Author: Bret Gladstone

  • The White Stripes Documentary Under the Great White Northern Lights Is Very, Very Good

    Emmett Malloy’s White Stripes documentary, Under the Great White Northern Lights, premiered this past weekend at the Toronto Film Festival, where Jack White pulled a Kanye. Wider release dates are still unannounced, but we had a chance to screen the film last week in New York. There always seems to be little bit of Bob […]

  • The Avett Brothers Mix Maudlin Sentiment with Punk Ferocity

    Last year, I read this article in Mental Floss called “The Sine Wave of Funny.” It argued that awkward jokes that aren’t particularly amusing at first can suddenly become hilarious upon aggressive repetition, then not so funny, then twice as funny as they were before, etc., following a pattern mirroring, well, a sine curve. If […]

  • Interview: The Tallest Man on Earth Is Kind of Short, Wants to Collaborate With Feist

    “Singing all about [yourself] isn’t all that interesting–I don’t want to just do that. It’s not very fun, and it may be dishonest.” The Tallest Man on Earth is about five-foot-nine. Maybe; wearing the right shoes. Narrowly built, spindly legged, and quietly spoken, the loftiest thing about him is actually his haircut, a swept-way-up look […]

  • Albert Hammond Jr.’s Bono-Quality Spanish Is Back

    If you’re even moderately cynical, the blueprint to Albert Hammond Jr.’s music is rife with red flags: the affinity for ’70s pop clichés, the certain cellophane sheen, the saccharine lyrics, the Bono-quality Spanish. And, of course, the ever-looming specter of his “other” band, which is especially hard to avoid when your songs are chock-full of […]

  • Thoughts on Pearl Jam at Madison Square Garden Last Night

    Pearl Jam Madison Square Garden Wednesday, June 25 I was born in 1982. Not exactly a watershed year in American history, but notable in that when I became sentient enough to be an actual music “consumer,” a band called Pearl Jam released an earth-shaking breakthrough album Ten. Predictably, that record was enormously important to me […]

  • Live: Cat Power at Terminal 5

    photo from last night by Ryan Dombal Cat Power Terminal 5 Wednesday, February 6 Here’s an interesting question that rock and roll implicitly asks all the time but never gets answered: What happens when the things that make artists resonate are inextricably bound to the things that make them miserable human beings? And what kind […]

  • Brightening the Brilliant Corners

    Here’s Marco Benevento at Sullivan Hall, pumping his fists and grinning while he watches a slightly pixilated version of himself dancing to his song, “The Real Morning Party,” in the modest kitchen of his Brooklyn apartment, ratty bathrobe and all. The video is blaring on a small projection screen in the corner of the club, […]

  • Radiohead’s In Rainbows [Disc 2]

    Of all the idiosyncracies that make Radiohead a different breed of rock band, the most modern is their insistence on miring our enjoyment of their music in the marketplace, constantly reminding us that it’s still a product. “Buyer Beware,” as the embedded adage goes, and we still buy, even when, in the case of In […]

  • Sigur Rós’s Hvarf/Heim

    Over the past decade, Icelandic musicians have proven they’re amazing at doing essentially the same two things early bluesmen mastered: religiously honing their idiosyncratic voices, and playing up our relative lack of knowledge about place and identity to conflate their music into something more mythical than it actually is. By all sonic appearances (Björk, Múm, […]

  • Running with the Bullshit

    Caleb Followill claimed he could kick my ass. Specifically, he sang, “You talkin’ bout my baby/I could flip you upside down and I could mop this place.” This seemed highly doubtful. After all, Caleb was wearing what appeared to be women’s jeans and a vest with nothing underneath it. Then again, Kings of Leon have […]