Friday, December 31, 2004

Newer look. Now that I know how to screw with HTML I'm finding it very hard to stop.

While I'd rather this place didn't turn into an Ultragrrrl stalker site, I'm stoked to the gills that she's linked to the Spinto Band. They deserve every bit of love they get. From a post I wrote in September:

Shout-out to the Spinto Band. First time I saw these guys it seemed like Ric Ocasek had seen the Strokes on TRL, decided the world needed to be shown how new wave guitar rock was done, grabbed six of his children, threw instruments on them and made them practice 7 nights a week until their fingers were sore. They were so tight (the cover of "Just What I Needed" was almost fascist in its perfection), so catchy and so enthusiastic (looked like they were 16 AND had choreographed moves) that I assumed an abusive dad had to be behind it all. I've seen them a couple times since, and my admiration has not waned. Their new songs are terrific (as soon as they release some new material I'll undoubtedly be shouting about it somewhere), they aren't afraid to rock the kazoos, their cover of the Motels' "Airport" is so fun I almost don't want to hear the original and if the audience is real nice they'll bust out their breathtaking rendition of "Walk The Dinosaur/Where My Dogs At?" There's MP3s on their site. Check it out.

They're coming back to town on January 21st! I'm going to do my damndest to get to DJ for them.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

I'm resisting the urge to share a list of songs that rocked my world this year, but I found a place where you can download Silkworm's "Don't Look Back", so I'm going to blab about that one. Silkworm are one of those consistent indie vet bands I want to like more than I actually do, and this is the first song of theirs since "Couldn't You Wait (Acoustic)" I'm able to remember for more than a day. A chord progression bashed out for six and a half minutes with a simple, emotionally loaded chorus hook and cresting guitar solos. Like the other big Neil Young & Crazy Motorik hit this year, Wilco's "Spiders (Kidsmoke)," I tend to play this on repeat.

P.S. good Silkworm songs sound like good Counting Crows songs. Scary.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

New look! What do you think?

(thanks for the advice, Maria)

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Awesome new Interpol video! I swiped the link from Ultragrrrl, who posts defensively about the glory of Good Charlotte. Rowr! Makes me wish I was British so she'd make out with me. If I ever meet her, I'll make sure to bust out my Dick Van Dyke "Step in time!" impersonation. I stared at her outside a club once. I like to think we had a moment.

I was hoping "Evil" would be another arty performance video like "Obstacle 2" or "Slow Hands," but this is pretty sweet concept-wise. I love how confidently Paul Banks spouts his awkward romantic statements: "Rosemary, aw, heaven restores you in light." He's said he's a John Frusciante fan and Californication is a believable precedent for Interpol's goofy valentines. Scott Seward, who I should hit up for a mixtape of all the bands mentioned in his TOTBL review, probably agrees.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Ric Flair + Mick Foley = Nick Lowe Letting Himself Go

I can half-understand why someone might go to see him live (he might whip out "What A Fool Believes" for the 2nd encore) but what in blue blazes is up with these Michael McDonald Motown albums? I keep hearing random tracks at Taco Bell (I'm spending half of my xmas money there) and it's quite the bland. Rod Stewart's American Songbook platters benefit from a distinct vocal persona and a wider canon. The Commitments soundtrack was at least attached to a cute concept. What's the Doobie Brother's draw? Are people incapable of picking up Motown budget comps? Yeargh.

August 2005
Michael McDonald, Sub Pop
1. About A Girl
2. Touch Me, I'm Sick
3. Last Man Alive
4. Bandages
5. 47
6. Willing To Wait
7. Such Great Heights
8. New Slang
9. Audrey's Eyes
10. Psychobilly Freakout
11. Wop-A-Din-Din
12. Stabbed In The Face
13. Milez Is Ded

December 2006
Michael McDonald, Matador
1. She's Losing It
2. Motor Away
3. Pat's Trick
4. NYC
5. Sugarcube
6. Fix Up, Look Sharp
7. Break Up Your Band
8. Slack Motherfucker [2007's Merge will feature "Hyper Enough"]
9. Bellbottoms
10. Letter From An Occupant
11. Nude As The News
12. Summer Babe
13. Supernova

Friday, December 24, 2004

Three things:

1. Shout-out to Jefferson, who has revealed that Type O Negative is an exquisite Red House Painters rip-off band. I never would have guessed. Opeth (Led Zep medleys), H.I.M. ("Satan, I like you. Like like."), Slowdive (MBV with fewer vacuum cleaners and more rhythm section) and Isis (Archers Of Loaf???) are great too. This is why I'd rather people play me stuff they like when we hang out than control the stereo myself.

2. Happy birthday to Asa!

3. Happy Holidays to all of you! Keep hope alive in '05!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Posts will be less frequent until 2005. I have a lot of stuff to do and a lot of people to hang out with.

I used to get really angry at my sister when she'd borrow CDs and I'd see them sitting on her stereo and not in their case. I currently have a bunch of CDs spilled out on top of my record player and I need to take care of it.

