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Thursday, December 30th, 2004

Tiny Spark

Detroit pop-meister Brendan Benson’s new one, The Alternative To Love, is out March 22. Everyone seems to be more focused on the fact that Jack White produced it than the merit of the artist himself. Brendan Benson is the new Loretta Lynn. I saw BB play a couple years ago and think I enjoyed it alright – honestly, I probably dozed off a couple times, not so much because he was boring but because I had biked something like 65 km that morning and had grossly overestimated the amount of energy I had. I do remember him being an ungodly skinny man, though. I mean, God, look at those cheekbones? The boy is GAUNT. No small bit of irony in naming his band The Well-Fed Boys, I guess.

Update: Torr correctly points out that Alernative To Love is NOT the album that Jack White produced. He even has a link to a track from the new album. My excuse for the inaccurate information is, uh, I’m drunk.

NOW rounds up some anticipated releases from local artists in 2005, including controller.controller’s first full-length (March) and a new The Fembots record (April). Myself, I’m looking forward to the new Broken Social Scene record, natch, (April), and the Amy Millan solo record Honey From The Tombs which has been delayed almost a full year now. It’s supposedly coming out in the Spring, but will more realistically have to wait until they’re done supporting Set Yourself On Fire.

Oh, and of interest probably to only me, that damn Lake Holiday record should be out sometime in 2005 on Bi-Fi. Maybe. Hopefully. I haven’t heard any of it since I finished tracking my parts back in, uh, March? June? August? I have no idea.

eye waits until pretty much the last minute to roll out their year-end lists. Check out their best (and worst) albums and singles, and the best of John Sakamoto’s always worthy anti-hit list.

Toronto Star music critics Ben Rayner and Vit Wagner compile their respective looks back at 2004 (bugmenot: danshack49@yahoo.ca/123456). No unanimous choice as last year when they both hailed 2003 as the year of Metric, but instead a couple of refreshingly disparate lists. Boo to concensus!

The Fourth Rail submits their picks for best comic book covers of 2004.

So my SXSW is booked. I’ve chosen a slightly further but still SXSW-approved hotel – the La Quinta – Oltorff. No, it’s not right on the strip but 2.5 miles ain’t bad and I got a pretty damn good deal through Expedia.ca. March 17 to 20, I be kicking back Austin-style. Yee-haw.

Alas, Jerry Orbach. You may be gone but Lenny Briscoe lives on in a million syndicated episodes a day. Rest in peace.

Because of a veritable deluge of comment spam in the past day, I’ve had to go into my source code and hack it to block the specific spammers who’ve been bugging me. It shouldn’t stop anyone else, unless your name is “mortgage”, but if you do have a problem please let me know. Thanks.

np – Bob Dylan / Love And Theft

By : Frank Yang at 9:30 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. solace says:

    yeah, it’s rather annoying about the Jack White thing, especially since Brendan has produced some White Stripes stuff in the past, and is a much better producer than Jack (imo).

    his first record, One Mississippi is one of the best power pop records ever, and one of the best albums of the 90’s.

  2. Gary Campbell says:

    Should we start the wacky Lake Holiday record rumours now? I’ve heard that it… has GUITARS on it! Has a 32 piece children’s chorus… looped backwards! That Lake Holiday has gone reggae!

    Bah. I have no idea myself. Looking forward to hearing it though.

  3. mike says:

    expedia.ca rules! So what’s the SXSW lineup? I read Beth Orton’ll be there. SXSW was something I would consider going to, but I haven’t read anything about the lineup, so I think I’ll have to pass this year.

  4. Torr says:

    I thought the album Benson did with Jack White was not the album coming out in March?

  5. david says:

    Let’s start making the SXSW party plans… I’ll be there for both the interactive (& film) and music weeks. I’ll be posting all rumors I hear and find.

  6. david says:

    Frank, that La Quinta is pretty centrally located, we almost stayed there last year for the ACL music festival.

  7. Frank says:

    Torr- you are correct, I noted the error in my post. Thanks.

    Mike – No lineup has been announced yet, though some of the acts are starting to confirm dates. The only one I know off the top of my head is Doves. Honestly, I don’t really care who’s playing – there’s sure to be more bands playing than I have time to see anyway. I’m going for the BBQ.

    Woo-hoo! Largehearted party! Is the La Quinta reasonably nice? I’ve been staying in hostels whenever I travel so having my own washroom will pretty much count as opulance.

  8. kathryn says:

    frank, do you know when that photograph of brendan benson is from? i saw him earlier this year and he looked nowhere near as haggard. perhaps he’s been eating since then.

    w/r/t the sxsw lineup: it all gets confirmed mid-february and you have exactly the right attitude. whoever’s playing, you’ll still have fun. i’m still monitoring the donewaiting blog and unofficial sxsw info yahoo! group for rumors, of course! last year, i saw some bands on some guy’s front yard in east austin. the "stage" was a big piece of wood. oh, and mary lou lord busks on the street.

    if you’re going for the barbecue, i really liked ironworks bbq, which is two or three blocks from the austin convention center. and, if you like seafood, my friends and i really enjoyed the boiling pot. across the river, guero’s has amazing tacos.

    unfortunately, david, if i remember correctly, you’re vegan? it might be hard to find things to eat although the organic, macrobiotic food at casa de luz is excellent. it is a bit out of the way, however.

    my favorite part of sxsw is: the weather! even if there are thunderstorms, being in a t-shirt and jeans in march is fantastic. i’ll also be there for interactive…and film…and music, eating, drinking, partying, rocking out, and, even possibly, working on my documentary. yeesh.

  9. Frank says:

    that BB pic came from High Road Touring’s promo pics gallery. I assume it’s current for Lapalco? But he is a skinny boy, regardless.

  10. Torr says:

    I’ll also be attending SXSW, in case anyone is keeping score :-)

  11. joyce says:

    looking forward to hearing any sxsw rumors anyone wants to pass on….i’m sure you saw the preliminary aussie/nz list that floated by on the yahoo unofficial.

    we caught architecture in helsinki last year at a day show and they were a lot of fun–kinda like the descriptions i read for arcade fire–melodic chaos live. betchadupa has the son of neil finn of crowded house fame…they are pretty good, too, and I wonder if neil will pit stop here to see them since he is on tour in the u.s. around that time.

  12. Rachel says:

    We have a new interview with indie darling Brendan Benson. If you’re interested that is.

    http://…/