New Mekons video: Lawrence of California

Video: Mekons – “Lawrence of California”

Mekons "Lawrence of California" (Official Music Video)

From Deserted, out on Bloodshot/Sin Records.

If I’m being honest–and really, there’s no other point in doing this–this song and video are boring. That’s hard for me to say because I love that Mekons are still doing their thing, but this just isn’t…my thing.

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

New Strand of Oaks video: Weird Ways

Video: Strand of Oaks – “Weird Ways”

Strand of Oaks – Weird Ways

From Eraserland, out March 22 on Dead Oceans.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time in recording studios over the years. Some professional, some home studios and some just comprised of a 4-track and some SM57 microphones. I’ve spent even more time in rehearsal studios, all of which makes me an amateur but enthusiastic gearhead. I love seeing what gear other bands use and how they mic their kits or where they position their amps in a live room. I’ve spent way too much of my life tracking down studio footage and snap shots of The Beatles recording. It’s kinda my thing.

So the new video from Strand of Oaks is totally my thing. Here we see the band working up the melodic, guitar-crashing sound machine of their latest single in what looks like every recording studio in Portland, Oregon. It made me feel creative and also a little homesick, which is why I listen to music in the first place.

Strand of Oaks: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Glorious Noise is 18. And we like it.

Alice Cooper – I'm Eighteen

Every year around this time I ask myself a question: Why are we doing this?

There’s no really good answer. I guess the hope is there’s somebody out there who likes rock and roll music but doesn’t want to have to seek out good new stuff. So we’re providing a service.

The reality, of course, is if you’re bothering to go to a web site like this you’re already seeking stuff out. You don’t need us.

So are we in it for the money? Well, let’s just say a couple weeks ago we started messing around with ads again for the first time in years, and so far the results would suggest no. Google tells me that in the last seven days we’ve made $1.08. We’ll see how it goes, but if it stays like that I’ll yank the ads. It’s not worth it to have to look at men’s underwear and stupid t-shirts every time I open a web browser.

It can be downright depressing if you dwell on it.

But it would be more depressing at this point to just quit. I like GLONO being the O.G. that’s been around since 2001, and we’ve published a bunch of good stuff over the years. I’m super proud of our small part in helping kick off the careers of some great writers.

Plus, it’s still exciting to have to meet the challenge of finding something new and good to post every day. There’s lots of great music being released all the time, and it’s fun to find it and share it.

One other thing that’s been cool this year was finally starting an instagram account in September. I had stubbornly and stupidly been opposed to it. Seemed a little too late/dollar short. But DP made the case: “People love photos! And we actually have an archive of some pretty dope ones.” I had never considered re-purposing our backlog of hundreds of photos from fests and shows over years.

So yeah, we’ve been posting to instagram every day since then and we’ve managed to attract 292 followers. So thanks to everybody who’s followed us. Again…worth it? I dunno. But it’s been fun to look through the photos. We’ve shot a lot of bands!

I apologize for the somewhat negative tone. The past two years have been mentally exhausting and psychically debilitating in a lot of ways. It’s tough to stay positive. There are signs of hope for the future, maybe, but it’s a slog to find them when you’re overwhelmed by soul-crushing news every fucking day for 748 days straight…and counting.

Then again, I’ve been through many times in which I thought I might lose it. The only thing that saved me has always been music. A wise man said that.

So the state of this web site, I guess, is alright.

Previous birthdays: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2017, 2018.

Continue reading Glorious Noise is 18. And we like it.

New Automne video: Pendant Que Les Champs Brulent

Video: Automne – “Pendant Que Les Champs Brûlent”

🔥 Pendant Que Les Champs Brûlent – Automne 🔥

Single out now on ATPD Records.

Niagara’s “Pendant Que Les Champs Brûlent” was a big single in France in 1990. The duo were offered an American deal, but they refused to record English-language versions of their songs so they never got signed over here. (Note: This is not the same Niagara who sang with Detroit’s Destroy All Monsters.)