Here's what was resting there:

CD-R with songs by the Distillers, Dr. Octagon, Eamon, Mark Eitzel, Electric Six, Eyesinweasel, Fastbacks and Flin-Flon

CD-R with songs by Yo La Tengo, John Mayer, NERD and the Nerves

2 CD-Rs of skits from The Best Show On WFMU (thanks, Matthew!) and Chain Fights, Beer Busts and Service With A Grin

Bonecrusher, AttenCHUN!

Donnas, Gold Medal

Fever, Red Bedroom

Girls Against Boys, CD-R of songs from Tropic Of Scorpio, Cruise Yourself, Freak*On*Ica, Series 7 Soundtrack and some b-sides

Al Green, Call Me

HappySincerelyWithoutWax, some crappy promo blech

Hot Snakes, Audit In Progress

Interpol, Antics

R. Kelly, "Thoia Thoing" promo single

Chris Knox, CD-R of songs from Meat, Polyfoto, Duck-Shaped Pian & Gum and Songs Of You & Me

Ted Leo/Pharmacists, The Tyranny Of Distance

Ted Leo/Pharmacists, Shake The Sheets

Travis Morrison, Travistan

Kelly Osbourne, Shut Up!

Swell Maps, A Trip To Marineville

Swell Maps, Jane From Occupied Europe

Tall Dwarfs, CD-R of songs from Fork Songs, 3 EPs and 55 Flavours Of Glue (plus 3 Thin White Rope live tracks)

This Radiant Boy, Shakedown At The Russian Disco

20 Years Of Dischord box set

I need to clear this stuff off so I can play some vinyl. It's been a while!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Ashanti's "Only U" is Mis-Teeq's "Scandalous" screwed and chopped. Think about it, won't you? Thank you.

Please enjoy The Year In Privileged Pop-Obsession or Snarky White Males: Kill Us Now, my 2004 wrap-up piece for Stylus.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Stylus is rolling out their Top 40 Albums Of 2004. My blurb about We Shall All Be Healed is up now. The other one I wrote should be arriving on Thursday.

Happy Birthday, Sara! You are my favorite Philebrity.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Buy the Swell Maps reissues! Back in my freshman year of college, I considered my cassette copies of A Trip To Marineville and Jane From Occupied Europe to be the coolest things I owned and a total redemption of all the time I spent perusing the used tape racks at stores. I wanted to use "Harmony In Your Bathroom" as the theme song for my sole auteurist student film Fat Tony's CANCER!* but needed something on CD so I used the Kinks' "Wicked Annabella," which also opens with a drum solo. Had these CDs been available in 2001, the Swell Maps would have been all over the movie. The photos and the videos are a bit weird for me though; I've never really had visual concept of the Swell Maps. I think I prefered it that way, but these albums are still magnificent. If you've never heard them, they basically sound like pre-CR, CR Pavement if that band had a great rhythm section and a better sense of humor. "Gunboats" is the best Sonic Youth song ever! Maybe! And why is "Let's Build A Car" only available as a video rather than an bonus track? Are they re-releasing Train Out Of It? They better!

Get them now!

* thanks to producer Brian Ritchey for keeping my film up at his site! Check it out if you've got RealPlayer! That's actually me singing over the credits. A little tribute to The Postman, which ends with writer/director/star Kevin Costner and Amy Grant covering "You Didn't Have To Be So Nice" after a bronze statue of him is erected. Make sure you stay till the end!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Often when an indie phenomenon strikes me as notable and ripe for mass success, a polished major-label act reveals themself as a more commercially accessible version of the archetype and makes a mint with it. I love when it happens because it corrobates my belief that the underground act has some element that would resonate with a larger group of people. That's why I did a backflip and said "OMG these turds turned into the mainstream Desaparecidos!!!" when I first saw "Lifestyles Of The Rich & Famous," made Travis Morrison-John Mayer comparisons any time I wrote about either and welcomed the Killers into my Interpol-addicted arms.

There are at least two songs that haven't been mentioned in any best-of-year context here who have a shooting chance of making my top ten. One is Vanessa Carlton's "White Houses," which I think I'd find very Kimya Dawson even if I didn't know Carlton sang on Hidden Vagenda. Her early singles were annoying Fiona-lite (as was the album title, Be Not Nobody) but the detail, insight and heart on this track is far too killer for me to hold anything against her. I'm not going to assume Stephan Jenkins' skeet is to credit for this upswing, since I like this more than anything Third Eye Blind ever did. I love reminders that artists we've dismissed continue to evolve and may one day whack us upside the head with something beautiful. I dig the slow burn success this song seems to be having - I'll be hearing it at Taco Bell for years. You were right about this one, TJ!

There's a smart review of "White Houses" at PopText, a terrific new blog. If you find yourself complaining that there are no mp3s of the songs being discussed, you know you're reading something good.

I'll write about the other song I'm debating wedging into my pazz'n'jop ballot once I buy the band's album.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Guilty Of Being Whine

Good Charlotte!

