Friday, October 31, 2008

Are You A Music Snob?

A musical snob, guilty of snobbery, is a person who adopts the world-view that some people's musical tastes are inherently inferior to others for any one of a variety of reasons including real or supposed knowledge (how long has one been listening/ collecting music), wealth (the number of albums in one's collection), education, ancestry, etc. Often, the form of snobbery reflects the offending individual's socio-musical background. For example, a common snobbery of the musically adept is the affectation that one's place in the rock snob heirarchy is either the cause or result of superior aural abilities. However, a form of snobbery can be adopted by someone not a part of that group; Pseudo-rock snob is a type of snob. Such a snob imitates the manners, adopts many of the tastes of true rock snobs and attempts to pass themselves off as a true connesseur of great music. It affects their world-view and affects the lifestyle of a social class of people to which he or she aspires, but does not yet belong, and to which he or she may never belong.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Califone's Roots And Crowns

If that weird little banjo pickin' dude from Deliverance formed a band with Kurt Cobain, Nels Cline (from Wilco) and Steven Drozd from the Flaming Lips they would've sounded a lot like Califone. This is skewed Appalachian Americana at it’s best and most haunting. The musicianship and variety of instruments played on Roots and Crowns is impressive as well. Here, take a peek at the credits:

Tim Rutili (vocals, guitars, piano, electronics, field recordings, organ, synthesiser, banjo, loops, bowed balalaika)
Ben Massarella (pistons, Zuni rattles, counting stick, bronze fork, gourd shakers, glass, oak chimes, ribbon crasher)
Jim Becker (violin, banjo, bass, xylophone, cajun accordian, mandolin)
Joe Adamik (drum kit, bass clarinet, wurlitzer, piano and organ, vibraphone, Dr. Sampler, bells, melodica and prepared metaliphone)

This is one of those "damn glad I kept it" discs because even though I couldn't quite get into it at first it eventually grew on me and now it's a favorite with weekly spin honors.
The itunes review states that Roots And Crowns "sounds like nothing so much as the perfect experimental country rock band that Wilco And Sonic Youth have yet to get together and form", and they're pretty spot on. Except this isn't like the Sky Blue Sky Wilco, more like "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart" or "Ashes Of American Flags" Wilco. It's dark, organic and experimental all at the same time and I highly recommend you pick up a copy and see for yourself. If I wouldn't have been brain dead when I first picked this up in 2006 it would've probably ended up topping my year end lists.

Total Absorption

I’ve rediscovered the joys of headphones.

Lately I’ve the need to escape the day to day pressures of working for a newspaper (just google “newspaper troubles” and you’ll see why) and the best way to zone out is to connect a good pair of headphones to the old iPod, imbibe in your favorite beverage and let the music take you to another place. Other than seeing a band live, headphones are the best way to experience music. With no outside distractions you’re free to let the music take charge of your brain and decimate the days trials and tribulations. Little nuances appear that were too subtle to hear on your car stereo, the bass sounds fuller and, in the case of your more psychedelic offerings, the full power of stereophonic sound floats from ear to ear demanding your full attention. And it doesn’t have to be a “prog” album, or a “producers” album to be a good headphone album either; many of the great headphone albums I own are acoustic offerings, or bare bones albums, if you will.
Who needs a $14,000 surround sound audio system when one can purchase a good pair of $100 ‘phones? The great audio equalizer, that’s what I say!
Here are just a few of Uncle E’s favorite “headphone” albums. What’re yours?

