June 30, 2004

"All that's left is you and me and here we are, nowhere." - ride

WPRS Dispatch from Batesville, VA #1:

Last night I drank too much and marched in the woods.

That is all.

June 29, 2004

"Maybe I stayed too long." - Whorl.

Two new songs for the faithful. If you know me, chances are you know that one of my favorite numbers is "Maybe It's Better," a tune by a short-lived Slumberland act called Whorl. The record was released in February 1992 and is catalog DRYL-11 according to this handy site.Whorl also released DRYL-3 in mid 1990. When I think about all the time I wasted, albeit listening to good music, but still, when you look at that Slumberland discography, man, I was listening to Nirvana when all this great music was coming out. I guess I was just a couple years too young to get plugged in to indie rock on the ground floor. Anyway, I didn't actually turn onto this tune until I got to WESU in Fall 1994. This is ripped from my cassette copy of the 7".

This song always blows my mind. It is "You Unplug My Clock," and it is a four-track number featuring Erik B nee Evol, who went on to form Mantaray, and Hugh Gallagher, a one-time author and spoken-word luminary who is now better known as Von Von Von (I am not making this up). Anyway, the two were tight in high school, which happens to be my high school, and at some point crafted this gem from drums, guitar and kazoo. It is seriously awesome.

Here is the New York Times' take on the new Cure record, and here is a video from it. I've always like the Cure's videos, at least the ones up through Disintegration, and this is no exception.

Take two seconds and go here and fight what amounts to a Constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Tony B was right when he said: if we lived in new york city, we'd be here.

That is all.

June 27, 2004

"There you are and here I stand, try to make you feel my hand."- Dinosaur Jr.

Top-shelf weather this weekend. We were entertaining Lopez' parents since Thursday. Which culminated in a very relaxing sit by the side of Walden Pond earlier this afternoon. Aces.

Been spending A LOT of time listening to the new Sonic Youth record Sonic Nurse. It's just enjoyable to listen to. I think I am starting to gravitate toward the good doctor's opinion that it is a bit tame, but good songs are good songs. No bones about it.

My latest review online is for a microhouse record by a Seattle-based chap who toils under the moniker Bruno Pronsato. His record is called Silver Cities, and I have to say that I found it quite enjoyable.

Also listened to The New Year record a lot as we drove around this weekend. I think in my Junkmedia review I might have gone a little easy on them in hindsight. Not that it is a bad record. On the contrary. But still, in certain places I get the feeling they aren't trying too hard. Oh well. That could just be the sounds of slackers slackin.'

Here is a tough issue. In Philadelphia, the school district is going around to its 200 or so schools and removing and cataloging the art on its walls. It turns out some of it is quite valuable, relatively. See, the schools are completely broke and in many places dangerous. So the district is thinking it could monetize the art assets to make better schools. But you can see the flipside of the argument coming already. Is it more important for a kid in North Philly to have a bit more leeway in the budget at his school? Or is it more important for the kid to have something beautiful in his surroundings, which in some places are pretty damn bleak. Read more about it here.

And check out this Pink Floyd footage, circa 1968, since you are just sitting there doing nothing.

You may have already seen this Wilco piece that gives too much background and too little attention to the new record. But it's still good. They got a lot of ink last week, but I felt very little of it was insightful. In fact, I can't think of anyone who had an angle that I was really moved by. Unfortunately, the Junkmedia piece fell into the category of doing very little for me. Which is too bad, I usually really like that writer and had hoped for more.

This is an interesting business story about a low-carb, sugar-free Tastykake (I know, what the hell is the point of that?!). Just well-written, blow-by-blow account of going through the process of solving a problem.

Just want to take the opportunity to pimp The Monkey a bit. The jazz cuts he has been hosting lately totally smoke. Give it a chance. You'll be pleased.

Here is a bit of a shocker. Something about late May always makes me want to listen to the Dead. Sort of a holdover from 9th grade, and freshman year in College to a certain extent. Last week I spun Two From the Vault
a few times. It's just a hot collection.

That is all.

June 18, 2004

"Cafeteria Harrison Elementary."- Built to Spill

So yeah, anyway, to recap... just got back from seeing Napoleon Dynamite, which gets props from me. Real excellent movie. My sources told me they laughed until it hurt, which didn't happen to me, but I still say go see it. Yee haaaaa.

Back to the Haywood thing. Further intel from Rob V. indicates this is not actually a reformation. Here is what he said:

the haywood thing is purely a studio project - we may play live once or
twice but it's really about making a record of songs we really like... Ted let me know that he had some songs recorded and when I heard them I knew we had to do it... When [The Red and The Black] broke up, I had lots of free time. Danny will be the lead guitarist of record, however he has not been
practicing with us. ...(he's in a couple other bands) so we're just gonna bring him in for extra
touches. When the tracks are demoed we'll hand off the tapes to him...

So that is that. As soon as I get any of the tracks I will pass them along. Yo estoy very excited.

About seven years ago at this time I was in Poland with Dr. Watson. It looked like this.

Pitchfork's best and most controversial writer lays down his gun. The site is now 50% less good. Actually, since I first stumbled across this item, Pitchfork excised the really caustic stuff about the Beastie Boys' press people and ran a retraction, sparking much speculation on ILM. Speaking of the Pitchfork, they gave a pretty good review to the new The Trouble With Sweeney record. Check it out.

RUN, don't walk, over to Mystical Beast to get a little lesson on The Grifters and, more importantly, to download their absolute best song, Queen of the Table Waters. I saw these guys live back in the day when we were all much less famous and man, they totally smoked the small bar in Bethlehem, PA they were headlining at. They had just released Crappin' You Negative. They were stellar.

This is for you scientific-type nerds out there. Logie and CRM, I am looking at you.

