Portlandia

Catching Up On The Week (Jan. 16 Edition)

A few #longreads as you prepare for the new year to begin in earnest…

Amid a crowded field of new releases next week, the long-awaited return of Sleater-Kinney stands out from the rest as indie rock fans welcome the return of the beloved 90’s band.  So it’s no surprise that the band is getting write-ups in most music publications this week, including Pitchfork, Grantland, and Nylon.  We’re probably missing other tributes as well, but we’ll try to make up for it by linking to their performance on Letterman last night.

Another new release that we can’t wait to hear comes from another Pacific NW favorite, as The Decemberists return next week with What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World.  The Oregonian looks at how the band helped shape the Portland music scene over the past fifteen years, which while giving the city a new national profile also riles up some locals, as evidenced by a few of the comments.

One upcoming new release that we’ve neglected to mention before is the latest record from Belle and Sebastian.  In order to rectify this, here is Pitchfork’s insightful musical influence feature “5-10-15-20” with the band’s leader, Stuart Murdoch.

Diffuser is taking a look at “The Roots of Indie”, and their latest installment examines the history of the Violent Femmes, one of the most unique successes in rock history.

And finally, a small dose of light scientific reading for your weekend, as NPR takes a look at why some cultures respond to musical cues in different ways.

Catching Up On The Week (Jan. 9 Edition)

Some #longreads for the moment you unthaw your internet-ready device…

This morning Billboard published their cover story interview with Kendrick Lamar, who gave few clues about his highly-anticipated new album (beyond a general look at his average day in the recording studio), but did provide a lot of insight into his philosophy and upbringing.  As illuminating as his answers are, my mind is still reeling from the fact that Taylor Swift apparently thinks that “Backseat Freestyle” is her personal theme song.

Marilyn Manson is preparing to release his tenth album, The Pale Emperor, and recently talked to Noisey in a wide-ranging interview.  Even if he’s just bullshitting, Manson is always an interesting interview.

Neil Young is putting the final touches on the official release of Pono, launching the website for the high-quality digital music files this week and announcing that the special player will be available for purchase in stores in a few weeks.  He sat down for an interview with Rolling Stone, who were kind enough to provide a video of the exchange.

The AV Club has a bizarre write-up on Men At Work’s “Who Can It Be Now?”, and it deserves a link because it at least has snippets of a conversation with Colin Hay.  You probably already have the saxophone line stuck in your head.

With the release of his latest solo album Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper today, now is the perfect opportunity to catch up with the most prolific member of Animal Collective and read Pitchfork’s voluminous cover story on Panda Bear.

And finally, if you’re looking for a few laughs this weekend, you should check out this compilation of Portlandia parodies provided by Billboard, many of which feature some of our favorite indie rock artists.