Caught in the Net: Very Moore-ish
Friday 26 March 2010
Alongside his day job in Sonic Youth, Thurston Moore is something of an underground pop-culture oracle: he runs a record label, Ecstatic Peace. He collects long-forgotten literary journals. He writes a monthly music column for 'Arthur' magazine (arthurmag.com) and authors books on musical subcultures (grunge, no wave, mix tapes). Since February he has taken to the web to pursue his myriad interests with a blog, flowersand cream.blogspot.com. Here he writes about culture from the fringes: dispatches about underground poets and experimental musicians; snippets of his own poetry; details on upcoming projects including a record made with Kim Gordon and Yoko Ono; random pop-culture snapshots – a recent posting was a cut-out of a 1969 review of the Stooges by Jim Morrison's wife, Patricia Kennealy Morrison.
Meanwhile Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley has also kicked off a blog at vampireblues.wordpress.com. Among his early posts was a link to a DJ session Shelley did for the online underground radio station Daily Session – hear it at bit.ly/cNKKNw.
Feel the noise
Much has been made of the Peter Serafinowicz-directed video for Hot Chip's new single "I Feel Better" (bit.ly/bjYpYZ). Its peculiar mix of dancing boyband, Christ-like figure, a floating head and death rays has created quite a stir, though I must admit I feel somewhat unmoved by the whole thing. More exciting for me is a remix that comes with the single: "I Feel Bonnie (Club Version)" is a reworking of the song by alt-country king Bonnie "Prince" Billy. It sees him double down on the clubby, dance textures of the original and throw his own unique crackling vocals on top. The result is quite fantastic, if rather unlikely. Pitchfork is streaming the track at bit.ly/aS8ck4.
Byrne after reading
Like Moore, David Byrne is a New York polymath with a fine website. On david byrne.com he recently wrote an interesting essay about song-writing and his vast array of collaborations, detailing new work with the singer St Vincent. It's worth a read. The fruit of his collaboration with Fatboy Slim, 'Here Lies Love', a concept record about Imelda Marcos, is due in April. See a video for one track, "Please Don't", with vocals by Santigold, at bit.ly/9FmFuw.
Find out if they're a flash in the pan...
Last week I wrote about "Flash Delirium", MGMT's new song. I was full of praise for its wild psychedelic pop, but expressed reservation about the band; I can now find out whether such quibbles of the duo are justified or if they outdo themselves with their new album, 'Congratulations'. The LP is out on 13 April but it is streaming now – and will continue to until its release – on the always excellent music website of America's National Public Radio at bit.ly/9K6f4j.
More lo-fi licks
The New Jersey musician Julian Lynch makes music that ambles its way towards lo-fi psychedelia. Last year he released his debut solo album, 'Orange You Glad' (he also plays with various bands), but he's not hanging around and has another record on the way this year. Lynch has posted the first track from that new, as-yet unnamed album on his site, Spacemountain.tumblr.com. The song is called "In New Jersey" and it's a beautifully constructed piece of work, with layers of divergent sounds all shuffling along. With pastoral noises and distant murmured vocals floating through, it could almost be something collected by a folk anthologist, but it manages to be fresh and new as well. Download it at goo.gl/7M3P.
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