Skipping past Writober and Nanoblomo . . ? Shit, I dunno. I'm as bored as you are.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
When Corporate “Specials” Do Not Rely on Your Dishonesty. At All.
This past weekend, we had no obligations whatsoever. No shows or band practices. No recording. No plans with friends. No parties or dinners. Nothing.
This happens about two times a year.
I can’t say we really took full advantage of our “free” time, but we did get SOME things done around the house. And visited with family. Spent time with Mia. Saturday felt like such a long day that, going to bed that night, I couldn’t believe we still had Sunday. It, seriously felt like a three-day weekend. Love me.
In other news:
- Went to the dentist yesterday. It looks like I may have a cracked tooth. They’re supposed to look at the x-rays to see if I need a crown or just a big filling and then call me with the verdict. Or they might not call me at all and just let me ride my cracked tooth out for another six months. (But if I’m gonna fix the motherfucker, I want it to be THIS year because I’ve already ponied up my annual deductible.)
- You know what’s messier and more cluttered than our house? My car. Thankfully, we’re preparing for a garage sale this weekend with friends, so we’re getting rid of some clutter. From our house (because no-one wants daily progress reports from Mia’s school or Mia’s “art projects” . . . well, besides us). Maybe I can park my car nearby and haggle it away. “No, Gramps. You can’t have my 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer for 25 cents. Sorry. I won’t go lower than a buck.”
- Do any of you REALLY spend money making altruistic/political statements. Buying a red iPod or Coach bag during that RED campaign? Only shopping at Democrat-supporting companies during the Blue Christmas? Like, when that whole Dixie Chicks thing was happening, I thought about buying their CD even though I hate country music. Well, I’m finally putting my thoughts into action. Even after Erin’s mini-rant about Gwen Steponme, I feel compelled to tell you that I bought the new Kelly Clarkson CD. Now, I realize that doesn’t sound like it qualifies on the SURFACE, but it does in the scope of artistic integrity and creativity. [edited to remove a bunch of blather] I know I’m not presenting my argument in a compelling way, especially considering the argument AGAINST me that is Avril Lavigne. Perhaps I’ll report back once I’ve listened to the CD.
- On a semi-related, conspiratorial theme (wherein the Government [through their Corporate Rulers] is controlling our thoughts and ideas [to which I’m growing more sympathetic . . . the idea and not the Government]), there’s the whole fluoride-in-the-water fear. Remember that? When we were growing up? (“We” means anyone between, say, 28 and 42.) Well, I think the argument FOR fluoridating the water is so you don’t hear your dentist say you have six cavities because the town in which you live does not put fluoride in their water and you should really do a separate fluoride treatment, every day, on your own. So, if you’re drinking only bottled water and brushing your teeth with baby tears, you should do a daily fluoride rinse. FYI.
- Yesterday, when I purchased that Kelly Clarkson CD, Best Buy was running a buy-two-get-one-free special. Apparently. At the checkout, I handed over my three CDs. During the “Do you have one of our membership/discount cards?” interrogation, I started blocking stuff out. Which is probably why I didn’t immediately realize my total (for three CDs) was just over $21. Granted two of them were $9.99. Which kind-of sucks, because the two discounted CDs I PAID for were on major labels. I’m sorry, Metric and Last Gang Records.
Music • The Media • Weekends • (2) Comments closed • Permalink
Friday, June 15, 2007
Maybe There Can be an Orchestra of Acoustic Guitar-Wielding Old Men
I know you’re not coming here for positive reinforcement, or positivity in general. Or anything on par with “optimism.” So I’m just gonna come right out and say it.
I fucking HATE The Eagles.
Like, I don’t actively care about who’s better between the Beatles and the Stones, although I recognize their intrinsic value to pop/musical culture. And, seriously, I put Elvis on about the same level as Avril Lavigne. Sure, the “artists” I rail about incessantly (e.g., Blues Traveler, Jimmy Buffett) are as bad or worse, but The Eagles are OMNIPRESENT. If I have to listen to the radio, they’re bound to pop up anywhere.* The “classic rock” station. The “adult contemporary” station. And it’s always the LIVE version of “Hotel California,” too. Oooooh, so all 14 of you old fuckers sat around with acoustic guitars in front of an audience and that makes it UPDATED?
