Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Mas tequila

Dear Sammy Hagar,

Reading reviews of the Van Halen reunion tour online, I am reminded of a question that has haunted me since my youngest days: How do you feel about tequila? I mean, seriously, do you like it? I've always wondered...

The Ghost

Sonic Youth On Tour

Not much information, but Sonic Youth is coming around to the Black Cat on August 11. It hasn't been announced on the 9:30 Club site yet, but the schedule is up on SY's webite. Last time I saw Sonic Youth was at Smith College in 1998, right before 1,000 Leaves came out. Their whole setlist was made up of songs off of that album, and it was before most people had heard it (not that great an album, either, if I remember correctly). I think that was the last I had anything to do with Sonic Youth, until I was jonesing for Dirty a few months ago and listened to it on the train ride to Philly. Treated me well. The new album's got some great reviews, and so did Murray Street before that, so I may have to make a return to one of my favorite bands from my high school days.

Monday, June 28, 2004

William Wegman is kicking himself right now...

For suburban housewives, this is the biggest thing since they started putting DVD players in minivans. And they said there could ever be another book as good as Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Mmh. This is craptastic.

Via the Associated Press:

Singer Celine Dion and photographer Anne Geddes are working together on the "Miracle" project, a collection of songs and images honoring "the moving, tender and unbreakable bond of love that exists between a mother and her baby."

Do you feel that? The air... it's alive with crapticity! It sings with crapulence.

We have to be careful about this, because meetings this cosmic usually end up creating black holes and other stuff we still don't truly understand. Let's say you have a time machine: do you prevent Anne Geddes and Celine Dion from ever meeting, or do you stop Marvin Gaye's father from getting a gun? It's a tough choice.

All that glitters is go-o-old/ Only shooting stars break the mold

Dear Advertisers,

OK. I get it. You think Jet's "Are You Going to Be My Girl?" and the Vines' "Ride With Me" are two neat-o tracks. And obviously those bands will sell their songs to anyone with a heartbeat and a checkbook. But can't we just call it a day, move on to other songs? These two bands are kind of sluts for commercials. It all makes me nostalgic for Smash Mouth's "All-Star."

The Ghost

Friday, June 25, 2004

Put me in, coach...

Aw Jesus, according to a statement on the upcoming baseball park tour, Bob's turning into John Fogerty:

As Bob Dylan said, "What we aim to do with this tour is hit the ball out of the park, touch all the bases and get home safely."

Get it? He's playing in baseball parks.

It takes a leap of faith to get things going...

There's a petition online to convince Bruce Springsteen to headline a concert at Giants Stadium on September 1, the same day as the Rebublican convention in NYC. Also, on his website, Springsteen's posted a speech by Al Gore. So he'd be open to this concert idea, right?

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Ah, puns...

I get it. Dashboard Confessional. Honda Civic. The Civic Tour. It's... brilliant! Ah, sweet synergy. Maybe his next tour can be sponsored by Big Whiny Pussy Music, Inc.

Bob and Willie

Here's a recently announced show from the 9:30 Club website...

THU. AUG. 12
Bob Dylan and his band & Willie Nelson and friends
w/ The Hot Club of Cowtown
@ Ripkin Stadium • Aberdeen, MD
6:30pm Doors. Tickets on sale Saturday, June 26 @ Noon through Ticketmaster ($46).

That's a minor-league baseball stadium between DC and Baltimore. Sounds like a cool show.

I'm a wheel/ I will turn/ on you...

I was so excited for the new Wilco, I actually walked up the escalator at Tenleytown/AU. The long one, too, and these escalators are major league. I was so excited that after I bought it, I kept yelling "Tweedy!" on the train after every song. "Tweedy! Don't mind ridin' on the passenger side!" Good times. These are some things I think I think:

All in all, it's not Yankee Hotel. Yet. But it's an album that probably needs to be excavated, slowly. Things aren't going to sink in for a while. The guitar work, that change in "Spiders," those are shiny sparley ornaments... the real gettin's are underneath it all. And that's fine, because I don't have much else to do. It'll keep me off the streets, and I've got a whole summer to burn.

Come Pick Me Up

I went to a piano bar in Georgetown a few nights ago, Mr. Smith's. The piano player was a youngish guy, and he had a list of songs he could play, but it was the usual suspects: "Brown-eyed Girl," "Sweet Caroline," "I'm a Believer," etc. But one listing popped out:

"Come Pick Me Up (Ryan Adams)"

This is hands-down my favorite Ryan Adams song (solo, at least) off of my favorite Ryan Adams album. It's ended up on countless mix tapes. But among those other songs, at a piano bar, it just seemed odd.

Come pick me up
Take me out
Fuck me up
Steal my records
Screw all my friends behind my back
With a smile on your face
And then do it again
I wish you would

So I gave him five bucks, and he played it, and it worked. It's one of those small joys, you know, finding a guy in a piano bar that'll play an obscure, fucked-up song you love. Keeps things interesting, keeps the boredom at bay.

Voting for Bush

By Patton Oswalt...

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

A double kick drum by the river in the summer...

So it seems that this year's Lollapallooza has been cancelled. Which is a shame, because the line-up looked pretty great, and was pretty original in that it was a travelling two-day festival. On certain stops, the first day would have Sonic Youth, PJ Harvey, and Morrissey; the second day had the Flaming Lips, Wilco, Polyphonic Spree, and TV on the Radio (as well as... ahem... the String Cheese Incident). All that, and it was $50 for two days. Me, I blame internet piracy.

I remember when I was a kid, I used to wait all spring for the line-up announcement. I'd hear rumors, and I'd make up my own fantasy line-up, within reason of course (Neil Young and Fugazi were always up there). The one in '93 was the first show I was allowed to go to on my own (the first show I actually went to on my own was 10,000 Maniacs a few weeks before. Nothing says youthful rebellion like a good rendition of "Campfire Song"), although I had to leave before dusk (I missed Alice in Chains and Primus, so I wasn't too broken hearted). The '95 one was absolutely amazing: Sonic Youth, Hole, Elastica, Beck, the Bosstones, with Superchunk and Helium on second stage. And Cypress Hill was there too, but I forced myself to sleep through it; now that I think about it, I've seen Cypress Hill live twice in my life... how did that happen?

It's too bad that it got cancelled, because for all its crappy henna tattoo stations, $4 waters, and hacky sack vendors, it did at least try to open up some impressionable ears and minds. Well, there's always file sharing.

A Ghost is For Sale at Best Buy for $11.99...

... but they do put their genre as "country" online, which is like calling Strom Thurmond a racist because, you know, enough time has passed, right? There's a good, if un-blown-away, review on Pitchfork. (How do you like that? First I talk about buying CDs at Best Buy, yet then I bust out the online indie-snob bible. I am the king of dichotomy! You cannot figure me out!)

There's also a story about Wilco putting out a book, with a 40-minute CD full of improvisations from the last two years in collaboration with a book. Which... I'm worried about. First of all, and most importantly, how does this affect the organization of my CDs? I mean, is the packaging going to make it difficult to keep the CD with my other Wilco CDs? Can I split the book and CD up, file each with their respective media? If I do that, will the whole concept of the book/CD be rendered null and void? This is what I worry about.

Also, it just sounds kind of fruity.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Oh Lord I want to be in that number...

Why is it that the only song New Orleans-style brass bands play is "When the Saints Come Marching In?" It's like that jerkoff on your freshman floor who would break out a guitar anytime someone was around and play "Stairway to Heaven". And do they have to wear beads? Do people from New Orleans look at people wearing beads like DC residents look at people wearing FBI sweatshirts?

I tried to see the rapper from Laos at National Geographic, but 20 minutes after he was supposed to go on, some Latin band started playing. And I'm not big on "talking" to people, so I never found out what happened with him. Godspeed, my Notorious L.A.O.S.

I did see Ted Leo on Friday. He was backed by only a drummer and bassist, which was interesting, and he played a lot of new songs. It was hard to tell what they sounded like, being that the sound was crap. But that's to be expected, being that the show was set up in the suburban canyon of a strip mall. But "Shakin' the Sheets" (the title song off of the upcoming album) did rock my socks, as much as my socks could be rocked while standing in front of Romano's Macaroni Grill.

Fort Reno started on Saturday and I caught two of the three bands. The Fatales... first they sounded like the Strokes, then Interpol, then they had a song that sounded like it was left off of Radiohead; so they couldn't even be consistently derivative. The Carlsonics... it was the first time I heard them, and I liked. They were pretty raw, and they didn't have too much bullshit. Kind of a "shake your ass" band for white indie kids. I mean, I'm not rushing out to buy the album, but it was good enough.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Wakka Wakka?

A guest reviewer, my good friend, and bitter and murderously jealous arch-nemesis, Mr. Sheena Easton:

"Lovely legs, there are- what a big black mess, what a hunk of love-"

Words that evoke good sex and summer days. Easy pervasive giddiness, due mostly to Kim Deal's lethargic delivery and her primal bass line. A perfect song.

"Love, crash, bang, wakka wakka, bam thwok-"

Makes me think more of babysitting sticky little kids, trying to get them to run around before naptime. Forced hurtful giddiness—a reference that would slightly shame Fozzie Bear with its... un-invited-ness?

