Bri Blahg… New Spoon! J. Lo AMA Fail, Adam Lambert The Leather Liberace.. Music News Round Up 11/23/09

23 11 2009

by Brian Phillips (@BrianBlahg)

Our Top Story… Not Crap

Listen, after you read the below you’ll understand why I had to lead with news of the new Spoon album and tour.

Bonus Coverage. Spoon waste not want not:

Yawn… American Music Awards… Yay Contrived Controversy

Adam Lambert has everyone frothing over his performance last night. I could give a shit. What was really off putting was that voice. I thought you had to at least be able to carry a tune to win American Idol. Speaking of that, Taylor Swift wins five.

Bonus Coverage. Adam Lambert being all coy:

More Bonus Coverage. Jennifer Lopez fell on her generous posterior during the show. Over at the industry bulletin board Velvet Rope they’re saying J. Lo’s tumble was excised from the West Coast Feed:

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Dirty Projectors bring all of Brooklyn out for Pool Party

20 07 2009

By Jill Menze (@jillmenze)

Jelly NYC Pool Party

Jelly NYC Pool Party

Last week’s Pool Party was a good time at the Williamsburg Waterfront, and yesterday’s show was a hit, too. Granted this is mostly due to the great weather, great views and great (but limited, mind you) free booze, but great (or at least pretty good) bands don’t hurt, either. Sunday afternoon saw Long Beach, Calif.’s Crystal Antlers, Jason Molina’s Magnolia Electric Co. and the buzziest of indie buzz bands Dirty Projectors take to the stage, and wow, was there a long line of people outside. Not sure if it was the epic preportion of when MGMT played McCarren last summer (methinks probably not), but it might be damn near close.

Though nearly all band members of Crystal Antlers were feeling a bit under the weather before the set (I think something is going around, as I sit here myself coughing with no voice), they still delivered a high-energy set of raw, ramshackle rock that worked up those lucky enough to make it in early. Magnolia Eelectric Co. had somewhat of an opposite effect, with breezy, organ-driven pop that floated through the outdoor space.

While I’ve said my piece with Dirty Projectors before and how I did enjoy the group’s set at Bonnaroo, I can’t say I felt the same way yesterday. Maybe I wasn’t close enough or maybe I was music-ed out by that point of the concert-filled weekend (or maybe it’s this head cold?), but the set was lost on me, the off-kilter harmonies coming off more jarring than unique. I’ll give David Longstreth credit for his ability to shape-shift and toy with sounds in such a way, and vocalist Amber Coffman killed “Stillness is the Move,” but I just wasn’t feeling it at that moment. Next week, though, I’m going apeshit (per usual) for Trail of Dead. Bring it!

Dirty Projectors at Bonnaroo 2009

19 06 2009

Experimental, indie band the Dirty Projectors played Bonnaroo with a special guest appearance by David Byrne, who joined them on their song “Knotty Pine.” Unfortunately, we missed that part. But what we did see was still notable. Please take a look.

Best o’ Bonnaroo

16 06 2009

By Jill Menze (@JillMenze)

With this being my first Bonnaroo and all, I obviously have no prior event to compare it to. What I do know, though, is that everyone I’ve talked to who has attended in years past also had a blast this weekend, so I suppose that says something about the success of this installment.


What Stage, Bonnaroo 2009

I can’t say I saw a band or artist play a sub par set, aside from my own mood or disposition causing me to enjoy something less than I should have, and only that happened maybe twice (sorry, Animal Collective and Band of Horses). Performances by reliable favorites like Wilco, Jenny Lewis and Bruce Springsteen were solid and filled with surprises, while catching my first live shows from old favs like the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy were as good as if not better than what I always expected. Then there were new acts like Phoenix and Dirty Projectors, who proved why they’re so buzzed-about to begin with, the latter converting me to a fan (live, at least) after I showed up ready to criticize.

Outside of the music, just being on the Bonnaroo festival grounds is an experience unto itself. It was great to see good friends, meet new ones and be a part of a collective vibe (however substance-enhanced) that was so chill, friendly and relaxed. It was a weekend I won’t be forgetting any time soon, and here are some of the highlights:

Best & Worst after the jump…

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In which our skin burns rather than muds

12 06 2009


Yeah “muds” isn’t a verb. Whatever. It’s sunny and it’s awesome, not rainy and disgusting. Hot, yes, but boy, what an improvement. Day two in the clear-skied Manchester, Tenn., started off slow and easy, a good transition from the hellish walk in the storm last night. After a quick stop by the Sonic Stage for a couple tunes from Neil Young’s English cousins Alberta Cross (with whom we chatted earlier today, video to come), it was off to the Dirty Projectors, to see what all the hype is about.

I’ll concede the group was better and much more energetic than I expected, as on record I have a hard time finding much to get excited about. But DP’s enthusiasm was infections, the tempo shifts, grooves and breakdowns enough to keep you on your toes. As a lady nearby stated, “I love chicks who sing” — couldn’t be truer here, with three-part girl harmonies adding a key melodic element. Bonus: David Byrne joining the band on his own curated stage.

After much mulling over the Santigold vs. Yeah Yeah Yeahs dilemma, Santi was the winner, and a good choice at that. Flanked by two gold-jacketed dancers and a backed by a be-hatted band, Santi White got the whole tent shaking, and even went so far as to say this was the best audience she’s played for in the U.S. (I think that’s what she said. Something like that, at least.)

Santigold rolled through hits like “L.E.S. Artistes,” the Bud Light Lime- associated “Lights Out” (which she stopped and restarted thanks to sound trouble) and “Shove It,” which she preceded with a sample of Jay-Z’s “Brooklyn We Go Hard.” A pronounced bass livened up “Say Aha” and “Unstoppable,” the latter chugging along beside thick, syrupy synths. For the encore, she stole a trick from M.I.A.’s playbook and brought eager fans up onstage to dance with her. Normally I’d advise for her to find her own gimmick, but it was too funny to care. To the dude with no shirt and a backpack — you are my rockstar.

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