It wasn’t too long ago that MTV hipped us to that crazy Brooklyn scene. Now, years after Guided By Voices, Shrimper cassettes, the Grifters’ One Sock Missing, Peter Jefferies, Harry Pussy, Sebadoh III, and Siltbreeze made “lo-fi” a buzz word amongst our parents’ generation, they’re teaching us youngsters about lo-fi via No Age, Times New Viking (ex-Siltbreeze, yo), Jay Reatard, Psychedelic Horseshit, and others in a segment called “Please Play Loud.” We’ll say this: John Norris’s hair continues to be very lo-fi. Also, he disses Timbaland because Timbaland is very 2007. All joking aside, there’s some cool live footage and a number of chewy quotes regarding music functioning as a Polaroid (Jay Reatard) or a conscious aesthetic choice (Times New Viking) in reaction to overworked excess. Yes, we knew this already, but still.

“Let’s make the best music that we want to listen to all the time,” say No Age. Agreed … Nouns rules. Did you notice how Jay spoke about lo-fi in the past tense? Subtle and smooth. He got his point across without punching anyone.

Comments (35)
  1. anonymous  |   Posted on May 5th, 2008 0

    everyone should also check out this mix-tape – it’s a great compliment for the video piece and includes many of the bands that I also wish could have been included in the piece….

    http://cjaythedjay.muxtape.com/

    There were just too many bands doing similar things to not address this in a more comprehensive way and it compliments and fills out the video piece nicely Enjoy!
    also – here is the accompanying written piece…

    http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1586843/20080505/times_new_viking.jhtml

  2. Memphis Marty  |   Posted on May 5th, 2008 0

    I love how the mainstream media jumps on the new ‘buzz’. and No Age getting credited for Lo-Fi? i mean come on. all the forebearers of the Lo-Fi dating back to the Oblivians, Baseball Furies, Gories, Fireworks ; basically any band from 90′s on Crypt, Sympathy and In The Red Records….that get ZERO credit for what these kids are doing today. No Age should be left off the list. They sound like an aped Oblivians

  3. anonymous  |   Posted on May 5th, 2008 0

    everyone should also check out this mix-tape – it’s a great compliment for the video piece and includes many of the bands that I also wish could have been included in the piece….

    http://cjaythedjay.muxtape.com/

    There were just too many bands doing similar things to not address this in a more comprehensive way and it compliments and fills out the video piece nicely Enjoy!
    also – here is the accompanying written piece…

    http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1586843/20080505/times_new_viking.jhtml

  4. sussbomb  |   Posted on May 5th, 2008 0

    no AGE!!!!!!!!

  5. These bands sound a lot like GbV. I

  6. I like most of this stuff. I really do. Times New Viking is quite rad. But, seriously, don’t they have ANY friends that know how to record? Live it is totally awesome. For reals. Do I want to listen to a bunch of great songs recorded through a $5 mic onto a $25 4-track? Unfortunately, not very much.

  7. getonboard  |   Posted on May 5th, 2008 0

    MTV and blogs should consider traveling west-
    From palm desert to the blog-set: I give you Golden Animals.
    There new album is a stone cold indie rock classic-
    http://www.myspace.com/goldenanimals

  8. getonboard  |   Posted on May 5th, 2008 0

    MTV and blogs should consider traveling west-
    From palm desert to the blog-set: I give you Golden Animals.
    Their new album is a stone cold indie rock classic-
    http://www.myspace.com/goldenanimals

  9. Ricky Ricardo  |   Posted on May 5th, 2008 0

    Could John Norris possibly be more ridiculous?

  10. Mike  |   Posted on May 5th, 2008 0

    To the author of this blog post: was Sebadoh III, the Grifters, Shrimper, etc., really that long ago to be considered part of your parent’s generation? How old are you, 12?

  11. phryg  |   Posted on May 5th, 2008 0

    Leave it to MTV to showcase the most hypocritical bands in the universe.

  12. ryan  |   Posted on May 5th, 2008 0

    Seriously, what are these bands doing that is so original? I’m not saying I dislike them, but why the attention and the glorification of “their” sound. Yeah, it’s an MTV piece so it should be taken with a grain of salt…but they were still talking a lot of talk in those sound bites if you ask me.

    • Michael  |   Posted on May 5th, 2008 0

      Yeah, I agree with you on on that. However, I think this report also blew it all out of proportion, and puts all these bands in a compromising position. Up until I saw this, it never even occurred to me that a newsworthy lo-fi resurrection was currently taking place. To me, this reminds me of the early 2000′s when MTV jumped on the “garage” rock tagline and ran similar stories like this with The Strokes, White Stripes, Walkmen, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, etc.

