Kate Nash is coming back and keeping a fine tradition alive
Kate Nash is coming back and that’s such a good thing. The Brit singer has a gorgeous voice, a wickedly sharp sense of humor, a strong eye for detail and dialog, all combined with her great songwriting talent, all showcased on her great 2007 album "Made of Bricks." And she’s releasing her second album next month, titled "My Best Friend is You."
But don't let that sunny-sounding title fool you. Nash is the master of properly using profanity in her lyrics.
Anyone can toss the F-word into a song. Just ask Al Stewart, the guy who first used the F-word as a verb in a song in 1969. Having a foul mouth is easy. To use profanity well – in a way that makes sense and furthers your story – well, that’s a gift.
RIP photographer Jim Marshall
and this one
and then shows you the photos taken just before and after -- an amazing look at how he honed his craft.
Rolling Stone has done up a photo gallery of some of Marshall's greatest work. Well worth your time.
Web radio stalwart succumbs to "economic realities"
According to a statement on their homepage, beloved indie-leaning web radio station WOXY has been "forced to suspend our live broadcasts as of March 23rd" due to "current economic realities and the lack of ongoing funding for WOXY's operations."
This isn't the first time WOXY has found itself in financial straits. In May 2004, the station shut down operations, only to be saved at the last minute by anonymous investors, according to their website.
"We're continuing to explore options to keep The Future of Rock and Roll alive," reads the WOXY site.
UPDATE: Pop Candy has a quote about the shutdown from WOXY music director Matt Shiv: "WOXY.com is being shut down today by our owners at Future Sounds. The WOXY staff continued working last week during SXSW under good faith because a deal was 'in motion' to continue funding for our operation. We were informed yesterday that that the deal fell through and now it is time for us all to walk away."
"Sexy Girl" video enrages locals
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Protesters outraged at an upcoming concert by R&B singer Akon hurled stones at a Sri Lankan private broadcaster's headquarters Monday, injuring four workers and damaging the building.
The attack followed accusations that Akon desecrated an image of the Buddha in a music video, upsetting many in Sri Lanka's conservative Buddhist majority.
Police spokesman Prishantha Jayakody said several protesters were taken into custody after attacking the headquarters of the Maharaja Organization, the broadcaster sponsoring next month's concert in Colombo.
About 200 people suddenly gathered outside the office in the capital, Colombo, and threw stones at the building, said Chevan Daniel, head of news at Maharaja.
The stones shattered some of the office's windows, damaged several vehicles parked outside the building and left four workers with minor injuries, he said. Placards left at the scene read, "Stop Akon's show."
The protesters appeared to be angry over Akon's video "Sexy Chick," which features scantily clad women dancing at a pool party with a Buddha statue visible in the background.
Maharaja has three television and four radio stations.
Last year, a group of armed men attacked its studio and transmission compound, tossing hand grenades and spraying the building with gunfire. That attack came days after the government accused the media group of not being patriotic enough in its coverage of the military's offensive over ethnic Tamil insurgents.
The police promised a full investigation of that incident, but no one was ever arrested or prosecuted.
Six more of 2,000 bands
Here's a rundown of all the bands that didn't make the last few posts. Worthy, every one of 'em.
You will soon see (and hear) a lot more about Parry Gripp on Reverb's sister site, Parallel Universe. Maybe you already know him: His scores of minute-long meta-pop YouTube videos have been viewed over 20 million times. In the online world (Parallel Universe?) these songs are mega-hits: "Hamster on a Piano Eating Popcorn," "Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom," "Shopping Penguin," "Dramatic Chipmunk Hey," "Young Girl Talking about Herself." Deviously catchy, brilliantly simple, each one takes as its subject a YouTube video or series of videos. Gripp pens and produces the song, edits the video, and then posts it on his YouTube page and/or his own website as a song of the week--something he's done long enough to amass several hundred songs. It lives online for the world to discover at will (not to mention iTunes, where it can be bought and downloaded).
