Sunday Morning Coming Down #Fourteen


• "But if objectivity is good, critical writing should never be bloodless. There has to be an excitement - about the possibilities of music, the artistry of musicians, the experience of listening, and the art of writing about it. And when music fails to live up to one’s hopes and expectations, those disappointments can be worth writing about too." New Zealand's Nick Bollinger spills the beans on music writing at Nick Bollinger's Recordings.

• "The top 25 most frequently played artists — the likes of Led Zeppelin, Van Halen and the Rolling Stones — together account for almost half of the spins on classic rock stations in the U.S. Another way of saying that is 5 percent of all the bands played on these stations made up nearly 50 percent of the song plays — which shows that there is at least a classic rock core." Walt Hickey gives Nate Silver fans the inside scoop on what defines classic rock and why you should avoid Tampa Bay at FiveThirtyEight.

• "All the interviewees in Cushing’s book could still meet and talk with the blues originators directly. Fifty years after 1964, we’re a lot further away from the height of the mid-century blues revival than the revival was from the era of acoustic recorded blues. This points to one reason we’re hearing a lot about the blues collector revivalists now: The gents who had direct contact with the music-makers are themselves aging and dwindling in number." Barry Mazor explores the blues revival history revival for New Republic.

• "Sub Pop is among the most prominent indie labels experimenting with subscription models that connect them directly to their fans. Labels like Fool’s Gold, Jagjaguwar and Secretly Canadian have signed on with the two-year-old Drip.fm in an effort to attract fans with exclusive music, a sense of community and an intimate connection with bands and artists. Other younger, digitally savvy musicians are starting their own services to appeal directly to their fans, like Nicolas Jaar’s Other People and Ryan Hemsworth’s Secret Songs." Indie labels do their best to fight back against our streaming overlords in The New York Times.

• "July Talk was the first act I saw and they are my new favourite band. How nice is it to see the younger generation playing the festival circuit. They’re hungry, fun, sexy and raw. They actually worked the crowd and the music, which my Sunday TURF partner described as Tom Waits meets Metric, is electric, sizzling, like the two singers’ chemistry. It’s loud guitars and Stars-esque back-and-forth vocals and no wonder everyone under 25 loves these guys." The worst concert review ever (or maybe the best) goes up at The National Post (he reviews albums, too!). 

• "Obviously we couldn't go to this city without visiting First Avenue & 7th St. Entry—the historic venue that featured in Purple Rain. Luckily we had Babes in Toyland's Lori Barbero as our guide through the venue's star-studded (literally) history." Bob Mould crashes a barber shop and Craig Finn visits Bob Stinson's memorial bench in Lance Bangs's "Made In Minnesota" video short at Noisey.

Google Play does 25 minutes on Merge Records.

• "Majesty Shredding did me in, then I fell in love with I Hate Music, and went backwards from there. This is maybe a regressive approach. Whenever I get into a band as prolific as Superchunk, I try to start at the beginning so I can trace their artistic growth. I can’t remember why I did it differently here, but for better or for worse, everything has gotten subsequently rougher. At the end of the day, I think Superchunk is a big-sounding band that sounds great clean." Dan Caffrey and others revisit Superchunk's "Foolish" 20 years on for Consequence Of Sound.

• "There are hundreds of albums featuring Tootie Heath. For a quick overview last year to accompany the JazzTimes cover story, Ben and I choose 10 of the best. It was a hard exercise: for example, we didn't even list Coltrane, John's first album as a leader." Ethan Iverson and Ben Street dish out ten great tracks featuring drummer Tootie Heath for Do The Math.

• "Sony/ATV wants the Justice Department to let music publishers withdraw certain performance rights from ASCAP and BMI so they can negotiate their own deals with digital music services, which would theoretically be more lucrative for songwriters. Federal judges ruled late last year that publishers’ deals with the licensing organizations must be all or nothing." Marc Hogan outlines the latest royalties showdown and its implications for Wondering Sound.

• "People ask me how could I go from country to jazz," Mr. Haden said. “It’s been a natural convergence for me.” His sensitive ear for pitch, sharply honed throughout a childhood of vocal harmonizing, perfectly suited the needs of Mr. Coleman’s music. 'Lonely Woman,' their best-known piece of music together, essentially features a bass melody flowing beneath the plaintive main theme. And in 'Ramblin’,' another early Coleman classic, Mr. Haden finishes a bass solo with a quotation of the Southern fiddle tune 'Old Joe Clark.' Nate Chinen mourns Charlie Haden for the New York Times (as Chinen added on Twitter, "I had 3 hrs to file. Almost didn't make it. Advance assigned mos. ago, but I could never bring myself to write it.").

• "A lot of different musicians played that night, all of whom were very well-respected, but at one point, all the many musicians left the stage, Charlie walked on it, and it was just Charlie and Ornette. After all the intense virtuosity that had gone on through the night, Charlie began to play a simple, bluesy, twangy, country riff, a little folk melody, and I felt Ornette really come alive, saw the audience fall into a reverent silence, and Charlie just schooled everybody, shredded everything that came before. He had the ability to play anything, but just came from the gutbucket with the humble truth, and he and Ornette began to dance around each other, and it was the greatest thing I ever saw." And Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea reminds us of his 2013 Grammy tribute to Charlie Haden. 

• "When news first surfaced that Johnny Ramone had advanced prostate cancer, Robert Christgau asked me if I would take some notes for an obituary. When Johnny died, I was out of town, and could not write the piece. Editors at theVillage Voice had the idea that it would be smart to interview the surviving Ramones' drummers. They had never before been interviewed together. " John Piccarella interviewed Tommy and Marky Ramone back in 2005 for Perfect Sound Forever.