Wednesday, July 25, 2007
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
"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
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:
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."
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.
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.)
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
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.
Friday, July 13, 2007
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.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
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
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
Ugh. Send good thoughts. I need them.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.