October 26, 2007 |
Most music-world biopics aim to mythologize their subject - the tormented artist with humble roots who rises to greatness, captures the hearts and wallets of millions, and then dies in some terrible plane-crash/ drug-overdose/freak-accident-with-a-garden-gnome way. Control , Anton Corbijn's terrific film about Ian Curtis, lead singer of the '70s U.K. band Joy Division, will have none of that. Shot in wide-screen black and white (the Dutch-born Corbijn is a photographer making his directing debut)
March 7, 1996 |
When the Velvet Underground was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in January, music fans couldn't help but think back to the joke Brian Eno once cracked that spoke heaps about the impact of the '60s band. Eno, the Roxy Music keyboardist turned solo artist and producer, years ago quipped that only a few thousand people actually bought the Velvet Underground's debut album, "The Velvet Underground and Nico" - and every last one of 'em formed their own band. The truth is that the Velvet Underground had an almost immeasurable influence on generations that followed.
July 27, 2013
Miranda Lambert The quality of Miranda Lambert's songwriting hasn't quite kept up with the former Nashville Star contestant's rise in the country music power rankings. But while the best albums by Blake Shelton's better half are still the all-fired-up Kerosene (2005) and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2007), the tough-talking twangy Texan still outclasses the vast majority of her Music City competition. And her Pistol Annies side project, with Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley, has produced one pretty great CD (2011's Hell on Heels )
June 14, 2001 |
THE EIGHTH ANNUAL Philadelphia Music Conference kicks off this week, and it's still frustratingly sprawling for any average music fan. But here are a few highlights: Somewhere between The Jesus Lizard and Joy Division is Stendhal (9 tonight, The Balcony, 10th and Arch streets, 215-922-LIVE, $7). For power-pop fans, there's The Churchills (9:30 tonight, Grape Street Pub, 107 Grape St., 215-483-7084) and The Acme Rock Group (10:45 p.m. Saturday, Fergie's, 1214 Sansom St., 215-928-8118)
April 3, 2006 |
Justin Warfield sat on the fringe of the music business for 15 years - a hippie-hop rapper doing a not-so-bad imitation of De La Soul, a post-psychedelic rocker doing a not-so-good imitation of someone with talent, a DJ. Yet, it's through She Wants Revenge - his teaming with DJ Adam Bravin - that Warfield found a new wave-ish niche to pack TLA on Friday night. In name, sound and lyrics, the onstage quartet is but a tribute to the decadent doom of Joy Division: its ominous, bass-plucked repetition; its haunted, hollow-voiced singer, the late Ian Curtis; and Curtis' wallowing obtuse lyrics.
July 31, 2006 |
How do you know a band or record is of the moment - trendy, even necessary - apart from it selling millions of CDs and downloads? If it seems as though every bar and store plays and displays it. You can still see The Buena Vista Social Club and Beck's Odelay years after their prominent position at Urban Outfitters' register - a trick of retinal retention, surely. This summer it's the black-and-gray cover (and the matching dour sound) of Back Room from the British quartet Editors that's so ubiquitous - and that undoubtedly translated into a sold-out TLA Saturday night.
July 24, 1991 |
It doesn't take a visionary to recognize that successful rock and roll often has its roots planted in the dance floor. Sisters of Mercy has capitalized on the dance beat for more than a decade. In the early '80s, the English band created guitar-based dance music for fans who wouldn't be caught dead in a disco. Products of the post-punk revolution, the Sisters have dabbled in a number of sounds - from the stripped-down gloom of Joy Division to the metal-gloss of Billy Idol.
May 25, 1996 |
Girls Against Boys has the makings of a great band. The Chicago punk-noir quartet's blistering set at the Trocadero on Wednesday demonstrated more presence than many other recent major-label signings. (The band's next effort will have a home at DGC). The boys of Girls Against Boys (or its hip abbreviation GVSB) are the masters of mood, savoring each moment with a tension that's just as monumental as its inevitable release. Starting the show with "Tucked In," from 1994's Cruise Yourself, guitarist Scott McCloud wrapped his woozy, weary vocals around otherwise ordinary lyrics such as "Is everybody tucked in," making them seem like an invitation to stay out all night.
October 26, 2007 |
Most music-world biopics aim to mythologize their subject - the tormented artist with humble roots who rises to greatness, captures the hearts and wallets of millions, and then dies in some terrible plane-crash/drug-overdose/freak-accident-with-a-garden-gnome way. Control, Anton Corbijn's terrific film about Ian Curtis, lead singer of the '70s U.K. band Joy Division, will have none of that. Shot in wide-screen black and white (the Dutch-born Corbijn is a photographer making his directing debut)
August 16, 2002 |
It might help to know New Order, to have heard "Love Will Tear Us Apart," and, yes, to be familiar with the legend of Icarus - the wax-winged dude who flew to close too the sun, etc., etc. But I'm betting that even folks who entirely missed the Manchester (England) music scene of the late '70s and '80s, the birth of Factory Records and Joy Division and the band of drugged-up loons known as the Happy Mondays, will get more than a little satisfaction out of 24 Hour Party People - director Michael Winterbottom's ingenious salute to one of those pop-cult Moments when music, fashion, philosophy and questionable hairstyles all coalesce in one dizzying, euphoric whoosh.