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About music and about writing about music. And sometimes about writing about writing about music. 

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    Monday
    Oct192009

    The Night Is Young, The Drinks Is Cold

    The Kanye West/Spike Jonez short film “We Were Once A Fairytale” is a painful, incredible and essential viewing experience into one of the most important, talented minds in his field. And no, I don’t mean Jonze.

    Released at the perfect time, “We Were Once A Fairytale” follows a drunk-off-his-ass, obnoxious Yeezy through a hallucinogenic wonderland of those flashing (flashing) lights (lights lights lights), culminating in a surrealist exorcism of the ego and the ID.

    As always, Kanye is pefectly self-aware and pefectly self-serving. Again I say: the Dave Eggers of rap? Indeed**.

    **See also: my forthcoming biography on Kanye West, “Art With A Capital ‘I’”

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    Sunday
    Oct182009

    Melissa Auf Der Mar, The Knitting Factory

    I’m not one prone to moments of flat-out schoolgirl-like fandom at rock shows. I have songs I adore and that I’ll lose my shit to when played live, and I’ll scream for those if it seems appropriate (so, basically not at a Patti Smith show). But, really, unless it’s Tori Amos, I’m not going to use every fiber of my being (and every fiber in my larynx-do larynxes have fibers? Probably) to shred my voice with incessant “I love you”s to rock stars onstage at concerts. They’re fucking rock stars, remember-we pay them to love us. In the old days, that was called prostitution.

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    Friday
    Oct162009

    Kai Altair: Howl 

    Kai Altair: Howl mp3

    I’ve heard Brooklyn’s Kai Altair described, recently, as being a “neo hippie pagan witch doctor goddess with a trip hop fetish”. Listening to “Howl”, from her forthcoming debut E.P. (dropping with an insane fantasmagorical launch party Nov 13th at House Of Yes, watch this space for more details), it’s possible to say that fits about 1/3 of what the song is. The rest is a twisted, dark, moody & atmospheric song that goes down like a love song but pricks and stings like a ballad of things lost. It reminds me, really, of the feeling I got the first time I heard the new Editors song and its sweeping chorus of “pour salt water on these wounds”, also begging and lost. It’s very possible you could play these two songs back-to-back, one after another, and get an entire story that happened sometime after midnight in a land that we mortals aren’t privvy to. It’s getting darker earlier, and colder more often, and is, in fact, a perfect time to howl.

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    Thursday
    Oct152009

    Talking Books with Rockers: The Swear

    I love music and literature with an equal passion. That’s why I value blogs like Largehearted Boy and BabyGotBooks, blogs that do more than approach both-they acknowledge and work within where the two intersect.

    (Disclosure: I also write for BabyGotBooks. I am only saying this to keep the Feds from coming after me with their blogger-bashing sticks. Truncheons? Whatever.)

    The Swear has long been one of my favorite Atlanta bands, and by far one with an incredible, dark literary underpinning.  The very first time I ever met front-woman and songwriter Elizabeth Elkins, our talk quickly turned to two things: literature and Tori Amos. So, when The Swear came to NY recently to play a show in Brooklyn at Matchless (the show that, unfortunately, Tealights’ van problems prohibited them from making), I sat down with Elizabeth Elkins at Word in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (my favorite bookstore) to talk books and songwriting.

    And then I thought we were done. But, in true hard-core rocker fashion, Elizabeth knocked a bookshelf over and demanded to have the final say.

    Thanks to Word Brooklyn and Kristina Weise for help.

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    Tuesday
    Oct132009

    Map of the world...

    Tealights plugged back in and live at The Tank in NYC on Oct 11.

    This is “Passport” in its full glory (which you may remember totally stripped, spare and possibly even lovelier from the Apartment Stories session)

    And “Wait”-which I think comes across as even more fierce live.

    Both songs are on Tealights debut E.P., Take Us By Sea. It’s available now. It’s essential. Get it.

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