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Watching the Mighty Fall

By TK and Felicia | Music | May 18, 2009 |

By TK and Felicia | Music | May 18, 2009 |

chesterfrench.jpgBuzz band Chester French is offering a free downloadable mixtape on their website. Their hope is that people will like the free music and then buy their debut album Love the Future, which was released last month. The mixtape features appearances by Common, Talib Kweli, and Pharrell Williams, who signed Chester French to his label, Star Trak. Their website not only features their digital album for purchase for $7.99 ($6.99 on iTunes), but an “Endurance Package” where Chester French will work out with you while in your town for $250.00 and an “African Safari” package for $75,000.00. It’s not clear whether the fantasy packages are a joke or not, but I doubt the band would balk at anyone legitimately fronting that much cash.


wilco-737987.JPGYou name me another US Senator that pimps Wilco on his website. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Well, Russ Feingold (D-WI) is continuing his “Fein-tunes” series (so much glorious punnery! Well played, Senator), and this time has some lovely things to say about the alt-country boys. I love it.

queen19.jpgPaul Rodgers is leaving Queen after five years as their frontman. The band has always said Paul was never meant to replace the legendary Freddie Mercury, and they have split amicably. Rodgers will be going on a 10-date tour with Bad Company starting on June 17th. They will also be releasing a live concert DVD titled Bad Company - Hard Rock Live on August 8th. As for the future of Queen, Rodgers says he would be open to perform with them down the road should anything come up.

PHAIR-395.jpgOh, Liz Phair. What has happened to you? In addition to being brain-meltingly hot, you used to be the indie rock queen. Young alterna-teen girls worshipped at your feet. And now… you’re putting songs on a compilation CD by… Banana Republic? For real? What’s next, a spot on the Hot Topic tour? You disappoint me, Liz. Though you might still be bringing the hotness, you are decidedly not bringing the coolness here. Oh, and by the way? The song, “Faith and Tenderness,” is… not good.

kajagoogoo_3.jpgKajagoogoo has announced that they are reuniting, 25 years after their split. They have ten dates lined up in the UK starting in Liverpool on September 17. They also have been working on new music. I love 80’s music, but really?? Are there really people out there who were waiting for this?

weilcopaste.jpgPaste Magazine: I’m not one who dabbles over here in the music section much, but this is for a good cause: Paste Magazine may be the best musical periodical around, and one that hasn’t dumbed itself down to appeal to Generation Doucehbag. It still covers the kinds of bands that we many of us love around here: The Decembrists, Band of Horses, Ryan Adams, Elvis Costello, Patty Griffin, and The Weepies — adult alternative music that’s slowly being pushed in to the fringe by the music that Rolling Stone now covers, namely Fall Out Boy and a lot of other bands who deserve to have their necks collectively punched. I’m not a guy who is that sad about the downfall of print journalism, but Paste Magazine is one print publication that deserves to be saved. And it’s facing some huge recessionary difficulties. In fact, after trying a lot of different ways to stay in business, it’s finally decided to swallow its pride and ask its readers for donations. And if you make a donation to Paste, you can get a lot of free music tracks, from a lot of Paste regulars, like The Decemberists, Neko Case, SCowboy Junkies, Indigo Girls, Jayhawks, Josh Rouse, The Hives, Matthew Sweet, and Marc Broussard. So, head on over to Paste, donate, and download some great music. — Dustin Rowles

Here’s your Monday Afternoon Playlist:

Felicia: I have a confession. I like one of the songs in the top ten iTunes downloads of the week, which is normally riddled with hot garbage. “Don’t Trust Me” by 3OH!3 is catchy as hell and I hate myself for liking it. I haven’t heard any other music from them, partly because I’m afraid I would like that too. I’m going to go punch myself in the face now.

Christian: In an emotional state, a song’s poinance can carry your over a threshold that you could not otherwise surmount. I made the mistake of listening to Bright Eyes’ “Lime Tree” on a long drive while buried under a pall of loss. The resulting tears nearly blinded me and caused an accident. I can think of no better (or no more personal) a testament to the sheer power of this song, it’s swell and its intimacy, the pain in the lyrics and the hurt that pierces Conor Oberst’s voice.

TK: I do love me some Dave Chappelle, and I love the music he used to get on his show just as much. His Block Party concert video is absolutely amazing, and part of what makes it so awesome is this track from Common and Erykah Badu, “The Light,” is nothing short of smooth-flowing hip hop nirvana.

Caspar: A friend linked me to a video of Nellie McKay singing ‘Mother of Pearl’, recently - from her album Obligatory Villagers. I love its skipping little cabaret rhythm, and her lazy voice. The song’s lyrics are absolutely biting in their sarcasm; the song starts with the brilliant line ‘Feminists don’t have a sense of humour’, and gets funnier as it goes along. For me this song is inscribed in a great lineage of American satire from Tom Lehrer to Randy Newman.

Chris: The new Canadian duo Thunderheist has a fist-pumping hip-gyrating self-titled debut that’s solid throughout, but the standout, especially since all of us here also love movies, has to be the Spike Lee-inspired “Do the Right Thing”, which is equal parts manic, chill, and relentlessly propulsive. Not only is it wonderful when rhymes on a mic sound hopeful and intelligent, but when they hark back to a time when Lee was a masterful and bold visionary. Before, you know, that white guy Haggis told us what racism was really like.

The number on album on the charts this week is Epiphany by Chrisette Michele, who beat out Ciara, Bob Dylan, Miley Cyrus and Rascall Fucking Flatts, the rest of the top five. Um… who in the donkey-humping hell is Chrisette Michele?

TK and Felicia are here every Monday with music news. Except when one of them is drunk, asleep, or battling ninjas.

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TK Burton is the Editorial Director. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.