So, in case anyone is wondering just where the hell I went for the page month, I got a whirlwind job offer to teach English in South Korea, and even though I had just finished my final exams and didn’t even know if I passed that damn African History survey course, I assumed that everything would work out and I’d get my University of Toronto degree sometime later, I hopped on the plane. We had two weeks of training, and since then I’ve been in this little county called Gokseong teaching middle school kids that you pronounce it Tranna, not Toronto. I think I’m making a difference.
Now, I’ve got myself a quandry here. I’ve got plenty of time to write columns (way, way more than I had in school) and it’s the summer concert season, so there’s lots to discuss. But at the same time there is absolutely no music scene where I am, and because of this my entire musical experience is vaguely stolen mp3’s, podcasts, and the odd piece of youtube concert footage. So while I’ve got the time, I no longer have the adequate resources to inspire me to write about music. Oh, I’m still going to, and it’s still going to be at least at par with what you’re used to. It just might sometimes feel a little distant, as if I’m speaking from a distance. Mostly because I am, and that distance is about 10,000 kilometers. So sometimes bearing with me might be necessary.
I put up a new podcast at kyledavidpaul.com. It’s got some good stories, as well as songs from Thom Yorke’s solo album and Final Fantasy’s He Poos Clouds.
All right, let’s get right back into the thick of it…
He Orphaned His Children, He Widowed His Wife
“As recently reported, the next chapter in Johnny Cash’s celebrated American Recordings series is nearing its summer release date– with American V: A Hundred Highways hitting stores on July 4. How appropriate for such a consummate American institution.
Once again produced by ZZ Top understudy Rick Rubin, the album will feature twelve selections taken from the country legend’s final 2003 recording sessions. The official tracklist has made its way into the Pitchfork inbox, via a recent press release from Lost Highway Records:
01 Help Me
02 God’s Gonna Cut You Down
03 Like the 309
04 If You Could Read My Mind
05 Further on up the Road
06 The Evening Train
07 I Came to Believe
08 Love’s Been Good to Me
09 A Legend in My Time
10 Rose of My Heart
11 Four Strong Winds
12 I’m Free From the Chain Gang Now
A less flashy batch of tunes than the previous American entry (which saw the Man in Black singing on such square-peg covers as “Personal Jesus” and a dazed Fiona Apple duet on “Bridge Over Troubled Water”), the record offers a genuinely warm epitaph to Cash’s influential career with weathered but spirited takes on Bruce Springsteen, Gordon Lightfoot, and Rod McKuen tunes, as well as his own “Like the 309”, which marks Cash’s last original composition put to tape.
As Rubin said in a previous statement about the collection, “These songs are Johnny’s final statement. They are the truest reflection of the music that was central to his life at the time. This is the music that Johnny wanted us to hear.”” – Pitchforkmedia.com
That’s just about the best news one can get on a weekend, I think. In strict opposition to the Personal File double album that also just came out, American V isn’t a foray into a vault of protected, personal music. It’s not a diary. It was supposed to be released, which is a nice change of pace after umpteenth rerelease box sets, b-side collections and hackeyned post-humous greatest hit collections.
And the sign said long haired freaky people need not apply
So Fatboy Slim’s got a Greatest Hits album coming out June 19th. Not bad for someone with only 4 albums to his credit.
Check out Right Here to watch the flippin cool video of “This old pair of jeans”. Probably my favorite video this year.
My Life is brilliant…wait, did I start too early?
Songs just aren’t properly buried until Weird Al comes out of whatever bomb shelter he lives in to mock it. I don’t know if he has an album coming out or anything, but he’s put out his parody of James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful” a song long deserving of parody. You can get it here.
Two turntables and a microphone
So Beck’s got a new one coming out soon too, only a year or so after the release ofGuero and only a few months after Guerolito, which I suppose didn’t really count. If anyone wants a live sneak jaunt you can go right ahead.
It’s about time he started to sound like the Flaming Lips.
Free Frickin’ Music
This week, if you act quick, you can nab TWO CD’s worth of free tunes. See, now aren’t you happy I came back?
