28 February 2010

back when things looked like this

this band showed up
hang out in the park 'til it gets dark
she left the band, which was fine since 'technically'
she wasn't meant to be there.
solidified line-up
brilliant album
'loaded' with hits
so things didn't work out so well.
on to the next.
more brilliance
depends on who you ask.
not blonde.
I had planned on going to a show a few weeks back, but the torrential downfall of snow made that task very difficult. Kurt Vile was opening for Fucked Up at the Ottobar, and yet I still didn't make it. I messed up. I'll admit it. Video of Fucked Up by Ray Concepcion below.

Bat for Lashes covers Radiohead at a Show

Before embarking on a South American tour, Natasha Khan a.k.a. Bat for Lashes decided to take a crack at Thom Yorke and company's "All I Need". Video below. The imagery isn't great but it looks kind of rad at the same time, but the sound is totally fine.

26 February 2010

New Titus Andronicus Album

The new Titus Andronicus record will be entitled The Monitor, and will be released on March 9th by XL. Here's the album cover.
Titus Andronicus Reveal Civil War-Themed Second Album

There's also a trailer to drum additional hype.

24 February 2010

I bought this on Amazon for less than a pack of cigarettes

Royal Trux: Royal Trux (Royal Records 1988, Drag City 1993)
When conducting research on this record, two phrases immediately grabbed my attention. "virtually unlistenable" and "heroin usage". As a devotee of Lou Reed's music and as someone who believes nothing is unlistenable, I quickly realized that this was my kind of record. My interest was further piqued when I read that Neil Hagerty used to be in a band with Jon Spencer called Pussy Galore, and when he was in the group he convinced them to cover and then record a rendition of the Stones' Exile on Main St., and if the internet is to be trusted then the story goes a step further with Hagerty viewing Pussy Galore as some sort of job, and seeing Royal Trux as his real artistic outlet.
Royal Trux was comprised of Hagerty on guitar and vocals and his then-but-not-now partner Jennifer Herrema on lead vocals. They released this record in 1988, and as a band hung around through the nineties into 2000. In '91 when Nirvana were blowing record exec's minds, Virgin signed Royal Trux to a three-year deal in at attempt to stay relevant at the time. Listening to this album at the moment, this seems to be a curious decision and can only really be explained after accepting the fact that record executives in the early nineties saw all alternative bands to be the same thing, and then treated them as such, which is the exact same thing that is happening now to alternative acts. They're not all the same thing. They really aren't.
Anyway, according to the internet this is the band's 'difficult' album. The second record was experimental, and the third was more lo-fi and recorded on an 8-track. Then it was a fourth album, and a deal with Matador that never happened. Then they signed with Virgin, and kicked the horse. They released one album, and then made another that the label reportedly hated. Then it was back to Drag City for a few more before they broke up. By my count, that is more than twelve records but less than fourteen in about as many years.
What is really supposed to be said about this album is anybody's guess. The story is worth reading, and while the sounds are all over the place in a disjointed jangle it never gets to too weird. If I were a painter, I would listen to this record while I worked.
Royal Trux were the first band to ever release something for Drag City. It happened sometime in 1989, and it basically cemented the label as one of the good ones. On June 1, 1990, they released an EP entitled Demolition Plot J-7. This band had self-issued some cuts, but this was their first release. The band was Pavement.

Pantha Du Prince: "Stick to my Side"

(via P4K)
Word on the street is that this album is pretty rad, but here at No Gift for the Gab I can not confirm this internet rumor because I haven't heard it yet. This song has Panda Bear on it, and it's also on the aforementioned record which out now via Rough Trade.

23 February 2010

I bought this on Amazon for less than a pack of cigarettes

The Thermals: The Body, The Blood, The Machine (Sub Pop 2006)
The Onion, possessors of my dream job, apparently are making some cutbacks. The internets via Gawker reported today that the New York A.V. Club offshoot is being shut down, which really fucking sucks. However, the arrival of this news today is also mildly strange because this morning while listening to this album I began to develop a strong feeling that the A.V. Club loved this record when it first came out. It's not a slight, but it kind of makes sense. An album about trying to fight back and escape from an opponent whose ways not only oppress, but frustrate as well. It's about dealing with hypocrisy, and it deals with handling bullshit and in 2006 there was a whole lot of that going on. Dubya had been at the controls for awhile, and the country's transformation from "America, fuck yeah!" to "America, fuck you." was nearly complete.
Given the landscape, it's understandable that the Thermals were pissed at the time. It works, though. Living in the only conservative county in Maryland, I found myself really digging the outrage. Christgau said that the lead singer might just be an emo boy complaining, and I can see why he would say that because there are times where if you didn't know any better you might think it was something like that, but I think it's just the dude's voice. There's a certain resiliency to it. It gets higher than it should at times, but there's also an urgency that comes with it and the delivery method allows for more words to be crammed in which adds to the overall importance of the whole thing.
I don't generally try to understand Pavement lyrics, but the first verse of "Here" resonates when thinking about this Thermals record. "And your jokes are always bad, but they're never as bad as this/ Come join us in a prayer". It sucks getting told what to do. There's nothing worse than when someone tries to tell you how to think and act. They're not you. How can they possibly say that they 'get it' better than you when in all actuality no one really 'gets it'. Worse, yet they take society and turn it into this stadium for devotion and the masses accumulate and now more and more are telling you how to get by. More and more who don't 'get it', and all that incessant chatter makes it extra difficult it figure 'it' out for yourself. And while escape seems logical, it's not always an option as sometimes it's just not possible but that's what tomorrow is for. If this album taught me anything, it's that you don't need faith to make it. Just balls.

20 February 2010

New Broken Social Scene

New Epic Broken Social Scene Song!

Broken Social Scene: Forgiveness Rock Record
(Available May 4th in the states, and May 3rd in Europe)
For all intents and purposes this a six man group now, but there will still be loads of guest appearances on the new album including contributions from Pavement's Spiral Stairs and that one guy who used to be in Death From Above 1979. The new song that is available on the internets is called "World Sick"

This Weekend

Baroness: The Red Album

On the horizon:
Going to try and crank out some reviews this week. Gary made some art in the form of a logo, and it's real rad and should be shown off. Hopefully, it will make an appearance each day this week. whiskey in a cup.

18 February 2010

On my Mind

There's this rapper that I really dig named Freddie Gibbs, and he's got this one song called "Murda on my Mind" which deals with waking up in the morning knowing that a murder may occur. This post doesn't have anything to do with that subject, but all of my recent thoughts have been consumed by one singular thing. In case this hasn't been stated before, I watch a lot of television. A lot. A lot, a lot.
A few weeks back, I started watching this British show called Skins. It's about these teenagers in England who do mountains of drugs and have lots of sex. That's a pretty base description, but it's quality viewing. There are like eight characters, and each episode focuses on one of them specifically. There's a lot going on, but it's really easy to get caught up in all of it. I love listening to British people talking to one another. Something about the way it sounds. The slang is a lot better, too. The music that was played in the episodes was pretty rad for the most part. There was one episode that had Grizzly Bear songs in it, and the Crystal Castles appeared in another episode which consequently led to me getting really into that shit.
Anyway, I read on the internets that MTV is making an American version and it is going to be set in Baltimore. I'm pretty certain that this new version will be terrible, but the decision for it all to go down in Baltimore puzzles me. They probably won't be able to do half the shit that the British version did in the first place since it's going to be on regular television, but what will they be doing? Hanging out at the Ottobar? Chilling at Lexington Market?
I take that back. There's part of me that understands the logic. Set the show in the swanky part of Baltimore, like Fells Point or Fed Hill, and go with it from there. I get it, but that doesn't mean that I like it. And since it's MTV, you know that they're going to try and make everything look very hip and trendy which won't work but they'll still try anyway. Could this perhaps mean that one of the characters will attend MICA, and will then have connections to all the underground DIY art and music parties? Will Wham City get a shout out? An appearance by Animal Collective? There's part of me that sees the first two things maybe happening, but at the same time I don't think any of it will.
This show is probably going to be bad. Actually, I know it will be. Just look at the newest show on MTV, My Life as Liz. That show fucking sucks. Really awful. It's supposed to be real like a reality show, but it's painfully obvious that it's scripted. Even worse, it's like Juno minus all the pregnancy business. This girl, Liz, is the main character and she's MTV's definition of 'alt'. She listens to Chromeo on her way to school in the morning. She buys her clothes at the Goodwill. She wears Chuck Taylors. Et cetra, etc. The popular girls don't like her, but they're supposed to be stupid anyway. It's mindless dribble. The way it's set it up it basically allows Liz to get on some pedestal and bash everyone for not being as smart and edgy as she is. It's quite possibly the biggest steaming pile of shit ever.
Anyway, MTV airs that show and now they're trying to remake Skins, and it's going to be horrendous. With that out of my system, it will be back to real business tomorrow.

