Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Cat Power Tour?

Although I haven't seen any US tour announced, Ottobar is announcing a 13 October date with Ms. Marshall. She's playing the "early show"... wimp (like me).

I'm still waiting for my poster. Fucking PETA.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

What The Fuck?

As in "What the fuck, dude?" As in "Get out of my face, you Grateful Dead playing acoustic guitar mangling bitch" As in "Go fucking wind surf and let me enjoy my Jack in peace." As in "Keep O-face and your fucking C-chord music on the other side of the pier, please."

Via Open Mic night pictures from Fick!

Fucking Moody Just Can't Shut Up About His Stupid Fucking Band

I've never read one of your books but it's an okay CD... so please... Chut up! Chut up! Gahhhh!!!!

First, let me say that the Wingdale Community Singers are not actually a band. A band, in my view, is a group of young men (with, perhaps, the token woman bass player or frontperson), who go for weeks without showering, who daily labour with the transportation of amplifiers, and who have gargantuan appetites for drugs and alcohol. There is ringing in their ears. They are trying to be true to their girlfriends or wives without success. They spend weeks in a van, driving late into the night. They sleep on the floors of like-minded individuals in far-flung towns. Inevitably, one of them overdoses. But the Wingdale Community Singers are no such organisation. We have no rhythm section, neither bassist nor drummer; we only have one very small amplifier, or else we just make use of whatever amplifier is lying around; we rarely play live. In fact, at the time of writing these remarks, our live appearances number exactly four.

It is true that our lead singer, or the person who sings most of the lead vocals, is a woman, Hannah Marcus, but she is a woman of dignity and poise, who wrote the vast majority of the music on our recording, and she usually performs sitting down. She has never once taken off her blouse for the audience or a publicity photo.

We have all ridden in a van together only twice, and since two of us are vegetarians, there were no late-night stops for hamburgers and beer. I don't drink at all, and neither of the others drinks very much. Two-thirds of us are well into our 40s, and David Grubbs, the lead guitar player, has a baby whom he adores, and so we don't stay out late at night, unless some club is insisting that we start at midnight. We all bathe regularly. We have no groupies.

BANGBANGBANG = sound of blogger unloading semi-automatic into head

Monday, August 29, 2005

But John Perry is a cunt and Ash does owe Mark a living...

via Independent Online's 20 Most Embarassing Rock Interviews:

2. Loaded's John Perry met up with the famously temperamental MARK E SMITH for an interview in 1997. The Fall leader set the tone for proceedings by attempting to stub a cigarette out in Perry's face, then responded to the fairly innocuous questions with a volley of personal abuse: "You're a fucking cunt, aren't you? A cretin. A frustrated pervert." Abruptly terminating the interview after a few minutes, Smith tried to punch through a wall, scuffled with bar staff and picked a fight with the band Ash. He then stumbled drunkenly into the street muttering, "They all owe me a fuckin' living, all of them."

Although this one kinda redeems Perry:

9. In 1996, journalist John Perry enjoyed a brief but eventful meeting with ICE CUBE which became a tad overheated when Perry implied that the tough-guy rapper was a member of murderous LA gang the Bloods when, in fact, he was a member of their deadly rivals, the Crips. Heading for the exit as bulky items of furniture were being thrown at him, Perry then delivered his coup de grâce, asking Cube whether he had ever considered taking part in a gay pride march.

Green Man Festival review

UK Independent:

Will Oldham's Bonnie "Prince" Billy band was a revelation. If on record Oldham can seem too artfully artless, a post-grad gloss on Southern Gothic, in this context he's a knee-trembling rocker. With Matt Sweeney (formerly of Zwan) as one of three plank-spanking guitarists, they sounded as live and as dangerous as early Neil Young and Crazy Horse.

Joanna Newsom, who topped the bill on the closing Sunday night, was even better. The diminutive harpist-singer (tonight playing a Leviathan of an instrument at least twice her size) can, like Will Oldham, seem a little affected, what with that strangulated Betty Boop voice. But, once again, she's the real deal.

After an opening unaccompanied ditty delivered from the front of stage off-mic, she started what she said was a new song. As it unwound over a full 15 minutes or so, image following image as precisely as in a poem by HD, we were all drawn into her spell. Never mind the comparisons to Bjork or Kate Bush, Newsom is closer to the Divine Comedy, and I don't mean the dodgy band. I left the show renewed with love for the power of art, making resolutions to read Melville and Emily Dickinson. Put Joanna Newsom on the National Curriculum now.

see also: Blogger bulletizes Greenman

Sunday, August 28, 2005

My Deeply Hip Summer 2005 Mp3 Mix

Someone asked me to make them a CD-R of stuff I've downloaded or posted over the summer. Rules were that it couldn't come from a CD I bought. Weird.

Music could be old or new but had to have been downloaded... I cheated a little with Sandycoates since it was a good summer song (about snowmen) and I listened to it a bit.

Of course, I had to open with "Breath Me", the song that ended the desperately hip TV series Six Feet Under on the Deeply UNhip Mix CD.

"Breathe Me" - Sia (via stereogum)
"La Nuit On a Toujuors Tout - Delaney (via vinylmine)
"Let's Kill Saturday Night" - Silkworm (via vm)
"Anti-Christ" - Currituck Co.
"Seven Silver Curses" - Fiery Furnaces (Fluxblog)
"Me Plus One" - Annie - iTunes freebie
"I Made A Bomb" - Coachwhips (VM)
"Today's The Day Baby" - fatlip
"The Lord God Bird" - Sufjan Stevens (I forget where I downloaded this - I think NPR)
"Do It Again" - Nada Surf (Stereogum)
"Another Snowman" - Sandycoates (via some vinyl I bought this summer)
"Sun Song" - Nick Castro (VM)
"Police Dog Blues" - Blind Blake (VM)
"Ignition (live)" - Superwolf (Steregum?)
"they marry" - Mi & l'au (VM)
"Breathe Me (Mylo remix)" - Sia (stereogum)

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The New Stuff Post


ARTHUR: #18 September 2005 MAG (ARTHUR 018) 0.01
On the cover: Border Crossing: New Sounds and Ideas from Jon Hassell, Afrirampo, Dungen, Alan Bishop. Features: "To Tell the Truth" - Douglas Rushkoff wonders if some techniques of persuasion are so inherently wrong that they should never be used; "Skeleton Women & Fisher Kings" - Maybe serial monogamy is the problem, says columnist Daniel Pinchbeck; "No Sleep Till Beirut" - Alan Bishop of Sun City Girls speaks with Brandon Stosuy about terrorism, travel, clueless Americans and curating the cut-up world music collages of his Sublime Frequencies label; "The North and South of Him" - John Payne visits with a true master: Jon Hassell, composer, trumpeter and visionary theorist-enacter of a sensual new kind of music. Plus, a beginner's guide to Hassell by John Adamian, and a provocative new essay by Hassell himself; "Tropic of Cancer" - Stricken by skin cancer, David Reeves journeyed to Iquitos, Peru. There, he found witchdoctors, ayahuasca, deluded gringos, fears of American 'facepeelers,' etc.; "Listen to the Dead" - Arthur assembles its knights for a Round Table discussion on the gems worth checking out in the Grateful Dead's vast catalog. Up for the task are members of Animal Collective, Comets on Fire, Brightback Morning Light, etc. Plus: reviews by Byron Coley and Thurston Moore. Arthur is a free publication and you may add a copy to your order at no cost while supplies last.

