October 24, 2002

Sunday Papers

Looks like that article from New York magazine last month was a harbinger of things to come, as The Paper of Record has finally gotten around to profiling the DFA label and producing team that are behind some of the latest sounds of the city that have likewise been rocking my iPod. Both that and the companion "scene report" piece are well-written bits of music reporting. I kind of like how the focus is more on the business side and personalities than on the music, for once, since it fits both the Times style and purpose given the paper's audience.

The only real misstep (as pointed out already on ILM by others) would be calling the 12" single an "odd format" -- perhaps from a punk/indie music perspective, but not particularly strange to the Times' readers, surely. Though when I read a paragraph like this:

On the computer in his office in a West Village building he shares with a film company and a party promotion company run by friends, Mr. Murphy keeps a list of DFA catalog items. And there are scores of them, though not all are physical objects. He tracks not just the five 12-inch singles the DFA has released, or the albums and demos it has produced, but also the parties it has given, the fliers it has made, the DFA watches and pins that it has had manufactured, the drink tickets handed out at its parties and even a new type face it created for a poster.

...I feel compelled to shout at my computer screen: Factory Records! Giving catalog numbers to non-musical artifacts (or non-physical objects) is hardly new, but does it even make sense to report this as some sort of novelty when the sort of person who even knows/cares what a catalog number is would get the earlier reference point, if only as a footnote?

Nit-picking aside, props to Neil Strauss for namechecking some of our favorite post-punkers, as well as listing Young Marble Giants - Colossal Youth and PiL - Metal Box among the few essential, classic albums new-skool punk-discoers should own if they don't already. Oh, and comparing "Losing My Edge" to "Gimme Indie Rock" is classic -- both "joke" songs mocking their audiences that some people take far too seriously. I remember people yelling out requests for "Gimme Indie Rock" at Sebadoh shows around the time that single came out and Lou would just shoot the requestee a look that was just like, you loser, because of course they weren't gonna play it, nope.

Posted by nstop at October 24, 2002 08:12 PM


"freebird" was a joke too. and as far as I know, lynyrd skynyrd is still at the bank, laughing.

Posted by: martin on October 24, 2002 09:44 PM


Actually, believe it or not in the new issue print issue of Harp there's a column by my hero and role model Dave Marsh that uses the whole "Freebird!" cliche as a launchpad. Like me though, he defends Skynyrd as a underrated(by critics and hipsters)band whose contribution to rock(including a lot of indie rock, esp. the No Depression stuff) has never been given it's due. He gives my man Dave Alvin a playful smackdown, but thgen gives him credit too.

Marsh is to rock writing what Christopher Hitchens is to political scribes, it's great contrarian bastard.

Posted by: jonmc on October 25, 2002 11:11 AM

heheh. I also think Skynyrd is underrated even though I'm not a big fan of them. I didn't bother to explain that comment because further explanation would have made it even less chuckle-funny than it already is.

I grew up around Nashville, and if you look at my humble indie beginnings, a lot of it is from the Athens camp and the similarly "southern garage" stuff since that was more visible where I was.

and as blashemous as I may be at times, I do know that Drivin 'n' Cryin got their inspiration somewhere...

Posted by: martin on October 25, 2002 11:44 AM

Oh yeah Jon I forgot to tell you how pleased I was to see the Zambonis link over on yer blog. You into any of the other Katis bros. projects? We should exchange notes cause I bet our tastes overlap more than either of us think.... heheheh. We'd probably be safe from all blasphemy starting with the Replacements...

Posted by: martin on October 25, 2002 02:20 PM

I know the Philistines Jr. -- are there any other projects? I should give those records a re-listen. Also, didya know that Peter Katis recorded and mixed the Interpol album?

Posted by: nstop on October 26, 2002 01:36 PM

besides philistines jr and zambonis, there are the happiest guys in the world and the pork guys, among other things...

I know how much you appreciate a well-designed site, so:


peter katis engineered the latest get up kids record too.

philistines jr played a few times at lehigh when I was still in college. a couple friends of mine from school knew the the brothers katis from their hometown... that's how I first heard of philistines jr anyway.

Posted by: martin on October 27, 2002 11:32 PM

The Bros. Katis actually grew up with the Famous RTEMT in Greenwich and Dave Schneider was born and resides in the Gritty Park City like yours truly. He also is the MC at Sound Tigers games. I remeber hearing some Those Melvins stuff back in the day, but shamefully, I haven't heard much of the other stuff. Although my buddy Jason did fix John's computer and when we saw the Zambonis about 10 months ago Storm gave some chick in the audience a lapdance after doing his little stage dance during "Hockey Monkey"

Posted by: jonmc on October 27, 2002 11:45 PM

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