Posts Tagged ‘links


International Women’s Day Link Post

If you’ve been here before, you know I read a lot. I guess I average about a book a week, give or take, so that’s about a post here a week.

In the past I’ve done a pretty lousy job on being diverse on here, but in the past couple years, I’ve made an effort to include more, well, anything that isn’t written by a middle-aged white dude. I’d like to think there’s been some success on that front.

Since today is International Women’s Day, I thought I’d dig through the archives here and share some books by female authors I enjoyed and hope you do as well! Consider it part two of a post I did a while ago with a bunch of stuff that wasn’t on this blog (which you can read here).

Continue reading ‘International Women’s Day Link Post’


Links: St. Vincent’s Digital Dystopia

Been wondering what I’ve been up to lately? Well, over at Bearded Gentlemen Music, I’ve got two takes on the new St. Vincent album, St. Vincent. 

The first, and more relevant, is a review of the new album that takes a look at it’s ominous digital landscape. A taste:

The images of St. Vincent a.k.a. Annie Clark on tour, in the video and even on the cover have an odd sci-fi vibe. On the cover, Clark’s seated on a throne in a sparkling, sci-fi dress and a wild hairdo. In the video for “Digital Witness”, she’s stuck in the corner of a futuristic campus where there are no windows and no plant life. And when she’s on stage, she’s playing a black Music Man Albert Lee guitar on a black, atmospheric set, often wearing a black outfit. Everything seems a lot bleaker these days.

The second, which ran about a week before my review, is a more in-depth look at one specific song (Digital Witness) and it’s accompanying video, which I compare to both her old music and to Adam Johnson’s The Orphan Master’s Son. Here’s another taste:

And musically, that’s what’s most striking about “Digital Witness” to me: there’s a utter lack of guitars on the track. Instead, it’s covered in horns and keyboards. While it reminds me a lot of her work with David Byrne, it’s not that far removed from songs like “Marrow” either. And while I can hear a little guitar in the background her playing is never the focus; in fact, after I watched the video a few times, I realized she never touches any instrument in the video.

If you enjoy reading my book stuff, please, check these pieces out!


Elsewhere: Two posts at Bearded Gentlemen Music

This isn’t the only place where I write about music; I’m also featured at Bearded Gentlemen Music. I’ve had two posts go up there in the past week, too.

The first is a look at what happens when a critic’s favourite band grows up and moves on from their classic records. Or, in other words, if the new Pixies EPs were made under a different name, would they still get trashed by Pitchfork? I also review their new EP, EP2, and note that it’s actually a strong four-song collection:

If EP1 was the sound of a band trying new material and seeing what works, EP2 is Pixies more or less going back to what they know best. It reminds me a lot of their last full length, Trompe le Monde and of Black’s first couple solo records. It’s rocks like something from outer space, both with Santiago’s weird guitar effects and Francis’ off-kilter lyrics. And it’s nice to see that when they want to, Santiago and Francis can still grind out guitar riffs, not to mention Lovering’s pounding drumming.

Click here to read my review of EP2!

Secondly, I wrote a longish post about Curtis Mayfield’s soundtrack to the 1972 film Super Fly. Sure, you’ve heard the title track and know it’s a landmark of 70s funk. But take another listen: it’s not just a funky listen, it’s a fascinating counter to the movie’s glamorization of the drug trade and a reaction to albums by Isaac Hayes and Sly Stone. To wit:

The opening notes of “Wild Child Running Wild” set the scene: scorching guitars and pounding drums echo Isaac Hayes’ soundtrack to Shaft, but immediately, Mayfield refuses to glamorize anything, singing about an unwanted child, a broken home and the mayor who doesn’t breath “our polluted air.” On “Pusherman”, he assumes the role of dealer-as-a-businessman (“For a generous fee / Make your world what you want it to be”), showing how it’s not far removed from other sales gigs.

Click here to read my post about Curtis Mayfield!


Our favorite online reads of 2011

Us here at Extended Play HQ have diligently spent the year reading, marking down our favorite online reading, in anticipation of this, our second annual Best Online Reads post. The rules to qualify were simple: if we read it and liked it, we saved it to a folder called ‘best online writing’. Then, at year’s end, we dug through all the posts and chose our favorites of our favorites. There wasn’t any rules about length or topics or form, although we’ll be the first to admit we skimped on the fiction this year.

Anyway, here’s the list, complete with explanations why we liked the post. Take that longreads! Continue reading ‘Our favorite online reads of 2011’