Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti readies new album

A while back, I was introduced to Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti by my friend Aaron Olson, a veritable rock historian and badass bassist (badassist?) of Cyrptacize. The song in question was “Helen,” and I instantly disregarded it because I didn’t understand it. What was with the flange overload and the yelping? I couldn’t instantly buy into this concoction of spooky baroque sounds. Gradually, I was won over by the chorus, which is so fun at face value. I almost want to strip the song down of all its embellishments, because I think whats hidden underneath is just solid pop song.

So, I’m excited that 4AD will release their new album, Before Today, on June 8.

Six months in the making, Before Today was recorded in part in Encino at the House of Blues (once Tito Jackson’s home studio) with Sunny Levine (Quincy Jones’ grandson) and Rik Pekkonen (Bill Withers, Seals & Crofts, Bread) as well as at the band’s home studios. The result is a beguiling mix of glam rock, West Coast funk and Merseybeat harmonies with a high-production sheen; a contrast to the corroded bedroom recordings that have fomented a fervent cult following over the past decade.

Give them a chance if you like your pop with a dose of strangeness.


Thurston Moore to lecture noisy kids about noise

It’s hard for most people to appreciate “noise” as music. I’ve taken my chances and more often than have to bow out, angry at myself for either wasting my time or failing to understand its value. Nevertheless, I do find the containment of noise interesting.

I guess the trick is to get ’em while their young, which is what Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) is attempting to do this Sunday when he will give a dissertation on white noise to children at the New York gallery Partners & Spade.


Ya gotta love Partners & Spade. This Sunday, April 11th, they will be hosting another session of their Avant Garde Preschool. Don’t expect any papier-mache animals. At 11:30 a.m., for a one-time “tuition” payment of 30 bucks, Thurston Moore will deliver a “Dissertation on White Noise” to kids ages 8-12. Sounds wild, eh? All proceeds go towards the arts program of PS 126.

Even though I’m not a parent, I’d love to take my kid to this thing. It would be a sort of punishment for the youngster. They’d have to sit through excruciating, yet challenging guitar feedback while I’d just try to get Thurston Moore to talk to me.

Photo from fOTOGLIF


Neil Young serious about summer

Neil Young has added more dates to his “Twisted Road” tour with fellow folk musician Bert Jansch. The 14-date jaunt will feature Young playing solo, the first time he’s done so on a tour in many years. The dates are below.

05/18 – Albany, NY @ Palace Theatre *
05/19 – Buffalo, NY @ Shea’s Performing Arts Center *
05/21 – Worcester, MA @ Hanover Theatre *
05/23 – Wallingford, CT @ Oakdale Theatre *
05/24 – Washington, DC @ Constitution Hall *
05/26 – Louisville, KY @ Palace Theatre *
05/27 – Knoxville, TN @ Civic Auditorium *
05/29 – Atlanta, GA @ Fox Theatre *
05/30 – Spartanburg, SC @ Memorial Auditorium *
06/01 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium *
06/02 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium *
06/04 – Houston, TX @ Jones Hall *
06/05 – Austin, TX @ Bass Performance Hall *
06/07 – Dallas, TX @ Meyerson Symphony Center

No California love, I see. What gives, Neil?


A reunited Libertines to stumble into Reading and Leeds Festivals

Predictable? Maybe. Kind of awesome? Certainly. For the first time in six years, the Libertines are about to perform as a complete band. And where do they plan on gracing audiences? The UK’s Reading and Leeds Festivals, which are fine choices, really. Guns ‘n Roses, Arcade Fire, Weezer and Modest Mouse will also join the fray.

From The Independent:

The Libertines released two albums, 2002’s Up the Bracket and 2004’s The Libertines, before breaking up in 2004 due to disagreements between guitarist Pete Doherty and co-frontman Carl Barat. Last May, three of four group members performed together during a concert by Doherty’s band Babyshambles, suggesting that a reunion might be near.

Tickets are now on sale for both festivals, which take place simultaneously in the two UK cities and feature the same lineup. The capacity is about 80,000 at the Reading site and about 70,000 at Leeds.

The Libertines were one of those “in” bands I took a chance on a few years ago. They were getting so much publicity at the time that I couldn’t help but be discouraged. But the praise was nonstop, so I took the bait.

They blew me away. It’s a shame really, that they were/are lumped in the “garage band” genre. They offer so much more than the Strokes, Hives, Vines, whatever. The Libertines were just of the same time period, and leaps and bounds more interesting. The songs actually go places, and your body submits willingly, wrapped in the beat and all those slurring hooks. Listen to their self-titled album and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Try me: “Can’t Stand Me Now,” “Music When the Lights Go Out,” “What Became of the Likely Lads.”

The band just wanted to play rock music, in the vein of the The Who and the Rolling Stones more than anything. The Clash? Please. I dig the Clash, but they had a focus and agenda from their formation, despite the childish “punk” tag. With the Libertines, it never felt like they were going anywhere since they didn’t have interest in dealing with fame. Helplessly diverted by their self-destructive nature, coupled with their sheer talent, is what made them so enticing. How could a band be so obtrusively pretentious, yet inherently genuine and endearing? In a strange way, the Libertines were out to eliminate themselves and embarrass your tastes. Of course, this is in large part to Pete Doherty, who, despite his shortcomings as a human being, is more reminiscent of a classic (not classy) rock star than any other current musician. Now the band is getting back together to play some shows. There you go.

I know I strayed from the topic at hand, but none of us were going to make it to England, anyway.

Photo from fOTOGLIF


Glen Campbell to go out with bang of an album

Glen Campbell has been producing studio magic for decades, but he’s not ready to step away from the industry until recording one final album, which happens to include a slew of talented performers.


Glen Campbell is collaborating with Jakob Dylan, Chris Isaak, Paul Westerberg, Bob Pollard and others on “Ghost on the Canvas,” which is slated to be the veteran artist’s farewell album.

Producer Julian Raymond tells that the album’s basic tracks have been recorded in Los Angeles, with orchestra sessions slated for April 2. Campbell is currently negotiating with several major labels to release the album, which will be supported with a farewell tour. “It’s not your mother’s Glen Campbell,” Raymond says of the project. “He’s playing guitar better than ever, singing and writing better than ever. It’s really going to be a great final statement from him.”

Campbell is still looking for an album deal, so why don’t you crack open that piggy bank and do the guy a favor.


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