Because the only logical step to take when a new Deerhunter record is announced is to listen to an older Deerhunter record.

Because the only logical step to take when a new Deerhunter record is announced is to listen to an older Deerhunter record.

This babe. #nowplaying

This babe. #nowplaying

According to Vulture, the 75-year old veteran ad illustrator Brian Sanders was tapped to developed promo assets for season six of Mad Men. Sanders previously worked with Kubrick on 2001 and John Steinbeck, among many others. Pretty rad.

According to Vulture, the 75-year old veteran ad illustrator Brian Sanders was tapped to developed promo assets for season six of Mad Men. Sanders previously worked with Kubrick on 2001 and John Steinbeck, among many others. Pretty rad.

.@martarama and I have started cataloging our LPs #vinyl #music cc: @balmorheamusic

.@martarama and I have started cataloging our LPs #vinyl #music cc: @balmorheamusic

First, figure out what records you really like, then figure out why you really like them, both of which are difficult things to do. Not what you should like, not why you should like it. What is it that’s actually giving you pleasure about this record?

Nieman Reports | Concision and Clarity

—Robert Christgau

(via markrichardson)

Ryan Parrish, Lance Black, and Jesse Fine kill in The Parallel.

Ryan Parrish, Lance Black, and Jesse Fine kill in The Parallel.

Yorke’s voice is an unrelentingly beautiful thing that sometimes bothers him for precisely that quality. He sings in a strong and aspirate voice, and favors legato phrasing. His pitch is sufficiently accurate so that he uses vibrato only when he needs to—as an effect that can be drawn on for any number of aesthetic reasons. His singing is so pretty that Radiohead can sometimes lack the aggression that is a crucial aspect of much rock music, especially the average kind.
Sasha Frere-Jones in a nice piece on Thom Yorke/Atoms for Peace

And yet, in spite of the Black Keys’ indie roots, the band’s victory had hardly anything to do with indie rock. Just as they sidestepped the entrenched orthodoxy of rock radio, the Black Keys also transcended the indie caste system. They were never underground stars; in the indie rock high school cafeteria, this band was the kid with the wispy mustache and acid-washed jean jacket. And conversely, the Black Keys were outspoken in their resentment of indie politics. They depicted themselves as small-town outsiders from flyover country diametrically opposed to the privileged insider-ism of indie’s fashionable New York City hub. And, in the end, the Black Keys wound up towering over those who had ignored them. This might be a little pat, but it rings true: The Black Keys’ successful rise plays like a shadow story of how ’00s indie failed rock and roll.
Grantland’s Steven Hyden wraps up his great Winner’s History of Rock and Roll series with a doozy. 

Unusually for a mainstream Hollywood three-act drama, with solid character arcs and all the rest of it, Groundhog Day has no Mentor figure guiding the protagonist: no sagacious hobo, mad professor, or salty sidekick for Phil. He must work out his salvation, with fear and trembling and many attempts at suicide (toaster in the bathtub, swan dive off the bell tower), all by himself. He must organize his own jailbreak from the pusilla anima, to use the terminology of the theologian Robert Barron, and into the magna anima: from the small soul into the great one. How long does it take him? How long does he spend in the loop? Danny Rubin gets asked this a lot, apparently, by preoccupied fans. To me, it never seemed that important: A week, 100 years, who cares? The point is not the duration but the stasis. “Suffering is one very long moment,” wrote Oscar Wilde in De Profundis. “We cannot divide it by seasons. We can only record its moods, and chronicle their return. With us time itself does not progress. It revolves.
The Atlantic’s James Parker on the subtle power of “Groundhog Day”

Life is just better when you can read outdoors.

Life is just better when you can read outdoors.

A few years ago, three friends and I recorded an EP of instrumental music as Southern. The record didn’t do much in terms of exposure, but a couple of the songs have recently been used in various visual projects. Bicycling Magazine is responsible for the one above. We’re all very happy with how the song works with the content.

The Hot 100 formula is Billboard’s Coca-Cola, carefully guarded recipe and all. Unlike the album charts, which are essentially a straight rundown of pure sales every week, the Hot 100’s magic lies in the streams of data that flow into it. Radio, record stores, iTunes—these are mature forms of music consumption; YouTube’s audience, on the other hand, just keeps growing. You don’t want the Hot 100 to simply reflect how big YouTube is and consequently reward any song that can catch the public’s fancy on it, like the heretofore unknown Baauer. Billboard has been remarkably good at getting the balance right over many years, and I trust they have figured out how to tame the YouTube beast—lest we lurch from dance craze to dance craze at No. 1 all year long.



Long story short: This is a necessary move on Billboard’s part, but YouTube is an 800-million-pound gorilla. Let’s hope it doesn’t crush everything.

— Veteran chart watcher Chris Molanphy in a great back and forth with Jody Rosen over Billboards new Hot 100 formula, which gave the previously unknown Baauer a #1 hit.

Cobain said that he missed the comfort in being sad. And when his visage is presented as an emblem, someone else is, in a very small way, wallowing in that comfort. But he was a guy— a talented guy— but in the end just a guy. We think he was a good guy but we really have no idea; we know he was a drug addict and that he abandoned his family, but many of us overlook that because we think we understand his pain, and who are we to judge. But of course, we can’t do the same for people in our own lives. Forgiveness in real life is much harder and more complicated, which is another alluring thing about interfacing to an iconic image: We get to practice feelings when the stakes are low.
Mark Richardson on Kurt Cobain’s shapeshifting legacy and how we engage it