Monday, January 18, 2010

Jay Reatard death might involve foul play?

I know the blog's been kind Jay-centric the last couple posts but I really enjoy his music and his death is truly a tragedy for the independent music community. I've been researching the circumstances surrounding Jay Reatard's death just because it's so weird for a lively twenty-nine year old musician, with seemingly no history of drug or alcohol abuse, to just drop dead and today I churned up a troubling article on NME. Apparently there's an potential homicide investigation going on now and I really hope that's not what happened. I'll keep you all posted but here's the article.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jay Reatard: found dead in his home at age 29

I can't even begin to express my grief about the passing of garage-punk rocker: Jay Reatard(or by his birth name, Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr.) I saw him last month and, as I wrote in one of my more recent blog entries, he was phenomenal in concert. I got there early and got talk with him briefly, one on one; I got his autograph and shook his hand. Now he's gone. What a complete shock.

They say he died in his sleep and I hope his passing was painless. He brought so much energy and originality to his recordings and his performances. I'll always remember this cool, quirky rocker and listen to his music.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Looking forward to seeing Girls play in January

I spied Girls on a bill for a concert at Walters on Washington last time I was there and I remembered that I'd seen the same band name on the Pitchfork top 100 of 2008 so I was immediately intrigued. A couple days ago I bought a copy of their most recent offering, their first full album, "Album" haha. That still looks awkward to me after proofing it a few times but anyway, "Album" was pretty decent and had a nice minimalist, indie sound to it that I rarely find without the oft present pretentious indie self-indulgence (which was thankfully absent). The sound can be described as maybe a little bit of Blur, a little Iggy Pop, a little Strokes, a little Walkmen (but a bit more upbeat) and lots of gratuitous but tasteful feedback and spring reverb. They also receive from me, an award for one of the best song names since Beck's "Truck Drivin' Neighbors downstairs" with their catchy, 50's sounding, "Big Bad Mean Motherfucker". It's got cussing and double alliteration hahaha. Hopefully I'll get to go listen to them play on the 31st. Do yourself a favor and check out the simple yet interesting "Album" by Girls.

Friday, January 1, 2010

'Tis the Season to look at the Pitchfork Top Hundred

Pitchfork E-Zine is always a great place to look for the absolute best in current music. Unlike many "serious" music websites that only focus on the most exclusive, obscure, and esoteric artists, songs, and albums Pitchfork seeks out the best music regardless of whether it's mainstream or not. I'd heard from a few people that the website was pretentious yet I when I viewed the yearly Pitchfork Top 100 I noticed artists like Jay-Z, Rihanna, and Lil' Wayne. I'm not hating on those artists or anything but they're definitely what would be considered pop in their genres. They get played on the radio frequently and aren't going to attract the attention of thick-framed-glasses-wearing-vinyl-collecting-hipsters (like myself haha) but they've proven that they can write catchy, complex, and lasting songs and sometimes deserve just as much attention as more obscure cult bands like Joy Division or the LCD Soundsystem.

Every New Year, Pitchfork releases a list of the top 100 songs of the past year as selected by staff and it spans all genres and levels of popularity. There's a noticeable lack of bias and favoritism in their top 100 lists (they've got other lists than the regular yearly as well) unlike the lists you find in bullshit, poser, hack, music publication like Rolling Stone. I can't even tell you all how many new bands and artists I've discovered or how many popular artists I know are good because of their annual list.

I'm not going to review the whole list for you but some of my favorite songs on the list are:
-Blood Bank by Bon Iver
-Bad Romance by Lady Gaga
-Paparazzi by Lady Gaga
-Watching the Planets by the Flaming Lips
-Daniel by Bats for Lashes
-Glass by Bats for Lashes
-11th Dimension by Julian Casablancas
-Moth's Wings by Passion Pit
-My Girls by Animal Collective
-1901 by Phoenix
-Two Weeks by Grizzly Bear
-Lust for Life by Girls

I can always depend on Pitchfork to direct me to all the coolest songs I might have overlooked during the past year.