Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Future Of Music Formats?


Read the article, then read the comments on this wonderful blog entry by NPR's "All Songs Considered". Make sense to me, I kind of hope it comes to fruition myself.


Friday, November 28, 2008

"Shiny Headed Second Rate Rocker Throws Hissy Fit"

I hear Billy Corgan is throwing a hissy fit on the Smashing Pumpkins (or what's left of them, anyway) recent tour.

Honestly, is anyone surprised by this? The guy always was, and remains, a doofus. Sure, he made two decent albums (Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie), but that'll only carry you so far. As Pitchfork rightly point out (there's a first time for everything) he released a mediocre album and his fans want to hear the old stuff at the shows. For $150+ per seat you better damn well play your hits if you ask me. Especially if the latest dreck you've released sounds like warmed over Equinox-era STYX (no offense to Dennis DeYoung and co.). Here's the quote by Corgan that really got my goat: "Last I checked we were in an alternative band. 'Alternative' means 'different than what everyone else is doing,' including those reunion bands that go out and just play the old songs." A not so subtle reference to The Pixies, a far superior band with way more class.

Like it or not, Billy boy, you're now a nostalgia act. And a second rate Peter Gabriel wannabe one at that, you prima donna has-been. Stop berating your fans who bought you that autographed Rick Wakeman double-necked bass guitar by spending their hard earned cash on your crappy faux prog rock and start acting your age. You're a footnote in the history of rock and roll you bald headed baby.

You are Nickleback.

Just chaps my ass, man!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm taking the day off from blogging, so enjoy this disturbing picture of, well...some weirdo dressed as a turkey.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Someone needs to talk me out of purchasing Jeff Wayne's "War Of The Worlds" prog-disco double album that came out in 1977. As many of you know, I go through some pretty weird "progressive rock" stages. It's a sickness, I know I know. But this particular album is so much more: the Richard Burton narration, the story of the evil alien tri-pods, the orchestral disco flourishes, the 12 plus minute long extended "suites" goes against everything I believe in as a so-called music snob, but...but...there's something enticing there that I can't put my finger on. Moody Blues meets the Bee Gees meets ELO meets Thin Lizzy meets Rick Wakeman shouldn't appeal to me. I only played Dungeons and Dragons for a very tiny amount of time in my early teens and played bass in a Rush cover band for just a few weeks until the odd time signatures of "The Trees" forced me to abandon that particular why do I suffer these relapses?

Someone talk me down, please!?!?!

ps: Since I do these blogs in advance (usually one or two weeks worth in a two or three hour burst on the weekends) I may have already succumbed to this dreadful disease. If I did please feel free to conduct an intervention...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me!


Has it really been a full year since I started this? Why yes it has and it's been a blast. I've met a ton of new friends who share my passion for music (most of which have links under "Friends who deserve your eyeballs" over there on the left rail), reconnected with some old ones (Rob, Tam, Keith and Dave) and have relieved myself of some of the stranger creative noodlings that have been haunting me for years (bogus band bio's, anyone?). I started out with the idea that I'd maybe post one or two thoughts a month, but at the end of the day it appears I've posted over 320! I didn't think I had it in me.
Out of 23,000 or so visitors some have actually returned, God knows why, but it's appreciated. The interaction and the comments have been very entertaining and more often than not quite enlightening, so please keep it up. Other than this being quite good therapy it's really the reason we all do this blogging thing, if we're totally honest.
So I think I'll keep this going, at least for a while, and in honor of UEMN'S one year anniversary here's a really creepy video of the band Cracker singing "Happy Birthday To Me"...

Monday, November 24, 2008

All Apologies

The following is a guest editorial by Mr. Frank Boothe, also known as "The Google Blogger Marshal". He is a defender of all blog visitors and without his guidance and strong arm censorship tactics the blogosphere would be a much harsher, meaner place to surf. He recently took offense to one of my "Bogus Band Bio's" and as part of my agreement with google he is entitled to one posting per quarter.

