Thursday, August 31, 2006

Happy Merdeka Day!!!

It's Independence Day in Malaysia, so let's take a moment to give some props and repost the video of our fave Malaysian power pop band, Couple.

If you're in KL or Singapore, they've got some gigs coming up: check them out!

OT: Holy God.

Just watch.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Midweek Videoblogging: Brimful of Asha

It's easy to forget what a startling discovery this song was, and the buzz surrounding this band. I was really sad we didn't hear too much more from Cornershop, as I loved this tune.

Oh, it looks like they're in the studio now. Interesting....

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Hasta Luego, Sleater-Kinney

via Pitchfork:

Sleater-Kinney's Last Show: A Retrospective
Story by Julianne Shepherd

Sleater-Kinney settled their 11-year career on bittersweet chords: "One More Hour", the iconic break-up song from Dig Me Out, whose lyrics encapsulate the moment just before a departure. "In one more hour, I will be gone..." sang Corin Tucker, wistfully. "In one more hour, I leave this room…" Their departure was imminent and, it seemed, reluctant. As they played the final tones, the final song in the second encore of their last show, tears streaked each of the three women's faces. They dropped their instruments, hugged each other, and walked off stage.

In retrospect, Sleater-Kinney's final show-- at Portland's majestic Crystal Ballroom, where stage lights cast the band in giant hazy shadows on the wall behind them-- emphasized exactly how many of their lyrics were, in fact, about breaking up, leaving, and saying goodbye, a not unlikely foundation for a band comprised of a former couple (Tucker and guitarist/singer Carrie Brownstein dated for a time). The fulcrum lyric of their opening song, "The Fox", had Tucker screaming, "THERE'S NO LOOKING BACK!" and there wasn't: They weren't retrospective or nostalgic, picking most of their set from more recent albums The Woods, One Beat, and The Hot Rock and sparing selections from career-kickstarting records Dig Me Out and Call the Doctor. Though they played as meticulously and as passionately as ever-- call it the high of the runner's last lap-- it would have felt like any other show, were it not for the psychic weight. As they barreled toward the end, their squalls gaping, chasmal, somewhere between the atonal grind of "Night Light" and the downturned yearning of "Stay Where You Are", the show's mood deepened with its finality. The tumult of chords expanded. Energy converted to discomfort. When Brownstein began murmuring the soft melody of "Modern Girl", there was a bit of sour dread in the air. They had sandwiched a handful of tensely minor-keyed songs into their setlist-- "Not What You Want", then "Steep Air", then "God Is a Number"-- maybe on purpose? You don't choose the setlist of your last show lightly.

For reasons yet unknown, Sleater-Kinney have disbanded. Like separating from the ones you most love, it clearly wasn't an easy severance.


From their 1995 origins in the feminist wilds of Olympia, Washington, Sleater-Kinney's purpose was twofold: to make music, and to make the world better, insofar that any band can better the world. They never attempted this by making grand gestures or megaphonic statements, but by quietly doing: Responding to politics because they were smart and their surroundings-- the localized liberal enclaves of Oly and Portland, Oregon-- demanded it. When Tucker and Brownstein started Sleater-Kinney, they were students at Evergreen College-- aka "Evergroovy," the kind of hippie-holdover liberal arts school that is rigorous and righteous yet has no set curriculum-- studying film and politics (Tucker) and sociolinguistics (Brownstein). The fire of Oly riot grrrl had already begun to wane in intensity-- in 1997, Bikini Kill were on their last legs-- and each had logged time on O.G. R.G. bills in Heavens to Betsy (Tucker) and Excuse 17 (Brownstein), zygote bands which, in retrospect, sound like two parts to a whole. The ladies had seen the young feminist surge of riot grrrl deflate from media exposure, backbiting, and tragedy, and so the politics of Sleater-Kinney were leveled more deliberately and cautiously-- the "personal is political," versus "the roof is on fire."

