The first time I saw The Mountain Goats was on Halloween of 2007 in Minneapolis. John Darnielle announced to the crowd that he the rest of the musicians on stage had decided to dress up as The Mountain Goats for Halloween. He covered Merle Haggard’s “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink” after saying “You know how sometimes, you’re sitting at home and your friends call you to come out, and you’re like, ‘Man, fuck those guys.’” Long story short, I had a great fucking time.
We’re all aware of SXSW in Austin, Texas. Every year, acts from all over the country make the trek down south in their own version of a shitty band van in an attempt to bring some attention to their local music scenes. Some pretty fantastic Detroit artists (Passalacqua, Cold Men Young, Phantasmagoria, and Doss the Artist, James Linck) will be traveling down to Texas together, some playing officially, others not so much. In order to make it, these boys and girls need some financial help. They need a 15-passenger van, gas for that van, food for their bodies, and in true Detroit style, a generator so they can perform in the streets. The boys from Passalacqua started a PLEASEHELPUSFUNDTHISMASSIVEJOURNEY page on IndieGoGo in order to make it easy for those who love Detroit music to help.
You can literally donate any whole-dollar amount and you’ll get sent CDs, vinyl, shirts, stickers, buttons, or whatever else these artists can find to show their gratitude. Plus, when they get back, everyone who has donated is invited to some exclusive performance/party at a location TBD.
Donations close at 23:59 on Friday, March 8, and they’re so close to their goal. Please go throw them as much money as you can so they can have a Detroit-style musical freak out all over Austin.
If you need some convincing, watch the video for one of my personal favorite Passalacqua songs.
Last night, Ben Affleck got on stage to present the award for the Best Feature Documentary and the winner was Searching for Sugar Man, directed by Malik Bandjellou. You may not know it, but said documentary focuses on Detroit’s own beloved musician, Rodriguez.
In the ’70s, little to Detroit’s or Rodriguez’s knowledge, a little record called Cold Fact was circulating in South Africa, eventually becoming bigger than anything Elvis ever released. Rodriguez never saw any money from that (because the record industry is so virtuously operated). In the ’90s, everyone in South Africa thought that Rodriguez died by suicide on stage because of a highly propagated rumor. A few documentary film makers eventually went out on a “search” for their “sugar man.” Much to their surprise, after analyzing song lyrics to figure out a little about the musical legend, they found him alive in Detroit.
Going into more detail than that I already have is pointless when there’s an Academy Award winning documentary out there on the subject.
What the documentary doesn’t tell you about are the locals’ stories about Rodriguez. It doesn’t tell you that Rodriguez once drunkenly stumbled onto my friend’s porch on 4th Street in Detroit asking to play his guitar. It doesn’t tell you how astounded that group of 20-somethings was to hear the beautiful sounds that man made with a spanish guitar at 4 in the morning after probably 3 bottles of wine. Rodriguez has been on stage in Detroit demanding an audience member go buy him a bottle of wine from the liquor store before he’ll continue playing. It seems as if everyone’s got a story about Rodriguez. He’s been a local legend for years.
One thing that must be made clear is that this documentary is not going to be the “saving grace of Detroit.” Nor will Rodriguez. I’m hoping I don’t hear any little kids at the bar talking about how great the publicity is going to be for the city. It won’t affect us.
What it will affect? Hopefully? Rodriguez’s career. Rodriguez’s success. Maybe there’ll be some lawyer out there who wants to work for free to be the guy who got a famous musician all the money he deserves that was stolen from him while he worked his ass off in Detroit. Here’s hopin’, eh?
[Up to this point, The Cutting Edge has showcased exclusively my opinions on new music. However, with the release of My Bloody Valentine's m v b, I was at a loss. Loveless was such a monumental album for me and waiting 22 years for a followup complicated my feelings about the band releasing any new material at all.
On February 2, My Bloody Valentine announced that at some point that night, a new LP would be available for download on their site. After clicking refresh for hours, watching the site crash at 11:58 when the album was released, and subsequently seeing the same 403 error for what seemed like an eternity, I finally got the album. It took me almost a week to get the guts to hit play. I finally brought it to my buddy's house so we could take it in through studio monitors and I can tell you for sure that it will be at least 2 more years before I can say anything substantial about it.
This release is, however, one of those musical events that must definitely be talked about in a forum such as SLEEKSPEEK, so I contacted an old friend in Minneapolis who first showed me My Bloody Valentine. He also happens to be an audiophile and the biggest fan I've ever met. Internet, I would like to introduce you to Eric Bailey and his opinions.]
