Monday, February 28, 2005

I have so many CDs to listen to but I'm rocking Fugazi in celebration of the Evens' debut, which I just got a hold of. You think I'd be listening to that but I'm so jazzed about the existence of a twee Ian MacKaye album that I have to hear the aggro stuff. Everybody who saw or wished they could see the Unrest reunion needs to check this out. It reminds me of their mid-tempo numbers and ballads (no rave-ups). Harmonies! Strumming! There's even ba-da-ba's! This may end up being my favorite album of the year out of sheer goodwill.

Radio show playlist:

Audible - From The Third Floor
Silver State - I Am A Utensil
Bloc Party - Banquet
Kimya Dawson - I Will Never Forget
Les Savy Fav - Adopuction
Mekons - Crap Rap
ChinaAir - Lucy Liu
Robyn Hitchcock - You & Oblivion
Fiery Furnaces - Single Again
Ted Leo/Pharmacists - Me & Mia
Silkworm - Penalty Box
Hidden Cameras - Music Is My Boyfriend
Saul Williams - List Of Demands (Reparations)
Unrest - Suki
Unrest - Love To Know
Evens - If It's Water
Evens - Mt. Pleasant Isn't
Rogers Sisters - Freight Elevator
UNKLE - Invasion
TV On The Radio - New Health Rock
Black Francis - Boom Chicka Boom
Sonic Youth - Paper Cup Exit
Rapture - Alabama Sunshine
Wilco - Handshake Drugs
Flaming Lips - Frogs
Clinic - Internal Wrangler
Evaporators - Addicted To Cheese
Spoon - Jonathan Fisk
Clean - Anything Could Happen
Dismemberment Plan - You Are Invited

Sunday, February 27, 2005

"I think it's going to be very different from 'I'm Not Okay.' It's not funny at all. The best way to describe the video is 'very sad and celebratory, upsetting and uplifting at the same time.' It was a risk, but we've always taken risks. And this video is the biggest risk we've ever taken." - Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance, shitting out of his mouth.

HELENA. I'm embarassed how much I love this video. Am I 16?

Good Charlotte and Simple Plan are going on tour together. I'm not happy. Again, am I 16? I need to try really hard to have an opinion about Richard Bruckner. Or maybe M Ward. QOTSA's "Little Sister" has totally grown on me, though the solo at the end runs the puny-yet-badass joke thin. I wish the new Bright Eyes video looked like the Frankie J video, Conor doing third rate Usher moves into the camera and making out with some girl in a limo. Screw the Hallmark crap, sell the dude!

I want to be the guy who designs stickers for Victory Records: "It's like Bach meets Fugazi with a touch of Marvin Gaye! For fans of MALL-GRIME and WEEZERCORE!" I could totally do it.

I should be writing some "real reviews" but I'm busy googling for stills from videos I watch constantly. I need a shot of Brandon Flowers and Eric Roberts playing checkers as my desktop image. I'm procrastinating. Apologies.

I put a little something up on Freelance Mentalists Friday. Anybody heard any of these songs? Any good? Besides Gillette, of course.

And now, your moment of zen.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

"OH! YO! Feel me flow! Coming through to you in stereo, ho!"

I'm sure everybody's who has seen the instantly infamous Durst tape noticed how abbreviated it was. The reason for this is that Durst has a penchant for the deviant so idiosyncratic, so base, that the hacker (remember I have many connections in the world of Bizkit) felt that sharing the footage with others would make him an accomplice.

Durst raps during sex. He also records them for posterity on his cellphone. An acquaintance, who I will refer to as Godsmackrocks217, is considering releasing a CD-R of the most noteworthy material - usually every line ends with "oh shit" - as Waterbed Fred once he reaffirms that such an act won't break the Geneva convention (he's not sure whether the war on terrorism exempts him from peacetime regulations).

Some choice phrases:
"Fred so deep, Fred so large, rhythm in the night like El DeBarge!"

"Down beneath the hairy is a chocolate covered cherry..WOO! Scary! Soggy Frankenberry!"

"People wanna know, 'why it's all about the starfish?' Just can't deny that the Durst is very ticklish!"

