Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein bought the new novel by the wonderful writer Lorrie Moore, A Gate At The Stairs, and found a surprise inside that had nothing to do with its twisty plot: Her former band Sleater-Kinney was name-checked on page 27. (I devoured the book over the course of this weekend—Moore has been one of my favorite writers for years, and this book was long in the making—and since it just came out I don’t want to give away any spoilers. But if you’ve read it and want to discuss you should e-mail me!) [Monitor Mix] More »
Weezer debuted a couple of new songs at concerts in Korea over the weekend, and oh man are they just craptastic enough to be tailor-made for “ironic” videos featuring Internet personalities! (One, called “The Girl Got Hot,” even opens with the line “I went to a party last Saturday night,” thus paving the way for Lita Ford to play Keyboard Cat’s cougar-tastic mom in the attendant clip.) I’ll place the videos of the two performances after the jump and avail from further comment, except to note that Carrie Brownstein, formerly of Sleater-Kinney and attempted Phish fandom, pretty much summed up what bugs me about Viral Internet-Era Weezer thusly: “I don’t know if Weezer hates its fans or just the (apparently) stifling concept of sincerity, but you should listen to these two new songs if you weren’t already convinced of Weezer’s contempt for music.” Yeah, pretty much. To the tunes! More »
Jam-band titans Phish have announced details for their Halloween festival: It’ll take place at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif. (home of Coachella), and it will feature eight sets by the band over the course of three days. Three-day passes cost $199, and go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET). If you’re unfamiliar with the band but thinking about taking a breather in the desert this October, you might want to check out Carrie Brownstein’s week-long examination of Phish and its fans. [Phish / Monitor Mix] More »
One thing about being a blogger with a lot of music-related RSS feeds: You see the word “rock” used as a verb a lot. Why, right now the following headlines are popping up in Google Reader for me: “‘The Hills’ Girls Rock The Paley Center Red Carpet”; “John Varvatos and Island Records: Fashion that rocks?”; “Veteran act Dinosaur Jr. to rock Music Farm”; and “Video: Sesame Street Says ‘Earth Rocks’!” It’s one of those words that is so seemingly descriptive yet empty-slash-versatile (as evidenced by the nouns in the headlines just listed) that it’s perfect for an idea-strapped headline writer. I’ve actually thought about calling a wire-wide moratorium on using it in headlines–just for a day!–and Carrie Brownstein reminded me of this impending mini-crusade with an examination of why the word is so used (and abused) these days: More »
During the Bush administration, everyone seemed to agree: there were no protest songs. Or, at least, no good ones. At any rate, it definitely wasn’t like the ’60s. In her latest blog post for NPR, Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein provides a welcome correction to this idea, noting both how many protest songs there were and how widespread the perception was that releasing a protest song was a bad idea. But even if there were protest songs, surely they didn’t have the same effect as in the ’60s, right?
In a development that raises today from “OK… More »
Carrie Brownstein’s blog Monitor Mix is generally interesting, but something about yesterday’s discussion about critically acclaimed artists people aren’t really familiar with rubbed the music fan in me the wrong way. Not because of Brownstein, but because of her readers; something about comment-section types bragging that they’d never heard Led Zeppelin or David Bowie seems deeply, deeply wrong.
Grrrl-rock standard-bearer Carrie Brownstein took to her blog to discuss a phenomena she witnessed at a Fleet Foxes show: the “strangely beautiful” phenomenon of bromance, “where mostly straight men show up to shows in small packs, high-fiving during songs, raising glasses at the band in a show of brotherly love, and shouting ‘I love you!’ toward the stage.” She asks the readers to comment with “bromantic” shows they’ve attended; while the Hold Steady seems to be the consensus pick as far as which band is inspires the most male-on-male admiration, most of the bands mentioned are linked by shared roots in ’70s rock. As a result, I’ve noticed at least two distinct types of “bromance”: for lack of a better nomenclature, I’ll call one folk/country bromance (exemplified, in Brownstein’s post, by the Fleet Foxes crowd) and the other bar-band bromance (seen among Hold Steady fans). This oft-overlooked distinction is important to understanding the phenomenon.
Former Sleater-Kinney guitarist/vocalist Carrie Brownstein blogs at NPR, and her latest post has a fully cleared MP3 mix that has tracks by the likes of Pylon and Wire, and is appended with a note: “This mix was supposed to have the Grateful Dead on it, whose music I really love, but they refused… More »
Ex-Sleater-Kinneyan (and let’s not forget about Excuse 17, either!) Carrie Brownstein once got so full of airport-loading-zone rage, she dared an eighty-year-old man wearing a leg cast to get out of his car and punch her. Hey, it happens to the best of us, right? I mean, uh… More »