Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I'm just bein' real, you know. I'm like the sun, I'm tryin' to shine on everybody. You know what I'm sayin'. But it's like situation after situation, you know. So I write about it to get it off my chest, you heard.

Just in case there is ANY person reading this blog who hasn't been paying attention to the 5-part masterpiece that is R. Kelly's "Trapped In The Closet," here are links to sites hosting the four available parts.


he says "mister, wait!"


she says "please don't shoot!"


he says "don't shoot me!"



Monday, May 30, 2005

Hey ladies,

1. I graduated from Penn State with a film degree and still live in Central PA. When I met Julianne in NYC at the big Matos party, I had to take a Greyhound for 9 hours. But then hey, if we're going to talk about everything but the review in question, I guess we can talk about everything but the reviewer in question.

2. I guess if you don't bring up all the revolting shit that happens in society when describing a song, you are ignoring it. When you don't mention James Brown's criminal record when discussing Live At The Apollo, you're being negligent. If I don't mention that Kathleen Hanna once equated eating meat with beating wives when reviewing This Island, I'm letting shit slide.

3. I never said the Ying Yang Twins don't deserve a slap in the face for coming on strong. I simply said that fans of "Wait" (something I never said I was or wasn't) aren't scum for enjoying it, the track was defensible and that a lot of folks (who, as I noted, are more than welcome to dislike the track) are being melodramatic about it. I see no reason to take back any of this. I wanted to see a review where someone wrote about the track without either saying "best of the year! so funny!" or "GOD, WON'T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?" I did my best to deal with it at face value without making associations based on my privilege or others' lack thereof. No regrets.

4. What's with hyperactive bloggers calling out ILMers as internerd shut-ins with few friends? That's totes some presumptuous pot-kettle bullshit.

5. From the ILM (I mean, if we're bringing it up) "Wait" thread:

I don't think "Wait" is nearly as bad as the tracks referred to in this xgau review, but I think this is some worthwhile food for thought when you think about where your sympathies lie.

This Is the Shack [Def Jam/RAL, 1995]
Lazing around in Warren G's groove without making a pass at his tragic sense of life, these arrogant hangers-on would be yawns if they weren't the ugliest sexists to make a three week splash all year. Although the hatred is everywhere, it's most painful on an early "skit"-song-"skit" triptych: "The Train" (a backslapper about gang rape in the dark),"Fuck Ya Mouth" ("To all our hookers and hoes"), and "Slap a Hoe" (a device invented for punks too yellow to do the job themselves). Heaven forfend the rappers actually doing any of these things, except maybe buy a Slap-a-Hoe--this isn't advocacy, it's constitutionally protected representation, harrumph. What I don't understand is why anyone who doesn't hate women is outraged when C. Delores Tucker goes just as far overboard in response. If they understand when self-serving black men express themselves in these, harrumph, metaphors, why don't they understand when self-serving black women counterattack by any means necessary? C+

-- miccio (anthonyisright@GEEmail.com), May 12th, 2005.

So yeah, play on. I understand. I'd still love a copy of that Pitbull mixtape, too.
Leila was one of the first non-ILXor non-rockcrits to link to my site (she thinks she found it off of TMFTML). I finally got to meet her while up in Boston. She's hopped around several blogs and recently resurrected this one. She's just as smart and observant when talking about politics (she did an honors thesis in government at Smith) as she is when describing television (she watches a lot of crap). She's pretty funny, too. I'd never demand that someone keep blogging (hey, you! routinely write opinionated rants and blurbs for free! NOW!), but I'll be glad if she does. Check it out!

Friday, May 27, 2005

Anthony Is Getting Off His Ass And Actually Publishing Reviews Week closes with a lil' something about The Ying Yang Twins for the Voice. Word of caution: it's a little blue.
Me and John M. Cunningham making a mountain out of a molehill of singles on Stylus.

While the increase in forward motion noticed during in-store play got me excited, initial post-purchase listen reminded me Mercury Rev is still led by an elf on a man-woman-sun-moon trip whose lyrics are even more Lisa Frank than the album cover. Caveat emptor.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

For the first time in my life, I'm jealous of the English. As of today, more people in the U.S. have bought the Coldplay single than this. Gorillaz, consider yourself PWNED.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Lest I be mistaken for one who fears artistic evolution, me on Stephen Malkmus for Stylus.