"Bizkit sold 5 million in a year, it's all about the rear and a festive brassiere"

"Rock that shit like a new age pimp, Zed release the gimp cuz the Bizkit ain't limp"

There's a medley based on the month he explored tantra and Qawalli singing. Bonus track features Ben Stiller ("the hymen killer"). If his interaction with Britney was recorded before she did "I Got That (Boom Boom)," I think we can safely assume that the Ying Yang Twins stole large portions of "Wait" from him (though he wasn't whispering). There aren't enough advisory stickers in the world for this album.

These revelations are exclusive to this site and will be acknowledged as "satirical humor a la The Onion" if brought up elsewhere. But it's all true.

Friday, February 25, 2005

CD-R's for my sister, which I'll be mailing today. If you recognize any of these tracks from your mp3 blog, take pride.

Afros – Hoe Cakes
Basement Jaxx – Oh My Gosh
Ciara feat. MIA – Goodies (Richard X Remix)
Blossom Dearie – Tea For Two
Elvis & The Wailers – Crying In The Chapel
Futon – Gay Boy
Good Charlotte – I Just Wanna Live
I Am The World Trade Center – Love Tragedy
J-Rock – Streetwise
Limahl – The Never-Ending Story
Hilly Michaels – Reach For The Vitamins
Nas – One On One
O-Zone – Dragonsea Din Tei
Prodigy – Get Up Get Off
Katy Rose – Keeping It Together
Scarface – I Seen A Man Die (4Hero Remix)
TKO Posse – Your Daddy’s On The Pipe
UGK – Pregnant Pussy
Wonder Band – Whole Lotta Love

AK-MOMO – Greasy Spoon
Memphis Bleek – Just Bleek, Blaze and Free
Chap – I Am Oozing Emotion
Devin The Dude – What?
Electric Six – The Future Is In The Future
Aretha Franklin – What A Fool Believes
Ghostface – Biscuits
Patterson Hood – Pay No Attention To Alice
Junior Boys – Birthday
Lemon Party – Spalding Gray Is Missing
McLusky – To Hell With Good Intentions
Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Sussudio
Pavement – Strings Of Nashville
Roots – The Next Movement
Say Anything – Every Man Has A Molly
Justin Timberlake – I’m Lovin’ It
Unkle – Invasion
Wiley – Next Level
Young Heart Attack – Tommy Shots

Thursday, February 24, 2005

After reading so much disdainful press, I was surpised how unoffended I was by And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead's Worlds Apart. It struck me as more timpani for timpani's sake, and a less dirgey slice of it at that. The grandiose signifiers on Source Tags & Codes were overrated to such an extreme that it makes sense embarassed fans took it out on the band the next time around.

While its just as bloated and purple as its predecessor, part of the reason I prefer Worlds Apart is the shameless nihilism they have in regards to alt-culture. Things haven't been the same since the "Summer of '91," and while I assume they're talking about that first Lollapalooza, I was 11 and they couldn't have been much older. The title track declares the youth of america completely fubar, waiting to "pay back the debt for this candy store of ours," and "Let It Dive" suggests we just abandon the 25-year-old underground aesthetic all together ("gone are those times forever/ lost are those sweet warm other days"). It's a dangerous take, but as I wouldn't mind seeing someone pass out the poison kool-aid at the next Taking Back Sunday gig, I can sympathize. They're the flipside of the Arcade Fire - the bombastic coda to a decrepit dream rather than the dawn of a kinder, gentler indie scene. I'm not sure which is healthier, but I know which resonates deeper for me. Plus its nice to hear boy-rawk that doesn't revolve around a dysfunctional quest for poontang.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


I knew I enjoyed the singles from their latest album, but Dan on ILX said that Thomas had finally learned how to sing, so I assumed that those early inescapables would still sound rank if I came across them again. Yesterday, I heard both "Push" and "Real World" for the first time in years.

I am a Matchbox 20 fan.

