Pop culture essays, criticism, fistfights

Clef Notes: The Wanderlust Edition

Every Friday, or at least until his spectacular rock star flameout, Giovanny will be dropping a week’s worth of music knowledge on you with Clef Notes, proof positive that he’s a one man music magazine


For those non-reading types who are confused... it's Persephone Goddess of Spring, growth, and harvest.

For those non-reading types who are confused... it's Persephone Goddess of Spring, growth, and harvest.

Get that passport photo ready!: Although it may not feel like it in America's Northeast, the calendar does indeed say that Spring is upon us. If you look hard enough (by which I mean beyond your window), you can see other evidence beyond the claims of our increasingly obsolete Julian day-measuring tool; after all, Easter is this Sunday (and so is GAME OF THRONES!!!), there’s increasing amounts of daylight, and most importantly, Major League Baseball’s opening day is on Monday. Sooner or later, the direct rays of the sun will start to warm our skin, halter top day will arrive, and we will finally be able to pack away our winter coats till next year. I promise.

Of course there is more to the onset of Northern Hemispherical warmth than drafting Fantasy Baseball teams and changing wardrobes. Some of our OCD friends out there prefer to engage in “Spring Cleaning” rituals at around this time, most of our collegiate friends are preparing for the world ending drama that is Finals and, closer to my heart, many of our music-loving friends (which should be all of you) are counting their vacation days, and checking their bank accounts, with the hopes of scheduling a trip to some distant (in some cases, not so distant) locations, prepared to stand in a mass of humanity, get “relaxed”, and listen to live glorious music.

That’s right boys and girls, the Spring/Summer concert season is once again nearly upon us, and one of the (I suppose) pleasant side effects of the fact that neither you,  nor anyone you know, buys music these days is that your favorite bands is on tour... because they’re always on tour... because how else will they make any money?

Moving on...

Persephone today.

Persephones today.

Since just about every active band in creation will be on the road this year the amount of festivals for you to get sun burned while having your shit stolen at has seemingly tripled. Whether you're in one of the various quadrants of these United States, the billion countries in Europe, the friendly confines of Canada, or, hell, even the Sunrise Empire of Japan, a massive corporate-sponsored circus of music and revelry will be invading your town (or a nearby locale) and overcharging you and your friends for every possible thing you wish to purchase (including the actual tickets for the concerts). So how do you decide which festivals to attend? Well, because I’m awesome I’ve got you covered with our annual list of upcoming music festival extravaganzas! Below I have two chronological lists of the major (and some not so major) festivals which will be taking place this year, split up (loosely) regionally. I also took the time to embed links for the festivals' websites, so you can easily get information regarding lineups, ticket prices, and anything else you may want to know.

So please, give these festivals a gander- but make your decisions quickly before passes begin to sell out. Maybe you and your friends can engage in some kind of competition to see who can go to the most  events, or travel the furthest distance, or see a particular band the most times. Here, I’ll start; at the time of this posting, I’m going to four of the festivals listed below, spread over three countries, and I will travel over six thousand miles to catch Blur and My Bloody Valentine. What about you?

North America:
Coachella, Indio, California (April 12-14 & April 19-21)... Austin Psych Fest, Austin, Texas (April 26-28)... Electric Daisy Carnival, New York, New York (May 17-18)... GoogaMooga Festival, New York, New York (May 17-19) Electric Daisy Carnival, Chicago, Illinois (May 24-26)... Sasquatch Music Festival, The Gorge Amphitheatre, Washington (May 24-29)... Mutek Music Festival, Montreal, Canada (May 29-June 2)... Bonnaroo, Manchester, Tennessee (June 6-9)... Governor’s Ball Music Festival, New York, New York (June 7-9)... NXNE, Toronto, Canada (June 10-16)... Solid Sound, North Adams, Massachusetts (June 21-23)... Electric Daisy Carnival, Las Vegas, Nevada (June 21-23)... Electric Forest, Rothbury, Michigan (June 27-30)... Camp Bisco, Albany, New York (July 11-13)... Pitchfork Music Festival, Chicago, Illinois (July 19-21)... Lollapalooza, Chicago, Illinois (August 2-4)... Outside Lands, San Francisco, California (August 9-11)... Electric Zoo, New York, New York (August 30 - September 1)... Musicfest NW, Portland, Oregon (September 4-8)... Hopscotch Music Festival, Raleigh, North Carolina (September 5-9)... Boomslang Music Festival, Lexington Kentucky (September 20-21)...

The World:
Lollapalooza, Santiago, Chile (April 16-17)... ATP I’ll Be Your Mirror, London, UK (May 4-5)... ATP Curated By TV On The Radio, Pontins, Camber Sands, UK (May 10-12)... Primavera Sound, Barcelona, Spain (May 22-26)... Optimus Primavera Sound, Porto, Portugal (May 30 - June 2)... Rockness Music Festival, Dores, Scotland (June 7-9)... Sonar Music Festival, Barcelona, Spain (June 13-15)... Isle Of Wight Music Festival, Newport, UK (June 13-16)... Glastonbury, Worthy Farm, Pilton, UK (June 19-23)... ATP Curated By Deerhunter, Pontins, Camber Sands, UK (June 21-23)... Roskilde Music Festival Roskilde, Denmark June 29 - July 7)... T In The Park, Balado, Scotland (July 5-7)... Wireless Festival, London, UK (July 5-7)... Latitude Festival, Suffolk, UK (July 11-14)... Benicassim Festival, Benicassim, Spain (July 18-21)... Fuji Rock Music Festival, Naeba Ski Resort, Japan (July 26-28)... Camp Bestival, Lulworth Castle, UK (August 1-4)... Summer Sonic Festival, Tokyo, Japan (August 10-11)... Pukkelpop Festival, Hasselt, Belgium (August 15-17)... V Festival, Chelmsford & Staffordshire UK (August 17-18)... Green Man Festival, Wales, UK (August 16-17)... Reading Music Festival, Reading, UK (August 23-26)... Leeds Music Festival, Leeds, UK (August 23-26)... End Of The Road Music Festival, Dorset, UK (August 30 - September 1)...