It is what it is, folks.

Really, sincere apologies to anyone who came to this blog searching for a serious biography or blog entry on any of the following: Styx, Journey or Steve Perry, Focus, Supertramp, Jeff Lynne or Kula Shaker.

Really, I mean it.

I can picture you now, all curled up in your bunny slippers and/ or prosthetic Vulcan ears, fingers raw and bleeding from too many World Of Warcraft marathons searching valiantly for a discussion board on the afore mentioned "artists".

You conducted a google search with phrases like "Steve Perry is the coolest", or "Mr. Roboto RULES", truly believing you'd find a kindred spirit or two to share your passions. Therein lies the rub with organic search results, my friends.

Alas, I'm afraid you've come here in vain only to find a bitter music snob who will do nothing more than mock and ridicule your musical icons and heroes.

But wipe away those tears with your cheese doodled fingers you lovers of all things maudlin and saccharin for you have reason to rejoice! Uncle E and his merry pranksters actually do share your passion for cheese. Oh yes, I know this is true for I have firsthand accounts of this from many reliable witnesses. I have heard tell that good old Uncle E slips on a Supertramp album from time to time. I have heard that he catalogues his beloved Queen collection and one witness has reported that they have heard him spin ELO's Out Of The Blue so many times that their ears bled.
So suffice it to say that the king wears no clothes, that he is as guilty as you are, that his ears are no more attuned to the finer sounds than anyone else visiting this so-called "better music" blog.

You are welcome here anytime my little lost lambs.

Come back as often as you'd like.

We'll be your shelter.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Are YOU A Music Snob?

Here's a great little essay that asks the question, "Are You A Music Snob?". Take a peek. Here, I'll get you started...

"I am a music snob. I know this because I have been called one, many times and to my face. Secretly I take pride in my snob status. What on earth could be wrong in taking a little pride in the music you listen to?"


Friday, November 21, 2008

A One-Hit Wonder Twofer!

The best song ever from a Dutch quartet about a California road trip, “Sausalito Summernight” on Diesel's "Watts In A Tank" LP reached #25 on the US charts in 1981. Almost unclassifiable, this song was wrongfully pegged as “New Wave” (wasn’t everything?) by the rock critic elite of the time. Lead vocalist/guitarist Rob Vunderink’s (I can hear the laughter from here, Phil/ Dave!) guitar solos echo early Mark Knoffler and the drums and bass pound away in perfect unison for the full 5:08. I know what you’re thinking. “A great rock song from the Dutch? No waaayyyyy, maaan. Not possible!”

But it’s true, I tells ya!

It’s the lyrics, I believe, that make the song truly unique. For a Dutch band they sure have the whole California road trip thing down pat.

To wit:

“We left for Frisco in your Rambler
The radiator running dry
I've never been much of a gambler
and had a preference to fly

You said "forget about the airline,
let's take the car and save the fare."
We blew a gasket on the Grapevine
and eighty dollars on repairs”

Anyone who’s ever traveled the Grapevine above Los Angeles will be able to sympathize with “blowing a gasket” on that infamous pass. I’ve traversed it many times, once in a U-Haul trailer, and I can tell you I worried about that very thing as I sputtered to the top going 15 miles an hour! It goes on:

“Hot summer night in Sausalito
Can't stand the heat another mile
Let's drop a quarter in the meter
and hit the sidewalk for a while

I'll have a burger and a root beer
You feed the heap some of the grape
A shot of premium to boot, dear
We'll get across the Golden Gate

Another mile or two to the frisco
200 gallons from LA
the engine stompin' like a disco
we ought to dump her in the bay”

And the following is extremely appropriate given today’s California gas prices:

“Cashing all my checks
Sweeping out my bank
Spend it on a Rambler
With a whirlpool in the tank
Look out over here
Watch out over there
Can't afford a blowout
'Cause we haven't got a spare…”

