New Sufjan Stevens video: Tell Me You Love Me

Video: Sufjan Stevens – “Tell Me You Love Me”

Sufjan Stevens - Tell Me You Love Me [Official Music Video, dir. by Luca Guadagnino]

Directed by Luca Guadagnino. From The Ascension, out now on Asthmatic Kitty.

A bunch of skinny young people are squirming around in Soofy’s Valentines gift to us: a new video directed by the Italian filmmaker who made Call Me by Your Name. Meanwhile, a lonely fox looks on and dreams of eating all the tasty hipsters.

“Tell Me You Love Me” is an anthemic highlight of last year’s bloopy The Ascension.

My love, I feel myself unraveling
Tell me you love me anyway.

In addition to the video, Sufjan also issued a new t-shirt, so if you’re feeling a little needy, you can let everybody know without having to say a word.

Stevens likes to release his albums in five-year increments (Illinois in 2005; Age of Adz in 2010; Carrie & Lowell in 2015; Ascension in 2020), so I’ll be over here patiently hoping for another banjo record in 2025. Fingers crossed!

Sufjan Stevens: web, twitter, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Sufjan Stevens video: Tell Me You Love Me

New Kim Gordon video: Hungry Baby

Video: Kim Gordon – “Hungry Baby”

Kim Gordon - "Hungry Baby"

Directed by Clara Balzary. From No Home Record, out now on Matador.

Kim Gordon already made a video for this song back in 2019, but if she’s going to go to all the trouble of making another video for it, I guess the least we can do is watch it.

This new one stars her daughter Coco who is getting down in a lumber yard parking lot. Kim herself makes a cameo appearance as a grumpy store manager and naturally steals the show.

And the song is still as cool as it was 16 months ago when we first heard it.

“The Middle”

One of the all-time best Super Bowl commercials, and certainly the best-ever ad for a car company, was aired 10 years ago during Super Bowl XLV. The ad, known both as “Born of Fire” and “Imported from Detroit,” shows Eminem rolling through the streets of Detroit. The images were not all chamber-of-commerce shiny and bright. The edge nature of the crumbling environment, a situation that led to people visiting to see the post-industrial archelogy in front of their eyes (not exactly Pompei-like ruins, but certainly not necessarily a place you’d like to take a Sunday walk). The soundtrack is an instrumental version of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.” He is driving what was then a new Chrysler 200.

You see the Robert Graham “Monument to Joe Louis,” a sculpture that is better known around these parts as “The Fist,” which is located at the foot of Woodward at Jefferson, and you know that Detroit is not a city that is like any other.

Eminem drives the 200 to the Fox Theatre, a classic movie house opened in 1928 and completely rehabilitated by the company that owns Little Caesar’s Pizza (yes, that is from Detroit, as is Domino’s), where the marque outside reads “Keep Detroit Beautiful.” The narrator to that point had talked about how Detroit isn’t New York, Chicago, Vegas, “And we’re certainly no one’s Emerald City.”

He walks down an aisle of the theater, which has long been a music venue rather than a movie house, and on the stage there’s the Selected of God choir, wearing their Sunday robes and singing, as the instrumental “Lose Yourself” builds.

Eminem turns to the camera, accusatorially points his finger, and says, “This is the Motor City and this is what we do.”

“God damn right,” Detroiters everywhere nodded.

Continue reading “The Middle”

New Liz Phair: Hey Lou

Video: Liz Phair – “Hey Lou”

Liz Phair - Hey Lou (Official Music Video)

Directed by Toben Seymour. Single out now on Chrysalis.

Woo hoo new Liz Phair! Other than a couple of silly little twitter voice tweets last summer, this is her first new song since 2019’s “Good Side” single.

And it’s been over a decade since she released Funstyle, her last full-length album. I remember I was at an Independence Day party on a rooftop in the West Loop of Chicago, and during a quiet moment alone I happened to check my twitter (I know, I know) to see that Maura Johnston had retweeted something from somebody saying that Liz Phair had surprise-released a new album. I downloaded it the next day and quickly realized that she must be smoking assloads of weed again. Aloha, Ms. Phair!

That was a long time ago, a lifetime really. Lou Reed was still alive back then and as prickly as ever.

No one knows what to think
When you’re acting like an asshole

Her new song is sung from the point of view of Reed’s wife, the great artist Laurie Anderson. According to Phair, the song “imagines a day in the life of two music legends, whose union was an inspiration for rock fans.”

She adds, “I was a huge Lou Reed/VU fan, huge Laurie Anderson fan. Both had a big early influence on me musically. When I discovered later that they fell in love & married I was captivated by two icons, two strong personalities, balanced. But was curious, too. Just loved thinking about it.”

Think it’s disrespectful to treat a revered dead hero so cavalierly? Tough shit. Lou Reed was an asshole; that’s irrefutable. “Hey Lou” is irreverent and ridiculous but it sounds great. Liz Phair is playing her own guitar again, and nobody plays like that.