WIRE, THE: #259 September 2005 MAG (WIRE 259) 8.00
"On the cover: Richard Youngs (The naive shaman's rapturous DIY minimalism is re-emerging the UK's free rock underground). Features: Okkyung Lee (The New York based Korean cellist and composer reveals the secret of Nihm); Alexander Hacke (The Einstürzende Neubauten bassist discusses sonic travelogues); Tracy + The Plastics (Nothing is real in the plastic universe created by the live video shows of Wynne Greenwood); Invisible Jukebox: Broadcast; Ralf Wehowsky (The Selektion founder and P16.D4 pioneer recalls 25 years of international noise networking); Hugh Hopper (The ex-Soft Machine bassist spools through his songbook and 40 years of tapeloop experiments); The Primer: Iannis Xenakis (Philip Clark gets his hyperbolic paraboloids in a twist over the Greek composer's rigorous body of work)."

CLUSTER/ENO: Cluster & Eno CD (WATER 156CD) 15.00
"Originally recorded and released in 1977, this pioneer ambient music album brought together several legends of progressive electronic music: Brian Eno, solo artist and collaborator with David Bowie, Robert Fripp, and Roxy Music; Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius, both of whom had made dozens of ground-breaking recordings throughout the '70s and Michael Rother, of the hugely influential Krautrock band Neu!. This album was the first of several celebrated collaborations between these artists, whose influence looms over many current artists such as Moby, Radiohead, Aphex Twin, Massive Attack, and Tortoise. The first in a series of Brian Eno/Cluster-related collaborations to be reissued by Water."

Don't Hate Us Because We Are Self-Loathing Comics

Last week, the Washington Post's Stephen Hunter wrote a biting review of The Aristocrats, that oh-so-hip and supposedly funny movie made by comics for comics. I haven't seen it so that's the only reason I say "supposedly" but I have noticed that it is the hip movie of the moment and doing quite well at the local box office (lines were forming last weekend at E Street Cinema).

In case you haven't read the endless hype, the movie is about a dirty joke involving a show business family performing lewd (I hate that word lewd; obscene? fantastic?) acts on each other. Several thousand (ok, dozen) comics provide their own variations of it including allegedly funny people Bob Saget, Robin Williams and Andy Dick.

In his over-the-top review, Hunter psychoanalyzed all these comics as being "losers":
What you see here isn't so much sexual neurosis but career neurosis. You see the entertainer's fear and loathing of that regular place most of us would call the world. He hates the square ideas that are the foundation of such a place: the family structure of parents nurturing kids in healthy, loving relationships, the economic underpinning known as a job, attended regularly rain or shine, sickness or health, out of some wretched sense of obligation, the slow socialization of children so that they can ultimately survive in that same world.
Both producers (and comics in their own right) Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette have responded to Hunter's review in Today's Post:

He hurt us and publicly insulted people we love. Those of us involved in the movie were just trying to make people laugh. We may have failed to amuse your reviewer, but "hate" doesn't enter into it. (Penn Jillette)

He maligned artists who put aside their public images, audience expectations and the safety of a typical comedy context to engage in a creative exercise. They did so with enthusiasm and without fear of how they might be judged by anyone -- let alone by someone projecting his own twisted ideas of what they are like as people and professionals. (Provenza)
Um. Wahhhhh... They sound a bit too apologetic. Listen, Penn - Paul, you shoulda snarled back and said Stephen Hunter is the self-loathing toad not, um, Richard Lewis or Eddie Izzard. Maybe the next movie will be a lengthy retelling by hundreds of thousands of comics of what they would do to Stephen Hunter (and will no doubt reveal a deep-seated loathing of self-improvement adn concstructive criticism).

Friday, August 26, 2005

Punk Fogies Rock Cleveland This Weekend

Half Cleveland/Chi-Pig

Before Chris Butler found fame with the Waitresses -- you know, "I Know What Boys Like" and the "Square Pegs" TV theme -- he was a member of Tin Huey, the legendary late-1970s Akron new-wave/art-punk band. Now Butler and his Huey bandmate Harvey Gold play in Half Cleveland, a group perpetuating the rockers' experimental legacy. Call Chi-Pig the band that time forgot, a trio whose "Miami" album would have given Bow Wow Wow, the Slits and X-Ray Spex a run for their money had it been released when it originally was recorded in 1979. 9 p.m. Saturday. Beachland Ballroom and Tavern, 15711 Waterloo Road, Cleveland. $8. 216-383-1124.

-- Annie Zaleski

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Anyone for a hot steaming cup of...

Warnes Makes E-Label

I hope by digital, it means that .wav files are distributed vice MP3... via

Warner Music, the world's largest privately held independent music company has announced plans to launch an "e-label." The conglomerate which also includes Atlantic, Elektra, Lava, Maverick, Nonesuch, Reprise, Rhino, Sire, Warner Bros. Word and incubator East/West explained the plans for the label in a speech given by chairman Edgar Bronfman, Jr. earlier this week:

We usually associate innovation with technology companies, but they aren't the only ones who must innovate. To survive and prosper, content companies must do so, as well. And even our very concept of copyright must innovate."

"We are excited by the power of digital distribution now available to every potential artist. We see our mission as not to control the means by which artists’ voices are heard, but to amplify those voices.

As a music company, we also understand that our ultimate success lies not in preventing people from getting what they want but in providing it to them in new and exciting ways.

Albini in The Stranger

SHELLAC - Steve Albini (left) and band.

He talks about The Ex, In Utero and Jesus Lizard...

What's the single most important piece of advice you would give people wanting to teach themselves how to record bands?

Read first, then experiment. Both are important and ignoring one in favor of the other guarantees that you will waste a lot of time reinventing the wheel, or worse, reinventing a bunch of tired clichés and hack-job stuff.

Let's Hope No One Tells Him About Podcasting...

A four star General has started blogging... one of his guys writes about in his blog.

Commander’s Call was yesterday. The boss was getting us all together in groups, civilians, Senior NCOs, Junior NCOs, Officers, etc.. Two things that stuck out in my mind:

He noted that there were not enough chairs for the civilians and they were packed out into the hallways surrounding the ballroom and that we SNCOs had a LOT of empty chairs. He shook his head and said, “I’ve GOT to get that mix changed.”

As he was talking up his Command and Control Blog (you couldn’t get to it even if I did link to it), he made one of the most astounding, outside the box statements I’ve ever heard come out of a flag officer’s mouth. Other than giving me some leeway for perhaps not having the order he said them right, this is what I heard yesterday. Anyone else who was there and can make it clearer, please do:

“The metric is what the person has to contribute, not the person’s rank, age, or level of experience. If they have the answer, I want the answer. When I post a question on my blog, I expect the person with the answer to post back. I do not expect the person with the answer to run it through you, your OIC, the branch chief, the exec, the Division Chief and then get the garbled answer back before he or she posts it for me. The Napoleonic Code and Netcentric Collaboration cannot exist in the same space and time. It’s YOUR job to make sure I get my answers and then if they get it wrong or they could have got it righter, then you guide them toward a better way…but do not get in their way.”

General, USMC

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Seattle was the new San Francisco at One Point


Slim Moon: "But seriously, I think the Bay Area has the most fruitful scene going, and it produces many of the most interesting, fun, and challenging bands in America."

