Monday, October 29, 2007

Break On Through To the Other Side (Of a Non-Physical World Which May or May Not Exist)


Disco:Very: I'm hoping to get in touch with downbeat indie folk spokesman of a generation Elliot Smith.
Lisa Williams: First off I will need a personal item of the deceased.
Disco:Very: How about this used copy of Figure 8, the last album he'll ever release (barring endless posthumous recordings dug up by his family in an effort to pad their royalty checks for the next 20 years)?
Lisa Wiliams: I'm frightfully sorry but in order for me to channel the energy of the dead, the personal item needs to have been owned by the deceased. Did Elliot Smith himself personally touch this recording?
Disco:Very: [Sobbing] Every song he ever wrote was touched by him personally! [Shreiking in pain] NOBODY WHO WAS A REAL FAN OF ELLIOT SMITH WOULD EVER ASK A QUESTION LIKE THAT!!!

The Reading Commences

Lisa Williams: We are about to enter the Spirit World. Basically I act as a bridge. I go between the physical reality to which you are accustomed and enter what I call The Energy Sphere which is where your dearly departed Elliot Smith resides. You might say I'm like a waiter--I take requests from you, the hungry customer and I pass your request on to the Chef, i.e. the deceased. And the deceased will whip up a scrumptious dish of Spirit Wisdom, served with a side order of Tears, Hugs and Understanding. For dessert, we offer a scoop of Closure. And then I present you with a whopping check.
Disco:Very: Can I pay with Food Stamps?

Entering the Spirit Sphere

Lisa Williams: I'm sensing something...I'm sensing a reflection, something shiny...
Disco:Very: [Excited] Is it the dark mirror which Elliot Smith held up to society so as to make us more aware of our own pain and suffering?!?
Lisa Williams: It appears to have a handle at the end...
Disco:Very: [Bored] Oh. It's probably the knife he used to stab himself in the chest. [Yawns.]
Lisa Williams: Would you like to communicate something to Elliot Smith?
Disco:Very: Yes, yes I would. Elliot, can I get a refund of $14.99? Its the amount I spent on Either/Or back when it first came out and after only the first verse of the first song, I immediately felt cheated.
Lisa Williams: Elliot is trying to say something back...I see an F and a F and a U...
Disco:Very: Who knew that a overly-depressed heroin addict could be so feisty? And would spell "Fuck You" incorrectly?

The Conduit to the Spirit World Wraps It Up

Lisa Williams: Is there anything else you'd like to convey to your dearly departed?
Disco:Very: Sure thing. Elliot, if there really is a Rock and Roll Heaven, does that mean everyone and anyone up there is allowed to join the band? Sure, you want John Lennon to take part in some capacity, and maybe Jimi Hendrix (if he promises to keep the guitar wankery to a minimum) but are you obligated to allow Sonny Bono to take part? Or Sublime vocalist Bradley Nowell?
Lisa Williams: He appears to be fading...I seem to be losing him...
Disco:Very: Please tell me he isn't darting away to rehearse for any upcoming Heatmiser reunions...

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Strange Eyes by Sunz Of Man, 12 O'Clock & Blue (buy)

Never Say Never by Queens of the Stone Age (buy)

Pause by Sudden Ensemble (buy)

My Painted Tomb by Sun City Girls (Out of Print)

Who Will Be The One? by Bill Lee (buy)

I Don't Own My Own Heart by 100 Flowers (buy)

Gritty Shaker by David Holmes (buy)

I Wanna Sleep In Your Arms by The Modern Lovers (buy)

Green Tambourine by Mrs. Miller (buy)

Passover by Concrete Rubber Band (buy)

Fumbling Over Words That Rhyme by Edan (buy)

Demolition Girl (early version) by The Saints (Out of Print)

Zoology by Puppetmastaz (buy)

Salut Les Copains by Eux Autres (buy)

Pair Back Up Mass With by The Howling Hex (buy)

Pit Stop (Take Me Home) by Lovage (buy)

Untitled Track 1 by an Unknown Cambodian Group (buy)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Jury Mulled $3.6 Million Download Award

AP Business Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Some of the jurors who levied a $222,000 penalty last week against a Minnesota woman for illegally sharing music online would have liked her to pay a more meager amount. "After all, this is a lawsuit involving the RIAA," one juror said. "If it were solely up to me, I'd prefer to shove a Q-Tip into the piss hole of that particular prick."

Jammie Thomas, 30, is one of about 26,000 people the music industry has sued for copyright infringement and the first to take a case to trial.

The six record companies that sued her accused her of illegally dowloading songs and offering 1,702 for other people to download from her Kazaa file-sharing account. She denied ever using file-sharing software.

