July 31, 2003

Gentree Stardust: I am so obsessed w/ Lisa Germano.

toddlburns::why do you think so?

Gentree Stardust:I don’t know.

Gentree Stardust:It’s so dark.

Gentree Stardust:Perfect night listening.

Gentree Stardust:Her voice is just…perfect.

toddlburns::the new a silver mt. zion is really good night listening.

toddlburns::if you can get past the guys voice.

Gentree Stardust:I haven’t heard it yet.

Gentree Stardust:I”m still mad at them [GYBE].

Gentree Stardust:Well, spec. Efrim.

Gentree Stardust:He’s such a dick.

Gentree Stardust:He hates his fans.

toddlburns::see, that and the blood brothers doesn’t bother me one bit.

toddlburns::i expect it.

toddlburns:i want them to hate me.

toddlburns:it makes it much easier to give them bad reviews, first of all. ;)

Gentree Stardust:I want them to keep their mouth shut and play music.

toddlburns::haha, yeah, well that too.

Gentree Stardust:Some artists I want to hear their banter.

Gentree Stardust:But bands like GYBE I don’t.

Gentree Stardust:It ruins their mystique.

Gentree Stardust:And ruins the image I have of them in my head.

Gentree Stardust:Which is what happened.

toddlburns::heh, what did he say?

Gentree Stardust:Well, I saw them on the night bombing started in Iraq.

Gentree Stardust:So he stopped the show and said that we all paid for those bombs.

Gentree Stardust:And we all elected Bush.

Gentree Stardust:So we have to take responsibility.

Gentree Stardust:Shit like that.

Gentree Stardust:Then I went to the merch. table and saw their pathetic literature.

toddlburns::it’s weird.

toddlburns::like.

Gentree Stardust:And the losers sitting behind the table.

toddlburns::who goes to a godspeed you black emperor show?

Gentree Stardust:People who like music.

toddlburns::not a lot of staunch conservatives, i’m betting.

Gentree Stardust:Well, yeah, but what diff. does that make?

toddlburns::so what difference do his words make?

Gentree Stardust:Of course, when he said he didin’t vote for bush and that he doesn’t think anyoen in the audience did, they all cheered.

toddlburns::why make the people who already support his views and have come to support the music feel bad.

toddlburns::ha.

toddlburns::ok.

Gentree Stardust:It made me ill

toddlburns::whatever, i just think it’s preaching to the choir.

Gentree Stardust:More like pandering.

toddlburns::and both the preacher and the choir are amazingly blinded by their own insularity.

Gentree Stardust:They lost my money.

Gentree Stardust:That’s all I gotta say.

Gentree Stardust:If they would have kept their mouth shut, I would have boughten their alb.s at the merch. table.

toddlburns::are you a republican, gentry?

Gentree Stardust:But I’m sure they’d argue that their “message” trumps their profit.

Gentree Stardust:I’ve never voted.

Gentree Stardust:So I gues I can’t really call myself a Repub.

toddlburns::i’m not sure exactly what yr argument is here:

Gentree Stardust:I don’t think I do either.

toddlburns::do you just want artists in general to have no politics?

Gentree Stardust:No. I think what really bothered me was the audience.

Gentree Stardust:They just seemed to swallow everything they said.

toddlburns::hehe.

Gentree Stardust:Which I think happense w/ a lot of bands and their audiences.

Gentree Stardust:The abuse their power over their listener.

toddlburns::see: pink floyd “the wall” etc.

Gentree Stardust:I don’t know about that, my friend is a huge PF fan, and he just listens to it for the music.

Gentree Stardust:He doesn’t look at the meanings behind it.

Gentree Stardust:I think that’s what I was trying to do w/ GYBE

Gentree Stardust:And I couldn’t help but see their politics.

Gentree Stardust:I think that’s my point, in music, it should’t hit you in the face.

toddlburns::i smell blog poooooooooooooooost.

Gentree Stardust:No, that’s not right. I think sometimes it should be very harsh and abrasive.

Gentree Stardust:Maybe I just didin’t like Efrim’s comments.

Gentree Stardust:I didin’t agree w/ them. I think that’s really waht it comes down to.

Gentree Stardust:And in effect, it ruined the music.

Gentree Stardust:But I’m sure for others, his politics and msg enhances their appreciation of the music.

Gentree Stardust:Yeah, blog.

Gentree Stardust:I think I’ll just post this convo.

Gentree Stardust::P

Gentry Boeckel | 5:37 pm | Comments Off

July 30, 2003

So last Tuesday, Jim DeRogatis gets this call on his radio show, Sound Opinions, from someone who goes to the same school as me. He references this fact, and goes on to say “Jen here goes to the same school as the super-fan Sam, and she’s still a great writer,” to which Jen and Greg Kot [his co-host, writer for the Chicago Tribune] say “oh no, he’s a very good writer” - to which Jim retorts, “no, you’re much better than him.”

Backstory: Jim DeRogatis dislikes me because I called him “fat” on a message board once, and I profusely apologized and explained why I was rash towards him. While calling him “fat” was a little unneccessary, I still stand by the fact I thought it was unfair he was making chit-chat with Wayne Coyne before a Flaming Lips concert, interrupting my talking with him, and holding up the line for seventy-five other fans dying to talk to Wayne.

He said he was being a journalist, but I heard everything they said. Jim was simply saying, Hey man, the fans love you! or Have you heard Sea Change? and shit like that. They briefly discussed Beck, but it was more like, ‘we’ll talk about that later.’ There was no setting up of interviews, no writing down of notes to be used in the paper - just friendly talk. He says that he “could have been doing his job as a reporter.” Bullshit.

And I am aware that Jim probably reads that message board still and notices my disliking of his writing, and the fact that I’m just really fucking critical of him. Well, that’s unfortunate, because I stand by it. I think Jim has passion - which is just great for a reader (I should know, I follow this same sort of code). But he more often than not, he gets mired up in this rock critic gubbledy gook shit, using terms that don’t mean anything, and going about his own agenda as a clearly biased writer.

It’s kind of insane how often he references the Lips and Wilco in his writing - anyone who’s ever read an article should realize this. But he never really talks about why he dislikes something. He describes it very well, but leaves it at that. Like in a recent Blur review, something like “Damon’s wild experimentation with worldpop” or something like that. So? So what’s bad about it? He left/leaves the reader to assume the connection for him - ‘I won’t explain it, I just don’t like it.’ It’s like he doesn’t even give it a chance. There are these certain touchstones that I think Jim has to see in a band to like it - witty lyrics? CHECK! Does it rock? CHECK! Is it catchy? CHECK! Maybe they aren’t those exactly, but they’re damn close. Look at his favorite bands. Wilco. The Flaming Lips. Wire circa Pink Flag/Send. They’re all rocking, they’re all making catchy music, they’re all trying to push the envelope just a little bit. But Sigur Ros! Uh-oh! No hooks! SHIT!

I don’t want to keep bringing up Blur - perhaps because I pay more attention to them then most bands - but when I called up the show, he wrote me off when I said that Damon doesn’t have to write about English socialites anymore, and he’s about love. Oh Sam!, Jim said, and hung up on me. Well, that explains why he doesn’t like the record … aside from the “Starbucks coffee-house” music.

Christ man, if you love “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart,” why oh why does the dizzying fall of Manitoba not even merit a listen? Who is Mary Timony? Who gives a fuck about that? Why aren’t you reviewing Four Tet? You pledge your love to psychedelia. What about this new fangled “electronia” psychedelia?

Up In Flames is perhaps the most astonishing “psychedelic” album I’ve ever heard, and a worthy addition to Kaleidoscope Eyes. Why do you harp on Wilco, when for someone who said they loved The Prodigy and Aphex Twin back in 1997, do you not try this out? Right. It’s not rock and roll.

