Today, influential music-crit site Pitchfork really italicized its "influential" modifier by releasing the results of its Pitchfork People's List, a Converse-sponsored "readers' poll" of the best albums from the first 15 years of the site's existence (1996-2011). There were—to invoke the words Radiohead, which had three albums place in the Top 10—no surprises.
"Ruin" serves as a preview of the first Cat Power/Chan Marshall album in six years, Sun. If the cheery tone of "Ruin" is any indication of what's to come, Sun is an apt title. With its octave-jumping bass line and rushing percussion (that occasionally features a four-on-the-floor pulse) "Ruin" is the weird thing that happens when Cat Power goes disco (with the help of Cassius' Philippe Zdar, who mixed Sun). It's sleek, catchy as hell and Target-commercial ready. Could Sun be cleaned up enough to be Chan Marshall's Liz Phair? (That's if the critically acclaimed but relatively bland The Greatest doesn't deserve that title already.)
Hortlax Cobra is the dance project from Peter Bjorn and John's John Eriksson (not to be confused with Smile, the new side project from Peter Bjorn and John's Björn Yttling). Here's a perfect example of the reach of "I Feel Love": the way the arpeggiated bass line propels and steers this track is pure Moroder and unmistakably so no matter how mumbly the indie vocals get. Stylistically, this is nicely balanced.
Remember music videos being important, and good? Neither does anybody I know, because our memory's been wiped by MTV and VH1's current slate of programming. And then there's this beautiful, fan-made music video of indie band Grizzly Bear's "Two Weeks."
The entire music industry is slowly becoming a simple extension of corporate marketing programs—but at least most companies are forced to pay a lot of money for their new pets. Taco Bell, though, has learned that it doesn't take that much to have an "indie" (Ha! Ho!) group cosign your company. The souls of musicians used to cost at least a bag of heroin; now, an entire band can be purchased for as little as a Chalupa value meal!
Buffy The Vampire Slayer star Michelle Trachtenberg showed off her recent purchase from Malibu's most trendiest new boutique, "Un Jake Pour Vous." The high end boutique's mission is to help women turn their current boyfriend into their own personal Jake Gyllenhaal. Storeowner Maggie Fenech felt that creating a store to help women in making over their man was long overdue. Fenech said, "When I was trying to change my boyfriend's wardrobe after a year of being together, I was running all over the place. Sure, I could've gone online to pick up everything, but you need to touch and feel the fabrics. So, here we are with a store full of Gyllenhaal approved threads and facial hair growth kits."
The NYT's T Magazine has a handy graphic breaking down the fashion styles of indie rockers, and confirming once and for all that nobody should aspire to be an indie rocker. Each band profiled corresponds to a luxury brand. Doesn't that violate some sort of tenet of indie cred? PLUS they are all matched with smiley fashion slogans summing up their look, which just makes you realize that it is always an unwise decision for a band to agree to participate in a story in T Magazine. Below, a picture of each band and their supposed "look"; which is most preposterous? [I vote "Williamsburg prep"]
There's something very special about going to see a formerly indie band, now signed to a major label, play a venue that three years ago would've been much too big for them. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the crowd gets a little schizophrenic. In New York, this generally happens at places like Irving Plaza, Hammerstein, or Webster Hall, where we found ourselves the other night, taking in the Modest Mouse show along with approximately 1500 other people. It turned out most of them could be broken down into several distinct categories, which we've outlined for you after the jump.