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Pitchfork Music Fest Recap, DJ Kittens   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, July 18, 2011 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL 2011: There I was again. I started Friday by splitting sets from two arty, yet different combos. tUnE-yArDs is all about the vocal loops and jazzy flourishes, as you can hear on "Gangsta."  Merrill Garbus was really working the crowd, which responded well.  But for positioning's sake, I had to sneak back to see Battles, which was mostly playing instrumentals like "Futura" from their new LP, though vocalists would appear on video screens behind them (here's a new ATC profile of the band).  Thurston Moore, touring his new solo LP, was genial and displayed his gentler, Lou Reed-ier side on numbers like "Benedediction" and "Blood Never Lies".  The 1995 lineup of Guided by Voices may have been the biggest jolt of energy to the fest up to that point, serving up much of the classic Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes albums, with a couple from Vampire on Titus and a few others, while Bob Pollard worked his way thru a bottle of Cuervo Gold. The anthemic "Game of Pricks" went over especially well, and the other Sasquatch fest clips uploaded at the link are pretty representative of the Pitchfork set.  Neko Case joined GbV on "Echos Myron" befor her own set -- and it's seems almost odd that she is now one of the most commercial acts represented at the fest, with radio-friendly material like "People Got A Lotta Nerve" and "This Tornado Loves You."  Having lived in Chicago's Ukranian Village for a time, this was a sort of homecoming for Case who was received quire warmly (indie chicks still love her).  I actually found her set's pacing suffered at times, but her pipes rank with Wanda Jackson and Loretta Lynn, so it's tough to complain (despite the omission of "Deep Red Bells").  I'll confess that I slipped out of the night's headliner, Animal Collective, a bit early.  They had a trippy stage show, but even their material that I like, such as "Bluish," I prefer in smaller doses.

Saturday unofficially started with the end of a set from Woods, playing decent psych-folk that made me wish I had arrived early enough to give them a full listen.  The day offically started for me with the 80s-influenced Cold Cave, who are often compared to bands like The Cure, as songs like "Villains of the Moon" might suggest. However, they appeared with just the two keyboardists and a drummer, which gave them a vibe more like Killing Joke or Ministry.  It also meant a lot of programming, though I award them points for strutting, twirling and dancing about wearing leather jackets in the oppressive heat.  No Age had some technical issues, but gave it their best, with the skronk of "Fever Dreaming" not requiring a sampler.  Destroyer, touring behind "Kaputt," gave some (but not all) of Dan Bejar's earlier stuff the same 70s, Steely Dan / Al Stewart vibe, but made it work surprisingly well.  Indeed, their set was a bit more dynamic than Neko's.  But perhaps the biggest surprise of the fest for me was the reunited Dismemberment Plan, a band to which I have paid little attention.  But I enjoyed their angular punky pop, albeit the guitar-based stuff like "The Ice of Boston" much more than the keyboard-driven, quasi-rappy numbers.  Saturday closed with Fleet Foxes, and these clips of "Grown Ocean" and "Mykonos" sadly do not convey how sweeping and intense the band was, handling a big and occasionally delirious crowd with verve and aplomb.

My Sunday started with the 90s-influenced Yuck, who opened with "Get Away."  A tasty set marred by a tech glitch near the end; check out their set from SXSW 2011.  If Yuck is the band that burst on the scene, Kurt Vile is the guy making strides.  Lat year, he played fairly avant-garde stuff the third stage; this year, touring the acclaimed Smoke Ring For My Halo, he was all about the stoner rock, like "Jesus Fever" and "Freak Train." But I'd bet Ariel Pink was the one who was truly stoned -- his goofinesss and struggles with his headset were amusing, and the vaguely cheesy 80s themed numbers like "Bright Lit Blue Skies" put a smile on my face, but the set was abruptly ended before their best known, "Round and Round," ostensibly due to drum issues... but the frontman seemed like he was on something.  Fired up and ready to go was the reformed Superchunk, which mixed new material like "Crossed Wires" with old faves, culminating in the anthem that cannot be named. I had planned on sticking around for Deerhunter, but it would be unfair to them and me to place them in such an anti-climactic position.

