“The fact that style has a history makes sense given the drive for the familiar unfamiliar. It is the yearning for the unfamiliar that propels us toward change, and so in the direction of the new; it is the lust after characteristically familiar forms of novelty that keeps us safely in the comfort zone set up by our local horizon. Music, from this standpoint, is a conversation that elapses in time. We are done with what’s been said, but not interested in just any old thing that might be sayable, only in what is pertinent to current concerns. As the musical conversation unfolds over time our expectations and interests change, and so the invisible shows up, the new gets old, and the old acquires the comfort, and the emotional value, of, say, an old sweater. (Some old sweaters are cherished; we give others away, and throw others out.)”—Adele In The Goldilocks Zone : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR
“Well, it’s just like a fire, the red incandescence, and there’s some ashes on top. But it’s really, who can compete with the power of hip-hop, with lyrics, and music? Who can compete? In hip-hop there are people much stronger than rock and roll. I mean, this young girl, Azealia Banks, that “212” song… I’m not saying that because of the cursing, even though I don’t understand everything. This piece she wrote is as good as any Phil Spector piece, because there are like four songs in the song, the dynamics are incredible, the production, I don’t know who did that, maybe it’s her. I don’t think she has a big musician entourage and I’m sure they went, “Oh, let’s do this,” and I really love it. No rock singer can compete with that young girl. I mean, she’s rock and roll, basically. She’s the new rock and roll. And then those people will eventually get too established at some point.”—A.P.C. designer Jean Touitou on whether or not rock is dead.
Alex James has revealed - in another ill-considered column for The Sun - that Blur will play five songs when they pick up their Outstanding Contribution To Music gong at Tuesday night’s Brits. Which leaves Blur fans - quite literally! - holding on for tomorrow. (Any excuse to post one of their best and most under-rated songs, really.) CS
“As a child I feared the day the world would be taken over by robots; these days I am seized by a much more potent fear that I am becoming one. Digital interfaces invade our imagination in strange, tangible ways, and with each day I spend in front of my computer screen, the red Gchat dots representing my friends and co-workers start to look more and more like HAL. Have you ever caught yourself trying to open a new tab in your brain? Was the Wikipedia blackout of 2012 as important a cultural moment as the New York City blackout of ‘77? Do androids dream of electric sheep, or do you not have an app for that yet?”—
“I feel like women have the feeling that there is only a finite amount of success to be had as a woman in the music industry, and there’s only so much room in the media for women to have a meaningful say, and they don’t want just anyone who’s undeserving to have that. To the point where women aren’t nearly as supportive and encouraging of each other as they should be, and I have experienced that a lot as I’ve met female musicians on the road. And also with female critics and writers, it might just be a complete fluke, but I have noticed a trend where some of our harshest reviews come from women — and it’s usually directed at me specifically.”—Tennis’s Alaina Moore on the New Album, Working With Her Husband, and the Backlash to the Band — Vulture
Maybe what we're actually talking about, though, is purity. You've mentioned before that that's perhaps what made For Emma so magnetic, that that's why you're so protective of it, and that that's why it's been so upsetting to be thrust into a the position where you're trying to communicate things that can't be said in a song. But can Bon Iver remain pure?
I wonder about that. I wonder if there will be another record, if there can be. One of things that I feel happy about is that I have it within me to make the call, to say the show goes on or the show doesn't go on. I won't let Bon Iver fail itself. So far, it's succeeded, so if we never make another record, it's okay with me. I'm still going to do something else. But I'm a romantic, I care about what it is. I care that it came from a pure place.
“I’ve been asked a lot about the state of dubstep in America, and everyone wants me to say something controversial, but I have no negative feelings toward anything really. There’s a weird question you have to ask when you’re talking about sexuality in music. Not sexuality, but gender in music. At the time I had this misconception that girls wouldn’t go for that because it was so aggressive, but I was wrong.”—
“If we’re imagining—pure speculation here, folks—that the awards are not doled out purely on the basis of aggregated votes and are possibly (speculation!) jiggered around to serve various constituencies, then it might have been necessary to give Kanye all the rap awards in sight, since his exquisite album, ‘My Beautiful Twisted Dark Fantasy’ was not given a Best Album nomination. Much as we’re rooting for Adele, her modest, solid album ‘21’ was in no way equal to West’s combination of patient craft and impatient, airy visions. So, to forestall a showdown and give Adele the awards she is due (according to the implicit laws of NARAS) West was conveniently excluded. With West removed, the Grammys were able to make room for the night’s most puzzling and persistent guest, Foo Fighters, who released an album called ‘Wasting Light’ in 2011, which the band, and almost nobody else, thought deserved an Album of the Year nomination. West, perhaps taking the high road or simply practicing realpolitik, didn’t bother to attend.”—
EDIT: one more. “Woman-beating rage-broccoli Chris Brown lip-synced his single ‘Turn Up The Music’ (without being threatened by Sir Elton John) and danced roughly as well as a third-rate Chicago footwork dancer. He ended his performance by back-flipping off the stage, though sadly not off the earth.”
ALB ft. The Shoes - “Golden Chains” I Beg For A Summer EP, 2011
It may be shame that I’m feeling But it makes me get out of my bed And then I watch my face in the mirror And try to recognize a friend
I’ve been obsessed with this song on and off, mostly on, for about a month now. ”Golden Chains” has that quality where it felt familiar the first time I heard it. That the first line of the chorus is “It’s nice to see you again” might be part of the reason why, because that’s one of the best sentiments to hear, isn’t it?
A lot of the Shoes’ production seems to be recorded in this style where all of the individual components feel very distinct and you have to think about how they combine. Here, there’s that 8-bit-ish synth hook and the rest sounds kind of like a song that could have been on Vampire Weekend’s first album, though more cleanly recorded. The Shoes are great in their own right, but “Golden Chains” taps into something that wouldn’t sound out of place alongside “Oxford Comma.” The whole song makes me wish it was summer and that I could just throw on some jean shorts and sandals and one of the Jason Wu for Target tops that I managed to get in my size even though I got to the store after noon yesterday. (Sorry, I just want to brag.)
“French culture and rock do not go well together. It’s like English wine.”—Electronic pop vets Air talk to us about why they could never be proper rockers in our latest 5-10-15-20 interview. (via pitchfork)