Burned By The Sun........

Music. Life. Los Angeles.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Interpol and the Secret Machines are going on tour together. The LA dates are Oct. 27-28 at the Wiltern, and there are more dates here. As for Interpol's new album, Antics, it seems like everywhere I read someone is talking about how amazing this record is. My verdict after two listens: not amazing, but good. However, I prefer the first album. I love "Slow Hands", though.

Billboard has some news on Frank Black and Weezer. Supposedly a Pixies musical, "Teenager of the Year", is in the works. Wasn't there a Queen musical? Is it just me, or do musicals based on cool bands seem to be reported on left and right, and then you never hear about them again? Do they all end up as off-Broadway plays?

- Velvet Underground drummer Moe Tucker has recorded a few songs with the Raveonettes

- I don't usually like contemporary R&B, but the new Jill Scott record is pretty good, based on what I heard last night at a listening party.

_ I used to want to be an Egyptologist when I was a little kid. So this article about a possible hidden chamber in the Great Pyramid seemed interesting.

- What the hell??

Monday, August 30, 2004

- There's going to a be a sequel to the movie Clerks. The Passion of the Clerks is supposed to begin filming in January, and the plot will pick up 10 years after the first movie. Hopefully, it'll be cool.

- It's already been reported that Jack White plans to produce more albums for Loretta Lynn, but this article offers up some specifics: they're going to do at least three more records, and Lynn hopes one will be a collection of Christmas songs and another will be a religious album titled Thank God For Jesus. The article also says they're planning a tour this fall.

- The Guardian has a good article about the life of Janis Joplin and a new documentary detailing her time spent on the 'Festival Express' train.

Friday, August 27, 2004

So, I did see Garden State yesterday. It was good, but not "I totally have to buy that on DVD" good. A lot of critics have been comparing it to The Graduate, but I wouldn't. I mean, it has some of the same themes, but the presentation is a lot different. Basically, I'd recommend watching the trailer, and if it seems like the type of movie that would interest you, then you probably won't be disappointed. But if you see the trailer and say "That looks dumb/ boring/ etc!" then you should probably skip it.

Hmm...not much else to report. So why not check out the "Train" and "Justin Timberlake & Christina Aguilera" videos at You Have Bad Taste In Music.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Hmm. I checked all my usual sources, and I can't find anything I want to link to or comment on.... Oh wait. I read something in Campus Circle today, I can't find the exact story to link to (I read it in the print edition), it says that Gus Van Sant is currently in production of a movie inspired by the last days of Kurt Cobain's life. He decided to take bits and pieces of what is known of the events leading up to Kurt's suicide and fill in some of the blanks. Michael Pitt is supposedly playing Kurt (I guess I can see it), and the project has the blessing of Courtney Love.

Wait a second! The movie is listed on IMDB, and it's based on a Seattle rock star reminiscent of Kurt Cobain. This just got a lot less interesting.

-Anyway, according to a big-ass ad in the LA Weekly, Green Day is playing at the Henry Fonda on Sept. 16. They're going to play the entirety of their new album American Idiot.

-Oh, I also found this article about the Air Guitar World Championships. I never even knew such a thing existed. I would play air guitar to Van Halen's "Eruption". I'll bet no one else has thought of that.

I'm going to eat at Zankou and then see the film Garden State later today. Well, at least that's the plan. But there's still plenty of time for me to screw it up. Anyway, if I see the movie I'll comment on it tomorrow. No review though. Because we all know what happens when I try to review movies.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

"The Easiest Way to Do Something Is Just Don't Ask Anybody's Opinion..."
That's a good quote. And there will probably be plenty more interesting quotes in the first volume of Bob Dylan's memoirs, which is due out on October 12 (it's the same date in the US too).

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid
The Munsters are coming to the silver screen. And the script is being written by the Wayans Brothers. No, I'm not trying to scare you, it's in the Hollywood Reporter.

Weirdest Lineup Ever?
I'm not sure what's stranger, Jimi Hendrix opening for the Monkees, or Paul Oakenfold and Iggy and the Stooges opening for Madonna at Slane Castle. Actually, I can see Paul Oakenfold...but Iggy and the Stooges? And what is Madonna thinking? There's no way in hell you'd get me to follow the Stooges.

This HAS to Be A Joke
Somehow I don't think the average Nike customer would want to buy John Lennon sneakers.

Other Stuff

- The Onion asks various celebrites what wisdom they would like to impart on the children of the world

- Detroit's Metro Times has posted the winners of its annual fiction and poetry contest. The winning poems are sure to boost Detroit's tourist industry.

