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02 Feb 2011 14:05


Music: The White Stripes break up, 1997-2011

Venerable musical duo The White Stripes officially broke up today, issuing a statement suggesting that “The White Stripes now belong to you.” Aw, shucks! source

08 Apr 2010 20:30


Music: RIP Malcolm McLaren: The guy who sold us on punk

  • He managed the Sex Pistols, among others. One of the greatest music impresarios of the last 40 years, McLaren first ran an image-obsessed London boutique called “Sex,” and later parlayed it into pre-fabbing the Sex Pistols, an anarchic bunch about whom he says this: “I never thought the Sex Pistols would be any good. But it didn’t matter if they were bad.” The British rock stars were his greatest achievement, but he had many others, too: Adam & the Ants, Bow Wow Wow, and his own music. Dude died of mesothelioma, a form of cancer. He was 64. source

16 Jan 2010 12:40


Music: ShortFormBlog Saturday Mixtape: Remembering Jay Reatard

  • Jay Reatard was a musical genius of brevity. His great gift was an uncanny ability to write a pop song tighter, more stylistically diverse and with with more hooks than anyone else. Which is why his death earlier this week came as a total shock. His best days weren’t behind him. He was just getting started. So with that said, here are five songs from his fruitful recent period which nail down why he’s essential.

  • 1. “My Shadow” was something of a calling card to the rest of the world about what his hometown of Memphis already knew from his many early bands – Reatard’s ability to reimagine punk as fun, poppy, and dark was unparalleled.
  • 2. “All Over Again” was one of Reatard’s best singles, and he recorded a lot of them. In fact, he released TWO singles compilations in 2008, and both of them were stylistically different enough to warrant purchase of both. Despite its two-minute length, the song doesn’t feel anything remotely close to short. It’s loaded with ideas.
  • 3. In Jay Reatard’s heaven, “Haunting You” should be playing on repeat. It’s quite literally his modus operandi, and it feels like, considering the circumstances of this week, that it was written ahead of time, to his many fans – past, present and future.
  • 4. What Reatard did better than most was the driving chorus, insistent and forceful. “Always Wanting More,” was a great example of what he does best. In a live setting, he played his short songs as quickly as he could, often not stopping for stage banter and plowing through songs as if he was a Ramone.
  • 5. Perhaps the most interesting part of Reatard’s most recent release, “Watch Me Fall” (what an ominous album title), was an evolution of his sound. He started adding elements from 1980s Kiwi-rock on the album, and largely drove the songs with acoustic guitars rather than thrashing electric sound of most of his earlier material. Single “It Ain’t Gonna Save Me” (also ominous) showed a sound that was getting more diverse without losing its best elements. What a terrible, awful loss of someone so amazing.

13 Jan 2010 17:01


Music: RIP Jay Reatard. You were one of the good ones. Peace man.

Dear Gods of indie rock, why did you have to take Jay Reatard? That guy had more good songs than most of those other punk guys have come up with combined. source

29 Dec 2009 11:13


Music: Avenged Sevenfold’s drummer dies; The Rev lived fast, died young

The Rev, born James Sullivan, was the driving force behind one of mainstream rock’s most popular acts. Indie kids don’t know who he is. source

24 Jun 2009 22:25


Music: ShortFormBand: Spin Alley makes “Punkhop” for the masses

  • Whoa, what is this?

    In our continuing effort to try new things, here’s our latest: Band coverage! This time, Austin’s Spin Alley, who freely mixes rhymes and oi’s, goes through the short-form grinder. Want to see your band here? E-mail us or bug us on Twitter!

    Listen to them

    Q1: In 15 words or less, describe your band’s sound: Loud, punchy, auditory experience of life. Guaranteed to get you moving.

    Q2: Name three influences that inspire you, with three words each on why they’re awesome:
    Kerouac: On the road
    Whiskey: Fuels the fire
    Marijuana: Um, we forget

    Q3: What’s a recent song you’ve been digging? Write ten words explaining why:
    Downsiid – “Pole Dancer”: Epitome of Texas Crunk, keeps heads and asses in motion

    Q4: In 140 characters or less, how do you use social networking to get the word out: We’re charming bastards when we want to be. Social networks let us share our charm with the world, connect with the old and find the new.

    Q5: In 15 words or less, what’s next for you guys? Tour sell tour sell tour sell tour sell tour sell sell tour, across the universe. source

28 May 2009 20:42


Music, Politics: This new TV news + music collabo is pretty F&%*ed Up

  • Fox goes hardcore The conservative-leaning news network’s late-night show “Red Eye” has a new regular contributor, and he’s the lead screamer of one of our favorite hardcore bands, Toronto’s F&%*ed Up. The manic Pink Eyes (a.k.a. Damian Abraham) got the gig after ballsily calling out the show’s host, Greg Gutfield, on comments he made regarding the Canadian military. Gutfield, BTW, is a fan.
  • What Pink Eyes thinks Abraham, who’s known for doing such awesomely insane things as drawing his own blood at shows, is just as surprised as anybody. “It’s one of those things where do you take this ridiculous opportunity as it’s presented to you, or do you avoid it and just continue on with your life?” he said of the surreal gig. “That’s sort of the internal struggle I’m dealing with.” source

01 May 2009 12:23


Music: It’s like the Warped Tour, with less punk and more twang

  • OK, this isn’t punk-rock, dudes. Kevin Lyman, the co-founder of the Vans Warped Tour, is working on a similarly-formatted show based around country music acts. The tour will likely hit the stages in Summer 2010. We realize that the Warped Tour is filled with a lot of commercial punk along with the real kind, but is it about to jump the shark? Hrm. source

30 Mar 2009 10:35


Music: Uh, why is Green Day making an “American Idiot” play?

  • It doesn’t make a lot of sense, but that’s what I love about it. When people see it, it’s going to be my wildest dream.
  • Billie Joe Armstrong • On making “American Idiot,” Green Day’s most popular and ambitious album, into a play. It’ll initially show at a theater in Berkeley, Calif. starting in September with the goal of going bigger places in the long run. Wake us up when September ends. • source

10 Feb 2009 11:09


Music: Art Brut has an upcoming album. It’s probably high-concept.

“Art Brut Vs. Satan” comes out in the U.K. on April 20. Hahah, 420, get it? source