The Libs have released a video for the latest single off their reunion album Anthems for Doomed Youth. Pete handles lead vocals on this ballad, but he and his band mates do not appear in the video.
You know I love Father John Misty. Sure, I’ve poked a little fun at the TMI tendencies of his latest album, but I still really love it. His live show at this point is legendary, so it’s always great to see him perform on television. And as expected, he doesn’t phone it in for Conan.
This live version of the title track starts out sexy and gets progressively more intense until it’s downright scary by the end. I prefer it to the orchestrated album version.
I’m not so sure about Tillman’s appearance though. My man Phil calls it the “sexy hobo look.” He looks clammy and his bushy beard makes him seem bloated like a late-era Jim Morrison. Dude needs to visit a barber. Clean yourself up, man!
Video: Jenny Lewis – “She’s Not Me”
Directed by Jenny Lewis. Starring Fred Armisen, Zosia Mamet, Leo Fitzpatrick, Feist, and Vanessa Bayer. From the album The Voyager, produced by Ryan Adams. This is one of my favorite albums from last year. I never got into Rilo Kiley, but Lewis won me over when I saw her with the Postal Service at Lollapalooza in 2013. She’s a super charismatic performer. And her videos are full of her famous pals, which comes across as a lot more charming than you might expect.
Directed by Jenny Lewis. Starring Anne Hathaway, Brie Larson, Kristen Stewart, and Tennessee Thomas.
Lewis told Rolling Stone that Adams was “the most unique producer I’ve ever worked with, in his approach and behavior… He made me listen to five or six Creed songs, really loudly on these beautiful tube speakers. My ears were bleeding. And it was Creed! He was like, ‘This is great music. I want you to hear it.’ And by the third song, I was like ‘Huh. Umm. Yeah, I can maybe see that.'”
I’m just glad that not much Creed oozed into The Voyager, like it did on Adams’ own self-titled 2014 album. Yuck!
Just like every middle school aged boy in the early 80s, I got into professional wrestling for a while. It probably started with seeing Hulk “Thunderlips” Hogan in Rocky III, but who knows? Wrestling was booming with Cyndi Lauper videos featuring Capt. Lou Albano and Hulkmania spreading everywhere. My pals and I would attempt figure-fours and piledrivers on each other in our basements. I can no longer remember who was a good guy and who was bad, but they were all impressive characters: Andre the Giant, Junkyard Dog, Rowdy Roddy Piper, the Iron Sheik, King Kong Bundy, Brutus Beefcake, Big John Studd, Sgt. Slaughter. Very exciting stuff when you’re a kid.
I’d never heard of Chavo Guerrero. As John Darnielle admits, Guerrero was “almost completely unknown outside of Texas and the west coast.” But I love him now because of this video. By now, we all know Darnielle’s back story as covered on 2005’s breakthrough album The Sunset Tree: his stepfather was abusive and cruel, but also intellectual and complex. “The Legend of Chavo Guerrero” rises above being just a tribute to a childhood hero in the verse where Darnielle directly addresses his stepfather:
He was my hero back when I was a kid
You let me down but Chavo never did
At this point in the video, JD has one hand on Chavo’s shoulder and points straight at the camera with his other hand. In the previous verse Darnielle admitted, “I hated Chavo’s enemies, I would pray nightly for their death,” and in recent interviews he has said that his stepfather always rooted for the heels. So the next lines are even more powerful:
You called him names just to get beneath my skin
Now your ashes are scattered in the wind
Chavo makes a “Whoa!” face in the video, sort of like “Dude, did you just say that? Did you just suggest that your prayers were answered? That your stepfather was my enemy and you prayed for his death and now he’s dead? Whoa, dude!”
Beat the Champ is out now on Merge Records.
I love the Rentals. I still think Return of the Rentals is an underrated 90s classic. Maybe “Friends of P” had “one hit wonder” written all over it (one minor hit, of course: it peaked at No. 82 on the Hot 100), but it works great in the context of a perfectly conceptualized and executed album. Neither Return of the Rentals nor its 1999 follow-up Seven More Minutes charted on the Billboard 200 but they both rank pretty high on my personal all-time Top 200 Albums chart.
This site’s first real interview was with Cherielynn Westrich back in 2001, and we caught up with Matt Sharp himself in 2003 while he was doing his solo project. The Rentals released an EP in 2007 and some kind of multimedia project in 2009, but just last year they released their first full-length album since 1999: Lost in Alphavile on Polyvinyl. I pre-ordered it on Coke bottle colored vinyl.
And it’s good. None of the people from the first two albums other than Matt Sharp have anything to do with it, but the guy from the Black Keys plays the drums on it, so that’s kind of a big deal, right? It came out last August, but they finally got around to making a video for it, and it looks like a bunch of semi-futuristic, quasi-scientific mumbo jumbo, so it’s pretty much perfect!
If you would’ve told me back in 1991 that the Charlatans would still be making music twenty-something years later, I would have scoffed. Back then, as much as I enjoyed their Some Friendly album, it was obvious to anybody reading imported copies of the NME that these guys were total bandwagon-jumping posers. The Stone Roses were the real deal and everybody else was a sad imitation. But time has a funny way shaking things out. So here we are in 2015 and the Charlatans are still touring and releasing albums and making videos.
…in which our boys walk around Japan and show off their terrible haircuts. Modern Nature is out now.
Conor Oberst leads his “political punk” band on a cheerful little ditty about how everything is bullshit and we’re all doomed.
All the founding fathers
sowed their seeds into servant girls
All the godless heathens
had to leave to make a newer world
So we could live together in America
Justice is blind and so is love
Good times. From Payola, due June 23 on Epitaph. Directed by Rob Soucy.
Video: Morrissey – Kiss Me a Lot
Good old Moz. He scheduled a new tour and has released a new video for a song from his latest album, World Peace Is None Of Your Business, which he pulled from iTunes and other digital services back in August of 2014. The “Kiss Me a Lot” single, however, is now available on iTunes.
The video looks kinda crappy with bad lighting and egregious shots of half-naked women. But you know: gotta get those eyeballs, right?
Right. Cross your fingers for the old grouch to stay healthy and make all of his upcoming shows.
Several years ago I saw the Muggs open up for my beloved Quasar Wut-Wut in Chicago. Being drunk and being in Chicago, I naturally heckled the band. It’s what we do. By the end of their set they had won me over with their high energy Detroit rock and roll.
One interesting feature of the Muggs is that the bass parts are played on a Rhodes keyboard. You might think this is a clever affectation. But you’re wrong. Turns out their bass player had a stroke and the right side of his body is paralyzed, so instead of quitting the band he now uses his left hand to play bass on the Rhodes. And it sounds awesome.
Pete may be the ultimate poster boy for fuck ups across the world, so it’s easy to forget what a touching songwriter he can be when he’s not making headlines in British tabloids. At least they care in the UK; over here, his latest album--Babyshambles’ Sequel to the Prequel--didn’t even get a domestic release. Too bad, because it’s solid.
Hopefully this is all a good sign for the impending Libertines reunion recordings, happening now in Thailand where Doherty has completed yet another stint in rehab. Maybe I’m foolish for hoping he can keep it together long enough to make a worthy successor to the first two Libs LPs, but his most recent material certainly suggests he hasn’t yet smoked away all of his talent and charms.