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Showing posts from March, 2005

Me and the Major

Songs in me heads: "Me and the Major" by Belle & Sebastian "Fox in the Snow" by Belle & Sebastian NME has some info about Frank Black's next solo record. Very interesting list of session musicians . . . Neil Diamond to work with Rick Rubin. Read all about here . Defamer pointed out this article in Variety about the narrowing window of movies' theatrical release to DVD. Then the Los Angeles Times has an article on Blockbuster's latest hang-up with late fees. Regardless, other than seeing this and this in the theater, I'm kicking it at home with this service. Large Hearted Boy posted a link for the new video for the Decemberists. After hearing a song in CD Addict and after seeing this video, I think I need to get Picaresque . . . Finally, here's a nice little quote from the Onion : "It says in the Bible that the morning-after pill is wrong. I believe the passage is Pharmaceuticals 3:16."

Sooner or Later

Song in my head: "Sooner or Later" by the Grass Roots Starting off the week with some sad news . Very sad. Last week, it was the La's. This week, add the dB's to the list of '80s bands getting back together. Rolling Stone has the story. The tracklisting for Paul Westerberg's forthcoming "best-of" is available here . Thanks Chrome Waves ! Jon Brion is working with Kanye West? Read more here . Weekend wrap-up: Took things very easy due to the heavy rain on Saturday. Stayed in and listened to Neil Young's Decade and disc 1 of the 1981 10-CD box set Friday and Saturday night, respectively. I watched this classic movie Saturday morning and was really blown away by it. More proof that Hitchcock made human dramas dressed up as genre pictures, Notorious is way more of a love story than a spy thriller. Since I'm through with that DVD and the two other DVDs I checked out, I sent them back this morning. I hope to get End of the Century , Burn t

A relatively small number?

Here is a blurb in the New York Times about the American version of the Office: "Luckily for NBC, which bought the rights to the British comedy, only a relatively small number of viewers in the United States have seen the BBC version." Only a relatively small number of viewers? This sounds in league with Simon Price's allegation that the Manic Street Preachers have no American fans.

Whatever and Ever Amen

I remember seeing the "Battle of Who Could Care Less" video on 120 Minutes . After viewing the video a few times and really enjoying the song over and over again, I decided to pick up their album, Whatever and Ever Amen . From then on and well after their break-up, I've been a big fan of their music and Ben's solo material. Whenever people ask me, "Who are your favorite bands?," Ben Folds Five is one of the names I bring up along with face to face, Wilco and so on and so forth. I think the reason why I still like their music is that their songs are full of melodic hooks, smart lyrics, great harmonies and lots of other things I can't put into words. I've often listened to their records in my car and they feel like a great soundtrack to a lonely drive. Not to sound melodramatic, but I remember driving around Kingwood on prom night looking for a pair of guitar strings with my dubbed cassette copy of Whatever and Ever Amen on. I had no interest in going

The Onion

I don't know if the Onion has done something along these lines, but I think this would be funny: Woman appearing to be on cell phone was actually talking to herself HOUSTON, TX-Lisa Jones was spotted near the intersection of Maple and Pearl talking outloud to no one in particular on Tuesday afternoon. Due to the popularity of headset attachments on cell phones, many of the passersby believed Ms. Jones was talking on one. Jones, self-diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, said she was conversing with one of the many voices in the "room full of voices" she hears in her head. No word if any charges were filed as Ms. Jones was whisked away in a straightjacket.

We spies/We slow hands

Songs in my head: "Hungry Eyes" by Eric Carmen "Slow Hands" by Interpol "Next Exit" by Interpol Torr posted some very cool Belle & Sebastian news yesterday. I know, all of these songs are previously released but I prefer two CDs filled with music rather than seven EPs. Add the La's to the list of bands reuniting, says NME . Punknews.org has the tracklisting and cover art for the forthcoming At the Drive-In anthology. I didn't know they covered Pink Floyd and the Smiths . . . MTV has some info about the upcoming Dashboard Confessional record. Was this show so foreign to people that it had to be Americanized for a wide US audience? As someone who loved (and still loves) the British version, I'm in the dark as to why an American version is necessary. Think I'm blowing smoke? This franchise is very British yet that hasn't stopped it from having a wide appeal. I'm unnecessarily comparing peaches and bananas here, but my ha

Three days of fun at SxSW (sans wristband)

Songs in my head: "Staying Fat" by Bloc Party "L'via L'viaquez" by the Mars Volta "Fooled With the Wrong Guy" by Beulah "Operator" by Jim Croce South By Southwest Wrap-up Thursday night I get in and hang out with Jeff for the night. I was still recovering from minor flu symptoms so I wasn't too keen on going to a smoking bar. We ended up playing Taboo with a couple of Jeff's friends who were well on their way to being Invincible Drunk. Somehow, Jeff and I lost to them. Friday Meet Nick and a wonderful mate from England named Marc at Emo's and go from there. We walk all up and down 6th Street and see a couple of bands play at a venue right next door to Friends. Following that, we get to La Zona Rosa as Alternative Press' party/show was finishing up and I met Aaron Burgess, someone whose articles I've enjoyed for the last few years. I kinda felt like Brodie meeting Stan Lee in Mallrats and thought he was a very cool

An update of sorts . . .

I'm here in Austin with a little update. I've seen some really good bands and met quite a few really cool people. The weather is pretty amazing because it's not hot; it's sunny and windy during the day and a little chilly at night. I'll go into more detail in the next few days about what all has gone on because I'm not done here . . . . .

