Some fun links for your Monday afternoon, as you realize that the name of this site could double for a True Detective fansite.
Let’s begin with a guitar workshop from Alan Sparhawk of Low. The video begins with the mechanics of an electric guitar and how the sounds are created, which is pretty handy for novices. Of greater interest to experienced players is the second half of the video, where Alan shows the different effects pedals that he uses, including one with his own added innovation.
We’ve got links to a few new tracks that are worth your time. First, I recommend listening to this collaboration between Frank Ocean, Diplo, Mick Jones, and Paul Simonon. The laid-back, island vibe is great for easing into the week, but don’t get too comfortable, because things get a bit more lively. Frank Ocean will probably need all the good vibes he can get, as he deals with legal issues stemming from a dispute with Chipotle. And continuing with the theme of seemingly bizarre collaborations, there’s Kendrick Lamar rapping over Tame Impala’s “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”. I think it would have worked better with a smoother flow, like the style of “Money Trees” (which is proof that Kendrick can rap with great results over an indie rock track), but if you approach it as a Kendrick Lamar song instead of a remix of Tame Impala, the snarl works better. And there’s Taylor Hawkins, drummer of the Foo Fighters, who got bit with the side-group bug like Dave Grohl, and his new outfit “Birds of Satan”. Not only does the name recall Eagles of Death Metal, but the music does as well. That to me is a good thing.
While we mentioned the 20th anniversary of Superunknown on Friday, it was rather fitting that we didn’t link to an appreciation of The Downward Spiral from Stereogum, which celebrated its anniversary on the same date (I say “fitting” because Soundgarden beat out Nine Inch Nails at the top of the Billboard chart (and to add to the discussion of “fitting”–there is talk of a possible joint Soundgarden/Nine Inch Nails tour)). There’s some great insight into how important the album was at the time and its place in rock history, especially considering it was the first exposure to “dangerous music” for many kids (I still remember getting nightmares from my first viewing of “Closer”, coupled with the thrill of watching something I knew I was not allowed to see). However, this piece gets a few demerits for not mentioning the brilliance of “A Warm Place”, especially in between “Big Man With A Gun” and “Eraser” in examining the album’s exploration of the light/dark dichotomy.
Also worth checking out is an interview from The Quietus with Mike Watt where he discusses his favorite albums. Consider this the best homework assignment ever if you haven’t listened to these albums or are at least familiar with these artists–I can think of few better teachers than the bassist for The Minutemen. And if you’re unfamiliar with The Minutemen (though I know you know at least one of their songs), track down a copy of Double Nickels on the Dime as quickly as you can. I’ll expect an essay in my inbox next Monday.
In new album news, The Dandy Warhols are releasing a live album from their recent tour for the 13th anniversary of Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia. I happened to be at one of the hometown shows, though I’m unsure if it was the one that was recorded (or whether the album will be a mix from both shows). That’s an album that should be considered a classic (perhaps the subject of a future TL;DR?), and any time you know that you are guaranteed to hear “Big Indian”, you should take that opportunity.
And while I was typing up this roundup, I saw a message from Spoon on Facebook. This is great news indeed.
Finally, if you didn’t catch The National on SNL this week, please do so now.