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.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Am I the only person who thinks the Death From Above 1979 album is kind of flat? I love the White Stripes and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, so the two-instrument attack shouldn't be a problem. It's got craft and charge, but even if vocalist Sebastien Grainger offered more than retro-machismo (I own no Deep Purple and yet I want to say they remind me of Deep Purple), I'd probably complain about the lack of groove. There's no lower-body throb in the music to justify the autopilot lust in the lyrics. Their cold and reedy sound makes it hard for me to acknowledge the hooks and forgive the generic sentiments. The quality of a track seems to rely on how many extra instruments were overdubbed. I know one guy plays "bass," but I think they could use a bassist.

Monday, November 29, 2004

I'll probably do one last spurt of purchases around xmas and the placement isn't set in stone, but here's my current 20 Albums From 2004 That I'm Actually Keeping In Their Entirety. DFA #2 doesn't count, since it's a box set. THERE ARE RULES.

1. Nellie McKay, Get Away From Me

2. The Hives, Tyrannosaurus Hives

3. Bumblebeez 81, Printz

4. Trouble Everyday, Days Vs. Nights

5. The Streets, A Grand Don't Come For Free

6. Tegan and Sara, So Jealous

7. The Talk, It's Like Magic In Reverse

8. I Am The World Trade Center, The Cover-Up

9. Mountain Goats, We Shall All Be Healed

10. Travis Morrison, Travistan

11. Big & Rich, Horse Of A Different Color

12. Kimya Dawson, Hidden Vagenda

13. Hot Snakes, Audit In Progress

14. Ghostface, The Pretty Toney Story

15. Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand

16. Interpol, Antics

17. Trick Daddy, Thug Matrimony

18. Devin The Dude, To Tha X-Treme

19. Junior Boys, Last Exit

20. Wiley, Treddin' On Thin Ice

Sunday, November 28, 2004


Anybody who says I don't like "dance music" gets the gas face. Look at my singles lists and tell me these tracks plod. Nobody in State College would make that assumption, for they have seen me bust ludicrous amounts of ludicrous ass. Ludicrously. I've been enjoying the DFA Comp #2 so much that I'm tempted to explore some of the "techno" I've ignored of the years. Then I remember what humorless puritans its enthusiasts can be. OK, rock fans can get that way too, I know. But still, I thought y'all were supposed to be giddy little plur babies, not ponderous sociologists with a defintion-fetish. Maybe I just don't get to hear the right people talk about it. Anyhow, I like DFA Comp #2. My favorite tracks are the more "song"-ish stuff by LCD Soundsystem and the Rapture, but I find the whole thing consistent and easy to listen to (despite being 3CDs!). Flows nicely and, here's the kicker, never bores me or gets too brainy. Where do I go next?

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Gone Drinkin'. Since none of the available pictures of my visiting friends and I feature Nick Zimmer, Ultragrrrl or Carlos D, I've decided not to share them. Dag kind of looks like Devendra Banhardt, though. Thanks to Jefferson for hosting all this stuff. Oh, what the hey, here's Jeremy. That's TJ in the first one. These pics are a year or two old. We all have bowl cuts now.

Tomorrow I will offer my opinion on something music-related. I promise.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving! Have some Turkey.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004



1) Sleater-Kinney - Dig Me Out (#81 on ILM poll)
2) Weezer – Pinkerton (#61 on ILM poll)
3) Weezer – Weezer (#94 on ILM poll)
4) Guided by Voices - Bee Thousand (#83 on ILM poll)
5) Pavement - Crooked Rain Crooked Rain (#16 on ILM poll)
6) Matthew Sweet - Girlfriend
7) Afghan Whigs – Gentlemen
8) The Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs (#3 on ILM poll)
9) Nas - Illmatic (#8 on ILM poll)
10) Stereolab - Transient Random Noise Bursts with Announcements
11) A Tribe Called Quest - Low End Theory (#55 on ILM Poll)
12) Warrant – Cherry Pie*
13) Pixies - Trompe Le Monde (#35 on ILM poll)
14) Ben Folds Five - Whatever and Ever Amen
15) Eminem - The Slim Shady LP (#87 on ILM poll)
16) Wu-Tang Clan – Enter The 36 Chambers** (#2 on ILM poll)
17) Pavement - Slanted and Enchanted (#19 on ILM poll)
18) Rancid - And Out Come The Wolves
19) Sleater–Kinney – Call the Doctor (#85 on ILM poll)
20) R.E.M. – Out of Time
21) Portishead – Dummy (#12 on ILM poll)
22) Afghan Whigs - Black Love
23) Built to Spill - There's Nothing Wrong with Love
24) Public Enemy - Fear of a Black Planet (#11 on ILM poll)
25) Teenage Fanclub – Bandwagonesque (#62 on ILM poll)
26) R.E.M. - Automatic For The People (#46 on ILM poll)
27) Yo La Tengo - I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One (#29 on ILM poll)
28) Wilco - Being There
29) My Bloody Valentine – Loveless (#1 on ILM poll)
30) Spoon - A Series of Sneaks

*Had I known how lame this album was I wouldn't have voted for it (in hindsight, throw it out and throw the Gravediggaz album in at #30).
**Had I known how good this album was, I would have voted for it exactly where I did!!! UP IN HERE!!! UP IN HERE!!!


