Monday, April 30, 2007

We're All Adults Here, Let's Just Get Thru This 2-Gether

Bon Scott, vocalist, AC/DC (b.1946-d.1980)

"Ahem, thank you all for coming to my lecture, "The History of AC/DC" parts 1 through 25, this will include an extensive discussion of source material and will include a reading of a transcribed interview that I conducted with head professor of Musical Theory at the Unive...excuse me, yes you...please pay attention. Thank you. As I was saying, now, where was I? Oh yes. Part one.

Post World War II Australia presented an ethnically diverse population, due in part to massive volume immigration, and indeed, the influx contributed heavily to pushing Australia into an economic boom and...EXCUSE ME! I'm talking here, whatever in the world are you finding much more engaging? YOU! Yes, you, Miss Invisible, if you would at least afford me the simple courtesy of looking at me when I'm talking to you I would very much appreciate it. Whatever your eyes seem to be trained upon over my head surely cannot be more engrossing than the wonderful knowledge that I am imparting to you, can it? Ahem, that's better. Now let's continue.

Hmmmmm...right. Economic boom and prosperity. The rate of home ownership rose dramatically from barely 40 per cent in 1947 to more than 70 per cent by 1960. Many of these new home owners were Scottish born...OKAY! THAT'S IT! Everyone show a little decorum, stop giggling at whatever in the world you find so funny and, excuse me, why are all the gentlemen in the room now making a mass exodus? Was it something I said?

To continue, one of these Scottish families, The Scotts, took the long journey from Kirriemuir to settle in Sunshine, Melbourne. Isabelle Scott, a hardy of physique yet soft spoken...ahem,...sorry...woman who took delight in...ahem...again sorry...

Fuck this action.

HAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Oh my god!! HAAAAAHAAAAAHAAA. Oh my eyes! Check it. Bon is packin' a "Whole Lotta Garden Hosie".

Okay. Let the discussion begin. Every good lecture has one. Or in this case, two.

currently listening to: AC/DC, Flick of the Switch...and to the sound of my own hysterical laughter. Apologies to anyone who took offense, this blog will now return to regularly scheduled PG rated programming. But remember, I've got big blog, I've got big blog, I've got the biggest blog of them all!

I left "MY LOVE" blank cuz that picture, as you know is right up there at the top of the post. Thanks to Miss I. for making me do this!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

I've Been Burned...AND I LOVE IT!


"It's better to burn out than to fade away." Talk to me Neil, I couldn't agree more. But let us for just one, brief, fleeting moment take the heavy weight from off that ubiquitous, but none the less history-making lyric. Let me pull ya over just momentarily to the lighter side, to a place or parallel universe, where that lyric reads "It's better to side-burn out than to shave clean". After we're done here, the lyric can return to its original content and context, to the place where rock journos dissect and debate its meaning using thousand dollar words, and where Cobain used it to say Adios world, I'm outta here.

I cannot thank Allan over at CamelsbackandForth enough for sending me this bad-ass pick of Ray Manzarek in all his side burned glory. Allan's a kindred spirit who just knew I would love it. And he was right. Fuckin'A. I can never resist a big ole serving of obscure solo album with a side dish heavy on the mutton chops. The pic is from the back of Ray's 1974 album called, get this action, "The Whole Thing Started With Rock & Roll And Now It's Out of Control". Including the length of that title, Ray...easy, easy, brother, stop in the name of Sharpie-ing all that to fit when writing onto a just burned CD.

But then again, fuck the burned CD, this is the kind of music made to be listened to on vinyl. Fuck the CD burn, but glorious big ups to the sideburns! And to the high-heeled, "what-R-U high?" choice of sandals! WTF? But when brother Ray is backdropped by stax of mighty ampage and fronted by a sweeping tidal wave of genius known as MOOG (pronounced to rhyme with vogue, please!)you ain't gonna question his choice of footwear.

Allan played a track on his too-cool-for school radio show, a track called "Wake Up Screaming" which features a pre-Horses era Patti Smith reading a Mr. Mojo Risin' poem and a post-guesting on a crappy REO Speedwagon album era Joe Walsh on guitar.

