August 28, 2009
August 18, 2009
I've always bought cds, and I have over 350 sitting in my bedroom - when I'm moving in two weeks, 75% of my packing will be takien up by cds, lps, and books. Things used to be relatively finite, but we've fallen prey to the illusion that information is infinitely accessible, infinitely available, and can be infinitely reproduced. Digital media may be practical, but just think how empty our rooms would be had we not been such massive consumers during the 90s and 2000s.
Here's an old favorite, featured on What's Up Matador? (VHS), by Yo La Tengo from their (best) album, 1993's Painful.
August 14, 2009
"This week the world has been a-flutter with the news that Radiohead might be releasing new material on Monday, August 17 after a new song seemed to appear online.
"Now, eagle-eyed observers have noticed that elements of the file and code attached to the song featured the words "wall" and "of" and "ice", and that indeed the combination of the three appeared in a mysterious poem that accomanpanied the track on back-of-the-internet-lorry site what.cd. You can find all the Wall of Ice stuff hidden in the ASCII code here."If you therefore assume that Radiohead follow the same model as they did with In Rainbows – ie they create a website based on the title of the release – you get www.wallofice.com. And that leads straight to the W. A. S. T. E. Shop. In other words, it looks very much like the rumours are true: there’s an EP coming with that title and Radiohead’s site is all set up to receive the orders via that site." Read the full article.
This song has been circulating in the sort of frenzy you'd expect when something from Radiohead leaks. "These Are My Twisted Words" may not get a proper release (it could be Radiohead's contribution to the Twilight sequel's soundtrack; and Thom Yorke recently suggested, in an interview with The Believer, that a new LP won't be coming any time soon, but he has a habit of saying one thing and doing the opposite), but it's a damn fine song: dark, atmospheric, but mysteriously upbeat. It seems to me that "...Twisted Words" would have been quite at home on the criminally underrated b-side collection included with the deluxe edition of In Rainbows. Shame the disc didn't get a wider release.
August 13, 2009
- Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free - Akron/Family (out now on Dead Oceans)
- Rotting Slowly - The Curious Mystery (out now on K Records)
- Person to Person - Foreign Born (out now on Secretly Canadian)
August 11, 2009
And then, to my astonishment, Milbank continues with this statement:
The “other religions” thing in the end won’t matter. The world as a whole is rapidly Christianizing, and even in Islamic countries like Bangladesh Muslims are finding their own specific and valuably Islamic way to Christ in notably increasing numbers. As Paul Claudel realised in Le Soulier de Satin, the meaning of globalisation is a shift to the primacy of the sea, la mer tout entière, and so figurally of baptism and personal relationship, however terrestrially sundered. The evil disasters of colonialism can only be redeemed when they are seen as perverse and yet providential ways to the further proclamation of Christian universalism.
Now, I have no problem believing this came from Milbank's mouth, and maybe I'm too conditioned by neoliberalism, but I find the arrogance and presumption of this statement troubling. The sort of authority Milbank is here touting seems Constantinian in all the wrong ways. I don't doubt Blond is far off. What a sorry mess this is going to be.
August 4, 2009
Another album released today produces the opposite effect in my gut. Modest Mouse were without a doubt one of the most important bands of my adolescence. I think it's also safe to say that The Lonesome Crowded West and The Moon and Antarctica are two of the best -and perhaps the most vital- albums of the last 15 years. They are sonically and lyrically complex, darkly original and suprisingly poignant, both for their cultural commentary and their philosophical outlook. So it's with a whole heap of dread that I turn to the current manifestation of Modest Mouse. 2003's Good News For People Who Love Bad News was definitely not a bad album, but it represented a shift for the band (in terms of popularity, production, content, and Brock's new sobreity). This shift was fully realized with 2007's We Were Dead..., an unforgiveably bad album that, no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't get behind. Was Johnny Marr really necessary? I guess when the songs can't stand on their own, you need some way to dress them up. Anyway, the point of all this is to give some context for the band's new EP, No One's First And You're Last, which I can't help but see as Modest Mouse's tombstone (don't get the wrong idea -I'm sure there'll be more of them). The EP collects leftover material from the band's last two albums -which means even more poor wordplay, more overdone guitarwork, and a bunch of half-baked songs ("Satellite Skin," "Autumn Beds," and "Whale Song" are examples of the band at its most creatively tapped). "I've Got it All (Most)" al(most) tunes into the Modest Mouse I remember, while the bloated "King Rat" sounds as though it came from the Good News... era, and for that reason alone soars above the rest of this EP. And yes, the video is directed by the late Heath Ledger. Too bad it's not very good.