SUFJAN STEVENS goes animated for the video of "Get Real, Get Right."

FRANK BLACK talks to the Kansas City Star about his post-Pixies career.

MARISSA NADLER shares a few of her favorite things for a Pitchfork Guest List.

FIERY FURNACES: Vulture compates the solo efforts of Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger.

CHEAP TRICK narrowly escapes a stage collapse in Ottawa, Canada.

JERRY RAGOVOY, who wrote or collaborated on some of the most soulful ballads of the 1960s, including the Rolling Stones hit "Time Is on My Side" and the Janis Joplin signatures "Piece of My Heart," "Cry Baby" and "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)," died last Wednesday of complications from a stroke. He was 80.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Pt 2) shatters the opening weekend record once held by The Dark Knight, raking in an epic 158.1 million, also shattering the midnight showing record once held by Twilight: New Moon. The North American total is estimated at 168.6 million.  Transformers 3 took a 55 percent hit from the teen wizards, coming in second at 21.3 million... it's still trailing Transformers 2, but with a 302 million domestic total, shed no tears for the autobots.  Horrible Bosses dropped only 38 percent, taking in 17.6 million, with a 60 million total to date against a 35 million production budget.  Zookeeper drops 39 percent with 12.3 million; it's 42 million total looks worse against an 80 million budget. Cars 2 rounds out the Top 5, but Potter helps hand Pixar a 45 percent drop to 8.3 million. Cars 2 has rung up 165 million so far, but may not break 200 million -- the first Pixar movie to make that little since A Bug's Life.  Below the fold, Winnie the Pooh was right behind Cars 2 with an 8 million opening, which ain't bad against a 30 million budget. The bear does even better overseas.

JENNIFER LOPEZ & MARC ANTHONY are ending their marriage.

NICK LACHEY & VANESSA MINMILLO were married Friday evening in a tropical island ceremony in front of just 35 friends and family.

BRADGELINA marriage rumors denied. Shocka.

MILA KUNIS reaffirms her date for the Marine Corps Ball, contra prior idiocy from Billy Bush and Gawker.

CHARLIE SHEEN may be roasted by ex-wife Denise Richards.

ARNOLD & MARIA SPLIT: The soon-to-be ex-couple attended the same dinner party and managed to emerge smiling.

HUGH HEFNER claims he was blindsided when he was left at the altar by Crystal Harris.

TIGER WOODS: Ex-wife Elin Nordegren has found love again with wealthy American investor Jamie Dingman... who reportedly dated Tiger's ex-mistress number one, Rachel Uchitel.

RUSSIA: Blood in the streets of Dagestan cities and villages flows over the fact that those who regard themselves adherents of "pure Islam" - Wahhabites (or Salafites) - do not like how citizens behave themselves and wear clothes. The talks between representatives of moderate and "pure" Islam have not yielded any results so far.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS detained two Omani women for driving, local media reported.

EGYPT: The military council governing the country is moving to lay down ground rules for a new constitution that would protect and potentially expand its own authority indefinitely, possibly circumscribing the power of future elected officials.

PAKISTAN: Inter-Services Public Relations Director Gen. Athar Abbas has claimed that there are terrorist safe havens inside Afghanistan.

IRAQ will execute two of Saddam Hussein's half-brothers within a month along with three other former regime officials, an official said Friday, a day after the five were handed over by the US military.

DJ KITTEHS put the bodies on the floor.

A DEPRESSED FERRET has escaped from a circus in Siberia along with a monkey and a red-breasted parakeet. I thought the depressed joined the circus.

CHARGING TURTLE, stunned human.

BRINGING A COCKATOO - or handcuffs -  to a job interview is a bad choice (unless you're auditioning for a remake of Baretta).