I just realized that if you put together "good-hearted pop-metal" and "world class sex rhymes" you get my second favorite single of the 90s, Prince's "Gett Off." My favorite is Sugar Ray's "Someday," which makes me ashamed of the way I tend to cynically compartmentalize my musical tastes. By celebrating "Someday," I reveal my interest in humanity itself, with all the pain and beauty it entails.

I promise to stop talking about this starting now.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Me on Sleater-Kinney for Stylus. The funny thing is that, aside from "Oh!" and "Step Aside," I totally prefer the album to One Beat.

Judging by my 100 albums thing from last year (which I still stand by! There's been about four albums I've heard since that could make it), these are my Ten Favorite Albums of The Nineties
1. Weezer, Pinkerton
2. Sleater-Kinney, Dig Me Out
3. Prince, The Hits 2
4. Weezer, Weezer
5. Urge Overkill, Saturation
6. LeTigre, LeTigre
7. Morrissey, Your Arsenal
8. Guided By Voices, Bee Thousand
9. LL Cool J, All World
10. Pavement, Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain


If you don't care about good-hearted pop metal and world class sex rhymes, you really don't need to be checking this site. Actually, if you disqualify comps, LL and Prince are replaced by Wilco's Summerteeth and Prince Paul's A Prince Among Thieves. So I guess we cover arty bullshit too.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Man, Besterberg is a weird listen. He once said his most hailed work is usually the stuff he recorded at his most miserable. In the liners for this comp, he says he started crying at the end of "Things," easily the best track here. At least I can assume he's been fairly happy for a while now! His wife is pretty cool - I'd like to read the book about her tenure in Zuzu's Petals she's working on. Anybody heard that band? Her piece on female touring archetypes in the entertaining if unfortunately titled Rolling Stone's Alt-Rock-A-Rama is hilarious. If they ever break up I'm going to be bummed and probably buy his next album.

I can't even imagine how laughable this comp must sound to people who don't swear by Let It Be. Best songwriter of his generation getting by on familiar vocal timbre? On the BEST OF? "World Class Fad" and "Love Untold" deserved their MTV play, "Runaway Wind" is cute when you know he wrote it for the Robin Zander solo album and the b-side "Seein' Her" reaffirms the dude should be forced to do punk toss-offs with Josh Freese whether he wants to or not - way better batting average on those than the meaningful ballads. One of the best songs here is from the Friends soundtrack. I'd say that album would probably be less of a drag ("I Go Blind" was cute!) but I'd rather hear his most sluggish gotnuthinsorry than "Big Yellow Taxi," a fuckyoujesuschristno which precedes his track on the TV tie-in. Nonetheless, it all sounds like Keith Richards frustratedly trying to get some Goo Goo Doll money. The irony is kind of heartbreaking, but the dude deserves happiness more than a comeback. I mean he only made my favorite album ever.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

"Now people say that I'm a slacker! If I'm a slacker, it's through the eyes of the ones that are blind!"
- Limp Bizkit, "I'm Broke"

I've been putting off some work by figuring out which of my 20 Favorite Albums Of 1999 has to be chucked to make room for Randy Newman's Bad Love. KleenexGirlWonder, the Faint and Ben Lee were checked for endurance, but in the end it was a bloody bout between Limp Bizkit and Beck. Beck, despite my relative antipathy for his mumblemouth middlebrow ass, won and now I've got to get rid of my copy of Significant Other (this OCD stuff keeps me off the streets, ok?). More than not-ready-for-CD-R-comp album tracks like "I'm Broke," "Trust?" and "A Lesson Learned," I'm going to miss the liner notes. So here, kept for posterity, are Fred's thank yous. All typos are his, not mine.

