Latest Blog Posts

by Jane Jansen Seymour

18 May 2010

What’s with these really young bands embracing sounds from decades before they were born and yet managing a hip take on it all? Here’s another prime example from a Long Beach, California group barely out of high school called Avi Buffalo. Their first self-titled CD was just released by famed indie label Sub Pop and after a sold out record release party at LA’s Troubadour, they’re embarking on a four-month tour beginning in the UK which makes major stops at the Sasquatch and Glastonbury festivals.

Avi is short for Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg, a skateboarder who picked up guitar along the way and started writing songs. His mastery of the instrument is in part due to lessons from legendary local blues guitarists—a revealing bit of trivia as old meets new in “What’s in It For”. The vocals call out with ‘70s soul searching and background cooing while the guitars playfully meander along until the closing brings an expanded textural landscape. The video on the band’s website ends with them playing in the sunshine with psychedelic flora and fauna enveloping them in the sunshine to bring home the concept.

“Remember Last Time” begins with this layered approach to the traditional rock band structure and the mind games continue with lyrics such as “if I had to tell you something about myself” and lots of talk about feelings. The song drops out to highlight Avi’s sparkling guitar parts with the sound building back in with the support of his band mates. It’s an impressive bit of playing and songwriting – definitely worth a listen.

by Alex Suskind

18 May 2010

The last time Hi-Tek and Talib Kweli collaborated, it was 2000 and they were the duo Reflection Eternal. The result of their partnership was the critically-acclaimed album, Train of Thought. At the time, it was only Kweli’s second official studio album (the first being Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are Black Star in 1998). Talib’s first solo effort, Quality, wouldn’t hit shelves until 2002. Both still relatively new to hip-hop in 2000, the two produced a bold, hard-hitting album, with Kweli’s powerful rhymes and Tek’s beats rooted in ‘70s soul.

Now, almost 10 years after the release of Train of Thought, they are joining forces once again for their second studio effortRevolutions Per Minute (they also released a mixtape in 2009 called
The RE:Union. While one would assume that the words indie hip-hop and Entertainment Weekly would never be uttered in the same breath, the pop-culture magazine is currently streaming Revolutions Per Minute in its entirety.

On top of that, there are three videos posted below. The first two, “In This World” and “Strangers,” are singles from the new CD. The third is a throwback: “The Blast” from their first album, Train of Thought.

by AJ Ramirez

18 May 2010

Early on the morning of May 18, 1980, Joy Division singer Ian Curtis committed suicide by hanging himself in the kitchen of his Macclesfield, England home. Despite the short body of work he produced (one full-length album plus a clutch of singles and EPs by the time of his death at age 23, soon followed by a second album and other posthumous releases), Ian Curtis’ music with Joy Division has gained a legendary stature in the subsequent decades. Noted for his frenzied performance style, his dark, literate lyrics, and his doomy proto-goth baritone, in death Curtis has become an icon of the post-punk movement in particular and underground rock music in general, continuing to influence scores of artists to this day.

In honor of Curtis’ legacy, here are a pair of videos that showcase his indomitable stage presence in life, followed by Anton Corbijn’s 1988 music video for the Joy Division song “Atmosphere”, quite possibly the most exquisite and beautifully-crafted posthumous tribute the medium has ever produced. As a bonus, also included is Radiohead’s cover of “Ceremony” (originally released as the debut single by Joy Division’s successor group New Order), one of the last songs Curtis ever wrote.

by J.M. Suarez

17 May 2010

The first new Pernice Brothers album since 2006’s Live a Little, Goodbye, Killer is set to be released on June 15. The band is currently streaming three songs from the album: “Not the Loving Kind”, “F**king and Flowers”, and “We Love the Stage”.  Another song from the upcoming release, “Jacqueline Susann”, is also available as a free MP3 download. The Pernice Brothers are also running a special promotion with a pre-order of the album that includes a free copy of the book Pernice to Me.

01 Bechamel
02 Jacqueline Susann
03 We Love the Stage
04 The Loving Kind
05 Something for You
06 Goodbye, Killer
07 The Great Depression
08 Newport News
09 F*cking and Flowers
10 The End of Faith

by Dean Blumberg

17 May 2010

Do you ever lie awake at night, amongst a room cluttered with Black Flag, Misfits, and Samhain posters, wondering what it would be like if Henry Rollins and Glenn Danzig were, you know, really close and intimate? Fortunately I’m not the only one because Tom Neely and alt-comix/art crew Igloo Tornado present Henry and Glenn Forever, a new mini-comic billed as “the love story to end all love stories.”

The book showcases 64 pages of Henry and Glenn as the sensitive and tender companions we have been hoping they were. Oh yeah, John Hall and Darryl Oates are Henry and Glenn’s satan-worshipping evil next-door neighbors. Henry and Glenn Forever is a Cantankerous Titles release available for purchase (only $4!) from Microcosm Publishing.

//Mixed media

'Assassin's Creed': The Comic Book

// Moving Pixels

"How does one establish an entry point into a complex mythos developed through the plots of more than a half dozen very popular video games in only about 20 pages? Not very well.

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