Thursday, March 31, 2005

Late news, but if, like me, you didn't watch the Grammies and would like to see that clumsy all-star performance of "Across The Universe," click here. The segue between Bowie II and Billie Joe is probably my favorite moment - a lot has changed in ten years. A bunch of celebrities repeating "nothing's going to change my world" (right, you ultra-coddled fucks, but should you be celebrating that?) and then chanting "something's gotta change my world" (what, exactly? SOMETHING!) is a pretty savvy way to affirm ownership of culture (my world) while denying responsibility. Worth seeing once.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Watched the Bon Scott disc of AC/DC's Family Jewels DVD set last night and reaffirmed that these guys remain my Favorite Band Of All Time. Track after track of bludgeoning riffs, dance beats and bawdy shrieks in praise of wine, women and song. Every rocker sounds the same because its the best rocker recorded. Foolish consistency may be the hobgoblin of little minds but we're fully aware we're Riff Raff on the Highway To Hell and, unlike Alright Replacement Brian Johnson, Bon knows better than to know better: "Take a chance, while you've still got the choice." Since's its all Show Business anyway ("I hear it pays well"), self-awareness and cynicism only add to Bon's relish for earthly pleasures.

The '76 albums were introductions ("Rock'n'Roll Singer," "Dirty Deeds"), '77 going steady ("Whole Lotta Rosie," "Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be"), '78 dealing with dumptitude ("Kicked In The Teeth," "What's Next To The Moon") and '79 just getting through the day. Would he have turned into a mere pro like Johnson or continued to find new crevices in his seemingly simple persona? Can you imagine his wedding album? His fatherhood album? If these hypotheses have any merit, his coming out album? If Bon Scott's life is a tragedy, it's only because of the music we'll never get to hear; the dude had more than his fair share of experience, joy & wisdom. I can conceive of a time when his music won't be the most personally satisfying I've ever heard. When I move from independence to the realm of responsibility, lifers I already admire like Randy Newman and Neil Young may hop into the catbird seat and I'll just classify the band as Good-Time Charlies like most people do (there's always the vague possibility I won't look to popular music for heroes). But for now, my utmost respect goes to the group that can make me laugh the hardest and rock the loudest with the least amount of pretension and emo. And if I never meet a day that can't be brightened by popping on one of their albums I doubt I'll regret a thing.

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Thanks to Kelly for watching it with me.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

"But preferring Hank Williams or Charlie Parker or the Sun Sessions or the Velvet Underground to Squeeze and Rickie Lee Jones and the Go-Go's and the Psychedelic Furs is not nostalgia, it's good taste. Just like listening to Beck, Bogert and Appice or Clock DVA and the Fall are bad taste. So I'll take my bad taste and you're welcome to yours, and maybe someday something will actually happen again and then we'll both be happy."

Lester Bangs wrote that and I think about it a lot these days. Replace "Beck, Bogert And Appice" with "the new Rob Thomas single," "Clock DVA and the Fall" with the A-Frames or Soundtrack Of Our Lives or whatever indie-rock paperweight is nestled in the CMJ top 20 this millisecond and I can stand by his last two sentences, except I'm not someone who sits around wishing something would "actually happen." This obsession with The Transcendent New Music Moment is the reason the NME feels the need to say Danko Jones Might Be The Best Band Ever and that The Bloc Party is Clash '77 all over again. You're in for a pretty arduous adulthood if you make music-derived adolescent euphoria your desired state of being, so you can't blame peabrains for pretending they're getting high off clove cigarettes. It's nowhere as pathetic as the grumps who cling to messiah fantasies, retro-roseglasses AND pride in their cynicism. When rock hasn't been cutting your mustard for a decade, maybe its time you open a book or just stop. paying. attention.

Actually, this A-Frames album is growing on me a bit, but in general I may not miss the access to indie rock promos that the radio station has given me once I move to Philly. Being the first on your block to find the hot new voice isn't necessarily worth sifting through the gurglings of an unimaginative, uninspired clique that can't create anything better than digitally produced rips on post-punk past and has nothing better to say than "music is dead," "dudes are back!" or "Captain Flipper's Flantastic Flubbertygibbet." When that decent group's fourth album breaks the top 100 (just like KASABIAN!) I'll just go back and check out the early releases and hop the love train a few cars late.

