Unless you are of a certain age or a rather excitable cinephile, the title Road House will mean very little to you. For those that know, you are probably wiping up messies from the inside crotchal region of your pants after reading that movie buzz word. The original Road House was the tender story of a head bar bouncer named Dalton, played methodically by one Patrick Swayze (I think he’s described in the flick along the lines of “the best cooler in the biz,” if that helps at all). There are fights galore, a little lovin’, a blind guitar hero, a grizzled old fart (played -- you guessed it -- by grizzled old fart Sam Elliott. In short, my friends, it has it all.
What Road House did for bar brawling cornball cinema, My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless set the high water mark for, well, indie rock in general. All true pioneer art gets reinterpreted as a sequel; it happened to Road House, and it has now happened with Loveless. Just like 2006’s Road House 2: Last Call had difficulty harnessing the same magic that once swirled around the Double Deuce Saloon like so much of Swayze’s testosterone and hair gel, it’s doubtful that a Japancakes version of the seminal MBV album will equal the wow factor of the original Loveless. Or have I spoken too soon? It is Loveless -- an album of remarkable effects-piling sound and gorgeous tunes that not even Nickleback could fuck up by covering -- a different take on the record is always worth a shot. And given it is done in full, Loveless-length glory, using pedal steel/cello in place of vocals and lead melodies by Eric Berg’s lonesome Georgia wranglers, it is absolutely worth your time and hard-earned cash. If you want a taste before digging in heartily, you can sample the Japancakes versions of “To Hear Knows When” and “Loomer” on the band’s MySpace page.
It’s been a long time since a new Japancakes album graced our ears (although not as long as a My Bloody Valentine album, of course), but it does seem like the band is making up for lost time. A new Japancakes album, Giving Machines, flew under the radar October 9 through Darla Records, and their Loveless interpretation is actually out today (again courtesy of Darla).
As for the real My Bloody Valentine, there has been a lot of speculation and talk of a beating pulse found in Kevin Shields, a band reunion in the works, a new album nearing completion, and a forthcoming tour, but for that story you should read this TMT MBV story. And no, I’m not taking back that Nickleback comment, because they are an easy target and everyone picks on them.... they deserve every single verbal shit-storm directed at them.
1. Only Shallow
4. To Here Knows When
5. When You Sleep
6. I Only Said
7. Come in Alone
9. Blown a Wish
10. What You Want
Wal-Mart has brought stability to the volatile and hostile American suburb. Where would America be without $3 gallon jars of pickles and $5 packs of toilet paper that will engulf a neighbor's trees AND house? How about $4 lead frying pans for threatening children, $2 10 packs of pantyhose for robbing banks, or $12 copies of The Eagles Long Road Out of Eden?
America would be in Russia, that's where. Well, actually I guess Russia would be in America. That's right, if it weren't for Wal-Mart's everyday low prices, the U.S. Government could never have afforded the mass quantities of enriched uranium America needed to win the war. After ending the Cold War, Wal-Mart turned to fighting another war; the war on market dispersal. And, just when Wal-Mart was nearing total market consolidation, something happens. Long Road Out of Eden, which The Eagles promised to sell only at Wal-Mart (TMT News) has been appearing for sale in record stores.
How is Wal-Mart supposed to run a monopoly on album sales when other stores sell it?! Not only have record stores undermined the meaning of the word "exclusive," they've also undermined the very everyday low prices that make Wal-Mart such a vital part of American culture. Virgin Records (ironically, somewhat of a big box retailer itself) in New York has Long Road for sale for $18.99, a significant markup of Wal-Mart's $11.88 price.
In other news, Long Road was recently the top-selling album in America, despite being (for the most part) sold exclusively in Wal-Mart stores. It surpassed Britney Spears' new album, which sold 14 copies at a girl scout jamboree on Tuesday. The SoundScan sales figures reportedly accounted for the double sales that resulted when record stores resold the Wal-Mart CDs.
Just pop enough to feel clean and danceable, just weird enough to not be cloying, and just camped up enough to sound like the house band for Pee-Wees Playhouse, The B-52's are the ultimate weirdo party band -- and they are fully back. Not that they ever really left, but now they are releasing their first album in 16 years.
Yeah dude, 16 years.
It’s called Funplex, and it’s hitting the streets via Astralwerks on February 26, 2008. Produced by Steve Osbourne (he's worked with New Order), the album has been described by guitarist Kevin Strickland as "Loud, sexy rock & roll with the beat pumped up to hot pink."
