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Category Archive for ‘music’ at Three Roads Blog
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Archive for the 'music' Category

M.O.P + Sesame Street

I came across this brilliant amalgamation on Sasha Frere-Jones’ blog. To echo Frere-Jones, it really is the perfect timing. It’s also a great song.

Scandinavian Diversions

From Sweden: Lykke Li

From Norway: “Elling”

You’re a legend, Dave

Visionary Larry introduced me to the Kiwi folk duo Flight of the Conchords a few months ago.

Back in November, Conchords stars Bret McKenzie and Jermaine Clement appeared on the NPR radio show Fresh Air with Terry Gross. (Well, I suppose one can’t appear on a radio show.) They talked with Terry for about 20 minutes and gave some on-air performances of their favorite songs, including “Most Beautiful Girl in the Room” and “What Is Wrong in the World Today.”

Listening to the segment, I was surprised to learn that Bret had a part in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Also, I learned that Jermaine speaks flawless French.

Check it out.

Click “Hear the Original ‘Fresh Air’ Interview and Performance.”

Comment of the day

This one’s from a regular reader named Glenballs. Dan Glenballs. Weird name, yes, but ol’ Glenballs makes a good point about the noticeable lack of boot-scootin’ that accompanies indie music shows:

I went to a couple indie shows in santa monica (not hip) and stood around trying to enjoy my favorite tunes but couldn’t get past the crowd of tight jean, straight haired, out-of-shape, stiff, white, occassional swayers that listened with their minds plugged in, mentally prepping their notes for their late night blog session. what a waste! “unlock your body and move yourself to dance” was not being heard or felt, just analyzed.

I have to disagree with the notion that white listeners of indie rock are unfeeling or overly analytical. Sure, an ironic quip is never far away, but I also detect (and maybe it’s just me) a heightened sensitivity and earnestness among the indie crowd. Call it the wounded, woe-is-me vibe. I think the music is being felt, but felt in such a way as to render the body inert. But I’m out on a limb rhetorical limb here…

The last indie concert I attended was Death Cab for Cutie. (I’m sure the indie vanguard now consider them to be lowly pop, but in my world, they’re still indie. Or at the very least a hyrbid of the two.) Anyhoo, there was a considerable amount of movement at that show, and it went beyond “swaying.” That said, I don’t think any pelvises moved.

Is Indie Rock Too White?

If you aren’t yet privy to the lively debate going on about indie music and race and class issues, then here’s a primer:

This article, by the New Yorker’s music critic, Sasha Frere-Jones, started the discussion (some would say controversy). In it Frere-Jones laments the lack of “miscegenation” in current rock and roll, particularly within indie rock and roll. The story is titled “A Paler Shade of White: How Indie Rock Lost Its Soul.”

Slate magazine, picking up on the chatter caused by Frere-Jones’ article, added its two cents with this story, bringing the class issue into the mix. The article agrees with the assertion that indie rock is a pasty affair, but it takes issue with many of Frere-Jones’ points, namely the Why of it all.

Evidenced by a rash of blog posts on the topic, Frere-Jones has been forced to defend both his thesis and use of the charged word “miscegenation.” His posts are on his New Yorker blog.

Nothing is obscene anymore

Last week, I came across some great footage of Frank Zappa on Crossfire.

The subject was music, obscenity and censorship. The show (it aired in 1986) also featured Robert Novak (who, curiously, looks exactly the same as he does today—old and crotchety), a columnist from the Washington Times named John Lofton, and host Tom Braden.

A lot of commentators say we’re shriller than ever before, but when you look at this video, you’ll consider the possibility that we have made progress since the culture wars of the 1980s.

Not surprisingly, Zappa takes the anti-censorship side. He’s conservative in the libertarian sense of the word—he doesn’t want the government to tell him what he can listen to.

On the other side, there’s the goon from the Washington Times. I say goon not because he supports censorship, but because he’s a ridiculous caricature of the hyperventilating social conservative. Mencken wouldn’t have bothered to dress this guy down. To make your counterpoint is simply to let him talk.

The debate veered toward one song that the Washington Times guy thought was particularly offensive—“Sister,” by Prince. He claimed the song promoted incest. It’s certainly a foul song, and my guess is that Prince, now a Jehovah’s Witness, would like to put it as far behind him as possible. But I doubt that it had much of an effect on the sexual mores of innocent listeners at the time.

Continue reading ‘Nothing is obscene anymore’

Funny juxtaposition

Radiohead frontman Thom YorkeHere are the two biggest news stories to come from the recording industry in the past week:

1. The indie band Radiohead decided to let fans choose how much to they’re willing to pay for their new album. The lowest acceptable price? $0.00.

2. A group of record labels successfully sued a Minnesota woman (a single mom earning $36,000 a year) for illegally downloading music from a popular file-sharing site called Kazaa. The woman must pay $222,000 in damages, which amounts to $9,250 per illegally downloaded song.

Photo (of Radiohead singer Thom Yorke) from Michell Zappa