M.I.A. Gets Messy, Ted Leo Gets Tired and The Best Videos Get Animated


Louisville’s Velocity announced this week that indie-rock veteran Ted Leo (of Ted Leo and The Pharmacists) had decided to hang up the Epiphone and retire. Those reports have turned out to be false (whew). Leo’s quote were taken out of context, but the sentiment of his words still rings true. He said, “By next year, there’s no way I’m going to be able to be on tour like I have been these last few years.” He’s talking about making a living, people, and as many of us know, it’s a tough thing to accomplish no matter what your profession.

That’s why another quote from Ted Leo in the Village Voice about some fans who had the nerve to ask him for a pirated copy of his upcoming album, is awesome. He said:

“I find it absolutely ridiculous that someone would approach the artist and say to them, ‘Hey where can I . . . ?’ ” he says. “You know, it’s available everywhere. It’s 10 fucking dollars. You know how much people spend on beer and stupid shoes and American Apparel clothes every week? Ten dollars—it’s 10 goddamn dollars. Dock yourself two beers this week, and you’ve got our album.

Amen, Ted Leo. Amen.


I sort of can’t deal with M.I.A.‘s new record MAYA, but this performance on The Late Show With David Letterman made “Born Free” just a little bit more fun in my book. When assaulted with 8 or so dopplegangers and a live band, I’m into it. Some critics have been gentle in their reviews of M.I.A.’s third release but others have been less tolerant. Pitchfork’s Matthew Perpetua rates it a mere 4.4, calling it a “shambling mess.” For the most part, I’m inclined to agree.

Today, The Washington Post surveys music critics to ask if M.I.A’s album is backlash or a result of crappy songs.



On Thursday, Live Nation executives held a meeting at Irving Plaza in New York to address investors’ concerns about the health of the company. CEO Michael Rapino revealed ticket sales are down 9% in 2010, but said it’s just a “blip” in sales. A few acts are going strong — Jay-Z, Eminem, Justin Bieber, and The Jonas Brothers — but overall, sales are slow. Why? Well, number 1, the economy. Also, outlandish ticket prices and ticket fees. NPR’s The Record says Live Nation-owned Ticketmaster is “‘100 per cent committed” to phasing out fees for printing tickets at home.” It’s about time. Read more about the Live Nation happenings at The Record.


During a Thursday performance in Nuremberg, Germany, Pink fell out of a harness that was supposed to carry her across the stage and was dragged into a barricade. A fan captured it all on video, where Pink can be heard saying “F*ck, that hurt like a motherf*cker” (hilarious). Pink wasn’t seriously injured, although the concert was halted and she was taken to the hospital.


Experimental electronic musician-producer Flying Lotus has released a video for “MmmHmm” (featuring Thundercat) from his Cosmogramma album. If the chill-out music isn’t your thing, it’s still worth watching for the imagery — from alien chieftains to 8-bit animation.



It seems I’m a sucker for animated videos, so naturally, The Avett Brothers‘ “Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promises” reeled me in. The stop-animation features the paintings of Jason Ryan Mitcham and shows the cycle of urban development, from vacant plot of land to bustling city to crumbling ruins. Reportedly, Mitcham transformed a painting over 2,500 times to make the video. Wowzuh. Watch The Avett Brothers “Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promises” below:

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Jess G.

Jess is a writer/producer with a knack for audio and online production. She grew up in California and now lives in Washington, DC, where she recently graduated from Georgetown University. Jess' jacket collection is obscenely large, and so is her music library. In her spare time, Jess enjoys riding her bike in the city, blogging, writing songs, and eating good food.

Jess has written 44 articles for us.


  1. i didn’t know that m.i.a.’s new album was out yet but, mess or no mess, i’m probably going to buy it.

    • ive downloaded it and not listened to it yet but the reviews i have read say the good songs are amazing. i love her music so im looking forward to getting stuck into it

    • Yeah, I defo want to check it out, her songs are weird and amazing, I’ll probs still like a good chunk of it. I hope!

  2. I don’t think ‘MAYA’ is an album I’ll listen to ‘as a whole’ much, and it does feel messy, but I enjoy most of the tracks (‘Tell Me Why’ and ‘The Message’ not included). The first time I listened to it there were definitely some moments when I asked myself “would you like this is you didn’t know who the artist was?”, but I just couldn’t stop dance-jumping/power-swaying long enough to ponder that important quandary. I’m a little disappointed that the album is not as ‘Born Free’-ish as I (for some reason) imagined it would be, though; that song still stands as my favorite. I bookmarked the Pitchfork review, but I won’t read it just yet; they usually make sense and all that, but I want to pathetically sway around my room listening to ‘Believer’ a couple more times, before I read why it’s not good.

    Thanks for The Avett Brothers’ video mention, by the way. I hadn’t heard anything by them and the whole thing was lovely. [Fellow blocked internationals can probably watch it ĉi tie]

  3. Did I ever mention that Ted Leo is my ALL.TIME.FAVORITE.SINGER? Seriously even Teegs and Sara are 2nd to him. I almost cried when I met him 2 years ago… is that TMI?

    • My gmail still has connections to Ted Leo/RX and I can never shed it. I love the man!

  4. The new MIA is a mess. Like Diplo said, it sounds like a Skinny Puppy record. I’m still a fan of her aesthetic and political drive and there are some decent moments on the album, especially lyrically but it just does have the same impact that the last two had. Still have loads of respect for her though…when she doesn’t bad mouth Gaga. jks

    iphone connects you to the internet connects you to the google connects you to the government. ridiculous.

  5. Loved M.I.A.’s performance – and was that Martin Rev from Suicide on keyboards? Awesome.

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