Friday, January 28, 2005

I finally saw Dig! last night. Well, most of it anyway. I turned it on about 30 minutes into it and, for that reason, didn't want to get too involved but I couldn't help myself and stayed until the end. It was pretty good. It confirmed my opinion that the Dandy Warhols are annoying and pretentious, but it also sparked an interest in the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Clearly the better of the two bands, both musically and entertainment-wise. Anton Newcombe is more erratic than I imagined but even when he's sending the Dandies a shotgun shell for each member, there's still something incredibly likeable about him. And just about everything Joel Gion says on film is funny.
There was some sadness, though, in considering the evolution of the Dandy Warhols' attitude toward BJM. Over the course of the film, they went from trumpeting the wonders of BJM to anyone who would listen to, in the end, viewing the band with complete disgust. The middle of the film had that awkwardness where you can tell they're obviously hurt by all the things Anton is saying but still have so much respect for him as musician.

For more info: www.digthemovie.com
www.brianjonestownmassacre.com (be sure to check out the mp3 page - there's about a gazillion full songs to listen to)

Thursday, January 27, 2005

PITMAN It Takes A Nation Of Tossers (Son Records)
Ten years after Bill Haley and the Comets cut "Rock Around the Clock," the Beatles landed in New York and from that moment on, the evolution of rock has been a collaborative effort mostly between American and British artists. Rap, on the other hand, has not been. Now I'm not going to pretend I know much about rap, because I don't, but I have a feeling that's going to change sometime relatively soon. There's a growing hip hop scene in the UK and some acts like the Streets and Dizzee Rascal already gained limited recognition over here. If the right rapper with the right song comes along, there could be another British Invasion, 21st century style.

Pitman won't be him, though. Sure, it's a rap album but it's equal part comedy record as well. It's tongue in cheek, dirty mouthed, and quite probably the only place where coal miners from the North can represent. I'll direct you to this page to read about the album itself since I would miss most of the references points otherwise discussed. All in all, I wouldn't think about putting this on just for the musical aspects of it, but he still makes me laugh each time. Check out the skit "When Miners Attack" as Pitman encounters a disgruntled non-fan. "The Pitman And Her" follows him through a day away from the mines as he gets lucky and picks up a girl in the supermarket. The hit song here is quite possibly "Witness the Pitness" -- complete with fighting words aimed toward the guy from the Streets.

For more info: www.pitmanworld.com
Listen to "The Pitman And Her"

Thanks to Bobby for sending this one to me

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Apparently Jenna Bush caused a stir in Norway when she was photographed flashing the devil sign, which is the same as the U of Texas gesture, which also looks a lot like the manual exclamation one makes while shouting "rock on!" at the conclusion of a Kip Winger guitar solo. If anything, this non-story was a good excuse to read up on the Norwegian Death Metal scene from the late 80s to early 90s.
Now I'd known for awhile that something weird happened over there, but I never realized the extent of it. Wow. Those guys make gangsta rappers look like twee poppers. Pictured above are Dead and Euronymous, from the band Mayhem. Dead, the lead singer, cobained himself with a shotgun. I'm not going to link to any here, but just by googling "Mayhem Dead," I found a couple of sites which posted a photo of the partially headless Dead lying in a pool of blood. Anyway, after he offed himself, guitarist Euronymous ate the brains and drummer Hellhammer made necklaces out of skull fragments for his bandmates to wear. Bassist Count Grishnackh would later stab Euronymous to death. In addition to Mayhem, other bands were also killing both rival musicians and random passerbys. Churches were bombed as many of the scenesters are also Satanists who are fighting to rid Norway of Christianity. Rather than get into details or write much more about this, if you're interested, I'd suggest reading this article which I thought was particularly helpful. Peter Beste also has a very interesting photo gallery on the Death Metallers. This page has an overview as well as plenty of links.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Karol's mom came over last weekend as I was listening to the Lilys' Better Can't Make Your Life Better. When I went to turn down the volume, she asked me not to and mentioned that she liked the album. Karol, on the other hand, had been pestering me all morning about the music being too loud. I was vindicated. *** Someone started a thread on the indiepop list this week about songs which use a cowbell. One of the replies was the Lilys' "A Nanny In Manhattan." Now I'd heard that song about a million times since it came out and I never noticed a cowbell before, so of course I had to listen to it again and sure enough -- there it is, buried in the mix but still quite prominent. All those years of listening to it and I never once thought, "hey, is that a cowbell?" *** I also came across the "official" lyrics. Wow. Everything I thought he was singing, he was actually singing something else. Film critic! Where the hell did that come from?