At SXSW things were a little different. Playing these songs live required a band; Gripp recruited the Austin-based Mount Righteous, a nine-piece punk rock marching band, to provide accompaniment. Taking the stage on Saturday night in a fuzzy brown hamster suit and aviator shades, Gripp was charismatic and self-deprecating to the max. "Looks like I picked the right night to wear a fuzzy brown hamster suit," he said. The band launched into "Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom" repeating the one-minute, all-chorus, single lyric ("nom") tune several times to draw out the song a couple extra minutes. Without the context of the video the song soundtracks--a montage of uber-cute mice, gerbils, and bunnies munching veggies uber-cutely--the whole affair achieved new levels of dopey genius, with the crowd of 100 or so singing along ecstatically and the band closely following Gripp's lead. The same went for "Sandwich," "Cat Flushing a Toilet," and "Chimpanzee Riding on a Segway."
A tender moment: The band left the stage and Gripp called out Linus of Hollywood, friend and collaborator in Gripp's old nerd-rock band Nerf Herder, to play acoustic guitar for what he described as "My most personal song about my feelings. This turned out to be a heartbroken ballad called "Soccer Ball (In the Face)."
Journey singer denies using "n" word
In an interview with Playboy set to hit newsstands tomorrow, comedian Sarah Silverman responds to questions about her provocative brand of humor by telling a story about how “the onetime lead singer of a very popular band from the 1980s” came up to her after a show and said, “You’re my favorite comedian. You have the best nigger jokes.” Silverman didn’t outright name Journey’s Steve Perry, but she added, “I’ll just say this: After that, I stopped believin’,” a poke at the band’s classic “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
Was she joking? In an interview with Rolling Stone yesterday, Perry took Silverman’s accusation very seriously, adamantly denying he ever used “the n-word” after meeting her backstage at a comedy show. “I’m really shocked. She was so friendly and so nice,” Perry tells RS. “I don’t understand why she would go there, it’s so bizarre. I don’t use that word, are you kidding? That’s so derogatory.” Perry admits he met Silverman on a pair of occasions “a long time ago” after being “amazed at her ability to make people actually laugh at every racial slur and every ethnic group she could possibly come up with,” but insists Silverman’s recollection of their meeting is just another episode concocted by the controversial TV star for comedic effect.
Perry tells RS, “I walked up to her after the show and I said, ‘I can’t believe that somehow you seem to be getting away with all these slurs and the n-word, I just can’t believe how you’re doing this,’ and I looked at my friend and I said, ‘I can’t believe how she’s getting away with this,’ and she looked at me and kind of smiled. It wasn’t like I was condemning her or condoning her, it was just that I can’t believe how somehow creatively she was making everybody in that club of all colors and all ethnic backgrounds laugh. That’s what it was.”
Despite the accusation, Perry still marvels at Silverman’s ability to walk the dangerous line of political correctness with her comedy. “You’ve gotta see her show because she uses every ethnic slur known to man that historically has been very unforgivable,” Perry says. “I’m Portuguese, that’s the only ethnic background she left out, but maybe after this article she’ll come after me now.”
SXSW Big Star tribute closes festival, sends chills
Antone's was the quietest room in Austin last night as the remaining members of Big Star and a slew of special guests paid tribute to the band's primary creative force, singer/songwriter Alex Chilton, who died of a sudden heart attack just days earlier. The room was packed but the crowd hushed as the band took the stage; the silence was profound.
"I think we all know why we're here," said drummer Jody Stephens as way of introduction.
Publicist Heather West read a letter from Chilton's wife, who suggested Chilton's meticulousness in the studio was balanced by creative spontaneity, a rare combination that made him such a respected artist. She listed some of his most recent musical obsessions: Carol King, Petula Clark, Brian Wilson, the band Free, Handel, Hayden.
Then the band delved into
their catalog, songs written almost 40 years back, beloved by the indie rock
community for just as long. Though it was far from a somber affair—Stephens and
his bandmates, longtime members Jon Auer on guitar and Ken Stringfellow on bass, cracked jokes between songs—the reverence was palpable.
Puppets guitarist Curt Kirkwood
took lead duties on an upbeat take on "Don't Lie to Me" and “In the
Street,” the song Cheap Trick covered as the opening theme of That '70s Show. Mike Mills
of REM sang a reverent version of "Jesus Christ." Along the way, Andy
Hummel, who played bass in Big Star's first, early-'70s incarnation, joined for a few tracks.