This A-Frames album is getting annoying again. Distorted voice saying "nothing ever. good. stays." Woot. How exactly is this better than Rob Thomas? This is what I get for associating the deconstructive freedom or whatever you want to call it of indie rock with youth and adolescence. Mainstream pap can be my mature music.

I can't speak about Bangs' first sentence cuz I've yet to really listen to Charlie Parker or Hank Williams. For all I know, they might suck ass. And Rickie Lee Jones might not be as excruciating as VH1 Classic leads me to believe.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

DJed last night. I did the "early set" for a change (my desire, as I didn't think I wanted to be out till close) and I never really felt like things were flowing, but I think I put together something fun overall. Two of the songs have yet to be released in the U.S., so hey hey hipster hey. Ended up watching BET Uncut afterwards at my friend William's. First time I've caught it and it was all I had heard it to be (and more) (and less). Good times.

LCD Soundsystem - Losing My Edge (by request!)
Marbles - Out Of Zone
Sloan - False Alarm
Spoon - I Turn My Camera On
Smog - Bathysphere
Polyrock - Romantic Me
Brian Eno - Seven Deadly Finns
Ted Leo - Me & Mia
Pulp - Babies
Pooh Sticks - Miss Me
Dismemberment Plan - Close To Me
Limahl - The Neverending Story
Sahara Hotnights - Who Do You Dance For?
Grandaddy - Stray Dog & The Chocolate Shake
Electric Six - Future Is In The Future
Diodes - Tired Of Waking Up Tired
Rocket From The Crypt - Tarzan
Rentals - Friends Of P
Mission Of Burma - Academy Fight Song
Mudhoney - Inside Job
Franz Ferdinand - Dark Of The Matinee
Queens Of The Stone Age - Little Sister

Friday, March 25, 2005

I think I found a little kiss for Brody on Lullabies To Paralyze. The evidence is up over at the The Tofu Hut, which you should be checking daily anyhow.
Tom B notes that Human After All is "clean and refreshing," and while I don't think the album has any value for the average listener, it has revealed itself as a terrific palette cleanser for those of us who spend/waste time digging through countless promos. After devoting a few hours to marginally talented indie shmucks who fail to achieve anything, its nice to hear somebody hit their target and actually accomplish something (in this case, Nothing). Familiarize yourself with the single hook on each track and you won't mind how each goes on for about five minutes. When its over or when you're sick of it you'll be ready to check out that new band that everybody's excited about for reasons they aren't bothering or able to express. Recommended for people who need empty but can't deal with silence (just don't pay money or attention).

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Go Team album sounds like a Pizzicato Five/Microphones collaboration.
Whether this is something to get excited about is entirely up to you.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Nate dropped this link over at ILX and I'm grateful. It's list time now, baby!


1. "Escapade" Janet Jackson

2. "It Must Have Been Love" Roxette

3. "Step By Step" New Kids On The Block

4. "Ice Ice Baby" Vanilla Ice

5. "I've Been Thinking About You" Londonbeat
The first CD I ever owned was The Raw & The Cooked!

6. "Cream" Prince & The NPG

7. "All 4 Love" Color Me Badd

8. "I'm Too Sexy" Right Said Fred

9. "Baby Got Back" Sir Mix-A-Lot
The muthafuckin' truth!

10. "End Of The Road" Boyz II Men
The spoken word bridge!

11. "Informer" Snow
The most OMGWTFLOL(ROFFLE) track of the '90s acc. to ILX!

12. "Take A Bow" Madonna
I miss Babyface kinda sorta!

13. "This Is How We Do It" Montell Jordan

14. "Kiss From A Rose" Seal
Batman 4EVA!

15. "Fantasy" Mariah Carey
Genius Of Love plus actual pipes and depending on the DJ's mood, ODB!

16. "Tha Crossroads" Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony
I miss my dog and I miss my uncle charles, y'all!

17. "You're Making Me High" Toni Braxton

18. "No Diggity" Blackstreet
Fats Domino 4EVA!

19. "MMMbop" Hanson

20. "4 Seasons Of Loneliness" Boyz II Men
Shame on a N'Synca!

21. "Truly Madly Deeply" Savage Garden
With passion like this, who needs testicles!

22. "Too Close" Next

23. "Genie In A Bottle" Christina Aguilera
My biggest karoake hit!

24. "Bailamos" Enrique Iglesias
Remember my Antonio Banderas post? Exactly!

25. "Smooth" Rob Thomas & Santana

Honorable Mention: "Livin' La Vida Loca." I couldn't justify including "Bailamos" AND "Smooth" AND "La Vida," despite horny hispanic guy music being one of the eighteen best types of music ever (Rob Thomas counts cuz of Santana and his wife and the fact that he's Rob Fucking Thomas - THE HONKY DONKEY SO FONKY). Speaking of which, I've got to write something about Pitbull soon. "Toma" is competing with "Since U Been Gone" as my favorite single of the year so far and M.I.A.M.I. totally makes my top 20 of 2004 in retrospect. I should have bought it earlier!

I had no idea that I missed 1999 until I read that list.

edit: I had a brain fart when compiling that list and skipped 1994. Oddly enough, the only charttopper from that boring balladful year with any chance of making the top 25 was "Here Comes The Hotstepper" (maybe "The Sign"). Ini wuz robbed and I apologize.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Radio show playlist:

Scrawl - Clock Song
And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - Let It Dive
Audible - Five Pirates
Lou Barlow - Holding Back The Year
Brazillian Girls - Homme
Camera Obscura - Let's Go Bowling
Descendents - She Don't Care
Evens - On The Face Of It
Fiery Furnaces - Sing For Me
Go-Betweens - Spring Rain
Hidden Cameras - The Fear Is On
Ida - Late Blues
Daniel Johnston - Living Life
Keren Ann - One Day Without
Ted Leo/Pharmacists - Little Dawn
Mountain Goats - When Love Cuts The Strings
NOFX - Thank God It's Monday
Organ - No One Has Ever Looked So Dead
Pere Ubu - Don't Look Back
Pulsars - Tunnel Song
Quasi - Our Happiness Is Guaranteed
Rocket From The Crypt - Who Let The Snakes In?
Stars - Ageless Beauty
Talk - The Turnip Inside Me
UNKLE - In A State
Silkworm - Don't Look Back
Ben Lee - No Right Angles
Matt Pond PA - Holiday Road

I've been in one of those 'OMG ALL MUSIC EVER IS AWESOME' moods lately. Enjoying it immensely. Will report on the particulars later.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

performing "One Word" at the Australian Video Music Awards earlier this month, my Kelly Osbourne info site of choice, has mp3s of her Live In London DVD on their audio page along with some rarities (the Andrew WK duet isn't as exciting as one would hope). While I still prefer the studio versions on Shut Up! I'm happy to get to hear her without any autopitch or multi-tracking. Undisciplined warble and gusto, devoid of polish, arguably awful but lots of charm. It's like that part of Tiffany's "I Saw Him Standing There" where it sounds like she's going to vomit, only its for every song instead of half a line. The banter is pretty good too: "Ok, I don't even know what song's next! *pause* Oh! I like this one. This is Dig Me Out." Re: "Sunglasses At Night" - "some of you may know this song, some of you may not, but this IS an eighties song because I love the eighties."

While I'm excited to hear the Kraftwerk-inspired eurodance of Sleeping In The Nothing (out in June!), I'm mourning the fact that I'll probably never get to catch her ripping and/or stumbling through this material. Supposedly she thinks Shut Up! stinks. Sigh! It's only one of the best albums of the decade!

Friday, March 18, 2005

I've owed my dad a CD-R of recent music for a while now. He wants an idea of what I'm writing about here and his knowledge of popular music is that there's a group called the Red Hot Chili Peppers and that he likes "That One Song" by Those Black Guys. He's been good about sending all queries directly to my e-mail address rather than the comments box here (has anybody else ever had to deal with that?), so I'm sending him this mix on Monday.

