Tuesday, May 18, 2004

I'm really not looking forward to the experience of telling someone that Liz Phair's "Extraordinary" is one of my favorite singles of the year and having them react in disgust, screaming "Oh GAWWWD!! I saw that video!!! How can you like that?" Honestly, I don't know if I would have if I saw the video before hearing the song. I'm all for Phair diving headlong into mainstream pop sonics, but offering the same enthusiasm for hawking a Kate Hudson vehicle? Sniffles.

Speaking of videos that taint ones take on a radio hit, Mario Winans' overwraught emnoting in "I Don't Wanna Know" subvert the composure in his voice that makes the lyric's vulnerability so haunting. It always sounded to me like he was holding back some of his anguish, but the scrunched up face and pro forma hand gestures seem artless in comparison.

Thankfully, John Mayer's video for "Clarity" only increases my appreciation of the number by further reaffirming that he's my well-intentioned-pretty-bright-but-self-obsessed musical stand-in. At first I thought the scene of him driving around with the two girls was kind of cocky, but since I was basically in the same situation while in Philly (feeling equally good about it, too, albeit sans lollipop), I shouldn't judge. Now if there was some way I could get him to never play or discuss "blues guitar."

I keep catching Velvet Revolver's "Slither" on the radio in the middle of Slash's old-school orgy of weedly-wee. I get such a thrill from his unabashed wankery that I almost forget how crushing it is when Weiland's voice shows up to blandly grungify it all. Chris Cornell has a similar effect on Audioslave (the only time I put up with that endlessly put-upon windbag is "Like A Stone," because if Tom Morello's whoop-whoop-whoooooping solo is on the radio, I want to be hearing it). Rod Stewart is my pick for Cornell's replacement in Audioslave. Who would you rather see in Velvet Revolver than Weiland. Ronnie James Dio? Glenn Danzig? Ian Astbury?

I didn't have enough space in my Vines review to note that Craig Nicholls looks like James Spader in The Conor Oberst Story so I'm telling you now. Weiland now looks like Adam Ant in The Iggy Pop Story. My other observation while watching him shimmy was that I wished he'd stop.

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