2117 Reads

Box Tops, Thurston Moore, Elliot Smith, Wilco, Cutout Bin, Harry Potter   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, July 15, 2011 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE BOX TOPS!  Before tackling the power pop of Big Star and becoming an icon of proto-indie rock, Alex Chilton cut his musical chops as the singer for this blue-eyed soul group out of Memphis.  Best known for their take on Wayne Carson Thompson's "The Letter," which ruled the charts in 1967, the follow-up, "Neon Rainbow," would get as high as No. 24 later that year. "Cry Like a Baby" was a major hit in 1968.  They hit the Mike Douglas Show for a twofer of "Turn On a Dream" and "Soul Deep," the latter being their final Top 40 hit.  The group became increasingly disenchanted with the managers, lawyers, and promoters that exploited them; the band would dissolve by February 1970.

THURSTON MOORE, live at The Queen in Wilmington, Del.

ELLIOTT SMITH, Live at the Steamboat, May 3, 2003.

WILCO, Live at the Solid Sound Festival (Night 2), June 25, 2011.

BOB MOULD compiles an eclectic playlist for SPIN.

MY MORNING JACKET covers "Our World," from the 1977 Muppets Christmas special Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas.

DEXY'S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS is making their first new album since 1985. And I have no self control. None. Cringe.

PETE TOWNSHEND writes a letter about the Kinks from the Holiday Inn in Columbus, OH, circa 1969.

EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY are profiled at the Salt Lake Tribune.

JIMI HENDRIX: Archival sets from Winterland and The Isle of Wight are coming this September, in audio and video, respectively.

WITCHES, WARLOCKS ETC.: PopMatters springs a list in time for the final Harry Potter opening.

THE BEST OF 2011 (So Far), according to Metacritic.

CUTOUT BIN: From the Beach Boys to the Sex Pistols, from Sugar to Harry Nilsson, from Led Zeppelin to Steve Martin, plus Roy Orbison, the Generationals, T. Rex, Herb Albert, R.E.M. and more -- this Friday's fortuitous finds are now streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide rleases are: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, currently scoring 97 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; and the Winnie the Pooh movie, scoring 88 percent.

HARRY POTTER and the DEATHLY HALLOWS (Pt 2): A review will appear here following my return from the cineplex. And so here it is.  One need not have read the books to have a pretty good idea of the (main) ending to this epic tale, and I had heard enough from the readers to know some of the backstory revealed, but was still amused at just how trippy it got at points.  Having re-watched the series recently, I was struck again at how the main cast of young actors has matured and risen to the material as I have lost hair and gained weight.  As the 97 percent Tomatometer score suggests, the big finale does not disappoint in terms of action or in its deepening of the themes of the entire series.  I could quibble about certain plot points that are probably explained in the book, but it would be quite beside the point, which is that a very big thing has been done very well.  We are unlikely to see this level of quality sustained over so long a franchise any time in the foreseeable future. Ten points for Gryffindor.

LINDSAY LOHAN is indignant that she was not considered for the movie Black Swan.

CHARLIE SHEEN: Brooke Mueller is telling friends she's been "hanging out" with Sheen again, and there's even a possibility of a reconciliation. Can we question her sobriety now?


GLEE regulars Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and Chris Colfer will not be back for the fourth season of the Fox musical hit.

THE EMMYS: Nominations went to these folks.

ALISON BRIE & GILLIAN JACOBS talked with GQ about Community... and posed in lingerie, with video, just in time for Gratuitous Friday.

TERROR in TURKEY: Police arrested 15 al Qaeda operatives during raids in Ankara, Yalova, and Bursa, and seized 1,500 lbs of explosives as well as weapons. The al Qaeda cell was plotting to attack the US Embassy in Ankara and other foreign targets.

YEMEN: Pres Saleh, who is being treated in a Riyadh hospital for wounds sustained from an attack last month, will return within a few weeks and will resume his duty as the president of the country, Saleh's top aide said.