Follow the link to hear "A Nanny In Manhattan"
Weak music link here but I watched Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers tonight. The interesting thing about this movie is that Pam Springsteen, Bruce's little sister, plays a killer who was released from an asylum, had a sex change to become a woman, and terrorizes a summer camp. It was neither suspenseful nor scary, and I've seen pornos with stronger dialogue. The ending's identical to that of House of 1000 Corpses, which was written and directed by Rob Zombie. Now that was an alright film.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

New link to the right: Saint Jude's Infirmary
Bobby sent a couple of their cds to me, by way of Funnya, all the way from Edinburgh, Scotland. They're quite good and deserve some recognition.

Unrelated to that, Monday night is the next Archives Listening Project. We're playing the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band first and then DJing after. 9pm, Rififi, free.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Mash ups are a strange phenomenon. I suppose one day they'll be incorporated into some sort of larger art form but right now they kind of strike me as nothing more than clever novelty songs. Here's a cool one, though, found via Stereogum: the Cure's "Lovesong" crossed with the Beatles' "Taxman" will get you Lovetax. When I first listened to it, I was for some reason expecting the Cure's "Love Cats" instead. I think that would work pretty well, actually. You get the swinging jazzy bassline from the Cure, the famous guitar riff from the Beatles, and take it from there. I have no idea how to go about making a mash up so I'm not going to bother even trying. I did try to play both songs at once through my stereo but it came out kind of messy, to say the least.
"Lovetax" is the work of Team 9. They have even more stuff up on their website.

Friday, January 14, 2005

To pad this site with more entries than actual content, here's some audio illustrations to old posts. In reference to Parker and Lily (December 2004), Meanwhile, Back in Communist Russia... (September 2003), and Moondog (July 2003), click here for the following songs:
Meanwhile, Back in Communist Russia...: Morning After Pill
Moondog: Symphonique 6 (Good for Goodie)
Parker and Lily: Hello Halo

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Music Thing. Recommended.

(found via Rummage Through the Crevices)

Monday, January 10, 2005

A rite of passage for every blogger is seeing all the funny search engine results which introduce your site to some hapless web surfer. In addition to all the folks looking for photos of Pedro the Lion, lyrics to Shins songs, info about old MBV albums, YYY's guitarist Nick Zinner's birthday, and general stuff about defunct industrial band Executive Slacks (never heard of them until I began checking my stats), I also get more than my share of confused visitors looking to buy a pair of pants. But it's this one from yesterday which arched my eyebrow.
I'm not, but thanks for your concern.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

