Friday, April 29, 2005

Two words: United States/ no love, no breaks...

Two things from my walk home last night:

1. Sticker on a car near my apartment: "Boycott Jane Fonda/American Traitor Bitch". Above that was a Franz Ferdinand sticker. Make of that what you will. Someone in my neighborhood is carrying some deep-seated anger from the Vietnam era against an actress, but also enjoys a bit of twee Scottish neuvo-new wave music.

2. Spoon's "I Turn My Camera On" is impossibly sexy. There. I said it.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Brown eyed girl, I turned my back on you, now it's lonely...

If you can't wait for tomorrow to get your Springsteen fix, Yahoo Music has a streaming video for "All I'm Thinking About".

It's a surprisingly delicate song, with Bruce singing a falsetto that's on the verge of breaking and a lightly strummed guitar. It sounds like there's some organ in there, and the backing vocals that sound like little kids is a nice touch. But for such a small song, it has no right going past the four minute mark.

Also, tomorrow is Bruce Springsteen Day on VH1 Classic, because VH1 has that kind of pull. It can just name days for people. And the government, by law, has to recognize it. This is how powerful VH1 is. I think Daniel Patrick Moynihan is responsible for this, when he was on his way out of Congress, drunk with power, and just didn't give a damn anymore. I don't have to go to school and you don't have to go to work. Or to the arcade or the bushes outside that girl's apartment, or however you spend your day. It's like making Sandy Koufax pitch on passover: not cool.
VH1 Classic has declared Tuesday, April 26, to be "Bruce Springsteen Day" to mark the release of Devils & Dust, with videos, concert films, and "new interview moments with Springsteen himself exclusive to the channel." On Monday, April 25, VH1 Classic will play the new "Devils & Dust" video every hour at the top of the hour.

You come around soundin' 1972/ You did nothin' new...

New Sleater-Kinney single. It's a kick in the stones, just great rock and roll, and 5 secs shy of 5 minutes at that. That's a lot of stone-kickin'. Is Janet Weiss one of the top 10 drummers around right now? She's probably in my top 5. Listen to that opening, it's "The Popular Music"-esque in its sheer sweetness. She has to be the top female drummer at the very least, severly kicking the ass of Georgia from Yo La Tengo and whichever Donna is behind the kit.

Friday, April 22, 2005

You're living all over me...

Look! Extensive Dinosaur Jr tour dates! And they're coming to D.C.! You don't understand, Lou's back in the band!

"You want some payola? Here's some payola, motherfuckers!"

Here's a great review (on Pitchfork, of all places) of a future obscure classic, Robert Pollard's Relaxation of the Asshole. This reminds me of a CD copy of an LP of friend of mine had, where some blaxploitation star (was it Rudy Ray Moore? Maybe.) described, for a good twenty minutes, the myriad ways he would make sweet love to his lady. He dropped the f-bomb a few times in this description. The second side/track was his lady explaining ways in which she would return the favor. I need both this album and the Robert Pollard album in my collection if it is to be worth anything aesthetically.

Also recommended, along the same lines, but a bit classier: Jon Wurster's comedy albums.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The cult continues to grow...

Bob Mould adds his voice to the choir of praise for “Since U Been Gone.
In past interviews, you've mentioned an inclination towards playing some top 40 stuff. Any mainstream songs out there right now that you think are good?

"Since U Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson. It's a swift kick in the balls kind of pop song.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Like that? I combined "iTunes" and "Tuesday" to form one word. I think the advertising term for it is "fucking sweet."

I went apeshit on iTunes today, and by apeshit, I'm talking $1.98 and three songs. You heard me right. I was feeling my oats.

Joe Pernice and Jose Ayerve: "Moonshot Manny"
I don't think this is worth the $0.99 and substantial risk of identity theft caused by using iTunes on a wireless network. I don't even know if it's worth that much even if you're a hardcore Sox or Pernice fan (and if you're a hardcore Jose Ayerve fan... well, I don't know what to say. Who is he?). But it's probably a good representation of what it's like in Manny's head after pounding a Tequiza.

The Kaiser Chiefs: "I Predict A Riot"
Yeah. Uh... Remember when all the bands started copying Stone Temple Pilots? That was wierd, right? So I'm not wrong, that when bands start aping Franz Ferdinand, it's odd. We've reached the point where the bastards are having their own bastards, and the birth defects are kicking in. This is mood music for robot sex: lifeless and unorginal. Not worth the money paid, and it was a free download.

Ryan Adams: "Let It Ride"
The opening line is something about the Cumberland River and "I was leanin' on the Delta Queen". So...there's that. Who's the bigger fake cowboy: Bush or Adams? But I did buy Adams' fake-cowboy B.S. back in Whiskeytown, so why shouldn't I buy it now? Still, the chorus, like many latter-day Adams work, is weak. I mean, "Let it ride/ Let it ride easy down the road"? Other than that, it's got lap steel!

Monday, April 18, 2005

This mediocrity is taking control of me...

The Washington Post unintentionally nails the existential sorrow that is Maroon 5:
"The hits aren't accidents. The chorus of 'She Will Be Loved' is as catchy as pop radio gets. 'This Love' will have rush hour commuters tapping their steering wheels for a generation."
And isn't that what every artist strives for, being able to help to bridge-and-tunnel folks pass drive time easily? I'm pretty sure that's why Dylan went electric.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

I'm not listening when you say... goodbye...

