• "The Beatles had their Twee period (post-touring). So did the Beach Boys (post indoor sandbox) and the Stones (well, "Lady Jane" anyway)." Marc Spitz drops a playlist to accompany his new book Twee: The Gentle Revolution in Music, Books, Television, Fashion, and Film at Largehearted Boy.
• "And while I will not comment on the meanings of lyrics I will tell you what the song means to me. To me it’s an unabashed love song to not just rocknroll, but to that voice in the dark wilderness that rock signifies to every unhappy, angry, misunderstood teenager lucky enough to fall in love with a sound, a band, a record. For the band that rescued me from middle school Journey/REO Speedwagon hell was The Who." Mark Messerly explains the origins of Wussy's song "Teenage Wasteland" off the excellent Attica! at Tour Life.
"And it’s not just tweens. A few weeks ago, we had a garage sale at our house and I was willing to part with only about half my books. But when I looked over my collection of CDs and thought about what I wanted to keep, my answer was, um, nothing. There were hundreds of them, carefully collected for more than a decade, some of them gifts, some of them even recorded by friends or bands I had written about, but they’ve been idle for years. I priced them at a quarter each and then some guy offered $35 for the whole bunch and we caved. We even threw in the rack." David Carr (not the quarterback) on Spotify, and the Something for Nothing economy in this week's New York Times.
• "Jerry and I were both amazed by Jonathan. I had been studying poetry with different people at Harvard, like Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Creeley, so I was struck by the connection between Jonathan’s deep poetic roots and the idea of talking about everyday things." Ernie Brooks spills the beans on the Modern Lovers at Vice.
• "The Ramones have one gold record to their name,” Gene Simmons told us a couple of years back, adding: “But they meant nothing. They never succeeded, failed, in fact.” Well, here’s some news that’ll make the KISS bassist turn red, and not from fake blood. On April 30th, 2014, Ramones finally moved 500,000 copies total, with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) officially certifying it gold some 38 years after its release." Good things come to those who wait (and muthafuck Gene Simmons), courtesy of Consequence Of Sound.
• "I managed to catch more than 50 acts in the course of five days. My highlights ranged from the biggest shows to the tiniest ones on makeshift stages in Nashville's Music City Center exhibition hall. Miranda Lambert owned her set at the football stadium LP Field, where the highest-charting stars at the festival played nightly, going hard with a pink guitar and playing the recording of Beyonce's "Girls (Run the World)" to welcome Carrie Underwood for a duet on their hit "Somethin' Bad." A few nights before that, she and husband Blake Shelton sat mostly unseen in the balcony of the club 3rd & Lindsley to watch Lambert's Pistol Annies partner Ashley Monroe deliver a perfect hour's worth of sophisticated honky tonk." Ann Powers reports from the CMA Music Festival for NPR.
• "Inevitably, given his status as ultimate awesome courageous rock God, Dylan has influenced just about everybody. And, inevitably too, given the gap between his standing and his sometimes quite good but rarely godlike music, many of those he’s influenced have outshown him." Noah Berlatsky uses every flawed rhetorical-listicle device rather than saying anything at all substantial about Bob Dylan at Salon.
• "From the outset, presentation and quality became a central part of the creative vision. The label’s sharp black and white logo by graphic designer Ted Plair set the tone. Always pressed on the finest vinyl, Strata-East’s recordings were pressed in limited numbers, adding to their cultish status. Twenty years after their creative peak, the label achieved overdue recognition when Soul Jazz released two compilations in the mid-’90s. Those albums and subsequent releases of Tribe Records and Black Jazz became central to a new understanding of jazz history to those turned onto the music through Blue Note breaks." Andy Thomas outlines the appeal of Strata -Easy for Red Bull Music Academy.
• "The extraordinary popularity of the albums Cash made with Rubin helps explain the release of Out Among The Stars, a new album consisting of songs from “lost” recording sessions that took place mostly in 1984. Everything about the album’s promotion is meant to evoke the Rubin period, from the stern-looking black and white portrait of Cash on the album cover to the music video for “She Used to Love Me A Lot,” which combines shots of apocalyptic landscapes with archival footage of Cash. Yet these sessions, in tone and sound, are nearly the opposite of the pared-down records in the American series." Andrew Martin discusses Johnny Cash's "lost decade" for the New York Review of Books.