Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 12.21.01

I swore off all music magazines, because there’s a foreseeable future in which reading about music would cost more than the actual new music, but Louise brought me an Uncut, and i broke down to buy the other zines that i’ve skipped in the past couple of months. What did i miss? So far, it seems to be nothing. A few lists, an article that i rather dig that happens to be online in expanded form, some reviews that bug me with sloppiness (my own greatest fault, but i hold print to higher standards, as they are professionals, sort of) and some articles on artists that i have no interest in whatsoever. Reading about movies is more interesting in magazines these days.

Uncut’s year end music list baffles the hell out of me. I cannot believe anyone is that crazy about Americana/ alt-country yet would allow Bonnie Prince Billy to trickle in as an honorable mention. Idiosyncratic choices are great in a list, and it’s hard to begrudge someone his favorite record, but in trying to figure meaning into the order of the listing, i’m ready to throw up my hands and say that there’s been an error in the printer, and they meant to amend the intro with, “And now in no particular order, despite the fact that they are numbered…” but there’s still the Beta Band Hot Shots 2 (my favorite of 2001) shut out into the honorable mention category. Is it really that inferior to something like Zoot Woman? or Reveal? Or Le Tigre? Or all of that fire and brimstone Jesus apocalypse claptrap that would be a lot less funny and affecting if they had to live in the thick of people who accept this literally?

Like on the ILM thread of the Pitchfork Top 20 of 2001 list, someone pointed out that all lists made by committees suck. (Actually, i rather like the Pitchfork list, even though i don’t care for either the Microphones or Fennesz. Oddly, Prefuse 73 seems cool though. Perhaps it’s all in the beat? More on that meaningless distinction and that list later perhaps.) It might not even be the committee aspect that fucking up the Uncut list, because it feels like that in addition to writers with extremely disparate tastes worked their way to an ugly compromise, a lot of them forgot the first two-thirds of the year. A significant number of the albums were reviewed in just the previous issue, and have only three and a half stars and vague write-ups. To shoehorn pleasant, but lacklustre efforts by both ex-Pavement members to release albums in 2001 into the list, as well as a fistful of amendments to the legacies of ’80s bands seems…. diplomatic. Are Best of lists supposed to be exercises in diplomacy?

Uncut’s not being diplomatic in unabashedly proclaiming Ryan Adams is a genius and Gold makes him big enough to stand among giants. I genuinely like Ryan Adams, but this is bullshit. Grandly partisan proclaimations, and patronizing inclusionary tactics do not mix.

And it’s absolutely perverse for Uncut to pick some okay power-pop albums for their list, but to overlook completely Rings Around the World, not the best SFA album, but one that had some critical acclaim (even in their own magazine) and some singles that were rather well liked by some of the public. I’m also wondering where the hell is Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci. (Yeah, i know. I forgot to put them on my lists too, but many of my recent albums are not in my possession right now. Stupid oversight.) Uncut adores many of those New Acoustic bands, so why not one that existed prior to the flush of that movement? Did they need the room to keep up appearances on the running infatuation with Shelby Lynne?

Also, it’s not that assuring to read proclaimations like N.E.R.D. In Search of… is “this year’s Stankonia” It puts me on guard that they are trying to get people to grab the one hip-hop album that they might have bought last year on the basis that it sounds the same, but it doesn’t make a case any innovation or quality that distinguishes it as unique. I’m still confused by the whole synth versus live instrument version of In Search of… Cannibal Ox, Missy Elliott, and Jay-Z seem to be on everyone else’s lists too. So where the hell is the new Mystikal? No, i still have only heard that one single, but it is too timid to wait to see what is on everyone else’s list to cherrypick which albums will wind up on the list of a magazine that doesn’t specialize in that branch of music.

Actually, i do see that it’s probably another problem, of Uncut being two music magazines, with Simon Reynolds versus nearly everyone else. Looking at his personal list, i feel like he’s the only one trying to pay attention on staff that is attempting to pay attention on what is going on in music in general, rather than fixating on micro-genres. A couple of his choices must have catapulted to the top when some others made grudging acknowledgements of the world outside the obsession of ’70 America. No, i still don’t want to get into his list, as it’s a lengthier read.

I want lists to mean more than this. If they let each writer pick his own three faves, it would feel a lot better of a read, and not a desperate effort to out-hip me with a long list of contrived leftfield picks passed off as definitive.

Skykicking reacts to the Simon Reynolds’s Best of 2001 list (i’m still reading it, and still have nothing coherent to say right now.) It’s the more recent piece about Mystikal and other post 9/11 songs that i’m more enthralled by, because “Bouncin’ Back” is still one of my favorite songs of 2001, no matter how little i identify with the blind patriotic fervor that 9/11 has evoked. It makes me cringe to acknowldge that the song’s sentiment is the same as fuckhead Dubya, as i want no identification with that twerp at all, but it’s hard to deny.

Somnolence is giving pop a try at year end. I forgot about that DJ Pied Piper song, quite strangely. I have to admit that i’m not fond of it either, as it reminds me of a commercial jingle for some reason.. particularly Burger King. Flame broiled greasy red meat and it just seem to go together.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 12.16.01

Louise is here for Christmas, or will be in a few hours rather. It will be a most crowded house, with much to do, so it seems that there will probably be a two week break from updates to this site, until December 30th.

Oh, fuck it…. who am i kidding? Most likely i’ll be posting anyway, although much shorter and more infrequently. If i stopped altogether i’d have some overwhelming feeling of guilt that i was not living up to my own expectations. This site is one of the few times that i’ve set a deadline for myself, and lived up to it. Regardless of quality, the desire to write several times per week words that i can stomach the public seeing has been a good exercise.

I haven’t listened to much music in the past few days, aside from Christmas music. Being a sentimental fool, i rather like Christmas music, even though all of this talk of snow and cold has always been at odds with my Christmas experience. It’s currently 25 degrees Celsius outside.

It very much bugs me that i was not able to think of a song by Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci this year that really stuck with me. They are one of my favorite bands, and the album was damned pretty. For some reason it hasn’t sunk its hooks into me, as it seems more one of those sentimental albums to comfort you, rather than one to shake up one’s world.

The list of songs that snagged me are a mere trickle now, and i know there’s many more, but they are lost to my impatience to get this task over with….

  • Cannibal Ox “Iron Galaxy” I don’t think that i could take a whole album of this. Often i listen to music for pure enjoyment. While i feel challenged and stimulated by Cannibal Ox, it knots my chest and leaves my head feeling numb. It’s not a pleasurable experience. No matter how impressively these sounds evoke feelings, i’m too uncomfortable with the feelings to be able to sustain listening to more than a few minutes at a time.
  • The White Stripes “Hotel Yorba” it’s a silly little song that i managed to play after the wedding.

