BERG WITH A BLOG

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  • Remember When Music Came Out On Tuesdays?

    In honor of that bygone era, of oh..about a few months ago, here's something new that popped up in my inbox.  Are you looking for something that reminds you of The National, only slightly sunnier and just a TINY bit more electronic?  I bring you...Remote Places, courtesy of KCRW.  Enjoy

    http://blogs.kcrw.com/musicnews/2016/04/remote-places-places-you-go/

    UPDATE: This JUST came in my box. Remember how GREAT the Beta Band "3 EPs" was?  Like, it was so good you NEVER had to buy another Beta Band record (and sadly, most people didn't).  I also remember buying it just like it happened in High Fidelity.  Came into a record store, it was playing and I walked out with a first day copy.  Boom.  

    This new track by The Dan Ryan reminds me of BB about as close as anyone has come.  High high praise.

     

  • The Song That's Currently Melting My Face

    Primitive Weapons are HUGE.  Big drums, big vocals, I ASSUME big ideas.  Mostly though its just friggin' awesome heavy rock.  If I ever get the opportunity to take a sledgehammer to an old beat up car, this is the song that will be playing.

     

  • I Can't Stop Making Lists, or, 4 Things I Hope For The Future Of Music

    Yes, I cannot tell a lie, I'm aiming to be the Buzzfeed of music, so as a result, on this lovely Tuesday morning, I'm going to write yet another list that I hope gets scads of page views (scads is a greek term meaning "more than 11").

    While I never claimed to be a futurist, as I evolve my business, I think a lot about how I consume music, how others might consume music, and just what kind of music is being consumed and will be consumed. 

    In honor of these coffee thoughts, here's what I hope the future of music brings.  Please note that any of these lists I publish are not meant to be complete.  Their just what I could think of at the time. 

    1.  HOPE: Walk Back Genre Creep.  As backwards thinking as this may be, I miss specific genre classifications of music.  I miss when indie rock was guitars, and metal was denim and studs and hip hop was the black CNN.  I think we need to go back to that, if only so that radio programmers will avoid putting tweaked out electronic female vocaled wanna be white Rhianna's on my indie rock radio.  I have no problem with the music, I just have a problem when it interrupts my "white guys with guitars mood" on satellite radio. There's enough of it to create its own genre.  Let's call it "Electro-XX-pop"

    2. HOPE: Less Band Festival Reliance:  I've mentioned this before, but bands are relying too heavily on festivals for their touring and less slugging it out in the clubs or in underplays.  I get that you only have a short time to make money in this ever-decreasing business, but one sure way to continue to manifest that issue is to only play big festivals and a few tourdates around them.  No one became a better songwriter or performer by playing less, and to crowds that are only partially yours.  Go out, headline a smaller club, sweat a lot, drink bad beer, get screwed over by a promoter and pay your dues.  It's the only real way to roadtest your band.

    3.  HOPE: Less Fan Reliance on Festivals:  I remember a few years ago, I had a (not in the music department) co-worker whose only experience seeing any artists was if they played Coachella.  Granted, this is a great way to see a lot of bands in a short period of time, but i'd be like gorging yourself once a year at a buffet and not eating til next year.  Probably not a healthy way to live.  I think to truly be a great music fan, you need to spend some time in theatres, in clubs, and really experience a band at their best, which usually is at 10pm (or sometimes later, damn bookers, i'm OLD, make those shows earlier), in the dark, with everyone focused on the band at hand.  Not at 4pm in the daylight while everyone's too busy looking for sunscreen to focus on that one song they heard once on Hype Machine.

    4. HOPE: Fall In Love With The Artist, Not the Song:  I firmly believe people fall in love with a body of an artists work.  This is why the album was so vital to the long term successes of artists who built strong careers.  Right now we're heading back in the singles world that dominated music prior to the Beatles, Dylan, etc. Folks are still releasing songs at a time.  Unfortunately, I believe that people don't fall in love with an artist a track at a time, but rather on a whole album basis.  It's why, love him or loathe him, Kanye made a lot of sense releasing Pablo all at once.  Same with Drake and all the other 'Secret surprise" album drops that have been going on.  Why give away the milk when people would listen to the whole cow.  I love mixed metaphors.

