Saturday, July 29, 2006

Saturday Babyblogging: Outdoor Edition

Today was an outdoorsy day for the residents of Liberal Mountain: the 6YO and the baby and I took a hike up little-trodden parts of the mountain, and then we all went swimming. Enjoy!

The intrepid traveller.

The secret road up to the back fields. It looks like no one's been there for years, literally. Certainly there's been no vehicular traffic in a solid decade.

We found a secret copse where the grass was a bit lower: we had our picnic there.

Put the goddamn camera down and pick me UP!

Exhausted by the sun, SP sacks out in his swimmie.

Just Like Brian Wilson Did.,....

Can you believe Atrios posted this? It used to be about the biofuels, man!

My respect for Wilson skyrocketed when I heard that he performed The Barenaked Ladies' "Brian Wilson" in concert.

And speaking of barenaked ladies, WTF is this about? Note the unintentionally ironic headline: "Why Women Don't Nurse Longer"--because of repressed, sex-obsessed, puritanical fuckwits who give them shit about it, that's why. My tits don't belong to you, they belong to (in this order): Me, my children, and my spouse. So fuck off.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Thursday Random Ten Blogging

I keep meaning to do this, because other, less obvious blogs, do it, and I like the idea. So finally, I'm getting around to it.

Out of 5,024 songs, here's what you get:

1. Ghandi Is Dead (I'm the Cartoon Man) - Redd Kross
2.Tenderlung - Ruth Ruth
3. I Am a Tree - Guided by Voices
4. Spent a Week With You Last Night - The Records
5. Can't Buy Me Love - The Beatles
6. Sweet Jane - Lou Reed
7. Where the Wild Things Roam - The Goops
8. Get Off of My Cloud - Richard Lloyd
9. Cretin Hop - The Ramones
10. We Will Rock You - Adrenalin O.D.

That's pretty alarmingly representative, actually. Huh.

I stole the graphic from this "somewhat popular blogger", always a must-read, but who also looks to have great taste in music!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Damn You, Eli!

(shaking fist)

Damn, I loved Blotto. I had their album. Probably still do, or my brother does.

Look at all those pasty, pasty upstate New Yorkers.

We watched the first hour last night: they've been showing it as a promo. The six year old complained, "I can't get that first song out of my head!" (That would be The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star," certainly an earworm.)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Reasons to Take Next Monday Off

Stock the cooler, take the phone off the hook, and lock the children in the basement!

MTV's First 24 Hours of Programming to be Aired on VH1 Classic

VH1 Classic is paying tribute to the historic impact MTV has had on music and pop culture over the last 25 years by airing the first 24 hours of programming from MTV's August 1, 1981 network debut. The day of celebration will begin on Monday, July 31 at 12:00 midnight with the first video that started a music revolution, The Buggles' "Video Killed The Radio Star." The 24-hour historic marathon will run through Tuesday, August 1. From the songs that stood the test of time to the ones that haven't, all are sure to spark some spandex-tinted memories as they are brought back to life for this one-day event.

Additional videos to air during the 24-hours include:

"Brass in Pocket" -- Pretenders
"Heart of Glass" -- Blondie
"Hold on Loosely" -- 38 Special
"I Want to Be A Lifeguard" -- Blotto
"Kiss On My List" -- Hall and Oates
"Oliver's Army" -- Elvis Costello
"Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" -- Rod Stewart
"Take It On The Run" -- REO Speedwagon
"Too Late" -- Shoes
"You Better Run" -- Pat Benatar
"You Better You Bet" -- The Who

(h/t to PJ)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

In This Day of....

Repeated television, video, and DVD viewing, it's easy to forget that there once was a time when seeing something on TV once could make such an impression that you'd never forget it.

Oh, yeah. Take it aaaaaaaall the way home.

Still looking for Almost Live!'s skit "This Crappy Old House," in which no project is ever finished, and the end of every job is "put a plant in front of it!"--still one of my home improvement tag lines.

h/t Codename V.

