Monday, January 31, 2005

"Better Living Through Chemistry" and seeing QOTSA

For those of you not on the Queens of the Stone Age mailing list, word just came down that the pre-sale is tomorrow for their upcoming tour in support of Lullabies to Paralyze. They are playing Webster Hall in NYC on March 24 and the pre-sale for those tickets is at 1pm

Here is the

The password is sheep

Choon(s) of the Week: Ride "Leave Them All Behind" / Whitey "Leave Them All Behind"

After a bit of a sabbatical, the Choons segment is back - and of course, since we are coming back, it has to be done properly (with a blaugh!). We got two tracks - one name, two artists, and myriad money shots.
Before getting to the cuts, it needs to be said that a few things are going to change with this segment. The purpose is to find great songs, regardless of whether they are new or old, so expect to find a bit of both in the upcoming installments. OK - the tracks:

1) Ride - "Leave Them All Behind"

I first heard this about 4 months ago and my initial response was the embodiment of exactly why we are all a bunch of internet seekers: "holy shit, this song is what I am talking about!" Ride (from Oxford, UK - big ups to Jericho!) is the epitome of shoegazer rock (or "shoegahzer" as a co-worker of mine once said before he realized that the name of the genre was a description of what someone does when they listen to it) - bastard offpsring of My Bloody Valentine that drench their music in rich waves of guitar and keyboards. This song is for all the lovers of (The) Verve, Spiritualized (if you dig "These Blues"), Doves' first album, and every other band that has written echo-addled anthems.

"Leave Them All Behind" opens with a simple knockoff of a Who keyboard riff (nah nah nah nah) that erupts into a melodic maelstrom of guitars that might be intimidating if you didn't hear the sensitive and emotive vocals.

The song has several segments and takes it time and moving into and out of them - the band is swinging for the fences by writing such a dynamic song that clocks in at 8 minutes. By the end, it's all sonic cacophony, but it's been a beautiful, fist-pumping journey through the ethereal and the heavy.

I am a sucker for a good epic rock song and this is the Ben Hur of shoegazer rock.

2) Whitey - "Leave Them All Behind"

I can't figure out anything about this guy (or band) - come on Allmusic, get with the program. I saw the track on 2manydjs current chart and at first thought it might have something to do with the Ride song, so I checked it out. No relation, but in name (and therefore also presumably in the theme of escaping all of the proverbial chains that hold us back in life).

Makes a lot of sense that it's on 2manydjs chart - its sleazed out, stuttering electro-rock (much like the excellent 2manydj/Soulwax album, Any Minute Now). On the synth/guitar breakdown, it probably comes out to 75/25. There are several catchy hooks in there, which are essential for the electro-rock thing to be successful. It's got an electro-rock feel, but the song was written with the dancefloor in mind - a no-nonsense 4/4 beat and a classic breakdown in the middle.

Bands like X-Wife, Soulwax, and Whitey are having an 80s rock nostalgia party with very original stuff that never actually existed before, and it's damn good. It will play well in either a rock club or on a dancefloor.

Moral of the story: write a banger called "Leave Them All Behind" and you have an equal chance of success as you would if you named it "Come Together"

Friday, January 28, 2005

Yr Atal Genhedlaeth

Oh it's been a good day on the ticket buying front. First, no sweat getting doves tickets at noon. After my first doves experience at the Bowery, this one has some high high expectations.

One Louder proved why it is key to be on email lists (in this case the Tonic list) - Rajeev alerted me to a solo show by Gruff Rhys - boyakasha! Gruff, the lead singer of the greatest Welsh band of all time, Super Furry Animals, has put a solo album of Welsh songs. That gibberish looking expression that is the subject of the posting is the name of the album. The man is a pro, so you know this is going to be a must see gig.

And for a little information on what's going down this weekend: tonight I will be attending a
tsunami benefit party at Rothko that Rajeev claims is a "grime" party - grime is the most gangsta thing the UK offers at the moment and Tony Wilson is even in on the act - no idea really what I am in store for, but Jeeves said the last one of these that he attended was heavy on the Dizzee Rascal, which is a good sign.

Also, I mention this last event with a touch of trepidation. Tim Burgess, troubadour for The Charlatans (UK) is guest DJing at Tiswas at Don Hills tomorrow night. Now I went to Tiswas a couple weeks back and it was the saddest night life experience of my entire life. If you have ever been, you know Malloy - the guy that stands at the front of the stage shoving everyone aside to lipsync and dance with his whole Meatloaf meets britpop thing going on. He was there and maybe 10 more people on the dance floor - absolutely empty. When they played the de facto theme song, Pulp's "Common People," it was completely clear that this party needs to go out with one final bang, complete with Carlos D dancing to Joy Division (as he always did before he became the globe trotting, gun holster totting goof that he is now). Tomorrow is apparently to celebrate the release of the new Chems album, Push the Button, which I am going to do a proper review of here in the near future.