Automne’s cover is more upbeat and seems to bring out a bit of playful sixties yé-yé that’s missing from the moodier synthpop original. Can’t you imagine girls in mini dresses frugging to this?

While the fields burn
I am waiting for my tears to come,
And when the field dances
May nothing ever reach me.

The video was shot on an island in the Marne River, southeast of Paris, where the band rehearses. Guitarist Perry Leopard tells me, “The island has no bridges, so we have to take a row boat any time we’re packing up gear to play out of town!”

If you’re curious about that little push-button synth contraption, it’s a Pocket Piano built by Critter and Guitari but no longer available. This is the company that designed the Septavox synthesizer specifically for Third Man Records.

Automne: web, facebook, youtube, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Automne video: Pendant Que Les Champs Brulent

Boo Who

Many years ago, when I was perhaps 5 years old, my dad was driving my brother and me somewhere in downtown Detroit, which, in retrospect, I realize was somewhere near Woodward Avenue and Campus Martius, where there is planned slowing due to a circular pattern to streets in that area (an interesting fun fact about the street layout in downtown Detroit, it was designed by Augustus B. Woodward, who used Pierre Charles L’Enfant’s model for Washington DC, meaning that this is not a grid pattern, as is the case in cities like New York and Chicago).

I looked out the window of the Pontiac Catalina and saw something that I will not forget: There was a black horse pulling a black wagon being driven by a man dressed all in black, including a black stovepipe hat. The wagon was carrying a black. . .casket.

This, I was to learn, was a stunt for a movie that was being shown at the Fox Theatre, The Premature Burial, which was based on a story by Edgar Allen Poe.

Appropriate. Memorable. And the sort of thing that isn’t executed much or as well today.

Which brings us back to The Who. Or, as previously indicated, the brand known as “The Who.”

In support of the Moving On! Tour there are three buses—the sorts of things that are the jump-on, jump-off tourist variety—that are painted with a scheme that resembles the bus on the cover of the 1968 album Magic Bus—The Who On Tour that are rolling in Chicago, New York and LA for the next couple weeks.

Continue reading Boo Who

50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 26

Rolling Stone issue #26 had a cover date of February 1, 1969. 32 pages. 35 cents. Cover photo of Jimi Hendrix by Baron Wolman.

This issue was the look back on 1968 with cover star Jimi Hendrix honored as “Performer of the Year.” It’s crazy to think that Jimi Hendrix was an active musician at this point, still very much alive, and not just a commodified personality for endless repackaging. It’s nice to see great artists being celebrated before they’re dead.

Within a couple years, of course, Hendrix would be gone along with Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison. But they’d achieve immortality in the pages of Rolling Stone — and in the mainstream American consciousness, due in no small part to Jann Wenner’s endless glorification and nostalgia.

Features: “The Memphis Debut of the Janis Joplin Revue” by Stanley Booth; “It Happened in 1968”; “Rock ’68” by Jon Landau; “Dino Valente” by Ben Fong-Torres; “Miami Pop Festival: The Most Festive Festival of 1968” by Ellen Sander; “The Band: Three New LP’s Are In The Works” by Paul Nelson; “Nash, Crosby & Stills: ‘Happiest Sounds You Ever Heard!'” by Miles; “A Short History Of Oregon” by Richard Brautigan

News: “Lower East Side: Motherfuckers Hit The Fillmore East”; “Police Harassment Staggers LA Clubs”; “Traffic Is Re-Born, Frog and New Name”; “Jefferson Airplane: New Live Album Ready to Release” by John Burks; “Nick the Greek To Do Solo LP”; “The Rascals: Won’t Play Unless Bill Is Half Black”; “FM Radio Clock”; “Columbia Records In Record Stores”; “Kingston Trio LP”; “Ravers in the Nude” by Our Special Correspondent; “Monterey Pop Film”; “TV Special & Album: Beatles First Live Concert in 2 Years”; “Gary Burton Named Jazzman of the Year”; “[Beggar’s Banquet press luncheon]”; “Country Joe & Fish Take No More Gigs”; “John and Yoko in Newark, New Jersey”; “Rock Business Booms in S.F.”

