Every Friday we will share the best music writing during the previous week. Read stuff on the inaugural Day N Night Festival, the former members of Third Eye Blind, and Bon Iver’s new album debut.
The inaugural Day N Night rap festival took place this past weekend in Orange County was a noted clusterfuck. Thompson captured that here in his review but also found himself won over by the less dense festival crowds. I also enjoy the first-person perspective of this festival review — it puts you in the shoes of the writer. The portion about YG is very detailed and beyond the usual “best and worst at festival X” reviews you’ll read.
It’s pretty well-known that Third Eye Blind frontman Stephan Jenkins is an asshole. But in this story, Gokhman uncovers the sordid details of how Jenkins fucked over fellow band members Kevin Cadogan (guitar) and Arion Salazar (bass). Cadogan and Salazar had a fractured relationship between the two repaired after a chance run-in at the DMV. Now they’re back playing music together and are unable to call themselves what they are. This is despite the fact that their debut self-titled masterpiece featured 10 songs written by Cadogan, as well as six from the follow-up, Blue. After reading this story I also uncovered a full concert from the old members performing that debut album in full and it sounds magical. Check it out.
There probably is no better writer who could provide coverage of Justin Vernon’s Eaux Claires Festival than Bain, a native of Wisconsin where the festival takes place. Her knowledge of the area as well as Bon Iver’s material shines through this piece of writing. That his new album 22, A Million was being debuted at the festival was a big deal. The writer’s personal connection to Vernon’s back catalog before details on his set make it more than just a review. That it closes with a quote from a childhood peer of Vernon’s is just too sweet.
Ben Harper has a show tonight with his backing band The Innocent Criminals that is also a collaboration with the LA Philharmonic orchestra. He’s collaborated with some of the best in music, and this feature is all about his favorite collaborations over the years. For me personally, it’s his work with Joseph Arthur and Dhani Harrison (George’s kid) that was most memorable. So it was nice to hear him say that it’s something they all know they need to come back to.
Charli XCX was notorious for her partying early in her career and as her career quickly ascended. Cooper catches up with the pop musician just as she’s shying away from those sorts of things. Charli gives insight into what it was like being constantly under the microscope from various media outlets. She also talks about her hate-turn-love relationship with the mega-hit she wrote “I Love It” at length. There’s a reason it’s the cover story for The FADER’s upcoming issue.
Q&A style interviews are often bland — but when you take two musicians at opposite ends of their careers, it can make for a fun read. Add the fact that Cosentino lives in Wiedlin’s old home and it really livens things up. The two will tour together for a spell and it’s nice to read a different kind of interview for once. Both are two outspoken women and they talk about the different adversity and bullshit they’ve faced in two different eras.
How often does an interview start out with the writer getting puked on? In music, you would think fairly often. But this is the only time I’ve read about it. The person doing the puking however is Mira Pirrone, the infant daughter of Deap Vally drummer Julie Edwards-Pirrone, so she gets a pass. This allows you to enter into the space of what it’s like being a mom-on-tour without the usual “What’s it like being a mom on tour?” line of questioning. The feature focuses on the LA band’s move to drop their major label Island in favor of striking out on their own. It doesn’t hurt that this band kicks major ass.
Check back next week for more of the best music writing around the web.