Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chris Black and Chamberlab: One Year Down and a Wide-Open Future for Chamber Music in Popular Culture

Posted By on Wed, May 29, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Spicy, sweet, hot, funny, giddy — the rich and happy mood of chattering diners clustered with friends could be felt almost upon opening the door to Café Desta, packed as it was with fans of avant indie chamber music on the verge of a historic event. Chris Black’s original Tucson vision, Chamberlab, was turning one year old, and celebrants anticipated an evening of the gang’s greatest hits, delicious as the spirit and the company of its culinary overture.

Program, players and lots of pictures after the jump.

Chamberlab performed for a charmed, SRO audience at Café Desta Saturday night.
  • C. Elliott
  • Chamberlab performed for a charmed, SRO audience at Café Desta Saturday night.

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Friday, May 24, 2013

A SpudBoy Picks His 10 Favorite Devo Songs

Posted By on Fri, May 24, 2013 at 9:19 AM

It's no secret I'm a huge fan of Devo. In anticipation of their show at the Rialto on Friday night, I though't I'd share my 10 favorite Devo tracks.

10. Space Junk/Q:Are We Not Men? A:We Are Devo!

A fragmented and paranoid tale of falling space debris and a particularly unlucky girl named Sally. Skylab fell out of the sky and landed over parts of Western Australia in 1979, a year after this album was released.

9. That's Good/Oh, No! It's Devo

Devo on full-on synthpop mode. An upbeat song about the joys of bland conformity. So upbeat in fact that the "Bad Boys" from San Francisco used it for their dance routine in the 1987 Crystal Light National Aerobic Championship. I don't think they were in on the joke.

8. Gut Feeling (Slap Your Mammy)/Q:Are We Not Men? A:We Are Devo!

Probably the best intro of any Devo song. Imagine if the Autobahn was placed smack-dab in the middle of Ohio. People tend to forget that Devo is a damn good guitar band.

7. Come Back Jonee/Q:Are We Not Men? A:We Are Devo!

Again, Devo being a great "rock" band is often forgotten. Devo takes the cars 'n' girls songs of rock and roll's past to its next logical step. What happens when you're having too much fun and you're driving a little too fast? Come back, indeed.

6. Red Eye Express/Duty Now for the Future

If I had to pick a favorite Devo album, it would have to be Duty Now for the Future. Their second album, this is when they struck the perfect balance between the guitar and synthesizer. Red Eye Express is the album's closer and includes some of my favorite off-the-the-wall lyrics. "Something's flattened my cola/something's wrong with my brew/something's rotten in Idaho/and I don't know what to do."

5. Booji Boy's Funeral/Hardcore Devo Volume 2

R.I.P. young man. Taken from the incomparable Hardcore Devo Volume 2, the second installation of Devo's raw and humble beginnings.

4. Mongoloid/Q:Are We Not Men? A:We Are Devo!

The tale of a man who had one chromosome too many. He wore a hat, he had a job and he brought home the bacon, so no one knew. Years before David Lynch's Blue Velvet, Devo peels away the layers of suburban blandess and finds mutants running amok. The music is ominous, spooky and robotic, and like "Gut Feeling" it also has a stellar intro.

3. I Desire/Oh, No! It's Devo

In a career full of subversiveness and pulling media-savvy pranks, this might be the crown jewel in the Energy Dome. Lyrics are credited to "Casale/Hinckley/Mothersbaugh". Who's Hinckley? None other than John Hinkcley, Jr., the man who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan to impress Jodie Foster, living out some sort of sick Taxi Driver fantasy. Some of the lyrics are taken from the love poems Hinckley Jr. wrote to Ms. Foster. How they snuck this past Warner Bros. is beyond me. Does this mean Hinckley Jr. receives royalties?

2. Jocko Homo/Single

The Devo Manifesto. Planet of the Apes meets crazed religious sermons meets Revenge of the Nerds.

1. Beautiful World/New Traditionalists

The moment Devo realized devolution has caught up with modern society and there's no going back. It's a somber, almost melancholy track that's full of spite. "Beautiful people everywhere/they way they show they care/it's a beautiful world/for you/it's not for me."

