Thursday, July 31, 2008

Coming Soon!

Another ridiculous "Bogus Band Bio". This latest installments focus will be the band...FOCUS!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Quick Plug For Janes Rehab!

Just found out recently that my cousin Jim is playing guitar and keyboards for a talented (and extremely fun, if the band pics on their website are any indication) cover band. Some of the artists they cover are: The Beatles, The Cars, George Michael (!), Depeche Mode and Blur and Radiohead.

If you're anywhere near Southern Ontario, Canada, I highly encourage you to go and see a gig.

And if you DO decide to do that, tell 'em "Uncle E from Northern California sent me". He will do one of two things: either shake your hand and buy you a drink, or kick you in the balls and spit on your back. Hey, it's better odds than the lottery!

Check out their band website to check out some of their songs and find out when their next gig is here

Albums Released In 1984

Notice I took off the "Great" bit? Just thought it would be more interesting to have you folks bash it out tellin' each other what you think. I included a couple of real clunkers in this one. Can you spot them? 1984 seems to be the start of the decline of "the New Wave", with sub par releases from some of the genres once-top artists...

Psychedelic Furs - Mirror Moves
Replacements, Let It Be
Nick Cave, From Her To Eternity
U2 - Unforgettable Fire
John Prine, Aimless Love
The Minutemen, Double Nickels On The Dime
The Smiths, The Smiths
Nick Lowe, Nick Lowe And His Cowboy Outfit
Prefab Sprout, Swoon
Simple Minds - Sparkle in the Rain
Depeche Mode - Some Great Reward
Echo and the Bunnymen - Ocean Rain
Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Welcome To the Pleasuredome
Talk Talk - Its My Life
Bruce Cockburn - Stealing Fire
Alphaville - Forever Young
Style Council - My Ever Changing Moods
Stranglers - Aural Sculpture
Waterboys - A Pagan Place
Art of Noise - Who's Afraid of the Art of Noise
Thomas Dolby - The Flat Earth
Jazz Butcher, Sex And Travel
Icicle Works - The Icicle Works
Aztec Camera - Knife
R.E.M. - Reckoning
The Alarm - Declaration
Bruce Springsteen - Born in the U.S.A.
Orange Juice - The 3rd Album
Nash the Slash - American Bandages
Elvis Costello - Goodbye Cruel World
Prince - Purple Rain
Tones On Tail, POP
The Cult, Dreamtime

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Evolution Of Dance

If this doesn't put a smile on your face then you're beyond saving...

...and just because I like this picture of Keef...

Monday, July 28, 2008

People Get Ready!

I think it's time that we had another rock and roll revolution.

Rock And Roll in the 50's.

Psychedelia in the 60's.

Punk in the 70's.

House/ rave music in the 80's.

Grunge in the 90's.

And zippo thus far in the new millennium.

It's time.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Uncle E's Favorite Comic Books, Vol. 1

Just to freak you out I thought I'd delve into another passion of mine for my next post: vintage comic books, particularly those of the E.C. variety. I just thought that the blog needed a little "shaking up".

Mad Comics, 1-23

If you’re under 40 years of age you may not be aware that Mad magazine, that veritable anti-establishment humor publication that was so prevalent in the 60’s and 70’s, began life as a $.10 comic book way back in 1952.
Founded by comic legend Harvey Kurtzman as a way to earn extra money (they paid editors “by the book” back then), the first Mad issue hit the stands in October and featured four stories, each spoofing a different E.C. book. E.C. (or, Entertaining Comics) was, at the time, the undisputed leader of Horror, Suspense, Science Fiction and War comics, due in no small part by the amazing array of talented artists and writers William Gaines was lucky enough to employ at the time. There was Will Elder, Jack Davis, Harvey Kurtzman, John Severin (remember Cracked?), Al Feldstein, Wally Wood and even a very young unknown by the name of Frank Frazetta.
With Mad, Kurtzman introduced a whole host of innovations still copied to this day. He parodied many aspects of of life and pop culture including movies, television, magazines (and their ads), in addition to many other not so easy targets often thought of as “sacred cows”. As a matter of fact, the one parody of Superman (entitled “Superduperman” and wonderfully drawn by Wally Wood), the most sacred of all super hero sacred cows, was the story that launched Mad into the stratosphere.