I heard thirty-seconds of the Pixies's new song the other night. It debuted on i-tunes, and since I don't drink Pepsi by the case anymore, I didn't have any credits for free music. So instead I clicked on the sampler—and what I got was hard to process. About a year ago, Kim Deal lifted the world with Title TK—just an awesome record. This was different.

My feeling: it's an ex-Mrs. John Murphy's interpretation of what the new Pixies should sound like, and that's telling. The creative silence from a certain other band member is deafening. It booms: DAMAGE CONTROL. Now I don't know what happens inside the band—but it's more or less inferred that one man's pride tore the original band apart. The most sensationalized casualty of his hubris: Kim Deal's incredible songwriting. So what better way to christen the band's reunion than popping an old petty tumorous zit? Thus, give Deal a shot at redefining the new band's sound.

If she had pulled another 'Gigantic' or even 'Silver' out of her pocket—I would have been applauding it, saying "crazy move, but you nailed it." Instead... we get the Pixies through an awkward 'kookie' filter. Deal is not the 'kookie' one—she's the grounded one. Remember, the Breeders went platinum.

There's only one man who has a vision for the and—who has a grip on its sound,who can pull them all back up into outer space like those new-fangled space elevators are puported to do. And that man is singing back up on BAM Thwok.

I haven't really commented on the song, because the jury's still out. I might even have to dismiss the jury. And I guess I should repeat something: I've only heard thirty seconds of the song, and eat my words three square meals a day.

Fete de la Musique DC

This weekend (actually Friday through Monday) is the Fete de la Musique DC and of all the acts in the 32 page long schedule, the act I'm really looking forward to the most is Tou Ger Xiong, billed as a "Hmong Rapper from Laos." Sounds hot; I can say I was into this guy before he got big. And what am I looking forward to least? Anything acapella. Also, Fort Reno is having their first concert of the summer, with "college rock faves The Carlsonics" (Digital City's words, not mine) and Ted Leo's playing for free tonite (does he live here now? Maybe behind the stage at the Black Cat).

Thursday, June 17, 2004

The End of Music

From, er... Rush and Milloy at the New York Daily News:

Hip-hop Hilton

We hear that Paris Hilton's much-awaited debut album will include hip-hop tracks - potentially featuring rapping by the heiress herself.1

Rapper/producer Lil Jon, who struck gold with Usher's "Yeah,"2 has signed on to produce tracks for the project, which Paris has said is tentatively called "Screwed."3 (The album reportedly includes two songs by JC Chasez.)

According to a source, their collaboration was born one night while the two were seated with Hugh Hefner at a Los Angeles club. Paris leaned in and began to freestyle-rap in Lil Jon's ear, and the rapper was sold.4

"We just gotta get in the studio, and I'm gonna basically deal with a club vibe," he said. "And make it super sexy, because she's such a supermodel."5

If readers don't recognize Lil Jon's gritty voice from "Yeah," they may remember him from his spots on "Chappelle's Show," where he spoofs himself.

Paris' reps said she is in negotiations with a major label and has laid down a couple of tracks. To work with Lil Jon, she'll have to go to his studio in Miami.

"She just wants to be herself, but on the record, be sexy, and make people dance," he explained. When we asked about the possibility of Paris busting some rhymes, he said: "We're mainly concentrating on the singing. But who knows? We might come up with some whole new other s-, too."6

We hope you do, Lil, we hope you do.

1 "Much awaited"? I'm sorry, by whom? Gay men and kitsch lovers of the year 2015? The "Wicked Cheap" section at Newbury Comics? The oversized industrial furnace in Paramus, NJ,that will melt down all the unsold copies?
2 First Usher, now Paris Hilton? If there was a game show called "Shitty Music," Lil Jon would be your center square.
3 Ah, subtlety. I pray thy death was painless.
4 Sure, right. "Freestyle-rap in his ear." Soon he's going to help her "lay down tracks" in her "private studio," and later will collect his "gold record" down at the "local free clinic." But there'll be no confusion when it comes time to schedule a "video shoot."
5 As long as we're just throwing words like supermodel around, I'm an astronaut! I'm a ring-tailed lemur! I'm a duvet cover!
6 Just like how Louis Pasteur discovered the Pasteurization process. I believe that was his exact quote, too. No, seriously. I'm really looking forward to this now.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

The new Counting Crows?