If you're like me and you wonder "Hmm, what the new Ashton Kutcher movie, A Lot Like Love, has got to offer," I think a look at the soundtrack can give some insight. First three songs: Third Eye Blind's "Semi-Charmed Life", Smash Mouth's "Walking on the Sun", and the big one, Eagle-Eye Cherry's "Save Tonight". No, really. And the movie is coming out this year. And it's not staring Freddie Prinze Jr. (Although it looks like they borrowed the same generic-title-generating device that worked its magic on Freddie's movies.) I like "Semi-Charmed Life" as much as the next guy (and maybe more), but I think if the same amount of orginality went into cobbling together the soundtrack as writing the movie, you have to figure that script is going to be absolutely cracklin', 1998-style.

And I'm sorry, but Chicago? Fucking Chicago?

On a semi-related note (that note being "creative black holes"), anyone hear this Marc Broussard guy? I was wondering when the guy from Blueshammer would take it solo. Good luck to you, Marc, and I hope you never lose those Cotton Pickin' Blues.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Hello Tomorrow

Can someone explain this Pitchfork review of "Hello Tomorrow" to me? The only part I understand is: "Otherwise, I think I might actually like this song." Beyond that, it's like one of those oil paintings done by an elephant. I swear these guys are sliding slowly into the soup of their own mind and reading their reviews prepares me for senility.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Babies havin' babies...

At least Kevin Federline's sperm is working. Unless the IRS now considers sitting on a couch and screening calls so he doesn't have to talk to his other baby momma as an actual job. Well, future baby, at least you'll be pretty. Other than that, you have to look forward to a broken home, a low IQ, and probably a fucked up name, like "Kitchenette" or "Briven" or "Slalom". I think babies whose moms smoke while pregnant would have better odds of growing up alright.

And I'm alone without the sun...

Once upon a time, I had the For Squirrels album, and I really liked their single, "Mighty K.C." They were a minor source of fascination in '95 or '96. For Squirrels, the story went, signed a record contract, recorded an album, had a bright future, et cetera et cetera. Then in '95 their tour van got in an accident, killing two members.

Which made "Mighty K.C." mighty creepy and a lot haunting. Coming out after the accident, and since the singer was one of the two victims, the song is absolutely harrowing. Most of the song rumbles in a descending minor key. Images of people lying in hospital beds and burnt hair. It gets worse when the melody changes and they sing "Ship me off to the morgue/ I'm ready to be buried alone." And it might sound like this is Alice in Chains or metal, but really, the analogs are probably R.E.M. and Jeff Buckley (more musically than vocally). The real kick in the stones comes during the jangly uplift of the chorus: "And by the grace of God go I/ into the great unknown/ Things are gonna change in our favor." By that time, if the song hasn't killed you, the only thing that will is a lack of oil or an electrical overload to your motherboard. Great song. I downloaded it off iTunes and it still packs a punch, like a cocktail made by a teenage bartender.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

I wish I was like you/ easily amused...

Aint It Cool News has an early reader review of the new Gus Van Sant movie, Last Days, based on Kurt Cobain's suicide. And it doesn't sound good.

Whenever I wake up...

I must be getting older because I buy songs I hear in commercials. (And conversely, listening to rap makes me hungry for hamburgers.) There's been a small dull roar online about a Spike Jonze-directed Adidas ad, with music by Karen O. and Squeak E. Clean (whoever the hell he is). And now you can get the song, "Hello Tomorrow", at iTunes (I'm such a fucking corporate shill). The full version is dreamy, meandering, almost pointless... perfect for the theme of the ad. The only problem with the full version is that it just kind of... ends. There seems to be no grand plan, just a "Well, might as well end the song here." Which is kind of dreamlike, but I always wake up frustrated. And sometimes covered in blood not my own.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

America, we are so strong!

Four months from now, at the MTV Video Music Awards in Miami, P. Diddy will disembark from a white yacht, in a white suit, where a glassy-eyed Carson Daly, in a subtle Freudian move, will stick his microphone as tantalizingly close as possible to P.'s lips and will repeat what he spent the past four days rehearsing: "Who do you like for best video tonight?"

And P. Diddy will take a moment, and says "First off all, I want to give much love to our boys overseas." Then he will kiss his fingers and point at the sky. "But to answer your question, it all comes back to 'America We Stand As One.' And I told you I want to be referred to as Lord Chester Autumnbottom from now on, but I'll let it slide this one time." And Carson Daly will smile his awkward smile, says "Thanks, Lord Autumnbottom," and release just a little bit of urine into his drawers.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Get Yer Ya-Yas Out

Unless there's time-travel technology I'm not aware of and these are the Rolling Stones of 1971, the news that the Stones are going to play Fenway is not as cool as Springsteen at the same venue. Hell, I don't even think it's as cool as Jimmy Buffet at Fenway (no, no, no... now I'm just putting the "r" in "retarded"). But they could prove me wrong. They could always break the giant inflatable cock out of storage. Now that would get those complaining, blue-blood Fenway neighbors to drop their monocles and cry "Oh my stars!" Because that's how they respond to shocking stimuli. I've seen studies.

But most likely? They'll tape it, put it on DVD, and sell it at Best Buy at inflated prices. Snore. It's only rock and roll and they like it because people keep paying exorbanent prices for shit like DVDs and babydoll t-shirts.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Takin' turns dancin' with Maria/ as the band played "Night of the Johnstown Flood"...

Bruce is hitting the road again, in support of Devils & Dust. According to his website, he's going to play smaller venues and completely solo.

Friday, April 01, 2005

This wheel's on fire...

I think we have a plot for Miss Congeniality 3: Rolling with Heat:
Ms. Wheelchair stripped of title for standing up

Janeal Lee, who has muscular dystrophy and uses a scooter, was snapped by The Post-Crescent newspaper standing among her high school math students.

"I've been made to feel as if I can't represent the disabled citizens of Wisconsin because I'm not disabled enough," Lee said Thursday.

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