allaboutgeorge + rock   199

Ten Years in the Trenches: TV on the Radio Return to Dear Science | Pitchfork
“Pushing joy is as important and as political as laying bare the lies of power,” Malone says. “None of it really means a thing if you can’t dance to it.”
music  indie  rock  activism  2008  nyc 
26 days ago by allaboutgeorge
Divine Fits: The Unquiet Life :: Music :: Features :: Divine Fits :: Paste
“It’s a breakup song,” he admits. “I wrote it in about as long as it takes to play it. The guitar chords were floating around, and I wrote and recorded it up in my room at Britt’s place. Being in music—at least the way I’ve been doing it the last six or seven years—is like having a post with the Merchant Marines. You go out and you do your tour of duty. It’s different than quote-unquote civilian life. Sometimes people don’t want to do that forever.”
songwriting  indie  rock  relationships  music 
january 2018 by allaboutgeorge
Jen Cloher on music and Courtney Barnett: ‘It’s been three years since I kissed envy goodbye’ | Music | The Guardian
“I lived my life outside of Catholic girls’ school largely as a boy … At Loreto [College], I was daily confused by the endless rules and protocol of being a young lady … I lived for the weekends when I could transform once again into that confident, sexy little man in black: John Cloher.”
australia  indie  rock  music  writing  songwriting  creativity 
january 2018 by allaboutgeorge
Jen Cloher review – a slow-burning masterpiece from a first-class songwriter | Music | The Guardian
It finishes with just Cloher and a few plucked acoustic guitar notes on Dark Art. It is the simplest and saddest of love songs, and beautiful in its selflessness. “The other side of love’s joy is shadow / Jealousy, fear, loss, anger, sorrow / If you never stay to sit in love’s shadow / A part of you will always be hollow.” Cloher, though, has surely sat in her love’s shadow long enough. This album is a masterpiece.
songwriting  indie  rock  australia 
january 2018 by allaboutgeorge
How I fell in love with the Go-Betweens | Pádraig Collins | Opinion | The Guardian
Seeing them for the first time was probably as close as I’ll ever get to a religious experience. Seeing them again a night later ran it close. They seemed blown away by the reception they got, particularly Grant, who after the third song said, almost as if to convince himself, “We’re the Go-Betweens.”
music  australia  indie  rock  love  songwriting 
january 2018 by allaboutgeorge
Richard Hell Interview - Richard Hell Very Clean Tramp Book Autobiography - Esquire
When you're young, you don't especially think of yourself as being young. You're just alive and everything's interesting and you don't think of things in terms of age because you're not conscious of it. But then you hit your 40s and you realize, well, you're still alive but you're not young anymore. And things start taking a different kind of aspect. And you start getting curious about what it all adds up to. What does it mean to outlive your youth? I wanted to hold my life in my hands and turn it around and look at it in different ways to figure out what the hell had happened, to see if I could put it outside of myself and make it into a material object that I could grasp. So that was part of it. And the other part was I like writing books.
aging  punk  music  rock  writing  biography  nonfiction  history  attention 
march 2013 by allaboutgeorge
Deconstructing: Chris Brown, Surfer Blood, And Villainizing Entertainers - Stereogum
We can play high and mighty when shit gets real, call for some kind of justice where the “bad” musicians don’t get to have successful careers anymore. But any lines we draw about whose music is tainted seem arbitrary to me, particularly in a culture that celebrates moral ambiguity. Where is the line between Chris Brown and, say, that angelic beacon of truth and wisdom Frank Ocean? If “Wiseman” is anything to go on, Ocean would probably argue there is no line. He’d be absolutely right.
music  identity  reputation  r&b  rock  indie  violence  relationships 
february 2013 by allaboutgeorge
QA: David Lee Roth Vents About Van Halen's Future | Music News | Rolling Stone
When I talk to young musicians or authors and they ask for advice, I say, "You gotta learn all the letters of your own personal alphabet. With music, you need to know all the different kinds of music and everything in and around your given instrument." They say, "Well, why would I want to learn somebody else's alphabet?" "Son, you're not gonna invent any new letters in the alphabet, but if you do learn all of them and you can start creating words with them, well, last I looked, the Bible is written in the identical alphabet as all of my favorite pornography. At least you can make an informed choice." [Laughs] Which way is the porn store?
music  writing  songwriting  creativity  rock  language 
february 2013 by allaboutgeorge
Path — George Kelly
Chief closes out a brief opening set (at Stork Club) [pic] —
panorama  livemusic  rock  from twitter
september 2012 by allaboutgeorge
A Conversation With John Flansburgh And Jonathan Coulton | The Awl
k a lot of the performance aspect of what we do is about that sharp shock of just finding out that there are different levels of what’s going on. There’s a communal level, a literary level, a personal level. I feel like this kind of writing and performing at its best gets at something that’s normally found more in prose. Nobody reads a novel, and thinks, “The guy who wrote this must be a serial killer,” although maybe David Mamet has screwed that up. They know that the author is working to push ideas to extremes. We talk a lot about unreliable narrators and trying to push the point of view beyond just first person singular singer-songwriter stuff. It can be done. The popular song is not over. It’s not like all the good songs have been written and we’re just going to write some more because we like songs. There’s a future there. And if you really think about it, you can do some good stuff.
songwriting  music  beauty  rock  aesthetics  story 
august 2011 by allaboutgeorge
The Grid TO | The uncanny allure of couples who make music together
When a band involves romance, there’s also a certain voyeuristic thrill for the audienc
music  creativity  love  relationships  writing  rock  songwriting  indie 
july 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Clarence Clemons, Much More Than Springsteen’s Sideman - NYTimes.com
Of course Mr. Clemons was the band’s abiding African-American musician, who kept the E Street Band multiracial after the early departure of a keyboardist, David Sancious, also African-American. Along with the sound his saxophone brought to the songs — of soul and R&B, of urban sophistication and wildness — Mr. Clemons’s imposing figure declared that the E Street Band was sharing rock ’n’ roll’s black heritage, not plundering it. In America’s long, vexed cultural history of race, his bond with Mr. Springsteen made Mr. Clemons a symbol of unity and reconciliation.
rock  music  race  1970s  obituaries  newjersey  r&b 
june 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Clarence Clemons, E Street Band Saxophonist, Dies at 69 - NYTimes.com
He was older than Mr. Springsteen and most of his future band mates, and he often commented on the oddity — even the liability — of being a racially integrated group in those days.

