Reader music critic, author of The Girls’ Guide to Rocking
Bill Wyman in Jean-Luc Godard’s Sympathy for the Devil: After watching this last week, I’ve been obsessed with the visage of the Rolling Stones bassist and his hard-brushed, half-konked curly hair agleam like a tortoise shell under the movie lights. With his hangdog face and his head-to-toe pink outfit, he looks like a Barbie someone set on fire—a welcome counterpoint to the typically luscious Mick, clad in a Tunisian bed-shirt.
Tom & Jerry’s “Crambone”: Jerry’s uncle, a hayseed hillbilly singer, arrives and sings this hiccupping take on the folk song “Froggy Went A-Courtin'” called “Crambone.” For a cartoon mouse, he has a mighty talent. Check it out on YouTube.
Tune-Yards’ “Powa”: The linchpin pop track from this lo-fi experimental act is a curiously slow grind that holds down Merrill Garbus’s flawless sophomore album, Whokill.
Rita Bacon, aka DJ Lady Miss Navy Pier, is not too cool for Britney Spears. Find out why.
Rita Bacon, aka DJ Lady Miss Navy Pier
DJ force behind the Chances Dances queer dance party
Britney Spears’s “Trip to Your Heart”: This track should be illegal. So addictive. A totally endearing pop song that’s a hammering reminder that Britney is an absolute goddess. Major chills all the way through.
Ssion’s soon-to-drop Bent: I have no idea how many times I listened to MP3 drafts of this album (sent to me by Ssion’s Cody Critcheloe), but I will say that it is only to be listened to loud in my bedroom—and I am now convinced that his darker sound is going to blow Kesha, Katy, and KD out of the water. Get ready for a fantastic piece of shit to drop in June.
Jessica Hopper interview with Smith Westerns: An effortless interview that proved kids don’t know what’s going on at all. Maybe what I want to say about Smith Westerns is that they are children with no clue how punk rock works .
What’s Aay Preston-Myint, aka DJ Nina Ramone, jamming to?
Aay Preston-Myint, aka DJ Nina Ramone
Fellow Chances Dances DJ and organizer
Austra’s “Beat and the Pulse”: All I can say about this track is that it makes me want to put on a cloak and do some Stevie Nicks-style spins around the graveyard. Toronto is really bringing it this year, like for real.
The Weeknd’s “The Morning”: With lines about zombies and Alizé for breakfast—and not one Beach House sample but two—this track suggests that the Weeknd’s idiosyncratic R&B album House of Balloons could be amazing, terrible, or both. It’s got the bravado of Kanye (minus the childishness), the sexiness of JT (admit it!), and a little R. Kelly melodrama (but less surreal). Canadian vacation: booked.
Beth Ditto’s new EP: I was going to give Toronto three for three by repping Azari & III, but Beth Ditto’s self-titled EP is too good not to talk about. Pairing Ditto’s voice with production by Simian Mobile Disco, it’s an homage to the early-90s club sound that makes recent appropriations by Christina Aguilera and Lady Gaga pale in comparison.