(And a stray one for Thers.)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Cool Carl Nelson Interview

Here. It'a from SXSW this year.

I like that he notes "Bleeding Heart Show" as his favorite performance moment: as transcendent as the last two minutes are on disc, they're even more amazing in concert.

Neil, Meet Al. Al, Neil.

I'm sure you guys have plenty to talk about.

Neil's such a puzzle, always has been. An anti-corporatist ("This Note's for You") who supported Reagan? A Canadian penning the, well, not-so-great "Let's Roll"? Here's a fairly recent rundown of his odd positions.

And if you get a chance, see An Inconvenient Truth: I promise you, you won't worry about WW3 for at least 24 hours afterward.
h/t Atrios

Friday, July 21, 2006

Friday Babyblogging: Swim Party!

One of the things no one tells you about parenting, of course, is that you can rarely get good shots of your children actually doing things, because if you're taking pictures, you're not preventing them from killing themselves.

It's a dilemma.

So these are strictly of the clothed/blanket variety. But there's a large swimmy lake right there, trust me.

Check the t-shirt: Gummo had one like it last weekend.

The lake is beyond that tree back there. It's, well, lakey, but there's a nice shallow part and it's mostly sand on the bottom, not slimy weeds. In this weather, you take what you can get.

Though initially skeptical of the water, SP got to like it. But what he really liked was laying on the grass on a blanket and watching the leaves move in the wind. He loves that.

Over to Donita...

for her Friday blogging at FDL. This week, a terrific and environmentally conscious band called the The Ditty Bops.

Believe it or not, I'm far too shy to comment over there.

George Harrison

via Atrios:

I guess I really need to spend more time at YouTube, but frankly, it scares me a bit over there.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

For Thers

Our anniversary is not for another three weeks or so, but I'm all sweet on him, because damn, that man can write. He called nutjob Melanie Morgan, "the charmingly, winsomely homicidal Melanie Morgan." Heh.

And he loves this video:


Historical Context

Oh, you yank my chain about my obsession with 1979: Shoes, The Cars, even The ubiquitous Knack. But let me remind you what was common "entertainment" in 1979.

I stand legitimated.

(Credit where credit is due: this was an entry in the recent bad video blogwars, possibly from Sadly No!, though I honestly don't remember. Whoever it was should be ashamed of themselves.)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Dead Kennedys

Well, Eli has defected almost entirely to firedoglake, and watertiger posts over there too, so what was becoming a must-read daily blog is now mandated by law.

Plus, there's this:
My political history with Howie Klein dates back to the mayoral campaign of our mutual friend Jello Biafra in San Francisco when we were all hanging out at the Mabuhay Gardens. It’s so much fun to have hooked up with Howie again in the blogosphere (via, it must be said, Johnny Angel) and watch him make such a difference in so many progressive campaigns with his Blue America column. His sincere efforts to seek out and vet progressive candidates, have them here to discuss their campaigns at FDL, and spur their fundraising efforts with free CDs has made an incredible difference in campaigns that have been largely ignored (nay discouraged) by the DCCC.

Yesterday Howie had Coleen Rowley (MN-2) in for chat with readers, and today Coleen wrote this thank-you note:

Oh wow!!! Thanks so much, Mr. Klein! As you probably know, politics as it is currently practiced, is aptly described as "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." Since "the bad" and "the ugly" are already two thirds, it takes a lot of "good" to balance things. But it’s amazingly real people like you (and David Bailey who traveled over an hour and a half through Montgomery parade traffic just to help transcribe) who do just that - make the good win out over the bad and the ugly!