“You had your black bands and you had your white bands,” he wrote in his memoir, “and if you mixed the two you found less places to play.”
race  music  rock  1970s  obituaries 
june 2011 by allaboutgeorge
The Boss, the Big Man, and the Best Rock Song of the '70s < PopMatters
From the languid, strings and piano introduction to the gradual build-up (“As secret debts are paid / Contacts made, they vanish unseen), to the guitar solo (3.00 - 3.27), the tension, at once joyous and foreboding, builds and then, instead of crashing, it crests. Enter Clemons at 3.54: the solo. It is extended, totally in charge and almost indescribably affecting. He wails, establishes a groove and then (right around the 5.43 mark) goes to that other place. Finally, just as the strings and piano take over, that last gasp, like a light going out or a life being saved. It is his moment, and in addition to being the best thing he ever did, it ranks as one of the best things anyone has done in a rock song.
music  songwriting  rock  1970s  beauty 
june 2011 by allaboutgeorge
New author Clemons sees no end for the E Street Band < PopMatters
"It's sad to see these old buildings go because they have so many memories, and it's a real personal kind of thing when you play these places. It's part of our history just gone.
"But we're just creating new history in new places."
obituaries  books  biography  music  rock  philadelphia 
june 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Berry Gordy Jr. | What's Going On | When Marvin Gaye Broke Pattern | Cultural Conversation by Marc Myers - WSJ.com
Interestingly, two of the most singular aspects of "What's Going On" that were extended to the album began as errors. The opening alto-sax solo by Eli Fontaine actually was a warm-up phrase for an overdub that Gaye decided to keep. And Gaye's harmonized duets with himself occurred when Ken Sands, the engineer, accidentally played back two of his vocal versions on one mono tape.
music  r&b  pop  rock  songwriting 
june 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Pitchfork: Interviews: TV on the Radio
Pitchfork: People say the protest song is dead, but maybe it's just not as specific anymore.

TA: Yeah, it's not like historical documentary-- you have to be a really talented writer if you're trying to encapsulate a news story with a song and have it live after the event. I don't have the focus to do that, really.

Pitchfork: But would you want to?

TA: Not particularly. My feelings aren't as concrete or based in time. Like, any human being oppressing another human being-- I don't care who it is-- I'm not for that.

KM: You could write a song called "I'm Not for That". [laughs]

TA: Like a 22-minute song of things I'm not for-- [sings in country voice] "I don't like my pizza in a personal pan." [laughs]

KM: [sings] "Don't take me back to Vietnam."

TA: [sings] "I'm not for that." It's great! Liquid gold!
songwriting  rock  indie  politics  music 
april 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Rob Sheffield's Eighties Odyssey | Rolling Stone Music
That pretty much sums up the Eighties to me, and I think that's why people still gravitate towards that period, when people were so open-eared and experimental. It's a sense that these boundaries had been crashed down by artists like Michael Jackson or Duran Duran or Grandmaster Flash. There was a sense that rock could be influenced by disco and hip-hop could be influenced by pop. There was this really kind of glorious moment where every station that was playing the Human League and the Clash was also playing the Pointer Sisters and Marvin Gaye. I thought that was going to be the future from now on.
music  1980s  radio  pop  rock  books  nonfiction 
march 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Urge to Own That Clapton Guitar Is Contagious, Scientists Find - NYTimes.com
The most important factor seemed to be the degree of “celebrity contagion.” The Yale team found that a sweater owned by a popular celebrity became more valuable to people if they learned it had actually been worn by their idol. But if the sweater had subsequently been cleaned and sterilized, it seemed less valuable to the fans, apparently because the celebrity’s essence had somehow been removed.

“Our results suggest that physical contact with a celebrity boosts the value of an object, so people will pay extra for a guitar that Eric Clapton played, or even held in his hands,” said Paul Bloom, who did the experiments at Yale along with George E. Newman and Gil Diesendruck.
celebrity  music  rock  behavior  science  economics  money  design 
march 2011 by allaboutgeorge
High on the Stones by Dan Chiasson | The New York Review of Books
I am not making an original point, but it cannot be reiterated enough: the experience of making and taking in culture is now, for the first time in human history, a condition of almost paralyzing overabundance. For millennia it was a condition of scarcity; and all the ways we regard things we want but cannot have, in those faraway days, stood between people and the art or music they needed to have: yearning, craving, imagining the absent object so fully that when the real thing appears in your hands, it almost doesn’t match up. Nobody will ever again experience what Keith Richards and Mick Jagger experienced in Dartford, scrounging for blues records. The Rolling Stones do not happen in any other context: they were a band based on craving, impersonation, tribute: white guys from England who worshiped black blues and later, to a lesser extent, country, reggae, disco, and rap.
culture  culturalstudies  memoir  writing  nonfiction  books  music  rock  blues  youtube  social 
march 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Happy 50th, Henry Rollins < PopMatters
“There’s nothing bad about it. And with the rest you just have to have some humor. Your hair is grey and there are lines on your face. You look at women and say, ‘Wow.’ But wait, they’re half my age. There are all these things that you have to say to yourself, ‘that’s not an option anymore.’ And you have to laugh at it and say, ‘rumble young man, rumble,’” quoting Muhammad Ali.

