Stones Throw Records Tells Its Story in New Doc Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton

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That thing where one extreme is so extreme it fully transcends to the opposite end of the spectrum. Hip-hop heavyweight Stones Throw Records is so painfully nerdy, the hard plastic lattice of back-, back-room crates comprises its backbone. Its earnest ambition erupts so untarnished the label warps itself into the audio equivalent of the iron-livered dude with perfect hair who never looks dumb in his leather jacket.

Filmmaker Jeff Broadway scraps and stitches together the label's winding, often dark history in Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton: This Is Stones Throw Records. The documentary pays close attention to label head Peanut Butter Wolf (Chris Manak, pictured above), the mysterious, brilliant dude behind the movement -- and all those stacks on stacks on stacks of wax.

See also: MUST OWN: The Jesus Lizard Book

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Rock-Critic Pop Quiz: How Many Members Of Odd Future Do You Know?

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Our panel of music experts has proven themselves less-than-expert on any number of legendary subjects--Metallica, The Clash, Boyz II Men, pretty much anything that doesn't have a Lindsey Buckingham guitar solo in it. So we thought we'd test their knowledge about current events. You can't click on any piece of rock criticism this month without seeing the words "Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All." (Seriously, even the NPR review of the Paul Simon record might have stuck in the phrase "totally fucking swag.") There's a lot of chatter about these skateboarding, shouting, swearing, slur-tossing, syllable-flipping, stage-diving sociopaths--but do we really know who they're talking about? We asked 15 music critics:

How many of the 11 members of Odd Future can you name?


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Tyler, The Creator Gets Pinched: Real Or Amusing PR Stunt?

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Via @FuckTyler, less than three hours before his last-minute Goblin-release day show, with accompanying arrest photo (posted below). PR move or legit arrest? Read Eric Harvey's piece on Goblin while the Internet waits to find out.

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Earl Sweatshirt Has Been Found! ...Maybe?

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The sleuths over at Complex claim to have found Earl Sweatshirt, Odd Future's most elusive member. By employing investigative tactics that involve lots of Facebook browsing, the magazine has deduced that Earl is (or was at some point) in Samoa, at a program for at-risk teenage boys called Coral Reef Academy. While the article admits that his current whereabouts are unknown (they suspect that he could already be back in L.A.), this is still a bit of a Holy Grail for OFWGKTA fans who have been chanting "FREE EARL" for the better part of a year.

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Run For The Hills: Odd Future Are Playing Highline Ballroom In May

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Swag?

The much-blogged-about outfit Odd Future, a.k.a. OFWGKTA, its bringing its live show to the East Coast this May, as announced today via official Tumblr. The collective's NYC stop will be at Highline Ballroom on Friday, May 13 (appropriate); tickets went on sale earlier today and are already sold out. The mind begins to wander when thinking of what people will do in order to score entry to the show (non-money-exchange division). Eat a roach? Go up to Tyler and call his music "horrorcore"?

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Yes, There Is a New "Hole" Record and If You're Willing to Splurge, It Comes With Make-Up!

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A Parental-Advisory sticker and everything

Perhaps the strangest thing about the new Hole record is how few of you seem to realize there is a new Hole record. There is, it's named Nobody's Daughter, and two far-better-than-you-think singles from the 11-track album are streaming over at the band's MySpace page. Pre-orders for the April 27th release became available yesterday, and if there's any doubt that everybody involved desperately needs the past to sell the present, the band's logo has returned to its Live Through This-era font, three of the pre-sale packages offer a Nobody's Daughter sash, and if you're still somehow wearing stonewashed jean jackets with iron-on decals, the $149.99 package offers a super-cool Hole patch. An alternate luxury fan pack, likely targeted at women, trannies, and drag queens, offers three variations of Love-endorsed make-up with a Happy-Meal-like disclaimer: "If you purchase Package 3 with Makeup you will receive either 1 piece of Illasmasqua makeup, a pencil, lipstick, or liquid metal eye shadow." Personalized instructions on how to use it are here; we will not resort to any other punchlines, so stop looking for one. Update: More tickets for Hole's two Terminal 5 shows released today over here.

Photos: "Adidas Originals House Party" with Adrian Grenier, Phenomenal Handclap Band


"I was in Williamsburg before Williamsburg was Williamsburg"

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An external of the warehouse

Adidas Originals House Party
Phenomenal Handclap Band
Thursday, November 20
photos by Rebecca Smeyne

Adrian Grenier--Mr. "I was in Williamsburg before Williamsburg was Williamsburg"-- was in Williamsburg (North 10th and Wythe, specifically) last night (after Williamsburg was Williamsburg) for the "Adidas Originals House Party." It was the brand's 60th anniversary, and as our photog reports back, " and the entire front of a warehouse building was draped with a print of a giant cartoon house.Inside there were two levels, both big open spaces, with set-like rooms and vintage furnishings--a kitchen, living room, dining rooms, with free fried chicken, mac n' cheese, pizza, beer and champagne all night, and it never ran out--and no lines!" Also, the Phenomenal Handclap Band played and Touch of Class DJ'd. Booze, videogames, sneakers: industries that will remain unscathed by this uglier-by-the-minute recession.

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The Saddest Little Storefront Display in the East Village

Categories: Swag

Shirts on sale for $9.95.

Joey Ramone Action Figure: Better Than Marky Ramone Condoms

Categories: Swag

Hugs and Kisses #27: Books by Dean Wareham and Laurie Lindeen

Another episode of Hugs and Kisses, a weekly Sound of the City column from Everett True, author of Nirvana: The Biography (da Capo Press) and publisher of Plan B Magazine. Last week, he informed us about Michael Dracula, a woman living in Scotland making heavy-lidded cabaret. This week, he writes about musicians' memoirs in which he is specifically mentioned, namely Dean Wareham's Black Postcards and Laurie Lindeen’s Petal Pusher. Find out how you can send him review copies of memoirs in which he is not mentioned by clicking everett@planbmag.com.


Hugs and Kisses

The Continuing Outbursts of Everett True

This week: Indie-rock lit

I’ve been reading.

Usually, I favour Jean Rhys or Mark Twain or Walter Moseley or William Saroyan (or, of course, Richard Brautigan) but just lately some old musician friends have taken it upon themselves to document their past careers and it seemed only just that I, as someone formerly paid to document same, should have a peek. First came Scarce bassist Joyce Raskin’s raw and painful exorcism Aching To Be, brief and brutally frank—her band’s career in a microcosm. That impressed me; so when a former Seattle intern emailed me to let me know she’d been reading about me in another former acquaintance’s memoirs (Zuzu’s Petals singer Laurie Lindeen’s ‘Rock And Roll Cinderella Story’ Petal Pusher—I feature as a dorky, over-enthusiastic journalist fan with greying temples and an 18-year-old Courtney Love look-alike girlfriend) I thought I should check it out. Hey! Maybe musicians do have some brains after all.

First, though, Dean Wareham (formerly of Galaxie 500 and cult NYC band Luna) contacted me to ask if I’d like an advance copy of his book, Black Postcards (‘Unreleased B-sides and Notes From The Road’)—and seeing as how I make an entry there as a friendly critic who carries his slippers everywhere he goes (including an illicit train ride), I thought it couldn’t hurt. How wrong I was! Damn, Dean’s book is depressing. Damn, it made me feel so crap inside and for him and for every indie band-on-the-verge-of-breaking-big-but-never-quite-making-it-big and his band-mates and girlfriends and kid and music. There’s a sequence in the book where Dean meticulously lists every last overspent moment wasted away at Pachyderm Studios (famously, where Nirvana recorded In Utero with Steve Albini; coincidentally where Zuzu’s Petals recorded their second, ill-fated album The Music Of Your Life), including a guitar solo that costs $10,000 to record and fucking around with toy drums and playing Scrabble, instead of, um, recording. Don’t get me wrong—I love Dean, both as a person and a musician—but reading that, I’m like, “Dude. Stop right there. You’ve just nailed exactly why Luna—fine as they could be—could never hope to approximate Galaxie 500’s instinctual magic.” (Plus, they never recorded with Kramer.)