The evidence:
  • Comets on Fire
  • Six Organs of Admittance
  • Xiu Xiu
  • Deerhoof
  • Johanna Newsome
  • John Vanderslice
and these are just the bands/songwriters I have heard...

Paved Rave

Raver resists Cops

Emole on the jackbootery that went down in the beautiful state of Utah last weekend.

Mr. Sally Crewe Mixes It Up With Moron

...for fans of Mr. C's rapier-like wit -- although it is cruely wasted on the mentally challenged. More fodder for Matador at 20.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

JC: Superstar True Confession

Apropos of nothing, Ms. Michele of Long Island writes about JCS the movie. Never much of a fan of the cheesball movie (I also HATE, HATE, HATE Godschlep, I mean Godspell) but I did memorize the entire original cast album and my Grandma bought the sheet music for me (above) because at 10 years old I used to sing it for her.

Here's a true confession: I knew every lyric of JCS and once sang myself out of a fearful situation (12 years old, alone, dark, woods, rain, varmits) by going through the entire opera a capella several times.

I can still remember quite a bit of it by heart. Thanks Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Weber.

"My mind is clearer now..."

Monday, August 22, 2005

Troika Music Festival

Last weekend I wished I were in NYC, now I wanna be in Research Triangle. Lotsa bands I'd love to see live (again in the case of Bellefea): Tenement Halls, Arthur Digby, David Karsten Daniels, Portastic, I am the World Trade Center, etc.... and, oh yeah, The Mountain Goats.

Six Feet Over

Big Jim writes:

Not really a spoiler, but as I thought along the show wasn’t really about Nate. It was about Claire.

No, Nate was the central character, the show clearly follows his arc, his life, his mistakes and his death - he merely passes the torch to Clair in the last episode - even as Claire leaves, he's the last thing she sees of her old life through the looking glass.

In one sense, the show was about the 20th century version of the classical family and how it is trying to survive in the modern world. The death of its patriarch at the beginning starts a process by which the family teeters out of control and towards self-annihilation. It is only through the sacrifice of its prodigal son that all the members go through their own personal and familial trials to come out the other side whole and as a new family for the 21st century.

But the show was also about life and its preciousness. Set in a town which worships youth and immortality, it attempted to show on a weekly basis the phoniness of our illusions regarding life and the traps we put ourselves in because we are too caught up in our past and our own neuroses. Everyone who watched the finale no doubt was disturbed by how it challenges their own views of mortality. In fact, a common thread I read in the posts this morning is that they had a sleepless night and the show evidently disturbed them.

Anyway, check out the obitx posted at HBO - they add more detail on the lives of the characters...

Claire Simone Fisher
1983 - 2085

Born March 13, 1983. Died February 11, 2085 in Manhattan. Claire grew up in Los Angeles and studied art at LAC-Arts College. She worked as an advertising and fashion photographer and photojournalist for nearly fifty years, creating several memorable covers for Washington Post magazine, W, and The Face. Claire often exhibited her work in New York and London art galleries and in a time when nearly everyone else in her field had turned to digital scanning and computer-driven imaging, she continued to use a silver-based photographic process. Claire began teaching photography as a faculty member at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in 2018, earning tenure in 2028. She's pre-deceased by her beloved husband Ted Fairwell.

Horses Gets New Hooves

although it's already been "remastered" for the CD generation - Horses, like Goo is getting the deluxe treatment. This one looks purchasing however as it includes a recent live set with Verlaine... via billboard via coolfer (or is that coolfer via billboard?)... her bestest.

Legacy will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Patti Smith's debut album, "Horses," with an expanded edition due Nov. 8. "Horses Horses" features the original album on disc one and a B-side cover of the Who's "My Generation. The second disc includes a recent performance of the entire set, plus "My Generation," at the Smith-curated Meltdown Festival.

That show was taped June 25 at London's Royal Festival Hall and featured an expanded Patti Smith Band bolstered by Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and Television guitarist Tom Verlaine.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Interweb May Have Saved Global Frequence

from the Chicago Trib's metromix:

`Global Frequency's' long-shot comeback

Late last year, "Global Frequency," an intriguing show about a network of freelance intelligence operatives led by Michelle Forbes as the enigmatic Miranda Zero, seemed like a lock for the WB network's midseason schedule. Then, thanks to an executive shuffle at the network, it wasn't.

In June, the "Global Frequency" pilot hit peer-to-peer networks such as BitTorrent, where thousands of fans worldwide became rabid fans of the terrific Forbes and the stylish show, which is based on graphic novels by Warren Ellis.

Now "Global Frequency" is one of the most buzzed-about shows of the year. And John Rogers, the show's writer and executive producer, is in talks with the WB network to find a legal way to distribute the show -- and maybe even bring the series back to life.

read the rest

To The Batpole

DC Comics in a huff over this gallery offering...

orig: gothamist

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Found Cassettes

You're showing your age if you remember that period of time in the '70s when people were crazy about cassette recorders. I remember the first one my Dad brought home - we went crazy recording stuff - they were like the video recorders were in the '90s only cheaper and no picture.

At any rate, there are a ton of really goofy cassettes out there and Sweet Thunder has made it their mission to find them - at thrift shops, internet, send-ins, where-ever - and broadcast on their tape findings website. In this week's episode:

An elderly couple, married 51 years, record their daily activities for a full 60 minutes.
Be sure to check out "70's Family" and their Bay City Rollers MP3.

Stuff People Should Buy For Me

ASW 60611LP

KRAFTWERK: Minimum - Maximum \r\n48.00
"Astralwerks released Kraftwerk\'s first ever official \r\nlive recordings, a 2CD set entitled Minimum-Maximum, a milestone \r\nevent in the band\'s illustrious career and one which has galvanized \r\nKraftwerk fans, both young and old. Recorded with the band\'s \r\ncustomary attention to detail and sonic perfectionism, this \r\ncollection is now available as a 4LP deluxe boxset featuring all of \r\nthe band\'s classic compositions and effectively serving as a vinyl \r\n\'best-of,\' culled from the band\'s 2004 world \r\ntour."

DC 284CD

AUGUST BORN: August Born CD (DC 284CD) 13.50
"August Born is a collaboration between Japan's Hiroyuki Usui and Six Organs of Admittance's Ben Chasny. Well versed 'heads already know Hiroyuki under his alias of L, in which he recorded the subtle psychedelic gem, Holy Letters. Along with spending time in Marble Sheep, he also played drums for Fushitsusha for six years and played in an early incarnation of Ghost, which can be seen on the live DVD, Metamorphosis. Holy Letters was an early template for Six Organs when it was released nearly ten years ago. August Born started off as a game that was based on the idea of 'fortuitous mistranslation.' That is: even if they didn't understand exactly what the other wanted to do or where to go with the song, the songs themselves would find their own direction. The project started with the scraping sounds of a bird being buried. As improbable as it seemed, these sounds eventually created music. August Born is a mellow work seamlessly blending Hiroyuki's guitar, vocals, vibes, harmonium, bass, drums, cello, field recordings, and didgeridoo with Chasny's unmistakable voice and guitar. The tunes found here hold rewards that will only grow with patience and time."

DC 080CD

Repressed! Reissue of long o/p LP from 1981 (RT UK). Features guests like Epic Soundtracks, the Raincoats' Gina Birch, Allen Ravenstein, Laura Logic, etc.