I had the happy occasion of telling Mr. Manzarek just how boss his burns were. Dude did a signing of his "Light My Fire" book at the gear shop where I worked. He signed it "Sideburns 'R Us" and I think he was rather amused that I appeared to value his contribution to style above the musical offerings of the Doors. He then did a short private concert for the few employees hangin' round in the keys department. I think the keyboard he used appreciated being expertedly handled by someone who didn't immediatedly break into "Music Box Dancer". Ray then glided through a three hour rock-talk for the Learning Annex the next day. So it was a Learn and Sideburn trip-out all round.

I hope y'all enjoy the pic as much as Allan and myself. It's one of those rock thangs that just makes me feel so joyous in being a music fan. Like the time I heard the story of another famous "Rockin' the Muttonchops" performer, George Jones. Tammy Wynette took dude's car keys away so he couldn't go get more booze. So what does Jones do? Cruises and boozes his way to the liquor store on the motorized lawnmower. John Deere became George Needs Beer. Shit man, those are the stories I live for.

George Jones, country superstar, and what a guy would look like if transformation from man to wolfman stopped and stayed at mid-metamorphisis.

One more sideburn shoutout goes to the incredible and most compelling Anton Newcombe of The Brian Jonestown Massacre. His music is hellagood and his history with the burnage cannot be denied. Check out the phenomenal doc DIG! to see what I mean!

Dig it indeed! AND burn, baby burn, Sideburn Infern-o yeah!

currently listening to: Elliott Smith, From a Basement on the Hill

Friday, April 27, 2007

Six Degrees of Rawk seasoned with Bacon bits

I've decided for this post to do a little variation upon theme with the parlor game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon". Oh, don't worry Kev ain't going any place. I'll keep him as close as a Cougar keeps her personal teen-age memories of her at the drive-in bow-chika-bow-wows that went down during first run showings of Footloose and Dirty Dancing. Footloose. Let's start there. Released in...

Pigs of 1984 (oh Orwell...oh Eric Blair, a Blair of the UK that actually has my deep respect.)

Pignose of Footloose, 1984 (god I hate this part, where Kev shouts, "Let's Dance!" and all this sparkly twinkly shit comes out of nowhere. Plus, am I the only one who digs on the fact that a guy with the piggiest nose has Bacon for a last name?

Pignose Amps
(the little amp that could, and would and does rock all the houses that you can carry it to, along with carrying a large pizza, a sixer, a boomstand, a SM58, and your axe. The legendary 7-100 snorts good and loud. Buskers everywhere agree.)
Pignose Travel Guitars (just pull the little piggy snout which activates the onboard amp and yer ready to rock the elderly guests at your backyard BBQ rite outta retirement. No one can resist War Pigs if it's rocked right. Not even crotchety, cantankerous Uncle Joe who sits alone in his junky, fraying lawnchair and plays pocket pool all afternoon, pulling his own little piggy.)

Wow, these Pignoses sure are little, compact guitars!
Eddie VanHalen Rawkin' "Little Guitars" from Diver Down
(c'mon, you knew that was coming! "Senorita, I'm in trouble again..." No shit, Ed, your relapse is destined, your ex-wife is shilling Jenny Craig, and it has just been discovered that yes indeed, you and Val are indeed brother and sister! C'mon again, don't tell me you never thought that they looked alike!)

and finally, by Eddie and the boyz, the hottest album of 1984, 1984.

And so we are right back at the beginning again, with 1984. Whew! Lather, rinse, repeat. Get good and clean! All this talk of pigs and pocket pool must have made ya feel dirty!

currently listening to: My Morning Jacket, Z

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I Wanna Hold Your Jazz Hands!