      On a related but not entirely related note, whenever I see these dumb reports, it brings to mind that annoying poseur college kid who shops at Urban Outfitters and stands in front of you at a show over-excitedly. The kid probably saw this report and is downloading all these bands’ albums at this very moment to get a one-up over his peers in hip tastes. Too bad for him that it will last for just a week since Pitchfork ordained No Age with a 9.2 today. Your secret’s out now Levi’s skinny jeans boy!

      • John Claude  |   Posted on May 6th, 2008 0

        Pitchfork actually scored the new Portishead lower than the new No Age. Seriously? I knew there was a reason I stay away from that site. Idiots…

  13. colind  |   Posted on May 6th, 2008 0

    that muxtape is pretty cool – i also love the hypocrisy of jumping on big media’s case for being too early on something- it’s as if everyone just is determined to read off of zines…or else. OMGMTV is talking about something other people aren’t! They must be trying too hard now!

    blah blah blah.

    • Michael  |   Posted on May 6th, 2008 0

      Too early on something? I don’t think you are right about that. If MTV was any sort of intuitive media source, they would have been talking about these bands for over a year now. I will even give Rolling Stone and SPIN more credit in this case, because even they have already taken the chance to spotlight these artists. I might’ve been impressed if MTV ran this story a year ago, but this is pretty much after the fact. Their Muxtape also plays like the equivalent of that THIS IS NEXT indie comp.

      • colind  |   Posted on May 6th, 2008 0

        apparently – it’s a race now for cred? really?

        and you’re REALLY trying to say that these bands are “so last year?”.

        come on now. get real and quit your whining. according to you – you didn’t even know there was any sort of scene going on (which there obviously is)

  14. Roger  |   Posted on May 6th, 2008 0

    Jay Reatard is that garage jerk who you’re supposed to fuck with and throw bottles at while he’s playing, right?

  15. thanks for the tape here’s mine:

    http://jayreatardrulez.muxtape.com/

    I think Mtv did a pretty good job with this piece. This is exactly the sound i’ve been digging the last couple of years and it’s becuase it sounds like what “indie” used to sound like. Y’know the Dinosaur jr/Pavement/ SOnic Youth/ Sebadoh/ Archers of loaf school of indie. Rock music has gotten too polite and clean cut these days with all your shins, arcade fire, death cab, et all.

    This is a reaction against that polite “indie yuppie” stuff.

  16. Both No Age and Times New Viking SUCK.

    It’s like they recorded their shit with good microphones and made it shitty. Their songs are NOT GOOD.

    Listen to the entire GBV catalog and then consider yourself an authority on fideilty.

  17. fyi, I have not listened to the whole GBV catalog… I’m no authority.

    when did it stop being about the songs?

    • Well, I’m not really into or against any of these bands, as has been pointed out, they’re not doing anything that original to anyone who’s followed underground music for more than 10 years. And I don’t begrudge a band for making do with what resources they have at hand when they’re ready to record, but to me, Times New Viking overstep the line. Just as I think it’s arrogant and pig-headed to expect fans to damage their hearing at one of your shows in order to hear you “PLAY IT LOUD!”, I think it’s ridiculous to ask your fans to knowingly damage their hearing in order to listen to your album. *Especially* in 2008 when decent recording and mixing gear is WAY cheaper than it was in the 80s and 90s. I could put together a home studio for less than $1000 that would make Spot’s SST recording facilities look like elementary school science fair projects. The price of Lou Barlow’s 4-track in 1992 would probably be enough to purchase an entire recording suite these days.

      Not to say that TNV don’t write good songs, but I think they’re really being obnoxious and immature by trying to willfully distance listeners through a production style that destroys the listeners’ ability to continue listening to music. And as you said, “when it did it stop being about the songs?” Exactly! *When* did it stop being about the songs? Why did TNV record an album so willfully awful sounding (from a recording perspective)? Shouldn’t the recording process have been about the songs, and not about what terrible mic position would sound worst?

  18. fyi, I have not listened to the whole GBV catalog…
    I’m no authority, but when did it stop being about the songs?