I don’t know, maybe it’s the ‘been there, done that’ connection, but I truly think this is one of the lost great songs of the last three decades, right up there with “I Got You” by Split Enz, “Drivers Seat” by Sniff ‘n’ The Tears and “This Beat Goes On/ Switchin’ To Glide” by The Kings. Instantly memorable, both lyrically and musically, without an ounce of pretension. It's just plain FUN. Guilty pleasure? Maybe. It never won any awards, but that's never how I've measured musical talent. As a matter of fact I usually watch the Grammy's to see who to avoid.

There’s a great line from one of the Austin Powers movies where Austin’s father says, “There are two things I hate in this world: people who are intolerant of other people’s cultures….AND THE DUTCH!”

He obviously hasn’t heard this song.

Sniff 'N' The Tears: Drivers Seat

Fellow blogger and newspaper colleague Thom G over at Surface Tension (link on the right rail) once posted a video of The Kings new wave Canadian classic “This Beat Goes On/Switchin’ To Glide”, and it got me thinking of British band Sniff 'N' The Tears and their song Drivers Seat, simply the best "one hit wonder" song of the 1970's. I personally think that this is one of the best songs of any decade, and it's a damn pity the album it came from is long out of print.

It was used to great effect in the film Boogie Nights (that P.T. Anderson knows how to pick the songs for his movies, doesn't he?), but the song and band are largely and unforgivably wasting away in the overflowing "where are they now" files.

The drummer is a metronomic maniac and the guitar never lets up it's mannered ferocity throughout the entire song. Steady bass playing and terrific keyboard/ synthesiser riffs by Alan Fealdman round out the sound.

The full album, with an unfortunately abbreviated version of Driver's Seat is now available on Amazon, iTunes, etc.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Great(?) Albums Released In 1993

This was a pretty good year. The Modfather released his triumph, Wild Wood, The Auteurs, Blur and Suede invented Britpop, Urge Overkill's major label debut was blasting through every Trans Am still on the road and Evan Dando and his Lemonheads recorded and released their classic slacker 'bum Come On Feel The Lemonheads with the classic and very funny "My Drug Buddy". Oh yes, and Underworld unleashed Dubnobasswithmyheadman, a modern electro slow-burn classic!

Liz Phair - Exile in Guyville
Urge Overkill - Saturation
Nirvana - In Utero
Blur - Modern Life Is Rubbish
PJ Harvey - Rid of Me
Dinosaur Jr. - Where You Been
Stereolab - Transient Random-Noise Bursts with Announcements
Luscious Jackson - In Search of Manny
The Lemonheads - Come on Feel the Lemonheads
Dwight Yoakam - This Time
Paul Weller - Wild Wood
Frank Black - Frank Black
The Breeders - Last Splash
Björk - Debut
Yo La Tengo - Painful
The Boo Radleys - Giant Steps
Mercury Rev - Boces
The Flaming Lips - Transmissions from the Satellite Heart
New Order - Republic
Orbital - Orbital 2
Pet Shop Boys - Very
Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
Stereolab - The Groop Played “Space Age Bachelor Pad Music”
Suede - Suede
Verve - A Storm in Heaven
Cracker - Kerosene Hat
Melvins - Houdini
Depeche Mode - Songs of Faith and Devotion
Paul Weller - Wild Wood
Frank Zappa - The Yellow Shark
The Auteurs - New Wave
Jellyfish - Spilt Milk
U2 - Zooropa
Radiohead - Pablo Honey
Pearl Jam - Vs.
Cracker - Kerosene Hat
Luscious Jackson - In Search of Manny
Lenny Kravitz - Are You Gonna Go My Way
Morphine - Cure for Pain
Sloan - Smeared
Underworld - Dubnobasswithmyheadman
The Fall - The Infotainment Scan
Danny Elfman - Nightmare Before Christmas
Blur - Modern Life Is Rubbish

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee..."

