Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 07.31.02

Aha! So the Coral really are pretty good! i was ready to write them off as kin to the Vines. Soulseek finally came through, and they come across as a distinctly less Welsh SFA or GZM. Of course, if i had only looked at the NME review until now, i would have already known that, damn it. ALthough trusting the NME is suicidal, this one seems sane enough. The music is not all that weird though. It’s lovingly reverent of the ’60s, but a hundredfold more inventive and resourceful than a warhorse like the Brian Jonestown Massacre (a band that i quite like, despite knowing how tiny their bag of tricks is.) It’s hard not to write much without referring to the NYLPM piece, the Guardian piece, or the NME one to see if there’s anything that they missed.

The Coral is not the most exciting band ever, but they fit a need that i didn’t know i had at the moment. (I’ve been grousing in a lot of stuff i’ve deleted about unexpressed needs in music, and the latest one was a nonsensical piece that wound up dwelling on the Weather Channel.) It’s not fair to compare them to the Super Furries, who still have that flair for futurism and their addled notions of techno. With a quick flashback to Fuzzy Logic, it might be safe for me to edge out to say that The Coral is a stronger and more adventurous album… even though i doubt if it outshine Fuzzy Logic for me personally. I’m a sentimental fool. The slow numbers are more like Gorky’s before they became more folky, and without the tendency to break into crescendos of dissonance, something that they still do live. Checking in influences from the Animals and the Doors (yes, i don’t hate the Doors. Sorry) is certainly not a bad thing. It feels weird embracing old sounds used like they are with the Coral, as yesterday i was wincing at Goldberg ticking off the Great Classic Rock Albums in reference to the YHF bootlegs.

Am looking for Clearlake tracks now.

Great debut by the Coral in all. Don’t give them the Mercury Prize though, and stop nominating them for shit. Pretend to ignore them, and let them grow. It’s getting like Orpheus getting torn to pieces by Dionysus’ dryads. (Needless mythological references? What’s wrong with me?)

I was a little too hard on Goldberg yesterday though. The YHF demos are indeed pretty fab, particularly Wilco/ Tweedy’s version of Bennett’s song “Venus Stopped the Train”. Unfortunately, i can hear references melodywise to the Stones’ “Salt of the Earth” and even McCartney’s “Live & Let Die” (no, really.) I can definitely understand the need for change even better than before, no matter how good the song is. Too familiar path even if it has a great view.

I have all five of the new Belle & Sebastian Peel Acres tracks now, and tryign to share them on either Soulseek or Kazaa as often as possible. Gotta figure better way to spread the goodies around.

Yeah, writing about the Beatles isn’t fun, but i’m downloading Sgt. Pepper for Lou tonight, as i realized that i only have it on vinyl tape. Pretty silly for a preofessed diehard Beatles fan. Anyway, i haven’t listened to them on headphones in years… maybe ever. The production is sounding amazingly lo-fi tonight. I can almost hear Martin twiddling the knobs. Refocused on “A Day in the Life”… favorite lines from it lately are the one concerning the people turning away from the film of war, but the singer insisting that he had to look because he read the book, acting as if he has some special insight because of it… but it’s probably just another excuse for an obsession with the grotesque. See? No fun writing about the Beatles.

The Democratic Party needs to be purged. No, I’m not calling for executions. I just want these so-called New Democrats from the DLC to be expelled from the party. I was listening to Lieberman yammer on Monday evening about how populism is antithetical to capitalism and democracy, and how if the Democratic Party is to thrive, it must remain pro-business and anti-populist. I am certain that his notion of the party thriving only means the consolidation of power for him and his allies, not the welfare of the people. Who gives a shit if he has any power if he is going to remain pro-business and anti-populist? We don’t need public servants to be a powerful aristocratic class.