The publishing of “Doctor” Fredrick Wertham’s book in 1953, “The Seduction Of The Innocent”, put a considerable damper on E.C.’s, and Mad’s, success. It was a scathing indictment of virtually all comic books at the time but horror and crime comics were his main targets. He saw them as having a true and real damaging effect on the youth of the 50’s, going so far as to cite the books roles in many case trials involving crimes, injuries, murders and…of course…juvenile suicides
On April 21st, 1954, during the height of McCarthyism, William Gaines appeared before the Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency of the Committee on the Judiciary.
Gaines did in fact speak in defense of his comics. The following is a brief excerpt:
“The truth is that delinquency is the product of the real environment in which the child lives and not of the fiction he reads. The problems are economic and social and they are complex. Our people need understanding; they need to have affection, decent homes, decent food. Our American children are for the most part normal children. They are bright children, but those who want to prohibit comic magazines seem to see dirty, sneaky, perverted monsters who use comic books as a blueprint for action”
Anyway, the main thing that came out of these hearings was the Comics Code Authority stamp of approval, which Gaines refused to abide by, which labeled him a publishing leper and eventually led to the destruction of the classic line up of E.C. books. Mad, in an effort to get around the CCA rules and regulations turned itself into a magazine and the rest is history.
Even though Mad magazine was excellent under the leadership of Al Feldstein (who can argue with Al's success at finding and nurturing such talent as, Al Jaffe, Don Martin, Sergio Aragones, Prohias, Angelo Torres, Frank Kelly Freas, Norman Mingo, Mort Drucker etc?), there was something about those first 23 issues that was special. Something a little darker, a little more subversive.
Many of the underground cartoonists of the late 1960's and 70's will no doubt agree with me. Legends of the genre such as Rick Griffin, Robert Crumb and Gilbert Shelton have cited those early issues with Kurtzman at the helm a MAJOR influence.

No doubt.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Déjà Vu, Dude!

The Hold Steady’s new album “Stay Positive” is, to my ears anyway, a cross between “Born To Run” era Bruce Springsteen and Social Distortion. A friend at work substituted Social D. for Thin Lizzy, but agreed on the Boss . When you listen to it I don’t think there’s any way you wouldn’t hear the Boss’ influence; even Craig Finn (principal songwriter for the HS) admits that he is inspired by the guy in a big way.

Yet another friend of mine (yes, that’s two) said something today that kind of stuck. He said, and I‘m paraphrasing here, “You know, I can appreciate the effort and the fact the guy is influenced by Springsteen, but if you want to listen to something that sounds like the Boss why not just listen to the freakin’ Boss?”

Which brings me to the question of the day: has any rock record released in the last 20 or so years been truly original? How about the last 30? Or 40 years? Or is that a stupid question and besides the point, as rock and roll by definition is a hodge-podge of different musical genres anyway?

I dunno, I’m asking you.

Is Dylan just a Woody Guthrie clone? Were the Sex Pistols just a glamed up version of The New York Dolls and the Stooges? Did Nirvana just get lucky by riding the coattails of The Pixies and copying their soft-loud aesthetic at the right time? Do we have to go all the way back to friggin’ Robert Johnson to find a truly original voice?
Or is rock and roll an organic and ever changing cannibalistic
beast that devours then regurgitates it’s own past, eventually evolving into something totally fresh and unique?

Again, I don’t know.

I’m asking you.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Grandaddy: Why Didn’t Anybody Like These Guys?