Mizz Liza M may be all about the Jazz hands in movies, but ma man Clint Eastwood is all about the Jazz Hands-on approach in his flicks. Well before he was master at the helm of the great Jazz bio pick "Bird", Clint-o-rama directed a way-nifty flick called "Play Misty for Me". Those rough and tumble hands that had previously steered horses' reins for those incredible spaghetti westerns, were put to use most majestically in "Misty", a flick that he guided so tightly that it was finished under budget, and four days ahead of schedule. But like many great, well sculpted Jazz pieces, the end result plays loose, fast, improv-ish, and supremely hip. Eastwood waived his usual acting fee in exchange for the go-ahead to direct the film, and as a result this tale of obsession gone wrong became stamped with Clint's jazz-love flava. Which is awesome. He threw in a scene of the Monterey Jazz Festival which may come across as a personal indulgence and may seem entirely out of context, but to me it simply fleshes out the coolness and desirability of the main protagonist (Clint, as hip-as-fuck late nite DJ Dave), who, like his favourite jazz music, is full of the free and full of the flow, muthafuckah (as Miles would say).

Even the love montage(I usually loathe LM's), is decent. Clint and his gal(who sports a saaa-weeet two-tier shag cut)get it on backed by a pastoral landscape and some melodramatic, shed-a-single tear Roberta Flack.

Check out the trailer. It's "Supermurgitroid"! Which is Jazz slang for really cool. For more funky Jazz slang go here.

Can someone please tell me if that dude from Magnum P.I. did the voice over for this trailer? Help, its gonna hang around, annoy,and bug me like a Murray the K around the Beatles until I find out.

One last thing while we are doing the slo-hang and rappin' about Jazz flicks. Make sure you watch the Jazz Singer with Neil Diamond. It is super boss. It's not really about Jazz, but whatevs. Watch the flick that almost caused Sir Larry Olivier's knighthood to be revoked, and where Mr. Diamond completely choked.

Catch ya on the flipside, hepcats!

currently listening to: Coltrane, A Love Supreme

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Meet "Reign", a Band from Holla! Holla! Holland!

I don't know about y'all out there, but I now got all the sexual fantasy material I'll ever need! Fuckin-A and YowzA!

...if I ever do need some back-up I'll just go here. Or maybe just pull out my Canned Heat albums. It's hard to believe that all that hotness could be contained within a simple tin receptacle.

Sweet Dreams are definitely made of THIS.

G'night all!

currently listening to: Pulp Fiction SDTX, "Royale with Cheese"

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Devil and Robert Johnson, and the Guv'nor, and the Photo Booth

Photo booths. Lord love them. But only the old skool ones that deal exclusively in the lovely realm of black and white. Talkin' the original picture spitout machines that drop da four-shot strips of ebony and ivory, hazy-sweet with all gorgeous softness of the shades of grey that lay in-between. Unfortunately, much like the penultimate version of the ipod, the Black and White Booth is now considered obsolete.

Fuckit. Gonna miss those suckers like I miss my first distortion/overdrive pedal, the original Marshall Guv'nor(which was named by Jim Marshall himself, holla holla!)with the black housing, that somehow walked away from my own housing during an all night "Let's Just Play Appetite for Destruction Over and Over Again" throwdown. In other words, I have a Chinese Democracy's Chance in a Record Store of getting the wicked good pedal back.

I miss you...please come home . Life has not been the same without you Guv, my luv.

But fret not(gear slut pun)about the booths. The incredible folks at have gotcha covered if ya care. They have a photobooth locator that will direct you to the nearest booth in which you can diva it up, divy it up with friends(who's gonna spring for the first strip?), and capture for all eternity those vibrant, fleeting moments of life that make you think you can rock this planet-joint 4-evah.

So let's do a four shot strip o' tribute to the B&W Photo booth, shall we? Hell, ya don't even have to drop down the 25 cent coins for this set! "No Quarter(s)" required. Just shout a few "Hail Zeppelin!"s and we'll call it even.

Jandek, recluse. genius. the godfather of outsider music. bitchin' caesar haircut.

Robert Johnson, the greatest blues artist of all time, refused to sell his soul to the devil at the Crossroads in Mississippi, unlike Britney Spears who sold her soul at the 7:30 showing of Crossroads at every damn movie theatre in America.

Edie Sedgwick, '60's IT Girl, muse to Dylan and Reed, crashed and burned...but with such style!

Gear slut, no fixed ability, former owner of bad bangs n'crimp long hair-don't, and currently short one beloved Marshall Guv'nor.

