On Monday September 18th, Inside Pulse will usher in a new era of diehard pop culture coverage for diehard pop culture fans. For the next 2 weeks, one per day, Inside Pulse is giving you a sneak peek of what we have planned for the big day. These are just previews to give you a taste, with a sample of the type of articles you will see on each zone. When we launch fully on the 18th, you’ll see the full new layout and zone sites.
We at Broken Dial realize that music is a self-healing medium; when the life seeps out of popular music, there is always a new sound to revitalize it. For every Nashville, there will be an Austin. After every LA glam rock, there will be Seattle grunge. For every “screamo” nightmare, an indie darling. With opinionated CD reviews, intelligent discussion of music and technology, and exclusive intervixews; Broken Dial aims to inform independent thinkers what’s “next” and what they can’t live without
A little more than two years ago, I started a new column with a few words about music, politics and the birth of a child. The more things change…
Broken Dial isn’t the only birth I am attending to this week. On Thursday, my son Henry was born. One lesson learned in having a daughter earlier was that sound tracking a birth is not a great idea. For the first time, I had set up a play list with literally thousands of songs, any of which would have been fine for the birth of a child. Our intention was to bring the tyke into the world with music. Walk in, set up the tunes and allow fate, in the form of a randomizer, to dictate what song was the first to grace our progeny’s ears.
Of course the real world is not so cooperative. People need to work, one of us was in serious, recurring pain and fumbling with cords and menus was not in the cards. Our daughter was born to the sound of me saying it’s a girl and that was, in the end, perfect.
Music is not the be all, end all, and it helps to remember that, even as we deliver the new born source of info on musical excellence. In preparing for the coming of our second, I brought tunes for the recovery and had a couple trips to and from the hospital where I could choose my soundtrack. Did I go for indie darlings Magnetic Fields? To be fair, they come to mind because I did tune out the grocery store loudspeaker tunes with that particular decision last night, but no.
The two things I remember playing in the hospital were Arthur Rubenstein playing Chopin and Corrine Bailey Rae. They fit. Not long ago, Broken Dial’s Kyle David Paul made the comment that once someone knows what you listen to, music becomes image. In trying to make sure my image is as truthful as possible, you can know when the chips are down, I go for what fits over what people need to hear to be complete music aficionados (though honestly, you’re denying yourself if you don’t have a little of the above artists in your collection).
.:Between the Notes: More Sound Tracking:.
Another sound tracking trend to keep an eye on: Broken Dial’s preview is the day after the five-year anniversary of that day the sky fell. Three days after the event, I created a play list of songs that were inoffensive when so much seemed too light or too pointless. Some of the songs were “Boys the Night Will Bury You” by Richard Buckner, “Spiritual” by John Coltrane, “Everything’s Not Lost” by Coldplay and “Pink Moon” by Nick Drake.
I have long since stopped working on that computer so you know I listened to it quite a bit. It provided solace at the time for a guy who lived in New York and came a bit “too close for comfort” to being at the event taking place at Windows on the World that day (so fitting name for that place as it turned out… my hopeless quest for fitting irony is now ended).
You’ll know before you read this what sort of music people used as tribute or a frame for their montages and ceremonies. Was it U2’s “One” like they used at the Super Bowl that year (can’t say it was an awful choice) or “Proud To Be An American” which, though I’m sure it was heartfelt at some point, seemed a pretty blatant money/sentiment grab some point later. How will other people have you remember the event and its’ fall out? Who will be the most likely to bend the rules of ceremony and create a musical platform for an agenda? I’ll be watching and my money’s on those people that have a stake in the midterm elections coming up in under two months.
Between the Notes: What’s in a Name, Part 2
I had a piece on the meaning of the name Broken Dial, but decided it was over thought. Send me what you think it means to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see if any of you come up with a better idea than I did after stretching a little too far. Thanks.
Posted by Gregory Wind in Broken Dial (09.12.2006) | Full Link
Brooklyn’s bubbling again with musical ingenuity and TV on the Radio are rising to the top. Tunde Adebimpe and David Andrew Sitek are the founding core of this art-rock outfit. After releasing the critically acclaimed Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes, the band went to work on a follow-up, Return to Cookie Mountain. Blending elements of chill, soul, electronica, post-punk avant-garde rock and a soupy atmosphere you can cut with a knife, along with playful, and yet genuine, lyrical ingredients.
Appreciating the eccentricity of these songs, one can only imagine how a live TV on the Radio performance must be: phenomenal. Experimentation seems to be the name of the game here and with guest artists David Bowie, Kazu Makino (Blonde Redhead) and Katrina Ford (Celebration), they seem to be winning with a certain air of weird and wonderful diversity.
