Always Causing Trouble

Mr. Matos, that is. From the NYT:

This week Idolator, a newish music blog owned by Gawker Media, seized on the outrage and disappointment felt by critics around the country who saw Mr. Christgau — and Chuck Eddy, the Voice music editor, who was dismissed in April — as a force of credibility and journalistic continuity, by announcing its own poll, Jackin’ Pop.

The new survey will be organized by Michaelangelo Matos, a well regarded freelance writer who has served as music editor at the Voice-owned Seattle Weekly. (When New Times Media acquired Village Voice Media, it also took its name.) Jackin’ Pop will have some new technological bells and whistles, like demographic breakdowns of ballots, but will largely be modeled after Pazz & Jop. Mr. Matos, 31, said it was as much a homage to that model as a protest against the new Voice.

“Pazz & Jop has always been about intellectual music coverage,” he said. “There are people at The Voice doing good, smart work, but the overall culture does not smile upon it being particularly thoughtful.”

Go team good, smart, and intellectual!

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One Song: “In Our Talons”

"In Our Talons," Bowerbirds – This is an amazing, small epic of a song that puts together a chirping, first-contact-gone-wrong narrative for me, but might do something completely different for you. It’s breathtakingly lovely at times. And there’s accordion. "Oh my cousins, you’re not alone…" It makes things feel bright and vital and precarious. (Via the ever-brilliant Said the Gramophone, where Sean as usual writes oh so well about it.) This may just be my new favorite North Carolina band (okay, at least among my favorite N.C. bands).

Download Bowerbirds_In_Our_Talons.mp3

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One Song: “Hotaru”

"Hotaru" by Kama Aina – The most beautiful track I’ve had stuck on repeat this year. Club Kama Aina comes out soonish, I believe, and I can hardly wait. Kama Aina is a project from Japanese musician Takuji Aoyagi, who has said of this music: ‘Kama Aina represents me as a fan of music which comes from islands, as well as referring to myself living in an island country. I sometimes think that my music reminds me of a remote island somewhere. On the other hand it also sounds like a champroo music of an island, which is a melting pot of everything from the outside world. Again I thought the word would suit my position well.’

Download 01_track_01.mp3

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One Song: “Human Behavior”

"Human Behavior," The Decemberists – So, yeah, I’m basically trying to annoy you with this one. This bangy little track combines two things which drive some people beyond the crazy and which are like champagne and dark chocolate for the rest of us: Bjork + The Decemberists. Enjoy. Or feel angry. Your choice.

Download thedecemberistshumanbehavior.mp3

p.s. Louis-villains, don’t forget the reading. Come out, come out, come out! Happy Friday the 13th, everybody. Good weekend.

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One Song: “Put a Penny in the Slot”

"Put a Penny in the Slot," Fionn Regan – Whatever I could say about this number, Sean at Said the Gramophone already said better. (He’s probably my favorite music writer at the moment, except maybe this guy.) Anyway, Paul Auster’s Timbuktu, Bellow’s Augie March, stealing strange things from your ex-lover — all woven into the intricate, beautiful, melodic lyrics here. I’ve been burned by folk and folkish music so many times that it takes quite a bit to wake me up when I hear that sound. I think it took one listen of this song, when it came up on random play in the car. About two-thirds of the way through there’s this lovely break and the line "She will not let you be her lover," drawn out slow and I realized this is an amazing song. An amazing singer.

Download Fionn_Regan-Put_A_Penny_In_The_Slot.mp3

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A Little Something Wonderful

Said the Gramophone has a new Beirut song, "Elephant Gun":

"Elephant Gun" is totally terrific, and at a time where Beirut hype is already cliche, when backlash is heatin’ up the manifestos, it’s a reminder of just why Zach was exciting us in the first place. This isn’t so much gypsy music so much as music to make us sedentary indie rock kids feel like tumbleweeds; to make us feel like we’re shaking dust off our jackets, and into our shoes; to make us feel like yeah we’re on our way somewhere, you and i; just take my hand.

Boy, do I want that EP.

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One Song: “Crowd Surf Off a Cliff”

"Crowd Surf Off a Cliff," Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton – I’ve chattered about this one before, I know. My favorite song off Knives Don’t Have Your Back, which was officially released this week, changes daily. I love them all. But this is the one that iTunes says I play the most, so this is today’s song. It’s a moody, dreamy piece with a bite to it. Long enough to sink into and really enjoy on that third repeat listen in a row. And the kind of oblique, imprintable lyrics I cotton to. Turn it up loud in the car at night.

Download crowd_surf_off_a_cliff.mp3

In her bio, she says of this record:

Haines’ decision to release a solo album was long in the making. She says, “When I was a little kid…I would creep downstairs to the piano and write rudimentary songs about imaginary places. I’m told the first song I ever wrote was a love song to a cranberry tree. I always used the mute pedal. I hated the idea of anybody hearing me. Everywhere I’ve lived while working with Metric, I’ve written songs on the piano and played them for no one. On the advice of a friend, I decided I’d better start recording them before they were forgotten. Four meandering years later I ended up with this collection of songs featuring a few of my favorite people, a group I call The Soft Skeleton.”’

Listen to some other tracks at the Hype, then buy it.

p.s. So much for all that actual content I was going to provide this week. And I’m still dreadfully, woefully behind on email. Fill in the usual promises. Good weekend, all.

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One Song: “I Wanna Be Somebody”

"I Wanna Be Somebody," Hellsongs – A lovely Swedish band singing lounge-style versions of heavy metal songs, in this case one by Wasp. But this is the good kind of lounge; not overly kitschy, just nice, roomy arrangements. No time to properly describe, so just listen to it:

Download 03_hellsongs_i_wanna_be_somebody.mp3

p.s. My Old Kentucky Blog also has Cat Power doing a wonderful version of "Satisfaction" for AOL that I’ve been repeating and repeating again this week.

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Two Songs: “Raise the Glass” and “Rumble With Gang Debs”

So, we’ll see if this leads to too much bandwith suckage, but if it doesn’t consider this a new Friday thing (mp3s will remain up for a week). Unlike Ed and Tito, I’m just too lazy and disorganized* to commit to full album reviews; here is my answer for the lazy and disorganized among us. Usually this will be one song that I really like that week, but this week, it’s two!

"Raise the Glass," Full Moon Partisans – There’s nothing exceptional about this track at first blush, but then you can’t stop bobbing your head from side to side and dancing a little, you notice the imminently sing-a-longable lyrics are better than you thought. There’s the quiet innocence of the beginning, the straightforwardness as it builds. It’s just fucking charming, relaxed, and toastable.

Download RaisetheGlass.mp3

"Rumble With Gang Debs," Tullycraft – You want to talk about catchy? This is the catchy grail. If this song doesn’t make you happy, something is wrong with you that cannot be fixed, friend. I’m pretty much a sucker for anything with bah-dum, bahda-da-da, etc. Cupcakes and teenage runaways!

Download rumbledebs.mp3 (link hopefully works now)

*Or is that overwhelmed and realistic?

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