Jason Lytle lamented a few months before the release of their final album “Just Like The Fambly Cat” (2006) that he was disillusioned by this whole “making music for no money and little recognition” thing and that he was disbanding Grandaddy. It turns out, unfortunately, that this last album turned out to be one of their best musically and was extremely well received by both fans and critics alike.
A few months later he decided to move to Montana and hibernate until his muse returned, which it apparently did, during the start of 2008.
From 1996-2006 this band put out two pretty good albums (“A Pretty Mess By This One Band” & “Sumday”), two pretty terrific albums (“Under The Western Freeway” & “Just Like The Fambly Cat”) and one stone cold modern classic in 2000’s “The Sophtware Slump”, a turn of the century space rock masterpiece some were comparing to Radiohead’s “OK Computer”.
So why did this terrific lo-fi band from Modesto (living in an armpit like Modesto couldn’t have helped!) just curl up and die, why weren’t they respected while they were around?
Some folks blame that “other” lo-fi band, Pavement, also from Northern California (Stockton---not much better than Modesto, I‘m afraid). Grandaddy were always getting compared to Pavement but were never afforded the same amount of street cred by the music critics that the former band had from album one.
A pity, really, because although Pavement was an incredible band I think Grandaddy were almost…at least just as good. I know I’m gonna get slammed for this but I don’t think that Pavement put out anything as brilliant as “The Sophtware Slump”. Only “Crooked Rain Crooked Rain” comes close, being the magnificent disc that it is, but it falls slightly short of “Sophtware” due to some obvious filler. I always loved Pavement, but at times it seemed they worked a little too hard to obtain that sloppy sound.
Jason Lytle has just completed his first solo project (as yet untitled, I believe), due for release sometime this year, and to get you primed here’s a video from “The Sophtware Slump” entitled THE CRYSTAL LAKE...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Great (Maybe) Albums Released In 1983

Very interesting year. A lot of breakout albums from the post-punk set, eh? And some interesting albums from the old guard, too...

Joe Jackson, Mikes Murder (OST)
John Hiatt, Riding With The King
Malcolm McLaren, Duck Rock
Replacements, Hootenanny
Tears for Fears - The Hurting
Fleshtones, Hexbreaker
U2 - War
Neil Young, Trans
Paul Simon, Hearts And Bones
Cheap Trick, Next Position Please
Jazz Butcher, Bath Of Bacon
Van Morrison, Inarticulate Speech Of The Heart
Talking Heads - Speaking in Tongues
Big Country - The Crossing
New Order- Power Corruption and Lies
China Crisis - Working with Fire and Steel
The The, Soul Mining
Lou Reed, Legendary Hearts
Pink Floyd, The Final Cut
Ramones, Subterranean Jungle
Elvis Costello - Punch the Clock
Minutemen, Buzz Or Howl Under The Influence Of Heat
UB40 - The Labour of Love
The Police - Synchronicity
Yazoo - You and Me Both
Blancmange - Happy Families
The Cramps, Smell Of Female
Flamin’ Groovies, Bucketful Of Brains (Live)
David Bowie - Let's Dance
Aztec Camera - High Land Hard Rain
Echo and the Bunnyman - Porcupine
Heaven 17 - The Luxury Gap
The Stranglers - Feline
Blue Peter - Falling
OMD - Dazzle Ships
Mike Oldfield - Crises
Bauhaus - Burning from the Inside
Howard Devoto - Jerky Versions of the Dream
The Style Council - Introducing
Bruce Cockburn - The Trouble with Normal
R.E.M. - Murmur
The Fixx - Reach the Beach
Bob Dylan - Infidels
XTC - Mummer
The Alarm - The Alarm
The C.S. Angels (Comsat) - Land
The Kinks - State of Confusion
Prince - 1999
Modern English - After the Snow
Gang of Four - Hard

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Blinded By The Light (or the bug spray, as the case may be)

I know what you’re thinking.

That E, with all his “lists” and “links” and such, what a lazy sunofabitch.

And you’d be right on the money.