Toby Keith's "Stays In Mexico" is a million times better than Montgomery Gentry's "You Do Your Thing"!!! UP IN HERE!!! UP IN HERE!!!

But few things are worse in life than "You Do Your Thing"!!! UP IN HERE!!! UP IN HERE!!! Seriously, have you seen the video for this? It's horrifying!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Giving Queen's Hot Space the love it deserves for Stylus.

Five new videos (arguably) worth checking out.

Two Saddle Creek bands have goofy new videos about how sexually frustrated they are, but you already knew that. Two rappers from the Dirty South have goofy new videos about how they're going to beat the crap out of you if you get in their way, but you already knew that. The Lil Jon and Ludacris videos are more entertaining (Ice Cube is raking when he first appears on the screen), and, if I have to, I'd rather hear their morally questionable enthusiasm than Beep Beep and The Good Life drowning in their monomaniacal misery, but you already knew that too.

Good Charlotte's new single is "I Just Wanna Live," a song that I put on the Stypod a few weeks ago (the mp3 is no longer available, but my description is still there). In the video, they wear food costumes for half the scenes and goth/preppy wear for the others. Joel has a night-vision sex video romp while dressed like a slice of pizza and later recreates Ashlee Simpson's hoe-down. Benji plays the violin dressed like a cob of corn. Oddly enough, my Launch player played Simpson's "Shadow" and Lindsay Lohan's "Rumors" right afterwards. Soon after came Britney's "My Prerogative." Sadly, Michael Jackson's "Leave Me Alone" didn't follow.

Monday, November 22, 2004

I'm listening to Trick Daddy's Thug Matrimony. Kicked off with some N-word tracks, then some children's choir cuts, then some B-word tracks, and now he's in love. The next song features Ronald Isley and the one after that has a fellow named Dirt Bag on it. Solid stuff, but so schizo. Nobody warned me that "Sugar" interpolates the chorus of "Sugar On My Tongue." I almost spit out my soda, but I suppose its not surprising that hook handler Cee-Lo has a copy of Sand In The Vaseline.

I ignored Stephen Malkmus' Pig Lib when it came out, but my friend TJ's approval and this review by JBR inspired me to pick it up when I found it on the cheap a month ago. I like it more than anything the guy's done since Wowee Zowee. The Jicks are better at mellow grooves than Pavement was and Malkmus has grown into a confident romantic lead. Even the bonus EP is strong. Fluxblog's got a recent live track up. I'm actually looking forward to more Malkmus. It's been been a while since I've felt that way!

He was my idol in high school, though. Shows up a couple times in the Alt-Rock Photo Collage I made back in the day. I like how De La Soul and Johnny Cash are my respective rap and country tokens on the bottom left. Lou Barlow, Peter Buck, Ira Kaplan, Sterling Morrison, Bob Mould, Jon Spencer, John Reis, and Greg Dulli also got multiple nods. I'm hopeful about Barlow's upcoming solo Merge debut, but of all those nineties heroes of mine, only Speedo and Malkmus are still at the top of their game.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

When I was in 8th grade, I wrote one of those award show recaps where you mark each minute something interesting happened. I was planning to submit it to the local free arts magazine, though thankfully, I thought better of it. Only thing I remember noting is that Bono's claim that U2 would continue to "fuck up the mainstream" was the show's one saving grace.


Every review of a music award ceremony points out the "glorious moment," be it a half-decent song or a surprising declaration from a celebrity. My disdain for TV is pretty extreme these days, and the "(band) subverted the monotony of (show) tonight" meme is aggrivating. I'm not damning people for watching TV (I can still enjoy it as a social activity), its just that claiming your favorite alt-rock group redeemed two hours of insufferability and advertisements by wearing goofy hats while playing their hit is pretty dubious. The last award ceremony I witnessed was that MTV one where the Hives and the Vines did a double-blast of funny aggro. I enjoyed both performances, but what justified enduring the crap around it wasn't Craig Nicholls shrieking like a loon over my preferred guitar tone, but the opportunity to hang out with friends and laugh at it all.

I don't think I even enjoy VH1 Classic much anymore (probably because I have so much of it on tape; I've gotten my fill). I hate surrendering control to a medium with such a disturbingly low batting average - even if someone occasionally plays the maracas.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

10 Albums I'd like to hear before all the end-of-year jazz (and pazz).

Bowling For Soup, A Hangover You Don't Deserve
Devin The Dude, To Tha X-Treme
D-12, D-12 World
Eminem, Encore
Fever, Red Bedroom
Maroon 5, Songs About Jane
Masta Killa, No Said Date
McLusky, The Difference Between You and Me Is That I'm Not On Fire
Trick Daddy, Thug Matrimony
Usher, Confessions: Special Edition

There's no certainty that I actually will check all of these out, and I'm happier with my current 20 Albums From 2004 I'm Actually Keeping In Their Entirety than my list from any other year. I've listened to so frikkin' much. It's kinda gross.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Me recording the guitar solo for "Kimberly Glide," the third track on my NaSoAlMo album, The Futurist. One take. I was in the zone.

