Cities of the Plain

A brief ranking of things from this short doc on DFA:

1. “Peanut Butter is the greatest American flavor.”
2. The brief appearance of Holy Ghost’s “Hold On.”
3. All the jokes on Jon Galkin.
4. “…that’s the modern way that you finish things: ‘Alright, cool man.’ It sucks! But I do it all the time.”
5. Everything about Kris Petersen.
6. “Too old to be new, too new to be classic.”
7. The examples of how people dance to DFA’s music.
8. Imogene and Charles’ adorability.
9. Marc Maron’s narration.

In “That B.E.A.T.” Abteen Bagheri explores the Bounce scene, interviewing local artists, shooting live shows and juxtaposing the music with beautifully shot imagery of the bayou. While not revelatory, it’s an intimate portrait of a secluded subculture. I particularly enjoyed seeing an outsider’s - in this case Mannie Fresh’s - enthusiasm and support for the scene.

I love the internet.


This, you guys. THIS.

(Jamie xx’s edit of “Sunset.” Available for download in the UK’s iTunes store, and not as of yet, in the US.)

Samplers are normally bogus. Oliver's “MYB” sampler is anything but. Jams all around, out on Fool’s Gold in January.

Solange appeared on Jimmy Fallon last night and delivered a fantastic rendition of “Losing You” from the recently released True. A few stray thoughts on the EP:

1. There’s just something about songs with upbeat, uptempo production and less-than-joyous lyrical content or messages. “Losing You” and “Locked in Closets” are the latest in a long stretch of examples of my absolute suckerdom for these sorts of records.

2. Not to say that either of us will be writing year-end lists - we probably won’t - but it’s odd that a collection as strong as True can come out a month before the new year and be excluded from many of these lists in spite of its greatness. WHY DOES THE BLOGOSPHERE HAVE AN ANTI-POST-THANKSGIVING RELEASE BIAS?

3. Much has been made about Solange “going indie” on this record, primarily due to Dev Hynes’ (of Blood Orange and Lightspeed Champion fame) credit as co-producer and appearances throughout and its release on Terrible Records (run by Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor). But doesn’t this viewpoint just assign Beyonce’s non-indie credentials to her younger sister? Solange has been working with non-mainstream producers for the better part of the last decade.

With Drake sampling Jai Paul, and Jamie xx working with Alicia Keys, why are we still having this discussion? In all fields, people talk about the internet having leveled the playing field and democratized both content creation and access to this content. I’m all for getting excited about collaboration; it’s just odd that in spite of acknowledging the convergence of subcultures, many are still insisting that there’s a difference between indie and mainstream music culture.

Emily Kai Block absolutely nailed it with her video for Grizzly Bear's “Yet Again.” And I don't even like figure skating.

This short film on the making of Gotye’s Making Mirrors was a really interesting look into his process as an artist and how he created some of those unique, bizarre sounds. It can be easy to come away from a video like this thinking “I could do that with the right tools,” but that would be to ignore the meticulousness of the record’s production and the impassioned delivery of its vocals, to say nothing of the songwriting. Whenever I catch myself in a moment of hubris like that, I launch GarageBand to remind myself that I have no idea what I’m doing.

(For those “Somebody That I Used To Know”-a-phobes out there, the video has nary a chord nor a mention of the track.)

I didn’t “get” The Walkmen for the longest time, but this is everything you want from one of these. Bummed I’m not going to get up to Osheaga to see them live.


The Walkmen | NPR Tiny Desk Concert