Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 02.28.02

Getting a block writing about music, because i have not been listening to music, only downloading and reading. My coworkers are playing the country stations again, so it’s quite difficult to concentrate.

Someone had to do it, and it’s a herculean, thankless effort. The Grammies are summarized and analyzed on No Rock & Roll Fun, which the Grammies certainly were not. Massive good posts have been going on that site for weeks it seems.

More details on the nature of the suspect of the anthrax mailer.

A comet dubbed Ikeya-Zhang is making a pass-by of the earth this April, and is supposedly to be bright enough to be visible from cities. However, the article also mentions that it wil be no brighter than the last appearance of Halley’s Comet, and far from the brightness of Hale-Bopp.

It’s not the greatest song, but I’m quite fond of it… the novelty mod-pop song, the Times “I Helped Patrick McGooghan Escape. Actualy, i hoped to put up the Television Personalities up tonight, but misplaced the CD.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 02.27.02

Today my brain was flooded with fragments of Pavement lyrics, single lines and couplets most often used as taglines by emailing indie rockers. I couldn’t get through a single task or conversation without some Malkmus nonsequitor bubbling to the surface of my consciousness. It was entertaining enough to feel the urge to say a few of them out loud but not one caused a coworker to raise an eyebrow.

Nothing against the Brits, but I don’t think that on this message board, they understand why Linkin Park is worse than David Gray. Both are ubiquitously aired and unworthy, but think of the collective airwaves that they bombard… in Linkin Park, a whole continent. I’ve heard Linkin Park’s whining at least five days a week for months. Hating nu-metal is not a mere American prejudice, but a legitimate loathing. asking Americans to put it aside to get David Gray is like Republicans asking the Democrats to be bipartisan after they sink a bill with a useless, religious right amendment. David Gray merely wallows in his own blandness, and is easy for me to ignore, to forget. Linkin Park grabs one by the back of the collar and demands to be taken seriously with their sulking excuse for nihilism. They might not be sneeing like Fatboy Fred, but I cannot bear another photo of Linkin Park’s sour little photogenic faces, and their goddamned cleanly bleak videos that end with fluttering butterflies in idyllic meadows.

Supposedly that unworthy judicial nominee Pickering is going down. Good. No more far right wing judges need to be on the bench, particularly when the Shrub adminstration is running to them to get interference for every investigation against them.

Counter to my belief that the court are packed with judges partisan to the corrupt Shrub administration, a judge has ordered that the Energy Department release recordsdetailing Cheney’s energy task force to an environmental group and the GAO, upholding the Freedom of Information Act.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 02.26.02

Geocities is insisting that i’m using too much bandwidth, and i cannot afford to pay the blackmailers off from shutting down my page randomly. Bit by bit, i shall be moving this site to http://members.cox.net/badgerminor/, but if one just continues to use www.badgerminor.com, i’ll remember how to get it to redirect to the new URL sooner or later. For now, there will be a mirror, although probably the archives to this point shall remain on Geocities…

Nothing much musical to write. After downloading three gigs of music, it’s time to listen and delete what is not worth keeping… the Kursaal Flyers “Television Generation” is keeper though…. i have no clue as to whether my new service provider is okay with mp3s on sites, not that it’s anything i plan on doing regularly, only when i’m so desperate whe i have nothing to say.

The Bush administration versus the GAO… the article discusses how eager they were to hand over information about the vandalism that never happened during the transition from Clinton to Bush, but now want to challenge the GAO’s constitutionality.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 02.25.02

So this post is post-dated so that there is a greater chance of tricking myself into posting more this week. Yes, it actually works sometimes…

The power pop mass download has ended. Bubblegum is more nourishing… 1910 Fruitgum Company, Tommy Roe, Ohio Express… Trying to sucker prepubescent teens into buying a record seems less disingenuous than willfully recreating a meatier, punchier Beatles. Why is it that puppets seem more honest to me than guys with skinny ties? Is it some unwholesome relationship with the Muppets?