Forget what I said about "I'm Not OK (I Promise)" being the best pop-punk hit of the year. It's still got drive, jokes and a great chorus but the verse lyrics are chock full of adolescent hate-you-girl-for-what-you-made-me-do-to-myself bullshit. Oversensitive AND quick to scream "Jezebel"? Like Shatner, I can't get behind that. Shout out to Sara Sherr, Caryn Ganz and Jessica Hopper for the smackdown they gave emo manchildren in Pazz'n'Jop last year (scroll 2/3rds of the way down). Christgau's Angels!

So what is my favorite pop-punk hit of the year? Yellowcard's "Ocean Avenue" places (good ol' fashioned sap, inexplicable violin coda), but "1985" by Bowling For Soup so gets the nod. Blink-182 with something to say about adults. Fountains Of Wayne without audible quotation marks. As long as ILX and the rest of the world keep providing me with examples of people who blow their adolescent pleasures out of proportion and can't find new ones (tip from a smug kiddie, folks: they're probably not on a station owned by Viacom), this song will be treasured.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

An unusual amount of people in "real life" have asked me what I think of the Arcade Fire, so I've been apprehensive about checking out Funeral. Following the triple whammy of Donnie Darko, Mulholland Dr. and Ghost World, I've been inclined to avoid indie hits (in any form of media) so I don't have to explain why I'm so unmoved or disdainful countless times with varying degrees of forthrightness.

I've listened to Funeral a lot over the last week and I don't think fans are full of it. Well, critics are, but the people who bring it up at City Lights or Roustabout don't cream for two paragraphs before mentioning any specific details, they just say they like it. It is a consistent, well-made, musically impressive debut and I'm glad potential fans are hearing about it. All the same, I wondered how people could get so worked up about something that merely mixes Modest Mouse with Mercury Rev (they need to cover Dream Academy's "Life In A Northern Town" or, hee hee, Rusted Root's "Send Me On My Way"). Then I remembered the reaction those guys got.

My passion for "symphonic" indie began to fade once Ken (former manager of City Lights) pointed out that The Soft Bulletin sounds a lot like Supertramp, and Funeral isn't going to rekindle the flame. The lyrics that have begun to permeate the overwraught bombast don't impress me and the singer shares Conor Oberst's unfortunate tendency to get even more hysterical when the music tones down. The disco climaxes get closer to the desired rapture than the rest (shocker), but I need an emotional connection to fully submit to Springsteen/Morricone grandeur. "*timpani roll* WAH! *cymbal crash*" has lost its novelty value.

Pitchfork and the albums that get perfect scores from them have a lot in common. "Two paragraphs of creaming before mentioning any specific details" describes stuff like Funeral and Source Tags & Codes pretty well.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

I've been searching for another established critic with a rich career to pour over, and after reading his Encore review for the Voice, I think I need to pick up some Greg Tate. He avoids mentioning "free men" in hip-hop like Kanye West and Outkast and ignores Eminem's long list of safe and easy targets who aren't "negro," but I can see why he erred on the side of inflammatory. The popcrit nation is reacting with horror and intrigue, but no one questions whether or not Eminem is that important in the first place. I won't apologize for my own fascination (I now get to make Neil Young metaphors to go with my Prince ones), but I'd rather hear him dismissed by someone with perspective than young fans bummed that the jokes are crass and the emo drags (I guess they missed the parts on his "classic" where the Insane Clown Posse suck it and he shrieks about how radio won't play his jams).

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Well, it's been three days. Read the ODB memorial at Tofu Hut.

Five New Videos Worth Checking Out.

Blink-182 "Always": I got rid of several hundred CDs this summer after burning my favorite tracks. I kept "Feeling This," "I Miss You" and "Obvious" from Blink-182. It doesn't inspire thoughts of re-purchase, but the video, one of those split-screen long-takes where you have to watch it a couple times to figure out how they pulled it off, makes the song seem more noteworthy than it did in the context of the album. I'll grab it on the eventual best-of.

Blood Brothers "Love Rhymes With Hideous Car Wreck": I prefer my mental image of the White Stripes going apeshit Brainiac-style, but the guy singing Meg's part is pretty entertaining too.

D-12 "U R The One": I understand why some people find these guys annoying, but I always prefer their puerile giggle-fests to plodding Emo-nem ("My Band">>>>>>>>>>>>>>"How Come"). It sounds like they casually pass the mic around, trying to crack each other up. Think of them as Eminem's Crazy Horse: goofball idiot savants who bring out the silliest in their brilliant pal. Thankfully, it doesn't look like any of them are going to pull a Danny Whitten.