He continues, “And so if anything turning 50 has been good in that it gets me up and gets me down the road with way more urgency than I had when I was 20. When I was 20 you couldn’t tell me anything. I said, ‘I’m 20 and I need nothing. I can live on nothing and the world is my oyster.’ Now I’m older and I have more of a grip. There is something at stake and I have a few more laps around the track and then I’m out. So, I might as well make as much trouble as I can before I go. And for me that’s all the motivation I need.”
aging  rock  men  music  radio  kcrw 
february 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Google
Watching Haberdasher wrestle the PA into submission & waiting on to show
punk  rock  from twitter
january 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Suicide Demo for Kara Walker | Music For Kids Who Can't Read Good: Making It 1997 Again Through Science Or Magic
Much has been said about the album’s vintage 80’s sound (referred to as soft-rock, smooth jazz, or “ambient disco” depending on who you’re talking to) but I find it amazing how Bejar has taken a style of music that is easily laughed off and used it as the medium for his most ravishing work. The album strikes a balance of being faithful to the sound, with it’s palette of airy synths, extravagant woodwinds and soulful back-up singers, and creating something entirely new that’s both whimsical and stunning.
music  indie  rock  canada  songwriting 
january 2011 by allaboutgeorge
One Song: Daniel Bejar's Destroyer finds a different angle on Kara Walker's words | Pop & Hiss | Los Angeles Times
“Kaputt” rethinks Destroyer's noisy, rococo indie rock within the startling context of New Romantic smooth jazz, in the process changing the meaning of clichés like “mellow” and “art rock.”
indie  rock  canada  songwriting 
january 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Pitchfork: Album Reviews: Destroyer: Kaputt
The production and arrangements evoke a narrow window of time-- sometime between, say, 1977 and 1984, or between Chuck Mangione's "Feels So Good" and Sade's Diamond Life with stops along the way for Roxy Music's Avalon and Steely Dan's Gaucho. It slides between soft rock, smooth jazz, and new romantic pop. The bass is fretless; the synths have the blocky contrast of a Nagel painting; there are heavily reverbed trumpets and saxophones that almost serve as a Greek chorus, trilling away at the end of every line to enforce the beautiful plasticity of these songs.
music  canada  songwriting  rock  indie  creativity 
january 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Album review: Destroyer's 'Kaputt' | Pop & Hiss | Los Angeles Times
When there’s such a vast palette of noises represented, it questions the very ideas of good and bad, and how much they are tempered by context, trends and generational bias.

For those who were fully functioning adults in the '80s, some of these songs might bring back bad memories of Kenny G commercials on TV. For those who were still kids or barely in existence, these sounds still hold some sort of exotic quality, the lost, sentimental history of crappy radio. At their worst, the songs can suffer from a strange inertia, stillborn in their own lathery bath.
music  rock  indie  reviews  canada 
january 2011 by allaboutgeorge
An Interview with Jimmy Webb - Americana and roots music - No Depression
I listened very carefully. And my conclusion was that a new age was upon us and that you would either adapt or you would essentially be back-burnered. You would recede in importance unless you at least made the attempt to get on the train and become a singer/songwriter. I wasn’t very successful at it, but I sure as hell gave it a good try.
songwriting  music  rock  writing  creativity 
december 2010 by allaboutgeorge
At 25, Turtle Island Quartet turns back to Hendrix
"Sometimes you want to take a piece and really reinvent it. But this is music that I loved as a kid, and it was holy ground to me. I didn't want to undo it, I wanted to just be it. Hendrix was layering lines on top of each other, overdubbing them into a soundscape. It was perfect for a string quartet."
classical  classicalmusic  jazz  livemusic  sanfrancisco  rock  music  songwriting  beauty 
december 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Interview: Kathleen Hanna on The Raincoats and Building an Archive « The FADER
It’s not so much about nostalgia, it’s about leaving a record so that people can view things in the future. I think of punk rock as more of an idea than a genre, and I don’t see it as antithetical to the notion of building on things. I didn’t have a grandma who like, left me a trunk full of shit. I always wanted to leave that trunk full of shit for someone else, you know? Feminism created a family structure for me.
music  history  academia  rock  activism  women  feminism  power  family 
november 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Paris Review – The Tao of Prince, Dan Piepenbring
Take “Raspberry Beret" [...] Peopled by such rural mainstays as Mr. McGee (the hardnosed boss of a five-and-dime) and Old Man Johnson (a farmer, of course), the song testifies to the bucolic joys of “doing something close to nothing,” shirking workaday life, and having a literal romp in the hay. All’s well and good until this arcadia is interrupted by another form of pastoral, the elegy. It creeps in with the beautiful, obscure line “Overcast days never turned me on, but something ’bout the clouds and her mixed.” Then comes a quiet reference to lost youth: He “wouldn’t change a stroke … with a girl as fine as she was then.” The last line brings a full-on lament, as Prince sings, “Tell me, where have all the raspberry women gone?” We could argue all day about what a raspberry woman is—for my money, it’s got nothing to do with fruit—and this is Prince’s inscrutable charm. Having lured us in with a frothy romance, he ends by mourning something we can’t even fully understand.
songwriting  prince  1980s  music  rock  writing  death  love  sex 
november 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Imagine if Mick Jagger responded to Keith Richards about his new autobiography. - By Bill Wyman - Slate Magazine
It's about rock 'n' roll, of course, and playing guitar, and his tenure, and mine, in our unusual coalition. It's also about heroin and everything else he can't stop ingesting. But again it's about Keith himself, who once started never did stop—through the fame, the songs, the concerts and the women and the drugs; and the violence and senselessness, the addictions and the deaths, the ruined lives, the petty and large-scale cruelties. At the end Keith got Wayne Shorter to do a sax solo that is itself almost an out-of-body experience, perhaps the loveliest moment on one of our records. It goes on and on over the last two minutes of a very long track, and the end is almost a … an exaltation, perhaps? I am lost there. It's something I'm not sure I ever saw evidenced in real life, and something that isn't in his book. It's the sound—or at least the closest thing Keith Richards will ever admit to it—of a conscience.
music  books  humor  life  rock 
november 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Neil Gaiman on Amanda Palmer & the Dresden Dolls | SPIN.com
And when it's all over, and it's two a.m. and we are back in the hotel and the adrenaline is fading, Amanda, who has been subdued and awkward since the gig finished, starts crying, silently, uncontrollably, and I hold her, not sure what to say.

