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Archive for March, 2009

I know that every blog on the planet has posted this trailer, but you know what?  I can’t innovate 100% of the time, people, I’m sorry.

where-the-wild-things-are_476x3571

This was definitely one of my favorite books as a kid, and I’m intrigued to see how this translates into a movie.  The trailer looks pretty awesome.

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Though I was feeling awfully self-congratulatory (this is a common problem, honestly) about coming up with “indie-lite”, I found a very well-written piece from Chapel Hill-area paper Indy Week from almost three years ago that uses the term.  However, I’m confident that TLOS will be the blog to make indie-lite happen for realz.

Indie-lite is formerly straight indie music that has evolved to appeal to mainstream audiences (large corporations, most normal people) while maintaining a veneer of indie niche aesthetic.  The most famous example of an indie-lite song in action, from the artist who led me to coin the term (or at least retrieve it from the ether):

My issues with Feist are well-documented.  Interestingly, several of the indie princesses I point out in that post have gone the indie-lite route.  See some examples below:

Rilo Kiley, seminal indie-pop project

Rilo Kiley, indie-lite

Cat Power, (fucking amazing) indie artist

Cat Power, indie-lite

(One of the most fun things about writing for this blog is digging up a bunch of shit on YouTube, by the way.  I also found this video, which sets Cat Power’s “The Greatest” to amazing shots of…old people bowling.)

Luckily for beautiful girls with bangs everywhere, there are also plenty of other bands that I can lump into the indie-lite category:

Kings of Leon, fun indie rock party band

Kings of Leon, indie-lite

Modest Mouse, hip college-y indie rock

Modest Mouse, indie-lite

Death Cab For Cutie, sensitive-boy indie rock

Death Cab For Cutie, indie-lite

The Decemberists, who have been indie-lite from the get-go

And then there are some artists that I just can’t lump into this category, no matter how well-loved they are by the masses:

Arcade Fire

José González

Peter Bjorn and John

I don’t want to come off as one of those insufferable indie snobs who dismisses a band the moment their songs turn up in an Outback Steakhouse commercial – trust me when I say I understand the need to make bank.  But I do think it’s interesting to watch the evolution from indie to indie-lite, and recognize that this music has basically been sanitized to the point of complete inoffensiveness.

Anyway.  Enjoy some Wolf Parade while you ponder these weighty issues, because they’re awesome and I love them and they definitely haven’t crossed over.

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Speaking of Mastodon – my friend Heather was kind enough to point out that in 2007 the band supplied the song for one of the most LOLz worthy opening scenes to any movie ever. I’m talking about “Cut You Up With a Linoleum Knife” from the brilliant “Lets All Go to the Lobby” parody that kicks off Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters.

Warning: the actual movie goes way down hill from here – cartoons about talking meatballs that transform into igloos are hilarious in 15 minute segments, but the schtick doesn’t hold up quite as well over the course of an 86 minute feature film.

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German Industrial Rock Terrorist Zappi

German Industrial Rock Terrorist Zappi

Featuring a massive and terrifying looking drummer named Zappi Diermaier, Faust was a leader in the experimental/ electronic movement in 1970s Germany, and their song “Krautrock” gave the movement its name.

I was previously only familiar with some studio records (especially Faust IV, which kicks all kinds of ass), but after happening upon this blog featuring rare studio footage of Faust back in 1971 i explored further and found some great concert video of them.

These guys make a wonderful racket and occasionally pull out a very catchy tune, too (check “Jennifer” off of Faust IV, which is just a gorgeous tune), so you should check ’em out. I’m including video of them playing “Krautrock” live. Zappi is pretty foreboding coming out to the front of the stage at the beginning of the song.

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The first time I ever cursed in front of either of my parents was December 23, 2008. Yes, you’re reading that correctly – three months ago. Oh and I’m almost 30 years old (I know it’s weird, right?). The scene: I was on the road coming home for Christmas when my phone rang. It was my dad, and he had utterly tragic news: “the Yankees got Teixeira.” With my head in a tizzy, I shouted “NO SHIT!?” putting equal emphasis on “NO” and “SHIT” in a cadence similar to Elaine’s “GET OUT!” from Seinfeld. Immediately I found myself apologizing, before making the realization that I was not a third grader and being very ridiculous. 

So when my dad added me on Facebook last week it should come as no surprise that I overreacted, scrolling and clicking furiously to purge my profile of any shred of damning evidence that might one day be used against me. I was finally able to relax a bit after deleting a photo album labeled “Tulsa Meth Binge ’06.” This, it turns out, was no isolated incident. Just a few days ago, Sophie, senior correspondent, the Limits of Science, was “friended” by her dad (though her reaction, she claims, was not “all spazzy” like mine). 

Are we witnessing the start of a national trend? Totally, says the website Inside Facebook. Today they reported that in the last 60 days alone the number of Facebook users over 35 has nearly doubled. If you don’t believe me, take a look at that fancy pie chart at the top of this post (pie charts are incapable of lying) or read the report.

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Is anyone else out there nerding out over Mastodon more than me right now? I downloaded Crack the Skye, their brutal and beautiful new studio album, late last night and heard everything up to 13 minute closing track “The Last Baron,” before passing out from dual guitar fever. Mastodon is a band whose power seemingly knows no limits. Since exploding onto the scene fully formed in 1999, they’ve somehow managed to get better with each new release (I never thought they’d top Blood Mountain, but alas I am a fool). They embody the entire history of metal – mythical creatures and all – yet sound completely and uniquely modern, a tricky feat to pull off. Anyone even remotely interested in heavy and/or experimental music should check them out. Here’s a good review from Pop Matters – listen to the whole album (via lala) at the bottom. If the scorched earth guitar solo on “Oblivion” doesn’t make you a convert, nothing will. Proceed with caution.

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