We at Rust Is Just Right are making a brief trip to Los Angeles this week, and despite the fact that no one can question the impact that the city has had in the music industry over the last fifty or so years, we believe that this is the only landmark in the city that is worth a damn. A few years ago we set out to find the wall that Elliott Smith used to shoot the cover of his album Figure 8, and to witness the site that has become a memorial to the brilliant musician. It is smaller than you would expect and somewhat hidden away from view, but it is certainly worth the effort to seek out and witness for yourself.
Joanna Gruesome may have a ridiculous name (a moniker that serves as a horror movie parody of harpist Joanna Newsom does not exactly scream “lasting appeal”), but the band has delivered one of the most thrilling albums of the summer with their latest album, Peanut Butter. It is a rollicking affair that effortlessly mixes effervescent pop and dissonant punk, all with a super-charged energy that will keep your head constantly bopping along over the course of its brisk twenty-one minute runtime. Peanut Butter may not be the most important album you will listen to this summer, but its infectious nature might make it the one you listen to the most.
Much like they did on their debut, Weird Sister, Joanna Gruesome is able to seamlessly shift between the beautiful and the grotesque without coming across like a schizophrenic mess, alternating between melodies that are sugar sweet with moments of biting and grating dissonance. The disparate styles actually work brilliantly in tandem, with the pop sensibilities and discordant punk attacks each enhancing the effect of the other, an intriguing marriage that brings to mind previous examples of this approach like British Sea Power’s The Decline of British Sea Power. The brief moments of dissonance may be startling to the average listener at first and seem like digressions from the general flow of the songs, but over time these terse explosions reveal themselves to be not only a welcome change of pace but also brilliantly deployed punctuation of certain ideas.
Though few individual moments or songs leave any sort of lasting impression, it can be argued that the disposable nature of the music is a feature and not a bug. There is no need for the listener to remember any particular melody or lyric when everything comes so fast and furious; what is more important is the general effect on the audience, which is “let’s play this record again and again.”
New music, new videos, and news to kick off your week as we gloss over our unexplained absence…
Beck teased fans last year with hints that he would release a follow-up to the somber Morning Phase as soon as possible, and today we heard what is likely our first taste of his next release with the peppy and upbeat “Dreams”. It may not be the hallowed “song of the summer”, but it will definitely put you in that pleasant summertime mood.
Father John Misty released the video for the title track of his brilliant new album today, with “I Love You, Honeybear” taking a melodramatic look at the frenetic life of a couple of paramedics, including comedian Brett Gelman.
The most clickbait-friendly news of the weekend took place in Colorado, as Smash Mouth attempted to perform at the Taste of Fort Collins Food Festival. However, lead singer Steve Harwell was pelted with loaves of bread as the band attempted to play “All-Star”, prompting the singer to “freak the fuck out.” As much as we hate that terrible song, we have to say we do not condone the throwing of any objects, wheat-based or otherwise, at any performing band.
On many occasions we have highlighted the brilliance of Killer Mike, and perhaps that will translate to political success. There is a special election being held tomorrow in his district of the Georgia House of Representatives, and the rapper has announced a write-in campaign to take the spot. We will see if the last-minute effort will pay off for Mr. Render.
Finally, Consequence of Sound has a video Q&A with the editor of the popular 33 1/3 series of books, which allow different authors to take a closer look at many of the iconic albums of the past half-century. If you have any questions about the logistics behind the production of the series, they are certain to be answered by this video.