Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx – “We’re New Here” (2011)

February 28, 2011 at 6:44 pm (Music, Reviews & Articles)

A review, dated Feb. 22nd, from the Pretty Much Amazing website, of the new remix album of Gil’s 2010 comeback I’m New Here — remixed by Jamie Smith of The xx…

On “I’ve Been Me,” the penultimate track of Gil Scott-Heron’s fantastic 2010 album I’m New Here, he states it simply: “If I hadn’t been as eccentric, as obnoxious, as arrogant, as aggressive, as introspective, as selfish – I wouldn’t be me, I wouldn’t be who I am.” On Jamie xx’s remix album, We’re New Here, that track comes third, backed with a bongo beat. It’s a fitting distillation of the album’s mission statement: This is not Gil Scott-Heron being who he has always been.

Making a remix album is always a questionable decision. Remixes themselves are so hit and miss that an entire album full of the re-commissioned tracks, more often than not, just leaves the listener wishing they had put on the original album in the first place. Even well done remix albums – say, Bloc Party’s Silent Alarm Remixed – have a peaks and valleys landscape, with particular tracks standing out. I can think of very few remix efforts (hi Four Tet x Madvillain!) that are outstanding across the board. Read the rest of this entry »

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Radiohead – “The King of Limbs” (2011)

February 28, 2011 at 7:11 am (Music, Reviews & Articles)

A new review (Feb. 21) by Arnold Pan from the PopMatters website. Radiohead dropped this new multi-format album as an unannounced surprise…

Much of the almost instantaneous reaction to The King of Limbs has come with the caveat that any perspective on Radiohead’s new album at this point is unreliable and subject to change, which is fair enough considering that this latest offering is one that will take its time to fully reveal everything that’s happening on it. Or, as Chuck Klosterman put in a tweet, “I’m sure Radiohead is depressed about these reviews, since they obviously make albums for people to listen to once at 9:20 am on a laptop.” Springing not one, but two surprises on the listening public by announcing the existence and release of The King of Limbs early last week, then sneaking it out online a day earlier than scheduled this past weekend, Radiohead caught everyone off guard and forced critics around the globe into rendering judgment before they were ready — talk about democratizing the marketplace, since music scribes and industry insiders had to wait their turn along with fans, casual and diehard alike, to hear The King of Limbs, suggesting that no one has any more insight on or claim to the album that anyone else. In lieu of business as usual, they’ve figured out how to focus on the music and leave the work of Read the rest of this entry »

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President Obama’s Weekly Address (Feb. 26, 2011)

February 27, 2011 at 9:28 am (Life & Politics)

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Radiohead – “Lotus Flower” (Video – 2011)

February 25, 2011 at 8:19 am (Music)

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Adele – “Rolling in the Deep” (Video – 2010)

February 25, 2011 at 8:14 am (Adele, Music)

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President Obama’s Weekly Address (Feb. 19, 2011)

February 19, 2011 at 10:48 am (Life & Politics)

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Radiohead to Release New Album This Saturday

February 15, 2011 at 12:08 pm (Music, Reviews & Articles)

Radiohead returns! This news article comes from the Pitchfork Media website, Feb. 14, 2011. Written by Scott Plagenhoef…

And…they’re back. Radiohead have just announced their eighth full-length record, The King of Limbs. Billed as the world’s first “Newspaper Album,” an extravagantly packaged version of the record will be issued on May 9; however, the music itself will effectively be issued on Saturday, February 19 when digital downloads become available to those who made pre-orders. 

So Radiohead have set aside the “pay what you want” patronage model that dominated the conversation surrounding the In Rainbows release, yet have retained that album’s more important business aspects: Packaging their music as a high-end collectable and controlling and monetizing its leak, which has the effect of creating what these days is a rare, worldwide, Read the rest of this entry »

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Benjamin Nugent – “White Lies and the White Stripes” (2001)

February 15, 2011 at 10:59 am (Music, Reviews & Articles)

A Time magazine article from June 16, 2001 of the now-sadly-defunct White Stripes…

It’s a comfort to realize that even in the Internet age, rock ‘n’ roll still knows how to keep a secret. To most of the media (The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe and The New Yorker, for example), Detroit’s neo-garage rock duo, The White Stripes, are siblings. After all, singer/guitarist Jack White, 25, and drummer Meg White, 26, have the same jet black hair and pale complexion, often perform in matching red and white outfits, and introduce themselves as brother and sister. But to Detroit, and to knowledgeable fans across the nation, the White Stripes are, first, a band with great songs and a distinctive sound, and second, a former husband and wife with a savvy sibling act that has duped the press.In 1996, John (Jack) Gillis and Megan (Meg) White, got married, and Jack took Meg’s last name. Jack says he grew up with ten older siblings in the southwest Detroit house he currently shares with roommates, and this is rumored to be true. Meg, he claims, grew up in the suburb of Grosse Pointe.  By 1997, they had formed The White Stripes, and over the next two years they recorded an obscure, worthy self-titled album and numerous obscure, worthy singles. Last year they divorced, but the band remained intact and released its most immediately accessible album to date, De Stijl. It’s unclear precisely when they began to call themselves brother and sister, but by the time Rolling Stone declared them one of 2001’s “Next Big Things” the charade was on. Now their upcoming third album, White Blood Cells (June 25, Sympathy for the Record Industry) is garnering well-earned rave reviews and the press is still deluded. Read the rest of this entry »

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President Obama’s Weekly Address (Feb. 12, 2011)

February 14, 2011 at 7:03 am (Life & Politics)

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Howard Wyman – “Original Beach Boys’ Version of ‘Smile’ Finally Being Released” (2011)

February 12, 2011 at 3:39 pm (Music, Reviews & Articles, The Beach Boys)

Even though we’ve heard this many times before, it looks like the legendary original Smile (or as much of it as was completed before being abandoned in 1967) will finally be released this year by Capitol Records. If this is indeed true, let us begin celebrating. This article comes from the Crawdaddy! website, Feb. 8th of this year…

By now we’re all pretty well versed in the lore of Smile, the album written by Brian Wilson and recorded by the Beach Boys in ’66-’67 as a would-be follow-up to their landmark Pet Sounds, but was never released. Conflict within the band, between the band and Capitol Records, in the individual lives of band members and in Wilson’s own wavering psyche caused the album to be shelved for almost 40 years, until just a few years ago when Wilson decided to resurrect the project and re-record it on his own (with help from Van Dyke Parks). Brian Wilson Presents Smile came out in 2004, scored a 13 on the Billboard charts and earned three Grammy nominations, including Best Rock Instrumental Performance for “Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow”, which Wilson won in the first Grammy victory of his solo career. Read the rest of this entry »

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