The normal excuses abound: work is crazy, the kids are a handful, the yard work is a nightmare and work…well, it’s crazy.
Adding to my lackadaisical attitude on blogging and listless demeanor (in general) of late is the fact that I’ve been planning a camping trip to the mountains of Northern California for the last few days with my wife and two daughters. Those of you with kids know just what a chore that can be. I won’t bore you all with the details because, after all, this IS a music blog. It’s not called “Uncle E’s Family Nightmares” although I do have plenty of past memories to fill a blog entitled as such.
Didn’t think about music too much on the trip, but I will tell you that my wife nearly blinded me by accident (I hope) by squirting bug spray in my eyes, and that my little iPod cigarette lighter FM ‘port’ thingy friggin drove me bananas on the ride up there.
Ever use one of these things? I’m not fortunate enough to own a vehicle with an MP3 jack, so this is all I’ve ever used with my iPod. You need some clear FM frequencies to get a semi-clear sound and believe me when I tell you that there ain’t many of those travelin’ up old interstate 5 to Mt. Shasta! I kept hitting the search button, it’d get better for a song or so, then…STATIC. When it got to the point where all I heard was static I yanked it out and threw it down on the passenger’s side floor mat and went searching for some home burned CD’s. The problem was since I haven’t used my CD player in my car for a very long time I didn’t have much of a selection. And those that were decent were scratched all to hell.
So I was buggered for music on the trek North. When I got there, however, I took out my headphones, found my campfire play list and shared the tunes with my family. Just in case you’re curious, here’s a snippet from the play list . Bear in mind that my family doesn’t necessarily share my eclectic taste in the musical arts, but rest assured I got some subversive cuts in there anyway:

Iron And Wine, The Devil Never Sleeps
Primal Scream, Higher Than The Sun
Jack Johnson, People Watching
M Ward, Chinese Translation and Magic Trick
A3, Speed At The Sound Of Loneliness (acoustic version)
AIR, La Femme D’Argent
Flying Burrito Brothers, Hot Burrito #2
Frank Sinatra, One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)
Lambchop, The Man Who Loved Beer
Jackson Browne, Doctor My Eyes
Gordon Lightfoot, The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald (come on, I’m ½ Canuck! You gotta have some ‘Foot!)
The Replacements, One Wink At A Time
Roxy Music, While My Heart Is Still Beating
John Prine, The Sins Of Memphisto
The Beatles, Norwegian Wood

Friday, July 18, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008

See You In A Few Days!

I'm off camping in the mountains for a few much needed days of rest and relaxation, folks, and I promised my wife I wouldn't bring the lap top. No posts for a few days, so go visit all the fine folks I link to on the left side of the blog.

In the meantime, enjoy these quotes from Spinal Tap:

"Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation."

"Certainly, in the topsy-turvy world of heavy rock, having a good solid piece of wood in your hand is often useful."

"Do me a favor. Just kick my ass, okay? Kick this ass for a man, that's all. Kick my ass. Enjoy. Come on. I'm not asking, I'm telling with this. Kick my ass!"

" May I start by saying how thrilled we are to have you here. We are such fans of your music and all of your records. I'm not speaking of yours personally, but the whole genre of the rock and roll."

"You can't really dust for vomit."

"It's such a fine line between stupid, and clever."

" It's like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none. None more black."

" The numbers on our amps all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and..."

" The review for "Shark Sandwich" was merely a two word review which simply read "Shit Sandwich"."

"We're very lucky in the band in that we have two visionaries, David and Nigel, they're like poets, like Shelley and Byron. They're two distinct types of visionaries, it's like fire and ice, basically. I feel my role in the band is to be somewhere in the middle of that, kind of like lukewarm water."

"I believe virtually everything I read, and I think that is what makes me more of a selective human than someone who doesn't believe anything."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Inductees (A-B)

A constant reader of this here little music blog suggested that I post the entire list of inductees to the R&R Hall Of Fame. Quite a task, but I'm up for it...just not all at once.
So it'll be an ongoing series then, taken in hunks and chunks, alphabetically I think.
Let's start with all those inductees whose name starts with either "A" or "B":
Paul Ackerman
The Allman Brothers Band
Herb Alpert
The Animals
Louis Armstrong
Chet Atkins
LaVern Baker
Hank Ballard
The Band
Frank Barsalona
Dave Bartholomew
Ralph Bass
The Beach Boys
The Beatles
Bee Gees
Benny Benjamin
Chuck Berry
Black Sabbath
Chris Blackwell
Hal Blaine
Bobby Bland
Jerry Blavat
Blondie (band)
Booker T. & the M.G.'s
David Bowie
Charles Brown (musician)
James Brown
Ruth Brown
Jackson Browne
Buffalo Springfield
Solomon Burke
James Burton
The Byrds

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"Not so much a band as a long, strange trip..."

