Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 12.24.02

Max Tundra doesn’t do much for me. I thought it had singing in it for some reason. When one cites XTC and Squeeze, i expect something in the way of quirky lyrics. Yes, i can hear the nervy, spikey melodicism, so the comparison that Pitchfork threw out was not total bullshit, but part of the reason why i cannot embrace a lot of electronic music is because there’s no voice that i can hang onto. If i could jump that hurdle though, i wouldn’t keep tilling the same ground of all of this post-modern rock music, and mess with jazz and classical more.

It also turned out that i was downloading the wrong Mum for someone’s Christmas mp3 disk. Damn it. I needed this one.

Last night was one of the oddest cases of insomnia that i’ve ever had. Even though i’ve been working at all kinds of awkward hours, and losing lots of sleep because of it, when i finally could have a full night’s sleep, my body crashes out at 8 PM, only to reawaken by a phone call from work at 10 PM (an alarm went off that no one knew how to fix.) After that my body has become so accustomed to operating at low ebb that not enough sleep seemed to be enough. No amount of controlled breathing or imagery could drag me back to sleep. It took all of my willpower not to cruise over to the liquor store, and drink myself into a coma.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 12.23.02

I typed out a few more notes on 12/9, but they are now deleted, as they turned out to be quite dated. I’ve already changed my mind about various albums, songs, and artists at least three times since then. I also tried pulling together a list of faves of the year, and posted it on a friend’s band’s message board, but it seems that the few people who read it weren’t interested in anything other than that band, as only two other folks had any opinions in the matter. In reading other people’s lists on blogs and boards, i’m finding a lot of similarities, so i’m abandoning my list.

I’ve actually been listening to a comp tape that my friend Darryl made a few years ago, Plastic Flower Radio, which is Nuggets 2 before there was yet a Nuggets 2, full of Smoke, The End, the Idle Race, the Move, July, and all of those other odd little British psych bands. There’s something about their childish dreaminess that makes it feel even more like Christmas, even though none of it is all that Christmas, like someone set off a bunch of sparkling wind-up toys at once.

Part of me wants to cheat, and grab up Chips from the Chocolate Fireball, but while that’s a fave album of mine, that’s sort of missing the whole point. Of those old ’60s bands, i only have half of the albums, and they are all in Husser. This tape supplants the comp tape i made for myself filled with Wire, the Only Ones, Magazine, and other stuff from that era, but i have all of those albums in Baton Rouge. I don’t know if this is a problem with me simply wanting to listen to more albums that i don’t have readily available, because of mine delusional belief that British psych has something akin to Christmas, or my mood has changed.

the Bollywood Funk comp has already been popping up lately, as i think it’s absolutely perfect fit for Darryl’s tastes, and i’ve been listening to it over and over making sure that i’m not wrong…. not that he’d very much care if i was wrong.

Aside from that, i finally got a reaction from one of the people that i gave some comp CDs a couple months back. Reaction is never necessary, but i was a bit weirded out that he decided that the bulk of my taste of music falls firmly into “Folky”. I bristled at the label, because while it might actually be true, those CDs would not have supported that allegation. Just because i didn’t weigh down those disks with noise-rock and hardcore doesn’t make me a Folky. It’s the same nonsense that the Republicans do in labelling everything liberal when it doesn’t fall into the lockstep of the new fascism, moving the line of moderatre further and further to the right. So it seems to be with the “folky” label with this guy wih calloused eardrums.

And the Pitchfork 2002 list…i noticed that it’s up last night. While i don’t expect everyone to want Tom Waits in their BEst of lists, i find it peculiar that Pitchfork would let him drop down to #48 while hyping a whole bunch of stuff that i wager shall date quite poorly in five years. As for the Top 10, that Liars album came out in 2001 according to the AMG, including ..Trail of Dead is just foolish wishing, Murray Street was nice but in the long run uneventful for me, and uh….. oh, uck it. I’m kinda curious about the Books, and Max Tundra. Those slipped right past me.

Damn. I miss writing, even if it’s crap writing.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 12.09.02

Got the recent Uncut last week, but had no time to write about it. Besides the six days per week, i’ve had a nagging cold that has wiped out all higher thought than what’s required to get dressed and push buttons.

Was surprised that they turn their noses up at the Libertines. It cannot be that big of a deal, as Uncut is still hurdling towards the kind of irrelevancy that can only be strived for, worse than even lazy complacency. Not rubberstamping the Libertines is not a mortail offense, but the idolization of that childish turd Ryan Adams certainly is. (I thought i could prove something by counting each mention of Adams’ name in the reviews, but it proved fruitless, as it happened that his name is not there that much… it just flares out like a red flag when it does.

While it is nice to see the name of an online music writer than i read in there, he only has three reviews in there, and he does little to stem the tide of the constant fawning over turgid Americana. Where’s former Uncut contributor Simon Reynolds? Writing online. Why do i buy magazines anymore?

It makes no sense to argue that the Libertines, a relatively fun band (yeah, yeah, i ought to define “fun” but why bother? Anyway, how about an untempo single with hooks versus and mournful ballad about Wynona Ryder?) are an exercise in regurgitation rather than innovation while some of their critics are slobbering over the work of Ryan Adams. The Libertines are indeed tilling old ground, but Ryan fucking Adams?

What about the NME article with Ryan Adams taking shots at Jack White of the White Stripes? It’s surprising that this piece hasn’t been scrubbed yet, as it’s incredibly embarrassing. Adam’s comments are infantile nonsense. It might just be NME and Uncut having jabs at each other, with clueless shittalker Adams as their pawn, but it irks me that Uncut still embraces this guy as having a Midas Touch. Prolific he may be, but he’s no longer of interest. Listening to his stuff, it now feels that it was over for him with Heartbreaker… why let him slander a band that probably still has a few good or great singles in them? It’s the same motivation that has them running to Courtney Love for quotes, and what was her last good song? And i liked Hole’s last album welll enough… it just happens to have been released in 1998….

Uncut cripples itself by assigning a couple of writers to write about more current topics, one for Europop perhaps, and another for those dabblign in post-punk, while the bulk remain with Americana, power pop, and stalwart alt-rock of four or five years ago. Do i really want to trust a magazine with scribes who are busily trying to erase the line connecting David Gray and the Dave Matthews Band (Denying MOR, and trtying to align him with Richard Thompson and Mark Eitzel,) or usign the first Counting Crows album as some kind of touchstone in the history of rock songwriting?


Might as well post what i have so far, as i fucked up last week, and posted nothign at all even though somethign was written… damn…. i gotta keep this habit up. End of year is the perfect time for writing about music.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 12.04.02

This blog will probably not return to normal functions at least until after the holidays retail season, or possibly until i switch jobs again. The bookstore is still leagues better than the radiation lab, but it’s intruding entirely too much into my free time.

The only new thing i’ve discovered is the Libertines through NYLPM and NME. Apparently they are the British Strokes to some people, but i can actually feel a connection to this band, rather than distanced amusement. The abandon of “Vertigo” has something i can latch onto in the few moments i can click through a few mp3s in the morning, and the blatant pillaging of part of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Homeward Bound” for “Death on the Stairs” (at least that’s what it seems like) is more than enough to keep them from being dumped to a mp3 disk that will be dusty and forgotten in a month.

I hate J-Lo. She’s edging up to my rabid hatred of Madonna, as Madonna has become so absurd that she’s lost the ability to parody herself with self-awareness. Anyone who has the audacity to declare that she knows where she came from, and still behave as she does is deluded. Her insistance that we not be fooled by her flashy displays of opulence is no more believable than a politician preaching his touch with the common man. The tune is irritating, and the video is perfectly demonstrative of just how out of touch she is. I can only accept that she must be a Republican.

Madonna. “Die Another Day” I’m gonna avoid the cliche Wait a minute… didn’t she just say a couple of minute before this line Sigmund Freud anaylize this….. ? Geez…. She’s setting her goals way too high. How about I’m gonna indulge and revel in cliches

The Christina Aguilera video for “Dirrty” is embarrassing, and reminscent of the Michael Jackson circa Dangerous. It was quite foolish of me to hope that she’d embrace a Blondie role of some sorts after acknowledging the coolness of “A Stroke of Genie-us”. I couldn’t watch the whole thing. Does she turn into some kinda of animal during it, as it would support my belief.

I guess that Avril is now off-limits for me now, because the Banana Splits and the Wombles seem more mature and less manufactured. After i watched “SK8R Boi”, Launch popped up Michelle Branch, who is still not my cup of tea, but irritates me a lot less without all of those pseudo-punk, empty anti-authority posturings. The cicrcling helicopter was way, way too much… And come to think of it, smashing a car for no clear reason is also related to Michael Jackson Dangerous. Damn… it’s strange to see him still being so prescient in 1992. Is everyone going to be getting horribly disfiguring plastic surgery in the next coming years?

I’m more forgiving of the song “Complicated” though, as the Big Chorus that seemed to work actually does pester my subconscious, bubblign its way to the surface on occasion. Nice hook. Her whole image and “attitude” still grates though.

Uh…. i kinda like the Justin Timberlake single “Like I Love You”…. at least it sounds better than anything except Missy Elliott’s “Work It” in Launch’s Top 10 videos. Nothing useful i can say about it, but i’m trying very hard not to backslide into hating all chart pop again.