Notice how the last picture is just a wee bit bigger than the rest? Purely intentional! 15 minutes baby, I'm entitled just like everyone else!

currently listening to R.E.M., Life's Rich Pageant

Monday, April 23, 2007

It's A Family Un-fair

I caught a bit of Glengarry Glen Ross on the idiot box this weekend. It was the scene where Alec Baldwin just kills it. What a performance. There is no doubt that he is a spectacular talent. It's the role of Dad that he sucks at. And now the web is rife with Baldwin hate. His wiki page as of this writing, calls him "emofag". Wow. Charming. That's a new one. Thank god, we were all getting so tired of "eurofag". And "alt.countryfag" is so 2001...or whichever year Wilco released Yankee Hotel Foxtrot...

Speaking of emo, let us not forget that emo spelled backwards is ome. As in O, me. "OHHHHHHHHHH ME ME ME ME. It's all about ME. And MY personal pain." Let us not forget either that in the current edition of The Emo Guys Guide to Picking Up Females the most oft used pick-up line is "Your dark, aching, downward spiraling abyss-pit or mine?" The guide also recommends that emo boys put a copy of Bukowski's "Women" in the back pocket of their lowslung emopantz, and wear it like a cowboy would pocket-display a red handkerchief. The smart-in-the-school but dumb-in-the-love girls with vintage cocktail dresses and cats-eye glasses will come a-running. Trust me. I know this, from personal exp... ahem, from a story a girlfriend told me. Yeah.

But back to Mr. Baldwin. Will someone alert me when somebody adds some sweet beats on top of Alec's tirade? It's inevitable really. Some cool old-skool Grandmaster Flash beats and scratches mashed up with Baldwin's freak out would serve nicely. Thanks in advance. I'm still waiting for Buddy Rich's infamous freak out on his band members to be set to music. "The Bus Tapes" as they have come to be known, feature the deliciously gifted yet deliriously effed up drummer giving his long-suffering band the what's for on their tour bus. Let's just say that Buddy didn't have many buddies after this one. What Rich needed was the old Calm the inner Frances Farmer, the ice pick under the eyelid and into the frontal lobe Treatment. But then again, would his drumming be as stellar? That's the problem with tempermental, spaz-prone artists. They are invariably excused from a plethora of social sins and from committing dead-rotten behavior because that fiery, passionate personality that on occasion offends, is also responsible for fueling the creation of great art.

Bullshit. Rotten is rotten. Paint it or play it as dynamic and enthralling as you like, but rotten conduct is rotten conduct and certainly deserves to be called as such when on the receiving end of spite and malice is one's own pre-teen daughter. Shame on you Alec. Pick on someone your own size, which I realize is becoming increasingly difficult as you continue to leave your Beetlejuice-era slimness behind, ballooning and bloating into a un-bluish/purplish version of Violet Beauregarde.

If ya feel like listenin' to the Buddy Rich "Bus Tapes", you can find 'em here.

currently listening to: Klark Kent, various righteous trax on itunes

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Beauty Part 4

Wow. I just re-read my last post. Wow. Lemmy...beautiful? EEEEKKK! Actually, I stand by my statement. When in doubt, drop an old adage. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

As a beholder, my tastes run from the very normal, very traditional (I, like millions of soccer moms, find Van Gogh's "Sunflowers" simply gorgeous) to the very bizarre. I look at Salvador Dali's work and find it equally beautiful, and I am in no way rendered nonplussed at his visual assault.

What can I say? I am the product of a shy, librarian mother who gardens and once played the autoharp, and of a crazy, rocker-guy dad who started gigging at 17 and once played with names you wouldn't recognize and with some you definitely would.

I think if I were a cereal, I would be one of those well balanced yuppie ones. But sugarcoated all kiddie style. And I'd have the really cool prize that would require you to construct it yourself, like a sci-fi toy. Like a robot.

'Cause robots are beautiful.

