Joel Oliphint

"I Killed A Man": What Happens When A Homicide Confession Goes Viral

After about six months of reporting and writing, here’s my #longread about Matthew Cordle’s “I killed a man” video and what happens when contrition goes viral. Some weekend reading, perhaps?

The Interpreters

A couple recent reviews

Damien Jurado’s Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son

D. Charles Speer and the Helix’s Doubled Exposure

My Year in Music: Joel Oliphint

Top ten albums & tracks, musical highlights, etc. from 2013.

Tompkins Square is releasing a new 4-CD comp on Dec. 10 called “I Heard the Angels Singing: Electrifying Black Gospel from the Nashboro Label, 1951-1983.” This track is by a group called the Brooklyn All-Stars, recorded around 1970, and it’s devastatingly good.

I love the tinny, down-stroked electric guitar thwacks. I love the backup singers. But mostly I love the existential weight of the lyrics juxtaposed with an unheralded soul singer blessed with a range and tone that rivals Sam Cooke. The guy is shaking his fist at God for taking his parents while also admitting he can’t do anything about it: “You took my father; you came back and got my mother… And all I could do was just stand there on the banks of Jordan, tears in my eyes.” The guy is so distraught he wishes the Almighty would just go on and take him, too: “Listen Lord, I’ve got my ticket; please Jesus, don’t leave me down here.”

Forget the emo revival. This is some real emotion. Give it a listen and see if you don’t hear/feel/see those ships go sailing by.

pitchfork:

Introducing The Pitchfork Review, a quarterly print publication of long-form feature stories.

pitchfork:

Introducing The Pitchfork Review, a quarterly print publication of long-form feature stories.

Lindsay Zoladz: You Have the Right to Remain Silent

lindsayzoladz:

I quit Twitter for a week, last week. I had a lot of reasons, most of which I don’t want to tell you, but here is one that I will: I woke up last Tuesday, unthinkingly checked my @ replies before I’d even gotten out of bed (I do this more often than I’d like to admit, but you probably do too)…

I seem to quit Twitter every other day for all these reasons. Love this.

Times New Viking <3 the Velvets

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Lou Reed’s death got me thinking about Valentine’s Day, 2009. Here’s why, from a live review I wrote for The Other Paper (RIP):

Just about any band that veers off rock’s beaten path owes a debt of gratitude to the Velvet Underground. The band’s Lou Reed-led, Andy Warhol-produced debut, The Velvet Underground & Nico, and pretty much each boundary-pushing album thereafter conveyed a message: Rock is something to be messed with. It can be a form of art, and, as such, experimentation is a part of the process.

Given that legacy, Columbus’s hometown breakout art-rock icon Times New Viking was the perfect pick to pay homage to the Velvets last Saturday in a Wexner Center concert celebrating the final weekend of the “Andy Warhol: Other Voices, Other Rooms” exhibition. It’s not overstating to say that Times New Viking (and a host of other bands) wouldn’t exist without the Velvet Underground.

And yet, since TNV’s boundary-pushing comes in the form of fuzzed-out pop songs that rarely make it past the 2 1/2-minute mark, there was a palpable sense of a curiosity and anticipation surrounding this show. How would Times New Viking interpret a seven-minute, dynamic-laden song like “Heroin”?

The band proved right away that it doesn’t mind taking a break from short shout-alongs to get all long and droney, and even (no joke) jam. “That’s already longer than most of our sets,” joked drummer/singer Adam Elliott after the first song, “Run Run Run,” off The Velvet Underground & Nico, from which the band drew the bulk of its material.

Times New Viking also had some help from a couple of friends: Mike Hummel — the white-haired elder statesman of the Columbus rock scene who’s better known as Mike Rep of Mike Rep and the Quotas — added guitar and vocals, and Cincinnati’s C. Spencer Yeh of Burning Star Core contributed squeals, squalls and drones on violin. TNV guitarist Jared Phillips used his usual Strat/Marshall setup, but singer Beth Murphy often took a break from the analog synth to play a bright red guitar. (If you’re counting, that’s three simultaneously strummed guitars at a Times New Viking show.)

The super group’s re-appropriations made for a mostly gratifying Valentine’s Day show. I’ll just get a couple complaints out of the way, the most glaring of which was Hummel’s guitar. It was consistently way too loud, which is a shame since the stuff he was playing added a lot. But he continually drowned out the rest of the band, especially Phillips. And while Yeh squeezed some amazing sounds out of his violin, often making it sound like a digital loop or guitar feedback, his contributions were hit and miss. He sounded great on the beautiful mess of “All Tomorrow’s Parties” and “I Can’t Stand It” but was inaudible on “I’m Waiting for the Man” and just in the way on “Femme Fatale”; I would have liked to hear Murphy’s synth instead on that one.

