Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Top Albums of 2012

40. Pop. 1280 - The Horror
39. Analogue Monsta - Boom
38. Father John Misty - Fear Fun
37. Jack White - Blunderbuss
36. Ulrich Schnauss & Mark Peters - Underrated Silence
35. Chairlift - Something
34. Frankie Rose - Interstellar
33. Sigur Ros - Valtari
32. of Montreal - Paralytic Stalks
31. Marissa Nadler - The Sister
30. Animal Collective - Centipede Hz
29. Flying Lotus - Until the Quiet Comes
28. Spiritualized - Sweet Heart Sweet Light
27. Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
26. Deerhoof - Breakup Song
25. Metric - Synthetica
24. Menomena - Moms
23. Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d. city
22. Tame Impala - Lonerism
21. Julia Holter - Ekstasis
20. Errors - Have Some Faith in Magic
19. Santigold - The Master of My Make-Believe
18. Niki & the Dove - Instinct
17. Zambri - House of Baasa
16. Django Django - Django Django
15. Beach House - Bloom
14. Emeralds - Just to Feel Anything
13. Chromatics - Kill for Love
12. School of Seven Bells - Ghostory
11. Grizzly Bear - Shields
10. Melody's Echo Chamber - Melody's Echo Chamber
9. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
8. Mono - For My Parents
7. Lower Dens - Nootropics
6. Scott Walker - Bish Bosh
5. Black Moth Super Rainbow - Cobra Juicy
4. Grimes - Visions
3. Cat Power - Sun
2. Swans - The Seer
1. Bat For Lashes - The Haunted Man

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Smiths Reuniting? Don't Get Your Hopes Up

Various news sites such as Holy Moly! are reporting that The Smiths will be reuniting in 2013 for four UK shows, including Glastonbury. What's the source for the current hysteria? On September 27, Australia's Herald Sun uncovered this tidbit in an email interview with Morrissey:
At Coachella a few years you complained about the waft of burning flesh from a nearby barbeque. Has that been a problem since at outdoor shows?
Not at all, and interestingly the agents for Coachella offered a 100-per-cent vegetarian event for the following year if I would agree to headline with Johnny Marr as the Smiths. Fascinatingly they made it clear that they would 'not require' the Smiths' bass player or drummer ... which I thought certainly said something.
The burning flesh incident in question occurred during his 2009 Coachella main stage performance. So, "the following year" would be 2010. Goldenvoice offered to go meat-free in 2010 for Morrissey and Marr to reunite with the rhythm section of their choice, and this offer clearly was not accepted. Thanks to the purple monkey dishwasher phenomenon, "the following year" seems to have been taken out of context and converted into "next year." In short, he's talking about a previous offer, and thanks to a lack of research and reading comprehension all around, your facebook and twitter feeds are now flooded with reunion "confirmations". As if Glastonbury tickets weren't already a challenge to reserve...

Friday, July 13, 2012

Ultimate Fan Setlists: System of a Down

If given the improbable task of curating a setlist for a favorite artist, what would you choose? What would your approach be. Recently, I asked myself these questions for Radiohead and Asobi Seksu. For the third installment of Ultimate Fan Setlists, System of a Down fan Jeff Cunningham intimated his choices to Simply Fuss Free. In addition to the songs he holds near and dear, he also shared his rationale.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ultimate Fan Setlists: Asobi Seksu

Recently, Pearl Jam had a fan pick the setlist for one of their gigs. Bands such as The Flaming Lips and R.E.M. have taken requests online in the past, as well. What would you do if given such a golden opportunity? For a hypothetical dream set from Radiohead, Simply Fuss Free opted for b-sides and other unplayed rarities. What about something completely different? For example, how about venturing out of the arena and into the club for someone like Asobi Seksu? 

According to fellow fan Mohamed El Amin, his number one wish for seeing them live is "Definitely 'Stay Awake.' I want to sing/dance/walk/sleep/fuck/a billion other things to that song." Well said. Possibly the band's most breathtaking moment, "Stay Awake" was released back in 2007 as a limited edition 7", but is still available digitally on iTunes, Amazon, and as part of Adult Swim's Warm & Scratchy compilation. For this installment of Ultimate Fan Setlists, Simply Fuss Free has attempted to strike balance between old and new, drawing from all eras, and incorporating some of their outstanding b-sides.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Overheard: Conversations at Primavera Sound

Welcome to the second installment of Overheard, where Simply Fuss Free recalls quotes and conversations had and heard at various places and events around the world and saves them for posterity. Read the Glastonbury installment here.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Ultimate Fan Setlists: Radiohead

Recently, Pearl Jam gave a longtime fan the opportunity of a lifetime by flying him from Rhode Island to attend a couple gigs in Amsterdam and giving him the privilege of creating the second night's setlist. Read more about it at Stereogum. If your favorite band entrusted you with such a task, what would you choose? All the hits? All obscurities? What about new material? I asked myself these same questions and have come up with different results for different bands. and for the first installment in this new series, it's all about living in cloud cuckoo land. After all, what other band can compare to Radiohead when it comes to stellar b-sides and long-abandoned pieces of perfection?

