1.) One of our very favorites, Nurses are touring and have been for some time. The trio recorded a set of live videos in Chicago, produced by Art In The Age, who did an excellent job on the sound. You can find three more songs on Nurses' blog.
2.) The Seattle Weekly put together a feature on Nirvana's Bleach in commemorating the upcoming re-issue. None of the five stories are particularly stunning on their own—including the interviews done by Krist Novoselic—but taken together they are a worthwhile diversion.
3.) Recent travels brought me through New York during CMJ. And though I was not there in any journalistic capacity, I attended a few shows, but mostly just to see friends' bands. As it has been in recently, CMJ continues shrinking. The idea of a multi-day music festival in NY is a nice idea, but also an idiotic one. Especially in rainy, frigid, late-October. Hotels are too expensive and so is the beer.
Anyway, aside from those paltry gripes, I did catch what was likely the most-buzzed-about group of the festival, The xx. It was late after midnight at the Tribeca Grand, a ridiculously hip, bursting at the seams, Standard-like hotel. Lines out the doors, packed on both floors, all kinds of garbage milling about the Good Looking People's Club. A loud, Un-IDM dance party down-stairs pounded along while The xx got their gear together, presumably from an earlier show. When they finally got the DJ's attention, the band's sound-system was unfortunately weaker than the DJ's (why weren't they connected?).
But then it may not have mattered. The xx are another one of the Johnny-come-lately blog-hyped acts who have little or no clue yet how to put on any type of engaging performance, despite having made in interesting album. It's not hard to imagine how adding a bit of velocity to the lackadaisical, pre-dawn, low-breeze, detached vibe of the self-titled record could translate to a more interesting stage show, but The xx either refuse to or cannot. It was soft and the band appeared bored, but their look could've been a bit of self-protective posturing, as the 20-year-olds may have just been overwhelmed.
After seeing this performance it's not surprising The xx just canceled a few upcoming shows due to "exhaustion." It's a familiar story, and begs the question: are bands and management going to recognize that over-exposure while being under-cooked is hurtful to longevity in the blog era? Or is this one hellacious window the only chance before The Next Big Thing swoops in?