A Dead Kid Reports from Lollapalooza

Hey All!

Brian from …A Dead Kid posted a few reports from Lollapalooza this past week for PureVolume… check it:

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Lolla Preview: Five Tips on Surviving Lollapalooza Weekend

Lollapalooza Day 1: Day One—The Black Angels vs. Black Sabbath and the Calm Before the Storm

Lollapalooza Day 2: Day Two—What’s a Little Rain in Comparison to Frank Ocean?

Lollapalooza Day 3: Day Three—Florence & the Chicago Machine

Oh yeah… we’ll be at Riot Fest too.

Sunny Day for Sun Kil Moon; In Which Self-Referential Art is Dissected via Google

Yessss!  Is there not a more appropriate song for today in Chicago?

Sun Kil Moon’s, ponderous, nostalgic, strummy, but not especially happy track (duh, it’s Mark Kozelek), “Sunshine in Chicago” is a free download on Stereogum.  Mr Kozelek recollects a show in Chicago among millions of other shows he’s played over the years;  how his female fanbase has subsided, as well as possibly his V.D.

In the age of self-referential songs and google stalking, we can now pinpoint what day Mr Kozelek is talking about — walking down Lincoln Avenue after getting a manicure, this show was most likely July 8th, 2010 at Lincoln Hall, as Mark name-checks “Julie Holland” [sic] on the Marquee, as Lincoln Hall had booked Jolie Holland four days later, July 12th.  Creepy, right?

Oh, btw, it’s a free download.

http://stereogum.com/957271/sun-kil-moon-sunshine-in-chicago/mp3s/

60 Songs, 30 Days: Day 09 – A Song that you Can Dance To

Seeing as the writers of aDeadKid have some complimentary tastes in music, both of us are taking a shot at the popular Tumblr survey “30 Songs in 30 Days” list.  So get ready for a shitload of name-dropping and youtube clips as Brian and Matt proudly give you their 60 Songs in 30 Days…

Day 09 – A song that you can dance to

Brian: Just so you know… I can dance to any song.  Name it, and I can move around to it with a semblence of rhythm.  This isn’t bragging.  I would say that all people can dance to any song — the question is, do they WANT to. ANYway….

Say what you will about The Great Cowbell Uprising of the 2004’s, the world needed cowbell, and it didn’t hurt that the perfect storm of James Murphy and Bruce Dickinson (Christopher Walken) started pleading for it at about the same time.  As MattyDangerFox can attest, I take dancing to The Rapture’s “House of Jealous Lovers” very seriously.  They played it at Bonny’s a few weeks ago, and that was it — it was time to freak the fuck out.

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Matt: I was lucky enough to see Brian lose it to “House of Jealous Lovers,” and I wish I had it on video.

Anywho, lately I have been heavily into this whole bass scene that has been growing in places like London and San Francisco, and the tracks being pumped out make it impossible to not want to get that booty shaking. On a decent sound system, this stuff can seriously rattle your bowels and make your knees go weak, so you can’t really stand still even if you want to. Dark Sky is a group that has gained a lot of respect in the scene, basically because they consistently make excellent tracks in a genre that is in danger of getting old quick. One of there more recent bangers is off of the Radius EP that was released earlier this year. Turn your subs up and give a listen to “The Lick.”

60 Songs, 30 Days: Day 7 – A Song That Reminds You of a Certain Event

Seeing as the writers of aDeadKid have some complimentary tastes in music, both of us are taking a shot at the popular Tumblr survey “30 Songs in 30 Days” list.  So get ready for a shitload of name-dropping and youtube clips as Brian and Matt proudly give you their 60 Songs in 30 Days…

Day 07 – A song that reminds you of a certain event

Brian: I’m going to decide what song reminds me of a certain event as a I write this.  You lucky readers get the unique opportunity to see what I’m processing as I’m processing it.  Some people would call that meta, I would classify it closer to me being lazy. Once again we get into semantics, in this case, what is meant by “certain event”.  I’m going to take this to mean a particular, once-occurring event… so all holiday-themed songs are out.

I’d have to say one of the most interesting songs about an event is an event that only occurred in one man’s head, but has kept people talking for 20 years, is Neil Young & Crazyhorse’s “Powderfinger.”  It’s a rollicking, and cryptic southern rocker pored over generously by Sound Opinion’s Greg Kot and Jim DeRogotis in their Desert Island Jukebox segment, and further in their look back at the LP Rust Never Sleeps earlier this year.

Anyway, is this a song about an event, or a song that reminds you of an event that you’ve experienced.  Writing this on 9/11 it seems that I would have to talk about that.  I won’t.  Much. Although there were numerous sub-par attempts to crystallize that event in song in the months that followed, namely the self-appointed “Voice of the Workingman,” Bruce Springsteen’s cloying 1st-person story-song “The Rising.”  Fact is, it takes a little more than two months to really look at event and tell a story worth telling.  It could take a decade.  I’m speaking now of Bob Dylan’s excellent, if rhyme-challenged “The Hurricane“.