Grandaddy "Nature Anthem": This video was on the CD for Sumday, but its being hawked as a "new song" now that its on their Below The Radio Mix-CD. The dancing animals are amusing enough that you might not realize Jason Lytle is stating his band's thesis. If the environmentalist movement picks up in the next year or so (as it well should), they could do a lot worse for a theme song. Beats screaming.

Walkmen, "Little House Of Savages": Unlike the Blood Brothers, this video offers nothing to make up for killing my mental image for this song, which was that Jonathan Fire*Eater had reunited. The music is commendably illusory, though, and I'm gradually less offended by the existence of Hamilton Leithauser, who has the audacity to be hold his mic like Henry Rollins, have blond hair and not be Stewart Lupton. Has anybody heard Lupton's new band, Child Ballads? Any good?

Monday, November 15, 2004

After dancing through the static on my walkman for years, hopping directly from signal to signal on my discman is heaven. It was startling to hear Shania's "Party For Two" followed by Shifty's "Turning Me On" while at the supermarket. Two of last week's Videos To Watch in a row! I can't get enough of dirty hokum. I've sung "After The Lovin'" at karaoke and I'll probably do it again.

I've also been using the discman to reaffirm the quality of my "albums of the year." So far, so great. Revisiting Bumblebeez 81 was especially rewarding. Everything I said about it in my Stylus review holds true, except "Tumbling Dice" and "Pony Ride" have grown on me. The video for "Come Ova" (on their site) uses tired ironic-playa imagery to try and strip away their valuable anonymity. Avoid. Stick with the mp3s and the video for "Pony Ride" (which can be found at Launch), if you're curious.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

I've often joked with people about the possibility that Osiris a.k.a. Russell Jones a.k.a. Ol' Dirty Bastard was indeed Big Baby Jesus. What better way to upend the current state of Christianity than by forcing evangelists to embrace a black lunatic who likes it raw. Instead of scatting in John Norris's face for three minutes (a memory I'll always treasure), he could do it on The 700 Club while Pat Robertson debates suicide. Dubya would be forced to don multiple pairs of sunglasses and let his personal savior scream "Wu-Tang Is For The Children!" at his next press conference as a boombox blasts Lumidee at top volume. Jesus, what's your take on birth control? "I'm all for makin' babies. I love makin' babies. But ain't nobody gonna be burnt by gonorrhea again on MY watch. Wu-Tang!" Journalists would run out of questions rather than scurry after their elusive political prey.

If Tuesday was Mardi Gras, I'd have complete faith that the excess of jubilant titty would inspire him to rise again and instigate an unspeakably perverse yet golden age. Some would have to bloat rehab-style for their trespasses as he did, but he would forgive us our sins and teach us how to play and let play. The chances for his return are slim, but my fingers remain crossed.

I have N*gga Please, Enter The Wu-Tang and an a capella edit of "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" (courtesy of The Tofu Hut), but embarassingly I lack a copy of Return Of The 36 Chambers. I'll never mock those post-death sales booms again.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

This week on the Freelance Mentalists I get to save the world from aliens by playing them my favorite song of all time. Transcript here.

Nick A. from ILX sent me two CDs in exchange for Warrant and AC/DC mixes. I haven't listened to the Animal Collective yet but I checked out the other one, which opened with songs by his band, The Fake Fictions. They're great. Plug on my precious blog great. When I thought they'd finally dropped some tracks that were as embarassing, sluggish and painfully amateurish as "songs by people you've met" can be (you should hear mine sometime), it turned out to be music he liked that he'd filled the rest of the CD with. Nick enjoys listening to bands his is better than. Despite this smuggery, you should download the tracks on their site. They split the difference between new wave and twee without falling into the usual traps; Let's Active without the pretension and more drive.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Despite my long and respectable career as a thespian, I would rather be remembered as the highest-paid telemarketer in history. Bill Hicks cannot wait to knife me when I get to heaven.

I saw The Sw!ms on Wednesday night, and if you get a chance I recommend checking them out. The rhythm section is way stronger than most of the indie-pop I hear these days. Plus the drummer bites her tongue while she plays. It's really cute. I would have bought their EP if I wasn't spending what little money I had on beer. It's rare I hear a Shins-style group who can do the up-tempo stuff and ballads like "Jon Vs. Tron-Bon" with equal flair, so I'm definitely looking forward to seeing them again. Come back soon!

One thing, though. Bands need to stop telling audiences they can dance or that they should throw their hands in the air or whatever. If we want to be enthusiastic, we will be. Try inspiring it through acts rather than requests - it would probably make the victory that much sweeter. When I saw the Electric Six play at the Siren Festival the singer would wave to the audience and a large portion would wave back. He never said "do what I do!" I'm not against interaction at all - feel free to ask us how we're doing. Just don't demand a specific response.