Nellie McKay "David"
Hives "Walk, Idiot, Walk"
Junior Senior "Shake Your Coconuts"
Interpol "Obstacle 1"
Electric Six "Danger! High Voltage"
Good Charlotte "Girls & Boys"
Liz Phair "Extraordinary"
Ted Leo "Ballad Of A Sin Eater"
Drive-By Truckers "Heathens"
Travis Morrison "The Word Cop"
Basement Jaxx "Lucky Star"
Hot Hot Heat "Bandages"
Queens Of The Stone Age "No One Knows"
M83 "Don't Save Us From Flames"
Yeah Yeah Yeahs "Maps"
Trick Daddy feat. Cee-Lo & Ludacris "Sugar"
LCD Soundsystem "Disco Infiltrator"
Franz Ferdinand "Dark Of The Matinee"
Killers "Mr. Brightside"

I would have sent it last week except, well, I really like listening to it! NOW That's What I Call Indie! with Good Charlotte sticking out like Teena Marie in a metal book. There was a request for no hip-hop but I used to play Sand In The Vaseline all the time as a kid so "Sugar" seemed like a worthwhile token. Ironically, I've been playing Randy Newman and Chuck Berry all day.

Monday, March 14, 2005

At first I thought it was even more pathetic than Motley Crue's Simple Plan cover, but Billy Idol's "Scream" really does put Dim Mak retro-cock in its place. None of those posers would have the audacity to demand you climb up their lemon tree twice in one verse. They'd never rip off "Rebel Yell" so shamelessly - despite having less to be ashamed of! This is also more memorable than anything Ian Astbury has recorded in years.

have a slice of my lemon pie
one more will get you high
you want to know, you want to see
how much you can squeeze
you are the one, you are a tease
you love my demon seed
you know just what I mean
climb up my lemon tree

Billy turns 50 in November.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Of course, by shattering the "one-a-day" rule we allow that there is now the possibility of being two-a-day or even three. I still need a place to point out that Ted Leo's "Since U Been Gone"/"Maps" medley is exactly the kind of worthless novelty bullshit that makes me want to set the concept of the mp3 blog on fire (NO ONE NEEDS TO HEAR THIS, CORNBALLZ). Leo thinking his shtick is enjoyable minus a rhythm section is deluded but forgivable; Leo thinking that he can do something worthwhile with these two songs in a SOLO ACOUSTIC ARRANGEMENT is downright criminal. Paul Banks, in the Interpol cover of my dreams, merely makes his flat baritone louder on the chorus, he doesn't attempt an excruciating falsetto like Leo. When a music nerd says 'Hey, that guitar break is like "Maps",' they don't actually grab an acoustic guitar and yell 'SEE?' Leo's lucky his last two albums are among the finest anthemic, groovy nu-wave out there. Otherwise, I'd wish him ill.

I'd link to the multiple blogs sharing this atrocity but instead I'll point out that Notorious B.I.G.'s "Party & Bullshit" is up at Cocaine Blunts. Get that instead, unless you already have the Who's The Man? soundtrack.

So yeah, this thing gets updated when the spirit (or the gag reflex) moves.

What he said.

I'm going to give the one-a-day thing a break. The idea for the last two years (!!) was to force output and put some discipline into my slackadaisacal life, but its been too easy to just coast here and not write stuff that's more substantial (well, substantial for me). There will still be posts and I'll be linking to pieces elsewhere, but I think I'll get a lot more done if I'm not focusing on this as much. Everybody who reads this is cooler than everyone who doesn't. Thanks.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

So wrong.

"Caught Up" is a total fifth single. It's catchy-not-classic and less intricate than "Burn" or "Confessions, pt. 2," but an insistent groove and lyrics that acknowledge having a career throw it heads above most drama-rock. Lou Barlow, unlike Usher, never admits to having so many other things he has to do. He certainly wouldn't freak out about someone cramping his style. Actually, maybe siren-phobia isn't that much more admirable than co-dependency. Maybe I just find it funnier. She really turned me out!!!! Aghhhh!!!

Speaking of Loobie, his "Round & Round" cover sounds embarrassingly like Tenacious D. And it's hawked on the sticker! Yeesh. Maybe the Dino Jr. reunion will stick and he and J can play state fairs instead of making indulgent solo albums.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Spent the last few days hanging out with music-lovers-not-critics, hearing stuff like Steve Reich, Captain Beefheart, J.S. BACH, the Dreamies, the Plastic People of the Universe, Felt, the Dentists, and Kanye West, whose album tracks are a lot better than some of the singles (I know at least one of you will be happy to hear me say this). Decent speakers are something I've never had and I really need to get them. I bet I'd go through fewer cynical moods about music if I wasn't listening to CDs and MP3s through tin cans.

