Smashing Pumpkins' Zeitgeist Has Leaked

I am not going to post it here, I am not that stupid. I like my blog, you know, running. I will point out to you though that a number of the major torrent sites have it now, including a certain successor to Suprnova (RIP) whose name may or may not mean "small nova". I will post my thoughts later.

I like it. I don't know why Doomsday Clock is one of the prerelease songs. It's not one of the better songs on the album. I would say about three quarters of the tracks are just good straight up rock songs. The production leaves something to be desired, but what can you do. Feel free to post your comments on it.


Be Mine Until You're Reminded of Something Better

Songs:Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. I already posted about them back in April here. I am a big fan of all of Jason Molina's work, and I just found out about the forthcoming Magnolia Electric Co. Sojourner boxed set. (I am almost a month late, I realize, but such is life). They are, as usual, on tour. Right now, they are finishing up some dates in Austria, Germany, and Norway. There are three Australian dates in August, and then a huge coast-to-coast US tour from late August through early October in support of Sojourner.

I am going to put up an old-school classic from Axxess and Ace. You will probably not hear this on the aforementioned tour, as Molina rarely plays anything older than the Magnolia Electric Co (self-titled) album.

Songs:Ohia - How to Be Perfect Men

UPDATE: I just remembered this; I thought some people might want it. There is an extensive archive of live MEC shows on their official site at this link.


There Were Ghosts in the Eyes of All the Boys You Sent Away

UPDATE (4/1): Can somebody clue me in to why I am suddenly getting hundreds of hits on this post in the comments please?

I am not a big Bruce Springsteen fan, in general. Nebraska, yes; Seeger Sessions was also pretty good, and I cover "Dancing in the Dark" sometimes. Nonetheless, I wouldn't count myself as a fan. The version of "Thunder Road", as he wrote it, is a great example of why. The song is desperate and sad; yet he plays it as a tinkling piano ballad in a major key. This is especially unfortunate, since it's maybe the best lyric in the entire Springsteen oeuvre.

For that reason, I was pleased to hear the Tortoise / Bonnie "Prince" Billy version that was released on The Brave and the Bold a couple years ago. The synth is, arguably, a little over the top, but in general, I think this one gets the feeling right. Tortoise is on tour until July 8, Billy is not, at the moment.

Tortoise and Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Thunder Road


Edit the Sad Parts

I used to have a thorough obsession with Modest Mouse. It has subsided somewhat in recent years, as neither of the last two really grabbed me in the way their earlier work did. (I should note, however, that I am not in the "Modest Mouse suck now they sold out OMG" camp.) Plus, I have seen them live four times, and they put on two of the best and two of the worst shows I have ever seen, and that sort of inconsistency didn't help either.

Nonetheless, I was digging around on my hard drive the other day and remembered one of their early gems, one only available on imports since Interstate 8 went out of print many moons ago. I refer to "Edit the Sad Parts." Cool song, somewhat reminiscent of "Broke" from Interstate 8 / Building Nothing out of Something. I always thought the title was pretty great, given the lyrical content, as well. Anyway, since it's no longer commercially available, I am working under the assumption it is legit to post it. Modest Mouse are on tour, but are playing mostly outdoor venues, and they fucking suck in outdoor venues so I wouldn't recommend going.

Modest Mouse - Edit the Sad Parts


Primavera Sound Part III

We also went down to the festival pretty early on Saturday. We went to see Kimya Dawson (ex-Moldy Peaches) in Auditori first thing. She was a funny lady with kind of cool, if not overwhelmingly awesome, songs. It was a very upbeat set, and it was nice to see somebody not taking things as seriously as most of the bands were. Ted Leo was next up. It's funny that I lived in the DC area for four years, and never got around to seeing Ted Leo until I had graduated, on another continent. He made a big show of "La Costa Brava", for what should be obvious reasons, given the locale.

There was nothing I was too stoked on for quite awhile after Leo's set. I went to see Pelican, because I am into similar bands (see the posts on Tides and Jesu, for example), and people often rave about the, but I was pretty underwhelmed. They have no sense of melody, compared to most post-rock and post-metal, in my humble opinion. They were also playing on equipment borrowed from Isis, I don't know if that affected things or not. Isis, on the other hand, were awesome. I was somewhat disappointed to leave their set early, but I had stake out a good spot for what turned out to be the most awesome set of the weekend: Sonic Youth performing Daydream Nation in its entirety.

