Monday, October 15, 2012

Listen: Titus Andronicus' New Album, Local Business

"Okay, I think now that we've established everything is inherently worthless, and there's nothing in the universe with any kind of objective purpose."

I cannot think of a line that better encapsulates what Titus Andronicus is all about. Lyrically, "Local Business" has a lot of similar themes to their previous albums (minus the whole civil war plot of course) but musically this is a much different record from their brilliant sophomore album "The Monitor". "Local Business" has substituted many of the overly dramatic (in the best way possible) elements from "The Monitor" for a more straight forward and raw rock n' roll record. Follow the link below to stream the album in its entirety over at NPR's First Listen.

Titus Andronicus - Local Business

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

American Freedom Defense Initiative Post Anti-Jihad Ads in NYC Subways

It is rare that I ever feel the need to speak about things going on in the world. Normally, I take everything that happens with a massive grain of salt and reconcile with the fact that the world is fucked and go on living. However, every now and again something irritates me to the point where I feel a burning desire to say something. Anything.

If you aren't familiar with the situation, a pro-Israel group, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) have recently postered the NYC subway system with signs comparing Jihadists to savages and calling for the support of Israel. The MTA originally tried to block the ads but the AFDI won the ensuing court and as a result the signs were posted yesterday.

Before I get to talking about my main issue with the signs, I feel that I should make two things clear. First, I am in no way trying to say the AFDI are not well within the constitutional rights to post these ads. They rightfully won their court battle with the MTA and should be allowed to post these signs according the United States Constituion. Second, I wholeheartedly disagree with the message put forth by these posters. To relegate any group of human beings to that of a savage is wrong no matter the atrocities they may have committed. Doing so is counterproductive to the goal trying to be accomplished by this organization and takes away any credibility this organization has with the "civilized" people they are trying to appeal to.

Now to the main point of my writing this.

How simpleminded and obtuse can this organization possibly be? If these people are the "savages" you suggest, then how does publicly antagonizing them serve any purpose? The ads have been posted in the aftermath of violent reactions to an anti-Islam YouTube video that ridicules the Prophet Mohammed. The AFDI claims they are trying to protect innocent people from "the tens of thousands of rockets going into Southern Israel from Gaza. The blowing up of a bus of Jewish women and children in Bulgaria." While these are undoubtedly abhorrent acts that deserve retribution, how do these ads do anything but exacerbate the situation? The answer: "they don't".

The only purpose the ads serve is to potentially endanger the millions of innocent people that ride the subway every single day. We have already seen the reaction to the YouTube video in the middle east and now with these signs, it feels as though its only a matter of time before there is a reaction in New York City.

Its extremely disconcerting that this organization cannot see the fundamental flaws in this ad-campaign and have gone ahead despite the public outcry. The executive director of the AFDI, Pamela Geller was quoted as saying "I will not sacrifice my freedom of speech so as not to defend a savages." It is this kind of short-sighted fulfillment of constitutional rights, without internalizing the potential consequences, that endangers the American way of life conservatives like Pamela Geller work so hard to protect.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Titus Andronicus - "In A Big City"

Patrick Stickles and co. are back with their follow up to 2010's The Monitor. The new album, due out October 22nd via XL recordings, is entitled Local Business and you can now listen to the first single "In a Big City".

Judging by the first song, we're all in for another brilliant album and more hilarious commentaries on the current state of the world. "I grew up on one side of the river, I was a distrubed dangerous drifter. Moved over to the other side of the river, now I'm a drop in a deluge of hipsters," is just one of the gems from this great new track. I, for one, am very excited!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Stream the new Grizzly Bear album over at NPR

The most handsome band in indie rock is back with a follow-up to their universally acclaimed 2009 album Veckatimest. The album, which featured the band's breakthrough song "Two Weeks" and the heartbreakingly beautiful "Foreground", provided the listener with beautifully crafted vocal harmonies and picture-perfect production values. In other words, the album could not have sounded any better.

You can now stream the new album, Shields, over at NPR by following the link below. Enjoy!

Grizzly Bear - Shields

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Touche Amore - "Whale Belly"

I can't believe a band with this kind of touring schedule had any time at all to write and record a new song, but somehow, Touche Amore have gotten in the studio and created an absolute beast in the form of "Whale Belly". The song comes from an upcoming 7" split with The Casket Lottery. The split will feature one original song and one cover from each band. Touche Amore will have this song and a cover of "Unsatisfied" by The Replacements (Rad!). The Casket Lottery's new track will be called "White Lies" and they will tackle a cover of "Myth" by Beach House (Double Rad!). Could this be any more awesome!?!??  Check out "Whale Belly" below via NPR!

  Touche Amore - "Whale Belly"

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Throwback Thursday

While in the beautiful city of Minneapolis this summer, I was reminded what it was like to have a quality local radio station. I was lucky enough to be introduced to Minnesota's Public Radio station, 89.3 The Current. Enjoying the tunes as a few friends and I rode around the city, my attention was grabbed as the radio waves pummeled me with a song that was so overwhelmingly 80s, it brought an instant smile and head nod. Everyone in the car's face underwent the exact same transformation.

The song was the 1985 masterpiece, "The Whole of the Moon" by The Waterboys off their album This is the Sea. As soon as I returned home, the first thing on my list of things to do was acquire this song and since then I've listened to almost nothing else. 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Stream the new album by The xx

The xx follow up their universally loved, self-titled debut with Coexist which will be out a week from today, September 11th. For now, you can head over to NPR and stream it before you buy. Just follow the link below.

The xx - Coexist on NPR's first listen

Friday, August 31, 2012

Throwback Thursday (on Friday)

After a recent eviction, a bout with homelessness/couch surfing and a summer of travelling around New England and the Midwest, A Brief Intermission is back! And seeing as its a Thursday, I'm coming back with a throwback for ya'll.

It had been a while since I listened to Rumours by Fleetwood Mac and then somewhere on the backroads of Northern Pennsylvania, we popped it on the iPod. Recorded amid personal turmoil, "Dreams" documents Stevie Nicks' tumultuous relationship with guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. The song is based on a dancey drumbeat, ambient instrumentation and beautiful vocal harmonies, especially during the powerhouse chorus.