Yeah, yeah, I’m willfully ignoring that one of the biggest populists of American history was also a tyrant, Huey Long, but again, I’d prefer a tyrant who relies on the will of the people rather than the will of business. It definitely feels like the rhetoric from people like Lieberman stems from a loss of understanding that America is a nation of people, not a conglomeration of corporations that’s only concern is business. America’s business might plausibly be business, something that appears nowhere in the Constitution, but America certainly does not exist solely for that reason. How many fucking ways am i going to write that?

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 07.30.02

After all of that nonsense about the free CDs, i felt most uncomfortable writing anything at all about Steve Earle. From what i can read, he’s making more sense as a commentator than the defense and Mideast specialists. I had pulled out the only album that i have here, Transcendental Blues, to listen on the drive to Lake Charles yesterday. I bought it while working at the bookstore, as one late shift there was nothing to do, and being stuck in the music department, i fell in love with that album. Admittedly, i didn’t really listen to it much after the initial purchase. Although it has some nice singles, and i cannot find one song on it that i do not like, listening to it all at once becomes frustrating, because i keep thinking that he already played this song earlier in the album. No matter how many times i play it, i still have the same problem. Nonetheless, if i’m in a roots-rock kinda mood, it’s a great album and he’s a good lyricist. If anyone is going to tackle the kind of issues that rednecks bristle at, it had best be him, as i get a charge out of turning Steve Earle onto them.

Now Artemis Records, the label he’s on, is waiving fees for internet radio for its artists. Thsi also includes Rickie Lee Jones, Jay Farrar, and weirdly, a band that was featured on some mainstream news show the other day, Marah. Hopefully a few more labels will take the plunge, breaking rank with the major labels, and use the internet to their best advantage. The world of music needs more rebellion and vision.

Now i’m getting really frustrated. In addition to the new Belle & Sebastian Peel Acres session, i just realized that i’ve been forgetting to grab the Wilco YHF demos. After seing the Goldberg article, it has me itchign with curiosity. I do like the fact that he admits that he likes YHF more intellectually than in its actuality, rarely playing it. Nice touch of honesty, although i think anyone who gets so worked up about the Strokes, and finds YHF distant has some ideas that i simply cannot relate to. Apparently he likes the YHF demos because Tweedy’s not trying so hard not to be what everyone thinks he is, someone steeped in country sound. Ehhh…. i dunno…

Bookend this with the Pitchfork review of the Jay Bennett album. Bennett was on some of those YHF demos. “Venus Stopped the Train” is one of his songs, as is “Alone”/”Shakin’ Sugar”. It feels fair of Mitchum to compare the two albums of what was and what could have been, because some fo the songs were written at the same time, and these different visions/ styles are what caused the rift. Great sentence: Palace is perhaps more what Reprise was hoping for: FM-ready stuff that at best resembles Tom Petty and at worst could be mistaken for the Counting Crows. Not to add more nastiness, but while i didn’t think of those bands, when i heard Palace, i was thinking along the same lines, that this might be the album Reprise was hoping for. Goldberg probably feels this too, although he doesn’t realize it, making allusions to the Basement Tapes, Beggar’s Banquet, Abbey Road, and Plastic Ono. Unfortunately, i hear those same albums namechecked for a hell of a lot of mediocre stuff, feeble power pop and trad rock Americana style.

Again, i have not heard the demos yet, and have only lightly lsitened to the Bennett album, but if i was Tweedy, i’d do anything i could to establish my own voice, and get out of the shadows of those classic rock megaliths.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 07.29.02

later in evening

so much for a better post…. my excuse is that i just came off an eleven and a half hour shift.

i’m falling for hype, although a NYLPM check couldn’t hurt. I gotta hear the Coral. Apparently they cover the Teardrop Explodes’ “Reward” I haven’t even heard them yet, and i’m already a fan.

Found these via Fluxblog, a Portuguese page archiving the recent performances of the new Radiohead songs. I haven’t made up my mind about the actual songs, but it amuses me that some fans seem to clapping along with everything.