JustJoshin posted a link to an interview with Mike Azzerrad

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 12.12.01

Yep! There were indeed very obvious songs that i overlooked.

  • Pulp “Weeds” Rewrite or not, i like it. Have been reading a lot lately that it’s the weakest song on the album, but there’s the rockist in me that still embraces a guitar in an nonconformist anthem. Silly overage teen. There’s also something about the whole album that invokes the the spirit of Julian Cope during the Peggy Suicide trilogy.
  • Pink “Get this Party Started” It’s still hard to see how long i’m going to like this song, but as much as i hated Pink, which i don’t think crept into my weblog very much thankfully, it has to be have merits, time dated or not. It’s not likely that when the song wears out, i will go back to hating the poor girl.
  • The Strokes “Late Nite” Now that the misguided attempt insist that 2001=1991, and there will not be another Nirvana, there will not be another punk explosion, there will not be a phoenix rising from the smouldering ruins of indiedom, the Strokes wrote themselves one nice little song there. Incidentally, i don’t think there’s anything dead about the indie scene, and only in the rarest of cases do i get into the breakthrogh of an artist. It feels like many of this propsed crossovers are purely sacrificial, and these indie “saviors” are merely playing part in the pagan ritual of the Killing of the King. Oh, and i am still sticking with my new Nerves soundalike idea, and not Ramones or VU.
  • Kylie “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” Louise sang it when she was distracted a few times, and considering that she vocally protested that she hated the song, bristles at mainstream radio, and owns no modern pop albums, the fact that she hummed that damned na na na, na na na na is a telling one. It doesn’t really bother me, as wordless things like that hook me usually.
  • Air “Radio #1” When Louise was trying to show me how to use WinMX properly, i must have downloaded this song seven times, as i kept screwing up, cancelling, and starting over. (That cram drum nonsense at the end seemed essential to have at the time.) It became a station ID for the radio in my head in a way, through sheer repetition.
  • P Diddy “We Ain’t Going Nowhere” this is still mortally embarrassing, as it’s not on the list because it irritates me, but because i was really getting into the spinal jigsaw bass line this song before i know who it was, and i fear downloading it again, because it just might not have worn out its flavor, with a chance that it was not a fit of madness… something i already know is not true.
  • Of Montreal “Penelope” One of the most irritating songs of the year without a doubt, but one that i’m rather fond of. It embodies some of the worst elements about the studied quirkiness of Elephant 6 and crams it all into couple of minutes of painfully awkward music that touches me somehow, because there’s an inherent dorkiness in my soul that feels quite natural.
  • Bjork “Hidden Place” It sounded quite good on a tinny little radio in Louise’s kitchen, and was surprised to delicately produced of a song could still translate to something essentially lo tech. I look forward to Bjork songs more than actively listening to them.
  • Mercury Rev “Nite & Fog” Louise hates this one, as she says it sounds vaguely like the Pet Shop Boys. Damien hates it because he’s in a rage over the Neil Young/ Kermit the Frog voice in a lot of indie right now. I didn’t know what to do, as it was just the new Mercury Rev album to me, and it evoked fierce reactions from people whose opinions i respect. It became a song that i listened to very quietly and in secret, as i didn’t want to hear Pet Shop Boys referenced again.
  • Mya, Pink, and Aguillarra “Lady Marmalade” Heh. I saw the movie again a few weeks ago on the flight to New Jersey. I still like it. This song itself is so over-the-top that to deny it exists is like pretending the debacle in Florida of the 2000 Presidential Election ver happened and George Bush is really the legitimate president of the United States. It also happened to have one fo the biggest What the Fuck moments in video this year, edged out in my mind only by the Basement Jaxx’s evil monkeys. It cheers me somewhat to see that it’s not on anyone’s Five Best Single on ILM, but regardless of quality, i have this perverse desire to cherish the memory of an abomination that i cherish far, far more than something as mundanely obscene as the “comeback” of Michael Jackson.
  • Bonnie Prince Billy “Rich Wife Full of Happiness” No! This has nothing to do with me getting married! Do not even get into the lyrics! However, the first time i listened to this album, and that ELP keyboard came on in those first seconds, i cracked up, as the album wore me out that first time. It’s such a warm and profane song… and i just found out that i’m not the only one who thinks so…

and yep, i’m still thinking…. January was a long, long time ago.

I haven’t been able to see PTTL for such a long time because of my fetish for using Netscape, but i realized that if i just used IE for a little while, i could catch up on the past few weeks of updates. There was a new show review of the Strokes and a review of that Emperor album that I’ve been curious about ever since Darnielle borught it up weeks ago. They even have the link for the faves of Year from the Aquarius Records folks.

Something very strange is going on with MTV2 today. I don’t think that my complaints had anything to do with it, but suddenly there’s bit more variety going on today. Bob Dylan and Wings have both been played, along with some early ’90s pop, and most weirdly, a video that used to get played a lot in the past on M2, something by the English Beat, which almost seemed like the signature video of a certain programmer, as it didn’t fit into anything else or reference anything. It was just there, like a modern screw imbedded in a lump of coal straight out of a mine. Someone had to put it there. apparently there’s something up, and perhaps the days of subliminal themes for hours at a time will be revived.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 12.11.01

The next list was to be the songs that annoyed me most in 2001, but that’s actually harder for me to do than my favorites. Besides, the best singles thread has sprung to life on ILM. These here are not exactly the best singles, but the 2001 released songs that affected me most. Sometimes they are not even songs that i even particularly like, but they stuck. Oh, and there’s a completely artificial rule tht only one song per artist can fit.