Sleater-Kinney were named practically, after the road that housed their first practice space in Lacey, Washington (an Olympia suburb known for its appearance in Bikini Kill's "Carnival"). And like many feminist bands since, at first they were heavily influenced by the holler of Bikini Kill's Kathleen Hanna. For parts of their first album, with drummer Lora McFarlane (who Janet Weiss replaced in 1996), both Tucker's and Brownstein's voices are imbued with the imprint of Hanna's impetuous scrawl. But there were also seeds of the gripping Tucker-Brownstein vocal/guitar interplay that gave the band one of the most distinct sounds in rock. On "The Day I Went Away" (whose verse intones, "Do I always have to leave for you to want me to stay?"), McFarlane anchors Tucker's unhinged quivering vibrato, a role Brownstein would take on subsequent records. On that record, their roots showed, but the promise was audible.

By 1996, when Call the Doctor dropped on Donna Dresch’s anarcho-lesbo punk label Chainsaw, Sleater-Kinney were running with the post-R.G. torch: the album was a collection of their most insurrectionist songs, channeling their social unrest and feminist quandary. "Anonymous" lyrically echoes Bikini Kill's first album and captures Oly's restless mindset-- "feel safe, inside, inside those well drawn lines/ Boyfriend, a car, a job, my white girl life." But "Stay Where You Are" is probably the first song of their career where they knew what they would sound like, what worked for them as songwriters-- the indelible interplay!! They were all virtuosos at something, and on Doctor-- and Dig Me Out-- were the seeds: Tucker's distinct vibrato, Brownstein's agile guitar playing, Weiss's subtle bombast. And here, they first exposed their aspirations to become rock icons.

"I wanna be your Joey Ramone," Tucker demanded. Brownstein's hiccuped swagger evoked the sexual narcissism of iconic boy-rockers. "Pictures of me on your bedroom door." Distortion. "I'm the queen of rock and roll."

Long, but there's lots more at the link. Also, see their hiatus notice here. And, of course, a video.

Monday, August 28, 2006

OT: Grrrrrr......

I have a lot of pet peeves, but this is a big one.

With this particular couple, the situation was even worse. Their sex life had died completely, and one of the main causes was the mother's obsession with breast-feeding well into the child's eleventh month. The baby was attached to his mother like a limb, and he even slept with her every night, consigning her husband to a different bedroom.

I told the mother that in being so devoted to her son, she had committed the cardinal sin of marriage, which is to put someone else before her spouse, even if that someone is your child. Furthermore, I said, her obsession had turned one of her most attractive body parts into a feeding station, an attractive cafeteria rather than a scintillating piece of flesh.

In my book "Kosher Adultery," I make the point that infidelity is primarily a sin of omission rather than commission. It is not the bad thing you do that destroys a marriage, but all the good that you fail to do, preoccupied as you are with a sinful relationship that diverts your attention away from your spouse. Similarly, with the example of breast-feeding, a wife who spends a year giving all her emotional and physical affection to the baby has left her marriage a barren wasteland, bereft of romance and affection.

Obviously, breast-feeding is not the same as carrying on an extramarital affair. But when a mother gives her breasts to her son and takes them away from her husband, the effect on the marriage can feel the same.

I am surprised that when scientists discuss all the benefits of breast-feeding, they neglect its most negative consequence. If breast-feeding gets in the way of the marriage—if it means that a husband and wife never go out on dates, or that the mother is so tired from always waking up with the baby that she has no energy to ever be intimate with her husband—the child will probably end up worse off, however many colds or bouts with diarrhea he now avoids.

What. A. Dick.

As one of the commenters asks: "Should a man stop urinating, and, say, install a colostomy bag, so as to not "desexualize" his penis in the eyes of his wife?" No? Then STFU.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Remember that Mick Jagger Sitcom?

I blogged about it here.

Well, Doctor Pop has seen it and reviewed it here. It has a new name--Knights of Prosperity--but looks more or less like it was described initially.

