Well, this is a hell of a last hurrah: Word comes late tonight that as a last-minute follow-up to this evening's show at Warsaw, Toronto's hardcore world-beaters Fucked Up are set to perform at tomorrow night's final installment of this season's Brooklyn Night Bazaar. In addition to being insanely awesome, the show is also free, so you'll want to make sure you show up good and early, which sounds like a pain in the ass but isn't, once you consider all the eating, drinking and shopping you can do once you're inside. Visit bkbazaar.com for more info.
A little weird, though, that she did it with 17-hear-old Conor Cruise in tow, the same night his dad was on the show promoting Jack Reacher. Sort of a crazy, totally coincidental convergence of creative types, isn't it?
Has So Percussion always been based in Brooklyn?
We moved here in 2004, I think. We were based in New Haven while we were doing grad school at Yale at the school of music and had our studio there for a while. I moved to Brooklyn in 2003 and we all scattered a bit for a minute until we could move our studio to Greenpoint. We are in our second studio there but have been a Greenpoint group since then.
Over any year, the songs we download, get sent, obsess over, file into playlists, form the soundtrack to our lives' distinct chunks. There's more new music available now then there's ever been, in torrents, floods. And while that makes for a limitless swim, we're just as often drowning in it. Even the most open ear is going to miss out on something, get caught in their own sweet spot, not find the time to let catch on slowly. It's not something we can easily fix, and despite dogged effort, there's certainly some stuff I missed. But being truly definitive is next to impossible in the face of sheer volume, and of dubious utility anyway. The subjective choices we make as listeners, commenters, hold the only real intrigue.
So here are twenty-five songs that stuck with me this year. The list contains both bolts from the blue I replayed intensely from the first right-click, and those that snuck up on me, piggybacking on a complementary running order until they finally stuck. (I'm avoiding stuff from our best albums list, with a single exception.)
Your experience undoubtably varied, but here's how 2012 sounded to me.
Before we get started here, yes, we realize this is a somewhat unusual list, in that it completely eschews no fewer than three of the year's most talked-about and generally drooled-over releases. We promise, though, that there was nothing cynical or purposely contrarian happening here—just an honest to goodness case of some human beings having ever so slightly different taste in things than other human beings. At this time of year, it's easy to forget such a thing is even possible. Anyway, these are the records we loved the most over the past 12 months, the records that renewed our faith in things, comforted us, made us think about what music is capable of—we bet a lot of them had the same effect on you, and we hope we can convince you to give it another shot with those that didn't. For a Spotify playlist of key tracks from our favorite albums, click here.
We realize that we've made jokes elsewhere about the internet's refusal around this time of year to acknowledge the possibility that some people might not like the same things as other people like, and that it might be somewhat hypocritical of us to tell you you're wrong to like some of the things you've decided to like. But honestly? These records? The worst!
Below you'll find a cross section of songs birthed from Brooklyn bands over the last 12 months. For better or worse, this is how our borough sounded in 2012.
It was a weird few hours! But it happened, and it turns out everything's still okay today. They didn't even play any Nirvana songs.
I love holiday songs. The playlist put together by L Mag music maestro—oh yeah, I just called Mike Conklin MAESTRO, and I'd do it again, even to his face—is definitely one of my favorite things about this particular holiday season. But not every song is as pure and wonderful as "All I Want for Christmas Is You." Oh no. Many, many Christmas songs are incredibly disturbing. Just today, The Atlantic proposed changing the lyrics to the date-rapey "Baby, It's Cold Outside" in an effort to redeem that superficially charming, profoundly creepy Christmastime classic. But whereas that song really doesn't hide the fact that it's about some dude pressuring a lady to sleep with him by plying her with roofies, there are some other holiday songs that are much more subtly creepy. Here's a list of songs to avoid if you want to actually be cheerful this season and not confirm the statistical likelihood that you'll jump off the Brooklyn Bridge and into the icy depths below.