Thursday, November 11, 2004


Made a CD of songs I've got on MP3 that I might want to play next time I DJ at Roustabout. I really should stop judging songs based on how they sound on my computer. Them's some crappy speakers I got. Discman is preferable - I've been loving Saul Williams' "Grippo" ever since I first heard the guitar loop and I didn't even catch most of the lyrics until today. At least now I know the right process with which to appreciate the finer songs I encounter.

Afros - Hoe Cakes
Chap - I Am Oozing Emotion
Daniyel - Dale Tra
Funkadelic - One Nation Under A Groove
Futon - Gay Boy
I Am The World Trade Center - Love Tragedy
Rick James - Give It To Me
Local H - Toxic
McLusky - To Hell With Good Intentions
My Chemical Romance - I'm Not OK (I Promise)
Plus-Tech Squeeze Box - The Marvin Show!
Presets - The Girl And The Sea
Queen - Dancer
William Shatner - Common People
Swell Maps - Midget Submarines
TKO Posse - Your Daddy's On The Pipe
TV On The Radio - New Health Rock
Wiley - Pies
Saul Williams - Grippo
Young Heart Attack - Tommy Shots

If you checked all the mp3 blogs on my links page, you'd have the majority of these songs, and you would be awesome(r). "Your Daddy's On The Pipe" and "Hoe Cakes" are especially noteworthy. Should I be laughing at a group of kids mocking somebody for having drug-addicted parents (this song would be Another Bad Creation on crack if not for the title)? Should I be laughing at a group of guys shoving food in their girlfriends' mouths Ike Turner-style? Probably not. But I am. In honor of that unrepenting asshole who makes my jaw drop in amused disblief, I'll call it the Eamon factor. As my occasional co-DJ Megan once noted as I played "Salt Shaker" after an alt-country band, I like being naughty.

Btw, if you haven't seen Eamon's "I Love Them Ho's/Girl Act Right" video comedian could think this up. It's on his Makes Vanilla Ice look like Lou Barlow. It's like the wet dream of the biggest dick in your high school brought to you in vibrant technicolor. And yes, that's Milk Dee standing next to him, Audio Two fans.

That My Chemical Romance song (you can hear it on their site) will probably make my final top 30 singles list for 2004. Easily the best pop-punk hit I've heard this year, though there's been little competiton. I thought this year was going to be a reprise of 2002 (check out my P'n'J ballot from that year - twas a renaissance), but it didn't turn out that way: Distillers and Good Charlotte got egregiously down in the mouth, Desaparecidos, Weezer and All-American Rejects post-poned their follow-ups and Kelly Osbourne is in the studio with Linda Perry (ick). I really hope I like Gold Medal. Some of the more amusing moments on "I'm Not Ok (I Promise)" lead me to believe that we're headlong into the self-aware farce period of this current wave of whine. I can relate with the mixture of discontent and silliness.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

ILM just had a doozy of a '90s "singles" poll (hearty props to Gear for tabulating everything) and, even if it was predictable which genres got more focus (though american rock was REALLY underrepresented), I'm impressed with the consistency of song quality. Everyone was allowed to nominate two songs, and out of what was nominated, this was my ballot (of course, my noms were my top two picks).

1) Prince - "Gett Off"
2) Sugar Ray - "Someday"
3) Cypress Hill - "Hand on the Pump"
4) Bikini Kill – “Rebel Girl”
5) Ol' Dirty Bastard - "Got Your Money" (#29 on ILM poll)
6) Pulp - "Common People" (#1 on ILM poll)
7) Eminem - "My Name Is" (#77 on ILM poll)
8) Depeche Mode - "Enjoy the Silence" (#24 on ILM poll)
9) Mark Morrison - "Return of the Mack"
10) Beck - "Loser" (#14 on ILM poll)
11) Digital Underground – The Humpty Dance (#81 on ILM poll)
12) Guided by Voices - "Game of Pricks"
13) LL Cool J - "Mama Said Knock You Out" (#63 on ILM poll)
14) B-52s – “Roam”
15) Warren G feat. Nate Dogg - "Regulate" (#7 on ILM poll)
16) The Breeders - "Cannonball" (#3 on ILM poll)
17) Guided By Voices - "Echos Myron"
18) Blink 182 - “Dammit”
19) Blackstreet - "No Diggity" (#11 on ILM poll)
20) Archers of Loaf - "Web In Front”
21) My Bloody Valentine "When You Sleep" (#72 on ILM poll)
22) Quad City DJs - "C'Mon Ride It (The Train)"
23) Vanilla Ice - "Ice Ice Baby"
24) Hanson - “Mmmbop”
25) Christina Aguilera - "Genie in a Bottle"
26) Folk Implosion - "Natural One"
27) The Foo Fighters - "Everlong"
28) Montell Jordan - "This is How We Do It"
29) Gin Blossoms – “Hey Jealousy”
30) Pulp - "Babies" (#38 on ILM poll)

There's a few of these songs that I don't have access to right now. I should do something about that. I'm nowhere as happy with my album ballot. It's much easier to realize the glory of a hit you dismissed in high school than a full-length (that costs money). Had to pick too many albums whose appeal might be based mainly on familiarity.