And finally, if you are a lover of the the old school songwriters (Cole Porter era), get over to the 92nd Street Y this weekend - The Lyrics of Mack Gordon is going to be balling out of control with five performances this weekend.

Enjoy your weekend...

The Halcyon Days

This morning, when my Ipod died on the drive to work (happens a lot when the battery life is 3 hours), I put on the Q Essential Dance compilation. It was the closest CD within reach and makes for good driving music. You can't beat coming out of the Holland Tunnel to "Woke Up This Morning" by the Alabama 3 (aka The Sopranos theme song) - the opening track on the compilation. Being that it is "essential," I think it is a little heavier on early 90s stuff - it has the Stereo MCs "Connected" and then the truly essential "Voodoo Ray" by A Guy Called Gerald. You can't get any more Madchester acid house than that song. Then came Oakenfold's remix of U2's "Even Better Than the Real Thing" (which ironically charted higher than original mix or real thing - if I have ever put that on here before, feel free to smack me upside the head for repeating egghead trivia).

So as I am listening to the U2 mix, which is quite good, I become torn. What he basically did with the song is make U2 sound like the Happy Monday - impressive feat or just mimicking what he did on Pills 'n' Thrills, and Bellyaches? (j)Oakenfold may deserve a bad rap for his tenure as king of the melodramatic trance - and for the God complex he has developed during his reign, but he does have a very good CV. Discovered Ibiza and the Balearic sound during the summer of 1987, he produced Pills - which alone gives a fair amount of credibility. His remix of U2's "Lemon" is one of the best progessive house/trance songs. And I can't deny it - in the late 90s, I liked trance - and his Transport mix CD was very good in its time. Transgiving - his annual turkey night party - was excellent in 1999 (at the Roxy - loudest thing I have ever heard - my hearing was HEAVILY dulled for several minutes after leaving and didn't fully recover until the next day) and 2000 (Darren Emerson and the Joke at Hammerstein Ballroom - can't say I didn't love it at the time!). So maybe he has lost the plot and $20,000 or $50,000 or whatever he pulls per gig nights has gone to his head - and trance as a genre is pretty shit now (I happened to see Tiesto before and Underworld show in Miami a couple years back and it was...ehhh...boring and melodramatic) , but I know there are plenty of sensible shoe wearing disco-punkers that have felt the muted 4/4 kick drums and washes of synths at some point in your reckless youths!

On a related note (instead of having a second prog house-steezed posting and beginning to look like a raver), John Digweed has gotten the Fabric seal of approval and mixed the newest Fabric compilation - Fabric 20. He was always my favorite of the progessive house characters. A most understated approach to the decks (no wannabe deity like Jokey) and a subtle mixer and track selector as well (always had a propensity for dropping Underworld tracks in mixes and live sets). The notorious Sasha and Digweed nights at Twilo were how I got into "electronic music" and the way he built his sets for hours always impressed me - music you could dance to or listen to in bed. I will check out this mix hopefully at some point - haven't heard a release from him or Sasha in ages - not really what I listen to now but I trust Fabric and I see there is some Soma (Slam's label) and Michael Mayer's Kompakt on the compilation which is promising.

I will now go put on Paul Van Dyk's 45 RPM (which, no joke, is one of the best artist albums from the progessive scene) and turn the lights on and off in my office very quickly.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Doves show!!!

So Doves are playing the Bowery after all - woo hoo!!! One Louder, quick as always with news, listed the show - March 15. Tickets are going on sale tomorrow at 12. Now I feel comfortable putting this up because you three readers out there won't pose a whole lot of competition for tickets, but One Louder is a far more serious blog then this jalopy - why would they jeopardize their chance of getting tickets?!?

Apologies for a couple of slow days on here - things will get back to a normal pace soon. There is even a small chance of some more Choons (I know you people have noticed the dearth of choice cuts popping up on the right side of the page).

Monday, January 24, 2005

Freaky Dancer Wins Big Brother!!!

Reason 47 it sucks to live in the US: can't watch English TV shows. In England, they show the History of House on Channel 4 - a network! (if you have a friend who happened to tape it, it makes for excellent 5am tv watching!) They also have their share of crappy reality TV, but you don't get Bez on American shows!