Our first selection comes from our good tokin buddies at Adult Swim, who are being gracious enough to offer a free EP of remixes of DanderDoom’s The Mouse And The Mask, this one called Occult Hymn. You can grab it from AdultSwim.com. Pitchfork kinda snubbed it, but they’re pretty much the only website snooty enough to give 4 to a free EP.
The other one is a bit more exciting. Radiohead Live has put up a whole set from the Boston show 5 days ago, and there’s plenty of new songs as well as some kick ass renditions of old ones. The sound quality is certainly fair enough for a bootleg, and I think everyone’s pretty much in agreeance on how much the new material is smoking. Download each track here.
Okay, this is something I meant to post about a month ago. I couldn’t be at the show, so a fan of the column had the amazing generosity to write up a live report for us. It’s a little late, but still pretty relevent given the kinds of tours that are happening this summer.
I can’t believe it has already been a week and a half since Coachella but I did want to write you a quick email with my thoughts about the weekend.
Overall it was another stellar year. Hot, busy, cool people, and more interesting shade tents.
The first band/DJ I saw was the Aussie group, Infusion. As far as e-music goes I tend to like it initially but get bored quickly with it’s repetitive nature. Infusion was a blast of energy with 1 guy esp. that kept us standing in the tent the entire set b/c of his incredible enthusiasm. My british friend recommended them. I guess her boyfriend found them to be the
most exciting dj group to play in his sheffield club all ’05.
Just to let you know, I am one of those people who likes to catch a song or two from many differnt bands and only do full sets for very particular shows. Some good in passsing bands were Matt Costa, Nine Black Alps, the Walkmen, and of course Daft Punk.
Other bands that deserve a bit more mention are Animal Collective, My Morning Jacket (definitely showed they are more vetern than a lot of these bands at Coachella by sounding fuller, playing a more interesting set with extended versions of songs etc).
I was VERY excited to see Clap your Hands say yeah and although they didn’t disappoint per say, they didn’t exactly wow me either. It was good but they just didn’t look like they were into it enough. TV on Radio disappointed big time. I was bored after 3 songs.
Bands that didn’t so much strike my fancy: Lady Sovereign, trying too hard to be MIA; Imogen Heap, interesting hair
but yawn, Ladytron, sounded too much like all the other electronic bands.
Pleasant surprises included Franz Ferdinand who initially I had no interest in seeing but really drew me in with a great live show. Lights, smoke, and energetic versions of their otherwise ho hum sounding middle tracks earned FF an A for way better than I thought they’d be. My favorite unexepted band was THe ZUtons. They had all the ingrediants for a great live show – energy, a cute female sax player, a lead singer with charisma, enough talk to draw in the crowd but not too much to get annoying, and a dance feel without being electronic. I planned on watching maybe one song and ended up moving closer and closer to the stage the entire set until I was almost to the front. WAY better live than their album.
Sunday was equally interesting with my favorite set of the show, Wolf Parade. Oh those Canadians really know how to get me fired up. It was the second time I’ve ‘tried’ to see them. The first was in San Diego and they were 1.5 hours late to the club b/c of airline delay and didn’t start their weeknight set until 12:30am. I only made it through 5 songs and had to go to bed. This show they delayed by at least 30 min b/c of keyboard malfunction. Thirty min. standing in a steaming hot skin to skin crowd in
one of the enclosed tents felt more like 60 and I was getting sooooo pissed about having to wait for them yet again. Luckily by playing what seeming like triple time through their songs they managed to squeezein most of their album and had everyone jumping and singing. I was so pumped watching them
close up it made up for both delays.
Metric was another great surprise. I couldn’t really remember what they sounded like from listening to them on Yahoo a long time ago and not really getting it. Seeing them live explained the hype. Emily Haines was so cute rocker chic. She didn’t rise to Shirley Manson levels but def. proved to be an incredible lead lady. It was so refreshing to see a female front a band
like Metric. Sounded really great.
Missed most of Bloc party set due to Wolf running over and me running around searching for a short Q for the portapot. What I dd hear sounded better than last year and they did end up playing a new song or two.
Editors bored me. Not sure why all the hype. THe lead singer sounded just like Morriesey. Maybe that was the turn off for me. I’m getting old apparently b/c somehow I lost an hour and went back to camp thinking it was midnight when really I missed tool. Oh well it was a full weekend and keeps me wanting more. Only 11.5 more months!
