Saturday, April 24, 2010

These guys are brilliant

Seeing them on Sunday night at the TLA here in Philly!



Should I apply to this?

Saturday, April 17

Pitchfork and Seek Interns in Chicago and New York City
Editorial Interns in Chicago, Motion Graphics/Animation in New York Pitchfork and Seek Interns in Chicago and New York City

Editorial Intern in Chicago

Pitchfork Media seeks editorial interns to work in our Chicago office. All candidates must be currently enrolled as undergraduate students in the Chicago area and available 12-20 hours per week during the summer, beginning at the end of the spring semester.

Tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting with copy editing and fact-checking, transcribing interviews, and data entry. You should have excellent research skills, as well as a familiarity with the artists we cover. Having your own laptop, as well as the ability to gain school credit for the internship, would be a major plus, though not required.

Please submit a résumé and writing sample in an email (no attachments, please) to with the subject line "PITCHFORK EDITORIAL INTERNSHIP SUMMER 2010" by Sunday, April 25.

Motion Graphics/Animation Intern in New York seeks a motion graphics/animation intern in our Brooklyn office to assist with ongoing animation projects. We're experimenting with various animated projects and are looking for someone to assist with basic 2D animation. The ideal candidate will be fluent in After Effects as well as an adept visual artist. Experience with character/cartoon animation is a major plus. Candidates without a LINK (and link only) to their reel will not be considered. Please send your résumé and link to The deadline for submission is Sunday, April 25.

Posted by Pitchfork on April 17, 2010 at 12:50 p.m.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wolfmother's Cosmic Egg reviewed

A Cock Called Zep, a Hen Named Sabbath

Listening to a Wolfmother record really feels like stepping into a time machine. Their brand of gritty rock is reminiscent of another era, and not just sounds of the 1970s like AC/DC, Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin. They also sound like Soundgarden, Yes, Rush, and to bring us up to the new millennium they call on The White Stripes and Queens of the Stone Age. That’s not to say they don’t have their own sound, it’s just heavily influenced by all of the above. With their self-titled debut in 2006, the Australian trio established themselves as a force with which to be reckoned. Still, that eponymous effort doesn’t feel as original as their latest album Cosmic Egg.

On Wolfmother it was as if the Aussies immersed themselves in the psychedelic hard rock of ages ago and just churned out replicas like “Joker and the Thief.” Cosmic Egg is Andrew Stockdale’s baby, the frontman and guitarist replacing the original rhythm section with a new one here. Two strong openers greet the listener, the mystic “California Queen” and “New Moon Rising.” The modern-rock stomp of “White Feather” is a keeper, with palpable tinges of R&B over slower, funkier riffing and drumming, all hints that Wolfmother are much more than meets the eye.

Keyboards are welcome additions to songs like “Sundial,” while a few slower songs like “Far and Away” and “In the Morning” recall cheesy 1980s hair bands like Mr. Big and Nelson (but in the best ways possible). Stockdale’s voice sometimes struggles to reach above the fuzz of the guitars, the thrash of the drums, and soaring Deep Purple organ parts, but that could just be a function of his high-pitched delivery.

There’s definitely something a little weird about these guys; even the song titles feel plucked from sci-fi novels, which we’ve seen before on, say, Zep’s The Song Remains the Same. Yet Wolfmother take dorky elements from the past, make them rock hard, and bring them into the 2000s a million times better than acts like Coheed & Cambria do. It should be interesting to see what these metal-fantasy Aussies come up with next.


30 Second Reviews from 4/20


SOUNDS LIKE: Brooklyn super-hipsters don’t make an Oracular Spectacular V. 2, but instead a subtly trendy, psycho beach rock indie masterpiece.
FREE ASSOCIATION: Like a totally different band, which is good; “Kids” was getting really old.
FOR FANS OF: Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound, B-52’s, Empire of the Sun.

The Fall
Your Future Our Clutter

SOUNDS LIKE: Mark E. Smith’s 28th (!) studio release is as punchy and funky as ever, the premier post punk does it without care for your cheeky trends.
FREE ASSOCIATION: Clean up that mess, we’ve got dancin’ to do!
FOR FANS OF: Consistency.

