Ireland’s Solar Bears remix “American West” by Philly’s Sun Airway

Sun Airway
Sun Airway

Pitchfork might not have been too enamored with Solar Bears’ debut LP, She Was Coloured In; just yesterday, they gave the album a 6.9, noting that much of it “feels like the soundtrack to a cheesy, choose-your-own-ending sci-fi novel you might pick up at a yard sale.” (Pitchfork insists, however, that isn’t a slight…) Today, at least, the site thinks highly enough of Solar Bear’s remix of Sun Airway‘s “American West” to give it a little press. (Or maybe they’re just such big fans of the original song that they’re willing to look past their recent criticism of those who did the remixing.)

You can listen to Solar Bears’ remix of Sun Airway’s “American West” here.


Did Philadelphia fail to make it on Pitchfork’s “Top 100 Tracks” list?

File it under “It’s A Slow News Day”: Unless I’m mistaken, not a single band from Philadelphia* managed to squeeze its way into Pitchfork’s recently released “Top 100 Tracks Of 2010” list. (Granted, after going over the 100-song list several times—which, to nobody’s surprise, is heavy on synthesizers, ethereal vocals, and electronic dance beats—everything has started to look blurry.) Not that Pitchfork has traditionally given Philly a ton of love: If you’re from this city and not Pissed Jeans (who didn’t crack the list, either), good luck breaking the 8.0 mark over there.

It is worth mentioning, however—and not because, “OMG WHAT’S WRONG WITH U PITCHFORK PHILLY MUSIC IS AWESOME!!” (which, you know, it is). Honestly, given Pitchfork’s consistent taste, there were a handful of singles released by local bands in 2010 that I thought would be right up their alley. In particular, I’m a little surprised to see Sun Airway’s “Put The Days Away” missing from the list. After all, Pitchfork heaped praise on the song back in August, then posted the video, interviewed Jon Barthmus, and gave the album a decent review. Oh well. “Local music blogger has a gripe with another website’s best-of list, news at 11:00.” Somehow, the world will still turn.

(*The Internet says members of The Walkmen live here Philly, the band still claims New York as home.)


Philadelphia’s Diplo ranks in at #2 on Pitchfork’s “Top 40 Artist Twitters”

Congratulations to Philly’s favorite Blackberry-touting DJ on his latest accomplishment! (Oh, and good job Questlove, for earning the #10 spot.)

Pitchfork Top 40 Artist Twitters

Pitchfork DiploDiplo reacted to the news with this tweet: “Whoa! #2 biggest idiot on twitter! Thanks @pitchforkmedia .I will @ everyone back 2day in honor! Might take a while tho.” And he wasn’t kidding—we had to click the “more” button four times just to find his response, which came all of three hours ago.


Is Todd Rundgren the main inspiration behind the chillwave micro-genre?

Todd Rundgren
To be fair, Rundgren IS pretty chill

Pitchfork recently posted a new single by San-Diego-based chillwave act TV Girl that caught our attention. (More on why in just a moment.)

Of course, it was only last October that chillwave champion Neon Indian turned more than a few heads with the release of its debut LP, Psychic Chasms. One of those heads (or many of them—depending on whether you view the music website as a singular entity or a mythical, multiple-headed beast along the lines of a Hydra*) belonged to Pitchfork, which placed the track “Deadbeat Summer” at No. 13 in its Top 100 Tracks Of 2009 list. “Deadbeat Summer,” as you might recall, kicks off with an unmistakable sample from Todd Rundgren’s 1974 song, “Izzat Love”—which only added more fuel to the “Are sample-based songs real music or cheap rip-offs from uncreative hacks?” fire.

Frankly, we’re not very interested in getting into that debate right now, mostly because we’re too busy listening to this TV Girl single (“If You Want It”), which—you guessed it—features yet another sample from the Upper-Darby-born Todd Rundgren. This time, it’s his classic 1968 song “Hello It’s Me,” whose opening riff pretty much serves as the basis for the entire TV Girl track. Now, we aren’t going to question why certain songs from the soft-rock-side of Rundgren’s career are so appealing to the current crop of chillwave bands out there—because, honestly, it makes total sense to us. What we do want to know, however, is which Rundgren-inspired song will be the chillwave hit of October 2011? (Assuming the genre is still around a year from now, which we don’t expect it to be.)!

*Ed note: But wait, even if a Hydra has multiple heads—each capable of independent thought—doesn’t the hive-minded beast still count as one singular entity? (It must, seeing as how we called it “a beast” and not “beasts”.) More importantly, what would a Hydra think of chillwave bands using Todd Rundgren samples?