I don't ever want to look at the guys, mind you, I just enjoy hearing their songs while doing errands. The ol' honky donkey makes even more sense when I've been suffering from a cold for a week. I've got a duh-zeeze, it's 3 A.M., I must be lonely but I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell, I wish the real world would just stop hasslin' me and if you're gone maybe it's time you come awn home so I could take you for granted, and I will, and I will. I reaffirmed yesterday that the Mats' Let It Be is my favorite album of all time and the line between Westerberg and Thomas seems pretty small right now. At least with this cold making my brain even screwier than usual. Plus he's got an attractive, kind wife who lets him talk about their sexcapades in Blender. I feel he has something to teach me.

They don't have a hits comp yet, dammit. It's not like I want to explore album tracks.

Ten successful musical artists I DO NOT ENJOY IN THE SLIGHTEST:
1. James Taylor
2. Joni Mitchell
3. Styx
4. New Found Glory
5. Simple Plan
6. Ja Rule
7. Three Days Grace
8. Frank Zappa (his autobiography is amusing, though)
9. Supertramp
10. Chris Cornell (anything I've enjoyed about Soundgarden or Audioslave came from the other dudes in the band, like Tom Morello's woop-woop-woop solo on "Like A Stone")

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Electric Six's Senor Smoke can be heard online courtesy of the NME (the registration is easy to con). I learned about from Jason Gross's blog, though I barely want to link to him. He called E6 a less funny Spinal Tap. Bite one me. I think they're a lot more like Roxy Music, only with the prog and pretension tossed aside - every track's a single. I've got more to say about it but I'll save the blather for my eventual review.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Several days spent surrounded by rockcrits (all awesome - I can't even conceive of indulging in blog beef again, in part because only Jess is taller than me), bracketed by eight-hour bus rides with nothing but my discman and Lester Bangs anthologies for company, sent my observational receptors into hyperdrive. Sadly, sleep and half of an extra-large All The Meats pizza have allowed most of the Big Ideas to float beyond my transom. I should buy a tape recorder: "Electric Six crunks the Roxy Music archetype in order to convey American Nihilism as discussed in Everything But The Burden. Remember to ponder further."


Facts I've used to rationalize why the Streets made my top ten but Devin The Dude didn't: too many tracks about pot, wack pacing ("Anything" into "The Funk" is the most heinous example), the word "bitch" and that violent, mood-killing guest verse on "Party." That's really all I've got. Every compliment we toss at Mike Skinner should be thrown at the Dude. His beats are better too. I've got to utilize headphones more often. I lose the right speaker (damn this ironic monaural disability), but I grab lyrical content easier.


"In fact, I have been known to say that JFK's killing was a good thing, historically speaking. A man died in an ugly fashion, he happened to a man that people who didn't know anything about corporate politics considered the leader of the "free world," it was a national tragedy, etc. But on another level it was good because it opened a lot of things up. When Kennedy was in office we were living in a national dream world, the New Fronteir as panacea, the illusion of unity. Underneath it all things were just as shitty as ever, but patriotism in those days seemed viable even for many of the avant-deviant-opposition fringes of our society. That misconception was shattered with the president's skull: the dream was over, and we were left fragmentation, disillusionment, cynicism, hostile factions."
- Lester Bangs, 1975

People forget that a third of our country hated Clinton when he was in office.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

in the bathtub rubba-dubbin' (SHAWTY)

Off to N.Y. tomorrow to celebrate some birthdays, see lots of people and find out what happens when bloggers stop being chair-bound and start being real. Curious what everyone will think of my "Discovery is to Human After All what fart is to poop" hypothesis. Anybody who doesn't want to hear it should blame Maura, whose idea it was for me to show up in the first place. People who don't know the b-day boyz but know me can say hi at this party on Saturday, where I'll probably be dancing up a storm.

Daddy Yankee's "Gasolina" remix with Lil Jon, Pitbull and NORE reaffirms my suspicion that I will never tire of Jon's voice. The aggro "you scared" tracks can grate but the "yeah"'s and "culo"'s and "skeet"'s and "hey"'s still send me into an appreciative giggle overload. I finally heard "Lovers & Friends" in a radio context yesterday. The pop station played it in full, but the "urban" one took out Jon's verse, reducing his presence to an echoed hey or three bracketing the track. I wonder how inexplicable that would be for someone that never heard the full thing. I was annoyed when Puffy, Dupri and Timbaland did this shit but I want Jon to say howdy on everybody's club hit. Dude's King Midas.