Dark Side Of The Moon, Pink Floyd
Screamadelica, Primal Scream
John Wesley Harding, Bob Dylan
Sgt. Peppers, The Beatles (natch!)
Tommy, The Who
Moon Safari, Air
Pet Sounds, The Beach Boys
The Great Escape, Blur
Catch A Fire, Bob Marley
Avalon, Roxy Music
Califone, Roots And Crowns
Surrender, The Chemical Brothers
Deserters Songs, Mercury Rev
The Soft Bulletin & Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, Flaming Lips
Low, David Bowie
Fun House, The Stooges
In The Wee Small Hours, Frank Sinatra
Grace, Jeff Buckley
Plastic Ono Band, John Lennon
Band On The Run, Paul McCartney
The KLF, The White Room
How I Quit Smoking, Lambchop
Post War, M Ward
Blue Lines, Massive Attack
Kind Of Blue, Miles Davis
Z, My Morning Jacket
CASH, Nasty Rox, Inc.
In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, Neutral Milk Hotel
U.F. Orb, The Orb
Wildwood, Paul Weller
Steve McQueen, Prefab Sprout
A Ghost Is Born, Wilco
Apple Venus, Vol 1, XTC

….and a gajillion others…

Monday, October 27, 2008

This Might Take A While...

Our main computer crashed over the weekend, and I'm having difficulty retrieving the 12,000 or so songs from the hard drive. I've got them on my iPod, but I'm not technically savvy enough to transfer them to the iTunes folder on my laptop.
So...I'm gonna have to start it all over again, downloading cd by cd. That's not such a bad thing, really, the thing was due for a thorough scrubbing anyway. I'll try to post stuff as often as possible, but perhaps they won't be as frequent as they have been, for a while anyway. Every other day most likely, maybe more. If any of you out there know how I can transfer the contents of my iPod to the laptop (other than just the "purchased through iTunes songs--I have a lot that weren't!), please tell me how in the comments section. Thanks much.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A New Blog!

Here's a fun new blog that you folks should participate in. It's called Six Of The B(L)est and it's loads of fun! Here's the author's first posting:

"Each week, I'll be picking a topic for the list, and at the end of the week I'll post the six most popular suggestions in no particular order.
If you grew up in London in the 70s, you might remember Capital Radio's Nicky Horne did a weekly show of the same name and same concept.
To kick things off, I polled some friends and colleagues for my first list, which I've put below, with a few comments, as a hands-on introduction to the kind of thing SixOfTheBest is about.

This week's introductory list is

and the playlist goes like this:

6. "Oops Upside Your Head" - The Gap Band (interesting....)
5. "Pulling Teeth" - Green Day (just a bit too obvious)
4. "I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better (When You're Gone)" - The Byrds (that's more like it)
3. "Most Likely You'll Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)" - Bob Dylan (oh, very good)
2. "Tusk" - Fleetwood Mac (ho-hum)
1. "Something Inside So Strong" - Labi Siffre (clearly a fellow-sufferer)"

Friday, October 24, 2008

Kurtzman & Davis/ Rankin & Bass!

Halloween is just around the corner, folks, and before Tim Burton slithered onto the screen there was...RANKIN-BASS AND THEIR MAD MONSTER PARTY HALLOWEEN SPECIAL!!
What makes this retro stop animation special that Harvey Kurtzman wrote the kitschy screenplay and Jack Davis created the artistic templates for the "monsters". If those names don't ring a bell then you need to brush up on your pop culture trivia. These are two of the most important names in all of comicdom, the former the co-creator of MAD magazine and the later a prolific artist for MAD, Madison Avenue advertising campaigns and about a zillion other high profile comic concepts.
Check out the rock band in the video below. Look familiar...?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Best Album Of 2009?

M Ward, who released my favorite album of 2006, Post War, has announced that he will finally release the follow up in February 2009. It features an all star cast of musical royalty, including (but not limited to) Lucinda Williams, Jason Lytle (of Grandaddy fame) and Zooey Deschanel.

No word yet on the release of Ward's collaboration with Jim James and Conor Oberst yet.

Here's the track listing for the new one, entitled "Hold Time":

01 For Beginners
02 Never Had Nobody Like You
03 Jailbird
04 Hold Time
05 Rave On
06 To Save Me
07 One Hundred Million Years
08 Stars of Leo
09 Fisher of Men
10 Oh Lonesome Me
11 Epistemology
12 Blake's View
13 Shangri-La
14 Outro

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Brief Rant About Sandinista!