The tipping point was when I was just at CVS picking up Father’s Day cards. And there was a muzak version of “Hotel California.” Which was an improvement.
* I’m now defaulting to our college station . . . even when Mia’s in the car. Because there’s not a station on the dial that hasn’t been INFECTED with country music. It’s insidious.
Misanthropy • Music • (6) Comments closed • Permalink
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Let’s NOT Dwell on the “Stale Bread” Symbolism
Continuing this blog’s momentum-less track record, I spent the weekend mostly away from the Internets. Which was partially due to our connection at home being intermittent, and Patricia’s warning that her host’s server was going to be down.
Mia had another one of those pesky “fever viruses” starting Saturday afternoon and lasting through Sunday, so she had to stay “home” from school yesterday. Meaning, she was at work with one of us for most of the day. Blah, blah, blah. Man, I’m so bored writing about my life. Or what I THINK, for that matter, but that won’t stop me from typing it out . . . with HTML code to make it into a bulleted list:
- We’d promised to take Mia to the lake to feed the ducks Sunday morning, in spite of the approaching rain and her fever. So, after watching the Weather Channel to help estimate the approximate arrival of the rain and giving Mia some Children’s Motrin to transform her back to her hyperactive self, we went to the lake. To feed the ducks. Or the aggressive terns that flock there, as it turned out. The threat of rain kept away about 90% of the usual early-spring lake-walking crowd, so we were really the only bread-hurling game in town. The terns were pretty insistent, so we were trying to distract them away from the nice, patient ducks by throwing ENTIRE SLICES of half-stale bread like Frisbees. I was watching a cluster of terns having a midair fight over a slice of bread when I walked into a park bench and full-on banged my shin. Hard.
- There was a replay of the latest “Grey’s Anatomy” on Saturday evening (I think). I told Michelle that they were gonna blow a chance of having me start watching their show again by NOT killing off Meredith. Which you KNEW they weren’t gonna do. Because if she AND her mom died in the same episode, they’d have to call the show “Anatomy.” And would probably be more accurate.
- After “Heroes” last night was the premier of “The Black Donnellys.” Y’know, considering it was hatched by the creative teams behind Crash and Million Dollar Baby, you couldn’t get me LESS interested in watching it. Unless the troubled Irish kids somehow formed a NASCAR team in their quest for glory.
- I’ve been so put-off about recent Oscar presentations, with all the “who’s wearing what?” bullshit. And it’s not like I’ve seen any of the movies. So I pretty much tuned out this year, although I did see Jennifer Hudson win her award. And President-Elect (2000) Al Gore presenting with Leo. From what I gather, though, the show went until some godless hour (when I would’ve been awake anyway), so I’m glad I didn’t sit through it. I guess.
- How interesting does cabaret-punk sound to you? How about sleazy cabaret-punk? I’d been skeptical that the Dresden Dolls would work out, but they’ve really won me over in the same way the Arcade Fire did. And not just because Amanda Palmer recreated this Bauhaus album cover for a magazine article. Or because the last line of their album is, “You motherfuckers you’ll sing someday.”
Boob Tube • Music • Weekends • (1) Comments closed • Permalink
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Rrrecord Rrreview for Rrrob (Mostly)
I have to tell you I really like this band and their CD, Violence is Golden. The title doesn’t might suggest something a little darker and harder. And I think Pitchfork got it a bit wrong. The singer is a great mix of PJ Harvey and Siouxsie Sioux, which isn’t hard to imagine. The music is upfront and forceful, with an odd mid-disc slip into Sleeper-esque Britpop. The CD has all the necessary requirements: nice pacing, a competent balance of atmosphere and rock, a dash of sleaze, and real feeling. Plus, you can probably pick up a used copy pretty cheap; I saw one in my local indie store for $3.99.
Bottom line: Scanners . . . Violence is Golden . . . buy some TODAY!