Roky Erickson with Okkervil River
True Love Cast Out All Evil

SOUNDS LIKE: The legendary grizzled crooner teams up with fellow Texans for a full, ambient and complex folk record with Roky’s rusty old pipes out front.
FREE ASSOCIATION: On “John Lawman,” it sounds like he’s gonna have a heart attack.
FOR FANS OF: The Band, Dylan, Howlin’ Wolf, Syd Barrett.

The Place Between: The Best of Doves

SOUNDS LIKE: A lovely collection of the Brit rockers’ blissed-out pop-rock spanning four LPs of emotional, climactic radio-friendliness.
FREE ASSOCIATION: It’s like the Coldplay we used to love.
FOR FANS OF: Radiohead, The Verve, Badly Drawn Boy.

Jimi Hendrix
Valleys of Neptune

SOUNDS LIKE: A treasure of posthumous psychedelic guitar rock from the King of the ‘60s with the titular track melting faces and blowing minds
FREE ASSOCIATION: Jimi, why’d you have to go? Would’ve been rad to watch you age.
FOR FANS OF: Electric Ladyland, Noel Redding & Mitch Mitchell, bellbottoms.

Unnatural Helpers
Cracked Love & Other Drugs
(Hardly Art)

SOUNDS LIKE: Seattle rockers’ brilliant collection of 15 songs in under 30 minutes; explosive, caustic, and energetic punk sans screaming.
FREE ASSOCIATION: Oh yeah, the NW used to rock really hard—please come east now.
FOR FANS OF: King Khan, early Who, Kinks and Clash.

The White Stripes
Under Great White Northern Lights
(Warner Bros)

SOUNDS LIKE: From their 2007 Canadian tour supporting Icky Thump, the Stripes finally capture their outrageous energy and brilliant stage presence on disc.
FREE ASSOCIATION: To see these shows would be like exploding every five minutes.
FOR FANS OF: Bands that actually put on a live show, badassery.

She & Him
Volume Two

SOUNDS LIKE: M. Ward caved and let a half-talented movie princess put his dick in a jar next to stacks upon stacks of her stroll-in-the-park songs.
FREE ASSOCIATION: Her talk-singing is either wildly irritating or delightful—choose sides now.
FOR FANS OF: (500) Days of Summer, Jenny Lewis, LA.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

30 Second Reviews from 4/13

Horse Feathers
Thistled Spring
(Kill Rock Stars)

SOUNDS LIKE: The Idaho is palpable in this Portland-dwelling folk duo's third, a light and airy trip through fields of string instruments and flannels
FREE ASSOCIATION: There's gotta be beards behind this countrified roots rock
FOR FANS OF: Band of Horses meets Fleet Foxes and attack Devendra Banhart!

Jakob Dylan
Women + Country

SOUNDS LIKE: An outrageously authentic bluesy rootsy rock record produced by T Bone Burnett with Neko Case and Kelly Hogan lending backup vocals
FREE ASSOCIATION: "One Headlights" should die of gonorrhea, but this is RAD!
FOR FANS OF: Tom Waits, The Band, the Boss, moonshine

Josh Ritter
So Runs The World Away
(Pytheas Recordings)

SOUNDS LIKE: From Oberlin to Boston he put out a wicked debut, a tour of Ireland with the Frames and he's still making impressive Americana records
FREE ASSOCIATION: This guy's a big deal in Ireland, cover bands play his songs in pubs
FOR FANS OF: Lenoard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen, Matt Nathanson

Walter Schreifels
An Open Letter To The Scene
(Academy Fight Song)

SOUNDS LIKE: A stellar batch of sunny, pretty guitar rock on the solo debut of a formerly hardcore guy whose style is welcoming and refreshing
FREE ASSOCIATION: There sure is a lot countrified white man rock in April
FOR FANS OF: Gorilla Biscuits, Kinks and Smiths, Ryan Adams

A Study in Her
In, Out, About
(Electric Eel)

SOUNDS LIKE: Solid double LP of synth-pop and alt-rock from Philadelphians inspired by main man Constantine Konassis' travels in India
FREE ASSOCIATION: Quirk rock from local boys (and girls) is like a po-mo Devo
FOR FANS OF: Sufjan Stevens electrified, Smashing Pumpkins, New Order

Where Did The Night Fall
(Surrender All)