Have a wonderful weekend all!

currently listening to: Silversun Pickups, Carnavas

Friday, April 20, 2007

Beauty Part 3 (Ugly to Some, Simply Resplendent to Me)

Some will question my judgement (and certainly my eyesight), but Lemmy and Motorhead giving the audience an "Orgasmatron" at their 25th Anniversary show at Brixton Academy in beautiful. But then again, dramatic lighting and a good quality wind machine will flatter just about anybody. But really, it's all about the song, which has more forward drive, push, and charge than the bullrun at Pamplona.

Say what you will about Lemmy, but he looks far better bathed in green light than that walking petri-dish Paris Herpes, who when even somewhat obscured by her porno night-vision green lighting, still looks like hell. And...(this is a big AND), at least Lemmy came by his warts naturally; his warts result from genetic code (I think, I hope!) and are on his face, unlike Miss Collector-of-Greek Shipping-Heir-Twerps and Spreader of Herps Hilton who got her hussy card stamped enough times to qualify for a free set of warts which are now located south of her equator.

Love you, Lemmy! Warts and all.

currently listening to: Kyuss, Blues for the Red Sun

Beauty Part 2

...even The White Uni-suit was beautiful.

currently listening to: Sonic Youth, Rather Ripped

A Day in the Life (of Flat Stanley). Beauty Part 1

I read the news today, oh boy.

I've had a hard time processing the recent stream of horrible and tragic news stories. Harder time still expressing my grief and sadness over the loss of lives that were so full of potential and promise.

Allan comes to the rescue. Allan has dedicated a blog post to his take on the Flat Stanley Project. The project was started by a Canadian teacher and soon became a fun, interesting, and valued program that allowed students from all over the world to contact each other and in essence, to learn all about different cultures and traditions.

Thanks to the efforts of students and teachers, the Flat Stanley Project is now enjoyed and recognized in over 47 countries. Thanks to the participating students and teachers, the world seems a closer, more harmonious place.

Thanks to students and teachers. You remind us every day of the beauty of life through learning. And growing. And experiencing. And then using all that beautiful knowledge to make the world a better place.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

"I have a crush on EVERY boy!"
One of my fave sites ever. One cannot explain in words the genius that is Strong Bad. I also have a personal hardon for Teen Girl Squad. Just go to the site. EXPLORE!

This post..."IT'S OVER!"

currently listening to: Danielson, Ships

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Blackie and The Red Special

After "Blackie" was auctioned off for a stunning $959,000, Clapton's iconic axe travelled to the Fender Custom shop to be studied, analyzed, and probed. Only cigarette burns on the headstock gave any hint of the debauchery seen by this most revered Strat. Although... when air hosing the deeply embedded dust from around the single coils, The Rawkin' The Labcoat team found that the particles gleaned had a white, crystalline appearance. Strangely, the lab then remained locked from the inside for the rest of the day and night. Sniffity Sniff!

Here's the thing about Clapton. Amongst his many virtues, loyalty and good sportsmanship can be counted high on that list. Evidence of these wonderful character traits are clearly illustrated when one views the 1969 footage of Slowhand guesting with the Plastic Ono Band at the "Live Peace in Toronto" gig at Varsity Stadium(13 hours! 18 bands! $6.00 bucks!). There's Yoko wailing away, doing her avant-garde thang does one say this gracefully...sucking bigtime and there's Clapton hammering away, supporting and by the very token of his appearance on that stage, endorsing and lending his cred to the woman his buddy John was absolutely entranced with. You can almost read his mind, "John, dude. You owe me one." Not to in any way undermine Lennon's sincerity and commitment to the peace movement, but often I tend to wonder if there was not a stronger,way more personally motivated subtext to his philanthropy. Like, every time he was singing his famous anti-war anthem he was pleading concurrently "All I am saying, is give Yoko a chance...she gives me great sex."

Here's the other thing about Clapton. The general consensus is that dude is God in guitar circles, but never has such a hero to the masses had such an air of non-descriptiveness to his person(more so in his early days). He just appeared sort of generic next to the more flashy turnout of his contemporaries.
Would you have been able to in-a-flash identify Clapton in this pic if it wasn't labelled? I wouldn't. Not right away. It's the, what I like to call, The Steve Miller Complex. Everyone and his uncle owns Miller's "Greatest Hits 74-78". For camping excursions here's the dealio-unpack the car, fire up the Steve Miller, start drinking the Miller and then fire up the outdoor Griller. And yet, how many people really know what dude looks like? That's right. 86. Not counting the gangster o' love, the space cowboy, and wait for obvious...Maurice. Steve's like the Unknown Comic of the music world. What a Joker.