    That's today's message of Hope.  Tune in tomorrow, or whenever I'm not too busy/lazy to write. 

  • Because People Like Lists: 5 Things That Are Different For Me Now (Musically Speaking)

    As I deal with fatherhood, a career shift and various and other sundry things dealing with the existence of a man settling into life, I've started to look back on my past and think about how I interact with life differently than I used to.  Or, I saw Everybody Wants Some! and the dreaded nostalgia is sweeping into my brain (great fun btw, go see it).  Either way, I figured it was time to contemplate how I listen to music and how its changed over the last, let's say 20 years, or so. Some of these are because I've become a victim of my career and the volume of music I receive, others are because we view music differently.   

    1. THEN:  I would buy a CD and the first thing I would do after pressing play would be to analyze every word of the liner notes; who was thanked, who played on the record, any funny dedications (Shoutout to Tim Quirk and Too Much Joy for the best liner notes ever), etc.

    NOW:  I note who the publicist is, maybe find out where they are from and read about the first 2 lines of the press release.

    2. THEN:  I'd put on headphone and try to listen to every instrument I could figure out in the mix.  I'd try to ascertain if these guys were good players, or if they were just going fast and loose, sloppy and raw.  I'd analyze the production and really dig down into what I was hearing and how it affected the song

    NOW: Is it a good song? Does it echo in my brain after I hear it? Does it stay with me after I hit stop or leave my office to grab a drink of water? 

    3. THEN:  I'd try to buy tickets to a show as soon as it was announced and count down the days until it was here.  I'd listen to every note the band every put out to memorize the words so I could sing them back to the band.

    NOW:  This one won't win me any friends, but I wait to see if I can get on the list and if I can, I usually ask about a week prior to tickets.  Obnoxious I realize, but one of the perks of doing what I do.  

    4. THEN:  Stay to the very very very very end, no matter how late,  hoping I hear 3 encores and get home a hoarse-throated, sweaty mess

    NOW:  I usually won't even go if i find out the band goes on after 10pm.  Hey, I got a 21 month old at home.  Waking up with ringing in your ears, and whiskey on your brain to go grab a bottle isn't fun. When I do go, if I'm not entertained by the first half hour, unless its a band that I truly know every word, I may head home, or catch up with a friend at the bar.  Part of this is my fault, but I also think a lot of bands don't road test themselves anymore.  They go from bedroom laptop to putting together an act for a festival. They're not focusing on the live craft.  And I don't care if you think its hard to entertain with hazy, dreamy, lap-pop, go look at Chvrches.  That's basically all electronic and those kids SLAY it live. 

    5. THEN: Focused on who the artist was associated with.  Did they have cool acts they toured with or were they just another piece of corporate crap.  Who was guesting on their albums.  Were they "COOL" and did they receive a great review in Rolling Stone or Mojo or Q.

    NOW:  See #2.  Is it a good song?

  • New BOB MOULD

    When one of your personal musical heroes puts out a new video/song/album, you don't question at first.  You just listen.  And when you listen and find out it harkens back to his creative peak, well, you put that damn thing up on your blog.

     

  • Been a little while since I shared Rock & Roll

    Nothing feeling particularly verbose these days.  Did see some fantastic rock and roll last night in the form of Diarrhea Planet and Music Band.  Two great band with "challenging" names for entirely different reasons.  I don't care how punk rock you are.  These two band show you can rock out, be chaotic yet still really know how to plan your damn instrument.

    While you're thinking about that, here's the closest thing I could find to my beloved Japandroids who are taking FOREVER to record a new album.

    Paws = awesome.  That they are on FatCat = even awesomer.  Would be like Train being on Sub Pop (if Train were an indie-cool band).  Think about it for a second.  It'll make sense when your coffee hits at about 11am.

