July 27, 2010

Backlog

…a.k.a. link dump / linkage /clickage from the past month; more to come…
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  • Very Bushwick and very fabulous (NYT)
  • You know how we do in Brooklyn (Inc.)
  • Pitchfork is Times-worthy.
  • I managed to avoid reading any commentary on Inception until I actually saw it for myself yetserday, though at this point, I cannot possibly hope to catch up with all of the bandwidth that has been spilled (not to mention plot spoiled)—in theory and in practice, for example—over Nolan’s polarizing masterpiece. Also: A.O. Scott on film criticism in the digital age in theory and in practice; Dileep Rao (who plays Yusef) gives us the straight dope; Jonah Lehrer speculates on the neuroscience behind the film. Plus, Jonah Lehrer on LSD (in a manner of speaking)
  • Am I guilty of “a breezy writing style”? (The Economist; related: China’s microblog macro-crackdown)
  • Amid all the talk of his new book Imperial Bedrooms, Bret Easton Ellis also finds time to reflect on American Psycho (The Guardian)
  • Sasha Frere-Jones endorses music in cloud form (The New Yorker)
  • Tom Vanderbilt included a link to Dave Horton’s unabashedly self-righteous five-part essay on the fear of cycling in his own musings on bicycle highways for Slate. Definitely required reading for anyone who chooses to bike for transportation (as opposed to simply for leisure), with the caveat that it feels a bit too much like justification for my sense of entitlement that I feel when I tell pedestrians to get out of the bike lane. Still, the car culture of the US is easily worse than that of the UK (where Horton’s expertise lies; at least London has congestion pricing) and the essay actually affirmed my fear that cycling still has a long way to go.

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April 8, 2010

Too Much, Too Much

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Pitchfork has just announced the final lineup for their wildly successful eponymous music festival, and it’s pretty much an indie kid’s dream come true: Liars, Wolf Parade, Major Lazer, Beach House, Why?, Big Boi, Robyn, and several other independent music luminaries will be playing across three days in Chicago come July, alongside previously-announced headliners Pavement, LCD Soundsystem and Modest Mouse… not to mention the likes of Broken Social Scene, Panda Bear, Raekwon, Titus Andronicus, Dâm-Funk, Sleigh Bells et al.

Prepped-out Malkmus

Prepped-out Malkmus

Liars stole the show in 2006—they’re easily one of my favorite live acts—and Stephen Malkmus was a highlight in 2007, but Pitchfork has really outdone themselves for the fifth time around. Honestly, the lineup is basically too stacked at this point (if the previous run-on paragraph is any indication), an extreme case of ‘festival oversaturation’: there’s simply no way that one would have the opportunity to see every single band he or she wanted to see.

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Liars' Angus Andrew shredding

Related: Liars, St. Vincent (also playing this festival this year) and ’fork fest veterans Os Mutantes covering INXS for Beck’s Record Club (Stereogum); Awesome interview with Angus from Liars (Motherboard); LCD Soundsystem dates for what may or may not be a final tour (BV).

Shameless self-promotion, because it’s been a while:

» The Purple Ribbon Allstars – Kryptokraft 400 (K Hessel’s On It) (3:42) – 6.6MB mp3 @ 246kbps

» Das Racist – Combination Pon de Floor and Wallpaper (K Hessel’s Mas Lazer Mashup) (3:27) – 7.9MB mp3 @ 320kbps

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December 18, 2009

No Surprises

I suppose we all could have guessed Pitchfork’s album of the year during the very first week of 2009. The rest of the world had 51 weeks to craft a better album than Merriweather Post Pavilion, but it seems that no one was up to the challenge. I also feel like we’ve all seen this album art a billion times, but I’m still not sick of it.

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To be perfectly honest, I haven’t heard the majority of their top 50 albums or top 100 songs, much less seen the top videos. (I’ve heard about 40% of the albums and could pass judgment on maybe a dozen of them… and I consider myself a music snob. For shame.) Is it still cool to hate on Pitchfork, or has the pendulum swung back again?

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Anyway, I just got into that Fuck Buttons album, it’s fucking epic. I’m also a little late on the Japandroids boat, but Post-Nothing is as promising a debut as I’ve heard in a while, if you’re into that sort of thing (noisy, angsty garage/grunge/indie revivalism, not debut albums). I’m rather embarrassed to admit that MSTRKRFT’s Fist of God is one of my more listened-to albums in the pseudo-scientific terms of play count, though it would probably place towards the bottom of a year-end list, if at all, and definitely not in the top 20.

Given the factors enumerated above (inadvertently missing out on buzz bands and a questionable secret love for garbage like MSTRKRFT), I don’t quite feel fit to generate a year-end list for 2009.

I’ve also decided that there is too much music and bands need to stop making it for a few years so I can catch up.

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