Comedown Machine - The Strokes

Comedown Machine - The Strokes

Now that the studded belts which were once proudly worn are in a landfill, and the Lower East Side is deader than Williamsburg, The Strokes, and their current sound, are old strangers in a modern and digital strange land. They were once the proud candle holders of an anachronism worth revitalizing, and now they’re recycling the forgotten eighties.... [Full Review]

16th Notes:

Pfft... What an ass.

Pfft... What an ass.

New York’s Yeah Yeah Yeahs are in full-fledged comeback mode, and they've scheduled a bevy of tour dates for the upcoming months. They've also released a video for Sacrilege, the first single off their upcoming record, Mosquito. I knew if I prayed hard enough that they’d return... In a promotional strategy stolen straight from 1980's John Cougar Mellencamp, Kurt Vile has agreed to hold a parade for himself in the city of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia. Are there really enough Kurt Vile fans in Philadelphia to line a parade route?.. Vampire Weekend have reportedly delayed the release of their hotly anticipated record, Modern Vampires In The City, by a week. Please keep your disappointment to yourself... A fully recuperated Lil’ Wayne (I’m assuming) has decided to continue to rest and take it easy by scheduling a Summer tour with T.I. and Future. Word of advice: It would be wise for promoters to keep an extra detail of EMTs on site... Deerhunter has revealed some details regarding the follow-up to 2010’s phenomenal Halcyon Digest. I will take new music from Bradford Cox in any iteration at this point... The godfather of the synth, Robert Moog, was recently inducted into the National Inventors Hall Of Fame. What the fuck took so long?... The world was left heartbroken when it learned My Chemical Romance have called it quits. I know that some of you out there have already signed a petition for one last world tour, but allow me to reuse a punchline I employed earlier in this very 16th Notes: Please keep your disappointment to yourself... Forbes just released its list of the world's richest hip-hop artists, and the man on top of the game (once again) is none other than Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs. Is it really fair to call him a hip-hop artist?... This week Taylor Swift revealed she landed a role on the season finale of Fox's The New Girl. Not only am I glad I don't watch The New Girl, I'm ecstatic that I don't even know anyone who watches The New Girl... Lastly, one of Justin Bieber's neighbors is considering pressing assault charges against the Canadian pop-star after Biebs allegedly spit on the father of three. Look, we all know the charges won't stick, but am I the only one who thinks Bieber is starting to lose his mind a bit now that he is old enough to smoke? Not that I'm concerned or anything...

Top Ten List:


Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta turned 27 years old yesterday, and now she has to try her damndest to avoid the Grim Reaper for the rest of the year. Known worldwide as the intensely unique megastar Lady Gaga, this singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, activist, fashion designer, businesswoman, and philanthropist has been on top of the pop music game since her debut record, The Fame, catapulted her to stardom five years ago. Lately it seems as if the hoi polloi have started to turn on the star they helped create, but the release of Artpop later this year may change all that. Nevertheless, the New York native’s birthday just passed, and I maintain my fandom for this vital star in the industry. Here now are the ten best song by my most famous Twitter follower.

10) Alejandro
9) Edge Of Glory
8) Beautiful Dirty Rich
7) Love Game
6) Born This Way
5) Just Dance
4) Paparazzi
3) Bad Romance
2) Telephone
1) Poker Face

Clip Of The Week:

About a year after the fact, the mainstream media has finally caught on to the whole “Pussy Riot” controversy, as CBS’ 60 Minutes finally decided to air a feature on the group, and their unjust imprisonment. The news program did its best to not only recap the events which took place last February at The Cathedral Of Christ The Savior in Moscow which led to the subsequent headline generating trial, but also shed light on the current Russian political climate, and why these young women felt the need to engage in their protests and activism. 60 Minutes even sent Leslie Stahl to Moscow, where she conducted  interviews with Yekaterina Samutsevich, who was originally sentenced with the rest of her band mates but released after a technicality found there were no grounds to properly prosecute her. Stahl also interviewed “Kot” (Pussy Riot’s drummer) who, not having been apprehended for her part in the Cathedral demonstration,  has been in hiding, as well as Russian celebrity and chess icon Garry Kasparov (a major proponent of Pussy Riot). Of course Stahl also interviewed  some idiot from the Russian State Department, who spewed his ideological rhetoric with a hollow smile, but fuck him. There’s a bit more to the segment, which aired Sunday night, and if you’re interested (P.S. You should be) you can watch it below.

Track Of The Week:

The future always looks jacked in movies.

The future always looks jacked in movies.

Oblivion (feat Susanne Sundfør) & Starwaves - M83: Anthony Gonzalez had been hinting about doing film score work for quite some time now, and it has always seemed like a good idea. The Frenchman’s godly composition abilities and sonic palette have always felt cinematic in scope, and as long as Gonzalez found the right project to contribute his music to the results would be spectacular... Enter Joseph Kosinski, Tom Cruise, and a sci-fi movie/Wall-E ripoff known as Oblivion (I assure you, there are no Elder Scrolls involved). The film is set to premiere April 19th, and while there is basically no chance I'll see it in theaters, I will without question listen to the soundtrack dozens of times, falling in love with it and forgetting there ever was a movie involved in its creation. Above are the first two tracks from Gonzalez’s score, which have made their way to the internets.

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