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Michael Nelson
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I’ve heard people compare Iceage’s new Plowing The Fields Of Love to the Mekons’ 1985 classic Fear And Whiskey, but when I listen to it, the album I’m reminded of most is the Libertines’ self-titled second record. That resemblance is most apparent in Elias Bender Rønnenfelt’s vocals, which share many qualities with those of Pete Doherty. I think you can really hear that in new single “How Many,” which is the third track on Plowing The Fields Of Love, and which you can spin right now. Listen below, let me know what you think.

Next month, Johnny Marr will release his second solo LP, Playland, the follow-up to last year’s The Messenger. (I always thought of the 2003 release Boomslang, by Johnny Marr + The Healers, to be his solo debut, but I guess not. They were every bit Zak Starkey’s band, too!) We already heard Playland’s first single, “Easy Money,” which was a pretty excellent electronic-pop song, and today, we hear another, “The Trap,” which sounds … nothing like “Easy Money.” It kinda reminds me of the mellow psychedelic rock stuff that Ride were doing on their 1994 LP Carnival Of Light. It’s not gonna make anyone forget about the Smiths, but it’s a good song! BBC Radio 6 premiered it, and if you go here and scroll ahead to 53:09, you can hear it now.

Ryan Adams’ new self-titled LP is one of the best things he’s ever released, and one of my favorite albums of the year, and even though its singles are really goddamn good, there are at least four songs on this thing that are better still. Hell, two of the three songs off the Jacksonville EP that dropped yesterday might be better than the two singles he’s thus far released from Ryan Adams. Again, not a dig at those singles! When I wrote up the album’s first single, “Gimme Something Good,” I called it “a total knockout”! Today, Adams releases a video for the album’s second single, “My Wrecking Ball,” which, I mean, is an incredibly beautiful, powerful piece of music. It brings me to the verge of tears almost every time. If this were the best song on Ryan Adams, the album would still probably be amazing and essential. But it’s so much better than that. Check out the video below and for god’s sake get the record.

Comments

Ack, fixed this, thanks for the heads up!

 0Posted on Sep 19th | re: Food Incredible: Inside The Steve Albini Cooking Class (10 comments)

GAH. Fixed that, thanks for the heads up!

 0Posted on Sep 18th | re: Ryan Adams - "My Wrecking Ball" Video (8 comments)

What can I say, I get choked up when I hear the thing! It’s a beautiful song!

 +4Posted on Sep 18th | re: Preview New Weezer Song "The British Are Coming" (21 comments)

Again, I’m speaking only for myself, not saying you’ll feel the same way, but IMO “Back To The Shack” is the worst song on the album by a substantial margin.

 +13Posted on Sep 17th | re: Preview New Weezer Song "The British Are Coming" (21 comments)

I don’t even think this kinda stuff deserves a reply but the last Weezer post I did (before hearing the album) was … not so enthusiastic. Said one commenter: “Why has this site become so incredibly negative about everything? It’s a real downer. Like there’s no joy in it for you, or that you have no love for music anymore.”

http://www.stereogum.com/1704725/preview-new-weezer-song-lonely-girl/video/

Honest to god truth: I am neither “incredibly negative” nor the recipient of “quote-whore payola.” I’ve been listening to Weezer since 1994 — I bought “Blue Album” within a week of its release and Pinkerton the day it came out, and I saw the band tour for both those records. I have followed their career extremely closely. From Green Album forward, I have gone into EVERY new Weezer album hoping to hear something great, and in every case, I have been left wanting (to various degrees).

UNTIL NOW. I came to this new record expecting to walk away with a couple more songs to add to my Weezer playlist, and hoping not to cringe too much on everything else. My expectations were wiped out after one listen. I’m not saying EWBAITE is flawless, but man, to me — maybe not to you! — it feels a little bit like a miracle.

 +5Posted on Sep 15th | re: Apple Launches U2 Removal Website (31 comments)

Haha me too!

 +3Posted on Sep 15th | re: Apple Launches U2 Removal Website (31 comments)

Yeah although I wonder if Apple and U2 were going for the role of “thoughtful grandparents” on this one.

 0Posted on Sep 12th | re: Preview New Weezer Song "Lonely Girl" (10 comments)

It wasn’t me either! But I gotta defend myself a little bit: I don’t think this post is very negative! I did shit on the dumb extended rollout strategy, which I don’t like because it seems desperate and embarrassing (and ineffectual). But I said the song snippet was, to my ear, pretty good but not great (I’d be lying if I said it was great) and I talked about how much I loved “Cleopatra”! “One of my favorite post-Pinkerton Weezer songs”! I encouraged Weezer to be great! If the tone of this site seems negative to you, maybe it is because of comments like this? ;-)

Absolutely there is a whole “anti-life” contingent in the contemporary underground scene — off the top of my head thinking of the great mp3 blog Svn Okkvlt which is “above all … anti-human.” But that’s obviously just a pose mimicking the old Deathlike Silence stuff, which was also a pose, except for when it erupted into actual violent criminal activity. I get that Thurston is kind of showing off for the black metal purists and historians who will actually appreciate his references, but he does it so condescendingly and manages to get enough wrong that it comes off like a nerdy dad trying to be cool. Which, in fact, is exactly what is happening here!

Then I’ve done my job.