A few #longreads for your perusal as you relax this weekend…
Now that you have read our extensive look at the discography of Wilco, be sure to read Jeff Tweedy’s interview with Rolling Stone talking about the creation of Star Wars and how the band is already working on the next record.
The New York Times has an in-depth piece that takes a thorough look at the evolution of the “Creative Economy”, and in particular scrutinizes the way the music industry has developed in the wake of technological advances. While I would take some of the conclusions they reach with a grain of salt, the article is worth reading to see the process of how they came to develop these arguments.
Another weekend, another anniversary–this time, Stereogum is taking a look back to the year 2005 and the release of Kanye West’s second album, Late Registration. Considering his continued impact on popular music, it is somewhat amazing to realize Kanye has only been around for a little more than a decade, and this well-written piece makes the argument that Late Registration stands out from the rest of Kanye’s formidable catalog.
Consequence of Sound has a retrospective piece on the 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan’s seminal album Highway 61 Revisited, with the added bonus of including tidbits from a couple of the session players that contributed to the record.
Finally, Pitchfork has a piece that uses the twentieth anniversary of Rancid’s hit “Time Bomb” as a jumping-off point for a look at the history of 2 Tone Ska, analyzing the differences between its development in the UK and the US as well as how the social issues that were a central part of the music decades ago still are relevant today.
A handful of #longreads to help you pass the time this weekend…
This week marked the anniversary of several important albums, and there are of course tributes to these records for those who feel the need to revisit the past. For instance, today marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of Facelift, the debut album from Alice In Chains. Loudwire has a recap of the history of one of grunge’s first big hits, an album that has held up surprisingly well after a quarter of a century. There is a surprising amount of diversity on Facelift, especially on the second half of the record, and it is well worth revisiting if you have neglected listening to it in its entirety lately.
Another classic album that was released the same day was Jane’s Addiction smash hit Ritual de lo Habitual, and Rolling Stone has a track-by-track breakdown of the record with singer Perry Farrell and guitarist Dave Navarro. If you have never listened to the album because you have heard “Been Caught Stealing” enough times in your life, you are missing out.
Rolling Stone also has an interview with Shirley Manson of Garbage, as she reflects on the twenty years since the release of the band’s self-titled debut. Stereogum also steps in to provide a twentieth anniversary essay of Garbage that features an opening paragraph that is so wrong that you will probably spend hours looking for videos of The Clash on YouTube to help cleanse yourself.
A better Stereogum piece is the essay commemorating the twentieth anniversary of Rancid’s breakthrough album ..And Out Come The Wolves. I am sure the guys in Rancid would agree with my previous point about The Clash.
The AV Club has a great piece looking at the history of the making of Jimi Hendrix’s one-off record with Band of Gypsys. As someone who much prefers the work of the ensemble that made up the Jimi Hendrix Experience, it gave me a new-found appreciation of what the group was attempting to accomplish. Plus, I learned that Hendrix once played guitar on a Jayne Mansfield novelty song!
Finally, as Deerhunter prepares for the release of their next album, you can help prepare for the group’s sonic shift with this Pitchfork interview with frontman Bradford Cox.
Only a few #longreads this week, which is OK, because you should probably be out enjoying the first official weekend of summer.
The most significant news of the week has probably been the breakdown in negotiations between various independent labels and YouTube over the terms of a new subscription service. Consequence of Sound has a piece providing details how a potential block on videos would work, and Billboard has specifics on the contract details, breaking down exactly how the various services work with the labels. Both pieces get pretty technical, so you should probably read them at a point when say, a soccer game isn’t happening at the same time.
The Atlantic has a great piece with Hamilton Leithauser, who explains how Elvis proves that there is such a thing as “brilliant nonsense” when it comes to write lyrics, and goes on to detail his own process in coming up with lyrics.
OK Go released a new music video this week, and though we don’t have an article to go along with it, we’re posting it now instead of waiting until Monday so that you have time over the weekend to find all the optical illusions.
The AV Club featured a great write-up about how Tool’s Lateralus was able to break through and reach the number one spot, and represented not only a commercial high point for metal but an artistic one as well.
Continuing with the theme that 2014 is the Year of Nostalgia, Stereogum has write-ups on the 20th anniversary of Rancid’s Let Go (which immediately prompts the reaction of “Is this necessary? …And Out Come the Wolves would be understandable, but not this”) and Guided By Voices’ Bee Thousand (understandable). In further GBV news, it was announced that Dogfish Head brewery will be whipping up a special batch in honor of the anniversary, called “Beer Thousand”. I believe that Stephen Thomas Erlewine had the best quip about the news.