Lollapalooza

Catching Up On The Week (Aug. 14 Edition)

Some #longreads as you plan a trip to Burma

The big event this weekend will be the release of the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton, but before you hit the cineplex you may want to brush up a bit on your knowledge of the legendary group.  Pitchfork has an extensive feature documenting N.W.A’s relationship with “reality”, as well as a behind the scenes look at the creation of Dr. Dre’s comeback album, inspired by his work on the film.

Stereogum published an essay this week taking a look at the way hip-hop’s relationship with classic soul music has evolved over the years.  There are many sections where the explanations are obvious, but the piece is still worth checking out for the occasional nuggets and background information on production techniques that may not be so obvious.

We are still a few weeks away from the release of their new album Ones and Sixes, but nevertheless this Stereogum profile of Low is worth reading if you are not already hyped for the return of one of the most consistently great rock bands of the last twenty years.

For those of you who need your oral history fix, the Washington Post has an extended look at the story behind the 1995 version of the Lollapalooza festival.

Finally, we have linked to interviews with frontman Stephen Malkmus and guitarist Scott “Spiral Stairs” Kannberg, and now we can link to an interview with Pavement bassist Mark Ibold conducted by Noisey.  And because you surely have not had your fill of discussing the career of Pavement, Consequence of Sound has a comprehensive look at the band’s entire catalog, EPs and all.

Catching Up On The Week (Aug. 1 Edition)

Everyone else seems to have settled into the August doldrums, so we’re keeping it short and sweet this week.

Jason Heller wrote an appreciation of Steve Albini for Pitchfork, highlighting some of his greatest moments as a musician.  It’s a nice change of pace for music fans of today that know only of his legendary work as a producer (or as an “engineer”, as he preferred to be called), and should help provide an intriguing playlist for your weekend.

That is, if you need a playlist for your weekend–Lollapalooza is happening right now in Chicago, and you can catch a stream here, courtesy of Pitchfork.

The Colbert Report had a couple of excellent musical guests this week, with Beck stopping by the studio to play from both Morning Phase and his Song Reader project, which just saw its official release this week.  “Heart is a Drum”, the song that was played on the broadcast, also had its official music video released this week, and it’s embedded above.  The next night, Colbert had Jon Batiste and his Stay Human group, and they proceeded to blow the roof off the studio with a memorable performance of “Express Yourself” that you need to watch now.

The AV Club reminds you that it’s a good idea to listen to Suicide, and also inform you that The Killers wrote apparently the weirdest lyric ever (personally, I think “I Am The Walrus” is weirder, and that’s not even getting into the fact that the list is just pop music and it’s easier to find “weirdness” when you go further beyond the boundaries of Top-40/Classic Rock).

With the news that TV on the Radio will be releasing a new album this fall, Stereogum took the opportunity to list their 10 Best Songs.  Not a bad list if you ask me (though “Staring at the Sun” is underrated), and I’m glad they didn’t decide to be pricks and avoid the obvious choice for number 1.

And finally, here’s what looks like an interesting piece in SPIN that talks about a composer who “after coaxing Kevin Shields and Mark Hollis out of hiding” is finally releasing an album, satisfying our longread requirement.