My youngest daughter's favorite new song is "Puff The Magic Dragon".

She sings it all day and all night, and I chuckle a little to myself everytime she does. I think I'll wait until she turns 18 to tell her what it's really about...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

One Of My Turns

It's that time of year again, folks, when the "Honey-Do's" switch gears from the inside of the house to the outside. Time to clean the gutters, rake the leaves, take the patio furniture down and store it for the winter. My efforts are rewarded, as they are each year, with a great big holiday bottle of Tanqueray gin.
Time to settle in and take stock of the prior years trials/successes and plan my moves for (holy crap!) 2009.
My musical tastes change as well. The bright summery sounds on my iPod take a back seat for the more introspective and moody sounds that have always soundtracked my winters for as long as I can remember. Sure the bands have changed, but the mood of the music has remained fairly consistant. Bands like Pink Floyd, The Orb, Mercury Rev, Dylan and The Band, Wilco and many more who took a powder during the blazing summer months here in Northern California make a welcome return to heavy rotation. This is also a season for giving and sharing and I make room each year on my iPod for my daughters and my wife, who don't always quite share in my love for the more eclectic sounds.
There are a few holiday playlists I need to get busy creating: a jazz one for me, some Harry Connick Jr and his "ilk" for my wife (she really has pretty good taste, but gets a little maudlin with her music this time of year) and some kids' classics for the little one's which may or may not include some Burl Ives tunes.
It's been one hell of a tough year for those of us who choose to stay in the newspaper biz as a profession, so a little holiday cheer is very much needed. But hey, I've still got my house, my family and my health, my friends, my job and my iPod. I have nothing to complain about and everything to look forward to.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Digging Through The Archives Of Eclecticism

Been in a weird musical mood lately.

No one genre seems like enough, my mind requires a varitable cornucopia of styles to satisfy it's cravings. It's restless almost to the point of obsession, folks, and I'm sure it can't be healthy. These wild musical mood swings only ever lead to me downloading massive quantities of tunes. I feel a little like an alcoholic on a binge at the moment. I'll consume as much as I can in a very small amount of time, enjoying myself thoroughly until the buzz wears off and I wake up, look at my iTunes library and wonder to myself why I spent so much money.

Actually, truth be told, I haven't spent that much. I have found some great deals on Amazon (most albums less than $5.00) which have satisfied my jonesin' ears. I ended up with the original Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack, which is still a campy glam guilty pleasure all these years later, although this time I won't have to wash mustard out of my hair. A funky double album masterpiece from Funkadelic entitled America Eats It's Young, which includes the politically correct track "Loose Booty". Jean Michel Jarre and his space odyssey OXYGENE, possibly one of the best electronic statements ever recorded. The remastered and expanded editions of Technique and Power, Corruption and Lies by New Order. They are magnificent, the former an Ibiza dance classic and the latter the sound of the band breaking clear of the shadow of their former band Joy Division. To top it off, I chose Rockpile and their one and only album Seconds Of Pleasure. A purer rock and roll album you will not find, my friends. Don't know why it took me this long to buy it. It's got 6 Nick Lowe compositions on it which should have been reason enough.

But I think I have to stop now and let my new aquisitions digest in my system for a while. Let them breathe, get their legs about them. I'd hate for one to get lost in the shuffle...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Weekend Cut 'N' Paste: Bigger Ain't Always Better

Biggest Selling Singles In The United States

*Bits and pieces of the following were stolen from Yahoo! Music*

The biggest selling single of all time in the United States has sold almost twice as many as its closest competition. In 1997, Elton John released a remake of his classic 1973 song "Candle In The Wind" with new lyrics that paid homage to Diana, Princess of Wales after her untimely death. This single sold over 11 million copies in the United States. An incredible figure.

So what are the runners up to "Candle In The Wind 1997"? Well, only two have broken the 6 million mark ("A Little Less Conversation" by Elvis Presley & "Here Without You" by 3 Doors Down"), and only 12 have cracked the 4 million mark.

All the songs in the following playlist have sold over 4 million copies as a single in America. Some will surprise you, many will not. What do you think?

Biggest Selling Singles In The United States

1. A Little Less Conversation - Elvis Presley

2. Here Without You - 3 Doors Down

3. Another One Bites The Dust - Queen

4. Apologize - Timbaland

5. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You - Bryan Adams

6. Hey Jude - The Beatles*

7. Hound Dog/Don't Be Cruel - Elvis Presley

8. I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston

9. Let's Get It On - Marvin Gaye

10. Low - Flo Rida

11. Macarena - Los del Rio

12. Ridin' - Chamillionaire

13. We Are The World - USA For Africa**

14. Whoomp There It Is - Tag Team

Friday, November 14, 2008

Oasis: Dig Out Your Soul

Does anyone really care about a new Oasis record anymore? I mean, I'm curious, a little, but not so curious as to throw down $10, which is saying something. I previewed some of the tracks, read some of the reviews (mixed, but mainly positive) but aside from The Shock Of The Lightning the album seems a mile away from their joyous beginnings. I mean, Definitely Maybe was a fantastic album, and the folow up (What's The Story, Morning Glory?) was pretty great as well. Their blatant riff rips and Beatles piracy seemed like a good thing at the time, especially when combined with Liam's Johnny Rotten sneer, but it's old now. Really old.
However, they went downhill fast after the bloated mess that was Be Here Now and I lost interest and haven't really regained it. I bought Don't Believe The Truth, and enjoyed it somewhat, but it's not received regular airtime in quite a while. Nothing they've done since the mid-90's has stayed with me for more than a month or so. Damn shame, the lads had so much promise...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Some New Noises, Please!

"There are days when I can't remember what the Sixties felt felt like, but boy, yesterday sure wiped all the rust and dust off those Sixties ideals."

That quote is from Holly, she of The Song In My Head Today fame, and she's referring to the historic election we had a few days ago. That quote got me thinking, and I wonder if we're going to see a massive change in the musical winds over the next couple of years. I'm not naive enough to think that we'll see another burst of creativity like the mid to late 60's, but some truly original ideas would be nice. There have been some great albums released in the past 8 years but a ton of those have only built on the foundations of the past. I'm a little tired of playing "spot the influences" if I'm to be totally honest here. It's time to stop regurgitating and time to start creating something new. Or is that impossible? I'd like to think that it's possible myself, and with the regime change here in the States it should be a good time for it.

I can always dream...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Great (?) Albums Released In 1992

Boy I better get moving on this "Great Albums By Year" quest if I'm to reach the best of 2008 by December 31st!
So here we go with another instalment, this time 1992, a very schitzophrenic year for music...

Pavement, Slanted and Enchanted
Aphex Twin, Selected Ambient Works 85-92
Los Lobos, Kiko
Bob Dylan, Good As I Been To You
Beastie Boys, Check Your Head
Morrissey, Viva Hate!
Stereo MC's, Connected
Ministry, Psalm 69
The Black Crowes, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion
Tom Waits, Bone Machine
PJ Harvey, Dry
Pop Will Eat Itself, The Looks Or The Lifestyle
Sonic Youth, Dirty
R.E.M., Automatic For The People
Nine Inch Nails, Broken/Fixed
Morphine, Good
Stereolab, Peng!
James, Seven
Red House Painters, Down Colorful Hill
Phish, A Picture Of Nectar
Rollins Band, End Of Silence
Orb, U.F.Orb
Yo La Tengo, May I Sing With Me
Juliana Hatfield, Hey Babe
Rocket From The Crypt, Circa Now
Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet, Dim The Lights, Chill The Ham
Jon Spencer Blues Experience
Rage Against The Machine
Magnetic Fields, The Wayward Bus
Tom Verlaine, Warm and Cool
Spiritualized, Lazer Guided Melodies
Tricky, Pre-Millenium Tension
Prodigy, Experience
Nick Cave, Henry's Dream
Lemonheads, It's A Shame About Ray
Faith No More, Angel Dust
Flaming Lips: Hit To Death In The Future Head
Daniel Johnston, Artistic Vice
Uncle Tupelo, March 16-20, 1992
Melvins, Melvins
Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy, Hypocrisy Is The Greatest Luxury
10,000 Maniacs, Our Time In Eden
Mr T Experience, Milk Milk Lemonade

