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Big Takeover #85 - Vivian Girls
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Jack Rose, 1971-2009

7 December 2009

Jack, you left this world far too early.

Found Music in Newfoundland

4 September 2009

A trip up north goes far in introducing new music.

Telepathe: A Different Sort of Minimal Synth

5 August 2009

A colorful Brooklyn duo with equal parts hip hop and synthpop apparent in their spartan beats are still very much of the moniker, ‘minimal synth’.

Her Virgins

10 July 2009

For an ambitious, up-and-coming outfit, New York City’s Her Virgins are a typical anomaly, fusing dark pop with a glam aesthetic that runs the gamut from Clockwork Orange to rivethead chic.

Remembering the Greatest Speech in Baseball History

4 July 2009

“Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth.”

Slanted & Enchanted: Not The Album But The Book(Exclusive Video Interview with author Kaya Oakes))

10 June 2009

So Slanted & Enchanted is not exactly “A tragedy of epic proportions!” More of a problem comedy—too realistic to offer the patriarchal cathartic moneyshot. Or, as Kathleen Hanna puts the wait for the Next Big Indie Thing—“It’s almost like this pregnancy where the baby never gets born. I feel like it’s been as if ‘The baby’s coming! The baby’s coming! And it’s five years later. And the woman weights three hundred pounds…and is not having the kid.”

SanFran Music Tech Summit (May 18, 2009)

22 May 2009

There’s a growing movement to re-establish connections between the fractalized digital technology and the already established local music scenes. There’s many more money making opportunities if these connections are seen more clearly as a two-way street, especially as the recording and distribution industries have made severe cuts in their ‘regional offices’ (or more autonomous locally-run subsidiaries) in recent years.

Three SF Bay Area Radio DeeJays

1 May 2009

I think once having the internet in your car is a normal thing, FM stations will suffer heavily, escpeially if commercial free stations such as Soma FM still exist. I’m pretty sure that college stations will continue to broadcast on line and perhaps having these online station options available in cars will finally pull some of the stranglehold away from Clearchannel….Who knows, it might be just what the music industry needs to recover from this current dire situation it has fallen into.” (Elise Nordling)

The Unheard Recordings by San Francisco's Bomb

5 April 2009

Frontman/bassist Michael W. Dean has made Bomb’s rarest recordings available for free from Bomb’s official website.

Automelodi

4 April 2009

Montreal’s Xavier Paradis may have the French connection, but is actually a forerunner in the distinctly North American movement of minimal synth that has been seething below the surface since the 1990’s.

Food, Inc. (PG)

1 April 2009

Food, Inc. is powerful enough to be to the local/organic/sustainable food movement what An Inconvenient Truth was to concern about global warming.

Something Wicked This Way Comes: New York City’s New Dark Sisterhood

23 March 2009

Destiny, Tamaryn, Zohra, Anastasia: New York City’s rising coven of seductive sirens, ladies of the new church of post-apocalyptic song.

Gold Among the Blogs Part 2: The Cows, The Dicks and Vom

22 March 2009

Joe Stumble’s Last Days of Man on Earth blog contains some real treasures while retaining a respect for the artists and their music.

Happy Birthday Charles Gayle

28 February 2009

Here are six of my favorite Gayle albums. Most are imports, out of print, poorly distributed, or combinations of those states, but a look at Amazon shows that they can be found.

Gold Among the Blogs Part 1: SGM's Aggression

20 January 2009

After 18 years, I’ve finally found the album that changed my concept of music forever.

It's a Dream Come True: Killed By Death Is Online!

21 December 2008

The Nuggets of punk rock is better than ever in its expanded online format.

Exploring the Virtual Realms of Shadowrun and Spaceflight

16 November 2008

Shadowrun is a gritty, cyberpunk epic, while Starflight is an otherworldy space opera.

Shut Up Tim McCarver

23 October 2008

Why I’m not enjoying the World Series as much as I could be.

The Astounding Science Fiction Radio of X Minus One

18 October 2008

A science fiction radio show from the 1950’s remains as fascinating as it must have been when it first aired.

