Saturday, December 29, 2007

Coachella Rumors: Dupree Edish'

http://avoision.blogspot.com/ (that's a plug)



This guy's keepin' fairly good tabs on the REAL rumors and confirmations, so I thought i'd give you some speculation from my famously awful perspective. in sections...



Headliners which will never happen in a million years, but are still required entrances on the rumor season:
The Smiths

David Bowie

At The Drive-In (this year's big reunion, we swear!) ed. note: this one gets me in such a homicidal mood.

Led Zeppelin

Smashing Pumpkins

Pulp



Bands which better be there or i'ma hav'ta kick somebody's scrotum:

St. Vincent

Asobi Seksu

UNKLE

Foals

Liars

Queens Of The Stone Age

Eagles Of Death Metal

Black Ghosts

Matt And Kim

Basement Jaxx

Kenna

Buck 65

Sage Francis

PJ Harvey

The Ting-Tings (aka The "That's Not My Name" band)

Stars

Feist

Metric

Broken Social Scene (including, ahem, satellite members from Stars, Feist, and Metric)

something involving Dan "The Automator" Nakamura or Danger Mouse

Bangers & Cash/Spank Rock/Amanda Blank

No less than a handful of uber-hip DJ's from Paris and/or Los Angeles



Things that would be so ridiculously awesome because you could watch and wait for something terrible to happen:

Britney Spears

Amy Winehouse

those escaped tigers



Fairly Unheard Bands that totally deserve the opportunity:

Blood Red Shoes (imagine the white stripes switched instruments and they both got more attractive and English and then started playing garage-dance rock.)



Does It Offend You, Yeah? (DFA1979 energy and electro-rock backup. This would go great at the last party ever)



Le Loup (The Knife + Menomena)



Evangelicals (if you wanted to know what the Pixies sound like on drugs without having to take drugs, they've got you covered)



Dead Confederate (Passionate, Dirty, and vaguely southern; that's a winning formula)



Oh-So-Hip Bands I will Oh-So-Avoid if they're at Coachella:

Yeasayer

Arctic Klaxon Chiefs (The only band of the new brit crop I ever liked was the Kooks)

Sam Champion

A Place To Bury Strangers (no kool-aid for me thanks)

Battles

Beirut (honestly...?)

Animal Collective (Strawberry Jam was AMAZING for like 2 minutes, a span of time I will be happy to miss out on)

Of Montreal (seriously, I don't care how many cell-phone commercials you put that kool-aid on, i'm still not gonna drink it. Just look at it!)



Bands which will be inexplicably invited to play, to the dismay of most concert-goers:

Paramore (requisite Warped Tour band with delusions of revelance)

Plain White T's (requisite Bro-pleaser)

John Mayer (requisite effeminate male balladier whose first name begins with a J)

Tiesto (requisite tacky trance-god)

Maroon 5 (requisite big name pop act trying to score cred)

Perry Farrell (he may just have to form an even newer band for the fest)

Shadows Fall (Requisite "too heavy for a desert afternoon" act)

Dwight Yoakam (requisite country band... confirmed!)



Bands Which Would Be Amazing Additions But Have Been Overlooked Because Goldenvoice Has A Childish Fear Of The English Language:

Holy Fuck



Now I know that this has been pretty negative, so i'd like to say something positive: I no longer dislike the Decemberists (on the whole). In fact, I'd go so far as to say I like every one of them but Colin Meloy, whom I hate because of his stupid Professor Frink voice modulations. If someone could please tell him to stop, i'd appreciate it. I'd also appreciate the Decembos much more.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

An Overdue Overanalysis: Ay Bay Bay

Not here, mind you, but:

http://www.groundcontrolmag.com/detail/1/753/

Google PageRank goes crazy when you duplicate content, so I won't paste it here.

Suffice to say, I tried to analyze "Ay Bay Bay" and actually got a little bit angry toward the end of it. This one definitely got past my normally impregnable sense of journalistic detachment to the point that I really just wanted the song to be over. Normally I can suss something, anything, out to discuss or pontificate, but this song is just really asinine.

I still got some jokes in though, so head on over and check it out.

Also, as far as the inactivity on this blog is concerned, stay tuned. It looks like soon i'll either continue blogging in earnest, or switch to something even more magnawesomous.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hey Look! Overanalysis!


Faithful readers of the blog will recall a time in which I mentioned the Shop Boyz song “Party Like A Rock Star” as a possible target for Overanalysis. However, I was fairly certain that the seeming inanity of the song was actually a feign hiding a secret and oh-so-deep meaning. Today I shall slay this beast. I’m confident now that I have uncovered every secret and deciphered every code. So without further ado…

Today’s Overanalysis:
“Party Like A Rock Star” by The Shop Boyz

Party like a rock, party like a rockstar!
Party like a rock, party like a rockstar!
Party like a rock, party like a rockstar!
Party like a rockstar, tut-tut-tut-totally dude!

I know some of you literazis out there have got some sand in your vajayjay about that line “Party like a rock.” Well nobody had any complaints when Bob Seger wrote “Like A Rock,” and that had worse and more numerous rock-related similes. And besides, what you see above is a typo. They’re really saying “Party Like Iraq,” which is pretty much the only way to party in a more destructive and perpetual manner than a rock star.

Im on a moneymaking mission, but I party like a rockstar

Is partying his curse, or is it a necessary externality in his mission to make that money? Let’s examine.

Im flyin down 20, lookin good in my hot car

It’s clear he’s concerned with his appearance as he pulls this stunt. This demonstrates that his wild behavior is more of a show than anything.

You know them hoe be at my show, grabbin where my chain go,
Im tryna grab hold of my pants, but these hoes wont let my thang go,

Heartbreaking. A man on a stage, losing his dignity to women he can neither love nor be loved by. Such is the performer’s dilemma. To be a voice, but still simply an object.

I do it like i do it, cuz you know them hoes bein tryin
oh dont you know i fuck with fine dimes that look like pamela,

Clearly a defense mechanism, the singer displaces his fear of objectification by sleeping with women who look like Pamela Anderson so as to verify his own sense of persona.

they fine and they hot bruh, when im in the spot bruh, yuh, yuh,
I party like a rockstar!

I can only assume that the “spot” is inebriation, which is to say “They’re hot when I’m drunk.” Thus I assert that the partying is a self-destructive act lashing out at his feelings of social disconnect.

Party like a rock, party like a rockstar!
Party like a rock, party like a rockstar!
Party like a rock, party like a rockstar!
Party like a rockstar, tut-tut-tut-totally dude!

Ha! Ha! Party like a rockstar
Do it with the black n the white like a cop car,

Does anything bring together the races as amicably as partying? I don’t think so. This speaker is uniting people of all races under a common banner of shaking what their mothers gave them.

Me & my band man, on a yacht wit marilyn manson gettin a tan man,

I doubt this happened, but I would love to see it. Manson? On a yacht? Sunbathing? With rappers? It’s just so ridiculous it could work.

You know me, with a skull belt, and wallet chain,
Shop Boyz rock stars, yeah we ‘bout to change the game,

If they’re insisting that the rap rock cross-over game is a new invention, I think Run-DMC would like a chance to rebut. And as far as skull belts and wallet chains, I’m pretty sure Pharrell was rocking that years ago. And he didn’t sing about it either.

Change the game? they know that imma star,
imma star, imma make it rain from the center of my guitar!

Listen up, people, because I know some people are gonna harsh on this last line. Let’s just face the fact that some musical subcultures are better at some idioms than others. For instance, most blue-grass bands would have a very difficult time describing sick rhymes and dope beats. And likewise, these rappers have just unleashed the shittiest metaphor for shredding ever uttered. Rain? Really?

Yaaaaa!
Party like a rock, party like a rockstar!
Party like a rock, party like a rockstar!
Party like a rock, party like a rockstar!
Party like a rockstar, tut-tut-tut-totally dude!

A quick word about the “Totally dude” line. Some have speculated that this song mocks rock music’s accouterments and others suggest that it pays homage to them instead. I can see how both would work here. “Totally Dude” is probably the most laughable phrase ever uttered and the Shop Boyz would be right to mock it, but then if it’s meant as homage it would be a very humble gesture to repeat (with admiration) such a silly line.

As soon I came out the womb, my momma knew a star was born
Now Im on a golf course, trippin with the Osbournes

The new acid test for stardom: Are you now, or have you ever taken drugs on a golf course with the Osbournes?

I seen a show with Travis Barker, rockstar mentality,
Im jumpin in the crowd, just to see if they would carry me,

Another example of these rappers’ inexperience with rock. For instance, it’s totally NOT rockin’ to watch that Travis Barker show. That guy’s been hitting every branch of the rockin’ tree on his way down and he’s not showing any signs of stopping. Let us pause on the beautiful mystery of that second sentence for a moment. Assuming the crowd is a rock crowd, will they accept a rapper as their own and indulge him in one of rock music’s most kickin’ concert behavior? Or is it a hip-hop crowd, and the test is whether the audience will embrace the rock concert attitude?

white bitches wanna marry me, they see me they jus might panic,

Listen guys, I can’t stress this enough: If your presence sends a woman into a panic, it does not mean she wants to get married. She’s probably more interested in getting a restraining order.

my ice make em go down quick, like the titanic,

Too soon, Shop Boyz. Too soon.

ya im with the shop boyz, you know what we do,
im surfin screamin cowabunga, totally dude!