It’s kinda pissing me off that Belle & Sebastian fans cannot get their act together to distribute the new Peel Acres sessions so quickly, as they were actually broadcast on the radio.

evening

First this morning i wrote some mopey piece about how i didn’t want to go to work, and the kind of music i listen to in order to make certain that i’m sufficiently sullen when i punch in the clock. That’s all deleted.

Then i wrote a bunch of garbage in reaction to that link to the blog concerned about getting free CDs that Josh, and now Tom has linked. I even wrote some more on my newly salvaged computer in the lab, and brought it home on disk. It’s all garbage.

Anyway, i never heard of the blog before, so it’s hard for me to become too worked up about his ignorance of the communities of music bloggers. Using the word “formally” in connection with blogging is fairly silly anyway. I do feel a minor slight in his presumption that music writing (journalism? ha!) is an unexplored frontier, but it’s the same thing that elite bloggers felt when mainstream media presumed that Andrew Sullivan was doing anything new with the medium.

Even if he had a point about the free CDs, the music industry would not appreciate new voices. They actually seem to prefer fewer voices in the media right now, to keep a tighter control of the opinions of the products they sell. The less third parties like bloggers are involved, the better, as the opnions might not mesh well with the carefully packaged images that the record companies are trying to sell. No free CDs for bloggers, regardless of the belief in the service provided by offering one’s unbiased opnion.

Downloading is more fun anyway.

Trying to pull together a better post for later tonight.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 07.27.02

afternoon

Someone was searching for Lou Barlow’s blog here earlier. Nope. I don’t have it. However, i did download the song “Flame” by Sebadoh recently. I didn’t buy their last record The Sebadoh. Burned out on them. Harmacy seemed to be one album too many. However, someone’s blog swore that “Flame” was a great song awhile back, and i downloaded it. It truly is a great Sebadoh song, if one believes in such a thing. I made the mistake of watching a bunch of videos on Launch.com early this morning though, and the level of dorky posing going on spooked me…. Lou Barlow was acting liek an indie rock Trent Reznor. It genuinely creeped me out. It also disappointed me to find the lyric is actually I don’t wanna be the one who rides flame and not I don’t wanna be the one who WRITES “Flame”, which would have made it into a weird little bit of self-conscious songwriting, a sort of frustration at being the sort of person who writes the songs that he does.

Our morning out didn’t quite go as i would have liked. Three out of five people who we dealt with were perfect assholes. The first one was the worst. We went to the local farmer’s market in downtown to see what they had. We wound up going for a seedless watermelon. I started to pick up out and this sour little runt of a man at the end of the trailer who had been ignoring me suddenly demanded to know if i didn’t trust him to pick out our watermelon for us. With the charisma of someone else, it might have been a jovial, lighthearted thing, but this dried-up twerp was actually belligerent about it. He was ranting on about knowing what he is doing because he’s been a farmer all of his life, although he looked more like a barfly than a farmer to us. He went aroudn the side and grabbed one up to say, “This one here has a green sterm. You want a green stem. It means it’s fresh off the vine!” fuck it! i don’t want one fresh off the vine. i want one with a dried-up vine and a yellow belly…. but i didn’t feel like fighting. It was good enough… but when we tried to pay, he passed us off to another man who said that if we didn’t like it, then we could come back next week and ask for our money back. It wasn’t the offer of a kindly, conscientious vendor. It was the dare of a man who detested the thought of someone questioning the quality of his melons, a presumed city slicker like myself. Midn you, i barely spoke a word, and my face was blank. I just tried to shrug it off, and think that they were just the exception.

