Blur are releasing a new single for Record Store Day. Unfortunately, it’s limited to 1,000 copies in the UK, so the rest of us will have to frantically trawl the internet for vinyl-to-mp3 rips. I was too young for their 90s Britpop heyday and didn’t get into Blur until around 2005, but I am stupidly overjoyed. Get on that business, Libertines.
The M.I.A. vs. Lady Gaga feud is making me horribly conflicted. I adore both of them–I still regret missing the opportunity to see M.I.A. two years ago–but this feel vaguely reminiscent of that sort of high school drama situation when your friend starts bad-mouthing one of your other friends in front of you. Both women are extraordinarily talented, but in very different ways. Yes, maybe Gaga makes dance music for drunk people that doesn’t confront any serious political issues, but damn she can sing. As for her image, I interpreted the product placement in the Telephone video as a method of subverting the standard technique by purposely making it obvious. It also remains that huge amounts of people still automatically think of Pineapple Express when they hear M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes.” There are good and bad sides to commercial success, and as much as I like M.I.A., Lady Gaga is obviously the bigger player in the game at the moment. Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig stated it via Twitter about as well as anyone’s ever going to: “M.I.A. dissing Lady Gaga is like when a dude goes to prison and immediately shivs the baddest dude in the cafeteria…works on TV, but I could imagine it backfiring pretty badly (the shivving not the dissing).” Who’s even been comparing M.I.A. to Gaga in the first place?
On that note, MGMT turned down opening for Lady Gaga. They say you can’t miss what you’ve never had, but that’s a dream-crusher right there. Sure, maybe MGMT want to stay in their underground bunker full of acid, but if they like Gaga enough to reference her in a song title, you’d think they’d be willing to play a few shows with her.
Watch a four-song acoustic set from the always-lovely Sondre Lerche here.
Nitsuh Abebe’s editorial about musical trends and Freelance Whales brings up some interesting points. Personally, I gave the Freelance Whales album a fair few listens, acknowledging that their sound contains many elements similar to various artists I enjoy, but it’s failed to make a serious impression on me.