Ten Second News

Drones!

FRIDAY NIGHT VIDEOS! No, not THAT kind of drone…the OTHER kind. I hope it’s not sexist to say that Stereolab singer Laetitia Sadier, in their “Jenny Ondioline” video, is one of the most sensually-beautiful women I have ever seen in my life.

Flashback!

Anybody remember MTV’s Amp? It was a mid-nineties late-night program with no VJ’s, focused on electronic music. They would “mix” or blend the videos in a fashion similar to a DJ mixing tracks. It was pretty cool. Unfortunately, there appear to be no good-quality examples of it on YouTube, so you are stuck with DJ Glyph, selecting some favorite tracks from the era. With the benefit of hindsight, we can go all-killer, no-filler. Reminisce with me if you remember these; […]

Intellectual Art, Popular Media, and Getting Away from Aesthetic Subjectivity

In the May 2012 issue of the Atlantic, writer Taylor Clark has an excellent profile of videogame developer Jonathan Blow. He’s misanthropic, severely thoughtful, and somewhat abrasive. But he’s also a brilliant creator and a near perfect example of what Clark thinks the medium needs more of: developers willing to make smart videogames. Because for Clark the…

A New Ending Couldn’t Destroy Mass Effect’s Artistic Integrity

[Note: This is a companion piece to something I wrote earlier this week on the same subject but from a different point of view.  In addition, while there are no spoilers per say, the way I talk about and characterize Mass Effect 3’s ending in the abstract might make it better for people who want to approach…

Country Music and the Culture War

This was brought up in an earlier thread, but Will Wilkinson’s post on country music is worth a closer look. Wilkinson listens to country music in his car – sometimes I do, too. Sometimes I also listen to conservative talk radio in my car, but unlike country music I find very few redeeming qualities in…

A song for Thursday

I’ve probably posted this before but it’s just such a great song. The Once and Future Carpenter, by the Avett Brothers I’m such a dork, I asked Lyle Lovett what he thought of the Avett Brothers because something about how really sincere and friendly those guys are really reminded me of Lovett. He told me he…

“The Harrow and the Harvest”: Weep No More My Lady

(I’m writing about Gillian Welch’s The Harrow and the Harvest until I feel like stopping.  But really, you should listen to the music more than you should pay attention to me.) Bob Dylan isn’t the only thematic influence on The Harrow and the Harvest: “Hard Times” riffs on the songs and world of Stephen Foster, re-imagined a century and…

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

I’m hard pressed to pick a favorite Christmas song, but O Come, O Come, Emmanuel is way up there. A close second is Silent Night, which my three-year-old calls Silent Goodnight and sings along with me many nights. Then again, I’m a terrible Christmas carol fanatic. I’m the guy who starts listening to them after…

Little Match Girl Passion.

What I like most about the An die Musik performance space in Baltimore is the low stage, which to me represents the basic spirit of the place. It’s no more than two feet high, and it extends wall-to-wall across the full forty-or-so foot width of the yellow room. There’s no curtain, for this stage is…

Ludwig und Yeezy.

I’m at my desk listening to the new Kanye West album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. I’m not going to argue with the pop critic consensus: it’s good. When the staff of the music review website Pitchfork named rap duo Outkast’s “B.O.B.” the best track of the last decade, they praised the song for its…

Bloodbuzz Ohio

I was remiss in my last music post. Several readers pointed out that The National’s Bloodbuzz Ohio is an excellent tune and should have been included. Well here it is: Some great lyrics in this one. I was carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees. And if you missed it, this now-aging but still-worth-the-read…

Friday Night Jukebox – Lissie

I haven’t bought Lissie’s album yet, but I’m going to do it soon. She’s got a ton of promise; specifically, a voice like a damn rocket. I know these videos have been floating around for a while, but the League has never claimed to be a cutting-edge music blog. Enjoy. She does nice cover songs…

Hurting the musicians.

If you like music, this is really important. The architecture of online music distribution has been amazing for the consumer. With iTunes or Pandora or eMusic, the savvy listener can get just about whatever she wants whenever she wants it, and for cheap. Of course, the problem of piracy was killing off the record labels,…

Essential Albums of the 1980s

Noted Creed apologist Joe Carter has assembled a list of the 80s’ essential but-not-too-obvious albums.  I missed out on the decade, but I’ll go ahead and nominate The Replacements’ back catalog, The Cure’s “Disintegration,” The Pogues’ “Rum, Sodomy and the Lash,” and maybe a Tom Waits album or two.