Saturday, July 31, 2004

Old Enough To Know Better: 15 Years Of Merge Records. After listening to this 3CD set a couple times this week, trying to find swearing (that's what writing a review for the radio station consists of, really), I'm ready to tell indie to go fuck itself. Except for Superchunk's "Cool" and Spoon's "Decora." Oh, and East River Pipe, who's really adult contemporary.

Three CDs of this malarkey. Jesus. There are people whose ears feast solely on this earnest, sloppy, mumblemouth clomp. At least when I WAS one I was spending a lot of time digging deep into the Spin Alternative Record Guide canon and watching plenty of MTV. Oh no, that Music Tapes songs again.
My favorite record review since the one Matt wrote for Usher's Confessions. One thing I love about Pauline Kael's writing is how her observations are so intriguing that I even want to see the movies she's not recommending, just so I can note these qualities for myself and share in the experience. Matt can pull that off too.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Great recommendations so far re: albums from '84 to check out. I want more.

Here's what I already have (in order of fave to least).

1) Replacements Let It Be
2) Prince Purple Rain
3) REM Reckoning
4) Husker Du Zen Arcade
5) Bruce Springsteen Born In The U.S.A.
6) Velvet Underground V.U.
7) Bangles All Over The Place
8) Minutemen Double Nickels On The Dime
9) Tall Dwarfs Slughairybreathmonster
10) Die Kreuzen Die Kreuzen
11) David Bowie Fame And Fashion
12) Psychedelic Furs Mirror Moves
13) Flock Of Seagulls Story Of A Young Heart
14) Ultravox The Collection
15) Butthole Surfers Live PCP EP

I won't be happy until I have to toss the bottom five to make room for ten better albums.

Btw, I forgot to mention that xgau is right about the Wilco album being ALL about the guitar rave-ups. I'm spending the day with "Spiders (Kidsmoke)" on a continual loop and everything is spiffy.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

I'm only letting myself keep 20 albums from every year now (spent the last year and a half figuring out what those twenty are and copying my favorite songs from the albums that didn't make the list. Nerdy stats about that project will be coming soon). The only year since '77 where I DON'T already ready own 20 is 1984. Odd, since that's a year I've frequently referred to as my favorite year in pop history (both the mainstream and indie putting out earth-shatteringly amazing stuff). The 84 in my IM name comes from this long-held belief. Judging by my record collection, 1979 (my birth year!) is the more obvious choice.

Anyhow, here's a list of albums I want to check out so that I can actually have a 20 Albums From 1984 I'm Bothering To Keep list:

DeBarge, In A Special Way
Go-Go's, Talk Show
David Johansen, Sweet Revenge
Cyndi Lauper, She's So Unusual
Christine McVie, Christine McVie
NRBQ, Tapdancin' Bats
Billy Ocean, Suddenly
Pretenders, Learning To Crawl
Robert Quine/Fred Maher, Basic
Lou Reed, New Sensations
Run-DMC, Run-DMC
Tom Verlaine, Cover
Peter Wolf, Lights Out

Please feel free to recommend more, though I already own 12 or so albums from this year and you lose two cool points for each album you recommend that I already own. Don't go for the hella obvious! suh-PRISE me!

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Albums I enjoyed listening to today but don't really feel like critically analyzing too much (in part because they subvert graspability all twisty-like and my pop brain just sat back and let it ride for a change):

Wilco, A Ghost Is Born: More interesting than A.M., more indulgent than everything since. Tweedy's a shit poet now that he's trying, but his voice sounds like Neil Young's would if post-punk had sabotaged his rock dreams. Plus, I can do the robot to "Spiders (Kidsmoke)," which at 10 minutes isn't long enough.

Mountain Goats, We Shall All Be Healed: John, please skip k thanx (been listening to this too much to say nothing about it). I blamed my indifference to Talahassee on the fact that I was nobody's folkie. ILX exposure to the bandleader inspired me to borrow three Ajax albums from the radio station and I discovered how enjoyable the verbal imagery is, even if I find it hard to focus and little sticks around after it's over ("where's the chorus?" DOWN, pop brain!). Less choppy than its immediate predecessor (though I dig the stuff from that sounds the most like this one now), this album is great folk-rock and William Bowers at Pitchfork can eat a dick (not the MG's fault you're a corny indie fuck who has no right to be pointing out "the adamancy of a virgin" in others). Ok, John you can turn back now.

