Bon Iver for Bon Iver

The mention of Bon Iver’s music is often met with the stirring of many emotions. I myself will always be able to remember the first time I heard “Skinny Love” (riding in the passenger seat with my current romantic interest, the windows down, a calm cool night in North Carolina, and all of a sudden this voice on the speakers starts whispering to me everything I was feeling at that moment with graduation only a few weeks away: “skinny love just last the year…”).

I was in love.

Generally speaking, most people that have fallen for the raw grace of For Emma, Forever Ago will have a similar story to mine. The emotions wrapped in that album are so powerful and real (after all, they were written for a girl following a break-up) that you can’t help but relate to them. For a debut album, it was significant. It connected to people and created ties between listeners and the song-writer/singer. Ties that have held us to wait and wonder what Bon Iver has to offer us next.

I can’t usually stand to read reviews. All the fancy music terminology reviewers use, obscure references they throw in just to make us feel stupid, and nit-picky ways to say “yeah this could have been better” (I’d love to see them do better). When I tell someone about an album I prefer to stick to basics: loved it, hated it. Let people decide for themselves. I know music is art and critics will always exist to tell us what we should or shouldn’t be listening to. But that doesn’t mean we have to listen to them.

As of now, I refuse to read a review for Bon Iver, the self-titled second album that will be released June 21st. The album is currently streaming at NPR and while checking out the album I couldn’t help but notice two phrases: “Grand, chance-taking record” and “dares to be dreamy” (okay so maybe I read a few paragraphs of the NPR write-up).

“Chance-taking” ? “Dreamy” ?

I have had this album on repeat for the last 3 hours. All I can say is that I am incredibly impressed with this album. The fact that Justin Vernon did not make another Emma is all that I could have ever hoped for and yet this album surpasses his first in a way that I never thought would be possible. To think that an artist could hit such high acclaim after only one album was nearly inconceivable. The emotional connection is still there from the first album, but this time the lyrics are less clear (even hard to make out at times). At first listen, Bon Iver is not much of a departure from Emma in terms of sound and meaning, but rather clarity. I love when artists do something different, I love when they challenge themselves, and I especially love when it works. So maybe he did take some chances. This album has me literally holding my breath at times- starting with the drums and horns in “Perth” and ending with the miracle of electric sound that is “Beth/Rest”. That didn’t quite exist in a straight forward guitar album like Emma. At least not in the same way. I can’t help but feel lost in this album, and I like that.

This album is called Bon Iver for a reason. It’s not for Emma this time. It’s not for anyone really (or it might be, but I am blissfully unaware because I am refusing to read reviews). It’s the next step in Justin Vernon’s musical journey. And I am so happy to be a part of it.

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Royal Wedding Madness Playlist!

Are you beyond excited for the wedding of the century? Have you bought your Will & Kate Refrigerator yet?

(yes it exists)

DJ Huxtable, now known to her loyal subjects as HM Queen Haley Prudence Hennesberton of Denvershire (yes you too can be royal) is so excited she may not be able to sleep tonight. Meanwhile, DJ Starbuck and DJ Brady are both baffled by the amount of press this event is getting and are trying to remain sane.

To honor this momentous and ridiculously publicized occasion, we are bringing you a very smashing playlist full of the very finest British pop music to ever be played at a wedding. Or in this case, not at a wedding. Seriously, it’s that bad. I mean good.

Yes, that’s right. MITN’s first ever Royal Wedding Playlist!

Full Playlist Here

Wondering what didn’t make the list?

– Jolly Holiday – Mary Poppins (too silly)

-White Wedding – Billy Idol (too ironic)

-Every Breath You Take – The Police (too creepy)

-You Are So Beautiful – Joe Cocker (too sweet)

-In my Life – The Beatles (too obvious)

-Every other Coldplay song (too awful)

Breaking Weird Al News!

Weird Al Yankovic has (finally!) made a parody of Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way”. His song “Perform this Way” was meant to be the single off his new album and he was even going to donate all the money from sales of the song and music video (how awesome would that video have been) to the Human Rights Campaign. Unfortunately, Gaga said “no” to the parody, which hasn’t stopped Al from uploading a video to Youtube and releasing the mp3 for free at his site. You can read more about the “Gaga Saga” at Weird Al’s blog and watch the above video dubbed with lyrics.

I think it’s even better than the original. Take that Gaga!

