As with many great things in life, my tenure as an intern at Joonbug had come to a close. Finishing up my last day was almost as difficult to get through as my first one. I was lingering in the office on a Friday evening, putting the final touches on my last Featured Artist Profile, when the editor-in-chief, Kelley Baker, came bouncing up to my workstation (which was quite unprecedented, since she was seated only ten feet away at her own desk) and tapped me on the shoulder.
"You're on the list to see Dinosaur Jr. on the 17th!"
Last week, the Times published an article called "The 31 Places to Go in 2010" that ranked Sri Lanka at top of the list. M.I.A., who has Sri Lankan Tamil roots, took offense to the manner in which the Times painted Sri Lanka as a scenic "tropical zoo." The article describes the "miles of sugary white sand flanked by bamboo groves" as a "happy, if unintended byproduct of the war." She responded on her twitter by posting graphic photos of children being massacred by the country's civil war between the Tamil and the Sinhalese government, saying "Here is the lush coastline they are talking about."
The song "Space Odyssey," was produced by M.I.A. and Rusko and will likely appear on M.I.A's upcoming third album.
Charlotte Gainsbourg IRM
Cold War Kids Behave Yourself [EP]
Editors In This Light And On This Evening
Eels End Times
Lindstrom & Christabelle Real Life Is No Cool
Missy Elliott Block Party
Motion City Soundtrack My Dinosaur Life
RJD2 The Colossus
It seems impossible to read any sort of news article these days and not be slapped in the face with Lady Gaga's latest saga. And maybe it's for a reason; Lady Gaga has been pretty much everywhere on her Monster Ball tour to promote Fame Monster. She's even met the Queen of England and shot an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show. It's no wonder that the omnipresent Gaga may have had too much on her plate when she was forced to cancel her show at Indiana's Purdue University last Thursday.
I feel that I need to preface this artist profile by stating that, as many who know me personally can attest, I despise modern country music. There is nothing I hate more than hearing suburban hillbillies with their phony country accents, which mysteriously disappear when they aren’t onstage, sing producer-driven songs of blue-collar sentiments before getting into a multi-million dollar tour bus to drive them to their mansion in Malibu. Seriously, I’d rather punch myself in the face with a rusty cheese-grater than listen to one of these musical abortions.
That being said, why would I even consider featuring an artist who labels himself as the “King of Country Western Troubadours?” Because he feels the same way as I do about modern country music.
The final years in the life of Johnny Cash are arguably some of his most prolific. The songs featured on the American Recordings series offer some of the deepest insight into the mind of one of the greatest songsmiths in music history. What was thought to be the last of the series, the posthumously released American V: A Hundred Highways, has been revealed to be a precursor to American VI: Ain’t No Grave, which is to be released on February 26, the 78th anniversary of his birth. The songs on Ain’t No Grave were recorded in the final waning years of his life and include the track “I Corinthians: 15:55” which is said to be the last song that Cash ever wrote.
Genre: Surf Pop
I'm an East Coast girl to the core, but there are some things that are just better out West. The weather, the Mexican food, and the chance that you will run into Johnny Depp in a bathing suit. And when it comes to 1960s-inspired surf pop, Californians have us East Coasters beat.
Bethany Cosentino is the leading lady of California lo-fi outfit Best Coast. A Los Angeles native, Cosentino's fuzzy, distorted vocals and crunchy guitars surround lyrics about fun in the sun that make me long for a summer that seems impossibly far away.
Ever wonder what silent film scores would sound like if they were written today? The imaginative minds behind The New York Guitar Festival (which runs from January 8th to February 4th) have selected 10 classic silent films and hand-picked several guitar virtuosos to provide live soundtracks at screenings that start Thursday, January 14th at Merkin Concert Hall. The guitar masters include Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver), 2008 Grammy nominee David Bromberg, and style-morphing icon Marc Ribot.
“Music is, to me, a return to the pulse of your being…it’s almost religious in a way, where, it negates any other concern.” - Volumen Beta (Bob Marshall)
My first encounter with Volumen came during my tender, angsty teenage years in the barren wasteland of northern Montana. In an area seldom blessed by established popular music acts, my thoroughly jaded constituents and I turned to the local punk scene for our dose of live music. Many a night we spent sweating through noisy, often terrible, bands attempt to play what some would consider “music.” On one fateful night, a two-piece band from across the state graced the stage and played some of the weirdest rock music I had ever heard. Wearing loose-fitting masks that made them look like poorly manufactured versions of Dumb Donald from Fat Albert, band members Volumen 1 (Shane Hickey) and Volumen 2 (Doug Smith) unashamedly played their guitars along with prearranged beats from a drum machine - a “no-no” according to the foul-smelling gutter punks in attendance. Of all the bands I saw during that period of my life, none ever made such an impression on me as Volumen did that night, despite of the many beers I had chugged in the parking lot before the show.
It's hard to mention Vampire Weekend in a room full of indie music lovers without the majority of them rolling their eyes in dismissal. In fact, the internet is drenched with negative commentary surrounding the release of Contra, Vampire Weekend's highly anticipated sophomore album. Their brand of fresh-faced Ivy Leaguers making music about struggling with one's identity against a backdrop of wealth and privilege can be off-putting, and it's frustrating to listen to an artist whom you constantly have to defend, but Vampire Weekend makes it easy by delivering a gem of a second album.