- The Guardian reports that live music is on the rise in England.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

- VH1.com has an article about the Shortlist Prize. Right now there's the long list, that has 100 albums (entire list in article), but it'll be whittled down to 10 nominees, and then to one winner. The award ceremony/ concert will be at the Wiltern on Nov. 10. Tickets will probably be expensive, like last year. But you get to be on MTV2, who are going to broadcast parts of the show. And really, who doesn't want to be on tv?? Also, Another amusing thing about this article is that it identifies Devendra Banhart as a "female songstress" (hey, VH1, he's a dude!).

- Why aren't there any guitar heroines? ponders the Washington Post. At first you think it's going to be some sexist moron saying women can't play, but the guy consults folks like Joan Jett and Nancy Wilson about the challenges they faced as women rockers, and comes up with a few plausible theories as to why there aren't any women as esteemed as Hendrix, Page, or Van Halen. It's an interesting read.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Holy Crap. This Entire Update Is Going to Be Really Long.
News Bits:

- Here's a video interview with Libertines bassist John Hassall.

- Tiny Mix Tapes has a list of Morrissey tour dates. And Pollstar has a list of Von Bondies dates. And Wilco is coming to LA! 11/18 and 19 at the Wiltern (if you don't live in LA check here for Wilco dates).

- The Guardian has an interview with Liam Howlett of the Prodigy

- Finally, a TV show that isn't trying to poison the minds of American youth: "The O.C." will have The Walkmen, The Killers, and Modest Mouse on this next season. It's pretty cool that the show is using decent bands, because you know record labels are probably desperate to get their crappy, middle-of-the-road teen "rock" bands on the show.

- The Hives pictures I took at the St. Andrews show are up. These were taken with a crappy disposable camera (which never work unless you're in front row. Fortunately, I was in front row.), and scanned in on an ancient scanner, but I think they still look pretty good.

I'm Not Surprised
So, I checked out donewaiting earlier and I saw this story about Ben Blackwell (drummer of the Dirtbombs, Jack White's nephew, although this article says cousin) telling the BBC6, "Jack hasn't spoken directly to me about it but the word in Detroit is that The White Stripes are near-done." White Stripes breakup rumors have been circulating for a while now, and even this isn't the most reliable of sources. But I'm not surprised to hear this now, and I wasn't surprised a year ago.

The first three times I saw the White Stripes, I saw them in their (and my) hometown of Detroit in 2002. And all three shows were incredible. My favorite thing about the band was just the joy in their performance. I had never seen a band who seemed so delighted to be on a stage, and the childlike giddiness fit their music so well.

The next two times were out here in California in 2003. Coachella and San Diego. I was pretty far from the stage for Coachella, so I couldn't see very much. It was probably the worst performance I've seen them do. Not that it was bad or anything. It was merely good, which is still a disappointment when you're seeing a band capable of delivering an amazing show.

Three days later, I saw them at Soma in San Diego, and I was in second row. I could definitely see this time. It was a great show (not as good as the first three in Detroit), but it was missing something. Somehow, you got the impression that the band just did not want to be there. It was like watching a well-oiled machine that lacked heart. This is what sticks in my head whenever I hear these breakup rumors.

"Pete! Pete! Pete!"
"That's Not Pete, You Idiot!"

Man, as soon as I heard that, I knew it was going to be my title for this post. What happened was that Carl was shaking some peoples' hands, and this guy was trying to stretch his arm to reach while yelling, "Pete! Pete! Pete!" to get Carl's attention. You can probably figure out the rest. So, the Libertines show on Thursday... it was a good show, but Pete is the difference between a good band and a great band. And he wasn't there. The audience, in general, didn't seem to care though. I have to say, it was a pretty strange crowd at the Troubadour.

Normally, people are pretty mellow, and respectful of one another. At this show, people were crazy (which is cool), and complete assholes to one another (not cool). There were these two short brats who were trying to make their way to front row...by punching the people in front of them in the kidneys/ribs, and shoving those out of the way when they recoiled in pain! "We're getting pushed from behind!" they cried. Bullshit. One elbow to the side is an accident. Three or four sharp jabs to the exact same spot is intentional. Plus, there were these big guys who just pushed people out of the way to get up front, despite the fact that some people had waited for a couple of hours for the spot. And then those guys started swearing at the people who pushed back or wouldn't give up their spot. There was a short fistfight between one of the little brats and someone up front. Not my favorite audience, I can tell you that. Why am I telling you all of this? Because the audience had a pretty negative vibe, and it affected the enjoyment of the show not just for me, but for a few friends who were there. And it put me in a bad mood, thus probably coloring this entire so-called review.

