Thursday, April 24, 2008

Praise You Like I Should

It was a given that Daddy:Disco was going to pass away very very soon, and although he was not much of a music lover, I had been scratching my brain for the last week or so in an attempt to find that perfect track which would pay tribute to him; something, say, like an Italian folk song.

It finally occurred to me, as that dreaded phone call arrived late tonight (pronouncements of death always come in the evening or early morning, don't they?), that since Daddy:Disco was the King of Cussing, especially while flexing his talents as a home renovator, what better CD track to post than Daddy's Curses, a hilariously surreal 10-minute rant by some Every Father (recorded in secret by one of his brood) utilizing the gamut of expletives: from gosh darnit to the American standard goddammit. There's even a few original gems such as scuzz hole, what a pain in the asshole, and my personal favorite motherfucking dog-licking goddamn bullshit. It's like listening to the Billboard Top 100 of dirty words.

Goodnight, sweet Daddy:Disco. From now on, anytime I scream you fucking piece of shit after hitting my thumb with a hammer during house repairs, it will be my own personal salute to you.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bleakness on the Edge of Town

The all-dark-clothing urgency of Iron Curtain's music should make my eyes roll, yet they surprisingly stay firmly in place. Perhaps it's because the paint-it-black keyboard wash and echo-laden vocals of 25 years ago which drip over every track on Desertion 1982-1988 now finds itself in vogue once again. These tunes sound timely without being retro. Sure, some of the compositions push too hard at being seen as dangerous (the only reason to name a song Anorexia or Legalize Heroin is simply to ruffle the hair of the status quo, the same way I post anti-Poi Dog Pondering musings so as to receive threatening comments). But when the unknown pleasures of Love Can Never Die and The Burning begin their mesmerizing climb towards some mysterious ethereal target, you'll feel yourself being lifted off the dance floor into the heavens.

Friday, April 18, 2008


You are always greeted by a multitude of shocking experiences when shopping the mega-enormous Amoeba Records in Hollywood. To start, there is that final tally to your charge card. Second, you'll spot releases by bands whose break-up you had assumed was a done deal. [You mean to tell me the fucking reprehensible Poi Dog Pondering is still together and was somehow allowed to release a new fuddy-duddy hippy-dippy album???]

But the largest jolt to the system isn't even the myriad of celebs spotted as you traverse the densely-packed record aisles. No, the most jarring moment is when one of those celebrities (hello, Giovanni Ribisi, you dimwitted Scientology freak!) spies you placing a sub-par Vince Guaraldi disc into your shopping basket. "Silly Pre-Clear," he clucks in your direction. "Everyone knows that Guaraldi peaked with A Charlie Brown Christmas. Sure, the pleasant previously-unreleased outtake Nobody Else ascends somewhat close to the genius of the well-known Xmas soundtrack, but after that you are forced to endure the faux funky Woodstock's Dream and the dentist's office dullness of Never Again. Only when you audit yourself of past traumatic Body Thetans, as I have, can you attain my infinite peace and wisdom."

"No offense, Giovanni," you think to yourself while reading his mind (a gift from birth received without benefit of an E-Meter.) "But I saw you in SubUrbia and if that's Serenity of Being, I'll stick to being an aberration, thanks."

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Dream Deferred: A Play in Three Acts


The scene opens on a line of travelers awaiting the task of showing their boarding passes to an FAA inspector at the Tucson International Airport as they prepare to fly to Los Angeles. The line moves slowly--the inspector is courteous yet thorough in her duties--but dispenses each traveler in line at a steady pace. About three people from the front of the line is ASTRONOMY PROFESSOR, a married man in his early-to-mid 50's, balding yet continuing to grow his hair in a shaggy swirl as if still in his 20's. He is wearing a blue long-sleeved shirt buttoned to the neck and accented with a novelty tie emblazoned with a planetary pattern (the moon, Saturn, Venus, etc, all of which is surrounded by a wash of stars and galaxies). The shirt is tucked into loose-fitting professorial khaki pants looped with a nondescript belt. The footwear chosen to compliment this ensemble is flip-flops. Directly behind ASTRONOMY PROFESSOR is DISCO:VERY who is watching the man in front of him with astonishment and disbelief.