Why the hell does Sandinista! get such a bad rap?

The 4th album by The Clash, Sandinista! has always been my favorite by “The Only Band That Mattered”. I mean, come on! 3 slabs (2 on CD) of everything that made the Clash so enjoyable; dub experimentation without compromise, political musings with a punk edge, pure pop and loads of heart and soul. What more could you ask?

Most critics point out that this would have made a fantastic single disk, but I say “what the _____?” Sure, after the all-over-the-map sonic brilliance that was London Calling, Sandinista! may have seemed like bloated pretentious meanderings. Honestly though, the meanderings and experiments are what make it a favorite, of not just myself but legions of Clash fans all over the globe. But the only place I have ever seen this album top a list was in a “Best Of” 1980 in The Village Voice.

Damn shame, but all the better for me. I’ll let the punters have their London Calling and the eponymous first release and I’ll just sit back and play “Somebody Got Murdered” and “Charlie Don’t Surf” until the cows come home.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Paul McCartney's Wax Head Left On Train

The story HERE

Great (?) Albums Released In 1990

…and God said, “Let there be Raves, and “E”, and Career Resurrections!”, and so it came to pass, and it was good…

Happy Mondays, Pills ‘N’ Thrills And Bellyaches
Neil Young, Ragged Glory
Iggy Pop, Brick By Brick
Uncle Tupelo, No Depression
Replacements, All Shook Down
Urban Dance Squad, Mental Floss For The Globe
Nick Cave, The Good Son
Ozric Tentacles, Erpland
Boo Radleys, Ichabod And I
Prefab Sprout, Jordan: The Comeback
Jellyfish, Bellybutton
Paul Simon, The Rhythm Of The Saints
They Might Be Giants, Flood
Brian Eno, Wrong Way Up
808 State, Utd. 90
Stereo MC’s, Supernatural
KLF, Chill Out
Public Enemy, Fear Of A Black Planet
Urge Overkill, Americruiser
Waterboys, Room To Roam
Black Crowes, Shake Your Money Maker
Bob Dylan, Under The Red Sky
Van Morrison, Enlightenment
Pixies, Bossanova
Teenage Fanclub, A Catholic Education
Nick Lowe, Party Of One
Pet Shop Boys, Behavior
Flaming Lips, In A Priest Driven Ambulance
Renegade Soundwave, In Dub
Lloyd Cole, Lloyd Cole
The Charlatans, Some Friendly
Inspiral Carpets, Life
Dave Edmunds, Closer To The Flame
Depeche Mode, Violator
The Lemonheads, Lovey
Edwyn Collins, Hell-bent On Compromise
The Fall, Extricate
Galaxie 500, This Is Our Music

And up next, one of my favorite years in all of modern music...1991.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Man In The Blue Mask

This sure has been a month for rediscovering old classics. OMD’s Dazzle Ships, Love’s Da Capo, Elvis Costello’s My Aim Is True and now Lou Reed’s The Blue Mask.
The Blue Mask came out in 1982 and at that time it wasn’t too hip to be lovin’ Reed. He just came off a string of poorly reviewed albums (Growing Up In Public, The Bells) and was competing with bands that couldn’t hold a candle to The Velvet Underground yet, stylistically and lyrically, owed them and Reed a humongous debt.

The Blue Mask is notable in the fact that Lou was clean and sober for the first time in many years, and the songwriting is clearer and concise. That is to say there are actual songs on this record, unlike his abhorrent Metal Machine Music (I don’t give a rat’s ass if the Chemical Brothers and a host of ambient and sub-par industrial bands think it’s fantastic, it’s shit!) .

To be honest, I think it’s his best since the Velvet Underground, even one upping the magnificent glam artifact that is Transformer and two upping Coney Island Baby and Street Hassle. The fact that Reed’s playing guitar again helps as well. Just listen to the metal feedback of the title track, pure organized chaos. Robert Quine adds a healthy dose of the danger with his evil power chords and Lou’s singing is at it’s most nakedly emotional and angry.