i just want to say that i am grateful for every second i am alive and healthy. almighty God has blessed me. my family has put up with all my shit and i love you. most of my friends have done all they can to betray me, but those of you who are true friends are all i need. to my daughter adriana; i love you more than i know how. wes, sam, john, lethal, you are my life and blood. if i could have anything in the world it would be one huge show with every single LB fan and every single girl on the planet. jacksonville florida is where it all started and where i will always call home. i thank everyone that has caused me to suffer, without you i would have no reason to express myself. in my mind is where i live and my mind never sleeps. no matter how much fortune and fame come into your life at the end of the day all you have is you. i never believed any of that until now. my life is fucking amazing and i want everyone to be a rock star, but be careful what you wish for you just might get it. as for egos, like assholes, everybodys got one. but having confidence in yourself and what you do is something to be proud of. i know alot of people talk shit about me and what they dont know is that i know. dogs are the most amazing creatures on the planet so get a puppy. all we need is common sense and that can't be taught. im a wierdo and there is nothing i can do about it. sometimes i question my exsistence and purpose in life. the more i question myself the more i become lost in myself because there are no answers. i think the key is to realize that life is temporary and spending life questioning life is a waist of life. thank you so much for listening to me ramble on. you are why im here.

fred durst

For those in the P2P know: "Don't Go Off Wandering," "No Sex," "Show Me What You Got" and the four singles are highly recommended.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Four great used CDs I bought in Massachusetts this week:

R. Kelly - Chocolate Factory
Passionate nutters. I've held off buying this until I could find a copy with the bonus Loveland EP. Now I've finally heard "Heaven, I Need A Hug" and its all I could have asked it to be. Diverse as R. but nowhere as bulky, this is easily his most listenable full-length to date. TP3: Reloaded comes out July 5th! Light a candle for this one!

Local H - Hamfisted
This debut is pretty undiscussed even among those who value the band, and while Pack Up The Cats flows the best and As Good As Dead has the hits, Hamfisted is equally enjoyable. Scott Lucas had his sardonic attitude and sound down from the get-go. Tighter, funnier and more coherent than the bands they ape, their lack of renown reveals how uncynical nineties rock enthusiasts actually are.

Maroon 5 - Songs About Jane
The singles are the best numbers, but the mellow tracks move and the fonky is offset by studiocraft unavailable to whoever's playing at Cafe 210 West tomorrow. Those who dug the Afghan Whigs should find the Doobie Brothers of Crunk (they're supposedly on the next Ying Yang Twins album!) hard to resist, unless your problem is that Maroon 5 isn't melodramatic, turgid or unpopular enough. Anybody who hates on "She Will Be Loved" has my sympathy, for it will outlive you.

Randy Newman - Bad Love
"For as long as we can joke, life is not hopeless, we can enjoy it." - Pauline Kael

Monday, May 16, 2005

Twenty-five of the songs on my personal ballot made the Stylus US Singles Jukebox's Top 50 Singles Covered Over The Last Year. Here's the half that didn't, in order of personal preference:

1. Bowling For Soup - 1985
2. Pitbull feat. Lil Jon - Toma
3. Darkness - Growing On Me
4. Counting Crows - Accidentally In Love
5. Keane - Somewhere Only We Know
6. Akon - Lonely
7. Franz Ferdinand - This Fire
8. Usher - Caught Up
9. Blink-182 - Always
10. Queens Of The Stone Age - Little Sister
11. Lil Jon feat. Usher & Ludacris - Lovers & Friends
12. Eminem - Just Lose It
13. Bowiling For Soup - Almost
14. Avril Lavigne - Nobody's Home
15. Bumblebeez 81 - Pony Ride
16. Good Charlotte - Predictable
17. Snow Patrol - Run
18. Interpol - Slow Hands
19. R. Kelly - Sex In The Kitchen
20. My Chemical Romance - Helena
21. Game feat. 50 Cent - How We Do
22. Kanye West - The New Workout Plan
23. Jet - Cold Hard Bitch
24. Usher feat. Alicia Keys - My Boo
25. Juvenile - Slow Motion

The six songs from my Worst Singles ballot that didn't make the cut, in order of personal offense:
1. Simple Plan - Shut Up
2. New Found Glory - All Downhill From Here
3. Finger Eleven - One Thing
4. Three Days Grace - Home
5. Nas - Bridging The Gap
6. Christina Aguilera - Car Wash (feat. Missy)

We now return to our regularly scheduled vacation.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

"Yeah, man, oh, we're going to have some fun with this one, man, and I don't know where it's gonna take us, but it's a long way from Boston, man, here we go."