Read the new Freaky Trigger article on boots. the only one that I have of the ones Tom writes about is the last one “Stroke of Genie-us” (or whatever it’s titled…. Strokes vs. Aguilera.) Those two paragraphs sum up my fascination of boots better than i ever could. I don’t care if it’s new or not (although it’s a great thread.) I love being an ignorant hick with a poor memory if it means every day i wake up to find something that seems refreshing and new, even if it really isn’t. The only problem is that sometimes it’s fun to be jaded, bored, and disgusted, if only one can spew enough bile that could come across as humor. Considering that I am still worried about the feelings of Rainer Maria when they read my diatribe on them, it might be less karmically dangerous to remain starry-eyed and gobsmacked.

So why is it neither Splendid nor Pitchfork mention that Clinic sampled the Dixiecups? Or used programmed beats? I don’t disagree with the evaluations of the album, but aren’t those important things to mention?

It seems like the Republican party, at least some of them, are wakign up to the fact that the Bush administration is bad for them and democracy. Okay, so it’s blind optimism on my part, but when i first read about how many of them are the most dogged investigators of the Enron collapse, it was obviously an attempt to cover their own asses from the possible future fallout. Every time i turn on NPR news, it seems that the commentator that they have is a Republican Congressman crying shame, shame, shame. Then the promised filibuster in the Senate to stop the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform (saving Bush the embarrassment of vetoing it,) is not going to materialize. Now, both parties are turning on Bush for his anemic budget for prescription health care. Do they smell blood? Oh, please let the Bush administration slide into lame duck status in the next coupel of months!

Most Americans are familiar with the idiotic anti-drug campaign, if one takes drugs, the it’s supporting terrorists, a shameless cashing in on patriotism to blster a failing sick joke, the War on Drugs. Despite the current television campaign that has drawn much flak, it’s now been decided that if there’s U.S. national interest in a nation, drugs or not, they will get U.S. money. Hypocrisy. End those stupid television ads now.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 02.23.02

Listening to Stanislav’s Little Lighthouse on KLSU this morning (well, i think it is, even though officially the show hadn’t started yet,) and am delighted to hear him playing some Marc Bolan bleating away so early in the morning. The extended version of “Heroes & Villains” is a bit of madness that reminds me of that Teenage Symphonies to God phrase…. which kinda seems like those extended booty remixes that are slipping back in forth through the underground. Come on! Consider it!

The production of Threepenny Opera last night was definitely okay. Although it’s the first time i’ve seen it (and Louise’s… twentieth?) at the beginning i was second-guessing every single gesture, phrasing, and inflection that they used. It was far more broad that I expected it to be, and everything was played toward comic effect, even elements that Louise had not seen played as comedy (silly farce as opposed to biting satire) before. We’re glad that we went, but i’m kicking myself for missing that Jay Farrar show now.

In reading that one of the guys of *N’Sync is going into space as a tourist, i must admirt that i’m growing fond of some of those guys, even though i am still ambivalent to most of their music (which is more enoyable that Creed, but nothing i would choose to won.)

Might as well jump on bandwagon for the Line 47 of the 1040 tax form. Many Americans owe $300 more than they think they do because the tax relief from last year was bogus. I’m a little puzzled that Shrub’s people are letting this happen now, as they could have deferred this problem until a later administration. They couldn’t have been so shortsighted in the obsessive quest for points in popularity polls? There has to be some dodge that Shrub’s people have for the backlash that no one has thought of yet, and if they are not be be lynched, it best not be by blaming Bill Clinton again (like they tried in Enron.)

If Shrub’s current popularity gave him a mandate to say such stupid things as “Axis of Evil”, then the Supreme Court should have taken opularity in account when they made a decision about the Florida chads, since Gore had 500,000 more popular votes.

Yuck. The judge who is hearing the GAO suit against Cheney to release those energy policy documents used to work with Ken Starr, arguing for Hilary Clinton to release the papers related to the non-scandalWhitwater way back when. Supposedly, this guy is a moderate, and will pursue the truth, and will treat Cheney just like Hilary, but working for Ken Starr says otherwise. The GAO case is dead on arrival.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 02.24.02

Downloaded a lot of power pop today… Kursaal Flyers, the Records, the Lambrettas, the Nazz, and the Spongetones. I kinda liek all of it, but feel uncomfortable writing anythign credible about them, as they all sound Beatlesque to some extent. I tried to balance it out by getting the Dungeon Family, but that’s not what I feel like listening to today…. thus there’s almost nothing to write today.