Thanks a lot Sally!
I feel a little down knowing that the earliest I can see Coachella again is 2008. Ah well.
What I read when I should be teaching
Compare my review of The Raconteurs with Jeremy Botter’s review, and you’ll find that two people can have different views on the same thing and yet live in the same biosphere with proper netiquette. Diplomacy!
Shawn M Smith brings the weekend goods, welcomes me back, and brings the funny in ways he should really be more confident about.
I agree with everything Mike Eagle says about The Black Eyed Peas. Can we all band together and call a memorium on them? Please?
I don’t think I ever plugged Eric Szulczewski nearly enough before.
Let’s Rave On
So I’m going to miss ECW ONS2 because I’m in a country that is making it extremely difficult for me to even pay for it. Our cable company doesn’t offer pay per views that aren’t MMA, and there are no bars in this town anyway. And because of the time lapse, even if they did show it live it would be at 7am on Monday, and if they don’t then I still can’t exactly read Korean to find out scheduled times and whatnot. I was considering ordering it off of wwe.com, but whenever I try to watch a video off of that damn site, it doesn’t work with my ibook. And I can’t even steal it really, because living in the countryside gives me a worthless DL rate of about 5kbs.
I’m in a country that loves pro wrestling even more than America, and I can’t watch the most (only) interesting show of the year. This sort of thing makes me wonder what exactly I’m going to miss about not living in a proper westernized society for the next year. It makes me wonder what great independent movies I’m going to miss because the only English speaking films they get here are mega blockbusters. It makes me worry about the great books I’m not going to be able to read until I get back, like the apparently genius new Douglas Coupland novel, Jpod.
More than that, I’m going to miss a year of my friends. That first year after University is pretty crucial in figuring out just who your friends are going to be for a while, and right now I’m missing that. I’m missing the drama. I know it’ll be there when I get back, but I know that at some point in time there will be a story told where I will wonder where I was when it happened, and then I will know. I’m going to miss my family, my mom’s 40th birthday, my brother’s 15th, my Grandmother’s retirement. I’m going to miss a lot this year.
But I’m not going to miss music.
Maybe it was the vague threat that there was absolutely no music to be had in Korea (a blatant lie) and that for some reason I would be cut off from my contacts. Perhaps it’s the over compensation for that, but in the last three weeks, I’ve added roughly 30 records to my collection, and am still going through them all. For the ones that have been released recently (and those still to be released) I’ll write up reviews for Inside Pulse, because I’m sure I owe them a few for not writing any the last three months or so, and because I enjoy doing it now that I have the time.
I’m not going to miss music because I’m being flooded with it, and it’s awesome. And not only is album after album hurling towards me, I’m beginning to get some output. Every now and then, I’ll offer up a remix that I’ve put together. This is something new and I’m not exactly sure how well it’ll work, but I’ll do my best at bringing the goods.
I love being in the surplus when it comes to music. I love having a stack of CD’s still to be ingested. In that, there’s always something to look forward to, always something new. It’s not a knock on older music, it’s not. It’s just that I’m such an addict for new material that it’s something I need. And since the majority of this stuff is coming from the internet, it’s quite shareable with you fine folks.
Interesting sidenote. I was browsing through a Korean music store last week. They had all the usual suspects – Briteny, Christina, Manson, etc. But right in the middle of the English section was an album by the name of Lapalco by one Brendan Bensen. This struck me as extremely odd. What right did this indie pop singer have to be stuck in such a boring and established group of marketing tools? His career was not dead, his image not plastic. What was he doing there? Perhaps Jack White knows. Perhaps they’re simply that big in Japan that it circumvents down to here. Anything can happen.
I’m really happy that I’ve got the music thing. I think I may have to buy a guitar while I’m here, just to be able to hear something live. I’m really happy I’ve got this column, because it’s going to become something really cool in the next bit when this site changes into something different. I’m really happy I’ve got my podcast, and that I live in countries that pretty much allow pirate broadcasting, because that’s the only way it’s any fun. I’m really happy you’re reading.
If ever you’ve got a question or whatever, I’m postkdp on AIM, and I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org on MSN and email.
Next week, I’ll talk about Maslow’s needs in one’s involvement with music in their lives.
Until then, Rave On.