Apparently, what they “do” is spout off totally tubular Ninja Turtles lines. Oooh, shell-shocked!



On a musical note, if you’ve decided to set your rap group apart by using (and mentioning) guitars, you should probably play something more intrepid than an 8 note beginner’s riff. Because unless your target audience has never before heard an electric guitar, they’re going to notice that you suck at electric guitar. Because you do. And for all that effort, you can just go back to square waves and handclaps and the track will be just as clubworthy.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Some Quick Recommendations

So i'm hardly at work right now but I figured with all the lack of real content on this blog that it was long overdue for something, anything, to keep your musical musings directed. So here's 5 albums that are currently ruining my life with how great they are.

1. Neon Horse, Neon Horse: I was all obsessed with the video for the single "Cuckoo" and i'm afraid that my obsession has only grown after listening to the rest of the album. It's got a really expansive vocal style palette and the guitars are everything I love about Stoner Rock. It's got that beautifully mysterious quality that seems to have vanished from modern music with just a taste of pastoral, apocalyptic, and melodramatic tones.

2. St. Vincent, Marry Me: St. Vincent is a female singer-songwriter who completely validates the very tired genre of female singer-songwriters. Her vocals are outrageously beautiful (nothing new there) but she's not afraid to use them to say things that are spiteful, dreary, or downright ugly. The title track is a great example, as its opening line "Marry Me John, I'll be so good to you." is thrown completely for a loop by the following line "You won't realize i'm gone." And although the apocalyptic cabaret song seems to grow in popularity every month, St. vincent's "Paris Is Burning" ranks as my favorite simply because of its unwinking deadpan sweetness.

3. Stars, In Our Bedroom After The War: Stars is one of the few bands making pop records that I enjoy. Now I know some of you may think that if they aren't on the top 40 they aren't pop music, or that if it's not shallow and bubblegum it can't be pop music, but you'd be wrong on both counts. In fact, when I interviewed their bassist Evan, he called their second album a pop record. So ha. Anyways, Stars writes love songs deeper than anybody. Take for example "Personal" a modern love track about internet romance which plays on the different insecurities of both parties through the narrative style of an email conversation. It helps immensely that Stars has two more-than-capable singers, Torq Campbell and Amy Millan, so they can sing both sides of a romantic tale. Torq does the lion's share of the vocals, and he proves why on songs like "Life 2: The Unhappy Ending," and "Barricade," which feature him almost perfectly describing emotions with his timbre.

4. Rocky Votolato, The Brag & Cuss: Okay, I have to admit I haven't given this a full listen. But Rocky Votolato is incapable of writing a bad song in my opinion. He has 2 great solo albums and 1 album with Waxwing as guarantors and everything i've heard so far from Brag has been heartstopping. If you like country-tinged (the old kind of country, the good stuff) folk love songs, you need Rocky. Also, if you like electrifying punk rock guitar, you need his brother Cody Votolato (of Blood Brothers). You could also check out third Votolato brother/guitarist Sonny, but I have no idea what kind of music he makes.

5. Justice : Yeah, the album title is just a cross (Maeby: across from where?). It continues the faux-christian theme with song titles like "Genesis," "Waters Of Nazareth," and "Let There Be Light." But really, this album is all about textures. If you've ever wondered how much of a difference production value and multi-track layering makes on an album, listen to this album and then go listen to any other club dance song. It's shocking to hear music that good that's made with the same silly synth bits that have been bandied around for decades in terrible rap beats and synth-pop anthems. It's like post-modern Thriller.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Video Killed The Internet Star

So, as you can see below, I write stuff for blogcritics.org. It's been great, a lot more people have read my stuff and I can gauge my self-worth in digg stats.

But now I've been asked to make a video.

As some sort of collabo between BC and MyspaceTV, they're looking for BC folks to produce short segments of video. I guess I raised a few well-placed eyebrows because I received an email this morning from the music editor asking if I'd be interested in making a video of my "News From The Machine" shtick. I certainly am interested, but obviously there are some logistics things to work out (I don't have a camera, I don't have editing software, I'm not very videogenic). If anyone has any ideas or would like to help out, i'd love to hear from you.

Currently, my ideas don't stray far from the News from the Machine formula. But I assume that could change as I imagine video is probably more suited for branching out conceptually.

Also, I'd have to find out if I would have to make these videos Myspace-exclusive, since I'm not sure I like that idea. I don't want Rupert Murdoch having his claws in me more than he already does.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I Hate Us When We Hiatus

My recent silence has been mainly because i'm poor and need to focus on other things (like where my next meal is coming from), but it's being broken like a motherfucker today. Here's my latest Blogcritics article and a Digg link for those of you who use Digg. Please comment and give me Diggs and click points and all the other goofy shit you can do to show appreciation at the bottom of the page.

News From The Machine: 50 Cent, Amy Winehouse, Pearl Jam, and More

All has not been well with the musical world! From flying cellphones to flagrant use of the "N word," the industry has been absolutely buzzing with tension. It ’s the kind of thing that makes execs want to curl up around a big pile of money and pay someone to cry for them.


http://digg.com/music/News_From_The_Machine_50_Cent_Amy_Winehouse_Pearl_Jam_and_More

I'm cooking up an overanalysis of a rap song, but I may put it on BC instead of here (they're getting defensive about re-published content being posted on their site). I'll let all y'all know. Here's a hint: I'm gonna overanalyze it like a rock star.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

"They Choose The Path Where No One Goes."

I tried to find more relevant lyrics within Led Zep's "No Quarter," but there were none. And by the way, "No Quarter" ranks among my top 3 Zep songs for sure. It's got that Zepped-off blues feel, but it's got a serious case of the wobbles. And I love wobbles. Plus the lyrics are creepy, so there's that.

I'm back in Long Beach, and hopefully now i'll be able to more effectively set up a sustainable living situation here. Because Sacto gets boring fast. (no offense sacto.)

First off, since I picked that title, i'm gonna wander off-topic on the following topics:

Lindsay Lohan: There's certainly no love in me for celebrity worship (unless it's worship of me), but I'm actually very bummed about the news of her arrest. Not because I think she was treated unfairly or that it's undeserved, it's just very sad to me that a person who seems to want so much from life is unable to fight off the demons she's accrued. It was fairly clear that she had made an honest effort to be rehabilitated, with that alcohol testing bracelet and everything, and it's hard to watch those efforts fail. I think most everyone has probably seen someone battle and lose to the destructive elements of themself, or even suffered that defeat personally. It's about as heartbreaking as life gets. Best of luck, Lindsay. Even if it means you'll keep making terrible films and albums and snagging headlines for every pound you gain or lose, I hope you can get sober.

Harry Potter: Today I got my hands on the audiobook version of Harry Potter 7: Harry goes to Manhattan (That was the seventh Jason movie, right?) and I'm pleased to report that I've semi-successfully avoided all spoilers thus far (while leafing through the online HP Lexicon to refresh my memory of book 6, I accidentally saw a death date listed for one semi-major character). I find this surprising since I have a great deal of acquaintances who are avid HP fans or avid ruiners of things. Remember Sixth Sense? my friend Jason ruined it as we were walking into the theater to watch it. I had HP6 ruined for me, and I was determined not to have this one ruined too. And since it's almost a week after the release, the statute of limitations on spoilers is quickly approaching. I mean, eventually it has to become okay to discuss explicitly that Soylent Green is indisputably people. Either way, i'm enjoying the book so far and I'm really digging all of the loose ends it's been leaving for future chapters to tie up.

Brick: I watched Brick the other day and I can't stop thinking about it. It had a beautiful mood, awesome characters, and really great progression. Why couldn't my high school experience have included a murder mystery? I loved the film noir aspects and the language especially, even though I don't know a whole hell of a lot about film noir or the origins of their slang. I wish there were more movies like it.

Marriage: My friends Mike and Shar are quickly approaching the point in which their dinner conversations will no longer become admissible evidence in court, and it's sort of surprising how much it's fascinated me. I've had cousins and acquaintances get married before and I never really thought much on it. But this actually feels like a significant event in my life, as opposed to simply an event in theirs. I didn't really know Mike before the engagement, and I met Shar afterwards, so really I've only known them together. But again, something about the legal and social Megazordification of the two has grabbed me by the brain. Also... i'm wondering if the "It's the thought that counts" rule counts for wedding presents. And if so, does "thought" have to be like matching knitted scarves, or can it be His-and-Hers Mix CDs? So many questions...

Since I'm here and i've got the comp to myself all night, i'll probably post a bit more later.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Battle For Punk, Episode 23: The Posers Strike Back

http://www.bigoldamp.com/home/2007/7/22/punk-is-not-dead.html
"Green Day, My Chemical Romance, Good Charlotte and Bad Religion are among the bands starring in the documentary, ‘Punk’s Not Dead’, which hits US theaters
this week.The movie is an excersice[sic] of the evolution of punk music featuring
tons of talks with important punk musicians as well as rare performance footage."

