Everybody was in a party mood at Humphreys for the ex-Beatle’s recent show. Continue reading…
In the 1960s the average band enjoyed fame for a couple of months, if that, before people’s attention shifted to the next rising (and soon to be falling) stars. Being a one-hit wonder wasn’t a failure, it was the norm, and accomplishments by bands like The Beatles and The Kinks were rendered all the more impressive by the fact that any kind of longevity was exceptional, and enjoyed by only a small percentage of groups.
Not much has changed since then: nowadays most bands—particularly in the realm of indie rock—still amount to little more than passing fads, soaking up their proverbial fifteen minutes before succumbing to irrelevance. But one thing that has been accelerated by the internet is that entire genres seem to rise and fall in the space of a few months, leaving up-and-coming groups scrambling to tap into the next sound du jour and ride the
Wavves waves of recognition before they fizzle out.
Then there are bands who are content to just create great music. Unfazed by meaningless trends, they place emphasis on great songwriting, captivating melodies, and a distinctive but inviting sound. They may not get drooled over by Pitchfork (and if they do, it’s only so long until P4K’s drool runs dry and the inevitable backlash begins), but they do create a body of work that speaks for itself, and will outlast the one-MP3 wonders that permeate the blogosphere. San Diego’s The Moviegoers are one of those bands, and though they may not auto-tune their vocals or mangle their guitars with lo-fi crunch, they do create moving, memorable songs accented by rich harmonies and understated confidence. And that never goes out of style. Continue reading
The 19-year-old narrator of Matthew Specktor’s novel That Summertime Sound has two options: return home to L.A. and a family that hardly notices him; or travel to the Heart of the Heart of the Country—Columbus, Ohio—and come of age.
The novel is set against the Columbus music scene of the 1980s, and Specktor is looking to connect with his favorite band. That Summertime Sound reads like an ’80s music encyclopedia, with references to The Feelies, Hüsker Du, Pere Ubu, and others.
To accompany the novel’s release, Specktor’s website features readings by Morgan Freeman (MP3), Jeremy Irons, Gwyneth Paltrow, and other Hollywood icons. Matthew Specktor’s Poetic Memory is below.
Poetic Memory is a regular Owl and Bear feature in which musicians disclose their influences—whether it’s albums, songs, artists, or something random. If you’re interested in being featured here, send us an email. Continue reading
(500) Days of Summer is a formulaic, twee romantic comedy masquerading as an iconoclastic rethinking of the date movie designed to lure in unsuspecting hipsters by flattering their self-perceived sophistication and esoteric musical taste (“You like the Smiths?“) that ultimately perpetuates the same silly, shallow, and juvenile worldview it claims to transcend, and, in doing so, sends the increasingly trite and predictable indie-rock film aesthetic careening even further toward the mainstream whilst offering a version of He’s Just Not That Into You for Buffalo Exchange shoppers.
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun.
Case in point: the new video for She & Him‘s “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?” (courtesy of USA Today), which stars (500) Days odd couple Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel (aka the She to M. Ward’s Him) in the charming tale of a mid-heist boogie session. Had this video been included in the movie, it would have stood out as a rare reprieve from watching Gordon-Levitt agonize over Deschanel’s vacuous, Ringo-loving heartbreaker.
You can watch the video, preceded by an introduction from the perpetually
dazed pleasant Deschanel, after the jump. Continue reading