This was originally titled Let's Rob Mick Jagger, and I'd have a LOT more confidence if they'd stuck with that. The deal's very simple -- Donal Logue's not happy with his life, sees Mick Jagger on MTV's Cribs or something, and gathers "the finest men the city has to offer" (cabbies, guys he finds on the street, etc) in order to concoct a plan to rob Jagger in order to finance the bar he wants to build and, in general, make their wildest dreams come true.

It's a whole sitcom about robbing Mick Jagger -- who plays himself, yes.

I mean ... come on! That's the kind of thing I would write a journal entry about saying I wished someone would make this show.

It's not a parody of a heist, but it plays with heist conventions the way My Name Is Earl plays with the conventions of shows like Early Edition, Pandamonium (okay, you don't remember that one, but here's a hint, it isn't misspelled), and other "we have an ongoing mission conveniently divided into discrete episodic sections" shows. So far its funniest moments are the ones that are the least parodic, because they aren't skewering the genre, they're just using it. The weakest are, well, the others -- Donal Logue doing a horrible British accent is only funny in that "oh someone's being unfunny on purpose" way, and we already have a cab driver character, so we already have accent humor.

And I like Donal Logue, so there. It's just my Irish lout thing, what can I tell you? (Besides, he used to roadie for The Lemonheads--how nifty is that?)

A word of warning: I will have nothing to say about the Gene Simmons reality show.

New Loud Family

via fluxblog and asap

After spending most of this decade in retirement, '80s college radio icon Scott Miller has finally returned from his self-imposed exile with a new Loud Family album recorded as a collaboration with fellow Californian power pop songwriter Anton Barbeau.

The record kicks off with a relatively straight cover of the Rolling Stones' classic "Rocks Off," and then settles into the delicately melodic "Song About "Rocks Off"," a clever, self-aware track. It's typical of an artist whose best instincts have always been informed by a combination of inspired song craft and thoughtful postmodernism.

After indulging himself with a favorite song from his teenage years, Miller ruminates on his history with the song, especially his strange, vicarious relationship with its lyrics as a young man, and the way rock lyrics can become sacred texts to teenagers.

Scott Miller is undoubtedly one of the powerpop standard bearers, and it's nice to see he's still on the job. Hear the song here.

And some video from the beginning of this month:

Friday, August 25, 2006

Videoblogging: Slowly, Slowly (Live)

Magnapop from the Mercury Lounge, 2005.

And a dopey lovesong for all you romantics out there (up there?)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Ain't That a Shame?

I'm always struck by the fact that, in going through my site meter, that people still find me when they search for the Nazi Twins, Lynx and Lamb Gaeta. I even got a comment recently with a link to porn site with girls who vaguely resemble them. So, it's a story I've been following somewhat desultorily.

I find these girls amazingly creepy, and see them as creations of their nutjob mother rather than independent actors in their own right. If you want your adolescent daughters to provide wanking material for the Stormfront boys, I guess that's your choice, but in my humble opinion, it's a poor parenting decision.

Well, it turns out that the turmoil isn't over for the poor benighted, racist Gaetas.

After ABC first aired a story on Lynx and Lamb in October 2005, the music duo got worldwide attention, becoming fodder for television talk show hosts like Bill Maher and Joe Scarborough. The publicity evoked a lot of outrage and chatter on Internet message boards.

But no one claims to be more outraged than the girls' estranged father, Kris Lingelser.

"Do they know how many people out there will look at [them] and just go — I mean I get angry, just angry," Lingelser says. "And they don't deserve that anger. They don't deserve that hate. That's not them."


Lingelser, who says he is not a racist, also points the finger at the girls' mother. ABC News played him the girls' responses to interview questions, including the girls' statement that Adolf Hitler was "a great man" who "had a lot of good ideas."

"It's just horrible," Lingelser says. "How do I feel? I want it to stop. I want them to not say 'Heil Hitler.'"


And that's why Lingelser went back to court to try to regain custody, which he lost when he and April first divorced because, he admits, he had a problem with drugs.

"I had a drug issue, and you know, I was not always the most responsible parent," Lingelser says.

ABC News uncovered a troubling letter in which Lingelser threatened to kill April and the twins if she told police of his drug abuse.