Les Baton Rouge, My Body The Pistol: less anthemic than riot grrrl, but once I hook into the lyrics it may feel like a rawk Raincoats.

Fire Party, Fire Party: less anthemic than Fugazi, but more striking than Rites Of Spring and Embrace. I'm really pissed Amy Pickering didn't start another band after this one. She can holler.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

If anybody actually cares about the new album by ex-Crazytown resident Shifty Shellshock, I started a thread about it on ILX. Just as Sugar Ray realized what a shitty metal band they were after "Fly" broke and started making solid alterna-pop hits, Shifty has finally given us Butterfly: The Album, nine, count 'em, NINE thank-you-ma'am jams (plus a lame homie memorial, an absurd thug reminiscence - "I ain't afraid to bleed!" - and an atrocious angster called "Take The Pain Away").

You'd think that I would have had enough of silly love raps, but I listen to this and I see it isn't so. The album is actually called Happy*Love*Sick, btw.

me being a little cruel to the Oranges Band in Stylus

Monday, July 26, 2004

I've been spinning Give Up by the Postal Service, trying to get a hang on why its so popular. On ILX I commented that I'll probably like the mainstream rip-off act more than these guys, inspiring Johnny Fever to suggest Rob Thomas and Moby should be the participants. Now it is nearly impossible for me to listen to these songs (except "Sleeping In," which I'm shocked isn't the hit rather than "Such Great Heights") without wishing that Thomas was singing rather than Ben Gibbard, whose delivery is by comparison unemotional (ironic, no?). That Jen Wood duet is nearly devoid of drama. What's the point of heartbreak pop if the singer (though Jenny Lewis's back-ups fare better) refuses to get into it? How can "emo" sound so sterile? I also get tired of tittering laptop beats pretty quickly. Swing a little, guys!

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Songs from The Real New Fall LP that could have made Mark E. Smith And Your Granny Playing Bongos: 20th Century Fall if they weren't from the 21st:

1) Theme From Sparta F.C.
2) Mad Mock Goth
3) Mountain Energei

It's definitely the best Fall album since The Marshall Suite, if not I Am Kurious Oranj (OK, here's where I admit I've never owned a copy of Shift-Work). It's peppy and better structured than usual (side 2 has some filler). While MES is a slurring shadow of his former self, he's still pretty charming at points (dig his growls on "Mad Mock Goth"). There's at least ten albums (plus my comp) that I'd recommend over this as an intro, though.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

I'm moving soon (a few blocks closer to downtown). Everything's piling up.

I haven't gotten to hear them yet (as I said, everything's piling up) but I got CD-Rs from Scott from Rockcriticsdaily and Forksclovetofu from Tofu Hut so far. Just looking at these concept mixes (a capella! harpischord! Canadian headband-rock! vocoder!) makes me so glad I'm doing this swap. Once I finish my big music collection winnowage (I'm up to Sebadoh!) I'm going to REVEL in what y'all are thrusting upon me.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Trouble Everyday were terrific. Sometime soon I'm going to write a good sized piece about T.E. (hell, maybe several). They need to blow up. They need some HYPE. It was weird to see them play to thousands after watching them get ignored by a dozen a few months ago.

While we could see the bands fine, we were far enough away and the sound was quiet enough that I couldn't spazz and jump like I wanted. I hope I get to see them in a club-type setting some day. I can't seem to find a photo of them online that captures how exuberant and joyful Karen O seems when she's bounding around the stage.

She will be mine.

Big props to Kerri for driving and to Dave for letting me know about the show. I forgot to buy a shirt, though. I really want a YYYs shirt.

We saw Rikki Rockett on the street! If I had my cassette of Open Up And Say Ahhh! with me I would have gotten his autograph. I missed C.C. Deville though. DeVille is one of the few people I would shout to on the street. I would shout that Poison fucking rocks. I think he'd appreciate that.

Friday, July 23, 2004

I'm loving me some Bumblebeez 81 over at Stylus, which I'm now writing for.  Hyperlink is being a beeyatch, but the http address is .

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Going to see the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Trouble Everyday for FREE in Philly tomorrow. It's like my favorite major league and minor league teams playing against each other. I HAVE to be there.

Ten Songs I'm Really Glad I Heard During The Last 24 Hours:

1) Pussy Galore, "Renegade" (WE GOT THE FUNK! WE GOT THE FUNK!)