  • The Beta Band “Quiet” it’s not really the best song on Hot Shots 2, but i played the hell out of it because there’s something about the song’s lyrics, melody, and structure that reminds me eerily of a song that a friend of mine years ago. However, most inexplicably, almost in a schizophrenic fit, it’s the break that starts at 2:29 in the song that would run through the head as i walked around the city, and from that moment on out, the nearly jamlike end of the song would be looped in my head. And despite the the assurances of the love of the people and the sunshine can fin you, i don’t think it’s absolutely a good thing. Life-affirming album yeah, but misanthropic? Yeah, even still.
  • Wilco “Heavy Metal Drummer” Lots of folks are insisting that Yankee Hotel Foxtrot no longer belongs on anyone’s year end list because it shall be officially released thi April. This is still the first song that i heard from the album, and it was the easiest one to track down, as i think that i had it even before i left here for Cardiff. It completely misled me as to what the rest of the album sounded like, but it might be the song that i’ve actually played the most out of any song on this whole list, as until i figured out i could download the rest of the album, it was on repeat until every noise could be bled out of it, every electronic squiggle.
  • Radiohead “I Might Be Wrong” Sorry, but i actually like it better than “The Pyramid Song” and i very much love ancient monolithic cultures and porpoises and alien greys. Guitars are the enemy right now, as their familiarity is a crutch for humans, but now i have the post-apoclyptic Johny Cash “I Walk the Line” in my head, and cannot exorcise it.
  • Mystikal “Bouncin’ Back” I’ve only had this song for a couple of weeks, so i worry whether the novelty will eventually wear off. However, it still is my favorite song of the moment.
  • N.E.R.D. “Lapdance” After all of my reactionary shit, I have to pick it as one of my year’s favorites. It was betwen this and “Truth or Dare” and for the reality that this song actually was the single and that i was wrong about twice, it wins. The instrumental even still works.
  • The Shins “New Slang” I cannot figure out what is so familiar about this song, but it haunts me, and brings me back to ’76, listening to my parents’ old vinyl. It’s not the future of music, but there’s some kind of nostalgia in it that brings tears to my eyes at every juncture, not only to my folky youth, but to my miserablist, unromantic tweens in Hammond.
  • Airport 5 “Total Exposure” I have yet to hear the rest of the album, but i don’t need to know that i love this simple song. In fact, i haven’t heard this song in two months, and don’t even have a copy anymore. However, I can hear it right now in my head, with that simple attack on the acoustic guitar, and the reverbed out vocals that has another of those simple vocals lines that drifts through the cravices of my brain like smoke through canyons.
  • Super Furry Animals “Juxtaposed with U” I still don’t know how i feel about the whole album (positive, but how positive is the question,) and this song is not exactly what i want from the SFA. However, there’s no way that i will be able to think back on the summer of 2001 without this hare-brained song at the front of the soundtrack of those memories.
  • Jay-Z “H to the Izzo” Am still not a real Jay-Z convert, and do not believe he’s the 8th wonder of the world, it’s too fun to ignore the translations to his slang and imagine that he’s flipped and speaking utter nonsense, not poorly disguised personal assassinations. Vamoose sonofabitch!
  • So Solid Chorus “21 Seconds” Holy shit! I hated this song, but mostly because i didn’t understand it, and only heard the fucking chorus! Only recently did i catch that the concept is that each MC only has 21 seconds to do his rhymes and get the hell out. People were talking about it, so i downloaded it to see if it still bugged me, and it floored me to find what i thought was the whole of the song looped ad infinitium was only a brief break. It also didn’t help that they were trying to up the McCauly Culkin irony fact by asking, “Did you see me in the video ‘Home Alone’?” a movie that i’ve never liked. Anyway, it’s a time capsule song.
  • Ryan Adams “Nobody Girl” Despite how the bluesy numbers irk me, the gradual build of this particularly song from a bedside Nashville Skyline impersonation to a overblown fiery bridge-burning epic rebuke just grabs me. I like Gold, but now am sure Heartbreaker is better, but this song might have deserved to be a centerpiece of a shorter, more focused album.
  • Stephen Malkmus “The Hook” this was by far my favorite song off the album, and quite possibly the stupidest one, about goddamned pirates. For a moment i thought that i had stepped into that parallel universe of Alan Moore’s Watchmen
  • B.R.M.C. “Whatever Happened to My Rock and Roll” THIS is one of the songs that pisses me off! I hate it! It has a lot of the snotty, trashy, gragey pseudo-indierock attitude i like about this style, BUT it’s that Bob Seger bullshit. Just take those old records off the shelf indeed. I could accept them as a perfectly acceptable faceless alternative to a mixtape for a pigeohole sized genre, and really dig them, but this attitude about moaning about what rock and roll should be (something from times past) puts me into battle mode.
  • Gorillaz “19/2000” I still like this song, but the original is far slower than i remember it. the keyboard riff still works for me, but the laziness of it all bugs me now, because the song seems unfinished. Let’s pretend it’s the hyped up remix, and it’s bubblegum with those sparkling crystals in it.
  • Basement Jaxx “Where’s Your Head At” So it’s not really one of the best singles of the year for me, but it’s one of my favorite videos, and if i did a list for videos, it would be much the same as this list. I swear that i dreamed that video once years ago, and the image of those human-faced monkeys sticks with me long after i see it, sometimes days afterwards. The faces that they make when they go berserk are perfect. The director deserves an award for that monkey magic.
  • Weezer “Hash Pipe” Almost none of the weblogs that i read even mention Weezer anymore, except occasionally to bash them. I like bashing Weezer too. However, i feel like they are being slighted in the year end list, because many of the folks who praised them so highly at the beginning of the year have now swept them under the rug. In retrospective, the only thing that could have made this song better is that if he was singing about his crack pipe.
  • Outkast “The Whole World” I’ve spent so much time in the past couple of weeks trying to figure out what’s so good about this song, that i really don’t give a shit anymore. It’s worth pretending that I’m just caught up entirely in their charisma, and evaluation on why i like the music is irrelevant. I only caught on today that it’s a post 9/11 song, in that there’s references to the people laid off at airports, black boxes, dismal news, debates… lyrically it might be one of the strangest responses imaginable to 9/11, introspective, optimistic and funky. It certainly is leagues more thoughtful and aware than that shit that’s being hammered out by Alan Jackson and Charlie Daniels, and damned catchier. Maybe i’m misinterpreting the words again, but if i’m not, i’m stunned by how quickly they can crank out a response, and how of the moment some songs really are, although this one is vague enough and good enough not to seem instantly dated… yet.
  • Belle & Sebastian “The Loneliness of the Middle Distance Runner” Change my mind. Think my favorite of the B&S songs released this year would be this one. Sentimental choice because i managed to see this band with Louise only days after arriving in Cardiff, and it still doesn’t seem quite real. Why this one over the other ones? Uh….. that weird watery guitar solo. Wish i could remember which knobs are turned on the amp for that, as my brother took that amp years go.

Damn. i know that i am forgetting very obvious songs, but i shall save them for tomorrow if they cross my mind over the course of today.

then again, i didn’t even bother with most pop songs last year, and still haven’t dug up all of that nonsense. Only now have i dug up Daphne & Celeste “UGLY” and it makes my head hurt with the helium chipmunk voices and poppy (ha ha. used the word again) cheesiness, but it’s so dementedly spiteful and absurd that it makes me smile. The banjo leaves me floored in shock. Weirdly, this is kinda what i thought the Moldy Peaches would sound like….

