I think Sasha Frere-Jones is right in his uneasiness (fourth paragraph down) about Feist's current vogue among the indie-rock set and how that relates to their stereotypical unwillingness to give the time of day to "commercial pop like the Bee Gees or Sade." (John Roderick also hints at this in his Bonnaroo blog: "I didn’t hear cheering anywhere else like the cheering for Leslie Feist — she’d arch her eyebrow and the place would blow up — which always makes me wonder what the heck is going on....She must be code for something that I haven’t figured out.") I'd go even deeper, though: in some of those plaintive, back-of-the-throat notes she holds at the end of a phrase, she sounds like nothing so much as the indie rock Ani DiFranco, a singer the hipsters definitely aren't rushing to rally around. How does she do it? How does she make it work for her? She's damn cute, and the songs do lilt damn pleasantly. Is it the Canadian factor? Anyway, many thanks to MS for loaning me The Reminder. It feels like a good summertime album right now.
Need to catch up on a bunch of music you may have missed so far this year? Then be sure to check out Marathonpacks's midterm mixes (1, 2, and 3). If nothing else, worth it for "Josh Homme: 'Hey where's my mojo' / Liars: 'WE ARE HAVE YOUR MOJO'."
Did everyone else miss James Green Pea-ness like I did? Well, he's back, motherfuckers, and ready to sear your eyeballs all over again with his epic flights of prose.
Happy Spoon day tomorrow, kittens. Here's the video for "The Underdog" in case you haven't seen it yet.
And the hits just keep on coming over at Daytrotter: an outstanding session with the National (including a slightly funkier, up-tempo take on Boxer stand-out "Slow Show") and some quiet, melancholy ruminations on the band's after-midnight appeal from the estimable Mr. Moeller: "It’s a land where the talking stops and men and women take their relationships to the mattress, to die or to galvanize them against all possible contrivances and conditions. It’s usually the former that takes shape and burns through the superficialities of the daytime hours. A night – a midnight – tolerates no bullshit."
I broke my camera, but then I got a new one.
Joe Meno continues to rule my early-July reading habits. Just polished off The Boy Detective Fails. Reminiscent of The Royal Tenenbaums with its sickly dread of adulthood and unwillingness to grow past early childhood triumphs, it's maybe slightly over-long, but brings us, among other sweetness, this lovely little bit of weirdness from one of its tiny, almost apologetic, interstitial chapters:
"In our town, we feature a variety of adult-themed bookstores; we think you may be familiar with the kind. Along the narrow and dusty aisles are thousands of doe-eyed women caught in the most mysterious of poses. Why are there so many terrible places like this in our town? Because the heart is terrible--like a rotten tooth, it is small and soft and weak. It has a terrible requirement, and that terrible requirement is mystery. For example, there is one particular magazine in one particular aisle in one particular dirty bookstore in our town called Girls in Turtlenecks. That is all there is: shot after shot of blushing gals in tight-fitting turtlenecks, naked from the waist down. We stare at a copy and feel flush. And somehow, silently, we know the truth: Airbrushed and honeyed, they are still no match for the feeling we get waiting to kiss."