And when I and 14 other ethically-minded Democrats are elected in November, we’ll really go to work on the bad and ugly parts. Thanks so much for the help! Now I’ve got to go set the alarm for 5 am so I can get to tomorrow’s district bus stop to hand out our campaign’s educational bookmark. By my calculations, this Act Blue money will buy about 60,000 bookmarks which, if we could dispense them all properly, would reach about 1/6 of all the people in the 2nd District. Unfortunately, I always end up handing out a lot of them to the 4 year olds with outstretched hands who line the parades so ANY and ALL FURTHER HELP will be appreciated. THANKS AGAIN!! Coleen R.

Howie even maintains a good relationship with the folks at the DCCC, who have been known to link to his chats on occasion. He’s a truly remarkable person.

Anyway, in honor of Howie, Biafra and the long history of progressive politics (and opposition to public morality scolds like Joe Lieberman) that came out of the SF punk scene, here is Biafra on net neutrality (MP3 ).

My most vivid memory of Jello Biafra was sitting around a friend's house wasted, bracing ourselves for the onslaught of Hurricane Andrew in 1992. It was the first time I had heard any of Biafra's spoken-word stuff, and it blew me away. (Hurricane Andrew, luckily, did not--it was actually pretty mild in that part of Hialeah.)

FDL posts a fab video of "Holiday in Cambodia" as well. Enjoy (and bookmark....)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Babyblogging: Formal Edition

Posting is going to be spotty until after the weekend (when I'm going to see this band, if at all possible). Until then, feed your jones.

The brood (minus the teen)

Her majesty

Now that's comedy! (A pity we couldn't use this one: ignore my hand.)

The solo pics of the six-year-old weren't as good: luckily, he has school pictures.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Syd Barrett: RIP


LONDON, England (CNN) -- Syd Barrett, the eccentric guitarist who founded Pink Floyd but later left the music business to live quietly and somewhat reclusively, has died at the age of 60, according to a spokeswoman for the band.

A spokeswoman for Pink Floyd told the Press Association: "He died very peacefully a couple of days ago. There will be a private family funeral."

"Syd was the guiding light of the early band lineup and leaves a legacy which continues to inspire," the surviving members of Pink Floyd -- Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright -- said in a statement.

They were "very upset and sad to learn of Syd Barrett's death."


He wrote many of the early hits for the avant-garde rock band, including the 1967 album "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" and the band's first hit singles, "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play."

His songs were odd and charming combinations of childlike lyrics and swirling melodies, often augmented with strange arrangements. The titles alluded to space, the occult and sometimes nonsense: "Astronomy Domine," "Lucifer Sam," "Chapter 24."

Consider some lyrics of "Bike," from "Piper": "I know a mouse, and he hasn't got a house / I don't know why, I call him Gerald / He's getting rather old, but he's a good mouse."

Pink Floyd, taken under the wing of Beatles engineer Norman Smith, had early success, but Barrett, suffering from mental problems and heavy drug use, started demonstrating erratic behavior, including catatonia during concerts. He left the band in 1968. He was replaced by David Gilmour, who had joined the band as its fifth member earlier that year.

Barrett put out two noted solo albums, "The Madcap Laughs" and "Barrett," both in 1970.

One More for Our Side!

Not that this was news exactly.


"The war in Iraq is shameful. Whether you're pro or con Bush, you've got to admit it: The guy lied. And he continues to do so. I can't understand why he's just not run out on a rail. To send somebody's kids off and have them killed for no good reason-- he's going to have his day in hell for that. I wouldn't want that karma. When you kill somebody's little sister with a missile, he's going to hate you forever. And the next generation will hate you even more."

Of all the PowerPop musicians I've met, they're pretty much all liberals. That's probably true of the vast majority of musicians generally--or they see themselves as apolitical, but hold liberal views on most issues. Sorry, NRO.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Is This a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

I honestly can't decide.

Via ITV:

Stones star to play Depp's dad
10.15AM, Fri Jul 7 2006

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards looks set to play Johnny Depp's father in the third "Pirates Of The Caribbean" film.

The role would fit hand-in-glove for Richards, upon whom the Depp based the lead character, Jack Sparrow.

