Pazz & Jop 2014
42nd Annual Village Voice Critics’ Poll
“Pazz & Jop is an annual poll of musical releases compiled by American newspaper The Village Voice. The poll is tabulated from the submitted year-end top ten lists of hundreds of music critics. Pazz & Jop was introduced by The Village Voice in 1974 as an album-only poll, but was expanded to include votes for singles in 1979.”
Full Circle with The Flaming Lips: 2012 In Review
By Jaime Lees
Thu., Dec. 20 2012 at 11:54 AM
Editor’s Note: The end of 2012 is upon us (also the end of the world, if you believe in that sort of thing), so we thought we’d put a cap on things by sharing some of our personal favorite shows, albums, events and general shenanigans. Join us as we indulge in some navel-gazing!
When I write articles for RFT Music, I’m not just reporting on music happenings — I’m writing about my life. One day my priorities might change, but for now what matters the most to me is music. Maybe that’s wrong or unhealthy or something, but it’s true, and luckily most of my favorite music moments of 2012 have been documented in some way on these pages.
I’m lucky in that I have a lot of freedom in this space. It’s curated not only by people who give a crap, but by people who value what I have to offer. After seven years of writing for this publication, I’m still grateful and excited for the opportunity. I absolutely adore my job here at RFT Music. My life is my work and my work is my life, and I’m honored to share it with you.
That said, here was my life in 2012:
I rang in the New Year in Oklahoma City. My sweet old dog, Ruby, had just passed and I was in the middle of some serious grief. I ran away for the weekend to hang out with old friends and see two shows with the Flaming Lips and my spirit animal, Yoko Ono. At the stroke of midnight, I was tipsy on pink lemonade moonshine, bathed in kisses and standing inside a massive sonic blast fortified by a fog of rainbow confetti, flashing lights, jumping lasers, hundreds of bright balloons and the twinkling reflections off of a giant disco ball. The Lips played Beatles covers with Yoko and Sean Lennon and Nels Cline; it was absolute bliss and served as a strong reminder of the healing power of live music.
I’ve been saved again and again by amazing music — most of it local. I’m a huge fan of so many of our local bands. Many people wait years for their favorite bands to tour, but for me, my favorite bands play all the time. As an extra treat, I get the opportunity to write about these St. Louis music makers: Lion’s Daughter, Prince Ea, Jimmy Griffin, Jans Project, Demonlover, Roland Johnson, Fred Friction, Nelly and the list goes on and on. I know that a lot of what I write reads as love letters to St. Louis, but I just can’t help myself — St. Louis just makes it too easy. Stop being so awesome and I’ll stop writing about you. Until then, the locals have my heart. (Extra double shout-out to people that I’m proud to call my friends, the hard-working folks at Big Muddy Records, Tower Groove Records and the Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra.)
I’m not sure why, but this year I felt particularly productive. I was given space to write about music-minded locals who inspire me creatively (Dana Smith), about St. Louis music history (STL 2000) and I got to hype the touring bands that I was the most excited about (Future of the Left, R. Ring). I’m still not quite over the fact that I actually get paid to get drunk and watch Guided by Voices, to eat pizza and listen to Taylor Swift, to try to convince readers that Heart is badass, to watch classic bands like Kiss and Mötley Crüe, to review Madonna from the second row, to jump into the world of Juggalos, to get Sinead O’Connor‘s take on St. Louis (and Chuck Berry) and to praise my personal heroes like Bonnie Raitt and Henry Rollins. If you can find a girl that is luckier than me, I’d sure like to meet her.
Under the advice of my very favorite punk rock couple, I attended a show with a band I’d never heard before: I saw Useless Eaters at CBGB and it was the best damn show I saw all year. These kinds of happy accidents only occur when you actually listen to the suggestions of others, so try keep some cooler-than-you friends around.
And though I was stoked on the lineup this year at our big summer festival, LouFest, I had originally declined to do any LouFest coverage. I wanted a weekend of fun, without having to spend all night writing reviews. But there was a last-minute rescheduling and Kiernan came and found me right before Dinosaur Jr played. He needed someone to write about Dino’s set. I said sure, knowing that it would actually be easy– on some level I’d been prepared to review a Dino show for at least half of my life. Kiernan hunted down an empty beer box for me to write on and then he went back out into the crowd, off on his next mission. I found a pen, ducked under a friend’s umbrella and wrote my notes out on the cardboard. Improvising ain’t just for musicians, you know, and the Dino review turned out to be one of my favorite things that I wrote all year.
The second night of LouFest, I again found myself at the emotional mercy of the Flaming Lips live show, but this time as a participant. I danced onstage with some of my favorite people, and I absolutely rocked that slutty Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz costume, if I do say so myself. It was one of the best days of my life and it’s far too personal to write about here, but trust me, it was a good time and I felt absolutely smothered in love.
Since then my life and routines have gotten back on schedule, and this fall has been one great event after the last, and with the upcoming holiday season is bringing tons of shows that I’m excited about– I predict that I won’t get much sleep through the end of the year.
As for the future, who knows? I’m excited about the new crop of weirdness on the South Side. Magic City, Black James, Syna So Pro, Demonlover, Bug Chaser and Horsey Drawers have my interest right now, but nobody can predict what insanity will come in 2013. I, for one, can’t wait. Bring on the New Year. I’ll be lurking in the many venues, festivals, dark basements, loud practice spaces and fancy recording studios around town. See you at the barricades.
link: Riverfront Times
Here is the Painting Sinead O’Connor Gave to the Prophet Chuck Berry on Monday
By Jaime Lees
Wed., Oct. 10 2012 at 11:05 AM
A favorite topic here at RFT Music, Miss Sinéad O’Connor wrote a blog post on her website about a recent visit to St. Louis to meet Chuck Berry.
Her blog lovingly describes both our city and our rock & roll daddy. We contacted her and asked her if we could quote from her blog (she requests that you not in the fine print) and she was kind enough to let us share some of her thoughts with you. She also sent us pictures of the, as she describes it, “scriptural writing/painting things” that she made for Mr. Berry in the bathroom of her room at the Moonrise Hotel.
Some of the key passages from her post about St. Louis:
Chuck Berry is a man who was born into segregation and racism and chose to transcend both using music, in the most loving, affectionate and amusing ways possible, lyrically speaking. And with his big brotherly personality… You watch him on you tube. Live, London 1972, playing ‘My Ding-A-Ling”.. and you realize God sent this man to show everyone music is the thing that smashes all segregations of any kind.
he created the thing that gave life to all of us the world over.. ‘Rock n Roll’. Without which I, along with most of the human race, would be either dead, in jail, unemployable, or in the nut house.
I hope to spend lots more time in St Louis as its always been my favorite part of America because it seems its the most ‘African American’ run town i’ve ever been in. Consequently its fun, full of music, and righteousness of an artistic nature.
everywhere u go u see Chuck. So proud they are, rightly, of their most famous citizen.
We encourage you to read her thoughts in full here. It’s lucid and sweet and provides an amazing outsider view on our fine city. O’Connor sees a lot of the town, too, visiting the Moonrise, Blueberry Hill, Killer Vintage guitars, etc. Apparently, she was here as recently as yesterday. Don’t leave yet, Sinéad! There’s lots more to see! Let’s go see the City Museum and the Arch and the Zoo and KDHX and Crown Candy and Forest Park and we will eat toasted ravioli and provel cheese and gooey butter cake and we will show you cool local bands! Holla!
link: Riverfront Times
Sinéad O’Connor’s Marriage Saga Continues: Totally Into Crack, But Not Crack Rock
By Jaime Lees
Mon., Jan. 9 2012 at 6:08 AM
Sinéad O’Connor’s sex life has been a source of endless entertainment recently. A few months ago, we told you about her deviant behavior: she was using her website as her own dating service. Sinéad said that she was horny and looking to get laid. She posted a list of all of the things she was seeking in a potential lover. She also included that she would be “deeply unhappy if doing anal wasn’t on the menu” and advised gentlemen not to even apply to be her lover if they didn’t like “the difficult brown.” Oh, yes. Yes, she did.
Then, at the beginning of last December, Sinéad announced that she’d found a boyfriend, Barry Herridge, and that they were to be married the next day in Las Vegas.
In theory, that should have been the end of Sinéad’s shenanigans. Happily married, bum satisfied, end of story, right? Thankfully, no. It all just gets even better.
So about two weeks after they were wed, Sinéad announced that they were breaking up because their marriage was causing him problems with his family. Then more details emerged. As it turns out, Sinéad’s new husband is an addiction counselor and didn’t take too kindly to her forcing him to escort her on a weed run in a sketchy neighborhood on their wedding night and accidentally ending up with “a load of crack” in her hand. Yes, crack rock.
But for now, true love has won out. Sinéad and Barry are back together. She announced on Twitter that they had a beautiful evening of lovemaking and that they were going to try again as boyfriend and girlfriend (but stay married) and that they’d get some counseling and maybe move in together “in like a year, like regular people.”
Like regular people? Yeah, good luck with that. You are freaks and it is great. Please, oh please, get a reality show or make a sex tape or something. Your public demands it.
“groove is in the arse” – Sinead O’Connor’s Twitter
- link: Riverfront Times