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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Cool interview.

Posted By on Wed, Feb 28, 2007 at 10:23 AM

I know I just posted, but I couldn't resist sharing this link to a fantastic interview with Animal Collective's Panda Bear by my Dusted Magazine compatriot, Rob Hatch-Miller.

In it, PB talks about anti-depressants and where he pilfers his samples. A fine read.

"You're a Jedi Knight, Trey."

Posted By on Wed, Feb 28, 2007 at 9:59 AM


Just had to read the front-page article in today's Free Press about Ernest "Trey" Anastasio's arraignment for drug possession and shitty driving.

As I stated in an earlier post, I don't enjoy muckraking. Still, I was tickled by the following paragraph:

"You're a Jedi knight, Trey!" one fan yelled in "Star Wars"-style praise as Anastasio climbed into a black van with tinted windows after the hearing. The singer did not react before a driver closed the doors and sped away.

A black van with tinted windows? Maybe he's been extraordinarily rendited and whisked away to one of the CIA's off-the-grid detainment facilities.

But probably not.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Linkdump and stuff...

Posted By on Tue, Feb 27, 2007 at 12:42 PM

I heard there was some kind of local Oscars party last Sunday. Looks like folks had a dandy of a time. I didn't even watch the show at home, but it's nice that Martin Scorsese finally won something.

This is a very interesting article about how the major labels are slowly abandoning DRM as a means to prevent piracy. I, for one, say hurrah!

I think I might have posted before about how Lou Reed can be an unconscionable prick to journalists. Here's a fresh example.

Another crazy guitar, courtesy Music Thing.

I occasionally get burned out on music (the live variety, at least), but I'm still a fan of good writing. Not that I'm always capable of producing it. So Undead Molly's post about writerly clichés is right up my alley.

Highgate finds Jesus, promptly misplaces Him.

The Le Duo tipped the world off to a really great local band called Oak.

False 45th loved the Asobi Seksu show. I loved finishing Season II of "House, M.D."

OK, time to address a rumor:

Yes, it's true that I'll be leaving Burlington in the near future. My 15 or so years in the Queen City have been extremely interesting, but I've run out of feasible ways to reinvent myself. Also, I'm not sure if you've noticed, but it's friggin' cold in Vermont!

I love my job, especially the people that I work with. It's been the most rewarding professional experience of my life, and an opportunity for which I'll forever be grateful.

Did I mention that I dislike winter?

I'm guessing I'll continue to write about and compose music, but it's too early to know what my next gig will be. I hope to maybe assemble parts at home. And, if things get really desperate, I can always start a religion.

But let's not speculate, shall we?

Vermont's music and arts scene continues to grow, and I commend all involved for their passion and commitment. Glad to have been even a small part of it. 

Monday, February 26, 2007

Arthur Magazine R.I.P.?

Posted By on Mon, Feb 26, 2007 at 11:41 AM

Over the weekend, I heard via one of the music crit listserves I'm on that San Francisco's Arthur Magazine was calling it quits. The rumor was, that after four years of print excellence, they'd simply run out of funds.

I love Arthur, and not just for its coverage of freaky music. The rag seemed to recognize a gestalt in today's fringe culture, with cross-pollinated coverage of psychedelics, modern shamanism, magick, media and activism. Plus Thurston Moore did CD reviews.

This morning, PitchforkMedia corroborated the news of the paper's demise.

However, I now find out that the obituary may have been premature. The ever-knowledgeable blog Idolator reports on a rift between editor Jay Babcock and publisher Larry Kreslins over financing, which has put Arthur on "indefinite hiatus."

No word on whether or not Babcock will continue with the organization once they return. And in what form, I wonder?

In case you missed it, Here's Babcock taking the frontman for Godsmack to task over the band's ties to military recruitment efforts.

And an L.A. Times article about the shutdown kerfluffle.

Better rush down to Pure Pop and scoop up those last copies, if there are any...