50 Cent has three top ten singles this week. I hear his jaw hit the floor when he found out. Still haven't heard "Disco Inferno."

How the hell did 3 Doors Down debut at no. 1? Would it kill them to release another song like "Kryptonite"? Its modest shuffle sounds like "Walk Like An Egyptian" compared to everything since. Brian McKnight just got his highest chart debut too. I want to assume this blanditry is a backlash against bonkers Grammy medleys.

Back on Monday.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

My On Second Thought article trashing Radio City in Stylus.

That SPIN Alternative Record Guide was the primary influence on my canonical purchases through high school and the first half of college (at which point Stairway To Hell and the Consumer Guide took over). My beef with Simon Reynolds boils down to the fact that he made me spend sixteen bucks on Radio Activity and I really want it back. At least Paris 1919 had a good single or two.

Cam'Ron is not Stanley Kowalski - he's an idiot savant in a funny hat with like one more cred point than Kool Keith. And let me know when Sage Francis yells "But P.W. Botha gets a gas face! WHOAHBLBLAHBHA-WHOO!" Sometimes it all reminds me of the Special Olympics. "Everyone gets a medal! Everybody's a winner!" "Yay! I'm a superhero!"

Sorry, didn't want to let the alt-rock vanguard get all the raspberries.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Archers Of Loaf - Web In Front
Bob Mould - Can't Fight It
Superchunk - The First Part
Nevo Dinova - She Can't Change

Bright Eyes - Make War
Afghan Whigs - My Curse
Elvis Costello - I Want You
Elliott Smith - Fond Farewell

Pooh Sticks - When The Girl Wants To Be Free
Pulp - Like A Friend
Goo Goo Dolls - A Million Miles Away
Daniel Johnston - Story Of An Artist

Throwing Muses - Hate My Way
John Cale - Cable Hogue
Thalia Zedek - 1926
Say Anything - Every Man Has A Molly

Sleater-Kinney - Good Things
Drive-By Truckers - Something's Gotta Give (Pretty Soon)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps
Red House Painters - Katy Song

Sebadoh - 2 Years 2 Days
Dump - Head In Your Hands
REM - Country Feedback
Biz Markie - Just A Friend
Weezer - Butterfly

ABC- Poison Arrow
Eamon - F*ck It (I Don't Want You Back)

t.A.T.u - All The Things She Said

I've got the show on tape. Give me a 120min cassette if you want to hear the most quiver-filled campus weather forecast in history. Sincere apologies to everyone who got concerned for my well-being. It was just an act!

Sunday, February 13, 2005

"I attempted to be as sexual as possible, from a male perspective, without being vulgar or obscene. I think that I did a great job on it."50 Cent, on the video for "Candy Shop," in which he smiles limply at grinding women and suggests you lick his lollipop.

By beautiful coincidence, my bi-weekly radio show lands on Valentine's Day. I'm going to spend 11am-1pm EST on Monday playing the most miserable, depressing music I can think of. I'll also be taking requests and reminding people that she's never coming back, he only wanted you for sex, things aren't going to get better, happy people are delusional and the concept of eternal judgement was created so that the living wouldn't envy the dead. I may recite the lyrics to "Candy Shop" and name every girl I ever crushed on in alphabetical order, but no promises. It should be a trip. Only on The Lion 90.7 FM! You can listen online!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Mike Cimicata and I were the only people to vote for I Am The WTC on our p'n'j ballots. He's got a great interview with the duo's Dan Geller at his site, Hoboken Rock City. I had no idea Geller used to run Kindercore. Thanks for the link, Mike!

Joel Madden wants Good Charlotte to be the Outkast of rock. Punkonia! Speakerbenjjj/The Joel Below! I'm psyched, though I'll probably be one of those guys who say their best album was the second one, TRLiens. Check out the way he handles the Hillary Duff rumors. Ain't he sweet?