I put "I Just Wanna Live" on the Stypod (before I knew it was going to be a single!) so I'm not going to submit anything from The Chronicles Of Life & Death for exposure at the Tofu Hut. Plus I can't decide which track is most worth sharing. While I still think the album is a disappointment, I listen to certain songs from it with surprising frequency. I understand why Christgau considers it a total turkey (I'm glad he acknowledges the "good intentions"), but he never had much time for Morrissey or the Cure either. Those artists are responsible for 1/25th of my 100 Favorite Albums list so I'm a little more sympathetic to their disciples. A lot of you dig the insufferable childlike sadsack shitsingers that have inspired GC's latest material too and should realize how much this stuff has in common. So what follows are descriptions of some key not-yet-singles. If any of them pique your curiosity and you can't hunt them down on some p2p program, e-mail me the name of the track you most want to hear and I'll g-mail it to you. Two tracks if you ask nicely. I'm curious what people think about these songs, so review them in the comments box. Be as brutal or kind as you desire.

"S.O.S." - while I was originally annoyed that they recorded their "kill myself" song after their "don't kill yourself" song, I'm now simply impressed by how much this song sounds like what the Morrissey/Jerry Finn collabo should have sounded like. Joel's clearly aping the Mozz's moa-oo-woans about being alo-oo-wone and the blitzkrieg bop's climactic bridge is as musically affecting as anything that sounds like Blink-182 could be. If you can handle nasal and love "The Boy Racer," this track is recommended.

"Ghost Of You" - I sometimes wonder if this is a Limahl cover.

"The Truth" - this is actually the most obvious failure on the album, but a fascinating one: Joel bawling and shrieking for a girl to give him the truth over and over and over and over over a slow piano line. I'm no Plastic Ono Band enthusiast, but if you can still doubt that he's "for real" after this, you've got a heart of stone.

"The World Is Black" - This one's for the Cure fans, the Cure fans of the world. It's like something from Disintegration played at 45rpm.

"Mountain" - While I'm annoyed that Good Charlotte is going all emo, they can do powerwimp better than most. Joel's an overearnest doofus, but he is blessedly free of passive-aggressive macho yeargh: "I wasn't on a mountain/ When it came to me/ All my life’s been wasted/ Chasing shallow dreams...And all these things/ What I've gained/ And what I've seen/ It can’t compare/ To the love that you could give to me." In their Threat cover story the guy says that he's realized that to get through life you should care about everyone as if they were your own children: "If Bush loved the children of Iraq as much as he loved his daughters, he wouldn't have sent our soldiers over there." OOH DON'T YOU HATE HIS FASHION SENSE SO MUCH? THIS IS JUST JUVENILE WHINING! NOT LIKE MY PRECIOUS '80S EEYORES!

I'll do my best not to post about these guys again. At least until they make a new video.

Good Charlotte!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Man, I wish I could figure out how trackbacks work. Writing about my annoyance with the Clover/Dark/Felizitas thing on here is so paggro (I am going to use this term at every opportunity). If I did understand trackbacks, this post would open with the words "RATHER PRETENTIOUS WAY TO AVOID ACCOUNTABILITY, ISN'T THIS, JOSH CLOVER (IF THIS IS YOU)?" so that I'd know the dude would see it. I admit that the Good Charlotte dis is what initially inspired my public anger, but that's not really what's ticking me off. The idea of a white male critic using feminine and ethnic aliases to get away with sloppily (the Aphex Twin?) inflammatory stances seems really pathetic. Also, while the Clover/Dark thing is an open secret to anyone who actually pays attention to pop music criticism, it serves to make anyone who takes one these pieces at face value seem as if they don't "get it." At least those old-school Pitchfork character pieces copped to the fictitious persona. Maybe I don't appreciate the majestic meta of it all, but it strikes me as cowardly and I'm surprised so many people encourage it.

The only other critic I can think of who gets Good Charlotte is Robert Christgau, bless him.

Just to warn you, tomorrow's post is about Good Charlotte too. And to show that I do have a sense of humor about these guys...pleasant dreams.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The first paragraph of my Donnas review for Stylus makes me feel young again. Very young.

Gwen Stefani is going to hell. I'd describe the chorus of "Rich Girl" but I think those of you who haven't heard it should be allowed to live in blissful ignorance. I cannot wait until the Debbie Harry solo-bomb-smackdown lands on her. Yes she's talented (first single was nifty), yes her album probably isn't bad, blah blah, but she's not fascinating enough to really succeed without a couple goofy, amiable guys to provide contrast. The camera is going to miss having someone else to cut to. You could say they need her more than she needs them, but they'll have a much easier time surviving as non-stars.