The essence of why Elton John’s current mouthing off about the state of pop music is abominable. It entertains me that EJ is being so vocal and contrary, but yes, it reeks so deeply of hypocrisy that it’s hard to accept anything he says as more than another duck suit.

I’m not all that certain that the allure of Smile or the solo work of Syd Barrett is their ability to comfort. The ability of an album to comfort is most important to me as well, but the mystique about these albums are how disquieting they are, how rock and roll is not all-redeeming or the cure for every ill.

aha! New music blog… Power, Tone, Volume… mind you. I don’t agree with a lot of what he writes (Wilco’s “She’s a Jar” is a fave of mine, for being exactly as he describes it,) but the fleshed out outbursts of disgust are definitely worthwhile. It’s a lot more satisfying than when i picked up Q yesterday, only to dismiss a lot of what i read as uninformed or obvious fluff. None of that on this site.

I keep forgetting to link the words Pickering and scumbag together on my page. Aside from his wavering stance on civil rights over the years, the man simply has fewer opinions published for public scrutiny than any other approved nominations, so he would not fit in with transparency in the government. Considering that the government wants water supply data destroyed, transparency is not much of a concern. I doubt whether the suppression of that information has as much to do with terrorists as the looming freshwater shortage that will make itself known in the next ten years, when much of the freshwater will have been privatized.

Michael Moore sent an email earlier this week crowing that hsi book was #1 on the charts of Amazon.com, which is remarkable in that when i worked at the bookstore, it seemed that conservatives pundits only had the right to publish books. Our receiving area was flooded with new releases of some new right wing diatribe every week. Almost bought his book yesterday, but the typeface was too large. I’m not shelling out $20 just to show a publishing company that they need to balance out how much money they shell out in publishing deals to pundits.

However, while i was offline, the news was so uncritical of the rightwing’s tactics, except for mildly disturbed by a radical conservative like Pickering, that i was confused. Without internet access or the money and time to shell out for newspapers spanning the nation every day, it truly seemed that the nation had become some monolithic state that is incapable of recognizing that the man called the President is a buffoon, and patriotism or not, collapse of Enron or not, corporations are still calling most of the shots. Ah, for some nice healthy dissent and questioning once again…

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 02.22.02

I forgot to mention that we skipped a Jay Farrar show at the Varsity last night. I kind of regret it already, but we are going to see the Threepenny Opera tonight. We cannot afford everything, but tonight’s show seems more worth the money and time.

We went for a drive today, and after a bad incident playing that Best of Sparks (no fault of the music,) i stuck in that Paul Burch album, Last of My Kind. Whatever bad edge the day had was taken off by the casual, lazy ease of this record. It actually reminded me of a later period John Hartford record, with Burch’s love for mountains supplanting Hartford’s love for rivers. It was far more bluegrass related than i expected it to be, not to be tarred by the brush of alt-country, as the closest it comes to rock would be a brief parallel with Nashville Skyline. Yeah, i definitely love this guy’s voice. Favorite song of the moment (off any album, not just this one) “Harvey Hartsell’s Farm”

Hey! A video by Cee-lo is on, “Closet Freak” is on, and while the music doesn’t really grab me, seeming pretty generic to me, the video is visually tacky to the point of greatness, using every pre-MTV video cliche to the extreme.

the General Accounting Office is suing Cheney to release those papers on the planning of the Bush administration energy policy…. the ones that would have Enron’s fingerprints all over them if they are not scrubbed. If Enron had not collapsed, I know that this would not have happened. too bad that Cheney has had those papers long shredded by now.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 02.21.02

The new Clinic album is bettter than it seemed on first hearing it, almost a given with me. The recording still sounds fleshier, with a bass that I almost forgotten is in the band. It even sounds fat in places. Some reviewers seem to be trying to sell Walking With Thee as the American Breakthrough for Clinic and in addition to the requisite Radiohead mention, Clinic is being lynchpinned to the Strokes. Blah to that, as to be expected. Anyway, Clinic is becoming more than an off-kilter garage band, as not only has the production become deeper/fuller, but they are using samples and and programmed beats! ” The second song “The Equalizer” lifts the instantly recognizable rhythm section of the Dixiecups “Iko Iko” in whole, amps it up, then tosses the progammed beats.

