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by Sean Murphy

14 Apr 2011


“Good poets borrow; great poets steal.” That’s according to the great T.S. Eliot. Or is it?

Debate rages (well, amongst the handful of people who are aware of—or care about—quotations like this, or literature in general) as to who actually said it. Pablo Picasso occasionally gets the attribution, as does the critic Lionel Trilling (replacing poets with artists in his version).  So, even trying to correctly identify the ultimate epigram about plagiarism can lead to charges of… plagiarism. Brilliant! And, upon reflection, could it be any other way?

by Corey Beasley

12 Apr 2011


What else to say about the early demise of LCD Soundsystem? The blogosphere already let the digital tears roll with eulogies ranging from the fantastically extensive to the cut-and-dry to, yes, remarks from the naysayers. For those who couldn’t make either the week-long victory lap at Terminal 5 or the final blow out at Madison Square Garden on April 2, setlists and reviews and videos abound. The show at MSG was as explosive and far-reaching as promised, a sea of black and white (and occasional spots of color from those who either didn’t get the memo or were too embarrassed to indulge in some fan-boy dress code respect) and palpable energy, even when James Murphy scrounged deeply into his pockets to pull out b-sides rarely or never heard live (“Freak Out/Starry Eyes”, anyone?).

But LCD Soundsystem was always tremendous live, so none of that should be any surprise. What is actually astonishing—not surprising, but really something to stand back and look at without the sense of irony that surrounds so much of our dialogue about indie music—is how this outpouring of love for the band reveals just how much LCD Soundsystem came to mean to so many people over a relatively short amount of time. It’s no real mystery how James Murphy pulled it off: he’s a damn good songwriter and a seemingly tireless workhorse, to boot. Still, how many bands in 2011 could call it quits and hear such an immense gasp of real sadness from every corner of the globe? We’re talking genuine emotion on the Internet, folks—and on a massive scale. Chew on that one for a second.

by George de Stefano

11 Apr 2011


“Wang Dang Doodle” fades to the sound of Hubert Sumlin’s guitar and Howlin’ Wolf’s promise that the wild party will go “all night long, all night long”. With “Little Baby”, the mood shifts from riotous to playful and affectionate, as Wolf pledges total devotion to his love, in good times and bad. “You go and I’ll come with you little baby / You go and I’ll come with you/you bet your life that I won’t quit you”, he declares. He’ll stick by Little Baby even if she runs afoul of the law and gets locked up: “You go to court / And I’ll come along / You’ll go to jail / And I’ll go your bond / You got time, tell you what I’ll do / Stay outside and wait for you”. But this love affair, and Wolf’s devotion, rests, at least partly, on the cash nexus: “You get paid / I’ll hold the money”; “You bet the horses / And I’ll pick up the dough”.

“Little Baby”, by Willie Dixon, is a well-crafted, catchy pop tune with clever lyrics. Howlin’ Wolf sounds like he’s having a great time with it; unlike other Dixon tunes whose words he sometimes messed up, here he gives the wryly comic lyrics their full due. You’d never guess that the partnership between singer and songwriter was so fraught with anger and resentment.

by Jason Mendelsohn and Eric Klinger

8 Apr 2011


Klinger: Well, Mendelsohn, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that of all the discs we’ve covered thus far, The Queen Is Dead is the most British—so British that it might actually be daunting to Yankee ears. What say you, old bean?

Mendelsohn: I think that’s an unfair characterization, Guv’nr. Yes, they are British, but are they any more British than the Beatles? Or the Sex Pistols? David Bowie? The Rolling Stones? Sure, the Stones wanted to be American bluesmen, but that’s neither here nor there.

I think the issue at hand, the reason it sounds “daunting” to your Yankee ears, and to mine, is that fact that this album was released in 1986, which, musically speaking, was the Dark Ages of the last century. That can be the only reason a record this terrible gets a ranking of No. 28 on the Great List—directly ahead of the Beatles’ Rubber Soul and the Rolling Stones’ Beggars Banquet. What sacrilege!

by Evan Sawdey

8 Apr 2011


LMFAO will not apologize for party rocking—despite the fact that its new album is titled Sorry for Party Rocking.

The duo—of SkyBlu and Redfoo—are actually Skyler Gordy and Stefan Kendal Gordy, and if their last names ring a bell, then you are not far from the truth: Stefan is Motown Records’ founder Berry Gordy’s son, Skyler his nephew.  The pair never exploited their family’s considerable music business clout, however, as their first album—2009’s Party Rock—was released via Black Eyed Peas’ frontman will.i.am’s record imprint on Interscope.  The duo pumped out hedonistic party singles one after another, collaborating with the likes of Lil’ Jon one minute, guesting on a David Guetta hit the next. 

So while its long-delayed Sorry for Party Rocking album is due out later this year, the group is planning on showcasing some of its new material by party rocking this year’s Bamboozle Festival, April 29th to May1st in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  Before the group does that, however, SkyBlu sat down to answer PopMatters’ famed 20 Questions, where he reveals his desire to try every drug at Woodstock, the fact that The Notebook made him cry, and how in a perfect world, it’d just be him and 2Pac hittin’ up the Ritz . . .

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