The rest of the album, most notably the eerie The Gun and The Day John Kennedy Died, is equally great.

Just because I was in the mood I also downloaded Street Hassle, which is a mini horror opera that Pete Townsend would’ve killed to pen. It’s worth it for Bruce Springsteen’s short but extremely effective cameo in which he cribs his own lyrics from Born To Run.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I Must Share

My daughter, I think, may have sprained her ankle.

She's 8.

She has a boy "friend" named Dylan who is the most thoughtful, caring little man I think I have ever met. A few weeks ago while we were camping at Mount Lassen, my youngest daughter (aged 4) fell in a river (as she often does) and Dylan offered my shivering little angel his shirt.
Now, with my eldest hobbling around like Captain Ahab, he is coming over to our house to offer her his walking stick. What a gentleman!

It must have something to do with his mom and dad, two of the finest folks I know.

Thanks buddy!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Another Legend Passes

Levi Stubbs, Motown legend, passes away at aged 72. In honor, here's Levi Stubbs Tears as sung by Billy Bragg...

Thought I'd share a little weekend weirdness...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Blogger Comment Hall Of Fame Entry #2

Someone calling themself "Anonymous" (I wish folks would leave their name) was kind enough to leave a comment on an old post where I (tried to) reveal the lyrics of Funky Drummer. After careful scrutiny I must agree that I have, rightfully, been corrected. And thus the reason this particular respondant receives the second Nightmare Hall Of Fame entry. Read and learn:

"Quit half steppin, bro’, if you’re gonna post the Godfather’s lyrics DO IT RIGHT!

Brackets indicate lyrics only in the retake version. Retake version is what y’all see below 'xcept the last section which is only in the first version."


[One, two, how’s it go...]

Pull back the cover
Good God, it’s a raid!


Cut out the lights
An’ call the law, ha
Cut out the lights
An’ call the law
Standin’ over there, huh!
The devil's son in law

Call the law
Call the law, ha
The devil's son in law


Bring on the juice
Bring on the juice
Bring on the juice
Bring on the juice
Make me sweat!

D’ya feel good?
D’ya feel good?
D’ya feel good?
D’ya feel good?

Turn over
Turn over
I’m a soulful rover
Turn over
Turn over
Turn over!

Heavy in the change
Take me in the change
Take me in the change


Hit me now!

Good God!

Honky tonk women
Is all I need
I’m a member
Of a brand new breed

Honky tonk women
Is what I want


One more time
I wanna give the drummer
Some of this funky soul we got here

You don't have to do
No soloin’, brother
Just keep what you got
So turn it loose
‘Cause it's a mother

When I count to four
I want everybody to lay off
Let the drummer go
When I count to four
I want you to come back in


It’s in ma collar
I got to holler
I said it's in ma feet
Feels so sweet

It's in ma shirt, good God
About to work me to death
It's in ma shirt
About to work me to death
It's in ma shirt
I want to blow
I’m wanna ‘bout to blow

One, two, three, four
Git it!

Good god!


Heh hah


Ain't it funky?


Ain't it funky?
Ain't it funky?
Ain't it funky?

One, two, three, fo!

The name of this tune is THE FUNKY DRUMMER

Let’s have the funky drummer blow!

Funky drummer

The funky drummer
The funky drummer
Let’s lay out and let this funky drummer take it out
One, two, three, four, the funky drummer!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Hello Cleaveland! HELLO CLEAVELAND!!!"*