From the artist friendly folk over at Yep Roc Records...

Mercury Rev readies first new studio album in nearly four years, Snowflake Midnight set for Sept. 30 release

The New York Times has called the music of Mercury Rev "a free associative castle in the air, with every detail shimmering." On Snowflake Midnight, the group's first proper album in nearly four years, they tear the castle down.

In a sense, Mercury Rev had to "unlearn" twenty years of experience to make Snowflake. "We wanted to let go of familiar and comfortable ideas of sound and ways of working," says Mercel. Traditional instruments were abandoned for vintage and cutting edge electronics. Songs weren't written so much as they evolved. Order was abandoned, and happenstance was embraced, resulting in one of the most fertile creative outpourings in the band's history. Every song included on Snowflake was edited, manipulated and distilled from hours of recorded material.

A similarly painstaking process went into making Strange Attractor, a companion album which will be made available as a free download from and This all-instrumental album shares some musical themes with Snowflake Midnight but features eleven exclusive, all-new songs. Strange Attractor will also accompany the vinyl release of Snowflake Midnight. Sign up for the Mercury Rev mailing list and on release day the digital album will be added to your Stash!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Everything A Funk Album Should Be

It’s stanky, sweaty, sexy, soulful and altogether groovy. The Killion Floor by Los Angeles based ensemble Orgone, released in 1974...oops, 2007... embodies everything tasty and good about funk. 17 tracks totaling 76 minutes of groove infested roots funk, The Killion Floor is a throwback to the good old days when George Clinton, Eddie Kramer and Bootsy Collins disembarked the mothership and blew everyone’s minds with their stink-weed infused sci-fi R&B. It also pays homage to such genre masters as Curtis Mayfield, Booker T and the MG’s, The JB’s and the Meters.
The band’s take on Funky Nassau, with it’s wah-wah guitar licks, horny horns, rubbery bass and absolutely superb vocals from soul diva Fanny Franklin. It’s a mesmerizing song, something to get lost in.
The albums center is moist and chewy and contains two of the best funk songs I’ve ever heard: I Get Lifted and Hambone (7:26 and 7:54, respectively). Like the best funk of the 70’s the songs start slowly and build up to a swaggering and exciting jam before burning out. And the whole album continues like this. So sexy and satisfying you’ll need a smoke after listening.
The album’s getting great reviews and their publicity machine seems to be generating some serious buzz. I hope this band catches on and starts a greasy funk revival. The world would indeed be a better place if folks would shake their ass more often.
As the All Music Guide states, “These cats are composers, arrangers, and mighty players in their own right; when assembled together as a unit, Orgone may be unbeatable and the evidence is right on The Killion Floor.”

...and you have to see them live! Here's a taste:

Sunday, July 13, 2008 MP3 Album Deal Of The Day!

This one is worth getting if you don't already have it. Psychedelic freak folk classic. Link to the allmusic review HERE before, though...
Today's special: Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Multi-Talented Cyril Jordan

In addition to being the leader for one of America's greatest, most influential, and legendary cult bands (The Flamin' Groovies), Cyril Jordan is also a very gifted painter. Here are a few examples of his work (CLICK THE IMAGE TO ENLARGE), but for the whole story go directly to his web site HERE.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Great Albums Released In 1982

As always, the list is debatable. Seems ‘82 was a “New Wave” kind of a year…what do you think?