Also managed to hear some songs from the Circulatory System, the band that was once the Olivia Tremor Control. I very much liked them. It sounded like an overcharged hippie commune anthem. Now that most of the critical accolades have been removed from E6 projects, i can feel free to enjoy them with less shame. I knew most of it was not original and the playing was quite sloppy, but once it’s not being praised to the skies as the salvation to all, it’s music that i can enjoy. Only heard a few, but it’s less wanky than OTC, but still chaotic. Good.

Just read some weird news from the SFA list about the Super Furry animals signing to Beggar’s Banquet in the U.S.? What does this mean? I thought Rings Around the World was already released here?

MTV2 is getting even worse. Since my return to the States, i’ve noticed that they sometimes play the same few videos every hour on the hour. Most often it’s the token pseudo alt-indie bands too, so it’s quite baffling. To see “Last Nite” and “New York New York” played every hour was bad enough, as it robbed them of any charm in the element of surprise.

It also doesn’t help that mother MTV seems to have the notion that it wants to play lots of videos too right now, and they are often the same ones with teen pop thrown in. There must be someone who works there that believes in such a thing as saturation. Freeform…. freeform… freeform… freeform….

There’s too many guest appearances by the Neptunes in videos. I saw one, the same guy on the Jay-Z Unplugged, in a N.O.R.E. video yesterday. Yes, i’m supposed to know his name but i don’t. They will disappear soon. It’s just too much.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 12.10.01

Until i get out of this writing slump, I’m just going to keep making lists of music somehow, or until someone can enforce a moratorium on weblog lists.

For trying to figure out my favorite albums of the year, i keep thinking of dumb guidelines that exclude some albums that i like, and include others that i’m not all that familiar with. It’s cheating, of course. I’m quite fond of a lot of albums that are not all that critically acclaimed, and even without fear of being unhip, i know that what i’m fond of is not necessarily the most brilliant and groundbreaking albums. They are albums that belong in my collection, but wouldn’t bother to put on a comp tape for someone that i don’t know, because they might not forgive me. I also wouldn’t feel compelled to grab them by the shoulders and say, “You have to understand and love this album!”

  • Young Fresh Fellows/ Minus 5 Because We Hate You/ Let the War Against Music Begin I forgot that i even had these records until Paul returned them last week. Both discs are firmly entrenched in indie music for the sake of indie music, made for hardcore fans of a genre, possibly even just themselves, rather than a general audience. Although i still have not started buying the Big Takeover again yet, I imagine that it fits firmly into the tastes of their readers, and would be praised in Neumu if it had been launched sooner. Anyone feel free to take offense, because i didn’t bother to research this. The YFF disc is still the better of the two though.
  • The Shins Oh! Inverted World This might be at the top of my official Best of list, if i didn’t have that spectre of self-consciousness somewhere in me. It’s another one Paul borrowed, and it sounds far better than when it was acquired this summer, but very, very ’60s. Suspiciously ’60s.
  • Ryan Adams Gold I’m quite fond of this album, but even before i heard the whole of Heartbreaker without distraction, i was having my doubts. Now dwelling on the whole Heartbreaker clenches it. Gold should have been re-edited, and had the songs from the bonus disc replace some of the more Stonesy numbers with genuine generic R&B caterwauling on the official record.
  • Weezer Weezer I don’t hate it after all. I just don’t understand the worship of Weezer.
  • N.E.R.D. In Search of… I’ve decided that it irritates me too much at times with the sophomoric humor. It’s also forced me to plan to do a favorite singles of 2001 later on. I wanted to contribute to someone else’s list, but my list will not be critical enough.
  • Beulah The Coast Is Never Clear in Basement Life, a site i never read until recently for no good reason says it sounds like Wilco’s Summerteeth more than E6, the first thing that crossed my mind when i put it on. Sometimes they sound more like the Eels, but the E6 aesthetic has been abandoned, although they just don’t have the menacing psychosis of Jeff Tweedy and the Beulah singer stil songs like an indiepop guy, as opposed to a straight pop guy. the songs are very pretty and well-crafted, but i have not developed any emotional attachment to them yet. It’s a big batch of nice songs, but only a couple really grab my attention, because the arrangements or production make some of them sound too similiar.
  • Gorillaz Gorillaz I had mixed feelings about the album at first, then decided to take the plunge, after crawling out of the pool, i feel the scum on my body and wonder if someone pissed in the pool because i smell funny now. I still like the idea, and have no problem with Albarn, but a lot of what won me over now seems slow and leaden to the ear. “19/2000” is on rotation on MTV2 still, and the go-nowhere video in an apocalyptic wasteland sums it all up. I still like the remixes tacked onto the end of the album, so perhaps they ought to provide another album, entirely of remixes, free of charge, and say that they were just kidding around the first time.
  • Stephen Malkmus Stephen Malkmus It’s trapped on a harddrive that is not hooked up to anything right now, but as much as i liked it, i merely liked it. I refuse to believe that I’ve outgrown Pavement, but I’m not sure whether Malkmus did either, no matter how unhappy he was in the end of that band.
  • Belle & Sebastian Jonathan David Kinda obvious, as i liked it, but it’s not setting the world afire.
  • Belle & Sebastian Waking Up to Us I thought it was the best thing that they have done since their third EP, but now i’m so riddled with doubt and suspicion that i’m not even sure what band that i’m listening to at times… other than the fact that i know it’s not the Smiths.

Dan wrote to tell me what he hears as the lyrics of Wilco’s “I’m the Man Who Loves You” and he’s right and I’m wrong. He wrote: All I can see is black & white & white & pink And blades of blue that lay between the words I think on a page that i was meaning to send to you I couldn’t tell if i break my heart The way I wanted when I started Writing this letter to you. It really follows through on the letter lyric, and Dan also points out the blue lines of ruled paper fit the image exactly. Ah, well….

I saw Jay-Z Unplugged in part twice now. Each time i miss “H to the IZZO” and it’s pissing me off. I very much like the Roots, even owning two of their albums, but they are albums that rarely are played. That smooth jazzy vibe is great to be admired, but it’s a vibe that i myself do not feel very often. I know too little about Jay-Z and hip-hop in general to know if the show really worked, but it seemed weird to have everyone sitting down in the audience. Sitting down is not conducive to waving one’s hands in the air and shit. Strictly imagewise, it looks strange to see the almost preppie-looking Jay-Z backed by the extremely funky looking Roots.