It's been almost two years since I've moved in with Karol. When I began integrating and organizing our cds, I realized that one of mine was missing. Volume 17 was a book/cd combo thing imported from Britain which I ordered back in 1997 after reading that it contained brand new tracks from Elastica, Bjork, Elvis Costello, Throwing Muses, Cocteau Twins, Divine Comedy, and a bunch of others. I searched the apartment to no luck. Assuming the album was somehow lost in the move, I resigned myself to never seeing it ever again. It's not that I loved the album; I rarely listened to it and, when I did, I skipped a lot of tracks. Still, I'd never lost a cd before. I once had a Led Zeppelin tape stolen by a hotel maid, but I'd never lost anything before. Disappointed, I was. Even worse was that growing insatiable feeling that I just had to, for whatever reason, listen to the version of Travis' "U 16 Girls" which could only be found on that cd.
Then a weird thing happened. A few weeks ago I found the album on the shelf, right with all the other cds. It wasn't there before. I didn't put it there. I doubt Karol put it there because I don't think she cares to understand my organizational methods and it was right where it should be, although I know for certain I didn't put it there. If it were something of great sentimental value to me, like the Glove lp for instance, I might think the hand of God had something to do with the cd's safe return but I think the Good Lord has more important things to worry about than Volume 17. I would hope so, anyway. But regardless of how the cd found its way back home, it was no longer lost. And I suddenly no longer cared if I heard that Travis song or not.

So yesterday was the day I decided to give it a listen. The first song on disc one is by Alabama 3 titled "Woke Up This Mornin'." As I started listening to it, I thought it sounded an awful lot like the Sopranos theme song and, sure enough -- to my great surpise, it is. Weird. It's pretty different that what gets played on the show, so I figured I would use this song to try out my new mp3 uploading idea. So, here you go. Alabama 3: Woke Up This Mornin'.
A note, a disclaimer, an explanation. From time to time I've linked to various mp3s on this page. In all of those instances, they were files I found floating around the internet and I simply directed your attention to them. Now for something a little different: I've decided to try uploading mp3s from my own collection. I've neither the time, bandwidth, nor desire to turn this into an honest to goodness real mp3 blog, so don't expect any major changes here -- posting will continue at my usual self-induldgent snail's pace.

Any mp3s uploaded here are posted out of love and will be taken down within a week. Please do not save them to your computer. If you like what you hear, support the artist. Buy the album and/or go see them live.
In the unlikely event you are reading this page and happen to own the song's copyright, and you want me to remove the song right away, send me an email.

UPDATE: So this uploading thing isn't working quite as I had hoped. You can still listen to them, but in sort of a roundabout way.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Remember life before mp3s? You'd hear about a band -- maybe they have a buzz, maybe they don't -- but based on the things you read about them, they could be something you'd really like. Chances are you're not going to hear them on the radio, so you'd either have to a) hope a friend already has their record so you can borrow it, b) wait for them to play a show near you, or c) just buy the album anyway and see how it goes. More often than not, I opted for what was behind Door #3. Back then, it took a lot of work. It meant frequent trips to the local record stores and, if they didn't carry it, resorting to mailorders and the subsequent 10 day wait for delivery. And then, who knows? Belle and Sebastian exceeded all of my expectations while the Fauves were quite possibly the worst cd I ever spent money on.

Nowadays it's much easier. You just google the band, visit their website, check out their free downloads, and take it from there. It's enough to spoil anyone. So that makes it so much more frustrating now when I learn about bands but can't find any mp3s online. I spent a few fruitless hours yesterday trolling the internet for any sort of signal from Batrider and Birchville Cat Motel. Both are from New Zealand. I wonder if that has anything to do with it. Tragically, Birchville Cat Motel just played here on Thursday. I learned about the show on Tuesday, made a mental note about it, and then ended up having to work late that night.

In other news, here's some linkylove for the new year. I first heard the Licorice Roots about two years ago, emailed the band, and somehow never bought the cd. I plan to change that soon. Raymond Scott Woolson belongs to the same shoegaze/dreampop email list I'm on. He records ethereal guitar instrumentals and you can get his new album for free just by emailing him. Spizzazzz is a hip hop blog out of Britain. Very cool. Via No Frontin' I learned about Shahkar Binesh-Pajouh, Iran's lone rapper. Couple this with Rummage Through the Crevice's recent post about a comp from the Iranian underground, and it looks like a very interesting musical revolution taking place over there. While you're visiting that last link, be sure to check out the Oolanbator track. What a wild song.

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