     

  • Re:Production but not Reproduction

    Back in my college/grad school years I was REALLY into 4-track and cheaply produced stuff, which was all the rage in the indie-rock world.  Most of this stuff was produced on low-budgets and while it gave SOME of the more mellow songs an honesty boost, much of the time it lead to about 4 songs per record being unholy messes of poor production.  You listened to the albums for the 4 great moments and forgave the victims of poor production.


    Fast forward to 2016 and it some of these records have willfully poor production as a matter of pride, almost.  Either that or they are so compressed for digital ears that they lose all soul and honesty (mrrrrrrr, kids get off my lawn).


    This is why its so refreshing to find the Brit-poppy homagers (i invented a word!) DMA's.  The producton is pristine and lends a rock grandeur to the proceedings.  The robustness of this song is an Oasis for y ears.  Get it? Brit pop? Oasis? I have great hope in this band, except for the terrible use of the apostrophe, unless the band stands for DMA is, or the DMA belongs to someone.  

    (Side note:  I met someone at the park the other day who named their daughter Suede.  I bet she'd really like this band).

    Here's the "What-sounds-to-me-like-Oasis-inspired" "Too Soon"

     

  • A Response To The Third Most Commonly Asked Question of a Music Supervisor

    The first question I get asked most frequently is "What are you working on?" The second most frequently asked question is "Do you have any current music needs?" Once the business side of the conversation is out of the way, if it goes that far and the person ACTUALLY wants to engage me, the third most frequently asked question is "What Are You Listening To?" which usually is a much more enjoyable way to have a conversation with me anyway, unless you want to talk about my daughter or the New York Jets (although that's a different kind of painful conversation).

    Here are my current answers.

    Wild Nothing - "To Know You"

    If you know me, you know how much I love my spacey pop.  Not the Kevin Spacey "Mack the Knife" covers, but pop music that sounds like it would go great in the deep, cold expanse of the galaxy.  This is one of those songs, plus an added throbbing bass line.  Bonus points for sorta sounding enough like Talk Talk that I wonder if it's a huge influence.  Double bonus points for making a 6 minute song be awesome.

     

    Hudson Bell - "Hey Doll"

    When you're RIYL (that's Recommended If You Like for those of you who grew up with CMJ) says something about Built To Spill and Superchunk, I usually go all in.  I'm totally all in for this

     

     

     Seth Bogart - "Plastic"


    I wasn't the biggest Hunx and His Punx fan, maybe because it was a bit too cloying for my taste at time, even though the songwriting was fairly tight, or maybe because I hate Xs for Ss and Zs for Ss and I REALLY hate poor use of apostrophes, but that has nothing to do with anything.  

    This whole upcoming Burger Records release uses the drum machine for effect rather than reliance, and the simple new wave inspired guitar lines perfectly match the minimalism.  

     

  • The Evolution Of Rap

    I mean this track below by TOKiMONSTA just FEELS like an evolution.  And it's got that Anderson .Paak dude that people are hyping.  Other than that I know nothing about the artist, and it's too early in the morning for me to research and my wife is leaving me for work in Australia for a week and I'm facing the prospect of single daddyhood for the next seven days with a newly walking toddler, so it's my damn right to be lazy in my research today.

    But I'm REALLY digging the track.

    Carry on and have a great weekend.

     

  • Do You Like Rock and Roll Music?

    Somewhere between the flower punk of the Black Lips and a nervous breakdown lie the Brooklyn-based So-So Glos.  This is rock music, punk rock music if you want to be specific, but it's oh so much more.  I know, I know, you're thinking, but they're from BROOKLYN. A formerly punk rock place that is everything that is anti-thetical to punk rock these days. Don't fret, dear reader, because these guys are from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, which is about as far away from the pencil thin mustaches and far too high-waisted pants of Williamsburg as cheese gets from tree-bark (though i'd be a slightly hefty sum that someone in Williamsburg is trying to make tree bark cheese.

    Enjoy their latest, "A.D.D. Life" (extra points for the Replacement's style profanity breakdown in the middle).