Monthly Archives: September 2011

Lou Reed & Metallica – The View

Metallica was my favorite band in middle school. And then I saw Pearl Jam in concert, they put out St. Anger, and I moved on. It was time, and they were really beginning to suck.

However, the news of a collaboration with Lou Reed – which surfaced almost two years ago, after the two groups played together at the 2009 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Concert, was intriguing, to say the least. The first full track to be released of the forthcoming album Lulu, is called “The View” and it’s, well, really bad.

Lou Reed has done some weird stuff in the past (Metal Machine Music was described by Rolling Stone as “the tubular groaning of a galactic refrigerator”) and Metallica has put out some pretty horrible stuff as well (anything after 1999). But both have also created some of the greatest and most innovative rock albums – taking their respective genres to new levels, spawning scores of imitators, and changing the face of music as we knew it. A collaboration that combined aspects of the latter would be mind-boggling. Sadly, this song is a strange combination of the former – spoken word nonsense by Reed over a sludgy Metallica riff, sans all of the speed-metal brilliance that made Metallica great, and without any of Mr. Reed’s talent.

The potential for this collab was so high, and that the result is this abysmal should be saddening to music fans everywhere.

Lou Reed & Metallica – The View

Physics For Everyone!

Though this is a music blog, I would be remiss not to mention the excitement in the world of physics that took place yesterday, literally shaking the foundations of the science as we know it.

In short, a group of European physicists measured tiny particles (called neutrinos) that traveled faster than the speed of light. This is pretty big, because science is of the opinion that nothing can exceed the speed of light, and basically everything in science is based on this. Assuming the experiment can be verified and the data is real, this means that physics, namely Einstein’s 1905 Special Theory of Relativity, needs to be reёvaluated (or at least qualified).

Hooray for science!

The Flaming Lips – What Is The Light?

Counting Crows – Einstein On The Beach

Flying Lotus – Physics For Everyone!

James Vincent McMorrow – Wicked Game

Last week I shared an iPhone-recorded version of James Vincent McMorrow’s cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Games.” Now, for your listening/download pleasure is fantastic version of the the song as performed at the Kilkenny Arts Festival in Ireland.

Grab/stream the track below, and if you haven’t purchased James’ album Early In The Morning, you can do so here. Additionally, check out his Tiny Desk Show and remaining tour dates.

James Vincent McMorrow – Wicked Game

TOUR:
9/23 San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
9/24 Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater
9/25 Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater

R.E.M. – 31 Glorious Years

They were never my favorite band. They were never even in the Top 10. But somehow, they were always an important presence. When I spent middle school only listening to Metallica on 98 Rock, they were there. During the 2-month span that I listened to pop-dance music on 102.7  (back during that 2-month span that it was a pop-music station), R.E.M. was there. When I started going back to my grunge and alternative roots on WHFS and DC101, they were there.

Which begs the question: If a band is hailed as one of the first alternative groups, how the hell did they manage to get played on every single radio station? Wasn’t the music supposed to be alternative? Continue reading

Flaming Lips – I Found A Star On The Ground

This one’s not for the meek. Nor for the rushed, or those looking for a pleasant listening experience on this rainy Thursday morning. But for the adventurous, who want to know what a Flaming Lips 6-hour song sounds like, check out the track below, separated into three tracks. Much thanks to the diligent folks who ripped this from the vinyl so our ears could be ripped to shreds for six glorious hours.

Flaming Lips – I Found A Star On The Ground

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Wilco – Wang Theater (9-20-11)

“His vocal chords are made of gold. He just looks a little too old.”

The unconverted might interpret this line (a lyric from “Late Greats”) as Jeff Tweedy’s tongue-in-cheek stab at his audience, as his music is sometimes labeled “dad-rock.” The more cynical may attribute this line to Tweedy himself; Wilco’s frontman is 44 and despite his fantastic pipes, does sometimes give off the impression of a dad dressed in a bad suit.

But for anyone who has seriously listened to Wilco, it’s clear that this isn’t the case. And if you’ve seen the band in concert, you know well that this is not “dad-rock,” Tweedy is not too old, and Wilco is one of the greatest live bands out there. Continue reading

PJ20 Soundtrack

It’s been years since I’ve been able to do a Pearl Jam album review, and damn if it doesn’t feel good. With twenty days of buildup and excitement, the day is finally here – the release of the Cameron Crowe directed “Pearl Jam 20” documentary, as well as the accompanying soundtrack. While I won’t be attending a screening of the movie tonight (the Brattle Theater down the street is showing it for a few weeks, plus I’ve got the Wilco show here in Boston tonight), I have been enjoying the soundtrack, which is up on Spotify, as well as the PJ20 textbook which I’ve been diligently consuming for the last week.

If you’d like a truly in-depth review of the soundtrack, head over to Two Feet Thick for their excellent map/timeline post (which was the 20th and final item in the PJ20 countdown). But if you want to hear my thoughts, keep on reading. Continue reading