"You saw how good it was tonight?" she asks as she cries, and I tell her that, yes. I did, and for the first time it occurs to me how bad it must have got to make her leave something that meant that much to her, that made so many people happy.

Her cheeks are black with wet eye-make-up and it's smearing on the sheets and the pillow as she sobs and I hold her tight, and try with all my might to understand.
music  love  relationships  beauty  livemusic  rock 
november 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Aimee Mann: 19 September 2010 - Chicago < PopMatters
Mann’s witty lyrics hit with a nod and a wink as she sang, “You got a lot of money but you can’t afford the freeway / The road to Orange County leaves an awful lot of leeway / Where everyone’s a doctor or a specialist in retail / They’ll sell you all the speed you want if you can take the blackmail.” Here lies Mann’s charm, her writer’s eye, her literary gift of imagery and metaphor. She has the uncanny ability to craft laconic rhythms and haunting melodies with a storyteller’s keen sense of observation.

Take “Little Bombs” for example, sounding something like a shimmering and luminous ballad but in tone a deadpan, introspective look at the banality of the quotidian where “life just kind of empties out, more a deluge than a drought.” The brutal imagery striking the listener with the tersest of couplets and rhythmic iambs.
music  reviews  songwriting  rock  chicago 
october 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Music Is Science Fiction: An Interview With The Lisps | Lightspeed Magazine
Over the past two weeks, I’ve exchanged several e-mails with The Lisps. In the interview that follows, we touch on topics such as self-help songs, The Difference Engine, string theory, and, of course, The Singularity.
music  songwriting  sciencefiction  writing  creativity  art  indie  rock  literature  books  science 
july 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Peter Case Live at McCabe's - Americana and roots music - No Depression
Then, there came this thing where I just wanted to rock and roll. I mean, we rock and roll because we can. It really made me appreciate life and on the other hand I realized we don't really have control .I had to trust that everything was going to work out. Before the surgery I had this weird feeling. I saw the dawn coming up in the east over L.A. It was like I was seeing it for the first time. Like when I was kid in San Francisco. Then, I spent time reading William Blake.

After, I just got this feeling like we're gonna die...so let's do some rocking. Be in the moment. I'll tell you what it was like. The world was beautiful. It was like I was on this huge precipice seeing the sunrise across L.A. Everything was very beautiful. And I was on this huge cliff ready to fall, but I enjoyed the beauty of it. That's what it's about, man.
rock  music  livemusic  creativity  death  health  attention  beauty 
july 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Sting's classical effect - latimes.com
"I can't imagine a more conservative music than rock 'n' roll," he said. "It's tyranny in the backbeat. It's 4/4 time. It's the same three chords 'round and 'round. It's almost like a fundamentalist religion. Stravinsky is more rebellious than rock 'n' roll by far. Rock 'n' roll has become like a dead art."

The criticism Sting's endured over his long career for weaving jazz or Algerian music into rock has only inspired him. "People want to keep you in the box they've given you," he said. "It's a tribal consciousness. Stay in your class. Stay in your country. Because if you move you're trouble. But the fact is, that volatile molecule is the one that transforms everything for the better. So I think it's always worth doing."
music  songwriting  classical  classicalmusic  livemusic  rock 
june 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Listening to Van Morrison by Greil Marcus | Books | The Guardian
"How," he said, "can you write about Morrison's music without taking into account what a completely unpleasant person he is?"

I never know how to answer that kind of question, because it represents a whole way of being in the world that's foreign to me. I don't believe that a person's life necessarily has anything to do with what he or she creates, whether the person in question is a musician, a painter, an accountant, an engineer, a designer or a cleaner. A person's work is not reducible to his or her neuroses, and a person's neuroses are not the determinant of a person's work. In the act, the work can take over; it can produce its own momentum, its own imperatives, its own yarragh. It can create its own necessity, its own insistence that, in the act, the world conform to the demands the work is making on it. "I don't know that Van Morrison is a completely unpleasant person," I said. "But I don't really care. I don't see what one thing has to do with the other."
music  psychology  uk  rock  books  criticism  1960s  1970s  beauty  art 
june 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Pitchfork: Poptimist: Poptimist #28
The characters who do come across as free spirits-- able to act without taking these identity-building games into consideration-- are generally outsiders: an exoticized foreign sexpot and the final issue's hip-hop fan protagonist. This fellow is Phonogram's most likable character, and it's a delight to see him rampage across his spotlight issue high on music and get a happy ending on the way. But he doesn't get his latent phonomancy activated by the Busta Rhymes or disco he's been depicted as loving. No, what sends him magical is TV on the Radio's "Wolf Like Me".