2) Pulp, "Like A Friend" (Ok, the line about putting out your cigarettes on his dreams is embarassing, but the climax lets you practice your Cockeresque finger flings)

3) Limp Bizkit, "Eat You Alive" (there was about an hour today where this song seemed profound - gee , I guess I would like to sniff on them panties. I'm not proud, though I'm grateful to Fred Durst for capturing that mood.)

4) Pooh Sticks, "Miss Me" (Highly recommended to people who are headed to an airport in the morning)

5) Salt'n'Pepa, "Shoop" (If I ever enter a bachelor auction, this is going to be my background music)

6) Queens Of The Stone Age "Go With The Flow" (and the beat pummels on...they're just photos, after all)

7) Pere Ubu, "Don't Look Back" (1991 track that was ripped off wholesale by the Pulsars for their near-hit "Tunnel Song." The Pulsars do it better but there's something about David Thomas singing bonafide pop that's extremely affecting. Best example is "Bus Called Happiness," but I didn't hear that today)

8) Fred Schneider, "Bulldozer" (omg that twin guitar solo)

9) Primal Scream, "Accelerator" (Astro-Stooges. If Bobby Gillespie was astro-Iggy I'd probably love these guys)

10) Rob Pollard & Doug Gillard, "Pop Zeus" (most of the album Speak Kindly Of Your Local Fire Department sounds like a disturbingly pompous series of groupie metaphors - EWWWWWW - but this number is so triumphant that it makes me giddy. Electric Newspaper Boy!!!)

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Top Ten Billboard Hits That I'm Embarassed I Haven't Heard Yet (My Walkman Is A Piece Of Shit):
1) Terror Squad, "Lean Back"
2) Kanye West, "Jesus Walks"
3) R. Kelly, "Happy People"
4) Slipknot, "Duality"
5) Puddle Of Mudd, "Spin You Around"
6) LL Cool J, "Headsprung"
7) George Michael, "Amazing"
8) Christina Milian, "Dip It Low"
9) Ashlee Simpson, "Pieces Of Me"
10) Los Lonely Boys, "Heaven"

Monday, July 19, 2004

Some random thoughts about the Siren Festival (btw, BIGTIME ETERNAL GRATITUDE to Geeta for getting me into the press area. You really should be reading her blog if you don't already. You'll learn something!)
1) Symbolic of NYC in general, the press and those who bothered to show up early got a nice earful, while the average festival patron was dealing with a sound system quieter than your stereo.
2) My favorite bands were the ones who did frenetic, angry pop-rawk with keyboards. The Fever, Your Enemies Friends and Electric Six. This genre needs a good label and I vote for the term NU-WAVE. They're already using it in England for some techno absurdities, but I think these fuller, more metal-sounding bands deserve the name even more. Don't be thin and reedy, earn that nu, RAWK THAT SHIT IN YOUR SKINNY TIE! Interpol (who weren't there) count despite the lack of keyboard because they're like an angry Duran Duran. I think the Killers count too. Franz Ferdinand might as well. The trick is that its new wave with a better comprehension of aggro. 

3) For some reason Mission Of Burma does a great job of getting me to dance by the end of their sets. Maybe it's because they're so gawky and shamelessly exuberant themselves.
4) While I appreciate And You Know Us By The Trail Of Dead's determination to win by crook if not hook (they might have sounded better if I had stayed in the press area but even then I would have noticed how out of tune the singer was), throwing a case of beer into the press pit was a bit much. Especially when I catch your bassist switching gear before hurling it into drum kit. Stunt bass? What are you, Kiss? The second drummer's chimes were cute. They implied grandeur while being inherently inaudible. Somebody buy these guys a gong. 
5) If I ever get to sing lead in a band, I apologize in advance for stealing Dick Valentine of the E6's one-dance-move-per-song shtick. Hearing "Synthesizer," my favorite song of 2003, followed by "Electric Demons In Love," my favorite love song of 2003 in a row almost made me cry.

6) I totally missed Har Mar, Death Cab For Cutie and the Constantines. Only caught the end of Vue, TV On The Radio & The Fever (REALLY wish I'd caught more Fever). Fiery Furnaces, Ponys and Blonde Readhead were the groups I left cuz I had better shit to wait for or see. I kind of wish I could relive the festival again Groundhog Day-style and see what I missed 
7) The Thermals need a keyboard bad so they can hop on the nu-wave bandwagon.
8) Reaffirming my rock crit nerd status, Michael Azerrad, Caryn Ganz and what may well have been Chuck Klosterman with new glasses were just as exciting to spot as Nick Zimmer and David Cross.  Though Azerrad was watching MoB and wearing a Sonic Youth hat. If his t-shirt also had the name of someone from Our Band Could Be Your Life than that guy needs to cut it out. 
9) WEAR SUNSCREEN. I look like a hot dog.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

I was going to talk about the music I heard at the Siren Festival but that will have to wait till tomorrow.
Because I didn't wear sunscreen.
Play safe, kids.