On the UK's Celebrity Big Brother, Mark "Bez" Berry - the maraca player/dancer for the Happy Mondays, has won! According to NME, Bez lost his temper several times due to "missing [his] weed" - and even attempted to escape the house (I really wish I saw that!) but he persevered and prevailed. Excellent news!

For more about the man, I thoroughly recommend his autobiogrpahy - the surprisingly cogent Freaky Dancin.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Nicotine...valium...Kaiser Chiefs...CO-CO-CO COCAINE!!!

The first show announcement in ages that I got that genuine excitement for - Queens of the Stone Age (or QOTSA for shmoes in the know) are hitting the road in March. The supposed dates are on fan site Born to Hula and they are playing Webster Hall on March 24. Not the best venue, but better than Roseland or Hammerstein.

I have been meaning to write about my weekend for a while but it has been a very difficult week at work for a variety of reasons that aren't worth going into. Short short story:

Kaiser Chiefs at Tribeca Grand: Statute of Frauds had a fairly pissed write up about the night and I don't completely disagree. They came on late, we couldn't see shit in the back of the room. The drink special consisted of $5 Rhinegold (yes, that's a special). The band was good but nothing mindblowing, although "I Predict a Riot" was stuck in my head afterwards and with really stupid alternate lyrics (I predicted a bagel for breakfast the morning after). The band came on well after the announced 12 am start, but that didn't bother me too much - a night at the Tribeca is more like a party than a night at a rock club and does have a more loose feel, but that said, if they don't have a good DJ on before the band, do you really want to stand around smushed for an indefinite amount of time? The Tribeca Grand is a fun venue a) when it's a DJ rather than a show, and b) you get really close to the stage.

Scarface at the Sunshine: My first viewing. Sad, I know. I was very impressed. Three things worth mentioning from the experience.

a) When Tony is losing it at the end and cuts up a line of cocaine that is perhaps the size of John Holmes' third leg (I could have hyperlinked right there, but I have a bit of taste), and the whole room started to laugh, someone in front of us failed to see the humor in someone snorting the cocaine equivalent of my yearly salary in one fell swoop and started to yell "what's so funny?" What was this guy doing at the Sunshine?

b) Right after Tony utters the most famous line of "say 'ello to my little friend," the film cut back to 30 seconds before the line. Whoever cut this print was clearly having some fun and the audience didn't seem to mind as they got to see the line twice. Very amusing.

c) Giorgio Moroder - the man behind Donna Summer's disco anthem "I Feel Love," the Flashdance soundtrack, the soundtrack to D.C. Cab - the Mr. T. starring first R rated movie I saw (at like 5 or something), and Berlin's "Take My Breath Away" composed the super 80s electrodisco soundtrack for Scarface. Quality. I do have to say though that during the final scene as the guerilla army or however you want to describe them, approaches the Montana Mansion, the beat was straight out of "I Feel Love" (not that there is anything wrong with it - if Ewan Pearson can use it in a Goldfrapp remix and Underworld's "King of Snake" is based on it, why not let the writer sample himself?). No doubt this is an appropriate movie for a midnight screening!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

NME stuff

I hate Blogger some times.

I had written a substantial post about two NME news stories, which reported the
new Portishead album(!) and that the Super Furry Animals had finished mixing the new album in Brazil. In the process of loading the entry, something went wrong and it was lost - so Blogger, STOP SORTING GLASS!!!

I don't have time to rewrite it, so you can come up with your own not particularly clever bits about soccer matches in the largest stadium in the world (200,000 people went to Maracana Stadium for a match in like 1959) and about the Portishead album ending up taking less time than the Stone Roses follow up, but a shorter break than the one between Jane's Addiction albums.

Monday, January 17, 2005

News for Doves fans in NY, LA and Austin

According to Billboard, Doves are playing SxSW in Austin in mid March, as well as (hopefully) NY and LA. Excellent is all I can say.

The festival is from March 11 to the 20th and their tour has a break from March 12 to March 29, so expect those dates somewhere in that time frame. Hopefully it will be a low-key Bowery show - a venue that would be incredible to see them at again. The first time I saw them was there in February of 2001. They had an unknown NY band called The Strokes open for them - I was at the bar at the back of the floor during their set - unbenknownst to me, I was standing next to Peephole at the time. Doves blew me away that night - brilliant musicianship and even better songs.

Probably the best show I have seen at the Bowery - will that statement provoke others to comment with their best Bowery shows?

