Archive for October, 2009

Promises, Promises

Posted in 1 on October 29, 2009 by Legalize

Ok, so I promised to describe what, in my not so humble opinion, is “wrong” with the new A Place to Bury Strangers record, “Exploding Head.”  That’s the album cover right down there:

Above: Clap Harder!

The problem is not so simple.  The problem is that you can’t listen to the thing anywhere except your car, or maybe out in a field somewhere.  Work?  Not unless you want to get fired.  Home?  Not unless you want your neighbors to hate  you.  iPod buds?  Please.  Thing is, there’s not enough sound for how loud the thing is.  And in this case, loud does not make it better.  It just makes it louder.  Don’t get me wrong; there are more than a couple really good songs.  But gone is the melody-under-distortion-made-famous-by-Psycho-Candy sound of the first joint.  It’s just gone.  The Jesus and Mary chain got more melodic as they went along.  And then BRMC buried them for their efforts.  APtBS has gotten less melodic, and what you have left is a heavy, industrial effort akin to early Ministry.  Which is fine.  But not if you are trying to appeal to indie rock nerds.

That said, I suspect that a  lot of indie rock nerds will dig “Exploding Head” just fine.  For one reason, the band’s indie cred is already well-established, and even being in a car commercial won’t change that (as we’ve seen amply).  For another, the dreaded P4k told them not to.  That would normally be reason enough, but I wasn’t in the mood this time.  I still like it.  Technically it’s solid.  It’s tight.  It’s arranged like a proper rock record.  But what is “correct” about the record is ultimately what is also “wrong” with it.  Gone is the anxiety and holy-shit-ness.  With a titled like “Exploding Head,” I would expect a crime scene, but all I got was CSI-style effects.

This on the other hand:

Above: the best record you don't own

The release by Austin, TX’ (yes, I know) White Denim – “Fits”.  Just too fucking good, yo.  I don’t feel like talking about it; just listening to it alot.  Maybe I’ll give “Exploding Head” another listen.



Baseball, Bitches

Posted in 1 on October 16, 2009 by Legalize


Above: Win.

Above: Win.

That is all.

UPDATE: Except for:

Above: The Devil Incarnate

Above: The Devil Incarnate

Add it all up …. Your team lost.

Bringing the St00pid

Posted in 1 on October 8, 2009 by Legalize

It’s often difficult to avoid these stories, even on a dumb music blog no one reads. But this is so fucking stupid it must be repeated wide and far. In fact, it already has. I’m a slow blogger:

There I was, sitting in Reagan National Monday morning, sipping a Starbucks by the United counter before going through security. I had a little time, so I was browsing through the news. Some military guys had borrowed a chair from my table. I looked up from time to time to enjoy the sun streaming through. That’s when I saw Bill Ayers, an instant blight. Scruffy, thinning beard, dippy earring, and the wirerims, heading to order. I gathered my things, got my camera ready, and snapped a shot right when he got his coffee.

I asked–what are you doing in D.C. Mr. Ayers?

For a moment I thought he might be on my flight back to Chicago. Charming. Initially I guess he thought I was laying claim to his coffee or something. He gave me an uneasy cheesy smile when he realized I was taking his picture. I asked him if he was speaking at GW? (Only I said GFW, guess I had the VFW on my mind) He said oh you mean GW, he said no…was trying to decide if I was a fan, then said he was giving a lecture in Arlington to a Renaissance group on education–that’s what I do, education–you shouldn’t believe everything you hear about me, you know nothing about me. I said, I know plenty–I’m from Chicago, a conservative blogger, and I’ll post this. (Oh, yeah, Bill Ayers, quite the Renaissance man, nail-bomber extraordinaire. Gee, I see another friend of Barack, U.S. Sec. of Education Arne Duncan was there too. “The conference theme is “A Time for Reflection, Celebration and Rebirth.” How touching. At best, useless, at worst, so wrong.)

Then, unprompted he said–I wrote Dreams From My Father. I said, oh, so you admit it. He said–Michelle asked me to. I looked at him. He seemed eager. He’s about my height, short. He went on to say–and if you can prove it, we can split the royalties. So I said, stop pulling my leg. Horrible thought. But he came again–I really wrote it, the wording was similar. I said I believe you probably heavily edited it. He said–I wrote it. I said–why would I believe you, you’re a liar.

He had no answer to that. Just looked at me. Then he turned and walked off, and said again his bit about my proving it and splitting the proceeds.

But the question remains–is Barack Obama a fraud? Is his myth-making creation and only major accomplishment a product of Bill Ayers’ imagination? (or his own) Is our President Barack Obama’s biography written by an unrepentant domestic terrorist?

Perhaps I’ll become Bill Ayers’ favorite conservative blogger and he can prove his authorship himself–turn over your notes Bill. And how about turning yourself in for your crimes.

I remember that era, Mr. Ayers. People died because of your actions, including your girlfriend. More would have if you had been more successful. And yet you have the gall to teach the teachers of our young. I won’t forget your murderous intent, your shameful acts, your contemptible lies and evasions. And when history is written, I hope you’ll be reviled–or forgotten.

As for our President, the verdict is still out. But Barack Obama called Bill Ayers friend and colleague for years. That in itself makes a damning statement.

Now that confessing stuff appears to be quite the rage, I admit it. I wrote the Brothers Karamazov. Especially the Grand Inquisitor part. I wrote that twice actually. Pay me.

In other news, this week catches me listening to stuff I like and stuff you’ll like if you like likable-enough stuff:


Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Phoenix - "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix"

I know; it took me all year to finally listen to the whole thing in one sitting.  That one sitting has turned into about 15 sittings in the past week.

And this:

The xx

The xx

Another one I was skeptical about until hearing all the way through in one sitting, in my house – not in the car or at work.  Doesn’t work in the car.  Doesn’t work at work.  The xx are for right after you wake up and start cooking breakfast for two.  Loudly, but not loud loud.  Like Breakfast with the Beatles loud.  Folky.  Electronic.  Hooky.  Sparse.

And this:

The Raveonettes - In and Out of Control

The Raveonettes - "In and Out of Control"

The Raveonettes always look like they are supposed to sound.  This one is not so Jesus-and-Mary-Chainy.  More girl-groupy, with enough moments of noise to keep the whole thing legitimate.  Catching them with the Black Angels on the 24th at the Southgate House – the midwest’s Mercury Lounge.  But bigger.

And this:

Pink Mountaintops - Outside Love

Pink Mountaintops - "Outside Love"

Stephen McBean of Black Mountain fame takes some time to clean up.  Not a contestant for this year’s Black Mountain Award, but a shoe-in for this year’s Carpenters-Meet-Pink-Floyd Award.  Ok, so it’s not that much more differenter than Black Mountain.

Tune in next week when I figure out what’s wrong with the new A Place to Bury Strangers record.