What pissed me off worse was actually a lesser expense, but it was a bookstore clerk. I just don’t have empathy for rude bookstore clerks, as i know how bad it can get, and this little bespectacled bimbo had it easy. I had already filled out the whole check with all of the appropriate information. She asked to see my license, which i showed, but the expiration extension is on the back. She demanded to see it, and as i went to pull it out, i said, that the year is 2006. I was just trying to be helpful. I was still taking the card out for her to see. She hissed, “I still have to see it,” in a low, condescending voice, as she rewrote all of the info that i had already put on there. It might also be worth mentioning that i had used a discount card, which require the same info and a pint of blood. I’ve always hated snotty cashiers, and i hate them even more after i worked behind the counter for a few years.

mid-morning

Change all Skykicking links to http://skykicking.tripod.com/

ha ha. There’s an interview with Bobby Gillespie on the Guardian, and the intro paragraph sums him up perfecty… “A cup of tea, please.” “Large or regular?” she asks. “Small,” he says. “I don’t like regular. It’s American.” “Look, I’m only doing my job,” says the waitress. “Yes, yes, I know,” he beseeches to her departing arse, but she’s gone, and in trying to aim a tiny kick against the Yankee overdog he has accidentally offended the underdog, which was never the point. But it IS the point. Perhaps not Gillespe’s point, but it’s the point of Gillespie.

I didn’t read the rest. I didn’t need to. (Psst. i actually enjoyed XTRMNTR when i got it, but have been put off Primal Scream probably permanently by this hollow posturing since.) I understand the concept of the evils of Bush, and the hegemony of the U.S. butGillespie has reached the same level of prejudice that rednecks have in saying the English are obviously backwards idiots because they drive on the wrong side of the road and like cucumbers on their sandwiches.

I was going to write something mentioning how finally the furor of reporting Ryan Adams’ every last dithering has died down, but decided not to do it…. and then this comes out. I have more hopes for Demolition than how flimsy the nature Gold was. I’m still glad that i bought Gold. I liked sitting in the coffee shop in Cardiff’s City Centre on a summer morning that was far cooler than what i was used to and trying to decipher how the album was going to sound from the liner notes and that silly cover photo (which still amuses me more than it puts other people off.) I had some sort of special record moment there. Then again, most of the time i spent over there haunting record shops, hoping to be one of the first people in the shop to look for records was most cool.

Reading Cope’s ecstacy about coming to America to find all of these fantastic record shops seems strange, something that was also in the Bowie Letters novel. In truth, there was more of a sense of immediacy and discovery when i was stalking the racks of Spillers, Virgin & HMV. In my experience, American record stores suck, with the exception of odd things like Waterloo in Austin. I probably should get out of the Sotuh more often, but there are so few surprises in the stores, like inexplicably discounted records or mysterious new reissues that may or may not be bootlegs. Shopping for records in the South is much like going to the grocery store… gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, and some eggs.

Mythologizing Wilco. I dunno. It seems too early and too forced. I definitely want to see the film, but it’s not the disaster of “Let It Be”. Are rock and roll dramas supposed to have happy endings?

Whenever i get around to making the ultimate Wu-Tang comp, i’ll be using this guide.

morning

Trying to track down the five new Belle & Sebastian songs from the Peel Acres session. If you are looking for them, yet haven’t checked Peel’s site.(and this page specifically) here’s the songs that they performed:

  • ‘You Don’t Send Me’
  • ‘Roy Walker’
  • ‘Love On The March’
  • ‘Sleep On A Sunbeam’
  • ‘Desperation Made A Fool Of Me’

Yeah, i heard them on the stream version, but i don’t know what i think of these songs just yet, aside from a few better-left-unsaid bland platitudes and the notion that they threw every instrument and the kitchen sink into the fray.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 07.26.02

This morning seems like the morning to listen to Interpol, but at 5 AM, it seems too late to listen to this. If i was an insomniac, awake at 2 AM, this might be more appropriate. There’s too many people awake here now. It has the desolation of a slumbering city. These feel like the kind of songs one listens to when everyone else is unconscious and dreaming, no matter how how loud they get.

I rather like this guy’s strangled voice, the kind that comes from swallowing too many bitter emotions. It’s hard to go for that broken voice of a million cigarettes and bad whiskey, but for depressive music, a lot of people go for either that wounded whispering, which is annoyingly cliched…. or perhaps just plain annoying, or raging hollering… bellowing like a bull being slaughtered by someone with an extremely dull and rusty hatchet.