Simple Minds - New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)
Paul McCartney, Tug Of War
Roxy Music - Avalon
Nick Lowe, Nick The Knife
Orange Juice, You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever
John Hiatt, All Of A Sudden
The Spoons - Arias And Symphonies
ABC - Lexicon Of Love
Joe Jackson - Night And Day
Peter Gabriel - Security
Kate Bush - The Dreaming
The Cure, Pornography
Dave Edmunds, D.E. 7th
Clash - Combat Rock
The Beat - Special Beat Service
Men At Work - Business As Usual
Psychedelic Furs - Forever Now
Yazoo - Upstairs At Eric's
Haircut 100 - Pelican West
China Crisis - Difficult Shapes & Passive Rhythms
Mike Oldfield - Five Miles Out
Dexy's Midnight Runners - Too-Rye-Ay
The Jam - The Gift
Dire Straits - Love Over Gold
Thomas Dolby - The Golden Age Of Wireless
XTC - English Settlement
Soft Cell - Non-Stop Ecstatic Dancing
Gang Of Four - Songs Of The Free
Stray Cats - Built For Speed
Joe Cocker - Sheffield Steel
Depeche Mode - A Broken Frame
Elvis Costello - Imperial Bedroom
Talking Heads - The Name Of This Band...
Pete Shelley - Homosapien
Fun Boy Three - Fun Boy Three
Grandmaster Flash - The Message
Gil Scott-Heron - Moving Target
Van Morrison - Beautiful Vision
The Buggles - Adventures In Modern Recording
Men Without Hats - Rhythm Of Youth
Nash The Slash - And You Thought You Were Normal
Bauhaus - The Sky's Gone Out

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Generous Old Uncle E Gives Some College Kids Their BIG Break!

Touting themselves as a "live, all improv college band" with "over a dozen rotating members", who are "pro-herb, anti-contract & some cut & paste", We're Late For Class left me a comment asking (nay, begging) for me to give their new album a plug.
They must have heard of the massive influence that UEMN's had on breaking up and coming bands like Green Day and My Morning Jacket. I have heard tell that the so called "Editors" over at Paste magazine troll my site looking for "the next big thing". In fact, Jann Wenner, founder of Rolling Stone, and I have tea every Wednesday.

By phone.

You boys and girls over at We're Late For Class should be commended for having the cajones large enough to contact a media figure of my stature and being bold enough to ask me, me, for my endorsement of your band.
Well I've had a listen and, lucky for you, the official verdict is a big thumbs up! Four and a half doobies out of five! Very very funny and creative stuff, this. And whoever does your covers is a friggin' savant, man.
Actually guys, come on, I get all of 40-100 unique visitors a day, MAX. But I'm glad to help in whatever way I can. Screw the music companies, continue with your grass-roots marketing campaign, and best of luck to ya!

--Uncle E


IT'S . . . MR AGREEABLE! The REAL Mr. Agreeable. Read his rant here

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Well, The Cover Looks Promising...

Primal Scream, those loveable genre shape shifters from Glasgow, are releasing a new album later in this month and from what I’ve read it’s a return to the glory days of Vanishing Point and XTRMNTR. That would be a good thing, because their last album was crap.
Primal Scream fans have had to be a patient lot, able to weather the band’s stylistic diversions down the 2nd rate trad rock rabbit hole with albums such as 1994‘s “Give Out (But Don’t Give Up)” and the absolutely dreadful “Riot City Blues” in 2006. These aberrations are doubly frustrating because they usually appear directly following a great Primal Scream record. To wit: “Give Out” was released after the ‘Scream’s genre-defining “Screamadelica” and “Riot City Blues” was released after the one-two-three knock-out punch of “Vanishing Point“, “XTRMNTR” and “Evil Heat“, the last being the lesser of the three. There’s no rhyme or reason why they do this, other than to cleanse their otherwise brilliant pallet. Both these albums are, for the most part, second rate Black Crowes records complete with embarrassing lyrics and horrible “classic rock” musical clichés. It’s like singer Bobby Gilespie ate too much fried “Exile On Main Street” and crapped the results on a mixing board.
To be fair, ‘94’s Give Out did contain at least a couple of tracks that were worthy of their discography. “Riot City” contained maybe, MAYBE, one decent composition in When The Bomb Drops. So I’m skeptical but resigned to the fact that I’ll buy the new one without even hearing it first.
My problem is that I cannot wait for the reviews to come in before purchasing a new Primal Scream record, so I end up playing a mad version of aural Roulette, hoping that I end up with the empty chamber instead of a shit-bullet lodged just above my right temple..
I’m also hoping that with the new album the cover gives a hint to what’s inside, with it’s futuristic Blade Runner screen image. But who knows? It could end up sounding like the Spin Doctors...
Here's an early review for one of the new tracks, Can't Go Back":
"Like a man who realises he’s forgotten his mobile charger when he’s halfway to Heathrow, Bobby Gillespie knows he can’t go back. So do his band. After the pointless retro of ‘Riot City Blues’, saints be praised, the Scream team are facing forward again. With a dental-drill hook and Bobby muttering about how he “Stuck a needle in my arm… stuck it in my baby’s heart”, ‘Can’t Go Back’ rockets straight from the ‘XTRMNTR’ school of propulsive, night-streaked electro-rock’n’roll. In anyone else’s hands it’d sound try-hard, but it’s impossible to call them a cliché when they invented so many."--9/10