This struck me as an odd choice-- why would a casual rap dude get a power-up from one of 2006's most critically acclaimed indie rock songs?
comics  music  pitchfork  criticism  rock  writing  art 
april 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Sex Offender Week: Rivers Cuomo Messes You Up Forever - The Awl
I am not the world's leading expert on emotional maturity. I find that PJ Harvey song about mutilating dudes to be emotionally useful, on a more or less continual basis. But I will tell you this: The moment you, the female listener, break up with your internal Rivers Cuomo, the moment you renounce this particular mode of male expression and declare it no longer desirable or cute, the moment you no longer confuse the feeling of wanting to take a boy home and make him soup and somehow fix all his problems via blow job with love, is the moment that you're free. Because, at that point, you no longer care so much about his feelings. You still care, of course, about those. But never more than you care about your own.
feminism  music  humor  writing  nonfiction  1990s  relationships  love  men  women  rock 
april 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Jim DeRogatis talks about leaving the Chicago Sun-Times - Minneapolis / St. Paul Music - Gimme Noise
"My basic theory about the way our beloved biz is going to shake out is I think there's going to be tweets, and there's going to be those great articles in the New Yorker about an 1856 expedition over the North Pole in a balloon and you say 'I dunno if I'm interested in this', and then 7,000 words later, because that first paragraph was so good and it sucked you in, you wish it hadn't ended. There's going to be great long-form journalism and there's going to be headlines. Those of us in dead-tree newspaper print, we're in the middle, and I don't think the middle is going to be there much longer."
journalism  media  newspapers  futurism  chicago  music  rock 
april 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Aquarium Drunkard » Beach House :: The AD Interview
VL: [...] And I think that’s our lot in life; we’re musical soulmates. And I realize it more and more; it’s a lot harder to find your musical partner than your love partner.

AD: And they don’t necessarily have to be intertwined.

VL: No, and that’s the really special thing! And I think that’s why people always ask or they don’t understand or they don’t believe, “Well, how can you do this without this?” and exactly, that’s why! Because if we were involved, I think our project would destroy itself. I wonder how people do that. It’s something that I don’t really understand. But honestly, either way, I don’t really have time; my love, fortunately or unfortunately, is in making things and writing things, listening to other people’s music and reading about other people. My relationship is with the universe.
music  interviews  behavior  livemusic  creativity  relationships  rock  love 
april 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Surfer Blood Is Between Buzz and Break at South by Southwest - NYTimes.com
Ms. Brownstein offered her advice for surviving the yearlong Internet hype machine, which will continue to churn long after the bands of South by Southwest leave Austin.

“Yes, the Internet obviously foments a lot of buzz and chatter,” she said, “but there’s nothing more exciting than having a friend tell you that they saw a great show by a great band and that you should check it out. So hopefully by the time you’re on your 10th show, every single person that wants to see you will see you and go back to their towns across America and the world and preach about Surfer Blood. That’s the only way to keep a band on your radar.”

“The blogs,” she added, “will already be on to something new.”
music  sxsw  livemusic  austin  texas  indie  rock  internet 
march 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Vue Weekly : Edmonton's 100% Independent Weekly : Backlash Blues: Behind the music
Authenticity needs to be in service of the narrative, referenced as a necessity to the form, not just as a hollow measure of respect.
identity  music  reviews  indie  rock 
february 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Pop music notes on the decade: Authenticity takes a holiday | Pop & Hiss | Los Angeles Times
[...] I celebrate the return of glitter and weirdness and fakery in pop. It's opening up the doors to those who didn't fit more constrictive paradigms of authenticity: more women, more gay and lesbian faces, more multiracial and international voices. In general, it's making for a fuller reflection of life in our fragmented, hyper-accelerated time of struggle.

Pop today might seem like a big charade, but it's teasing out deeper truths. Authenticity's bound to make a comeback; after all, Brooks just came out of retirement (not that he doesn't have a showman's flair!) and Lilith Fair returns next spring. But after this decade, even the most sincere expressions of self will have to be multiple and complicated.

We've finally all learned the lesson of the disco prophet Sylvester: only by admitting that nothing is straightforward can we feel Mighty Real.
music  identity  beauty  pop  rock  creativity  writing  losangeles 
december 2009 by allaboutgeorge
SFGate: Mark Morford: Where have you been all my life?
[...] To me, it's all flavors of delightful to ponder these rifts and hiccups, these jumps and thrusts of time. Because the danger is, you can give up. You can become thoroughly stuck in your patterns, your tastes, how you think it's supposed to be. You can attach yourself and your identity early on to various ideas, styles, modes of being, and never budge as the world evolves and dances on, and you just grunt and scowl and wonder what happened to the good ol' days.

But if you remain open, you can circle back around and rediscover yourself in new and fascinating recombinations, as each generation comes forth, bearing startling new gifts. It's a simple truth, recast in a million variations: The delights and epiphanies, the loves and the gods, the deepenings and the awakenings? They find you when you are ready. And of course, vice-versa.

Really, what more could you ask for?
writing  attention  time  aesthetics  aging  music  beauty  art  love  rock 
december 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Jude Rogers | Why is Journey's Don't Stop Believin' back in the charts? | The Guardian Music | The Guardian
I thank the phenomenon of shuffling mp3 players, bouncing us between styles; the diminishing importance, and relevance, of genre boundaries; and the way in which music has become less about coolness, and much more about unbridled enjoyment.