Anyway, Stratford 4 opened the show. I didn't think they were particularly exciting to watch, but I enjoyed listening to them. The Libertines' set was a rock solid, no surprises affair, with a mix of songs from the old and new albums. I'll give them an A for effort. And John and Gary (the rhythm section) seemed to be having fun, not much different from the kickass Coachella performance I saw. But what made the Coachella performance so great was the chaotic...hell, I don't even know how to explain it...dynamic between Carl and Pete. They made you want to grab your best friend and start a band, because they made being in a band look like the funnest (shut up, I know 'funnest' isn't really a word) thing in the world. And there just isn't that kind of dynamic between Carl and Anthony. They interact, but it seems kind of forced. And I don't want to say that they weren't playing their asses off, because they were, you could tell it was a lot of work. And that was the problem. I hope that makes sense because I don't really know what else to say.

Oh, and before they walked offstage they signed a bunch of autographs for some people up front. I've never seen anyone else do that. I thought that was really cool for them to do, and worth mentioning.

"This Is A Song About Our 11th President. He Invaded Mexico For No Reason."

Normally my school's program board has the worst taste in music. They book bands like Hoobastank and Unwritten Law and Yellowcard, shitty bands that have one minor shitty hit on KROQ. But this year, they got Andrew WK and They Might Be Giants to do our 'Welcome Back Concert'. Of course, I didn't know that Andrew WK was going to be there, so I didn't bring my camera. Which is too bad, 'cause I would have had a great time photographing that set.

If you like WK's records, you really need to go see him live. He's awesome. You'll watch the whole set with a big, stupid grin on your face. Lots of bands tell the audience to go crazy, but he's really the only guy I've seen who does so convincingly. Many dismiss him as this guy who just writes big, dumb rock songs about partying. But it's not just about partying. It's about living life to the fullest, and appreciating the moment, which he explained during the set. He's part cartoon character, part caveman, and part motivational speaker. And he somehow got the first 10 rows or so of the audience (a mixture of college radio kids and Barbie and Ken lookalikes and frat guys) to jump up and down. It was priceless, everyone started looking around at each other like, "Omigod this is embarrassing and we all look so stupid but this is SO FUN!" I guess they didn't know that generally, the dumber you look at a show, the more fun you're having. And the set ended with "Party Hard" and the most massive, chaotic stage invasion I've ever seen.

I don't really know that much about They Might Be Giants. I'm pretty sure they did the theme song for the TV show "Malcolm In the Middle". And my Euro history teacher played the class the song about Istanbul and Constantinople (which ended up being the encore). But even though I didn't really know any of their songs, I still enjoyed their set. Their stage banter is also amusing (see title of post for an example), they made everyone do the wave ("You have friends who enjoy sports, and you know they enjoy life more than you do. So we're going to give you a chance to experience a little bit of the fun that sports fans do," they explained.), I had the song "Bastard Wants to Hit Me" stuck in my head the next day, and I thorougly enjoyed their own take on "Bohemian Rhapsody"-like decadence, a song I'm guessing is called "Fingertips".

Thursday, August 19, 2004

- Well, it's looking like a pretty slow news day, but I found a couple of cool feature stories. One from Detroit's Metro Times on Wendy Case of the Paybacks (if you've never heard them, there are a couple of mp3s at the Crutch. Good stuff.) and one from the Guardian on the Darkness.

- Dude! What the hell is this search bar thing that's cutting the top off my site? Now I have to fix the template....again.

Karen's Law of Nature #1: The People With the Worst Taste In Music are the Ones Who Play It the Loudest
Hey, remember that guy who lived in the apartment beneath mine last year, who played guitar and sang to Vertical Horizon's "Everything You Want" at 9 am every morning? Well, it seems he's been replaced by morons who blast horrible WB teen drama-inspired 'rock' at 7:30 in the fucking morning! I'm considering investing in better speakers for my computer so I can blast the Stooges, or Marilyn Manson, or something really abrasive right back.

It's bad enough to wake me up that early. But with shitty music?? This means WAR!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

The Suck Stops Here
Yes folks, I am back in LA, and reunited with my beloved Mac. This means that things will start to get back to normal. I have some pictures of Franz Ferdinand and the Hives to post. And I should get the mp3(s) up and running. But I have some crap to tell you first.

