Remember when Williamsburg was just a collection of warehouses? Longtime Brooklyn dwellers Sam Brumbaugh and Bronwyn Keenan sure do. Sam Brumbaugh, writer of Goodbye, Goodness, and Bronwyn Keenan, the Guggenheim’s Director of Special Events, recognize how far Brooklyn has come in its artistic development, going so far as to dub it a “renaissance.” To commemorate the borough’s achievements and to celebrate the museum’s 50th anniversary, they’ve co-produced a concert series called “It Came From Brooklyn,” to take place in the famous rotunda, designed by famous architect Frank Lloyd… Read More
While doing my daily rounds of blog-surfing yesterday, I came across a stale crumb from the ’90s I thought had died for forever: the Backstreet Boys. The boys of BSB have pried themselves out of the peaceful hammock of marriage and rehab to punch out a new single… and (maybe this is just the Generation Y nostalgia talking) it’s good. Who would have thought that the Backstreet Boys could stand the test of… Read More
Oh Pitchfork. Sure, we have a love/hate relationship with your rants and album ratings (to say nothing of the actually occasionally awesome tracks reviews), but what are you doing with Wavves? First you pluck a random group of lo-fi noise-niks out of obscurity, sending the awesome (but completely inaccessible) act soaring through the indie-rock roof. Then, when the unexpected, unwelcome (?), and all-too-fast adoration rips mastermind Nathan Williams apart, causing a very public meltdown at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound Festival, you publicize the crap out of it.
Now, you proceed to publish an explanatory interview chronicling the breakdown in an attempt (?) to build Wavves back up. SRSLY? In the interview, Williams admits to only having been playing as Wavves for four months before fame hit. This SRSLY certificate comes with a healthy helping of “come one guys: stop screwing with the lives of up-and-coming artists!” … Read More
Last night Housing Works and Spin Magazine joined hands to welcome former Dresden Doll Amanda Palmer and best-selling fantasy author Neil Gaiman to the stage. Starting with a long line and ending with a room filled to the brim with fans, VIPs, Spin editors, and Moby (Yes, Moby!), the event began with excited, uproarious applause. From my little corner in the back where there was a miraculous pocket of air, I gleefully waited for Palmer and Gaiman to take the stage.… Read More
“Chan Marshall does not want you to read this book.” The opening line of A Good Woman says it all. Chan Marshall’s biography, written by Elizabeth Goodman, channels the life of one of the most elusive personalities in contemporary music. Marshall, once infamous for her on-stage breakdowns, shyness and unpredictability, was just as notorious for telling the media very selective truths about her past, which is riddled with alcohol, depression, hallucinations, and loneliness.
Goodman’s initial aim was to commemorate Marshall’s development as a musician and retell the moving story of her shaky childhood in Atlanta. Instead, she met with obstacles and traps, all set by… Read More
While Annie Clark, (aka St. Vincent) first made her name as a member of pseudo-religious psych-rockers the Polyphonic Spree and touring singer for folk-popper Sufjan Stevens, her crisp, melodic solo albums are a revelation all their own. Since going solo she’s risen rapidly, earning glowing reviews for both her debut, Marry Me, and the recently released Actor. She adds another notch to her belt on June 8th, kicking off this summer’s free Millennium Park Monday music series in Chicago. In anticipation of the appearance, we sat down with Clark to find out how she got her start in the biz, what happens when the Internet gets it wrong, and whether or not she’s secretly a… Read More
So YOU wanna be an MTV VJ?! Want to scream “Spring Break” in mid-autumn? Wanna toss to ironic ads for Stridex pads? Want to drink Budweisers with Fred Durst and, um, Carson Daly once a week? Personally, I’d never given the concept much brain space, except to wryly chuckle at it while searching in vain for 120 Minutes re-runs. Not that I haven’t got some experience: in college I was a bona fide college-radio nerd. Once a week I (sexily) muttered my thoughts on the latest Broken Social Scene releases into a microphone, and listeners in the Lehigh Valley called our request line to ask if we carried any early Zappa. It was awesome.
Maybe that’s why I ended up schlepping to the most ad-plastered section of New York City to try my hand at the VJ game. Quite simply, I felt so gosh-darn flattered that they liked my picture and cover letter that I figured what the hey? And so, live from Times Square, I hereby present a minute-by-minute account of what happens when you stop being polite and start getting real, VJ-audition style. … Read More
The Black Lips are legendary — for their travels. Channeling garage rock of the ’60s along with some straight psychedelia and ’70s street punk, the Lips famously played at West Bank in Israel back in August ’07 and more recently did a six-city tour in India this past January. According to the Guardian, guitarist Cole Alexander stripped naked onstage during their show in Chennai and proceeded to leap into the audience. Following the very rock ‘n roll incident, the boys had to flee the country without making a single rupee. (It’s a good thing Indian society isn’t too keen on letting lady-folk into shows, or they would have REALLY been in trouble.)
It kind of makes you wonder: are the Black Lips a politically defiant touring band? Or do the boys just want to have fun? So we headed over to the Vice offices in Williamsburg for a sit down with Alexander in order to find out. … Read More