The ASTRONOMY PROFESSOR is now at the front of the line as he hands the FAA INSPECTOR his boarding pass.

FAA Inspector: [disinterested monotone but professional nonetheless] Good morning, sir. How are you today?

Astronomy Professor: Living the dream. [Spoken with renewed emphasis] Living. The. Dream.


The lights come up on DISCO:VERY who has just witnessed the actions in the previous scene. He collapses, clutching his heart and falls to the ground in spasms.


A hospital waiting area. Everyone who has ever glanced at and/or loved reading DISCO:VERY is crowded into the tiny room as they await word from THE HEART SPECIALIST. The actors adlib their grief over DISCO:VERY's situation as THE HEART SPECIALIST enters stage left and walks into the densely packed waiting room.

The Heart Specialist: [Speaking to the gathered crowd with courage and conviction] I'm sorry. I tried everything I could to revive him, but his heart just couldn't take what he witnessed. My sympathies are with you during this difficult time, but, jeez, c'mon! It's not like there aren't billions of other self-obsessed blogs with which you can replace it in your computer reading rituals, right??. Get over it.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Beatles Have Left the Building--Will All of Their Fans Please Head Towards the Exits?

With only two of The Fab Four barely standing, pondering the legacy of their artistic impact becomes less and less interesting with each passing day. All that's left to ponder are the reactions of all the other bands when faced with such a pervasive cultural icon.

In the case of the Ace Records comp Beatlemaniacs, you get to hear abundant examples of supreme nobodies attempting to touch the hemlines of Somebodies. Sonny Curtis spells it out deliberately: A Beatle I Want to Be. Others, such as The Fondettes cooing The Beatles Are In Town are much more keen to gaze from afar, enraptured over the fabulousness of the subject at hand (although one wonders why sisters this soulful would be hot under the collar over these honky Brits).

I, however, much prefer the Third Reich and Roll-ness of The Better Beatles, yippee pranksters from out Omaha way who committed a hilarious fuck you to their lesser namesake on a one-off 7-inch single back in 1980. Thankfully, their entire slapped-together oeuvre (along with a heaping of outtakes) is now being offered digitally. Their bizarro version of Eleanor Rigby rips the pathos out of McCartney's hack dime-store-novel setting and recasts it as a hobbled sea chantey. Lady Madonna becomes a nonsensical New Wave stomp, while Penny Lane emerges as some sort of bastard child born betwixt A Flock of Seagulls and Flipper.

Why, you might ask, should I care so much about musicians creating music as a reaction to other musician's music? Because, I reply, emotional scars on blatant display: someone has named their band after me and it's made me feel empathy for what John, Paul, George and Ringo must have felt upon hearing the imitators posted above.

By the way, I'm going to be in LA for the next few days. If anyone knows whether or not Amoeba Records has guard dogs on duty during closing hours, call my beeper. I plan on figuring out a way to spend the night there somehow...

Thursday, April 03, 2008

His Divine Hammer

Plugged-in Gaul rocker Electronicat scores your most masochistic toothache to a throbbing pulse as layers of guitar noise undulate on your brain waves in a shimmering display of aural menace. On his 2007 missive Chez Toi, tracks such as Pancake Lady and Seveneves become red-beamed sniper lasers zeroing in on your temple, while the thank-god-it's-finally-available-on-CD shoulda-been-a-hit She's a Queen plods its way to the dance floor through a back beat fuzzier than that Quaalude slipped into your mojito. The album's unending machine-driven drummer is only slightly more metered than Electronicat's unwavering duty to the eternal buzz he's been advancing for the last 10 years. It's a language he invented himself, and you'll only learn to understand it the more you're immersed in it.