No idea why a mother who pimps her daughters out as racist porn would be preferable as a parent to a guy who used to have a meth problem, but, as Thers noted, it probably has something to do with drugs and mandatory sentencing. The judge may not have had much choice in the matter.

Note, too, that this story copies word-for-word, paragraph-for-paragraph, the stories from last year about these two. Is this common in the news biz? Aren't you supposed to, you know, write a new story, even if it's on the same topic? (Both stories are uncredited productions of ABC News.) This would just annoy me as a writer, except that there's a serious edge here too: AOL is still not addressing the real meaning of the term "Prussian Blue," preferring, I suppose, the sunnier version in the band's press release. ("Well, I know they call themselves "Die Jews, Die," but their press release says it's German for "The Jews, The," and we believe them.") (with apologies to Sideshow Bob) That's just careless reporting: once the truth has been discovered--even by a (gasp!) blogger--there's no reason to keep repeating the lie.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Monday Random Ten Blogging

Finally got the hard drive back and was able to update the ipod. Now....shuffle!

1. Alice Springs, Liz Phair
2. Rock 'n' Roll High School, The Ramones
3. Heaven's Falling, Cheap Trick
4. Her Psychology Today, GBV
5. Day and Night, Blue Ash
6. Fairytale of New York, The Pogues
7. Good Morning Good Morning, The Beatles
8. My Oklahoma Home, Bruce Springsteen
9. Running with an Older Crowd, The Mendoza Line
10. I'd Rather Be, Myracle Brah

Welcome to the Wingnut Disco!

See, spend a weekend cleaning for a toddler birthday party, and you miss the wonders of the internets.

The (disco) ball gets rolling, as is so often the case, with General J.C. Christian, who proposes an award, "The Dark Stain of Valor," for those who wet themselves at the thought of a brown person with Vaseline. It is far preferable, he believes, to the "Patriot Pampies" recommended by his wife, Ofjoshua.

I'm not ashamed of the sudden incontinence I experience when I see a swarthy person. The dark stain that radiates from my crotch isn't an external display of fear. It's a warning symbol to all around me that I've spotted a potential terrorist and will report him or her to the State Security Apparatus the moment I stop shaking enough to dial my cellphone.

I like to think of it as a kind of self-awarded medal, a "Dark Stain of Valor" or "DSV" if you will. It's a commendation that almost anyone, no matter their class, can obtain. Just as Sen. Specter wore it deservedly and proudly when he attempted to pass his warrantless wiretap legislation, so did Allahpundit when he risked a coronary reporting on the "Ahmadinejad virus" and the dangers of petroleum jelly. Their respective stations in life made no difference. Each earned the DSV solely on his own merit.

(And now I'll always picture the good General as Rich on Lucky Louie. Shudder.)

Then we move on to Corrente, who take the bedwetting theme one further, by setting it to disco music. Their contribution: Pissin' Our Pants (to the tune of "Stayin' Alive"). (Fun typo fact: I first typed "Stain." Huh.)

Well, you can tell by the way I stain my pants
I’m a patriot: just read my rants
Muslims make me want to hiss, when they come at me
I start to piss
And now it’s airtight, it’s inside
I have hung onto my pride
We just want to all be safe
But when I walk I tend to chafe

When you are so frightened the tension is quite heightened
You’re pissing your pants, pissing your pants
Feel the bladder leakin’, everybody freakin’
And we’re pissing our pants, pissing our pants
Ah, ha, ha, ha, pissing our pants, pissing our pants
Ah, ha, ha, ha, pissing our pants…

And we move on to LGF Watch, "I Want Depends"
(to the tune of "I Will Survive".)

So here I go, I'm out the door,
Goin' to Walgreens,
Where I know there's plenty more.
There's just so many products for incontinents like me,
Do you think I'll settle
For less than top-notch quality?

Oh, no, not I!
I want Depends®!
My country needs me at my keyboard, 'cause the evil never ends;
Can't interrupt myself to pee,
Though it happens constantly...
I want Depends®,
I want Depends®,
Hey hey!

