Supergroup city!

So much sheet swapping in 2009. Monsters of Folk, Volcano Choir, and Vetiver all put out decent albums. I'm not going to discuss them here. No, I've decided that music journalism is one of the kinds of writing I most despise. Not because I think articulating the feel of music is impossible (it is challenging) or because I think it undeserving of critique. None of that. (As a teen I spent hours upon hours in Borders soaking up Q and NME, or paste before it went hacky. I used to love it.) It's just lately I have barely read anything that hasn't felt kind of showy/indulgent/pitchforky. Instead, a musing.

I oft times like to wonder what it would be like if I could only understand things literally. Like band names.

Volcano Choir
Scientists around the Pacific Rim use seismographs and other tricky instruments of measuring the earth's heave and haw to record the sounds of molten volcanic activity. They end up just using a crappy little Sony or Emerson tape player to record the audio, which is a probably because if it falls in the lava, or someone's cheeseburger lunch accidentally ignites from the heat and blows and the ketchup clogs up the recorder input, replacement is relatively inexpensive. Sometimes they (the recorders or "Lava Whisperers") accidentally pick up native animal sounds, and then this just screws with the purity of it, the lava. It sounds almost like a weirder than usual Brian Eno album, a lot like humming and soft hiss and gargling salt in your throat. But you can't even touch the CD, ever. It would turn your hands to flesh soup. You also can't touch the mp3 because it is of course intangible. Even if you found some way to dissect the internet and touch the electrical current of song, it too, would burn your hands from the electro-energy. How did I learn this? LOST, of course.

Monsters of Folk

It's November, 1989. During a screening of Back To the Future II Tim Gillermo gets up the nerve to put the moves on his date. He works his arm around the back of her red leather jacket and settles it on her shoulder. He starts exploring downward to her young, Malibu Musk-y skin, dewy as ever. Only it's not dewy. Its more like an entire miniature deciduous forest has implanted itself onto her forearm. Tim looks down. It's not her forearm. Tim looks up. It's not his date. It's an old Appalachian. He's gnawing on a corn dog. On second thought, it's a giant rat tail, maybe opossum.

He looks to his buddy to the left, Rick. Rick is not rick. Rick is a lenticular, switching between three Bob Dylans in I'm Not There (which is really a headtrip because the film won't be released for another 15+ years, and so on).

Rick throws himself up from his seat as the Bob Dylans and the Appalachian start frothing at the mouths. He runs frantically through the aisle, over other young couples and kids. The Dylans and old Appalachian start chasing after him, chanting threats. He manages to clear the aisle and is rounding the exit when he suddenly trips and falls forward, breaking the nosepiece to his glasses as he lands. He may have also twisted his ankle. He looks behind him. It's Rumplestitskin, crouched down low with one leg out. He's brandishing an ax-saw. The trio of terror converges upon him. He screams.

However, this cry for help occurs at the exact same moment in the movie where young Jennifer (upon meeting old Jennifer) screams and passes out in the doorway. Nobody hears him.

Tim passes out in the theatre exit.


God, on the third day of his creation, creates a perennial angiosperm. As far as grasses go, it's okay.

SEE? Much more fun to read than a music review, huh?

I'm settled; the musical concept of the year goes to the supergroup. With all this incestuous musical get-up, my question remains, when is someone going to team up again with Dolly Parton? Kate Bush? The totally awesome Juice Newton?

Honorable Mentions

Honestly, it's been so long since I found a whole solid album. I think I'm going to write a Barthes-type essay on the death of the album. Another time. When I'm feeling showy/indulgent/pitchforky.

I liked the stuff from Fanfarlo. Andrew Bird. D.M. Stith. Grizzly Bear. Cymbols Eat Guitars. Dead Man's Bones.

I liked the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

I'm not going to argue with anyone that Merriweather Post Pavillion was great.

In fact, I'm liking this equation. After all, my most listened to song acc. to itunes was AC's remix of the YYY single Zero (supergroupy move, this mixing?)

But I think my favorite of the year goes to Seals & Crofts. This song is the best. Not joking. Incomparable.

Not really worth mentioning

Rock. Is it just dead? Or has it evolved to something outside the label of "rock?" Why is it if I want to have fun music I have to dip into dance or rap?

2010, here is your charge - make [rock] music fun again!

And give me some more supergroups!


becca said...

I am loving The XX and Bell Horses. I've been exploring lala.com today.

I still can't get over the new blog design. It looks goooood. Did you do it?