Warmer Than Fire

Songs in my heads: "Warmer Than Fire" by Ash "The Sweetness Of Death By The Obsidian Knife" by Ash Very eventful weekend: Friday night was Red Animal War at the Gypsy Tea Room. This was a very special set that included the band's two former bassists, a second drummer, percussionist and even a saxophone cameo (for the rarely played, "Straight Lines for Construction Workers"). Jeff is off to Miami to drums to play with these guys and the other guys have other projects going on. I'm not sure if this was the band's final show, but it was a very cool set. I have pictures and the setlist to prove it . . . . Saturday morning, I took Miss Juliet for another hour-long walk and got a little sun. The weather was warm (but not humid) and the sun was out in full effect, so the day was beautiful. After my shift, I opted to chill out at home and work on a two-disc Ash anthology. I put all my favorite album tracks, singles and b-sides onto two full CDs, all

I love the 1980s (sans cynicism)

Jim DeRogatis has a list of ten things he hates about music of the 1980s. I agree with some of them (especially the over-production, drum machines and synthesizers - those have not aged well), but I feel I should post ten things I love (read, not in a cynical way) about the decade I grew up in: 1. Ground zero for modern-day Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Just read Michael Azerrad's Our Band Could Be Your Life and realize that the "decade that didn't matter" did matter. If it weren't for bands/labels recording their own records and booking their own tours, there would be no Alternative Nation. 2. The advent of the CD After music came out on compact disc, the problems with vinyl seemed to disappear. Thanks to CD, there were no pops or cackles. The true sonic clarity of CD didn't really come into its own until digital remastering in the 1990s. 3. MTV Yes, image has always been a cornerstone of marketing music but having a TV channel devoted to running "music

I Keep a Diary

Song in my head: "I Keep a Diary" by Braid We had a photo shoot last night at Lance's house. This was the first time I'd ever done one and it went very well. Maybe I'll post some of my favorites up on my Myspace page. Interestingly, I kept laughing at random quotes from this movie but I held a straight face long enough for the 70+ pics we took. This is some sad news. For those who didn't know, Hill was from Haddonfield, New Jersey (the basis for the setting of Halloween and town name) and had a hand in writing the Laurie Strode character as a very strong person. This box set from fellow Exploding Plastic boarder Ian is pretty darn sweet. 10 CDs of music, all from 1981. Ian says he's not printing any more copies, so I'm glad I ordered a copy just in the nick of time. Shall be a good companion to Left of the Dial . Torr has some good news for us Idewild fans: Warnings/Promises will see a US release in August. The record is really growing on

In 1985 . . .

Songs in my head: "Until the End of the World" by U2 "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)" by U2 "Colorblind" by Counting Crows "1985" by Manic Street Preachers Weekend wrap-up: Friday, I stayed in and watched Episode IV . What can I say, the movie still holds up and the changes from the original to the Special Edition don't bug me (does it really alter the whole movie when Greedo shoots less-than-a-millisecond before Han?). The heart of the film is still intact and I recognize the changes from the original, so it's not like my childhood has been "erased" by them. Saturday, I took the dog for an extended walk (read: one hour up and down our street) and she wasn't pooped when we came back. After my shift, I went out to Fort Worth to see these guys , these other guys and a few other guys play a tsunami benefit. Very good show and good to see a lot of familiar faces (especially this guy ). Sunday, I laid around and took it easy bef

Manuscript replica . . .

Song in my head: "Rolodex Propaganda" by At the Drive-In We recorded two new songs last night at a recording studio in Irving. The studio time was free because the studio engineer was a recording student and recording us was for a project. We recorded two songs live in about an hour and they turned out very well. I couldn't believe that the recording didn't take too long and sounded so good. The engineers were really nice and very appreciative that our songs had only one acoustic guitar, one electric guitar, one voice and a bongo (they recorded death metal bands all this week). Book-wise, I keep meaning to go through the Jawbox chapter with a fine tooth comb, but I keep getting side-tracked by stuff. Despite getting side-tracked, I did some tweaking on the At the Drive-In chapter. Maybe I can get more stuff done during the day today while I do laundry. Look at track 15 on this compilation. I think this is a textbook example of why people don't like it when a

One Day Later . . .

Songs in my head: "Snowden" by Doves "Landed" by Ben Folds Thanks to everyone who responded to yesterday's post. I'll try and keep this blog up-to-date on book-related things, so keep checking back in. Funny thing is, I came up with a good idea for my next book yesterday morning. Luckily, no pile of shingles were dropped on my head to get inspired. I picked up the Mars Volta's Frances the Mute and Doves' Some Cities yesterday. I give both very high marks after a few spins. Probably the biggest surprise with Frances the Mute is the funky-with-Spanish-lyrics track, "L'Via L'Viaquez." The track is wild and has this great slow-down with all sorts of percussion and piano. Now I haven't listened to the record the whole way through, but I enjoy what I've heard. I think Some Cities is Doves' best overall record. Lost Souls has some bright spots in a rather down feel, The Last Broadcast has amazing anthems, but Some Citie

One Year Later

It has been one year to the day that a small pile of shingles hit my head and I started writing this book. Sounds like a strange form of inspiration but that's what happened. Here is an update on what all has gone on since the last March 1st . . . My initial intentions were to showcase various bands that made an impact on what is sometimes dubbed post-hardcore, rarely dubbed whatever-you-call-it-core, but often dubbed emo. My intentions are still intact but there is a whole lot more to just retelling a band's past. Inspired by the idea of "art and community" (as Zach Barocas put it), this is a serious look at creating art on your own terms, being part of a community and why those are still important today. I'm not trying to sound bitter, but after seeing a form of underground music be molded into something simple and marketable, I feel I should speak up. So far, I have interviewed the following (this is not for bragging rights - this is to show how extensi