Friday, January 30, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Justin Vernon's band dared to cover the gloriously hideous '80s song "Your Love," originally performed by The Outfield. This track is proof that Bon Iver could sing just about anything and have it sound beautiful.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Boy George, what the hell has happened to you? George O'Dowd has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for false imprisonment. He apparently invited some guy to his place and then handcuffed and restrained him. His defense that the acts were part of some kinky sex game did not work, though it strikes me as a fairly believable argument, no?
(By the way, "kinky sex game" is a phrase I did not ever expect to use on this blog. But I'm eager to see how many hits I get from Google searches for that phrase...)
Talk about a guy who's hit rock bottom. Last year, he had to pick up garbage as part of his community service for falsely reporting a burglary:
I think an awesome Halloween costume would be Boy George, circa 1983, with the long colored dreads. It would be pretty hard to top that.
Video: Culture Club - Karma Chameleon
Posted by Scott at 11:56 AM
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Black Moth Super Rainbow
I don't write about local bands as often as I should. Or, at all. This blog was originally intended to contain musings on pop music and culture, with absolutely no Pittsburgh angle. But that has changed, as I've been writing about local venues and shows more frequently than I expected.
I would like to focus more on local music, especially since there are only a handful of Pittsburgh music blogs out there. There isn't a Brooklyn Vegan of Pittsburgh - there's no blog that covers every local and national concert in the city, in comprehensive fashion with daily news, reviews, features and interviews. This could be that blog someday. But not now.
Having said all that, it's time for a brief mention of some local bands I enjoy.
BLACK MOTH SUPER RAINBOW
I'm not sure if BMSR can be considered "local" anymore, since they're touring all over and have national representation, but I'm going to include them because they're my favorite Pittsburgh act. Their freaky psychedelic pop has earned them acclaim from Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and even the New York Times, which called their live show "one glorious buzz." Just check out the fascinating "Milk Skates" and "Hairy Candy" on their MySpace page. This shit is bizarre. And beautiful.
They may have the world's most unfortunate band name, but their music is significantly better than their moniker. I'm a fan of their sweet pop songs like "Modern Days," but they also excel on more relaxed folk/alt-country tunes like "Sea and the Sun" and "Victim is a Saint."
LIFE IN BED
One of the region's most popular rock acts. But when I saw them open for somebody at Mr. Small's, they never even announced the name of their band! Or if they did, they did so in such mumbling fashion that I never heard it. Only a few days later did I discover that I'd actually seen Life in Bed. This is my biggest beef with local bands - they don't pimp themselves out enough! If I was in a band, I'd be mentioning the name of my band after EVERY SONG. Come on guys, if you want people to get into you, you have to tell them who you are! You can't just mumble your name once at the end of the set and expect everyone to catch it!
GOOD NIGHT, STATES
Pittsburgh's fastest-rising band, Good Night, States have earned a significant following in a relatively short amount of time. Much of their breezy pop music recalls Wilco, though they're not as sleepy
There are a bunch of other local acts that are also making waves - Donora, The Takeover UK, Centipede Eest. Sorry guys, maybe I'll work you into the next post.
Got any other local acts I should check out? Leave a comment!
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I'm not overwhelmed by the new Fall Out Boy album, but one track has grabbed me - "What a Catch, Donnie." It's a song that starts out as a slow piano ballad, with the chorus "I've got troubled thoughts and the self esteem to match."
Three minutes in, out of nowhere, Elvis Costello appears to sing a verse. Then, the song takes off into a soaring final chorus, with appearances from an all-star cast of emo characters - Brendan Urie of Panic at the Disco, Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes, William Beckett of The Academy Is..., Gabe Saporta of Cobra Starship, and others. While FOB singer Patrick Stump continues singing the chorus, the guest vocalists take turns singing lyrics from previous Fall Out Boy songs in the background.
As Amanda Palmer once sang, "Don't tell me not to reference my songs within my songs!"
It's a clever idea, and it's well done.
Video: Fall Out Boy - What a Catch, Donnie (unauthorized fan video)
Saturday, January 3, 2009
1/26 Frightened Rabbit @ Rangos Hall, Carnegie Mellon University
This Scottish act showed up on a lot of year-end best-of lists. It's always great when someone opens himself up completely and pours his guts into his lyrics, and Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchison did just that on The Midnight Organ Fight. Go and weep in your
beer pop (probably no alcohol at this show) as Hutchison sings his gripping tales of breakup and heartache.
ALSO WORTH ATTENDING:
1/7 AC/DC @ Mellon Arena
The classic rock fossils had one of 2008's biggest selling albums (Thank you, Walmart), and now they're taking a victory lap. You can bet they'll bust out "You Shook Me All Night Long," "Back in Black," and all the rest. Personally I'd be rooting to hear "Moneytalks."
Others to keep in mind:
1/3 Jerry Seinfeld @ Benedum Center
1/9 Zach Deputy @ Thunderbird Cafe
1/10 Lisa Lampanelli @ Byham Theater
1/16 Push Play @ Diesel
1/17 innerpartysystem @ Diesel
1/18 I Am Ghost @ Diesel
1/25 Red Jumpsuit Apparatus @ Mr. Small's
1/27 Vic Chesnutt & Elf Power @ Garfield Artworks
1/28 As I Lay Dying @ Mr. Small's
1/29 Brian VanderArk @ Club Cafe
1/31 Kathleen Edwards @ Rex Theatre