After spending half of October in hotel rooms in Ohio and Nevada, I’m still adjusting to having both feet back on the ground. Of course, having both feet back on the ground doesn’t mean that they are still; they are doing a lot of running around. That said, come Friday, we will always pause to Take Five.
Around the Web
- I am so happy we have Rick Moody around to write really thoughtful reflections of the life and music of Mark Mulcahy.
- Matt LeMay wrote a great essay on the age of art vs. content.
- Steve Rosenbaum, CEO of Magnify.net and expert on content curation, says that in the battle of humans vs. robots, when it comes to curating awesome music content, the humans are winning.
- The perils of indie rock homeschooling (thanks to one of my favorites, Unhappy Hipsters).
- He’s no squirrel, but Thom Yorke can still photobomb with the best of them. He’s a pioneer, even.
- Bleu — Boston’s power pop son — is back. Check out this new ode to his town, “B-O-S-T-O-N.”
- O Canada! Our home and native rock! Check out the hottest bands in Canada, via Chromewaves.
- The Oatmeal shows what happens to a “rock” star.
- There are lots of online tools around to help musicians share/sell their music and connect with fans… but are there too many? Are we forgetting about the value of direct human interaction? This video by Peter Malkin lays out the case:
Killing Radio Stars
I’ve got a few neat videos to share with you. First, my friend Tim asked folks to blog about videos they love and why. (Here’s my response: the Fully Sick Rapper.) My friend Andy responded to the challenge with a really creative offering: The Battle of the Album Covers.
On Wednesday night, I saw one of my favorite bands, Girlyman, live at Club Passim. They invited the group Coyote Grace up on stage to perform “Young James Dean,” a powerful song about identity and acceptance which Ty Greenstein says was inspired in part by the book “The Last Time I Wore a Dress“. With all of the attention being paid to the bullying of gay teens lately, I thought I would link to the video that Margaret Cho created for this song.
Lastly: The rent is too damn high!
IN THE NEWS
- A UGa grad student composed an instrumental album based on the DNA for the HIV virus. Wow. Will they resurrect the Red, Hot and Blue series?
- The Jayhawks are back! Though it looks like they never really went away. Either way, hooray.
- New Telekinesis album out 12/15! “12 Desperate Straight Lines.”
- The new R.E.M. album, due out next year, features guest vocals by Eddie Vedder, Patti Smith… and Peaches?
- Speaking of new albums, the rumors are true: the Cars are back together and working on new music.
- Finally, a band (Matt & Kim) gets honest about playing a brand new album on tour.
- Twitter fully integrates with Ping! I don’t care just yet, but if I did, I might instead to the DP, who evangelizes for Cardinal as the premier app for sharing music on Twitter and Facebook.
Since I’ve been so out of the loop, I haven’t had a chance to consume (or even purchase, really) any new music. So the last new album I really got into is a bit old. My apologies. But it’s really good! The Love Language‘s “Libraries” recalls what I fell in love with about bands like The Kissaway Trail and Wild Light: earnest, melodic, and rich tracks, which founder Stuart McLamb calls “emotional fight songs.” And, of course, they’re on Merge.
Check out this video from the making of “Libraries”:
And here is a live performance of “Nocturne” on KEXP:
On Oct. 26, Billy Ruane – a legendary patron of the Boston music scene – passed away at the age of 52. Much, much, much has been said about Ruane (here’s a great tribute by the Phoenix, and a selection of remembrances from local musicians). But all agree that he was an unstoppable force, omnipresent (and sometimes, too present) in Boston’s music culture for nearly 20 years. My friends Sam and Brad shared some heartfelt remembrances of their own.
Next Wednesday, there will be an epic concert for Ruane’s birthday, drawing the likes of Buffalo Tom’s Bill Janovitz, Chris Brokaw, Mary Lou Lord, Tanya Donelly and others to the Middle East (and, in a unique joint arrangement, TT the Bear’s). It will surely sell out, and it will surely be memorable.
I think a lot of my friends perceive me as someone who is locked into the Boston music scene, but I don’t entertain any such delusions. In truth, I had never heard of Billy Ruane before he died. But while I did not know Billy while he was living, I have gotten to know him posthumously through the memories of those who sold him tables’ worth merch, took (or avoided) his phone calls, endured his sloppy kisses and got caught up in his whirlwind of devotion. Even in death, Ruane’s tradition of enhancing the lives of those around him continues.