THE MYSTERY MEAT: Profiles CD (SHAD 041CD) 14.50
The holy grail of raw garage rock albums! Recorded at a college in Illinois in 1968, original copies of The Mystery Meat's Profiles LP are now worth a year's tuition at almost any university in the Midwest. All original songs! Unearthed from a yard sale, and sought-after on eBay ever since, this LP was recorded in Carlinville, Illinois in the basement of the administration building of Blackburn College where all of the band members were students. Steve Oberman did the engineering and editing as well as "borrowing" the college's equipment which consisted of four old Electrovoice mics and a PA amplifier which served as a mixer. The 12 tracks were recorded live. Gary Walden was the percussionist and Bob Rentz was the keyboard player. The real musician and "genius" behind the group was probably Ron O'Dell. Dick had a good tenor voice, Rentz was a good organist, and Gary was a great drummer. In many ways it is a sketch of Blackburn College. Blackburn has in a very real way shaped everything in this album, from the art work on the cover to the organ passage of the selections. But the real Profiles are of the five young men who sang and played their hearts out to make this LP. For a while they were able to keep apart from the world of C.O.G., Hudson Hall, The Work Committee, and Mama Z. to produce this effort. But even apart from the College each of them knew that without its presence this recording would not have been possible. Compared to The Dovers, New Colony Six, Music Emporium, Mystic Siva, All of Thus and Complex.

MS 2027

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART & HIS MAGIC BAND: Trout Mask Replica 2LP (MS 2027) 26.00
180 gram vinyl, manufactured by Rhino. The third Beefheart album (following Clear Spot and Strictly Personal) to be released, first issued in 1969. Gatefold sleeve, classic Cal Schenkel artwork. "Trout Mask Replica is Captain Beefheart's masterpiece, a fascinating, stunningly imaginative work that still sounds like little else in the rock & roll canon. Given total creative control by producer and friend Frank Zappa, Beefheart and his Magic Band rehearsed the material for this 28-song double album for over a year, wedding minimalistic R&B, blues, and garage rock to free jazz and avant-garde experimentalism. Atonal, sometimes singsong melodies; jagged, intricately constructed dual-guitar parts; stuttering, complicated rhythmic interaction -- all of these elements float out seemingly at random, often without completely interlocking, while Beefheart groans his surrealist poetry in a throaty Howlin' Wolf growl. As one might expect from music so complex and, to many ears, inaccessible, the influence of Trout Mask Replica was felt more in spirit than in direct copycatting, as a catalyst rather than a literal musical starting point. However, its inspiring reimagining of what was possible in a rock context laid the groundwork for countless future experiments in rock surrealism, especially during the punk/new wave era." -- All Music Guide.


NEW PORNOGRAPHERS "Twin Cinema" (Matador) cd/lp 14.98/11.98

PELT "Untitled" (VHF) cd 13.98

All the Mortiis News You Can Use

because one can never get enough Mortiis... his first DVD is on the way and he's touring with Danzig and we're hoping there will be a Glenn - Mortiis bitchfight on the road and someone gets it on tape.

Rockstar Games has just launched the website for its new game based on the cult classic film The Warriors, the flick that all the Hoods in your High School used to talk about. It drops in Rocktober.

Eat This, Fort Reno

or reasons I wish I was in NYC this weekend:

AKRON/FAMILY, DAVID GRUBBS, WOODEN WAND AND THE VANISHING VOICE (TomorrowToday) The East River Music Project's final summer show features Akron/Family, a quartet that explores the crannies and latent explosiveness of Americana. The experimental guitarist David Grubbs is in a jazz-folk mood as of late. Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice warp various genres. 2 p.m., East River Amphitheater, East River Park, Lower East Side, free. (Laura Sinagra)

Netflix Rock and Roll DVDs

Pitchforkmedia provides an overview of what cool stuff is available from Netflix that you mightn't not known...

Friday, August 19, 2005

Geek Confession: Battlestar Galactica

About the only thing good about TV this summer is BG - still showing original eps, it's worth cancelling that date with the hot barrista and cracking open a large bottle of diet Coke and some Doritos & salsa. But God, sitting through the various Stargates: Bullshit is pretty soul deadening.

Jolie to Beowulf

Cambodian citizen Angelina Jolie joins the Beowulf cast. She'll play the evil Viking Queen. Kewl.

RIP Randy "Biscuit" Turner

Big Boys frontman has passed. That's him on the left in the Jason mask.


Madonna, She Is The Enemy

Don't tell anyone but Richard Hell was in Desperately Seeking Susan... the Brits write about him in anticipation of the release of his Rhino compilation in the UK (it's already available in the US in case you dinn't know):

Perhaps his most high-profile and unlikely job of the period came playing the murdered rock-star lover of another adopted New Yorker, Madonna, in Desperately Seeking Susan.

"You know, it always pisses me off when I see in my credits anywhere that I was in that," he sighs. "It's insulting! I was on screen for in total maybe 30 seconds! And I didn't have a single line of dialogue. But I guess my career is so impoverished that they have to put that in. It's really obnoxious. It's humiliating. I can't relate to Madonna. It actually annoys me when I see these guys who are friends, like Sonic Youth, seeming to adore her. To me, she's the enemy. I can't help it. She gives me the creeps."

By 1984, Hell had effectively turned his back on both heroin and music, returning to his bohemian roots as a small-press New York poet, in the same tiny tenement flat he has occupied for 30 years. Spurts scrapes up the scattered, recorded remains. But its maker's real importance is more elusive. He remains a ghost in the pop machine, leaving faint, dissident, traces that show no sign of fading.

White Stripes Concert Rider

includes a child's piano, Labatt's Ale (blech) and Pepperidge Farm Cookies (yum). Read the whole thing at Thee Modern Age.

(found via Insound Clips Volume 7 email list)

Record Collector Watch

The new Xiu Xiu - Devendra Banhart Split 7" is out...

Xiu Xiu/Devendra Banhart
GER038 5 Rue Christine
The Body Breaks b/w Support Our Troops Oh!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Madame Wong Rides The Elephant

Esther Wong, owner and booker at Madame Wong's in Chinatown and Santa Monica is dead.

At Madame Wong's, which closed in 1985, and Madame Wong's West in Santa Monica, which operated from 1978 to 1991, she proved a staunch supporter of new and local groups. Besides Oingo Boingo, her stages hosted Police, X, the Motels, 20/20, the Knack, the Know, the Textones, the Go-Gos, the Plimsouls, the Nu-Kats, the Bus Boys, Plane English, the Naughty Sweeties and more.

She opened the Santa Monica club, she once told the Los Angeles Times, because there were too many worthy groups seeking bookings for her Chinatown club alone to accommodate. And she closed each club as new wave and then other forms of rock lost popularity.

Ms. Wong chose the groups by listening to audition tapes -- although she had to give up playing them in her car.

"I got a very bad temper," she told the Times in 1980. "When there's a bad tape, I throw it outside the window. One day I almost hit the (California) Highway Patrol car that was right next to me."

IT CAME FROM DETROIT is an anticipated documentary which will hopefully wipe away all memories of Dig! in terms of documentarizing the current garage rock scene. A new trailer featuring The Dirtbombs is up at their site.

Guy who lives upstairs now has a blog

My wacky neighbor...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Will Oldham Viddies

Domino Record has a collection of his four videos - check out the David Shrigley one for some weird animation...

