Mid-Year Playlist

The following songs were all released this year, all on full-length LP’s. The exception, however, is the track “You and I,” which features Richard Hawley accompanied by The Arctic Monkeys (listed here as The Death Ramps)–a collaboration which I hope will yield more. Some of these songs appear on albums I’ve reviewed here already; the… More

RPM Challenge 2012 Part II

The RPM Challenge continues.  Into the second week and I’ve got five unnamed rough tracks.  I’m unclear exactly how things are shaping up, as I’m too in the middle of it to get a clear sense of direction.  I do notice a piano-driven impulse on these, and I’m enjoying some experimentation with mini-moog.  I got in… More

RPM Challenge 2012

Each year musicians from around the world challenge one another to compose and record an album’s worth of material (10 songs or 35 minutes of music) in the month of February (this being a leap year, we get an extra day).  This is not a competition, but rather a community effort to push ourselves into… More

Ain’t None Bad As Tom Waits

A friend of mine who’ll remain unnamed often tells a Waits story (most likely apocryphal, as if there were any other kind of Waits story)  worth re-telling: This friend, see, is coming off a bender in LA–uncertain, for instance, of how he’d arrived in LA in the first place.  He is certain only that someone has… More

Bill Knott’s Art Of The “Malignant”?

The enigmatic Bill Knott is at it again.  OK, I already regret the tone of that first sentence; its suggests a ruse, which is probably the last thing (or at least somewhere down on the list?) poet and artist Bill Knott has in mind with his recent online activities.  Since the abandonment of his cult-inducing… More

All Things Frankenstein

Need some help here. I’ve been listening with continuing fascination and awe, frankly, to the album Spark of Being, the soundtrack, performed by Dave Douglas and Keystone, to Bill Morrison’s cinematic adaptation of Frankenstein. DJ Olive’s textures and Gene Lake’s nervy drumming, in particular, create a a sonic approximation of what The Creature may have felt stumbling… More

Still Sucking and Seeing: A Review in Progress

I came to Arctic Monkeys late–probably because so many critics were telling me I would love them. Witty, caustic, frenetic British post-punk alterna-pop–what’s not to love? I couldn’t imagine, however, what would separate them from their counterparts–from Bloc Party, or Babyshambles, or The Kaiser Chiefs, or Foals, for instance?  Simply put, what these bands all… More