Edit: Gaga Approves! Read more

Popularity Contest: A Rant with Purpose

As you’ve probably figured out already, the music biz (as we call it) thrives solely on popularity. Now that can stem from a whole lot of things. Physical appearance of the artists, fashion, crazy antics, and sometimes even their musical talent. I say sometimes because let’s face it- what is “popular” isn’t always good. And when there are so many talented musicians and musical groups out there in the world it’s hard to understand why they are often overlooked by radio and mainstream and replaced by inferior posers.

Which brings me to a recent discovery. Actual talent on the radio. As you may or may not know, I was away in Ghana for the past two years. Apparently during that time someone decided that artists who play their own instruments and write their own songs should also be included in today’s top music. I returned home to find artists like Mumford & Sons, Adele, and The Decemberists all over the Billboard charts. You can only imagine my surprise.

Now here is where I will start to nitpick. Obviously everyone’s tastes are not the same and even those previous artists I listed may not be to everyone’s liking. So now the question is, why those artists/bands over all the others? What makes them better? Supposedly we can leave that up to listeners to decide- I mean, if they want to hear it obviously it will be played on the radio. But…. suppose listeners are not aware of all the other artists that sound (how do I put this) exactly like those previous artists. I mean, how would they ever find out if the radio only plays what was once unknown and is now “popular”? Ah. Now that is a tough one.

So what is popularity? Even in the indie scheme of things? Certainly Adele has appeal over the masses, she’s certainly doing well for herself and I would be lying if I said that “Rolling in the Deep” was not one of my new favorite songs. But seriously, why her? And I don’t mean to solo her out, but I want to make a point here. Female folk/country/bluesy artists are nothing new. Remember Duffy, Norah Jones, even Lex Land who we introduced you to a while back. Is Adele just the new new?

And what of Laura Marling?

She remains one of the most incredible young promising folk artists I have ever listened to and yet she gets minimal publicity (except in England where she won Best Female Solo Artist at the 2011 Brit Awards). Marling wrote her first album “Alas I Cannot Swim” when she was 17 and her poetic lyrics seem to come from someone much older and mature.

I wander the streets, avoiding them eats
Till ring on my finger slips to the ground
A gift to the gutter, a gift to the city
The veins of which have broken me down

Her last album “I Speak Because I Can” was just as miraculous, coming from a matured and older Laura Marling. Perhaps her song content is just too dark to catch on. Songs about religion and faith don’t sell as well as ones about boyfriends and dance clubs. But in any case, her newest collaboration with Mumford & Sons has me wondering if this might lead to her big breakout into America. After all, America seems to eat up those boys and their banjos. Their new EP will be coming out July 5th and it features traditional Rajasthani folk collective Dharohar Project. Bollywood on Top Billboard? We’ll have to wait and see…

Record Store Day!

As many of you already know, today is Record Store Day! Record stores across the country are having special events, releases, give-aways, and concerts! To find a record store nearest you visit the Record Store Day website.

Many music websites have been posting lists of special releases that will be available today. Pitchfork has released their guide to the day and Paste just named 30 releases they believe are deserving of your dough.

We at Movies in the Newspaper are of course excited to jump into the record store action. But unlike our fellow music blogs we have decided to do something a little different. Today we will share with you the best of the worst. The worst album covers that is.

So without further ado:

MITN Presents: Top Ten Best of the Worst Album Covers Ever!

 (The juxtaposition of these two covers on this list was no happy accident)

We have no idea either.

Also the winner of the most depressing album cover ever

 This is just ridiculous on so many levels. MC Pooh?

 The best part of this cover? The fact that one of these men is now NY congressman.

And an added bonus:

Hope you enjoyed our best of the worst!

For more albums to avoid solely based on their terrible artwork check out these links.

Happy Record Store Day everyone!

The New Pornographers are up for an Emmy

If you were not aware, The New Pornographers made a song dedicated to the BP oil spill and Oxfam America’s Gulf Coast Recovery Program. The song is called “Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk” and has been nominated for an Emmy in the ‘Societal Concerns’ category. Watch it here:

And, if that doesn’t work, here:
http://bit.ly/grfEsJ

What do you think? Does it deserve the nod or the award?

Countdown to Shutdown: Songs of Crisis

Well hello!

It seems as though we have all survived the events of today! And it also seems that the crisis has been solved!

Wait what is that? Something about a short-term measure….?

Well, in any case we asked you to help us come up with some great songs that really captured the emotions of today and you didn’t let us down. So without further ado:

Enjoy!