Sunday, January 16, 2005

The Complex

OK, so Billy Corgan did not come on stage on Thursday night and play "Silverfuck" - but that would have been more likely than most Pumpkin songs in light of the "Complex" sound. The Jimmy Chamberlin Complex is Jimmy's new project. Jimmy was joined on Thursday night at The Mercury Lounge with 3 other guys - a keyboardist, bassist, and guitarist - but the attention of the solid crowd was there to see the massive Yamaha drumset that dominated the stage. The bassist kept talking about the band as the "Complex" but let's not kid ourselves, there would have been 10 people there, as opposed to the near capacity crowd, had there been no Jimmy Chamberlin there.

The music was a cross between edgy modern rock (well mid 90s rock, big surprise) and early 70s Miles Davis jazz fusion (think In a Silent Way organ sounds), all of which was underscored by Jimmy's He-Man drumming (I can't take credit - I once read a nasty Zwan or Pumpkins review that used that apt title). About half instrumentals and the other half songs, none of it was particularly bad, but the melodies weren't that inspiring either - somewhere in the middle. However, as a lover of the Pumpkins, to see Jimmy bashing away with that fiery intent made it a very worthwhile experience. That said, the next time I see Jimmy, I hope he is smashing his way through "Hummer" at a Pumpkin reunion show at Radio City Music Hall.

You can read all about their album, Life Begins Again, at the website

Friday, January 14, 2005


Some seriously surprising news coming from Bristol via NME. Massive Attack and Portishead are playing a benefit concert for the tsunami victims in Bristol next month! Yes, that same Portishead that hasn't released a studio album since 1997 (the first review I ever wrote for the Yale Daily News was of that album - warning that is a pretty poor effort from quite a young upstart). For a band that has been out of circulation as long as Portishead has, this is pretty serious. If Underworld (or another ridiculous reunion - The Verve or MBV come to mind) joined that bill, I think I would be on a plane. All they need to add to the line up is Tricky, and the holy triumvirate of Bristol trip-hop would be there.

Here is a link to the site they have set up for the event

LCD mania

To my devoted readers who don't also regularly check out One Louder, today is a good day to check them out - they have interviewed James Murphy (the don of DFA Records and the hopefully soon to be big LCD Soundsystem, and there are certainly a few nuggets in there. Murphy alludes to a bit of a traumatic break up with The Rapture, although a couple of the guys from The Rapture did attend the LCD Halloween show at the Tribeca Grand. He also wants to play in NYC more, which is of course a good thing. It's a good read so check it out...

The interview is here.

On a related note, Pitchfork reported today that there will be a second disc that comes with the LCD album when it is released on February 15, which will include:

01 Losing My Edge
02 Beat Connection
03 Give It Up
04 Tired
05 Yeah (Crass Version)
06 Yeah (Pretentious Version)
07 Yr City's A Sucker

If you are a devoted James Murphy fan, you have all of these already, but to have them all on one CD makes sense.

Read more about the release here.

Two pieces of derivative news - not a big morning yet - but I will write about Jimmy Chamberlin's night at the Mercury Lounge later, and tell you all about the 20 minute version of "Silverfuck" that Billy Corgan came out for.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Pitchfork Overhaul

For those of you that read Pitchfork Media, you probably are already aware of the relaunch, which was delayed several times but finally occurred today. For those of you that don't read it daily, or don't know what Pitchfork is (my friends that read this blog out of pity), it is the online hipster independent music online journal/website. Fairly smug and usually informative and entertaining, now that it is up to over 100,000 hits a day (!), they are getting all slick, or so they say. So far it is not that different content wise than before and it does look a bit more impressive on the whole, but doesn't it look more like a very inovolved blog than a professional website? Particularly the font - I know they hired some big design group and most of it looks good, but the font is a bit...blogger. Have to applaud the massive Suicide Girl ads that take up like half the page - although increased advertising may ultimately be the real result of the relaunch (hey, we can make some serious money on this site!). Needless to say, I can't look at Suicide Girls at work (for those of you who have never seen it, think of it as alternative/indie/gothic pornography).

Tonight, I am going to check out the Jimmy Chamberlin Complex at the Mercury Lounge (8:30pm). I have low expectations as I know nothing about the music, other than the fact that Jimmy, the drummer for the Smashing Pumpkins, was a pagan skin god of mine during my youth. Many days were spent playing along to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. And what he did for "Geek USA" is hall of fame material if there is a drummers hall of fame. There is a large likelihood that tomorrow I will be posting on here that Billy and Jimmy (and I guess James and D'Arcy) need to get back together for a mega mega reunion tour and stop muching around with solo stuff - but I doubt that Jimmy carries the same emotional baggage that Billy does and he would be more than happy to get the old band back together again.

