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Can't hold back much longer

You know, in all the 2-cents-givin' brou-haha over the new Liz Phair album and the new Liz Phair, the fact that Michael Penn did a significant amount of work on the album seems not to merit much attention. And yet, given the three-plus years since his last album, you'd think that the question of when we'd hear some new stuff from him would come up.

What gets me is that there's a torrent of new product out there all the time, but the standard interval for releases by a particular artist or group seems to be getting longer all the time. Even most seventies rock dinosaurs managed to pop out an album more than once every two years. For fans just getting into music, this seems a pity to me. It's cool when an artist is putting out stuff on a yearly basis, because as you're growing and the world is changing, the artists can be getting in on the process as well. I just can't see how that kind of personal connection can be maintained when it takes a third of a decade to release an album. To contrast, Elvis Costello (an extreme case perhaps) put out five LPs worth of great-to-amazing work from 1977 to 1980. Perhaps it's just harder to come out with something original and worthwhile these days, but two things that really seem to be missing in the most of pop marketplace these days is a sense of timely communication with the audience and inspiration from friendly artistic one-upmanship.

OK, old fart rant over...


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 2nd, 2003 08:53 am (UTC)
so.... you DON'T like it ;P

i was shocked to see her video listed in the 'hot, new lixx to watch' category on mtv or some similar rot. i love that first album, and can recite the lyric by rote; but i can't pretend to care too much at this point after so long. nostalgia isn't my thing, i'm too aquarian for that.
Sep. 2nd, 2003 10:01 am (UTC)
Re: so.... you DON'T like it ;P
Well, I've only seen the video for the single, and it was "eh," although not the coming of the Anti-Christ either. Although that would have made it better, I think.
Sep. 2nd, 2003 08:59 am (UTC)
Sep. 2nd, 2003 10:05 am (UTC)
The Same !
It's a project of violinist Gidon Kremer's. Most of the album is dedicated to classical variations on "Happy Birthday" and is quite fun.

Too bad his website is down and Nonesuch's won't yield good URLs because it's all based on Flash and/or frames.
Sep. 2nd, 2003 09:00 am (UTC)
PS - Michael Penn only produced four songs on Liz's album, I think.

PPS - He's hard at work on a new album himself, due out in '04.
Sep. 2nd, 2003 10:10 am (UTC)
Romeo In Black Jeans
Supposedly he was going to produce the whole album. If I ever get my hands on a copy, maybe the credits will yield more clues. Somehow I think the used bins are going to be overflowing with it.

I'm glad to hear there's a new album on the way (yay !); I checked his site a few months ago and it hadn't been updated in a while. I just wish he wasn't so hard at work on it, things should come easier for the guy.
Sep. 2nd, 2003 09:28 am (UTC)
Poor Michael Penn.

A freind of mine interviewed him and he expresse great dismay over his last album. Nearly broke the man financially.

I guess we'll get an album when he can afford to make one.

Both he and Aimmee Mann were run through the grinder. Good thing they have each other.
Sep. 2nd, 2003 10:14 am (UTC)
Aww man
Gee, I really liked MP4. Is he still signed to RCA or is he doing the ArtistDirect thing now ?

Perhaps Penn needs a producer to subvert/ignore his perfectionist tendencies. But, you ask, would the result still be him ? Well, someone finally got Lucinda Williams to stop agonizing over every little thing and now she's producing great stuff in a lot more timely fashion.

Currently listening to the Steve Burns CD, by the way. Is good, hey, maybe even better than the Flaming Lips ;)
Sep. 2nd, 2003 11:29 am (UTC)
Re: Aww man
Yeah...MP is free from the big companies as far as I know, so it's a struggle to bankrole new projects.

I think I may pick up Steve's cd myself. Someone else on lj saw him play with Starlight Mints and said it wasn't that great... I'll give him a fair shot...if for nothing else...his website is pretty funny.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


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