Category Archives: Music Industry

The Impending Lo-fi Blacklash

OK, so I’ve been going a little hot and heavy on the political stuff lately, so, in honor of Obama’s 101st day in office, I’d like to lighten it up here and talk about music, which we’ve gotten away from recently.

My bandmates and I have been discussing the latest indie fad, the resurgence of lo-fi bands, groups like Wavves, Vivian Girls, Times New Viking and others, that have found success by burying their hooks (0r in some cases bad songwriting) in a scuzzy layer of fuzz.Here’s “an interview” with Matt Whitehurst from Psychedelic Horseshit on The Post’s music blog, in which he goes off on the New Wavve(s) and tosses [expletives] aplenty in the process.Whitehurst is practically incoherent, but he throws down on the lo-fi crew. (On a sidenote, I frankly find the fact that The Post doesn’t have the balls to just print the interview with the nasty swear words included distracting, distasteful and stupid).

Then there’s this Pitchfork review of the Japandroids record, in which you start to see some cracks in the facade of the lo-fi fad, which Pitchfork had a heavy hand in building.

Due to their two-man setup and no-frills recording, Japandroids risk being lumped into the increasingly tiresome no-fi/noise-pop scene that finds bands using distortion to tear through the fabric of the medium and, in some cases, drown out weak songs.

I’m ambivalent about Wavves, and I think No Age and Times New Viking are actually kind of badass. But I hate the fucking Vivian Girls — they’re talentless hacks, who built a following based on their charming faux-punk bullshit. Pitchfork bought the bridge and now VG are as ubiquitous as T.G.I Friday’s, or Applebee’s, or whatever.

So the lesson here is: A group of bands that record trashy, fuzzed-out does has caught on to make a half-baked movement, ginned up by the military-industrial highly-influential Pitchfork, a publication that clearly relishes its role as the tastemaker for its generation.

I’m as big of a fan as Sebadoh and Guided By Voices as the next alcoholic-in-training schlzub, but these new bands are offering much weaker sauce. Lou Barlow and Bob Pollard weren’t hiding behind fuzz, they wrote songs that shone through limited recording technologies, and succeeded in spite of  those limitations. Anyway, this is obviously a long-winded treatise, but let’s get at this. Are these bands onto something? Or are they just hiding?

And lastly, this Bob Mould-No Age interview is pretty dope for anyone who has an interest in rock and roll and recording.

I’d like to credit my friends Alex and Ben for starting this discussion.


Pearl Jam: Once a Waste, Always a Waste

I want you all to remember something for me…

Pearl Jam has always sucked. And this is not debatable.

Bob Dylan’s Outhouse is Blowin’ in the Wind

From the L.A. Times:

Residents contend that the nighttime sea breeze sends a noxious odor from a portable toilet on Dylan’s property wafting into their homes. The stench has made members of one family physically ill and forced them to abandon their bedrooms on warm nights, they claim.

I don’t have much to say about this other than: gross. Plus, I bet Dylan is pissed that the blog author referred to his famous ’60s material as “protest songs.” Isn’t that notion what No Direction Home sought to correct?

Roots + Public Enemy = My Head Just Exploded

Pitchfork is reporting that live hip-hop geniuses and, er, Jimmy Fallon’s house band, The Roots, will back Public Enemy at a Philly festival where P.E. will perform It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back.

The Roots Picnic will go down on June 6 at Festival Pier in the band’s native Philadelphia. The band will play two sets at the festival, opening and closing the festival. And as Billboard reports, along with Antibalas, they will also back Public Enemy— another one of the greatest live rap groups ever– as they do their masterpiece It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back in its entirety.

There is no question in my mind that this will be awesome.

Behind the Scenes with USC Marching Band & Radiohead

This video isn’t the best quality, but it’s still pretty dope to see Thom Yorke practicing with the USC drum corps.

There’s some hi-resolution vid vid at the marching band’s site, though.

Via Pitchfork-via Stereogum.

The Arcade Fire Strikes Back

The Arcade Fire’s Win Butler isn’t taking any guff from head Flaming Lip Wayne Coyne, who, as we pointed out yesterday, called the Canadian anthem-pushers “pricks,” and said they could go fuck themselves, basically. In his retort, Butler defends his band, saying that the Flaming Lips and the Arcade Fire have only shared a stage once during their tour for Funeral.

Win Butler:

So…I am not sure Wayne is the best judge (based on seeing us play at a couple of festivals) if we are righteous, kind and goodhearted people like The Edge and Justin Timberlake (who I am sure he knows intimately as well). I can’t imagine a reason why we would have been pompous towards The Flaming Lips, a band we have always loved, on that particular night, all those years ago. Unless I was way more jet-lagged then I remember, I hope I was less of a “prick” then telling Rollingstone that a bunch of people I don’t know at all are really assholes.

Mee. Ow. This sissified war of words is the least important thing in the world, which means I care about it. I’m a fan of both of these dudes, though I prefer Coyne and his brand of psychedelic-Midwestern-glam weirdness over Butler’s hang-wrung take-back-the-night anthems. I will say, though, at 48 years old, Coyne has paid his dues and has plenty of indie capital to burn, so if he thinks Win Butler and his medieval bandmates are pricks, then I believe him.

Best Headline. Ever.

Wayne Coyne is the fucking man. I knew those Arcade Fire schmucks were schmucks.

Head Fliaming Lip In Charge, thinks Arcade Fire are a bunch of pricks

Head Flaming Lip In Charge thinks Arcade Fire are pricks

Also, any dude who calls his band Final Fantasy and talks shit about Wayne Coyne is clearly a twat. Just look at that hair…