I need to start reading more, watching movies again and experiencing non-musical art. Too much of what I hear is pleasant but uninspiring. I need a narrative or unique statement to react to. So much feels like background music or filler.

Of course, the second I say something like "I'm tired of ____," _____ goes and slaps me upside the head. Right when I wonder if I need to give mp3 blogs a rest (it starts to feel like a friend playing you bits of 30 songs in a half hour - btw somebody let me know when an article about M.I.A. comes out so I can get a better sense of why everybody's creaming), a song like "Girl And The Sea" by the Presets grabs me from the get-go. I give up on the new UNKLE album five songs in and when I put the album back on I have a hard time believing "Reign," "What You Are To Me?" and "Invasion" from the same album that had me yawning a few hours earlier. The generic cock-rock I listened to inbetween probably increased my willingness to dig spacy Brit-pop symphonies.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

i like dem gurlz

Yet more reasons to hump all of the Donnas' legs (sorry, Tyler, no nudes). Aidin Vaziri's work is so refreshing. If I had to take a stab at "journalism" (as opposed to "criticism"), he would be the guy I'd style-jack. The world could use more than one. Still haven't heard Gold Medal yet.

I didn't give two shits about the new Jay-Z movie until I read this review.

Drunk indie freaks hollering "Exit Flagger" at a GBV Karaoke show, now available at Her Jazz. The perfect gift for GBV hater and fan alike.

Fred Durst is the new Jack London.

I hear the Handsome Boy Modeling School album has been postponed. What they should do is let De La Soul and Casual use their tracks as b-sides and release full-length Prince Paul/Tim Meadows and Dan The Automator/Jack Johnson collabos. Throw the rest in the trash.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Matt name-dropped me in his Hives review for Is this the first time somebody's done that in a non-blog review? Mondo-flattered.

Yet more reasons to hump Nellie McKay's leg. Found this at Pop (All Love).

Local H gets love from some critics (including myself) for being one of the most self-aware and coherent of the '90s post-grunge acts. Christgau sums it up well, though I think he underrates Here Comes The Zoo, probably since he underrates Jack Douglas. I wasn't knocked out by their latest album, Whatever Happened To P.J. Soles, aside from "Everyone Alive" and the title track, but their new cover of "Toxic" (available here) is terrific. I'm still keeping an eye on these guys.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Five new videos on Launch worth checking out.

Mario "Let Me Love You": This is actually an audition tape Chris Rock gave to New Edition when Bobby Brown left. He didn't make the cut.

John Mayer "Daughters": Determined to win the 2004 Asshole World Series, Mayer drops a classy video for the ballad where he begs fathers to treat their daughters right so that they'll be kind and trusting when he tries to get with them (oh, and moms, teach these girls to be good mommies too. *wink*). Sure, I'm sympathetic, but I'm not really the target audience. Disturbingly hyper-confident singles plus the in-concert revelation of his hideous "oh"-face probably explains why Heavier Things stiffed commercially. That said, if any ladies out there dig Mayer's lyrics, hit me up. I can provide all the wry, self-obsessed commentary U need.

I suggest Usher respond to this salvo by releasing "Confessions, pt. 3 (Oh Yeah, About The Crabs) - feat. Jadakiss" on True Confessions: Special Edition II - Unfinished Business, only available at Best Buy.

Shifty "Turning Me On": I believe that's Three Times One Minus One standing behind him. The dude has no clue.

Shania Twain feat. Mark McGrath "Party For Two": Just as Travis Morrison got a little busy with the sound-effects when left alone in the studio, McGrath overcompensates for the lack his goofy Sugar Ray compadres by mugging every second he's on the screen. Stop flapping your arms, Mark. Shania gets winded trying to keep up. At the climax, they break plates over each others heads, shadow-box and swing on a rope. I shit you not. I kept waiting for the NBC logo to appear behind them.

U2 "Vertigo": Making up for the lack of a Monster: 10th Anniversary Edition release, U2 have unleashed the most incoherent no. 1 modern rock single since "What's The Frequency, Kenneth?" I refuse to believe they spent more than a day writing this thing, and I assume the director told them to mime in front of a blue screen, promising he'd put "all kindsa spinning and wind and vertigos and shit" around them later. I'm tempted to say that the failure of Lenny Kravitz's equally dippy glam-rock this year is due to racism (both did all kinds of cross-promotion crap), but it probably has to do with the lack of Bonofied bombast. I couldn't get through Kravitz's new "Lady" (something about how lady is a lady so crazy with the gravy lady oh lady), but I never have a problem waiting for the Edge to drop his patented ringtones halfway through this. HOLA!

