- R. Kelly is making a Christmas album. The holidays just got sexier:
- Download the holiday mix “Lit Up Like a Christmas Tree” from Aquarium Drunkard. The compilation features songs by Mae West, The Sonics, The Everly Bros, Brenda Lee and more:
- Arctic Monkeys have a new single called “You’re So Dark”
- Queens of the Stone Age list their favorite albums of 2013. Includes Nick Cave, Arctic Monkeys, and Phoenix:
Featuring “I’m a creative genius, and there’s no other way to word it”
and “I’m the number one rock star on the planet”
(link found on Turn The Record Over)
Article from the LA Times:
From the article:
According to the report, which cites an unnamed source, the way the free mobile service will work is by letting users choose 15 tracks to play on their smartphones. The tracks will play in random order, and Spotify will throw in ads between songs. If users don’t pick 15 songs, Spotify will add random songs to fill the spots.
— From the novella The Kreutzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy
Back in college, I used to smoke cigarettes here and there. I did it as an excuse to approach cute girls who were smoking, and also to go outside of lame bars and parties. My roommates weren’t fans of my habit. One day, a roommate picked up an unlit cigarette and said, “Oh look at me, I’m Joey. I’m so cool!”
“You just made smoking look cool,” I replied. My other roommate, for some reason, recorded this little exchange on his cell phone.
My roommate’s insight-less critique of my smoking was so bad that it somehow made the habit seem cool.
This month’s SPIN review of Cut Copy’s Free Your Mind is so bad that it makes the album sound cool. The reviewer’s cheap jabs at the band urge the reader to think, Aw c’mon, it can’t be that bad! (which is true. It’s a decent album.) The opening line was one such jab:
It’s not a good sign when a band’s new record reminds you of a band you used to really like, and it’s the same band.
(Can’t we say this about any so-so album from a band that we already like?)
Maybe the SPIN review is indicative of internet journalism overall, in that it’s now easier to be sensational. Or maybe I just hate crappy writing. (I hate myself, by the way).
Below are some excerpts from the SPIN piece, which gave the album 4 out of 10 and a “Worst New Music” label. [My responses are in brackets]
The record is so one-note it makes its predecessor sound like an entire season at the London Philharmonic. [?]
The beats are limpid, the noodling aimless. Ladies and gentlemen we are floating in warm oatmeal. [I don’t understand the purpose of the Spiritualized reference aside from trying to sound hip. Also, isn’t noodling aimless by definition? (This was my favorite bit in the review)]
“Instead of a whirlwind tour of dance-pop songcraft with whiffs of Spaceman 3, Bronski Beat, and OMD — i.e., the kind of thing of which Cut Copy are capable — we’re treated to John Carpenter-esque cheeseball danger-synths…” [While listening to Cut Copy, I’ve never once thought of Spacemen 3 comparisons. They don’t smoke enough pot. But if the reviewer thinks Free Your Mind is so “one-note”… I mean, Spacemen 3 used to play just one note over and over…]
“Those were neat times: E was pretty new, ravers took to the desert, Miley Cyrus was barely alive. Perhaps Free Your Mind is trying to get at that, and perhaps that’s kind of cool, but to paraphrase Yoda, “Rave or rave not; there is no try.” [I think this review is saying that the album is bad for two reasons: because it’s boring (which is the reviewer’s opinion) and because not cool to re-hash the nineties. The latter reason doesn’t make sense. Are bands not allowed to reference decades past?]
The weirdest part of this review is that it doesn’t mention Primal Scream’s Screamadelica, the album that Cut Copy must have used as FYM’s blueprint, though Cut Copy take an obviously more synth-driven approach. (Most other professional reviews of Free Your Mind note the blatant Primal Scream influence.)
To me, Free Your Mind is a good, fun album, but it’s not as good as Screamadelica. The main difference is that, somehow, Primal Scream’s songs reach sublime, epic moments despite having lyrics like:
I’m beautiful, I wasn’t born to follow
I live just for today, don’t care about tomorrow
What I’ve got in my head you can’t buy, steal or borrow
I believe in live and let live
I believe you get what you give.
I’m movin’ on up now
Gettin’ out of the darkness
My light shines on, my light shines on
My light shines on
On paper these lyrics are shite. In the context of Screamadelica's music, they’re goddamn close to gospel. On paper, the new Cut Copy lyrics are not so good. In the context of the music, it definitely works. But the overall package doesn't reach sublime moments.
To reference a lyric in the context of this review (like the Spiritualized one in the SPIN review), “Some say the classics never go out of style, but they do. They do.”
Somehow, this SPIN reviewer thinks the same thing. It’s just that not everyone agrees. Some people still like the nineties.
The SPIN review:
"Once you free your mind…"
- Giorgio Moroder
I watch your hands like
— Nick Cave, “Wide Lovely Eyes” (2013)
Slim pickins, but here were are:
Feb. 24 - Courtney Barnett (Rickshaw Stop) link
^ I can’t wait for this one.
Mar. 8 - Four Tet (Mezzanine) link
^ I’m curious as to how Four Tet’s music goes down in a live setting.
Jul. 7 and 8 - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (Warfield) link
^ I was leaning against the center of the stage when I saw Grinderman at The Warfield a few years back. It was a heck of a show, and Nick Cave almost kicked me in the head a few times with his shiny pointy shoes. He has a lot of energy.
The 33 existing chapters will be shown on IFC December 7th at 5:15 PM eastern time. They can also be viewed online: