With everything happening this week, your annual remembrance of the first time Nirvana played “Smells Like Teen Spirit” probably fell through the cracks. Take a five-minute break from the live-action Michael Bay movie we’re all living through right now and relive music history, when Nirvana debuted an early version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to close a show at Seattle’s OK Hotel on April 17, 1991.
Also debuted at that show, according to this set list, “Pennyroyal Tea.” (They also covered Naked Raygun’s “Libido.”) That same night, Singles was filming Alice In Chains “across the street,” according to Truly frontman Robert Roth in Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History Of Grunge by Mark Yarm. (The OK Hotel also served as the central coffee shop in the movie.)
“That show at the OK Hotel was legendary!” says Fastbacks guitarist Kurt Bloch in that book. “There were a few genre-defining shows, and certainly that was one of them. I remember standing next to [former Sub Pop publicist] Nils Bernstein, and then ‘Hey, here’s a new song, blah blah blah.’ They started playing ‘Teen Spirit,’ and Nils and I looked at each other like, ‘Holy fuck! This song ...
Read This: A nerdy financial journalist nerdily investigates whether House Lannister really is wealthier than House Tyrell
The Internet is full of interesting things to read outside of The A.V. Club—no, really! In our periodic Read This posts, we point you toward interesting or noteworthy pieces that caught our eye.
Game Of Thrones inspires all sorts of interesting debate, from hot talks about whether Daenerys Targaryen can really afford to give up one of those dragons to chatter about whether or not Tyrion Lannister can get it. (Donna from Parks And Rec says yes.) The latest hot topic, though, is whether House Tyrell is, in fact, wealthier than House Lannister. One of Slate’s financial journalists, Matthew Yglesias, has been diving deep into the issue, and his thoughts make for fascinating reading.
For example, Yglesias believes that because the Iron Throne owes so much to House Lannister, House Lannister is essentially gambling with its fortunes, especially considering that the Iron Throne is financially insolvent at the end of Robert Baratheon’s reign. Wrap your brain around this:
Note that Robert's debts aren't some kind of countercyclical stabilization policy. This is an agricultural economy governed by a real business cycle. Nor is he going into debt to finance productive investments. He's not improving ...
Would-be Starks, Targaryens, and Lannisters can now create their own HBO-sanctioned Game Of Thrones sigils on the dramatically named site Join The Realm. The surprisingly addictive program allows users to customize their sigil’s colors, mottos, and icons, which include iPhones, cupcakes, saxophones, tennis rackets, and martinis (you know, all of the modern conveniences of Westeros). Users can export their sigils as a JPEG or link the program to their Facebook page. Now you can finally design those Game Of Thrones inspired puns you’ve been working on, like “House Stark, Always A-Head.”
Kid, Harrison Ford has flown from one side of the galaxy to the other. He’s seen a lot of strange stuff, put up with a lot of obnoxious questions from fans of Star Wars, Blade Runner, and Indiana Jones, but there’s no mystical force that controls his destiny in a way that makes answering these questions mandatory. (There is a mystical force that can control his reasons for reaching for his blaster, but that’s a whole other story.) The actor’s fundamental prickliness has become such a large part of his mystique that it hijacked his segment on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night, the end of which segued into an audience Q&A sketch based on the common knowledge that it’s not wise to upset a Harrison Ford. Watch the clip below to see Kimmel staffers in Star Wars garb struggle to come up with a line of questioning for Ford that doesn’t originate a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. (So are we to assume there were Regarding Henry fans in the audience?) But then someone in a Chewbacca costume shows up, and Ford gives the fans exactly what they want ...
Alabama space act Man Or Astro-Man? toured its asses off in the ‘90s, playing its special brand of surf-rock until it broke up in 2001. The group briefly reunited in 2005, broke up again in 2006, got back together in 2010, and is now set to release a new record. Defcon 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… comes out May 21 via Vessels/Chunklet, and features a title that will frustrate typing journalists for years to come.
Brooklyn Vegan has the first single, “Disintegrate,” which is a pretty straightforward rock track from this notoriously instrumental and freaky act. It’s streaming below, right above a list of the band’s extensive and upcoming tour dates.
Man Or Astro-Man? Tour 2013
April 26—Club Dada—Dallas, Texas
April 27—Austin Psych Fest—Austin, Texas
April 28—Fitzgerald’s Upstairs—Houston, Texas
May 9—The Crescent Ballroom—Phoenix, Arizona
May 10—The Echo—Los Angeles, California
May 11—Bimbo’s 365 Club—San Francisco, California
May 12—The Cellar Door—Visalia, California
May 13—Harlow’s—Sacramento, California
May 14—Cozmic Pizza—Eugene, Oregon
May 15—The Biltmore Cabaret—Vancouver, British Columbia
May 16—The Wild Buffalo—Bellingham, Washington
May 17—Doug Fir ...
An Edmonton, Alberta radio station posted a “radio edit” of “Get Lucky” on its site earlier today, but then quickly pulled it down. Michiel Veenstra, a DJ on Dutch radio station 3FM, was a little ballsier. He played the track twice on his show today, and posted video of himself doing so to YouTube. While viewers have to put up with some weird Dutch chatter up top and in the middle of the clip, Veenstra is pretty adorable as he dances enthusiastically to the track, which is definitely a total jam.
The officially official version of the track will be available for the public to download tonight starting at 12:01 a.m. eastern, and Daft Punk’s new record, Random Access Memories, is out May 21. Pre-orders are ongoing.
Watch Julie Klausner and friends frolic delightfully at the first-ever beauty event for redheads only
Author, podcaster, bon vivant, and all-around delight Julie Klausner is to redhead rights and redhead pride what Huey Newton was to the Black Power movement: a strong, proud black man standing tall and proud against institutionalized oppression and the white man’s lies. No, wait, that might have actually been an incredibly inaccurate, even offensive comparison, but there is no denying that Klausner is chockablock with redhead pride.
This led her and her loyal, game sidekicks Chris “Spoony” Spooner and musician Ted Leo to deliver an irreverent, entertaining video report on their trip to “Rock It Like A Redhead,” the first-ever beauty-and-fashion event for redheads only (though this isn’t apparent in the video, non-redheads who attempted to enter the event were massacred on sight). Hijinks, shenanigans, and tomfoolery ensue (yes, all three) as Leo devolves into an old-timey Irish brogue and Spoony embraces his feminine/redhead side in amusingly disturbing/possibly criminal ways. Enjoy.
The Pedaljets, the vintage underground rock act from Kansas, has reunited and will be releasing their first new album in 23 years. What’s In Between is due out June 25, but The A.V. Club is streaming the record’s first single, “Terra Nova,” exclusively starting today.
The Pedaljets launched in Lawrence, Kansas in 1984 and opened for Husker Du, The Flaming Lips, The Replacements, and The Meat Puppets before breaking up in 1990, shortly after the release of their disappointing second record, which the band says was rushed out by the label before it was ready. Back in 2006, the band started hanging out again and re-recorded that self-titled second record, making it into something they could actually tolerate. Since that went well, the band started working on the new material that is now coming out as What’s In Between.
The record was mixed by John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, Hold Steady) and features art by The Sea And Cake’s Archer Prewitt.
Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, known to lovers and haters alike as Tim & Eric, launched a new web series this week on their YouTube channel and Jash.com, the site they recently launched with Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, and Reggie Watts. Tim & Eric's GoPro Show is either about the duo wearing GoPro cameras and doing extreme sports, or just following them around while they write comedy. (They're some disagreement between the principals already, and it's pretty damn funny.) Check out the first episode below; there are two more on YouTube. Also, if you already hate them, this won't change your mind, though it might make Tim tweet at you.
If you've got an hour and seven minutes to spare, AMC just posted this in-depth panel discussion with Vince Gilligan and most of the main Breaking Bad cast (notably absent: Aaron Paul). It's a great chat, with everybody getting a chance to pay tribute to a show they've clearly loved making. There's talk about the possible Saul Goodman spinoff ("I would very much like to see that happen, and we are talking about it," says Gilligan) as well as various favorite moments from the series. Oh, and when somebody asks if the Internet influences the direction of the show, Gilligan quips, "I never go on the Internet for anything but porn." So screw productivity and check this out. [h/t to Uproxx]
Radiohead has inspired a lot of tattoos, but none have been quite as creepy as the one below. In the tattoo—which comes from Reddit, so it could be totally Photoshopped, but it looks real, so let’s choose to believe it is—a lovely portrait of Thom Yorke’s face sits atop a man’s slightly hairy chest, the frontman’s droopier eye replaced by the tattooed man’s pink nipple. No description can do it justice, really, so here it is, below. Marvel at its beauty. [via Fuse]
Fifteen years ago , if you were a police procedural detective working to catch a perp, you’d put on your crime-fighting shoes (impractical heels for ladies on CBS) and take to the mean and dirty streets. But nowadays, shoes be damned, you just take to the even meaner and dirtier Internet. Slacktory has compiled a supercut of the most ridiculous fake websites from Law & Order. Law & Order is best when it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and what’s great about the show’s treatment of the Internet is the absurd cheesiness of its websites contrasted against its deadpan detectives. Check the supercut out, and then make sure to post the video to your FaceUnion page. [h/t to Uproxx]
Ever the shit-starter, Drake loves to tackle the big issues. For instance, on his latest single, “Girls Love Beyoncé,” the non-wheelchair-bound rapper has the gall to insist that—gasp!—girls love Beyoncé. With little lord guest James Fauntleroy, Drake even apes Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name” for the chorus, clearly hoping to draft off some of the juice the current Mrs. Carter has stockpiled lately, nipple-flaunting tour costumes and all.
Canadian indie rockers Stars for over a decade now and have produced seven excellent full-length records, including last fall’s The North. The band’s keeping that record alive by playing a number of tour dates, including a slot at the Coachella festival, happening again this weekend.
Stars also recruited New York-based electronic musician Com Truise to remix one of the LP’s singles, “Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It,” which The A.V. Club is exclusively premiering today.
The group’s upcoming tour dates are below, and The North is out now.
Stars tour 2013
April 17—Humphrey’s Concerts By The Bay—San Diego, California ^
April 18—The Catalyst—Santa Cruz, California ^
April 19—Coachella—Indio, California
July 13—Lebreton Flats Park—Ottawa, Ontario
^ with Tegan And Sara
Phoenix’s new record, Bankrupt!, doesn’t come out officially for another week, but with the band’s publicity machine ramping up (Saturday Night Live, Coachella duets with R. Kelly, etc.), the French act is striking while the fer is chaud and streaming the record online now. Of course, it’s been available illegally for some time now, but whatever. This way’s legit.
Listen to the whole thing over at iTunes.
Alison Brie is barely noticed by the Internet, but if more information about her is something you might be interested in, she’s been around more than usual since the start of Mad Men’s new season. If you’d like to keep things respectable, you can watch Brie’s appearance on web interview series Speakeasy with Paul F. Tompkins, as they sip drinks and chat for 20 minutes about her various roles and her cover band The Girls. There’s the usual flirty/playful undercurrent to almost any interview with Brie, but Tompkins acquits himself well as an interviewer, getting her to talk at length about the differences between playing Annie on Community and Trudy on Mad Men, developing improv abilities, and how much of a pain it was to shoot “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” for Community, which amounted to hours and hours of sitting around a table. It’s one of Tompkins’ best interviews for the series, and it's nice to see someone actually engage with Brie as a performer with range. If 22 minutes is too much Brie to handle, there's also a video of Brie impersonating various Internet memes with Tompkins below. (Oh, and if ...
Chicago band Disappears have a new EP out this Record Store Day, April 20. At 30 minutes long, Kone is almost full-length, and highlights the band’s flare for combining straight guitar rock with drone and experimental sounds. Thanks to the fine people at Requiem Media, The A.V. Club is offering its readers an exclusive first listen to the EP below.
Disappears also have a number of tour dates coming up, including an April 18 show in Chicago. A full list of those dates is below.
April 18—Lincoln Hall—Chicago, Illinois
April 19—Turf Club—St. Paul, Minnesota
April 20—Gardner Lounge—Grinnell, Iowa
April 24—Brillobox—Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
April 25—Knitting Factory—Brooklyn, New York
April 26—Johnny Brenda’s—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
April 27—Motr Pub—Cincinnati, Ohio
May 17—Bootleg Theater—Los Angeles, California
May 18—Bottom Of The Hill—San Francisco, California
People like to accuse us of following actor/comedian Patton Oswalt a little bit too closely—of monitoring his activity like stalker-journalists. There's a little bit of truth to that: We're unabashed fans of his work, and frequently his outlook. After yesterday's horrific events in Boston, lots of people had eloquent things to say, from the President on down. But nobody was smarter or more eloquent than Oswalt, who posted the below message to his Facebook page.