Saturday, November 06, 2004

For all my optimism and whatnot it's been a good while since I've written a review and I'm having a bitch of a time really getting back into the game. Conversations? Easy. Short reactions? Easy. 400+ words? Ehhhh. Doesn't help that I've been listening to a lot of albums that I don't feel qualified to write extended pieces on. I'm not saying only "experts" should write about a type of music, I'm just saying that I lack the desire or energy to spout fountains of text about noise/experimental/instrumental/psychedelic/sounds-nice-in-the-background/bet-i'd-like-it-more/if-I-saw-it-live/or-had-access-to-drugs stuff I've been listening to. Writer's block is definitely going around right now, unsurprisingly. I will get back in the game this week, though. I will, I will, I will.

I made a mood-lightening CD for my air-travel time two weeks ago. Songs I have on CD that force for me to smile I hadn't already placed on single-artist CD-Rs, structured in my usual alphabetized format. To swipe a joke from blfc, here's manthony m1cc1o's Back To Mine.

A.R.E. Weapons - Don't Be Scared
Basement Jaxx (feat. Dizzee Rascal) - Lucky Star
Cult - She Sells Sanctuary
Dismemberment Plan - Superpowers
Electric Six - Electric Demons In Love
Fugazi - Full Disclosure
Go-Go's - Head Over Heels
Hot Snakes - Salton City
Enrique Iglesias - Escape
Junior Senior - Shake Your Coconuts
R. Kelly - Red Carpet (Pause, Flash)
Limp Bizkit - Livin' It Up
John Mayer - Clarity
Prince - Dirty Mind
Queen w/ David Bowie - Under Pressure
Rolling Stones - Jigsaw Puzzle
Smashmouth - All Star
Transplants - Tall Cans In The Air
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Y Control

One small bit of record nerd cred defensiveness: if I had the new CD reissue rather than the old Mute cassette reissue of A Trip To Marineville, Smashmouth would have been replaced by Swell Maps' "Harmony In Your Bathroom." THAT'S RIGHT! I'M OLD SCHOOL! MY FONDNESS FOR MAINSTREAM ISN'T DUE TO IGNORANCE! IT'S BY CHOICE! I'M NOT ULTRAGRRRL, OK? ARRRRRRRGH! Not that "All Star" isn't a classic. It is. Just...yeah.

Friday, November 05, 2004

All y'all are my blood, but you let the pharoahs push you around! And though you do think I'm deranged, you can change. Oh, my god, you can change.
-Travis Morrison, "Change"

If I'm not listening to the radio when walking around town, I'm listening to Travistan. "The Word Cop," which I quoted a couple days ago, is up at Morrison's website. I recommend it to anybody who isn't instinctively opposed to anything that sounds remotely like Ben Folds. The politics on this album are assertive and direct without blindly propagating the kind of hate that is so understandable and so common and yet SO WORTHLESS right now.

Do people really not see the contradiction in saying "Fuck you, you intolerant fuck?" In dismissing what you don't understand? In damning the media while propagating their hysterical, binary logic? LIBERAL. ADJECTIVE. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.

If you are incapable of seeing anything other than red right now, please take a nap until you can. Punch a wall. Change. Oh, my god, you can change.

If we're going to find a way to change minds we're going to have to understand where those minds are coming from. Figuring out the complacency of others by tackling our own (it is still sunny outside for most of us, and we're not going to change the way people think by saying it isn't). Educating and informing rather than screaming "WHAT ARE YA, STUPID???" Acknowledging the hungers and desires of people not like ourselves (hell, take a tip from Travis, and use bible metaphors! As David Rees notes, most atheists are more Christian than the bible-thumpers, so what's to lose?). Plus it wouldn't hurt for us to actively look for common ground. We only would have needed to sway an extra three percent of the voting populace to keep people from posting these kneejerk United States Of Canada memes (here's a map that a child couldn't draw).

Anyhow, Travistan strikes me as one of the kindest, smartest, funniest, most mature albums of the year. It sounds even better now than it did when I wrote about it for Stylus. Yeah, the busy arrangements may hit you before the song's point, but that's why there's a lyric sheet. Hell, even the critical reaction has been educational. It's been enlightening trying to figure out how people can miss the boat so completely. I have some ideas, but I'll save that for another rant. This one's long enough as it is.

Thursday, November 04, 2004



I wish they'd cover "Somethin' Stupid" together.

I'm trying to figure out which album I like more. While both the Hives and Nellie McKay share the frustrated yet humorous vibe that sums up my outlook on the last year, gender and genre makes this sort of a battle between personal frustration/aggro pessimism and date bait/melodic optimism.

It's not that different from "Burn" vs. "Clarity" battle on my singles list. Sara would consider that one to be the Asshole World Series, but I am understandably more tolerant of self-involved young men. "Burn"'s torment is currently besting "Clarity"'s uplift thanks to the track's density (plus Mayer's climactic baby shrieks don't always work for me - though they often do). Get Away From Me may get the nod due to breadth, but Tyrannosaurus Hives has a BAM! UHH! KICKED YOUR ASS, DUMBASS! CASE CLOSED! effect.

Let's hear it for radical subjectivity!

While I'm not going to hold this against a band's songs, I am definitely tired of all these Special Edition CDs. Rewarding people for making your album a hit by telling them to buy the whole thing again for bonus tracks. It's bullshit. Whatever happened to stopgap EPs? Are those ONLY available at Target now?