There is nothing strange about having a place in your heart for music that is improving and challenging, and another for huge, rousing sentiments that make you cry in taxi-cabs, long for a lover, or yearn to sing loudly, and proudly, with those you love most. And that's exactly what Don't Stop Believin' does, for the young and the old, and those who believe music reached its apotheosis with the concept of Adult Oriented Rock.
music  uk  aesthetics  rock  dance  television 
november 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Even a Radiohead fan can appreciate Mozart - The Boston Globe
So don’t treat classical music as a once-a-year excuse to dress up and get a nice dinner. It is music. It’s meant to be loved by the young, hormone-crazed masses, loved the very same way we love Radiohead and the Arcade Fire. It should lie at the center of everyday life, spark our wildest conversations and profoundest thoughts, be the soundtrack to falling in love. There’s a galaxy of music in our city that needs our love, and I know we’ve got it in us.
classical  music  classicalmusic  ritual  boston  beauty  rock  education 
september 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Who cares about 'My Generation' anymore? | Pop & Hiss | Los Angeles Times
In the 1980s, pop was long scorned by many as a time of superficiality and crass commercialism; only in recent years have its champions found room to argue for its importance, and most still applaud that era of giant hair and sequins in fun. But that plastic moment was also a time of great diversity in pop, when Prince and Public Enemy rose alongside Guns 'N' Roses and U2. It's harder to contain the 1980s within a single word like "Woodstock," though the millions mourning Jackson have been trying with "Thriller."

In fact, the 1980s looked a lot like now: a time when no one presumed that a particular musical statement or style spoke for all, and when the generational ideal felt a little hollow. [...] Personal style, ethnic and racial loyalties and an expanding sense of what was possible (typified then by interest in African music and New Wave's fascination with technology) mattered more than the power of an age-appropriate peer group.
1980s  music  pop  rock  aging  1960s 
august 2009 by allaboutgeorge
HALL AND OATES: Soul Survivors | American Songwriter
I think the best pop music writers are the ones that can communicate complex emotional things in very simplistic terms, and in a very direct way, that gets across in the restricted format of a pop song. You don’t have 86 words. You’ve got four words, and in those four words, every word has to count… you’ve got the added restrictions that they’ve got to rhyme too, for the most part, and you’ve got to be able to sing them. So you have words that have to be able to roll off the tongue and be sung, they have to somewhat rhyme or at least have a rhyme scheme, and then they have to say something-all in a very, very short period of time. To me, that’s the mark of a good pop song.
pop  music  songwriting  creativity  journalism  writing  rock 
august 2009 by allaboutgeorge
'Freebird' ultimately unforgettable -- chicagotribune.com
"I feel like I could write you a dissertation in defense of it as being one of the most underrated songs in rock history and I could write about its utter banality, and in both papers I would be sincere. To be truthful, it didn't even occur to me there might be irony in 'Freebird' until I moved from my small town to a city."
music  aesthetics  rock 
july 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Fans overlook Michael Jackson's dark side | U.S. | Reuters
"I think we can multi-task when it comes to our cultural icons," said Jefferson. "We can live simultaneously with their enormous talent, be it a Michael Jackson, or a Marlon Brando or a Judy Garland or an Elvis. And we can live with the knowledge of the enormous damage that they did to themselves, that was done to them, and that they did to other people."
music  business  media  capitalism  marketing  television  cable  rock  race  psychology  identity  culture 
july 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Michael Jackson's music had impact around the globe | U.S. | Reuters
Michael Jackson went from being Gary, Ind.'s most talented kid to one of the most recognizable human beings on the planet. While his worldwide album sales were astounding, that wasn't the sole reason for his fame. His ascendancy went far beyond the cash register -- he inspired dance moves, dictated fashion trends and raised awareness for social causes around the globe.
music  business  media  capitalism  marketing  television  cable  rock  1980s 
july 2009 by allaboutgeorge
How Jackson's Thriller changed the music business | U.S. | Reuters
Ultimately, "Thriller" spent 122 weeks on the Billboard 200, leading Epic to one of its greatest periods of prosperity. Given the decline in album sales, the rise of digital downloads and the lack of an heir apparent to Jackson, it's unlikely another album will ever dominate radio, video or the collective consciousness the way "Thriller" did.
music  business  media  capitalism  marketing  television  cable  rock  1980s 
july 2009 by allaboutgeorge
New York - Sound of the City - From the Voice Archives: Robert Christgau on the Mass Culture Spectacle of Michael Jackson in 1984
The Victory Tour's $30 prices aren't as out of line as they ought to be (Marvin Gaye charged $25 at Radio City--though Bruce's top is $16), but they do seem to keep black kids away, and black kids would have made good company at the Garden. After all, they're the ones who've cared about Michael longest and deepest, who feel his success as more than an exotic accident of statistics and modern communication--and they're also the unnamed potential perpetrators who inspired the tour's massive-to-paranoid security outlay. As delighted as I am to see white America recognize a black heir, I'm not going to think the affection in which he's held means a whole lot racially until it gets generalized a little.
music  reviews  nyc  writing  culture  aesthetics  identity  race  rock  concerts  1980s 
july 2009 by allaboutgeorge
The Coolness Index « Music Machinery
It may be too hard to tell whether an artist is cool, but we have all sorts of ways to tell that an artist is definitely not cool. For instance, if lots of listeners really don’t want people to know that they are listening to a particular artist, then that artist is probably not too cool. Luckily, there’s an interesting source for just this kind of data. Recently, the researchers at Last.fm published a list of the ‘most unwanted scrobbles‘. This is a list of tracks that were most frequently deleted by the Last.fm community from their scrobbles in the last month. These are the tracks that Last.fm listeners didn’t want people to know that the listened to. Here’s the first page of the most unwanted scrobbles:
music  information  data  aesthetics  identity  technology  pop  rock  gender  race 
july 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Village Voice - New York Music - Rob Harvila - Janelle Monáe, Space Cowgirl
"I have bulks of white oxford shirts and black pants and saddle-oxfords in black and white. . . . I don't own any colors in my closet," she explains. "I got tired of—colors. I feel more centered when I'm in black and white. I feel more focused. All the colors come out in my work, in my voice, in my movement. And, sometimes, I don't feel centered when I'm onstage. I feel extremely flamboyant. It's a uniform. It works very well for me. I have too many things to focus on—like being an artist, you know?"
fashion  music  nyc  rock  aesthetics  art 
july 2009 by allaboutgeorge
The brilliance of Beth Ditto - Times Online
“I don’t understand all these women who say they feel betrayed by fashion. A piece of clothing can’t talk — it can’t tell you that you can’t have it — so really, you're just telling yourself that. You make yourself the victim, because if you want clothes that bad, then make them yourself. You have to get creative if you’re fat. I’m really good at turning a belt into a necklace, and I can always find a nice pair of earrings.”
fashion  women  style  fat  beauty  creativity  diy  rock  music 
june 2009 by allaboutgeorge
U2 manager: 'Ultimately free is the enemy of good' | Digital Media - CNET News
One of the reasons we have a worldwide audience is that we were able, we usually have, the biggest touring attraction, but that's not true for everyone. It's important to remember that the traditional worldwide star-making functions of the big record companies. There's nothing on the horizon to replace that.