Why is “do you realize / happiness makes you cry” any better of a lyric than “I ain’t go nothing to be scared of / ‘cos I love you”? Why is “Are You A Hypnotist” any better a psychedelic haze than, say, “2 Rights Make 1 Wrong?” Why no post-rock? For me, that build is far more emotional and involving than anything the Lips do, simply because it’s braver - it doesn’t rely on tricky rhythms, nor heartfelt vocals, or fucking monk choirs, but a complex guitar build, and it grows and grows, and my God, it’s gorgeous. Why is this not valid? Why are the Flaming Lips valid?

He writes off pop music without a thought. This just pisses the fuck out of me. Gawd Jim, *NSYNC must be awful if ten million people bought their album! Fuck that power in numbers shit! And suddenly, it sounds like he cozies up to Justin in an interview, once he plays with the Lips and the Black Eyed Peas. Yeah, “Where Is The Love?” is pretty awesome, dude … ha. But what about “Rock Your Body”? I have never heard an indication that Jim has listened to Justified, despite his constant bashing of Timberlake.

Another thing - hip-hop. Again, these touchstones for him to like it. Look at the acts he’s championing these days - Common, Jurassic 5, fuck, De La Soul, PM DAWN! They’re all on the “positive tip,” the psychedelic (I could see this in a few acts … but come on! J5? What the fuck?) experimentation. Basically, the rockier acts. The acts that incorporate themes from the shit that Jim so clearly likes. Well, what about Jay-Z? He works with the Neptunes - who you supposedly love in NERD - but yet, write him off! His rhymes aren’t worth shit! He’s only talking about himself! He must not be imaginative, is he? And the Neptunes production - it’s just throwback shit! Bang out a gritty riff on the keyboard, just like that old soul you love Jim … with those lyrics that aren’t about bitches! Ah. Contradictions. I get it now.

Mike Skinner is not Eminem! Listen to the fucking lyrics, man! If that’s what you get hung up on in the first place, it sure doesn’t seem like you listen to the man.

And what is this “stoner rock” shit? It’s just metal, man. I hate the buying into the label of “stoner rock” like Queens Of The Stone Age … oooh, stoner rock. It’s just fucking heavy metal hard-ass riffs! And when you use the “electronica” label. Oooooh.

And you love Lester Bangs. And if you’re reading this, or any of my writing, you might be able to tell that I probably love him too. But why do you ride on his horse all the time? Aside from this, Lester got deep down, you know, spiritual Astral Weeks shit. Why don’t I see that from you? Can’t you push yourself to write about what you feel, feel, feel, feel? What do you think about these new writers - Reynolds, Southall, the Pitchfork crew? Amazing. They take Lester’s writings more to heart than it seems like you do, just ’cause they’re so intense, and mean it so much, and take it all apart and back again, and are wonderful … and where’s that in you? You read like passionless drivel, just more MOR rock and roll ‘criticism.’

And I know researching artists is hard - often I just dodge that bullet all together. But for a paid writer, wake up. Damon still isn’t writing Tracy Jacks. And he calls himself a Blur fan! Rings Around The World is one disc, not two!

You have major discrepancies between the Sun-Times and Sound Opinions, and I genuinely wonder what’s going on, if you’re watering down for the Sun-Times, or beefening up and putting on your cool suit for SO. The Rising and Think Tank: 2.5 stars. Almost a positive 3-star review. Both “Trash It”s.

Hey, remember when you went back on the White Stripes, because you figured out that Jack White “meant it”? Shit. The Hives don’t mean it! They’re a joke! But you love them … I dun get it. Again, discrepancies. Sometimes you have to ‘mean’ it, sometimes you don’t, for Jim to like it.

Discrepancies: Slint and Pere Ubu … but not Sonic Youth? Tortoise and Stereolab … but not Jim O’Rourke? The Soft Machine … but not Spacemen 3, instead, Spiritualized! I’d love for you to explain some of these sometime.

Interviews - I hate reading stock questions. I don’t know if you make them, or if the Sun-Times pressures you into making the same old, same old, but it’s killing me when you ask Justin some stupid questions like:

Q. She was also asked why she covered “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” and she said she’d always been a huge Pat Benatar fan. If the journalists weren’t on mute and they could have asked a followup question, we could have found out if Britney knew that Elvis was actually born in Tupelo, Miss., and that it was Joan Jett, not Pat Benatar, who popularized “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

A. Well, I think her answers were revealing!

Q. Fair enough. Other than that, I won’t mention Britney again. I could care less.

A. I could care less, too!

He’s just so close-minded about so much. And it frustrates me. If it ain’t his ballgame, might as well just write it off. But - he is a rock critic. Not a pop music or R&B/hip-hop critic. That might explain some of it. But even in the world of rock - it just angers me that he will only write positively about something that will appeal to him, and not think outside his rockist mentality. It’s Jim’s way or the hard way. I wouldn’t be surprised if he wrote his reviews before he heard the product.

I’d like to hear a response from him sometime.

Samuel Bloch | 2:25 am | Comments (3)

July 29, 2003

What do Radiohead and Jane’s Addiction have in common? A dependence on the corporate plutocracy that belies their left-leaning politics you say? Wrong, my little Nader-tot. Actually, what binds the two bands is that have an instantly recognizable sound that endeared them to millions — and it’s apparently all they have left in the tank, creatively speaking.

In Radiohead’s case, there’s that signature turn of the melody that just drips from Yorke’s every utterance. You half expect him to sing that wobbly shit to the coffee-maker in the morning. It’s gotten to the point on Hail To the Thief he apparently doesn’t need much else — the record’s almost entirely devoid of tunes, leaving Yorke to warble about sucking young blood and wolves at the door. Most people I know have already turned the page on HTTT and are just hoping Radiohead might be enjoyable live this summer.

As for Jane’s Addiction, well, it’s probably a bit much to expect anything even approaching a tenth of the innovation Nothing’s Shocking or Ritual De Lo Habitual had. I mean, if Radiohead are quietly deluding themselves as ardent left-wingers working for a multinational, these guys became action figures with the kung-fu grip around the time that Navarro joined the Chili Peppers and Cornhole for Gyros did that “Tahitian Moon” song. Jane’s fell a LONG way from their heyday, let me tell you.

And without going into their big comeback album Strays, let it be said that when a classic sound meets a Hall of Fame trash merchant (the immortal Bob Ezrin, he of Kiss, Alice Cooper and Lou Reed’s Berlin fame) the result is something decidedly less than classic, but certainly not trash either. Flashes of the old spark show up in an intro here or bridge there. And I found myself waxing nostalgic over those rehashed Perry harmonies more than I care to admit — remembering the first time you heard “Mountain Song” could well be our generation’s “Where were you when Kennedy was shot?” moment. And yes, that says more about our generation than anything else.

In both cases, though, you’re left wondering if a rapidly metasticizing form of Alzheimer’s unique to rock stars has made them forget the virtues of a good melody. Because on the basis of these two records, the odd track aside, all they have left is the barest essentials of their respective sounds. And no amount of production sleight of hand, guitar heroics or young blood will keep that wolf out. Not for long, anyway…

Matthew Weiner | 12:30 am | Comments Off

July 28, 2003

AMG got the early scoop and posted the tracklist to the upcoming Decemberists alb. Her Majesty, The Decemberists.

01. Shany for the Arethusa
02. Billy Liar
03. Los Angeles, I’m Yours
04. The Gymnast, High Above the Ground
05. The Bachelor and the Bride
06. Song for Myla Goldberg
07. The Soldiering Life
08. Red Right Ankle
09. The Chimbley Sweep
10. I Was Meant for the Stage
11. As I Rise

I called that “I Was Meant for the Stage” would finish out the alb, but I guess the band has an even better closer in “As I Rise.” “The Soldiering Life” which was previously known, simply as “Soldiering” is my favorite of the new songs I’ve heard live. It’s similar instrumentally to the simple strummed “Legionaire’s Lament” but tackles a subject I don’t believe has been covered in pop music: homosexuality in the armed forces. Some sample lyrics:

“But I never felt so much life / Than tonight / Hudled in the trenches / Gazing on the battlefield / Our rifles blaze away / We blaze away / … / We laid on the mattress / And tumbled to sleep / Our eyes aligned / Swaddled in our skivvies / Cradled in our dungarees / But you / My brother in arms / I’d rather I lose my limbs than let you come to harm”

I’ll save my other comments for later. Looks like Kenan is doing the review for the new alb and all I have to say is expect a lengthy critique of said review here. :)

Gentry Boeckel | 5:20 pm | Comments Off

I read somewhere (probably I Love Music) that more records have been released so far this decade than were released during the entirety of the 70s. At first this struck me as being like the meme that “more people are know living than have ever died”, but after a few moments of consideration I reasoned that actually, I’d be surprised if there hadn’t been more records released in just 2001 and 2002 than the entirety of the 70s.