Two albums that have no right to sound as good as they do: Frank Black Francis and RTX's Transmaniacon. Turns out the arrangements weren't THAT important with the Pixies and I prefer enthusiastic hackwork to entropic Hagerty.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Moral (noun): a rule you live by even if no one is around. Moral (adjective): Having the soul to balance one's words and deeds, and living by one's creeds - but you, you're simply greedy. Don't talk to me about morality, 'cause you're as moral as hyenas in a playpen - and now I'm getting mad again.

Decency (noun): The skill of being kind to people who get you down. Decent (adjective): Being OK with different points of view and generally having a clue; but you, you never do. You wouldn't know it if it fucked you in the ass, and I know I'm getting crass, but there you go.

- Travis Morrison, "The Word Cop"

I refuse to be fatalistic about this. This wasn't some '84-style landslide. This was heavily contested (heavily contestable, I mean) and, at worst, one seriously slim victory for Bush. Battles were lost, but the war isn't over. Listen to music that makes you happy, READ and revel in the awesomeness of those you know until you find out something productive you can do about this crap.

The Pnut House wraps the losses up nicely. I love this blog a lot. I found out about it from Pop Life. Pays to check out those link lists, folks.

Maria T is going to be putting up mp3s from Philly bands on her blog. The Stypod entry right after mine is from Jess. Pennsylvania pride.

I don't want to fight. I don't want to hear your talk. I only want to know when to walk and when to run. I don't want revenge; I don't want to save my pride; I only want to know I tried the best I can.
- Travis Morrison, "Angry Angel"

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Three mp3s picked by me up at the Stypod: Good Charlotte's Britney-fied paranoia, Travis Morrison-surrogate John Mayer and Kimya Dawson helping me get my twee on.

Anthony Is Right endorses voting for the presidential non-incumbent of your choice. Today. Do it.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Radio show playlist:

TV On The Radio - New Health Rock
Tegan And Sara - Speak Slow
Rogers Sisters - Freight Elevator
Saul Williams - Grippo
Hives - B Is For Brutus
Blood Brothers - Peacock Skeleton With Crooked Feathers
Radio 4 - Absolute Affirmation
LeTigre - On The Verge
Shins - New Slang
Fall - Sparta
Dizzee Rascal - Dream
Interpol - Evil
Spoon - Decora
Mouse On Mars feat. Mark E. Smith - Wipe The Sound (Remix)
Jimmy Eat World - Polaris
Sloan - Hollow Head
Blues Explosion - Mars, Arizona
Kimya Dawson - I Will Never Forget
Kimya Dawson - You Love Me
Modest Mouse - Float On
Morrissey - Last Of The Famous International Playboys
Self - What A Fool Believes
Sahara Hotnights - The Difference Between Love And Hell
Hellacopters - Pride
Grumpies - Punk Rock Boy
Say Anything - Every Man Has A Molly
Faint - Paranoiattack
Grandaddy - The Crystal Lake
My Chemical Romance - You Kno What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison
I Am The World Trade Center - Great Expectations

I got to hear Joanna Newsom for the first time today. The harp is nice, but wtf, how come nobody told me she sounds like Annie (the old school redhead, not the girl with all the net-hype)? The urge to scream "IT'S A HARD KNOCK LIFE!" was irresistable.

I'm listening to the new LeTigre. It's a little anonymous and peters out early but it's definitely more enjoyable than Feminine Sweepstakes. To answer Tom Breihan's query as to why so many people hate "New Kicks": a lot of us have never been to a mass protest, so we don't catch a sense memory from a hookless casserole of soundbites. It's not a memory of people screaming together for me, it's the sound of people screaming slogans AT me. "I'm So Excited" might be worse though. I don't think the joy of release is what I'm hearing on either track.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

I'm back and I'm miserable, because I can't get a paragraph into a review of one of my favorite albums this year. I'm not dropping names since I might pull it off eventually, but despite playing it over and over and over and over my usual ability to rant off a stream of observations and descriptions has failed me entirely. My fondness for the album may just be too personal in nature. It's like trying to review a security blanket. This extremely atypical writer's block is embarassing, disturbing and disappointing. The self-flagellation will cease once I get back into the swing of things.

Ok I'm not really miserable per se. I just wish I could give this album the review it deserves.

Proof I'm not really miserable: Anthony Is Wearing A Wig. I'll post a wider shot later (when more photos come my way, as they inevitably do), but what hipster do I look like most? Ryan Adams? Matthew Sweet? Paul Banks? Jarvis Cocker?

Al is, like, so into the Posies. I'm going to try very hard not to bring this up on Government Names.

Oh, and to answer WBS's confusion, any song that broke in 2004 in the USA counts for my singles list. Hence Mis-Teeq.

BONUS INFO: Anthony Is On The Radio Tomorrow (Monday) 11am-1pm EST. Lion 90.7 FM. Check it out!