When I think of a song, and a moment that I experienced that moved me, it would have to be bundled up on a cool November evening, marching from a bar in the West Loop among other jubilant strangers eastward to hear President-elect Barak Obama’s acceptance speech.  Politics-aside, it was a very joyous, kumbaya-type experience hearing (as it was featured in his viral campaign) the moody, hopeful, mysterious “Fake Empire” echoing from podium speakers at the corners of Grant Park.  (I can hear Matt groaning right now, hahaha), but here’s video of the actual rally when the video was playing.

Apologies for the propaganda… but please enjoy the background music.

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Matt: I was really having a hard time with this one for whatever reason. While trying to come up with a song, I realized I don’t attribute songs to specific events very often. This actually seems very strange to me since music is such a huge part of my life, but I guess it is what it is. What I did manage to scrounge up was a song that always reminds me of my first punk/hardcore show. I think I was about 13 or 14 when it happened, and I went to see Avail play with The Suicide Machines. The best part of that entire show was when Avail played “Clone.” During the last few seconds of the song, Tim Barry screams “Rise,” and at that moment the place completely exploded. It was fantastic, and it pretty much encompassed everything I wanted punk to be at that time.

Unfortunately, the only video for “Clone” I could find on the internet machine was a live recording along with “Pinned Up.” So, uh, here are both songs I guess. “Clone” is the second one.

60 Songs, 30 Days: Day 05 – A song that reminds you of someone

Seeing as the writers of aDeadKid have some complimentary tastes in music, both of us are taking a shot at the popular Tumblr survey “30 Songs in 30 Days” list.  So get ready for a shitload of name-dropping and youtube clips as Brian and Matt proudly give you their 60 Songs in 30 Days…

Day 05 – A song that reminds you of someone

Matt: I am going to admit straight away that I’m going to bitch out on this one. Let’s be honest, this one is meant for ex-girlfriends, and I don’t really want to go there. I don’t have any songs that remind me of friends, so I can’t use them either. I could probably come up with a song or two that I could associate with a specific event, but that obviously isn’t the point. So I am going to use my dad.

I remember being a young chap and going through my dad’s massive record collection all the time. We would sit in the living room with piles of records spread out in front of us, and I would tell him which to play based on how much I liked the album art. The song I chose that reminds me of Old Man Kroll was on one of my favorite album covers. “Teach Your Children” on Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s Deja Vu must have been played a million times. I loved the old time-y picture on the front and the way the cover was made to look like leather. To this day, whenever I pull out my copy of that record, it reminds me of those times.

Then my parents got divorced.

Brian:  Matt’s absolutely right that this one is supposed to be for reminiscing about Exes.  After all, aren’t all online surveys made by high school kids a means to share their deepest, darkest secrets?  Anyway, I’m going to take the bait and talk about [someone] in an abstract enough way that you won’t know who I’m talking about anyway.

The Magnetic Fields’ “Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side,” is an ode to those wonderful gals (and guys) who will accept any suitors’  advances so long as they can supply something the gal/guy values — be it superficial (concert tickets, shopping sprees), psychological (compliments and unending adoration), or social (local celeb friends, or the bouncer that always gets you in).  In this case, it’s a man’s beat-up convertible that sustains his love’s attention.

My favorite line is when Stephin Meritt sings, “…well, we’ve got secrets too; one — I only keep this heap for you.”  I suspect that the heap he’s talking about isn’t just the car — the self-proclaimed “ugliest guy on the lower east side,” acknowledges that he is still holding the torch for an otherwise vain/aloof partner who tolerates their adoration in exchange for gifts.

Dirty Projectors / Bjork Project Manifests Itself on Vinyl

Domino USA announced today that the excellent, digital-only EP of Mount Wittenberg Orca is getting the full vinyl treatment on October 24th:

The deluxe LP of Mount Wittenberg Orca features 180-gram heavyweight virgin vinyl pressed at 45RPM for maximum hi-fidelity resolution. The sleeve is comprised of a 12×12″ three-dimensional lenticular cover of Mount Wittenberg, so realistic that you can almost smell the junipers. Inside is a gorgeous 12-page large-format full-color booklet with stills from the original YouTube films of the Mount Wittenberg environs by director Matthew Lessner (“Stillness Is the Move”), a full-text libretto of the suite and complete liner notes.

