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Showing posts from August, 2008

Notice for strangest comment...

A week or so ago, I received an anonymous comment regarding my last "mix tape" entry that made me laugh out loud and simultaneously go "wha?" Read, consider, react: I have a confession. I made this mix and it got me laid. Apparently, I am cooler, thanks to your site. Did it get your brother laid too? Don't get the Monkees track - but I kept it in. Response: Honestly, I don't know how this playlist got you laid because there's NO Al Green , NO Barry White ...this is an unsexy mix of songs. If it offered you some kind of cred, that makes me happy and I'm glad that I could assist you in your carnal endeavors. As far as whether or not this mix got my brother laid, I would guess not. I could always ask, but it's really none of my business. Now, the Monkees track: "Writing Wrongs" was one song that, as a kid, I could not stand. Mike Nesmith pouring his lungs out over a back-and-forth piano combo just didn't sit well with

The cover says it all...

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Earlier this year, I'd learned that Beatles -tribute band, The Fab Faux , ("We're not a COVER band; we're a TRIBUTE band!"), are doing shows based on The White Album . It didn't occur to me, for some reason, that the show might have something to do with the fact that The White Album turns 40 this year. Writing anything about The Beatles more than 40 years after they'd unknowingly cemented themselves a permanent place in every "best of..." list to be conceived by every music-based magazine or cable station is what some would call "needless" or "unnecessary." Countless novels, articles, criticism, documentaries...how many words have been spent repeating the same observations and coming up with same undeniable conclusions? Like the stars? Generations of musicians are born under the unfortunate and futile circumstance of never being able to live up to a band that had its day more than 40 years ago. What must that feel like:

Out Of San Francisco

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Triclops! Out Of Africa Alternative Tentacles Released: 3.25.08 Rating: 9.75 out of 10 Maybe a month ago, I was reminded of how dead Punk rock really is. It happens very often these days that I witness SOMETHING that makes my insides liquefy, rise past the uvula and pour out of my mouth. It splatters. With what’s left of my strength, (at this point I’m lying in a boneless, contorted mass of skin and muscle), I’ll manage to acknowledge the steaming puddles I’ve spewed and note, “Hmmm…hopeless longing with a smattering of exhaustive rage.” VH-1 was doing one of their decade round-ups, an 8-part series on the new millennium because they evidently couldn’t wait until the decade was actually complete. They got to 2002 and the topic of Avril Lavigne came up. The “expert” panel they hired for sometimes-amusing-but-mostly-mediocre commentary had no qualms whatsoever with talking about how refreshing and punk rawk she was and I wanted to crawl into the TV and beat the shit out of t

A letter to SubPop…

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My wife and I decided last night that we were going to get out of the house for a little while. This meant dinner (scrambled eggs, bacon and home fries for dinner…alright!) and a little trip out to the local BORDERS for some magazine perusal and possible music purchases. I found nothing in terms of music. So, scouring the music mags for laughable headlines and unjustifiably acknowledged music celebs, my eyes graze over the cover of MOJO magazine and I internally comment, “Oh, look: Nirvana ’s on the cover of a magazine for once.” But, then I notice the OTHER headline, the one that says: “20 Years On…SUB POP.” “Wow,” I thought, “it really has been that long.” The headline had me thinking a little bit. Before Nevermind took a chunk out of me, the same way that it took a chunk out of everyone else, I’d already been a budding music enthusiast, (I’ve gone on and on about my Monkees obsession and my sexless love affair with my Dad’s record collection). When “Smells Like Teen Spi

Praveen & Benoît: Meditations on Meditation…

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Praveen & Benoît Song Spun Simla Music Related Released: 8.26.08 Rating: 8.25 out of 10 Interesting that Brian Eno and David Byrne decide to realign themselves with all that’s electric and beautiful once again after years of dormancy. At the same time, Electronica musician, Praveen Sharma , and singer/pianist, Thomas Meluch (aka Benoît Pioulard ), deliver something along the same vein: A soft and mesmerizing collection of vocal chants over ethereal sounds and unpolished percussion. I’m not always drawn toward Electronica, mostly because its static lack of character usually fails to carve any distinguishing or memorable aspects with which to hold the guilty artist, (or offender in many cases). Every once in a while though, the genre puts forth something interesting, something that conveys an idea, a mood, a time and place…a state of being. Even though there’s no blood that surges along with the electricity, Praveen & Benoît capture some poignancy through the mediu

Isaac Hayes (1942-2008)

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To Isaac Hayes , Does Soul or R&B even have a chance at survival? Obviously, it's too late for you to answer that now. I'd like to think that this new generation of R&B Popsters can even come close to anything as remotely influential or meaningful as what you and your fellow STAX labelmates put out there so many years ago. What an amazing time that must've been: Sam & Dave , Booker T & The MGs , Otis Redding , The Bar-Kays , The Staple Singers ...unstoppable! I guess, without coming off like the slew of music writers and reporters that've been regurgitating the same old shit about Shaft -this and Shaft -that, I'm thankful that you tried to give Pop music depth. Taking Pop standards and Middle-Of-the-Road moneymakers that otherwise just sizzled in the pan long enough to generate some moderate interest, turning those songs into long, complex and orchestrated things of beauty...why don't musicians love music anymore? Does it feel that way?

Elvis Gets the Natalie Cole Treatment…

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So, a while ago, in a fit of raging sarcasm, I scribed a satirical look at the ridiculousness of the posthumous album trend using Elvis Presley as my prime example . My commentary was born from the news that Mariah Carey had garnered more hits in her career than The King, but I countered that with “yeah, the guy hasn’t put out an album in thirty years…why don’t they give him the Tupac or Biggie treatment and start freshening up his appeal?” I was kidding. But, apparently, this is going to happen. Elvis Presley Christmas Duets is what they’re calling the album and it’s going to pair Elvis’s voice with the likes of people he wouldn’t otherwise associate himself…y’know, since he’s dead. Is it just plain brutal that Elvis will have to sing a song with Gretchen Wilson ? Way to tarnish a legacy. My biggest problem with posthumous recording, other than the fact that it’s just another way to stretch an artist for all he or she is worth in terms of revenue, isn’t so much that th

Boris Smiles...

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Boris Smile Southern Lord Released: 4.29.08 Rating: 8.75 out of 10 From play, my brain was more or less skewered, (in a good way if that’s imaginable), by the raw, psychedelic hard edge of Boris ’s latest album, Smile . Since 2006’s Pink , an album whose genre-hopping managed to act more as a summation of Boris’s versatility and talent than a fluid album, (it rules anyway), Boris have become the collab-band du jour for the likes of Sunn O))) , Merzbow and guitarist, Michio Kurihara . They’re essentially this millennium’s answer to The Band : A self-sustaining entity that can also back-up or take on anybody. By themselves, they’re a relentless force with songs that drive through the murkiest depths, decibels that could swallow lesser bands by the truckload. And, the fact that Smile , their latest for Southern Lord, is a mixed bag doesn’t detract from their brutality. The bitch with Smile is that it shouldn’t be a mixed bag. The songs herein are by and large an explosive bat