On the other end of the scale,everyone recognizes Brian May. Instantly. Must be the hair, which of course hasn't really changed since he first started comin' round. His current complex is one I like to call the Oldguyface/Youngdudehair Complex. But Brian wears it well, unlike that dickhead Don Imus.

Brian's Red Special guitar deserves special mention because it was completely handcrafted by Brian and his hip dad, Harold. Legend has it Brian spent a grand total of 17 and a half British pounds to make it. I think he made a return on his original investment. It is also quite interesting to note that May has been known to use a sixpence coin as a pick. Facts like this thrill me. I need to get out more.

The final complex I want to discuss is my own Giant Complex. I don't mean that I have a huge complex towards something. I simply mean that I have a fear of giants. The Godzillas, and the Goliaths. Gentle Giant is rad, but evil giants scare the shit out of me. My nightmares almost always involve being chased down by a giant. I completely blame Queen for this. As a little girl I would freak out whenever I saw this album.

EWWWWW....I still have trouble lookin' at it...I feel a freak out comin' on...gotz ta get! Bye!

currently listening to: DJ Champion, Chill 'Em All

Monday, April 16, 2007

TShirt from Heaven

If I stare too long at this t-shirt I just may be overwhelmed by its awesomeness. I was slum-dining at the old Taco Hell when I first spotted this heavenly garment. I was right in the middle of apologizing to my digestive system, using future promises of home-cooked organic somethingorother with beanspouts and tofu to counteract the spectacular stomach-ular abuse I was about to commit. I looked up from the Formica and there it was. Worn by the archetypal, party down at the roadhouse, blues and classic rock dude. The kinda guy for whom radio stations with the letter Q prefacing the numbers were invented, and for whom the "Hells Bells" tolls. And I'm talkin' the kind of radio stations that have fan bases whose main duty in the world is to register vanity license plates spelling out their fave band's name and then go hold them up during that band's coliseum gig.

I love classic rock guy. You can use the "Hello Cleveland!" line a million times and in all different ways and brother still laughs like its the first time he's heard it.

So rather than staring at my unappetizing mess 'o food, I found myself mesmerized by the back artwork of this guy's t-shirt, as he stood in line waiting for his turn to ring the death knell that is Taco Bell. I was also a bit amused by his fried-by-peroxide ponytail sticking out through the back loop of his baseball hat. I think this is urban myth, but I heard that there is somewhere(maybe on the midway at travelling carnivals)where balding guys, who still have the rock itch in their pants, can buy baseball hats with a fake pony tail tacked on. If this is true, somebody send me the deets; I gotta a little blackmarket/urban myth sideline going, and the bounty from Spanish Fly sales can only go so far...

I couldn't make out all the fine print but I certainly recognized most of the Famous Guitars pictured. Curiousity piqued, I actually followed dude out on the street and walked behind him, reading at barely a pace away. I could actually smell the HI-KARATE, or was it Designer-Imposter Dakkar Noir? I couldn't quite tell. But it was something mixed with a topnote of Player's Plain, I can tell you that much. I can also tell you he turned around just as my nose was practically buried in his back as I was leaning in to marvel the Jimmy Page Gibson EDS 1275 guitar. I tried to cover it up by leaning down to tie my shoe, but seeing as I was wearing sandals it didn't exactly work. Oh well, it wasn't the first time I had been Led-astray by the Zep. And it won't be the last either.

For any of ya fellow gear sluts, here's a breakdown! Break it down! Cue the Funky Drummer, and like usual, the dude won't get paid.