Monday, August 15, 2005

"Minor Leagues" Bemoan Deal With the Devil

La Times has an article on how the "independent" labels have built relationships with the "major" labels for distribution even as they gear to do battle over their artists:
But the partnerships, though they benefit both independent and major labels, exacerbate old tensions, notably those stemming from big companies' poaching suddenly hot bands.

"We rely on the indies to be the minor leagues for our major league teams," said Lipman of Universal Records. "The indies find markets we didn't even know existed, and then we can take the bands and make them huge."

For a company such as Matador, that means doing business with a partner that might steal its best acts. Matador developed singer Liz Phair in the early 1990s, only to see her move on to music's big leagues after she became a bestselling artist.

Interpol's contract with Matador expired with "Antics." Major labels affiliated with every company, including Warner and Universal, are wooing the band. Matador's payroll of 25 employees is paltry compared with the 4,000 at Warner, whose revenue in two days exceeds the $10 million Matador collects annually. Interpol's members and its manager declined to comment on the band's plans.

But Matador isn't admitting defeat; it's already plotting how to sell Interpol's next album. Lombardi bristles when majors portray independents as farm teams. Despite being the underdog, he hopes to convince Interpol that a major label won't give it the personal touch and creative freedom that he can provide.

"Calling us a minor league team is infuriating," Lombardi said. "That's the attitude that is ruining music. We're the ones who break the band, who actually care about them and their music and make their vision become real. We're the only ones who won't betray them for a dollar. If we're the minor league, then the majors should be torn apart."

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Pareles: Save Punk Rock, Close CBGBs

Ophelia Wynne / Camera Press / Retna Ltd.

He says it's more of a tourist dump than a crucible for new and crucial music...:

The club has been some kind of symbol for decades. The question is whether that symbolism can transcend real estate and real noise. A transplanted CBGB would be irrevocably changed, and an artificially preserved one could be just as dicey. Punk-rock certainly has enough artifacts to fill a museum, but solemn academic inquiry just doesn't seem right for CBGB. A transplanted CBGB might become something like the Cavern Club in Liverpool, where the Beatles woodshedded and which was demolished and rebuilt as a replica (with some of the original bricks). What has been a symbol of unlovely urban survival would turn into a self-conscious icon.

Or, to be precise, a more self-conscious icon. It's hard to say how long ago CBGB started considering itself legendary, but decades is a fair estimate. While punk promoted itself as overthrowing the status quo, CBGB has prided itself on staying put.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

New Things to Drool Over


FLOTATION TOY WARNING: Bluffer's Guide to the Flight Deck CD (MSR 036CD) 13.00
"With one foot in the eyebrow-raising pop experiments of Van Dyke Parks, Scott Walker, and The United States of America, and the other foot planted firmly alongside such modern-day avant-pop practitioners as the Unicorns, Flaming Lips, or Tindersticks, Flotation Toy Warning blend found sounds, electronics, homemade and traditional instruments and lush production. Their dreamlike pop soundscapes are simultaneously classic and undeniably modern. Wonderfully warped and deranged, Bluffer's Guide to the Flight Deck is the rare masterwork that sounds equally skewed through a set of headphones or blasting at top volume.


F-WORD!: Like It Or Not (Live!) CD (GET 117CD) 16.00
"F-WORD were the first L.A. punk band to release an album. Their 1978 debut was also their only record, since they disbanded when Dutch Schultz/Will Shatter (bass) and Steve EffeteDePace (drums) formed Flipper. Singer Rik L. Rik went on to SoCal punk rock notoriety. Trademark Posh Boy sound for these pioneers of Californian fast pop punk.


STOOGES, THE: Heavy Liquid 6CD (EAR 003CD) 60.00
Very impressive 6CD box, of what is band-sanctioned product. Demos, rehearsals, live tapes, etc. 13 versions of "I've Got a Rigt" on disc 1 alone! For those days when you can't listen to the 7-disc Rhino Handmade version of Funhouse, you'll pull this one out for variety. "Un-published photos from Mick Rock (1972), Lee Black Childers (1973) and Robert Matheu (1973). Contains totally unreleased material from original master tapes. Extensive liner notes with interviews with Iggy, Ron and Scott Asheton. Includes Iggy photo book." Disc One: The Olympic Studio Tapes London 1972; Disc Two: Morgan Sound Studios Ypsilanti Michigan 1973. Unreleased rehearsal taken from recently discovered 1/4" tape; Disc Three: Los Angeles and Detroit Rehearsals Spring 1973; Disc Four: The Return To New York July 1973. CBS Studios New York, rehearsals for the upcoming shows at Max's Kansas City. Live at Max's Kansas City 30th July 1973 with Scott Thurston on piano. Whiskey A Go Go 17th September 1973 (first set), totally unreleased tape; Disc Six: 1974, Bimbos 365, club San Francisco January 11th or 12th.


MC5: Purity Accuracy 6CD (EAR 002CD) 60.00
"The first ever 'band authorised' project since 1971. Contains unreleased material. Includes new version of the band performing classic songs with Lemmy from Motorhead, Nicke from the Hellacopters and Dave Vanian from the Damned on vocals. Liner notes by Nina Antonia feature current interviews with all of the surviving members of the band, plus an interview with manager John Sinclair. Contains scarce recordings from the fledgling band in 1965 to blistering live performances in 1970 and recordings as recent as last year." Disc One: Rehearsals; Disc Two: 1965-68; Disc Three: Live at the Saginaw Civic Center 1st Jan. 1970; Disc Four: Live at the Grande Ballroom 1968; Disc Five: Live at the Sturgis Armory, Michigan 27th June 1968; Disc Six: 13th March 2003 London 100 Club.


YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS: Live at the Hurrah CD (CDMRED 259) 16.00
Originally issued by Cherry Red Records in 2004. "First-ever full live album release to feature the Young Marble Giants, Live At The Hurrah. YMG formed in 1979 and were a three-piece from Cardiff, Wales consisting of Stuart Moxham (guitars, keyboards), his brother Phil (bass), and Alison Statton (voice). Their recording career lasted only two years but they garnered a loyal and devoted fan base that still exists to this day. They recorded one classic album, Colossal Youth, for Rough Trade Records and performed two short tours of Europe and the U.S. in 1980. On their return from the U.S., tensions in the band led to their split. Live At The Hurrah captures the band in full flight at New York's Hurrah Club during that legendary 1980 U.S. tour, making this a unique release for all YMG fans."

When is someone in the States or even Gemm going to distribute this band's new album, goddamnit!

...for that matter, when is someone going to help the Malaysian indie scene break worldwide?

Previously on Vinyl Mine

Hey, I was on the Antony bandwagon before all y'all

...but Boy George? This just shows a severe lack of judgement on A.'s part. What's next? Playing one of the unmarried daughters in Fiddler on the Roof?



Please Kill Me - The Uncensored Oral History of Punk is constructed perfectly, and runs smoothly. How did you go about constructing this?
You think Please Kill Me is constructed perfectly? Many people don't. I can tell you everything that is wrong with the book. I doubt that I can tell you everything that is right with it. But that isn't the point. Since I'm not such a big fan of my own work, I think I can look at it a bit more objectively, let me give you an example of how my brain works: You say PKM is constructed perfectly, well what about Dee Dee Ramone renting an apartment from Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, where he lived with Connie for a while after he got thrown out of Arturo's? I think it was important. I think Dee Dee is important, as a writer, an artist and performer. I believe Dee Dee wrote Chinese Rocks at that apartment and felt his life would somehow come together. Also, they way Debbie and Chris respected Dee Dee's talent is important. Dee Dee paying rent and trying to be a human being is important, and, also, that it ended in a big mess is important. How Dee Dee couldn't sustain himself is important. It makes him a much more three dimensional character and less of a cartoon-character-mess that he promoted. But it's not in the book, probably because Debbie can't remember much and Chris Stein was smoking crack when I was trying to interview him.