  19. white fang fan  |   Posted on May 6th, 2008 0

    if you like this stuff, you NEED to hear WHITE FANG
    Native Portland Oregon Teenage GNAR SHREDDING

    http://myspace.com/whtfng

  20. colind  |   Posted on May 6th, 2008 0

    there’s a downloadable version of that mixtape that goes with this piece too…

    http://www.sendspace.com/file/9ohciw
    PLeASe pLaY LOUD
    1. Eat Skull – Seeing Things
    2. No Age – Sleeper Hold
    3. Black Lips – Everybody’s Doing it
    4. Psychedelic Horseshit – Bad Vibrations
    5. Times New Viking – Teenage Lust
    6. Jay Reatard – Searching for a Light
    7. Cheveu – My Answer is Yes
    8. Vivian Girls – Tell the World
    9. Ghetto Cross – Dog Years
    10. Love is All – New Beginning
    11. Tyvek – Give it Up
    12. King Khan & the BBQ Show – Mind, Body & Soul

  21. too cool  |   Posted on May 6th, 2008 0

    that piece was good! seriously, who cares if it’s MTV or some blog hyping these bands? As long as they get the coverage they deserve, all is good. Isn’t the ultimate goal to spread the music, not selfishly keep it to ourselves? on that note, im going to download every album from every artist on that mix!

  22. karolio  |   Posted on May 6th, 2008 0

    Ok so the bands are not the top talents of the world and *some of us* may have known about this before. But they are having a really good time! There is a place for that in music. I say, kudos for someone wanting to spread news about fun shit that is happening. The added muxtape was great too because that just gives it that whole “delivered from your bedroom” feel. So I think it wasn’t really packaged in a “THIS IS NEXT” way. How many people are doing that?

    I think the music nerds would have swallowed this piece better if there was more talk of past influences. There are definitely people who don’t work in the industry but who like music who would benefit from it. I got a ‘this is for the kids” vibe and not a ‘ i followed the underground scene for ten year’ vibe anyway. I work at a school in brooklyn and I see kids getting into the scene. Thats what they should be doing. — going to all ages shows instead of you know the worst of it. Maybe ill play the muxtape for them tomorrow.

    It sure beats watching fox news talk about how skinny jeans are going to be the next thing 5 years too late.

    Kudos – you have come along way since “check this out”

    PS. the lo-fi plus poverty comment was kinda lame and sounded really ignorant. low budget does not equal poverty. poverty means you dont have food, let alone a guitar. Plus I know people that can make people sound like bono using garageband.

    ugh reminds me of punks from the burbs that choose to be poor fucks and complain and ask me to but them malt liquor. ew.

  23. Who cares what MTV is doing? Anyway, if you were in any one of those bands, you would gladly accept their offer to be on that show. No one would refuse the publicity to keep their ‘indie cred’ or whatever.

    As far as sound goes, I’m not too familiar with those other bands, but I’m totally digging the new No Age. It’s actually recorded quite well. Everyone bitching about shitty mics and cheap 4-tracks doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Yeah, their sound is fuzzed out, heavily processes/distorted, etc., but the recording is super clean and sparkley. I listened to it on a set of good studio monitors and was blown away.

    I have a feeling (Pitchfork review aside) that ten years from now people will be hailing this as one of the greatest albums of the decade. Sort of like how everyone liked to diss MBV’s Loveless at first, saying the recording was screwed up and weird-sounding. Now it’s classic ‘genius’. Nouns has a deliberate sound they’re going for that is pretty fresh – albeit an obvious amalgamation of influences at times – it’s dense and spacey and crunchy and all of those corny adjectives. It’s worth listening to, whatever hip label you MTV or Pitchfork or whoever gives it.

    And John Norris is a meth-head. No joke. Knew a guy that worked with him.

  24. Brenda  |   Posted on May 12th, 2008 0

    Dude, imagine the behaviors John Norris engages in behind closed doors. It can’t be easy maintaining that hair helmet. The horror. He is 76 years old.

    At least some attention is being paid to artists outside the dark and dying world of manufactured major label product. There is so much more out there … like this … the best “lo-fi” POP shit I’ve heard in the past year or so … BENJI COSSA .. this record is beyond priceless: http://seriousbusinessrecords.com/releases/show/36-Benji-Cossa-s-Vault-Vol-2-Jewels-and-Gems
    two MPfrees too:
    http://seriousbusinessrecords.com/mp3s/02_April.mp3
    http://www.seriousbusinessrecords.com/mp3s/16_With_All_My_Luck.mp3

  25. Grumpster  |   Posted on May 13th, 2008 0

    hey, as someone who works in television, it’s a lot easier for someone like Rolling Stone and Spin to write a few words in an issue and hype a band, versus, you know, going out and interviewing the bands and showing you some of their set and basically giving me a visual on these artists that i haven’t had before. i mean, it’s kinda great to hear Jay Reatard speak. and the thought of a bunch of teenie boppers seeing this segment slipped in between re-runs of America’s Next Top Model is pretty delicious.

  26. NO FAIR!! I WANT TO BE ON MTV!!!

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