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Random Thoughts For The Day

God, I'd almost forgot what a great band Cheap Trick were...the newest one (2006) is really good!

I'm officially "cut off" from buying music for a while. $124 in June was a little much, dontchathink?

My daughter turned 4 and all she wanted for her birthday was a Scooby Doo plush toy and a mixed cd from her old man. Her specific requests were: M. Ward, The Flaming Lips, Jack Johnson and They Might Be Giants. God I love that girl...

REALLY looking forward to the new Mercury Rev CD...

Why Is it that most of Nick Lowe's albums are all out of print and unavailable while faux pop "idols" rule the charts? WHY, GOD!?!?!?

RED MEAT is one of the funniest (certainly one of the weirdest) cartoon strips of all time!

I hear that Conor Oberst, M Ward and Jim James (from My Morning Jacket) have an entire album's worth of stuff in the can. No release date yet, no album details yet, but I'll keep an eye out for ya...

Why does My Bloody Valentine’s “Loveless” sound so much better under the influence of Tequila?

Perhaps I was a little hard on the flute And no, Philbert, that's not a sexual reference...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Deal Of The Day

From now on I'll be your Amazon "Deal Of The Day" watchdog, and if I think it's something you might like I'll interrupt this blog (hopefully early enough!) for you to take advantage of said deal.
Today's one of those days, albeit a bit late.

Today's special: Herbie Hancock's classic Jazz album, Maiden Voyage.
It's only $.99 for the entire album download! Before his "jazz noodling excursions" in the 70's, this 1965 classic is a beautiful album with superb musicianship by all involved. He was still playing piano with Miles Davis at this time, I believe...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

10 Fun Facts About Steely Dan

Did you know…

…that Walter Becker and gonzo journo Hunter Thompson were arrested after they filmed a sci-fi porn movie at the world famous annual Munich Beer Festival in 1973?
…that Donald Fagen had his forehead tattooed with the web address of a gambling site after auctioning off advertising space on his head to pay for his black jack debts?
…that Walter Becker got locked in Yankee stadium after he fell asleep on the toilet?
…that Donald Fagen is a “Super Fan” of up and coming fringe sport "Extreme Ironing"?
…that Walter Becker has invested a large sum of his album royalties in a “love motel” in Soa Paulo for amorous dogs and cats?
…that drug charges against the duo were dropped recently because the judge was using a sex toy, a penis pump, in court?
…That Donald Fagen found a great horned owl which was starving in his backyard because it had gone blind? Fagen, generous sort that he is, paid to have new eye lenses implanted so he could train it to bring him his beloved Saltine crackers.
…That Walter Becker has a morbid fear of ferns?
…That Donald Fagen holds the world record for owning the largest collection of belly button lint? He has been collecting for over 20 years and has more than half an ounce of the stuff.
…That Steely Dan’s original drummer was William S. Burroughs?

The above was created, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, out of respect for the fantastic folks over at the Any Major Dude music site.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Is Devendra Banhart...

...the "Love Child" of Cat Stevens...

...and Sally Fields?

It's friggin' uncanny, ain't it?

PS: If it feels as if I'm pickin' on Banhart it's only because I am. He bugs me for some reason...

Friday, July 4, 2008

I Wait With Bated Breath

A few posts back I listed my top albums of the year up to this point and, after a little research, found out that the latter part of 2008 is going to be just as good, if not better. Here's a list of the ones I've read about that get my juiices flowin'. Know of any more? List 'em in the comments section and we'll all owe you a debt of gratitude.