...up next is 1993, and the beginning of the Britpop revolution!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fleet Foxes

Well I finally pulled the trigger and bought Fleet Foxes. The massive critical hype made me instantly nervous, as I have been burned more than once (TV On The Radio's "Return From Cookie Mountain" was touted as "the album of a generation", and I thought it overblown and pretentious) by the Pitchforians and their ilk.
But hey, I had $10 burning a hole in my pocket so I did it.
Here's what some of the critics had to say about it when it was released in June of this year:
From Delusions Of Adequacy: "With their self-titled debut, Fleet Foxes have attained this and have delivered one of the best albums of the year."
From The Guardian: "It all adds up to a landmark in American music, an instant classic."
From MOJO: "The sense of wonder in Fleet Foxes' songs is matched only by the discipline and talent that created this adventurous, evocative record. One which is already shaping up as an album of the year."
From Dot Music: "Ironically, though defined sartorially and sonically by this short window in history, the songs on their debut album are mostly timeless. Few better will be released in 2008."
From The Austin Chronicle: "A number of contemporary indie bands attempts to strip-mine mountain ballads in the service of indie pop, but none has melded the impulses as effortlessly and captivatingly as Fleet Foxes manage on "Blue Ridge Mountains" and "Oliver James." Sublime."

...and the list goes on...and on...and on. Even some of you reading this have touted the magnificance and significance of this album on your music blogs.
I've listened to it only a couple of times and I think I really dig it! A great late night album, for sure, with excellent harmonies and great musicianship. But it's the melodies that keep me interested, something that is sorely lacking with many of today's bands. Not bubblegum teeny-bopper type melodies, but strong ones that help define the song, give it heft. It's telling that the list of people they thank in the liner notes include Bob Dylan, The Band, Brian Wilson, John Lennon, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Charles Mingus, Harry Nillson, Marvin Gaye, Arthur Lee and Townes Van Zandt. They are students of music, but good music, and even though their influences betray them somewhat I find solace in the fact that they coul have picked worse.
I don't have the history with this album yet to give it a song by song review; they're many great sites that do a much better job at that sort of thing than I. Is it a great album? I think so, but will it top my "best of list" this year? I don't think so. So far it's been tough to beat Nick Cave's Dig Lazarus Dig!, but you never know. Excellent albums have a way of sneaking up on you. Stay tuned...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I Gotta Get Me One Of These

Wow, a genuine bumwadipod dock! How cool is that? Now I can combine two of my "great escapes" into one.
Hmnnn, I wonder what the playlist would consist of...?

Oh, and as a side note: If you can find it, the Orb's version of Free Bird is a friggin classic!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Eclectic Video Weekend

Primal Scream's "Can't Go Back"

Nick Lowe's "What's So Funny ('Bout Peace Love And Understanding"

My Morning Jacket's "One Big Holiday"

And, from The OST To The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Tim Curry camping it up with "Sweet Transvestite"

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Few Things The "Downloading Revolution" Has Destroyed

Album art and liner notes.

The smell of new music.

Spending/ investing many (wonderful) hours at independent brick and mortar music shops, simply browsing.

Rolling, ahem, cigarettes, ahem, on gatefold sleeves.

Scrounging for milk crates, most often behind convenience stores, to store your albums (LP's).

