Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Worth Mentioning... Maybe

Oh man, these guys were cool.

Let's play catch up. It'll be fun, I promise.

It's been a bit slow lately as you might have notcied, so I'm just throwing some news bits out there. Think snark and fact in bread crumb form.

- NME's editor Mike McNicholas resigned today. Perhaps he got tired of trying to prounounce the magazine's title? Actually he's jumping over to Top Gear after seven years at NME. I don't know why. Top Gear's editor position has been vacant since April, in which time, the staff has reverted to their savage, ape-like ways and prehistoric ferns have taken over the office appliances. Not really, but the imagery is good.

- Forgot to mention that Sugar Ray announced some time ago that they're working on a new album. Cue mixed emotions and 90s flashbacks. The album will be called Music for Cougars. Sounds... promising...

- The new Rob Thomas album, Cradlesong, is days away from release. Expect a review shortly there after.

- Jack White is probably doing something annoying.

- Got Paste's in between issue in the mail. The content continues to be excellent. Points for being so creative in saving themselves. Plus, the crossword is quite accessible.

- I'm working on a snazzy idea for TMI. It involves my iPod. Have fun with my vagueness.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Andrew Bird Instore Performance at Grimey's

I had the good luck of randomly reviewing Andrew Bird's Noble Beast for Twisted Ear back in January. Noble Beast has been part of the select group of promo albums that I continue to listen to after the review is written.

Today, before heading over to Bonnaroo, Bird played an instore at Grimey's New and Preloved Music, which is an exceptional record store, much in the way record stores used to be. By the time the show started, Grimey's was packed tight, all eyes on a guy who has an unassuming aura about him as if he doesn't get that he's a big deal (to this crowd, anyway). Bird has a quiet presence and a refreshing lack of that self-conscious performer schtick. There was no awkward banter, no insincere compliments. He acted though as he was just there to perform, no sweat.

Bird and his band sounded great, very true to the album. They opened with a Smog cover and played mostly cuts off Noble Beast including "Effigy," "Oh No," "Fitz and Dizzy Spells," and "Anonanimal," which was the strongest song of the set. Alternating between guitar, violin and his signature whistling, it was a treat to actually hear Bird's ethereal collection of sounds produced live and only a few feet away.

The forty-something minute set went by fast and Bird stayed after to sign autographs. Best of all, though? Grimey's had a pre-sale on tickets for Bird's yet-to-be-announced show at the Ryman Auditorium in October. Props to Grimey's for managing the mob.

Due to my fantastic position in the crowd, I actually got to play photog for once. Check out my pictures above.

Here's to October.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

R.I.P. Performing Songwriter

More bad news from the magazine industry. After 16 years, Performing Songwriter Magazine is shuttering. Founder and editor Lydia Hutchinson announced on the magazine's website today that the June issue will be the last. Sadness.

According to Hutchinson's letter, it's mostly because of the economy, but partly because they decided they wanted to end things on their terms. Publishing euthanasia, in other words.

It's a damn shame, Performing Songwriter is a solid publication. It will be missed. Beyond that though, it's another nail in the coffin of the magazine industry. I'm reminded of a book I read a few years ago, called On the Beach, by Nevil Schute. Basically, there had been a nuclear war and the world was ending. Most of the entire world's population had died, but the fallout hadn't quite spread to Australia yet, where the action takes places. Fallout was inevitable. Death was eminent. The whole time you're reading the book, you feel helpless because you know how it's going to end and it's only a matter of time.

Magazines are dropping like flies. I'm still optimistic that Paste will be able to hang on until the economy picks up again, but in the meantime, careers are dissolving and life is going to get harder for many families. I wonder who will be next and who will be left standing. Similalry to On the Beach, I don't want to finish the book... but there's not much of a choice, is there?