Author: David Medsker

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Song of the Day: Home Video, “Forget”

Marshall Crenshaw told us that every musician has an internal clock that tells them when it’s time to make a new record. For the New York electronic duo Home Video, their clock is clearly set to four years, because their (fabulous) sophomore album The Automatic Process was released four years after their debut No Certain Night or Morning, and here we are four years later, and the band is about to release their third album, Here in Weightless Fall. The band’s love for atmospherics and slow buildups remains, but for the lead single “Forget,” they work in a dash of melancholia, and the end result is audio catnip. Some bands don’t like this word – though we’re not sure why – but “Forget” is arguably the most accessible song the band has ever done. Armed with a pulsing drum track, sparse percussion, and that minor key melody, “Forget” is the kind of song that will cause people to do anything but. Get on the bandwagon now while there’s still room.

Art Decade Band

CD Review: Art Decade, “Art Decade”

If there is a universal truth among people who dedicate their lives to music, either the creation of it or the consumption it, it is that each generation bemoans the slow but gradual decline in the art of songwriting. Perhaps the greatest declaration of this took place during the 2007 World Series of Pop Culture on VH-1. Two groups of trivia buffs, people who had dedicated their lives to knowing everything worth knowing about pop culture, were asked to guess the name of a hit from 2006 (the previous year, mind you), when given a piece of the lyrics. Neither team got a single one right. Finally, one of the contestants said to the host, “I don’t mean to sound like an old fogey, but today’s songs are terrible!” The crowd erupted into applause, and curiously, there was no 2008 World Series of Pop Culture. All of this is a (very) roundabout way of saying that when it comes to songwriting, Art Decade do not share the standards of their peers. (Clue #1 to the …


Duran Duran: “A Diamond in the Mind” DVD

It’s strange to see Duran Duran churning out live videos every other album like some New Romantic version of the Dave Matthews Band, but at the same time, it makes perfect sense. They’re coming off their best reviews since 1982 with last year’s All You Need Is Now, and when the new songs are mixed in with the old ones, it would be difficult for someone unfamiliar with the band to know which songs came from which period. (They also stand to make more money from DVDs such as this now that they are their own bosses, but that is another story for another day.) The video they assembled from the Astronaut tour was very good, but with “A Diamond in the Mind,” Duran Duran are riding on momentum rather than the nostalgia that dominated the Astronaut tour, and that has to be a good feeling. It certainly looks like it feels good. What this set means for collectors is yes, you get yet another version of “Rio,” “Hungry Like the Wolf,” “Notorious,” “The Reflex,” …

Popdose Flashback ’91: Squeeze, “Play”

This album, for all intents and purposes, saved my life.

Here’s the back story: I had just graduated from college in the summer of 1991, I was in Connecticut. Girlfriend was in Ohio. I packed up everything I had and boarded a train to move to Ohio to be with her. But she was under tremendous pressure from her parents to break it off, and by the time I arrived, their smear campaign was clearly working. I rarely saw her, even though we worked in the same mall. I got a job at a record store, and one of the promo CDs that had just arrived was Squeeze’s new album Play. I had always liked the band but never bought any of their records. However, the local modern rock station (97X, holler) was giving it some support, so after hearing a couple songs I liked, I took it home with me and played it in the car of my friend Ed, who’s the only person I know who likes Squeeze more than I do. I vented all of my frustrations to him about the ridiculous predicament I put myself in as we blasted “House of Love,” because damn it, I was living that song. She was full of lies and boredom, a very acidic tongue waggled in her head, we seemed the best of friends, life had just begun…but on the roof a tile began to slip. The house of love caved in, and that was it. Fuck.

Popdose Flashback ’91: Joe Jackson, “Laughter & Lust”

Or, to borrow an album title from the Judybats, Pain Makes You Beautiful. In 1990, Joe Jackson had just signed a spiffy new deal with Virgin Records after spending 10 years and 11 albums under A&M. Many bands use the first album with a new label as an opportunity to make a fresh start and try new things (or, perhaps, sell out). Heart, for example, became a completely different band once they signed with Capitol, as did the Cure when they inked with Elektra. Heck, when Adam Ant signed with Capitol, he made an acoustic pop record. Jackson, however, had no interest in changing, diminishing returns be damned. In fact, Laughter & Lust is basically a stripped down version of its predecessor, Blaze of Glory (1989), with a recurring lyrical theme: The Bitch Broke My Heart. The first third of Laughter & Lust is, for the most part, drama-free, and shows off Jackson’s ever-sardonic sense of humor. “The Obvious Song” is a driving, ‘Wake up, world!’ rant, and the video he shot for it, featuring …