Friday, July 16, 2004

I'm going to the Siren Festival in NY, so no posts till Sunday night. My walkman's been spazzy so I'm leaving it at home. 7 hour bus ride with no music? The mind boggles.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Initial reaction to "Vindicated" by Dashboard Confessional: This fucker needs to die. Eventual realization about "Vindicated": this song would be a lot more tolerable if it was sung by Enrique Iglesias.
I thought I heard TV On The Radio on the rawk station. It was just the bridge to "Mama, I'm Coming Home."

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

VH1 Classic is God.

Godfathers “Birth School Work Death”: It could have been the novelty hit Gang Of Four was lacking (dig that chorus and noise guitar break) if didn’t plod so goddamn much. I’m under the impression Jack Rabid-types in their late 30s have fond memories of these guys. Recently covered by Local H to the glee of Jim DeRogatis (see?).

Keel “Because The Night”: Pathetic. A homely hair-farmer machoes up Patti Smith’s original lyrics (this guy ain’t “in your command,” dig?) while three MORE guitarists head-bang and bash out the same fuckin’ power chords he is. Black and white band footage is intercut with scenes of this Alice Cooper stand-in bitterly staring at a girl’s ass. His shriek of “IT BELONGS TO AAAAAAHHHS!” before the guitar solo should have aped by Natalie Merchant.

Queen “One Vision”: Images from the movie Iron Eagle and behind-the-scenes studio footage are the visual accompaniment to this energetic ode to fascism (“one true religion, one voice, one hope, one real decision”). The bridge delineates the difference between Queen’s views and Nazism (“look what they’ve done to my DREAM!”), which is appreciated. I wonder what Dave Marsh (who called the band fascists five years earlier for stage presence alone) thought of this. The song ends with a demand for fried chicken. People who dismiss these guys after “Another One Bites The Dust” are missing out.

Public Image Limited “Seattle”: The finest PiL song post-Second Edition. Sounds like a U2 collabo. Supposedly inspired by Mark Arm calling John Lydon a sell-out.

Blue Oyster Cult "Joan Crawford": Five guys who looks like high school teachers who wish they could sleep with their students schlep around the garden of an expensive estate while uniformed schoolgirls parade around and ignore the aging sweathogs. Lead singer Eric Bloom seems like Jeff Lynne but less magical. Buck Dharma, who really should have sung more of BOC's tracks, is actually Bruno Kirby and responsible for that inexplicable sound-effect break before the intense bridge. Random shots of Allen Lanier sliding down the side of a wall, the drummer dancing while hitting a cymbal Andy Kaufman-style and a subtle suggestion of cunnilingus (thankfully not involving a member of Blue Oyster Cult). *POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT* Uniformed schoolgirls with blood stained mouths are really, really hot. As nonsensical and dramatic as the song itself, one of the finest videos of all time.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

I finally got to hear Fly Or Die by NERD this week, and while its pretty mediocre, I'm disappointed by the humorlessness and/or anger it met from most critics. One of the fascinating things about Pharrell is the mixture of inept absurdity and infectiousness. His word choices are eccentric, often laughable, but never delivered with a blatantly ironic wink. R. Kelly, who has a similar love for the artlessly blunt, sounds both more commanding and good humored. Fly Or Die shows the Neptunes at their most nakedly amateurish and silly; a big-dick Ween. The first three tracks (gotta love the Good Charlotte cameo) and "She Wants To Move" are spirited enough to reward repeat listening (though it's an even bigger mess than "Like I Love You," I couldn't hate on the single once I realized how much fun it would be to sing at karaoke) but the rest is interminable malarkey worthy of the dismissals they've received from most bloggers. I just wish NERD haters didn't come off like such fuddy-duddies.

