As promised: The state of my “2009 awesomeness” playlist, in which I collect the songs that catch my ear as the year progresses in order to not make my best-of list a last-minute-of-December clusterfuck sort of thing. (It inevitably winds up being like that, but you know, I have noble intentions.) It’s after the jump, and has some contextual links added in. Feel free to make your own and share it here! More »
Friends, I have to be honest with you: Today is the first sorta-nice day in the general New York area in what seems like forever, and I have one eye on the sky and my mind on the book that I am tantalizingly close to finishing. So here’s my simple question for you: What’s your favorite discovery of recent days? It can be a new-to-the-world band, a recently minted album, or an outfit that’s been making music for a while but just came across your transom. Five of mine, after the jump. More »
Last night’s 30 Rock season finale closed out with a grand parody of one of those celebrity-studded benefit songs, a la “We’re Sending Our Love Down This Well” and “What’s Going On ’01.” “Kidney Now!” saw Cyndi Lauper, Michael McDonald, Mary J. Blige, Elvis Costello, Norah Jones, and a slew of other well/sorta-well-known musicians warbling in honor of Jack Donaghy’s dad (played by Alan Alda)’s nephorotic needs. There’s even a splashy mini-site with a karaoke version of the track to go along with it–although Clay Aiken fans are probably going to get a bit riled up, given that its list of participating celebrities somehow managed to exclude their hero, perhaps because of his alleged relation to Kenneth the Page. (Take heart, Claymates: Mike D got left off the list as well, and he doesn’t even have your
insane completely devoted fanbase!) Clip after the jump. More »
The Roots, Yoko Ono, Yo La Tengo, Patti Smith, Charlie Haden (with Robert Wyatt), and Moby are among the initial artists announced for Ornette Coleman’s Meltdown Festival, which takes place in London from June 13-21. Coleman is also set to perform at least twice during the fest, which has been curated in the past by the likes of Massive Attack, Scott Walker, and Jarvis Cocker. [Meltdown; HT The Daily Swarm] More »
Moby’s forthcoming album Wait For Me was inspired… More »
Ringo Starr has been added to the lineup of next month’s concert benefiting The David Lynch Foundation For Consciousness-Based Education And World Peace, which already had Paul McCartney and Eddie Vedder (and, sigh, Sheryl Crow) on its bill. The meteorologist-slash-director has a goal of teaching one million children to meditate; “In today’s world of fear and uncertainty, every child should have one class period a day to dive within himself and experience the field of silence-bliss-the enormous reservoir of energy and intelligence that is deep within all of us,” he says in a statement on the foundation’s Web site. (Which has me thinking about the boredom/bliss divide that the late David Foster Wallace wanted to probe with his final work of fiction, not to mention how excited I am to be staying in a hotel that doesn’t have TVs in its rooms next week.)
How successful are people expecting the new Animal Collective album to be? So successful that Spin‘s Charles Aaron is worried that Merriweather Post Pavilion will become as ubiquitous as Moby’s Play—an album where all but one track was licensed to commercials. This is to say that Aaron is predicting it will be as successful as one of the most successful albums in recent memory, and he is worried that this will make him dislike it. Aaron seems aware of how crazy this is, but all the self-flagellation about his coyly authentic taste lapse doesn’t excuse the fact that he nevertheless wrote a piece about it, nor that he felt enough ownership of a Moby album to be offended when its songs showed up on soap operas, nor that he, like the rest of the internet, is somehow convinced that MPP is going to be a major crossover smash. But why?
A little light reading for those of you stuck at work, or in front of your computer, today (some stories may even give you anecdote material for your New Year’s socializing):
• Stephen Holden recalls the career of Eartha Kitt, who passed away at age 81 on Thursday. [NYT]
• Kelefa Sanneh emerges from the depths of The New Yorker‘s TV-reviewing beat to profile Will Oldham. [TNY]
Rap battles’ origins, Moby, and Madonna after the jump!