Thursday, March 30, 2006

What's the story morning glory?

What a goddamn great morning. Just good news on top of good news, all involving old friends. Seeing one said friend get mentioned on the Tony Danza Show. Took my time getting to school, listening to Kelly Clarkson and Superchunk (there's a mix tape waiting to happen). It's real nice out. And just when I thought things couldn't get any better, the lunch special is a hot dog bar. Fan-fucking-tastic.

Monday, March 27, 2006

No, I don't think so...

That new LL Cool J song? Not as good as the word on the street would have you believe. I'd even say it doesn't measure up to his shark movie a few years back. The whole thing feels like a warmed-over "Goin' Back to Cali". And who says "You know what this song needs? Jennifer Lopez" besides an label accountant?

And the video? Oh goddamn that video, suffering from this year's Hype Williams Memorial Overused Effect in a Hip-Hop Video: letterboxing with more visuals replacing the black bands at the top and bottom. (R.I.P. fish-eye lens.) It's worse than Headline News.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

I was walking along some downtown avenue, I was whistling new song to myself...

I got lucky and without any work on my part, I had a ticket in hand for the Ted Leo show within three hours of the opening band hitting the stage. Getting something without work, on its own, is the best. Getting Ted Leo tickets is something else entirely.

Reliable sources had it that TL's vocal chords were in the weeds, and there was a possibility of karaoke. This never came to be, and my lyrics sheet for "Bridges, Squares" ended up under a hundred pairs of feet on the way out, the bittersweet closing shot in the otherwise awesome but esoteric movie called My Friday Night. I could blame it my blood alcohol content, but I didn't look at my watch once, I shook my junk, and I sang my ass off. From beginning to end, one of the best shows I've seen in a long time; at the very least, the show that's made me the happiest in years.

I bitch about crowds at shows. Years ago, walking out of I Am Trying To Break Your Heart I promised myself I'd see more shows. Apathy, school, and poverty have put a stake in the heart of that promise, and the shows I go to usually end with me muttering to myself about "those goddamn fucking scenester douchebag cocksuckers." Last night was a whole other story. Maybe it was where I was standing, but people seemed to be there to see Ted, and not each other. Why is this novel? For the full hour plus, people moved, people sang, people pumped fists (an underrated move). Someone yelled out for Thin Lizzy, and that I like. I could go through the set list, but honestly, I forget and I don't care. You know and like Ted or you don't; you know what you're getting. And sometimes you get more, plus a free drink. Hats off to Ted, making show-going bearable again. We'll see if I go back to my bitching after the Magnolia Electric Company show later this week (Vegas odds have the line 2-1 on "damn straight").

Friday, March 24, 2006

I never travel far without a little Big Star...

Seven years later, the world is ready for the Big Star tribute album. This album doesn't feel like 1999; with a few exceptions, it looks like a mix tape I'd have made in 1995. And you know what? That's alright with me. Viva la mid-90s.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Now the box sets are moving the mall...

Maybe I should wait for more details, but a Replacements box set is some of the best news I've heard in a long time. The DVD alone should make it worth the price of admission.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

We are reaching a new low...

You debate whether or not to even post this shit some days. Then you just do it: From Pitchfork's South by Southwest Photo Diary (subtitled: "Do we even care about music anymore?"):
Ted Leo/Pharmacists
The Parish, 214B East 6th Street
4:00 p.m. Thursday

Arriving at the Stereogum party just as Ted Leo and his Pharmacists prepared to take the stage, I ran into everyone in the world, and ended up spending most of the time backstage with Scott Allen from Thunderbirds Are Now. I did get to watch Ted for a couple of songs, but come on-- there was a Whole Foods spread back there, and a fucking couch, and a fan! Later I embarrassed myself by not recognizing John Vanderslice (to his face), drunkenly filming a segment for "New York Noise" (please don't ask-- no really, please), and shaking Har Mar Superstar's hand, which might have been anywhere. I will say, for the three songs I saw Leo perform (and the rest that I heard from various other spots), that band just gets tighter by the day. Its synchronization was superhuman.
Then you debate whether or not to make the obvious, cheap, immature comment. Then you do: No word on the rumor that the third part of the photo diary will just be Pitchfork correspondents with indie-rock cock pressed to their waiting, smiling mouths.*

By the way, the best way to describe my outfit today? "Ill-fitting." So that's my day.