Still, a lot of the songs seem like rewrites of earlier songs, but because i don’t have the previous albums handy, or the recent Peel Sessions, I might be confusing the Peel prototypes with songs from Internal Wrangler or the EPs. The suspicions of familiarity are probably correct though, & while i don’t believe that Clinic has already run out of ideas, it does bring up the question that the earlier recordings were just dry runs for Walking With Thee, or that the band is obsessed with tinkeringg with something that i’m incapable of hearing.

One reason among many that i’m glad to be back online is that i enjoy reading about the boot phenomenon in Britian. In some jackass way, i want to dismiss it as a cousin to the medley and big beat, but one weblog in particular (take a wild guess) has me delighted with the dizzy possibilities of cross-pollination & hybridization. NYLPMreveling in Kylie feeding off her own mutant offspring, acknowledging it as legitimate & worthy has its own possibilites of exchange between artist & audience, as twisted and new (or more so) as Rivers Cuomo letting his fandom produce the next Weezer album through the internet.

I wasn’t a pop fan until last year, when it sank in that elements of the mainstream are fresher & more excitingly innovative (as opposed to that dry, boring kind of innovation) thna what passes for certain alternative & indie music that plods towards the same irrelevance as Mike Love’s Beach Boys (an overgross generalization.) It’s still difficult to write much about current pop music with conviction as I feel like the yokel who has discovered the conveniece of indoor plumbing, & am still marvelling as to what them city slickers will think of next. Music is something that i’m used to discovering as an archivist & historian, not as a reporter on the frontlines of a war. Even though i’m slowly learning not to pledge allegiances to a side, objectivity is impossible & probably undesired. I want to listen to music for my own indulgent self-interest, a glutton for gratification & enlightement.

Anyway, so why the hell does it feel so good to root for boots, & now Kylie? How does any of this relate to the overwhelming sense of evil opportunism reeking of the possibly apocryphal, probably true story about Limp Bizkit scamming guitarists aspiring to be rock stars? It seems to be anathema to the nature of the boot phenomenon, turning the joy & love of the creation of music into a resource to be plundered & commodified. If the Limp Bizkit story is true, then the tactics of Plunderphonics & Negativland have been co-opted, reversed, and one-upped by corporations masquerading as rock bands. Let the boots fight back!

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 02.20.02

I’ve changed my mind about BRMC (again)… to pro, of course. I forgive them for the stupid rock and roll revision diatribe, as they don’t sound nearly as stolidly retro in the way that they first hinted. Superficially, they sound like a band that I confessed that I knew nothing about last summer….. the Jesus and Mary Chain (another near future massive download candidate.) Yeah, I’m definitely behind the curve on them, but it’s nice to know that every single backwards looking group of the moment is not looking to the same sources of Pebbles comps and NY punk.

The CD burner is working. Burned Clinic’s Walking with Thee last night as well as Paul Burch’s Last of My Kind. Have still not listened to either in depth, but a cursory listen of Cliic was slightly disappointing. It sounded more fully produced, and it’s the raggedness i like about the band. They never seemed to be truly a garage band, but there was a skeletal rickety nature to the music that is less evident. In the few minutes I spent skimming through the album, it sounded like a more accomplished band, playing at being Clinic, but wondering if the music was too simple for them now. Yeah, yeah, i shall recant later this week proclaiming my love for it later.

Today’s scheduled for the Dismemberment Plan. I downloaded a couple of songs before the loss of the computer, but they never made an impression on me. “Ellen & Ben” is on regular rotation on KLSU, and when i first heard it on very low, I cursed it as generic indie rock with a guy with a thin voice. I kick myself, but the Dismemberment Plan seems to be a band not best played with a lot of background noise to distort the music, as a lot of the pieces that mean most to me is lost to my ears. Again, obvious thing to say, but I can pick a lot of things out at the lowest of volumes, yet everything that hooks me about DP keeps getting lost on the lo-fi of a signal of a weak radio. I hate being too much of a technophile, believing that the equipment that I’m listening to the music on might be as important as the music itself.