Guest Review: Maps and Atlases and mewithoutYou live / / Listen to Big Takeover on Breakthruradio.com! / Don't Forget the New Issue!

7 August 2008

The loss of long-time member and impressive guitarist Christopher Kleinberg has not slowed mewithoutYou down at all. In attempts to end the show on time, they simply pulled their shirts over their faces while the crowd screamed for one more song. They finished with the highly energetic “January 1979” and ended with a new one called “God, God, God.” / Just a reminder, too, if you haven’t listened in yet, my radio show for BreakthruRadio.com successfully launched, and again, here’s a good chance to hear a good bit of what I/we have been writing about in our issues these last 28 years.

Guest Review: Maps and Atlases and mewithoutYou live / Listen to Big Takeover on Breakthruradio.com! / Don't Forget the New Issue!

7 August 2008

The loss of long-time member and impressive guitarist Christopher Kleinberg has not slowed mewithoutYou down at all. In attempts to end the show on time, they simply pulled their shirts over their faces while the crowd screamed for one more song. They finished with the highly energetic “January 1979” and ended with a new one called “God, God, God.” / Just a reminder, too, if you haven’t listened in yet, my radio show for BreakthruRadio.com successfully launched, and again, here’s a good chance to hear a good bit of what I/we have been writing about in our issues these last 28 years.

Thriving on Teenage Nostalgia with a Sega Emulator

27 July 2008

A recent trip to LA rekindled my love of Sega games. Now I’m playing those games on my PC.

LEGENDARY CHICAGO PUNK/POST-PUNK BAND THE EFFIGIES PLAY D.C. and N.Y. (AND ON RADIO) THIS WEEK - FIRST EAST COAST DATES IN 20 YEARS. SUPPORT FROM EDP / Listen to Big Takeover on Breakthruradio.com! / Don't Forget the New Issue!

22 July 2008

Since they haven’t played the East Coast in two decades, needless to say I am really excited to get another chance to see the fantastic Chicago punk/post-punk rock band The Effigies this weekend. They play D.C. on Thursday, and New York on Friday and Saturday, and if you’re not in the East Coast, they’re live on the radio on Saturday!

Big Takeover (Radio) on BreakthruRadio.com launches! / R.E.M. website lauds Big T / U.K. Rough Trade Legends - Band Of Holy Joy (and Society of Imaginary Friends) – First U.S. Performances / Big Takeover #62 Out Now, and in the Stores! Selected Quotes

10 June 2008

In the new issue #62, I promised to let you know when my radio show for BreakthruRadio.com launched, so let me do that now since it launched at noon yesterday. Here’s a good chance to hear a good bit of what I/we have been writing about in our issues these last 28 years ** In other news, we are proud to note that none other than R.E.M. has seen fit to run an excerpt of our current issue 62 cover story on them on their website, and also included some highly flattering and appreciated remarks (“inimitable, must-read!!!!!!!”) on the quality of our publication. ** Over the past 25 years, Band of Holy Joy have put out several LPs on Rough Trade Records and have earned the reputation of being one of the UK’s top underground live acts. These are the band’s first-ever American tour dates and they and have cut a self-released seven-song EP that will be for sale only at these shows to mark the occasion. ** Reminder: Big Takeover #62 with R.E.M. on the cover is on the stands! Look for it in your favorite store near you that carries good music magazines!

Does Barack Obama Have Anything To Do With The State Of The U.S. Music Biz?

9 June 2008

So the baby boomers are trying to put it into the 1960s paradigm map again. BEWARE THESE BABY BOOMERS!! This is my shtick. Yeah, we need the baby boomers, and Hillary Clinton supporters. They still have a huge demographic—but it’s been about them them them for so long—-I think that might explain some of the pent up resentment, or sheer catharsis of “Generation X-ish” (a generation that never really had the demographic numbers by itself), and the under 30 *MARK RISTAINO” (MUSIC FOR AMERICA) crowd—-who, now, finally had a way to speak, and be heard, not just by the older people, but BY EACH OTHER.

Final Night Guest Review From Noise Pop Festival by Jerry Connolly: Old Chicago Punk Movie, British Sea Power, and More!

30 April 2008

A film that I’ve been dying to see since the trailer showed up on Youtube last year: You Weren’t There: A History of Chicago Punk 1977-1984. Clubs like Oz and O’Banions stayed just one step ahead of the law (thanks in part to likely payoffs to the man) and managed to host many classic shows by the likes of The Effigies, Naked Raygun, and Strike Under. The live footage shown was just stunning: The Effigies at OZ in all their boots-and-braces glory, for instance. Early incarnations of Naked Raygun playing loft parties!!!! Amazing stuff. I can’t say enough about how good this film is and it how it succeeds on so many levels. A must see…

PJ Harvey III (of III)

23 March 2008

Ultimately, this groundbreaking song (which is nonetheless deeply rooted in traditions) helps rewrite the mystery of love (and the more than love that is really part of love).

NEW YORKERS (and Grand Rapids and later Philadelphia): Go see ASTRID WILLIAMSON live this week! Rare chance!!! / NOISE POP, SAN FRANCISCO, NIGHT 3, FEBRUARY 29 BY JERRY CONNOLLY

9 March 2008

Scottish born, English artist ASTRID WILLIAMSON is a longtime favorite of The Big Takeover, and she rarely plays in the U.S. This week brings three chances to catch her awesome set of pipes (two gigs in New York, both of them free admission, as well as Grand Rapids, with one in Philly a few months later) / “Day three of Noise Pop (day two for me, as I missed out on Thursday’s debauchery with a headache, alas), has me biking to Bottom of the Hill (BOTH) in the Portrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. BOTH has been my frequent destination for live music over the 11 years I have lived in The City, and I could get here with my eyes shut. The mid-size club (capacity being 300) has great sound and a decent layout. And I can’t help but feel very comfortable as I walk through to door at 9:00 sharp. I’m here to see VEIL VEIL VARNISH, WHITE DENIM, A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS, and HOLY F**.”

NOISE POP, SAN FRANCISCO, NIGHT 1, FEBRUARY 27 BY JERRY CONNOLLY; R.I.P. MIKE CONLEY, SINGER OF '80s PUNK BAND M.I.A.

3 March 2008

OK, so it’s not on par with SXSW but maybe it’s not trying to be. The overall feel is less an obvious industry love fest and more of an event where a fan can enjoy an evening without fear of being kept out of a show by industry snobs filling the room with their hot air and BO, or run over by the truck dispensing free ginseng energy drinks. Noise Pop seemingly caters to the actual music lover, and in this writer’s eyes that’s the way it should be. This fan-centric attitude can only come from the top, and by that I mean KEVIN ARNOLD, its founder and passionate supporter of independent music. To say that he has done a service to the independent music community is the understatement of the decade. Thanks Kevin.

New Blogger in Town: Downloading Free, Legal MP3's from the Internet Underground

20 February 2008

The new guy is on a mission to explore websites where users can upload/download music and tell you about some undiscovered, unsigned talent whose music is floating in the cybernetic ether of the internet.

You Exhibitionist!: PJ Harvey's "Sheela Na Gig" 15 Years Later [Part II]

5 February 2008

In Harvey’s “Sheela-Na-Gig,” the sound of the polysyllabic proper (even clinical) word “exhibitionist” becomes more obscene (and stings more) than any rapper’s use of the word “hoe” or “skeezer.”

Hard to Spin Dreary News on Compact Disc Sales

26 January 2008

Last year, U.S. compact disc sales plunged by 19%. With the consumer today facing pressure from all sides, chances are that 2008 will be even worse.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Bruce Springsteen

20 January 2008

The energy, enthusiasm and the overall rapturous joy of the both the musicians and the audience was just contagious. This was my Eureka moment!