When you think of The Smiths, you think Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke, right? You think of the groundbreaking drums and bubbly bass that made The Smiths a household name in the ‘80s and a looming influence on everything indie since then, right? The snotty romanticism of the lyrics and the signature jangle of the guitar lines are pretty much an afterthought in any conversation about The Smiths.
That's right... it's opposite day!
Of course, if one were to know even a tidbit about The Smiths, it would be concerning Morrissey or that guy from Modest Mouse. That's why a DVD documentary from the point of view of the band's B-team (Joyce and Rourke) is not enough to make America's twee set spend $35 for an import of Inside the Smiths, which has already been released in the UK. It could, however, drum up enough interest to make said set plunk down $16.95 when it's released stateside January 22.
If it suits your fancy, you can take a look at a trailer for Inside The Smiths at here.
Without Mozz and Marr (or any Smiths' music due to legal issues), we're left with Joyce and Rourke guiding us through the band's history, tales of Rourke's heroin addiction and subsequent dismissal, and outsiders like Peter Hook and The Kaiser Chiefs (?) discussing the scope of the The Smiths' influence.
It may turn out to be quite interesting, or (and judging by the Amazon.co.uk customer reviews) it may wind-up like listening to a Garfunkel album.
Friends Of John: Tokyo Police Club and Vampire Weekend To Play a Benefit Concert For Ra Ra Riot’s Late Drummer
When Ra Ra Riot's John Pike was found dead only 24 hours after being reported missing, the entire music community's thoughts went out to his family and friends. Now, in his memory, Pike's bandmates have teamed up with two of his favorite bands for an unbelievably charitable cause. Titled "Friends of John," Tokyo Police Club and Vampire Weekend are scheduled to headline a benefit concert December 15 at Boston's Middle East.
Organized by Syracuse's Ra Ra Riot, all of the proceeds from the event will go to a memorial fund in Pike's name, which aims to lend musical instruments to underprivileged children. According to CMJ, the band's violinist Rebecca Zeller noted, "Because we are musicians and because John loved music, we thought a benefit concert would be the most appropriate way to raise [that] money."
If you cannot attend the show but wish to show your support, donations are accepted by mail (c/o Citizens Bank, 37 Enon Street, Beverly, MA 01915) or through PayPal at email@example.com. Meanwhile, tickets for the event can be purchased here.
"The show this year will mainly focus on getting money to help the family get the library started, and hopefully in the years to follow, we will be able to do more and more with the money raised," said Ra Ra Riot's manager, Josh Roth.
The last time Stephin Merritt and co. hit the road, it was 2004, and critics and fans alike were murmuring “i. i? i?!” in an attempt to find deeper meaning in the title of that year’s Magnetic Fields album, which was of course, named i. The title of each track began with an “i” word or the pronoun “I.” What WILL they think of next? 2008 brings us the answer in the form of a new record entitled Distortion, and you know what that means!
Tour (readers’ input as to what Chicago did to get so lucky are welcome):
02.11.07 - Northampton, MA - Iron Horse Music Hall
02.12.07 - Northampton, MA - Iron Horse Music Hall
02.14.07 - Somerville, MA - Somerville Theater
02.15.07 - Somerville, MA - Somerville Theater
02.22.07 - New York, NY - Town Hall Theatre
02.23.07 - New York, NY - Town Hall Theatre
02.28.07 - San Francisco, CA - The Herbst Theatre
02.29.07 - San Francisco, CA - The Herbst Theatre
03.02.07 - Los Angeles, CA - The Henry Fonda Theatre
03.03.07 - Los Angeles, CA - The Henry Fonda Theatre
03.06.07 - Seattle, WA - Town Hall
03.07.07 - Seattle, WA - Town Hall
03.14.07 - Chicago, IL - Old Town School of Folk Music $
03.15.07 - Chicago, IL - Old Town School of Folk Music $
03.16.07 - Chicago, IL - Old Town School of Folk Music #
$ two shows, 6:30 PM and 10:00 PM
# two shows, 6:30 PM and 9:30 PM
I don't know about any of you, but New York spaceout psychsmiths Secret Machines aren't fooling me with any of their "cool band name shit."
These boys may play like a pack of ‘roided-up alien kill bots set to "freakout" at their live shows, but from the looks of things, they ain't got no "secrets," clandestine or otherwise.
Seriously. There's nothing up their sleeves whatsoever.
"What about the news of recently departed (uh, from the band, not from the earth) bandmate and/or sibling Benjamin Curtis," you say??
Nope. That's old news at this point. Dude was only holding ‘em back anyway, if you ask me.
