Blogs. Diary turned inside-out. Diarydrome. It’s a vessel that even Melville would have shunned. And it’s also the Death of the Zine, right here in code, not to mention the promise of the internet spread thin into millions of aficionados, none of them versed in much more than what they like, or who they are. Not boring, though. It reminds me of a level playing field, if to lapse into sports analogy. For artists, it means distribution at the peck of enter.
Which brings me to my fave label of late, oozing fuck-you relevance and focus: Jagjaguwar records. Home to: Okkervil River, Pink Mountaintops/Black Mountain, Patrick Phelan, Simon Joyner, Wilderness, SkyGreen Leopards, Parts & Labor, and the up and coming hype magnets Ladyhawke.
New releases from Parts&Labor and Wilderness should cement the rep.
So few of Jagjaguwar’s releases fail to make a lasting impression on the zeitgeist, if such a thing is possible; a number of their artists are in it for the long haul, even if the likes of the Wilderness are more exciting due to their promise than their achievements thus far. There’s a refreshing lack of losss leaders here. They previously put out poetry reading platters (although, to their credit, it was Robert Creely, the only beat poet worth his weight in human breath) but smartly dumped all of it, and their garbage, for the most part, on Emusic.
Reason for celebration: They have an exceptionally generous download page.
Don’t get all shiny and comfortable just yet — I’m feeling cranky today: Skygreen Leopards are wildly inconsistent psych-pop revisionists, Pink Mountaintops make me sleepy, and the Minus Story is probably just annoying. Wilderness is all style little substance, and yet, once again, I violate my own standards because the Wilderness matches Johnny Lydon’s vocal style, in Ian Curtis’s timbre, to a pounding version of Felt’s first EP. Evidence, your honor: