Burned By The Sun........
Music. Life. Los Angeles.
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
I Really Wish I Wasn't Broke Right Now
Because I should be making travel arrangements to go see Iggy and the Stooges, the Strokes, AND the New York Dolls in New York August 14. New Yorkers should find this more than adequate consolation for the fact that Field Day got all screwed up last year. Plus, they get that free festival on Coney Island every year (Siren Fest, right?). Damn them.
Well, If I Had Thought of This, Maybe I Wouldn't Be Broke
People are selling Glastonbury mud on eBay. I should've picked up a few handfuls of dirt while I was in front of the main stage at Coachella.
You'll never guess who got kicked out of the Libertines. As you may or may not recall, the same thing happened at around the same time last year.
"What Do You Do For A Living to Have Such a Nice Car?"
...asked a cop who pulled Eric Clapton over for speeding (he was driving a Ferrari). Meanwhile, Clapton's "Blackie" strat just sold at auction for $959,500.
-Spiderman 2 is really good.
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
What the Hell Kind of List Is This??
Okay, you guys. I think I've found it. The WORST rock-related list in the history of lists.
Kerrang Magazine's list of the Most Important People In Rock:
1. Sharon Osbourne
3. Brian Becker (boss of Clear Channel)
4. Justin Hawkins
5. Rick Rubin
I swear, I'm not making this up. I got it from the BBC.
And if that Top 5 isn't insane enough... Avril Lavigne is number 10.
Misc. (and a tribute to Chene Park)
- In my Beatles history class this past semester, we learned about how the skiffle craze and Lonnie Donegan's "Rock Island Line" was one of the most important influences on the Beatles when they were kids. So I found this article about the times and influence of Donegan, written by Billy Bragg, pretty interesting.
- Holy crap! I forgot all about the Comerica Michigan Tastefest until today. You see, it's this food/music festival that happens in Detroit every year during the Fourth of July weekend. Last year I saw Wilco there. And best of all, it's free! So, I checked out the music lineup for this year's show, and while the national act lineup is a little dull (Jet? Rooney?), the local stage looks pretty good. I will definitely go see the Electric Six, but hopefully I'll get a chance to check out some other bands too.
- Hey, it's a tracklisting for the new Libertines album! It should be out August 30 in the UK. Hopefully the US date won't be too long after that.
- Bob Dylan is touring this summer with Willie Nelson. If only I could talk my friends into a road trip to Peoria. In other Bob news, he now has another honorary degree(a doctorate in music from a Scottish university) to go with his Princeton one.
- In case you haven't already heard, Lollapalooza is cancelled. I can't say I'm surprised. An indie lineup might work well in LA or New York, but it just won't put asses in seats in middle America. I mean, here in Michigan, Pine Knob (I refuse to call it DTE) holds 15,000 people. There was no freakin' way that was going to sell out. Plus, Pine Knob just too big. I don't want to see a concert there. Now maybe if the show had been booked at Chene Park (which holds about 5,000 and is beautiful due to its location right on the Detroit River)I might have been more enthusiastic.
Speaking of Chene Park, why isn't it used more? Granted, it is an outdoor venue, and Michigan does have some pretty shitty weather... and the area it's in is a little on the, uh, gritty side, but still. The venue is safe, and has a decent seating policy (unfortunately, there are actual seats. But they're divided into three sections, and seating within the sections is done on a first-come-first-serve basis.) While you're waiting in line to get in, you can have a seat on the nice, soft grass and enjoy the breeze off the river. But best of all, there is no back to the stage, so you get to look out across the river and see the lights of Windsor (as well as enjoy the sunset). And all these drunk, crazy-ass old people stop their yachts to watch the show and dance. It's a great venue. But it seems like the only acts that play there are Motown has-beens. Oh well. Perhaps one day decent bands will get booked there (hey, it happened once, with that Strokes/White Stripes show), and more Detroiters will get a chance to enjoy the venue (and laugh at the drunk yachters).
Friday, June 18, 2004
Week In Review
Yeah, it's a (long) week in review sort of thing, because the diet I started on Saturday tried to kill me. More on that later though.
-First of all, you might want to take a look at this great mp3 stash. There's so much good stuff here I don't know where to begin. But you should definitely snag the White Stripes' live version of Dylan's "Lovesick". And the Icarus Line song is good. If you haven't heard Franz Ferdinand or the Killers yet, I saw a song by each. And if you hate the Strokes and didn't hear Room on Fire, you should still give "The End Has No End" a chance.
-The NME has a review of that first New York Dolls reunion show in London. I used to think that bands that got back together after, like, 20 years were pathetic. But after seeing the Stooges and the Pixies kick ass, maybe late reunions aren't such a bad idea after all.
-Oh, speaking of the Pixies, I guess they released a new song exclusively on iTunes called "Bam Thwok". It sounds like it'd be pretty cool, but since my mac is in a storage unit in LA, I don't really have any way of hearing it.
-I didn't know some actress paid for Pete Doherty to be flown out to Thailand. But I guess it really doesn't matter now, since he's already back.