Organizing your albums alphabetically, chronologically, by genre, whatever.

Buying new albums based solely on artwork or band name and, occasionally, finding a real treasure.

The experience and excitement of searching for months (or years!), and finally finding that rare CD or LP.

Trading in old albums you no longer listen to for something new.

Bragging rights on the size and diversity of your collection.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Great (?) Albums Released In 1991

Here we are at one of my favorite years for recorded music. 1991 was the 1967 of the rave and grunge generation with albums of great creativity and originality being released almost daily. Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine and Nirvana defined new genres and U2 released the best record of their career. Teenage Fanclub and Matthew Sweet re-energized power pop. John Prine recorded and released what many would argue was his best album up to that point.
Grunge, house music and the "shoegazer" bands would eventually go the way of the dodo but for a brief moment in time it was all extremely exciting.
As always, let me know if I left anything out.

My Bloody Valentine: Loveless
John Prine: The Missing Years
Mercury Rev: Yerself Is Steam
Codeine: Frigid Stars
U2: Achtung Baby
KLF: The White Room
Massive Attack: Blue Lines
Teenage Fanclub: Bandwagonesque
Fishbone: Reality Of My Surroundings
Pop Will Eat Itself: Cure For Sanity
American Music Club: Everclear
Ozric Tentacles: Strangeitude
Nirvana: Nevermind
Primus: Sailing The Seas Of Cheese
Joni Mitchell: Night Ride Home
Talk Talk: Laughing Stock
Pixies: Trompe Le Monde
Sebadoh: III
Metallica: self-titled
Matthew Sweet: Girlfriend
Orbital: Yellow
808 State: Ex:el
Orb: Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld
Guns And Roses: Use Your Illusion
Mudhoney: Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge
Melvins: Bullhead
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Blood Sugar Sex Magik
Pearl Jam: Ten
Public Enemy: Apocalypse '91
Saint Etienne: Foxbase Alpha
Ice-T: Original Gangster
Neil Young: Arc
Steve Hillage: System 7
Sarah McLachlan: Solace
Primal Scream: Screamadelica
Rocket From The Crypt: Paint As A Fragrance
Sting: The Soul Cages
Toad The Wet Sprocket: Fear

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg

"Combat Rock was originally planned as a double album with the working title Rat Patrol from Fort Bragg, but the idea was scrapped after internal wrangling within the group. Mick Jones had produced the first cut, but the other members were dissatisfied and producing duties were handed to Glyn Johns at which point the album became a single LP. The original cut has since been obtained and subsequently bootlegged."(from wikipedia)

Ok, WTF!?!?!

I consider myself a fairly huge Clash fan and I knew zip about this. I'm embarassed but at the same time pretty excited that I found some new Clash tunes! Managed to get my hands on a copy, and it seems that the aforementioned Glyn Johns did a bit of a hatchet job on Combat Rock. Extended intros/ outros and whole songs were cut from Combat Rock, and whether or not this was a good idea will depend on who you ask. In addition to the editing of the tracks, some on here are alternate takes, and although a couple are fairly muddy the majority are of really decent sound quality! And, in some cases, these versions eclipse the released version, and in the case of Should I Stay Or Should I Go eclipse the Combat Rock version by a freakin' mile!

So, yeah, I'm fairly stoked. It's all over the web, apparantly, readily available with the blessing of Mick Jones.

Did any of you reading this know about Rat Patrol?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Please, Someone Save Me From Myself!

Everyone has made a few musical faux-pas during their lifetime. If you're me, then you've made more than a few. Bands or albums that you were infactuated with at the time that sounded groundbreaking and fresh then, after a period of a few years sounded horribly dated or just plain horrible. You ask yourself, "what the hell was I smoking?" and "I wish someone would've tipped me off how bad that was before I rolled down the windows of my Pontiac Sunfire and blasted 'Hungry Like The Wolf' at top volume!"
A friend of mine, mercurial commentor Rumproast, saved me more than once, the most memorable time was with a little band called The Soup Dragons. I was in love with the band's album Love God back in the early 90's until Rumproast informed me that the singer sang with a lisp. You remember their big hit, right? A reggae-rock-techno cover of the Stones I'm Free. I didn't believe him, if I recall, but upon close scrutiny of that particular track I came to the realization that he was spot on.