Beck, Modern Guilt
M. Ward, [Title TBA]
Albert Hammond Jr. (of The Strokes), Como Te Llama?
Ron Sexsmith, Exit Strategy of the Soul
Conor Oberst Conor Oberst
The Verve, Four
Brian Wilson, That Lucky Old Sun
Calexico, Carried to Dust
The Cure [Title TBA]--don't know why, but I'm kinda excited about this one...
Kings Of Leon, Only by the Night
Mercury Rev, Snowflake Midnight
Massive Attack, Weather Underground
Oasis, Dig Out Your Soul--ho-hum...
Basement Jaxx, [Title TBA]
Blur, [Title TBA]
Built To Spill, [Title TBA]
Doves, [Title TBA]
Gang Of Four, [Title TBA]
Guns N' Roses, Chinese Democracy--come on, aren't you the least bit curious?
Jesus And Mary Chain, [Title TBA]
Paul McCartney, [Title TBA]
Muse, [Title TBA]
Rancid, [Title TBA]
Stereolab, [Title TBA]
U2, [Title TBA]

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Band Name Generator

There's actually a site that creates band names with a (probably trademarked) "Band Generator" thingamabob. It's pretty cool! You can just hit "generate" and it'll spit out 10 random names, or you can type in a key word and it'll do the same, but with your key word integrated.
Here's my 10 random results:
American Army
Farting Bank
Blubber Dad
Frugal Ire
Kumquat Poison
Gold Men
Abuse Dilemma
Resisting Gasoline
Modern Wreck Of The Oral Obscurity
Pig Street

...and here's my 10 using the word "Angst"...
Chartreuse Angst
Dandy Angst
Dangerous Angst And The Leg
Juicy Angst
Gross Angst And The Streaked Okra
Sugar Angst And The Supermarket
Angst Cow
Angst Anthem
Euro Angst
Angst Of The Indirect

Hours and hours of fun! Click HERE to give it a go.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Great Albums Released In 1981

Simple Minds - Sons & Fascination
Psychedelic Furs - Talk Talk Talk
OMD - Architecture & Morality
The Clash - Sandinista!
Kraftwerk - Computer World
Japan - Tin Drum
Adam And The Ants - Kings Of The Wild Frontier
Killing Joke - Killing Joke
Eno & Byrne - My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts
The Police - Ghost In The Machine
Echo And The Bunnymen - Heaven Up Here
Joy Division - Still
The Jam - Sound Affects
Joe Jackson - Jumpin' Jive
The English Beat - Wha'ppen?
Elvis Costello - Trust
Soft Cell - Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret
The Stranglers - La Folie
Nash The Slash - Children Of The Night
New Order - Movement
The Ramones - Pleasant Dreams
The Cure - Faith
Squeeze - East Side Story
Gang Of Four - Solid Gold
The Kinks - Give The People What They Want
Tangerine Dream - Exit
Tom Tom Club - Tom Tom Club
Black Flag, Damaged
The Cars, Shake It Up
The Cramps, Psychedelic Jungle
Depeche Mode, Speak And Spell
Bauhaus, Mask

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Amazon 1,985, iTunes 0

Are you folks aware of the deals is offering on their MP3's? No? Well, let me tell ya, they've upped the ante on digital download deals and it's quite possible that I'll rarely use iTunes again as long as they keep it up.
They're offering the "MP3 Daily Deal", where you can download a complete album for as low as $1.99! They're not, for the most part, stinkers either. I downloaded The Police's Synchronicity for for my wife, and Rocket To Russia for myself, both costing a mere $1.99 each for the entire album.
They have priced most albums at $8.99, a whole dollar cheaper than iTunes, and while that doesn't sound like a lot, it makes a difference when you purchase as many as I do.
Amazon is also offering thousands of complete album downloads for $5.99 or less. For example, I just downloaded the remastered version of "The Birth Of The Cool" by Miles Davis for a flat $5.00. What a friggin' steal! iTunes is offering it for, you guessed it, $9.99.
iTunes better get it's act together and start competing or they're gonna see their market share dip fast.

Competition is a good thing.