The means of production, at least in terms of musical endeavour, has been firmly wrested from the hands of the big labels and studios. Anyone with a laptop or a minidisc deck and a microphone can now create something, plus the proliferation of small record labels and the increasing profile of the internet (not just MP3s systems like SoulSeek but mailorder collectives like Post Everything and Net Sounds) mean that anybody can push their music into the public domain without having to do the whole sweaty-toilet-gigs and A&R attraction thing, even if that public domain now appears smaller than it used to be.

It’s not anyway- it’s larger; we’re almost fully into a realisation of McLuhan’s ‘global village’ now. The thing we perhaps didn’t expect fully was how specialised and microcosmic it would become. The thing that’s daunting about the brave new musical world we’re living in now isn’t the vastness of it, it’s the intricacy, the fine, gossamer lines of interconnectivity and relation, the instant splintering and division of asexual cells as they cross-pollinate, spawn, and reproduce. Hypercommunications means that the splinter groups now get commented on almost before they’re born. It is, to say the least, a struggle to keep up.

And in the midst of this NME is still scrabbling to get a foothold on the vast mountainside of it all by pushing bands into certain scenes, even going so far as to help create and nurture groups in test-tube conditions so they can fit these artificial scenes they’re so keen to promote. Fact is that there hasn’t been a huge, definitive, (and here’s the key) media-friendly scene since Britpop, and even that was spurious. Print publications (and those online too, maybe?) need scenes to give a uniformity to their coverage, to entice people in and to spread their audience. Plus it’s easier for writers to cover material if it’s all nicely linked and pigeonholed into a unified group.

There’s not going to be a “new punk” or even a “new baggy” or “new shoegazing”; those running around looking are rather wasting their time; it killed Melody Maker. But that’s not to say that there aren’t scenes out there; they’re just smaller, more localised, more specialised, less likely to sell magazines. Anticon, Def Jux, the Four Tet / Manitoba / Prefuse 73 axis, UK Garage, dancehall, ‘grime’, “Yes New York”, even, *gasp* reality pop, as well as hundreds (thousands) of other micro (and not so micro) cosmic scenes exist, unfabricated, unforced, and a dozen times more vibrant than the New Rock Revolution being pushed in certain sectors.

We’re alright, really we are.

Nick Southall | 10:56 am | Comments Off

July 27, 2003

So I got this crammed onto a mix with some of the music I’ve ever heard - but this is by far the standout.

Guitars leak into the background … sometimes trickling in … and the massive thundering percussion just goes and goes and goes. Broken-down noise snippets roam across Then! This fucking battle cry! Revolt! Attack! Unite! At 1:08, the skittering guitar is left alone upfront, the 1-2-3 chord go! repeatae and the twisted, ripped-apart guitar snips ride in front. At 1:57, dude finally comes in. Distorted, pushed all the way up to your fucking ears to make them bleed, can’t tell what he’s saying - some sort of desperation “I’m taking notes of an autograph!” overll this death march clang.

This is the most exciting remix I’ve heard since Shields knocked over “If They Move, Kill ‘Em.”

Samuel Bloch | 6:54 pm | Comments Off

July 25, 2003

Best Japanese hardcore album this year? Of course. Best Japanese album this year? Quite possibly. Best overall hardcore album this year? A ho ho ho, I laugh at your naivite, Burns.

Colin McElligatt | 9:18 pm | Comments (3)

who knew that the best hardcore record of the year would be made by a japanese group not named melt banana?

Todd Burns | 3:45 pm | Comments Off

July 22, 2003

Last night, Sam’s entry about music and unity making him happy seemed all too appropriate considering everything that was running through my head at the time. When certain music can bring such joy to your life, it feels like so much more than a volition, it feels like it’s helping pump your blood. And Sam was right: when you see so many other people sharing your enthusiasm, that feeling only grows deeper.

When I first heard the Exploding Hearts last February, I wanted to share them with everyone in the world. I made CD’s and sent mp3’s, hoping everyone else I knew could feel even a shred of what I felt. Their music wasn’t the only music that was exciting me at the time, but it was the stuff I felt deepest in my gut, and, amazingly, that feeling never waned, not for one day. Not until yesterday. My first reflex after hearing about the utterly tragic deaths of members Adam Cox, Jeremy Gage, and Matthew Fitzgerald in an early morning van crash was to put on their lone album, but for the first time ever, it mostly wore me down. Midway through “Throwaway Style” I knew I had to turn it off. Not for one moment could I remember this music as something that made me sad. If nothing else, the Exploding Hearts made, in their brief existence, music to make everyone who loves it happy, together or alone. The prospect of this not happening, if only for a day, was just too much to bear.

Colin McElligatt | 10:45 pm | Comments Off

July 18, 2003

Man, these guys are actually still around? I’ve never bothered to check them out, but I loved Knapsack, the previous band of Jealous Sound singer Blair Shehan. Knapsack’s This Conversation is Ending Starting Right Now is just a great punky pop record (as opposed to being a “pop-punk record,” which is inevitably a euphemism for crap), and I’m not embarassed to say I still think it’s pretty great on the rare occassion I listen to it now. I know it’s great because it’s one of those few albums I can pretty much run through from beginning to end in my mind whenever I want, because I listened to it so much at one point. Gentry, if you’re interested, check out “Change is All the Rage,” “Cinema Stare,” “Please Shut Off the Light,” and “Cold Enough to Break” (the latter of which I used to think was the saddest song ever; it’s still pretty affecting).

End nostalgic gush….. now.

Ed Howard | 9:14 pm | Comments (1)

July 17, 2003

This is it?

OK. Slightly kidding. The track is pretty much straight-up house with a slight island tinge that’s pretty much standard for the Deep Dish guys. It rocks an Underworld-esque synth-line which kind of makes me laugh. I really want to believe that Diddy is bringing his liberal sampling procedures to the dance world- not that the dance world has been foreign to it anyway.

Diddy’s vocal perfomance is suitably over the top making it a track that seems only able to be used as the beginning of a set or as a come-down track, unless you start in the middle. Smart guy, that Diddy.

I want to say that there is a certain mix to recommend other than the Deep Dish one, but the only one that I’ve heard didn’t appeal to me all that much. Pete Heller’s rendering has a rather flaccid five note melody that he adds to the proceedings.

The best moment for me? The slight aside near the 2/3rd mark has to be a reference to Eminem at the beginning of “Cleanin’ Out My Closet.” I’ll let you download it to hear it, but that line just kills me every time.

Todd Burns | 2:07 am | Comments (1)

July 15, 2003

Perhaps the key consideration for me which posits punk as a more worthy and interesting movement than the New Rock Revolution (aside from the fact that I wasn’t even born when punk was kicking off!- and also aside from the fact that the NRR is a fabricated movement created by NME as opposed to an actual unity of people gathering in a shop down The King’s Road and talking up anarchy), even beyond the idea of punk-as-reaction, is the fact that the NRR is so bloody backwards-looking, retrogressive, and idiotic.

You only have to look at Jack White’s fascistic imperative to only record using old equipment or Julian Casablancas’ lyrical concerns (shagging and drinking and shagging and taking drugs) to realise that the situationism and shock of the new that punk heralded/fed off is a creative energy almost completely lacking in the NRR. Can you imagine Casablancas leaving The Strokes and following it up with something as radical as PiL? Or Jack White producing a Sandinista!?

Punk’s obsession with dub reggae versus Jack White’s fear of bass. The slow commodification of punk as consumer article and fashion accessory into mainstream acceptance versus the birth of The Strokes directly onto NYC catwalks (do not pass Go, do not collect Ł200).