For those of you delightfully unaware, we are well into the 2013th year of the common era. This means that Kevin Shields is very nearly 50, Isn’t Anything is approaching 25, and we’ve patiently waited for a follow up to Lovelessfor almost 22 years (but it wasn’t Kevin’s fault). After what seemed like an endless stream of empty promises, Kevin and the other boy and girls of My Bloody Valentine finally released a new album.
Anticlimactically, the new record is simply titled m b v. On the band’s new and improved website, they boast:
This album has been recorded as an analogue album. It was recorded on 2 inch 24 track analogue
tape and mixed onto half inch analogue tape and mastered with no digital processing involved.
And what’s more:
The vinyl is a true analogue cut, i.e. it hasn’t been put through a digital process during the cutting
process unlike over 90% of all vinyl available today.
It would be so easy to blather on about the talented song-writing, exquisite tone, ever-impressive wall of sound, and impeccable, perfectionistic production of this record, but instead, let me share with you a idea I’ve been mulling over recently about people and their musical palates. Before we go there, let me just say this. If you have ears, you need, beyond the shadow of a doubt, to feed them this aurgasmic collection of nine tunes.
Okay, moving on. Ever since the Industrial Revolution, the way we as people share ideas and consume media has been changing dramatically. For example, there was this relatively unknown punky garage band from my hometown that were way more popular in Germany, due in part to a blogger over there writing a post about their full length. My point is that the eclectic musical taste has become the de facto standard since anything and everything is available to anyone, anywhere, any time. This massive exposure to different sounds from around the world has given me the opportunity to speculate on what it is that makes a person like a particular record or artist. My theory? Vibes, it’s all about the vibes, man.
I mean sure, any band can use a Big Muff, dripping wet delay, and cite The Ventures as an influence, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll be into them. They could use all the right gear and play all the right notes, but if they don’t affect that particular endearing surfy vibe I know and love, I probably won’t dig it. That whole phenomenon is still pretty mysterious to me, but also wildly fascinating and definitely worth further intellectual pursuit.
Anyway, back to My Bloody Valentine They’ve got their vibes down to a science. While this record doesn’t sound strikingly similar to Isn’t Anything, Loveless, or any other record, My Bloody Valentine or otherwise, it absolutely has that same timeless vibe. I don’t know about you, but I love that vibe, and honestly if this record sounded too much like one of their old ones, I’d probably get bored of it fairly quickly. That might sound sacrilegious, but it’s true. Those records are breathtakingly beautiful, but a copy of something beautiful just isn’t the same. Seeing an orchid in person has much more value than flipping through an entire book of photographs.
The Sleek Speek team might already regret letting me write, so I promise I’m almost done typing your eyes off. A couple parting tidbits worth mentioning: The crucial MBV is available on delicious 180g vinyl, CD, digital download (including 24-bit/96k WAV files), and combinations thereof. And, in case you missed them last year, the band released remasters (overseen/done by Kevin himself) of Isn’t Anything, Loveless, and the EPs released between. Get it, grrrl.
By Sarah · February 19, 2013 · 12:07 PM · Posted in News
It seems as if every new song I’ve heard in the last year has made some mention of (if not entirely focused on) “gettin’ fucked up, man.” At first, I thought, “Everyone’s got to have an anthem. This is fun to listen to when I drink!” Then I thought, “I’m glad I don’t party as much as this song does.” Now? Now I’m just scared for the future of the country.
A pop song ignited a movement. I didn’t realize it until it was too late. When will the YOLO bandwagon crash and burn? I’m scared that it won’t. It’s going to be here forever because the 20-somethings of the world will always want to feel better about doing drugs and getting drunk all the time.
Okay, sorry about that.
A kickass Swedish girl named Ellinor Olovsdotter who goes by the moniker Elliphant just released a video for her upcoming single “Live Till I Die.” Here’s the kicker: She seems just as sick of #YOLO as I am!
Honestly, I may be misunderstanding her Nordic accent and applying the meaning I want to find. At the very least, she expands on the yolo thing by urging listeners to, you know, be good human beings. Though I think I spied poppers in the video. Meh.
The only time I remember seeing beer in the video is when she orders one at a nice restaurant and sits down with two older gentlemen having dinner. She seems to have a great time talking to them, but I have a sneaking suspicion they’re strangers.
Honestly, the song’s really catchy too. I’ve listened to it like 6 times since I woke up but I’m totally just trying to get pumped up for the day. I swear.