Check the effervescent a capella march “On and Ever Onward” on Soundcloud here. My original review, part of my 5 favorite last year, is below…

Dirty Projectors & Bjork – Mount Wittenberg Orca EP

David Longstreth’s concept-heavy albums draw an equal amount of scorn or adoration, depending on your patience with dissonant signature-switching pop experiments.  Less than a year after D.P.’s incredible Bitte Orca, (which won them tons more fans, among them me and Solange Knowles), no one really expected Longstreth to really surface with anything else so soon.  Wrong-o. Mount Wittenberg Orca is an one-off excursion that went so incredibly well, they were compelled to record it — for Smithsonian’s sake, hahaha.  In early 2009 Brandon Stosuy of Stereogum successfully connected Dirty Projectors and Bjork to collaborate for a Housing Works benefit show.  Needless to say, they hit it off.  A year later, the EP was released so those of us not living in Brooklyn / SoHo could hear its genius.   The orchestration is sparse, the vocals are sharp and precise, and the twin vocal knockout of The Dirty Projector’s Amber Coffman and Angel Deradoorian, oh yeah, and some lady named Bjork are  incredible.  The group’s vocal harmonies are goose-bump inducing.  Longstreth, always one for vocal and harmonic interplay, puts his female collaborators front and center and they shine.  The album is non-profit digital-only download, and you can buy it here for 7$ with all proceeds going to the National Geographic Society to create international marine protected areas.

60 Songs, 30 Days: Day 04 – A song that makes you sad

Seeing as the writers of aDeadKid have some complimentary tastes in music, both of us are taking a shot at the popular Tumblr survey “30 Songs in 30 Days” list.  So get ready for a shitload of name-dropping and youtube clips as Brian and Matt proudly give you their 60 Songs in 30 Days…

Day 04 – A song that makes you sad

Brian: One of the most heart-breaking songs I’ve ever had the fortune to listen to is Tracey Chapman’s “Fast Car.”  The song itself is bittersweet — full of hope, ambition, and love, that slowly erodes under the constant pressures of poverty, responsibility and age.

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Matt: Music without lyrics usually does a better job of making me feel sad or empty. When a song makes me have depressed feelings, it’s usually because the track is moving in an atmospheric way, kind of like a soundtrack. Due to this, I present Tim Hecker’s “The Piano Drop” as a great example. It’s amazingly beautiful, but it puts me into a place that just has a dark dreamlike, reminiscent quality to it.

60 Songs, 30 Days: Day 03 – A Song That Makes You Happy

Seeing as the writers of aDeadKid have some complimentary tastes in music, both of us are taking a shot at the popular Tumblr survey “30 Songs in 30 Days” list.  So get ready for a shitload of name-dropping and youtube clips as Brian and Matt proudly give you their 60 Songs in 30 Days…

Day 03 – A Song That Makes you Happy

Brian: A lot of songs make me smile.  I will avoid karaoke at all costs.  I used to have a caveat to this, by saying, “If the karaokee bar ever had ‘_____’ I would sing it,” knowing that no karaokee bar would ever have that particular song.

For a while it was “Hate to Say I Told You So,” by the Hives but that became increasingly more likely for a bar to have.  Then it was The Velvet’s “Sister Ray,” becuase imagining someone doing Sister Ray karaokee is just too funny.

Listening to Pavement’s Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain slightly intoxicated a few weeks ago I realized that the song I would love to sing live would have to be the epic “Range Life.”  Not only do you get to stagger around during the multiple guitar interludes, but you get to mimic the cryptically sloppy turns of phrase and loopy pitch changes that Stephen Malkmus is known for.  Also, you get sing some incredibly awesome lyrical lines…

  • “Donwurrrrry… we’re in NOOO hurrrr-ray… school is out… what did you expect?”
  • “Run from the pigs, the fuzz, the cops, the heat… Pass me your gloves, this crime wave is never complete / ’til you snort it up or shoot it down / You’re never gonna feel free”

and perhaps the greatest call-to-arms in the history of Alternative music

  • “Out on tour with the Smashing Pumpkins / Nature kids, now they don’t have no function / I don’t understand what they mean, and I could really give a fuck. / Stone temple pilots, they’re elegant bachelors / They’re foxy to me are they foxy to you? / I will agree —  there isn’t absolutely nothing / Nothing more than me”

C’mon.  Tell me that that line doesn’t make you happy, jus’ a little bit?


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Matt: A lot of songs make people happy because they induce memories from good times in the past or remind them of someone that made them feel good. There are plenty of songs out there that do the same to me, but in many ways those tracks are too specific to the listener. If someone doesn’t have the same memories, will the song resonate with them as much? Perhaps it will, but for today’s challenge I decided to pick a song that is not tied to anything personal in my mind; it’s just extremely upbeat.

Christoph Andersson has released a lot house tracks recently, and all of them are excellent for different reasons. They all reek of summer and sunshine, so I think most could be used in a “makes me happy” context. However, my absolute favorite has got to be “Captital.” I love the few lyrics that make it into the track, and the music itself is so insanely bubbly it’s almost impossible to not smile when it plays.

