This is a band that’s been around since 1984, and one that calls the New York metropolitan area home. They’ve been around for so many massive, tidal changes in the underground-music landscape that they probably lost track of them years ago, and they’ve seen the New York press anoint hundreds, maybe thousands, of cool new bands. They’ve been working steadily, doing goofy side-project things to keep themselves from getting bored, playing venues probably the same size as the ones they were playing 15 years ago. And yet they don’t sound the tiniest bit jaded or bitter. If anything, Fade presents a Yo La Tengo more dizzily in love with the world and each other than ever.
— Just needed to post this bit from a review of Fade, out next week and streaming here.
But I’ve never seen the sense in holding artists’ past glories against them. I can put on the Byrds’ 1967 best-of LP anytime; sometimes I’m looking for something more flawed and human. —Simon Vozick-Levinson
This is some pretty interesting music coming out of Monterrey, Mexico. The Norte Sonoro project put together this EP with contributions form seven different international DJs and producers to deconstruct traditional norteño music of Northern Mexico into some impressive electronic productions.
This track from Algodón Epigcio, who’s actually from Venezuela, samples an old canto cardenche, which is a traditional style of a cappella music from Mexico, over some space-gazing layers of synths.
Some of these songs sound like basic ideas more than anything else. For example, the Mumdance remix of “Malandrozo” sounds mostly like a beat idea for a potential vocal track. But the way the production pieces accordion lines over a danceable hip-hop beat is a great example of what the rest of this EP is doing—which is using traditional Northern Mexican music as way to inform and create an original Mexican identity through contemporary music.
So while I was jumping up and down, I just spur-of-the-moment grabbed and decided to play “Twist And Shout.” The room went bananas and the sound guys were looking at me, telling me that the producers were giving me a thumbs-up. I was honestly just standing there so happy, thinking about how crazy everything was around me. And then it dawned at me that we were in Chicago and Ferris Bueller took place in Chicago — that song “Twist And Shout” played such a big part in that movie. I remember that the crowd in that movie was just as diverse and it was just this scene of joy. It reflected what was going on in that venue on that night, too. That’s when I decided I should just wing it for the rest of the night.
— Stereogum interviewed DJ Mel, who DJ’ed the Obama campaign’s official election night party
I live in town, but I feel like I still get the best of both worlds. I enjoy having my modern conveniences, but from my front doorstep I can be running from bears or dying of hypothermia out in the woods in about 15 minutes.
Jason Lytle, in Stereogum, about living in Bozeman, Montana
This is a particularly sensational quote from the interview, but the balance of outdoors and studio/touring musician lifestyles he has managed to carve out for himself is really admirable.
Over a year ago, my friend Dan and I got laid off from Brand X, the Los Angeles Times’ short-lived, shuttering alternative weekly. In many ways, our time there was a dream job: our editors trusted our reporting judgement and gave us the go-ahead to cover the stories we felt needed to be told. In our L.A. Unheard column, we provided the city’s first, and often only, mainstream coverage of local artists from Haim to Lord Huron — Dan even had a cover story on Kreayshawn weeks before she was popular enough to be sick of. We questioned the future of Coachella and applauded when the festival fixed its problems. We wrote about craft beer’s rising popularity, surprising art venues and dozens of other topics at the Internet’s ravenous pace.
Then they shut down the website. Working so fast, producing so much every day began to feel silly. We went out for drinks on our last night and talked about how we could keep going and how we could cover a broader range than just new music, one or two or three blog posts at a time. In the months since, laments over the state of music journalism have faced publications such as the Village Voice, SPIN (which won’t be printing a year-end issue), and many more, even making their way to Hipster Runoff, who wailed through his satiric fourth wall over the “broken indie machine.” The site Prefix has been offering new writers $2 a blog post — better than nothing, they argue. You’ve heard these horror stories from somebody — they don’t get any less depressing.
Dan and I want to do something different. Something removed from advertising and analytics data. A site that doesn’t have to put its “premium” content next to cat .gifs or post slideshows to boost page views. A site without three-sentence news posts. That something is UNCOOL, a website that will publish longform features, essays and criticism — and nothing more. We will not publish 3 times a day, or 10 — just once a week. Our hope is to be a regular source of the kind of great music story you see every once in a while in the New Yorker or even, yes, Pitchfork’s new cover stories, that you’ll come back and spend time with us with your Sunday coffee or during a weekday Twitter debate. We’re inspired by modern sites like One Week // One Band and The Classical, places that are open-minded and enthusiastic without sacrificing intelligence. We want to feature writing that’s funny and creative and personal without being Thought Catalog indulgent.
We want to be reader-supported. We have the supply — writers and editors from Grantland, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, the Atlantic, the Paris Review and many more; the authors behind multiple 33 1/3 books; the next generation of Tumblr bloggers — and we’re going to ask you, in a Kickstarter coming in a few weeks, for the demand. I don’t want to run a single advertisement on UNCOOL ever. No beer. No shoes. Not even music labels. We will not be starting a festival or promoting a CMJ showcase or anything that requires us take money from anyone other than you (and we won’t be rude and ask you for cash to throw ourselves a party). That means we’re free. No conflicts, no nothing. We can write about music that’s hundreds of years old or an album that’s coming out next week; go to the Taylor Swift concert or dig deep into Swedish death-metal. Our work will be limited only by our writers’ curiosity and passion. We’re going to build a beautiful website and work with the best artists and photographers to bring you an experience that’s clear, simple and visually powerful.
We want to pay our writers what they’re worth. Serious journalism isn’t cheap — or at least we believe it shouldn’t be. That means hundreds of dollars, sometimes thousands, for good, long work. We’re not expecting to raise New Yorker money, but we’re betting we can beat Prefix and a few other publications. We’re not looking for donations: we’re looking for (generous) subscribers. If we make more money than we anticipate, we’ll run more work and you’ll be building the foundation for a new kind of publication.
This is the beginning. We’ll be back in early November with our Kickstarter campaign — in the meantime, ask us questions here or at email@example.com. Let’s talk about music.
This is a great story about satellite marathons at U.S. military camps around the Middle East. Last year, Army captain John Zimmerman was stationed in Afghanistan, all set to miss out on the Chicago Marathon he usually runs ever year. But instead of missing out, Zimmerman convinced the right people to let him organize a marathon at his NATO base in Kabul.
Zimmerman is back in the States for this year’s Chicago Marathon.
This year, Boland and Zimmermann will hear the starting gun in person as opposed to the horn that Chicago Marathon Race Director Casey Pinkowski sounded over a phone line a few time zones away last year. They also won’t have to worry about finding the nearest bunker in the event of an attack on the base. Nor will they need to begin running at 4:30 in the morning just to beat the desert heat. And instead of running 10 laps past outgoing convoys, a sewage area, and razor-sharp wired fencing at high altitude, Boland and Zimmermann will get to run 26.2 miles straight through some of Chicago’s famed landmarks, including scenic Grant Park, Lincoln Park, and along Lake Shore Drive.
In May, Romney perplexed local politicos when he campaigned in Craig, a town with lots of elk but less than 10,000 people in a remote part of the state near the Wyoming border. As one Denver-based Democratic consultant told me, “There are more swing voters within a mile of my house. There are more Republicans within a mile of my house.
It’s interesting to see him with a live band. I saw Killer Mike open for GZA’s Liquid Swords show in Chicago a few weeks ago and was impressed with his stage presence as a solo rapper. He was essentially on stage alone, save for his DJ in the back, but he captivated the audience throughout his whole set.
This video with the full live band is oddly much more laid-back, perhaps because of the intimate setting. But you still get to hear his clear, confident flow and delivery. I was much more impressed with Killer Mike’s set that night than GZA’s. GZA sort of just sped through parts of his Liquid Swords album with nowhere near the precision and intensity of Killer Mike.
Anyway, I had never seen a live hip hop show before. And it was interesting to see that it wasn’t really all that much different from a punk rock show, especially for the fact that Killer Mike’s last song induced a mosh pit that ended up causing me to spill my beer all over myself.
Danny & the Memories, who later became Crazy Horse, doing “Land of a Thousand Dances”. Oddly enough, I learned about the existence of this YouTube clip from reading Neil Young’s autobiography. He says in there that he watched it online 20 times in a row one night. It is weird to read that and then go online and there it is. Wild to hear Whitten’s voice in this context.
I can’t believe this is Crazy Horse. So strange. This actually makes me think of This Is Spinal Tap and all the gimmicky, trend-chasing incarnations of their “past”.