So bursting with goodness and surprises was the Shills’ 2007 homonymous full-length, it was hard to imagine how the band might build on their already sprawling array of sounds. Here’s our answer: on their newest, Ganymede, which is set to drop this Friday at the Middle East, the band go conceptual. It’s a song cycle that tells the story of a shipwrecked misanthrope who drives himself batty for lack of anyone to hate on.
More sad news on a day of sad news: Charlie Cooper, one half of electro-ambient group Telefon Tel Aviv passed away last week. Here is an excerpt from the post announcing this by Joshua Eustis, the other half of the group:
have been friends since high school, and began making records together
a decade ago.
As part of our ongoing "Private Practice" series, we caught up with the Raveonettes not long ago in advance of their gig at the Paradise. In addition to hearing some songs, we talked to Sune about the band's absence from touring and their future plans.
There are very few things on which we agree with the Boston Music Awards, but Needham native MARISSA NADLER is one of them. Her shockingly original Songs III: Bird on the Water (Kemado) was released late enough in 2007 that it made year-end lists for two years running.
If you'd asked us back in 1989, the year Metallica lost the first-ever metal Grammy to Jethro Tull -- we're not sure which we would've identified as the more unlikely event 20 years hence: a black president or Metallica getting into the rock n roll hall of fame.
Then again, if you told us that in the future, Metallica would be photographed wearing mandals while shopping at Armani, we'd have laughed and said something dismissive.
David Berman at the Middle East last September. Photo by Matt Teuten
In a post on the Drag City forums, Silver Jews frontman David Berman - or someone claiming to be him - has announced he is retiring the band, and moving on to pursue other interests. The relevant passage:
I guess I am moving over to another category.
Next week, heads will get an ample dose of East Bostonian M-Dot as he opens up for M.O.P. at the Middle East — but we recommend priming yourself a bit with this little chip of his and Grime tha MC’s new block, Neighborhood Knock. Dot does a bit of everything: he’s writing and recording in West Rox with D-Sharp, he’s shooting a comedy pilot in Missouri and Iowa, and he’s performing his ass off all over the Northeast.
DOWNLOAD: Lil Wayne feat. Pharrell, Yes [mp3]
DOWNLOAD: Bon Iver, Blood Bank [mp3]
DOWNLOAD: Peter Bjorn and John, Kanye says it's called Nothing To Worry About [mp3]
DOWNLOAD: The Love Language, Lalita [mp3]
DOWNLOAD: Naked Hearts, Call Me [mp3]
Depressing cover albums, entertaining Kanye commentary, British alter-egos and iTunes-related woes abound as we at The Phoenix ease ourselves into the new year, one day at a time . . .
1. Swedish serenaders Peter, Bjorn and John, having initially delighted and subsequently annoyed everyone on the planet for going on three years with the absurdly catchy (and shamelessly overplayed) single "Young Folks," are finally releasing a proper follow-up to their 2006 album Writer's Block.
DOWNLOAD: Ryan Walsh, "Famous Last Words (Faces on Film cover)" [mp3]
DOWNLOAD: Mike Fiore, "Nurses 5 Float Past (Hallelujah the Hills cover)" [mp3]
We couldn't have been more surprised, or delighted, when this ultra-exclusive two-fer landed in our email a couple of days ago: a matched pair in which the respective frontmen of Hallelujah the Hills and Faces on Film, longtime friends, perform solo covers of each others’ songs, perfectly timed to coincide their show together (on a bill with Dear Leader) at the Paradise this Friday.
You think you got problems? Send your music-related quandries to mailto:email@example.com
Dear Joel,I have played in bands for a long time but never took the technical side of music very seriously until about two years ago. Now that I have and can do things like describe rhythms and name notes and refer to a “coda” or what-have-you, I'm finding the old-school rock band vocabulary (“OK then the thrash part there and then back to that other Slowdive thing”) frustratingly vague.
Although the purported influences that converged to give rise to this saucy, bar-chord-loving, all-girl pop-punk juggernaut are all over the place (King Crimson, David Bowie, Primus?), Apple Betty remain a band of singular focus. Whether writing about the things that men don’t do (“No Toilet Paper on the Roll”), involuntarily do (“Sweatpant Boner”), or do do (“I Saw a Crime”), these girls stay on message: men suck, but we kind of need them.
The Surgeon General's job is largely symbolic, we're told, and so the qualifications for becoming SG are largely related to how recognizable you are, how good you are on television, how many surguries you've performed on camera . . . and apparently how difficult it is to pronounce your name, since this indicates an allegiance with the incoming admin's narrative of worldliness and diversity.
Ron Asheton, guitarist for the legendary Stooges, was found dead today of what is believed to be a heart attack. He was 60. We're blasting Funhouse in tribute, and we urge you all to do the same.
Previous Stooges coverage:
Stooges 101: Professor Iggy instructs. By Carly Carioli
Prometheus' fire: Iggy + the Stooges bring it again
Caitlin E. Curran
If you missed GLASVEGAS last night at Great Scott, Caitlin snapped some snaps. Or you can see 'em tonight on Letterman.