The words to "Big Black Car," sung with a gentle, softy faded croon by guest vocalist M. Ward, were heartbreaking in context: "Nothing can hurt me/Nothing can touch me/Why should I care?" Towards the end of the 70-minute set, John Doe, former frontman of LA punk forefathers X, lent his powerful tenor to "I'm in Love with a Girl," turning it into a country-gentleman paean. He was immediately followed by Norwegian singer/songwriter Sondre Lerche doing an impassioned version of "The Ballad of El Goodo." Those lyrics, too, were painfully affecting: "Years ago my heart was set to live/I've been trying hard against long odds/It gets so hard at times like now to hold on/I'll fall if I don't fight."
Amid all the narcissism and bacchanal of SXSW, the gravity and purpose of this set, one among several hundred which closed the festival, was rare and heavy. Sometimes some music means more.
Smokey Robinson, Courtney Love, Thurston Moore, Superchunk
Smokey was dignified, confident, affable, seemingly grounded, sometimes hilarious. He was backed by a nine-piece band, including three backing vocalists, plus a pair of dancers, all dressed in Motown-esque white-suited finery. During his hour-long set at the Austin Music Hall he offered song after classic song to the adoring throng, and the throng sang along word for word, note for note. "I thought maybe you bought tickets or had passes to this thing," he said, "but y'all are the South by Southwest Choir."
He did a dead-on imitation of Stevie Wonder that led into "Tears of a Clown," the music for which was written by Wonder, he explained. It was one of several monologs Robinson delivered, spelling out the origins of some of the most famous and beloved songs in the world: He wrote the Temptations' "The Way You Do the Things You Do" in the car while on tour driving to a gig, he said, and then played it. Hearing Robinson's personal connection to these iconic songs was poignant.
"I Second That Emotion," "You Really Got a Hold on Me," "Get Ready," "Being with You"--these songs are untouchable, but Robinson rendered them fresh and relevant and meaningful all over again. The feel-good moment of the weekend was "My Girl," the crowd singing along so loudly that Robinson backed up and had everyone repeat the chorus several times.
Kids singing along to their parents' music: Not what anyone expects at South by Southwest, but that's what we got. I texted my mom.
Courtney, on the other hand, ran dry on dignity a long time ago, a fact she's proud of. Her new incarnation of Hole played the Spin magazine party at Stubb's yesterday afternoon, Love and a four-piece backing band of youngsters that looked straight outta 1990. Wearing a black lacy top and cherry red lipstick, blond hair very blond, she opened with a snippet of "Pretty on the Inside" before taking a two-verse bite of "Sympathy for the Devil," seemingly to re-introduce herself to anyone who might've forgotten her bad behavior. The band--hard to call them Hole as Love's the only original member--"this is Hole whether you like it or not, you little suck sh*ts," she announced--ran through several songs from their upcoming album. These were by-the-numbers hard rock delivered professionally, no frills, aggressive, unmemorable. Love's lyrics offered further details about her sordid life, and your reaction to the performance was determined by how much you're willing to continue hearing further details about Courtney Love's sordid life.
She pleaded relevance: "Yeah, I'm on Facebook. There are teenage girls on Facebook. I have to watch over the teenage girls." Fair enough. It seems like Love's stature, whatever it's worth, would be put to better use without trying to convince anyone to listen to her music.
From pop to indie: Thurston Moore, guitarist for art-rock godfathers Sonic Youth, played to a small and attentive crowd at Red 7. Sitting calmly and strumming an acoustic 12-string guitar, he read lyrics to "Friends"--a tender, gentle song about an ex-girlfriend--from a printout sitting on a chair next to him. "I'm a little dis-com-bob-u-late-ed," he drawled, shuffling papers, but the small crowd was thrilled for the intimacy and immediacy of the moment.
Earlier in the day, Superchunk played a full-throttle set at the Village Voice day party. This band is true indie-rock royalty, comprising members of beloved indie label Merge Records. From start to finish, it was a powerhouse set, showing 20-some years into a banner career the go-for-it energy and passion of punk kids playing their parents' basement. They're everything you want in an indie-rock band: huge riffs, clever lyrics, sharp songs, wise-ass banter. "Slack Motherf*cker" is their anthem, what everyone came to hear, and towards the end of their set, they delivered.
Age is not necessarily the enemy of rock 'n' roll. Some artists just wear it better than others.