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August 27, 2006


The Denver Post examines the new trend of large music collectives, calling them the "new big bands."

It's not as unusual to have nine or 10 people on a Denver stage as it would have been a year ago. Just ask Pee Pee, Everything Absent or Distorted, Team Awesome, Nathan & Stephen, Me Llamo Rosa or Tripp Nasty's Orchestra. The city's vibrant music scene has taken a cue from international acts The Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Architecture in Helsinki and Bright Eyes and is now embracing the big bands and the arty, fluid collectives.

In the Chicago Sun-Times, Jim DeRogatis reviews the new Bob Dylan album, Modern Times.

Self-produced under the pseudonym Jack Frost and recorded in rough-and-ready, live-in-the-studio, warts-and-all fashion with his current touring band, Dylan's latest isn't as strong as its two predecessors, partly because the roadhouse vibe seems more forced this time around, but primarily because the grooves are more monotonous. The brushed snare drum, country-blues shuffle dominates on every track, except for the slower ballads, and long before the disc is over, you find yourself wishing that just once the boss had given his whip-crack band permission to kick things into a higher gear.

The Raleigh News & Observer reviews the Mountain Goats' Get Lonely.

His words are his primary draw, but this record is a melodic triumph as well, particularly the languid guitar lines of "Half Dead" and the desolate melodies of "Cobra Tattoo." By saying something uniquely compelling rather than simply flaunting his vocabulary and stating nothing but nonsense, Darnielle has crafted literate, eloquent music that's truly timeless.

The Roanoake Times weighs in on the "death of a music critic."

In fact, you can start your own blog and become your own favorite critic. You don't have to take the word of some hoary (and hairy) old dude who sits at a desk all day. It's 2006! You can take the word of some tattooed, multipierced skate rat who sits at a desk all day. The era of elitism and expertise is over! The opinions of individuals carry as much weight as the opinions of crusty old critics. The MSM is as dead as the telegraph!

(For all the crusty old people who read this, and I'm sorry to describe you that way but we know it's true, MSM stands for "mainstream media." You know, newspapers, magazines, TV stations, radio, the Saturday Evening Post, etc.)

Except that the MSM isn't dead, it just has new members. The bloggers, chatterers and Web mavens may not want to hear it, but they have become the new MSM.

The San Francisco Chronicle lists interesting fall book releases.

Cracked lists the top 5 "worst lyrics ever to ruin good rap songs."

Amoeba Records has a couple of photos online from the August 23rd Mountain Goats in-store performance.

NME reviews Saturday's Reading Festival performances.

The Mars Volta's Cedric Bixler-Zavala lists his current favorite bands for the New York Times.


I hate calling anything a new movement, but there seem to be all these Muppet-looking, over-the-top hippie musicians. It looks like Feathers secluded themselves in a forest, just one hair shy of Charles Manson. It sounds a little like Manson. There’s an episode of “The Twilight Zone” where this girl is singing a song about a guy who’s going to be murdered. The guy is like, “I love that song, what’s it about?” Then he realizes the lyrics are about him. The songs on “Feathers” (Gnomonsong) are spooky. They’re not your average new folk. I skip the happier stuff, the sadder stuff always strikes a chord. I need to listen to something like that after I play to calm myself.

Author Michael Chabon updated his website with news (?) about the film adaptation of The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and the script for the film, "Snow and the Seven."

Kavalier and Clay: Status: Complying With Polite Request To Stop Posting About It On This Website, Already.

Snow and the Seven: "They love you, but they want to go in another direction." "What kind of dir--" "More of a fun direction." "Oh."

Plus, he is working on a 16-part serial novel for the New York Time magazine.

MD Groves lists the best and worst music in video games.


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