-There seems to be a spate of band breakups recently. Although the Creed split was good news, and I didn't really care one way or the other about Phish, I was disappointed to hear that All Night Radio split up and that Beulah are calling it quits after some New York show.
-I suppose I'll end the news section with some goodies from the Guardian. A feature on the Cure, and
a look at the famed picture of John Kerry and John Lennon and other politician/celebrity photo ops.
Franz Ferdinand Are Cool. And By Cool, I Mean Totally Sweet.
So, my friend Crazy J and I were waiting on Woodward to get into the venue and it's drizzling, so we took shelter under a store awning (is that even spelled right?).
All of a sudden, I hear her go, "AAAHHH!" and I look to see what the hell is going on. It looked like she had oatmeal on her hand.
"A bird pooped on my hand!" she wailed, as she frantically tried to wipe it off on the side of the building.
I laughed my ass off, handed her a kleenex, and told her, "Believe me, this show will be so awesome, you're gonna forget all about the bird poop."
The opening bands were enjoyable. Nobody in the audience could figure out what the hell the first band was named. Some people even asked the singer after the set, and they turned to us all and shrugged 'cause they couldn't hear what she said. Which is too bad, because they were pretty good. I suck at describing music, so I'll just say it was kind of angular and new wavey with a garage rock roar.
Next up were Sons and Daughters, who are from Glasgow. I think that's what they said. I really have no idea how to describe this band, 'cause they're pretty different. The singer played a tamborine and stomped her feet a lot. It's good foot-stomping music. I remember they played a song called "Johnny Cash" and it was really good. Most of their stuff was good.
As for Franz Ferdinand, you already know I've seen them before, and that I love them. I think though, I figured out this time how they get the audience to clap without asking. Whenever their lead singer points his finger in the air or at the audience, or wherever, that's when people start clapping. It's an effective and amusing system. It was also amusing when there was some pre-song banter:
Alex (the singer): This is a song about a girl from Glasgow...
Loud girls behind me (in unison): Jacqueline!!
Alex (looking at someone in front row center): What? (then leans over to hear them, laughs) Yes. Someone up here got it. The girl's name is 40 feet!
Nick (the guitarist): She must be one ugly bitch, if she's got 40 feet!
The intro "This is a song about a girl from Glasgow.." became something of a recurring joke.
I also gotta give those guys credit for playing as hard as they did, because the venue was almost like an oven. Just a great show. I managed to snag a setlist, but when I actually looked at the song order on it, it was totally different than what they actually played (maybe to accomodate the joke mentioned above).
I think that's great. It always surprises me that some bands choose what they want to play and the order of songs before they even set foot onstage. I think a great band should be able to read the audience and decide what song they need to hear (a rocker? a ballad?) at what time. That's what supposedly made the Beatles a good live band. Or if you start a song and halfway through you're tired of it, why continue? Why not switch to another song that you'd be more enthusiastic about playing? Hey, it works for the White Stripes.
Diet, My Ass!
So. I'm not fat or anything, but it would be cool to lose about 10 pounds, so I decided to go on the South Beach Diet. I looked through the book and the science behind it seemed to make sense, and the meal plans sounded good. I figured the first two weeks would suck, since you can't eat fruit, grains, or any dairy other than low fat cheese. But it's only two weeks, right? Piece of cake.
At least that's what I thought. My experience with this stupid diet went like this:
Day 1: Fine.
Day 2: Felt a little off, but otherwise fine.
Day 3: Could do nothing but sleep. Literally slept all day.
Day 4: I don't remember a single thing about Tuesday. I seriously don't.
Day 5: Felt like hell. Said "Fuck this!" and ate some low-carb bread and fruit. In other words, I basically quit the diet.
Day 6: Felt like hell.
Day 7: Fine.
I honestly don't think there's a safe, easy way to lose weight besides exercising and not eating junk food.
Well, maybe liposuction.
If You Like Foreign Films, Or Movies About Cricket
I saw Lagaan sometime this week. It's a Bollywood film about this poor village in India that makes a bet with this jerk British officer who runs their province. If they beat him and his pals in a game of cricket, they don't have to pay any taxes for three years. But if they lose, they have to pay triple taxes that year (which means they'll starve to death). It sounds kind of dumb, and it's 4 hours long, but there are a lot of funny parts, the musical numbers are extravagant, and it's really good.
I think Lagaan translates to 'taxes'. Which, if you think about it, is a hilarious title for a movie. Or the worst movie title ever. I mean, who would want to see a movie about taxes? Can you see people saying, "I'm gonna go see Taxes this weekend!"
Celebrate With Dignity
Yes, I did watch that final game of the NBA Finals. And if you're curious, I was rooting for Detroit, because LA won a bunch of other times. And the Lakers just think they're so great. But, anyway, my favorite part of the game was when Detroit won, and they had that little public service announcement with some players and the coach saying crap like, "This is Detroit's chance to shine, please celebrate with dignity." Which, as any Detroiter can tell you, translates to: Please don't riot!