I'd also have fewer James Murphy-esque funks if I'd remember to listen to the radio more often. Heard Akon's "Lonely" for the first time last night, and I almost wish I was still annoyed by Kanye so I could say that this track finally uses the chipmunk voice right. I don't remember digging any of his earlier singles, so I wish this was just a one-off and that his name was Akorn. They followed it with "Harder To Breathe," where Maroon 5 injects Rob Thomas into the Lenny Kravitz blueprint and winds up with something that doesn't resemble fart. Ok, it resembles fart - I found it exceptionally repugnant for months - but its a masterpiece of studio fonk, vicious and tacky. I heard the new Rob Thomas track yesterday too. I'm not sure just HOW great it is, but I'm all for his decision to go Timberlake on us - it's saucy! Not sure I'm ready for the eventual video though, as the man will never have a decent haircut. I should go cold turkey on those things anyway, but then I'd never have caught "Mr. Brightside." Maybe I'll make an exception for Sophie Muller and Spike Jonze.

The new Will Smith track, which followed Robbie Tommy, is unwarranted. He's a fine actor, but self-expression hasn't proven rewarding lately. He should drop some kind of nostalgiac A Grand Don't Come For Free narrative about the West Philadelphia playgrounds where he used to spend most of his days. Especially if he's gonna sound like a milquetoast Kurtis Blow.

Big props to William, Tyler, Harlan, Jefferson and Marty for keeping my ear open.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Been watching the "featured" videos on Already knew I enjoyed Tegan & Sara, My Chemical Romance, Kelly Clarkson, Usher, Saul Williams, Britney Spears. Still annoyed M83 hacked off the last minute of "Don't Save Us From Flames" (the "Schizophrenia" quote is KEY!). Amerie's "1 Thing" is annoying in a cute kind of way. I wish there was a remix of "Get Right" without a verse by J. Lo. I get the hook in that but I don't get the hook in "1,2 Step" yet. The most memorable line of MIA's "Sunshowers" is "I salt and pepper my mango," reaffirming that I don't give a shit until someone more than one degree of separation from a blog gives a shit. For some reason the Nivea, Mario, T.I., Mike Jones and Embrace UK videos require I sign up for more net security or something. Ambulance LTD looks like four Pete Yorns, but their new single sounds like the Clientele with a pulse - only video I hadn't already seen that makes me want to find out more about the artist. No one in Client's "Pornography" has ever seen porn. Faith Evans discovered that more money meant more problems, but in the long run she's glad she made it (get the gun). N2U is like Marques Houston but there's four guys reaching a hand out and moaning "please girl" instead of one, which doesn't quite add up to one Frankie J, but I appreciate the effort (I doubt Usher knows who these people are, so don't worry your little head about it either). I have no idea what an Aberfeldy is, but it sounds like Damon Albarn so I don't care. The Used, Breaking Benjamin, Simple Plan and Chevelle need to die inna Braveheart stylee. I'd expand the sentiment to the Diplomats but, well, bloggers don't get all het up about Chevelle the way they do over Killa and his delightful compatriots. Mando Diao reaffirms that I shouldn't welcome a band (like, say, Jet) unless I want to look forward to an uninspired knock-off in a year. So fuck Jet. The Green Day of 1994 need to be shown their cover of "If You Could Only See The Way She Loves Me" so I can watch them cry the way I did watching the Angel video (imagine Tara Reid aping Xtina while Noah's Archetypes do backflips - I'd complain further, but I know this isn't actually going to be a hit).

I need to stop watching music videos.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Restaurant: Burger King

Meal: Tendercrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch Value Meal (medium)

Album: LCD Soundsystem, LCD Soundsystem

Book: Lester Bangs, Psychotic Reactions And Carborateur Dung

Haven't been to Burger King in ages, but the Hootie-hawked chicken sandwich was too enticing to ignore. Every word is the sweetest kiss, and to order the meal by its full name felt like singing. The sandwich took a long time and could have used more Ranch, but overall I was pleased. Plus the soda fountain allows for free refills. I'm stuffed to the gills.