The JCC is playing at the Mercury Lounge next Thursday night at the same time.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The Fun Machine Took a Shit and Died...

Only one band could pull off a name like that for a song...Queens of the Stone Age (well that isn't true but it works as a lead in). Josh Homme and co. have kept the small part of my inner 17 year old alive and rocking since I first heard Songs for the Deaf. It has been widely reported that their new album, Lullabies to Paralyze, on March 22. Their website, has been updated to reflect the upcoming onslaught of all things Queens that is sure to accompany the release. On the news front, it looks like a March US tour is in the plans - wouldn't it be nice if it was a low-key, couple nights at the Bowery type tour (which I believe they did prior to the release of Songs...). Advance tickets will be available through their site so keep an eye on it.

Consistent with the dry, cool wit that Homme is known for, the website has a "Rumors" section, which is "just like Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumors' without the cocaine blown up your ass" (though I take that with a grain of...salt) . Some highlights include the "rumor" that Geddy Lee, McCartney and Billy Corgan did not make the final cut in their hunt for a new bassist, and that Homme's suicide girl styled squeeze, Brody Dalle, was grown in a lab out of DNA extracted from Yoko Ono, Hitler, and Anna Nicole Smith. Talk about a dark sense of humor! Also, I wouldn't have minded seeing Geddy playing "A Song for the Dead" - not that far off from "Anthem," "By Tor..." and all that other heavier Rush stuff...

Check all of this and tons more out at the new QOTSA site

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Ewan Pearson chart

One Louder has pointed out to me that on Philip Sherburne's blog there is a post of Ewan Pearson's current chart. Ewan has been a favorite remixer/dj for some time now and has gotten love on here before. The lucky recipients of his quality remixes include (but are not limited to): the Chemical Brothers, Goldfrapp (approppriate in light of today's earlier posting), Slam, Depeche Mode, and The Rapture. Half of The Rapture was at his night at the Tribeca Grand last month. It was an excellent night - he played all kinds of wonky electro house, including a remix of !!! (I believe it was "Hello? Is This Thing On?"), his own remix of Goldfrapp's "Train" as well as the unreleased Black Strobe remix of "Strict Machine" (according to him). He was a very nice guy - said he was working on a remix of the next Alter Ego single at the moment. He vaguely alluded to some artist work as well (which I am very curious to hear).

I'm in Love with a Strict Machine

Recently I picked up the Goldfrapp Wonderful Electric DVD. There was a very slim likelihood I wasn't going to enjoy 2 DVDs of Allison Goldfrapp, and as expected I am not disappointed in the least. Most artists with only two albums released would come across as extremely self-indulgent by putting out 2 different live shows in one DVD, but this is a perfect exception to the rule - the space between the downtempo, dubby, ethereal, post-coital in the Black Forest debut, Felt Mountain, and the sexbomb electro disco cool of Black Cherry is massive. The tours reflected this as well; the Felt Mountain show, their cover of Olivia Newton John's "Physical" as the exception, was a show that was well designed for sitting, while Black Cherry created a far more dance friendly vibe (they did cover disco tune "Yes, Sir, I can Boogie" the second time around). Both shows were excellent in person and are well captured on Wonderful Electric. Allison's persona of sexy and sexual diva for the leftfield is in full effect (I unfortunately couldn't find a photo of her thrusting the thermian into her nether region - if anyone has one, feel free to put it in the comments!). As the second tour required songs from both albums, the band showed some serious dynamism pulling off everything from the serene "Pilots," the gypsy-sounding live version of "Human," the nu-disco of "Strict Machine," and even the sinister "Slippage." Also worth mentioning is how cool a venue the Somerset House (site of the Black Cherry show) looks - on my list of venues I must see a show at with Red Rocks. The next time I am in London during the winter, I really need to ice skate there.

Perhaps my only gripe is that Will Gregory, the shy half of the pair, is virtually not visible in the video. He is quite the interesting fellow in his own right (here is an article about the man) - anyone who played the horn on Lazer Guided Melodies has virtual automatic credibility.

The DVDs also include documentaries from both tours. The Black Cherry doc, Twisted Summer, was very DIY, with Allison and Will interviewing each other (and sounding really stoned!), and Allison riding down 57th Street of New York in a taxi while shooting herself (with the camera - where was I when this happened?). They also make it to a Bluegrass festival and Allison poses on a front porch of a house with a shotgun.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Radio Ga Ga for Radio Soulwax

I plugged this 2manydjs mix over the weekend without having given it a proper listen - now that I have, I can plug it again!

