Saturday, April 29, 2006

It's a sad but oft-repeated tale in music business: an artist releases an album. Their label folds and all corporate support for marketing and promoting it evaporate. Such was the fate of World Party's impossibly wonderful Egyptology. I reviewed an advance copy and eventually stopped writing for the publication where I freelanced because the meddling editor challenged my perfect rating for it. But around the time that it was hitting the store shelves in 1997, the Enclave, the label behind the US release, was killed off by parent Chrysalis. The album was ignored and is now out of print. The good news in the UK was that Robbie Williams held the album in the same high esteem that I did, and his cover of "She's the One" was a big hit there, but Williams has never found an audience in the US.

Dumbing Up, the follow-up to Egyptology, is finally coming out in the US, a mere six years after its UK release. World Party mastermind Karl Wallinger is releasing it on his own label Seaview. More details about the project, the band's recent history and upcoming US tour dates are at

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Just how cool is my baby? The one-month-old was fussy last night, and the only thing that finally calmed him down was Fun House by the Stooges.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Here's one mystery solved. The current exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center, "Nick Cave: Soundsuits," has nothing to do with the diminutive Australian singer who frequently dons a suit for his concerts. Same name, different person entirely.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Just how cool is the Librarian of Congress? Cool enough to name Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation to the National Recording Registry, one of 50 recordings each year that are deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Other worthy musical recordings were also added, but none as hip and unexpected as this. Or to put it another way, I suspect the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will be much more reluctant to acknowledge Sonic Youth's cultural, historic and aesthetic significance within the narrower realm of rock music after they become eligible for induction in 2008.

The full press release is at:

Saturday, April 08, 2006

My friend GirlDetective, also the mother of two young children (My new son was born March 27.) recently blogged "I Resemble That Remark," linking to an article from New York about recent trends among Gen-X parents:
When did it become normal for your average 35-year-old New Yorker to (a) walk around with an iPod plugged into his ears at all times, listening to the latest from Bloc Party . . . (f) decide that Sufjan Stevens is the perfect music to play for her 2-year-old, because, let’s face it, 2-year-olds have lousy taste in music, and we will not listen to the Wiggles in this house;
Not to get defensive, but I'm 40, not 35, and have Bloc Party on my iPod. As for the Sufjan Stevens observation, it's not my fault if neither my 22-month-old nor I liked the Sharon, Lois and Bram CD from the library but we both enjoyed the Clean Anthology. Here I was thinking that I'm probably the only mom my age with young kids who actually has an opinion on Deerhoof (They're wretched; their artiness exacerbates their basic musical incompetence.) when it turns out I'm just part of a larger demographic shift.

That said, I don't fit the full stereotype. I may be into music and into sharing my favorite music with my kids (It was so convenient to stop at Target and get NIN's With Teeth the day of release since I needed babyproofing supplies, too.) And I may be style-conscious, but I don't live in jeans or spend the kind of money they're talking about on clothes.

On the flip side, it is possible to find fun kids' music that isn't insipid. We've had to balance it with Ben Vaughn, P-Funk, Louis Armstrong and John Coltrane, but Wiggleworms Love You has been a huge hit with my toddler.