Sunday, June 04, 2006

Fuzzy summer head

There are a couple long/thoughtful/analytical posts on songs/bands I keep meaning to write (and want to write), but every time I sit down to do it my head gets fuzzy and I feel a nap coming on. Summer. What can you do? So I forsee scattered, vignette-y posts round here for the foreseeable future.

This seemed to be the week that highlighted for me the still massive musical divide between the U.S. and U.K. First there was Sasha Frere-Jones' New Yorker column and Web-only Q&A with Ben Greenman about what manages to successfully cross the Atlantic and what gets lost at sea (not much of the former, bucketloads of the latter). Then there was NME's latest readers' poll on the best 100 albums, in which two Oasis records made the top 5. Who thinks this is worth losing sleep over? Right. So the average NME reader is male, early 30-ish, middle class (but identifies with working class lad culture), white and British (obvs). Hey, at least the Stone Roses' first album nicks number seven. It doesn't even place on the Rolling Stone 500 (average poll respondent: male, white, early 50s, record company executive, American). Then a friend sent me a link to this Guardian piece on Art Brut, a band I like, even though Jon over there thinks they're an example of clever that's too clever. I was similarly surprised back in January when I read The Clientele is also ignored by their countrymen. Here's my fix. U.K. readers: Buy Bang Bang Rock & Roll and Strange Geometry. U.S. readers: Pick up Definitely Maybe and What's the Story Morning Glory?. Nah, joking. But you could start thinking about that Lily Allen record, scheduled to drop in July.

And Iknowiknowiknow every single blog has posted an Art Brut track already, but this song makes me giggle:

Formed A Band - Art Brut

K - The Clientele

I don't know what other bloggers do, but as I find mp3s of bands I might want to post on, I stick them in an iTunes playlist... then they sit there, sometimes for months. That's where I fished out Coffinberry, a good, Cleveland-based band that doesn't deserve my neglect. I hear a lot of classic indie rock--Dino Jr, Afghan Whigs, Pixies, Archers of Loaf and other purveyors of melodic noise.

7 Months Gone By - Coffinberry

Your Comeback - Coffinberry

Coffinberry's Web site and Myspace.

Well, well, look who's crawled back into the alt-indie lowlights. If you lived in Chicago 10 years ago, you almost certainly knew who Chris Holmes was. Main man behind Sabalon Glitz and Yum Yum, around-town scenester, Baffler contributor, and perhaps most famous for a certain article that appeared in Harper's. (Unfortunately, I can't find the piece online. But trust me when I say it wasn't Tom Frank's or Holmes' brightest moment.) Apparently, Holmes has been living in L.A., working as a producer and D.J., but has returned (sorta, Chicagoist has the fuller story) with an EP, Get Yer Yum Yum's Out (iTunes). Sugary pop? Definitely. Ironic? You decide. But know that this track appeared on the (shattering!) season finale of The O.C.

I Don't Care What My Friends Say - Chris Holmes

More streams on his Myspace page.


Blogger evan said...

y'know, i got the art brut album but i can't tell if i like it or not.

4:21 AM  
Blogger Jon said...

Man oh man, Amy. This one was packed, fuzzy or not. Can you drop a clue as to what we are missing long-post-wise? Are you finally coming clean on why you and Shellac never got along?

Sorry for being a stick in the mud about Art Brut. Their show, which I haven't seen, supposedly puts them over the top but when I hear them that they formed a band all I can think is "Uh huh. And... ?"

8:21 AM  

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