Aside from solid smashes like "Milkshake" and some Clipse hits, NERD songs appeal more out of endless quirk and novelty than confident mastery. Where most folks try to impress with nuthin'-but-net championship-game 3-pointers, Chad and Pharrell are doing flips off the trampoline in gorilla outfits, more often than not slamming headfirst into the backboard. It's fascinating (and when they hit the ground they do the robot for a sec before trying again) but kind of childish. I suppose folks who previously declared them geniuses would be apt to get bitter and irate over their antics, but personally I'm just glad they're keeping things interesting. They may be assclowns but they aren't no-talent assclowns. I'm guessing that the eventual commercial cold shoulder will inspire them to lukewarm it up, try some obvious hits ("Beautiful" would have been a snore with or without that shit-tacular Curtis Mayfield impression). I'm curious if Fly Or Die will inspire the same amount of bile then.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Click here. Scroll down the list of contributing writers until you get to the name Miccio. Then, if you're me, scream with glee and pride about your little sister's accomplishments.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

So here's the deal. If you send me a mixtape or a mix CD-R or something else awesome, I'll send you the tentatively titled Mark E. Smith And Your Granny Playing Bongos: 20th Century Fall 2CD-R Fall compilation I've made. It consists entirely of songs not found on the new 50,000 Fall Fans Can't Be Wrong 2CD release on Beggars Banquet. It's not in chronological order, since I think its more fun to realize how anything - even your granny playing bongos, as he once noted - is the Fall if Mark's around.

1) The N.W.R.A. (live)
2) Wrong Place, Right Time
3) I'm A Mummy
4) Fit And Working Again
5) Bingo Masters Breakout
6) Shoulder Pads #1
7) Birmingham School Of Business School
8) Sons Of Temperance
9) Life Just Bounces
10) Disney’s Dream Debased
11) Frenz
12) Rebellious Jukebox
13) Dice Man
14) Garden
15) Oh! Brother
16) Spinetrak
17) The Container Drivers
18) Stepping Out
19) Strychnine

1) Couldn’t Get Ahead
2) Before The Moon Falls
3) Dresden Dolls
4) Look, Know
5) Everything Hurtz
6) Wings
7) Sleep Debt Snatches
8) My New House
9) Words Of Expectation
10) I Feel Voxish
11) Paint-Work
12) Mere Psued Mag. Ed (live)
13) That Man (live)
14) The Steak Place
15) Hey! Student
16) Winter (live)

If you send me TWO CD-Rs or mixtapes, you get a special bonus THIRD disc of Fall goodies!

1) Frightened
2) Pay Your Rates
3) I’m Frank
4) Fantastic Life
5) Copped It
6) He Pep!
7) No Xmas For John Quays
8) Lost In Music
9) Room To Live
10) Bill Is Dead
11) Muzorewi’s Daughter (live)
12) Antidotes
13) Various Times
14) Reckoning
15) Birthday Song
16) Jawbone And The Air-Rifle
17) Leave The Capitol
18) Cab It Up!
19) Louie Louie (live)

Comprehensive as fuck, yo. Anybody curious about these folks would be a fool not to submit. Plus you get to subject me to your own sounds of choice. And I promise to listen to it. E-mail away!

Saturday, July 10, 2004

I need some help deciding on a name for the 1977-2000 2CD-R Fall comp which I first promised to make in June 2003.

Potential titles:

1) 20th Century Fall: “If we carry on like this we're gonna end up like King Crimson”

2) 20th Century Fall: Tapping Feet To Formless Sound

3) Rebellious Jukebox: 20th Century Fall

4) Can't Dance, Can't Sing: 20th Century Fall

5) Mark E. Smith And Your Granny Playing Bongos: 20th Century Fall

6) Pre-cog Is A Fall Word


8) There Are Twelve People In This World, The Rest Are Ex-Members Of The Fall

9) Mein 2CD-R Fall Comp-feh

Tracklisting up tomorrow. In honor of my incredibly obvious idea being stolen in the time it took me to get my hands on a burner, there's no overlap with 50,000 Fall Fans Can't Be Wrong. The folks who asked for this ages ago will get it for free (they may even get a BONUS 3rd disc! Possibly one of the mediocre post-Brix albums I'm tossing!). Anybody else will have to make me a mix-CD or something equally spiffy in return.

I can't tell you how much I love this burner. I've been missing out.
You know how I said that hearing "Welcome Back" by Ma$e was like that part of the news where they announce that Koko the panda just had twins? Seeing the video is like watching Koko do the Lindy hop. Props to Theodore for making me check it out.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Technicolor is bowing out of blogland. Part of me understands, part of me is glad I'm not going to check in vain for a new post every damn day and part of me is kind of upset. All of me is going to sift through the archive and jot down some artists and songs to hunt down, just in case Jess decides to erase the whole thing. I wouldn't put it past the guy.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

And yet again even more Anthony-approved Billboard hits.

