Let’s break this down in bullet points:
*TV on the Radio‘s Dear Science, has officially been released online, one week early. Who knows why Interscope made the decision, and really, who cares? You can purchase the album on iTunes or stream it for free at Lala (you must sign up first). Upon first listen it is… amazing. There really is no reason to doubt the band, and it sounds that with each growing album they continue to challenge one another as a unit to create a bombshell of a discography. ‘Nuff said.
TV on the Radio
*Mean Magazine has one of the oddest things I could have imagined: a video of Ben Kingsley as Ian MacKaye “performing” the song “Minor Threat”. As if my respect for Kingsley as an actor couldn’t grow any more, and then this popped online. My only wish is that there was less of a photo-collage feel and maybe a little narrative. No bother. To think that just a couple of months ago Kingsley was stealing scenes in local movie theaters as a drugged-up shrink in The Wackness; just to see him in the same pose as MacKaye in his Minor Threat days send chills up my spine. It’ll be an odd day when that actually turns into a film, but one I’d love to see. A significantly older man (Kingsley) playing a verbosely young musician (then-teenaged MacKaye) in the pinnacle of hardcore punk bands… now there’s something that would put I’m Not There to shame. Now I can’t seem to get the thought of Adrien Brody as Guy Picciotto for some sort of Revolution Summer project alongside Kingsley…
*Now for a little personal plug: I’ve organized a show at P.A.’s Lounge in Somerville this coming Sunday (September 21) featuring none other than Juiceboxxx, who I wrote about in an earlier post. It’ll also feature sets from Wham City/Baltimore scene stalwarts Narwhalz and DJ Dog Dick (the later who will be performing alongside Dan Deacon on his Baltimore Round Robin Tour), and an opening slot from Boston’s very own Ppalmm. All of these artists have their own unique take on electronic-based music, and it should be one amazing show. At $6 a pop ($9 for those 18-20), you really can’t go wrong.
Juiceboxxx – Thunder Jam III (video):
Narwhalz – Phar-Oooh (live):
Save the rest for Sunday…
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Adrien Brody, Baltimore, Baltimore Round Robin Tour, Ben Kingsley, Boston, Dan Deacon, Dear Science, DJ Dog Dick, emo, hardcore, I'm Not There, Ian MacKaye, Interscope, iTunes, Juiceboxxx, Lala, Mean Magazine, Minor Threat, music, Narwhalz, P.A.'s Lounge, Ppalmm, Revolution Summer, Somerville, The Wackness, TV On The Radio, Wham City
When approached with the subject of beloved cult band They Might Be Giants I’m usually a bit hesitant to say much of anything. I’m not much of a TMBG fan, or really a fan at all. But today when the subject came up, I bravely threw out that my favorite song of their’s is “Dr. Worm.”
To which a friend quickly responded: “Yes! Don’t you think that’s the saddest song?”
To which I immediately said: “Yes, yes I do.”
Actually, I hadn’t put much thought about the emotional stasis of the song before answering. Probably because I hadn’t thought of, or even listened to, “Dr. Worm” in a handful of years. But my gesture and response was sincere, and the more I think about it, the more “Dr. Worm” strikes me as an excellent piece of emotional abstraction in music. Take a listen:
The song is tight and poppy, filled with upbeat hooks and sections you can chant along to. And the vocal styling is quite sincere and displays a degree of happiness alongside it. And yet, the lyrics are oddly, well, sad, especially when juxtaposed against the song’s performance. It’s all about a little creature pretending to be something he’s not (a doctor), practicing his hardest at something he’s not quite sure he’s good at (drums), and asking for a little attention and friendship. And the singing style seems to evoke this sadness in a way, permeating the light-hearted sonic layer to give the work a certain amount of depth. Now that’s a quality that should be taken to heart and used in all genres – emo or otherwise. It seems unfortunate, but in a number of ways numerous emo acts today have tossed aside this intellectual sincerity of song-craft for violence in lyrical gestures and presentation. Some, not all. And some don’t quite add up to some form of reputable works of music. It happens in all genres, but for the one that is known for a substantially higher “emotional” quality (in the guise of the devil’s advocate), for some reason the grip of emotion seems lost on numerous bands, replaced with easy-to-replicate three-chord pop ditties. Which is not necessarily wrong, just not necessarily interesting.
Round Robin tour poster
Tickets for Dan Deacon’s Baltimore Round Robin Tour for Boston are now available to purchase. At $8 for one night or $15 for both nights, all-ages performances and an irresistible and eclectic lineup with a killer performance idea (a rotating performance of songs around the perimeter of the venue), it goes to show that Deacon and Co. certainly are as forward-thinking as any of America’s great underground music minds. Get your tickets through Bodies of Water Arts and Crafts.