That was what I was always interested in personally as a businessman and manager. We as a band, U2, were excited about the idea of being big all over the world. We freely admit that. I don't know how people will do that in the future. I think the universality of pop music that we've become used to in the last few decades that's in danger. There is, of course, local repertoires, music in every part of the world. I'm not a mad imperialist.

I'm not trying to get everyone to listen to the same kind of music, but the Beatles caught the imagination of nearly everyone in the world. So did Elvis. There have been a few other examples, like U2. I'd hate to see that stop happening.
music  business  copyright  u2  corporations  rock  songwriting  attention 
may 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Ann Powers: Kris Allen beats Adam Lambert. A shock? Nah. | Idol Tracker | Los Angeles Times
In terms of the music industry, he cuts a more contemporary figure than Lambert: Many stars now (specifically rock-oriented, male ones) tend to do better when they draw themselves to scale, offering songs that make fans feel warm and connected, not blown away.

Think Jack Johnson. Dave Matthews. Jason Mraz, who performed on the “Idol” finale. And on the country side, Keith Urban, with whom Allen did a spirited duet early in the show.

This approachable kind of pop figure is one that often naturally emerges from the “Idol” competition. David Cook, last year’s winner, is cut from this natural-fiber cloth. Performing “Permanent,” the song he has dedicated to the brother he recently lost to cancer, Cook epitomized what Allen will likely soon become — a crowd favorite, empathetic and touchable.
music  rock  criticism  writing  losangeles  public  men  songwriting 
may 2009 by allaboutgeorge
‘American Idol’ - The Triumph of Soft Rock - NYTimes.com
That he shined on softer material — "Mad World," "Feeling Good," "One" — demonstrates the little-acknowledged truth about Mr. Lambert. Histrionics aside, he’s truly just an old-fashioned song-and-dance man, without the dancing; a lifetime in and around musical theater will do that to you. "Idol" wanted him to be something more, and he may well have wanted that for himself. If Mr. Lambert was hiding something, it wasn’t his sexual preference — it was his conservatism. If only he’d have let America see the real him.
rock  music  criticism  writing  nytimes  public  dance  songwriting  men 
may 2009 by allaboutgeorge
GQ Blog on men.style.com
Arena rock is the closest thing to a show tune in popular music—and I mean that lovingly. It’s epic, it’s sweeping, its themes are big. It gives itself to something theatrical.
music  rock  aesthetics  theater  men 
march 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Music - M. Ward Is a Four-Track Guy in a Digital World - NYTimes.com
Ward’s job as he sees it is to capture something: less an emotional state or an overarching theme than an instant. “I wrote this song just to remember the endless endless summer in your laugh,” he sings on “Hold Time,” his album’s moody but sweet title track.