Return to Cookie Mountain reaches in many directions and seeps with similarities to Bowie (who sings background vocals on “Province,”) Prince, Nine Inch Nails, and old U2, mixed with elements of Drum & Bass, Soul, Gospel and Funk. This is an album that everyone should hear, as they will find something to like about it and, likewise, some things they won’t. The sophisticated palate of an open and discerning listener would benefit from tasting TVotR’s offerings. Your mom might not have been able to get you to eat liver, but try these sprouts. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Posted by Jon Sevastra in Broken Dial (09.12.2006) | Full Link
I’m writing this book. I don’t have a title yet, but I’ve got a theme (and about half the chapters I plan on writing) “quasi”-planned out. It’s still very much in its’ early stages of development, but the basic premise is that of a loose thesis orbiting around the idea of causality in pop culture. This being a pop culture website, we’re both experiencing what pop culture has done to us simply by a) me having written what you’re reading and b) you reading what I’ve written. It’s an exchange, and these kinds of things happen so often you probably don’t ever think about the effects, or at least the interesting connections you’ve made. This is the basis of what I’m talking about in the book.
I’ve been writing music columns for Inside Pulse for a long time, and I’ve found this causality theme to be prevalent. Instead of writing about the music I’m particularly into at the moment, I’ve found myself swimming in the ideas surrounding perhaps superfluous but still relevant aspects of philosophy and rumination. I see things here, living organisms of pop culture that really should be kneaded into something tangible. I’m going to attempt this without the use of padding.
For instance, in the book there will be expanded versions of several essays I have written for Inside Pulse in the past. Specifically, the article where I talked about Indie scene attitudes as compared with the metal community, well, this one takes a very interesting back road through the idea of confidence clashing with acceptance and instinct. It delves into ideas of nurture vs. nature, educational backdrifts, and that this all ties into how some people end up in one camp, but should maybe have been put somewhere else. It comes down to personal preference, sure, but how did that preference come about? Finally, why are metal heads just way friendlier people than indie snobs?
An article I wrote nearly a year ago about country music will also be revisited. Back then, it was a simple 1,500 word essay about how I was surprised by the number of country-like artists that seemed to be pushing through and were finding classification difficult because nobody would call them what they really were. This article will be expanded to include more opinions about classification, as well as the perfunctory labeling systems that we all have in our own heads, how those came to be, and why we’re all country-loving people, even if we can’t even admit it to ourselves.
On top of these, there will be about 16 chapters dedicated to other forms of pop culture, movies, TV, wrestling, video games, etc, and it should be ready for the holiday season, perfect for the person in your life who loves reading winding essays about things that probably shouldn’t receive so much attention.
Of course, you can still expect the same kind of weekly work you’ve come to expect from me. It’s just such a great outlet that I wouldn’t dream of letting go. I hope you’ll also come to enjoy the comics I’m putting out for the site, as well as the free weekly mixtapes of mp3s. I’m just here to make sure we all have a damn good time.
Posted by Kyle David Paul in Broken Dial (09.12.2006) | Full Link
CMJ announced some rad-tastic new performers for this year’s CMJ Music Marathon (October 31-November 4 in New York City.) Some are names you might know (George Clinton, the Shins, Tapes ‘n Tapes, Clipse, the Black Keys), and others you might not, but really should GET to know (Magnolia Electric Co., Apples in Stereo, the Plastic Constellations, the Thermals, Blonde Redhead.)
Full lineup (with the latest additions first):
The Shins, Clipse, the Thermals, Girl Talk, Tapes ‘n Tapes, Magnolia Electric Co., George Clinton, Beach House, Figurines, Architecture in Helsinki, Cansei de Ser Sexy, Apples in Stereo, Peanut Butter Wolf, the Plastic Constellations, +/-, J Rocc, Oh No, Dudley Perkins, Roc C, Aloe Blacc, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Feathers, What Made Milwaukee Famous, the Ms, Parts & Labor, Ladyhawk, Get Him Eat Him, Aloha, the Album Leaf, Oxford Collapse, Forward, Russia!, the Annuals, Human Television, Cex, David Bazan, the Drones, Cale Parks, the Big Sleep, Call Me Lightning, Rahim, Pit er Pat, Excepter, Fog, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Tokyo Police Club, Land of Talk, Bobby Conn & the Glass Gypsies, Skeletons & the Girl Faced Boys, An Albatross, Mickey Avalon
The Knife, Deerhoof, the Slits, Hot Chip, the Black Keys, Madlib, Califone, Jason Forrest Band, 120 Days, Portastatic, Oakley Hall, Thunderbirds Are Now!, Professor Murder, Blonde Redhead, Ben Lee, Erase Errata, Blue Cheer, Cold War Kids, Cloud Cult, Silversun Pickups, White Whale, Percee P, Dr. Dog, Archie Bronson Outfit, Keren Ann, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, These Arms Are Snakes, Micah P. Hinson, Extra Golden.