There's no question that LCD Soundsystem is a good album, but I think it makes for an insular & depressing "great" one. My mom says the reason she doesn't watch High Fidelity as much as every other half-decent John Cusack film is that its like listening to me and my friends. James Murphy's blog-like musical monomania has a similar effect on me. I dig "Daft Punk" and "Disco Infiltrator" cuz they mock hipster-dance subculture while offering the pleasures that keep it going, but by "Movement" and "On Repeat" he starts to hector and I lose my sympathy. Making the influences even more overt when straying from metacrit is a chickenshit move, too. The album inspires more reaction and repeat play then most of what I hear these days, but its not something that I feel any desire to champion. It sucks when comedians start taking themselves seriously, especially when their shtick is already so limited.

I first read Psychotic Reactions in middle school, but it's decent for stray perusal while eating. Anybody who was cynical about post-punk the first time around would have a real hard time with these guys. Music is dead? Shit, Second Edition says EVERYONE'S dead. This is kiddie shit.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Oh, sure, as a constant reader of Jess and Geeta's blogs, I've heard ABOUT this Kompakt stuff. But in the two years plus I've known the words "micro-house" and "M. Mayer," I've yet to hear a note.

Until now.

I'll probably be playing with this all day. Thanks to Ronan, the All-American Rejects' #1 Fan, for sharing this with us ign'nt Yank ILXors.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

My Top Five Albums Of 2005 So Far, For The Little It's Worth

1. Electric Six, Senor Smoke
2. Spoon, Gimme Fiction
3. The Evens, The Evens
4. Keren Ann, Nolita
5. Audible, Sky Signal

Guaranteed to change overnight.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Used car salesman of the year!

Unkempt dude with chub talk-sings snarkage about music over a series of retro-cred sonic signifiers - DUDE, YOUR BAND COULD BE OUR BLOG. We snippy lil' siphons could be you and you could be us except you get to be on stage. Plus you get royalties for your obscure references - we're lucky to get paid a buck a word. Oh man, bonus disc! Its like Chronic Town and Perfect Sound Forever were slapped onto Murmur and Slanted & Enchanted. One-stop hipster-glop for the kidz who still bother to shop. FIVE STARS.

On first listen!

"Daft Punk Is Playing At My House": uptempo hop and clap with bottle percussion and harmonic guitar strums a la the Fall's "I Feel Voxish." We better hope MES never dies, lest American buzz bands lack a sound to simplify ten years later.

"Too Much Love": glass bottle percussion over hi-hats and all that. distorted squeals here and there. low-maintenance murmurs from Murphy. Like Stipe and Malkmus before him, what will separate the dude from the UKage he siphons is the fact that he's secretly a balladeer. It's not about politics with us Yanks so much as makin' noisy pretty.

"Tribulations": Octave-jumps. Hi-hats and all that. Crooning about how one should forget their problems.

"Movement": MES over Suicide. Yes, it's like a discipline without the discipline you don't have the discipline. God, I sold back The Infotainment Scan, Cerebral Caustic, The Light User Syndrome, etc. Why did I buy this again? Well, "Yeah" and "Losing My Edge" were fun novelty singles. Didn't realize they summed up the dude's philosophy on art (and life, for all I can gather).

"Never As Tired As When I'm Waking Up": Ah, so this is the infamous Pink Floyd rip that makes the album more than just a bunch of Fall rips. Actually, adding a Floyd rip makes it less. Gah. At least Interpol suggests a fascination with people other than themselves (mainly girls and some guy who has a beard). Seems Murphy's tired and there's nothing in the world worth doing cuz all he knows and understands is music and oh the pain of the rocker paid to bitch and OMG HE'S ROGER WATERS EWWWW.

"On Repeat": Soft Cell? "Beats on repeat beating on me." James Murphy feels there is too much music in the world. Christ, its the small-stakes version of George Bush chastising greed. I'd ask why King Leech tends to bury his yelps under cymbal crashes and distorted keybs but I think I know why.

"Thrills": Indie/Art/Dance music isn't dead, it's just nihilistic and self-loathing. "Take me higher, take me higher" has become "I can't stop, this doesn't work anymore, somebody kill me." At least for James Murphy and the people who keep him from having to get a day job. I swear I had a lot of enthusiasm for this album - I mean I bought the thing (old school, I know). I guess I just didn't think about how dead the filler would sound. I reserve the right to completely jump the fence to pure adoration at a later date. Back in the day you could do that for money.

"Disco Infiltrator": "Still you want it!" When it's bouncy, yeah. Which this is. Mock how easily pleased we are, James! Just as long as you deliver and stop complaining!