Friday, February 11, 2005

While I'm not sure what value a minimally-descriptive list of obscure albums has in print, the web version of the Village Voice Eddytor's Dozen works as an MP3 blog, so yay. This week's featured act, Aqui, kicked off their tour in town Wednesday night. The band, despite being held up by a traffic accident, gave a strong performance for those of us who hung around. RIYL the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and noise-metal. My favorite song slapped a strong dance beat to their effects-heavy bluster (I love my crunk guitar!). Second favorite was the encore number, which sounded like a cacophonous prelude to the Postal Service's "Such Great Heights."

Singer Stephonik impressed me from the start by walking from the stage into a huddle of indifferent, toasting frat dudes and singing directly at them. They got silent quick, so she scoured the audience for further boorishness and timidity. While I'm not against such post-Iggy antics on principle, basing your live shtick on audience intimidation is risky. Karen O's saving grace is her giant grin. Whether or not you can "take it" or find her presence disturbingly visceral or whatever, she's doing somersaults, jumping around and having fun. That joy is what makes it affecting. Unless you're going to go all GG Allin and fling poo at us, its hard to blow 21st century hipster minds through confrontation. As this was central PA on a weekday night and not the planet where strangers freestyle rap in your ear, there was little transcendent chaos. Most people ignored her taunting or just smiled. I was glad that when I got my 5 seconds of shoulder-shake and psycho-eye she smiled back. They're playing all over the west next month, so check 'em out if you can.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Randy Newman on whether or not he suffers writing blocks:

"No real blocks. Should they loom up I lower my standards and plow forward."

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Ian wants to know why Pazz'n'Jop is such a big deal. Personally, it's because I get to send a bunch of comments to the critic most responsible for my career as a writer (influence, inspiration, encouragement, all that). He hands them over to my favorite critic of all time, who then, for three years now, picks one to three paragraphs for public perusal. This allows me to do the "I've made it" dance.

Hell if I know why everyone else cares. The poll itself is pretty boring if you've been paying attention to rockcrit throughout the year. Half of us vote for albums and singles that are barely available to the public. The other half vote for their favorite pre-approved alt-rock icons and often don't even bother with singles cuz they hate the radio, the future, etc. The nice thing is that the pinnacle of p'n'j conservativeness - voting for U2 AND Green Day AND picking no singles - is still somebody who remembered to vote for Kerry. Maybe this is why Christgau sounds so mellow this year, aside from the fact that the top two made his top ten.

If you're a writer and you vote for something that you've neither written about nor could suggest a decent review of, YOU SUCK. You're just name-dropping. You aren't enlightening anybody. People shouldn't be able to ask what the big deal is - our job is to explain that. I've never seen anything that explains why I Am The World Trade Center's The Cover-Up deserves a spot on my ballot and I've never written a word about it. I suck.

If you want to read all the chucklehead bon mots I sent in this year, click here.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Scrawl Live(s)!

(more pics from the Sudsy's "class reunion" show that went down last April)

Two tracks from Scrawl's Nature Film are up at the Tofu Hut. Sometimes I think about devoting my life to putting out an extensive series of remastered reissues and making sure that all the half-recorded albums and demos that have followed see the light of day. There are worse things I could do and I'm pissed that no one else has done it yet. At the very least, I'll pick up Velvet Hammer as soon as possible and share a few mp3s from Bloodsucker, Travel On Rider and Nature Film with any curious would-be fan who sends me an e-mail. It's a crime that this stuff isn't readily available and that, to the best of my knowledge, Marcy Mays hasn't played outside Ohio in years. They even have to use a drum machine now! It's not right.

Should I spend my adulthood trying to bring attention to forgotten artists (screw money) or wryly commenting on popular nonsense (money please thank you)? Choices. Maybe I can try to do both for a few years before I'm finally drawn into the seductive world of competitive pumpkin farming like Jim Martin of Faith No More.

I can't figure out how to fix my permalinks for the life of me. This may require a drastic html overhaul. I guess I should be glad, as it's distracting me from repeatedly checking to see if Pazz'n'Jop is up yet. Merry rockcrit-mas!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Elton John, Steven Tyler Among Those Set For 'We Are Family' Benefit Recording

09/20/2001 1:00 PM, LAUNCH
Bruce Simon

(9/20/01, 1 p.m. ET) -- Stars from all walks of the music and entertainment industries will gather this weekend in recording studios in New York and Los Angeles to work on an updated version of the 1979 Sister Sledge hit "We Are Family" that will benefit the victims of last week's terror attack at the World Trade Center in New York City.