Huh. Will he climb a coco palm?

Friday, July 07, 2006


I make this joke all the time. Nim found the comic.

This is much, much easier to read through the link.

Thanks, Nim!

Friday Babyblogging: Lance Murdoch Edition

Miss Rosie again. Note the abrasions on the upper left forehead: we spent a night in the emergency room getting a CAT scan over that one: a fall from a second-story porch. (shudder)

Luckily, she's made of rubber and spit, so it wasn't a problem. A mere two days later, she was at it again.

Have I mentioned how I love this child? How I know her strength and ingenuity and utter lack of fear will be of great benefit to her in adult life?

Assuming she doesn't kill herself first.

DVD Report: Elephant Parts

In the heady days of the dawn of the 80's, we here in our small town had one video rental store, and its stock was evenly divided between Betamax and VHS. Betamax people were as tetchy as Mac people still are about the superiority of their platform and the moral implications of using The Other One. (And yes, I use a Mac on regular basis, and yes, I love it, but come on, people. These are hardly the great questions of our time.) Videos cost about $80 each (or so they assured--that is, charged--you if you lost one), and there were maybe 200 tapes of either size in the tiny storefront next to Chuck E. Cheese. An unimaginable conucopia!

Pause here to note the radical shift in the consumption of filmic text in the last 20 years. When I tell my kids about waiting for the one night a year The Wizard of Oz was shown on television, they snort in derision. Truly, they "own" movies--many hundreds of them--in a way we never did. That must have an effect on their perceptions, don't you think? I know a kid who once watched Toy Story every day for a solid year. Before tsking at the parenting or lack thereof implied by such a remarkable fact, dwell for a moment on the ideological implications, the silent Althusserian effect of such repeated viewings. Pavlov only wished he had that kind of access. End of digression.

So there weren't very many videos, and music videos tended to be limited to things like The Last Waltz: fabulous, but most people had seen it as a midnight movie, and the idea of owning a film in order to watch it over and over again was really quite new. My eldest brother, who essentially flipped a coin and chose VHS over Betamax (which is how I come to have a still pretty watchable copy of early MTV videos), was always looking for the next thing. A single man living in a crappy apartment with 8' ceilings, he had all the new techno toys and staying with him was a privilege my next older brother and I fought over. He had a cable box with ten buttons on top, this new channel, HBO, where movies were shown without commercials, so you'd better go to the bathroom before they started, all kinds of cool shit.

And one day he brought home Elephant Parts.

I grew up in the country: we didn't have cable TV. My town cousins did, though, and I was fascinated by the reruns on channels 5 and 11 from New York. Unfortunately, when we visited, the kids were generally thrown unceremoniously out of the house and sent to the park, so kung-fu movies and The Monkees were rarely glimpsed treats. (NB: I was born scant weeks after the release of The Monkees' first album: no, I don't remember them that first time around.) So I knew who Mike Nesmith was, had some sense of his role in all that, but wasn't really on top of the whole White-Out/Pacific Arts Corp. stuff.

My recollections of the film were mostly being confused by the comedy bits and liking the music videos, the most popular of which was called "Cruisin'."

"Cruisin'" actually got a fair amount of airplay on early MTV--of course, back in those days they had about twelve videos, so anything they had they played frequently. (My boys Shoes were on all the damn time, for example.)