We need also to ascertain exactly who’s involved in this revolution too. Are Hot Hot Heat part of it? The Darkness? Kings Of Leon? Out Hud? !!!? Were The Dismemberment Plan progenitors somehow, their fusion of pop and hardcore and dance and hiphop pointing towards what’s happening now?

Actually, putting my irreverent head on for a second, I’m caught up thinking something more morbid and perhaps more culturally/emotionally significant. Who’s going to be The New Rock Revolution’s Sid Vicious? Because I can’t imagine a single one of these boring fuckers ever doing anything quite so interesting as dying young.

Nick Southall | 6:16 am | Comments Off

Speaking (in the comment box for Sam’s post below) of taking in things my own way, there are a few words here about what to do with a walkman on a summer evening.

Nick Southall | 4:36 am | Comments Off

The Shanty for the Arethusa
Billy Liar
Los Angeles, I’m Yours
Kingdom of Spain
I Was Meant for the Stage
Song for Myla Goldberg
Soldiering
Bachelor and the Bride

All new songs The Decemberists have been playing/played on tour lately. Almost an albums worth. I’m getting really exited for the new one Her Majesty, the Decemberists coming out on Sept. 9th. “I Was Meant for the Stage” will either be the alb. opener or closer, I’m sure of it.

On another quick side note, I’ve had this song “Anxious Arms” by The Jealous Sound in my head for the past week. Best slice of punkier, emotional rock I’ve heard since the Smoking Popes. Check it out.

Gentry Boeckel | 12:19 am | Comments Off

July 14, 2003

Ah, Nick. You can’t explain why you love music. Neither can I. Kind of.

Tonight I get to see my very favorite band of all-time, live, in concert. 2980 Blur fans will be singing as loud as they can to their favorite songs ever (well, except for a bunch from Think Tank) - and you know, that’s why I love music.

It’s unity. I’ve been waiting for tonight for about three years of my life now. I remember when I first found out that Blur were making a new album. I don’t even fucking care that it’s their last/one of their worst, ’cause this is why I love life. Because there are so many other people out there who have that same exact fervor about that one thing - and tonight, I will get to see it.

Nick, don’t you get chills down your back when you hear live recordings, and you can hear the entire crowd singing along? It’s truly the most beautiful thing. And I’m going to dance so furiously to “Ambulance” and let everyone know how much I care about these precious four-minute pop songs. And during “For Tomorrow,” I’m going to sing so loud to this little twee ditty that makes me so happy.

Because that’s what it is. It makes me happy. And when I see that it can do that to so many other people - well, that makes me more so. That’s why I look forward to live music. Because it’s not that the music will sound better live than it does on recording - it rarely does - it’s just. Gah. I’m just fucking repeating myself.

It’s special to me. To see the real people who make this just wonderful music. And to see that a lot of people understand that - well, that’s even better.

I’m gonna be really happy tonight.

Samuel Bloch | 5:03 pm | Comments (1)

This is my first entry, isn’t it?

Hello.

I miss Ben Folds Five. I really do. They split up on my 18th birthday, which seemed quite fitting. “No more youth, no more ironic commentary on pop culture with rolling pianos and fuzz bass”.

I saw Ben Folds solo last November. It was like a loveless fuck with an ex-girlfriend. Becuase, as much as he’s still going… he’s grown up. I want my idols dead as soon as they start trying too hard.

But this song… summer 1997. I remember buying it clearly. I remember listening to it for the first time. I remember the cover of the CD, a series of passport photos of a woman who looked like my old Spanish teacher.

It’s far too simple for a song.

It’s too summery.

It’s twee as well, probably.

Except, there’s nothing wrong with that.

I’m too cynical. I spent a combined total of five hours in a bookmakers today. That would never have happened in 1997.

Dom Passantino | 12:30 pm | Comments (1)

I only like to start writing when I have a limited amount of time to do so.

Expansion:

As Nick cogently brings up in the comments, the New Rock isn’t defined as a reacton to anything. Teen pop was over, nu metal was a stagnant pool that no one believed was going to be ever-lasting (it’s still going, but only by the nigh on professionals of the bunch), and the charts were in a state of flux but gradually being taken over by hip-hop (the revolution won’t happen overnight, but sooner rather than later the BB Top 200 will be 50% hip-hop and BET will be bought by MTV). Punk was a reaction the excesses of prog. They had something to rail against. “We’re bringing it back it back to the simple style”, etc.

The personalities. Jack White has slightly made some claims towards authenticity of rock instruments, but its been white washed over AND no journalists are pushing this angle to drum up ridiculous baiting quotes. Karen O, Julian, etc. are BORING people that have never said anything that has been interesting to read about except for their fashion styles, which are blah at best.

The music isn’t as good? Well, maybe that claim isn’t really able to be proven by science- but I have listened to Singles Going Steady more times than Is This It? since the latter came out. Not comparable, I know- but it’s a start towards demythologizing what the NME has attempted to wrought.

And what about the NME. As far as I know, people don’t take it seriously- at least since they started hyping all this definite article bands one after the other. Much like Plagenhoef’s inferences in his Britpop article. There are tons of interesting things going on right now- why are you continuing down this blind alley of new rock when you could be covering something else far more interesting and marketable. Whatever that may be…

Todd Burns | 12:16 pm | Comments (2)

July 13, 2003

An idea in the shower that I had that needs expanding on: the new rock revolution that has been taking place in the past few years is similar in tone to the punk revolution- especially in recent interviews with Jack White. But the personalities aren’t as vibrant, the music isn’t as good, and they’re not reacting against anything as pretentious.

More, hopefully, later…

Todd Burns | 11:41 am | Comments (2)

July 11, 2003

Can you quantify how much you love music? Or at least say how you love it? asks Ronan. And lots of people reply and some of it means something to me and some of it doesn’t and a lot of it is utilitarian and some of it talks about transcendence and and and…

And I know I went out walking on Wednesday night with my walkman on, Hex playing, and traversed country lanes and cliff tops and followed streams in the closeness of summer evening warmth, and felt the numb throb of dull pain in my left hand all the while, ligaments sprained and palm bruised deep down by a malicious black circle, but didn’t care about it… And I felt, not happy, because that implies some conscious appreciation of the state, some movement from ‘unhappy’, but I felt something other… It’s vague, I know, and I know it’s bullshit too. But…

What else is there?

Marcello posted a quote from Wayne Coyne on The Church Of Me a few days ago, about art and music, and how, without it (them) we’d be dead by thirty because they’re what brings colour and light and happiness into our lives. And I don’t think that stands for everybody; fuck, look around you, see how many people don’t need it, how many people are moseying along just fine without this thing… And then I think about the Gazza documentary I just watched on C4 about how he’s got ADHD and OCD and this and that and the other and think “fuck it, maybe it just boils down to a need to be loved” but that’s not it either. Not quite. Because what’s love?