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Hey Nerds, The Daft Punk Album Is Currently Streaming on iTunes

Posted By on Mon, May 13, 2013 at 2:13 PM

daftpunk.jpg

I really don't know what else I need to put here: People love them some Daft Punk. I'm not sure if it's the music, or the fact that the two dudes wear the kinds of outfits that make San Diego Comic Con cosplayers look like low-budget Halloween costumes, but Daft Punk causes some severe reactions in music fans.

Anyway, if you want to listen to some sweet, sweet Daft Punk-ing, check out iTunes.

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Friday, May 10, 2013

The RIAA Now Includes Digital Streaming In Its Gold and Platinum Certification

Posted By on Fri, May 10, 2013 at 4:22 PM

In news that's sure to be great for another industry that's circling the drain, the Recording Industry Association of America has decided to join in with the times and include song streams as part of their certification process for gold and platinum records.

From Billboard:

The last time the RIAA altered its methodology was in 2006, when it added master ringtones. Two years before that, the organization began counting digital downloads. And prior to that, CDs and cassette tapes were added to the mix. Otherwise, the formula for Gold and Platinum certifications remained largely untouched — 500,000 unit sales for Gold, 1 million for Platinum and 10 million for Diamond.

Among the on-demand streaming services the RIAA will accept are MOG, Muve Music, Rdio, Rhapsody, Slacker, Spotify, Xbox Music and others. In addition, video streams from MTV.com, VEVO, Yahoo! Music and YouTube will also count. Under the new formula, the RIAA will distribute awards to 56 new titles, including 30 Seconds To Mars’s “This Is War,” Emeli Sandé's "Next To Me," and Cher Lloyd's "Oath," Thursday night at the National Association of Recording Merchandisers' annual Musiz Biz conference in Los Angeles.

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Yo La Tengo: It's an All Ages Thing

Posted By on Thu, May 9, 2013 at 3:09 PM

We're thinking Ira Kaplan must have to replace three or four guitars after every tour. He gives new meaning to the term "shredding" with a claw-hammer strum attack and a swing that threatens amps into yet better, bigger and more feedback as he heaps layers of chaos onto the unshakeable constancy of Georgia Hubley's beats and James McNew's chords.

What a show Monday night at the Rialto! Although most songs were from the new CD Fade, the band interrupted their set to accommodate a fan calling for "You Can Have It All" from 2000's And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out and, in the encore, "Tom Courteney" from 1995's Electro-Pura. "Autumn Sweater" from 1997's I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One also made the playlist. See the setlist below.

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Queens of the Stone Age's New Music Video is Creepy as Hell

Posted By on Tue, May 7, 2013 at 11:22 AM

"I Appear Missing" is the first release off of Queens of the Stone Age's forthcoming release Like Clockwork, set to be released June 6 — and I'm pumped, if only because Dave Grohl returned to lay down the drums for this album, which is cool in its own right. Bigger to me, though, is that I'm of the opinion that everything Grohl and QOTSA frontman Josh Homme collaborate on (QOTSA album Songs for the Deaf, Them Crooked Vultures, "Centipede" off of the Sound City soundtrack) turns into gold.

Interestingly enough, this is a truncated version of the full song, as the video features about half of the six-minute-long album cut.

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Monday, May 6, 2013

Today in Weird Hip-Hop News: Jay Electronica Breaks Up a Marriage Between Two Wealthy Brits, and Murs Rides a Stripper Pole

Posted By on Mon, May 6, 2013 at 5:23 PM

So, if you really dig hip-hop, you might be familiar with Jay Electronica (also known as Jay ElecHanukkah, or Jay ElecYarmulke, or Jay ElectRamadaan Muhammad Asalaamica RasoulAllah Subhanahu wa ta'ala — if you're taking stock in his verse from "Exhibit C") — either because he exploded your mind with "Eternal Sunshine," "Exhibit A" and/or "Exhibit C"; because he's got a kid with Erykah Badu; or because his debut album will never come out, no matter how bad you want it to.

Well, now he's got a new claim to fame: breaking up the marriage of British bank heiress and record mogul Kate Rothschild to British bank heir Ben Goldsmith.