Yo, Check This Out

This video may blow your mind.

17 February 2010

Happy Birthday

This is a bit different from what is normally in this space, but it's still worth saying in this writer's opinion. Today is Michael Jordan's 47th birthday. Michael is one of my most favorite athletes of all time, just behind Muhammad Ali and just in front of Alexander Ovechkin.
Larry Bird is cool and all, but Michael is the best baller ever. He led the Bulls to 6 NBA Championships, and coincidentally was named Finals MVP 6 times. 14-time All-Star, 10-time All-NBA First team, and 9-time All-Defensive First team. Oh, and 5 regular season MVPs, and 2 Olympic gold medals. Probably too many videos below.

12 February 2010

Video for the Weekend

If you're drinking heavily this weekend, these videos will serve as ideal background noise.

10 February 2010

Beach House "Teen Dream" DVD

Teen Dream, Beach House's third album and first one for Sub Pop, was a hotly anticipated release for many folks, including yours truly here at No Gift for the Gab. As a firm believer in the sanctity of the album release, all sneak peaks and album streams were ignored by this website so that nothing would be tarnished. Gorilla Vs. Bear was debuting new vids for the record every day leading up to the official release, but I steadfastly avoided them which is kind of funny since a bulk of the hype I was placing on Teen Dream was a result of what I had read on GVsB, most notably the time when they said they hadn't been this affected by one record since Person Pitch came out. Anyway, cooler heads prevailed and now weeks later it seems as if at least a morel of the album has been digested and is now ready for public consumption.
The record included a companion DVD, which had music videos for all ten tracks and each one was done by a different director. Due to the absurd amounts of snow that are falling outside right now, today seemed like an ideal day to tackle ten music videos all done by different directors. The song order on the DVD is different from the track listing, but for this exercise they will be in the DVD order.
1. "Used to Be" directed by Sean Peckold
This vid is shot to have the appearance of a fish-eye lenses, but upon further review it may just be a circle in the center of the frame. It's sorta hard to tell. The video begins with a face that has glowing red eyes, and when the song starts the face begins mouthing along with the words. This leads to what appears to be a futuristic graveyard in another galaxy or it could be a futuristic town square or perhaps a futuristic shopping mall. There are these mangled figures there that look like Barbies after a bout with a magnifying glass and the August sun. So, there's the one head that sings along and then there are a group of other ones who do a coordinated routine with their arms, similar to a cheer squad but in the future. This video was directed by the brother of one of the guys in Fleet Foxes. He also made that one crazy Grizzly Bear video a couple months back. This video isn't as wild as that one, but Teen Dream is just about every bit as great as Veckatimest.
2. "Better Times" directed by John Leone
There are clouds and splashing water and little girls playing dress-up in the backyard. A lot of random images, but they all seemed to represent the same vibe. In the second half of the song, there is some sweet, shaky percussion work and in the video when that part happens the images shake accordingly. The new album more drums involved, and this video kind of shows it as the images almost move in accordance to the percussion work.
3. "Walk in the Park" directed by Allen Cordell
The protagonist of this video is a guy whose beard starts at his eyebrows. He's either a some kind of caveman living in modern times or he might be a hyrbid of a raccoon and a person. It starts off ordinary enough, as we watch this bro wake up and eat cereal. He walks out his front, and lights his cigarette and then he starts walking. A lady catches his eye, and smiles at him, but then an even uglier dude steps up and starts tongue kissing this broad hardcore. Then this gang starts laughing at the dude who kind of looks like a raccoon. So, RaccoonBro goes home and eats a marshmallow or two but then the same gang is in his kitchen and they are laughing at him again. This nasty group follows him around some more, and until they eventually beat his ass. There are lots of flashing colors at this point. RaccoonBro then pulls a sandwich out of his chest, and gives one to each member of this gang. The gang then proceeds to barf like they're having a bad trip. This makes RaccoonBro dance. The 'what-the-fuck' factor gets so high that this video becomes kind of great.
4. "Zebra" directed by Mark Brown
Double negative footage of animals played at a fast clip, all under a heavy mat of colors. Very understated, but it really works for this song.
5. "10 Mile Stereo" directed by Kari Altmann
I dig this song, but as far as the video goes, your guess is as good as mine.