And while the prospect of immaculately danceable, weird-angled guitar rock is bopping around our heads, why not check out this Pitchfork.tv clip of one-time slacker icon Stephen Malkmus nailing maybe the most well-rehearsed cover version of his whole career, an improbably tight version of Can's krautrock strutter, "One More Night". It's pretty great!
But everyone has it wrong.
Here are a few reasons why:
In a press release concerning the closing, venue owners cited harsh realities for live venues who don't factor in to the dominant scenes and trends of an increasingly expensive neighborhood and an increasingly monetized live music environment:
Trace Adkins, however, has not forgotten, and made the bold move of wearing a confederate flag earpiece for his otherwise unremarkable performance at this week's Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting.
Sky Ferreira has a fair bit of money invested in her success, I think we can safely assume. The Los Angeles based, Capitol Records-signed singer has been casting about for an identity for a few years now. (You can follow the slight variations in this recent Buzzfeed post by Matthew Perpetua.) Garbage-singer Shirley Manson and high-profile creep Terry Richardson were hired to give her an alt-rock touch-up earlier this year. Solange-affiliated song-writing team Dev Hynes and Ariel Rechtshaid were behind the soft-focus indie-R&B of her most recent, Pitchfork-beloved breakout track, "Everything Is Embarrassing". Big names involved at every stage in her continuing roll-out.
So, it follows that her set-up at last night's buzzing Glasslands show would be well beyond the means of your average start-up band building on its first flash of critical notice. The stage was outfitted with a sophisticated LED projection that, in concert with the club's usual level of overwhelming smoke-machine fog, had an amazing, almost sculptural effect. Lines and shapes created a 3-D tangibility in the smoke going outwards. Lasers shot at uncovered eyeballs, made kaleidoscope patterns on winter jackets. Starting her set with the few crunchy alt-rock songs, she was backlit with blinding white fluorescents, as translucent sheets of red light moved around her. For a snug, club show the production values were top notch, truly unusual, memorably unique.
All of which is to say it wasn't exactly surprising to hear that, over the weekend, after being (somewhat stupidly) provoked by comedian Jenny Johnson, Brown flew off the handle, told her to take her teeth out when sucking his dick and that his mom had instructed him to shart in her retina, then deleted his account.
One thing to think about here is that these are the words of a person who already has more money, acclaim, and influence than most of us will ever have in our whole lives, but another is that Brown has always been a fucking abomination on Twitter, and it's actually pretty impressive and bizarre that anyone lets him use it to begin with. Obviously, to cope, we compiled his worst outbursts to date.
Nearly a third of the set was made up of songs from his most well-known incarnation Bright Eyes, including crowd pleasers “Classic Cars” and “At the Bottom of Everything,” but he dusted off selections from his other bands too, including the Mystic Valley Band (“Lenders in the Temple”) and Monsters of Folk (“Maps of the World”, sans the other Monsters). He’s come a long way from his "Self-Loathing and Long Bangs: The Conor Oberst Story" days, despite still being able to hit those quivering, frightening notes that thousands of other tortured balladeers have attempted and failed to reproduce over the years.
Anyway, aside from the usual musings about her endless breakup-inspired songs, Susan Dominus hit Taylor Swift with the exact same question that crossed just about everyone's mind when her latest video came out. Namely: "In your video for 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,' you are wearing big, heavy glasses and there are a bunch of guys in animal costumes. What is that about?"
The Bluebird Cafe, as you may or may not have heard, is not just a set in TVLand though. Situated in a strip mall outside of downtown Nashville, the 100-seat space has long prided itself on being a "listening room," famously providing the songwriters who have penned chart-topping hits for other artists with the opportunity to share their other songs to a live audience, in addition to hosting an open-mic night and early career appearances by the likes of Garth Brooks, John Prine and T. Swift. It's very much a real thing, is the point, and guess what? It's being affected by the attention brought on by the make-believe Nashville.
Finally a good break from hectic weekdays..
I would normally agree with the other comments on this board. Or I'd simply stop…