The tracklisting gives some idea of how all over the place it is, but there is a lot more there than meets the list. The use of Annie's "Chewing Gum" acapella over QOTSA's "First it Giveth" is one of those mixes that makes absolutely no sense without hearing it - somehow a song that uses chewing gum as a metaphor for men into an aggro punk song (despite the "First it Giveth" being more hard rock than punk) - I can't explain it but it works. There is a great spoken sample that sounds like P-Diddy . Great use of Kraftwerk's "Man Machine" coming out of Snoop Dogg's new single, "Drop it Like it's Hot." Speaking of hip-hop mash-ups, the chems "Galvanize" up against "Fix Up Look Sharp" - very nice. The tracklisting does not list it, but I swear I heard "Rocker" by Alter Ego and "Song 2" by Blur - I don't think the track listing is nearly comprehensive but it gives you a sense of what it's all about.

There is also some chunks of straight up techno/electro in the middle (when I saw them on NYE with Erol Alkan, that sound occupied a big part of the set), but they pull that off with the same aplomb as when they drop a mash-up.

You can call the Dewaeles canned (too rehearsed) but they are among, if not the, most fun DJs on the planet. Here is a public plea for 2manydjs to play NY (hell, even NJ) again soon!

Saturday, January 08, 2005

What the 40 GB Ipod was made for...

The Essential Mix - you know, those two hour DJ sets that are always introduced by the proper sounding Pete Tong telling you what a special Essential Mix this one is going to be. I am waiting for the introduction that starts with "tonight will be a very average EM - this DJ is not bad at all!"

Well, one set of DJs I would introduce on my show (if I had a show) with pure hyperbole would be 2manydjs - the Belgian Dewaele brothers, David and Stephen, whose day job is the very good band Soulwax - their new album, Any Minute Now is supposedly going to be released in the US, (I'm sorry, but I have to do it) any minute now. When they aren't rocking out as Soulwax (although sometimes they do shows as both 2manydjs and Soulwax), they are rediculous masters of the cut-up, mash-up, bootleg, whatever you want to call it. One of my best memories of a 2manydjs night was at the Winter Music Confererence in Miami in 2003, when I saw The Rapture dancing like fools while the Dewaeles dropped "House of Jealous Lovers" - very cool to see a band getting that excited about hearing their own music. At the same party, the blond, facial hair less member of Royksopp (another excellent band that needs to get some new shit out - according to a thermometer on their website, the new album is 75% done) was fist pumping to Primal Scream's "Rocks."

Download the complete two hour Essential Mix here

Here is the tracklistings - all kinds of choons on it, including the chems new single "Galvanize" and some Queens of the Stone Age (boyakasha!)

On a related note, I initially found the mix on this very cool Belgian bootleg website - check it

Friday, January 07, 2005

Lord, Can You Hear Me?

It's reassuring to see others on the net afflicted with Spaceman-itus - you know, love for all things Jason Pierce. Chrome Waves is currently on a "J Spaceman kick" at the moment, as you can tell from the current list of albums that are in the blog's rotation, and because there is an MP3 download of Low covering "Lord, Can You Hear Me?" from a Spacemen 3 tibute album - of course I can't download it over here.

All I can offer are a couple of interviews with Mr. Pierce. Here is an entertaining one where he responded to the question of whether he is an AC/DC fan with "who isn't?" - wouldn't you love to sit around listening to Back in Black with him? The interview also has a bunch of other interesting bits about influences, but of course it sounds a bit like him taking an opportunity to name drop "sensible" music.
Here is another interesting interview with the man.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

A couple legal links

The law is an contagious disease sometimes - it's really everywhere, whether talkin about music or sports, or anything else. The practice of law also breaks down into two areas: transactional work (helping in the drafting of contracts), and litigation (you know what that is) and today we've got entertaining examples of both. Here's the intersection of transactional work and music: the rider.

Here is the rider from Jane's Addiction's 2001 tour

The Smoking Gun

Here is some juicy litigation. If anyone ever calls you a pimp (as Evel Kneivel was by don't have a libel suit. Perhaps Evel's attorney will make a really pimp petition for certiorari and get the 9th Circus reversed.

I had some more very witty things to say about these but this post got deleted by a blogspot snafu and I don't have it in me to write it again.