Listening to that accursed alt-rock station at work, and then a pop station, i caught on that the new No Doubt album is exiled from alt-rock. Curiously, songs from thatReturn of Saturn album are played regularly on the alt-rock one instead. It’s hard to figure out why the programmers have decided that the new album is pop, and not alt. I thought it was just better?

The kind fellow who helped me find my beloved singing robot song turns out to be part of a relatively big music site (as i tried it the other day, only to get a server busy error thingamajig) that everyone else has already linked to, but I need to link it to remember to read it faithfully, Oligarchist Home Journal

On the ride back from Lake Charles yesterday (picking up radioactive urine…. i probably shouldn’t explain that…) I wound up tuning into Rush Limbaugh accidentally, while searchign for any new station. (West Louisiana is a desert for the radio.) that idiot, who normally I would never bother to listen to, was justifying the plan to create a ministry of disinforfation and propaganda in the Pentagon, to muddy the truth in all news organizations outside fo the U.S. because apparently, outside the borders of the United States, free speech and free press do not apply. The bastard kept invokign the name of Bill Clinton, saying that the liberals thought it was okay for him to lie. It made no sense obviously. It was not okay for Bill Clinton to lie, but he was lying to protect himself from intrusion into his personal life, and he didn’t attempt to make it an official function or power of the Oval Office. Whatever misconduct he indulged in was not institutionalized as a part of the government, like this bizarre ministry of propaganda. It’s pretty much fact that the governemnt spreads disinformation already, whatever administration is in office, but to make it an official function is to give it a legitimacy that is undeserved and unhealthy for a democray.

Yeah, it’s foolish for me to have let the radio set on Limbaugh even for a moment, but his illogical excuse for an argument let me figure out exactly what is so wrong i my own words.

So has there been any followup yet on the anthrax mailer suspect connected to the government? Have not seen more on this anywhere.

Hopefully I’ll have the chance to write the personal emils later, but I must thank everyone who has been checking my site so regularly to see if I was ever going to start again. My hits have actually gone down since I lurched to a slow start this week, but that means that some of you must have been checking a couple of times per day. Bles your twist little hearts, y’all. It’s most kind of several of you to attempt to alert people that I’m posting again, as the compliments are most kind, and i don’t know quite how to react to them. Thanks.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 02.19.02

It was pointed out to me that the Kid 606 song that I was seeking is listenable for me probably because of the remix by Hrvatski. (“Catstep”) I’m slightly bummed out that I still have not really gotten into that whole IDM thing for real, but now i have my singing robot song downloaded.

I’m utterly baffled by this damned song that I absolutely loathe on their alt-rock radio at work, which is called “Hey Mister”. It may be new. It may be months old. It’s a misogynist piece of shit that I’m certain has a lot of teens singing along to it for no other reason than it has the words “get her fuck on.” I suspect that I’ve revealed that I just don’t get into songs about sex (as i only really have a handle on the Drugs and Rock & Roll part of the Trinity,) and especially ones that are as unsexy as this one. I wonder if I’m misunderstanding it, and that it mocks the expectations of the gender roles of children, but aside from the general blandness of the songcraft, it leaves nasty feeling in my psyche, and the children’s chorus doing the playground taunting makes it blatantly pornographic without any subversive quality.

Still not really listening to music, although the frenzy of downloading continues. Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel are the band of the night, as while one day the CDs will make it over here, the vinyl probably will not. I need songs like “Back to the Farm” and “The Ritz” post-apocalyptic glam epics that are more psychedelic in the sense that I feel psychedelic to be, the fragments of teenage nightmare. I guess that the the by-the-numbers alt-rock song that I mentioned earlier could be some sort of gritty nightmare for someone, but the more toleratn and understanding I try to be of music that I instinctively hate, the more blunted I feel.

Also still wrestling with getting into the habit of writing daily, as well as trying to track down what’s wrong with the computer, as it’s peculiarly slower than it was a day ago, and several programs are not responding as they did only last night.