And now I'm ready for the latest airport scare,
I'm always glued to all the news here in my basement lair;
Got a steady stream of Cheetos, and intravenous Mountain Dew,
I don't need breaks; I can sit here 'round the clock!
So here I am, somebody new,
I'm fighting with my keyboard and protecting you.
Just in case another Muslim tries to get onto a plane,
I had better go stock up before it all begins again.

It's anyone's guess where this will all end up: laughter really is the only meaningful response to the chronic bedwetters.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Supreme Folk: Roger McGuinn

Like most people who become obsessed with music at a relatively early age, I did and do a lot of backtracking. I wander off into one corner of the universe for a while and get lost, then I find my way back to my central core and explore something else.

I think it was the mid to late 80's when I started with the jangle-pop thing. I horked a Byrds cassette from my poor, put-upon older brother (the one trying to keep Rosie from killing herself below) and played it to pieces, then worked around looking at influences. I got into folk in a small way--Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, mostly, spent some time following the Roches around whenever they were within a hundred miles of here (something that happened more often than you might think). There's a terrific, political folk act that plays around here pretty often, the Burns Sisters, who I just heard have a new record out. The breathtaking record Trio starts to head off toward country, but there's just no arguing with Emmylou's voice, in my opinion. Nor with her successor, Neko.

None of this history keeps me from enjoying folk humor, however, and A Mighty Wind is not only one of my favorite films--suprisingly respectful and poignant on a number of levels--but (I confess with a blush) I also listen to the soundtrack pretty often--and mostly unironically. There's all the movie songs, of course, plus some which are only hinted at in the film (Mitch and Mickey's "One More Time," for example, which I find really evocative of "Dear Prudence") and some which are album-only (The Folksmen's "Blood on the Coal" and alarming cover of the Stones' "Start Me Up"..... "You make a dead man!").

So I was thinking about all this when I read this recent interview with Byrds front man Roger McGuinn. He's long been a hero of mine, not too surprising given the history cited above, and it's interesting to see his take on a number of contemporary atists.

On alt-country
Going back to the Byrds, you mentioned Sweetheart of the Rodeo, which is credited with starting country-rock, and often cited as starting the modern alt-country movement. What are your thoughts on alt-country and the Byrds' role in its formation?
I love Jeff Tweedy and Gary Louris and those guys, and I think what they're doing is wonderful and it's really good music, and it's basically folk music to me. I think they're carrying on the thing we did back in the original days and I'm very happy to hear it.

You mentioned Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, and I see some similarities in their career path and yours -- starting out rooted in folk music and experimenting from there. Again, you can see the Byrds' influence playing out again.
It's a good feeling for me to see that. It's very gratifying.

Can you think of any current bands whose music will stand the test of time?

Well, I look at Elvis Costello ... Are you talking about really, really current?

Well, not the pop charts...

No Britney Spears?

No, nothing like that. Here today, gone yesterday.

I think Wilco is going to definitely stand the test of time -- no question -- and Uncle Tupleo, and the whole No Depression scene, which is now alt-country. I think that's going to be around a long time.

On the legacy of the Byrds.
Looking back, how would you describe the Byrds' legacy on rock 'n' roll?
I guess you'd have to focus on the main points, which would be that jingle-jangle sound of the Rickenbacker electric twelve-string, the pretty harmonies, the melodies -- the folk-based melodies -- and combining the folk songs or style of folk songs with the energy of the Beatles, kind of combining the two because that had not been done prior to "Mr. Tambourine Man". Now some people say it was the Animals, but that was a blues song, but (jokingly pauses), ok, anyway ... We were doing it, then exploring different territories, like country and jazz, and what they called psychedelia, which was really our jazz exploration.

On technology and music.
Going back to what you're doing now -- you're a technology aficionado. How has technology changed the way you approach music?
Well, it's changed the way I record music. I don't have to go to the big studio anymore. I can fire up a laptop and get the same quality recording that you used to only get in the studio, which is great. I've got the new MacBook Pro and I can work it on either Windows or OS X, and run either Pro Tools, or my favorite one is Adobe Audition, and it's got so many plug-ins that it's just like a million-dollar studio in a box. It's just amazing. That technology has democratized recording so that just about anyone can afford a setup like that and record.