Underworld - Biro the Leggy

I haven't done much with MP3s here and that is in part because I can't even download MP3s at my job thanks to the draconian firewall The Man has set up here (it's a, gulp, government job of sorts). Despite this, I have a treat today for the Underworld fans in my readership. Recently, Rick and Karl did a couple of radio shows - one for John Peel and another for the loyal Dirties.

During the Dirty Radio show, the boys went into the UW archive and pulled out a "rarity" called "Biro the Leggy," There is a bit of both Beaucoup Fish and A Hundred Days Off in there - listen for the "King of Snake" guy. I haven't listened to it enough yet as it is on my uncharged Ipod (the wire is in a different state at the moment, but I will be reunited with it shortly) and I can't download it at work, but here is a link to the track

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Top 10 (err...11) Films of 2004

Here is my flick list for the year in no particular order - don't know if I have a favorite film overall fo the year, but it would probably be among these...

1) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - One of those ideas/issues that we have all confronted but so well executed here. The visual madness somehow makes such perfect sense. Heart-breaking.
2) Hero - Equal parts of beautiful, thoughtful, and ass kicking.
3) Bad Education - So much more than a mere film about pedophilia and the church. Gael Garcia Bernal gave new meaning to "femme fatale" in this modern Film Noir.
4) Napoleon Dynamite - You either loved or hated (and that includes Royal Tennenbaum fans) the off-beat, irreverent humor of Napoleon. I was sold from the moment Kip tried to sweep the leg against Rex of Rex Kwan Do.
5) DiG! - Much of great documentary filmmaking comes from being lucky enough to be in the right place and the right time and Ondi Timoner already had the interesting Anton Newcombe and the Brian Jonestown Massacre before she shot them getting busted for drugs in Georgia as well as Anton kicking a fan in the head, among a bunch of on stage punch-ups. Great rock and roll documentary.
6) Shaun of the Dead - Makes as much clever fun of England as it does of zombie filmmaking (which is what the critics focused on). Shaun knows the difference between electro and hip-hop and for that alone he makes the list.
7) Open Water - A simple, scary idea that was very well executed in a very modest fashion.
8) The Motorcycle Diaries - More of Gael (as Peephole would say, the Hunky Mexican) but this was another great movie. What was perhaps most interesting to me about it was how everyone knows who Che is (to a degree, or at least they have the poster) but the space between being an Argentine med student and the world's signifier of rebel leader is a massive step that becomes a bit more logical in light of his travels.
9) Sideways - Like Wes Anderson, Alex Payne is becoming one of those filmmakers you can rely on to make very funny films that also have very rich stories. I also always like Thomas Hayden Church's super sardonic nature so it was good to see in a film.

10) Kill Bill Vol II - I enjoyed Vol I, but this was a significant improvement. Character development, methodical pacing . Michael Madsen was excellent as the remorseful assassin.
11) Touching the Void - I know this is 11 but I couldn't leave it off. Not sure if it is a dramatization or a documentary or both, but it was even scarier than Deep Water. About three climbers stuck on a mountain. One always wonders when they see a film like this how they would respond if they were ever tested under really extreme circumstances.

Honorable Mention:
Closer (Clive Owen - have been a fan since Croupier and I am glad to see him becoming a big actor. Even Julia Roberts was tolerable in this - she looked a lot more attractive than usual, but it may have been her apartment and career as a photographer that made her appealing) The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (not Wes Anderson's best work, but entertaining enough to make it); De-Lovely (perhaps I have a conflict of interest on this one, but I really enjoyed it - the technical adviser on this film really saved it though); I Heart Huckabees; The Return; the Steve Coogan/Alfred Molina and Wu Tang/Bill Murray vignettes in Coffee and Cigarettes; The Aviator.

Read about all of these at the IMDB

You can knock their teeth...

and their stupid sinks that individual hot and cold faucets, but there are very sound reasons why American music obsessives (of the more independent persuasion) tend to also be Anglophiles - because better music gets more respect over there. We don't have exciting music festivals and great clubs of any significant size because musical tastes are so different.

That pinner of a rant was inspired by the news that Scissor Sisters was the best selling album in the in the UK this year, according to NME. Billboard doesn't have a year end total for 2004 yet, but I shudder to think what will be the best selling album over here.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Norman Cook's mobile disco, the Jane's Addiction of hip-hop and some other fodder...

Blogs are for passing on links to other shit. In the vein of the great Can't Stop the Bleeding , here is just some interesting material.