Bubba Sparxx. Now i know the name of the guy who guested on that new Limp Bizkit single, and should have his ass beaten with a length of rebar for it (not that the Neptunes shouldn’t be.) I still don’t know what to make of him. He’s just a redneck who raps (gee, what a gimmick,) and i’ve barely even heard him, just seen clips from videos on MTV2 news. If it works out against racism, as i have known guys who look and talk just like him who make my blood curdle with some of their beliefs and attitudes, good for him. However, every time i see him, it feels like uber-Durst, which is akin to antichrist in my lexicon.

Gut reaction. The new Method Man/ Redman single leave me stone cold. The movie doesn’t look very good either, and that’s with very low camp standards on my part.

Is it fair to compare the new Pink single to the new No Doubt? Because “Get This Parted Started” kicks “Hey Baby” out of the ring. Not to be a total twerp, but it’s a rare day that i like a “sexy” song and Pink’s beat feels better anyway. This is awkward for me to say, as i have a soft spot for No Doubt for some inexplicable reason, and i used to hate Pink for playing pop star and MTV shill at the same time.

Blogs I’m linking because i need new musical stuff to read daily, and all links are stolen from various other blogs i read. Starry Versus the Baddies, Agenbyte, Ineffable. Ethel the Blog (which isn’t music, but it’s the politics that I’m swearing that i’m not indulging in for awhile. Maybe in a few minutes.) Records Ad Naseum, War Against Silence (i never gave a proper chance as Roxette makes my head hurt) Basement Life (which also gave me the Stephin Merritt album on 1/22 to look forward to in their release dates,) Although now i feel that my site in in a struggle for life right now, Also am rearranging the existing links roughly in order of who has been updating regularly. For the longest time i was trying not to duplicate some links on other people’s webpages, but i’ve lost track of some blogs that i read again because of their redesigns and my poor memory. Adding more, but am sick of being on computer today.

David Raposa also dug up a means to access the old Freaky Trigger articles, which is most cool, but please don’t mourn the passing of the heyday of music journalism on the web. The past is poisonous. He’s also the first person to my memory who has pointed out that Puncture magazine is defunct, and i was looking for it in a bookstore as recently as last week.

Thanks to Jejune for pointing out the bizarre summary of last week’s episode of Survivor correlating it to Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale, one that i haven’t read or watched either, and Freud. Lex was one guy who seemed okay to me, but he’s lost all of my sympathy. While Kelly was not one of my favorites, her snarky comments were more entertaining than most anyone else left, and she was more honest than Lex in his skewed sense of being honest. Deadhead or not, Ethan reminds me of an uncle by marriage i that had back in the ’70s, so i rather like him still.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 12.09.01

On a Sunday morning, it felt like the time to drag out the CDs that Paul made for me to see if there was anything that i could pull out for a comp that I’m making, but i wound up listening to an album that doesn’t need representation on this comp, Ryan Adams’ Heartbreaker. I’d only heard some mp3s off of it honestly and while the tape is around here somewhere, i may not have listened to it fairly. Now, with it and Gold on CD in my hands, Heartbreaker really does kick the shit out of Gold. I’m not even a staunch alt-country person who resents the rockist posturing Adams pulls on Gold. It simply feels like his songwriting is more suited to intimate, gentle arrangements rather than anthem classic rock. It’s not much a revelatory experience for me or anyone else really, but is is Sunday morning, and it did fit the mood.

Looking at the Top Fifty of the NME albums, I think that I just might not care at all. The Beta Band should be in the Top Ten, of course, and four or five of the Top Ten probably do not even belong in the Top Fifty, but it’s NME, and I’m tired. This year i kept up more with contemporary releases more than any other in my life, and while it’s been fun to have something to write about in the website, i don’t feel like any more of a better person for it. Normally i spend all of my time haunting used bins, with lists from previous years’ “best of” lists, hoping to find one cheap. Despite the multitide of records that I have missed out on, I feel like someone who has peeked at all of the wrapped gifts before Christmas, because living blissfully 18 months in the past is not that bad a thing.

Oh yeah… and i know think that the Strokes sound like the Nerves. I was introduced to the Strokes around the same time that I downloaded those Nerves mp3s this summer, so i am not speaking as any kind of expert, but compared to the Velvet Underground and Television, the Nerves (and perhaps the Shoes) feel like a better fit. I might change my mind tomorrow.

I’m also stuck on what to look forward to in the future months, or whether I should bury my head in the sand. A Quick Pointless List:

  • Tom Waits Alice (Anti/Epitaph) April 9th
  • Tom Waits Red Drum (Anti/Epitaph) April 9th
  • Wilco Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Nonesuch) (obligated to buy it)
  • N.E.R.D. In Search of… (Virgin) January 29th (apparently the live instrument version, which might be totally irrelevant)
  • Elliott Smith From the Basement on the Hill (sorry, but i still enjoy Elliott quite a lot, and although it probably means nothing, the cross between the “Fool on the Hill” and Dylan/the Band references would be a great concept if someone followed through with it. Even him singing Cole Porter in a top hat is not a bad idea, but he has to have one of those canes that can collapse when tapped on the floor in a certain way)
  • Barry Adamson Nothing Hill (which was supposed to be out this fall, damn it.)
  • Edwyn Collins (and i mysteriously lost my copy of his last album, oddly enough. Am in the mood to play Gorgeous George, but cannot find it either)
  • The Dandy Warhols (yeah, i’m fucking evil. It amuses me that Goldberg tries to justify them selling out, but it’s the Dandys who are all about being rock whores, so it fits them like a glove.)

I know that i am forgetting stuff. I checked DJ Martian’s page, but he likes much more electronic and experimental stuff than me. Email me if you think of anything that will brighten my hopes for 2002. It doesn’t even have to be a great album, or possibly even a good album, just something mildly entertaining who hasn’t gotten entirely over guitar oriented songs, and likes weird noises in moderation, and prefers the overuse daft lyrics.

What i hadn’t noticed though, is that with no fanfare, the first three Buzzcocks albums have been re-released in the States, Love Bites, Another Music in a Different Kitchen, and A Different Kind of Tension on Nettwork on November 20th. Until now, only the compilations were available, and now I’m more than a bit annoyed that they are out now when i’m broke, when i looked high and low for them this spring and last fall. I cannot believe that I managed to find the first three Wire albums, which i thought would be rare, before these classics turned up. It’s not even my highest priorities in used bins though, because Sparks tops that list. I thought that i was going to copy Damien’s albums eventually, but the move to PA has put a snag in that.