So the downfall of a genre is being challenged by its post-mortem excrement? The mere existence of My Chemical Romance is proof enough that punk is, without question, dead.

I had a brief chat with Beef (who's visiting these arid northlands with Erin) today about punk and its origins. We agreed that punk was originally a product of New York, and I asserted my belief that the first punks were the Velvet Underground. But no matter whether you place Punk's zenith at its NYC, UK, or LA era, you must concede that it died shortly thereafter. The 80's brought in the mainstream support, New Wave took over the look, and all the best punks went to prison, rehab, or hell. The emergence of Pop-punk bands allowed a brief glimpse at what had been, but it was fueled on the blissful ignorance that comes with a sheeplike devotion to whatever the radio is pushing. Sure, Blink-182 was kinda edgy when you think about it, but real punks would have had to push the nudity and swearing to a level that was actually unacceptable to their label execs, as opposed to the gimmicky levels they sported instead. And there's really no way for anyone to be a real punk today. There's no overwhelming cold war dread, no Vietnam, and wearing a facial piercing was a statement. You couldn't put a streak of pink in your hair without immediate ostracizing from normal society. Now, you can. It's lost all meaning. The only way to really push people's boundaries is to look gross, and even then the message is lost.

At this point, everything of Punk that remains is actually Pop-Punk. Which, for all intents and purposes, sucks.

Okay, there ARE still London-style punk bands, but they suck and just sound like canned versions of what used to be a pretty good thing. OR.. they're G.G. Allin, who also fucking sucked.

Point is, there's only one thing lamer than proclaiming the death of a genre (fuck you Nas), and that's denying the death of a genre. And then using Good Charlotte as your exemplar.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Triumphant rebirth of the Pernicious Pentacle

But first, a plug:

News From The Machine: James Blunt, Paris Hilton, Nickelback & More...
All the latest in dollar-chasing, little-guy-squashing music. With jokes.

My second jaunt on the BC site is up. This time it's all new material. Be sure and whore out the appropriate clickables at the bottom (digg, reddit, etc.). It's not on digg yet but it should be sometime tomorrow. At that point I hope you'll all do me a favor and digg it. Last time I got 12 diggs, which was beautiful. I think we can do better though.

But enough about me, now it's time for...

MEAN THINGS ABOUT NICE PEOPLE III

1. Seether: File this under "Things that would never happen to Real Men." After being the butt of a Evanescence hit song ("Call Me When You're Sober") by no-talent hack Amy Lee, no-talent hack Shaun Morgan has stated that there will be no retort on his band Seether's new album. Somebody tear up his rock star club card. According to rockstar handbook p. 254-255, unflattering hit songs from previous love interests are to be dealt with in one or more of the following ways:

a) Release song which is derogatory and hurtful to such a childishly malicious
degree that no self-respecting soul would dare risk your wrath ever again.
b) Barricade self in castle stocked with sexy womanservants, Jack Daniels,
Oxycontin, and Mickey Rourke and wait it out in style.
c) Unleash unflattering and scandalous sex tape of aggressor on the internet.
d) Be seen with no less than 20 better-looking and/or more-talented women.
e) Ghost-write tell-all book and retire to smug hilltop vineyard compound.


Shaun, if you choose option A or E, here are some awesome title ideas which you have my permission to use: "There's A Very Simple And Superficial Reason That I Only Called You When I Wasn't Sober," "You Make Me Want To Not Be Sober," "Call Me When You're 40 And Desperately Alone."

2. Pete Wentz/Ashlee Simpson: I swear to Jesus, somebody tell me they read this as well, because I think I may have just dreamed it. Honestly, their pairing could not have worked out any better for me. Like Shia LeBeouf thrusting the world-destroying Allspark into the terrible Megatron's chest destroying both, this pairing has effectively removed both of these problematic individuals. Association with Superpuppet Simpson finally shakes the last remnants of cred off of Wentz, allowing me free reign to ruin him without reprisal from pop-punk nerds who refuse to let him go. And given her demonstrated inability to process complex actions, Ashlee's romantic involvement should prevent her from ever freeing up the requisite synapses to put together an album or show of any kind. Bring on the rumors! This funeral pyre needs fuel! Ahhh. Life is sweet.

3. Britney Spears: pulled a pretty sweet PR stunt where she applied to be a waitress. Now, some of you may think that this is actually a serious and drastic attempt to pull out of the public eye, but let's keep in mind who we're talking about here. Of all the crazy random shit that Spears has done over the years, there is but one constant: Attention. I had always assumed that if I kept ignoring her during her flirty Rolling Stone Cover days, she'd have to resort to showing some nudity, and I was totally right. Of course, like something from a vicious Wishmaster sequel, my wish ended up being twisted and used against me, but at least I got some satisfaction out of my nostradamus-like perception skills.

4. Jay-Z: He's settling a lawsuit with Diamond Dallas Page for using the "Diamond Cutter" hand gesture as the "Roc-A-Fella" hand gesture. Diamond Dallas Page is a noted professional wrestler whose side projects, including yoga promotions and self-help books, have earned him a collective gesturing of another sort by most of america. Since when, after all, does a pro wrestler settle any large dispute without the use of a cage match?

5. Bobby Brown: According to one of his alleged concubines, Osama bin Laden has a deep disdain for Bobby Brown for taking Whitney off the market. This disdain is so deep, in fact, that he has apparently tried to make attempts on Bobby's life. Listen, Osama, let's get a few things straight... First off, you can't kill Bobby. You'd be stiffing at least 3 bail bond companies out of serious bucks. Second, Don't kill the man over your hatred for his one smart decision, that'd be like impeaching Bush over immigration reform. And last, there's nothing you can do to Bobby Brown that's worse than what he would willingly inflict upon himself given the opportunity. Just send him a pound of crack and a box of bottle-rockets and Bobby will take care of Bobby.

(Note: I'm pleased to say I repeated no jokes with my BC Article in this post. Consider these your bonus for taking the time to read my blog. Thanks again.)

You Should Watch.

A bit of a departure here. But i'm hoping to soon have another BC.org link up so this is just to tide y'all over for now. By the way, the last one got 12 diggs, which is pretty cool for me. Hopefully my caustic blend of wit and hatred will prove popular. Anyways, a brief story:

So the other night while I was assembling my OKC retrospective, I was also chatting with my friend Gina. She, by her own words, never got into Radiohead, which I immediately took as a personal challenge. When I described the "Karma Police" video to her, she responded with a rather surprising comment. "Oh, so it's like that UNKLE video? I think it's called "Rabbit in the headlights?" It was actually called "Rabbit in Your Headlights," but the strange part is that Radiohead's Thom Yorke sings that song as a guest appearance with UNKLE. And the video is oddly reminiscent of Karma Police.

It's a really amazing song and a really amazing video, and I think you should all watch it. It's got a very storylike pull to it, and the ending is just amazing. I don't want to ruin anything, so just watch it because it's totally worth the 5 minutes.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

OK Computer turns 10

I was shocked to find out that my favorite album ever, Radiohead's OK Computer, has now hit the double-digits in age since it's original release. The album, which opened up a huge can of creativity-worms for me, still stands as a triumph of cohesive recording and multi-faceted beauty. So let's take a look at it, track by track:

1. Airbag: "In the next world war... In a jack-knifed juggernaut... I am born again." How perfect are these opening lines? It totally sets the theme and tone of the album, it just drips with mystery, and it's a perfect haiku. And the way Thom sings it, equal parts death cry and lounge croon, is just chilling. The distorted drums and multi-layered guitar parts are both great, but it's the cloak-and-dagger basstrickery that really drives this one into the stratosphere. And you can't not love the everpresent sleigh bells.


2. Paranoid Android: This is my favorite song ever. I'll just say that right now. Favorite Song Ever. I know of no other song which has better captured the duality of a tortured psyche, feeling powerful but uniquely vulnerable, cursing the world and yet wishing for redemption. And even the more nonsensical parts are just wondrously executed. The guitar work is playfully dark, and the splashy percussion feels like human whispers. There's a lot of great repetition and call/response between Thom and the guitars, and the hushed yelling ya ya ya's are maddeningly awesome. And the final lines destroy me every time. "That's it sir, you're leaving. The crackle of pig skin, the dust and the screaming, The yuppies networking... the panic, the vomit, the panic, the vomit. God loves his children, God loves his children, yeah..."


3. Subterranean Homesick Alien: If I ever have kids, this will be my lullabye for them. Thom Yorke has a way of affecting disaffection that is rarely if ever emulated. It's without agenda or rage or bitterness. He's just outside of everything. Instead of wasting time with suicide threats per usual angst-y band rhetoric, Thom wishes that he could be abducted by aliens who could show him the world. And rather than say that he's bored by life or feeling depressed (other tired sad-rock staples), Thom keeps "forgetting the smell of the warm summer air." His wit is astonishing sometimes.


4. Exit Music (For A Film): I had the distinct pleasure of playing this song with my friend Wayne on a few occasions. It was originally written for the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack, as Yorke's take on the star-crossed lovers. And even though it's from the lovers' perspective, it is markedly NOT about love. It's about struggle and resentment and fighting to hold on against a world that doesn't accept your way of life. And the nadir of it comes at the end, with a distinctly fragile voice wails "We hope... that you choke... that you choke" over and over again.