6. "Silver Soul" directed by Victoria Legrand
The absolutely gorgeous voice that is heard on every Beach House song is Victoria Legrand's, so
in addition to doing that she hops into the director's chair for this. When the video starts, everything is really hazy/smokey/steamy.eve
Then there are people painted silver, and they have hula hoops. Two people make out briefly. There's also slo-mo skateboarding and an umbrella. Mainly hula hoops, though.
7. "Lover of Mine" directed by Sean Honey
Literal backyard wrestling. There's this one guy with a mane of curly, dark hair and a mustache to match. He wears a blue speedo. There's also a guy who wears a baby bonnet, and another guy who is kind of dressed like a biker. There's also girls in bikinis...I almost forgot about the guy dressed in attire that calls to mind an indian chief casino owner who has his own tribal dancers, who jump through flaming hula hoops. Quite possibly, my favorite video out of the bunch.
8. "Norway" directed by Showbeast
It's the puppets from that Dan Deacon video that was posted on this space a few weeks back. This might be a MICA collective, which would explain their appearance in both this video and Deacon's. This one has a girl with a fake mustache, and subtitles with money lines such as "The apocalypse ruined my dream Jenga." Everyone in the house is awakened by a disturbance, and they become concerned that Mr. Westby didn't wake up because of the commotion. When Snow Beast tries to wake him up, he gets sucked into Mr. Westby's nose, but they're not in his nose, they're in his dream. Then a deranged Abe Lincoln, or possibly a chimney sweeper, chases after them. Maybe the whole thing is a metaphorical representation of Blake's "The Chimney Sweeper" and I'm just not getting it. Anyway, this strategically bearded bro is trying to stab Snow Beast and the puppets. It starts to look pretty grim, until Mr. Westby sneezes and they all come flying out.
9. "Real Love" directed by Matt Amato
The insert for the DVD says that footage for this video is compiled from Arthur and Maria Benassi's visits to St. Louis, New York City, Yosemite National Park, and Rome, Italy circa 1946-1956. It starts out with clips of boys chasing girls at a picnic, and proceeds on through the years, leading up to a wedding. Love?
10. "Take Care" directed by Kevin Drew & Co.
Broken Social Scene alpha leader, Kevin Drew, is responsible for this video which depicts an old woman swaying and singing along. As a viewer, you almost get the sense this woman didn't know the words when they started filming because when they get to the point where says she will take care of her lover forever, you can see in her eyes the magnitude of a commitment like that. The woman sways some more, until she is in a garden with a huge cross in the middle of it. At first, it reminded me of that part in Dirty Harry where Clint Eastwood is the bag man and Scorpio has him running all over the city to prove that he isn't being followed. Eventually, Inspector Callahan ends up at a gigantic cross in a park and that's where Scorpio attacks him and Chico Gonzalez gets shot. Anyway, back to the video. After dancing in front of the cross for awhile, the old woman opens up some parallel dimension and now she is dancing next to a much younger woman who is dressed exactly the same doing the same dance. The younger woman runs through the portal, and is now the one dancing in the garden. Fin.

08 February 2010

One Year In

Nostalgia isn't normally my speciality, but for this occasion it seems necessary. On February 8th 2009, I was riding in a car headed toward Maryland after spending a night at a college in Virginia. The party was no bueno, and I ended up sleeping on a floor somewhere so needless to say I was psyched to be heading back home. I was kind of dazed and basically incapable of engaging in actual conversation, but within in my head came a great notion. I had just realized that the Grammys were going to be held in the evening, and I determined that I should live-blog them, and that's how I started this site. It's laughable now, but back then my initial goal was to become a premier celebrity gossip stop on the internets. For awhile there, I was providing in-depth recaps of American Idol episodes, and somewhere in the archives, there's a post in which I broke down an episode of "The View" that featured those two ass-hats from "The Hills" and then I go further by analyzing those deplorable whores' political views and offering my own opinions on that as well. They were sad times, and to make matters worse, back then I wasn't capitalizing or using proper punctuation. The grammar on this blog has and always will be kind of suspect, but a year ago it was much worse. Before, I go any further there are two things I want to say. First off, this is kind of a novelty post in the sense that I am going be using "I" a whole lot and be offering my candid and uncensored opinions. I don't look at No Gift for the Gab as a completely serious endeavor, but at the same time I think it's important to demonstrate some focus when it comes to this sort of thing. Secondly, I would like to thank Gary, John, and Esther for reading. These are the only three people I know of who look at this site in any capacity, and for that I am eternally grateful. If there is anyone else who reads this shit, then I thank you and apologize for not giving you a shout-out.
By far, the best part about maintaining No Gift for the Gab are the self-justified 'blog purchases'. These are things that I believe will make the site better. If that means scouring the Amazon Marketplace for enthralling albums to write about, then so be it. If it requires driving downtown to see a show that might be 'bloggable', I'm there. (most of the time). I hope that this will continue to happen in the future, but I have to be honest, my new job is not paying the bills like the last two did so anything could happen, for better or for worse. There are other things that I really like about running this site, but for the sake of time it's on to the next.
My show attendance in 2009 skyrocketed to biblical proportions and dwarfed previous years especially 2008, mainly because the only shows I went to in 2008 were Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks at the 9:30 club and the Pitchfork Music Festival. Gang Gang Dance, Wavves, and HEALTH are at least three shows that I can recall going to strictly so that I could write about them later that night. Before I sound like some daring traveler, I would like to point out that Baltimore is only thirty miles from where I live. With that being said, I live in a culture-less cesspool full of douche bags with rapist potential so the fact that I go to these shows solo should come as no surprise. I like reporting on what I see and hear because I think it's something worth sharing, but I have noticed that as a result I have developed a nasty habit of making mental notes while the show is going on which makes me an awful partner for a conversation. (Writer's Note: Unless, it's a lady. I will always take the time to talk to women.)
The more I think about this blog, the less I want to say. I feel like the proof is in the pudding. At the moment, the only thing that really stands out is that one time an excerpt of a post made it on to Brooklyn Vegan. That was pretty fucking rad. It was also quite fortunate for me because that was more or less the first time I ever wrote anything on here that was completely coherent and readable. I pretty much stopped all that other shit after that happened, although I did like writing those short stories.
This hadn't occurred to me when I started writing this, but I guess now I need to outline my plans for the future and where I'm going to take No Gift for the Gab in 2010. Without dwelling on it for too long, I would imagine it will be more of the same. I'm going to continue to tackle albums, in the hope that one day I write a real review. I realize that so far all the record reviews have been light and frothy, but eventually they will be potent and thought-provoking, I swear. Looking around my room, there is a stack of records on my desk that are all relatively fresh which means they all should have reviews written about them. Potentials include: the new Beach House, both White Denim albums, the Ghana Special compilation, the first Les Savy Fav disc, Japandroids, Crystal Castles, Bobby Conn, The Knife, LCD Soundsystem, the King Khan & BBQ Show, Deerhunter's Cryptograms, and Royal Trux. I've gotten these in the last month, but chances are only half of them will get shine on here. Also, I'll probably be talking about Pavement more and more since more and more tour dates keep getting added to the itinerary and every time it happens I become very delighted.

Grizzly Bear's "Two Weeks" was used in a Super Bowl ad

The commercials run during the Super Bowl are big business in more than one way. It works in a literal sense since airtime during the game costs loads of money. They're also big in the sense that everyone sees them so the next day there is chatter. Volkswagen debuted a new commercial last night, and it just so happened to be accompanied by the music of Grizzly Bear. The beginning of "Two Weeks" played throughout the ad which featured appearances by Stevie Wonder and Tracy Morgan. This isn't the first time Volkswagen has utilized awesome music to hawk vehicles. A few years back, they used choice cuts off of Wilco's Sky Blue Sky in several different TV spots.

There was also an ad for the NFL which used the Arcade Fire's "Wake Up". This was pretty rad because all proceeds generated from the commercial will go straight to Haiti relief.
I don't generally get too caught up in the ads during the game, but I liked the Dr. Pepper ad with KISS and mini-KISS as well as the Bud Light Auto-Tune ad. There was also that one car company one that had Yo Gabba Gabba in it with music by The Heavy. That one was cool.
In other news, today is No Gift for the Gab's first birthday. This website has been in existence for exactly one year, and while it has gotten strange from time to time it still hasn't gotten too weird yet, which is probably a good thing. When I get home from work, there will be more reflections on the matter.

06 February 2010

I Bought This on Amazon for Less Than a Pack of Cigarettes

"I was never aware of how much I liked Broken Social Scene, until I realized how many times I listened to them in a given week."
(Something I overheard at a party once.)
When I was in high school, I used to listen to the radio and that's how I heard about new bands. It wasn't a perfect system, but it's how I 'discovered' the Strokes and White Stripes. The summer before I left for university I started listening to Radiohead and in effect forgot about the radio. After that, I turned to the world wide web for music. I read articles. Lots and lots of articles and reviews, and with that knowledge in hand I took bands out for spins. The first one I consciously remember was Modest Mouse, and I can recall stints with the Decemberists, Spoon, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, old Kings of Leon, obviously the Shins, Death Cab, and the Postal Service, as well as the Hold Steady, of Montreal, TV on the Radio, the Black Keys, and scores of others. Even this operating procedure was kind of hit or miss. There were times when the research led me to the likes of Pavement and Sebadoh which was awesome, but there were also times when I ended up with shit. (no shots). Eventually, I was able to stop studying and go back to listening. I had found the internets, the websites that contained the information that I sought and covered the bands that I cared about. This big, long intro really has nothing to do with the album for today except for the fact that I found them on the internets, but I felt like writing something garrulous and disjointed for the introduction, so I did.
In what has become somewhat of a prerequisite for this column, this record enters with it's fair share of accolades. It was 27th on P4K's best albums of 2000-2004 list, and it was 23rd on their list of best albums for the decade. In a 2005 poll, it was voted the fourth greatest Canadian album of all time which makes a lot of sense since the band hails from Canada and also because this album is pretty damn good, not as good as Harvest but damn good.
What I really dig about this album is how loud it is, but not in a shoegaze, lo-fi, wanna-crank-it kind of way but rather it just sounds better the louder it is played. The album opener, "Capture the Flag", is quiet and kind of slow, but it's only a minute and a half long or so and then "KC Accidental" hits and it's off to the races. One of things that is always written about Broken Social Scene is how there are like fifteen people in the band and how most of those people release their own music and that always leads to talking about Feist's success and how Metric is pretty rad and then it becomes important to mention those Broken Social Scene Presents... albums and then all of the sudden, there is a whole lot of proverbial shit on the plate. It's rather hard to place this band in one particular genre, so talking about all that other stuff is understandable, at least from a journalistic standpoint.
In short, You Forgot It In People is the most indispensable album in not just the BSS catalog but in independent and alternative music in general. It probably sounds like a stretch, but this is the record that has everyone's favorite songs on it. I put that quote up at the top of this post because those words always ring out in my head right before I listen to Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning, and company. Also, I vaguely recall reading somewhere that some portion of P4K's internet presence is attributed to the fact that the founder totally loved BSS, and the site used to reflect that passion and that's how people figured out that P4K was a different kind of music web site thus allowing it to get 'mad hits'. I would even hazard to say that this is the album that made it all happen, so if you wanted to you could say that without this record there would be no P4K. (Writer's Note: With that being said, I really hope that BSS gets added to the lineup for P4K this summer.)