Forgot to mention this last week, but Michaelangelo Matmos has the link for the Robert Christgau site now. Christgau still drives me crazy with some (many/ most) of his obtuse pronouncements, but as a music site, it is definitely meant to be used as a tool, and he’s not grasping about keeping his writing off the site because he wants to buy his books. I have no clue how long that site has been up, but it’s one of the most generous out there for music reference, even those damned cryptic one-line bits are still infuriating. Now the Trouser Press just needs to be resurrected…

In a bit of absurdity about convincing kids not to do drugs, I’ve just seen the greatest tactic ever… “…maybe they could just play some of his [Lou Reed] back catalogue of 70s and 80s solo releases for a while and say “Don’t do drugs or you too could end up writing songs called ‘Disco Mystic'”. This is brilliant, and could be extended to all kinds of people other than Lou Reed, including Mick Jagger and David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”… the only problem is that Whitney Houston still perform in public on occasion, and it seems to be no deterrant, and Ozzty can barely make it through a sentence, and people still swear their allegiance to him.

Incidentally, i heard clips of the new Ozzy album, and some of it sounded like the Beatles’ “Free as a Bird”. That’s a bad thing…. of course… but it’s a strange realization.

Cockfarmer Ashcroft’s people are now saying that the reporters who heard that Ashcroft attacked the Senate committee that questioned him are wrong and unpatriotic for saying that Senor Cockfarmer was out of hand for jumping down the throat of those senators saying that they they were possibly treasonous and wrong. Then they outright lie with the statement, “Ashcroft was very clear that he wanted public debate about the actions of the Justice Department.” No, he didn’t! He said very clearly that anyone who questioned him was spreading fear and guilty of treason. I heard the testimony on NPR and watched it on the evening news. I only wish that i saw the rest of it live, but it’s clear that his comments were not taken out of context.

And am sick of politics right now. All of this shadow government nonsense is depressing me, and I am trying to give it a rest while concerning myself with more absurd, mind-blowing, entertaining conspiracies, like the earth’s moon being an artificial construct that is used as a base of operations for various extraterrestrials through the millennia. I’m still nagged by the future of the people of Afghanistan, but it’s getting to the point that i cannot discuss current events with my parents without tellign them things that they don’t want to know.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 12.08.01

Still having trouble writing because my mind’s consumed with cover letters, which seem to be the most pointless and dishonest exercise that i’ve had to sink to in the new round of applications. Tailored resumes are bad enough, but cover letters are not only painful in their pleading desperation, but they seem blandly redundant.

I confess. I have my Acid Mothers Temple album back now, and so far, with the speakers that I have available, and the mood that I’m in, it truly is more headphone music than to have it rumble the windows and walls. It is sounding muddy and indistinct on the speakers here, and on headphones, it’s still catapulting me into familiar altered states of consciousness. Headphones are still not my favorite means of listening to music though. It’s preferable to feel it in more than my head.

Strange that Slatch is bringing up More Oar. Yesterday i had the weird experience of running across something from my own site on a newsgroup, about how Skip Spence is not the American Syd Barrett, and while drug damaged, is not psychedelic. At the time i loathed Skip Spence, and the piece was written in a frenzy, and has survived two or three other sites. I’m rather fond of him now, but still refuse to accept his as kin to Barrett or psychedelic.

Psychedelic music…. i don’t know. I’ve probably mentioned before that it’s a favorite genre of mine, but a lot of the time I’m really sure what psychedelic music is. It’s not just about the kind of drugs the artist was doing when the music was written & recorded, or the sounds and imagery…. there has to be a little of that unsettling feeling, not necessarily either menace or elation, but that all is not what it seems. The original Oar could be unsettling, but so is some old folk music and bluegrass. I think i need to dwell on this more.

I think that I agree with Jess on the Strokes not being a terribly rebellious band for teens to identify with, but Slipknot isn’t terribly rebellious to me either. I crave rebellion in music like true anarchy, not a snotnosed brat who wants to put muddy shoes on the couch and scrawls fuck and shit on the margins of papers. They don’t seem like a threat or a menace, and i don’t know whether it’s because i’m jaded, want to be jaded, or i don’t know what i should be afraid of. Politicians and corporations scare me right now. Music is a comfort, if it does anything at all. Men in suits who can send me away to an internment camp are more threatening than a guy smashing beer cans on his head, slashing himself with broken glass and screaming “Fuck” really loud in the parking lot of the 7-11. The intensity of depravity is a subjective one obviously, but the mask of hiding behind the mundane rather than the ridiculous has a greater potential for menace when released.

And then i have the ridiculous notion that Slipknot is just KISS wanting to be the Birthday Party, or people who take Gwar seriously. It annoys me that Marilyn Manson hangs out with them, because i wanted MM to keep going more glam, or even perhaps do some of that plastic soul. That would have been most amusing.

Dark matter photographed. It sounds like a joke story, doesn’t it?

The Democrats on the Judiciary Committee suck, even Leahy. They let Cockfarmer Ashcroft walk all over them on Thuirsday, and effectively insult them to their face for questioning his methods and motives. Even conservative columnists other than Safire are getting fired up against Ashcroft’s sneering assertion that questioning the methods of the executive branch is treason. The Constitution with its checks and balances must seem treasonous to him right now.

Of course after the fact, a couple of senators introduce a bill to force the Justice department to turn over those gun purchase records to the FBI. The truth is that i don’t really want the Justice Department to do that. I just want them to respct all of the Constitution and not just the Second Amendment.

So it has Richard Gere in it, but i still want to see The Mothman Prophecies. When i was a kid, this was one of my favorite weird monsters of modern folklore, as it was more menacing and unfamiliar than anything like Bigfoot (an ape or hominid) or Nessie (a plesiosaur.) What the hell is a mothman? It even had a narrative, rather than unconnected sightings, and concluded with a bang.