SOUNDS LIKE: Unbelievable fifth record from British trip hop electro geniuses full of crashing beats, swelling rhythms and joyous climactic choruses
FREE ASSOCIATION: This is gonna be fun to settle in with; great guests and energy
FOR FANS OF: DJ Shadow, Rapture, LCD Soundsystem

Jj N° 3
(Secretly Canadian)

SOUNDS LIKE: Wispy, gentle beats carry the elusive voice of Sweden's rising stars in the electronic world on this follow-up to their highly-acclaimed debut
FREE ASSOCIATION: Strangely easy listening, like Enya as a hipster with a producer bf
FOR FANS OF: Fever Ray, Air France, Air, elevators

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
I Learned The Hard Way
(Daptone Records)

SOUNDS LIKE: The Brooklyn super-group and family of musicians' latest is its usual solid collection of soulful tunes but, uh, not nearly as exciting
FREE ASSOCIATION: Didn't think it was possible for them to be this boring
FOR FANS OF: James Brown, Ike & Tina, department store music


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jack White, you're a genius

I can't wait to watch Under Great White Northern Lights.

P.S. Thanks Bob Cunningham.

Opinion concerning "anymore" vs "any more" divides roughly into three camps:

1. There is no such word as "anymore". It is simply a misspelling.
2. "Anymore" and "any more" are two ways of spelling the same thing, and the two have the same meaning.
3. There is a useful difference in meaning between the two.

About the first two camps, little more needs to be said. Either statement stands on its own and needs no elaboration.

The difference in meaning considered useful by the third camp is that "anymore" is an adverb meaning "nowadays" or "any longer", while "any more" can be either adverb plus adjective, as in "I don't want any more pie", or adjective plus noun, as in "I don't want any more."

The difference between the two meanings is illustrated in the sentence: "I don't buy books anymore because I don't need any more books."

The distinction of "any more" and "anymore" seems to be recognized by many, but not all, US users and by dictionaries published in the US. At least one British dictionary (NSOED/93) and some British users recognize "anymore" as an alternative spelling of "any more", but do not recognize a difference in meaning.

The adverb "anymore" is standard American English when it is used in a negative sense, as in "I don't do that anymore." It is a regional or dialectal usage, mostly restricted to spoken English, when it is used in a positive sense, meaning "nowadays", as in "Anymore I do that" or "I do that anymore."


I just don't know anymore

Friday, April 9, 2010

New Big Boi single is BANGIN'

Pitchfork does a feature called 5-10-15-20

What a great idea. They ask artists to name the songs that, I guess, represent where they were in their lives musically at five year intervals. I read a bunch of them last night. I liked Erykah's a lot:

Welcome to 5-10-15-20, where we talk to artists about the music they loved at five-year interval points in their lives. Maybe we'll get a detailed roadmap of how their tastes and passions helped make them who they are. Maybe we'll just learn that they really liked hearing the "Fat Albert" theme song over and over when they were kids. Either way, it'll be fun.

For this edition, we spoke with soul goddess Erykah Badu, 39. The R&B innovator's latest album, New Amerykah Part II: Return of the Ankh, is out now on Universal Motown. Watch the controversial video for "Window Seat" here.

5 Rose Royce: "Car Wash"

I heard the song when I first saw the movie Car Wash. I watched it with my family in the living room-- it was an event. That's when I was first introduced to Richard Pryor who was hilarious to me even at age five. And it was a black film that really gave you a chance to get to know each character, which was fascinating. I'm a child of funk, and my parents were into KC and the Sunshine Band, Aretha Franklin, the O'Jays, Candi Staton, Earth, Wind & Fire, along with things like Pink Floyd and Joni Mitchell. But "Car Wash" stands out because it was like a futuristic music video with the movie attached to it.

10 Teena Marie: "Square Biz"

I would warm up to "Square Biz" in my jazz class. I remember singing along to it really loud. Teena Maire has this pitch-perfect voice that is forever stuck in my DNA; there's also something about her as a person that resonated with me, a sympathetic vibration. It was funny when I found out we have the same birthday sign. Also, Prince's Controversy album came out in 1981 and I was a huge fan of his. I had posters of Prince, Rick James, and the Mary Jane Girls.