However, moments before deliberations began, the jurors were presented with a list of artists whose music Thomas has been sharing:

Guns N Roses
Vanessa Williams
Janet Jackson
Gloria Estefan
Goo Goo Dolls
Sara McLachlan
Linkin Park
Def Leppard
Reba McEntire
Bryan Adams
No Doubt
Sheryl Crow
Richard Marx
Destiny’s Child
Green Day

after which the jury quickly agreed unanimously that Thomas, a mother of two from Brainerd, had infringed on good taste and ordered her to pay $80 trillion dollars per shit song, per shit artist. She has also been sentenced to death by hanging and a public stoning, both of which would take place about one hour from now.

Thomas plans to appeal the decision.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Love the Sinner, Hate the Song

It has been so inspiring to read Pop Songs 07's single-minded dissection of every single track ever recorded by R.E.M. (and don't forget Drive XV the cult-like blog devoted to one, specific R.E.M. album) that I have decided to hop on board this Fad Train, quoting and commenting upon specific lyrical stanzas from various tracks throughout R.E.M.'s storied career. First up, Lotus from their college rock/alt-rock masterpiece Up:

Let it rain, rain, rain
Save me from myself again
Wash away my ugly sins
Opposing thumb, dorsal fin
Applicable copyright is implicit (Copyright © R.E.M./Athens Ltd. for all R.E.M. originals).

[If by "wash away my ugly sins" you mean "wash away the dip-shit pretentious blue streak of makeup across my face", then yes, by all means, let it rain, rain, rain, rain, rain! FOR GOD'S SAKE, SOMEONE BRING THE FUCKING RAIN ALREADY!!!]

Sunday, October 07, 2007

10 Thoughts On Viewing Sly Stone on the Kraft Music Hour

Join me as I work through an intense ongoing obsession over Sly & the Family Stone, fuelled as much by the recent reissues of their entire back catalog as it is by this video, showing the band performing on the Kraft Music Hall (titled here as Kraft Music Hour) circa 1967 (you can download an audio version of this televised performance here). After watching this video repeatedly about 15 times in one sitting, I have cemented the following observations:

1. Seriously, people--can you imagine how delirious it must have been to be a part of this small audience, being able to witness one of America's best soul/rock acts at the absolute peak of their immense musical powers, watching them pound out hit after glorious hit, one after the other, right before your eyes? Also, you're very stoned so clapping on the wrong beat doesn't mean you're not one with the universe.

2. How deliciously wicked it must have been to hear the racey "Don't Call Me Nigga, Whitey" performed during the usually squeaky-clean Kraft Music Hour. Company founder James L. Kraft must have been spinning in his grave (unless he was hip to this groove, in which case he was the coolest White guy ever born in 1874).

3. At the time, it must have been every musician's dream to play in this band. True, Sly Stone later became a cocaine-addled zombie, often failing to show up for stadium gigs and threatening his fellow band members with guns, but hey--think of the easy access you'd have had to Sly's drug stash.

4. I would give anything to be able to dance like the audience member grooving next to the drummer at the 3:10 mark except, you know, not in public and with no television cameras to preserve it for future generations.

5. When I see that woman's feet doing the little "chicken shuffle" step at the 6:25 mark, I always think, "I've got to incorporate that move into my life somehow. Perhaps I'll employ this dance while at the copy machine at work...see if it advances my career somewhat..."

6. It's difficult to understand why it took the FBI so many years to arrest radical activist Angela Davis. She's sitting right there at the 3:57 mark, Nixon Administration! Get on it!

7. That little here-we-go-round-the-PCP-bush jig which Sly Stone performs at the 7:50 mark is almost as amusing as the gold lamé blouse tied around his torso. The operative word here is: almost.

8. Regarding the platinum blonde hair atop the head of keyboard player and back-up singer Rose Stone--do you think the throw rug matched the slip cover?

9. It always makes me sad when Rob Reiner looks at the camera right at the 7:28 mark, because you just know Archie Bunker is watching this on TV and when he sees Meathead on his television set, there is going to be hell to pay when he gets home.

10. I'm going to stop with the observations. I just cued up viewing number 16.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Juicy Bruce

Did anyone else happen to see the live Bruce Springsteen concert on The Today Show last week? If you weren't able to catch it, you really missed something! It was a short but energetic set, though I was a little taken aback by some of his performance choices. For one, when he made his entrance motoring out in the same futuristic robot car used by Gary Numan in Urgh! A Music War, I couldn't believe my eyes (mostly, I was wondering how much he paid Numan to use it)! I also found it kind of odd that he and the E Street Band covered "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun". It didn't seem like a song that would suit him or his image (or his audience). I was a little shocked, as well, by that Bob Fosse jazz-hands thing he did every time he sang the title to "Born to Run". But the topper had to be the portion of the show where he rapped and kept waving that Uzi around--was that thing a prop? That, and the duet with Phillip Glass were probably the most surreal moments of the entire show. If any of you caught this live performance, I'd love to know what you thought of it.