Read below for Simply Fuss Free's dream Radiohead setlist.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

New Bat for Lashes Songs Debut in Cambridge

Ever have one of those moments where all the magic that a festival has to offer comes together in such a way that it makes all the hardship okay to the point where you declare that you must return next year? For my first Coachella, this happened during the Pixies' big comeback while the sun went down in the massive desert sky. Glastonbury had at least a dozen such moments, but one of the best was witnessing Bat for Lashes captivate the crowd on a muggy Sunday afternoon. It's been over three years since Two Suns, but today Natasha Khan's formal return has been made official. The Haunted Man, Bat for Lashes' third album finally surfaces on October 15, and driving the point home yet again that American festivals will never be as good as their European counterparts, she will be touring that circuit this summer before a fall UK tour. Nothing is currently official or even rumored for the colonies at this time, but she is long overdue to play Coachella. Too soon?

Check out videos of some new songs from tonight's warmup gig at The Junction in Cambridge after the jump. Thanks to YouTube user 0000minuit0000 for the prompt uploads. You might remember "Oh Yeah" from its debut in Sydney last year.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Live Commentary: Bonnaroo 2012, Friday

I'm not in attendance this year, but I will be watching the webcast. Keep reloading this post for my musings as they happen. Watch the webcast here.

Monday, April 23, 2012

25 Acts Due for a Coachella Debut

The Orange County Register recently published an article listing a hundred acts they want to make their Coachella debut. There are some impressive choices on the list, such as Sparks and A Tribe Called Quest, but Simply Fuss Free's take is that it's too focused on big names, many of whom are questionable for America's most popular festival. Here's a list of 25 more acts that would make Coachella, or any festival, one for the ages.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Live Commentary: Coachella 2012 Day 1

I'm not in attendance this year, but I will be watching the webcast. Keep reloading this post for my musings as they happen. Watch the webcast here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pulp Invades America

You say you've never been sure,
though it makes good sense for you to be together.
Still you bought a toy that can reach the places he never goes.

The band that inspired this blog's namesake has finally returned to America after 14 years away, starting with a two-song performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Judging from reviews and twitter searches for #pulp, the reception is overwhelmingly positive. If they do, in fact, stay together and release some new music as rumored, will they return to the colonies for another go? The entire midwest still needs some action, as does Canada. An Asian tour seems like a given, but has yet to surface. I hope Japan is still as much fun to tour in 2012 as it was in 1996. Pulp is clearly aware of the popularity of "Like a Friend" here, since it was performed at both Radio City gigs and on Fallon. Go, Team Venture, indeed.

Setlists? So far, excellent. It's good to see "Like a Friend" being played live, because it's one of their finest songs, and also one of the most popular on this side of the water. A Different Class-centric set is no surprise, but to this extent it is, with 11 out of the albums 12 tracks being played each night. Perhaps they don't think American audiences care about We Love Life and This Is Hardcore, which is a shame because "The Fear", "Help the Aged", and "Wickerman" would be the highlights of any set. Notable absence of pre-His 'N' Hers material is likely due to Russell Senior not being a part of this tour. Word is they considered playing "O.U. (Gone, Gone) in New York. California, perhaps? Certainly not Coachella, though.

Night 2 setlist:

Do You Remember the First Time?
Monday Morning
Pencil Skirt
Something Changed
Disco 2000
Sorted for E's & Wizz
I Spy
(a snippet of) Louie Louie (Richard Berry cover)
This Is Hardcore
Bar Italia
Common People
Like a Friend
Bad Cover Version

First night's setlist was mostly identical, except "Live Bed Show" and "Party Hard" were performed instead of "Bad Cover Version" and "Monday Morning."

The crowd at their first proper American gig at Radio City Music Hall looks fairly lively for a massive, seated theatre in New York, but completely tame compared to some of the European crowds. Will the rowdiness and singalongs ensue at Coachella or the general admission shows in San Francisco and Pomona? Observe the differences below.

Radio City Music Hall:

Primavera Sound:

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Overheard: Conversations at Glastonbury

Welcome to the first in a series called Overheard, which recalls the best conversations had and overheard at destinations all over the world. This installment covers Glastonbury 2009 and 2010. For the uninitiated, everyone around me seemed to indulge in cider, shrooms, laughing gas, and more cider, so these otherwise forgotten gems have been preserved for posterity. I tried to recall exact wording, but expect a lot of paraphrasing. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Last Minute Coachella Wishlisting

The inevitable revelation the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival lineup became a matter of "sooner" rather than "later" on Wednesday, with an official confirmation of Azealia Banks. Following Azealia Banks' appearance on the festival's homepage were videos of AraabMuzik and Jimmy Cliff yesterday and today, respectively. Although an official release date for the lineup has yet to be announced, months of rumors, fan-made posters crafted with dubious levels of competence, and equally incompetent journalists spreading these fakes as gospel are expected to finally come to an end within the next couple weeks.

Because there has already been near-endless speculation for headliners, reunions, and the obvious critical darlings du jour, here are some videos of artists that have evaded rumor-mongering, but Simply Fuss Free would love to see featured as part of the big reveal.