The week I handed in the final manuscript to the publisher was the same week Chris Stein called me and said, "Okay Legs I'm ready to be interviewed!" Great, now what? The publisher was already pissed at me. I'm working on deadline. So what happens? Dee Dee is lost to history and the story doesn't go in. What we've lost now, is a connection to Dee Dee that might have demystified him somewhat, which I think is very important. Was Dee Dee a genius or a fuck up? Dee he know what he was doing when he wrote Chinese Rocks or I Don't Wanna Walk Around with You or any of the other hundred great songs he wrote? Where did that come from? I think by including the story of Dee Dee renting the apartment from Chris and Debbie, some of those questions MIGHT have been answered. Would he still come off as a cartoon character? Probably, but it might have given us a closer insight into one of the most talented and weirdest guys in rock & roll, proving that people are much more interesting and damaged than you think. Which is interesting, you have to admit.

So when you pay me a nice compliment and say that Please Kill Me is perfectly constructed, I look back on what I did and say, "Well, no probably not. I would have liked to have tried and solve the problem of Dee Dee, and make him more accessible to me, as a reader." I would have also liked to done that with The Runaways, The Cramps and Debbie and Chris and Blondie, and Suicide. But at a certain point, you have to say, what am I doing-- and put it out. But was I happy doing it that way? No. Remember, this is history, which is a lot bigger than you or me. You’re going to influence people for a long time, and it's not great if they don't have all the facts. So it's a tricky road, and one that you’re destined to fail at, ultimately, but you have to try anyway. I hope that is an answer.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Southland Tales to Include Graphic Novel

Old news - I'm just catching up - but any movie that unites The Rock, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Stifler in a musical about the collapse of America directed by the guy who wrote/directed Donnie Darko AND now will have a six hundred page graphic novel preceding it is gonna have to be awesome or I'm just going to jump off a building.

Before Southland Tales
Donnie Darko director scribes epic prequel graphic novels for upcoming film.

July 26, 2005 - Richard Kelly, director of Donnie Darko, announced today that he would be writing a series of graphic novel prequels prior to the release of his next movie, Southland Tales. Beginning in the first quarter of 2006, six 100-page graphic novels, all written by Kelly, will be released. The comics lead directly into the film, which serves as the final act.

Darko Entertainment, Graphitti Designs and View Askew Productions are working together to publish the graphic novels. No artist has been announced.

If you're wondering why View Askew is involved, Kevin Smith is one of the stars of the film's ensemble cast. He plays Simon Theory, a legless Iraqi war vet. Joining Smith on screen are Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Seann William Scott and Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Set in the future -- 2008 Los Angeles, to be exact -- Southland Tales examines an America about to collapse under social and economic hardships. It looks to be just as bizarre as Kelly's best known work, Donnie Darko.

"I am thrilled to have Kevin Smith as both an actor in Southland Tales as well as having his involvement in the prequel graphic novels for Southland Tales. The novels will give the die-hard fans more of an understanding of the back-story leading up the film's theatrical release," said Kelly.

Southland Tales is expect to begin principal photography on August 15, 2005.


Some new Buffalo Smog fotos... Bill and Jim White.
...this weekend at Ottobar, Baltimore (no DC shows this tour)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Barlow: "I need the money"... and love

Lou is interviewed on the "Dino" reunion:

Reunion tours are the tour du jour nowadays. The Pixies, Gang of Four, The Eagles (sorry to throw that in there). How do you feel about the whole reunion thing?

S’allrite with me.... It depends on the band. I’m not one to dismiss the whole concept—that’s for critics and cynics. In our case, it’s very easy to recreate the sound that characterized our early years. Not many people saw us back then and are willing to pay to see [us now], so why not? I need the money and I love the music. I saw excellent reunions by Iggy and the Stooges, Gang of Four and Mission of Burma. It doesn’t have to be pathetic.

What plans for the future of Dino? Where do you go now?

We tour till the end of August, then we’ll probably consider more touring. I dunno… there is no master plan for a new album. Perhaps we’ll talk about it; perhaps we won’t. We never were particularly ambitious and aren’t keen to complicate what for now feels very natural and simple. New albums bring new problems and, almost always, condescending reviews and lukewarm response.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

In the year Two Thousanddddddd...

... all the music ever recorded will be on your iPod... whether you want Mr. T.'s Rap Song or not!

So saith Sid Karin:

We've hardly seen anything of what's going to happen. That's what I think people miss. There seems to be something in the human condition that sees whatever is at the moment and thinks that it is going to be that way. It's sort of the same as thinking we're on a curve that has been very steep and has now leveled off. But the rate of change is actually increasing, not decreasing.

I was reading somewhere that someone soon will have terabyte-scale disk drives in laptops, and therefore in iPods and things like that. Well, no one's going to buy a song when they've got a terabyte iPod. They'll buy all of recorded music. We haven't come to grips with that. It's not just that all this info is available on the Web to anyone who can run a browser. It's much greater than that. You will soon buy a license to all recorded music for all time -- it's going to be trivial to give everyone their own copy of all recorded music.

More choice quotage:

You say that you think the recording industry has its head in the sand?

Up to its ankles. People started exchanging MP3s independent of whether they had a right to or not, several years before iTunes came along and provided what the industry says is the only legitimate model for it. During those years of exchange the recording industry got exactly zero revenue (from it). Zero. That doesn't seem very smart to me. They could have gotten a huge amount of money excepting some losses. Free downloads don't work. It just takes too much time and energy. And a dollar a song is too much. You need to be able to populate things cheaply.

So there's a Russian music site called "All of" First, it sells you music by the megabyte, not by the song. And it allows you to choose the resolution. For a typical song, the price is about 16 cents. That's really cheap. One day in the office I wanted to listen to some things I had, but they were at home. But wait a minute, I thought. A song is sixteen cents. What do I care? Then I realized that there's not a whole lot of point in moving music from one computer to another. It's easier just to pay for it again. The conclusion is that when the price is low enough, people will buy more because they'll buy multiple copies. It's easier than doing anything else with it. That's the kind of thing that the recording industry has missed. They've missed that a bunch of people download free music they already own for one reason or another. And they miss the whole idea that the credit card companies have, which is that OK, we'll get 5 percent fraud or whatever, so we deduct that 5 percent from our profits, add it to our cost base, and we've got a pretty successful business here.

The recording industry suffers from what we often see in the computer security industry: people reject anything that doesn't work 100 percent of the time under all circumstances. Well no one lives that way, why does your computer have to work that way? You probably wouldn't ride a motorcycle with bald tires and no brakes at 150 mph down the freeway. But you might a new motorcycle with a helmet cautiously on the freeway. You're less likely to get killed. The recording industry hasn't figured that out.

