2012: A Year In Pictures: April – May

DeVotchka, Beacon Theater, New York, NY, April 4, 2012   Stephin Merritt, The Magnetic Fields, Beacon Theater, New York, NY, April 4, 2012   Claudia Gonson, The Magnetic Fields, Beacon Theater, New York, NY, April 4, 2012   Diamond Doves, Mercury Lounge, New York, NY, April 21, 2012   Elvis Perkins cameo appearance, Mercury Lounge, New York, NY, April 21, 2012   Van Preston, Joe’s Pub, New York, NY, May 17, 2012   Ray Wylie Hubbard, Joe’s Pub, New York, NY, May 17, 2012   Lucas Hubbard and Ray Wylie Hubbard, Joe’s Pub, New York, NY, May 17, 2012   Jill Hennessy, Lucas Hubbard, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Joe’s Pub, New York, NY, May 17, 2012   No June; bar review ate my life and I didn’t go to any shows.

Friday Link Session

The “Freaking Pile o’ Links” edition (this is what happens when I don’t do one of these for a couple of weeks). Robert Bralver and Jeff Broadway talk about their beautiful documentary Cure for Pain: The Mark Sandman Story. Watch the trailer for The Last Shop Standing, a documentary about UK record stores. Watch A Place to Bury Strangers’ ridiculous video for “Leaving Tomorrow” and catch them on tour. Watch our friends Field Report cover Sufjan Stevens on A.V. Undercover. (And check out the rest of this year’s covers, too. There are many gems.) I have exhorted you before to check out Ed Piskor’s Hip Hop Family Tree comic at Boing Boing, and now Fantagraphics have struck a deal to publish the collection. In another meeting of comics and music, How Fucking Romantic is a project to illustrate each track off of the Magnetic Field’s 69 Love Songs. For your extended viewing pleasure, Dangerous Minds has The Punk Rock Movie, filmed in 1977, and 1988’s Tougher Than Leather, featuring Run-D.M.C. Stupefaction has The Day the Country Died: A History of Anarcho Punk 1980-1984. And there’s a Chet Baker documentary called Let’s Get Lost on YouTube.

Band I Really Love: The Magnetic Fields

The Magnetic Fields: because nobody else does hilarious, cranky, sweet, biting, romantic songs like Stephin Merritt (vocals/ukelele/harmonioum/keyboard) and his merry crew, aka Claudia Gonson (vocals/percussion/piano), Sam Davol (cello/flute), John Woo (banjo/guitar) and Shirley Simms (vocals/autoharp/ukelele). For example, Andrew in Drag, from their latest record, Love at the Bottom of the Sea. It’s been stuck in my head for weeks and so now I’m going to share it with you, so I won’t be the only one singing the chorus under my breath at random and inappropriate times. (Note: contains nudity, may be unsafe for work!)     This one is called With Whom To Dance and every time I listen to it, I observe, wistfully, that really as far as I’m concerned the only wretched part of being single is not having anyone to slow dance with at weddings. You know? Everyone else gets up to sway and spin and there I am perched on the edge of my chair feeling kind of lonely and awkward about everything. Thank you for capturing that emotion in song, Mr. Merritt!     Dipping into their back catalog a little bit, here’s a live version of Drive on Driver from Distortion, the record … Continue reading

Bits: Cadillac Sky, Stephen Calt, The Magnetic Fields, mr. Gnome, Twain, The Low Anthem

Bryan Simpson has announced his departure from Cadillac Sky. An announcement about his replacement is forthcoming. We are grateful to Bryan for the great music he’s given us and wish him much happiness. Dust-to-Digital reports the passing of blues biographer Stephen Calt, author of King of the Delta Blues: The Life an Music of Charlie Patton and I’d Rather Be the Devil: Skip James and the Blues among other tomes. Now on to better news: the Magnetic Fields would like to bring their film Strange Powers to your town. Learn how you can help make it happen. mr. Gnome has almost completed it’s third album and has announced tour dates starting in November. Mat Davidson of the Low Anthem has released his second album with his project Twain. Interesting stuff. Check it out. Speaking of the Low Anthem, we’ve been slowly falling in love with them since seeing them open for the Avett Brothers last winter. Here’s a nice little docu-video on them. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0yAMMCCgg4?fs=1]