From The Onion:

Mugger Can't Believe Crap Victim Has On MP3 Player
BOSTON—Following the successful mugging of a jogger in Franklin Park, petty criminal Derek Mesker announced Monday that he cannot believe the shit he's found on his victim's Philips 20GB MP3 player. "3 Doors Down? Maroon 5!" Mesker said, scrolling through the songs. "The new Counting Crows?! Man, I'm glad I pistol-whipped that motherfuck." Mesker added that the first thing he did was toss the device's "gay-ass" teal neoprene case.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Concerts for Kerry

Of course there are no DC shows, and the site seems to be in the larval stages, but Concerts for Kerry is a top-drawer idea.

Band Name of the Year

Don't know a lick about their music, but damned if this isn't my new favorite band name.


From the chat today about the AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival, SilverDocs:

Friday night will be a terrific, FREE celebration of film and music and the newly revitalized Downtown Silver Spring.
We start at 7:30 and the evening unfolds as follows

at 9:00, Dick Rude's brand new documentary feature about Joe Strummer, the former Clash front man and his come-back tour withe the Mescaleros.

Following the screening, TED LEO AND THE PHARMACISTS will take the stage.
They will play a full set, and we hope, an encore.

A Ghost Is Born

Wilco's on Letterman tomorrow, Wednesday, June 16th (which is also Bloomsday, if you didn't know, and I'm looking at all of you who wear Mardi Gras beads on St. Patrick's Day, ya idjits). Only a week until the new album.

Top 50 Moments

Do I even want to look at Rolling Stone's 50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock N' Roll? It's just going to piss me off, right? Like, one of them's going to be "Gwen Stefani Breaks Up with Tony Kanal: Half of the No Doubt catalog inspired" or "Strokes Buy Used Amplifier, White Light/White Heat Reissue: Charged to dad's credit card." Because they always pull bullshit like that, just to piss us off.

You Can't Always Get What You Want

"You Can't Always Get What You Want" has to be one of the greatest songs ever. I mean, you have the chorus, the French horn, the acoustic, the piano, "At her feet was... a footloose man." Just... perfect, pretty much. And now it's being used in a goddamn Coke commercial.

So who do I blame for this?

Look at the Stones. You basically have the Glimmer Twins—Mick and Keith—and you have Charlie. Now Charlie is one of the coolest bastards ever. He's almost too cool for school, more worried about his jazz, his antiques, and getting those goddamn gofers off his English manor, because they're destroying the rose bushes, and dammit if he's got the duke and duchess coming over in a few hours. Anyway, then you have Keith, who is perhaps the coolest MFer ever. I mean, hands down, it needs no explanation.

This leaves Mick. I don't blame the Stones, I blame Mick. He's the one who went to the London School of Economics, the one who was knighted. The problem with Mick is, he stopped worrying about being a sexy beast a long time ago. He used to be all about sequined jumpsuits open down to the navel, taking naked pictures of Marianne Faithfull, and riding giant inflatable penises onstage. Now, it's all Coke commercials and other business deals, and he's stuffed his giant inflatable penises in the closet, right behind the board games. What happened Mick? You were the street fightin' man, the inflatable cock rider.

Hey, you want to sell "Start Me Up" to Microsoft? By all means; take "Harlem Shuffle" and half of She's the Boss too. Sell "Suck On The Jugular" to Checkers for all I care. But "You Can't Always Get What You Want?" Don't we own that somehow? Can't we keep that sacred? I'm sure he slipped it in under Keith's radar, like "Hey Keith, boy Machester United's playing for shite, remember all that coke in the '70s, yeah, I sold one of our greatest songs to Coke, I mean it was about coke, so anyway, check's in the mail, ta-ta."

I miss the inflatable cock, Mick.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Ray Charles

Ray Charles, R.I.P.
See, this is something that hits me, a lot more than Reagan. Never really listened to him, have no albums, but he just looms over music. Wasn't he on the Cosby Show once? Or was that Stevie Wonder? Whatever; Ray never supported the Contras and lied to Congress about it. As far as I know. As an added bonus, he knocked Reagan off the front page of, so God bless you, Ray. (The only Reagan news I want to see from here on out is if Johnathan Silverman and Andrew McCarthy steal the body and pretend he's alive. That would be awesome.)

Fort Reno

Fort Reno schedule is finally up; I'm looking forward to that Ted Leo/Evens show, even if it's the same night as The Streets at the 9:30.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

The Poodle Hat Tour

Who the absolute fuck is paying $40 to see Weird Al? I mean, I know it's the 9:30 Club, and it's a smaller venue than say, Arnold's Park Amusement Park or the Orange County Fair, but was anyone clamoring for "An Intimate Evening with Weird Al?" Does he get all deep and tell stories? "I believe that you don't write songs, but you channel them. The songs exist outside of ourselves, and people like me, we're just conduits for them. Anyway, I wrote this one while eating at Sbarro. It's called 'Girls Just Wanna Have Lunch'."

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