“I can trace all my songs to a specific moment,” he said. “Sometimes it’s as insignificant as a friend of yours saying something, a turn of phrase. Other times it’s like an epiphany moment or just something beautiful that you see. Some people are able to take a picture of that and capture it. I don’t have that skill.”
songwriting  creativity  music  rock  beauty  aesthetics  writing  photography 
february 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Salon.com Arts & Entertainment | Springsteen can't save us
The word "dream" appears repeatedly in the Springsteen songbook. "Born to Run" first diagnosed the problem of the "runaway American dream," and Springsteen then planned an escape from "dreams that tear you apart" ("Promised Land"), a "dream where everything goes wrong" ("The Price You Pay"), a world that "slowly grinds your dreams away" ("Blood Brothers"). For Springsteen, dreams of love go unrequited ("One Step Up"), people dream of fields of blood ("Devils and Dust"), dreams are only good for reuniting with the dead ("Mary's Place").
songwriting  writing  creativity  dreams  music  rock  newjersey  aesthetics 
january 2009 by allaboutgeorge
How Bruce Springsteen Has Remained a Rock God for More Than 40 Years -- New York Magazine
Springsteen has written 256 songs, totaling 63,263 words. His top-ten favorites: Night (373), down (325), baby (317), man (222), girl (207), light (193), day (188), love (175), town (169), dream (132). His women: Mary (53), Janey (23), Kitty (10), Rosie and Sandy (9 each), Candy (8), Sherry (7), Frankie (5), Jenny (4), Wendy (3), Cherry (1). His cars: Cadillac (20), Ford (6), Buick, Chevy and Mercedes (3 each), Harley (2), Dodge (1). His haunts: Las Vegas (10), Jersey (8), Saigon (5), Memphis, San Diego and New York (3 each) and Pittsburgh (2).
rock  music  newjersey  magazines  data 
january 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Blog: It's time for pop and classical to join forces | John Cale
Musical training used to fuel the fires of condescension (from both sides) and genre was to be worn like a badge of authenticity; "I am rock, you are classical and never the twain shall meet". Personally, I am looking forward to a future characterised by unclassifiable, adaptable musicians, for whom style and training are mere tools. We all need their open ears and skill to reflect our varied, vibrant age.
rock  classical  music  classicalmusic  uk  identity 
january 2009 by allaboutgeorge
The egos have landed | Salon Arts & Entertainment
Why is something that ought to hurt the ear so damn listenable? Partly it's because the tunes are so spare in their construction. But it's mostly because there's a unity of form and content. These abrasive digital effects -- noises that make the ear flinch, like the sudden surge of distortion on the vocal early on in "Love Lockdown" -- are motivated by the desire to find new ways to communicate pain. West wants to make his music sound how he feels, which is raw, skinless, unprotected.
music  reviews  hiphop  rock  aesthetics  beauty  creativity 
november 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Pete Seeger | Pitchfork
"[W]hen we came to those last two words again I said "let's get some harmony!" So I stopped playing guitar and held out my two hands again, palm up and waist high. But then I raised the hands three inches to keep them holding those notes. Then a few seconds later, I raised them another three or four inches. They all had to take new breaths to keep singing. Now there are 1,000 people sitting on the lawn at the end of the Clearwater Festival, the Clearwater is out sailing back and forth on the Hudson as they watch the sun go down over Hook Mountain, and all I know is that 15 seconds had gone by and they were still harmonizing. So I kept raising my hands, more and more, and I think it went on for about 30 seconds, more and more harmony. Finally, my hands were as high as I could hold them, I couldn't raise them any higher. There were sopranos singing way high notes, and basses singing low, and people looking around at each other. They'd never heard such harmony."
music  folk  rock  social  interviews  pitchfork 
november 2008 by allaboutgeorge
The many moods of John Adams. - By Nathan Heller - Slate Magazine
"What classical music is—and what, if anything, that distinction preserves—gets even fuzzier in an age of high-concept rock and avant-garde jazz. What does a classical composer do?"
classical  classicalmusic  music  creativity  rock  jazz  aesthetics  identity 
october 2008 by allaboutgeorge
A talk with Antony, on the occasion of his Walt Disney Concert Hall show | Soundboard | Los Angeles Times
"As a singer, I really like to support people. It’s something I got from going to school and singing in choirs. I like singing with other voices. It makes me feel really happy. I like that space were two voices blend together or when it’s a blend of voices. I’m just as happy to sing at the top of my lungs in a big group of people. Oftentimes, that’s an even happier experience to me. That’s just pleasure to me."
music  creativity  social  work  rock  happiness 
october 2008 by allaboutgeorge
David Byrne | Pitchfork
"[...] I did go over to London a couple of times, but only one time did we work for a week solid. The rest of the time was this back and forth. Brian (Eno) pointed out that it's nice for both of us to be able to kind of live with the tracks, not feel the urge to respond right away to what someone else had done. I could work out a tentative melody to something, then work out little changes over the course of a few days or weeks or whatever, whereas in a recording studio working immediately with somebody, the pressure is on to perform and do something right away. So this took a lot of that out. I mean, there was still pressure to keep stuff going back and forth, but it was over days as opposed to hours or minutes. [...]"
creativity  art  music  work  writing  rock  pitchfork  interview 
september 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Obituary: Hiram Bullock | Music | The Guardian
"He essentially came from a blues, funk and rock corner, and it was his ability to bring this attack to a jazz context that always seemed to be the defining factor. It was this that endeared him to artists like Gil, for instance. Although he played on countless sessions, he was a great live performer, and this is where he stood out, whether with Sanborn, Bley or Gil Evans."
music  1980s  jazz  blues  rock  obituaries 
august 2008 by allaboutgeorge
My failed attempt at groupie sex. By Mike Young - Nerve.com
"[...] Really, the trick isn't making them turn around. It's doing what you promise without feeling cheesy. Accepting what you've already done: beckoned a stranger out of the intimacy of a dark audience into an even more confident darkness. The songs — they do the work. Your job is just to live up to them. Your job is to prove they're true."
music  songwriting  sex  power  writing  creativity  rock  beauty 
august 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Robert Hazard, Philly rocker, dies at 59 | Philadelphia Inquirer | 08/06/2008
"One night in a motel in Delaware, Mr. Hazard sat in a bathtub and in 15 minutes wrote 'Girls Just Want to Have Fun,' a sprightly pop tune covered in 1983 by Cyndi Lauper. Labeled a feminist anthem, it shot to No. 1. Miley Cyrus' remake is included on her new album, Breakout."
songwriting  1980s  music  feminism  obituaries  philadelphia  pennsylvania  rock 
august 2008 by allaboutgeorge
CBC.ca: Kid rock
"The trouble is, for the most part, indie rock and kids don’t mix. Indie rock has always favoured indirection and subtlety. With music, as with food, children are sugar fiends. They like simple melodies, bright voices and catchy choruses. Playing toddlers a muted rendition of Wheels on the Bus or My Darling Clementine, as performed on one of the For the Kids compilations, will probably go over as well as offering them a frosted grapefruit for dessert."
music  rock  marketing  children 
august 2008 by allaboutgeorge
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