Speaking of Detroit and LA, I have until a week from today to decide where I'm going to finish college. I got rejected from USC's music industry program, which is probably for the best, considering I had no idea what the hell I was gonna do with that degree (I just liked taking the classes. Fascinating stuff). So now I'm thinking about English or Anthropology. And I could do that at a school in Michigan for a hell of a lot less money. Which is probably the right thing to do.
But I'd really miss LA.
So my future is uncertain. But one thing is for sure.
Even if I stay in Michigan, I am so not missing next year's Coachella.
(At least I have my priorities straight)
Friday, June 11, 2004
You know that part in Office Space where they destroy the copier...
That's what I want to do to this computer right now. It keeps locking up every five minutes.
I Don't Know Why I Bother
Did anyone watch those MTV Movie Awards last night? I did, against my better judgement. I swear, those skits/award introductions get worse every year. Do they consistently try to hit new lows? And what the hell was with the mental institution of horrors theme? I know LA supposedly has the largest population of goths in the US, so was MTV trying to pay tribute to that or something?
Anyway, musical performances. The Beastie Boys' new song is okay, I guess. I don't really remember it, so that's not a very good sign. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs were pretty good; it was kinda weird to see them with all that scenery (giant flowers!) and confetti onstage. D12 was dressed up like Guns N Roses (although not historically accurate, since Slash and Buckethead were never in the band at the same time. And one dude was dressed like Angus Young). Which matches pretty well with the theme of the song. After all, who's a more tyrannical frontman than Axl Rose?
"If someone asked, 'Did you guys get along?' I'd say no. But seeing a whole movie dedicated to our not getting along? It's like we were a bunch of nuts!"
There could be a Ramones documentary, End of the Century, out this summer, according to the Guardian. The film is finished, but there are a bunch of legal complications relating to the use of music and concert footage. Plus, before it can be approved by the folks who mind the Ramones' business matters, they have to add more footage with Joey, who died before the filmmakers could interview him.
- Detroit's Metro Times has a feature about the MC5,written by their one time manager, John Sinclair.
- Okay, I told myself I wasn't going to write anything else about the Libertines unless it was something regarding, you know, their music. But this just came out of left field. Apparently rehab centers in London and France weren't good enough, because Pete Doherty is now going to a monastery in Thailand.
- I can't believe so many music news sites have a story about Morrissey's remarks from a show in Dublin. Sounds like he announced to the audience that Ronald Reagan had just died, and said he wished it could have been Dubya. Seeing as how Morrissey will not lose a single fan from this, and most people in the US don't even know who he is anyway, I don't understand what the big deal is.
Speaking of Morrissey, he's in the running for the title of 'World's Sexiest Vegetarian'. But then again, so is Weird Al. You can vote here. Someone emailed me to share that Morrissey is actually in the lead so far, but I'm not sure if there's a link to that info.
- Isn't it some old wives tale that death comes in threes? It's kinda weird. Reagan died on Sunday, Monday I saw that Robert Quine had died of a heroin overdose (if you haven't read it elsewhere, he was the guitarist for the Voidoids (Blank Generation is a great album), if you own the Velvet Underground album The Quine Tapes, he's the guy who made those recordings, and he eventually went on to play with Lou Reed), and then Ray Charles died.
Friday, June 04, 2004
"Nay! We Are But Men! ROCK!"
RetroCrush has a list of the 50 Greatest Song Parts. It's a pretty good list, and has some moments that are just dead on, like the Tenacious D lyric above, and the part in "Rock Lobster" where they make all those goofy noises after yelling "There goes a manta ray!"
If you plan to send a text message containing Clash lyrics to a friend, make sure it actually gets sent to the right person.
One guy was questioned after sending part of the Clash's "Tommy Gun" to the wrong person, who was concerned about the message and contacted police.
One Shitty Band Down, 10 Million To Go
You've probably heard that the Creed breakup is now official. But before you rejoice, keep in mind that the Backstreet Boys are making a new album.
Rock Legend Does Coke!
I love these articles about rock stars doing drugs. Is it even news? Especially when they did the drugs, like, 40 years ago?
-After managing to pry my lazy ass away from VH1 and that 100 Most Metal Moments countdown (that's pretty much all I've done this week, my life is very sad. Also, shouldn't pissing on the Alamo rank higher on the list?), I had a chat with my friend Bobby, who had an interesting celebrity sighting last week.
As you may know, Morrissey was supposed to do a week-long residency on the Craig Kilborn show last week, but cancelled due to 'illness'. The performance I dissed was actually an old one from like, two years ago.
Anyway, Bobby ended up in the Gucci store on Rodeo, and who did he see buying a shitload of clothing? Morrissey. Bobby reported that he looked pretty healthy, but did seem to be in a pissy mood.
Well, I guess I'd be in a pissy mood too if I spent several thousand dollars on some clothes.
- The Guardian talks to Johnny Marr and Lemmy Kilmister.
Hours of Fun
Burned By The Sun