It has democratized recording, but it's also democratized the marketing with what's going on with MySpace and...

The Internet has done that, right. The Internet has replaced print press and television and, you know, look at Google. It's just an amazing phenomenon where people are taking their ad money out of TV and putting it into Google. It's just totally different.

And again, I assume you see these changes as positive?

Yes I do, because it's positive for the artist because the artists used to have to rely on the big labels, who were ... you know, it was a form of indentured servitude to the big labels and now that isn't necessary. So I see it as a very positive thing for artists.

Finally, what new music are you listening to -- or are you?
I have XM and Sirius and I kind of scan the channels and, well, I don't really know [laughing]. Fountains of Wayne are good, stuff like that. But I don't listen to a whole lot of new music. I just kind of scan the channels and see what's out there.

I wandered over to check out the Folk Den and got lost for a good couple of hours: what an amazing archive!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Babyblogging: Midweek Edition

We've been enjoying summer here on Liberal Mountain.

SP relaxes on Daddy. His eyes will turn properly brown, though we're not sure when.

Rosie really likes to scare me.

And her uncle, who trusts her less.

I'm (Not At All) Famous!

...but I was a caller on The Majority Report tonight. Reason enough to celebrate.

The Aerovons

I've been a bit behind on my blogging lately (and yes, I will have something to say about both MTV's First 24 and the Baby Boomers in the near future), but I wanted to make sure you all saw this link.

The Aerovons.

I was hipped to this band by Jeff Murphy (yes, *that* Jeff Murphy), who merely noted that their story was strange.

Indeed it is. One of those cases where the story makes the band significantly more interesting.

The Aerovons were formed in 1966 in St. Louis, and in late 1967guitarist/pianist Tom Hartman recorded a demo of his composition "A World of You" at the instigation of his mother. The demo was heard by a representative of Capitol Records, and though he offered the group a session in Los Angeles, Hartman's mother told him the band wanted to record in London. In early 1968, the still-young Aerovons -- Hartman was 16 -- flew to London to play their demo for EMI. EMI was impressed enough to sign them when Hartman and his mother returned to London in August 1968, and the Aerovons even got another offer at the time with Decca. The whole band came back to London in March 1969 to record.

Over the next few months the group cut about an album's worth of material at Abbey Road. Unsurprisingly considering the surroundings, and considering that the Beatles were the group's heroes anyway, the material sounded much like the Beatles did circa 1967-1969, though on the lighter side of what the Beatles themselves came up with. More surprisingly, the album was produced by Hartman himself, who also wrote most of the songs laid down in the studio. Though the sessions were quite well-produced and well-arranged, with some of the settings also reminiscent of the late-'60s Bee Gees or (more distantly) Hollies, the songs were still too derivative to have stood much chance of making a big mark had everything been issued at the time.

In a perfect world, perhaps such a young group should have been given some more time to hone a more original sound. It was and is an imperfect world, however, and before an album could even be released, fate intervened to end the Aerovons' brief career. The sessions had themselves been done as a three-piece, although they'd come over to London as a quartet, when guitarist Phil Edholm left before recording began. Shortly after returning to St. Louis in mid-1969, drummer Mike Lombardo left. EMI, concerned about the personnel shifts, canceled the album, and the band split up shortly afterward, though a couple of rare singles were issued on Parlophone in 1969. Hartman did a single for Bell in 1970 before abandoning the record business to go to college, though he later got into writing music for television, radio, and film.

I have this record: there's not much there there beyond "World of You," which is, admittedly, a great song. On the copious liner notes, it's stated that the reason the drummer left is because his wife left him while they were in England. Hartman, a graduate of my alma mater, went on to do a bunch of commercial and soundtrack stuff.

A great lost chapter in rock history.