The odd thing though is that none of these songs are sticking in my head, because i woke up with a line from some cartoon cat, probably a Hanna Barbera one that keeps saying, “I love those mieces to pieces.” Over and over and over. Shucks. It’s better than goddamned Cake.

Can you believe that dipshit Bush actually said this? “I believe people have taken a step back and asked, ‘What’s important in life?’ You know, the bottom line and this corporate America stuff–is that important? Or is serving your neighbor, loving your neighbor like you’d like to be loved yourself?” It’s hard to become more childishly transparent in misdirecting the importance of issues. This is the sort of lame shit that a dimwitted teen offers his parents when he wrecks the car that he borrowed without permission in poorly written sitcoms. Why would any sane citizen fall for such flimsy rhetoric? Admittedly, i didn’t actully hear him say this, as reporters paraphrased him to make it sound less shallowly self-serving.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 07.25.02

evening

Rolling Stone. Hyperbole and mispronoucements galore. I’d try to take the piss of it all, but i’d rather do something else. Read. Watch TV. Throw small rocks at the neighbors who walk past our apartment. Entice squirrels to come into the kitchen to laugh at them slide on the linoleum.

Excellent letter from Wayne Coyne on Yoshimi…. on Slatch. The album still hasn’t grown on me past the actual Yoshimi songs, part 1 & 2, but eh, so what? I’m still into the band.

I visit Head Heritage irregularly, despite my Cope fixation, but Nate‘s gotten me falling over over myself to get to Husser to dig out my copy of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida and rev it up to 45 RPMs. I don’t know why i didn’t think of this. I was just telling Stanislav the other day about how Damien used to patiently record Carlos Peron solo albums like Komtur at ultra-low speeds that made it sound like the house itself was rumbling with pronouncements from Hell (probably of its subway schedule, and by a guy who gargled glass aftrr suffering a stroke.) I used to play the John Williams Cantina Band from Star Wars at varied speeds all of the time myself. Why not “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”?

Shucks. Those TX horns are real. I knew that. Dumbass. It’s just that Cope never mntions the hornplayers in the book. He won’t mind if he’s called an asshole for that, since he’s already done enough to condemn himself.

morning

Actually i’m still obsessed with the Fire Show, particularly “Designing a Steeper Cliff” and “Heart Muscle Mass”, but anyway…..

Although i read nothing last night, as my head’s been killing me, the last thing i read in that Cope book was about Balfe was the one who wanted to put the horns all over Kilimanjaro, thinking that it made them sound more like Scott Walker and Love’sForever Changes. That was the biggest stumbling block for me in getting into that album, those damned fake horns.

KLSU played “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver” yesterday. Yes, it’s quite a common song, normally uneventful, but back in 1991, i must admit that i felt some vindication when i heard it on the radio. Although i knew that the bass was obviously the important part, i was coming from a place in which my brother was buying armfuls of guitar magazines, and suddenly there was an oddball band that metalheads were forced to like, but transcribing all of Lalonde’s guitar solos seemed pointless. They didn’t fit any of those little columns offered by Satriani or Vai. It was great! It worked better to fuck their world than the usual punk because there was some kind of seeming musical virtuosity going on, but early on, it didn’t seem to fit into those neo-classical or bastardized formal blues niches that seemed to be popular at the time. Of course, those guitar magazines survived quite well anyway, but it was so much fun to ask my brother innocently if he would play “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver”. He never became angry or irritated…. just say, yeah, yeah… and promptly block it out.

I love Daniel Schorr. Even on a shit day on NPR, when they are trying to sweep everything under the rug with soft focus human interest stories, if Daniel Schorr is brought on for commentary, he seeks in on the most troubling issues like a laser beam. In this piece that i missed yesterday, he brings up just how dodgy it seems that Bush wants the Department of Homeland Security to have all sorts of weird budgetary powers (mostly being able to shift funds around to the point that they are nearly unaccountable for what they do with the money) that would stomp all over the Congress’ power of the purse.

Those Free Republic people almost always creep me out, as they seem like a bunch of monsters to me, but suddenly we’re on the same side. I found that even they are furious about Bush’s desire to deploy American troops on American soil with policing powers. Even evil Republican cockfarmers like Dick Armey are against shit like national ID cards and the TIPS program. Stances on issues like these are the only things that conservatives have going for them, nd if they don’t have the guts to remeber that these are precisely the things that they are supposed to be against, what’s the use of pretending that we have liberals and conservatives anymore?

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 07.24.02

The Fire Show mp3s are still on the hardrive, and thy found their way into Winamp this morning. There’s a dreamy quality to them that makes me feel like i haven’t woke up yet… and last night i was dreaming of the area of LSU getting hit by a tiny meteor, spawning a volcanic reaction from a faultline that almost certainly doesn’t exist, and creating a hoel that gets flooded by the Mississippi. Never mind the plot of the dream. It’s not relevant in itself… this music pulls the oddest imagery out of my head, especially this morning. I keep stopping to listen to it again, to find what it drew out, but in truth, i just sit here vacuously, eyes glazed… only to play another song as soon as that gray-out has finished.

Read about the Flying Luttenbachers (who i used to think were named after the Texas dancehall, so i never investigated, as i’d rather just listen to my dad’s Bob Wills CDs if i wanted Texas swing,) on ILM last night, and now i find that they are namechecked inthis Village Voice article. I downloaded some this morning, because it drives me crazy when i cannot associate a name with a sound. It would have beeen a lot more useful a few years ago, when i was trying to drive myself insane with a combo of dissonance, drugs, and demons. Incidentally, i believe that a lot of people who listen to this kind of stuff never have had to work around heavy machinery. As clever and wild as the changes sound, no matter how virtuoso, it’s bomboardment of dissonance overstimulating the nervous system makes one just want to punch the clock and go home….. maybe go fishing. It’s hard to not put on working class pretentions when listening to this, because i lose empathy for music being an end unto itself, and want it not to be so reflective of the unnatural rhythms of industrial noise…. not the music genre, but the kind regulated by OSHA.

Will check Soulseek for Locust tonight. Probably won’t care for it much, but ya never know….

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 07.23.02

evening

I have no idea on whether my old friend Mike D has been reading my page, but the evil bastard sent me an email saying that he just got some new Dave Matthews, P.O.D., & RHCP albums, and has offered to burn me copies. He’s the devil. The DEVIL!

Vainly continuing to reread Head On/ Repossessed by Julian Cope. (No time!) Even if i didn’t love Cope, this book probably well could be one of my favorites. It makes me want to record music. Part of the reason why i must empathize with Cope so much is because he started a band from the obsessive nature of a music fan and a record collector… and an insane egomanical urge to best Ian McCulloch… anyway… He claims that they came up with songs like “Sleeping Gas” just by ripping off Nuggetsbands, and vamping on their riffs and ideas until something usable emerges. There’s a boneheaded zeal to this that i never was able to follow through. I never wanted to be a rock star, but i do want to be an idiot savant.

Ouch. My head hurts.

Whoops. Forgot to get the new Solomon Burke album, and i like the details Fred has.

Folsk keep quoting me on my baseless speculation that the Strokes injoury was really drug related, but Elijah forwarded this to me from the Strokes listserv last week: julian sustained a serious knee injury in Los Angeles late last week, and was unable to fly back to NYC in time to leave for the weezer tour. he’s on crutches and is unable to get around well….. he’s feeling much better now though, and the doctors expect him to recover in time to do the final two weezer shows that we have planned (nashville and atlanta), as long as he stays off his knee for a while. we sincerely apologize to all the disappointed fans, we regret to ever have to cancel a show. He let me live with the absurd notion that it could be a drug deal gone bad though. He was kneecapped!

morning

So i went back to work last week, but they involved mostly shuffling about & sneezing. An actual full day of work was involved yesterday, and it is wiping me out far more than usual. Lou’s insisting that this cold is really the West Nile Virus… hmmm…

The Church of Me has shaken my new belief in “Losing My Edge”. It’s quite convincing in breaking down the nature and meaning of the namechecks.