We’re just plugging gaps, really. That gap. That hole in you that misses something that wasn’t ever even there, how can you miss something that was never there? Is everybody missing it? No, not everybody is missing it. And those that are missing it don’t all have the same way of getting it back. That moment of transcendence that Ronan gets when someone pieces a great mix together, when someone drops in a beat at the right time, that bit when everyone else is dancing or talking or drinking or stalking a fuck or whatever, only Ronan’s lost for a second, for that split second, for me, on my terms, in my way, which isn’t Ronan’s (I can’t dance, I don’t club, this is all so much solipsism for me), maybe, just maybe, that hole, that gap, that thing you’ve never known but you miss anyway, maybe, for that instant, it’s there, the gap plugged, the absence filled. I might be standing on top of the cliff, Ronan might be dancing, someone else might be on the train or fucking or drinking or crying alone in bed or just sitting cross legged on the floor in front of the stereo listening to something. I’ve got quite militant lately; Emma’s working evenings so I might write (or try and write, fuck it, it’s not like it just arrives when I set aside an hour, not like I’m in control, not like I know what I’m doing or I’m a writer or anything, I’m just somebody who writes) for an hour with some tunes on and then go and try and talk to people on AIM for a bit and then I get an hour or two, and television and films and (often, to my fucking forever shame) books are just totally not even considered, but that hour or two I can go up to the music room and light those three candles (two now; one burnt out and fell into the bottom of the wine bottle it was propped in tonight) and turn on that fucking art-deco lamp with the little bits of film in the oil that swirl and cast a crap glister on the walls, and I can put something on, and yes, maybe it’s artificial, maybe (God bless you Tom Ewing) most people don’t listen to most music like that, or put the walkman on and go walking just to find a quite spot near a stream where they can listen to stuff, maybe most people just hear background noise (Leisure Noise! Go Gay Dad!- Olly always said that was a great title for an album, said it’s what music was for, noise for leisure, like it’s a soundtrack or something [Olly I love yer and I hope to God it wasn’t all about just trying to make the drug experiences better, please no, because doesn’t that reduce something that’s precious, and maybe I’m being pious and a wanker here, it’s not unusual for me, heh, and maybe that’s why I steered clear of ambient/dance/textural music for that year or two because it became about the profundity of songs for me, not about the drug thing, the synaesthesia {you can get it without drugs anyway, we know that} but about the emotional reaction, fuck knows it wasn’t easy for that time, I was an alcoholic near enough, a drunken wreck scaring friend’s younger brothers with misplaced phone calls, and I guess I’m trying to say that music’s worth more than that, isn’t it?- worth something on its own terms, and the whole of the rest of this paragraph outside these bloated parenthesis is about that and I’ve said the point already, fool me) or occasionally a song they have an association with because of an event or something something but that’s really not how I go at it, and the paranoia that I have so often, that I don’t love music as much as I pretend to, that I’m just doing it cos I feel I should, that hits home once in a while and I think “what the fuck is this for? I don’t love anything, I don’t know what love is; how can I love music?” and it’s at those points when I’m thinking about it that I fuck it up (and also when I want to know everything and love it also, and understand, just to prove my passion, to myself as much as everyone else, because I doubt, I doubt a lot [Descartes to thread]), because songs don’t have associations for me, me and Emma don’t have a song, there’s fuck-all music I can’t or don’t listen to because of bad associations, maybe I’m just shallow and emotionless, fuck, it’s a charge I’ve levelled at myself before, sure there’s music I used to love and don’t listen to anymore because I think it’s crap now (people do change minds, and feelings are just- what?- in the mind?), step up Embrace, la la la, I’d say it was about soul, and I did, many many times over and asked what soul was I just stuttered and said “soul” back because that’s an answer, only now I don’t believe we even have one, don’t believe it exists, because if you can’t touch it or qualify or quantify or define it then, you know, it isn’t there, shared emotional responses, what are emotions?- endorphins, maybe, and those other –phins (this is a fucking 600+ word sentence, did you notice?), but there’s bugger-all scientist in me, at least anymore, but there is a little philosopher and the philosopher is a pragmatist as much as anything else says that philosophy’s only use is to help us live our lives better (increase our utility?- no, that’s way too cold, man) and I’ve looked at a few and some of them had things I found useful, but basically, what it comes down toi with music is this- no, let me explain the Buddha thing again; Buddha tells us that life is suffering because we expect substance within and without, and when we realise (only we don’t realise – we encounter the absence without realising, realisation would lead to cessation) that substance does not exist we feel disappointment and that is the root of spiritual pain, and from there we head into Voidist Buddhism (shallow and emotionless- oh, there’s me again, nothing inside), looking for emptiness and flawlessness and tranquillity and it says to me that there is nothing, nothing inside or outside, and this makes a kind of sad sense to me that’s also beautiful and powerful, because once you become nothing you are free to do anything (this is all hokey hippy crap, I know), and yes, we are nothing but a sack of water and minerals and whatnot, there is no thing that carries on when you die, because you die, get it?- cessation, end, just a sack of water and minerals, and I guess what I’m trying to say is, in a roundabout way, that music does two things both of which are wonderful (not all the time, I know, sometimes it’s just there because I like it, but maybe the reason I like it is one of these)- 1; it makes me doubt the void, and 2; it reminds me that I’m alive- not in the heart-beating, lungs filling kind of way, in the “why don’t I just step in front of a train” kind of way, I am here because (no, not because) this exists- no, this exists and I am here and it gives me something, something I am lacking, maybe, in other areas, that a lot but not all people are lacking, and as long as this exists and I am here and it gives me something I am going to get it, because what’s the point of doing this, or being alive, if you’re not going to get something out of it, something more than just distraction, because I don’t think there’s anything else (I’m scared now to finish this sentence but I guess I have to). A 1,140 word sentence. I am a fool. Do I understand it any better? No. Do you? No.

Can I quantify it? Can I say how I love it? I think the above is pretty conclusive. I can’t.

Nick Southall | 5:18 am | Comments (5)

July 10, 2003

Kevin Shields makes his return. I, for one, am very excited.

Billboard article

I wonder what this will sound like.

The titles sound like Evil Heat. Perhaps Gillespie’s knack for awful track titles has rubbed off on Kevo.

Samuel Bloch | 12:35 pm | Comments Off

July 9, 2003

So I was driving home from football last night, ligaments in my left hand sprained (possibly torn) and obtuse agony shooting up my left arm every time I had to change gear (and I had to fill the car with petrol too - putting the handbrake on was impossible with my left hand, the guy behind me beeped his horn because I was taking so long to pull away can’t you tell I’m in pain, you fucker? You think I want to be doing everything this slowly?) and Zane Lowe, professional loudmouth New Zealander, ex MTV VJ, is presenting his new weeknight show on Radio 1, and I’ve had enough of him already after about 12 seconds, his too-loud voice, his thick trans-Atlantic-sub-Pacific accent, his fucking little beard which somehow you can hear even over the radio, and I’m about to turn to Radio 2 and soak in some hokey country or some bad jazz or something, anything to get rid of Zane, and then he plays “Ribcage”, the opening track from the new Elbow album, Cast Of Thousands, which is released in the UK on August 18th, and I want to kiss him. For five minutes the pain in my hand goes away.

A new Bark Psychosis album to look forward to and now this from a band I’d all but forgotten about; the rest of the year is promising much for me.

Nick Southall | 10:08 am | Comments Off

July 7, 2003

I get in from my homeland of Bismarck, North Dakota last night, and besides my neighborhood being sodden with loose gravel, nothing’s changed. What I hate most about going on vacation, or going out of town, or really going any place where I don’t have access to a computer, is how much catching up I have to do when I get back (which entails of reading every new music review published on the net, the op/ed pieces in the Strib, LGF, The Bleat, National Review, and a few message boards.) I was up far later than wished doing this catching up, but I wouldn’t have been able to sleep otherwise.

Nursing a wicked sunburn on my shoulders, I’m trying to think of any music related encounters I had in North Dakota, and the only I can recall is these two typical 11-14 year old boys with their boombox on the sandbar near us. What struck me about these two boys slouched in their lounge chairs 20 feet from where their parents were sitting, was how cool they were. Their knees spread wide, their baseball caps, the stoic looks on their faces, and of course, Eminem blasting on the boombox, told everyone within a 15/20 eyesight and 70 decibel radius that they just didn’t give a fuck. And that’s what irked me. I’m going to sound like an uptight, out-of-touch late teen here, but wouldn’t any sensible person, rebellious teen, or aged baby boomer, have some sort of inherent altruism that makes them stop for a moment and think before they twist that knob further to the right? And it’s not only the loudness, but the choice of music itself. The only imaginable thought process in their heads had to have been, “OK. We’re going to be around lots of other people, yet we want to listen to music. So, should we bring something that will be more likely to offend, something brash and cacophonous, or something that will be less prone to sneers and jowls?” 40 Oz. to Freedom was left on the shelf that day, my friends, and my party, which included some near senior-citizens, was left to grit their teeth and bare it.