Monday, August 14, 2006

SLC Pop!

I have a correspondent, a teacher in Texas, who has sent me some to the coolest, funnest music on the planet. We met at Eschaton, during a conversation in which Atrios asked, "what are the records you go back to again and again?" I noted two Shoes' CDs: Present Tense and Propeller. (These are also available on itunes and emusic, for those of you who need your fix RIGHT FREAKING NOW!) Immediately, I got an email from Mike: we Shoes fans love a fellow traveller. We've been trading songs ever since.

So his most recent email was "If" from Salt Lake City powerpoppers The Happies, whose complete first album is available for free download here, and whose second album--If We Were Really Here--came out last winter. You can hear myspace tunes here.

I love this stuff. Mike's email had a subject line, "Shoesy?" and I replied, "YES!!!" because I'm a geek and get excited about these sorts of things.

Here's one reasonable description:
If rock bands in the mid ‘90s were playing pop songs from the late ’60s, The Happies’ new record, If We Were Really Here, would be leading the pack. It sounds like Jason Lytle of Grandaddy singing for Fountains of Wayne in a Stereolab tribute band playing at Stephen Malkmus’s birthday party. The members of The Happies have created a way to collect the best parts of the best bands and fashion their own sweet-tempered pop songs.

It's a little gooey, a little contemplative, and a lot of yummy. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Hie Thee Hence!

to Dependable Renegade, the bestest photo-n-snark blog on the internets. Watertiger treats this administration with all the pointing-and-laughing contempt that they deserve, from George's attempts to ride a bike to Mrs. Alito's trashy "fashion" sense. She posts at FDL (great week, ladies!) and has been front-paged by Wolcott. And she's a good friend. Clearly, she is a goddess. Plus, her birthday's tomorrow, and she's so close to a million hits she can taste it. Help her along!

Also, next Friday the New York Dolls are playing free in NYC. I've heard the new record's not bad, but I haven't heard it. Have any of you?

Friday, August 11, 2006


Ahem. Excuse me. But eeeeeeeeeeeeekkkk!!!!

Last month's sound check.

Just last weekend, threading through Williamsburg, trying not to run over the hipsters, Redd Kross came on the ipod, evoking a deep sigh from Deeptoej.

"I wonder if they'll ever play this country again," he mourned.

"They played Disneyland," I pointed out.

"Not here, though."

Then, just scant days later, these went on sale. Deeptoej and I exchanged a flurry of emails, and now we're all set to go. (We still need to arrange babysitting, natch.)

When they played in California, Anna Waronker took the stage with them (as you can see here). I really like the album Anna by Anna Waronker--"I Wish You Well" has a fab power pop riff and if one those songs I'l cheerfully listen to a few times in a row. That dog is on my list of bands I missed and need to check out. So Anna, if you google yourself, come to NYC! Feel the love!

Deeptoej also noted that, in the day, RK tended to do two NYC shows in a weekend, one big one in the city itself, and then one at Maxwell's in Hoboken. We're crossing our fingers (though I honestly can't picture the lanky Brothers McDonald on that tiny stage).

Meet us there!

UPDATE: Here's some video from the July show. The sound sucks, but "Follow the Leader" seems more prescient every year.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Nine Years Ago Today...

... Thers and I were married by a blind Irish judge in the upstairs room of an Irish bar in Bayside, Queens. The day was stressful, featuring a full-blown bridal snit and refusal to get married on the part of yours truly and a truly impressive last-minute save by Mother Thersites. Deeptoej gave me my favorite wedding joke pretty much ever: "I always cry at weddings with an open bar." And the teen, who was then barely seven, drank an entire pitcher of coke and ran around until she smashed her head on a stone fireplace and bled. (She was fine.)

For, you Thers. You are and always have been the measure of my dreams.

(And his real favorite video....)

Friday, August 04, 2006

Philly Residents, Get Your Dancing Shoes On!

...and get down to Free Love Friday at the North Star Bar to celebrate the birth anniversary of Percy Bysshe Shelley, who will turn 214. As Pat put it, he would come to your birthday party--if he were still alive--and would certainly hit on you, if you're a lady, or your girlfriend, if you have one.