*Incorrect spelling courtesy of the fine folks at Spinal Tap, Inc.
The “Live” album is a curious thing, no? Some bands have made their reputation on them (The Grateful Dead springs to mind), others have had their career given a much needed boost by ‘em (At Budokan, anyone?), and others have become a bit of a joke (Frampton Comes Alive).
I know some people that absolutely hate the live album, but this comes from a person who cherishes studio trickery and production values over the emotional punch a live document can offer. Of course it helps if you have seen the band in concert because it will transport you back to that time almost instantly, conjuring up memories of standing shoulder to shoulder with your friends when the lights dim and the overwhelming smell of a thousand joints being lit at the same time. Magical.
For me the tracks on a live album should sound little like the studio versions or really, what’s the point? The Cars were infamous for putting on one hell of an awful show. Technically speaking they were superb, their live renditions an exact replica of the albums…boring boring boring.
A live rock show should be dangerously unpredictable, or unpredictably dangerous, depending on your point of view. I remember seeing the Clash at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto for the Combat Rock tour I believe. The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police for all you Yanks out there) were out front in riot gear and the air was foul with the possibility danger.
Inside, about 4 or 5 songs in, the Clash started pounding out a hardcore version of London Calling and we all went wild slamming our Doc Martins into the plastic stadium seats, eventually dislodging them from their hinges and tossing them into the rows of punks below. My friend even hit a cop with his.
This is not to say that a live show must be dangerous to be enjoyable. Seeing The Kinks was a life changing experience and I never once thought that I was in any danger. It just depends.
I enjoy live albums, but I don’t listen to them as much as I should. Maybe it’s because a live album needs to be taken as a whole and I don’t have a long enough commute or the time at home to just sit…and absorb.

So what’re your views on live albums? What are some of your favorites? I’m partial to Kicking Television by Wilco, The Name Of This Band Is…by Talking Heads, OKONOKOS by My Morning Jacket, James Browns Live At The Apollo and (insert laughter here) Exit Stage Left by RUSH and LIVE KILLERS by Queen. So sue me.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


From "The Quietus", a damn fine music site:

"It’s as if the whole ethos of ‘Rock & Roll’- the whole fuck-what-came-before, daringly primitive and unabashed idiocy of it all is the one thing from the past that nobody can locate: not truly anyway; that, in reality, nobody wants to find." the rest HERE

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Junk Or Junque, Part Deux.

Some albums start out as vinegar and end up the finest wines, don’t they?

Case in point: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark’s Dazzle Ships. The time was 1981 and OMD had just released their career and critical high point in Architecture + Morality, an inspired blend of electronic experimentation (not unlike their musical heroes Kraftwerk) and sublime humanity. It was an unqualified success on all fronts, and what does any successful band do after releasing such an album? Well, if you’re OMD you release an obtuse, abstract concept album on cold war tension as a follow up.
Unlike it’s predecessor, Dazzle Ships was critically derided upon it’s release and spawned only a minor hit in Genetic Engineering. Of course we all know how the story ends, right? The group quickly sold it’s artistic soul to filmmaker John Hughes, released If You Leave on the “Pretty In Pink” soundtrack and became one of the biggest bands on the planet.
But something happened to Dazzle Ships in the 25 years since it’s release. It became hugely influential.
Allmusic states,

“On its own merits it is dazzling indeed, a Kid A of its time that never received a comparative level of contemporary attention and appreciation. Indeed, Radiohead's own plunge into abstract electronics and meditations on biological and technological advances seems to be echoing the themes and construction of Dazzle Ships.”

I recently re-purchased the re-mastered “Special Editions” of Dazzle Ships, Architecture + Morality and Organisation (this misspelled title itself an homage to Kraftwerk; it’s their original name), and I was blown away by the sheer inventiveness and “freshness” these releases have maintained. Especially Dazzle Ships. It’s a brilliant record that has not dated in the least. The out of date electronics, the early 80’s cold war references and even the sound effects on This Is Helena (“Music for your tape recorder!”) sound like eerie reminisces and are extremely effective, and at times quite chilling. Dazzle Ships is the reason I don’t trade in my CD’s. Times change, taste changes.

This re-issue gets my #2 vote for best re-issue of the year, the number 1 slot reserved for, obviously, Jesus Of Cool.

