Welcome to the 300th music blog post on Brit band The xx. There’s a huge amount of hype over this band, some of it deserved. The band has good stuff, particulary the song “Crystalised.”
Decide for yourself.
Download: Crystalised – The xx
The new album is set for release Sept. 22. Now let’s get really unplugged.
We love fan-made videos here at All the Young Punks and the latest for Grizzly Bear’s “Two Weeks” is a really good one. Gabe Askew has made a fascinating animated short for one of the best songs off of one of the best albums of the year.
Are you ready for a Daniel Johnston album produced and backed by musicians? Well, it happened and an October release is planned.
Need proof? Johnston, who recently played Metro, released a new song off the album, “Is And Always Was.”
The album, the first new one for Johnston in six years, “is a decided step away from the lo-fi homemade recordings for which Johnston is famous,” a press release says.
Download: Freedom – Daniel Johnston
Also, check out this SXSW video for his song, “True Love Will Find You In the End.”
The Chicago Sun-Times’ Jim DeRogatis posted an interesting interview with Marc Geiger, one of the suits that puts on Lollapalooza. Geiger says that bands that play Lolla and Pitchfork come out of the “same meat factory.” He denied that Lolla has a frat-boy atmosphere. And he admits that the top of the bill at this year’s fest wasn’t that great.
That said, there were some good bands this year and some great dancing.
Yo La heads back to Chicago in a couple of months, playing the Vic Oct. 6.
It’s your last chance to see Devil In a Woodpile. The band, a Chicago staple, is playing its last show Friday at the Glenwood Avenue Arts Festival in Rogers Park, Bloodshot Records announced on Facebook.
Frontman Rick Sherry has a new band called Sanctified Grumblers. You can hear a song on the band’s MySpace page.
Devil In a Woodpile played everywhere around town, from brunch at Bad Dog Tavern and other spots to a regular Tuesday gig at the Hideout. The band has a great rootsy, bluesy, country, gritty sound and will be missed.
Jay Reatard’s new album, “Watch Me Fall,” is out today. His message to his more than 4,000 followers on Twitter: “Suck my ass it smells.”
Jay is better at expressing himself through his great music. His newest album is a little bit of a departure from past outings — maybe not quite as punk?
The New York Times notes some New Zealand influence (insert your Flight of the Conchords joke here). Actually, the Times was referring to bands like The Clean. I can hear a bit of that but it’s mostly Jay being Jay.
Jay rocks the party at Empty Bottle Sept. 28.
Them Crooked Vultures are teasing us with a tiny sample — just 14 seconds — of the new super group’s sound.
I suppose when you’re Dave Grohl, Josh Homme and John Paul Jones, you can get away with this stuff but it’s still kind of maddening.
The band debuted here in Chicago with a show at the Metro this month. A second show is planned in Amsterdam Wednesday.
The second video below is only a snippet but the best clip I’ve seen from that Metro show. Judging by the samples I’ve heard, the group sounds most like Queens of the Stone Age. I hope to hear more soon.
The music world lost another great one. Legendary musician and producer Jim Dickinson died Saturday at age 67. Dickinson worked with Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and Aretha Franklin. He also produced Big Star’s seminal album “Third” and the Replacements’ “Pleased to Meet Me.” His sons also made their mark: Luther and Cody are two-thirds of the band North Mississippi Allstars.
In the video below, Dickinson talks about working with Alex Chilton.
Known for creating the Memphis sound in the ’60 and ’70s, Dickinson is the second music giant to die in the past week. Les Paul died of complications from pneumonia last week.
Download: Can’t Hardly Wait – The Replacements
Is anyone else sick of this Woodstock nostalgia? Boomers get over it.
Sure there were some great performances, but the vast majority of people who attended and played Woodstock traded in their freewheeling hippie ways years ago. I mean, these are the people who elected Bush.
Vietnam was a rallying cry and I bet some of these folks are all misty eyed when they see that Country Joe McDonald video. But where were these conscientious objectors on Iraq? Well, I guess it wasn’t their turn.
The legend of Daniel Johnston has been growing for 2 1/2 decades and yet his music still has this incredible innocence and truth about it.