Continue reading New Liz Phair: Hey Lou

New Skullcrusher video: Song For Nick Drake

Video: Skullcrusher – “Song For Nick Drake”

Skullcrusher - Song For Nick Drake (Official Video)

Single out now on Secretly Canadian.

I love it when a band’s name is in total contrast to the band’s sound. Would you guess that a band called Skullcrusher would sing a gentle tribute to one of the gentlest English folk singers, a genre that’s already about as gentle as it gets?

I walked home alone
With your song in my head
Finally understanding something
In what you said.

Skullcrusher is the nom de guerre of Helen Ballentine, who says her song “recalls moments in my life that are viscerally intertwined with [Nick Drake’s] music, specifically times spent walking & taking the train. The song is really my homage to music and the times I felt most immersed in it.”

I’ve told this story before but whenever I hear Nick Drake I think of a girl in Scotland who I met on my semester abroad. She made me a tape with The Best of Leonard Cohen on one side and a homemade collection of Nick Drake songs on the flip. (This was years before the “Pink Moon” Volkswagen commercial.) She was smart and funny and pretty but troubled, and the exoticness of my Americanism only kept her interest for a short time. But I’ll always be grateful that she introduced me to those two artists.

Skullcrusher: insta, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New M. Ward video: Violets For Your Furs

Video: M. Ward – “Violets For Your Furs”

M. Ward - "Violets For Your Furs"

Directed by Holly Andres. From Think Of Spring, out now on Anti-.

M. Ward has always been an interesting interpreter of older material. Solo and as half of She and Him, Ward has sprinkled in covers of classics and standards throughout his career. So it shouldn’t be that big of a surprise that he’s doing a tribute to Billie Holiday. It’s a little quirky to cover 1958’s Lady in Satin album in its entirety, but why not?

At the end of her career Holiday wanted to record a “pretty album, something delicate” so she enlisted easy listening bandleader Ray Ellis to arrange songs to match her voice that by this point had been damaged by years of substance abuse. Ward forgoes orchestration altogether and sticks to vocals and guitar. And, not surprisingly, it’s lovely.

He talked to Rolling Stone about what drew him to this album: “I heard Lady in Satin at a shopping mall. I had no idea what it was. Her voice sounded like distorted electric guitar paired with these really beautiful string arrangements. It was like something I’d never heard. The whole experience was kind of like a dream. […] I’ve been arranging these songs for 10 years, recording them for a couple of years. I was experimenting with different tunings to get the songs right for my voice. I was just trying my best to take my favorite elements of Ray Ellis’ arrangements and it took a lot of time.”

Anyone expecting Rod Stewart-style songbook schmaltz will be disappointed.

Proceeds from the album go to PLUS1 for Black Lives.

Continue reading New M. Ward video: Violets For Your Furs

New Julia Stone ft. Matt Berninger: We All Have

Video: Julia Stone – “We All Have” (ft. Matt Berninger)

Julia Stone - We All Have Feat. Matt Berninger (Official Music Video)

Directed by Gabriel Gasparinatos. From Sixty Summers, due April 16.

Wow, this video, shot in Tasmania, has an unexpected twist! Julia Stone is no stranger to big budget music videos; a previous video featured Danny Glover and Susan Sarandon.

It’s a cool song, too, with an uplifting message of hope.

Every moment will pass in a moment
And everything that you need will be open
Leave it alone now, just need time

It’s easy to read “quarantine” into everything these days, but I’ll take hope wherever I can find it.

The upcoming album was co-produced by Stone, Doveman (Thomas Bartlett), and St. Vincent (Annie Clark).

Continue reading New Julia Stone ft. Matt Berninger: We All Have

From the Legal Desk: The Earth Is Round

One of the more brilliant bits of writing is found in the Introduction of the lawsuit–SMARTMATIC USA CORP., SMARTMATIC INTERNATIONAL HOLDING B.V., and SGO CORPORATION LIMITED, Plaintiffs, -against FOX CORPORATION, FOX NEWS NETWORK LLC, LOU DOBBS, MARIA BARTIROMO, JEANINE PIRRO, RUDOLPH GIULIANI, and SIDNEY POWELL, Defendants—filed in the Supreme Court of New York.

It includes:

1. The Earth is round. Two plus two equals four. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the 2020 election for President and Vice President of the United States. The election was not stolen, rigged, or fixed. These are facts. They are demonstrable and irrefutable.

2. Defendants have always known these facts. They knew Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the 2020 U.S. election. They knew the election was not stolen. They knew the election was not rigged or fixed. They knew these truths just as they knew the Earth is round and two plus two equals four.

3. Defendants did not want Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to win the election. They wanted President Donald Trump and Vice President Michael Pence to win re-election. Defendants were disappointed. But they also saw an opportunity to capitalize on President Trump’s popularity by inventing a story. Defendants decided to tell people that the election was stolen from President Trump and Vice President Pence.

4. Defendants had an obvious problem with their story. They needed a villain. They needed someone to blame. They needed someone whom they could get others to hate. A story of good versus evil, the type that would incite an angry mob, only works if the storyteller provides the audience with someone who personifies evil.