Do you, dear reader, have an example like the one above? If so, please share.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Special Presidential Election Post

We interrupt this musical broadcast to bring you a special "Election 2008" alert. In these uncertain times we, as Americans, must vote for a candidate who embodies our most cherished values, who shares our vision of a secure America and who has the smarts and experience to lead us out of this quagmire our current administration has gotten us into. No, I'm not speaking of local candidate Philbert, I am speaking of the honorable Alfred E. Newman!
With that in mind I humbly offer you The Nightmare's favorite election covers of the past 40 years, starting with our personal favorite.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Nightmare Exclusive!

I just received emphatic proof that Thom Yorke, lead singer for space rockers Radiohead, is the biological father of Clay Aiken, effeminate pop idol. Who the mother is is anyone's guess...



Friday, October 10, 2008

Wanna See What's On My Ipod?

You know you wanna....CLICK HERE

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Greatest Hits? Phooey!

What’re your thoughts on “Greatest Hits” albums?

*Editors Note: Before reading my rant below please understand that I own a good deal of "Greatest Hits" albums and understand (kind of) their place in one's music library. I rarely listen more than once, however. If I like the band I'll buy the proper albums. If not, I file it.

They can be great starting points for the uninitiated, inspiring one to delve deeper into the artists full albums and back catalogue, but is there any point for the already converted? One thing that has always bothered me about the “best of’s” is that they’re rarely so. They usually contain the most mainstream tracks and rarely offer anything new or interesting. The deep album cuts, to me anyway, are usually the most satisfying and contain a sort of staying power that the hits don’t. Hits are hits for a reason: instantly catchy songs with choruses that stick in your head for days, satisfying for a finite number of days then a quick descent into annoyance. And any long time fan of a band will usually have everything offered in these packages, but the record company (greedy buggers that they are) will usually try to entice you with updated packaging or throw you a bone by way of one “previously unreleased” track that’s usually sub-par. One other thing that really bugs me about these albums is the song sequencing. If it’s not in chronological order, which most of them are not, it can be extremely frustrating. I like to listen to a bands evolution throughout the years and a disc being sequenced this way is the only way it’s possible.
There are exceptions of course. Rhino Records always does a damn fine job. Usually if the artist themselves has a hand in choosing the tracks and order it turns out ok. But mostly it’s flogging a dead horse time, yeah?
So why are comps so damn popular? Is it that the majority of the music buying public are simply “casual” fans with no desire to go any deeper? Am I (and probably you) and other music addicts who appreciate the album as an entire artistic statement a dwindling minority?

Of course we are. But that’s part of the fun of it. Being part of an exclusive club that recognizes that there is a lot more to a band’s discography that simply the “hits”.

With all that being said, I still own a lot of greatest hits comps. Oh, the shame of it!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Elephant 6 Collective: You're Not In Kansas Anymore

The Elephant 6 Recording Company is a collective of like minded musicians and downright freaky individuals who have, since 1991, released some of the best independent albums of the last 15 years.
On the surface most of the music produced by the Elephant 6 bands focus on 60’s psychedelia coupled with the twee pop of that era. But beneath the surface there is always the feeling that something sinister lurks, something disturbing. It’s like a David Lynch movie; all waving firemen and bucolic summer settings, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find that it’s all an illusion. The reality underneath is something that’ll make your stomach turn and your mind reel with revulsion.
That being said, it’s very entertaining stuff! Although older musos will be able to play “spot the influences” (“hey, that’s the Zombies! That sounds like…”), it somehow flies above its forbearers adding enough modern twists to make it fresh and exciting.
Some of the bands and albums have achieved such regal cult status that it may be a let down when one first hears them. The discography is massive and intimidating, and if you don’t start with the right bands or the right albums you may find yourself saying “What the hell is all the fuss about with this Elephant 6 crap, Uncle E!?!”
So, being the generous sort that I am, I thought I’d attempt to point you in the right direction. I’ll start you at the beginning of the yellow brick road, point you in the right direction and hope you find your own way to the Emerald City. If you start with the following albums I think you’ll be ok.

