Friday, April 28, 2006

The top three debuts in Billboard this week were the Dresden Dolls, NOFX and Drive-By Truckers. A Blessing And A Curse is right, the industry really must be in crisis.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I listened to Gwen Stefani's "Rich Girl" in its entirety for the first time yesterday (sorry, that Fiddler-lifting chorus sent me for the hills every time), and I learned two things.

1) Eve sounds great over the beat. Shame she had to share it.

2) I'd get me four Harajuku girls to
Inspire me and they'd come to my rescue
I'd dress them wicked, I'd give them names

Hooray for Gwen! What a wonderful, imperialist parasite she is! No culture is safe in her plight to keep Gavin Rossdale living a life of ease & riches. Clem had a great post about this last year, but I just had to voice my continued contempt.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Art Brut sucks!!!

It's the truth you don't want to hear, but it's the truth nonetheless! I know it's been a long time since you heard rock-meta in a thick brogue over jagged guitars, but you don't have to settle for this! Make your own small-minded post-punk band! And don't let your American status stop you, just oi up your voice! Billie Joe did it, Dick Van Dyke did it, and you can too! Why settle for being one of half a million folks (generous estimate) on myspace raving about this type of inbred jangle when you can be in one of a thousand bands pumping out this shit!

E -----
B -----
G -----
D ----3
A ----3
E -1---

That's a power chord. Get somebody else who already knows that to make trebly fills over it, a drummer or a drum machine, and you're a band! Don't worry about technique, cuz the K aesthetic is way overdue for a comeback! Just yell something that could be equally ironic or genuine like "I HAVE MORE FRIENDS ON MYSPACE THAN YOU!" twice, then yell something that rhymes, then repeat the original phrase again! Add more if you're feeling imaginative, but seriously, the K aesthetic is due for a comeback! Figure out the best bumper sticker and win some buzz!

If the Television Personalities and Pulp had two babies and those babies had a baby as soon as they hit puberty, we, Art Brut, would be that incestuous baby! And we suck!

I understand why it's exciting to hear another band that can replicate post-punk sounds with a more limited lyrical palette (cuz twenty years after people were making music about how shitty capitalism and intolerance is, we know that's futile and just make music about how shitty music is), especially when they're from Britain and you kinda heard it first, but let's make our own instead! It's clearly pretty easy and jumping up and down on stage is a good way to lose weight*! Instead of finding indie rock dubyas, let's make our own! Our incompetence might help us stumble assbackwards into something novel! You might also get tired of the sound quicker, and learn to appreciate something more challenging, like JAZZ! Or GRIME!


Now you do it!

*Getting popular, however, is not. So not only will we be helping ourselves by not paying attention to Fall Out Boy and Interpol, we'll be helping their singers cut down on the snacking!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


"It's like 'Jurassic Park,' but I'm your sexasaurus," he sang. "You and me, hopping like two kangaroos. ... You got me locked in your cage of ecstasy, and I don't want to be free. ... I'm your Tarzan, and you're my Jane."

I was going to share a link to the new "Spaceinvaderinterlude" on the Limp Bizkit myspace page but FRED TOOK IT DOWN!!! Why??? I was glad to see Fred returning to his Chocolate Starfish whine-rap style. On the last few releases he's gotten more self-conscious and didn't sound like DMX after inhaling a 6th birthday party's worth of helium, a chicken on steroids. In this brief celebration of "myspace, it's your space" he went back to his old steez. But now it's gone... Maybe Tom disapproved.

This almost makes up for it. "Some of that footage of me is just down right bugged out," sez Fred. All footage of you is just down right bugged out, dude.

Monday, April 24, 2006

They just don't make them like they used to.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Caught the Raconteurs' video on VH1 late last night, and holy shit if you needed proof beyond his "let's do something real" interviews that Jack White pines for the 90s, there you go. Blurry stop-motion shots of the band performing in an attic, grainy farm imagery, fuzzed-out chorus, no bottom, dork-faced musicians with Jordan Catalano hair, it's so cheap and generic that the words "Beavis And Butthead" should be in the lower right corner. Is this the Young Fresh Fellows? Dandelion? Was Don Fleming involved? Was Jim Jarmusch intentionally going for a retro look? I'd like to write this off as another Jack White affectation with no bearing on culture whatsoever, but I can't shake the fear that all those inexplicable visual cliches from the era, all that drab Dino Jr-Nirvana aftermath, will be coming back in the next five years. To paraphrase John Wojtowicz in Why Music Sucks via Stairway To Hell, what do you think the the music of the early '10s will be like when everyone is trying to sound like that ALL OVER AGAIN?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Todd Smith for the Miami New Times, anticlimactically capping off a chapter in the Jack Chick tract that is my writing career. Michael Lacey can eat his own horseshit, as far as this video store clerk is concerned.