Headed up to Massachusetts tomorrow, first to see my sister graduate from Smith College, then to hang out with pals in Boston. Residents of the area with knowledge of cool events over the next week, feel free to e-mail. Between Jefferson's excellent music collection and the pleasures of Mass Ave used record stores, its likely I'll be inspired to post here sometime during the trip.

Claire had a poster of Joey McIntyre on her door for two years and denied it for five. Congratulations, sis! I couldn't be prouder.

Relive the NKOTB dynasty here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

So I've realized that the only artists I adored in high school who aren't releasing painfully misguided and/or uninspired bloats these days are those that currently specialize in cryptic boogie: Sonic Youth, Stephen Malkmus, the Fall and any group with John Reis in it. This says more about the kind of band I was enthusiastic for at the time than the modern music scene, but I feel it deserves mention. Maybe Girls Against Boys will put out something kickass soon. The last two New Wet Kojak albums were pretty fun. But I guess that's cryptic boogie too. Ah, indie.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

The video offers melting pot and I know he's tight with Ben & Jerry's, but Dave Matthews' refusal to accentuate what American means to him makes the South African expatriate's "American Baby" even more disgusting a purple-state sop than Paul McCartney's "Freedom." And yes, he's still doing that dance.

Mindblowing lyric of the week: Empty spaces fill me up with holes

Does anybody else enjoy when Rob Thomas gets all fervored in "Lonely No More" on the line "just to get you back again"? And what is that stray syllable on the chorus? "I don't wanna be lonely, nuuuu"? These allegedly bland mainstreamies are pretty quirky if you pay attention. Nobody seems to point out how minimalist Lenny Kravitz's hits have been in recent years. "Where Are We Runnin?" was just a distorted guitar line and SINGLE drum beat, a vocal and a solo. Plus the video is some seriously tripped out Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls jive. "Lady" and "Dig In" were rather spartan as well. I don't know how someone could find him boring and not the White Stripes.

I said boring, mind you. Not bad.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Someone want to explain to me how a prolific singer-songwriter who had ONE song in his discography I've unconditionally enjoyed over the last decade plus (and I've heard every single release courtesy of an ex and the radio station) could release a DOUBLE CD that I'm really digging?

The new Eels album is lovely. Has he finally written songs I'd rather hear him sing than Destiny's Child (I realized when listening to Souljacker that post-Waits grizzle shit would sound better if sung by a spirited female trio)? Am I just more comfortable with his rasp? Why doesn't he sound self-impressed and simple-minded now? Has he grown a better sense of humor and lost some pretension following his label drop or am I just cooler with the self-impressed and simple-minded? What has changed? What? What? Do I need to go back and explore or is this really such an evolutionary step forward? When did I become such a folkie?

The song of his I loved before was "Last Stop: This Town," btw. Now there's another 30 I'm cool with. Wtffff.
1. The Force M.D.s and the Information Society need to be removed from history so they can't stink up this Tommy Boy's Greatest Beats box set. So bad.

2. Please tell me that TKA named their track "Louder Than Love" after the Soundgarden album.

3. I can't believe I hated "Feel Me Flow" back in the day. Song was instantly enjoyable when it came on by surprise (5 CD box fits lovely in the changer for random play) and I have strong memories of groaning and changing the channel when the video was inescapable. Hearing pop songs from my most indie of years ('94-'00 bouts) is so disturbing now. Tons of quality tracks I totally didn't grasp, many superior to the overdrivel I purchased. Part of it I can blame on MTV, with its endless spins and forced visual contexts, but that's not the whole story. Back in the late nineties, I must have had a different ideal, a different dream of what pop music should offer and represent.

A quirk of mine is that I detach from the mindset of previous years to the point where I hate to recount tales from the past - my internal logic is usually so different that I hate to associate those actions with the self relaying them. I wouldn't want to do it all over again, but I would have done it all differently. I know that the macho bark and brutality of DMX's "Ruff Ryders' Anthem" video seemed the next step in artless harsh at the time, to the point that when I heard "Party Up (Up In Here)" in late '03 I assumed it was a new crunk joint from Bonecrusher or someone. Couldn't fathom that DMX could have so much charm and humanity. Now I have to go back and find out if he changed or if it was just me. Glad Launch lets me minimize the window.