5. Let Down: Probably the most straightforward song on the album, Let Down has a series of guitar-pick melodies which hold it together underneath Yorke's musings about insects, hysteria, and chemicals. "One day, I am gonna grow wings, a chemical reaction. Hysterical and useless, hysterical and..."


6. Karma Police: Probably one of the few songs to ever specifically use the word "Phew," but goddamn they use it well. A very immersive (if brief) foray into the mind of a misanthropic paranoiac struggling to function in an abrasive world. And then of course, there's the music video; a fascinating conundrum involving a disappearing Thom Yorke, and a torturous chase involving a Tom Sizemore lookalike and a malicious car being driven by YOU the viewer!


7. Fitter Happier: I've always wanted to memorize this song. There's something so strange about these words coming from a computer voice. I heard that originally Thom was going to read them, but they got a hold of some digital voice software and thought it sounded better. And it really does. There's just something so futuristically quaint about that processed voice saying such phrases as "still cries at a good film, still kisses with saliva" and the summation line "A Pig. In a Cage. On Antibiotics."


8. Electioneering: I don't even want to tell you how much time I spent dancing around in my room to this song. It has such a distinctly primal sneer. And even though I wasn't keen enough to pick up the political commentary at the time, I've grown to appreciate the rather forward approach and otherwise obscure intentions of it. "I go forwards, you go backwards, and somewhere we will meet."


9. Climbing Up The Walls: It's impossible to listen to this song and not feel alone. This is a song about trying to connect with someone who's impossible to connect with. And of course, it's also about all of the emotions that come from that. Everything about it screams danger and yet again Thom's soaringly pleading vocals add a counterbalance of security. Sort of. I'm not afraid of the dark, but I AM afraid of this song in the dark.


10. No Surprises: Such a beautifully subdued song. And it's probably about suicide. "I'll take the quiet life, a handshake of carbon monoxide." All the while Xylophones ping-pong across scales and Johnny Greenwood makes his guitar sound like morning songbirds. But again, those lyrics: "A heart that's full up like a landfill, a job that slowly kills you, bruises that won't heal."


11. Lucky: I love when the sound of a song differs from the lyrical content. This song has such a ponderous and low sound and then Thom comes in singing about all sorts of irrational emotions and vacillating between love and sorrow almost in the same breath. I've heard that the band considered this one of their best songs. I totally understand that. It starts off with some really weird over-pedaled Ed madness, and then immediately jumps into some softer guitar lines underneath those haunting words. "Kill me Sarah, kill me again with love. It's gonna be a glorious day." This is Radiohead doing happy. Which is sort of like a wolf doing sheepish.


12. The Tourist: Definitely a "Last song on the album" song. The vocals take a backseat to the guitar, and none of it all makes much sense. The song is, essentially, a call to not take for granted the beauty that's all around us. To not be a tourist running from point A to point B and never noticing everything in between. And just as pleasantly as it all began, so the album ends. Unless you're like me, at which point you probably take it back to track 1 and let it go again.


If you're interested in hearing some pretty good covers of the album, check out
I really can't express how much this album has done for me. I owe Radiohead a deep debt of gratitude.

Friday, July 13, 2007

I dun' told you.

http://blogcritics.org/archives/2007/07/13/091028.php

Okay, it's not exactly new. Some of my jokes are retreads but I tried to make sure I added some extra zing for everyone who's already read the jokes here.

Enjeezzy y'all.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

How do I live without you?

Somehow I pep-talked myself out of my recent emotional slump and emailed the blogcritics guy. I'm saving my writing energies for my first post to the blogcritics site, so my next post will just be a URL.

This is 10 fingers crossed into one hideous gnarled lean-to of cracking flesh and wrenched bone.

I should've just been a fisherman:

Monday, July 9, 2007

Do Or Die for this blog

So I got a message today from Blogcritics that they'd like to add me to their fold of bloggers. This would mean I'd have to end my hiatus immediately and blog more than ever before. Meanwhile, nobody i've asked for help in LA has returned with any news (or even returned my messages), and Sacramento is looking more and more permanent. So I either have to continue pulling this shit together in hopes that this will finally be the stupid thing I put up with that actually pays off, or simply say 'fuck all' and put this stupid fucking pipe-dream to rest. I have until the end of the day it seems.

This turned into a whole mess of mean things that I had to say about a lot of things, but I don't really feel like venting any of it so i've omitted it all. Let's just say i've learned a few new things about trust, and I hope things are going better for everyone reading this.

I'll post my decision late tonight.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Stop, Hiatus-time!

I know I'm supposed to put up my usual overanalysis, but instead of decided to put this blog on hiatus for now. My downward slide continues, and I don't have the time or the patience to put up with this right now. I simply have too many problems and too many people reminding me of those problems to give this blog the attention that it requires. Thanks to everyone who's been reading and commenting. It means a lot to me.

Ugh. Send good thoughts. I need them.
Due to the rather obnoxiously shitty nature of Microsoft Internet Explorer, I can't put titles on these posts quite yet. I'll have to get to a different computer to do that, so these are going to be a bit unpolished until then. Ugh. I die a little bit every day I wake up on my parents' couch.

Since I can't make lolpics on this woefully unhipped computer, today we're going to make a rant. I've got a good one too.

First, for some perspective, read this article about music licensing companies and their unquenchable desire to gobble up money.

FUCK ASCAP.

For those who weren't aware, ASCAP is a big group of asshats who've created and enforced stringent codes regarding the dissemination and performance of music written by artists under their wings. The group lulls in these artists with the promise of security and protection from legitimate loss of royalties (which has been a problem far longer than the digital download era), and then acts extremely aggressively in pursuing ANY use of the songs they have in their catalog. And that's how they make money. Lots of it. Make no mistake: ASCAP (though it's name evokes a much more egalitarian and noble organization) is a business run by profits. They claim that they are member-owned and member-run, but the board of directors is made up of ONLY writers and publishers. Essentially, folks who wrote jingles specifically to snag royalty checks. Now, in the modern era of music, these people are finding themselves remarkably out of fashion, since people are far more interested in listening to what the guy singing the song has to say than the prick who wrote that song for the soap commercial.

But the laws governing the use of songs were written a long fucking time ago, which is quite advantageous to the song-vultures. Since a hundred years ago (about the time these laws were last modified), there wasn't much possibility for widespread piracy of music. After all, how far could a song really travel without your knowing it? Music communities were very tight-knit, and the law was really just there as recourse in case someone should break what was already an unspoken part of the musician's code.

So now, in a world where the music industry's balloons continue to pop, the cornered publishers have gotten desperate. Check out this paragraph from the article:

Andrus said a friend of his who owned a restaurant that did not feature music
was contacted by a company looking to charge him because it owned the rights to
a Hank Williams Jr. song, "Are You Ready for Some Football?" The song preceded
every "Monday Night Football" telecast, which the restaurant carried on its
televisions.


So now if the TV plays a song in public that a licensing group holds domain over, that TV will have to pony up. In fact, i'm fairly certain I could be cited(simply because I don't think these groups have anything stopping them) for printing the lyrics to the hiphop songs I overanalyze. after all, those words are property of Johnny Bumfuck, and he needs my $0.0234 per word so he can feed his family.

The bottom line is: Download. Illegally. Do it a lot. The industry part of the music industry needs to have the fat trimmed immediately. There's simply too much lucrative shit going on in the biz and the only way to stop it is to take the money out of it. Because without the showers of money, the yuppie remora crowd will move on.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Here comes the furious five of fury.

1. Madonna: She's finally proved herself to be the female David Bowie by inviting Gogol Bordello to perform with her for her live show. You really can buy yourself hip.

2. Ozzy Osbourne: Another milestone reached as the Ozzman finally got a star on the walk of fame, in Birmingham. England. I wonder how long the wait list is on that walk.

3. Black Eyed Peas: MORE HONORS! The Peas topped Rolling Stone's Most Annoying Songs list with their Grammy Award-winning "My Humps."

4. All-American Rejects: Have you ever been so overwhelmed by the douchebag-saturation of the world that you don't even feel the need to do anything about it? Yeah. That's how I feel whenever I hear someone say that they like this band. Or more importantly, that they DON'T find this band to be an assault on good taste. This occurred the other day, and almost spoiled some friendships.

5. Linkin Park: Every time during Transformers when that single started playing, I got the incredible urge to not pay attention to the 40-foot robots ripping chunks out of buildings and each other. Shockingly new levels of bland have infiltrated what was at one point the vanguard genre of people who hated being bland. Listen to me, kids: Linkin Park is not rebellion. It's what your parents and record execs want you to believe rebellion is.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

You Should Listen To... Vol. 2

i'd originally figured this was going to be about the new Justice album, but i've decided to go for something a bit less well-publicized. I picked up Ma Fleur By The Cinematic Orchestra, and i'm happy to report it sounds exactly as I imagined it would. It sounds like a soundtrack for a movie titled "Ma Fleur" (My flower, in french as far as I can tell).
If anyone has heard any Unwed Sailor albums, the tone is very similar. It feels very unintrusive and background to whatever else is happening. But at the same time, it keeps its sounds varied, an achievement that Unwed Sailor never even attempted. I mean, i loved The Marionette & The Music Box, but it got to a point where if I listened to it at bedtime and didn't immediately fall asleep I'd have to change it out of aggravating boredom.
In a very cute way, there are 4 musicians who appear on several tracks but are not counted as full members. Instead, on each song they appear, the song is affixed with "Feat. Fontella Bass" or "Feat. Patrick Watson" for each and every performance.
Now, obviously an album named after flowers and french shit is not going to be very radio-friendly (or pitchfork-friendly, but who the fuck cares), so tell your friends that their new studying album has arrived. It certainly brightened up this post. Notice how few negative things I managed to include?

