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Sigur Ros on the cover of the NY Times(?)

On Tuesday this past week, "Rekyavik Rocks" appeared on the cover of the New York Times. Open to the Arts section and there was a large feature on the Icelandic music scene, with lots of attention paid to Sigur Ros. I'm pleased to see this, truly, as video outlets like MTV, VH-1, coupled with the commercial radio outlets (mainly those posing as alternative) are absent minded when it comes to fresh, exciting movements in new music.

It's nice that the New York Times will feature something like this, as these budding scenes should not go unrecognized. Reading further through the article, I'm somewhat disturbed when I find my former boss, Leigh Lust quoted. Lust was my boss at Capitol in A&R, now he works for Elektra in A&R, and he still doesn't get it. The man's a great man, but he talks about how the Icelandic bands should collaborate with English writers so their songs can be done in English, thus making them more commercially viable abroad. Is he that much of a buffoon to think that the people of Iceland don't already know English and choose to sing in Icelandic?

Hearing somebody sing in their native tongue and reading along with translated lyrics in a booklet is like watching a foreign film with subtitles while having the songs re-done in English is like watching a foreign film dubbed. A person like Lust has been so involved inside the music biz for so long, that it seems he's forgotten what art means. Score 1 for the NY Times, 0 for the major-label music industry.
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While I have ranted and raved before about each of these groups in concert, I felt the need to talk about this show, perhaps one of the best concerts I've ever seen here in Boston. On Monday night, both bands took to the stage in front of a fully packed movie theater, Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline and played to a smokeless attentive, well-behaved audience. The biggest beef I think any fan of these groups has is that their shows' crowds can often be too loud, interfering with each's own brand of quiet and intense music. Ida's set nearly brought me to tears, featuring many combinations of on stage musicians, including the core four (playing guitar, bass, piano, drums, percussion, and stringed instruments) accompanied with a full-time violinist and double-bass player. Low's set included many unrecognizable new songs from their forthcoming album. From what everybody heard on Monday night, it's going to be stunning. Additional surprises included their cover of the Beach Boys' "Little Surfer Girl" and a captivating lullaby for Alan and Mimi's new baby daughter. I was hardly surprised to see all the copies of that 7" single gone by the time I saw the merchandise table that night. Thanks to this concert, I have new hope for Boston venues, let's just hope the magic doesn't die.
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On a brief tour supporting their recent full-lenghter the closest this London-based band came to Boston was NYC. Although I bitched and complained when they toured last supporting Fiona Apple, I figure I spent more trying to get to NYC to see them this year. It was worth the trip however. Laika's rhythmic pop charm is undeniable - you can't play their music for anybody without them being instantly captivated. "Good Looking Blues" is one of my top albums of the year and to see them live once again was enjoyable. The band played tunes mostly from this album and their previous release, "Sounds of the Satellites," basically picking up from the last time I saw them (on tour supporting Tricky following their debut release "Silver Apples of the Moon.") Fronting the band is Chicago-area born Margaret Fiedler, whose vocal abilities have grown over the years to a range that goes from almost beat-poetry spoken word to beautiful lead melodies, blanketing the jagged rhythms beneath. Watching her play guitar is a treat as well, as her abilities match some of the best lead/rhythm guitarists of rock. [FYI, her guitar abilities earned her a spot in PJ Harvey's touring band, hitting the USA in a matter of weeks.] Surprises of the night included "Looking for the Jackalope," a tune which first appeared on the 'Off-Beat' compilation, later remixed by Jack Dangers into a stunning 9 1/2 minute piece.
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"I held a Pasolini film fest and nobody showed up!" Waters takes out the Hollywood trash in Cecil, letting his bitterness towards the Californian movie machine shine bright.
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Need Another Reason to Boycott the Majors?

This past week, 28 U.S. states filed suit against the five major labels and three of the biggest retailers, demanding "hundreds of millions of dollars" in damages.
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Tonight the For Carnation pulled it off - they recreated the sound that was captured on one of this year's best CDs on a stage.
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Major Label Boycott

Until further notice, brainwashed will actively ignore major label music.
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Every Generation Gets the Vanilla Ice They Deserve

I have to admit that I like Eminem. I don't like his music and don't necessarily agree with whatever he's saying but he's good for the music industry in many ways.
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While I hate dropping other bands' names in reviews (especially of things I love), I must mention this fact while reviewing this CD: the only time I drive through Bridgeport is heading down to New York.
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I worked, I napped, I showed up just in time to catch the set from Reckankreuzungsklankewerzeuge recording artist Hrvatski.
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From Mo Wax comes the second full-lengther from Tommy Guerrero, featuring a little bit of samba and spice tossed into an acoustic blend.
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OMD, "PEEL SESSIONS 1979-1983"

Listening to a peel session with songs you have known by heart for nearly 20 years gives you an insightful view of the band recording live in a contained environment.
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For just under 40 minutes, Stereolab bring us the latest offering of all new material.
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Recorded at liveperformances in Maine and Massachusetts last March, this disc combinesthe tape loops and experimental noises from Thomas DiMuzio with thelive drumming of Chris Cutler.
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Pretty and charming, theClientele release their first piece of optical plastic, with two newsongs and two pulled from older 7" releases.
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The debut DepartureLounge comes in the form of a 7-track EP in the UK from Bella Union andan 11-track LP in the USA through Flydaddy.
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Here's what happens when you go looking in a section from a band you've recently fallen in love with but know very little about.
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Somebody musta missed announcing this release as it sort of magically appeared without warning.
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Also on the minimalist rhythmic tip this week, Chris Carter & Ian Boddy have joined together for the "Caged" CD release.
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Again on the minimalismtip, but this time completely absent of rhythm, this limited release isthe result of another "Mort Aux Vaches" program on Holland's VPRO Radio.
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