In today’s earlier, more innocent hours, Fergie and Q-Tip’s new single just seemed like a thematically questionable companion to The Great Gatsby, its refrain either providing an ironic counterpoint to what actually happens in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s story, or completely ignoring it. Amid the news pouring out of Boston, there are obviously other reasons to feel uncomfortable about a song called “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” right now. But seeing as a tragedy like this always makes everything seem kind of empty and irrelevant anyway, hey, here’s Fergie’s swing-flavored hip-hop song about partying, from the soundtrack of a 3-D movie about American opulence. It has scatting.
In what is perhaps the first time we can note that the Internet did a great job without an undercurrent of irony, the Kickstarter campaign for the Veronica Mars movie has wrapped at just over $5.7 million—well over double the $2 million director Rob Thomas originally set as the goal. The project smashed all sorts of records along the way: It was the fastest to reach both $1 million and $2 million (a landmark it achieved in just half a day), became the all-time highest-funded film project (and third highest-funded Kicktstarter project overall), and it boasts the largest number of backers in Kickstarter history. In honor of helping them achieve those milestones, Thomas has pledged a new reward to his more than 90,000 backers: a sheet of Veronica Mars stickers, which you can proudly, permanently affix to the face of history, while history is napping. No word yet on what the production plans to do with its extra $3.7 million, but presumably there will be a scene where Veronica investigates the mystery of Rob Thomas’ awesome new speedboat.
The crowd reaction to Daft Punk’s Coachella trailer will let you know which Random Access Memories guests to be excited about
Though it eventually debuted in higher-than-an-iPhone-definition version during the Vince Vaughn/Miguel episode of Saturday Night Live, the bootlegged trailer for Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories still serves a vital purpose in the molly-addled afterglow of its debut. Because who better than the disembodied voices of Coachella attendees—which are apparently the closest you’ll get to hearing a large number of people cheering for new Daft Punk in 2013—to illustrate which of Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter’s latest collaborators deserve your “Woo”-ing enthusiasm? The full list is only “news” if you haven’t been paying attention to the Creators Project profiles of Nile Rodgers, Giorgio Moroder, and Todd Edwards that’ve cropped up on YouTube in recent weeks—but what did those guys done to earn the audible affection afforded Noah “Panda Bear” Lennox? (Just laid the foundation for most of the non-punk pop-music advances of the last four decades—but Person Pitch, you guys!) Whither Julian Casablancas? So over. It’s also possible that a Wikipedia disambiguation was required to explain which Paul Williams is appearing on the record, which is due May 21. It’s “Rainbow Connection”/Phantom Of The Paradise Paul ...
And so another long week draws to an end, and the lingering dregs of a cold gray winter have you wishing you could slip off somewhere warm and tropical—a place where bodies lie in the sand, tropical drinks melting in your hand. Also, Macaulay Culkin is there for some reason.
So, as if borne on the warm summer breeze of your burning desire, here’s Macaulay Culkin joining singer-songwriter Adam Green on a rendition of the Beach Boys’ “Kokomo.” Get there fast. Take it slow. Ask him if he still gets crazy Home Alone royalties. It’s where you wanna go. [via Radar]
“Because he’s the hero the network deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So, we’ll promote him with lines like ‘he fights for family’ and ‘lives for love,’ and make it look like he’s in one of those movies where a single mom discovers the true meaning of Christmas. Because he can take it. Because he’s not the network’s hero. He’s a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A guy who’s real smiley and likes to kiss. He's Batman on ABC Family.” [via UPROXX]
We're fans of outdated websites from bygone eras, so it makes sense that this particular supercut struck a bit of a chord. Slacktory has assembled a whole host of bogus, instantly outmoded websites from various shows. While it’s peppered with a few snippy parodies (like The Simpsons’ “Springface”), it’s the schmaltzy knockoffs that really make this collection pop. You can’t get much more byzantine than The Good Wife’s “Facebranch” or Castle’s YouWillViewIt.com. Cringe to your heart’s content.
