The Renaissance of Home

Last week I was blessed with some of the best news heard in quite some time. One of my all-time favorite bands from the indie era -- Home -- overlooked and underrated as they've been much of their existence -- is returning again.

Back when Sexteen was released -- two years ago -- I wrote a pretty lengthy piece on all of their albums up to that point. The announcement last week, while introducing the world to Seventeen, was bigger than I could imagine. They've just released Home I through Home VIII -- tapes that were nothing more than myth in the mid-90s, a box-set of memories I was promised many times but never received. I actually remember buying a $30 import disc of "selections" from the box-set from Mondo Kim's in NYC, just to get a taste. Now, at $14.99 this is a steal. That's a good four hours of music -- I'm still sifting through it all.

Seventeen is being released by Brah in January, and the band has planned some live show in celebration of this monumental occasion. Look for full reviews of both over at the Agit-Reader soon.



Allison Iraheta - "Friday I'll Be Over You"

I've never been secretive about my obsession with American Idol. Though I think the quality of the performers and the choice of material has waned in recent years -- I always have a favorite that I was sad to see leave. Given the circumstances of this year and the Adam Lambert/Kris Allen culture war showdown, I've almost tuned out enough to give up completely. Especially with no Abdul hysterics next season. The only hope I had this past year was that Allison Iraheta -- the 16 yr. old phenom -- would prevail through all the male dominated shenanigans. She may not have had the vocal chops of Mr. Glambert, but she had her own style. I thought that was enough to make her the dark horse.

Finally we are about to see the results of Ms. Iraheta's burgeoning recording career. Currently her first single,"Friday I'll Be Over You" has yet to set fire to the charts, but I'm in love with how they've projected her to the airwaves. While I'm a bit weary of the Pink makeover her handlers are giving her, I love the pseudo-Runaways vibe and the eerie Metroid music box ludes that frame the chorus. A bit more Avril than I wished for, but I'm predicting a long career. At least as long as Kelly Clarkson, and long(er) than her season 8 peers.


Poolside with Washed Out

This might be the last Poolside for a long while. At least until I get the itch in March. This is actually more than Poolside, it's a chance to announce what I think is the single of the year -- Washed Out's hypnotic "Feel it All Around." That's hypnotic, no hypnagogic (and who knows what the fuck that entails). I've likely listened to this at least once a day since it was released. Goodness. It's inspiring, melodic, soothing, contemplative, nostalgic -- everything I want in a Poolside jam. This is a fan made video. Though I've never had the experience of scuba, and I didn't get close to a beach the entire summer, this is beautifully fitting.

FEEL IT ALL AROUND from Northern Lights on Vimeo.


Where is Indian Summer?

I guess it has arrived this week. Thought with the frost and the rain that we might not see it this year. I was beginning to worry, as this is my favorite time of the year.Driving through the fall foliage with the windows down yesterday I realized why I love Ohio, if only for this seven day seasonal harvest. Can you imagine living in a place without seasons?

Anyways, this post is just an excuse to show a Beat Happening video. Funny this fits autumn perfectly.

Do Not Do It Yourself

While a little culture war continues unabated (over at Donewaiting.Com) regarding this tidy documentary and the validity/quality/ability of Times New Viking -- the band continues their umpteenth tour of the entire U.S. Do not believe in the myth that things are happening in Columbus -- for the most part they are not. For every Times New Viking and Psychedelic Horseshit there are a dozen bands made up of middle-aged men (infants) who came from a dozen other failed bands to form a Voltron of Midwestern mediocrity. Don't get me wrong, there are a handful of excellent bands in this town -- but few escape the bars and make something happen. I would love to write an essay on the fountain of suck that is created once a band in Columbus breaks the boundaries of I-270 and makes something happen. Nevertheless haters come out of the woodwork and keep their identities and their insufferably shitty bands hidden. Please, break-up your band.

Back to this doc though. Granted, TNV is not for everyone, but those who "get" it, adore it. Explaining this band to squares is always a challenge, so I'm glad something like this now exists because in the future I'll just direct them this way.

Faust Surprises in Old Age

I didn't expect much from Faust. I didn't expect a solid ratio of original/hired members or old/new compositions. So hearing a haunting version of the gaseous "Jennifer," no matter the arrangement, was thrill. Here's a full review.

I thought of this as a once in a lifetime experience, but then again, the more discovered and exposed Faust becomes (Pavement just announced them in their line-up for ATP), the closer I believe they'll get to the "authentic" Faust. Considering the "band" was more a concept, a reactionary form of dadaist art, defining "authenticity" is really impossible. That's especially true when found Uwe Nettelbeck passed last year. The myth still live through, through the first 4 Faust LPs and bit of film such as this.

(Editor's Note - I named this here blog after their country jam hut in Wumme, Germany.)


MJ One More Time? Why Not?

Yeah. Losing Michael Jackson was a huge chink in my armor this year. Don't know why, since I haven't gave a damn since maybe Dangerous. I even shed a tear. I even wrote an obituary. I said he shaped my life more than any other celebrity I grew up with. So happy to start teaching this Autumn and see high school seniors clad in tribute t-shirts and Thriller era garb. That's a comeback. But he was going to have a "real" comeback, and I was almost willing to head to the UK to see this. This weekend at an IMAX viewing of Where the Wild Things Are, my wife and I saw the preview for This Is It, and we both got goosebumps. The This Is It tour was going to be HUGE. Had he lived, he would have certainly made it over to the states, a new album, why not?


On Kurt Vile (Gash)

I don't think enough has been said about Mr. Vile. Trying to spread the gospel in my feature last week, I'm convinced Childish Prodigy is merely the closing of the first chapter in his career -- there are certainly higher peaks to reach. Take the time to laugh at Pitchfork decree that he should be MORE lo-fi. What's the point of that? Especially for a band as heavy and heady as the Violators? Has it gotten so bad that we're discouraging increased sonic exploration? Go buy this record now.

I'm listening to Springsteen now Kurt. Thanks.