4. Kelly found those missing glasses within fifteen seconds of entering my apartment. Either she's smart like that or I'm stupid like that.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Watched Dig! last night. Vain, pretentious professionals and dysfunctional messianic mental cases shrieking jealously at each other between drug binges isn't necessarily the best thing to witness when thinking about Why People Bother (especially when you think about all the jealous people watching them, ugh), but it was still pretty entertaining. Funny thing about music documentaries is how you get somebody but spouting effusive praise followed by sounds that fail to remotely redeem the hype (think Gerard Cosloy in Half Japanese: The Band That Would Be King). If there's any Brian Jonestown diehards out there, I'd appreciate a clue as to what I should hear from this "Velvet Underground of The Nineties." Sounded like bad-trip Elephant 6 to me. I actually got into the Warhols after seeing the video for "TV Theme Song" on 120 Minutes back in '95. Though Courtney Taylor barely redeems his defensive insufferability through half-decent hooks and a modicum of wit (I'm so glad they included David LaChapelle's verbal smackdown - "thousands, he said he's done thousands of videos"), I'm kind of glad they've actually lasted for ten years. I almost want to pat myself on the back for digging them early on, but then I remember Scarce and Sammy.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


I don't know how I could lose a pair of glasses in this wee apartment, but somehow I have. Quite irritating.

I want to give a shout-out to the Penn State Library, whose music collection I've been ransacking. Stuff I've been hearing for free, free, free: Fiona Apple, Erykah Badu, Chuck Berry, The Cure, Miles Davis, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Ice Cube, George Jones, John Lennon, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Memphis Jug Band, Randy Newman, Stevie Nicks, Teddy Pendergrass, Wilson Pickett, Prince (finally heard "Erotic City"!!), John Prine, Paul Revere & The Raiders, Rolling Stones (I have the classics, I just wanted to hear "Mixed Emotions" for the first time in 15 years off Forty Licks - btw, Jessica Hopper was right about "Has Anybody Seen My Baby?") and the Tommy Boy & Def Jam box sets. I already had material from a lot of these artists, but I'm happy to hear more from all.

While disappointed that the 2CD The Legend Of Paul Revere doesn't have "Crisco Party" (that would be on the later comp The Essential Ride), I'm amazed how much I'm digging this comp. I've already got five Raiders full-lengths, but this retrospective is like an alternate history of sixties rock: from "Ooh Poo Pah Doo" to "Steppin' Out" to "The Great Airplane Strike" to "Happening '68" to "We Gotta All Get Together" to "Powder Blue Mercedes Queen." Only song of theirs I knew before I started checking out their stuff two years back was "Kicks," and even that I knew only from my Best Of The Monkees...Then And Now tape from kindergarten. Solid, exuberant work with none of the pesky auteurism of the groups they aped. Mark Lindsay is The Man and their fashion sense was impeccable. Good times.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Radio Playlist:
And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - Caterwaul
Brazillian Girls - Don't Stop
Chavez - Hack The Sides Away
Dinosaur Jr. - In A Jar
Emperor X - Shut Shut Up
Fischerspooner - Happy
Giant Sand - Center Of The Universe
Heavy Trash - Love Street
Information - Tremble
Junior Boys - High Come Down
KleenexGirlWonder - Don't Leave
LCD Soundsystem - Disco Infiltrator
Moving Units - Between Us & Them
New Wet Kojak - Love & A Sick Beat
Of Montreal - Art Snob Solutions
Placebo - Johnny & Mary
Queens Of The Stone Age - I Never Came
Rocket From The Crypt - Turkish Revenge
Sleater-Kinney - Entertain
Mary Timony - Return To Pirates
Urge Overkill - Goodbye To Guyville
VCR - Bratcore
Martha Wainwright - Factory
XTC - Complicated Game
Yo La Tengo - Tom Courtenay (Acoustic)
Elastica - Stutter
NOFX - Thank God Its Monday
Hives - Abra Cadaver
Swell Maps - H.S. Art
Fred Schneider - Bulldozer
Mountain Goats - Pale Green Things
Local H - Toxic

Gonna see about trying to do some kind of free-form show over the summer if some spots are available. I don't mind doing format-specific (plenty of great indie out there) but it would be fun to try something looser.

"I Never Came" is the jam, btw.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Listen Without Prejudice will always be the best album title ever.

Yes, there was a Vol. 1 attached but let's not focus on that.