Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Potpourri: Holy Sh!t!

The last couple weeks have been loaded with exciting music news, and I thought I'd gather a bunch of it into one place for all you lovely people. I know, I truly am benevolent and wonderful. So, in roughly chronological order:

On February 2nd, The White Stripes announced their breakup (click on the picture at the left to read the band's statement). This news would have really upset me about eight years ago, but at this point it's neither surprising or all that troubling. I've written about them a couple times, and while those two pieces are a little different, the basic idea is that I loved them at first, then the shine started to fade. Icky Thump was actually a very good album, so why not end on a high note? I wish they hadn't canceled their last trip to LA (for which I had tickets), but hopefully this will free Jack White up to make more music with his better bands, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather. Thanks for being my gateway to good, outside-the-mainstream music, guys.

Last week, I Think It Has Something To Do With Oatmeal favorite TV on the Radio announced they would be releasing a new album, Nine Types of Light, some time this spring. Presumably, this will bring about more touring as well (incidentally, I caught their last show, at Outside Lands in 2009, before they went on a mini hiatus). They aren't always great live, since sound guys often have trouble figuring them out, but speaking as someone who reckons they had the fourth best album of the last decade, I'm all kinds of excited to see what they come up with next.

On Sunday, the amazing happened: Arcade Fire won the Grammy for Album of the Year, beating out such Billboard (if not creative) titans as Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Lady Antebellum. There has been a lot of excitement from the "indie" music community as a result, and while I share in most of it, I think it's likely a flash in the pan. Not them, certainly; I adore Arcade Fire and think they absolutely did put out the best album of last year. But the Grammys don't often include quality rock or indie artists in their record sales club of the top awards, assuming that the more specific Rock, Hard Rock, etc. categories are reward enough. I want to see them recognize (or at least nominate) bands on the same level, or in the same vein, as Arcade Fire for a couple more years before I'll think it's a level playing field. For now it's just an incredible upset that the best album of 2010 actually was recognized as such by the mainstream music machine. Oh, and it also gave us this blog, quite possibly the funniest thing ever.

Probably the biggest news for most of you was the sudden announcement the morning after the Grammys of a new Radiohead album. It's astounding to me that they can manage to keep things like this so quiet. Part of it is their lack of affiliation with a record label, but still, you'd think somebody would have leaked at least the information, if not the whole album. That link takes you to a page that has a lot of info about the deluxe version, but if you want to get the album by Saturday for a reasonable price, you just pay nine dollars for the digital version. It's here that I must implore you to not suck, to simply shell out the money for one of the best bands alive, and possibly of all time. I realize that within minutes of its release, The King of Limbs will be all over the internet, available to anyone clever enough to know where to find those things. It is up to you, faithful music fans, to exert the self control required to get out the credit card and type in those sixteen numbers.

And finally, in what is the most exciting development for me personally, Queens of the Stone Age will be playing a string of shows in support of the re-issue of their self-titled debut, including a stop at the Wiltern in LA on April 12. I haven't had much chance to write about them since I started this blog, but they are my favorite band, the one I've seen more than any other, and I haven't been this geeked up for a concert in a long time. Pre-sale starts tomorrow at 10 AM, and the password is dostuff (seriously). Queens of the Stone Age may very well be their best (though they've put out a string of awesome albums since then) and the chance to see them play it in its entirety, with the B-sides sequenced in, is almost enough to take away the sting of missing Coachella this year. Almost.


Hatfield said...

I forgot to mention a couple things. First, Broken Social Scene are playing the Glass House on April 14. This is another show in my Coachella coping plan.

Second, Deerhunter just released a live iTunes EP. It's eight songs, most of which are from their awesome album from last year, Halcyon Digest. $3.99 for eight songs is a deal, so you can run and buy that. Homeboy.

Matthew Minegar said...

Man, my mom found out radiohead was putting out a new album before me. I wish Thom would have sent me an email sooner. You're right, though. It's amazing that they've kept it a secret until the week before it comes out.