Mondays are lame....
Back in town after a lengthy weekend smack in the center of the questionably great state of Pennsylvania. I think I would have been completely bored and disenchanted out of my skull if I had attended Penn State, but apparently the younger sister loved it. It speaks volumes when one of the two record stores in State College is forced to advertise itself as a "hip, Greenwich Village-style, record store." They were playing the The Cure when I walked in, and I left with a 6 dollar copy of Echo and the Bunnymen's Flowers, so I suppose it's not all bad.
Cokemachineglow has posted the first installment of their Year End Extravaganza which covers 50 of the writers' combined favorite discs. You'll be able to check out individual staffer lists (including that of yours truly) on Wednesday.
Jason at OneLouder has been kind enough to post a link to a rip of the recent Doves single "Black and White Town." I've listened, and suffice it to say, it sounds very Doves, which can only be construed as a good thing. Lots of layers, a pleasant boom-thwack drum riff, and insistent piano with a lilting guitar solo towards the end. But (like Jason mentions) it also clearly sounds like it wasn't the cleanest of rips...coming off of the radio or the like....so it will sound a bit flat. But it's a nice snapshot, and I'm very much looking forward to the March release of Some Cities. I'm not sure what it means though when the NME says they want to 'crack America.' They certainly have no trouble selling out NYC venues when they visit, and have received mucho accolades from the U.S. press.
Curious to know what SoF listened to in his High School Jewish youth group days? Go check out Widespread Panic at RCMH in April. At their best, Widespread can sound like vintage Allmans pummeling their way through the first half of Physical Graffiti. At their worst, like the last time I saw them in 2000, one song will consist of a guitar solo in D minor for 45 minutes. Make sure you shower when you get home dude.
I have very little nice to say about the most recent Libertines album, but I loved the first one, and they were excellent when I saw them tour behind it. So this is unfortunate if it turns out to be true.
And yesterday I discovered for the first time the AMG's Writer's Bloc Page. It's literally a chance for each of the writers to write a short (some anyway) biograpy of themselves. Endless entertainment. Who knew that Stephen Thomas Erelewine (who looks like what you'd expect him to look like) will "always defend" Urge Overkill's Exit the Dragon, or that Francois Couture is devoted to cataloging "demanding music"? The latter might explain why the man has written 3 paragraphs about seemingly every Frank Zappa song ever put to wax (for example).