Steve Albini

Catching Up On The Week (Nov. 21 Edition)

Some #longreads and other time-wasters as you prepare for the holiday…

I highly recommend reading this speech from Steve Albini on the state of the music industry.  Albini does a great job of explaining the economics of the old way the record industry used to run and how it has changed with shifting technology, and also how alternatives to the normal practices of the record industry developed.  I still think there are still some issues for artists as the way we consume music evolves, but Albini’s take is certainly worth taking into consideration.

It can be tough for neophytes to wade their way through the early history of punk rock, but the AV Club has provided a handy primer on one of the most important scenes in their Primer on Dischord Records.  Some may have a passing familiarity with Minor Threat and Fugazi, but there was a lot more to the DC scene, and giving mentions to bands like Nation of Ulysses and Q and Not U is definitely worthwhile.

Were you curious about the story behind the song “Footloose”?  No?  Well, read on anyway, because bassist Nathan East provides the story, and he’s worked with everyone.

Stereogum has a list of “26 Essential Songs From The NYC Rock Resurgence”, probably to coincide with the release of the new TV on the Radio album, or maybe just because they felt like it this week.   We’ll link to it because it’s extensive and it has some good songs on it, so why not.

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.