Rockers including Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, Elton John, Mick Jones of Foreigner, Sheryl Crow, the members of Sugar Ray, and Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas; hip-hoppers including Ice Cube, **Run-D.M.C.**, Busta Rhymes, and Russell Simmons; classic soul singers Sister Sledge, Dionne Warwick, Roberta Flack, and Diana Ross; and pop stars like Monica, Britney Spears, and the members of *NSYNC are all expected to share microphone time under the watchful eye of guitarist and producer Nile Rodgers, who wrote, produced, and arranged the original version along with the late Bernard Edwards.

Also expected at the sessions are tennis greats Andre Agassi and John McEnroe, actors **Kevin Bacon**, Susan Lucci, Macaulay Culkin, Taye Diggs, Vanessa Williams, and Joan Rivers, and singers Cyndi Lauper, Joan Osborne, and Seal, among others.

One day later.

Entertainment - Rolling Stone - updated 9:30 PM ET Sep 21

Sugar Ray, Reed Join Family

Former Chic member Nile Rodgers is putting together a cast of musicians and actors to take part in a rendition the Rogers-penned 1979 Sister Sledge hit "We Are Family" as a response to recent backlash against the Arab and Muslim communities in the United States after last week's terrorist attacks. Lou Reed, Kenny G, Cyndi Lauper , Angie Martinez, Angie Stone, Joan Osborne, Sugar Ray and Run-D.M.C. are just a few of the musicians who will participate in the New York recording session of the song, which takes place on September 22nd. Russell Simmons, Sophie B. Hawkins , the Pointer Sisters and members of Sister Sledge are among the Los Angeles contributors, who will record on September 23rd.

"We Are Family," the song as well as a video, will be produced by Nile Rodgers, while Spike Lee will direct a clip for the song. Danny Schechter, a documentary director, will produce a film about the recording session.

Since I never heard anything afterwards, I assumed it just never came out. I was wrong.

I couldn't find Lou Reed, Seal or Sugar Ray, but David Hasselhoff is visibly (and audibly) present. Macaulay Culkin and Darius "Hootie" Rucker get one lovely "not feelin' it" shot each. I think I see Bono. I definitely see Little Steven. They're trying it again in March, but with a slightly different spin.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Southern rock, my ass. The new Kings Of Leon single sounds like the Strokes gone Rasta. I love it as long as I don't pay attention to the Ashton Kudchewers in the video and just imagine Julian hopping around, stray dreadlocks flopping out from under a knitted tam, mewling "eighteen, balding, star" as the rockisback faithful stand in slackjawed disbelief.

"I'm-a gonna show da way...I'm-a gonna show da way..."

Let me have my fantasy.

Since I made reference to a Top Ten Singles Of 2005 list yesterday, I figured I might as well follow through on such an absurdity. Obviously a lot of these have '04 copyrights, but here 'tis.

1. Kelly Clarkson, "Since U Been Gone"
2. The Killers, "Mr. Brightside"
3. Trick Daddy feat. Cee-Lo & Ludcaris, "Sugar"
4. M83, "Don't Save Us From Flames"
5. Ludacris, "Get Back"
6. Bowling For Soup, "Almost"
7. LCD Soundsystem, "Daft Punk Is Playing At My House"
8. Avril Lavigne, "Nobody's Home"
9. Keane, "Somewhere Only We Know"
10. Lil' Jon feat. Usher & Ludcaris "Lovers & Friends"

In honor of his comical enunciation, irrepressible enthusiasm for sex and indifference to the shark he's two guest spots from jumping, Ludacris is the Anthony Is Right Artist Of The Month for January 2005.

