Friday, June 24, 2011

Weekly Whathaveyou - Friday, June 24

Various and Sundry Goings On About Music:
  • I have a tale of grassroots triumph to share. As I mentioned last week, Gillian Welch is playing here in Charleston in August. Tickets were slated to go on sale at 10 AM this morning. On a whim, I checked the ticketing site, and noticed the sale was live. A password was the only thing in the way of me getting tickets early. It only took me a few tries to crack the painfully obvious password. Next thing I knew, I was sitting on front row tickets. I was curious to know how this happened, so I contacted a friend with connections to the ticketing company. Turns out I just got lucky--the presale was unannounced and supposed to be uber-exclusive. More importantly, they didn't care. So, hey: front row to Gillian!
  • This week, Rolling Stone compiled a list of the 25 Best Road Trip songs, comprised of fan suggestions. Among the entries that I was happy to see: Led Zep's "Immigrant Song", Wilco's "Passenger Side", Tom Waits' "Ol' 55" and Modest Mouse's "Gravity Rides Everything". Fine choices, but I can't help but think Lucinda Williams' "Car Wheels On a Gravel Road" should have been somewhere.
  • Finally got around to that new Black Lips album, Arabia Mountain. It's 16 songs of high-octane indie punk (or something). Celebrated producer Mark Ronson gets production credit. I haven't had time to get through it but a few times, but it's gaining traction.
  • Stephen Colbert was busy this week throwing bones to music fans. He had Bon Iver and Jack White, among others, appear on his show. A few stray observations: Bon Iver, as a band, sounds really good and I wish I was seeing them live on this tour. Jack White is a pretty good sport. He's also putting on a few pounds. He also has a passing resemblance to University of South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Stephen Garcia:

    Imagine if Garcia was in the early stages of going transgender and still not really passing. (But let's hope he's passing plenty this fall to my boy Alshon!)
  • Speaking of Bon Iver, the song "Beth/Rest" that closes his excellent new album is creating a lot of buzz. Seems critics either love it or hate it. Pitchfork suggests that "heard in context, it stands as one the record's bravest and most deftly executed moments." Meanwhile, AllMusic calls it "laughable." I understand the aversion to those 80's prom-song keys, but I tend to agree with the Forkers on this one. If you can make peace with the keys, the rest unfolds into one of the most beautiful ballads of the year.
  • Blitzen Trapper took some time off their harrowing frontier expedition to record a new album. It drops on September 13.
  • Housekeeping: next week we'll roll out our 5th Annual Halfway Through the Year Awards. In preparation, be sure to vote in the poll at the right. And as always, follow us on Twitter.
Recent Listening:
  • Black Lips - Arabia Mountain
  • Gillian Welch - The Harrow and the Harvest
  • Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring for My Halo
  • Red House Painters - Song For a Blue Guitar
  • Bon Iver - Bon Iver
Upcoming Releases of Import:
  • Gillian Welch - The Harrow and the Harvest (June 28)
  • Blitzen Trapper - American Goldwing (September 13)
My Upcoming Concert Schedule:
  • Josh Ritter (Charleston, July 24)
  • Gillian Welch (Charleston, August 28)
A Tube For You:
I mentioned Stephen Colbert's music stuff earlier, but here's a bit more. It's a video (reversed for copyright reasons, I guess) of he and his backing band, the Black Belles, performing a stalker break-up tune called "Charlene II (I'm Over You)". Intro'ed by Jack White :

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