Pitchfork: Prince and Rick James seem risqué for a 10 year old...

[laughs] That was my taste. My family had a very open relationship about music and art. Nothing was taboo and everything was up for discussion-- by the time I was 10, I was a genius. I take the same approach with my son now. He listens to King Crimson, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix.

15 Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick: "La Di Da Di"

It was all about Slick Rick the Ruler, Run DMC, Biz Markie, Whodini. I was a B-girl. That's when hip-hop was getting onto mainstream radio; it was what blues was to my grandparents and what rock'n'roll was to my parents. It was our politics. By age 15, I was politically educated, definitely. I had my own way of thinking.

"La Di Da Di" was my jam because it was unorthodox-- just Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh beat boxing. Everybody wanted to be an MC at that time and that's when I started rapping, too. I'd battle people at school, at the party, at the gym, on the school bus, anywhere where I could beat on something. I'd crush men and women MCs. I remember all of my lyrics, but I don't want to share them because I don't need for these hungry MCs to be stealing my rhymes. My rap name was "Apples".

Pitchfork: That doesn't sound too intimidating.

I know, but that's how I snuck up on people-- they thought I was going to be sweet and then I hit 'em real hard.

20 Nirvana: "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

That was my morning, noon, and night music: Kurt Cobain. I connected with his spirit, his freedom, his struggle, his pain, his love. I didn't misunderstand his message at all. The lyrics were clever and amazing. I knew that the technique was no Jimi Hendrix or Rolling Stones but I felt close to the spirit of it. I saw Nirvana live in Dallas a couple times at little clubs.

Pitchfork: Was there a mosh pit?

Oh hell yeah. I stayed in the back a little bit but I got in there when "Smells Like Teen Spirit" came on.

25 The Notorious B.I.G.: "Warning"

That's 1996, the year before my first record came out. I was listening to Biggie's Ready to Die a lot. Stuff like "Warning" and his duet with Method Man, "The What", was incredible. Biggie was the best, the king. Even right now, on my new album, I make two references to him. On the song "Fall in Love (Your Funeral)" I quote "Warning" in a line that goes, "There's gonna to be a lot of slow singin' and flower bringin' if my burglar alarm start ringin'." Also, there's a song called "Turn Me Away" that's based on the song "You Can't Turn Me Away", which Junior M.A.F.I.A. sampled. Biggie's voice is just so sweet. I knew everything he was trying to say.

30 Gary Bartz: "Music Is My Sanctuary"

I was getting a little eclectic at that time. Classic jazz was really driving me: Miles, Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, Herbie Hancock's Head Hunters. I was discovering things in jazz that I had never experienced before. The first time I heard jazz in a setting that was enjoyable for me was through A Tribe Called Quest. They introduced jazz to the hip-hop generation through sampling, and Gary Bartz was one of the artists I fell in love with as a result of listening to Tribe.

35 Gorillaz: "Feel Good Inc."

Around 2006, I was discovering things like Animal Collective and Gorillaz. I was so impressed with what the Gorillaz were bringing to music visually. It gave me so many creative and conceptual ideas that I put into my own music and videos. I thought that was the future, like, "Oh, they got the edge on human beings now, we better step up our game."

Pitchfork: Both of the covers of your New Amerykah albums are cartoon versions of you, too.

They are. I'm influenced by so many things, including Gorillaz. Music as a whole is a tool to keep people imagining and dreaming; when you stop dreaming you die. When people look at these album covers and listen to this music, I want them to continue to think and create. That's how we see ourselves more clearly and that's how we change.

Posted by Ryan Dombal on April 1, 2010 at 12:30 p.m.
Photo by Kenneth Cappello

30 Second Reviews from 4/6

The Bird and the Bee
Interpreting the Masters: A Tribute to Daryl Hall & John Oates
(Blue Note)

SOUNDS LIKE: Hall & Oates might be iffy territory for Philly folk, but this bedroom lounge duo has taken our boys' oeuvre to a new and exciting place
FREE ASSOCIATION: Seriously, this is one of the most brilliant things we've heard in a while
FOR FANS OF: "Rich Girl," "Sara Smile," "Private Eyes"