As winter melts away like a Breaking Bad character who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, audiences and critics begin to look ahead to summer television. Breaking Bad has re-entered entertainment news as of late, and this week’s The Simpsons opening credits will pay homage to the show’s famous meth-production montage set to the 1969 groover “Crystal Blue Persuasion.” In the credits, Marge matter-of-factly bakes and dispatches blue cupcake batches while Homer skulks in a Heisenberg disguise, and there's a fun surprise at the end. (At least we think it's the opening credits—it's possible that it's just a commercial.) Check it out to satisfy any burgeoning Breaking Bad cravings, and then try to figure out who Lisa Simpson would be in the Breaking Bad universe. (Fring?) [h/t to L.A. Times]
And now, a “new to us” entry in the ongoing series “Bill Murray is the best”: For reasons only known to the digital imps that run Reddit, the following video of Bill Murray walking a slow-motion with a group of fans is recirculating around the web today. Why? Well, to quote the comedy legend and Wes Anderson regular himself, “It just doesn’t matter.” And besides: All the time that’s passed since the video originally went viral has only served to provide more context to the piece, like this interview with director David Walton Smith that elaborates on how asking Bill Murray to pay tribute to himself is always better than asking the man for an autograph. Someone should’ve told that to the autograph hound from The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou.
In an act as cruel as it is unusual, WYNC’s Soundcheck recently sat The Office’s Creed Bratton down and forced him to listen to Creed the band. Reacting about as you’d expect from someone unfamiliar with their music, Creed the actor (famous for playing “Creed” the character) asked, “Is he gargling with glass?” If only it were that simple. But alas, thanks to his Buddhist leanings, Creed the man ultimately forgave Creed the band, reasoning, “If they hear my stuff they might not like my stuff either. It’s a personal choice.” By "my stuff," Bratton means his music—he was the lead singer of '60s band The Grass Roots, and continues to release music (with notably awful album covers). If you can stand to hear the brief nuggets of “With Arms Wide Open” or “Higher,” check out the whole interview below. [viaVideogum.]
Anticipation for the new season of Arrested Development went up a few notches yesterday with the release of a series of teaser posters. But a true fever pitch of fan excitement can only be achieved once graphic designers produce vintage album-cover mockups. Similar to the jazz-themed LP covers for Homeland, and previous cartoonish old-timey album covers for the show’s cast and Dr. Funke’s 100% Natural Good-Time Family Band Solution, Josh Cox at Colossus Of Clout Design fashioned nine character-themed albums to go with the structure of the new season, which focuses on a different character in each episode. From Gob and Franklin’s perfunctory It Ain’t Easy Being White, It Ain’t Easy Being Brown to “Ballad Of Chareth Cutestory” off Michael Bluth’s Songs For Hop-Ons, it’s a delightfully clever mix of classic design and more inside jokes for Arrested Development fans to smirk at as Memorial Day approaches. [h/t to Paste]
Rookie Mag’s Ask A Grown Man series, where grown-ass men answer real life relationship questions for teen girls, has drawn all sorts of A-list guests, from Paul Rudd to Jimmy Fallon. For the site’s latest edition, though, they’ve pulled some big name musicians: Nigel Godrich and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. The video—which is, of course, adorable—has the Atoms For Peace duo dishing out truths on love and life, including advice on how to make out with a guy who’s not your boyfriend. Watch and swoon.
Cincinnati-based indie-punk act Mixtapes just released their debut full-length, Even On The Worst Nights, last year, but they’ve got another record on deck. Ordinary Silence is due out June 25 via No Sleep Records, and is available for pre-order now. In preparation for the record’s imminent dissemination, The A.V. Club is streaming the LP’s first single, “Elevator Days,” exclusively starting today. Equal parts Green Day, Paramore, and Titus Andronicus, Mixtapes channel all sort of radio-friendly punk power for the single, which the group says is about recognizing the faults everyone has inside them.
The band has about a million tour dates on the horizon as well, including a number of shows as part of the Vans Warped Tour. A full list of all Mixtapes’ dates is below.
Mixtapes tour 2013
May 12—Kobo Live Music—Columbus, Ohio *
May 13—Archway Center—Altoona, Pennsylvania *
May 14—Heirloom Arts Center—Danbury, Connecticut *
May 15—Pressed Café—Ottawa, Ontario *
May 16—Rancho Relaxo—Toronto, Ontario *
May 17—Pouzza Fest—Montreal, Quebec *
May 18—Skate And Surf—Freehold, New Jersey
May 20—The Loft—Poughkeepsie, New York *
May 21—Bug Jar—Rochester, New York *
May 22—Charm City Art Space ...