Johnston’s mental illness has been the subject of countless articles, a movie and all the buzz that surrounded this guy ever since he started handing out homemade cassette tapes on the street in Texas in the 1980s.
He plays the Metro on Saturday, which should be a really extraordinary show.
Legendary guitar picker Les Paul died today of complications from pneumonia. He was 94.
The Waukesha, Wisconsin, native was known for his pioneering guitar techniques but also for his early innovations in the recording studio.
In the 1950s, he did these TV spots with his wife Mary Ford (brought to you buy Listerine). Here are a pair of videos. I love the little chit chat leading up to the songs. In the second video, notice how fast Les picks up his axe and starts playing after the polite conversation.
There are a ton of Lollapalooza videos on YouTube. Unfortunately, most of them are messed up. Hopefully, there will be more posted in the coming days. There were certainly some interesting moments to be caught on video (check out Lykke Li’s set).
Here’s a Lolla aftershow with The Decemberists doing a pretty faithful rendition of Heart’s “Crazy On You.”
Surely, someone produced a good quality video of Decemberists’ gig at the festival. Instead of playing the hits, the band performed the new album “The Hazards of Love” in its entirety. That took a lot of guts.
If you’re wondering how that No Age-Dan Deacon-Deerhunter collaborative show works, here’s a 10-minute video taken from a Madison set. The gig is one of the official Lolla aftershows tonight at the Logan Square Auditorium.
I don’t think Perry Farrell & Co. even tried this year. Lolla co-founder Farrell has been taken to task before but this year really stands out for a poor lineup at the top of the bill. Of course, you can see The Killers on the other headline stage tonight but who cares?
If I decide to part with a large sum of money to take in the Jane’s Addiction filthy lucre tour, here’s who I see instead: Neko Case, Portugal. The Man, Dan Deacon, Deerhunter, Passion Pit, Friendly Fires and Band of Horses. Of course, I’m curious about Lou Reed, but I’d have to pick Deerhunter in that time slot. If I can tear myself from Portugal. The Man, I go see Bat For Lashes.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs are headlining in place of the Beasties. While I’m not sure it’s a headlining act, it’s better than some possibilities (see Jane’s Addiction on Sunday lineup). And I do like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ new album.
Other promising sets Saturday: No Age, TV on the Radio, Arctic Monkeys and Miike Snow. If you’ve seen enough of TV on the Radio, head over to see Lykke Li. If you get to the park super early, check out the latest buzz: Band of Skulls. Animal Collective also does a DJ set, which should be interesting.
The suits at Lollapalooza will tell you that all the big corporate sponsors help keep admission prices down. That’s why you’ll pay the bargain-basement price of 80 bucks a day. If I was in charge of keeping ticket prices low, I wouldn’t book Depeche Mode or Kings of Leon. I guess that makes me a fun hater.
Honestly, with the Beasties dropping out, there’s hardly any reason to stick around for any of the headliners this year.
But if I was going to shell out $80 for a day of fun Friday, here’s who I’d see: The Builders and the Butchers, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, (at least part of) The Knux, Bon Iver, Crystal Castles, The Decemberists and Simian Mobile Disco.
I didn’t think I could get behind a band called Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears. I still think it’s an awful name and the band’s publicity shots are pretty hokey.
But this band can smoke and will appeal to anyone who loves ’60s R&B and soul. Check out Black Joe’s video for “Sugarfoot” here.
The eight-piece band plays Lollapalooza at the coveted time slot of 1 p.m. Friday. It’s the second visit in a month for these guys from Austin, Texas. Black Joe played Folk & Roots Festival in beautiful Welles Park in July.
The long-awaited debut album by Chicago’s Kid Sister is scheduled for release Oct. 6, according to her record company. In the meantime, she’s come out with a single, “Right Hand Hi,” which is incredibly catchy and sounds like it could be a hit. Kid Sister has a lot of star potential (she’s already collaborated with Kanye) and buzz has been building around her for a couple of years. The album, which previously was going to be called “Dream Date” now is called “Ultraviolet.”
Download: Right Hand Hi – Kid Sister