Tuesday, December 28, 2010 

"That brings up a lot of horrible memories."

If you can watch the first episode of The Maria Bamford Show without wanting to watch more, and if you then don't find yourself wanting to watch all twenty of them, I'm not sure we can be friends. I've rewatched half the series just while making this post. It's caused Bamford to go from a comedian I like to someone who's work I'm planning to follow. I would buy this twice on DVD.

(NB. Some of Bamford's work here strikes me as the closest thing you're going to find to the genius of Allie Brosh, albeit using acting and tone of voice rather than crudely drawn body language.)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 

Those poor kids

So I finally caught five minutes of Glee, a show I had avoided because I find the whole concept and everything else I've seen or heard about it unappealing. I still think the idea is, well, not necessarily awful, but something I'm never going to be interested in. But what I never imagined is that the singing in the wholly unecessary musical sequences (which are, of course, the show's appeal) would be so totally fucking awful. Maybe I caught an especially bad example of the show's weird midpoint between vocal processing and Broadway musical-style singing, but I doubt you could come up with a style that I'd hate more. Every syllable felt like someone was taking a cheese grater made of pure sugar to my eardrums.


And that it's coming at a bad time

I've previously mentioned the wonderful It Gets Better project, and now the New Pornographers have recorded a version of one of my favourite songs of theirs for it. "Adventures in Solitude" means a lot to me, although my relationship to it isn't quite the same as Zach Rosen's. For one thing, being 26 when the song came out means that, while it resonates for me, any really dramatic personal strife is, if not vanished, at least firmly comprehended and under relative control; for another, until stumbling onto this version, it never occurred to me that the song might be referring to suicide. In any case, it's a fantastic version, one that makes clear again just how awesome the band is (especially Kathryn Calder, who, no disrespect to Case and Newman, owns this song). Challengers is still my favourite record by the New Pornographers, by a fair margin, and this song is a significant part of why.

Friday, December 17, 2010 

Checking in

Man, it has been ridiculously busy here recently. I haven't listened to nearly enough music from 2010 to put together a good, thorough list, but I did whip something up for PopMatters anyway, because a lot of what I did hear this year was great. I did two short blurbs for their year-end extravaganza; you can see my #1 single at #52 here and my #1 album at #45 here. Also, while procrastinating at the end of November (although I did write 50,000 words before the deadline, I'm not sure how), I wrote up a few reviews, both of which are now up; a short review of the really excellent new DeepChord Presents Echospace record, and a longer one of the always great Sam Amidon. I'm working on a few other things, but I don't know if I'll get anything up in time for the end of the year. Here's hoping everyone is having or will have good holidays...

Oh, and also, while I don't like casting aspersions on anyone else's list, and of course consensus works the way it works, but any group that relegates Sam Amidon, Perfume Genius, and Swans to its Honorable Mentions page is one I can't really see eye to eye with.

Thursday, December 09, 2010 

Sometimes I hate nerds

I just heard someone comment approvingly, "Pizza Pockets. Old school."

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About me

Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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