This is a fun way to spend three or four minutes. These guys have made unsophisticated pictures based on the lyrics of Smiths songs.

The new Sonic Youth record is superlative. There are more than a few stellar songs on there, including "Dripping Dream," "Stones" and "I Love You Golden Blue." Various accomplices of mine have called the record "pop" or even "the most adult contemporary record Sonic Youth ever made." And so far everybody is right. This is as accessible and entertaining as Murray Street and Daydream Nation. You should really go buy it.

That is all.

June 14, 2004

"You were funny to a fault, went to heavy on the salt." - Silkworm

[UPDATE: Many of you noted that the Small Hours downloads were not working. Right you were. Try them now.]

I just lost a fairly lengthy post. Which sucks. In the post I talked about some things that were funny and said go to such-and-such a blog to check out MP3s by such-and-such a band. Now I am too tired of typing to redo it. Oh well. I did point to two M4As I posted of unreleased Small Hours songs, and I said some nice things about how I liked these particular songs, the first having been written by Lanky Jim Wells and the second having been written by Logie. So anyway, enjoy the songs, lo-fi they may be. And I'll come back sometime soon and tell you things you should know.

The Small Hours: Infant Eyes.
The Small Hours: Something About Coffee.

That is all.

June 10, 2004

"I lie open on the porch sometimes losing my fizz."- Haywood

This just in: I was minding my own business at work today when I received a transmission from the illustrious drumming sensation Rob V indicating that Haywood was recording a new record, and has presumably reformed. More details as I get them. Needless to say I am very excited. Haywood is my favorite band, pretty much hands down. So yahoo.

Ray Charles dead. Ray Parker Jr. miraculously still living.

More hanky panky. Apparently John Walker Lindh was given the Abu Ghraib treatment way before it became fashionable. Stupid government, doing stuff while we were all looking at the Olsen Twins.

Spent a good portion of the morning listening to Iron & Wine, it was really hitting the spot. It has definitely gotten to the point that I prefer Our Endless Numbered Days to The Creek Drank The Cradle.

June 8, 2004

"As I watched it on TV somehow it really bothered me." -Ramones

It's hot, people. Temperature shot up about 32 degrees today, and I have deployed the central air, which seems to be holding up. Well, let's jump right in.

Had a great time in the greater Beverly/Salem, MA area over the weekend, and look forward to kicking it on Nantucket with Juan Gorni, his wife, and his brood come Saturday. Hot damn.

Coverage is blowing up today with tales of the Justice Dept. doctoring up their own personal definition of torture so as to play will-nilly with international law. This shit is being done in our names. Where is Bearded Mark Lewis with a lengthy, acidic diatribe to fully sum up my feelings on this? Perhaps he has secretly been silenced by the government. Scary times people.

Speaking of, I was a bit young to know, but I assume that all the punkers in the 1980s had very good reasons for criticizing Ronnie, particularly his polarization of the country into haves and have-nots. ILM has a roll-call of Anti-Ronnie sentiment that I think should not be lost as we idolize Ronnie.

Oh yeah, this blog is about music. Make sure you have Quicktime and then go check out the new video for The Trouble With Sweeney's "The City Let Me." Insert diatribe about how the best record Joey Sweeney ever made was never released. "The City Let Me" is a pretty good number -- for some reason the video has a lot of blank space at the end, but whatever.

The Bubblegum Machine has two great cuts up that have Lopez' name written all over them.

Stupid but funny.

Like my dog The Monkey, I am soon going to begin incorporating code in any links I make to Amazon.com that will give me a little kick-back should you buy anything. I am not sure how much the referral fee is and I don't really care all that much. But I figgered I would do it in order to defray the costs of my sizable music habit.

That is all.

June 3, 2004

"Avenues all lined with trees, picture me and then you start watching."-Joy Division

Every once in a while I will tell you to stop what you are doing and go do something. Today is one of those days. You may have heard about Juana Molina. You may not have. But right now you need to go to her web site and download her sublime music. There are six MP3s there, and they are all super-duper.

This is widely disseminated, but still very cute. I think some of this, or at least something similar, was posted on Yo La Tengo's web site in the past.

My homey Zippy is in the rock band Carbon Leaf, recently signed to Vanguard Records. He also does the lion's share of the note-taking the band does while they tour hither and thither. I thought this was a pretty funny passage:

It’s like yesterday, when we were sitting at a red light and there was this really attractive woman in the car just ahead of us…Terry commented that she was attractive, and not 2 seconds later, she picked her nose. He retracted his statement, but I argued that she might just be attractive enough that her poor manners are less offensive and more forgivable, negated even. We pondered it, then the light turned green. Maybe looks ARE everything?? Buford picks his nose ALL the time, and I still think he’s a good looking guy. Gross, but good looking. I just don’t know.

If you aren't hip to the Refused, you need to high-tail it over to Teaching The Indie Kids to sample three cuts from what is rightly referred to as the OK Computer of hardcore, The Shape of Punk to Come. Truly an awesome record.

Notable for it’s mention of Luddites, I also enjoyed this because I think things are out of hand. Things go fast enough for me as it is, and could probably stand to be less fast in my opinion. On a slightly related note, these guys have the right idea as far as SUVs are concern, tho I think they are thinking small by focusing on just one.

This piece in the Guardian is pretty funny, if only because this woman totally rips on the dumbass letters people write to their Congressman. The author got fired from her job for posting some of her amorous exploits online, but that is not nearly as interesting as the other stuff is funny.

Speaking of keeping an eye on The Man, the Michael Moore hype machine successfully created buzz for his new movie, the trailer for which is now available online. This is the kind of thing I usually just quietly seethe about, but I think it is very important that everybody see this movie and consider what it is saying, no matter how biased the messenger might be.