"Great Release": Ok, enough dramatic slow piano tension I just wanna know if you're gonna tell me music is a great release or if you want a great release from music. Two minutes in. Come on, tell me already. Nope, just a new chord or two. Vocals come in...Ok, so if the "final track tells us what the next album will sound like" rule is in place than the next album is gonna be mondo Eno, which is pretty crafty when you're all about aping old shit that still has some potency. Wouldn't it be great if a band would build off of the promise of post-punk instead of just jacking the timbres and patting themselves on the back for realizing "nothing's happening"?


Thursday, March 03, 2005

So I've heard three tracks from the new Beck album: two, "Hell Yes" and "Black Tambourine," via videos on the net and "E-Pro" on the radio (the song is his highest charting modern rock radio hit since "Loser," but with Y100 etc. goin' bust, woo-woo). The most striking thing about all of them is that the Dust Brothers no-part-the-same rule has been cast aside. No surprising sound effects, no bizonkers coda, just mixmash mumblin' over a tolerable groove. "Hell Yes" fails to earn an "OK Whatever," but the other two tracks are innocuous and pleasant: welcome breathers between Breaking Benjamin and Crossfade, maintaining the mere professionalism of Sea Change and dropping the dolour. Worse things in the world.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


Due to the subject matter - past-prime Biggest Band Of Genre trying to make art with only commercial pressure as inspiration - I figured Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster would be one of my favorite movies of all time. It is. Kirk Hammett flipping out when stripped of his last shred of ego, the guitar solo. James Hetfield going from anxious, uninspired door-slammer with alcohol to anxious, uninspired door-slammer with glasses. TEMP-TAY-shunnnnnn-AHH! Exploring the Zone with Dr. Eugene Landy II. Bob Rock amusing himself with protools while waiting for his 20% off the top. Dave Mustaine reminding Lars that someone always has it worse. Jason Newstead happy to return to Earth, count his millions, rock out with Echobrain - "The future!" sayeth Lars - and trade places with Robert Trujillo, who will now get to learn what it's like to sell out *clap* every night (as Pepper Keenan sulks back to COC).

All of these were predictable pleasures after reading reviews, but what I wasn't expecting was to spend two hours sympathizing with Lars Ulrich. Surrounded by Bruce Banner, Luke-Warm Water and a variety of vampires, Ulrich was the only person who had enthusiasm, a bullshit-detector and the desire to give it 150%. He had plenty of boneheaded ideas (is there any precedent for A New Sense Of Collaboration actually paying off?) and his run-in with Napster reveals a modicum of power trippage (understandable from a millionaire drummer whose then-wife was stolen from Matt Damon), but Mustaine's Little Danish Friend seems like the only guy who has any Metallica left in him. The goofball drums sound better than Hetfield's lyrics too. Apologies to everybody who hears me note "it's a little stock" whenever possible for the next ten years.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Fine, I'll see Shrek 2 already!

If "Accidentally In Love" ain't gonna get the Oscar (ignore the dreads, listen without prejudice), I'm glad it went to the song Antonio Banderas got to cover. Banderas is one of the greatest stars to grace the silver screen. Right up there with Joe Don Baker, Judy Davis, Richard Burton and The Rock. They're bringing Zorro back! I can't believe I haven't seen the first one. Totally slept on that.

Top Ten Banderas Movies I Should Really Get Around To Seeing
1. The Mask Of Zorro (as Alejandro Murrieta)
2. Once Upon A Time In Mexico (as El Mariachi)
3. Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever (as Agent Jeremiah Ecks)
4. Matador (as Angel)
5. Shrek 2 (as Puss In Boots)
6. Spy Kids (as Gregorio Cortez)
7. Play It To The Bone (as Cesar Dominguez)
8. The Body (as Father Matt Gutierrez)
9. Two Much (as Art Dodge)
10. Miami Rhapsody (as Antonio)

I've seen Assassins, though. Julianne Moore plays an absent-minded cat lover with a very important computer disk. Banderas says "fuck" the way Ricardo Montalban says "Kirk" and treats Sly Stallone the way Montalban treated Kirk. There should be a 10th Anniversary DVD from the Criterion Collection sometime soon. One can hope.

My two favorite songs about cats are up at The Tofu Hut. Indulge!