Tag Archives: michael chabon

Take Five

Find of the Week

Thanks to a tip from Ryan of Ryan’s Smashing Life, I grabbed the most recent Static of the Gods album “Knowledge Machine” free from their Bandcamp site. I am listening to it as I type, and while I had been unfamiliar with the band before, I am absolutely loving them now. Appropriate parts shimmer, grandeur and pop-rock splendor. Jen Johnson’s powerful lead vocals really drive the record — imagine Karen O with a smidge of Asobi Seksu’s Yuki Chikudate, and a little Emily Haines snarl thrown in for good measure.

The bad news is, it’s no longer available for free. The good news is, it’s still awesome and at $8, worth the download. Plus, they’re playing June 25 at the Middle East Upstairs. In the meantime, have a listen.

New Releases

  • This week, I picked up the new Pernice Brothers, “Goodbye, Killer,” and the new We Are Scientists, “Barbara.” I highly recommend following @ashmont on Twitter — Pernice’s manager (and co-author) Joyce Linehan — if you want an ongoing backchannel to your listening experience (and to experience in real-time the barbs that led to the companion book “Pernice to Me“). Want to preview the album? You still have a few days to do so for free via Spinner.
  • Amazon MP3 offered a deal earlier this week — the new Mates of State cover album, “Crushes,” for $2.99. That deal has since ended, but the 10-song set is still available for affordable download at a tidy $5.99. Artists covered include Fleetwood Mac, Tom Waits, Dear Nora and Girls.

Live Music

Freedy Johnston is playing in Somerville on Saturday night, at the Rosebud in Davis Square. A year ago, on June 17, 2009, I saw Freedy Johnston for the first time, also in Somerville, after nearly 15 years of waiting. The show blew my mind. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. I am unsure if I’m able to make it to this Saturday’s show, but you should definitely go. Brett Rosenberg will be opening. It’s $12. And when it comes to singer-songwriters, Freedy Johnston is a living legend, no exaggeration. Go.

Around the Web

In the News

Brad Searles pointed this article out to me — Michael Chabon’s essay “Tragic Magic: Reflections on Power Pop,” originally published in McSweeney’s #33. It’s a compelling examination of Big Star as exemplar of power pop, while also explaining what exactly what defines that genre:

True power pop is rueful and celebratory at the same time, glorifying desire and frustration, which is why so many power-pop songs concern themselves with the subject of Tonight, or Tomorrow Night, or Saturday Night, or some other night that will only be perfect for as long as it can be deferred.

Bonus: Second Thoughts

Stay tuned next week for the beginning of something special!