"Here's a pillow, bite............................that"

Saturday, February 05, 2005

One of the reasons I love/hate music videos is that they provide a context that otherwise wouldn't occur to the listener. I first heard M83's "Don't Save Us From The Flames" on Launch, conjoined with a video in which a picked-on, slightly gothy adolescent girl rides around on her bike, encounters ghosts and floats into the sky with her secret crush, both bedecked in white sheets and eyeliner. It's astoundingly hokey, but the song's dissonant verse, dramatic chorus and "Schizophrenia"-quoting coda now represent the apex of teenage romantic fantasy; it's a window into that forgotten world where hormone-fueled dreams of acceptance and satiation are detached from the worldly constraints one must eventually acknowledge. What I might have perceived as catchy bombast now resonates on a very basic level. I haven't decided what I think of the rest of the album (I haven't heard much Manheim Steamroller but I want to compare it to Manheim Steamroller), but, thanks in part to that oh-so-outcast-baiting video, this track makes my Top Ten Singles Of 2005 (so far, for whatever that's worth).

note: The video edit hacks off a minute. The full-length version is more affecting.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Just caught Rogue Wave at Zeno's, my off-night pub of choice. They're a Sub Pop OC-rock act on the up'n'up and the audience enthusiasm level was high despite the band's visible awareness that they were now above these stage-free bar shows (no encore, natch). I felt old sitting with my middle-aged pal Greg and making wry, seen-it-all observations about the hipstery folk we didn't recognize that were blocking our view (Tyler says that receding hairlines are the new studded belts and I am ALL for that). I also felt incredibly young, knowing that I would barrel to the front and giggle with glee if they suddenly morphed into Linkin Park.

While it was in ways preferable to the countless "fonky" bands that reign supreme in State College, watching these placid older innocents amble through a set of lukewarm oatmeal made me wonder just how long my enthusiasm for indie shows will last when I move to Philly. How many weeks will it take me to go from "OMG Hot Snakes on Wednesday and Mountain Goats on Thursday!!!" to "uh, yeah, I thought about going but uh yeah uh whatever"?

It didn't help that the singer sounded like Ben Gelding of Death Cab/Postal Service, probably my least favorite singer who doesn't fartel. Dude's such a calm eunuch that he makes Neil Tennant sound dangerous. Stuart Murdoch might as well be James Brown. Maybe that's why, while I have no time for I'm Wide Awake, It's Boring, I actually enjoy Digital Ash In A Something Urn a lot. Let that dramatic quiver be part of a quirky musical puzzle rather than the focus of my attention. Please. Give Up would benefit from a modicum of spazzo and the 15th best selling album in America this week (and that's not counting the countless indie stores that don't play soundscan, folks - probably should add another 10,000 copies or two to the actual tally) has plenty to share. I don't trust any of the evident legion who only picked up the acoustic album. They want their helpless manchild pathology unhindered by sonic eccentricity. Ew.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

If you like mid-80's Dischord and Flock Of Seagulls, you've got to check out Echelons, the reissued debut from Nebraska's For Against. Someday I'm going to buy a lot of effects pedals and make dream-pop every night in a black-walled basement, tweaking the flange just so. I need to get some more albums from these guys.

VH1 Classic.

John Mellencamp, "Rain On The Scarecrow": The Drive-By Truckers should replicate this video shot-for-shot for "Puttin' People On The Moon." I'm kind of pissed off I've never seen Patterson Hood, strumming a guitar and dancing inside of a barn, intercut with footage of rural life. Just go for it, dude! Tired of this indie humility.