"I'm FWEEEEE, To do what I want, any old time..."

That, coupled with the fact that Rumproast sung it in a mocking way in an Elmer Fudd accent, was enough. I sold the thing immediately. He was right, of course. They were crap. We used to mock each other relentlessly, and you know what? It was the honorable thing to do, to save each other from commiting musical suicide.

And then we bought tickets and went to see Jesus Jones...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Shuckin' The Jive

The following has nothing to do with music, or comics for that matter, it's just something I read the other day that made me laugh out loud. And since that doesn't happen very often I thought I'd share. After you read it you'll probably be convinced that I'm this totally bonkers guy living in a basement like that Silence Of The Lambs dude, but I'm really quite normal. I've just got a very bizarre sense of humor.

Enjoy, and special props to whomever can name the author or the book from which this was taken.

"I was sitting at home, peeking through the blinds at my neighbor's wife, minding my own business, when my doorbell rang. "Who's there?" I shouted. "We don't know," came the reply. I immediately knew the dopes had come over. I opened the door and invited them in. I was happy to have company even if they were a bunch of dopes.

'Well, what brings you over this way?" I queried.
"Yup." they said.

"Would you like some coffee?" I asked.
"Gol," said one dope, "how long have we been here?"
"About two minutes."
"Gol, we should have left hours ago!" And they packed up some of my things and lumbered out.
"Goodbye Dopes!" I shouted.
They turned to me and shouted back, "Goodbye, you big fuckin' idiot!"

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ya Gotta Love The British Music Press

In 1976, the New Musical Express ran a story about a Clash fan who bit off her boyfriend's earlobe during a London show — behavior Jones says "wasn't unusual" at their early club performances. "I've got to be honest — it was just a piece of the lobe," he says. "Like a Mike Tyson kind of thing."

Don't blow it out of proportion, NME, for the sake of selling a few papers, eh wot?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Worthwhile Reading

Since I'm still computer challenged at this point I'm going to recommend you read the following bit of music minutae, an extremely engrossing essay on the late, great Lester Bangs. Music critic for Creem magazine and all around scuzzbag. Love him or hate him (I'm of the former camp), this is one interesting and insightful read.

Big Bangs Theory

In Almost Famous, Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the late rock critic Lester Bangs onscreen. But the only way to get Bangs right is to get Bangs on paper.

By David Pulizzi

Late one evening about two years ago I was reading about one dead man, Elvis Presley, when I encountered the work of another, Lester Bangs. I was well into the endnotes of Mystery Train, Greil Marcus' popular treatise on rock music. Following a couple dozen pages of detailed notes on Presley, Marcus arrives at what he calls "the finest, or the most final, words of obituary spoken on the occasion of Elvis Presley's death. Lester Bangs was writing in the Village Voice, August 29, 1977, in a piece titled 'How Long Will We Care?'":

If love is truly going out of fashion, which I do not believe, then along with our nurtured indifference to each other will be an even more contemptuous indifference to each other's objects of reverence. I thought it was Iggy Stooge, you thought it was Joni Mitchell or whoever else seemed to speak for your own private, entirely circumscribed situation's many pains and few ecstasies. We will continue to fragment in this manner, because solipsism holds all the cards at present; it is a king whose domain engulfs even Elvis's. But I can guarantee you one thing; we will never agree on anything as we agreed on Elvis. So I won't bother saying goodbye to his corpse. I will say goodbye to you.

Those were the first words of Bangs' I had ever encountered and they numbed my brain for a while. the rest HERE