   

Friday, February 23, 2007

Not all reunions are pretty.

Posted By on Fri, Feb 23, 2007 at 2:59 PM


Homeless man or Guitar God? Only his publicist/girlfriend knows for sure.

Geoff Boucher of the Los Angeles Times reports:

For Van Halen, the stars seemed aligned for a triumphant 2007. Next month, the group will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the plan was to follow that with a summer reunion tour that would feature David Lee Roth back at the mike for the first time since the Reagan years.

But, once again, the backstage soap opera of
Van Halen is the story of the day.

The
Van Halen tour has been "shut down," according to a top official at Live Nation, the huge concert promoter that finally surrendered in the face of the chaos surrounding guitar hero Eddie Van Halen. Roth, meanwhile, says he is unsure whether the mercurial guitarist will even travel to New York for the Hall of Fame induction on March 12.

"We have fragile politics in
Van Halen; please accept that as a partial answer," Roth said. "But I don't know if the Van Halens are going to go....I hope they do, but right now, I just don't know. Hope springs eternal."

Eddie Van Halen declined interviews through his publicist and girlfriend, Janie Liszewski.
[Casey's note: Guess we could say that "Janie's Cryin'!"] Conversations with the business team behind the tour paint a picture of a rock star who is somewhere between Axl Rose and Michael Jackson on the music industry scale of eccentric recluses. The result is that the Van Halen venture imploded before takeoff, even as The Police, The Eagles and Genesis have efficiently geared up for lucrative reunion tours.

"I cannot tell you how frustrating and completely nuts this has been," one key business figure in the tour said while asking not to be identified on the outside chance that the reunion might be salvaged. "Right now, I have to say, I don't see that happening."


I'm not much of a VH fan, but I find their inability to get their shit together incredibly amusing.  A supposed "insider report" in the form of a blog comment stated the real reason for the tour breakdown was that Eddie is fighting with the Live Nation promoters, his own brother and — here's the funny part — his ex-wife, Valerie Bertinelli. She is, of course, mom to Wolfgang Van Halen, who has been appointed the new bassist for the group. The kid is only 15.

Perhaps Val doesn't want him falling prey to the "booze, coke and groupies" lifestyle that EVH has been known to indulge in.

Eddie struggled with cancer of the tongue not too long ago, which he claims to have beat with methods "illegal in the United States." Some have speculated that the *cure* involved the use of crystal meth.

Bet it helps him shred, too.


 

Friday Allsorts.

Posted By on Fri, Feb 23, 2007 at 12:26 PM

Please join me in welcoming the wonderful and talented Eva Sollberger to the Seven Days blog roundup. Queen Eva will be publishing a vlog (that's a video-based weblog, for all you Luddites) called Stuck in Vermont.

As a longtime fan of Eva's Deadbeat Club program on VCAM, I'm psyched she's on board.

Delancey Leathers and I have been e-mailing back and forth about prog metal today, so in that spirit, I present to you Italy's Ephel Duath.

MP3: Ephel Duath — "Imploding"

You can find it on eMusic, iTunes and backwater European distro services. Actually, the band is signed to Earache, so it shouldn't be difficult to order it from your fave record store.

What's going on this weekend? There's that Mardi Gras business, which I'm gonna skip. I never participate in First Night, either. Freezing cold and throngs of people = Operation Hell On Earth.

There's the distinct possibility I'll go to Higher Ground on Sunday to see Jello Biafra and/or Asobi Seksu, though.

I hung out in Strangeways Recording with Cccome? yesterday. Those guys are hilarious. They're playing tonight at Radio Bean alongside Swale. I don't know if I'm gonna make it; I have to get my beauty sleep in order to master the Cccome? album the following day.

The Strangeways cats — Daryl Rabidoux and Mike Poorman — are actually pulling up stakes and moving to Providence in April. There's a benefit show to raise money for their U-Haul taking place at Club Metronome on Friday March 2. Bands on the bill: Tell No One, Carrigan, Brixton Guns and Zac Clark.

