Friday, June 29, 2012

Staying Propped Up

Oklahoma psych-rockers The Flaming Lips tearfully announced on their website that they have run out of ideas for costumes and props for their highly-visual lead singer to wear and are now seeking the public's input for a rash of new ideas. As a public service to this iconic band, Disco:Very submits the following outfits for the band's consideration:

ADVANTAGES: Playful game-like costume will encourage increased interaction between the band and the audience, recontextualizing conceptual boundaries of the performance space and its place in the larger public sphere.
DISADVANTAGES: Due to excessive consumption of alcohol by audience members, many will assume the costume to be a literal dartboard, leading to the throwing of actual pointed darts towards lead singer, possibly leading to severe injury, blindness or death, followed by protracted lawsuits between the band, its management and the venue's lawyers. Also, silly prop costume gives the band another way to hide the fact that they have no real songwriting skills of which to speak.

ADVANTAGES: Raises public awareness of the serious topic of  breast cancer and health issues for women, encouraging female audience members to schedule regular screenings with their doctors. Tour can be co-sponsored by local Breast Cancer Awareness organizations, who would be permitted to raise funds via strategically placed information booths at outdoor concert venue.
DISADVANTAGES: The mention of breasts will make those in the audience under the influence of various reality-enhancing drugs to giggle uncontrollably during entire concert. Also, silly prop costume gives the band another way to hide the fact that they have no real songwriting skills of which to speak.

ADVANTAGES: This costume's blank form examines notions of life's meaning and existence, questioning many facets of religion, morality and life itself. With no cultural signifier present, viewer is free to project identity and purpose to the person inside the costume, or eschew involvement altogether. Audience members at the band's outdoor concerts can engage in lengthy and complex philosophical discussions while waiting in line at the Port-o-Potty.
DISADVANTAGES: Heat created by stage lights will create large wet spots in crotch area resembling urine stains, thereby negating the seriousness of the entire image. Also, silly prop costume gives the band another way to hide the fact that they have no real songwriting skills of which to speak.

ADVANTAGES: Makes a symbolic commentary on issues of celebrity and identity, positioning lead singer, now framed within the format of a YouTube video, as target for the public's love and approval or, conversely, scorn and hatred. Audience can ruminate on the Internet's role in creating and discarding instant popularity worldwide through viral videos and related media.
DISADVANTAGES: Attempts to parody a popular website created over seven years ago will position the band as hopelessly out of date, especially considering the band's rapid advancement towards senior citizenry. The word "YouBoob" is a wince-inducing, painfully-unfunny pun on the iconic website's name, further solidifying the band's unfashionable disconnection from pop culture. Also, silly prop costume gives the band another way to hide the fact that they have no real songwriting skills of which to speak.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dancing About World Peace is Like Singing About Architecture

Just when we thought our national nightmare was over, he returns. Before you accuse me of being a Negative Nigel, let's break down in real time why this man and his videos are so very reprehensible:

1. Please don't think that an upper-middle-class American encouraging some Iraqis to dance on cue is going to bring about love and harmony throughout the globe. There has never been world peace, there never will be world peace, and sloppy foot work to a fifth-rate Enya impersonator isn't going to change that.

2. Let's be realistic, here: this dude Matt didn't exactly get warring factions to come together in the interest of pacifist living. He didn't convince a gun-toting Israeli to spin into a waltz with an oppressed Palestinian. No, he simply set up his fucking camera, posted (I assume) notices around the village that he wanted extras to dance with him on a particular date and, presto! His job was done. Any idiot can get other idiots to mug for a camera.  This is why so-called reality television is so abundant.

3. His choice of music makes me want to pull out my own eyeballs, slice my head off slowly with a butter knife and then drive a 10-ft razor blade through each kneecap.  Many commentators on YouTube would toss about the word "inspirational".  I would, instead, describe this recording as "crazy-making".

4. Supporters of this man's work argue that this video is a reminder that, basically, everyone the world over is all the same and we should respect the beliefs and cultures of everyone else.  You need a fucking sappy video to tell you that??  That's just fucking Human Fucking Rights 101, baby.

5. The tot on his shoulders at the very end--who I assume to be his own offspring--is going to need decades of therapy when he grows up to find himself to be a part of this debacle.

On the plus side, it is admittedly pretty cool to get a seal to flap its appendages with you, I'll give him that.  Perhaps, in the end, Matt's legacy will be to bridge the opposition we face with our feathered and furry friends throughout the planet.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cut Your Hair (and Your Losses)

If you needed further convincing on just how reprehensible Iron & Wine frontman Samuel Beam really is, take a moment to let your eardrums get raped by this. Iron & Wine's hemp seed granola persona has been inching ever closer to the early-70's era of shaggy hair and even shaggier music tastes, but now he's crossed a very long-haired, lice-infested line. Little Feat is one of those bands which we should be thankful has bit the dust--our lives are more enriched now that they're no longer on the charts and only brought up in conversation by Over Sixties who still think Lowell George was some sort of music icon. But with the legion of Iron & Wine fans growing each year, I worry that we'll soon be seeing a Little Feat resurgence thanks to this faux-folkie who resembles Jesus Christ but with none of the sex appeal. Are you going to tell me that all these years Beam has been secretly harboring a love of this funky-bluesy-funk/blues? Where does this slippery slope end? Will he next release a one-off single covering Firefall? Is he going to spearhead a tribute album to Barefoot Jerry? Is the next step a collaborative folk-cycle album with Gilbert O'Sullivan? For pete's sake, Sam, let the lunacy end.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Grand Theft Audio

Thanks to the new 25th Anniversary reissue of the 1986 Grammy-winning hit album Graceland, when you listen to this early version of All Around The World Or The Myth Of Fingerprints, you can almost hear the exact moment when Paul Simon steals this Los Lobos song right out from under them. Bonus joke: "Ever since the watermelon..."--what the fuck does that even fucking mean??

Bob Welch, former member of Fleetwood Mac, dead at 65 of self-inflicted gunshot wound

Alternate headlines:

It's no 'Rumours': Bob Welch dead at 65

Bob Welch, 65, Stopped Thinking About Tomorrow

Tusk, Tusk: Bob Welch, 65, Dead of Self-inflicted Gunshot Wound

Bob Welch, 65, Goes His Own Way (with a Blast!)

Over My Head, but Apparently Needed to Aim Higher: Bob Welch, 65, Dead of Self-inflicted Gunshot Wound

Bob Welch Told to 'Never Break the Chain'; Does So Anyway

Monday, June 04, 2012

Acoustic Cubicle

After seeing their awesome live show, this is how obsessed I have become with Yacht: I actually sat through an entire episode of a Tiny Desk Concert for the first time. God help us all.