October 27, 2003

"ain't lost yet so I gotta be a winner" - the replacements

Yesterday seems to be the official opening of the season of hype for the new Strokes record, something I am looking forward to myself. My homey Drew Katchen has a solid review at Ye Olde Junkmedia.org, which takes much the same position as the Joan Anderman joint in the Globe over the weekend. Still waiting on a Pinback and Four Tet record in the mail from Amazon, too. It will be a big month for music methinks.

I saw the new Katie Holmes vehicle Pieces of April over the weekend and I can report that it is not utter shit. I was expecting nothing good, and this movie was solidly above average, which was a very pleasant surprise. We took in an early show Saturday evening and were back in the hood with ample time to dine and then foot it over to see the Mobius Band play Middle East Upstairs. They played a good set - I can't help but feel like the energy of their shows from last spring has waned. I think once they finally make the move to New York, tho, they are ready to hyperspace their career, and hopefully writing.

It occurred to me as I was walking back to work from the dentist the other day that my music obsession has caused me to price everything in terms of CDs. I am getting a gold filling next month that is going to cost me about 46 CDs, even with insurance kicking in their share. But hey, if you don't have your teeth what do you really have?

Caught the Chiefs shellacking of the Bills Sunday evening with H-Dawg from Accounts Receivable and Logie. Fun game to watch, if a little lopsided. Well, more than a little. Well, that is about all.

October 25, 2003

"Bring back the weight, tell the truth." - September 67
A little update to the bar to the left: avail yourself of the fine Launchcast stations noted, programmed by your humble servant and herr kew-mahr. That is all.

October 22, 2003

"And I'm walking out from between parked cars with my head full of stars." - elliot smith

I would feel negligent not to mark the passing of Elliot Smith, whose number "St. Ides Heaven" is one of my very favorites. His death is sad. Note to live-in girlfriend who found Smith's body, which apparently was sporting a self-inflicted stab wound to the chest: don't leave this guy home alone with the cutlery. Oh well. The self-titled album is superlative, as is Either/Or. I will have to give them some spins this week.

Speaking of spins, is there a legit release of Iron & Wine's cover of The Postal Service's "Such Great Heights"? I caught the number on the radio on Monday and it really got under my skin. Really good stuff. That's all for now.

October 21, 2003

"Maybe it's better if we can't remember." - Whorl

Just when it appeared all the blogging genes skewed to his younger sibling, it appears Logie has struck back with a few entries I stumbled across today. Nothing I didn't know, of course, but it is not what you say, just how you say it. CRM's Timesnewroman.org is getting pretty cool, too.

Harris Newman, part of the cadre of mid '90s indie rock acts in Montreal, today released a CD of solo guitar stuff apparently influenced by John Fahey, who I don't really know anything about. But it is cool to see someone from the old days still making records. During my one trip to Montreal about 8 years ago I met Mr. Newman, a stand-up fellow. I have seen his name in relation to mastering on some CDs as of late, I think, too. Anyhoo, I will check the CD out at some point and report back.

I probably haven't emphasised to most of you how awesome I think Yo La Tengo's song "Blue Line Swinger" is. I will have to try harder.

So Interpol... a real solid show. I am having trouble getting in the mood to reconstruct my critique of the show, but I will pass on that the band was just going through the motions for the first three or four songs, but when they hit that first rocking number the synapses started to snap and the rock began to flow. The band played probably all of Bright Lights, and maybe some of the other singles. I was pretty disappointed that they didn't play "The Specialist," which is their best jam. Oh well. Seeing the performance made me think alot about how I used to think that what I was looking for in performers was an "authentic" experience (whatever that means). In actuality, I think the right word is "earnest." And at first Interpol wasn't earnest, they were reading their lines and striking their poses. But it finally kicked in, and the material poured out like an inevitable dam burst. I will spare openers Elefant the slings and arrows of my horible opinion of their singer, and just say that I was interested in learning more about the band, until I did. I am no longer interested.

Got the first promo in a long while in the mail for a local act The Collisions. We'll see how that is. The Mobius Band is playing this Saturday at the Middle East, unfortunately I will be out of town yet again.

Some guy on the radio just referred to his crappy rural New York state Internet service as a "wood-burning ISP," which is pretty darn funny if you ask me. Waiting to hear Mobius playing on Pipeline on WMBR in a half hour. Gonna tape it. That is all.

October 18, 2003

"President Gas is President Gas again." - Psychedelic Furs
Troy is selling rare, out-of-print jazz titles and the issue of McSweeney's I really, really want. I bid it up to like $60, but figured anything more than that is tomfoolery. Saw Interpol last night with Housh and his cool friend Jodie Lee, the self-described meanest elementary school art teacher ever. The band was great, almost too good. More later.

October 13, 2003

"All I'm left to do is play bumper pool and go out to the garage to get drunk." - barnabys

So the cord is almost cut, and here is where the warm pants will now officially preside full time -- all that is to say that I am giving up the old site and getting down with the econo style of Blizznogger. It was inspired by similar departures to this service by the worlds of Bleach and Dahlilililah, and of course by ease of use.

Also this evening I was experiencing those old fall feelings that life is getting away from you, prompted by a couple spins of the Barnaby's 1993 effort 'Augustus Loop.' From the vantage point a decade of music listening has given me, this is actually a tepid work. 18 tracks that could have easily been cut to make a stronger 9 song statement. "Losers from Rodman Street," "Borders," "Punk Rock Love" and "Yeah Whatever" still kind of hold up because of the good songwriting, but ultimately the Joey Sweeney solo work is so strong that the delicate production and innocent songs here seem tame. Unfortunately, no real record of the strongest, rockinest Joey Sweeney solo incarnation exists. I speak of the trio of Sweeney backed by drum messiah Rob V (Haywood, Red and The Black, Cherubino) and basshead Brian McShane. That trio was together for maybe a little over a year, post Sweeney's "Heartache Baseball," and was balls to the wall rock, with the rhythm section like fist in glove and Sweeney hollerin, sweatin and pushin up his glasses in between slams on his Gibson SG. The trio recorded a never released record called "Girls High," but came apart after Sweeney did a little playing on the side with Alex Kemp and Haywood officially reformed for what is considered their Golden Era, the late Philly and New York years. McShane went on to some success in the Philly adult alternative scene with an eponymous band comprised of various members of his family.

The point of this long diversion is that it struck me as I was listening to Barnabys that I have come to the realization that I may actually never like any new music the way I like the music of the mid-'90s Philly scene, particularly the acts whose members I was close with. I guess the real realization is two-fold: That shit is never coming back, and the reason I love it so much is because there was some reflected glory in that the music was by "us" and for "us," it was about our lives. When Barnabys sing about the Losers from Rodman Street, I know he is talking about the guys in the band Dandelion (or at least that is what I heard); when Ted Haywood sings about looking for your car on the expressway every time he gets up, I know he is singing about the Schuylkill Expressway which bisected his walk between his apartment and Penn. That is all.

October 7, 2003

"I'm OK how are you thanks for asking, thanks for asking." - radiohead

Work hours have slackened this week, finally, and as I had suspected they would. I actually just went to the gym, beleive it or not, and cooked a meal in my own kitchen. I feel so fortunate, and sort of guilty, cause Lopez is at trial and basically working around the clock. I go up on weekends to help out and visit. It will be pretty much like this until December. Thanks must be extended to Herr Upright for providing me with the live Pink Floyd disc I had been seeking, as well as a pretty nifty trance mix of Wish You Were Here. The latter is decent, though in some tunes it doesn't sound like the canned beats match up with the rhythm of the songs. I will have to give the thing headphones treatment when I am working at the trial site this weekend. Today we recognize the birthdays of Mr. Upright, Mr. Kizzumahhhh and Il Consulliere. It is Fall 2003, which means that I have been writing music for about ten years now. I've been listening to a lot of the old stuff recently and am sort of torn about how you work hard on writing the stuff, particularly the words, and then they never get heard again. So occasionally from now on I am going to tell you about a song I wrote and transcribe the lyrics. It will give me something to do. A song I have been thinking about a bit lately is called "Into the Russian Winter." The Small Hours played it for a while in 2000. I wrote the words about my friend Mr. Obb, as he had just previously revealed he had written a song about me and my life at the time I first took up my current occupation -- I think returning to the occupation and a subsequent conversation with Obb called this song back into my mind. Obb is big on wordplay, hopefully you will recognize some of that here. It is probably worth noting that the song references a rough patch in the life of the protagonist, when he worked the night shift at a nuclear power plant. So here is "Into the Russian Winter," a title Obb came up with the first time the Small Hours played Plymouth State College.

"I know I.M. Pei and you ain't no I.M. Pei
You're much too stupid to be thought of in that way
You pushed too far into the snow
Into the Russian Winter
Like that was the only way to go about doing this
You pushed too far, breathing hard
It's a monument to what you aren't doing now
That I know
Now you're turning red, Now you're turning gold
Now you're turning brown, and around and around and around

Broken by the dozens so you must
Replace the mirrors you've been in again, I feared
Industrial energy, till you burned it clean
Did you say what you mean?
Or did you mean what you said?
Is it too late to go back to Baltimore?
You pushed too far, breathing hard
It's a monument to what you aren't doing now
That I know
Now you're turning red, no longer burning coal
Turbine spinning around, and around and around and around."

One last note: despite my best efforts, I somehow managed to win H-Dog's office football pool this week. Rest assured that the winning will buy me some rock and roll records. That is all.