60 Songs, 30 Days: Day 02 – Your least favorite song

Seeing as the writers of aDeadKid have some complimentary tastes in music, both of us are taking a shot at the popular Tumblr survey “30 Songs in 30 Days” list.  So get ready for a shitload of name-dropping and youtube clips as Brian and Matt proudly give you their 60 Songs in 30 Days…

Day 02 – Your least favorite song

Matt: Ah, my least favorite song. The possibilities on this one seem endless, with music being put out by the likes of Ke$ha, Dave Matthews Band, and Coldplay, but there is one song that I absolutely despise that shall take the win in this category. This song fills me with a rage that not many can understand; a rage that can make or break a lovely Saturday afternoon in an instant. The song I detest more than any other could only be “The Victors” by Louis Elbel. Most people knows this disgusting, irritating monstrosity of sound as the University of Michigan’s fight song.

This song makes me want to vomit all over the place. Hey Michigan, remember your defense last year? Hahahahahaha!

Brian: Ha! the Michigan Fight song!  With all of Matty’s deep-seeded loathing of pop, I would’ve never guessed you’d go with College football.  Matt’s dream day would be 50-yardline seats to the Michigan vs Miami BCS halftime show featuring Ke$ha /Chris Martin duet. (The awesome thing is that could actually happen).

When I did this survey initially, I chose Katrina & The Waves “Walking on Sunshine” as my least favorite song, but now I wonder if there’s a difference between “hating” a song, and a song being your “least favorite”.  There are plenty of songs I hate, but I imagine “least favorite” as a different sort of criticism.  A song I like “the least” would have to be from a musician that has potential to be good, but would rather pump out schlock.

The number one schlock pumper, to me, is one Mr. John Mayer.  You can choose nearly any song he’s done, but I’ll focus on Mayer’s feeble attempt at cultural commentary in “Waiting on the World to Change.” Let me paraphrase his philosophical take on his peers: “We’ll shrug at the TV while the world burns, wait until the old guard dies off, and then we’ll be in power, I guess.”

Inspiring.

The issue isn’t that John Mayer is bad.  On the contrary, he’s actually pretty good (and pretty funny), but he’s content to produce safe-for-the-masses bullshit.  “Waiting on the World to Change” is just the epitome of laziness as it just barely, nearly says something slightly interesting, but then decides it would rather lay around in it’s cigarette-burned papasan chair and watch Family Guy.

To actively try to offend no one is one of the greatest art offenses I can think of.

60 Songs, 30 Days: Day 01 – Your favorite song

Seeing as the writers of aDeadKid have some complimentary tastes in music, both of us are taking a shot at the popular Tumblr survey “30 Songs in 30 Days” list.  So get ready for a shitload of name-dropping and youtube clips as Brian and Matt proudly give you their 60 Songs in 30 Days…

Day 01 – Your favorite song

Brian: Favorite song ever?  Jeeez.  That’s a tough one to start out with. Shouldn’t “favorite” be last on this list, the grand finale? I’m going to let the cold, hard logic of my Last.Fm page dictate what this one is.  My top 3 most-listened to track are Junior Boys songs, but I put on Junior Boys a lot as background music, so I feel that doesn’t count.  SO.  The #1 song I’ve played for the last 3+ years is….  Nick Drake, “Hazey Jane II”.

I probably have this high up on my list for a number of reasons.  The top of which is probably that Nick Drake is infinitely listenable.  Another is that Drake often gets a bad wrap about being thoroughly depressing, but “Hazey Jane II”‘s jangle strum, country slide guitar, and cheery brass and sax are charming and breezy as can be.  It always puts me in a good mood.

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Matt: Picking one song as my favorite is extremely difficult, especially since I, like most people, listen to various types of music depending on mood and season, so what might seem like a favorite at one minute could lose its place shortly thereafter. Because of this conundrum, I decided the best approach would be to pick a song that has not only endured for many years, but also encompasses a good amount of the musical ideals I have held throughout my life. Enter Converge’s “The Saddest Day.”

I honestly do care a lot about independent music and underground ethics, as asshole-ish as that sounds. This has remained since I first discovered punk rock in middle school. As my tastes changed, I always gravitated towards music that was a bit under the radar, not because I wanted to be different, but because I love the messages and non-watered down feeling of music that wasn’t meant for easy acceptance. Converge has always stuck to this ethos, creating output that contains a lot of politics and social commentary, as well as producing music that continuously pushes boundaries. “The Saddest Day” is their opus, not to mention just plain crushing. Seeing this song played live was one of the greatest musical experiences of my life. I also got really sweaty and a little injured.