Idiot. He calls those against a national ID system because they don’t understand the system idiots. I’m feeling like he’s an idiot for believing that there’s such a thing a “bulletproof” ID, unforgeable and immune to unauthorized use. Worst of all, i do not want “merchants” (aka corporations) to have a means to identify my identity in every instance when the only way that corporations exist is to avoid the liabilities an individual would incur. I’m not worried about the government, but if corporations can hide behind multiple identies, so shoudl rpivate citizens, to avoid totalitarian capitalism. I don’t know whether there is such a concept of “totalitarian capitalism” (as i think i’ve just made it up) but it sounds awful to me, and it’s unwanted.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 12.05.01

In Hammond yesterday, Damien told me that the Book Exchange is selling some of their slowest moving CDs for $1 apiece. In seconds the truck was turned around and enroute. The pickings were sparse, but some CDs that i’ve been eyeing for years were still there. I am now the mildly proud owner of Guided by Voices Alien Lanes (my vinyl warped,) Spoon Series of Sneaks, Lush Split, His Name Is Alive Sings Man on the Silver Mountain… (yea, it’s a comp and i already have one of the originals) and the Raincoats Odyshape for $5.

And not one of them fits the mood of the day… well, except Lush, but i don’t want to write about them. Still have on Ease Down the Road.

Listened to the CDs (slightly scratched, damn it) of the Damien Youth appearance on KLSU’s Little Lighthouse. There’s quite a lot of live acoustic performances on it, but what surprised me was hearing White Witch clearly for the first time. When Damien was pulling together the material for the website, I would listen to a muddy tape from thrift store vinyl, and while at first I thought at first that Damien was insane with his obsession with this forgotten south Florida glam-space-rock band, they grew on me. This is the first time that i heard them so clearly, so the production and musicianship can be made out. I suspected all along that a lot of those people who prefer their worn out old vinyl over anything everytime were lying bastards, and once again, this confirmed that belief.

“Crystallize & Realize” is the name of the song. It’s Beatley space-hippy bullshit talking about riding in rocketships and it’s fantastic. Now the weird keyboards that sound like a laser beam and the sound effects. Not only are they freaks in the context of the place and time that they came from, they sound vaguely demented, and that Goedert scream towards the end of the song pops the spaceship right into a star twinkled dementia. For those unfamiliar with his singing, he manages to do the weird pyrotechnics of the guy from Aphrodite’s child at time, to a weird throat growl that Axl Rose would go on to steal later for “Mr. Brownstone” all the while keeping his own voice.

Damien pointed out to me that the other night on VH-1 that Jon Bon Jovi was one of the first to run out to play “Here Comes the Sun” but in a recent Uncut, he insisted that he had nothing good to say about the Beatles. Luke Haines should be flown in to belt Jon Bon Jovi’s ass for the hypocrite he is, reading the hump the corpse of dark horse for free publicity.

There’s a very obnoxious advert for a truck that annoys me right now, and it’s not the Aerosmith one…. it’s the one that uses a single line from “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival… Some people love to wave the flag, Oh, they’re red white and blue… And that’s it!

I’m not one to champion CCR, but it’s one of the grossest misrepresentations of a song that I’ve heard, worse than Reagan’s people picking “Born in the USA” for a campaign because at least they used the chorus. The next lines of the song are: And when the band plays ‘Hail to the Chief’, Ooo, they point the cannon at you, Lord… In the light of the current patriotic fervor, this is the perfect song for the times, misrepresenting all meaning and removing all context to sell one a consumer agenda, leaving the dangerous truth unsaid.

Heard a couple of songs in the radio that surprised me. When Chris alluded to the many covers of “These Days” I was a little baffled, as i knew only of Nico’s…. but yesterday a Greg Allman version came along. Most strange that it would come along to me now.

Also heard “Iko Iko” by the Dixie Cups. Perhaps most everyone already knows this, but it’s not such a cute song. It’s a battle song for the Mardi gras Indians. One time i was at the New Orleans Jazzfest, and there was a tent for folks to sit around and explain some of the history behind the music. the Mardi Gras Indians were original street gangs, and they would slash or cut each other in garish costumes. To burn another “tribes” flag was a mortal insult, war even. Some of the song was talking in code too, and i’m too lazy to look it up. It’s was great hearing these old guys start to ramble on about it, and then one of them would realize what they were saying and he’d start trying to grab the other’s arm, telling him that’s secret and nobody needs to hear that, because it was obvious it was leading up to a murder.

Freaky Trigger is back with a vengeance under Tom’s guidance.

First, i have to dwell on what David R. wrote about Creed and P.O.D. I think what i find more offensive than anything else is that what is paid lipservice as spiritual and uplifting is turgid and derivative. It’s acceptable and understable for a secular band to be bland and unimaginative, but to have music that is bland and unimaginative about the concept of God is scary. Is this what they feel that they need to express by their overwhelming love of God? Is this the best that this special relationship with Him can inspire… overwrought Pearl Jamisms and sonically generic nu-metal?

I’m not an atheist, and was brought up agnostic. For a long time, i was not taught any difference between Jesus and Odysseus, and from what little i knew, there were no Cyclops or harpies in the Bible, although there were some talking pigs, i think. Christianity just wasn’t flashy enough to keep me interested in reading much about it until i was in my teens, and wanted to see what all of these Southern fried nuts were smirking piously about. I do believe that i have some sense of spiritual matters from my experiences, but whatever is inspiring these folks to sing about their faith makes me cringe at the turgid blandness at what seems to be at the heart of their inspiration.

Religious fervor of things like snake-handling and speaking in tongues might not be my cup of tea, but i can understand it better than the rote means of earmarking Christian listeners as a guaranteed audience. Perhaps I can never describe how i can feel the absence of any conviction on their part.

Second, a new magazine is being launched, Careless Talk Costs Lives. I hope that i can be forgiven for copying the rest of the post in full….

“You can buy the first issue by sending a cheque for £3.50 made payable to EMINENT Management and production. You probably won’t find us in your local store right now, because I’m deliberately going underground for the first few issues to build up a good solid support. And… THEN! We pounce.

Eminent’s address is: Studio 4 4th Floor The Old Truman Brewery 91-95 Brick Lane London E1 6QL

Mark the envelope ref: Careless Talk Costs Lives, and please write your name and mailing address on the back of the cheque. Subscriptions are £15 for six issues. If you’re abroad, add on a sensible amount of money to compensate. Any queries please talk to Colin on colin@carelesstalkcostslives.com

I’ve been waiting for the news of this thing coming out, and apparently it’s already on issue #12, damn it. The official site is up too… but i feel a little too broke right now to shell out the bucks.

And that’s the best musical quote of the year.

Save the rest of another day…

Robert Metcalfe of 3Com, Dean Kamen’s buddy, says that Segway/ Ginger ain’t really IT. I am still stuck on something that Kamen mentioned on Good Morning America, about converting an old giant steam engine in his house to a Sterling Cycle Engine, which is almost a big wink to those who were following his patents trying to guess about IT, telling them not to be disappointed just yet, not that I’m the least bit disappointed myself.