Stylus Magazine is not down for any other reason than technical ones. (Todd wrote this morning.)

It amuses me that Greil Marcus manages to connect that horrible Subway commercial with the sneering jackass bullying the kid in the burger joint to George Bush. Lou’s teeth go on edge whenever it goes on air, and i just blank out.

Maybe i’ll get my shit back together tonight…

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 07.22.02

I don’t want the damned Army making arrests on American soil. When are the majority of the American people going to comprehend that this adminstration is making some of the most gratuitous power grabs in history? It’s deeply disturbing that this might be pushed through. the TIPS program is bad enough.

Coke Roberts is retiring and i only hope never to hear her raspy, tired whitewashes ever again. NPR is turning out to be a lost cause as it is, but one less Republican apologist on the air is a welcome relief.

So Worldcom has the bigget bankruptcy ever. Want to see something funny on their political donations? They used to be strongly Republican donors, but in 2002, when they know that they are going bankrupt, they suddenly give as much money to the idiot Democrats. Sure, the Democrats are guilty too, but it looks like Wolrdcom just wanted to make sure that they get dragged down with dirty money.

I really am warming up to the recent Guided By Voices album after all. I don’t see why it’s receiving poorer reviews than Isolation Drills. No depths to probe here.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 07.21.02

afternoon

Redesigning my blog and moving it to a new server is a bigger pain in the neck than i expected. It might not change much at all, despite my aspirations for permalinks and comments. Fuck it.

Jess has a new blog. Yeah, i still think the LCD Soundsystem single “Losing My Edge” verges on novelty. Someone on ILM mentioned it’s what the Talking Heads might sound like today, making me think of “Life During Wartime”, but i don’t really feel it’s that close. I don’t have a problem accepting that the author and the narrator of the song are the same person either. It’s a very cool song that i’m certainly not bored with, but i sense a limited shelflife for it as it leaves no mystery. Why is this guy losing his edge? He namechecks all of the cool stuff, and then admits he just doesn’t know where to go from here. Fuck. Neither do i, and i don’t care. I didn’t know where i was going musically ten years ago, nor did i ten years before that. I’ve always been a trend follower, a grave robber, and a cannibal, not a trailblazer. So what?

Part of the problem with age, possibly with the narrator of “Losing My Edge” is not truly that he’s losing his edge, but he’s lost the social circles to pass off old music as new to a younger generation. He’s sunk into isolationism. His edge is not his musical taste, but his ability to con others, to sell the hype. Does anyone actually believe he was at any of those critical junctures?

Actually, i just convinced myself that “Losing My Edge” is definitely NOT a novelty song just now. Somehow i’ve managed to throw some dust in my own eyes and confuse the issue enough to increase the song’s longevity for myself. Whew.

I agree with Jess on the cry of Gil! Scott! Heron! being one of the highlights of the song. It’s one of the better jokes in the song, possibly referencing “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”… at least that’s what i think of when it’s a song about a man losing his edge, even if i now want to believe this edge is not about being revolutionary.

midmorning

I don’t know what to say about Alan Lomax dying. He’s extremely important to my music world, but i honestly did not that he was still alive.

Heard “Everywhere with Helicopter’ by Guided by Voices on radio yesterday. It sounded a little flat on headphones from mp3, but on a car radio, it was more blown out and raw, more immediate. The mp3 this morning still sounds flat. I don’t know what the difference is, aside from the shit speakers of the truck. I still have not figured out where Pollard swiped the guitar riff from, as it’s painfully familiar.

Finally saw the Strokes “Hard to Explain” video. they just aren’t even trying, are they? They still stand precisely in place, but now they inject it with a bunch of irrelevant clips from old films. It certainly cut my attention with the flash of colors of images, but it was empty as the blarings of a car alarm. The Andrew WK video for “She Is Beautiful” is equally hollow, but as much as his music annoys me, his stomping around in an abandonded midnight suburbia is mildly funnier.

