Sometimes music’s most imaginative figures prefer to focus their creative energies on… other pursuits. This is why we can’t have nice things.
THROWING ROCKS AT GLASS IN CRYSTAL CASTLES
Up until April, Crystal Castles fans wondered what the project would sound like without contributions from Alice Glass, who announced she was leaving it behind for personal and professional reasons last October. Then they found out that it would sound pretty self-righteous. On April 19 Ethan Kath released a new song, “Frail” coupled with a statement he’s since edited down to the first two sentences and the first six words of the third. “I wish my former vocalist the best of luck in her future endeavors. I think it can be empowering for her to be in charge of her own project,” said Kath. “It should be rewarding for her considering she didn’t appear on Crystal Castles’ best known songs,” he continued, going on to index material he alleged she wasn’t responsible for. “People often gave her credit for my lyrics and that was fine, I didn’t care.” Glass responded with a series of tweets claiming she “wrote almost all of the lyrics in [Crystal Castles] and the vast majority of the vocal melodies,” that she had a large hand in shaping “the sound and aesthetic from the beginning,” and that “manipulative statements about my contributions to the band only reinforce the decision I made to move on to other things,” and we couldn’t agree more with her choice.
MOGWAI VS. GLASTONBURY VS. METALLICA
When Scottish post-rock icons Mogwai were scheduled to play the 2014 edition of Glastonbury at the same time as Metallica, singer Stuart Braithwaite voiced his incredulity over the predominantly indie genre festival’s lack of consideration involving how competing noise bleed would affect his band’s dynamic volume shifts, stating, “I just can’t wait until we go all quiet and you can hear ‘Enter Sandman’ in the background,” multi-instrumentalist Barry Burns chiming in to call Lars Ulrich’s drumming “unbelievably bad.” When asked for his side of the story, Ulrich delivered more of his token cultural savvy by questioning the long-celebrated act’s status, asking, “Huh? What? Who are you?”
THE JOYLESS DIVISION OF NEW ORDER
On Sept. 25, New Order will release its first album without contributions from former bassist Peter Hook. This follows a long history of dispute with the original member. After Hook left the group in 2007, New Order disbanded for its second time and members Bernard Sumner, Phil Cunningham, and Stephen Morris performed together in a new group, Bad Lieutenant. Reforming New Order in 2011, the band released Lost Sirens in 2013, consisting of eight tracks left off of 2005’s Waiting for the Sirens’ Call. Gillian Gilbert says the delay of the release was due to copyright disputes with Hook. After Sumner wrote a memoir about his life in Joy Division and New Order, Hook reviewed the book for Billboard, called its depiction of himself “a shame, not just for us and the fans, but maybe also for the bookstores who won’t know whether to file this under fantasy or tragedy.” This is why we can’t have nice things.
After complaining on Twitter about a poor experience at Seattle restaurant the 5 Point Café, agit-rock guitarist and blue-collar champion Tom Morello became the centre of a flame war. Following the Twitter rant, both parties wrote lengthy Facebook posts about the incident. Tying the event to the 15Now benefit he was in the area to play, Morello painted the restaurant as being “on the wrong side of the minimum wage issue,” then going on to detail a 10-minute wait that turned into an outright refusal of service even though, he explained, “I’m from the ’90s!” You get the idea.
(Photo by David Shankbone via Flickr)
KEITH RICHARDS HYPERBOLES ALL THE MUSIC
Keith Richards is on a roll. In recent interviews about his upcoming Crosseyed Heart solo LP, as if competing in an election the Rolling Stone has recently been disseminating attack ads, waxing hyperbolic about basically all other music other in a quest to drum up attention. First he told Esquire that the Beatles’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band was just “a mishmash of rubbish”; then in an interview with New York Daily News, he called Metallica and Black Sabbath “great jokes” and rap music for “tone-deaf people.” The new album, supposedly, will not be like those other things.
SONIC YOUTH THINKS FUCKED UP IS “DUDE-CORE”
This beef dates back to an appearance Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon made on Ian Svenonius’s Vice talkshow, Soft Focus. After a line of questioning about their band’s feminist impulses, Svenonius started to comment on the fact that Sonic Youth doesn’t have a “real engineer dude” and Moore said, “Like the guy in Fucked Up?” and, “We’re not dude-core.” It was an interesting criticism, considering Fucked Up contains the same number of cis females as Sonic Youth. Like most sound bite scandal, this feud doesn’t stem from any real tension. According to Fucked Up guitarist Ben Cook, the labelmates met each other after the incident and Kim Gordon assured frontman Damian Abraham that “it was just a joke. We love you guys.” Still, Cook and Fucked Up drummer Jonah Falco did later record a collaborative release with photographer Ben Rayner called Cranking to Sonic Youth, so make of that what you will. (Vice previously made a stream of the project available, but the link has since expired.)