Bob Seger, "American Storm":
Seger and band on stage.
Scott Glenn takes off sunglasses.
Seger and band on stage.
Lesley Ann Warren walks into a hotel.
Seger and band on stage.
James Woods watches a drug deal through binoculars.
Seger and band on stage.
A black-haired woman drops a plate of spaghetti in Randy Quaid's lap.
Seger and band on stage.
Quaid into phone: "it's going down tonight" Glenn, soaking in a hot tub, into phone: "It's my machine. The wheel spins off to the side, and I fold."
Seger and band on stage.
Quaid: "I've got him right where i want him." Woods: "Do what you do just stay out of my way."
Seger and band on stage.
Warren throws a glass of water in Glenn's face. He grabs her shoulder and mumbles something like "lose or draw."
Seger and band on stage.
Quaid pulls a cokehead out of a bathroom stall, screaming "Look at yourself!"
Seger and band on stage.
A guy yells at a woman, who pushes him into a pool
Seger and band on stage.
Woods exchanges money for a briefcase, noting "It's just business with me."
Seger and band on stage.
Warren is angry. A car bursts through the door of a flaming garage.
Seger and band on stage.
Glenn drops a briefcase from a balcony. It smashes on the ground, revealing bags of coke.
Seger and band on stage.
A black guy screams "he's got a gun!" A white guy in sunglasses runs through a restaurant firing an automatic weapon.
Seger and band on stage.
A car speeds across a busy sidewalk.
Seger and band on stage.
A bunch of feds run down a stairwell.
Seger and band on stage.
Quaid types a letter.
Seger and band on stage.
Woods holds the black-haired woman.
Seger and band on stage.
Warren puts on make-up. A car explodes. A maid finds a dead body in an elevator and screams. Warren, still applying make-up, starts to cry.
Seger and band on stage.
A car speeds through a parking garage and hits the guy who was pushed in the pool.
Seger and band on stage.
Glenn orders a drink, Warren breaks down at her mirror again.
Seger and band on stage.
Warren breaks down at her mirror again.
Seger and band on stage.
Glenn stands in a lobby sighing. He turns his head and realizes he's surrounded by feds.
Seger and band on stage.
Glenn is led away in cuffs as Woods looks on.
Seger and band on stage.

Bette Midler, "Beast Of Burden": According to a spinning newspaper, Bette Midler has left a sheik to date Mick Jagger. Jagger shows up at her dressing room to tell her they need to break up - there's just too much scandal -though he swears she's the only woman in his life. She demands he stay long enough to watch her sing his song. She gets on stage while he watches from the floor. A mug-off, featuring lots of pouting, shoulder-shaking and floor-humping ensues. A woman dances with Mick's jacket. The sheik arrives to throws pies in their faces at the end, but the hilarity is ruined by poor continuity (Jagger's face is clean when Bette gets hit and vica versa). This was nominated for 3 MTV Video Music Awards.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

I've enjoyed every Britney single since "Toxic," if not "Boys." "Do Somethin'" is no exception. This is noteworthy because, save "I'm A Slave 4 U," I never been into anything she's released beforehand. The jury's still out on "Me Against The Music," but I bet I can get into it in the context of an album rather than as a video (though I love the Sbarro product placement). I'm buying In The Zaown if I find it cheap - gotta hear that Ying Yang Twins collabo. I love what a shrill little oddball she's become. Again, I said enjoyed. Only "Toxic" and "Everytime" strike me as, like, classics.

Scott started an Ask Anthony Miccio thread on ILX. Flattering!

In five years I'm guessing there's going to be enough goofy-ass American Idol hits to make a dynamite comp. So far we've got "Invisible," "Since U Been Gone," "Sorry 2004," "She Bangs" and "8th World Wonder," which just blindsided me on Launch. That song is naaaaasty. I don't think "Truth Is" qualifies, but I'm sure Fantasia will drop something bananas soon enough. I've only heard thirty seconds of Justin Guarini's "Inner Child" and it's a keeper: "My inner child has got me in the mood...Oh baby, get ready, I'm coming into you. Oh yeah..."

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Kaoru: Is there a single word that could describe SeƱor Smoke?
Dick: "The future."

TTIKTDA posted three tracks from the new Electric Six album (looks like it might be import only for a while! BOO!). Despite having countless albums I need to listen to, I can't stop double-clicking on "Future Is In The Future." It may be a rewrite of "Synthesizer," but "Synthesizer" was my favorite song of 2003 so hey hey hey.

Can't sit down, cuz I'm a dancer
And you know that I'm the answer
Dive slow, dive fast now
Cuz it's never gonna last now

We'll karaoke all night long
We'll macarena till the break of dawn
We'll drive around till the morning light
All night, all night, all night, all night

The other two tracks are great too. I boogie in anticipation.

There are great rarities on E6's site, including an apocalyptic acoustic ballad. Listen to them make something fun out of Peaches' "Rock Show"! Listen to Peaches' unsurprisingly weak version of "Gay Bar" (or don't)! Gawd, they rule.