March 27, 2007
The Flaming Lips, "Buggin'"
MR: In 1999, [The Soft Bulletin] came out, and I was 19 all the time, and God, I was floored. We were all floored, all the boys in the band, and we were so taken with the bombast of it, the grand scale of this record. This was one of our favorite albums.
The A.V. Club lists "26 songs that are just as good as short stories."
Popmatters interviews guitarist Mark Smith of Explosions in the Sky.
Speaking of lyrics, was the singing on The Rescue a one-time thing, or can you envision a time where the music calls for it again?
I can definitely envision it, and frankly I’d be surprised if it didn’t surface again. There is actually some quasi-singing (more like humming) on “Welcome, Ghosts” on the new album, but most people have not noticed it yet.
WSU's Daily Evergreen offers a music blog overview.
Popmatters examines the resurrection of Stax Records.
I know I hurt her by writing this book. She made that clear, but she also let me know that she grasped the complexity of the situation. At one point after Fun Home came out, she sent me a review from a local newspaper. It cited the William Faulkner quote, "The writer's only responsibility is to his art. … If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the 'Ode on a Grecian Urn' is worth any number of old ladies." Then the reviewer went on to say, "Rarely are the old ladies asked how they felt about it." Mom liked that—that someone was considering her side of the story.
"In Quebec," says Mineau, over the phone from his Montreal home, "some people are pissed off at us because we rented one of our songs, but it was (used) to sell music on cellphones. Bands are really poor, and they do a lot of jobs. They're going to die young because they have that kind of life, so they should make money. People think you're rich, but that's not the case. I'm in the poorest neighbourhood of Montreal. ... When somebody offers you (money) for doing nothing, it's kind of hard to say no."
see also: Beghtol's Book Notes essay for the book.
"It's surprisingly sustainable," he says of the band's left-of-mainstream success. "You can have a real niche audience these days. A small percentage of the population is buying your records, but you can make a living off that."
"We sold out Madison Square Garden theater and the caterers don't know who the hell we are!" Mercer laughs.
As romantic as I find the Beinecke-to-Bowery story, however, the band does its best to hide its roots, and with good reason: One blogger I read admitted that he “liked them less” after learning they were from Yale (though the music eventually won him over). The “children of leisure” image that clings to the Ivy League is still a liability, despite the fact that in an age of ever-improving financial aid policies it is less than accurate. In a more literal sense of “leisure,” however, it is still true: We Yale students get to spend much of our time doing what we want.
The Huffington Post unearths the poetry of US presidential candidate Barack Obama's.
Minnesota Public Radio is streaming its broadcast from the Bob Dylan symposium, "Highway 61 Revisited: Dylan's Road from Minnesota to the World." Included are interviews with Michael Gray, Greil Marcus, Dave Marsh, Christopher Ricks, Bobby V., and Ann Waldeman.
Cracked lists the best and worst afros in music today.
The BBC News examines breaking into the publishing industry.
Playlist lists places to find free music online.
You tend to play the role of concerned citizen and "zombie expert" pretty straight at public events. I think that it's brilliant, but do you ever run into anyone that takes your work a little too seriously? How do you handle that?
Every now and then I meet someone who says “Hey, Dude, just want you to know, the compound’s almost ready, and when it comes down, we got your back.” I just smile and thank them for their diligence. Maybe they know something I don’t.
2. Lucero - Rebels, Rogues & Sworn Brothers
We were going to have a drinking contest with these guys in Memphis but it just turned into friendly drinks. I love this band, I think they have the same ideas about rock and roll that we do in the Hold Steady. Best lyric: "If the girlfriends don't get you, the sweethearts will".