Also, on 7/7/07 there's going to be a 77-Drummer drum circle in New York featuring The Boredoms as well as some really awesome drummers from some really awesome bands: Andrew WK (himself), Modest Mouse, Holy Fuck, Lightning Bolt, Gang Gang Dance, Man Man, White Magic, Celebration, No Neck Blues Band, M. Ward, and Codeine. That would be so much fun, I hope they videotape.

Some more good news: My favorite campy cyborg rock band The Octopus Project is releasing a new album. And bad news: So are too-little-too-late comeback addicts Metallica.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

...and your iPhone don't rock and roll.

I know how much people love to "txt" and shit, but the overwhelming need to own an iPhone never hit me. It was rough too, and I felt a little bit like that sad cloud-wordbubble-thing from the zoloft commercials because I simply could not feel the joy that everyone around me felt for this magic gadget.

But now, at last, i have found my own golden calf:

That's right. My two loves, videogames and music, have just made a friggin' crazy lovechild. It's probably going to cost $200 or more, but whatever. Look how much fun those four were having. And assuming that the game manages to fully implement downloadable content, this one could just keep rockin' me til the end. I'm not a big fan of the two vocals being overlayed, and I must humbly request that there be an option to remove the real vocal so that the player vocal can fly and flail on his own without having the contrast of what it's "supposed" to sound like behind them. Also, I really hope they make it more open to user-created songs. The youtube videos i've seen of user-created Guitar Hero songs has proven to me that there are some talented individuals with very interesting musical tastes and I'd love to see the game meme-ify itself like that. I mean, after all, it's not very exciting to be doing the same stuff everyone else is doing. I see a LOT of potential here and I'd hate to see it wasted.

I missed this piece of news yesterday:
Stephen Brodsky, frontman of the currently-on-hiatus Cave In, announced that his new band Octave Museum was breaking up for unspecified reasons. However, he did provide this delightfully snotty blurb which hints at possible reasons... "We would like to say thanks to all of you who supported our hopes and creativity by buying our album and enjoying it. Also thanks to all of you who borrowed the CD to put it into your iPod thinking, 'Well, if it comes out on vinyl I'll actually pay for that,' because, you know, you totally were going to pick it up, but you were just broke that week and, you know, like, whatever, you know?" In case you missed that, he was not-so-subtly attacking people for listening to his music without paying for it because they were broke. He later blamed a turnip for his inability to get blood out of it.

In a coordinated response, the Octave Museum fans announced, "We would like to say thanks to Cave In for making such powerful and creative music for us to purchase and enjoy. Also thanks to Octave Museum for hopping into a recording studio and thinking, 'Well if it sells a lot of records we'll actually go and record something worth listening to,' because, you know, you were totally going to write some good stuff, but you were just uninspired that week and, you know, like, whatever, you know?"

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Welcome to the Machine

My joblessness continues, and has escalated to the point that I'm currently in Sacramento with my parents because I cannot afford to otherwise feed myself. And in honor of my crushing defeat to the great corporate machine, here's some music news with a soul-destroying industry flava.

Prince's UK Label, BMG, has given him the boot after he released free CD's with magazines. In other news, magazine industry still smilin'. Suck on that harshness, BMG.

Beth Ditto, famous for being fat and naked, is making her own fashion line for fat girls. Yay Yay! The big business world has accepted you, Beth! She'll be the pleasantly plump Avril in no time.

Matchbox 20 is recording a new album. Write your senators, people.

Pete Doherty's rapidly multiplying legal blows may actually catch up to him. This is proof that he's either not as rich or not as famous as we imagined. Wait, what does he do again?

Slash has ruffled some legal feathers for smoking onstage in the UK. Smoking. A cigarette. At a show. in the UK. A regular, nicotine cigarette. In other news, UK legal authorities have announced major headway in their new molehill-based mountain-building project.

Timbaland is quitting music. Y'know, like Jay-Z. err, like Eminem. Or David Bowie. wait a minute... something smells stunty. I guess we'll just have to wait and see how the new Timba-manned Duran Duran album goes. IT MIGHT BE HIS LAST! BETTER BUY FOUR!

Justin Timberlake and 50 Cent are writing a song about porn! but, because they're SO edgy, they're using a code word: Technology. Heaven forbid they use the P-word. Not that P-word. Or that one.

Amy Winehouse carved her husband's name into her stomach. As AWESOME as that is, some rabble-rousers have roused rabble over her erratic and now directly self-destructive behavior, claiming she's in some sort of downward spiral. Psh, they said the same thing about Cobain, and look how successful he was.

I've been cookin' up another record label rant, and I think i'm just about ready to unleash. However, due to my borrowed means, I'll probably be much slower than usual. forgive me.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

In the Kitchen cookin' up bands

okay, not MY kitchen. That room is dead to me. Ya ever see the Aqua Teen episode where Frylock leaves and Shake and Meatwad start burning trash and tossing around raw chicken? They almost filmed that here. The indigenous flies here, however, were asking too much in pay. Ick.

The Made-up bands!

1. David Hasselhoff Fights A Tiger: Sure, it might be a little misleading. But put this on a marquis, I guarantee you'll sell out the show. It doesn't even matter what the band would sound like.

2. Sunshine Machine: It's your normal industrial rock fare, with a twist. Instead of some black-haired firebrand growling out his problems, it'll be blond-haired kids yowling about birthday parties, bike rides, and that time mom let them lick the batter off the mixer blades.
So instead of "I wanna fuck you like an animal," they'd sing "I wanna buy you a stuffed animal."

3. The Cusacks: Lloyd Dobler busts out some electro beats from his tape player. An animated Dimitri is on vocals, and Rob Gordon's on the wheels of steel. I assume they'd play that Van Halen song that the burger does in that one movie. Oh, and of course Joan would be up there somewhere with like a tambourine. Chicks would sooo dig it.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

i'm in ur hiphop, overanalyzin' ur lyricz

Life is pretty sucktacular right now, but I persevere. Fuck you, life.
You readers better appreciate the shit out of this.


Tonight's Overanalysis:
"I Know You See It" By Yung Joc

Inny meeny minny mo
How many bitches from the club wanna go
(i know you see it, I know you see it)
Im like inny meeny minny mo
How many niggas from the club wanna go
(i know you see it, I know you see it)

I know it reads like that was an invitation by Joc for both sexes to "go," but the second part is actually a woman singing. So basically this song is going to be about promiscuity, which as far as i'm aware is a first for a rap song.

Now you can call me tipdrill, they playing my song
Throw a couple ones, then she throw away her thong

Hey Tipdrill, if the female in question requires only a couple dollars thrown at her in order to get her naked, perhaps you should consider raising your standards. I mean, we've all had those nights after a long slump and a few too many drinks, but seriously bro, have some love for yo'self.

When she bust it open, take a picture with my phone
She love my cologne, I call it perk body zone

Beware the Axe effect. Also Joc, could you forward that picture to my phone? I'm kind of unclear on what you meant by "she busts it open."

Now she pussy poppin', it's goin' down
Slap the waitress on the booty, tell her "get another round"

Some might call this offensive and disrespectful to the waitress, but I think Joc just demands quality service. Y'know if she ain't smilin' it's gon' be 'goin' down' on the customer feedback cards in the lobby y'all.

And when I make it rain, money all over the ground
Fresh force ones, sean john button down

Throwing around money while wearing new shoes and a nice shirt? Some people would call that "Asking for it."

And then im like "oh boy, a clique fulla stars"
Big four fifth, big dick, and big cars

Oh, I see, they drive big cars because they have BIG dicks. I always got that part confused.

At the end of the day, when its all said and done
I need four freaks 'cause I need more than one

Oh shit. he brought out the Mims logic. IF I need more than one freak THEN I need four freaks. Solid.

Inny meeny minny mo
How many bitches from the club wont go
(i know you see it, I know you see it)
Im like bim bam, I know you want some
She chewing on the dick like a piece of bubblegum
(i know you see it, I know you see it)

I don't know if it's actually possible for a penis to cringe, but I think mine just made a serious attempt to. Bubblegum? really? in a rap song? if that happened to me I think I'd need years of therapy before I could talk about it.

Im like inny meeny minny mo
How many niggas from the club wont go
(i know you aww it, I know you see it)
Im like bim bam, I know you want some
You chewing on the pussy like a piece of bubble gum
(i know you see it, I know you see it)

I've tried that cunnilingular method. Results were mixed, but generally unfavorable.

