Nuclear War in Song

Tweek is a musical genius (where can I find an MP3?) following in the traditional of Sun Ra Arkestra:

Who were covered by Yo La Tengo, complete with a children’s chorus:

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Buying the Same Thing Twice

It had been a while since I bought a new David Bowie album, but the carefully calculated build up for The Next Day hooked me.  I enjoyed the album because it reminded me of his older classics like Scary Monsters and “Heroes,” which I ended up pulling out and playing more than the new one.

But when it initially came out on March 12, 2013, the 14 track regular edition was not enough for me.  I opted for the 17 track Deluxe Edition instead.  It used to be years, even decades, before bonus tracks turned a regular old album into a “deluxe edition.”  Now they are often released simultaneously with the regular edition.

On November 5, less than eight months later, the album will be expanded yet again as The Next Day Extra.  The first disc repeats the 14 “regular” tracks; the three “deluxe” tracks appear on a second disc along with six new tracks and the “Hello Steve Reich Remix” of “Love Is Lost” by ex-LCD Soundsystem member James Murphy.

The third disc, a DVD, compiles the four videos that promoted the album.  Those videos were quite impressive, directed by famous artists like Floria Sigismondi and Tony Oursler and featuring award-winning actors like Gary Oldman, Marion Cotillard and Tilda Swinton.

Bowie is not alone in supersizing his albums.  Yo La Tengo‘s Fade came out on January 15, 2013.  On November 19, the Deluxe Edition will add 17 tracks to the initial 10.


And I know I will end up buying both to these.   Why do I keep falling for this con?

Maxwell’s, R.I.P.

I have been critical of nostalgia, but there is a difference between being stuck in the past and honoring it.

I just learned that legendary rock club Maxwell’s closed last week.  It was once home to the “Hoboken Sound.”

The Feelies pioneered the sound with their quickly strummed guitar sound that owed a whole lot to the Velvet Underground’s third album:

The dB’s grew out of the Winston-Salem group The Sneakers, but they found a home in the Hoboken scene that revolved around Maxwell’s, and the long gone affiliated record store, Pier Platters.  What the VU was to the Feelies, the Beatles and, especially, early Big Star were to the dB’s (group co-founder Chris Stamey even played with Alex Chilton shortly after he left Big Star):

The Bongos added muted T-Rex glam hooks (even covering “Mambo Sun”) to their strumming guitar:

And The Individuals followed Jonathan Richman’s model of personal stories set to post-VU rock:

The reformed Bongos and Individuals played the last shows at Maxwell’s.

Yo La Tengo carry on the Hoboken tradition:.

Many local rockers joined Yo La Tengo for their annual series of Hanukkah shows at Maxwell’s.

I saw all of these bands, but when they played DC.  I did, however, take one road trip to Maxwell’s (I also visited Pier Platters a number of times).  Bert Queiroz (photographer and onetime member of numerous harDCore punk bands) and I drove up to see Brit band Gallon Drunk on their first US tour.  Bert now lives just across the river from Hoboken (or maybe it’s two rivers, since he lives in Brooklyn).

While putting together this post, I learned that a 1985 TV news documentary of The Hoboken Sound has been dug up.  I’m looking forward to watching it: