In honor of Michael Hutchence, who left us much too soon, and 17 years ago today: the video for Need You Tonight, by INXS, one that I watched every time it came up on MTV – which was a lot – and showcases him (them) at his finest. And, also, okay, yes, I totally had a middle-school crush on Michael Hutchence, fueled by this song, and this video. It was specific, but yet also somehow abstract; I was, I think, daydreaming of someone sidling up to me and informing me I was his kind. If that someone was as smoking hot as Michael Hutchence, all the better.
It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss. In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire. For anyone who missed it earlier this month, Militia Vox recently released an all-covers album called Bait. On it she takes aim – with amazing results – at a number of hard rock icons, including Ozzy Osbourne. This is her take on PJ Harvey’s Rid Of Me: And now, I will turn the floor over … Continue reading
I touched on this briefly back in August, but: Frank Iero (Death Spells, Leathermouth, My Chemical Romance) and his new band (frnkiero andthe cellabration) have recently released a record, called Stomachaches. My feelings, the short version: It’s awesome and I love it. I return to it when I am feeling abraded by life, and wish to use Iero’s voice as a honey-and-gravel blanket. Or when I want to shuffle dance on street corners. Whatever you may have thought of My Chem: if you like vigorous punk rock with fuzzy accents and the occasional delicate melody, give this a shot. My feelings, the long version: I’ve been listening to this and Gerard Way’s Hesitant Alien as point-counterpoint, and while I like what Gerard Way has been up to – more on that later – Iero’s work is more musically interesting to me. I find I’m re-listening to songs not only because they feel like they fall directly into a pre-cut groove in my head and heart but because I’m actively trying to track what he’s doing with feedback and drums and/or listen more closely to the lyrics. Basically, I’m super into the way he’s playing with elements of dissonance in the … Continue reading
The first polar vortex of the season arrived in New York yesterday, bringing with it icy temperatures and blustery winds. Like it or not, winter is here. And in the spirit of all things frosty and beautiful, here are two songs from Johanna Glaza: Paper Widow and Winter Song, due out at the end of November, which embody, in sound, all of the best parts of the season: windows full of delicate frost fronds, the smell of fresh pine, the crunch of new snow.
Hard Hard Hard, by Dead Professional (John Harouff) is the sort of record that sneaks up on you. A bass line gets lodged in your head one day; you find yourself humming along with a melody the next; the day after that a particular lyric strikes home. For example, I was just briefly arrested by I can be your baby / or I can play the sitter from I Can Deliver, which has both sharp edges and Replacements-style catchy grooves: Another one I’m fond of is Bad Memory, because it’s a love song, if love songs were written by sharks:
The last time we checked in with Heart-Ships was last October, and since then they’ve released a bunch of new music including a full-length record called Foil (YAY!) and split up (NOT YAY, MASSIVE :(). I listened to Foil late last night, and on the whole it is breathtaking. But there are a few songs that sank their claws into me. One of them was Undress Me To The Bone, which I present here in video form, because they did a “garden session” and sang it acoustic and it sounds like a diamond being wrenched out of them by force. This is the album version, which is worth listening to for the contrast: the lament sounds almost like an anthem. Also strong: Nadine, Heart of a Wrestler and We Were Quick to Bang The Drum.
A home for things that might be fleeting, might be soothing, might be weird, might be soothing and weird. The blogging equivalent of sitting in the garage twiddling radio knobs just to see what might be out there. After an extended hiatus, Mt. Wolf, from London, England via Guernsey, Dorset, and Brighton, have decided to be a band again, and come back with Red, which is something of a haunted lullaby. It is but a taste of what will come in the new year.
And now, some synth-pop confection for Saturday night: Chemicals by Sirena, who claims both Stockholm and Barcelona as her home towns. Because sometimes people are what they look like under the light of the disco ball, and sometimes that light (and other substances) plays tricks upon our eyes and hearts.
It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss. In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire. Crisp, solid, mellow, at times a little jazzy: these are the beats of Benjamin Durazzo. His signature move is playing two MPCs at once. Here he is with Waterbed: A couple of months ago he was out on tour with AF the Naysayer and so I got to quiz him about his favorite book, record … Continue reading
Ocean, by Buffalo Sunn (formerly Sweet Jane): because y’all may have noticed this blog can be kind of . . . water themed, sometimes. I like the sea. Beach towns in winter are some of my favorite places; I love Coney Island all year ’round. By and large, if you need me and I am not where I usually am, you will find me by the seaside. Salt water and sea air: it’s good for whatever ails you. And this song expresses that feeling perfectly. The video is . . . kind of puzzling and claustrophobic – poking their YouTube channel implies we may we walking in mid-story – so the ocean, when it finally appears, is something of a relief.