Cool New Releases

My weekly Forced Exposure harvest is late... note that the best prices I've found for the more popular new releases (relatively speaking) is at - the Sons and Daughters Repulsion Box CD is $10 vs. Forced Exposure's price of $13.00. If you buy a lot of CDs this adds up and I usually use FE for the more obscure releases that I'm unable to find elsewhere. Both companies I have had little problem with shipping, etc.


SONS AND DAUGHTERS: The Repulsion Box CD (DNO 066CD) 13.00
"The Repulsion Box is an enthralling set of ten songs that further explore the quartet's queasy addiction to murder ballad lyrics and celebrate the vital, unpolished sound of a band who can nail a track in a single take. The music, no less compelling, scratches and screeches around them, recalling the Velvet Underground in its eerie minimalism and Smog in its bluesy urgency. The band traveled with producer Victor Van Vugt (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, PJ Harvey) to Conny Plank's Studio in Cologne, a cult music institution, where Brian Eno recorded Before And After Science, Kraftwerk made Autobahn and, recalls Scott with some relish, Ultravox recorded Vienna. The result is an album that sounds thoroughly alive, despite its themes of death and repulsion."

EMI 28908CD

BARRETT, SYD: Opel CD (EMI 28908CD) 16.00
UK version (with bonus tracks not found on the domestic U.S. version), of what is largely considered to be a companion album to The Madcap Laughs and Barrett. Opel is a 1988 Harvest/E.M.I compilation consisting of unreleased and alternate versions of previously-released songs, recorded by former Pink Floyd frontman Syd Barrett between 1968 and 1970, at Abbey Road. Production credits also include Roger Waters and David Gilmour. While Barrett only released two albums in 1970, the existence of unreleased studio work was widely reported. After years of demand from Barrett's considerable fan base, Opel was compiled and released. Despite its positive reviews, it failed to chart. 'The tone is very much in keeping with his pair of solo albums; ragged, predominantly acoustic, melodic, and teetering on the edge of dementia. At the same time, it's charming and lyrically pungent, with Barrett's inimitable sense of childlike whimsy. The production is generally more minimal than on his other albums, even bare-bones at times, but if anything, this adds to the music's stark power.' --All Music Guide. Includes six bonus tracks: "Gigolo Aunt (Take 9)," "It Is Obvious (Take 3)," "It Is Obvious (Take 5)," "Clowns And Jugglers (Take 1)," "Late Night (Take 2)," and "Effervescing Elephant (Take 2)."

GI 053CD

MOBIUS BAND: The Loving Sounds of Static CD (GI 053CD) 12.00
"After three years of wood-shedding in the pine forests, electronic rock trio Mobius Band is trading up. Ben Sterling and Peter Sax have migrated to Brooklyn to 'alleviate the boredom' -- a move that has also lent a confident sheen to their modern backwoods aesthetic. Accordingly, The Loving Sounds of Static presents ten of the most sincere and refreshing songs in recent memory. Is it electro-pop fortified by expansive guitars and Noam Schatz's hard-hitting live drums? Or is it rock augmented by striking electronic textures? Either way, between the whimsical buoyancy of 'Twilight,' the rocked-out, Mick-Jagger-death sequence of 'Radio Coup' and the title track's driving urgency, this is the rare sort of record that aggressively cross-pollinates genre and idea into a seamless new model."

ZEN 12154EP

TREVA WHATEVA MUSIC: We Have The Technology 12" (ZEN 12154EP) 7.50
"We kick off with 'Dustbowl,' a funk-rock-disco hybrid that's the perfect soundtrack to being chased out of Buttfuck, Illinois by a bunch of crazed hicks high on PCP. Following this up appropriately enough, we have a smoky, Brazillian-esque torch song. 'Music's Made Of Memories' combines a decidedly blue mood, lush atmospherics and a whimsical female vocal to deliver something a little deeper than maybe you'd normally expect from Mr. Whateva."


CHARLAMBIDES: Our Bed is Green 2LP (TLR 025LP) 32.00
"The debut release from Texas' favorite psychedelic voyagers, on vinyl for the first time ever. Originally self released as an ultra-limited cassette way back in 1992, it was later reissued on the band's own Wholly Other imprint in a much edited form. Here the original cassette track list and sequence is restored, minus two cover songs. A historic milestone in the story of the contemporary underground, as well as an extremely mind-melting dose of outsider drone/folk/psych in its own right. The duo of Tom and Christina Carter here managed to wrap their fingers and minds around a whole slew of sonic vibrations, while at the same time clearly charting their own low-key and unique course. Tapping into about every slant of damaged Texas exploration, this massive recording flows through haunting lo-fi slow motion folk, full-blown, fuzzed-out spacerock, beautiful outsider acid psych, fizzing drone experimentation, loose blues forms and plenty of higher-minded guitar improvisation, all with a certain shining wide-eyed bliss. And yes, Christina's voice was just as jaw dropping then as it is now... while worlds away from Charalambides recent outings on one level, those sonic tendrils trace a clear line back to the sweet seeds planted here... pressed on two massive slabs of audiophile 180 gram vinyl. Hand numbered edition of 800 copies."


KUUPUU: Illusia 7" (TLR 027EP) 7.50
"Vinyl debut from Finland's finest fairy goddess, Kuupuu (aka Jonna Karanka). Beautiful extended tracks featuring piles of instruments and noisemakers all played by Jonna. Side one chugs along like a shimmering cosmic freight train, rippling with layers of hovering drones, looped and layered vocals, pitch ebb & flow, and loose tinkling percussion -- a disorienting & lifted vibration frozen in space. Side two begins with sparse moaning vocals, klang, & bells, and slowly shifts into a stunning melancholy lo-fi folk/psych downer, with slow and beautiful vocals and plucked acoustic guitar."

UT 023

UGLY THINGS: #23 MAG (UT 023) 6.95
"Ugly Things #23 features a huge cover story on '60s punk R&B savages The Belfast Gypsies a.k.a. 'The Other Them.' We also continue the epic saga of The Misunderstood along with feature stories on New England rock'n'rollers Mike & The Ravens, garage maniacs Mott's Men, Ken's Kesey's Merry Pranksters, and The Checkmates from Singapore. There's also exclusive interviews with '60s Brum Beat heroes Mike Sheridan & Rick Price, French beat icon Ronnie Bird and a previously-unpublished conversation with the late, and totally bloody great, Keith Relf of The Yardbirds. Plus dig the Sacramento '60s punk scene (Ikon Records); Argentinean beat chicks Las Mosquitas; Chubby Checker's lost psychedelic album; a tribute to Charlie Crane (The Cryin' Shames, Gary Walker & the Rain); Michael Yonkers; and a Phil Milstein essay on Nervous Norvos and the Afterlife of the One Hit Wonder." 192 pages!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Required Reading: Alan Greenspan is the father of Electroclash/Psyche-folk

Rock as Real Estate

Is Alan Greenspan the Father of Electro-Clash?

Weird War
w/Anna Oxygen, Guests
Thurs July 21, 7:30 pm, $9/$8 w/club card.

[Editor's Note: As former leader of both Nation of Ulysses and Make-Up, Ian Svenonius has left an indelible mark on the face of contemporary independent music. With his Seattle return this week as the frontman of Weird War, we thought it a perfect opportunity to make him a guest music columnist. Take it away, Ian....]