I'm tempted to say I'd rather buy the inevitable Best Of Bush than hear "Rich Girl" again, but after thinking about how painfully absurd Gavin Rossdale's vocals are (never have I been so sure someone is pretending to be constipated), I'll just say that these two deserve each other.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

While checking the increasing thinnage in the mirror at City Lights after getting a haircut, I heard some of the bonus tracks on the Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain reissue at a listening booth. I need to pick this up. There are few albums I have a more sentimental connection to, and hearing new-to-me songs from that era is a pretty powerful experience. I'll save it for xmas break, when my townie friends will be back around to remind me that I eventually did get to live out my "Gold Soundz" fantasy from 9th grade.

Saw copies of Rhythm Of The Saints, a cheap Band comp, Workingman's Dead and Sheryl Crow in the new used pile and asked Tyler if somebody had died. Those aren't albums college students outgrow; those are albums older professionals leave someone in their will. Greg said someone with a kid on his arm had sold them back. "I guarantee he just downloaded them all onto his ipod," he noted.

My response: "Ah, soul death."

I'd just indulged in self-consciousness about balding, nostalgia and cranky technophobia within a five minute period. I was even about to bitch about how I couldn't figure out how to make Soulseek work. It was clear I'd have to complete my transformation into a Gang Of Four lyric and buy something to make myself feel better. Almost picked up the new Placebo compilation (cuz new music is so scary that I'm actually nostalgiac for trends I didn't dig the first time around), but instead I bought Shake The Sheets: exuberant music from an indie vet who has improved his game over time - plus he's balding! The radio station copy wouldn't burn entirely and I'm guessing that was God's way of saying I should finally give Leo a lil' bit of royalty after playing my taped copy of Hearts Of Oak so often.

That's not what I'm listening to right now, though. I'm enjoying a band called the Human Television that my friend Max put on a tape after the Cruising soundtrack, which he grabbed before I could at the big radio record sale a few months back. The soundtrack is filled with trashy throb-rock (much more amusing than the movie) and the Human Television is some terrific old school jangle. I bet the Mystical Beast knows all about these guys - probably has posted three tracks. I should find out more. Update: it turns out that Human Television is a new band. I am flabbergasted.

In short: I feel rather old right now. Apologies to those of you reading this who are considerably older.

Btw, I have no respect for Joshua Clover a.k.a. Jane Dark a.k.a. Felizitas a.k.a. the most chickenshit music critic in history.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

As a huge Jon Wurster fan who plans to move to Philly in less than a year, I was incredibly grateful to find Philly Boy Roy Zeigler's "Twas The Night Before Christmas" on Fluxblog today. This album and this DVD are two of the funniest things I got this year. I can't believe how cool Wurster is. He even played on the best Rocket From The Crypt album! I'd like to be him but I can't work a bass drum pedal for shit.

I'd also like to give a shout out to Dom Passantino and William B. Swyggart. Despite being British and white and male and younger than me, I love reading their work. Quite possibly the funniest music critics working today. Dom just resurrected his blog and I couldn't be happier. William doesn't have a blog, but he has a radio show where he stammers and says "bugger" a lot. If he moved to State College and pulled that Hugh Grant action at our station, women would be licking the window. I actually got to meet him last Christmas! Great guy. If I ever go to England again I'm going to make sure I hang out with these two. I'm also going to make sure I bring several CDs because British radio is ass. Only good song I heard that wasn't a hit in America was "Common People." They can keep that Eurovisionfluxpop malarkey. USA!

Monday, December 13, 2004

Five reasons I don't consider Nelly & Tim McGraw's "Over & Over" one of the best singles of the year.

1. "Burn," "Dry Your Eyes," "My Immortal" and "Everytime" sapped my tear ducts already. This can still make me wince, though. Nothing turns me into a baby like music.

2. I hate how Tim McGraw sounds like he's singing from the bottom of a well.

3. The song doesn't really go anywhere. It meanders. "Burn" goes everywhere, occasionally doing backflips.

4. Tim hides behind his shades for most of it. The first shot of him is killer (looks like a mack truck just sideswiped his heart), but I suppose the dude has too much Faith to really make it seem like he's letting it burn (let it burn, let it burn, YOU GO LEARN, gotta let it burn).

5. I don't like the commercial endorsement element, but I'm basically cool with the excess of cell phones in videos. The eighties are back and if you're going to make a sad video you need someone staring longingly at a phone. The problem is that the new technology hinders drama. Pay phones allow you the classic "hang up when they say hello" image. The "I'm burning so bad that I can't even hang it up properly so I'm just going to drop it and let it dangle" shot is even more valuable. Eventually we'll get videos where phones are destroyed, but cells are too puny to inspire a moment comparable to John Waite shattering the receiver in "Missing You." My complaint may be outdated since I don't actually own a mobile phone. It's possible that enough people know the pain of cellie drama to make this stuff resonate, but I'm a classicist on this issue. Big phones for big emotions.