IRAN has stepped up online censorship by upgrading the filtering system that enables the Islamic regime to block access to thousands of websites it deems inappropriate for Iranian users.

AFGHANISTAN: In high heels and head scarves, a small band of Afghan women took to the streets of the country's capital, Kabul, on Thursday to protest harassment by men in public places.

HOW TO DEACTIVATE A CAT: Let's go to the video.

SNAILS migrate by getting eaten by birds and pooped out somewhere else. News you can use.

14 MILLION BEES... all over the highway.


1957 Reads

Generationals, Rosebuds, White Stripes, Tickled Terrier   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, July 14, 2011 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


LES SAVY FAV takes on Alice Cooper's "School's Out" for The A.V. Club Undercover's Summer Break.

THE GENERATIONALS stopped by Morning Becomes Eclectic for a session.

THE ROSEBUDS stopped by KEXP for a mini-set.

D. CHARLES SPEER & THE HELIX did three rootsy numbers for Daytrotter.

THE WHITE STRIPES: Previously unreleased covers of Love's "Signed D.C." and Otis Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long" surface online.

THE DRUMS drop "Money" from their next album, Portamento.

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., JR. takes on Pavement's "Summer Babe" for The A.V. Club Undercover's Summer Break.

RILO KILEY: Blake Sennett blames the band's breakup on deception, disloyalty and greed.

THE FELICE BROS: James talks to PopMatters about the band's newest record, Celebration, Florida.

MARIANNE FAITHFULL talks to the Wall Street Journal about her candid new album, Keith Richards's memoirs, and more...

WORDS & MUSIC: Pitchfork's 60 favorite Music Books.

RETROMANIA: The new book from Simon Reynolds is excerpted by the L.A. Times.

BRADGELINA are getting married this summer, three sources tell US Weekly. I'll believe it when it happens.

RYAN REYNOLDS & CHARLIZE THERON have been secretly dating for months.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE has now also been asked to the Marine Ball online.  Gawker claims Mila Kunis may be prevented from her date by her filming schedule, but it's Gawker interpreting Billy Bush, so shaker of salt.

LINDSAY LOHAN: Plum Miami profiles the two sides of Li-Lo.

TED DANSON is taking over on CSI? Really?

OLIVIA WILDE talks divorce, dating and acting at Marie Claire.

BETTE MIDLER pulls out of the Phil Spector biopic for medical reasons.

THE EVIL DEAD is getting a remake from Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell.

BRING OUT THE GIMP:  Life imitates Pulp Fiction.

INDIA: Three near-simultaneous explosions shook India's commercial capital Mumbai (Bombay) the middle of rush hour.

YEMEN: US presidential assistant for counter-terrorism and homeland security John Brennan warned Tuesday increasing protests in Yemen may lead to growing unrest which would benefit al-Qaeda.

LEBANON: Opposition leader and former prime minister Saad Hariri lashed out at Hezbollah and its leader Hassan Nasrallah for its opposition to the Special Tribunal which investigated the murder of his father and indicted four senior Hezbollah leaders and operatives.

IRAN is preparing to install centrifuges designed for high-grade uranium enrichment in an underground bunker. Iraqi Kurds accused Iran of building roads inside Iraqi territories.

PAKISTAN: Western militants trained in Pakistan remain the greatest threat to US national serurity, accoring to a new study by the liberal-leaning New America Foundation.

TICKLED TERRIER: Let's go to the video.

A BLIND YELLOW LABRADOR has her own guide dog -- her son.

RUNAWAY CIRCUS ELEPHANTS were nabbed by German police at the bus stop.

A GIANT CROCODILE (pictured) is a favourite with tourists on the Northern Territory river cruise because of his incredible dinner show. What say you, Police Chief Brody?

2254 Reads

Ben Solee, Bell X1, Radiohead, Vacuumed Cat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


OVER 12 MILLION SERVED: Thanks for stopping by!