Elsewhere, the book’s plain weird: the first quarter reads like an extended apology to his former bandmates in Galaxie 500, Damon and Naomi, for not offering a reason why he left the band. The first two Luna albums are dismissed in as many lines. Wareham details sordid events—premature ejaculation with a prostitute in Europe—best left un-detailed, and delights in documenting the humdrum of touring. He is pretty fucking harsh on himself when it comes to his divorce. He is pretty fucking harsh on himself, full stop. Often, you’re like, “Dean! Quit it! If you don’t like the way you’re behaving, don’t behave like it! You’re a sensitive, intelligent person—get over it.” Yet, despite—or perhaps because of—all that, Black Postcards is a riveting, chilling read: a cautionary tale for anyone thinking of starting an old-school indie rock band, shot through with regret, desire and longing. There. That’s my pull quote for the dust jacket. Can I go now?

Lindeen’s Petal Pusher is way more upbeat—especially once you get past the startling revelation that Lindeen has multiple sclerosis, something she never revealed at the time—and yet still weirdly self-loathing in places (especially when it comes to the second album). It’s written brilliantly. Don’t doubt that for one moment. Lindeen has a Masters in Creative Writing—and it shows, the way she so fluently brings her upbringing and parents’ divorce and famous boyfriend/husband into the story, her droll way round an anecdote. Zuzu’s Petals never vaguely made it big—their debut album When No One’s Looking sold 28,000 copies, a lot for a classical artist, but not so much in the euphoric post-Nevermind indie rock world—and sometimes you get the impression (not entirely shaken by reading this book) that the Minneapolis band got as far as they did through their tremendous networking skills (something Lindeen disingenuously refers to in passing), force of personality and cheek alone. Hell, that still means they had more going for them than 98% of bands (I’m still smarting from being outed as a dork, can’t you tell?!)…and that ‘Johanne’ song of Lindeen’s really was something special.

On reflection, their main failing seemed to be the fact they were an all-female trio from Minneapolis who didn’t sound like Babes In Toyland. Not really a failing when you think on it, but sadly yes, the music industry really can be that shallow. Petal Pusher is a terrific piece of writing, nonetheless: and it also contains one of the most acerbic, brilliantly cruel pieces of local music criticism (a review of Zuzu’s Petals’ second album in City Pages) that it’s been my horrified delight to read.

HUGS AND KISSES TOP 5

Everett's current favourite listens

1. Charles Wright And The Watts 103rd Street Band, “Express Yourself II” (taken from the Rhino album You’re So Beautiful) A revelation for me: the sweetness and fire of Otis Redding’s Muscle Shoals sessions matched to the sass and grind of early Sly.

2. The Long Blondes, “Too Clever By Half” (from the forthcoming Rough Trade album Couples). The exact point where the former Pulp acolytes (still brilliant) turn into shimmering Blondie (‘Atomic’-era) pop stars (absolutely brilliant).

3. Amy Winehouse, “Me And Mr Jones” (from Back To Black). “What kind of fuckery is this/You made me miss the Slick Rick gig.” Um, I’ve never even heard Slick Rick but somehow this sentence says it all.

4. Snöleoparden, “Hodja Fra Pjort” (taken from the forthcoming Rump album Snöleoparden). From a record full of disarmingly hypnotic child-like patterns and rhythms made by a disarmingly talented dude living in Denmark. Dude’s got in a full-fledged kindergarten choir for this one.

5. Hotpants Romance, “I Don’t Wanna” (from the Big Print album It’s A Heatwave). You seriously gotta love the Riot Grrrl fallout sometimes, especially when it veers into Gravy Train!!!-meets-Ramones fall-on screaming territory.


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