Thursday, March 23, 2006
It’s a MUSIC DEBATE! (Part One of Infinity)
Let me preface this by saying that I know it’s very difficult to come up with anything original musically in this day and age. And that I’m likely unfairly biased on this subject. Also, I’m not the best spokesman for independent artists (or anything, really). Jesus. Maybe I should’ve prefaced this with “PREFACE:”.
So, we played a show a couple nights ago opening for a major-label post-punk band and their touring sidekicks (indie pop darlings who chose to name themselves using an obscure Cure lyric). To avoid boring you all to death, I’ll leave out some of the details, but let’s summarize by saying that it was an okay show (by both bands) and that I’m a petty bitch. Point is that I, in some reflexive / reactionary / impulsive moment that I can only blame on being married to Michelle, I posted about the show on our band’s MySpace blog. And now everyone (in my own band) is calling me out.
Let’s say that Joy Division is Generation One (although they were clearly influenced by Velvet Underground, who would, in this case, be Generation Zero . . . whatever). All those post-punk bands (most notably Gang of Four) from 1979 to the early 80s are Generation One. In Generation Two, we have our Interpols, Franzs, Maximos, and Killers-es; yeah, Generation Two has been around for years, right? So, NOW a band comes along like they have discovered some nugget of holy Ian Curtis’ fierce mission, seemingly spurred on by bands that they’ve heard doing Joy Division some great injustice, put aside their RAP careers, signed to a major-label, and started pimping their brand of post-punk as the sweet nectar juiced for them straight outta 1980s Manchester.
I read the interview on their bio page, and it just seemed like out-of-left-field jerkdom, prepared to diss all the other retro-revivalists (playing “spot the fakes”) because they were THERE, listening to all those Generation One bands when it was going on (and dating themselves by speaking about it). “Yeah, and there’s a hundred bands doing mediocre period/genre music, but none of it makes me feel like I did when I was a kid [sitting] in my room listening to The Queen is Dead or Purple Rain on the record player. It’s easy to capture the style of the music, but writing songs that speak to people is a very different thing.” I want to know what makes them more special than Interpol. I was there, too, fellas. And you’re no better than any other Generation Two (or Three) band.
The stinging part is that I realize I’m being pointlessly bitter about it. And the cherry on top is that I like a lot of what they do. Sure, it’s uncomplicated post-punk and the vocals have almost no range at all, but I enjoy that kind of music. I just wish they weren’t so fucking up front about how they’re going to find everyone and hose them down with their special blend of emotive (or unemotive) post-punk.
I’d actually thought of starting a debate series where I invite readers to debate me on a variety of topics, wherein I would ultimately end up losing the debate and then post excerpts from the debate here for the enjoyment of others. Bring it! I know some of you have opinions about this subject. (If you don’t have my IM address, and would like to expositionally kick my ass, shoot me an email.)
"Rock Star" • Music • (7) Comments closed • Permalink
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
A week ago, I picked up Mogwai’s new CD, Mr Beast. The day of its official U.S. release, which is something I rarely do. (Much like my aversion to seeing popular movies on opening weekend. But then, Mogwai’s hardly a “popular” band, eh?)
Anyway, I’d read several reviews (and “reviews”) of the CD leading up to its domestic release, and the two most frequent descriptions were: (1) it’s bigger and louder than anything since Young Team, and (2) it seems to adequately capture what they sound like live. I can’t speak much to that second point having only seen the band once, but I’m pretty familiar with their repertoire. Personally, I find Young Team to be overrated . . . yeah, it’s huge and the songs are epics, blah, blah, but it’s not focused. I’d always preferred Come On Die Young, even though it’s one long build with very little release. I’d compare the new CD more to Rock Action (for diversity and electronics, only half the songs on the new one aren’t short interludes) and the last CD (Happy Music for Happy People; for the omnipresent use of piano).
I was telling Michelle how this spring is loaded with CDs by many bands I’ve been following (both actively and passively). Hope I have enough money to get them all. And I hope half of them are as worthwhile as Mr Beast.