Neutral Milk Hotel, In The Aeroplane Over The Sea: This album has achieved similar status to My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless over the years and is a real trip. A cross between peak-era Donovan and a marching band on acid is the easiest way to describe it.
Of Montreal, Satanic Panic In The Attic: Surreal lyrics, a trademark of Of Montreal’s brain trust Kevin Barnes, and a stripped down sound and damn fine songwriting makes this the most accessible of the Of Montreal albums. Lysergic Bliss is a real wonder of a song.
Olivia Tremor Control, Dusk At Cubist Castle: The White Album of it’s time. Schizophrenic yet tuneful, epic yet intimate. Beach Boys, Krautrock, folk and Velvet Underground all wrapped in one wonderful package.
Apples In Stereo, New Magnetic Wonder: Vocoders, Mellotrons, backwards guitars and a heavy dose of Something/Anything era Todd Rundgren thrown in for good measure. Funnyman Steven Colbert has championed them from the beginning, which is an endorsement of the highest order.
Ladybug Transistor, The Albemarle Sound: If The Olivia Tremor Control want to be The Beatles, then Ladybug Transistor on this album want to be Burt Bacharach. Sounding like it could’ve been released 40 years ago, it’s more of a direct replication of their influences that the rest of E6 it’s still a fine, fine listen in it’s own right.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

(Great?) Albums Released In 1989

Pixies, Doolittle
Bob Dylan, Oh Mercy
The Jesus And Mary Chain, Automatic
Joe Jackson, Blaze Of Glory
Van Morrison, Avalon Sunset
The Wonder Stuff, Hup!
Love And Rockets, Self Titled
Matthew Sweet, Earth
Nick Cave, Ghosts…Of The Civil Dead
Replacements, Don’t Tell A Soul
The The, Mind Bomb
XTC, Oranges And Lemons
Pop Will Eat Itself, This Is The Day, This Is The Hour, This…Is This!
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mothers Milk
N.W.A. , Straight Outta Compton
Faith No More,The Real Thing
Lenny Kravitz, Let Love Rule
John Lee Hooker, The Healer
New Order, Technique
Spacemen 3, Playing With Fire
Beastie Boys, Paul’s Boutique
They Might Be Giants, Lincoln
The Stone Roses, The Stone Roses
Kate Bush, The Sensual World
The Cure, Disintegration
808 State-808:90
Coldcut, What’s That Noise?
Prefab Sprout, Protest Songs
Primal Scream, Self Titled
Renegade Soundwave, Soundclash
Barry Adamson, Moss Side Story
Bonnie Raitt, Nick Of Time
The KLF, Shag Times
Edwyn Collins, Hope And Dispair
Elvis Costello, Spike
The Flaming Lips, Telepathic Surgery
The Fleshtones, Soul Madrid

Saturday, October 4, 2008

John Lydon Spreads It On

So John Lydon is appearing in an advert for Country Life butter spread in jolly old England, eh? What to think, what to think...
Lydon says it's "because he loves his country". Hmnnnn. Let's travel in Uncle E's Way Back Machine and revisit some of his more famous quotes about his beloved homeland, shall we?

“I think (English) national pride leads to nothing but wars and hates.”

“(Talking about Britain's school education) They take your soul away. They take your brains away. They don't let you have an opinion that's different from theirs. You've got to think what they tell you to think. So when you leave school, your only future is getting married. And by the time you're about 29 you got two kids, and you just wanna commit suicide.”

“It's a repressive society where you can't be horrible, I'm not horrible, they made me horrible, I'm just honest.”

And my personal favorite, severely appropriate in light of his up and coming butter ad,

“I'm no one's lap dog, you can't put me on a leash, and that was the attitude of it, fuck off.”

Here's the video. Watch it and try not to retch. Go on! I mean it, maaaannnnnnnn!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

In It For The Money...Not On Your Life!