YELLOW OSTRICH plays Mungo Jerry's "In the Summertime" for the A.V. Club Undercover's Summer Break, giving it all the respect it deserves.

BEN SOLEE played a Tiny Desk Concert at the offices of NPR.

BELL X1 play live at the Guiness Storehouse in Dublin and discuss their fanbases in Ireland and in the US.

AMY LaVERE is advance streaming Stranger Me.

RADIOHEAD played The King of Limbs - and new songs - live From The Basement.

FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE is profiled by New York Magazine, specifically mentioning the videos for "Radiation Vibe" and (of course) "Stacy's Mom."  Of course, the live "vibe" tends to devolve into a 70s medley...

MY MORNING JACKET: Jim James talks to NOW about the Grateful Dead, the Velvet Underground, and Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem.

CRAIG FINN is blogging about a new solo LP and the next Hold Steady LP.

STEVE EARLE is profiled by the San Antonio Current.

NO PUBLICITY: The New Publicity.

THE BLACK-EYED PEAS go on indefinite hiatus. A grateful nation rejoices.

MILA KUNIS talks to GQ about Friends With Benefits, Star Trek, comediennes and more...

SHERWOOD SCHWARTZ, creator of Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch, died of natural causes at 94. "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!" "Oh, my nose!"

HALLE BERRY: Los Angeles police arrested a man who allegedly has been stalking the actress.

CHARLIE SHEEN's ex-wife Brooke Mueller is out of rehab and, er, carrying some sort of pipe. Also, Bree Olson claims she's still a goddess, just not with Sheen.

ZOOEY DESCHANEL gets called a snobby cow and responds with more class than the L.A. Times.

TILDA SWINTON talks film and fashion with W magazine.

SARAH JESSICA PARKER plays Show and Tell with Vogue.

TERROR in the UK: The terror threat level has been lowered.  However, a terror suspect of UK-Nigerian nationality, identified only as CD, is appealing an order that bans him from London. He allegedly leads an Islamist group, and was arrested with two other suspects in January. He trained in Syria and with the July 2005 London bombers, and has tried to purchase weapons to carry out terror attacks in the UK.

LIBYA: Gaddafi is prepared to leave, according to French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe. Who's stopping him?

SGT 1ST CLASS LEROY ARTHUR PETRY, an Army Ranger who lost his right hand and suffered shrapnel wounds after throwing an armed grenade away from his fellow Soldiers, is the second living Medal of Honor Recipient from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

AFGHANISTAN: Ahmed Wali Karzai, the powerful half brother of the Afghan president and the linchpin of the security and power structure in southern Afghanistan, was shot twice in the head and killed Tuesday by a close family associate, according to Karzai family friends who were nearby. The Taliban claimed credit.

A CAT likes to be vacuumed.

A DEADLY SPIDER shuts down a German supermarket.

BEAR vs CYCLIST: Who you got?

ALLIGATORS: Don't let your kid pet them. Apparently, not everyone knows this.

2429 Reads

New Releases, Thao & Mirah, Disco Demolition, Corgis   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, July 12, 2011 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BANANARAMA: "Cruel Summer" and their cover of the Shocking Blue's "Venus" makes for a timely Twofer Tuesday. A friend suggested that the former is lifted from Clan of Xymox's "Phoenix of My Heart." I think the bass sound is similar, but it's likely not outright plagarism.  Xymox, however, directly quotes The Troggs.

NEW RELEASES from Cut Off Your Hands, Alkaline Trio, Locksley, the Trachtenberg Family and more are streaming this week via Spinner.

THAO & MIRAH stopped by Morning Becomes Eclectic for a session.

FOSTER THE PEOPLE stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

THE ELECTED stopped by KEXP for a session, including a trippy cover of Tom Petty's "You Got Lucky."