Oh, the Vines’ singer does that cute little eyes-rolled-back-in-his-head trick that the Guardian article mentioned in the “Get Free” video. Sheesh. Tt sounds like it ought to be on Incesticide. Roman Coppola looks to be spearheading a movement that seemed familiar back when hair metal bands began to get slicker videos. So many peole are insisting on a breakthrough for indieish guitar rock again, and watching this video feels more like i’m watching a Warrant video somehow. Yuck.

Someone convince these snarling little nu-metal guitarists with the facial piercings that the only way that they are going to intimidate us is to wrap their heads in barbed wire and slash their arms with broken bottles. We caught onto to those poses back in Headbangers Ball. Up the ante, you sissies. The stage cries out for a blood sacrifice now. After seeing a couple of those clips, the nonpresence of the doll-like Strokes seems like a Grand Statement.

morning

Lou caugt my cold, and i’m indulgently downloading junk, typing like a fool.

I finally understand the Replacements to my satisfaction! Everyone gets that impatient feeling when speakers or writer yammer on about the greatness of an artist, and knowing that you’ve already heard the music before, their words are coming from some other fictional band that only exists in their heads. You just want to slam down a fist on the table, howl “All right already, damn it!” and be done with it. Before i thought that they were a pretty good roots rock band, but then only recently foudn just how hardcore they were in their earlier recordings. Now, via The Shit Hits the Fan! i now know that they were the shittiest, most buffoonish bar band in the world, and that’s agood thing.

Two-thirds of that live record, for the fools like me who don’t know but still care, are devoted to tossed-off, impressionistic covers that don’t bother with more than the briefest pisstake. I’ve heard most of the songs by shitty barbands, but they actually took them seriously, and churn them out with workmanlike professionalism. The Replacements deliver the shitfaced inner souls of the songs, stripping away all of the polish of the songs that they never deserved… besides, i have a certain fascination with a band that would cover stuff like Led Zeppelin and BTO without that much irony (as it’s obvious this is the kind of stuff the band actually enjoys listening to,) yet still sound like complete smartasses.

Incidentally, while browsing in Wherehouse Music yesterday, in a fit of insanity, i noticed that they had a shitload of emo stuff on sale, with little cards describing the sound of each band… and i’ve now decided that “sincerity” in a band is a pretty fucking awful thing. Sincerity reeks of U2 (covered by the Replacements in “I Will Follow”) and emo sharing that quality with U2 sums it all up. Insincerity and snarkiness are beautiful this morning, even if it results in such jackassery as Stephen Malkmus. It’s fairly amusing that American pundits were solemnly declaring the Death of Irony right after 9/11 last year, and no one wants to review what a foolish pronouncement that was now.

Downloaded some more live Replacements, and it’s iditoc. A version of “Fuck School” presumably performed at CBGBs is sung to the melody of the Beatles’ “Let It Be”. Yes, i’m easily entertained today.

Downloaded some Chameleons, as they belong to a time period that i am appreciating more fully lately, but haven’t been able to embrace them yet. After getting into trash for trash’s sake, it’s hard to shift gears into craft.

Lou put on Louisiana Showcase for a laugh on Friday night. There was some abysmal free fusion funk band playing. All the audience members coudl say is that it had an “original” sound. It was more like a cliched sound, but because most people have the sense to avoid such excrement when they have the option, it sounds fresh to them… like a fresh turd? It weirded me out, as i’m almost certain that the dredlocked singer used to be the singer in a couple of groups in Hammond that sucked nearly as bad. It’s strange if it is the same guy, because it seems that after thirteen years of neither critical nor popular support, he would have quit. The only time that i recall him having any kind of following was in his first band in the early ’90s when they played a murky acoustic version of “Man in the Box” that they’d play repeatedly, with the audience gratuitously shouting along to the word “shit”. Ugh.