Peter Wolf
Midnight Souvenirs

SOUNDS LIKE: The J. Geils frontman digs deep for a southern folk record with brilliant FREE ASSOCIATION: Who knew a Bronx native could be so downhome and countrified
FOR FANS OF: The Stones, Neil Young, modern folk

Baby Dee
A Book of Songs for Anne Marie
(Drag City)

SOUNDS LIKE: The aging circus transgender persona has crafted a heartbreakingly beautiful work with her harp, voice, and soul
FREE ASSOCIATION: She's like a 57 year old Joanna Newsom with a secret between her legs
FOR FANS OF: Antony and the Johnsons, Will Oldham, oddities

Bright Eyes & Neva Dinova
One Jug of Wine, Two Vessels
(Saddle Creek)

SOUNDS LIKE: A collaboration slash split LP between similarly bluesy, country-tinged folk rock outfits led by emo lead singers
FREE ASSOCIATION: When boring meets unremarkable for a flimsy LP, you get Boresville
FOR FANS OF: Calexico, Devotchka, naps, crickets chirping

We Built a Fire
(Morr Music)

SOUNDS LIKE: Icelandic supergroup makes hushed indie pop filled out with lots of instrumentation, voices, and pretty
FREE ASSOCIATION: Reyjkavik must be one of the coolest places on the planet Earth
FOR FANS OF: Sigur Ros, Sufjan Stevens, Stars, Of Montreal


SOUNDS LIKE: Sparse, ambient noise but they've filled out their sound and are much more rhythmic and beat-heavy than just freaky sounds
FREE ASSOCIATION: This is bugged-out background music, a little too minimalist for a party
FOR FANS OF: Massive Attack, drone, Brooklyn

The Confessions of Mr. Modest

SOUNDS LIKE: Chicago white boy emcee found a producer soul mate in Seattle (Budo) and moved to BK to make keys, horn and drum-heavy hip hop
FREE ASSOCIATION: Kind of refreshing to hear hip hop not so heavy on the samples
FOR FANS OF: Ash Roth, Eminem, fine Brother Ali, too

Raymond v Raymond

SOUNDS LIKE: Usher's seventh uses all the bells and whistles of a modern R&B record with guests who steal the show from him
FREE ASSOCIATION: The duets with Nicki Minaj and Luda sound like they're FEATURING Usher
FOR FANS OF: Diddy, dirty Robin Thicke, shirtlessness and tats

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I wrote about Xiu Xiu for the Calendar in PW

Xiu Xiu

Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart has a knack for self-deprecation. With Xiu Xiu’s latest, Dear God, I Hate Myself, he’s taken it to a whole other level. And Dear God is a gem of post-punk indie rock; it's as pop as they get while still singing about abuse, humiliation and despair. The lineup’s been a rotating cast, but always at the fore is Stewart, a gay rock star for the postmodern age. There’s something beautiful to be found in all his misery in excellent records like Fabulous Muscles and Women as Lovers. Tonight he’ll turn the Church into a weird anti-gay gay rock show the way no one else could. The fabulous and ecclectic Tune Yards open. -Bill Chenevert

8pm. $12. With Tune Yards. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

I just realized some REALLY EXCITING records are coming out soon

Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record (May 4)
Band of Horses - Infinite Arms (May 18)
The National - High Violet (May 11)
MGMT - Congratulations (April 13)
The New Pornographers - Together (May 4)
LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening (May 18)

Holy Moses. I started playing on Amazon and found a bunch of Best of 2010 lists. It's very strange. Some lists are 30-strong and a dozen of them are discs that haven't even been released or listened to. I guess I got to thinking about what I would say I've liked since we left the '0s behind.

Joanna Newsom's Have One On Me
Liars' Sisterworld
Nneka's Concrete Jungle
Phantogram's Eyelid Movies
Vampire Weekend's Contra
Dr. Dog's Shame, Shame
Aloha's Home Acres
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists' The Brutalist Bricks
Xiu Xiu's Dear God, I Hate Everything
Beach House's Teen Dream
Hot Chip's One Life Stand
Surfer Blood's Astro Coast
Pierced Arrows' Descending Shadows
Four Tet's There Is Love In You
Owen Pallett's Heartland

That's what I'd say so far. There are a bunch of records that I thoughtfully kept out. I can't believe how much hype is behind them when they seem so mediocre to me.