- So,did anyone go to that Rilo Kiley instore at Amoeba the other day? Did you expect there to be so many people?? I sure didn't. I mean, I know they're popular around here, but they filled the entire store! Someone at the fan site RiloKiley.net said that the store's 1500 capacity was filled by the band's third song, and 300 people had to wait outside. That sounds about right.

Anyway, the set was enjoyable, but the Echo show I saw last year was a lot better. The band played for a little over a half an hour, mostly new songs. I'd say about half of the songs were really good, with the last song being great. I can't give you any titles, 'cause I wasn't able to pick up the record. The store was a mess afterward, the only thing I could think of was getting the hell out of there. But, based on what I heard, I'll be getting that CD soon.

What else should I mention? Oh, there was this old man standing next to me. After hearing "Portions For Foxes" (probably the highlight of the set. That and the last song.) he turned to ask me "Is that on the new one?" I told him I knew it wasn't on their first album (just found out it is on the new one). He had heard of them just two weeks ago. Which I wasn't really expecting. I had just assumed everyone there was a (somewhat) long-time fan.

After seeing the enormous crowd at the show, I thought "Whoa. If record companies weren't already chasing this band, they're sure gonna start." But I was under the mistaken impression that the band was now on their own label, Brute/Beaute. Which they are. But their label is actually owned by Warner Bros (at least that's what Amazon says).

- Just heard a radio ad for the KROQ Inland Invasion a few hours ago. I didn't hear them say "Ian Brown of the Stone Roses". I had only heard "Stone Roses" and I said, "Holy shit!" But it's not the Stone Roses. And I've seen Morrissey, Franz Ferdiand, and Muse in the past few months. Devore is pretty far, and I don't have a car. So now I really don't care about this show.

- The Libertines show is tomorrow, and that should be cool. A few days ago, my brother commented that they are assholes for not playing Detroit.

(And just for the record, bands who skip Detroit are assholes. Especially bands who have a day off between Chicago and Toronto shows and there are available venues. Damn them. Damn them to Hell!)

Anyway, my brother will have to eat his words, because the Libertines are playing in Detroit. October 10 at the Magic Stick (watch, it'll be 18 and up so he still can't go). The LA dates are: Troubadour 9/19, Henry Fonda 10/2 (more dates here). Will Pete be at those shows? Who knows? He could be in jail for that knife possession charge.

- Well, for the past two nights I stayed at the Best Western that houses the 101 Coffee Shop. There are outdoor hallways around an interior courtyard. At around 7 this morning, this guy was wandering around the halls talking to himself. Then my dad had to go back to the room to get his sunglasses, and he passed the guy, who said, "Wow, I must be a good actor! You guys all thought I was crazy!"

I love Hollywood.

- So, I moved into my (university owned) apartment today. Same exact apartment I had last year. But with one difference: ants have taken over the bathroom. And there's a wad of paper towel stuck to the ceiling. This is in addition to the ineffective air conditioning, hideous, decaying architecture, ill-fitting window screens, general filth, theft issues, and, oh yeah, the rapes and stabbings just down the street. Yes, I am complaining, but my purpose is twofold:

1) If you've just moved into a shitty dorm/apartment, and are pissed off, just be glad you don't live here.

2) Kids, don't ever live in USC housing. Tell your friends not to live here. Maybe if word gets around how much living here sucks, the school will have to do something about it. Hollywood has much better apartments you can have to yourself (no annoying roommate!) for about the same price. Or you might just wanna consider UCLA. Their apartments looked pretty damn new/nice.

Of course, the final coup de grace will be my roommate. But she hasn't shown up yet. I tried to at least find out what her name was (to see if it's the same roomate from last year), but the guy handing out keys said he wasn't allowed to tell me, because he had no way of knowing whether she wanted her information released or not. So lemme get this straight. You're saying it's possible that some girl out there has signed a contract to live with a stranger for nine months, but she doesn't want the person to know her name??

You may have noticed I said the roommate would be the finishing touch. You see, I have bad luck with roommates. All of the ones I've had have liked to bring their noisy, high-pitched voiced, drunk friends back to our apartment at 4 am. Or liked to shriek like a bimbo whenever a sheet of cookies came out of the oven...at midnight (when I have a 9am class). Or had nervous breakdowns. Or liked to fuck her boyfriends (the plural form is intentional) on the couch in the living room while I was in the bedroom, starving, because I needed to get to the kitchen (which is through the living room) to eat dinner. Yes, it seems roommates are the perfect illustration of Sartre's belief that Hell is other people. I can't wait to find out how my new roomie will torment me.

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