The first artist to shatter a mirror with a cell phone in slo-mo gets a big sloppy kiss.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Here's my ballot for Stylus's Top 40 Singles Poll:

01. Usher - Burn
02. John Mayer - Clarity
03. Britney Spears - Toxic
04. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Y Control
05. Pitbull feat. Lil Jon - Culo
06. J-Kwon - Tipsy
07. Missy Elliot - I'm Really Hot
08. Liz Phair - Extraordinary
09. Bowling For Soup - 1985
10. Mario Winans feat. Enya & P. Diddy - I Don't Wanna Know
11. Modest Mouse - Float On
12. Counting Crows - Accidentally In Love
13. Fall - Theme From Sparta F.C.
14. Beyonce feat. Lil' Flip - Naughty Girl (Remix)
15. Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out
16. Travis Tritt feat. John Mellencamp - What Say You
17. Ying Yang Twins - Salt Shaker
18. D-12 - My Band
19. Usher feat. Lil Jon & Ludacris - Yeah!
20. Janet Jackson - All Nite

I've been searching around other people's lists, looking for random songs I might want to reconsider before Pazz'n'Jop rolls around. All of the Streets' singles except "Blinded By The Lights" (which I do enjoy) could plausibly make a personal top 50. The most affecting part of "Dry Your Eyes" for me is when he references "the softness she's blessed with." *bawls*

I hate the video, though. Hard to capture loneliness when you keep cutting to a damn dog. I'm looking for more places to watch videos online and two I've recently found out about are Colonel Blimp and Pause. If you dig classy buzzworthiness you should take an hour (or two!) and check them out.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

rollin' with the superstars

As hinted at in the previous post's comment box, I am now Silkk the Shocker to John's Master P at The Tofu Hut. Filling the role of Mia X is Chantelle Fiddy, who's offering some of the grimest grime that has ever been grimed. As the resident "pop rocka" (a term I'll happily accept), I'll be dropping a song or two there every week or so. As I've stated here, I'm hungry to share some tracks but don't feel like adding to the glut of mp3 blogs already in existence. That one of the scene's best and brightest would ask me to taint his impressive site with slices of my personal canon is an incredible honor. I'll do my best to live up to the standard he's achieved.

This week (at the bottom of today's "15" post) I'm sharing Rocket From The Crypt's "Human Torch" (which ironically did not get played when I DJed Wednesday) and the Osmonds' "Crazy Horses," the blueprint for all things Speedo.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Five reasons "Just Lose It" is a great song (cuz seriously, some of you still act like petrified wood when it comes on):

1. It's Friday and it's my day/ Used to party all the way to Sunday/ Maybe 'til Monday/ I don't know what day/ Everyday's just a holiday


3. I'm a grown man! Tubba tubba tubba tubba tubba tubba tubba, I don't have any lines to go right here so tubba, Tellytubby!

4. Fellas! (WHAT!) Fellas! (WHAT!) Grab your left nut, make your right one jealous! (what?)

5. touch my body

Plus he includes a homage to LL Cool J's "Back Seat" at the end of the last verse!

Aw, screw it, you hate fun. You're worried that an overhyped white hero in a predominantly black field is losing his dignity. Sad. I won't give anybody crap for hating on "Mosh," though. That track is interminable.

Though Al probably doesn't approve of anything I've just said about "Just Lose It," I love him like a brother (dare I say that we are the Brandon Walsh and Steve Sanders of the blogosphere???). Some day John Mayer will discover our affection for him (we'll probably be the only people who vote for "Clarity" in Pazz'n'Jop this year) and realize that we're the only critics who truly understand him. We'll get to roll in his Leo-style posse, dance with your dates and be editors for the future King Of All Media's inevitable magazine, Wonderland.

I am the future.

Tomorrow I'll hopefully have a very good reason to mention another site run by someone who doesn't appreciate my love for Shady at his silliest.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

The two comments that follow my Neil Young review at Stylus stand as proof that some people don't actually read the damn thing before commenting. Ratings blow. There's a reason I stopped propagating that crap on here a while back. My two cents on "Toxic" is up on the Stylus Top Singles of 2004. I like that list a lot. Excited to see how the albums poll pans out!

Due to relatively brief sets by both bands last night, Roustabout wrapped up a half-hour early. I still got to play tons of tracks. Everybody was really supportive and kind. Both bands were friendly and didn't draw out their soundchecks (I understand bands need to set levels and all of that, but its clear when some people are just noodling away loudly out of boredom and drowning out the DJ). Jesse and Adam got the mixer working, Marco the sound guy had me coming through clear, Mike the owner was nice, and my bartender-in-charge (I need to find out her name) was handing me the PBR's every time I stepped up to the bar (there are few things as awesome as the bartender knowing what you want before you get there).

The "before band" sets to tend feature lots of songs that I love but won't freak if a banging drum head or "CHECK 1 2" interrupts the fun.

