Sufjan Stevens banjo

This isn’t photoshopped.

If you’ve never heard of Sufjan Stevens, here’s a quote from a well-respected music journalist that provides all the background you’ll need on Stevens for this story.

“Sufjan Stevens, much like a large turd, made a big splash when he first appeared, then was flushed down the drain as quickly as he’d arrived.”

Just kidding.  That quote was from me over a year ago.

Basically, Stevens put out an ambitious, at times well-crafted, but overall bloated, 22-track album called Illinois in 2005, and solidified his success amongst the indie music community by claiming that he intended to release a similar album, complete with the same extensive research and attention to detail that went into Illinois, for each of the remaining 49 American states.  He then publicly gave up on the effort before so much as writing another state-related note.

And this week, he gave the most hipster interview I’ve ever laid eyes upon.  What follows is just a sampling of the gems you’ll find in the Guardian UK’s interview that, I swear, reaches absurd heights of pretentiousness and indie-ness in general, the likes of which a brilliant parodist could only ever hope to come close to matching in his or her work.

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Eddie Vedder’s upcoming solo album Ukulele Songs has its first accompanying music video, and it’s a beaut.  The scenes and images perfectly compliment the the song, which turned out even prettier than I was expecting, with the fantastic addition of a simple string accompaniment.

The video for “Longing To Belong” is above, and the album hits shelves May 31.  And as a testament to how good the song is and how cool Ed Vedder is, I didn’t even have to resist the urge to push him into the water, which is the reaction you could expect from me upon the sight of any other guy playing ukulele in a suit at the beach.

[via Some Kind of Awesome]


Jimi Hendrix Buddy Miles

"Buddy Miles, man...You gotta try my funnel cake!"

For all you Jimi Hendrix fans out there who have been clamoring to get the chance to skip across “lyrical stepping stones” in his honor, wait no more!  An existing Seattle park is being rebuilt as the Jimi Hendrix Park.

The organisers at the Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation aim to make the park a focal point for multi-cultural events for the community, which will be decorated in lyrical stepping stones, rain drums and sculptures.

Now the group behind the large-scale memorial have selected a design team to put the dream into action, who will “envision landscape and structural elements that will transform a swath of turf adjacent to the Northwest African American Museum into a living tribute to the musical genius of Seattle native Jimi Hendrix.”  [Central District News via]

The headline I saw attached to this was “Jimi Hendrix Theme Park Gets Green Light,” which was a little misleading, but, I think we can all agree, would’ve been way cooler.  Let’s pretend this really is going to be a theme park, and allow me to play the role of a stuffy, out-of-touch, white-haired corporate head brainstorming hacky ideas for attractions…

  • Tunnel of Love or Confusion
  • Haunted Castle Made of Sand
  • Room Full of Mirrors (phew!…didn’t have to do any work for that one)
  • Dolly Dagger Toss
  • Machine Gun Arcade
  • Look Over Yonder Ferris Wheel
  • “Hey Joe, Guess My Weight!”
  • I Don’t Live Tomorrow Roller Coaster
  • “Excuse Me, While I Kiss This Guy” Kissing Booth


Jason Bonham funny

This is me killing two sweet Jason Bonham photo birds with one stone.

Think back to the fervor surrounding the Led Zeppelin one-off London reunion show in December of 2007, and you’ll remember that the band, which included late drummer John Bonham’s son Jason, toyed with the idea of reuniting for a tour and/or album for months in the wake of the successful show.  The media couldn’t get enough of it, until Robert Plant backed out for good and put the rumors to bed.

Well, the band apparently went so far as to begin writing new material, as Jason Bonham reveals this week that a track off of his band’s forthcoming album is the completion of an unfinished song born during those Zeppelin sessions.

Now the son of iconic drummer John Bonham says he’s finished the piece and recorded it with [his Black Country Communion] bandmates Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa and Derek Sherinian.

He tells the Toronto Sun: “It’s a song called Save Me. Is started off as an idea I worked on with Jimmy and John. You’ll notice it – there’s a slight Zepesque riff – It’s got a definite feel to it.”

Bonham is glad to have finished the track because it gives him some closure after the disappointment of the Zep project’s failure.

“I was very much under the impression that we were going to write an album and put together a new project,” he says. “But in early December 2008 it all came to a halt. It was a hard thing for me to get over for a while – I’d just played the concert of my life.”  [Toronto Sun via Rock News Desk]

Color me interested.  A new song from half of the “the greatest cover band in the world” would still likely cause a stirring in my loins.  Especially after knowing what Jones is capable of outside of his Zep and solo bodies of work (*waves excitedly at a poster of Them Crooked Vultures*)


Radiohead Lotus Flower Thom Yorke

News that would have excited the hell out of my younger self has come out of the Radiohead camp today.  The band is set to perform their latest album in its entirety live at the BBC’s studios on July 1.

