Really? Is That What it’s Like?

This item was in Pitchfork’s News section today:

Does this seem a little weird to anyone else? Times New Viking— among the grittiest-sounding groups that fall under the "pop" descriptor– plan to spend the second half of
February tooling around North America with none other than that
highest-of-the-hi-fi acts, Super Furry Animals. I mean, I’m all for
it– great bands, both– but this is a bit like having Tom Waits open
for David Bowie, or the Wu for Kanye.

First of all, I know they’ve relaxed what is called "news" at Pitchfork, but this seems especially bloggy. Secondly, and more importantly… what? How is a band that is barely three years old opening for one of the best bands of the last 15 years anything like Tom Waits opening for David Bowie. If anything it’s like Kanye opening for the Wu, not the other way around.

I realize writer Paul Thompson was talking more about slick-versus-grit and I sort of get what he’s saying, but he could’ve chosen a lot better examples for his analogies. And it just comes off as kind of ill-informed. While a lot of their ’00s albums have been technologically advanced, the new Super Furry Animals album, Hey Venus!, is pretty stripped down, five-guys-in-a-room sort of affair. And I’m hoping this tour will follow suit. And they can be plenty noisy. Still I was trying to come up with a better analogy for Bowie, but the TWD is the kind of guy who probably would’ve had Pere Ubu open for him. Maybe he did.

It doesn’t seem that weird a match-up to me. Is it any weirder than Holy Fuck opening for them this Friday at Music Hall of Williamsburg? As I’m going to it and the SFA/TNV show at Bowery Ballroom on February 24. I’ll be the judge.

Meanwhile, Hey Venus!, which made my Best of 2007 list, is finally out in the US this week and the CD comes with a bonus disc of four additional songs from the recording sessions, plus the "Run Away" video and footage of the band in the studio. The four new tracks aren’t throwaways, either. They’re all really good, which should be no surprise to anyone who picked up their B-sides comp or listened the excellent Rings Around the World bonus disc. A taster:

MP3: Super Furry Animals – Never More

MP3: Super Furry Animals – Aluminum Illuminati

Buy it, won’t you?

Here are all the tour dates for the ‘Furries upcoming tour. Beggars Banquet has created a widget that allows you to select a date and make requests for what songs you want to hear from a list of about 40 songs or so. (It did not include the one I wanted to request, "Ysbeidiau Heulog" from the all-Welsh Mwng.) It also automatically plays music, so I’ve included it after the jump.


  1. wow….that voting thing is prob the coolest thing i have seen. robyn hitchcock should update his voting to something 21st century like that

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