I was tempted to quell my anger, and try to befriend the boys, try and be just another one of the guys. I would have done it too, but I kept imagining myself walking over and saying something to the affect of, “So…uh…I’m fully convinced that ‘97 Bonnie and Clyde’ will go down in pop history as, if nothing else, a very important song.” Then I’d ask if they’d heard the Tori Amos cover and what they thought of it and then I would get funny stares and I would scurry back to my side of the sandbar. I think most people would agree that the aforementioned conversation would have been nothing truly mind wracking or philosophical, nothing that would warrant a quizzical look, but
for some reason I was assured that’s what I would get. I’m not sure if it’s my problem or theirs.

Gentry Boeckel | 6:29 pm | Comments Off

Adam’s comment about the American version of compilations reminded me that these pop mixtapes (censored for public consumption) are quite possibly the finest cultural artifacts that the American music business are constructing right now. I believe these things are modeled on a British series of pop hits compilations (which I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on either!), but I think we’ve made it easily very American by including both the hits of today on each compilation as well as one or two songs by bizzare singers/groups that I have never heard of.

It’s a unique combination of a time capsule that both tells us exactly what was popular at the time music-wise (you can see the change from teen pop to hip-hop and the ever-present marginalization of modern rock quite easily) and money-wise (the aforementioned odd artist (Keith Urban, Amanda Perez, Cith High, Samantha Mumba, Souldecision, Kandi, Nine Days are a few of the WTF moments on three of the seven compilations that I own)).

Either way, as soon as I see another volume used that I don’t own, I pick it up with the quickness.

Todd Burns | 12:02 pm | Comments (1)

July 5, 2003

My main problem in making mixes is that my theme proves to be too specific. I hear a song I love, decide to surround it with others like it on a compilation, and realize that there are at most two or three similar to it, because the reason I chose it as the centerpiece to a mix is that it so perfectly expresses a very specific emotion, style, etc. In this way, I always end up giving up on mixes. And I find those that I do follow through with to be too broad, thematically.

Regardless, here’s my summer mixtape, which I completed about 10 days ago, much too late for the feature. I also did a write-up as if it would appear along with the others, which I’ll post here (though it seems a bit out of place).

All Together Now

One of the things I hate most about school is its limitations, musically. Sure, you get to listen to music on the bus ride there, during your free periods, on the bus ride back, and while doing homework, but something’s missing in each of those examples: you can’t sing along. I’m too embarrassed to sing in front of people on my school bus, and while I can focus on music well enough while doing homework, I don’t think anyone can actually listen to lyrics or sing and still get anything done. But summer solves all these problems, providing us all the time in the world to sing along to our favorite songs.

So here are some of my favorite songs to sing along to. For this mix, they’re generally bright songs, as summer tends to be bright. Obviously, much will be missing that could fit on here, but it’s pretty hard to avoid that, keeping time constraints in mind. So I’d appreciate if you noted only what is on here and not what isn’t. Believe me, there were many more I wanted to use.

1. The Cure – “Just Like Heaven”
I fell in love with this song last summer and I continue to be in love with it this summer. It’s more of a spring song, in truth, but it’s just a matter of when I heard it first. Regardless, it has some of the most beautifully light-hearted lyrics ever written about love, and I can’t think of any better song to sing along to. Out of necessity, I’ve probably sung along to this more than any other track here over the past year (I have serious withdrawal problems when it comes to “Just Like Heaven”).

2. The Flaming Lips – “She Don’t Use Jelly”
The Lips’ quirky anthem and only hit, “She Don’t Use Jelly” is absolutely perfect for any summer day. The soaring guitars are truly inspiring, but the sing-along factor is what places the song on the mix, and for good reason when the lyrics are so endearingly awkward (“I know a girl who (pause) reminds me of Cher/ She’s always changing (pause) the color of her hair”). From any other band, the sexual innuendo would be pretty stupid, but when inserted into Coyne’s characteristically odd rhymes, it’s beautiful.

3. Wilco – “Kamera”
These lyrics are just so perfect. And the song glides by just as faultlessly, with impeccable hooks and an overall feeling of completeness. Once again, perfect for any summer day.

4. The Beach Boys – “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”
The Beach Boys are quintessentially summer, and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” is quintessentially sing-along because of its universal appeal, both musically and lyrically. This is not only a classic, but also the truest fit to the summer sing-along mixtape.

5. Blur – “Tracy Jacks”
Admittedly, I don’t know most of the words to this song. But that doesn’t mean I can’t sing all the “Woo-oo woo-oo”s. Well, actually, I can’t sing those either; those notes are well out of my range. Anyway, this song easily finds a place here, as would all of Blur’s pop tunes were I not so bounded by time.

6. Pavement – “Cut Your Hair”
Pavement’s song for the summer: “Summer Babe” or “Cut Your Hair”? I could go either way. Clearly, though, this one is the more appropriate song for my mix, with its irresistible vocal hooks and unbelievably bright sound. Bliss, the Pavement way.

7. The Mountain Goats – “The Best Ever Death Metal Band”
John Darnielle’s funniest song not to have any underlying bitterness or greater significance, “The Best Ever Death Metal Band” is a sing-along for all seasons, featuring not only his always-clever lyrics, but music that is actually rewarding on its own! The vocals lack a consistent rhythm, so most of it is actually kind of difficult to sing along to, but you can always “Hail Satan! Hail Satan tonight!” Awesome.

8. The Raincoats – “Lola”
I’ve always loved this cover. The Raincoats, with their heavy drumming, generally messy sound, and um, females, would seem entirely mismatched with this Kinks classic, but of course, that’s the whole charm. It works marvelously.

9. Wire – “1 2 X U”
“Saw you in a mag/ Kissing a man/ Saw you in a mag/ Kissing a man/ Saw you in a mag/ Kissing a man/ Saw you in a mag/ Kissing a man, yeah!” Yeah.

10. New Order – “Temptation”
Nothing shines like this. Nothing. Nothing can beat the simple lines “Oh, you’ve got green eyes/ Oh, you’ve got blue eyes/ Oh, you’ve got gray eyes/ And I’ve never seen anyone quite like you before” when they’re sung so convincingly. Not to mention all the other classic lines, the “oo-oo-oo-oo-oo”s and the fact that this is the BEST POP SONG EVER. Maybe, anyway.

11. Belle and Sebastian – “Get Me Away From Here, I’m Dying”
The lyrics pretty much summarize Belle and Sebastian, as does the music. So love them or hate them, this is their autobiography to sing along to, universally likeable and, to those who love them (like myself), an absolutely beautiful song lyrically.

12. Weezer – “The World Has Turned and Left Me Here”
I really would like to tell you all to listen to the Blue Album as my mix. I really would. But then it wouldn’t be a mix, would it? So I picked this one and this one alone, much to my chagrin. Some of Cuomo’s best lyrics that are unfortunately overlooked appear here: “I talked for hours to your wallet photograph/ And you just listened/ You laughed enchanted by my intellect/ Or maybe you didn’t”. And I know all the words. I really do. That doesn’t happen very often.

13. The Magnetic Fields – “The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side”
I love every word. Every single word. Recently, I’ve decided that this is the best pop song Stephen Merritt ever wrote (even though I’m still far away from having heard all of them); everything characteristic of the Magnetic Fields is consummated here in the most summery, poppiest, catchiest, sing-alongiest thing imaginable. It’s so perfect I cry sometimes. Wait, that’s one of those things I don’t normally tell people. Oh well.

14. Beck – “Peaches and Cream”
Could life get any better than this? From “Don’t tell your right hand, baby/ What your left hand do” to “Oooh, oooh oooh, Peaches and cream!/ You make a garbage man scream!/ Such a dangerous dream” to the final chant, “Keep your lamp lights in the burning”, this song is saturated with Beck-isms, absolutely thrilling and impossible not to sing along to. Heaven (as I would imagine it, anyway).

15. Black Flag – “TV Party”
Okay, so I don’t like TV, I’ve never tried beer, and the attitude expressed in this song disgusts me in real life. But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate that this is just about the best (and funniest) anthem possible for most teenagers during the summer. And it has handclaps! It’s punk and it has handclaps!

