Monday, June 21, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Here are all the four-word reviews I wrote at the Bonnaroo festival, including a few that didn’t make it onto ArtsBeat. Many of these shows — but not all — have been archived by NPR.
Once again I acknowledge the inspiration of Coolfer Glenn (now Billboard Glenn). But of course nobody’s making any claims about originality here; it’s just fun to work in miniature.
The sets I enjoyed the most are in bold.
- Non-Commissioned Officers: Shouty kickoff, afternoon steam.
- The XX: Cold, beautiful, boring mask.
- Manchester Orchestra: Scale, grandeur, pathos. Songs?
- Fanfarlo: Proof ArcFire’s more’n fiddles.
- Entrance Band/Baroness: If hippies hate Slayer, is heavy’s success failure?
- Neon Indian: Didn’t really chill me.
- Blitzen Trapper: No longer simply derivative.
- Needtobreathe: Pushing Southern groove buttons.
- Calexico: Mariachi horns = soothing refreshment.
- Jamey Johnson: Deadpanned, rehabbed soothsayer. Understood?
- Regina Spektor: Charms multitudes like friends.
- Zac Brown Band: Skynyrd + Dave + Daniels + “Margaritaville”?
- John Fogerty: Indelible songbook; confusing riffage.
- Kris Kristofferson: Stark, strong, wise, silly.
- Weezer: Caustic, candied pop. Antijam.
- Thievery Corporation: Globalist blockrockers. What chillwave?
- Norah Jones: Soundbleed obscures her grace.
- Lissie: Her Gaga tender, raw.
- Mexican Institute of Sound: Ambassadorship served hot, booming.
- Clutch: OCD riffing, insistent barking.
- Deadmau5: Appropriately cartoonish hau5. Ka-pow!
- Stevie Wonder: True jamming, humanism. Magnificent.
- The National: Ennui too complex here?
- Tori Amos: Rhapsodic psychocabaret: unscary entertainment.
- Nitty Gritty Dirt Band: Conservative, but right on.
- Les Claypool: Worst dancers (so far).
- Kings of Leon: A carnal sorta homecoming.
- Black Keys: Trying open-mindedness. Trying.
- Daryl Hall & Chromeo: Jukebox dancealong: Bonnaroo gold.
- The Flaming Lips: Dull side ofthe ’Roo.
- Galactic: Aggressive, phattish Nawlins funk.
- Conan O’Brien: Smaller stage, bigger love.
- Umphrey’s McGee: Oh, so thaaat’s “jamming.”
- Local Natives: The mustaches speak louder.
- Nneka: Drowned by Bud logos.
- She & Him: Muggy vibes’ perfect breeze.
- Lucero: Bruce > Gaslight > Marah > Lucero.
- Ween: Strangely flaccid. What’s wrong?
- Martin Sexton: Quite lovely, if tame.
- Bomba Estéreo: 2010’s Bonde (that’s good).
- Phoenix: Non-DMBers’ effervescent closure.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Sub Pop announces:
Seattle, WA – The Vaselines will release their second record, Sex With An X (CD/LP), on Sub Pop Records September 14th, 2010. This is the band’s first album in 20 years and will coincide with a 10-stop tour through the UK ending in their hometown of Glasgow, Scotland (dates below). For your listening pleasure, the band is offering a free download of "I Hate The 80's", the debut single off the new record at http://www.thevaselines.co.uk. Now you can find out for yourself why this band has long been celebrated by musicians and music enthusiasts across genres and across the globe, including super-fan Kurt Cobain.
For band photos, bio and press links please visit: www.subpop.com/artists/the_vaselines
About Sex With An X
Recorded outside Manchester at the Analogue Catalogue studio in Mossley with Julie McLarnon engineering and produced by Jamie Watson who produced that first album Dum Dum, Sex With An X was recorded the old-fashioned way: twelve songs in thirteen days (plus two b-sides). The Vaselines ca. 2010 is Eugene and Frances with guest musicians Stevie Jackson and Bob Kildea from Belle & Sebastian on guitar and bass, and Michael McGaughrin from the 1990s on drums. It may have taken The Vaselines 20 years to get round to making this baby, but it was worth the wait—bringing their solo careers to a climax. The irony has not been lost. Who says indie music can't be fun? No hand-wringing on these tracks—just good clean smut with a twist of bitter.