Here's a pretty even-handed review:
In 1981, Michael Nesmith decided to branch his comedic abilities into a new style and uprooted a Saturday Night Live-like movie that has become a cult classic. To watch Elephant Parts in 2003 is a somewhat disarming experience—in a way it's like being transported back to the (somewhat) innocence of the early 1980s. There are a few of gags that are still pretty funny (the bit with the Elvis Drugs is particularly amusing), though a lot of the material falls flat on its face. The placid nature of many of the skits is due mostly in part to the fact that times have changed and so has the country's sense of what is funny. Whereas a Marines skit featuring an effeminate gay man with a lisp was hysterical in 1981, today it's just downright un-PC (though I will admit I did let out a minor giggle…after all, I'm only human). As for the musical numbers, they're standard video stuff with Nesmith playing a few funny characters, like a smooth lounge singer or a smitten '50s rock and roller. Chiming in at around an hour, the film's often blandly obnoxious nature ends just as you're ready to pull the plug. While this isn't fall down funny TV, it does have its charming moments that will work best with nostalgia fans and those who think big game hunters shooting supermarket vegetables is fascinating entertainment. Otherwise, stick with Mr. Nesmith's original TV effort.

This is getting long, but there's one thing that struck me pretty sharply about the DVD: drug humor. Remember drug humor? It was pretty standard by the late 70's, and then all but disappeared in the Reagan Era. In thinking about the various ways in which Elephant Parts just isn't "of our time," this is, I think, the most striking. Eric Schlosser, in his excellent book Reefer Madness, emphasizes not only the tectonic shift of the role of drugs, but the alarming speed (and hypocrisy) with which they were demonized and excluded from popular culture. Nesmith's sketch "Name that Drug," which features a narcotics agent vs. a Marin County hot-tub salesman trying to identify pot on a game show--"I can name that drug in four tokes." "I can name that drug in three tokes."--is not all that funny, but it's a cultural artifact from the other side of that historical divide.

And his tirade about peak oil and gasoline prices is just freaky and prescient.

It won the very first Grammy for best video. Of course, there wasn't much competition. Whether that makes it visionary or crap is up to you, I guess.

(Oooo! I see that in its day, it was avalable on Videodisc! Shades of SLC Punk!! "See this! It looks like a shiny record! But there's a movie on there!")

Conclusion: worth seeing, though primarily as historical record. I got it from Netflix, myself--not sure I'd actually buy it.

UPDATE: Nesmith has a new record and a decent website. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Bad Songs

Via Dave Barry:

In a recent column I noted that certain songs are always getting played on the radio, despite the fact that these songs have been shown, in scientific laboratory tests, to be bad. One example I cited was Neil Diamond's ballad "I Am, I Said," in which Neil complains repeatedly that nobody hears him, "not even the chair." I pointed out that this does not make a ton of sense, unless Neil has unusually intelligent furniture. ("Mr. Diamond, your BarcaLounger is on line two.")

Well, it turns out that there are some major Neil Diamond fans out there in Readerland. They sent me a large pile of hostile mail with mouth froth spewing out of the envelope seams. In the interest of journalistic fairness, I will summarize their main arguments here:

Dear Pukenose:
Just who the hell do you think you are to blah blah
a great artist like Neil blah blah more than 20 gold
records blah blah how many gold records do YOU have,
you scumsucking wad of blah blah I personally have
attended 1,794 of Neil's concerts blah blah What about
"Love on the Rocks"? Huh? What about "Cracklin'
Rosie"? blah blah if you had ONE-TENTH of Neil's
talent blah blah so I listened to "Heart Light" 40
times in a row and the next day the cyst was GONE
and the doctor said he had never seen such a rapid
blah blah. What about "Play Me"? What about "Song
Sung Blah"? Cancel my subscription, if I have one.

So we can clearly see that music is a matter of personal taste. Person A may hate a particular song, such as "Havin' My Baby" by Paul Anka (who I suspect is also Neil Sedaka), and Person B might love this song. But does this mean that Person B is wrong? Of course not. It simply means that Person B is an idiot. Because some songs are just plain bad, and "Havin' My Baby" is one of them, and another one is "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown."


