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Everything posted by Joel

  1. Thank you for joining Joel & Jason Talk About the Rentals, folks. See you in the next Weezer thread.
  2. So... the new Rentals record, Lost In Alphaville, is out Aug. 26 ... and is basically Songs About Time songs rerecorded. (Tracklist here: http://pitchfork.com/news/55435-the-rentals-detail-new-lp-lost-in-alphaville-share-thought-of-sound/) Dunno how I feel about this. I really liked Songs About Time (I just had the 3 EPs and I made them into one 'album' on my iTunes); it didn't have the bombastic production of Seven More Minutes, but I kind of liked the more modest ambitions that the band's recordings had circa 2006-2010. From the sound of the new single, though, this new record will be a lot bigger-sounding.
  3. Joel


    Is Ozma the greatest band ever? Or at least the reincarnation of all that is pure and holy about Weezer ca. 1994-1997?* I assume these guys get some play among the Weezer/Rentals fan contingent of A&F, but has anybody heard their new record? Apparently there's been a mini-revival of interest in them -- due in part, it appears, to their involvement in "the Weezer Cruise," which is exactly what it sounds like. To be honest, I never got their first comeback record, Pasadena (I'm listening right now on bandcamp), and I love their first three records so much that I'm kind of worried even the slightest sheen of better production would turn me off. Anyway. These guys write unbelievably catchy, tight, complex pop songs. Their new album, Boomtown, which was crowdfunded, came out in February. *Yes.
  4. It is a series currently running on BBC. I watched the first one as a film and am watching this one as a series...makes me want to go back to the first!
  5. Oh, PS, Weezer is in the studio. With Ric Ocasek. (Ric Ocasek = Weezer's reset button?) I don't really consider Hurley to have been a Weezer record per se, since so much of it was recorded by Rivers Cuomo only. The only new song that has surfaced which presumably will make its way onto this record ("Back to the Shack," which sounds to me like a nostalgic riff on "In the Garage") has the lyrics "maybe I should play the lead guitar and Pat should play the drums." All of which IN THEORY is good, but, you know...
  6. I disagree about the degree of Sharp's involvement, but I am 100% on board with loving almost everything Weezer did before the year 2000, and disliking most things that came after, though I feel like the green album still exists in this weird in-between place that I'm kind of OK with. That said, that "Only in Dreams" piece did make me break out an old piece I never published on the red album. I've been very self-controlled with not writing about Weezer for the last few years, but couldn't resist this. http://unscene.blogspot.ca/2014/04/from-only-in-dreams-to-angel-and-one.html
  7. Joel