The Make Up - Here Comes The Judge
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Backslider
Strokes - The End Has No End
Self - Pattycake
Girls Against Boys - Kill The Sexplayer
Kraftwerk - Trans-Europe Express (request from Jess!)
Brainiac - Pussyfootin' (request from Megan!)
Sebadoh - Gimmie Indie Rock (meant to play "The Ocean" but this was actually more apt)
Imperial Teen - Lipstick (lead singer from A Brown Leaf thanked me later for playing this. I guess he doesn't just listen to alt-country!)
Cure - Why Can't I Be You?
Frank Black - Hang On To Your Ego (meant to play "Men In Black" but this was actually more apt)
Helium - Leon's Space Song
Morrissey - Sister, I'm A Poet (bad half-ironic dancing broke out from some non-regulars during this)
Pulp - Babies
Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Lies)
Local H - Toxic (the bad half-ironic dancing reached its apex here, logically)

Then A Brown Leaf played.

Guided By Voices - Quality Of Armor
McLusky - To Hell With Good Intentions
Fever - Ladyfingers
Travis Morrison - Born In '72
Beastie Boys - Hey Ladies (another request from Jess cuz she was DRUNK and wanted to DANCE!)
Electric Six - I'm The Bomb
Elevis Costello - I Don't Want To Go To Chelsea
French Kicks - Don't Thank Me

Then National Eye played. The singer made some irreverent comment about me and I responded by yelling "SWING ON THESE!" Later he claimed that he was actually trying to commend my set but fucked it up. I didn't really mind, since it gave me the excuse to yell "SWING ON THESE!" I also felt bad because the VH1 Big In 2004 Awards on the TV in my eyeline kept distracting me. Usher was wearing a knit cap, sunglasses, a thick jacket and a pained-yet-kingly-kind facial expression I wish I could achieve. I'm disappointed he didn't further shut out the world by wearing a parka. 12:20 is pretty early to have to break into the post-show dance set (usually the night reaches this point at 1:15). And "dance set" in Roustabout-speak doesn't mean long dance remixes (though I kinda wish I could have played "Yeah" by LCD Soundsystem - old hat for big city hipsters, brand spanking new for our scene), just poppy hits.

Pixies - I've Been Tired
Ted Leo/Pharmacists - Where Have All The Rudeboys Gone?
Killers - Mr. Brightside
Gang Of Four - Damaged Goods
Sloan - False Alarm
Wire - Ex-Lion Tamer (request from National Eye dude)
Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out
Cure - Just Like Heaven (request from Catherine)
Sahara Hotnights - Who Do You Dance For?

At this point the place had really thinned out (if people can leave early on a Wednesday night they're gonna), but pals and regulars were still around so I moved away from straight indie and into the kind of set I'd play if it wasn't "indie night." I wanted to fit in some Fluxboggery and new jack swing but didn't really have the time. Someday I'll get to do a truly unhinged set with no "indie night" assumptions.

AC/DC - Girls Got Rhythm
Interpol - PDA
Fine Young Cannibals - She Drives Me Crazy (spinning the first CD I ever owned! Heavy!)
Nerves - Hangin' On The Telephone (request from Kristen a.k.a. Jesse's Girl, since I forgot to bring some Blondie and she'd never heard the original)
Grandaddy - Stray Dog and The Chocolate Shake
Daft Punk - Digital Love (request from Catherine, who could not get me to play Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" when I've only got 15 minutes left in my indulgent end-of-night set. But I danced with her to make up for it)
Pavement - Stereo
R. Kelly - Red Carpet (Pause, Flash)

All in all it was a pretty great night, though during the event itself my nervousness made me rather blabby and testy - thanks to Craig, Megan, Max, Jacob, Veronica, Jess and everybody else for enduring my snippy chatter. I usually prefer to DJ with more aggro, jumpy bands but I'm starting to get the hang of getting the music to my preferred state no matter who precedes or follows. Can't wait to DJ again.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Grammy Nominations!

Top Ten Artists I Want To See Get Love.

1. Usher: I will not be satisfied until he's kicked Timberlake's ass in every possible forum. I also want him to sweep because his egomania is even more hilarious when his sense of importance is corroborated by the world.

2. Maroon 5: I can't think of another artist this year who knocked out three consecutive singles as great as their first three, and I originally HATED the first two. Now I need to get the album. I am a fan, no apologies.

3. John Mayer: He's my caucasian!

4. Britney Spears: If "Toxic" gets one nomination then "Toxic" better get one Grammy.

5. Ryan Adams: Ryan Adams getting a Grammy for "Wonderwall" would make my day, cuz when it comes to bullshit like award ceremonies, irony is often sweeter than justice.

6. Franz Ferdinand: Britpop distilled into its most worthwhile elements: wry sex obsession, jagged guitars and dance beats. Better full-length than anything released by a buch of limey guys in the '90s. I think. Can't be bothered to check.

7. Velvet Revolver: Since Linkin Park and Jet were shafted, Slash's solo on the otherwise deeply mediocre "Slither" is possibly the only enjoyable thing nominated rawk-wise. Aside from those two bands, Evanescence and that solo, hard rock radio sucked this year. I think. Can't be bothered to check.

8. Modest Mouse: "Float On" only got a songwriting nomination because Isaac Brock sings like Bobcat Goldthwait. Bullshit!