Other popular choices were "A Horse with No Name," performed by America; "Billy, Don't Be a Hero," by Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods; "Kung Fu Fighting," by Carl Douglas; "Copacabana," by Barry Manilow; "Me and You and a Dog Named Boo," by Lobo; "Seasons in the Sun," by Terry Jacks; "Feelings," by various weenies; "Precious and Few," by some people who make the weenies who sang "Feelings" sound like Ray Charles; "The Pepsi Song," by Ray Charles; "Muskrat Love," by The Captain and Tennille; every song ever recorded by Bobby Goldsboro; and virtually every song recorded since about 1972.

"It's worse than ever" is how my wife put it.

Barry's conducting a survey: feel free to participate.

I wonder if the song has to be popular? If not, I nominate "Skinhead Boy." Though "Muskrat Love," I agree, is a close second.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Sometimes You Wish You Were Making It Up

....but the wingnuts have now actively embraced the neo-Nazis.

Vis The Poorman:

Following in David Horowitz’s ever-unfortunate footsteps, token black wingnut La Shawn Barber juxtaposes liberals’ cruel attacks on neo-Nazi jailbait pop group “Prussian Blue” with their complete silence on the continued existance of the NAACP. Oh, the hypocrisy! She bloviates:

If defending and advocating for your race is a bad thing, it should be bad across the board. Disband the congressional black and hispanic caucuses. Shutter the NAACP, which has become nothing more than a clique of partying elitists who give out awards to pedophiles. Why are racial minorities allowed to honor their race, while whites are not? Why is there a stigma against being proud of your white skin, but not black or brown skin?

And she doesn’t even mention how the NAACP sells crack to finance vote fraud! Which is, like, totally true!

I blogged about Prussian Blue some time back: they make my skin crawl.

Remember the King of the Hill episode where Bobby King, in his quest to become a stand-up comic, researches his ethnic heritage? "Who here is from the Aryan race? Give yourselves a big hand!" Truly, parody is outpaced by these peopple.

UPDATE: JR, kerosene and a match, points me to Repectful Insolence, where Orac is all over this story. There are several updates, so hit the main page, too.

I Know, I Know, I Know

And yes, I am worried about the creeping fascism this pic implies.

But more than that, I'm worried about its resemblance to this.

Creepy, isn't it?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Riot Grrrls to the Rescue!

It must have been just about as Jane was posting this last night, after my fab gourmet dinner (no, we didn't eat the duck), that we were watching the DVRed episode of The Alternative from this Sunday night. L7's "Pretend We're Dead" came on (I had a button then that borrowed a line from that song: "They're neither moral nor majority"), and I asked Thers where all our L7 was--something of a pointless act, since I organize the CD's, and if I don't know, he certainly doesn't. I spoke to the teen about the Riot Grrl movement a few days ago, and have been meaning to share stuff with her since.

And now I learn this:

I’m pretty damned thrilled to announce that Donita Sparks, formerly of L7 and the author of such anthemic songs as Let’s Pretend We’re Dead, Shitlist and Can I Run, will be joining the FDL crew as our music columnist. She’s going to be doing a whole bunch of innovative stuff — from introducing new music, video podcasting of requested cover songs and all sorts of other assorted mischief — each Friday morning at 11:00 am (debuting this coming Friday).

She’ll also be around to chat with folks which will undoubtedly include me because Donita is my idol and I happen to be her biggest, most unapologetic fan in the world. The fabulous Fini Finito who runs the MySpace Page for the Roots Project will be helping her out with the technical side of things, so we hope to be pushing the bloggy outer limits .

As if FDL wasn't a must-read already!

They've got a new Donita video over there: here's some vintage L7.

SteveAudio on The Beatles

Steve Audio's been around here some, and around Eschaton, but I admit I haven't looked too much into his stuff until recently. Apologies all around. But he's One of Us, no question. This is from hisHuffington Post piece "The Beatles Changed Everything."

1. Prior to the Beatles, and during a large part of their music output, artists recorded where record labels dictated. Labels all owned their own studios, including one of the most famous, Capitol Studios, where I worked for 5 years. And EMI, Capitol's parent company since the '50s, also had several studios in England, in the London Area, specifically, including one called Abbey Road. I'm sure the conversation went something like this: "All right then, lads, lets go 'round to Abbey Road, and make an album this afternoon."