update: Bob Mehr of the Chicago Reader's take on all this, on ILX.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Show Your Bones for the Baltimore City Paper. Submitted before reading Melissa Maerz' profile for SPIN, which gave some depressing explanations as to why they released the album they did. Writing in the studio on pro-tools with your singer's then-boyfriend's brother to the band's dismay while said singer is also recording a solo album doesn't really sound like the road to inspiration, does it? "Dudley" and "Cheated Hearts" are pretty good Bettie Serveert songs, though.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Monday, April 17, 2006

I can't begin to express how excited I am for the new Neil Young album, Living With War. Working with Niko Bolas, for, if I'm not mistaken, the first time since Freedom! POWER TRIO PLUS TRUMPET! 100 VOCALISTS! The single is called "Impeach The President," IT'S CALLED "IMPEACH THE PRESIDENT!"

It could be total shit, but as a fan of Re*Ac*Tor whose favorite album of the decade is Read Music/Speak Spanish by Desaparecidos, an attempt at METAL FOLK PROTEST (his words!) sounds so refreshing and awesome. Enough acoustic meditation and abstraction! It's time for some catharsis! It's time for a popular, respected artist to cut the business-minded diplomacy and scream this shit out until they're tired and bored. LET'S IMPREACH THE PRESIDENT FOR LYIN'! My favorite hippie's gonna just BLAM BLAM BLAM his frustration and dismay down our throats with a choir, power chords and a motherfucking trumpet. Suck on that! Eat it!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Vision Valley for the Miami New Times. To enjoy the Vines, you not only need to be addicted to the musical pleasures of 90s rock, you also have to be sardonic about the era's pretensions, and comfortable with the Vines total lack of ability to say anything about anything. If you begrudge them their stupidity, or spelled grunge with four letters the first time around, these guys are less than shit. You either have to be really cynical or really innocent to dig this.

Monday, April 10, 2006

My inner jury is still out on Meds, but I think it's cool that Christgau has come around on Placebo, if in his usual condescending, reticent way (which entertains or offends depending on my perspective on glib white male privilege that moment - being one, my mood can vary). Once More With Feeling is one of my favorite hits comps of the last few years, pulling the emotional/musical peaks off of four albums with very obvious emotional/musical peaks (my fave is Without You I'm Nothing). Assuming you're down with their nervous formula, the consistency of craft and lack of an obvious prime period keep the comp from sinking like most recent retrospectives do. The rarities are great too, though I didn't bother to fuck with the remix CD. Anybody who likes their fragile frenetic needs to give them a listen.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Morrissey and the Flaming Lips releasing follow-ups to their overrated lowlights on the same day - albums that may well debut higher on the US pop chart than any of their previous works. Warped, seemingly eternal adolescents now lame elder statesmen declaring profundities over mushy grandeur. Post-punkers now aping the most boring, stagnant elements of pre-punk, their roots showing only in the clumsiness. I used to laugh about boomer artists given attention long after their sell-through date, but the "four stars for Storyville" impulse doesn't seem so generation-specific now.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Favorite single of the year so far. In 2004, I suggested during an IM conversation with Jess that the only act that could pull off a Thriller in '05 was the Black Eyed Peas: giddy, hooky, danceable, inclusive, corny 4 the kids. Monkey Business hasn't had that monolithic presence, and I haven't loved every single (with Sergio Mendes as the Macca). Nonetheless, five or six push tracks in and several million sold, they deserve a lot more respect than they get. I like their vision of pop more than anyone else's.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

If your movie's third act features a long, uninterrupted extreme close up of the lead actor's face as it registers the cumulative effect of the previous scenes, I'm very disappointed in you. No exceptions come to mind.