Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top Covers '00s: #2

One song with two different ideas of love, two different ideas of boundaries.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Top Covers '00s: #3

Yo La Tengo has a better, deeper record collection than all of us...

Top Covers '00s: #4

It's nice to know that bands on earth are still making music for John Peel in heaven. Seriously, a postpunk cover of Kate Bush? that works?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

Top Covers '00s: #8

Cash's American recordings sound in retrospect like a beautiful, decade-long swan song... here's the statement of defiance that sums up the whole project.

Top Covers '00s: #9

A pair from Victoria Bergsman...

Top Covers '00s: #10

Thompson's end point for his thousand-year history of popular music...

Top Covers '00s: Honorable Mention

Last year before the release of Offend Maggie, Deerhoof asked their fans to cover their new single before it came out. They putting some sheet music online and posted the mp3s. It was especially surprising since the band's musicianship always seemed studio-driven and somewhat slapped together (not meant as a negative!) A better idea on "paper", but the covers have their moments. Also, like Kutiman, something that couldn't have be done in previous decades.

Fresh Born fan covers

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Parking Lots

The Village Voice Worst Song of the '00s is a cover! And the write-up is brutal, which may be an understatement.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Santa Monicas

"2009 saw the release of a lot of vital, compelling, essential recordings. Consider In A Different Light the soundtrack to the other side of the equation." [via The A.V. Club]

Friday, December 25, 2009


Have a Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year, SftD.

Top Samples '00s, #1

Kanye West at his best. Not just samples but a slowly unfolding collage of an entire deconstructed song, a bassline, the variations on a Morrison grunt, a guitar. The unlikely match of source and destination is so strange at first and make so much sense less than five minutes later.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Top Samples '00s, #2

The Field took the scalpel to Lionel Richie here, chopping "Hello" into CD-skip length microsamples and turning it into sublime dance music.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Top Samples '00s, #3

Jack White samples Citizen Kane...

Top Samples '00s, #4

Girl Talk pulls no punches here. In the first minute of the first track on Night Ripper, he breaks out the most infamous sample of the generation—the sample that turned the writing credit for "Bitter Sweet Symphony" to Jagger/Richards.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Top Samples '00s, #5

Mad Lib and MF Doom are a SftD dream—samples,found sound, a continuous string of aliases... plenty of samples from Madvillainy have a place on this list, including the Fever Tree sample which serves as the background for "America's Most Blunted," but Mad Lib takes sampling all the way back to Steve Reich's voice-looping process music.

Top Samples '00s: #6

In a class of its own and some thing that absolutely could not have existed in the last decade...

Top Samples '00s, #7

Nas' take on one of the most sampled songs...

Sunday, December 20, 2009


SftD will have its Top 10 Samples of the 00s this week. Sampling was ubiquitous before the decade began and technology had seriously lowered the barriers to entry, so it took that much more to stand out. The Avalanches' Since I Left You and Girl Talk's Feed the Animals come at either end of the decade and show two very different approaches to the art. The Avalanches threw a bunch of ingredients in the blender, turned it on, and made something wholly new. Girl Talk threw in the ingredients and left them lying next to and on top of each other.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Spotting these things can be like Magic Eye. I know the Grateful Dead sample is there—pretty much every story about the new AC EP mentions that this is the first licensed GD sample. Sometimes I think I can "see" it, then it vanishes. It continues to elude me.

So what are we supposed to make of all this "first licensed sample" talk... I suppose there are two implications:
1. GD are showing their support for AC. Possible, but irrelevant. Licensing is a money game (and a legal game). It's like talking about how much Matt Holliday is going to make next year, and not whether he can throw strikes.
2. AC are wearing their GD influences on their sleeves. Again, possible, but the sample is so obscure that I had to be told it was there, and it still more or less is lost on me.

It's not that want the music press to turn their backs to news, legal matters, etc., just to be a bit more clear on what they're trying to get across.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


"There is obviously a fine line between being inspired and stealing. But if anyone wanted to borrow part of a Flaming Lips song, I don't think I'd bother pursuing it. I've got better things to do." Wayne Coyne, Guardian interview, 6/29/03.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009


There's a new DVD release of Stop Making Sense. A nice opportunity to see how bands—especially really, really good bands—can rewrite themselves and their songs over the course of their career.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Lifes

Glee. Personally, I don't get it, but then again I'm not necessarily in the target audience. It doesn't matter—this is surely 2009's biggest market for covers, versions, remakes, etc. What's really amazing is the covers cycle here... this is the second(!) album like this from the show this year(!) and the song covered is from 2009(!). The fidelity is close to 99.44%. The songs are even both exactly 3 minutes and 31 seconds.