Supergrass are nothing if not consistent. Since 1995, during the height of Britpop, these guys have put out a string of great and really great albums starting with the giddy I Should Coco. The difference between Supergrass and their contemporaries during this time was their utter lack of pretension, even though their skills were apparent from the get-go. Blur were trying to re-invent the serious character studies of Ray Davies, Oasis were all faux snarls and The Happy Mondays were football hooligans with heroin habits. But The ‘Grass were just plain fun, idly side stepping the trappings of fame with gusto and conviction. Case in point: Steven Spielberg famously offered the boys the chance to star in their very own Monkees style TV. show, reportedly for a boatload of cash, which they promptly declined.
They followed up the debut with one of the finest albums of the 90’s, the sardonically titled In It For The Money (Hah! Take that, Mr. Spielberg!). This was a sprawling album which contained a veritable cornucopia of genre exercises. You would think that an album this schizophrenic wouldn’t work, but it does. From the psychedelic title track to the adrenalin rush of Richard III and Sun Hit’s the Sky to the introspective and beautiful Late In The Day, this is an album that blows away the English tradition of following up a great debut with a sub par sophomore effort.
They stumbled slightly with 1999’s self titled long player, but it still contained some of Supergrass’ finest songs in Jesus Came From Outer Space and the summer driving classic Pumpin’ On Your Stereo.
Life On Other Planets was a great album and one of my personal favorites, although by this time I think I was one out of about 100 fans still interested. It’s a shame really, ’cause LOOP is one helluva fine LP full of their patented power pop pleasures.
They followed with the subdued but effective and “punningly” titled Road To Rouen (just to prove their sense of humor was still intact, I suppose). It’s a slight but focused 35 minutes and it’s the bands most musically consistent effort to date with each song possessing a similar ‘feel’ which gives this album a great flow from start to finish.
I just got their latest entitled Diamond Hoo Ha Men, and so far I’m impressed. It won’t top my best of list for 2008 (that is being reserved for the new Mercury Rev), but it’s probably going to make the top 10.
Consistency is important and increasingly rare, especially these days, and it’s nice to know that every 2 or three years Supergrass will release another really good album. What other bands can you say that about?

Not too many, I’ll wager.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I Hate Banks!

Just to prove that the inscrutable and politically incorrect Mojo Nixon is a friggin' maniacal rock and roll prophet, here he is in all his glory singing his 1986 classic "I Hate Banks" off of the album Frenzy.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Dickie Goodman, Original Sampler (O.S.)

Who out there has heard of Dickie Goodman?

No one?

Well, that’s kind of my point. While Weird Al Yankowhatizface and Dr. Demento are often attributed as being pioneers in the music parody business there’s no doubt in my mind that they owe a debt of gratitude to Dickie Goodman. His shtick was that he would act as a "reporter” and ask questions and the responses from the "people" he was interviewing would be lines taken from the pop songs of the day. His fist release entitled “Flying Saucer” in the 1950’s was a minor hit and for his efforts he was sued by 17 different labels for his “inventive” sampling techniques and actually won the case, the judge citing that he had indeed “created a new, unique work of art”. I can remember back when tape recorders were fairly new my cousin and I would spend entire days making our own cut'n'paste versions of Goodman's recordings. It was painstaking! Coming up with the 'script', voicing each bit and then adding the appropriate "musical answer", hitting pause, voice another bit, add another sample of music, etc etc. It was a lot of work, but when it was done we were proud little 11 year olds, let me tell you!
He continued to make novelty hit after novelty hit (come on, you MUST remember “Batman And His Grandmother” from the 60’s) eventually reaching his creative and commercial peak with 1975’s “Mr. Jaws”, which parodied such acts as 10cc and WAR among many others. It sold over 500,000 copies and was Goodman’s only certified Gold record.
He made one other worthwhile recording (1977’s “Kong”), which was his last single to chart. After that he disappeared and didn’t reappear until his death in 1987 of an apparent suicide.
Thankfully the wonderful Rhino Records has started releasing compilations of Goodman’s works, and such unlikely celebrities as Howard Stern has continued to keep his memory alive with similar parodies on his radio shows over the years. Sure, upon reexamination his stuff now seems quaint, but back then it was subversive...and a little bit naughty.

Here's his most famous 'bit' for your listening pleasure: