All posts tagged Liz Phair

Indie Dispatches: Nostalgic for the 90′s, 2010 Was a Year of Returns

Superchunk was among the many 90's acts to return in 2010

There is no disputing that 2010 can be seen as the year that the 90′s have returned with a vengeance. Is it because we have hit the “ten years on from the turn of the decade”, meaning it is now acceptable to reflect on the past in such a manner? Or is it a commentary on the new crop of underachievers, in a “well, this was how it used to be done” fashion, from the Gen-X and so-called slacker generation?

Early in the year came the return of Pavement, firstly with a mighty fine ‘best of’ album, Quarantine the Past, and then an endless global series of tour dates, including a great pre-Coachella set at the Fox Theatre in Pomona. Sonic Youth got into the act, releasing a (vinyl-only) compilation for Record Store Day, and their ‘back to being a four piece’ slots at the Hollywood Bowl & Matador 21 in Vegas were nothing short of blistering. Meanwhile Liz Phair unearthed her legendary Girly Sound tapes, and issued them a bonus disc with her latest album, Funstyle. Guided by Voices were back, complete with their classic band line-up, still toting the coolers of beer on stage and singer Robert Pollard‘s legendary high leg kicks, meanwhile the Matador Records redux continued with a long series of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion reissues via Shout Factory.

Books have popped up waxing lyrical about the decade, such as Sara Marcus‘ treatise Girls to the Front on the Riotgrrrl movement. Later in 2010 Dean Wareham hit the road with his …plays Galaxie 500 live shows, a tour that he brings to the West Coast this week, with a Troubadour date tonight (11/11) in Los Angeles, complementing a set of Galaxie 500 deluxe reissues on Domino Records too. Orchestral pop pioneers Cardinal popped up in reports that they were making a new album. The 90′s invasion was trans-continental even, with a host of participants from across the Atlantic. Everyone’s favorite Glaswegians, Teenage Fanclub, came supporting a new album, Shadows, but peppered their live sets with a host of their past classics from The Concept to Sparky’s Dream (much to the crowds’ delight). And then there were fellow Scots The Vaselines, who released a new album and toured (and yes, we know really they were a product of the tail end of the 80′s). Meanwhile, British dance titans weren’t to be left out, as The Chemical Brothers, Underworld and Massive Attack all released new records (Further, Barking and Heligoland respectively). And most recently chatter has started about a reunion by Britpop favorites Pulp.

But let’s not forget Superchunk, whose latest album Majesty Shredding is on a par with the best moments of their 90′s output, showing that they are still one of the best rock bands around, putting on a stream of live shows that a lot of acts 20 years their junior could learn something from. The term Loser may have been emblazoned on t-shirts (Sub Pop) and on records (Beck), but twenty years on, amidst this year’s 90′s resurgence maybe the question is, “Just who is the loser now?”

- Cool Hand Luke

Indie Dispatches: Finding Sasquatch & Other Pastimes

A Gorge-ous View at Seattle's Sasquatch Festival

Forget baking in the desert heat with the masses at Coachella, or elbowing hipsters at the Pitchfork Festival in Chicago. If you want to experience what is on the way to becoming the best music festival this country has to offer, head to the Pacific Northwest this holiday weekend for Sasquatch Festival. The brainchild of organizer Adam Zacks, every year Sasquatch puts together a line-up that is a perfect combination of old school favorites, the latest alternative flavor and the best of the up and comers. This year features three days brimming with talent – Pavement, Massive Attack, My Morning Jacket, Avi Buffalo, Local Natives, Freelance Whales, The xx, Midlake, Broken Social Scene, Dirty Projectors, Fruit Bats, Girls and many more… Not typically an industry destination, the atmosphere at the festival is laid back and friendly, though the absolute highlight is the location. Held at the Gorge Amphitheater, perched on a bluff with the Columbia River Gorge as a backdrop, you would be hard pressed to find a more stunningly beautiful vista for a music festival anywhere in the world. Don’t be to quick to jump on a plane and jet to the Northwest for a spur-of-the-moment Memorial weekend getaway though, as you will likely be out of luck – Sasquatch (as always) sold out months ago.

If you are looking for a getaway of a totally different flavor, immerse yourself in a copy of the latest (and definitive) tome on Fender instruments, Fender – The Golden Age 1946-1970. Compiled by Heavenly Records‘s MD Martin Kelly, with photography and design by his brother Paul Kelly (who was responsible for some iconic British record sleeves of the 90′s), the book is a love affair with the legendary brand. ┬áIt’s brimming with classic adverts, rare pictures, and beautiful photographs of the company’s guitars and amplifiers, including a number of rare items worth tens of thousands of dollars.

And in the event you have been overwhelmed by the extensive media blitz for the reissue of The Rolling Stones Exile on Main St album (or balking at the $170+ price tag for the deluxe version of the album), maybe spend the long weekend with some of that record’s bastard spawn. Revisit Liz Phair‘s much lauded Exile in Guyville album – a track-by-track response to the 1972 release. Or better still, visit the dark side and download Pussy Galore‘s sloppy and devilishly lo-fi version of the Stones classic.

-Cool Hand Luke