Columns: “Astrology: 1969” by Gavin Arthur; Perspectives by Ralph J. Gleason (“Dawn of True Sexual Hysteria” on Elvis Presley); Visuals by Thomas Albright (“Computer Soul”); “Books” by Richard Kostelanetz (on The Poetry of the Blues by Samuel Charters, 1963).

Continue reading 50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 26

New Le Butcherettes video: give/UP

Video: Le Butcherettes – “give/UP”

Le Butcherettes – give/UP (Official Music Video)

Directed by Gus Black. From bi/MENTAL, due February 1 on Rise Records.

Le Butcherettes are not putting up with your baloney.

So little matters in my heart
You used to blame me all the time
Eventually, we fell apart

The band described it as “an ode to letting go of a loved one that has never believed in you and made it very difficult to the self to be free. Sometimes it is okay to move on after years of pleading for a change.”

Right on. Keep moving.

Le Butcherettes: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New SWMRS video: Trashbag Baby

Video: SWMRS – “Trashbag Baby”

SWMRS: Trashbag Baby [SKATE VIDEO ft. CHER STRAUBERRY]

Shot and Edited by Cole Becker. From Berkeley’s On Fire, due February 15 on Fueled By Ramen.

I saw these guys last year at Riot Fest and they were great. One brother is a goofball singer, the other one plays guitar without a shirt. It’s a funny dynamic but it works because their songs are clever and catchy. My favorite song is “Drive North,” in which they admit how much hate Los Angeles (they’re from Oakland).

This new song is a story about domestic violence, so that’s a bummer. But the video features skateboarder Cher Strauberry doing crazy tricks, so that makes up for it.

They’re on tour this spring with the Regrettes and Beach Goons so check them out if they come to your town.

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

Continue reading New SWMRS video: Trashbag Baby

New Ohmme video: Give Me Back My Man

Video: Ohmme – “Give Me Back My Man”

Ohmme – Give Me Back My Man (Official Video)

Directed by Hannah Welever. Single out now on Joyful Noise.

For people who only know “Love Shack” or “Roam” it might be hard to imagine that the B-52s were ever anything other than a gimmick in a beehive. But they were always cooler than that, and Ohmme knows it.

John Lennon knew it too. He was inspired to start making music again after he heard “Rock Lobster.” “It sounds just like Ono’s music,” he told Rolling Stone, “so I said to meself, ‘It’s time to get out the old axe and wake the wife up!'” And they made Double Fantasy, which doesn’t sound anything like the B-52s, but hey. Inspiration is a mysterious thing.

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

Continue reading New Ohmme video: Give Me Back My Man

New Todd Snider video: Just Like Overnight

Video: Todd Snider – “Just Like Overnight”

"Just Like Overnight" – Todd Snider (Official Video)

Directed by B-ri. From Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3, due March 15 on Aimless Records/Thirty Tigers.

Chain smoking cigarettes on the airplane
You were waiting right there at my gate
We had to pull of the highway
Just to find a payphone
When that line was busy though
You know we just had to wait

If you remember any of these things, well then you’re old like me and Todd Snider. “It’s a list of things that are gone, disguised as a story song,” says Snider.

The video was filmed at Cash Cabin Studio where Snider recorded his new album. That’s Johnny Cash’s cabin, by the way, which has been converted into a state of the art recording studio operated by John Carter Cash.

It’s been almost 25 years since Todd Snider stumbled into public consciousness with “Talkin’ Seattle Grunge Rock Blues,” a hidden track on his debut album Songs for the Daily Planet. I can’t remember how I heard that song but I downloaded it from Napster back in the day and I’ve still got the 128kbps file on my computer. That’s how we did things back in my day, sonny boy.

But I’ve still never figured out how to use call waiting. And at this point, I don’t think I’ll ever need to.

Todd Snider: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Rock and roll can change your life.