16. David Bowie – “Ziggy Stardust”
What’s summer without a little classic rock? Three summers ago I learned to love this song the first time, and last summer I was reunited with it. This summer I’ll know to keep it nearby.

17. Lou Reed – “Perfect Day”
This, of course, is the perfect closer to my mix. Many a time, I’ve sat in rooms where everyone was having their own conversation as Trainspotting played, and nine times out of ten, the conversation drops out as the chorus comes in and everyone sings, “Oh, it’s such a perfect day/ I’m glad I spent it with you”. Uniting everyone in exultation, “Perfect Day” is the sublime ending to a summer day. Because, as we all know, any summer day is a perfect day.

Kareem Estefan | 10:46 am | Comments Off

You Yanks, honestly. Over here we English like to call them ‘compilations’, and I am the master. When I can be bothered to make them that is. I have a hoard of 20 mindiscs which are in a perpetual state of being ‘about to have some songs put on’, plus there are two of each colour (well, four actually, but seeing as ten are 74s and ten are 80s I can tell the difference between the two stacks) so I never have any idea what’s going in the walkman. Russian roulette with your ears (especially frustrating when they’re blank and I only realise after five minutes of silence which I thought was going to transform into a Mark Hollis song at any time). Maybe I’ll make a new one this afternoon…

By the way, Sam, a word of older-brotherly type advice; they absolute key of using music to get women to sleep with you always used to be playing them Grace by Jeff Buckley. Sadly this no longer works now that Coldplay, Starsailor et al have managed to de-sex the man with ridiculous efficiency, but it gave me at least, oh, two nights of naive and inexperienced bliss at university…

Nick Southall | 4:48 am | Comments (3)

I dunno. To be perfectly honest, I don’t make very many mixes - I usually burn albums, but when I do make mixes, I give them to girls. It’s usually just a standard collection of indie pop singles. For instance, a sample female mix CD:

01. Blur - Ambulance
02. Pavement - Cut Your Hair
03. Stereolab - Captain Easychord
04. Olivia Tremor Control - Love Athena
05. The Stone Roses - She Bangs The Drums
06. Super Furry Animals - Sidewalk Serfer Girl
07. Lush - Sweetness and Light [My Bloody Valentine Mix]
08. The Cure - Just Like Heaven
09. The Postal Service - Such Great Heights
10. New Pornographers - Testament To Youth In Verse
11. Air - Playground Love
12. The Jesus and Mary Chain - Sometimes Always
13. Wire - Outdoor Miner [Single Edit]
14. Yo La Tengo - Autumn Sweater
15. Galaxie 500 - Blue Thunder
16. Neutral Milk Hotel - King Of Carrot Flowers, Pt. 1
17. New Order - Thieves Like Us
18. The Dismemberment Plan - The City
19. Portishead - Glory Box

Up and down and up indie hits. Rock on. I think they love it.

Samuel Bloch | 1:24 am | Comments (7)

July 4, 2003

I understand Todd’s problem. I’ve been trying to make a mix for a month now for my little brother-in-law, who is something of a metalhead. I don’t have any metal. But what do I like that he won’t hate? Here’s my initial idea:

1. Queens of the Stone Age - Millionaire
2. Aerosmith - Nobody’s Fault
3. The Pattern - Mary’s Sister Margaret Jones
4. The Hives - Die, All Right!
5. New Bomb Turks - Id Slips In
6. Wire - Field Day for the Sundays
7. Wire - Ex-Lion Tamer
8. Dead Boys - Sonic Reducer
9. Stiff Little Fingers - Alternative Ulster
10. Archers of Loaf - Harnessed in Slums
11. QOTSA - No One Knows
12. White Stripes - The Air Near my Fingers
13. Ramones - Judy is a Punk

and then something something, and then I’ll wrap it up with

Queen - Somebody to Love

And I think he’ll hate it. I really do. All of this rocks like hell, but none of it is metal. The greatest challenge in the world is trying to subtly broaden the musical horizons of someone with very narrow musical tastes, without being patronizing or going over their head. And this isn’t metal. It’s mostly punk. And so I wonder, what is it about metal that turns him on so much? Is it the volume? Cause these songs have that. Is it the production and speed? Cause these songs do NOT have that.

What’s a boy to do?

Kenan Hebert | 11:53 pm | Comments Off

I recently made another mix, basically to see if I could maintain a flow for an hour’s length of time.

Here were the results:

Markus Guentner- Sunset
Dntel- The Dream of Evan and Chan (Superpitcher Mix)
Sascha Funke- Safety First
Todd Sines and Natacha Labelle- Skin (il travaille devant un ordinateur toute la journee)
Gustavo Lamas- Juvenes
Sami Koivikko- Obela
OM1- Opium
Superpitcher- Time to Cry
Luomo- Tessio (Mathias Schaffhäuser’s Decomposed Subsonic Remix)

But, at the same time, I’m having major problems figuring out a mix for another friend of mine. I want to do something original and I’ve worked through unsuccessful hour long mixes with such tentative titles as: Gay-Bar Revisited, Shuffle Fever Volume 1.1, and This Summer is Made for Dancing.

I’ve never had this much trouble making a mix. Does anyone else have any horror stories involving attempts to make mixes for people?

Todd Burns | 11:27 pm | Comments (1)

It seems to have been proven via science that the best record of 2003 is Dizzee Rascal’s The Boy in the Corner. The key things that are exciting people are these items, in my estimation:

1) the dirty, the raw, the real- similar to the wu-tang when they first appeared on the scene, dizzee has a dirtiness to both his beats and his personality. he’s a young guy, 18 yrs. old at the time of the release of the album, and the desperation that the wu-tang exhibited in their early work is an easy analogy that i’m sure gavin will pick up on when he review this for the site. it doesn’t real add an air of authenticity as some would like to claim- the authenticity is just there, ready for the taking (ie the fact that “real” is the last word does in fact make little to no difference).

2) the other fetishizing the other- dizzee is already the other, as far as most listeners are concerned- the kid has a strong english accent and he is riding what many will consider hip-hop but are actually more commonly known as garage beats. what makes it all the more interesting, however, is dizzee’s experiments in orientalism on a few of the tracks. already alien to many in the garage scene by his rapid fire switches in flow and full formed narratives and he’s still pushing things forward production-wise.

3) the lyrical skills- many americans won’t get a large portion of the references, but for me that’s half the fun. many brits don’t even get some of the slang that he’s using, but once again it’s half the fun. when you can understand exactly what’s he saying, however, it’s usually interesting, desperate narratives of city life- mostly dealing with girls, which should appeal to the stodgy rockist and the anticon lover alike. the hardcore hip-hop head? “take yr girl make her my girl” is just the beginning- it’s a wild schizophrenic look into an 18 yr. old’s mind.

there are other reasons that this album kills, but i think that those sort of cover some general aspects. may dizzee hopefully benefit from the blogosphere heralding his every move.

additionally, phillip sherburne says ricardo villalobos’ alcachofa is the new best album of 2003. i can easily see this one getting on my top 10 as my recent fascination with micro-house is itching for something a little less glossed-out than luomo’s the present lover. i think joe’s girlfriend puts it best when she said that it sounds like she’s in a gap commercial. it’s not a bad thing obv. but it can be construed as such. i’m more more in favor of the gauze and the shuffle- and i have every hope that ricardo is going to put it down like he has on his ep’s and singles, thus far.

finally, michaelangelo matos has been named the new editor of the seattle weekly. while many may not even know who you are or any of yr writing, i know that i’ve been following it and enjoying yr contributions to ilm- so congrats: it’s well deserved. i’m sure, at the very least, that matthew weiner is going to enjoy yr take on prince’s sign of the times when it comes out.