Franz Ferdinand, "Take Me Out": LEFT! LEFT! LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT! LEFT! LEFT! LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT! Can I just say how great it is that the hipsters are getting on the radio because of danceability and blatant sex appeal? It's the anti-nineties! It's NEW WAVE, baby! I'm lovin' it!

Van Halen, "It's About Time": The classic rock version of "Ch-Ch-Check It Out." I can't be a stickler about slippage when fogeys sound this enthusiastic.

Hilary Duff and her older sister, "Our Lips Are Sealed": ok, it's not on the charts up today, but it probably will be next week. They don't sound like they have an idea what they're singing about, but I'm amused that the teen-pop version actually rocks harder than either the Go-Go's or Fun Boy Three. I don't think you could really fuck this number up anyway.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Jefferson Airplane “Stranger”: Marty Balin replacement Mickey Whothefuckever looks like Dave Foley in Bruce McCulloch’s fake mullet and moustache. There is a red door. A white scarf blows off Mickey’s face and he is nonchalant about it. Three guitars are employed. The twin guitar lead intro does NOT achieve Thin Lizzy grandeur. Grace Slick is visibly not well during the second verse. I think Loverboy would have taken this track to a whole ‘nutha level.

A-ha “Take On Me”: The climax is a riveting masterpiece of action-reaction collage worthy of Battleship Potemkin, though I wish the singer held out a roll of Mentos at the end. If an equally passionate animated music video was made between this and Linkin Park’s latest, please alert me to its existence.

Madonna “Open Your Heart”: If I’m not mistaken, this video introduced me to the concept of sex. In some ways I am still that little boy dancing in the front lobby, pestering an elderly Italian man for tickets. Madonna looks fleshy compared to pop stars of today (including herself). This is not an insult.

Cocteau Twins “Crushed”: Liz Fraser communicates with the mothership while the guys (who share similar haircut philosophies with the 19 year old me) explore new dimensions in reverb as green, blue and red lights shine upon them. Pretty.

Flock Of Seagulls “The More You Live, The More You Love”: The song is among their finest; vast new-wave gorgeousness (those spacious guitar notes add up to a single, wistful tear) with Mike Score warning us not to put our hearts in mortal danger. Sadly, the video reveals that the band is aiming for a relatively macho look, as they rock parkas on oceanside cliffs. All that remains of their youthful sci-fi vibe is a single octagon drum and the guitarist’s big sunglasses.

Monday, July 05, 2004

I have more opinions about shit on VH1 Classic than anything else, so when there's nothing better to talk about I'm going to drop mad science about videos I bothered to tape (though sometimes I was wrong to do so).

Police “I Can’t Stand Losing You”: Three animated blondes in black on an all-red stage. Irreverent lip-sync demeanor meant to offset song’s verbose, psychotic demeanor. Andy Summers looks somewhat more serious during his echo guitar break. Stewart Copeland ends the video by kicking Sting in the ass, which should be the final image of all Police videos.

Run-DMC & Aerosmith “Walk This Way”: Three black guys in cartoonish outfits offend two white emaciated drag queens by smothering the original proto-rap with their sex-free sports-jock holler. The open-shirtted rehab vets notice an adoring crowd and surrender to the wills of a fickle public (not for the last time). Steven Tyler’s steals the show by removing the all-caps from the second line of the chorus hook.

Arcadia “The Flame”: Silly Rocky Horror silliness featuring a silly Simon LeBon and Nick Rhodes, who looks as debonair as a poodle possibly could. Lots of incoherent intrigue. The actors involved at least seem like they’re unembarassed. Fans of “A View To A Kill” will probably the song, which features equally garish noise breaks and a tortured LeBon vocal.

Simple Minds “Don’t You Forget About Me”: This video would be a lot more enjoyable if 1) intended vocalist Bryan Ferry had accepted the task 2) there were even more images from The Breakfast Club 3) I didn’t spend the whole time wondering how the hell a mousy Bono-wanna-be like Jim Kerr got to marry Chrissie Hynde. Does she think Tim Booth of James is attractive too?