As steward of the Fed, Alan Greenspan has set radically low interest rates in recent years, fueling gonzo speculation of real estate. The subsequent inflation has transformed cities across America and displaced millions of poor people. As a parallel, we have witnessed the rise of two paradigmatic indie-music movements in the last five years: "electro-clash" and its successor, the semi-acoustic/psychedelic "folk" revival—movements based on the absence of space. While the two forms are distinct and even aesthetically in opposition to each other, they seem to share a common genealogy: These are the fraternal twins of Alan Greenspan.

read the rest; discuss. This will be on the test.

They have more hair than Pixies, at least...

Veteran Seattle rock act Mudhoney are in the studio working on their first album since 2002's 'Since We've Become Translucent'.

The as-yet-untitled album is expected to be released early next year.


Friday, August 05, 2005

Director's Series: Vol 4-7 Coming Out

If you liked the Chris Cunningham and Spike Jonze and M. Gondry DVD compilations, Palm Pictures has more coming out - here's the line-up:

Mark Romanek
The effort that put him on the map was the incredibly progressive space video for Michael and Janet Jackson: "Scream." Madonna, Beck, David Bowie, Johnny Cash, REM, and Lenny Kravitz have all shot videos with Romanek and they are all included here.

Jonathan Glazer
Did you see Sexy Beast? Brilliant film. Check it out. You've also probably seen his work for commercials shot for Levis, Guiness, and Volkswagen. They complement his work for Radiohead, Jamiroquai, Blur, and IGN favories Massive Attack.

Anton Corbijn
Probably best known as the black and white photographer who shot a lot of early U2 (including the famous Joshua Tree album), Corbijn has also lensed videos for Nirvana, Metallica and most recently The Killers.

Stephane Sednaoui
"Give It Away" is widely argued as the video that put the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the map. Thanks Sednaoui! U2, REM, Neneh Cherry, Alanis Morrisette, and Bjork just to name a few also got in on the act.

Sun Tzu Said:

To go one thousand li without fear, go through unpeopled ground

(Chapter VI, The Solid and The Empty)

Celebritty Reedin' Lisstz

Tom Wolfe, Bill Clinton, Erica Jong, Michael Ian Black in New York Observatory...

here's Wolfe's and Black's entries:

Tom Wolfe, writer, I Am Charlotte Simmons
Maggie: A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane. If Stephen Crane hadn’t died at the age of 29, he would have been remembered as a giant. I’m literally rummaging around my desk to see what exciting things I have here …. The Abs Diet by David Zinczenko. Here’s the thing: I never really had sharply defined abs, even when I was an athlete. I always wanted them to look like a cobblestone street. That was before six-packs; they didn’t have six-packs, but they did have cobblestone streets. My wife said, “You have cobblestone streets, but they’ve been paved over.” Here’s a real barn-burner: Religion and the Decline of Magic by Keith Thomas. This has to do with what I hope to write: a history of the last 1,000 years of the world in 98 pages. It was going to be 100 pages, but 98 sounds so much shorter, don’t you think? No one is interested in this book but me. There’s a book called Status Anxiety; the fellow has kind of a French name. [Alain de Botton.] That’s another thing I want to write— a book about status ….
And Hemmings Motor News, which is a thick periodical—this one I’m looking at is 672 pages. It’s full of ways to either fix up old cars or do things with new cars …. This is all part of my desire and attempt to, as they now say, pimp my ride. I have a Cadillac DeVille, which people think of as a stodgy old-people’s car, but I have the intention to show people that this is a sensational old-people’s car once I pimp it.

Michael Ian Black, actor, Stella
I just finished reading My Friend Leonard by James Frey. If you like books about recovering alcoholics who befriend gay Mafia kingpins, this is the book for you. Also, just picked up In the Little World: A True Story of Dwarfs, Love, and Trouble by John Richardson. The title pretty much explains my interest in this book. And a friend just gave me the Richard Grieco biography by Grace Catalano. So I’ll be holed up in my Hamptons estate for weeks to come with that.

Behind The Music: Gary Higgins

Small town newspaper writes about the indie superstar suddenly in their midst - E. L. Lefferts writes:

At first, Mr. Higgins worked odd jobs. Then he met Carol Hotchkiss, and the couple married in 1979. A son, Graham, followed, and now a dad with responsibilities, the musician put his guitar in its case and got a job in 1982 with the state of New York. He became a registered nurse in 1988, and now oversees community-based residences for mentally disabled people in Columbia and Dutchess counties.

The years ticked by, and the Internet came into households. That was quickly followed by eBay, and without any prompting by Mr. Higgins, "Red Hash" slowly took on a life of its own. Because it was a short print, the album morphed into a highly desirable collector's item, fetching more than $200 a copy.

Unbeknownst to Mr. Higgins, a completely new generation of folk listeners came to consider the album "one of the pinnacles in lost-soul beardo psych/folk records," according to Brian Turner of WFMU, a New Jersey-based alternative radio station.

Tracks on "Red Hash." such as "Thicker Than a Smokey," "Down on the Farm" and "Lookin' for June" became popular in Europe. Then one day, a European gave American recording artist Ben Chasny a copy of the album, and he did a cover of "Thicker Than a Smokey" on his next CD.
"Last summer, I got an e-mail from a guy who works in a New York City record store asking for an interview," Mr. Higgins remembered. "I have no idea how he got my e-mail address, but the guy got in a car accident and the interview never took place. But that was kind of the beginning of the energy buildup."

About two months passed, and a letter arrived in the mail from Zach Cowie, an employee at Drag City, a well-respected independent label out of Chicago that produces alternative music. The letter invited Mr. Higgins to give Drag City permission to re-release "Red Hash" on a CD.
Mr. Cowie had been searching for months for Mr. Higgins. He'd sent letters to hundreds of Gary Higginses across the country, and clocked hours dialing those listed in Connecticut telephone directories.

"I read the letter, then I sat on it for a few days," Mr. Higgins recalled. "Then I thought, 'What have I got to lose?'"

In rapid order, Mr. Higgins sent the master tapes to Drag City. Then Ben Chasny invited him to play a tune or two during a set this winter at Tonic in New York. "It was really uplifting," Mr. Higgins said. "Everyone knew me. I got a standing ovation when I walked on and off the stage, and they were all in their 20s. It was jammed and you could hear a pin drop."

Wanting to let them know what was happening, Mr. Higgins scrambled to find the original gang of six musicians who helped him cut "Red Hash." Everyone had taken up new lives. Jerry Fenton was teaching at Harvard. Jake Bell had disappeared into Russia.

Mr. Higgins despaired of ever finding cellist Maureen Wells [now Jones]. "I looked through every single Wells or Jones in the local phone books," he reported. "I figured she was in New Mexico. Then a mutual friend said they knew where Maureen's daughter works."
Through the daughter, Mr. Higgins learned that Ms. Jones was living just down the road in Torrington.

On July 23, Drag City booked everyone who could be found from the "Red Hash" originals into Tonic in anticipation of the CD's release July 27.

The gathered musicians, all 30 years older, looked out at the expectant faces in the packed crowd, and when they strummed the first note, the place went wild.
"I said to this guy from Drag City, 'Where were these people 30 years ago?'" Mr. Higgins recalled.

"They weren't born yet," was the record producer's reply.

Reviews of the CD have been "incredible," Mr. Higgins said. The "Red Hash" revival is the talk of almost every major publication, including The New York Times, which is slated to run a piece on it in its Sunday edition within the next few weeks.
Read the rest in the Litchfield County Times

Vinyl Mine companion piece