That’s right, people. The rules have changed in 2018: Don’t hate the game, anymore. Hate the player.

And watch out for the edge of the stage! That first step is a doozy.

Del + Amp Live: web.

Del the Funky Homosapien: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Amp Live: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Del the Funky Homosapien video: Help

New Starcrawler video: Chicken Woman

Video: Starcrawler – “Chicken Woman”

Starcrawler – Chicken Woman

Directed by Gilbert Trejo. From Starcrawler, out now on Rough Trade Records.

The kids in Starcrawler still seem like a bunch of delinquent teenagers, and therein lies their charm. Who knows what they’re like in real life, but they clearly get a kick out of dabbling in the macabre.

Arrow de Wilde told Vulture that “Chicken Woman” is about “a Chinatown fixture who pushes her poultry in a shopping cart to the nearby slaughterhouse.”

The video, however, is a fun little homage to Charles Manson and how to have a good time on a desert ranch. Tar, feathers, chains, cages, dolls, and knives all play important roles.

Be careful out there when you’re picking up hitchhikers, gang!

Starcrawler: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

The Importance of Artifact

The reports of the existence of the “last” Blockbuster store in Bend, Oregon, is treated as though here is something that is completely quaint and old-timey: “Yes, son, way back when we used to go to a store and rent movies on discs. And sometimes we actually bought them!”

And on the subject of buying discs, while Best Buy, which had been the #1 music retailer, had announced that it was going to stop selling CDs, it has modified that. It will continue to but with a greatly minimized selection; there will probably be more selection of Keurig coffees.

In this era of downloading and streaming, the notion of buying physical artifacts like discs is becoming increasingly unthinkable.

While vinyl discs are making something of a comeback, you rarely hear any arguments about the fidelity of the sound as being a reason for this occurrence. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that many of the purchasers of vinyl probably have some crappy Crosley record player upon which the latest novelty is played. Sure, there are audiophiles who have never given up the grooves, but they’re becoming like philatelists in the age of email, which has then given way to texting.

But a question that seems to go unasked is who benefits from this? And I would argue that it is the purveyors of the digitally based music (or video) products.

Continue reading The Importance of Artifact

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