I aint never been the type to show off in the club
Real laid back poppin' plenty bottles of
Bub, dont smoke but I got much perk

Some might say that bringing a large amount of weed and champagne could be considered "showing off." But e'rybody know Joc's all about dat "Sharing is Caring" ish.

Get that nigga real high, make him slurp it then burp
Could you be a groupie? I hear you singin' my song
Like I see you, lemme feel your tongue
Its T, miss B nigga, let me get you laced
Take a step back, blow the pussy in ya face

Squirting? eww.

I aint talking cush nigga, im talking a rat race
So many to choose from, give 'em all a little taste
Gotta house fulla pussy, the madam of hip hop
My bitches are superstars, so gushy you needa mop

Ah, a Hip Hop Bordello. Apparently populated mainly by women with colds.

Inny meeny minny mo
How many bitches from the club wont go
(i know you see it, I know you see it)
Im like bim bam, I know you want some
She chewing on the dick like a piece of bubblegum
(i know you see it, I know you see it)

Eeeeeeeeeeeshhhh.

Im like inny meeny minny mo
How many niggas from the club wont go
(i know you aww it, I know you see it)
Im like bim bam, I know you want some
You chewing on the pussy like a piece of bubble gum
( I know you see it, I know you see it)

Listen, Francine, I just wanted to apologize for that. I mean, with all the excitement of homecoming, and with district choir regionals coming up, I just got carried away.

I got stacks on deck, snowflakes on my neck
New J's on my feet, make my outfit complete

THAT is decadence right there. Snowflakes? Those things melt in like a second. He's gotta buying thousands of snowflake necklaces a night. Serious ballin'.

(i know you see it, I know you see it)
I got stacks on deck, niggas love my flow
Got a mohawk blowin', air forces that glow

A Mohawk AND glow-in-the-dark shoes? Joc must be the envy of 9-year-olds everywhere.

(i know you see it, I know you see it)

I know I haven't talked about this line, and that's because i'm fairly certain it means he's exposing himself to people.

Inny meeny minny mo
How many bitches from the club wont go
(i know you see it, I know you see it)
Im like bim bam, I know you want some
She chewing on the dick like a piece of bubblegum
(i know you see it, I know you see it)

Im like inny meeny minny mo
How many niggas from the club wont go
(i know you see it, I know you see it)

I'll never look at bubblegum the same way.

Also, I think I should note that "Yung Joc" is a terrible rap name. It sounds like an asian dish. And having your name be a comparable likeness to "Student Athlete" is just about the opposite of pimp.

CATURDAY <3's Lolbands

I missed putting these together, and was very inspired by the ICHC mothership:

All I can say is dat my life is pretty plain.
(From ICANHASCHEEZBURGER)

These ones are all me though:

Friday, June 29, 2007

Cosas Malas Sobre Personas Agradables

It's a mah-fuckin' friday. Y'all know what that means. Hit it:

1. The Used: Chubbychaser frontman Bert McCracken has a developed a node on his vocal cords and will likely have to undergo major surgery, which will then probably alter his voice forever. THAT, my friends, is the power of prayer.

2. Weezer: By keeping their hype alive with constant break-up rumors, the shittiest band to ever write a hit song has finally decided to possibly write another hit song. The album is still untitled but rest assured that right now there's a meeting at Pitchfork Media HQ with the sole purpose of finding the most entertaining ways of saying "Huge Fucking Disappointment."

3. My Chemical Romance: This is going to be a pattern I fear. After Marilyn Manson said that some of his lyrics were cutting remarks to the band, frontcunt Gerard Way responded that it was a hollow statement because Manson was trying to promote his new record. I also feel that MCR is a big black bag of dog-vomit, but i've got a blog to promote so those comments don't count either. Also, does that mean that Manson wrote that song on the album and those lyrics on the album to promote the album? That is so meta. In other news, Gerard Way announced he would be getting married and that the band has a new album coming out.

4. Spice Girls: They're reuniting. My ears are sad but my penis is pretty stoked on it. You can't keep girl power (or Victoria B's tits for that matter) down.














5. 50 Cent: He got busted for lip-syncing. This would normally be something to try and forget about, but given 50's track record I assume we'll have to hear about it in his next record:

"I got shot 9 times for dealin' some crack out
busted for syncin', they dropped mah vocal track out
Punks think they hard, they know 50's harder
While they out sellin' pot, I shill for Vitamin Water"

Thursday, June 28, 2007

My Untitled Rap Project

So as i've mentioned to a few people, I'm working on a rap project with my musical soul brother Wayne Baker. It's been a real joy so far, simply because of the rather perverse joy we've had in making it so, well, perverse. The basic idea is that the lyrics will be singularly over-the-top, semi-nonsensical and psychotic. Blend that with the usual gangsta paradigms and you'll see how bizarre the lyrics I've been writing can get. Wayne's mission, as the man behind the mixer, is to create something that is as clubbed-out and lowest-common-denominator-y as possible. Wayne could pretty much do this in his sleep I imagine. I'm sure he's got more insight as to where his head's at with his end, so I won't put words in his mouth (just my balls).

-PARENTAL ADVISORY: EXPLICIT LYRICS-
Without further ado, here's a sampling of the lyrics I've written so far:

"I don’t fear motherfuckers or the FBI
Got a demon in the attic trying to take my life."

"Undead warriors all tryin’ to test us
Somebody tell these zombies who Jonny Quest is!"

"Built a time machine, cuz I make the cash
Went back to my birth and erased my past"

"Pirate my track, kid, I’ll fuckin’ sue ya
Rip your lungs out and sell ‘em back to ya"

"You know what happens when I’m high and packin’
Cappin’ holes in the ceiling when I’m high on acid,"

"I’m a motherfuckin’ killa when the full moon’s ripe
It’s the beast inside of me that’s crushin’ your windpipe
And knockin’ your face off with a steel drainpipe
Better pack silver hollows if ya wanna take my life"

"Here’s a little rhyme that I’m sendin’ your way
I got twenty hoes in the CIA
Hot Twenty-fo’s on my Santa Fe
Swervin’ down the strip drunk off the Jose"

So... I (or at least my rap persona) am being stalked by a demon and zombies, I'm a tequila-drinking, Hyundai-driving, time-traveling werewolf whose pimp game has infiltrated the highest levels of government, and I enjoy doing drugs while brandishing a loaded firearm. Doesn't get much more gangsta than that.

I don't even want to mention some of the stuff I left out. Hint: there's a Poe reference, and it involves hand grenades.

You Should Listen To... Vol. 1

I smell a new feeeaaaaturrrre...

Okay, this idea involves me --as an expert on all things musically great and wonderful-- telling you --similarly a non-expert-- to listen to a song. Today that song is "Cuckoo!" by Neon Horse.

At first, I was hesitant to like this band. First of all, they're a "supergroup" composed of a cast made up of 30 other bands. Secondly, they have not revealed their identities, choosing instead to be credited as "Norman Horse and The Neon Horse Band." Thirdly, they're on Tooth&Nail records, a christian record label. These 3 things are nearly always red flags that signal extreme sucktitude, but their album art was interesting so I gave their single a whirl on youtube.

I fucking loved it. The bass was overwhelming and sinister (like I like it), the guitar was smug yet catchy (like I like it), and the vocals were like a split-personality channeling of different old-tyme movie villains (I think I fell in love with it). So looking back, I decided to rethink my original judgments. Obviously there are good, non-gimmicky supergroups (Sound Of Animals Fighting, A Perfect Circle). There are also great bands which choose to cloak their identities (Banana Splits).

But of course, the idea of this even being remotely connected to christian music is a tough pill to swallow for the musical elitist hard-liners out there. And the reason of course, is that christian music has sucked for the past two decades. In fact, there was a concerted effort by those in charge of christian music (labels, press, churches) to make it suck. Somebody got it in their head that Jesus would prefer if his flock listened only to a separate sect of music, with both christian listeners and christian artists turning their backs on the rest of the musical world. As a result, the market got more difficult to succeed in, So the labels went all capitalista and dropped support for anything that was edgy, unproven, or possibly unprofitable. The musical gene pool dried up, and the music got sucky. Labels like Tooth&Nail began to support the idea that you didn't have to toe the artistic line to write songs about Jesus, and a whole lot of strange and interesting stuff occurred. Sure, a lot of it still sucked, but at least it was out there. (by the way, I find it very interesting that there are entirely-instrumental christian acts, are there some chords that just aren't holy?)

I grew up with a lot of christian music and it actually indirectly inspired me to really get into music. Since I wanted to listen to non-christian music, I just tore through every christian band so that I could tell my parents when I wanted to hear new secular stuff that I'd already heard all of the christian stuff. To this day, I still have plenty of christian bands that I enjoy (most of them, however, have broken up by this point).

Anyways, the point is, listen to the Neon Horse song and tell me if you like it. It's definitely odd, and a bit frightening at times, but it's very catchy and there's no overtly aggro-christian lyrics as far as I can tell. And there's oversized scissors, which I think we can all get behind.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Fuck You, Dustin Glick of Cracked.com

I was almost made a fan of Cracked.com last night. They had funny music lists and observations, very reminiscent of myself. And we all know how much I love myself (especially the people at Jergen's). The only list I took offense to was their "5 Most Unintentionally funny albums of 2006."