By the end of their recording career, the lads had broken that hold, and were recording anywhere they wanted, even at some of the independent studios not affiliated with record labels.

Today, every band enjoys that freedom.

2. Prior to the Beatles, artists recorded when record labels dictated. Sessions were 3 hour blocks, called 'singles'. And for pop music, being recorded on only 3 or 4 tracks at that time, the single was enough time to lay down, at the very least, one 'single' side, or song (one side of a 45 rpm single.) In many cases, with good pre-production and session players, 2 or 3 songs would be finished in a single session.

Sessions ran roughly 10AM-1PM, 2PM-5PM, and 6PM-9PM. The Beatles broke down both of those walls in several ways. First, after their initial success, they started their sessions whenever the hell they wanted, including midnight, if that was their mood. And as the music got more experimental, and complex, and as more drugs were ingested, the sessions became longer, and longer, and longer. And that meant hours of recording, re-recording, and mixing for a single song. Was EMI freaked by this extravagance? Yes, but, as long as the records continued to sell, they agreed. Hell, these were The Beatles, who was gonna tell them no?

Today, most artists enjoy these freedoms.

3. Prior to the Beatles artists recorded with whom record labels dictated. EMI matched The Beatles with George Martin, which would have seemed completely insane, considering that the classically trained Martin's prior work was largely with comedy recorded acts, in other words, someone working a non-emotionally connected day gig. He largely hated pop music, and only agreed to work with the lads because...wait for it...IT WAS HIS JOB! He had no choice! "Right, George, we think these boys might have something unique, see if you can polish it up a bit." "Uh, righto, then, boss."

Engineers at that time were on staff at studio. You worked with whatever engineer the studio assigned, sometimes even different engineers on the same song from day to day.The Beatles were lucky enough to have some continuity, working initially with Norman 'Hurricane' Smith, and later with Geoff Emerick (worked with him, very nice man, still really loves to work, recently produced/mixed Nellie McKay-check her out). And by this time, they had enough clout to take the engineers with them when they worked at outside studios, which previously was not allowed.

Today, only smaller owner-operator studios have staff engineers. Major studios have Assistant Engineers, who work with the independent free-lance engineers that are hired by directly by the artists. And today, while the label still initially has most of the say in who the producer is, successful artists choose whatever producer they want.

Also, keep in mind that many classic pop/rock records had very few of the actual band playing. Virtually all the Beach Boys records used the famous "Wrecking Crew" of famous studio musicians, many of whom played on records considered epiphonal by such other artists like The Byrds, etc. The Beatles used a session drummer or two in the very beginning, and brought in musicians for instruments that were out of their experience, like trumpet, etc, but otherwise, they played damn near all the isntrument, snd sang all the parts.

All artists today enjoy these freedoms.

It goes on like this, but I think you can see where he's going here.

I grow impatient with those who sneer at the Beatles because they weren't the Rolling Stones or the Kinks or whatever. No, they weren't. They were doing something different and, in many ways, more important and more groundbreaking. They broke ground for others, and it's just snotty adolescent anxiety-of-influence stuff to dismiss that contribution. As SteveAudio notes, they changed everything.

Thanks, SteveAudio.

(For more ruminations on music and politics, and often both, here's Steve at HuffPo. *mwah!* And don't miss his ongoing correspondence with David Horowitz in the first link in this post.)

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Reason for Delay

Not my house, but one quite near my brother's, yesterday.


Because Kid C is a WATB

I'm working on a whole J-Pop rumination, but Kid Charlemagne is impatient. Therefore,

The Pillows

Rumination to follow. For now, enjoy!

Saturday, July 01, 2006


We at Power Pop are

(a) not drowned

(b) have elecricity again


(c) not yet quite ready to begin posting.

Check soon!