CMJ doesn’t disappoint when it comes to adding bands with big, big buzz. If you haven’t heard of ANY of these bands, you are a sad person or you still think that the bands on the radio are “hot.” Let me politely inform you that you are wrong.
Actually, just go to Google and check out some of the bands. There is something for everyone. You don’t like Tapes ‘n Tapes? Fine. Check out Rahim.
Something for everyone.
Posted by Shawn M Smith in Broken Dial (09.12.2006) | Full Link
M. Ward is a fantastic songwriter that seemingly doesn’t get much mainstream coverage. For fans of Jack Johnson or John Mayer, his new album, Post-War (out today!) blends the elements you love about those artists with the subtle bluegrass element that you don’t find on Pop Radio. If you loved Uncle Tupelo or Whiskeytown, please, please, please check Post-War out.
Posted by Shawn M Smith in Broken Dial (09.12.2006) | Full Link
Due to the success of the Dead Can Dance reunion tour, 4AD will release a two-disk retrospective on October 10th.
Self-proclaimed “greatest band in the world,” Oasis, have chosen the tracks that will be featured on their greatest hits album, Stop the Clocks. The album comes out in late November and there is no word on whether anyone has, in fact, found them “caught beneath a landslide.”
Tracklist: (according to NME.com)
01 Rock n Roll Star
02 Some Might Say
03 Talk Tonight
05 The Importance of Being Idle
07 Slide Away
08 Cigarettes & Alcohol
09 The Masterplan
10 Live Forever
13 Half the World Away
14 Go Let It Out
16 Morning Glory
17 Champagne Supernova
18 Don’t Look Back in Anger
Equal Vision’s Chiodos will be releasing a deluxe version of their latest release, All’s Well That Ends Well, on October 17th. In a “par for the course” music moment, a DVD (contents: unknown) will be included in the release, to go along with 15 tracks (with 3 acoustic numbers!) A perfect Halloween gift (Great Pumpkin!) for the Coheed and Cambria fan in your life!
Posted by Shawn M Smith in Broken Dial (09.12.2006) | Full Link
Who Is Broken Dial?
Shawn M. Smith (editor, writer) is a music connoisseur who says the things (with a smile) that other people think, but never share; he just lacks that social filter. Whether waxing poetic about the virtues of Jeff Buckley or planning an alternative rock festival with no venture capital, SMS dreams big. If he isn’t finding music videos online or gushing over the latest Brooklyn-based band, he aims to introduce the world to next “big thing.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Greg Wind (writer) is a writer and father of two living in Newton, Mass. He has written on topics including: broadcast technology, breastfeeding, alternative education, politics, sports and music. His influences include Jean Paul Sartre, Richard Hell, Willa Cather, Phil Rizzuto, Brian Williams and Elmo. When he was ten he took his radio apart and put it back together. Since that day when he failed to find the soul of music in a sturdy plastic box, he has been on semi-religious and concurrent quests to discover music and technology.
Kyle David Paul (writer) has been writing music criticism for two years. He is currently working on his first full-length novel based on one of the short stories in his collection Everything We Haven’t Lost. In addition to a collection of pop culture essays that is expected this fall, Kyle currently edits a quarterly journal for the Canadian Institute of International Affairs and resides in Toronto.
Toby B (writer) is a corporate accountant in Princeton, NJ whose out-of-print debut album, TOE, is steadily approaching its 10th anniversary. With a college journalism background as a springboard, he has launched into music criticism and commentary, searching for and finding signs of life in the rock and roll desert.
Jon Sevastra (writer) isn’t a typical “critic.Ã¢â‚¬Â Writing and music criticism were thrust upon him so that he could review albums and interview bands that were falling off the radar. Jon’s that guy who stands around patiently to talk to bands after a gig, and is polite enough to look them in the eye when he tells them why their last release was garbage. “SaltyÃ¢â‚¬Â lives for music; if he’s not playing it or talking about it, he’s obsessing over his latest interview or compiling the perfect set.
Jonathan Widro is the owner and founder of Inside Pulse. Over a decade ago he burst onto the scene with a pro-WCW reporting style that earned him the nickname WCWidro. Check him out on Twitter for mostly inane non sequiturs