First off, the list it from 1-5. So I can't tell whether the last one I read was the funniest, being #5, or if #1 is funniest. You can't just blow your Uno wad on the first page, you gotta tease that out.

Now, #4 was the Belle & Sebastian album. Making fun of Belle & Sebastian seems wrong on the same level that pestering rabbits is. And they made fun of them for being pussies. That's like kicking a rabbit because you take offense to its football-like qualities.

#3 was Jibbs Feat. Jibbs by Jibbs. It has a very Requiem for a Dream quality doesn't it? Anyways, i'm saving my venom here since "Chain Hang Low" seems like perfect Overanalysis fodder.

#2 was Mars Volta, a band I would have defended with violence and passion 4 years ago but now cannot muster much to defend their recent release, Amputechture. Taking cues from the Volta, the writer chose not to find new or interesting ways to assault the material, choosing instead to overexaggerate the length of their "epics of squealing bullshit," and once again trot out the idea that the Volta fan base is 15-years-old and on drugs. Yikes.

#1 was the My Chemical Romance concept clusterfuck The Black Parade, which overwhelmingly whupped Green Day for the title of Most Phoned-in "Concept" Ever. "Okay guys, we've got like a parade, but it's like a death march. Cause this guy dies... of cancer. Yeah, cancer. OOH! OOH! And WE'LL be the Parade Band!!"

I'd say these were all generally agreeable picks. However, #5, Dragonforce's Inhuman Rampage, pissed me off. I don't have a whole lot of love for Metal bands. In fact, I wish Great White-esque pyrotechnic accidents on most of them. But Dragonforce is different, simply because of their complete dedication to the Metal paradigm. The vocals are about fire, pain, dragons, and battle. The guitars are ludicrously fast and feature dueling guitar solos. The drums are even faster, with the added bonus of choked cymbals serving as punctuation throughout most of the song. And, in true VH style, there's a keyboard. And get this: it's fast. This is like Journey on the perfect cocktail of speedballs and Troll-testosterone. You can either enjoy it or not enjoy it, but it's pretty much unassailable beyond "Hahaha. They play really, really metal music."

P.S. Watch this video and just imagine how much conditioner these guys go through. That hair has some serious body.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Make Up the Breakdown (of blog posting)

So i'm about a day behind, but i've been a busy little bee. This morning I woke up at the crack of 10 and interviewed the newest member of my favorite live band, Gogol Bordello. His name is Thomas and he's originally from Ethiopia and he's an amazing punk/dub/reggae/everything bassist. We had a great chat about how the punk and reggae movements intertwined.

Also, apparently some guys on the campus raved to some of the Union staff about how funny my "10 things I hate about music" article was. I would link it here, but Sean Boulger is fucking lazy and doesn't get shit done without constant badgering. I hope he reads this.

By the way... leave more comments, people. I require an everlasting fount of praise and scorn. Just ask my ex's.

3 Bands that should start existing:

Dragonfizzle:
It's like Dragonforce, but it's gangsta. Not that the twirling double-helix guitar solos don't sound entirely appropriate over Valhalla-related lyrics, but what if they pulled that robo-shred explosion over Impala-related lyrics?

Zombie Rock: Music for the undead! Imagine it: a whole crowd of mindless, flesh-hungry monsters trying to dance along but finding themselves completely lacking the coordination for it! Oh right, that band's called the Kottonmouth Kings. Snap!

Phil Spector's Prisonettes: I think Phil could still put his pop group skills to work in the slammer. And... he could still sleep with (and slap around) the talent! Huzzah! Seriously though, lock Spector up. Even just as punishment for pulling a gun on the Ramones. Even just as punishment for "You've lost that loving feeling."

It's tired in here.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Overanalysis of a Rap Song Vol. 2

Personal Shout-Out To Myself: I got some friggin' sweet recognition for a couple articles I wrote for Grou-Con (that's what i'm calling it). Chow down on some of these hot links:

Strange Famous Records (they link to the article)

Sean Na Na (It's in like the first paragraph)

So that's pretty great. I'm very stoked.

Also, i was housesitting this weekend and so I wasn't able to update at all from friday through today, and the internet at my house went down shortly thereafter. Undeterred, my message shall go through. Soon as I get a glass of water...

THE MEAT OF IT

So I was thinking about how to follow up the Mims song I did last week (only to discover afterwards that EVERYONE has taken a shot making fun of it), and I decided I needed something equally illogical... on the surface... Originally I thought it would be that Shop Boyz song, but something about that part where they go "T-T-T-Totally Duuude!" smelled like a trap to me. A reeeally shitty trap. I imagine they're just sitting around waiting for me to assault them with some flick-o'-the-wrist elite-intellectual rapier-wit only to get a comment shortly after in which one of the Shop Boyz coolly explains that it was all a big joke, they're all MFA degree-holders and they left subtle clues which pointed to a large, underlying tongue which had been slipped oh-so-silently into cheek. Well Shop Boyz, not today you won't. Tonight it's all about "Lip Gloss" by Lil Mama.

First, a forewarning: If you decide to pick a rap name that is dreadfully similar to "Young Mother," you'd better expect this shit.

Now Then...

What you kno bout me, what cha, what cha know bout me (2x)

She's got me on this one. I know very little bout her.

I said my lip gloss is cool, my lip gloss be poppin
I’m standing at my locker, and all the boys keep stoppin

So begins the long and rambling sexual metaphor. What exactly is it that her lip gloss pops? why would this make boys stop what they're doing? I mean she's just standing there...

what you kno bout me, what cha, what cha know bout me (2x)

Lil Mama is a master of preserving suspense. I still know nothing!

I said my lip gloss is poppin, my lip gloss is cool
all da boys keep jockin, they chase me after school

Perhaps this lip gloss is a bit much. It's one thing to have the boys "poppin" and "stoppin," but "jockin" and "chasing you after school" seems like something most young girls may not want to aspire to.

mac,mac loreal, yep cuz I’m worth it
o the way I put it on so perfect

The trick is in the application, basically. Mama's lip gloss wouldn't be nearly as poppin' if not for the artist's delicate touch and eye for aesthetics. Sounds reasonable to me, as i've never really studied the cosmetic arts.

wipe, the corners of my mouth so I work it
when I walk down the hallway, they can’t say nothin

More sexual metaphor! she wipes her mouth off and walks down the hallway, and apparently whatever (or whomever) she wiped off has given her an air of invulnerability at her school. Impressionable young girls take note.

o o o my lips so luscious
the way I spice it up with the mac mac brushes
loreal got them want watermelon crushes
thats probably the reason all these boys got crushes

Some people might think it's cheating to rhyme "crushes" with "crushes." I'd say it's just a little short-sighted. Just as short-sighted, in fact, as assuming the boys are all into your lip gloss. Unless she means her "(wink) Lip Gloss (wink)" in which case i'd say that's exactly what the boys are after.

what you know bout me, what cha, what cha know bout me (2x)

All of a sudden this went from a threatening "Step Off" vibe to something remarkably after-school-special in nature.

I said my lip gloss is cool, my lip gloss be poppin
im standin at my locker, and all the boys keep stoppin
I said my lip gloss is poppin, my lip gloss is cool
all da boys keep jockin, they chase me after school

Eeeeeeesh.

when it’s time for lunch, my lips still rock
lil mama melon with the hot pink top

Her lips are STILL WORKING through lunch. Gotta appreciate that kind of work ethic. She's wearing a hot pink top, too? why that's perfect prost- err- pop star attire.

cherry, vanilla, flavors is a virtue
they lovin lip gloss universal

I'm stumped. Lil Mama has stumped me. I cannot, for the life of me, discover the intrinsic virtue of flavors. Not Cherry. Not Vanilla. Is lip gloss the key to universal love? Only if that gloss is poppin', y'all.

the boys really like it, the girls don’t speak
they, rollin they eyes, they lip gloss cheap

Oh man, how embarrassing for those girls. They have worse taste in lip gloss than the boys. Wait a minute...

it ain’t my fault, but I can upgrade you
show you how to use nice things with nice flavors

The sexual metaphor just took a hard turn into kinksville. Mmmm, somebody's gonna get their brains upgraded out. Lil Mama knows how to use those "nice things."

what you know bout me, what cha, what cha know bout me (2x)

I wish I could Un-know a few things bout you.

sittin in 8th period, thought I was in trouble
BING! Called me on the loud speaker, on the double

Listen. I think i've been fair in going along with some of the rather unreasonable aspects of this tale, but I just cannot accept that somebody used the phrase "On the double" in a form of speech that did not require them to rhyme something with "Trouble."

I stepped in the office like “yes miss. Maclarson”
shes like “girl ran out of my lip gloss and...
Write down where you get yours from
cuz I must admit that bubble gum, is poppin(3x) she ain’t frontin

I read stories about these encounters with teachers all the time.

and uh...I be lovin it, I be, I be lovin it
and uh...I be usin it, I be, I be usin it
and uh...I be rubbin it, I be, I be rubbin it
on my lips, my lips uh...my lip gloss

Nothing sexual there. Let's keep moving.

what you know bout me, what cha, what cha know bout me (2x)

I think the real question we need to pose is "What cha know bout yourself, Lil Mama? When is it time for Lil Mama to be poppin'?"

I have to admit, I was not expecting this song to take the dark route that it did. The video was so full of dancing and clapping I assumed it was going to be upbeat. Now I just want to call social services, turn on some Dr. Phil and take a bubble bath til I've completely worked my way through a pint of Ben & Jerry's.

Until Next time, Take care of yourselves, and each other. And don't wear the cheap lip gloss.

Tune In Next Week For More Unnecessary Overanalysis!

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Return Of Mean Things About Nice People!

It's friday, and that means derogative barbs. Check yo'self.

1. Green Day: They pulled the Triple Deke of music! They took the inarguably shallow genre of Pop-Punk, Then deepened it with some christ references (Deke!), then shallowed it back up with some 9th grade-level political commentary (Deke!), then deepened it with some faux-concept rock-opera crap(Deke!), then drove that shit home with an ultimately stupid record! Guys, seriously, we loved you more when you just sang about masturbation without actually send your unsavory s to the record stores.


2. Chris Cornell: I'm not sure if I should be surprised that one of the most recognizable and unique voices in Rock music is attached to one of its most unique douchebags. After being in essentially every Grunge supergroup ever formed, he's moved on to the requisitely ignorable solo career. I understand Chris. You just wanted someone to call you "super" one last time.


3. Scott Weiland: If you were forever known as the poor man's Chris Cornell, you'd do a lot of drugs too. Somehow Scott managed to wrangle a spot in Supergroup Velvet Revolver before Chris could, and I imagine Slash & the gang were just as surprised when they realized their mistake. "Fuck, man, I thought YOU were the one who sang 'Spoonman.' That song was fucking killer. Stone Temple what? No man, doesn't sound familiar. I mean, i'm sure it was great, I just can't remember anything by them..."


4. Oasis: Every time I listen to Definitely Maybe or (What's The Story) Morning Glory? It's like I've jumped in a teleporter to the 90's. And by that I mean I feel like i've been involved in a freak accident where I had my genes spliced with an anglophilic prick that had been lounging ironically in the other teleport pad.


5. The Smiths: A lot of bands make great music when their band dynamic is hateful and vindictive. Oasis' Gallagher Brothers fucking hate each other; Fleetwood Mac was a fucking soap opera during all their best albums; and you can tell that the whole time they were a duo, Daryl Hall just wanted to put a screwdriver through John Oates' hand. But it's a rare thing when a band's intense loathing of each other is topped only by their intense loathing of themselves. Or as Morrissey would say, "I've never heard of a Smith."

Use Your Preclusion II

Yeah, the mulligan continues. I went to a party tonight and when I got back I realized I had no desire to write my entry. By the way, if you don't like that title, I don't like you. So here's what you will do as a loyal reader:

You will listen to this podcast. It's movie-related but its great. And I fully endorse everyone behind the Show Show. They're great. Great great great.

You will go looking for music-related gossip or music-related opinions or music-related news and fucking link me because I cannot find any good sites to keep me up on this shit. David Thorpe, my long-standing man-crush (eww), finds his shit like a week in advance and I need that kind of resource muscle. I know you all love me truly, madly, and deeply and it's about time you gave a little something back. Fuckin' freeloaders.

You will read the following opinion piece that I wrote for Ground Control after Coachella. I was inspired to rehash this particular piece after I got into a discussion with a slightly-impaired Ryan Kobane where I essentially began repeating the article with an unpleasant feeling of Deja-Vu. Or should I say... Coacheja-Vu. Tomorrow is "Mean Things about Nice People" part 2, so all of you schadenfreude enthusiasts and general misanthropes can look forward to that. It's a summer of sequels, folks. Bring some popcorn.

Ground Control Magazine 05-13-07: In Theory: Rage Against The Machine

On October 18, 2000, Zack De La Rocha announced that he was leaving Rage Against The Machine. Less than a month later, in a storm of irony that not even Oscar Wilde could have dreamt up, our current president won his first presidential election. Rage had always flown in the face of the Clinton administration, and now an even less desirable political camp would take power easily and entirely un-raged against. As the din quieted from the Rage faithful, the opposition began to grow louder in their scoffing against RATM. And then, with little warning, rumors began to creep up that Rage would reunite for Coachella. It was hard to believe, since previous rumors had led some to believe that De La Rocha had moved to Peru and become some manner of shamanic revolutionary. And just as it was confirmed, those voices crept up again. Was this really a return-fire against a newer, deadlier machine? Or was this new incarnation simply a Rage for the Merchandise?

Let’s clear the air on two things. First: Protest and political songs have always been a part of popular music and they always will be. Second: The financial reapings of extreme-left artists have often been problematic to the artists in some way. The Refused, a Swedish hardcore outfit, was unable to reconcile their budding commercial success with their anarchist and Marxist beliefs and disbanded. And although he didn’t say so explicitly, it’s generally imagined that Zack saw this exact schism and it weighed on his decision. Of course, paying bills and getting radio airplay aren’t evil things to accomplish. I quote Rage guitarist Tom Morello, “When you live in a capitalistic society, the currency of the dissemination of information goes through capitalistic channels. Would Noam Chomsky object to his works being sold at Barnes & Noble? No, because that's where people buy their books. We're not interested in preaching to just the converted.”

What this discussion fails to address is the potency of using music to disseminate ideas. It’s very easy, especially for high-school age fans, to put on Viva La Revolucion T-shirts and slam into each other, but it doesn’t mean they’re getting the picture. Coachella is a great example. Legions of fans laid down over 250 dollars to go out to the desert and see Rage play for an hour and a half. Whenever Rage would start playing over the house speakers between acts over the weekend, the crowd would cheer wildly. It was practically Pavlovian.

It begs a hard question: is there any political relevance to music that inspires this kind of single-minded zealotry to a band (and maybe a message on the side)? That kind of unquestioning allegiance seems to be exactly what RATM tried to shake people out of. Long hair and a healthy appreciation of Che imagery are neither necessary nor sufficient to be a revolutionary, and anything so multiplied will become just as mindless an endeavor as anything else.

So, on a certain Sunday evening, Rage took the stage to a sold-out crowd of upwardly-mobile revolution-minded guys and girls in black jeans and Anti-Bush headbands. I parked myself towards the back with a nasty sunburn which precluded getting into any crowd so dense it would involve any touching. Someone next to me mentioned how much Rage was paid to perform, and the nearby crowd looked upon him scornfully. I shrugged. I’ve eaten enough day-old donut dozens to know the inevitable magnetism of the dollar.

But you know what? Rage rocked. No dictators may have dropped dead, and no bulldozers perched against rainforest flora may have refused to start, but the show went on. And it was fucking awesome. So if there can be any real lesson here, it’s that we should all think and speak and rock for ourselves: It’s a fine line between activism and propaganda.

If anyone talks to Kobane tomorrow, show this to him. I'm pretty sure we were in agreement during the discussion, but sometimes alcohol can make complete agreement sound like utter disharmony.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Only Sick Music Makes Money Today. --Nietzsche

First, some blog business:
I rearranged the layout a bit (it's wider now) and changed the color scheme (it's lighter now) and I changed my picture from the old 3D X-ray of my head with my 3D face over it to an old picture of me run through the Fresco filter on photoshop6 (partly cause I think it looks cool, partly cause the colors match). If you like it, leave a comment! yay!

Second, some self-promotion:
My review of the Sage Francis/Buck 65 show went up on the Ground Control site today. check it twice, here. And If you backtrack to the main page, you can check out my interview with Sean Tillmann of Sean Na Na & Har Mar Superstar. Here.

Third: I need a job.
Seriously. If anyone knows anyone, now's the time to drop my name.

Fourth: David Thorpe, a guy I have a serious journo-crush on, made a Mims reference in his column this week. Coincidence? yes! Click here and judge for yourself.

Music News:
Topping the charts this week is Toby "Shock'n" Keith's album Big Dog Daddy, which I can only assume has something to do with those T-shirts that people with uncontrollable attitudes use to warn others. My uncle wears them as a way of informing me that I should stay off the green since I can't putt with the big dogs. Some may be surprised to hear that according to E! Online, Toby is a "politically polarizing" country star. It seems that the bar for being any sort of political force gets lowered everyday. Look out world, Toby Keith's got opinions. Just read his T-shirt.

Pete Townshend does not support downloading music. Kiddie porn, though, that's a much more complicated issue with no clear-cut answers. Right, Petey?

Michael Jackson settled another lawsuit involving him screwing a finance company over a $273 million dollar loan. In a press conference, Michael said he would undergo elective surgery to adjust his facial expression to reflect his feelings regarding the legal matter.

Johnny Rodriguez was a country star in the 70's and now he's busted on drug charges. I was going to say more, but who cares? Bye Johnny. Catch you on the county fair circuit.

The not-quite-memorable members of Motley Crue have sued Tommy Lee's manager for offering him two gigs on reality shows. The 2 shows cost the band show revenues, quality time with the T-man, and the severe bummer of not being cool enough for reality television. fuuuuck. If only there were some sort of licensed professional they could call who could make them feel good, or at least make them feel alright.

Wow. Music news is boring. I'm taking a mulligan tonight and we'll try again tomorrow.