9. The Killers: I've got beef with everyone else nominated for best rock album.

10. Jay-Z: Grammys will make him look more boring and hopefully increase the possibility of him truly retiring (plus "99 Problems" is pretty great).

I can't believe Mario Winans' Hurt No More was nominated for an award but not "I Don't Wanna Know." That album is ass!

Can someone tell Felizitas at SF/J that Good Charlotte stole their "straight-up racist" Marion Barry and O.J. Simpson jokes from Chris Rock's Bring The Pain? A fact which I saw fit to mention in my review? I'd tell him myself but there's no comments box. If you're looking for racist rock to rail against, I recommend "Wigga" by M.O.D., which is up at Launch. Did everybody just look the other way when the Madden Bros. showed up on the last NERD album? I refuse to believe people can't find something more offensive in rock than "Lifestyles Of The Rich & Famous," which the band claims was inspired by reading a cranky Axl Rose interview in Rolling Stone as kids, and is over two frikkin' years old. If you're gonna bitch about the track, bitch about the co-option of Rock's material without songwriting credit or something. There's serious irony in calling out Good Charlotte as racists for calling out those celebrities as shameful public figures.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

I've declared a personal moratorium on interblog noise, but I can still talk about other stuff on the internet. I feel like celebrating community.

Stylus is unspooling its Top 40 Singles of 2004 this week (10 a day - 20 up now, and personal staff lists on Friday). My blurb for Liz Phair's "Extraordinary" is up already and I got to write the shout-out for another controversial major-label vixen who will probably show up on Thursday (I'm pretty sure she's a contender for the top spot). Knock on wood and bearing future bouts of writer's block, I should be returning to my previous state of productivity for the mag. While I never would have big-upped "Take Your Mama Out," "Slow Jamz" or EITHER Morrissey track (wtf), I'm really proud to be part of this. A trippy list by some trippy people. Hell, I get off on the font.

Stylus-related aside: Dom Passantino has yet again given me the giggles. A must-read for all Green Day fans (hi Dave!).

I'm DJing tomorrow tonight at Roustabout!, so State College, PA is the place to be. Biggie "fuck hoes at Penn State" Smalls knew that. Philly's National Eye and our very own A Brown Leaf will be performing. Roustabout godfather Jeff Van Fossan deserves a public display of gratitude here. If not for him, the overwhelming majority of bands on this list would not have played in town and I'd never see any live music. His band The Bullet Parade is pretty good too. They have to be, or else I wouldn't have been able to stand seeing them every damn week for over a year (ok, there was a two-month period where I would run from the bar if they broke into "Radio Envy"). Their new songs are their best yet, thanks in large part to bassist Jenn Partyka, who makes me wish every band had a Peter Hook nut. When they finally record those tracks I'll probably buy a copy. Or maybe I won't, since I'll hear them 3,939,331,934 times anyway!!! This town needs more good bands, but Jeff is the last person to complain to about that. He's more than done his part.

Monday, December 06, 2004

You don't know me.

Sorry to disappoint some of you, but that list I posted isn't a game of "guess who."

If you're on my links list, I love you. I check your site all the time. If I didn't love you (or if you update less frequently than I do laundry - even then sometimes I keep you around), you wouldn't be there. I try to keep that thing tidy, but the number of people I love seems to grow every week.

I'm going to try and keep the interblog noise to a minimum from now on (had my fun, I'm done), but I need to give my semi-annual shout out to Geeta Dayal, the best writer of my generation*. It's possible that my opinion was forever tainted when she let me be the +1 on her Siren Festival VIP Pass this summer (my first music festival EVER, for real!), but her writing actually makes me curious about subjects outside my locus of interest. She knows how to sell the hi-falutin'. Her descriptive skills are masterful. She's got bonafide ideas. She avoids the jibber-jabber. These are unparalleled feats in my book, and she's only just begun. Check out that Fabric review on her site! Best to start kissing ass now.

*well who's YOUR nom?

Sunday, December 05, 2004

If the following post offends you, just remember that I wrote it late on a Saturday night. If you were doing something lamer than writing this, then you've got bigger things to worry about.


1. Hi! I'm a woman.

2. Hi! I got yo' Diplo rmx of Nas right HERE, bizitch! Don't front, muthafucka. We on this shit. Blogga please! We run the North! We got grainy pictures of thugz that will make yo' head spin. Ugh.

3. Hi! I live in NYC and you don't. Here's proof!

4. Hi! I've got lots of understandably obscure crap and some web space. Got some time?

5. Hi! No. 1 wrote something really profound yesterday. Made me think about the Diplo remix of Nas I got from No. 2. I still like it (I think, only listened to it once) but I appreciate the issues that she raises. Think she'd date me?