But the highlights were plentiful. Aided by strobe lights and a screen that showed mostly pixelated video of the Velvet Underground, the band nailed the loud-quiet-loud and fast-slow-fast dynamic of “Heroin,” which Hummel took growly lead vocals on. It was the best of the night. Elliott and Murphy’s tag-team vocals usually worked well, too, with endearingly imperfect harmonies — pretty, in an off-kilter way. And Murphy’s deadpan vocal delivery was a good match for Nico-led songs like “I’ll Be Your Mirror.”

Ending the night with “After Hours” off VU’s self-titled album — probably the only Velvets song that could be considered “cute” — the band invited members of RTFO Bandwagon to come up while Ron House took over vocal duties. Roses were handed out, and the crowd sang along. It was fun, it was goofy, it was a great ending to the night, and proof that even art-rock doesn’t have to take itself too seriously.

Monster Rally is Ted Feighan, a Los Angeles printmaker and beatmaker obsessed with tropicalia. He’s like fellow Ohio ex-pat RJD2’s island-dwelling cousin, stitching together vintage exotica samples and clave clicks with live instruments and hip-hop beats. Monster Rally’s new/third album, Return to Paradise, is out 10/29 on Gold Robot Records, and I’m loving the track “Orchids.” It starts with vinyl crackles, then guitar as clear and crystalline as tropical waters. The track is luxuriant and relaxed, vintage with a modern twist. It’d make a good trailer soundtrack for that Mad Men episode where Don goes to California and indulges in all the carnal fruits the warmer climes have to offer.

And check out that cover art — “over fifty different varietals of flowers and plants from around the world decorate the blossoming arrangement.” The dude is serious about transporting you to exotic locales.


thesufjanstevensmodel5000:

Dear Miley. I can’t stop listening to #GetItRight (great song, great message, great body), but maybe you need a quick grammar lesson. One particular line causes concern: “I been laying in this bed all night long.” Miley, technically speaking, you’ve been LYING, not LAYING, an irregular verb form that should only be used when there’s an object, i.e. “I been laying my tired booty on this bed all night long.” Whatever. I’m not the best lyricist, but you know what I mean. #Get It Right The Next Time. But don’t worry, even Faulkner messed it up. We all make mistakes, and surely this isn’t your worst misdemeanor. But also, Miley, did you know the tense here is also totally wrong. Surely you’ve heard of Present Perfect Continuous Tense (I HAVE BEEN LYING in this bed all night long [hopefully getting some beauty sleep?]). It’s a weird, equivocal, almost purgatorial tense, not quite present, not quite past, not quite here, not quite there. Somewhere in between. I feel that way all the time. It kind of sucks. But I have a feeling your “present perfect continuous” involves a lot more excitement than mine. Anyway, doesn’t that also sum up your career right now? Present. Perfect. Continuous. And Tense. Intense? Girl, you work it like Mike Tyson. Miley, I love you because you’re the Queen, grammatically and anatomically speaking. And you’re the hottest cake in the pan. Don’t ever grow old. Live brightly before your fire fades into total darkness. XXOO Sufjan

thesufjanstevensmodel5000:

Dear Miley. I can’t stop listening to #GetItRight (great song, great message, great body), but maybe you need a quick grammar lesson. One particular line causes concern: “I been laying in this bed all night long.” Miley, technically speaking, you’ve been LYING, not LAYING, an irregular verb form that should only be used when there’s an object, i.e. “I been laying my tired booty on this bed all night long.” Whatever. I’m not the best lyricist, but you know what I mean. #Get It Right The Next Time. But don’t worry, even Faulkner messed it up. We all make mistakes, and surely this isn’t your worst misdemeanor. But also, Miley, did you know the tense here is also totally wrong. Surely you’ve heard of Present Perfect Continuous Tense (I HAVE BEEN LYING in this bed all night long [hopefully getting some beauty sleep?]). It’s a weird, equivocal, almost purgatorial tense, not quite present, not quite past, not quite here, not quite there. Somewhere in between. I feel that way all the time. It kind of sucks. But I have a feeling your “present perfect continuous” involves a lot more excitement than mine. Anyway, doesn’t that also sum up your career right now? Present. Perfect. Continuous. And Tense. Intense? Girl, you work it like Mike Tyson. Miley, I love you because you’re the Queen, grammatically and anatomically speaking. And you’re the hottest cake in the pan. Don’t ever grow old. Live brightly before your fire fades into total darkness. XXOO Sufjan