New Single: "Video Games" - Lana Del Rey
I heard this a while back when gorillaversusbear or one of those other stupid buzz band blogs threw it up on their site, and while I really liked it, I knew it wasn't a real song yet because Pitchfork Media dot com had yet to declare it valid. WELL GUESS WHAT FOLKS? BEST NEW MUSIC AUGUST 3RD YOOL 2011. So there, it's a real song and worth your time, so listen to it. In seriousness, it's a damn sexy, damn good tune that's really "haunting" I guess, or something like that. The problem is Lana has kind of a lamestream sound that your mom is going to really get a kick out of (but not my mom because she's dead :*/) so I figure in a year or so LDR will be all over Jay Leno and SNL and totally uncool to listen to anymore. So enjoy her now while you still can, because soon enough you'll be playing this by yourself on headphones in your bedroom, just like you do with your Kings of Leon albums that you have marked in iTunes as "Italian House/pre-dub."
New Album: "Mirror Traffic" - Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks
Stephen Malkmus really loves Lou Reed. He loves him so much I think he's trying to ape Lou's career path of having an extremely unsatisfying and uneven solo career after heading one of the most important bands of his era. "Mirror Traffic" is the latest adequate thing he's put out, and while I haven't even listened to it yet, I'm just going to assume it's the best thing since "Pig Lib" because I've got this feeling that's what everyone else is going to say about it. "Senator" is a pretty good tune that has a strong Pavement vibe, which is why I guess it's the lead single, because I've heard "Tigers" and it's just the usual "meh" stuff that he's been putting out since 2001. Meanwhile, the album is produced by Beck, and I guess we're supposed to care even though Beck hasn't been relevant since "Midnite Vultures" and hasn't been good since "Sea Change." Hey Beck, "Modern Guilt" was awful and I want my money back, kthx.
New Thing: "Watch the Throne" - JAY Z & Kanye West
It's fun reading reviews of "Throne" because black media is upset that there's not enough club bangers or typical hits while white media can't seem to get over the fact that Kanye has a problem with women and won't write any love songs. Meanwhile Pitchfork gave it an 8.5 (their safe "we really like this!" score) and said things like "he actually runs Nina Simone through Auto-Tune." Anyway, it's really good, I guess, if not "Dark Fantasy" good, and Kanye DOES really hate women, but so did Patrick Bateman and Victor Ward and a whole lot of other Bret Easton Ellis characters, and I'm pretty sure somewhere along the way Kanye fell into a BEE novel and that's his life now, so it's only appropriate. Meanwhile Jay still sounds bored, but not boring, so it's automatically better than all of his outings since 2009. No songs about Twitter though. Songs about Twitter relate to me as a member of youth culture, so as a youth I can't give this album my full approval; as an old, a lot of rapping about having sex with "bad bitches" and driving at illegal speeds in "May-backs" frightens me. As a white my favorite song is "New Day" because it features RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan and they appeal to my sensibilities of liking "underground" music that is also approachable and doesn't make me think about my whiteness as a thing. I guess what I'm saying is
favorite new song: Morning Thought - Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr (free download here)
worst thing I heard this week: EVERYTHING BY BON IVER PLEASE STOP PLAYING IT SIRIUS XMU
cool shit you can download for free:
two covers albums: first, the slightly more lamestream option: Spin's Tribute to Nirvana's Nevermind. Some cool stuff here like Vaselines and Meat Puppets covering Nirvana songs, and also buzzbands like Titus Andronicus and personal favorite Surfer Blood (doing a pretty rad cover of Territorial Pissings). A lot of fun stuff.
next up: STROKED: A Tribute to Is This It
Stereogum got some buzz bands together and had them cover all of Is This It, with some good tunes here like PB&J doing "Is This It?", Real Estate doing "Barely Legal," and Wise Blood doing "Someday."