From The Telegraph:

Today, nine months after splitting from Ben Goldsmith and blaming it on the fact that they were “children” when they met, Miss Rothschild has finally admitted she was unfaithful.

Their eight year marriage was one of 25 ended in just under a minute at London’s High Court, with no mention made of how they would split their multi million pound fortune.

Mr Goldsmith, son of billionaire financier Sir James Goldsmith, found it “intolerable” to live with his wife after the affair, which formed the grounds for the divorce, the papers reveal.

...

In a later tweet relating to rumours surrounding her relationship with the New Orleans rapper the heiress wrote: “As for Jay Electronica…he saved my life in many ways and I am eternally grateful to him.”

...

Miss Rothschild also claimed in an interview that her love for the hip-hop star —with whom she “just connected” - was not the reason her marriage hit the rocks, instead blaming the fact they were “children” when they got together.

Draaamaaaaa — and also, vaguely weird that someone who lives on the periphery of hip-hop culture (while still being insanely recognizable for no discernable reason) has become a minor figure in British celebrity culture. So, I guess Jay's movin' on up. Good for him — at this point though, I hope he finds a way to pull Pippa Middleton and cozies his way into the good graces of British royalty.


Also, who remembers watching BET Uncut? Anyone who will admit to it? Well, at-least-part-time Tucson rapper Murs put together a video with Fashawn for the hidden track off of last year's This Generation, "Tuition" — which is, in wholly awkward fashion, an ode to thoughtless strip-club bangers that cut off before the song gets good and before you get your money's worth for your dance.

Uh, from...from what I understand, anyway.

Unfortunately(?) the video isn't embeddable, as it's hosted at World Star Hip-Hop Uncut, purveyors of all things relating to stupid street fights and women clapping their booties in their bedrooms to poorly mixed Southern Hip-Hop.

Still, check it out because it decently satirizes strip-clubbin' while paying tribute to it (the cash they're throwing around is literally Monopoly money); it has Murs and Fashawn; and it vaguely recalls the somewhat dirty feeling of watching a hip-hop video with scantily clad women writhing on poles at 1 a.m. on basic cable.

Also, there's scantily clad women. Just make sure you get home from work before you click to check it out.

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Joshua Levine Was Right: Neutral Milk Hotel Announces Reunion Tour, Haters Can Suck It

Posted By on Thu, May 2, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Following Jeff Mangum's Rialto show in March, Neutral Milk Hotel has announced that they're bringing the band back together for a reunion tour.

So far, no Tucson dates have been confirmed, though considering how vehement NMH fans are about defending their band's honor, they may want to consider playing here—if only because there appear to be people champing at the bit to see them in person, regardless of how poorly received Mangum's show was by Weekly writer Joshua Levine—or how poorly received his review was. A taste of that review [emphasis added]:

The recent announcement of Neutral Milk Hotel's upcoming fall reunion tour revealed Jeff Mangum to be a crass businessman, expanding his profit margin by selling out his fans. If he were Britney Spears doing a comeback tour, the scenario would be perfectly logical. But Mangum is not a pop singer; he is an artiste whose music changed and shaped many lives under the guise of honesty and integrity. He desecrated his own parables by turning his work into a 45-minute advertisement for his upcoming Neutral Milk Hotel tour. If he needed the money, he could have licensed his songs for Target or Volkswagen commercials. But he didn't. He disrespectfully pimped out his music to the people to whom it holds untold worth, belittling his audience and reducing them to common johns, impersonally serviced in place of the implicit promise of enlightenment.

That line drew a heated response from a number of people who were all-too-willing to jump down Levine's (and the Weekly's) throat, such as TucsonWeekly.com anonymous commenter george22:

This was the first article I've read in the Weekly in quite some time. I'm glad to say I haven't missed anything. Not only does this article structure its asinine opinion around completely false information, it paints one of the most gifted songwriters of the generation in an absoulutely unnecessarily negative light. God, to let such filth be published in your magazine is inexcusable. I don't even blame the writer; shame on you Tucson Weekly.

Levine was right. You were wrong. Deal with it, haters.

For more information and updates on Neutral Milk Hotel's reunion tour, check http://www.groundcontroltouring.com/artists/neutral-milk-hotel

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