5. Without any true villain, Defendants invented one. Defendants decided to make Smartmatic the villain in their story. . . .

6. Those facts would not do for Defendants. So, the Defendants invented new ones. . . .

Not only is this simplicity potentially devastating for the defendants (perhaps not uncoincidentally, Lou Dobbs’ show was canceled by Fox the day after the suit was filed, which tells you something), but the opening is a good description of law suits of all types. Subtract the specifics of the claim, the individuals involved, and note how there are simple things that are known and that people have a tendency to make things up to their advantage. Sometimes the creation of the fiction is predicated simply on the people involved not knowing better. Sometimes it is to try to gain an advantage. (Which is the case in this case: weaving a conspiracy that includes the election equipment and software company in a nefarious undertaking to prevent their Dear Leader from holding on to his position was undoubtedly thought to be good for ratings, and ratings mean money, and Smartmatic’s is a $2.7-billion defamation lawsuit that will undoubtedly make Rudy sweat more than he did outside the Four Seasons Lawn & Landscaping building.)

While it isn’t nearly to the degree of the Smartmatic lawsuit, the CEO of Evermore Park in Pleasant Grove, Utah, has filed a lawsuit against Taylor Swift because she released an album named “Evermore.”

Continue reading From the Legal Desk: The Earth Is Round

XX

Glorious Noise turns 20 and my have things changed. 

Twenty years is a long time, especially in the Information Age where time bends and flips unto itself in meta ways. Digital Culture is not measured in years but memes…in Scaramuccis. To think back on twenty years of Glorious Noise is more than my feeble Gen X mind can even really do or bring any sense to. Still, I must try because it’s the only reason to even participate online anymore.

When we started Jake had to jigger a light hack to even allow comments. The Internet promised to democratize information, but to even have two-way conversations required some level of technical ability most normies didn’t have. So at first, it was still us broadcasting to you. It was our turn to be the gatekeepers and tell you what was cool out there, and more often than not what wasn’t cool. It was fun and basically what my friends and I did at every party we ruined in Chicago. We got loud and debated the legitimacy of the host’s music collection. Now that everyone streams, can we even do that anymore? Where’s the fun?

For a while the site made some money, which kept us online and allowed us to throw parties and launch a record label. You know all this because we mention some version of the site’s history each year at this time. I mention it now because nobody makes money online anymore. Even porn is free. So we don’t throw any parties anymore and we don’t put out our friends’ records. 

I don’t write this as a whine, but to list a few more examples of how things have changed. We didn’t launch the site to make any money and now we’re back to the beginning. We do it now for the same reason we started: because we like to talk about music. Maybe not as much as we used to, but still…

So happy birthday, GLONO. I am pretty proud that this site has been running for twenty years. We’ve found and shared a lot of really cool music in those twenty years and my one true hope is that somewhere along the way, that music changed your life.

Father John Misty - In Twenty Years or So

Twenty Years Ago Today… Well, Tomorrow

On February 6, 2021, Glorious Noise will have been online for twenty years. Twenty!

I’m trying to remember what life was like twenty years ago. 2001. So long ago. The world wide web was still pretty new. You could buy used records for a buck or two. Good stuff, too, in good condition!

No smart phones. How did we coordinate anything? How did we know where we were going? I guess a lot of times we didn’t know. We just stumbled around until we found what we were looking for.

We’ve seen a lot of changes over these twenty years. The music industry, especially. With everybody streaming now, we’re finally hooked into that “celestial jukebox” that filesharing originally had us thinking about back then. Pretty much. There’s still tons of stuff that’s not available on streaming services.

While announcing our tenth anniversary in 2011, we went on hiatus for a while. That was ten years ago now. There were a lot of reasons for it, but we needed a break. At the time, I wasn’t totally sure if we would come back. But we did and we’ve kept it going ever since. Looking back, 2013-2016 were pretty slow, averaging just 35 posts a year. That’s as dead as we got. But in 2017 and 2018 we recommitted and posted something new every weekday. We’ve grown a little lazier since then, but the goal is still to find as much good stuff to share as we can.

And that’s what we’re going to continue to do.

This is typically the time of year I ask myself what’s the point of doing this at all. I still don’t have a very good answer. I look around at other dads and they keep themselves busy with golf and…I don’t even really know. I still like to listen to music and I still get excited when I hear something new that’s good. And when that happens I want to tell people about it.

So here we are. Twenty years later. Doing it ourselves. For no good reason. A labor of love.

Let’s all hope this year is better than last year. Maybe we’ll get to experience live music again before 2022. I hope so. I miss going to shows. Yelling at bands. Drinking beers with pals. Buying t-shirts from the merch table. It’s been a really long time.

I can’t wait until we’re all vaccinated and we can kick off the Roaring Twenties for real. Until then, hang in there.

Previous birthdays: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020.

Continue reading Twenty Years Ago Today… Well, Tomorrow

Rock and roll can change your life.