Plus, Brendan has assembled the most incredible bill for this show. We are excited to play with three truly outstanding acts--and humbled mightily to have to follow them.

Milton and the Devils Party
The Trolleyvox
Patrick's Head
Electric Sex Power

Friday, 4 August 2006
North Star Bar
2639 Poplar St.
9 p.m.
21+, $8

You know I love MDP: I'm also quite keen on The Trolleyvox, who appear on the terrific NotLame compilation, Supercharged Flashlight Pops (which I can't find on their website....).

(I was also hoping to plug Couple's West coast shows, but it looks like they had to pull out. Rats. But there's a new song at the myspace page, which is some consolation. C'mon, Aidil & the kids! America's waiting for you!)

Arthur Lee: RIP

I blogged about his illness here; I had no idea I'd be blogging about his death so soon.

Love's Arthur Lee Dies Of Leukemia

Arthur Lee, the singer and guitarist for psychedelic rock pioneers Love, has died at the age of 61. Lee died yesterday (Aug. 3) at the Methodist University Hospital in his hometown of Memphis after battling leukemia.

His manager, Mark Linn, told Reuters, "His death comes as a shock to me because Arthur had the uncanny ability to bounce back from everything, and leukemia was no exception. He was confident that he would be back on stage by the fall."

Lee formed Love in Los Angeles in 1965 and recorded three albums with the group's original lineup, including 1968's psychedelic classic "Forever Changes," frequently voted one of the greatest albums of all time.

Eldred Jiggle has a nice tribute here.

Go. See.

I can't really explain Attaturk's unique take on Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello--you kind of have to see it to get it. Go.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A Get Well Soon Wish

via AP:

The Knack lead singer Doug Fieger, perhaps best known for the 1979 hit "My Sharona," underwent successful brain surgery Thursday, his doctor reported.

Fieger, 53, had two brain tumors removed during the operation at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, publicist Guy McCain said. There were no details about the tumors.

Dr. John Yu said the surgery was successful and Fieger was expected to have a full recovery, McCain said in a statement.

The Knack's upcoming concert tour was postponed, McCain said. The tour had included stops Aug. 11 at the Corbin Music Festival in Corbin, Ky., and Sept. 2 at the Oregon State Fair in Salem, Ore.

Get well soon, Doug!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Photoblogging, and a Story.

The main hard drive on Liberal Mountain is ailing, and I left my laptop at work, so I missed the long discussion on Eschaton last week about concerts in general and Go-go's concerts in particular. But Richard posted this pic:


True story: I was 16 when I saw the Go-go's. A Flock of Seagulls opened for them, and we arrived at least several hours before the show. I got a coveted place, maybe three back from the barrier. Between AFOS and the Go-go's, there was a crowd push--not completely uncommon in those days, but scary nonetheless. This was about 3 years after the Who concert in Cincinnati, and a good seven or eight before mosh pits became de rigeur at every rock show, so it was rather more scary than fun. I'd slammed to Black Flag in a former discotheque, but this was an arena with thousands of people.

I was sixteen. I was 5'2". I weighed maybe 110 pounds. I hadn't eaten since breakfast. I was separated from my friends.

I fell.

I still remember the utter terror of being underneath the crowd, of no one seeing me, of being stepped on.

A hand reached down and pulled me up: a boy I knew from a confirmation retreat the year before. Paul something. "Are you okay?" he asked me, and I murmured my assent before bolting out of the crowd. (My skepticism for fairy-tale romance comes to me honestly: if I were ever saved from a dragon or a tower, I'd be far too embarrassed that I had gotten myself into such a situation to fall in love with my rescuer.)

I saw the Go-go's from far house right, past Charlotte Caffey, and couldn't see Jane Wiedlin at all, though the rumour was she was commando under her miniskirt, and the crowd chant "Jump, Jane, jump!" was clearly audible. That's what this picture reminded me of. (Richard also posted this one.)