DISCO DEMOLITION NIGHT: Today is the 32nd anniversary of Disco Demolition Night, a promo event occurring during a scheduled twi-nite doubleheader between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers that would prove to be the most ill-conceived promotional idea since the infamous "Ten Cent Beer Night" in Cleveland in 1974. Though some incorrectly think it had to do with racism, homophobia, etc., the event had much more to do with the fact that Chicago radio station WDAI forced out morning host Steve Dahl o­n Chirstmas Eve 1978, to switch to a disco format. A man who is cashiered wearing a Santa suit tends to carry a grudge. Dahl re-surfaced at WLUP with "Do You Think I'm Disco?" -- a parody of Rod Stewart's "Do You Think I'm Sexy?" with lyrics that targeted yuppie narcissism and materialism. He also did a bit where he pretended to blow-up disco records, which Mike Veeck, the son of Sox owner (and legendary showman) Bill Veeck, thought could be turned into a promotion whereby admission was 98 cents (because WLUP was FM 98) for anyone who brought a disco record to be blown up between the two games. It was far more successful and less controllable than either Dahl or Veeck imagined, with young people storming the park to enter, creating a fog of marijuana smoke in the stands, sailing records like frisbees, throwing firecrackers and ultimately storming the diamond after the scheduled demolition had concluded and Dahl was en route to the announcer's booth for the second game.  The Sporting News has a large photo (Thx, Dad) and this footage of the event from from stellamasters, along with the aftermath at FuzzyMemories and this compilation of local news coverage from the night is pretty darned good, with cameos from Bill Kurtis and Greg Gumbel.

LUCINDA WILLIAMS is mystified why some people are calling Blessed her "happy" album.

THE HEAD and the HEART are profiled at USA Today.

GOMEZ: Ian Ball talks to Glide about the band's new album, Dave Matthews, Chicago and more...

SPOTIFY has not yet landed Warner Bros. for its US launch.

ALFONSO "FONCE" MIZELL, member of Motown hit-makers The Corporation and half of the production duo The Mizell Brothers, has passed away. He was 68 years old. The cause of death is unknown.

COHEED and CAMBRIA bassist Michael Todd was arrestsed after making a bomb threat at a pharmacy and demanding oxycontin, allegedly.

MILA KUNIS will accompany a US Marine to the Corps Ball, after getting an invite via the Tube.

HALLE BERRY: A stalker invaded her house... twice.

ARNOLD & MARIA SPLIT: Schwarzenegger and baby mama Mildred "Patty" Baena are spending time together -- on the phone -- and are even discussing a face-to-face reunion with their son Joseph.

JAMES FRANCO talks about the awful Oscars gig, gay rapist rumors and more with Playboy, via the HuffPo.

GEORGE MICHAEL is cooperating with the News of the World phone hacking scandal.

MIRANDA KERR thought she was going to die during childbirth.

THE HOBBIT: Peter Jackson releases a second on-set video.


IRAN: The United Nations, Cyprus residents, and conspiracy theorists will all want to know how a shipment of Iranian explosives came to be in a position where it could be hit by fire and cause such devastation. The United States and Israel believed the end user was most likely Hamas in the West Bank, which has strong ties to both Syria and Iran.

SYRIA: Assad loyalists besiege US and French embassies in Damascus.

PAKISTAN: Casualties from violence since the US killing of Osama bin Laden in May have soared, with many more maimed and injured people going to humanitarian clinics, the ICRC said on Monday.

IRAQ: US SecDef Panetta's first war-zone tour as Pentagon chief has been punctuated by frequent moments of remarkable candor, as well as by some statements that he or his spokesman sought to clarify or retract soon after he said them.

FERRIS the CORGI's Day Off.

A CIGARETTE-SMOKING MONKEY wed his lover in India.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: A militant rodent threatened an historic firetower in Helena, MT.

JELLYFISH shut down 3 nuclear reactors around the globe. No word on squirrel involvement.

FISH are learning to use tools.

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