THE SUPER EDIT: 09/03 + 09/10
A bite-size run-down of the best stuff of the week.
1. "Oh Baby" by LCD Soundystem
Call me a product of our instant gratification-obsessed society, but I find myself having less and less time for tedious song intros. Any time we're 30-seconds in and I still don't know what's going on----I'm usually out. Thank God I hung in there because this is legitimately my favorite song off the album. Those synths sound so 80s but so now, James Murphy's vocals are as dreamy as they've ever been, and whenever I listen to this I feel like Sloane Peterson from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Someone needs to use this in opening/closing credits for a movie ASAP.
2. Mick Ronson Documentary
Ok, to be fair----this trailer is rough as hell. Lackluster production values aside, it's about time one of the most underrated sidemen ever got his due. Bowie, Dylan, Lou Reed, Ian Hunter----this guy elevated them all with his visionary guitar work and electric stage presence. Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story is in select theaters right now, and has a home video release set for October 27th.
3. Born To Run Is Now Available In Paperback
If you know me personally, or have followed this blog for a bit, you are most likely very aware of my Bruce Springsteen obsession.
Obviously when Born to Run----Springsteen's autobiography----was released, I was at my local Barnes & Noble at 9:59 am, prepared to beat down the door and fight tooth and nail for my hardcover copy. As it was just me and a handful of middle-aged dads, none of that was necessary, but it still felt like a very special day in my Boss-loving life.
Obviously I devoured it, and I've been trying to get everyone around me to read it like a crazed, E-Street evangelist. It's a must-read. Springsteen is an inspired writer (obviously), and the book is absolutely filled with nuggets of wisdom from someone who's been there, done that----all while maintaining widespread respect from his peers, his friends, his collaborators, and those who will only know him from his records.
Beyond his music and his career, it really is a book about life----filled with observations and advice from The Boss about what he's learned along the way. If you haven't read it, lucky you. It's now available in paperback----a cheaper and more portable way to enroll in Springsteen's School of Life.
4. "Toe Cutter - Thumb Buster" by Thee Oh Sees
Oh Sees (aka "The artists formerly known as THEE Oh Sees") came town to play the Teragram Ballroom-----a gig I reviewed for LA Record. I had never seen them live, and their reputation as one of the best live bands going is well deserved. I had forgotten about this cut off of 2013's Floating Coffin, until they whipped it out in the middle of the set. Holy shit. I haven't been able to stop listening to it since.
Also, go see them live ASAP. They've got two drummers who play perfectly in-sync right next to each other, John Dwyer still freaks out like he's 21 years old, their bass player is usually barefoot, and it's the best thing I've ever seen.
5. The New York Times Women of Rock Roundtable + The Playlist
If you're at all into music (which, why would you be on this blog if you weren't), you've probably noticed a discussion taking place about the recent wealth of rock bands led by women. Much like conversations about women in film, or women in business, the mere existence of these articles seems to only reiterate the problem (Call me when there's a discussion specifically about what it's like to be a man who makes music, or a man who makes movies). Some would argue it highlights the separateness----the fact that there is, in fact, a difference between being a girl who plays guitar vs. being a boy who plays guitar.
While these points are very valid, that all gets a little too dicey for me. Instead, I like to think of any highlighting of female musicians as a celebration----a chance to say, "Yeah. Look how cool these ladies are. Maybe you haven't heard of them. Listen to their amazing music. Go to their shows."
As far as these articles go, the New York Times really outdid themselves. Entitled "Women Are Making the Best Rock Music Today," it's a beautiful-ass, multimedia presentation that I'm going to have to ask you to just click on instead of me describing it.
It's definitely something you should read out if you're interested in music, in rock and roll, in culture, in society, in feminism, in LIFE.
They even put together a playlist of the lovely ladies they feature + even MORE acts you should check out.
6. Antisocialites by Alvvays
The last couple weeks have been HUGE as far as album releases go (The National, Neil Young, Mount Kimbie, LCD Soundsystem), but it was the sophomore album by Canadian indie pop-ers, Alvvays, that I've been listening to over and over again.
At times melancholy, at times upbeat, the album is New Wave-y in its ability to take the cheese out of perfect pop. It's a superb album for doing pretty much anything, making Antisocialites a new classic----in my collection, at least. There's something about Molly Rankin's voice that's unbelievably reassuring. Maybe it's the way her songs about love and life seem to perfectly capture what it's like to be a 20-something woman. I feel like if I made music, my wildest hope would be that it sounded like this.
My favorite tracks: "Dreams Tonite," "Plimsoll Punks," "Not My Baby," "Lollipop (Ode To Jim)", and "Forget About Life"