05 February 2010

Tremendous News!

The first round of bands for this year's Pitchfork Music Festival have been announced, and would believe that the line-up already looks awesome. So far, Modest Mouse is headlining on Friday and on Saturday LCD Soundsystem and Raekwon are both throwing down sets. Artists for Sunday include St. Vincent, Lightning Bolt, Sleigh Bells, and Here We Go Magic.
...and PAVEMENT!!!! That's right folks, Pavement. The reunited Pavement will be playing a set on Sunday July 18. Tickets went on sale at noon today, (Writer's Note: Sorry about being so late on this one. I was at work.), and are probably already sold out. Maybe not.
It looks like tickets aren't sold yet. I'm saying this because I just bought mine. The Pitchfork Music Festival will be held in Union Park in Chicago, Illinois on July 16, 17, and 18.

02 February 2010

Yo, Check This Out

So, Best Coast is this one girl, Beth, who makes rad lo-fi shit. Here's a picture of her.
(Gary, I know what you're thinking and you are absolutely correct.)
Best Coast was featured on the Nike women website the other week, which seemed kind of odd at first but was really no big deal. All the sensitive internet types were complaining, but they always bitch whenever anything underground is utilized in any kind of mainstream operation which is kind of dumb in the first place since this is 2010 and nothing is 'indie' anymore. Everything is everywhere, and anyone can find it. Deal with it, and then chill.
Anyway, I dig the tunes that I hear and I thought I should share. Videos below.

I Bought This on Amazon for Less Than a Pack of Cigarettes

Sleater-Kinney: The Woods
I knew virtually nothing about this album before I bought it, except for the fact that drummer Janet Weiss allegedly dated Elliott Smith in the past, and I only knew that because Weiss is the drummer for Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks. To further reinforce my ignorance, I didn't know that The Woods was the band's final record until earlier today when I was conducting research. I also found out that Greil Marcus was a big fan, and that he called Sleater-Kinney "America's best rock band", and he made that proclamation in the pages of TIME magazine. Even Robert Christgau digs on them, and he doesn't like anything. So, apparently this band is a big deal.
After listening to this record, I can tell you that it kicks ass from beginning to end. I can't tell you much else, though. Based on what I had read, I was under the impression that the songs were greatly influenced by Hendrix and Zeppelin because all the articles I read said that the band was trying to make songs in the vein of Hendrix and Zeppelin. And that may be the case, but honestly I'm not hearing it. There is deafening accelerated guitar, and there's a fleeting, agile quality to the drums but I never had a moment where I said, "Man, this sounds like Zeppelin."
Generally, when there is an album that features women playing music fast and loud I would tell people that it's hot, but if I did that here it would be doing both this band and this record a grave injustice. This is easily one of the better rock and roll records that I own. I put this on when I'm getting ready to go to work and when I'm lounging around drinking. Christgau gave this record an 'A', and considering what it takes to receive an 'A' from that man shows how good it is. An explanation of Christgau's grading system reveals that "An A is a great record both of whose sides offer enduring pleasure and surprise. You should own it." With that being said, I'm done.