We can’t figure out this Lana Del Rey. Is she talented? Seems like it. Is this going to last? What is it that is even lasting? Does using Super 8 in your videos help? Yes, especially in Tumblrs around the world. And all her videos have a sound of a Amy Winehouse, hip-hopish, Serge Gainsbourg, 1950s retro project. And they all use Super 8 footage for the videos.
Even if you don’t like dance music, men in their mid to late 30s creating said dance music, or if you don’t like hipsters, Brooklyn, American Apparel, irony, or dance music being made in Brooklyn by a white man in his mid to late 30s who likes irony, at some point over the past 10 years, James Murphy and LCD Soundsystem has made you move your ass just a bit. And that is all you can ask for, and that is why we are sad to see them go.
Here are some songs we like that LCD Soundsystem leaves behind. —The Citrus Report staff
It is getting to the point of complete chaos in our office. We are so late to the Keyboard Cat, but it doesn’t matter. Put the Keyboard Cat, and you are transported. We are all so duped on the Internet with cats and kitties, but this is worth every second.
JR has become, over the past 5 years, one of the most exciting and intriguing conceptual artists of his generation. Unfairly, the Parisian photographer has been pigeon-holed in the increasingly flexible and liberal category of contemporary “street art,” but was always that this label short-handed JR. Sure the work was seen in the streets of villages, cities, and towns across the world, some of his best work being in the places not found in your typical travel guide. His art is about engagement, not just with the physical surroundings but the social engagement of the people that live in the neighborhoods he presents his work. JR lives in the towns, interacts with the residents, develops relationships and creates a body of work that is unique and appropriate to what really happens in these areas. Its not one night and work. This is full-on interactive, political, and humanitarian art.
We look at some of JR’s great work here, from Face2Face, to Women, to Portrait d’une Génération. The $100,000 TED prize is in good hands. —The Citrus Report staff
There has always been that something with The Walkmen. The vintage instruments and rough mixes that make each album sound like relics from decades past has been a something. The Louisiana by way of the Lower East Side sound is another something. “The Rat,” “Wake Up,” “In The New Year,” and “Louisiana” are the other somethings, the big songs that have trademarked each past album.
What we have been most impressed with The Walkmen over the past decade, post-Jonathan Fire*Eater and Recoys, is that the sound of the band have been tinkered so that any semblance of post-punk has been completely dislodged from their repertoire, and a new sound that is completely original has begun to surface. Sure, Hamilton Leithauser vocals have channeled a bit of Dylan over the past 3 albums, but we may actually be hearing the way he naturally is supposed to sounds as opposed to retreading classic American albums of past. Now tracks on Lisbon, like “Stranded” or “All My Great Designs” (with Beatle-esque backing harmonies) sound like nothing else being done in other contemporary bands. The music is romantic, longing, lush, and warm. “Victory” has the trademark building drum line that has made the band stand out in previous efforts, but Leithauser vocals strain and power to levels that seem not pushing, but engaging. This suits the band quite well.
Lisbon, after a few listens, has become to us one of the most solid albums of the year. As a full body of work, this could be the most impressive album in the bands’ career. Although lacking in the power song like “Rat” or “New Year,” the band makes up for it with 11 cohesive moments.
Fast Company writes, “The footage, all of which was shot on Saturday, July 24th, comes from 197 countries and is in 45 languages, and totals over 80,000 separate videos. And today, you can get a feel for the huge task in front of Scott and MacDonald, because Google just put all the videos online.” So there you go. We like a little pointless ambition in this world, and YouTube and Ridley Scott just helped us out.
Everyone is curious how Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant are going to pull off “The Office” China-version. The Guardian writes, “Given that media outlets in China operate under tight state control, the level of Gervais and Merchant’s involvement could be smaller than that it has been in other incarnations, although one suspects David Brent’s broad alignment with the philosophy of 90s pop artist Des’ree – “Money don’t make my world go round, I’m reaching out to a higher ground” – would fit fairly well with the convictions of the Central People’s Government.”
In other wonderful Gervais news, he, Merchant and lovable Karl Pilkington are currently working on a series called “An Idiot Abroad,” which sees “the hapless former radio producer and alleged possessor of a notably spherical head sent around the globe in a bid to broaden his mind.”
Regardless of your feelings about suburbia and the offensive nature of the words “the suburbs,” placed next to each other in a sentence has come to symbolize, we can’t help but feel nostalgia when we think of growing up amongst the “mountains beyond mountains” of track homes, golf courses, and short white tennis shorts on Saturday mornings. Nostalgia doesn’t neccesarily mean we want to go back to high school, or play football in our neighborhood cul-de-sac, and try and find some culture in the nearest “big” city before curfew drew us back to the perfectly hand-pressed lawns and gardens.
Memories of trying to discover culture, art, and new THINGS that were deemed foreign is a feeling that is hard to recreate, and that is where we are coming from here. When you grow up in the suburbs, or at least the particular suburb we grew up in, life was easy, but not always illuminating. You had to go discover real moments of culture, you had to seek out danger, you had to get in that car and try and find that used book written by an obscure European writer, album by that British band, or to find a less homogeneous group of people. It was thrilling to leave the suburbs, and then to come back and compare it to your situation. It was how you grew up, stayed sane, and had memories you cherish today. You remember being 18 and hungover on a Sunday morning listening to “Pet Sounds,” or getting high and driving for hours and hours listening to that one album that “changed” your perspective. Getting over it all was part of why you remember it.
That is where we are at with the Arcade Fire’s 3rd LP, The Suburbs. Kids who live there now, or even grown-ups who grew up in the suburbs, only to move to the city for a few years and move back to that comfort, probably won’t get that visceral feeling listening to this. This is the music that stands outside of being in your childhood, outside of the actual suburbs, of looking back at any particular memory. Its the music that surrounds the feeling of being nostalgic for something you didn’t actually like, the soundtrack of good moments that can only be written in hindsight.
A lot of people will say that this album is melodramatic and simplistic toward suburban life, and that the thoughts and emotions evoked are retreads of previous films, music, and art. But we don’t this is a political statement per se, rather a recreation of a past written by people who no longer live, or will ever live, in the suburbs again. It is like saying an ultimate goodbye to an entire generation of suburban kids who either decide to move back or leave it all behind. The Arcade Fire seem to be saying, this made us who we are, these feelings led us to create the art we created, it isn’t bad, it isn’t good, lessons were learned, some of those times were so simple and great, and some of those memories hurt to this day. And we think most of us can relate.
The highlights? “Ready to Start” and “Sprawl Ii (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” stood out for us initially, but now most of the album has seeped in on our 5th listen. “Modern Man,” “Empty Room,” and “Half Light Ii (No Celebration)” have grown on us, and a lot of the songs just sort of pass, almost intentionally… as if looking out the back of your parents car on a Sunday drive to your aunt and uncles house. You remember the signs, each house, but you don’t ever want to stop and take it all in.
We feel like a lot of people will give this album an A+, and give Arcade Fire keys to indie kingdom. That seems appropriate on some level, but more so, we think this is an interesting concept album in a world of non-albums. Only a few bands can do that in this day and age, make you stop and listen to 16 (!) songs in order, start to finish, and actually think about intentions. And if that is Arcade Fire’s lasting legacy, then that is enough to look forward to album #4.