Dubya doesn’t look grim or thoughtful to me. He just looks small, weak, and deeply inadequate. I cannot believe that 85% approval rating of this goober, as not one of my friends online or off has mentioned that they feel comfortable with his pathetic mugging of the camera like a second grader would pull off emoting “worried” for a school play try-out.

Did O.J. Simpson convert to Islam? After all, it’s IN for the FBI to seize and search Muslims now. Now the FBI is searching O.J.’s house again.

William Bennett is going to be the Dubya Patriot Youth director it seems. Ugh.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 12.04.01

One of the albums that i own that’s one of my faves of 2001 that keeps slipping under radar whenever i make a list, because it’s crazy to think that hard about these lists is Ease Down the Road. I was going to listen to it today, but was sidetracked by a few things, including hanging out with Damien and getting rejected in a most nasty, curt manner by my old bookstore.

I feel both insulted and flattered by getting told that i could not come back because i was a troublemaker and had a bad attitude… which means that i don’t like being one of the only people to work night shifts for ten days straight, and like not to be scheduled to cover two people’s breaks at the same time that i do my own job, all three in different parts of the store, while someone ostensibly is making the next day’s schedule, no more efficient that the conflicting one, while talking to one’s boyfriend on the phone.

The truth is that i was never written up on anything the whole time that i was there, and when i left, they gave me a gift certificate, made a banner, had a signed card, and baked a cake. There were many sad farewells. Unfortunately, some of management disliked me for reasons that I’d best not get into, because it could potentially have wound up as a lawsuit or punishment for them, if i was a vengeful kinda guy. Aside from that, i think that they are misremembering that a small mutiny of sorts that happened after i left the bookstore that i had no part in whatsoever…. i was merely friends with them, and would have agreed with what they did. It still was particularly grating though to be refused a job when there’s openings there, when they have hired back other people with poor work records and who quit without notice.

The bigger mystery is why i even tried to go back in the first place. (Hint: I’m very broke, no one else is calling back, and I still have friends there… although i thought that I had more friends at that bookstore until now, and the one who was ugliest to me I have been using as a personal reference.)

Roky Erikson story in Texas Monthly!

I thought that Elton John was all hyped up on songwriting after Eminem and Ryan Adams inspired him? Now he’s going to quit? It seems obvious that he’s just upset that he wanted to have a renaissance, but only had lukewarm reviews even though he seems to be pouring his heart into his latest record. He’ll change his mind of course. Via Gina Snowdoll

In Review has another piece on the new Pink album. I’m getting the impression that this album is going to be huge, and might depose a lot of teen pop. I guess Sterling’s right about it being rockist, but i’ve heard praise of the new album from a place as unlikely as a Tom Waits listserv. It reads and sounds more like a genuine crossover than an about face, BUT i have only heard the first single (and even left the television on yesterday after the IT/ Segway feature, when the aboniable Rosie show came on, as i wanted to see Pink perform it.)

Somehow i forgot to mention this from No Rock and Roll Fun, but I agree… Andrew WK is definitely a future right wing lackey, if he has a career at all, which i doubt. That Macca question clenches it. He’s just a reheated Ted Nugent.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 12.03.01

It’s another of those uninspired forged date posts….

Still unemployed, and waiting for the callbacks is driving me crazy. I’m so desperate to work and get out of this rut that I asked for my job back at the bookstore. I don’t know whether they will take me back, as my old store manager acted very strange, quite inexplicably, and wouldn’t even look at me, let alone speak to me, but the rest of the staff seemed eager to get me back. It might make no sense, but i think that once i’m workign again, I can do this webpage more easily again.

Not music. Not government. Dean Kamen is unveiled Ginger (IT) on the Good Morning America show on today. I’m excited. I think… rather, i hope that it has something to do with the collapse of Enron. It’s been hinted that it’s a form of personal transport, but what might really be important about it, making it more than a scooter or skateboard, is what powers it, even though he said that it’s just an electric battery. He might have figure out how to make a Sterling Engine practical, which is just mixing hydrogen and oxygen gas together at a certain proportion, and the resulting mixture, which is not water, is ignited by an electrical spark. There’s a patent of Kamen related to fuel mixture that even mentions the Stirling Engine, and then he made a reference to it in the renovation of his house.

It was weird watching people zip about, seemingly not balanced that well. It was very sci-fi, on a small scale. Sorry, i’m just overly excited about this, because i don’t believe that it’s about the scooter…. it’s about what powers it. This is the Trojan horse to get public support on his side before the oil industry sinks the technology as a threat. Think about the Atari 2600 and the Commodore 64.

I was avoiding the Beatles like the plague for days, as i thought it would be easier to write about George sans Beatles, and because of my writer’s block, but now people have started reminding me of songs like “Old Brown Shoe” and how George won in original contributions to Yellow Submarine with “Only a Northern Song” and . Also, the horns in “Savoy Truffle” are some of my favorite horns in any pop song for some odd reason, probably because i was quite out of my mind when i first heard them. I even wound up using them in my lame attempt to make a song out of samples, and they made the whole thing work in its way…. although George Martin is probably the one responsible for those horns.

I really did listen to both Traveling Wilburys album (and cannot figure why one of my most stubborn mispellings is travelling, with two L’s.) Aside from being a dorky adult, i was an even dorkier teenager, and I have quite a few fond memories of those things. Although a lot of the songwriting and production tricks (mostly ELOisms) were ancient warhorses for those guys, they were new for me when i heard them, and it’s spooky how well i can remember these songs, sometimes the lyrics for the whole song when the first note is played. They’re Christmas albums for me, as each one was a gift, not that i would not have bought them at the time. Although it’s not quite the New Christy Minstrels singing carols, it has that family feel, warm and informal, and full of nostalgia to times that i don’t truly remember.

I’m in such a rut that even in December, when all else fails, i still write about the Strokes. Anyone notice that they got a 10 out of 10 on Neumu? Haven’t they repeatedly explained that even a 5 is not a bad album, and that a 10 is a timeless classic, a monumental giant of a milestone? I actually liked the write-up, but the 10 out of 10 is a curse.

Actually, in my deluded world, the real reason behind the collapse behind Enron is that they gambled on Bush getting in office, threw all of their money behind that, and now Russia controls Afghanistan, meaning that the American oil industry gamble rolled snake eyes, and they lose out and go bust. the Bush administration is now a total failure. Hopefully alternate energy will finally flourish.

I just heard that surface to air missles are to be deployed around the Superdome in New Orleans during the Super Bowl. Yeah, everything is normal.