This week has been a bit of a whirlwind, but despite what you might have read, DiS/I didn't sue anyone. Not yet anyway. Not that I could afford to (it really would be nice to have enough money to finish off our forever forthcoming new website...send unmarked notes to the usual address, yeah?).
Let me start this again... This week I have been listening to a lot of music. In fact, just yesterday I heard 34 new bands, and boy oh boy are things bad out there. I mean, this was just a few hours worth of emails from PR people that I usually ignore, and I thought what the hell, open up some tabs, bash play, see what comes of it. Surely these people haven't just taken some poor fuckers money and wasted their own time and hope to secure a percentage of my life with this music (time is precious, probably our most valuable commodity nowadays, right?), surely, I thought to myself, this stuff must have some merit? I mean, I didn't even listen to the music that was indiscriminately mass mailed (of which I get about 5000 emails a month. "Bible" as the 'dashians would say...), these were emails sent personally to me... well, the email was at least copy pasted with my name at the start of it, providing - you'd think if you applied some logic - some semblance that I had been selected - nay cherry-picked - to hear these bright young things. This email, this link, this embed code, this boring press release, all of this: this was sent especially for me. Sealed with a loving kiss... Therefore, I would probably like this fresh piece of music enough to share it with you, yes YOU dear reader, and in doing so, you would invest your time, and maybe your money in listening to it too...
Oh dear oh dear, why did I do this to myself? I hit play with that dumb-grin of optimism on my face, and time and time again it was almost the same thing. Poor production, like really-really terrible at times. Seriously fellas (as it was mostly boys in their bedroom I was subjected to) get onto YouTube and watch some how-to videos. Like, LEARN how to use a computer and a microphone before getting as far as uploading something to SoundCloud, and you know, people hearing it. What worries me is there's no-one going "you sure you want us to send this around, it sounds like you recorded this on a dictaphone with the window open and aeroplanes going past." And don't get me started on the 'fuzzy' nostalgic vibes, the bad surf guitars, the shoddy I-rather-like-Stereolab-don't-you? textures, the bad Animal Collective fanboy drones which seem to go on and on until the screensaver called time on this idiocy. And songs? What songs? Whatever happened structuring something so that you introduce an idea and build on it? Or you know, writing a catchy melody - a little something you can whistle - that stays with you for hours, days, weeks, perhaps even a lifetime? I guess I was hoping for far too much. I guess I'm just getting old(er), and should just go back to my Prince records and the new Liars album and my Chromatics obsession, and keep myself away from my inbox... I guess I probably should apologise for all the 'reaction' emails I sent to PRs, but fuck it, they will them pass my incensed babblings onto the labels via their reports.... but really, bands, if all you wanna do is pose, to show how cool you are, just start a Tumblr of Mork & Mindy quotes or design ironic rave t-shirts, and save yourself the bother, and maybe I won't have so much slurry to wade through...
This week, I have mostly been reading Richard Meltzer's A Whore Like the Rest and I urge you all to go out and grab a copy (Amazon have it here). He was one of the greatest rock-writers there ever was. I say was, he's still alive (or at least no one has bothered to update his Wiki saying he's dead)... I feel like someone switched a light back on in my head as I sniggered my way through his anti-tribute to Springsteen which blitzed through his thoughts on authenticity. Then there were Meltzer's guides to classical music and jazz and his flippant put-downs of 70s rocksters... So, yeah,
screw you apologies if his cantankerous voice beams through me, myself and I this week. I do worry I have perhaps pigeon'd him already in this piece (I'm no magpie...my precious...shiny....), I'll try not to write w/ or do my ands as 'n or dilly-dally too much in the 'bout and uh-huh and FFFFAAAARKKKK draws of yore... I promise I will try to retain a little grain of myself in these worlds pouring forth about these five things that I have actually enjoyed (imagine) listening to this week...
They have made one of the albums of the year or at least that's what fifteen members of our community have said over in our albums of the half-year thread and I'm not really one to argue with such praise, especially when you plop the record on and BLAMAMAMAMAMA oh mama, does it it do what rock'n'roll records are meant to do. I didn't really dance or flail around the room but I did smile and feel like playing air guitar, and feeling something, anything, well, that is all you can hope for after all these years of having the life sucked out of the one thing you love by living and breathing it all day every day. When these epiphanies come and your lose yourself, you know it's better than the average...
