CFP: The Legacy of Radiohead's 'The Bends' 20 Years On [Deadlines: 29 Jan / 12 Feb]

 
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Thursday, Feb 4, 2010
Former Creation Records boss Alan McGee continues rapid decline into unintentional self-mockery.

Whether you consider this worthy of praise or criminal prosecution, Alan McGee was the man who brought the world Oasis all those years ago. Other artists signed to McGee’s Creation Records included My Bloody Valentine, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Teenage Fanclub and Primal Scream.


But in the 11 years since Creation went belly-up, McGee’s most significant contribution to music has seen the once powerful indie tycoon reduced to a cartoony, potty-mouthed version of Statler and Waldorf from The Muppet Show.


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Wednesday, Feb 3, 2010
Judging by the "Top Ten" list of hundreds of critics in Village Voice's Pazz and Jop Poll, Pitchfork is either really good, or critics are becoming really lazy.

Recently, the general “Who had the best album of 2009?” debate came to an end with the release of the Village Voice Pazz and Jop poll. For those unfamiliar, the poll comprises the “Top Ten” list of hundreds of music critics. Top honors went to Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion.


Animal Collective’s win wasn’t surprising. When Merriweather was released last January, critics all but anointed it an album of the year contender. But Village Voice contributor Chuck Eddy raised an interesting observation: Eight albums from the Pazz and Jop top ten list were also on Pitchfork‘s top ten list.


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Monday, Feb 1, 2010

“Seventeen and strung out on confusion”, Billie Joe Armstrong belts out the opening line of “Coming Clean” in a high, booming notes to immediately drive home the coming-of-age struggle the song concerns itself with. Tied to a guitar groove that emphasizes the upbeats of the rhythm, “Coming Clean” is a short track that barely makes it past the minute-and-a-half mark. Regardless of its brevity, it’s rightly considered one of the standout album cuts from Dookie, as Armstrong tackles the subject of sorting out one’s sexual identity in a concise, empowering manner.


Sure, there are no overt mentions of homosexuality in the song (the closest you get is the line “Skeletons come to life in my closet”), but Armstrong has made it clear in interviews that dealing with such desires during adolescence is what “Coming Clean” is about. Forgoing Armstrong’s typical self-effacements, “Coming Clean” is the only track on Dookie that can’t be described with the word “bratty”. The reason is simple: “Coming Clean” is intended as an affirmation, one that demands respect from others even if they unwilling to offer acceptance.


Tagged as: green day
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Monday, Feb 1, 2010
Artist/producer PC Muñoz mines for gems and grills the greats.

Bay Area songwriter/recording artist Francesca Lee and her producer Michael Winger  do a wise thing by highlighting Lee’s lovely, engaging voice in each tune on her new album, The Pieces Left. At first listen, Lee has the kind of almost-familiar voice that may remind listeners of artists they’ve heard before, but a more discerning listen reveals a unique, emotionally brave vocalist and songwriter who handles quite well the delicate task of evoking both strength and deeply felt passion, as well as vulnerability and thoughtful restraint—sometimes within a single song.


The daughter of a Polish mother and Japanese-born Korean father, Lee has been calibrating and fine-tuning her unique combination of influences and interests since high school, where, according to her press materials, she “kept to herself and wrote songs.” Since graduating from the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (the college founded by Sir Paul McCartney) in 2002, she has been performing with her band, The New Believers, all over Northern California, making headway in major venues and broadcast outlets.


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Sunday, Jan 31, 2010

It won’t be long until the music industry hands out honors at the 52nd Grammy Awards ceremony. Sure, much of the annual hubbub surrounds the Best Song, Record, and Album categories (Will Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” trump both Beyonce’s “Halo” and “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”?  Discuss!). Let’s not forget that the Grammys have handed out an award for Best Short Form Music Video since 1984.  Music videos have been the one of the most important methods of disseminating new music to audiences for nearly 30 years (not to mention they’ve been works of art in their own right on countless occasions), but considering the award program structure the Grammys still treat them as mere afterthoughts.


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