Special Issue 61 Bonus Reviews!: Keren Ann, Condors, Feist, Raspberries, Rotary Club, Shack, Soul Asylum, and Factory Records' Complete Graphic Album Book / Our Condolences to Two of our Own / New Issue of Big Takeover

13 January 2008

The five reviews of mine included here did not appear in issue 61 of The Big Takeover, because I frankly ran out of time in my seemingly endless writing job to do them in time before the issue had to be closed and sent off to the printer. But they all deserved better and I am glad to print them here rather than making you all wait several more months to read them in issue 62. Likewise, the other three, written by three of our other talented and valuable writers, did not appear in 61 for other reasons explained herein.

WEA Is Shameless

8 January 2008

It’s only January, but already we’ve got our first example of major label greed running out of control. Nonesuch, a division of WEA, has issued two versions of the soundtrack to Tim Burton’s film of Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, starring Johnny Depp in an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s musical of the same name. Consumers – and retailers – have an unpleasant choice to make.

R.I.P. Evan Farrell, ex-Rogue Wave (and Oscar Peterson, too) / Two new books of note I am quoted in / Happy New Year! / New Issue of Big Takeover

27 December 2007

I am stunned and saddened to hear that another death has befallen the Rogue Wave folks.

Fix Tape Exchange

30 November 2007

On the first Sunday of every month, Sound Fix Lounge behind the record store has a mix exchange. Here’s my mix for the December 2 exchange: “The Saddest Songs in the World.”

Radiohead and the Rule of Reciprocity

3 November 2007

With its name-your-price approach, Radiohead made people feel that they owed the group something and that indebtedness, however manifested, only led to better buzz and more goodwill.

Bob Lefsetz's mug

Why I Both Love and Loathe The Musings of Bob Lefsetz

29 October 2007

However, what really irks me about him is his distaste for anything he perceives as non-mainstream.

JACK RABID's PIECES ON JOHNNY ROTTEN AND L.A./S.F 1977 PUNK STARS IN CURRENT ISSUE OF SPIN MAGAZINE!

5 October 2007

The current October issue of Spin, dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the 1977 punk rock explosion, has not one but two pieces from me. One is what turned out to be the cover story (that was a shock!), a long and funny interview with Johnny Rotten, where he sounds off on his old days in The Sex Pistols and the other bands around back then, and what he’s been doing since (like swimming with sharks, battling bugs, and appeasing apes). The other is a roundtable discussion with six of the leading lights of the San Francisco and L.A. 1977 punk scenes, along with two more from London, The Avengers’ Penelope Houston and Jimmy Wilsey, X’s Billy Zoom, The Weirdos’ Dix Denney, The Dils’ Chip Kinman, The Germs’ Don Bolles, and The Slits’ Ari Up and Tessa Pollitt. It’s a great issue! No kidding! Others interview a slew of other 1977 folks from England and New York. Check it out!

The Sins of Pitchfork #1

8 September 2007

Shouldn’t music critics know something about, you know, music?

Band Name Autopsy

3 September 2007

In the future, will we increasingly see names like When People Were Shorter and Lived Near the Water and Bad Mutha Goose and the Brothers Grimm?

Delayed News: Help John Stabb – It Could Be You / Rabid punk interviews in October issue of Spin -- Advertise in Big Takeover fall issue!

26 August 2007

Five or six teenaged thugs beat him senseless on a Maryland street near his home, causing three facial fractures, two broken bones, and a broken nose which required four-and-a-half hours of surgery to repair, requiring the insertion of five metal plates in his face and braces for his teeth. Ouch. Needless to say, a liquid diet ensued. Please help with his expenses!

Tokyo Gothic: Blood and...Butterflies?

9 August 2007

After a month of exploring the shadowy eaves of Tokyo’s ‘goth’ scene, one omnipresent icon of the dark and otherwordly came forward. It was…the butterfly?!

Universal Is Shameless

21 July 2007

How did Universal Music Group celebrate the 40th anniversary of the July 17, 1967 death of John Coltrane? By continuing to milk his catalog for all it’s worth.

Is This Thing On?

11 July 2007

Just a Cliff’s Notes attempt at who I am, and why I’m here.