DiS' Al Horner who can't get enough of Japandroids' Celebration Rock album caught up with two of the chaps from the band before their recent London show at CAMP, and our friends from BeatCast went along with a camera and captured the conversation, and some of the action from the show (just look at those scenes of euphoria...that's what rock'n'roll does to people and it's a joy to sneak a glimpse of it).
And here is a totally unofficial fan-video of public domain footage for my favourite track on the record...
Say yea'! Yeah? No, Yay! Those peddlers of psych-pop are b-b-b-BACK! They're playing at Latitude and their new album is on the way. To please and tease us, they've gone-done some drug-addled thing to gawp at when the purple haze descends and the walls begin to bend. If for some reason at that point just before you pass out you want your sense of self to implode, then Yeasayer have got your back. This video will make your world warp into pits of bonkers imagery and take you on that trip to some far-out place, far-far-far-away, in a land that Star Wars forgot, where Spaceballs is really very very funny and the kids don't moan about not having hovverboards, but dream of your life in the time of the Jetsons. You will realise how lucky you are, and the colours will flush the pain away. Oh yes, this video is exactly want you need when you've run out of cookies and the cornershop is shut but your eyes are wired open with a mesh of chemicals and the devil on your shoulder has turned into a Habbo hotel avatar. Yeasayer know you so well, I mean, it literally
tells you to DO DRUGS says beneath the YouTube that this is a "vignette to take drugs to created by Yoshi Sodeoka."
Pull out your iPad, open your dickhead dictionary app (biz idea: this is basically a transatlantic translation tool for Brits who - post Ali G - have fallen out of love with being a faux wigga, who wanna get down and dirrrrty with hipster tawk, so they can sqawk out their tweets like a genuine blog-fiend, from the land of dope and blow-me. The dickhead dictionary is twinned with the Urban Dictionary but there was a split, like some sort of meat-headed religious difference, over the use of the word "jam" and "jelly" - especially when some band wanted to call their album Slow Jelly, the cider-crusty Grimes world literally flipped on its Skrillex-hair, maaaan...but I bracketly digress...) and this is what you'll find filed under "mad chill". It's the kind of music that you secretly hope Erland Oye would come back with. 'Slow Down' is the sound of cocktail bars that are too cool for Groove Armada that have gotten bored of Phoenix's back cat. This is the kind of music that's opposite of life-changing, and very happy to be so. 'Slow Down' is the exact sort of thing that luxuriates within itself, safe in the knowledge that's more of a vibe than a song. A pleasant texture (but not vanilla wallpaper) that enhances your day, assisting in you twisting the aperture on your mind and - drink in hand - letting everything drift out of focus... Of course, of course, of course, someone has made video that gets so literal with the band's name that you could say they've gone overboard. You really could say that. Say it. Watch people look at you funny. See their brow furrow. Close your eyes as they lurch for something to throw at you (just hope it isn't something heavy or sharp-edged and you should just about get away with this hideous pun).
This song is taken from their LP Pacific Standard Time which is out on July 9th. Oh, Poolside, fact fans, are a couple of dudes from LA, one of them just produced the new Bonde De Role album, and James Murphy is a fan of theirs, and yeah, tis niiiice!
A new Dilla album? Yuh-huh. Unreleased material compiled and set for release. Stream it in full and find more deets over at jdillarebirthofdetroit.com.
A playlist for your weekend of Tom Waits songs! Well, not sung by Tom himself, but other people singing his songs. You could call them covers or re-interpretations or duvet-covers or whatever you want to call them. In fact, you could call these great songs that hold up to whoever is singing them, because that is what I call them ("great songs" that is, do keep up!). Call a coat a jacket. A shovel a spoon. A dog a...
This YouTube playlist was created with the help of the DiS community in this thread, inspired by this thread where people admitted some revered artists they're not not that into, in response to Lucy Jones from The Telegraph's brave piece admitting she doesn't really like Tom Waits or Sonic Youth (which is fair enough, even if she is wrong, obviously...oh wait, hang on, there is no right or wrong... oh wait, I'm not sure I can accept that... oh, wait... wait... just press play...these sprawling brackets will end...now...)