The show will come as a part of the From The Basement series, which was created by Nigel Godrich (the producer on every Radiohead record since The Bends). As the official release states, “the band are excited at the prospect of having their first live performance of ‘The King of Limbs’ broadcast around the world . The band will be filmed and recorded by the From The Basement team, which includes Nigel Godrich, their long time producer; Dilly Gent, who commissioned many of the memorable Radiohead videos; and Grant Gee, who filmed the Radiohead documentary ‘Meeting People is Easy’”  [twentyfourbit via Antiquiet]

Congratulations to Radiohead for having the balls to perform what essentially will amount to the first ever recorded “worst hits” concert.  They just keep on blazing those industry trails!


Josh Homme Aqua Teen Hunger Force Meatwad

“Aqua Teen Hunger Force” will apparently no longer be going by that name, which it’s held since its debut on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim in 2000.  For the season premiere on May 8, they’ll be re-branded as “Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1.”  What’s this have to do with music, you ask?  Well, Queens of the Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures guitarist and frontman Josh Homme, along with frequent collaborator Alain Johannes, were commissioned to write the new theme song.  And here it is…

Well, that was, um…I’ll be honest, I have no idea what’s going on here.  I’ve only ever seen a couple episodes, but that was more than enough for me to say this is dog turds compared to the original theme.  And here I was, thinking Josh Homme could do no wrong.  Just in case you’re not convinced, here’s the original for comparison.  Followed by Meatwad, as a hand puppet, giving a very official press release about the upcoming change.  Because it’s fantastic.

Embedding disabled on the below video (*shakes fist at paid advertising*), so you have to click the link in the video to view it on YouTube.

[via Pitchfork]


Fred Durst Limp Bizkit murder

Something tells me if the guy knew how the evening would play out, he'd choose "My Way" over "the highway."

Welp, it’s taken a surprising 16 years, but the first argument over Limp Bizkit’s music to result in murder has been reported.  And it doesn’t play out as you’d hope expect…

A Sunshine Coast [Australia] man was bashed to death, put in a shopping trolley and dumped in a creek following a drunken fight over music selection, a court has heard. The court was told Emmanuel McPherson, 48, objected when his flatmate, James Albert Madden, played a Limp Bizkit album on Mr. McPherson’s stereo. A fight then broke out, in which Mr. Madden allegedly beat Mr. McPherson to death. Mr. Madden, 24, is on trial for Mr. McPherson’s murder. He pleads not guilty to the charge.

The dispute reportedly began when Mr. McPherson told Mr. Madden not to touch his stereo and told him to turn the CD off. A Brisbane Supreme Court jury was told Mr. Madden hit Mr. McPherson about the head with an alcohol bottle, punched him and stomped on his face as he lay on the floor.

He was found the next morning and although Mr. Madden initially denied any involvement in the death of his “bro”, he was charged with Mr. McPherson’s murder. Mr. Cummings said the jury would hear a confession he made to a man Mr. Madden believed was a fellow cellmate, but was in fact an undercover police officer who had recorded four hours of conversations he had with Mr. Madden in a jail cell. The jury will hear the officer ask Mr. Madden if he was going to be released. He replied: “No. I’ve murdered a man. Killed him a couple of days ago.”  [Brisbane Times via]

Well, this is kinda depressing.  Of course the loss of life is tragic, and I don’t mean to make light of horrifying, senseless violence like this, but why’d it have to be one of the good guys?  I was preemptively brimming with schadenfreude when I saw the headline and started reading, but nooOOoo, the guy sticking up for good taste in music just had to be the guy to get murdered.  I guess god doesn’t have as much of a sense of humor as I’d hoped for.

Even still, this raises some questions…

  • Was “Break Stuff” playing in the background during the beating?  Was a “muthaf*ckin chainsaw” not readily available?
  • Which album was playing?  Maybe Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water just wasn’t the poor guy’s jam.  Maybe he was more of a Three Dollar Bill, Yall$ kinda guy.  Boy, that killer would sure feel like an ass, then.  Bizkit “bros” gotta stick together, y’all!
  • Was the undercover cop cellmate disguised as a juggalo to coax the confession?  They just seem so easy to talk to about those sorts of things.