Holy hell was that awesome. Seriously, I don't even know how to sum up in words how awesome that was. Then, after we had made our way through the auditory orgasm that is "Eliminator Jr", SY left the stage shortly before encoring with some selections from Rather Ripped, which I love. After that was Wilco's set, which the drunken crowd talked loudly through, but who really, really impressed me. Nels Cline is a fucking monster on the guitar. And with that, my time in Barcelona drew to a close. Awesome. Best show ever.

Ted Leo - The Sons of Cain


Primavera Sound, Part II

Friday was a big day at the festival. We came over pretty early. We didn't know anything about Death Vessel, only caught the end of the set, and he was pretty great. Awesome voice, good songs. After that I watched some of Brightblack Morning Light, who really impressed me. I hadn't been familiar with their work either, but their sort of psychedelic blues was really a breath of fresh air. I am a convert.

The next thing I got to see was Blonde Redhead. They were fucking great. I think everyone, including me, was stunned at just how great they were, in fact. When they were done, we went to stand in line for Spiritualized Acoustic Mainlines in Auditori, which was the sweet indoor venue setup. Spiritualized were absolutely amazing. Seriously, you should do your best to see them if you ever get the opportunity.

The late night lineup on Friday was pretty great on paper. Modest Mouse, however, put on the worst set of the four times that I have seen them. The setlist was terrible, the sound was terrible, there was tons of unintentional microphonic feedback. Just, not good. Really great version of "Doin the Cockroach." Fortunately, Low played really well; a lot of songs from the new album (many of which are better live than on the record, even though I like the record). Built to Spill also suffered with a lot of sound problems, but they eventually got fixed, and they put on a great set, which went til about 4 am, after which I went home.

Part Three will come faster than Part Two did.

Death Vessel - Deep in the Horchata


I Lied

Soon though.



Are coming this weekend. Really.


Primavera Sound Part 1

This weekend I had the great fortune to attend Barcelona's Primavera Sound Festival, to which I alluded in several of the previous entries. As also mentioned before, these posts won't be getting my pictures until I am done traveling sometime after the ninth, as I don't have the cable for my digicam with me (D'oh). I am going to write as much as I can before I have to head to the airport now, and then will pick up where I left off whenever I get a chance.

Thursday night, things started off less than perfectly when I learned a little bit more about the venue logistics. While the Parc del Forum is in Barcelona proper, it is way out in no man's land, and took a little over a half hour by Metro to reach from my hostel. Upon arrival, I learned that everyone had to wait in one queue for wristbands (approximately a 35 minute lineup). Before I could get into that, I first had to do will call, which was another half an hour or so. Instead of having plenty of time to see Dirty Three's entire set, as I'd hoped, I only in about a third of the way through. They did put on a great show though. I was converted, at least.

The next big event of the night was Slint performing Spiderland in its entirity. Now, I already was fortunate enough to see Slint on the reunion tour a couple years ago, so I only watched about half before I went over to the main stage to stake out a spot for the Pumpkins, but the part of the Slint set I saw was pretty fantastic. A friend was still calling it his second-favorite show of the entire festival at its conclusion this evening.

The final point, and indeed the one that sold my ticket, was to see the reconstituted Smashing Pumpkins perform. Granted, with no Iha, D'arcy, or even Auf der Maur, one might question to what extent Billy Corgan even should be calling it the Pumpkins, but there you have it. This set was great. It was very hit-centric, perhaps more so than I would have even liked, touching on all five singles from Mellon Collie; "Cherub Rock", "Today", and "Disarm" from Siamese Dream, and "Stand Inside Your Love" from Machina. Fortunately, they went deeper than that, pulling out at least one (maybe two, I forget) cuts from Gish, encoring with "Muzzle," and playing a bunch of the new material.

At this point, you are probably wondering how the new material is. On the whole, it is good. At least one of the new songs kind of sucks, but the other four or so were in the range of above average to downright awesome. "Tarantula," the leaked single, is probably the strongest of the new stuff they played. Corgan was back to his weird outfits, which in this case resembled a very shiny version of a priest's robe. All in all I was very impressed. The only weak link, imho, is the new guitarist, whose playing is competent, but kind of dull.

More later...