Stevie Nicks “Talk To Me”: Stevie’s make-up and nervous facial expressions imply she was pretty deep into the white candy at this time (her nose looks in bad enough shape that we can probably assume this is around the time that her assistant was forced to insert the 100% Pure Colombian rectally). Her long-skirt twirling and hair-tossing is still pretty bewitching from a distance and the song’s declaration of interest is pretty sweet. It would definitely be a perennial on the adult-contemporary radio station of my dreams.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Blogging survey taken from Rockcriticsdaily:

1. Do you try to look hot when you go to the grocery store just in case someone recognises you from your blog?


2. Are the photos you post Photoshopped or otherwise altered? Photo blogs take ages to load and piss everyone off.

I don't know. Until today, I've only hyperlinked stuff.

3. Do you like it when creeps or dorks email you?


4. Do you lie in your blog?

Sometimes I've settled for statements that oversimplify (sometimes I'd rather be slightly off than vague), but I've never done a 180 from what I believe.

5. Are you passive-aggressive in your blog?

Not often enough.

6. Do you ever threaten to quit writing so people will tell you not to stop?

No, because I don't like it when other people do.

7. a) Are you in therapy? b) If not, should you be? c) If so, is it helping?

a) no b) no. I know what my problem is.

8. Do you delete mean comments? Do you fake nice ones?

I've never had a mean comment (kinda disappointed). No.

9. Have you ever rubbed one out while reading a blog? How about after?

Rubbed one out?

10. If your readers knew you in person, would they like you more or like you less?

Like I'd know.

11. Do you have a job?


12. If someone offered you a decent salary to blog full-time without restrictions, would you do it?

That's the dream, really.

13. Which blogger do you want to meet in real life?

Matt Cibula. Geeta Dayal (ok, we've met, but I was drunk and I think all I said was "yeah, nobody agrees with me about Limp Bizkit"). Jess Harvell. Dom Passantino. Hell, every ILXor with a blog.

14. How many bloggers have you made out with?


15. Do you usually act like you have more money or less money than you really have?

less. except when I order pizza.

16. Does your family read your blog?


17. How old is your blog?

A year and a couple months.

18. Do you get more than 1000 page views per day? Do you care?

No. I don't REALLY care, but I get giddy when the daily rate increases.

19. Do you have another secret blog in which you write about being depressed, slutty, or a liar?

I am not depressed, not slutty, and not a liar. But it's never too late to learn.

20. Have you ever given another blogger money for his/her writing?


21. Do you report the money you earn from your blog on your taxes?

Yes. All none of it.

22. Is blogging narcissistic?


23. Do you feel guilty when you don't post for a long time?

Yes. In fact I'm going to start blogging daily again starting July 5th (though I don't know if people will enjoy what the fall-back subject will be). As a blog reader, I've been really disappointed when people don't live up to self-announced goals and the like. It's very important for me to try and reward constant readers. I did my 100 Favorite Albums thing in 101 days (I took a day off when I posted my Pazz'n'Jop Comments) and I take pride in that. Of course, perfect attendance doesn't equal good grades.

24. Do you like John Mayer?

Oh, GOD yes. Did you see my Freelance Mentalists piece about him? "Clarity" is the best single of 2004 and if he keeps it up he could drop some classic albums someday. He's easily one of the most promising songwriters of my generation. I've got "Split Screen Sadness" in my head right now and that song is tremendous. It's partially his own damn fault (I would love to slice the SRV-fan out of his brain) but critic-wise he's totally slept on.

25. Do you have enemies?

There was a thread on ILM where a crack I made about Dizzee Rascal made one poster go all Albert Goldman on my ass and a few others announced their disdain for me. It was flattering more than anything because nobody seemed to realize I was just a lazy loudmouth whose opinion doesn't necessarily mean anything. Frankly, hate can be more informative (and even insightful) than admiration. It'd be foolish for a critic to feel otherwise.

26. Are you lonely?

Yes, but only because of distance.

27. Why bother?

Because blogging allows me to separate my desire for expression from outside commercial influences. Plus there's my narcissism.
"I finally started checking out people's record collections, just routinely when I walked in anybody's house pulling out their copy of White Light/White Heat (of course EVERYBODY has it, because it's so hip to have) and sliding it out of the sleeve. Yep. Almost nobody I meet has ever much played the damn thing. In fact, all the copies in folks' homes look virgin, like they got played maybe once, right after they were purchased, maybe then not all the way through, and then filed."
- Lester Bangs

music crit nerd. hardcore.