Todd Burns | 1:02 pm | Comments Off

 
Current Listening / Watching / Reading
UNDER THE STYLUS

Stewart Voegtlin
WOLFMANGLER, Protected by the Ejaculations of Wolves [Split CD w/ M0SS]
NEGATIVE PLANE, Et in Saecula Saeculorum
MORTEM, De Natura Deamonum


Theon Weber
The Hold Steady - Seperation Sunday
Annuals - Be He Me
Talking Heads - More Songs About Buildings and Food


Ethan White
Bruce Nauman - Raw Materials
Ennio Morricone - The Red Tent OST
Stereolab - Serene Velocity


Bryan Berge
DJ Olive - Sleep
The Chap - Ham
V/A - Trap Door is an International Psychedelic Mystery Mix


Jonathan Bradley
Green Day - American Idiot
Fall Out Boy - From Under The Cork Tree
Brand New - Deja Entendu


Justin Cober-Lake
Stevie Wonder - Music of My Mind
Keith Moon - Two Sides of the Moon
Allen Toussaint - Life, Love and Faith


Ian Cohen
Maritime- We, The Vehicles
Mannie Fresh- The Mind Of Mannie Fresh
Lupe Fiasco- Food And Liquor


Elizabeth Colville
Magnetic Fields - Get Lost
Joan as Police Woman - Real Life
John Vanderslice - Pixel Revolt


Iain Forrester
The Dresden Dolls - Yes, Virginia...
Hot Chip - Coming On Strong
The Knife - Deep Cuts


Andrew Gaerig
Trick Daddy - Thugs Are Us
Broadcast - The Future Crayon
V/A - Rio Baile Funk: More Favela Booty Beats


Todd Hutlock
Uncle Tupelo - March 16-20, 1992
Rockpile - Seconds of Pleasure
Andrew Weatherall - Hypercity


Andrew Iliff
Thom Yorke - The Eraser
Mr Lif - Mo' Mega
Tricky - Live at Leeds Town and Country


Thomas Inskeep
Cameo - The 12" Collection and More
Sonic Youth - Really Ripped
Panic! at the Disco - A Fever You Can't Sweat Out


Josh Love
Cassie - Me & U
Paris Hilton - Paris
Alan Jackson - Greatest Hits Collection


Evan McGarvey
Juvenile - Tha G-Code
Ghostface - Fishscale
Wilderness - Vessel States


Ian Mathers
Muslimgauze - Lo Fi India Abuse
The Cure - The Head On The Door
The Wedding Present - Seamonsters


Sandro Matosevic
Ladytron - Witching Hour
The Moaners - Dark Snack
San Serac - Tyrant


Derek Miller
120 Days - 120 Days
VA - Superlongevity 2
Hot Chip - Various b-sides


Mallory O'Donnell
Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds
Beyonce - B'Day
Kashmere Stage Band - Texas Thunder Soul


Fergal O'Reilly
The Auteurs - How I Learned To Love The Bootboys
Kitsune Maison Vol. 2
Sparks - Indiscreet


Cameron Octigan
Nathan Fake - Drowning in a Sea of Love
Alex Smoke - Paradolia
Ricardo Villalobos - Achso EP


Mike Orme
Guillemots - Through the Windowpane
Colleen - Colleen et Les Boîtes à Musique
Hot Chip - The Warning


Peter Parrish
Psychedelic Furs - Forever Now
The House of Love - Complete Peel Sessions
Catherine Wheel - Adam & Eve


Mike Powell
Scritti Politti - White Bread, Black Beer
Miles Davis - Get Up With It
Boredoms - Soul Discharge


Tal Rosenberg
M83 - Before The Dawn Heals Us
The Roots - Game Theory
Brian Jonestown Massacre - Give It Back!


Barry Schwartz
Tahiti 80 - Fosbury
Portastatic - I Hope Your Heart is Not Brittle
Tokyo Police Club - A Lesson in Crime


Brad Shoup
Michael Nesmith - From a Radio Engine to the Photon Wing
The Tear Garden - Sheila Liked the Rodeo EP
Sam Moore - Plenty Good Lovin': The Lost Solo Album


Alfred Soto
Kirsty MacColl - Electric Landlady
Junior Boys - So This is Goodbye
50 Cent - Get Rich...


Nick Southall
Final Fantsay - He Poos Clouds
TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
Embrace - "Thank God You Were Mean To Me"


Josh Timmermann
Prince - 3121
Prince - Graffiti Bridge
Prince - Lovesexy




ON THE TUBE / IN THE THEATER

Tal Rosenberg
Walkabout
Arrested Development Season 2
Wedding Crashers


Arthur Ryel-Lindsey
Little Miss Sunshine
Von Ryan's Express
A Knight's Tale


Brad Shoup
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest


Alfred Soto
Arrested Development: Season One
The Flowers of Shanghai
Naked


Nick Southall
Primer
Serendipity
Dig!


Josh Timmermann
Inside Man
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
My Sex Life...or How I Got Into an Argument


Stewart Voegtlin
Dog Soldiers
Cache


Theon Weber
House, M.D. - season two
Buffy the Vampire Slayer - season two
Millions


Ethan White
The Tenant
Mr. Arkadin
Punishment Park


Justin Cober-Lake
Network
One Day in September
Passage to India


Elizabeth Colville
My Summer of Love
Pride & Prejudice
Trust the Man


L. Michael Foote
Wild At Heart
Bad Timing
The Witches


Todd Hutlock
Arrested Development Season 3
Tod Browning's Freaks


Ian Mathers
Seeing Other People
Sapphire & Steel, series 1
Death Race 2000


Dave Micevic
Gabrielle
Caché
Inside Man


Derek Miller
My Life Unravel


Jay Millikan
Superman Returns
Munich


Mallory O'Donnell
Snakes On A Plane


Fergal O'Reilly
Peep Show Series 1
The Wind That Shakes The Barley


Mike Orme
Bringing Up Baby
The Third Man
Frasier reruns, Lifetime


Mike Powell
Trust
Sherman's March




ON THE NIGHTSTAND

Elizabeth Colville
Swann's Way - Marcel Proust
The New Yorker, Sept 18, 2006
The Bounty - Derek Walcott


L. Michael Foote
Fanny, Edmund White
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon


Todd Hutlock
John Cale & Victor Bockris - What's Welsh For Zen?


Thomas Inskeep
Andrew Beaujon - Body Piercing Saved My Life
Tim Lawrence - Love Saves the Day
Dave White - Exile in Guyville


Josh Love
Henry Adams - The Education of Henry Adams


Ian Mathers
Spinoza - Ethics
Plato - Phaedo
Greg Rucka/Jesus Saiz - Checkmate


Sandro Matosevic
JT Leroy - The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things


Ron Mashate
Samuel Beckett - Murphy
William Gaddis - A Frolic Of His Own


Dave Micevic
Thomas Pynchon - V.


Derek Miller
Thomas Wolfe - You Can't Go Home Again


Jay Millikan
Richard Price - Clockers
Randy Shilts - And the Band Played On


Mallory O'Donnell
Simon Reynolds - Generation Ecstasy
Simon Frith - Music For Pleasure
Simon Reynolds - Rip It Up & Start Again


Fergal O'Reilly
David Peace - Nineteen Seventy-Four


Mike Orme
Salman Rushdie - The Ground Beneath her Feet


Peter Parrish
Raymond Chandler - The Big Sleep


Mike Powell
WG Sebald - The Rings of Saturn


Tal Rosenberg
Sarah Vowell - Take the Cannoli


Barry Schwartz
Philip Roth - American Pastoral


Brad Shoup
Earl Conrad - Typoo


Alfred Soto
Anthony Summers - The Arrogance of Power


Nick Southall
Stephen King - The Calling of the Three
Kurt Vonnegut - Breakfast of Champions


Josh Timmermann
Jonathan Franzen - The Twenty-Seventh City


Stewart Voegtlin
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree


Theon Weber
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead


Ethan White
Linda Williams - Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the Frenzy of the Visible


Justin Cober-Lake
Umberto Eco - Baudolino
C.S. Lewis - The Screwtape Letters


Links
Archives
Today on Stylus
Reviews
October 31st, 2007
Features
October 31st, 2007
Recently on Stylus
Reviews
October 30th, 2007
October 29th, 2007
Features
October 30th, 2007
October 29th, 2007
Recent Music Reviews
Recent Movie Reviews
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS). Powered by WordPress