6. Kris Ex, the only blogger on the planet who can get away with the phrase "closet fag." (Guess why.)

7. Hi! Oh fuck. This is stupid. What am I doing? Last post ever. Stay tuned for new blog in five. four. three. two...

8. Hi! I wish I was no. 4 but the most obscure album I own is Bubble & Scrape!

9. Hi!

10. Hi, I'm a full-time freelance writer with a steady income. And a wife. Kneel.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

I'm seriously considering getting some web server space so I can post an MP3 on here every now and then. Any recommendations? Does anybody want to let me piggyback - with financial compensation - onto their space? At most, we're talking five available mp3s each week and probably much less than that. I'm not actually looking to start an MP3 blog per se. There are plenty of those in existence. It's just that there are songs I love that I want to be OUT THERE. Songs where if I reach just one person blah blah it would all be worth it blah blah. The only rhyme or reason to my choices would be that, in my head, these are all #1 hits (which isn't the same as saying the song should be a #1 hit on Billboard, mind you). It makes sense to share songs with maximum personal appeal on a blog that's all about my take on things. If you've got advice and/or the hook-up, e-mail me.

While I'd probably try to avoid actual pop chart smashes, they might crop up now and then depending on how strongly I feel about them. A lot of net folk don't actually listen to the radio or watch MTV, so its possible they've never really latched onto a song despite the increased possibility of exposure. Two songs on the radio that give me the shivers every time I hear them are the Black Eyed Peas' "Where Is The Love?" and Eminem's "Like Toy Soldiers." I held off on engaging with the BEP track for a LONG time, ignoring the sentiments and wryly noting I liked the distorted keyb solo (I'm fond of using those myself) and how the chorus rips off Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn." The video is such a fuckin' Sprite ad that it took me months to even notice that much about the song. Following the election and the horseshit from both sides of the political spectrum that followed, the verse lyrics now turn me into such a sobbing baby that I forget to catch that overdriven casio. While it says something about how wack these guys used to be that they benefited from the addition of a former member of Kids Incorporated, I'm hoping their next album will be the inclusive mini-Thriller this country needs. They should to do a single with Big & Rich.

The Eminem track is easy to dismiss (multi-platinum artists should not be acknowledging the existence of Benzino), but unlike most extended journal entries I've seen about warmongers, Eminem comes from the perspective of someone who's aware of his own power. Macho hawks aren't some "other" that he can lash at from the sidelines; he acknowledges how his own aggression and desire for vengeance can affect the lives of others. While he's emotionally bolstered by the "save the children" Martika sample and I'm worried I'm engaging in unwarranted white-on-white lionization (does Eminem have to be the only white guy in the video and the only person who finds fault in the escalation of rap violence?), hearing such naked acceptance of personal responsibility is rather affecting.

You can hear the Black Eyed Peas track on their ugly-ass site and both videos are on Launch. I'll do my best to make sure that my eventual mp3s aren't all such sappies.

[update: my once and future drinking buddy Dave gave me the heads-up on a good server. Public display of gratitude to Dave!]

Friday, December 03, 2004

"Complex salacious removal, complex salacious removal, complex...salacious...removal. Done!"

Paul Banks is the best bad poet of the 21st century. Hell, he's the best bad of poet of the NEW MILLENIUM. I love being able to make grandiose yet meaningless statements like that. I've been listening to both Interpol albums incessantly. Best band of the millenium? Only time will tell.

Laura H started a thread about The Ryugyong Hotel in North Korea on ILX. It's pretty fascinating. It looks so ominous in the background of photos. Dark clouds should form around it, a la Ghostbusters. Magick in the air. There are similar examples of architectural insanity throughout the thread.

For more North Korean trippiness, check out Mo Kin. Watch that lil' sparkplug go! Thanks to Yancey for finding this (I'd link directly to his blog post about it but the permalink isn't working).

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Five new videos worth checking out (all are on

Ross Golan & Molehead "Move"
Killers "Mr. Brightside"
LeTigre "TKO"
Tegan and Sara "Speak Slow"
Saul Williams "List Of Demands (Reparations)"

If I was in charge of MTV2, these tracks would get the heaviest of rotations. My favorite is the Sophie Muller clip that stars Eric Roberts. My second favorite appears to be Zionist reggae. I shit you not. The other three do a fine job of emphasizing the artists' personalities. Let me know if these clips get some exposure ("Mr. Brightside" is a lock, natch). It would make my day.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

I can't tell if "Take It Easy" by Bright Eyes is unusually weak or if I've just lost all sympathy for Conor Oberst's melodrama. Either way, I doubt I'll be spending my own money on "Lua" or the upcoming Sweat/Suit combo. Bring back Desaparecidos, please! I may not want to read Conor's lj but I'd be up for some political rants from the Dylan (by depressing default) of emo. Read Music/Speak Spanish remains my favorite album of the 21st century.

Has anybody else heard the RTX album Transmaniacon? I mentioned it awhile back, but I like it more than any Royal Trux album I've heard (though Thank You and Veterans Of Disorder come close). Two questions: if Neil Hagerty is so pissed than how come he hasn't stopped Drag City from putting it out, and is that "One Nation Under A Groove" they sample at the end of "Resurrect"? If I owned some webspace I'd be posting the track here. Maybe it would be a good idea to buy some for emergency situations like this.