"But did you know that they recently did a four-week residency at The Annex in Manhattan, where they debuted a bunch of epic new songs like ‘The Fire is Waiting,’ ‘Atomic Hell,’ and the more free-form epic ‘Have I Run Out,’ which bass/keys/vocalist Brandon Curtis describes as a ‘long section of instrumental music,’'' you persist??
Yeah. I knew that too. And besides, they did that residency like two months ago. Hardly worth reporting, man. Sorry...
"Well, okay, okay," you continue. "But there must at LEAST be some big news about their forthcoming third album for Warner Bros, the follow-up to 2006's Ten Silver Drops that they're currently working on completing, right? Maybe something about Brandon Mason handling the production duties? Some juicy studio details? A tracklist? Some cover art? A drop date??"
Man, I WISH. Well, actually, Brandon Mason IS producing, but i don't even know who that dude IS (probably not this guy, huh? ). And other than that, no, no, no, and NO.
No release dates.
They're not even playing any goddamn shows until next year! What the hell is THAT?!?
Get with it, Secret Machines. If you guys scare up some details about your next LP, feel free to e-mail me. In the mean time, I'm going to go watch Food Network...
Fiery Furnaces to Tour U.S., You to No Longer Need Coats, Mittens, Blankets, or Those Warming Inserts for Snow Boots or Gloves
Warming up never felt so warmed-up, ladies and gents.
And according to a recent press release, your favorite bacon ‘bergers are shifting their style a bit. Known for rearranging their work as medleys in live performances, this string of dates marks a significant cherry-pop for FF. As in, they’re going to play songs normally. Apparently.
Maybe. Don’t hold them to it.
Hip-hop is dead. Nas said so. So where does that leave the vets still cranking out good tunes? It's tempting to overfetishize early ‘90s boom bap and turn Enter The 36 Chambers into a religion, keeping hip-hop alive in the same way Elvis impersonators imitate his behavior and insist he was really abducted by aliens and is living fat and happy in outer space, an approach that's worked wonders for the likes of Jedi Mind Tricks, Army Of The Pharohs, The Demigodz, etc. Others, like the Def Jux crew (who had a fabulous diss war with JMT n' Co. a few years back), leave it all behind in a mess of incomprehensible abstractions about martians and comic books, along with a sense of production reaching more toward industrial music and The Mary Anne Hobbes show.
It's not much of a surprise, then, seeing Del team up with Def Jux. Last century's Deltron 3030 laid Del's sci-fi nerd roots bare over Dan The Automator's Big Money Sound, and Hieroglyphics has always indulged in fantasies involving extraterrestrials. So, let's get excited already -- more self-consciously intellectual babbling over broken synths and found sounds! Awesome!
Seriously, though, this is an exciting development for the "independent as fuck" crowd, whether you think Celph Titled is the second coming of Christ or Aseop Rock is a mouthpiece for the Godhead. Del's produced the entirety of his new LP, The 11th Hour, on his own, so we won't have to worry about El-Producto getting his grubby little hands all over his sound. Who knows, maybe Del can bring a little of that early ‘90s sound he had on I Wish My brother George Was Here and No Need For Alarm to Def Jux's relatively stagnant "experimentation." You can do some detective work on your own and see Del perform his new material live with that Devin The Dude guy, or alternatively pick up Del's new DVD, also titled The 11th Hour, shot during the early stages of production for Del's first solo work in eight years. Let's just hope we can figure out what the hell Del's going on about once the album's released on February 26, 2008.
Free press release (TBD Records = Radiohead's own imprint, FYI):
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 12, 2007
RADIOHEAD'S IN RAINBOWS CONFIRMED FOR JANUARY 2 RELEASE
On January 2, 2008, TBD Records/ATO Records Group will release in North America the physical version of Radiohead's In Rainbows.
Released in download format earlier this year, In Rainbows has already received tremendous acclaim in the press. British music magazine Q wrote "In Rainbows is a brilliant work" while Rolling Stone said the album "delivers an emotional punch that proves all other rock stars owe us an apology." New York magazine raved, "Radiohead has made their best music in years, maybe ever."
TBD/ATO are currently focusing on both "Bodysnatchers" and "Jigsaw Falling Into Place" as the North American radio singles.
Produced by Nigel Godrich, In Rainbows is the band's seventh studio album and the follow-up to 2003's RIAA certified Platinum Hail to the Thief.
More information about the album release and the band's touring plans to follow.
Now, check out how pathetic we are:
- 11-05-2007: Radiohead Webcast, Box Set, Etc., Etc.
- 11-01-2007: Radiohead’s In Rainbows Confirmed For Release on XL
- 10-15-2007: Radiohead In Rainbows review
Future Radiohead stories pending.