*I gladly welcome a better line. 'Cause one is out there and it's just escaping me. You know how some musicians like Keith Richards and (ahem) Tori Amos believe that they don't write songs so much as the songs - as if the songs were sentient beings - come to them? This joke didn't come to me. It was the last "joke" in the bar at last call, and even then, it took a little more than gentle persuasion.

Monday, March 20, 2006

And thinking about the scene, do they just want to be seen?

Who replaces the Karl Mueller in Soul Asylum? I normally wouldn't care, but turns out it's the legendary Tommy Stinson. Always good to know Tommy's drawing a paycheck. Seriously, I think I've said it before, but it just makes me think maybe everything could work out. That, and the Soul Asylum song "Just Like Anyone"? The one with Claire Danes in the video? Underrated. Two minutes of pop goodness, even if it does center around a girl going to the bathroom. Okay, maybe it's not perfect...

Plus, Roxy Music is reuniting, and Eno's on board.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

You're poison in a pretty glass...

See? I'm not too old to go to shows on Wednesday nights. I may be old enough that I have to cut out before the encore, but I still made it out. So: the National. There are fewer songs prettier than "Wasp Nest" and "All the Wine," and you know what? They work live. Like firearms. And as a whole, the show was pretty great, with the live versions of songs from Alligator absolutely killing the studio versions. They alternately reached heights of beauty that most of the audience didn't deserve* and occasionally fell into monotony. So God Bless the National.

Baby Dayliner, on the other hand, was an absolute trainwreck of metrosexuality and irony. One guy, dressed up, crooning along to karaoke. It actually forced me to the downstairs bar, where I lost a dollar on pinball due to an improperly repaired bumper. So you owe me a dollar, Baby Dayliner; I'll spot you the 35 minutes I'll never get back.

*Seriously, why the fuck do you people drag yourselves out to the Black Cat on a cold night to spend $12 on a ticket and drink overpriced beer just to talk over the band? I know I'm broken-recording it here, but Shut. The. Fuck. Up.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

They faked their way through 'Fairytale of New York'. When the band stopped playing we howled out for more...

Perfect moment: The Pogues are playing the outro of "Fairytale of New York" and Shane starts slow dancing with the female singer (supposedly the banjoist's daughter). Fake snow starts falling. Now that's a moment.

I'm on a roll. Neko sold out (great album, by the way) and I have an extra ticket, so hopefully I can trade that for another ticket to a sold-out show. It worked once. National's tomorrow at Black Cat.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The best looking boys are taken. The best looking girls are staying inside...

Belle and Sebastian fallout:

1. No, the concert didn't "move" me. I was unmoved. But the band did have great energy.

2. Speaking of: yes, the Washington Post is right; once upon a time, Belle and Sebastian was a mysterious band, and shy as only Scottish bookworms can be ("a reputation for being awkward and introverted"). I should have remembered. I didn't. They are much like Rachel Leigh Cook at the end of "She's All That", glassesless and tarted up.

3. Inspired, I listened to If You're Feeling Sinister last night. Forgot that it's a real piece of work. I remember getting it years ago and thinking "Where are the fast songs"? 'Cause that's what I liked because I had a car back then and I liked to open that baby up (as much as a '89 Civic hatchback could be opened up). Now, as I face the mortality of my 20s, I really appreciate the album. That and a nice warm afghan.

4. B&S comic book. I prefer Magic Whistle.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Bring your plate to the metal face and get your food chewed...

Familiar formula: [X] tours, completely avoids D.C.

Variable: [X] = Dangerdoom.

In all fairness, there are only six dates, so much of the country has been completely avoided. But still. By the way, I'm no math or science major, so that formula may not exactly be, as they say in the sciences community, "airtight".

Monday, March 06, 2006

You're a honey, with a following of innocent boys...

Sunday night. 9:30 Club.

New Pornographers. Too drunk and too much yapping between songs. I miss Neko. They have the ability to teach the world to sing, but not Sunday. One, I think their set up and the sound mixing meant a lot of their sound got swallowed up by the space. Two, they just didn't seem to bring their A game.

Belle and Sebastian. They played close to two hours, which is a long time when you only really enjoy Boy with the Arab Strap and When You're Feeling Sinister (and some singles), and even then in small doses. So I can't consider myself one of the weeping masses. Those are some twee bastards, but I'll give them this: they are one tight band. I recognize they were good - great even - but it just didn't move me.

No post-show chocolate milkshake from Ben's afterwards. Traded my extra ticket for a ticket to the Pogues, so that worked out better than expected.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?