    New Stuff Worth Hearing

    For the sake of my reputation I'm not starting a new thread on this band, but I really like this new song by wait for it Fartbarf. I really do like it, I'm not just being funny. You can hear the single and read about them in this article titled with a rhetorical question: "Why Won't People Take Fartbarf Seriously?"
  8. Oddly enough, the two books I have re-read the most in the last 10 years are the first volume of James Kochalka's American Elf comic strip collection (for some reason) and Walker Percy's Lost in the Cosmos. The latter book just seemed to demand countless re-readings, and I've still yet to feel like I really know it.
  9. Anyone gone to a show on this tour? I'm listening to the bootleg of the Minneapolis show right now and it sounds pretty rad. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to their only Vancouver-ish date, which is the Squamish festival this summer, so this'll have to tide me over for now.
  10. I hear you too, Andy -- I'm not really one to turn to these kinds of sources first when I look for writing about music, but writing about (and reading about) music from a spiritual/religious/Christian perspective is imortant to me, and I'm always sad when there are fewer options for that. I will add that oddly enough, First Things -- a magazine that has only reall come up in this music forum for their wholesale condemnation of hip-hop -- actually runs some great stuff on occasion. Carl Scott, who I don't know, has been doing an astounding project called "Carl's Rock Songbook," and the theologian Steven Webb had a piece on Patty Griffin last week.
  11. That's an interesting article. My point is that CT had become one of the only hubs for thoughtful music coverage from a Christian perspective, and now it isn't. I should point out that none of the music/movies content on CT is in a blog format, and the decision was made at a higher level than Alissa. CT could've hired someone to deal with music coverage, but they didn't. They have a right to do that but it's disappointing to me, if only because it's harder for me to write for them now!
  12. Awesome! Now let's just get everyone else who has ever registered for A&F to buy a copy and I might actually get up over the $20 hump so they'll finally cut me a check! Seriously though, thanks very much for reading the book. It is funny how we latch on to things and not others -- Blonde Vinyl was never on my radar, nor could get into much of anything done after about 2003. I do love the two Lost Dogs records I have though!
  13. Yeah, unfortunately this discussion is spiraling away from areas I feel comfortable talking about in a "non-specialist" context. The guiding assumptions of what I do are so different from those that Jeremy is advancing that I feel like I'd just be kicking up more disagreement. I have started a couple of responses but I don't think they would have been too helpful. I will think about this a little more though...
  14. Thank you! "...so close to my own it's a bit scary" is what I like to hear! These comments make the distressingly low sales worth it. I also loved the email I got which said "seriously, I got like 90% of your references." It warms the heart to know there are that many people out there who care about Poor Old Lu...
  15. Moring was let go about 1-2 years ago. He successfully moved CT's music coverage from basically CCM-only to mostly CCM to mostly non-CCM during the time I was writing for him. He was laid off due to budget cuts and CT hired a freelancer (Alissa Wilkinson) to take over as movies editor, but hasn't made music a priority. I assume this is because movies gets way more traffic. CT sold all its "Christian Music Today" content to some Christian media conglomerate (I forget what they are called) maybe 5-ish years ago -- those are the reviews you're thinking of.
  16. While this thread gets resurrected, it's interesting to note that since they let Mark Moring go, CT has decidedly swung away from any music reviewing at all. Moring's last few years were a high point for their music coverage, and while they're running the occasional thinkpiece/interview now, they've definitely de-emphasized music.
  17. I wish I had the time to read all you've written there! I agree with much of the spirit of what I skimmed, but ultimately my views are a nudge or two toward the side you argue against. While I am no fan of the breathless embrace of technology for technology's sake, neither do I think that the 'modern' view of writing/literacy as a situated social practice is locked in a zero-sum struggle with 'teaching grammar.' (You might look at some introductory texts on systemic-functional linguistics to see how the two can coexist -- however SFL is, in practice, more of a thing in Australia and the UK than in the US.) Grammar is not, in my view, a separable "skill" ; lexical and syntactic choices are made for particular purposes in particular genres/rhetorical situations; this absolutely needs to be taught, but a decontextualized teaching of grammar doesn't make much sense to me outside of a few special cases. If I were smarter about genre analysis I would mention it here but I am not, unfortunately. It is entirely possible I'm not replying to your whole point here since I didn't, I admit, read the whole essay carefully, so I hope I'm not misrepresenting what you wrote.
  18. I can hear the sound of the entire internet (incl. me) demanding to give somebody money for prints of this.
  19. Doing a reading in Portland, OR on March 27, with musical guests Danny Seim (Menomena), Todd Fadel (Agents of Future, among many others), Johnny Bertram (SYNTHAR, Johnny Bertram & the Golden Bicycles): https://www.facebook.com/events/1374445282825720/
  20. YES YES YES THIS So off the top of my head, I am calling you out: Josh, Overstreet, Andy, Greg, Jason, Opus, Thom Jurek (I can dream), Christian, Darryl...who else am I forgetting here?
  21. Let's see what would happen then. If you're an old-timer in the music forum (define however you will), throw down a record you'd want to write about for the nascent, nebulous "25 important records that gracefully and artfully deal with/wrestle with with faith/God." Me? Judee Sill's Heart Food.
  22. See, that's what I'm saying! How great would that kind of thing be?
  23. OK, so we're all agreed that this will be called "IMAGE's Top 5 Best Real True Christian Bands" and the order will be: 1. U2 2. 1980s U2 3. 1990s U2 4. U2 during the "Elevation" tour 5. Arcade Fire ==== But seriously. Here are my thoughts on the matter: 1. No diss to the movie people at all, because they are doing it how they want to do it, but I would very very strongly not want to do something that involved voting. I would almost rather set up a rule like "if you've been a member since year X and/or have X number of posts*, you get to pick an [album or whatever] and write about it." (* or even X number of music posts, though I don't know how to find that information) 2. This would mean it would not be "top" 25 list, but a list of 25 things. Which I think is totally fine and I like better anyway, because subjectivity. 3. Some kind of theme would definitely be helpful, even if it was just something vague like '25 albums that gracefully and artfully deal with/wrestle with with faith/God.' (this is a dumb title, but I think the idea is OK.) Just some thoughts...
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