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by Jane Jansen Seymour

13 Jan 2011


For those not familiar with the Daytrotter website, it’s a gold mine of live sessions created for fan consumption. Their mandate of minimal production during the recording process offers listeners an especially intimate look at bands, plus most sessions are available as free downloads. No overdubs or other enhancements filter the experience – everything is captured on analog tape just as it happened that day. The songs are stripped bare and therefore wonderfully raw. 

Daytrotter posted a MGMT session on January 3rd, this year’s first signature offering. It was recorded not at the Rock Island, Illinois headquarters, but during Moogfest at Echo Mountain in North Carolina last October. Listening to MGMT’s complex arrangements explained why the group looked like they were concentrating so hard up on stage at the Asheville Civic Center when PopMatters caught their performance at the festival. The band kicks off with “Song for Dan Treacy”, full of meandering musical parts that are glossed over on last year’s release, Congratulations. “It’s Working” showcases a driving beat which seems to carry the band along happily in its wake. “I Found a Whistle” utilizes a more upbeat tempo than the studio version and swings with new energy. The closer, “Only a Shadow” is an obscure cover by the ‘80s band the Cleaners from Venus, a fun highlight on the band’s latest tour.

[Daytrotter Session]

by Jon Chapple

13 Jan 2011


Strikingly original, and catchy to the point of irritation, “Maggie’s Last Party” is a curious post-rave oddity thrust onto a dazed Britain nursing a serious comedown in early 1991.

A fusion of then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s uncompromising speeches with a slowly-evolving post-acid house backing, something in unknowns V.I.M.‘s first crack at club stardom is proving irresistibly addictive, even to these dad rock-hardened ears.

But what’s it all about? A blatant party political broadcast or gentle, poking satire? Proto-Guido Fawkes-esque marrying of Thatcherism with the spirit of the Second Summer of Love, or clever critique of the incumbent government’s tough line on illegal raves? A fond farewell to the departing Iron PM, or a hearty “good riddance”?

Personally, my money’s on the latter—rightist politics and popular music are rarely comfortable bed-fellows—although with lines like “I’m not prepared to restrict our legitimate freedom to party” and “everyone can see / and everybody knows / that this party is best”, your guess is as good as mine. To be honest, I don’t really care.

So then, a challenge: listen to this, say, three or four times one morning, and try to not keep blurting out “the bass goes on” and “acid party!” at inappropriate intervals throughout the day. You don’t win anything. But betcha can’t do it. And if you do, you’re a better man than I am (Gunga Din).

All together now: Rave, rave, rave, murder… Acid party!

by Stephen Rowland

13 Jan 2011


And don’t get that confused with the Mary Jane Girls’ “In My House”.

The video, re-creating a low-budget dance party/music program from what could be the late 1980s or the early 1990s, is complete with glitchy video (NOT film), an introduction from the “host”, cringe-worthy fashions of the era, and even a commercial break with hilarious, faux-local advertisements.

Think what you may about the song, but you gotta see this embarassingly perfect video!

by J.C. Sciaccotta

12 Jan 2011


Grails, the prolific Portland based out-sound band (with Emil Amos of Om and Holy Sons), just dropped a track from their upcoming record, Deep Politics (out 3/8 on Temporary Residence). The song, titled “I Led Three Lives”, is an instrumental rock epic, with swirling Morricone-esque guitar lines that steadily build toward a howling crescendo over the course of nearly nine minutes. Download it now from the embed below.

by Jessy Krupa

12 Jan 2011


Now that the Christmas season has passed and the gifts have already been received, let’s take a nostalgic look at popular gifts through the years. The 2000’s recently ended, but there are still a lot of trends and changes to look back on.

Neopets or Webkins: Neopets sold millions of toys and themed merchandise by offering kids realistic counterparts to their free online pets. Towards the end of the decade, Webkins emerged as a younger-child’s version of Neopets, with stuffed-animals whose codes lead to their online alter egos.

 
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2015 Nelsonville Music Festival - 28-31 May, 2015 (Photos)

// Notes from the Road

"Merle Haggard, St. Vincent, and the Flaming Lips headed up another eclectic year at Ohio's Nelsonville Music Festival.

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