You can read a little bit more about it in next week's column.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Music for exploded minds.

Posted By on Wed, Feb 21, 2007 at 1:28 PM

Brooke and I are going to get our marriage license today!

I'll admit that I check Pitchfork every morning. Occasionally, a review will remind me of a band I'm actually interested in! That happened today with their notice for Grindstone, by Norway's Shining.

There's nothing like a blast of totally fucked prog to put a spring in your step. For fans of '70s King Crimson, Bohren und Der Club of Gore and actual Krautrock.

Here are a couple of cuts:

Shining — "Stalemate Longan Runner"

Shining — "Psalm"

The album is no doubt in stock at Pure Pop. If you're all digital, you can also find it at iTunes.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Still feelin' the Youth.

Posted By on Tue, Feb 20, 2007 at 2:23 PM

Like kids scrambling to get their book reports finished in study hall, Vermont bloggers are in a mad dash to report on last Sunday's Sonic Youth show. Well, a few of 'em, anyway.

The Le Duo likey.

Spitting Out Teeth is still workin' on it. UPDATE: Here it is.

Highgate approves.

Eva Deadbeat got her noise on; she'll vlog about it later. Now!

Suspiciously MIA are False 45th and OutrageousChaos. I didn't see them at the show, but then again, I didn't look.

I'm feeling oddly social; maybe I should lay down 'til it passes.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Things we can agree on.

Posted By on Mon, Feb 19, 2007 at 2:52 PM

Saw the Sonic Youth show at Higher Ground last night. It was fun. I wrote about it a wee bit in my Seven Days column for Wednesday, so I probably won't be getting into it here. If you're a blogger who attended the show then scribed about the experience, let me know, and I'll post a link. Jay, you better finish writing up your report!

Man, winter is kicking my ass! First the superstorm, and now the frigid temperatures. I'm cursing my ancestors (well, not really... I don't like inviting supernatural torment) for ever settling in the cruel Northeast.

Look again at the title of this post. Now listen to these new tracks from Panda Bear's upcoming album, Person Pitch.

Panda Bear — "Take Pills"

Panda Bear — "Good Girl/Carrots"

Aren't they great? I thought I was burned out on Animal Collective side jamz, but this record is delicious through and through.

You can buy that sucker on March 20. Make sure you do; Panda deserves yer monies.

If the label, Paw Tracks, has a problem with my posting these MP3s, they can send an ancient curse my way. What was it I said about inviting supernatural torment? Perhaps they should just tell me to take 'em down. Or not.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Catching Fire.

Posted By on Tue, Feb 13, 2007 at 11:44 AM


It was recently pointed out to me that I gave Arcade Fire's Funeral the lowest rating of any reviewer in the country. Well, at least according to Metacritic, a site that sorts through music notices and ranks them according to an arcane process I cannot fathom. Also, I have no idea how wide their reach is, so there might have been some writer in Juneau, Alaska that disliked it more.

Actually, I didn't hate the record, I just failed to see how it was the greatest rock release of the decade. I reviewed it well before the hype explosion, so my feelings about it were hardly reactionary. It was just my opinion of the work itself.

Since then, AF have become the darlings of journalists and superstar rockers alike, and they no doubt felt some pressure while recording the follow-up.

I had no expectations regarding their new effort Neon Bible, and I didn't go out of my way to hear it early. Through cursory blog-reading, however, I noticed that fans seem ever-so-slightly underwhelmed.

Today I heard the thing all the way through, and I must confess to really liking it. It captures the feeling of claustrophobia and end-of-days angst gorgeously, while retaining a somewhat scruffy sound.

It arrives on March 6. Here are two samples (industry heavies can feel free to let me know if I need to take 'em down):

Arcade Fire — "Windowstill"

Arcade Fire — "My Body is a Cage"


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