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Sunday, May 22nd, 2022  

Album Reviews

You Have Got to Be Kidding Me

fanclubwallet
You Have Got to Be Kidding Me

May 20, 2022 Web Exclusive

Described as the “ecstatic, tongue in cheek project” of Ottawa-based musician Hannah Judge, fanclubwallet synthesizes the lo-fi bedroom melancholia of classic indie acts such as Bright Eyes with the alt pop sophistication of Lights Poxleitner-Bokan, with intriguing results.

Weird Nightmare

Weird Nightmare
Weird Nightmare

May 19, 2022 Web Exclusive

METZvocalist and guitarist Alex Edkins steps out on his own with his debut solo album, the self-titled Weird Nightmare.

In/Out/In

Sonic Youth
In/Out/In

May 18, 2022 Web Exclusive

The first “new” Sonic Youth material since 2009’s swan song The Eternal and their subsequent 2011 breakup isn’t exactly new material.

Classic Interviews

David Cross

David Cross
Comedy is Not Shitty

Feb 02, 2003 David Cross

His new album, Shut Up, You Fucking Baby! isn’t much of a lovefest, so let’s start with a few things David Cross likes.

Comic Book Reviews

Good Boy Volume I

Good Boy Volume I
Source Point Press

May 19, 2022 Web Exclusive

Merriam Webster defines homage as: “an expression of high regard; respect. Something that shows respect or attests to the worth or influence of another; tribute.” The comic book industry loves homages more than an audiophile loves a good turntable set-up. Case in point, Amazing Spider-Man #300. But what happens when an homage becomes a love letter?

Book Reviews

Bunnyman

Will Sergeant
Bunnyman

Apr 18, 2022

Bunnyman is an introspective self-examination of Will Sergeant’s early years and maturation, musical and otherwise, that led to him forming Echo & the Bunnymen. Bunnyman is an introspective self-examination of Will Sergeant’s early years and maturation, musical and otherwise, that led to him forming Echo & the Bunnymen.

Interviews

The End: SOAK

The End: SOAK

May 20, 2022 Web Exclusive

To end the week, we ask SOAK (aka Northern Ireland singer/songwriter Bridie Monds-Watson) some questions about endings and death.

My Firsts: Jonathan Higgs of Everything Everything

My Firsts: Jonathan Higgs of Everything Everything

May 19, 2022 Web Exclusive

My Firsts is our email interview series where we ask musicians to tell us about their first life experiences, be it early childhood ones (first word, first concert, etc.) or their first tastes of being a musician (first band, first tour, etc.). For this My Firsts we talk to Jonathan Higgs, frontman of British art-rockers Everything Everything.

Pleased to meet you

W.H. Lung on “Vanities”

May 05, 2022 Issue #69 - 20th Anniversary Issue

Formed around five years ago by vocalist Joe Evans and guitarist Tom Sharkett after playing in various bands together beforehand, Manchester-via-Leeds collective W.H. Lung are the sound of the future dressed as now.

Lists

From Silver Jews to Purple Mountains: 14 of David Berman’s Best Songs

May 20, 2022

For a select few of us who can claim to be bona fide hometown fans of the NFL’s Houston Oilers circa the 1980s into the early ’90s, there is a certain level of gluttony for punishment that goes along with that honor. Added to the indignities of many playoff appearances that never quite panned fully out, the team’s owner, Bud Adams, unceremoniously up and moved the team to Nashville, Tennessee. After a year or two operating as the Tennessee Oilers (up there with the Utah Jazz in terms of city/mascot disconnects), the team’s name changed to the Tennessee Titans with the team’s flagship player, and one of the Houston holdovers, being quarterback Steve McNair.

You may be asking what this has to do with David Berman and his musical projects, Silver Jews and Purple Mountains. But as reclusive as an artist as Berman was, including his 10-year disappearance from making music, Berman was clear in idolizing the Titans and McNair. I first became aware of Berman early on as a fan of Pavement and no doubt purchased Silver Jews’ debut album, Starlite Walker, due to Steven Malkmus’ and Bob Nastanovich’s involvement with the project. Berman’s hangdog tales were laced with pure poetry, an alt-country lean, and a laconic, lo-fi delivery that spoke to listeners in a language they didn’t know they needed to hear.

Over the course of six Silver Jews albums and the unexpected 2019 comeback via his Purple Mountains debut, Berman never disappointed. I didn’t get the opportunity to see Berman perform live, although I had tickets to a Houston show in 2008 that I was unable to travel to due to Hurricane Ike blasting through the area. Amazingly, the show did go on at the last minute at an alternate location. After Berman’s Purple Mountains reemergence, I was pressing my son to go see the planned set at Raleigh’s Hopscotch Festival (Purple Mountains, Orville Peck, Faye Webster, and Jenny Lewis were to all play that day), but Berman took his life a few days before the Purple Mountains tour was to begin.

It was almost too much to fathom that Berman could find his way back through the fog, only to be gone a few months later. Though his loss is certainly more devastating than the relocation of a favorite sports team, being shown another taste of Berman’s talents so soon before he was gone for good did leave a feeling of having been cheated out of something cherished in addition to the grief many of us who love his music felt. He also garnered the message “Nashville (and the world) will always love David Berman” on the Titan’s Jumbotron as a posthumous salute.

Fortunately, we have the legacy of Berman’s music and words, including his parting gift to us just before his passing. Here I pick 14 of my favorite Berman songs. To borrow from the Jews’ “Random Rules,” in order to be “democratic and cool,” I picked two songs apiece from each of the albums and tried to include a taste of the different approaches that Berman brought to the table—from the purely whimsical to the deeply felt. So if your favorites aren’t here, they may have well been nudged out by other songs on the same album or in favor of a different example of Berman’s talents. By Mark Moody

Live reviews

Focus Wales, Wrexham, Wales, 4-7 May, 2022

Focus Wales, Wrexham, Wales, 4-7 May, 2022

May 20, 2022 By James Thornhill

Focus Wales delivered on every level, proving once again why it’s the pinnacle of UK showcase events

Blog

The Rolling Stones – Reflecting on the 50th Anniversary of “Exile on Main St.”

The Rolling Stones – Reflecting on the 50th Anniversary of “Exile on Main St.”

May 12, 2022 By Austin Saalman

Nearly two years in the making, The Rolling Stones’ sprawling double LP Exile on Main St. was greeted with mixed reviews upon its release, Rolling Stone’s Lenny Kaye lamenting, “The great Stones album of their mature period is yet to come.” Indeed, the album felt to some like a backward stumble, rather than the great leap forward anticipated in the wake of the previous year’s masterful Sticky Fingers.