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Record Collecting for Girls
Published on September 6, 2011 by Sara Foss

Courtney E. Smith has a new book out, called "Record Collecting for Girls," which sounds very cool. I haven't read the book, but apparently it functions as a "music-nerd manual," according to The Hairpin, in which "Smith tackles such pressing musical issues as guilty pleasure songs, Top Five Lists, and what it means to like The Smiths too much."

The Hairpin posted an interview with Smith in which interviewer and interviewee express a bunch of opinions about music that I also happen to have - so many, in fact, that a friend of mine asked, as I read snippets of the piece aloud, "Is this interview really with you?" Among other things, Smith and I appear to feel the same way about the Smiths and Bright Eyes, and I think she's right that the Nenah Cherry song "Buffalo Stance" stands the test of time.


Rest Fest in Albany
Published on August 30, 2011 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I write about one of Albany's best musical events, a two-day festival held in historic St. Joseph's Church.

Here's the promo for the festival, featuring music by Albany band Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned.


Songs I Like By Artists I Hate
Published on August 25, 2011 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I list some of the songs I like by artists I hate. One favorite is Barry Manilow's "Copacabana (At the Copa)."


New Instrumental Music
Published on August 24, 2011 by Sara Foss

I've been wishing Modest Mouse would release a new album, as the band's most recent album, "We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank," was released in 2007. And I've been hearing a ton of Modest Mouse on the radio lately, which makes me think I'm not the only person who misses them.

Anyway, I've learned that Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock has a record label, called Glacial Pace Recordings, and that he's signed the instrumental duo Talkdemonic. Talkdemonic's new album, "Ruins," is due out on Oct. 4; click here to listen to the band's first single, "Revival."


Tommy Stinson Rocks
Published on August 19, 2011 by Sara Foss

The Replacements disbanded some time ago, and bandleader Paul Westerberg has since transformed into a sensitive singer-songwriter.

But Mats bassist Tommy Stinson is still making raucous, punkish rock and roll, and is set to release his second solo album, One Man Mutiny, later this month.

The Rolling Stone website features an item about Stinson and his new album, and a recording of his new single "It's a Drag."

I saw Stinson perform with the Saratoga Springs-based band The Figgs a while back at Valentine's in Albany, and he absolutely rocked. I was hoping he would play some Replacements songs, but he didn't, but he was still very much worth seeing.

Here's a video of Stinson's old band, Bash and Pop, performing the song "Fast and Hard" on the Dave Letterman show.


David Lynch Does Music
Published on August 17, 2011 by Sara Foss

Director David Lynch has an electro-pop album called "Crazy Clown Time" coming out in November. It even features Karen O of the Yeah, Yeah Yeahs on a song called "Pink Dream."

Anyway, here's the first video from the albumb, titled "Good Day Today."


What is Frat Rap? And Can it Be Stopped?
Published on August 11, 2011 by Sara Foss

Thanks to The Awl, I am now familiar with an emerging rap subgenre: frat rap, which had one of its first big mainstream hits in 2008, with Asher Roth's "I Love College."

Writer Danny Gold suggests that Roth has talent, but that he also spawned a whole new generation of frat rappers - mostly upper-middle class white guys who rap about getting high and the joys of spring break. He writes, "Frat rappers are multiplying, like an incurable virus hellbent on killing hip-hop."

In his piece, he takes a look at the oeuvre of a former Google employee who has renamed himself Hoodie Allen and started rapping about being a "real f---- hustler." "There’s something about a former Google employee thinking it’s okay to rap that makes the veins in my forehead throb" Gold writes. "He makes me more ashamed for Long Island Jews than Bernie Madoff. ... Listen to me, white rappers from Long Island: Nobody wants to hear you rapping about how you made it and you’re hustling. Stick to what you know. If you worked at Google, I want to hear you rapping about f----- algorithms or some s---, not how you’re grinding every day. You are not grinding every day. You have health insurance. Shut up."

Anyway, click here to read Gold's piece, which has convinced me that frat rap must be stopped or, at the very least, ignored.

 


Five Songs
Published on August 11, 2011 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I list five songs I'm really enjoying on the radio. Not to give anything away, but the list includes new music by the Jayhawks, the Beastie Boys and Wilco. Click here for more.

Also, check out this video for the Beastie Boys/Santogold collabortion "Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win."


New Bjork!
Published on August 8, 2011 by Sara Foss

Check out Bjork's new single, "Virus." 

 


Camp Songs
Published on August 8, 2011 by Sara Foss

Do you love the song "One Tin Soldier"? Or "The Rose"? How about "If I Had a Hammer," "Lord of the Dance," or "On the Loose?"

Over at the DG, I write about some of my favorite songs from summer camp. We mostly sang these songs at vespers, our evening worship. Thinking about them kind of made me miss singing them. And camp.


The Head and the Heart in Woodstock
Published on August 4, 2011 by Sara Foss

I saw Seattle-based Americana band The Head and the Heart play in Woodstock, N.Y., last weekend. Great band. And great venue. Read my full review at the DG


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