Why it pays to play for Real Madrid. Ronaldo, the great gap-toothed soccer stud is going to have Fatboy Slim serve as selector for his upcoming nuptual. Norman would make a great wedding DJ no doubt, but I am sure he is going to take a mint from the Brazilian striker.!!!/playlists.html

Some very funny playlists and commentary from !!!
Note the antipathy from at least a small portion of the band towards playing "Blue Monday" to Polish cokeheads and drunken hipsters.
One of the guys in the group also makes the interesting comparison between LA in the 80s and the current state of hip-hop. 50 Cent came along, much like G'n'R and by being so much more badass than the rest of the scene, the scene was killed - as for Outkast, they are the Jane's Addiction of hip-hop. To add to this demented model, I would then have to say "Hey Ya" is "Jane Says" and the banging "Bombs Over Baghdad" is the hip-hop answer to the banging "Ocean Size."

Record label Poptones has a ton of cool interviews on their website, dubbed "Questions of Doom" - you can read about Dot Allison's Ipod, Cult singer (the band that brought you the Goth anthem and nominee for best song of the 80s"She Sells Sanctuary") Ian Astbury's feelings on Primal Scream, and Tony Wilson talking about the grime "crew" Raw-T that he has signed. Also included: Mike Patton, Alan McGee, Alex Kapranos, producer John Leckie, and many others.

Finally, from the gossip page of the IMDB, the directors of Open Water, Chris Kentis and Laura Lau, ran from the beaches of Phuket when the Tsunami hit last week. Something sort of ironic about a pair of filmmakers who made a reality-styled film about man against nature then facing an analogous situation in real life.
(On a related note, my top 10 films will be ready soon - had to wait until end of the year to make sure I saw everything I should - but of course I haven't yet)

Monday, January 03, 2005

If anyone else says happy new year to me...

Why would anyone be chipper on the monday after NYE at 9am? My office seems to have its share of these people...I am personally suffering a hangover without having touched a drop of sauce last night- perhaps it is the cumulative effects of the last few days. As MMM has been on an off of vacation for last 10 days, here is a brief recap.

For the Xmas weekend, my main squeeze and I went to Montreal (surprisingly a cold quiet town at this time of year) and Vermont. In Montreal, unfortunately we didn't make it to the danse/contact, but we made it to the Boxing Day bonanza sale at HMV, where the Weezer Blue Album was 4 canadian dollars (a little over 3 bucks American) - as I always listened to my sister's copy, I bought one for myself. Not much of musical note the rest of the weekend, despite listening to The Specials and the Super Furry Animals with the squeeze's dad on a car ride to Killington. It should be noted that the common demoninator between these listens was the horn player - Rico Rodriguez played on "The Undefeated" on the Phantom Power and was a regular with The Specials.

This weekend, on the other hand, was chock full of music. Thursday night, I caught the late !!! show at the Mercury Lounge. I am glad that I have been lazy in compiling my top 10 shows of 2004, as this one is a last minute entry. Three exclamation points is perhaps the best way to describe the night - an intense, high energy, heavy groove night. I have same things to say about the show as One Louder essentially, but I am in complete agreement that the last two tracks, "Me and Rudy..." and "Intensify" were the highlights. "Me and Rudy..." has been one of my favorite songs of the whole disco punk scene and live it manages to reach even more frenzied levels than when listening to it on your own. (Also, there is a Specials reference in the line "A Message to you, Rudy..." of course).

NYE was spent at the Wilco/Flaming Lips/Sleater Kinney Show. I like S-K - don't know them particularly well, but word on the street was that they were playing new material only during their opening slot and it was very good. The Lips were very interesting for a bit, with confetti, balloons, and topless girls with pasties (sounds a bit like the Scissor Sisters, doesn't it?), but it all got a bit gimicky after a while - I wish I had known Yoshimi better before seeing the show. As for Wilco, the show started out quite good at 11, opening with "Less Than you Think," into "Spiders (Kidsmoke)," as well as MMM favorites "Handshake Drugs," and "I am Trying to Break Your Heart." At midnight, they showed the ball drop, then all the other bands came out on stage, waved to the crowd, hugged each other, did the whole SNL goodbye thing for about 10 minutes. Finally, Wilco started up a series of covers with "Rockin After Midnight" by Judas Priest. Unlike One Louder and SoF, who both have more substantial write-ups on the night, I thought Wilco was not completely out of place at the Garden (of course they are better in smaller venues) but after midnight the tempo slowed a bit and the show never really got back on track. Overall, a good night, but nothing extremely memorable, although perhaps the most memorable part of the night was sitting 5 seats away from Monica Lewinsky. Who knew she was big on both Wilco and the Lips ?