Prince's "Yellow Cloud"(currently livin' in the Smithsonian, y'all!)
Eddie Van Halen's "Frankenstein", drill not pictured.
Jimmy's aforementioned double-neck Gibson
SRV's "Lenny". Stevie's high E was a .013! OUCH!!!
Steve Vai- the infamous floral pattern JEM Ibanez(the floral pattern modeled after the floral curtains in Vai's studio!) Perhaps the most unattractive guitar ever. What the 'eff was up with the handle-hole anyway?
Hendrix's "Flaming Strat"
B.B. King's "Lucille"
Bo Diddley's 'The Twang Machine"
Kurt Cobain's Fender Mustang (Cobain's "Jagstang" turned out a bit of an Edsel for Fender unfortunately)
Roger McGuinn's 12string Ricky (Jingle Jangle Mornin')
Randy Rhoads "Polka Dot Flying V" (used when "Flying" was considered a good thing for Randy)

I will not rest until I have this t-shirt. I will not rest until I have found that classic rock dude again. Must have been the HI-Karate.

currently listening to: Tool, Undertow

Friday, April 13, 2007

Fruit Loops

I had no time to compose a post today. The following reflects that very fact. Regularly scheduled quality posts will resume shortly. I apologize for the David Hasselhoff level lack of quality. But then again, maybe someone in Germany will appreciate it...

currently listening to: The Runaways, Best of

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Good House Weeping

Some say houses have souls. Or manitous. Or whatever that weird lady named Abigail who works in the New Age Emporium kiosk in the mall calls that which defines unseen, spiritual manifest of a chosen person or object. Whew! I'm the sort that just shuts down when that type of talk is brought forth. I'm like, take your crystals and pyramid hat and lavender stink the heck out of here, and oh, turn up the Pantera on the way out, will you? SEE YA!

Hey, I'm spiritual. One viewing of Floyd's transcendent "Live at Pompeii" and I firmly believed that I saw God, or David Gilmour, at the height of his guitar prowess. Same dif'.

I do believe that a house inhabited by truly compelling individuals has the potential to become a character in it's own right. "If these wall could talk", indeed! Explains why people flock to absorb the kitchy mojo of the Graceland manse, or why in an effort to erase a horrible, Helter Skelter past, the original house at 10050 Cielo Drive was razed. Shit, even the original "devil windows" on the Amityville Horror house were changed to non threatening looking square ones that in no way resemble "blazing eyes of fury straight from HELL!"

And so it comes with great sadness, the news that Johnny Cash's lakeside home was completely destroyed by fire. The very house where he wrote the kind of tunes that define the term instant classic and the very house that bore witness to the legendary love story of June 'n Johnny. The video for Johnny's incredible cover of TroutRezzie's and the Nine Inch Nails "Hurt" was filmed within the walls of what was surely an incredible piece of real-cool estate. Bet the thermostat even read "COOL" and "COOLER".

I find it interesting that Barry Gibb was planning on moving in once renovations (a new disco room and one gigantic empty room just to accommodate his ego) were completed. Apparently, Barry planned to write a new slew of stellar songs that would bring him into the good graces of the Billboard charts once again. I want Barry to have a new album. That means a whole bunch of new promotional appearances and interviews for him to freak out over and storm out of! YEESSSSSSSSSS!

But I think the Cash house thought differently. In an act of great defiance, the house self destructed, horrified that all the impending Gibb-ish-ness would ruin its cool and hip cachet.

Everything went up in smoke, leaving only the chimney intact, and that certainly is a "Tra-ge-ge-dee"(hey, at least I haven't resorted to a "Ring of Fire" joke).

It could be worse, I suppose. The estate could have been turned into a tacky Cash museum. I've seen what horrors have resulted when tourist commerce and country collide. If you are ever in Nashville head on over, y'all, to Demonbreun Street in the Music Row district. I headed on over. Boy, what a mistake. Starting off at Gilley's I was treated to a Garth Brooks clone doing karaoke, who looked like he stuffed the front of his pants with sport socks. He was aping Brooks during Garth's bright shirts and super tight black jeans era so it was not a good thing to see, trust me. Then it was on over to the Conway Twitty Country Store. It had an extremely cheap dollar store vibe to it and the souvenirs were the tackiest things ever. A lipstick case with Twitty's face on it. One of those porcelain bells with Twitty's face on it. Everything had Twitty's face on it, the same photo stamped on just mass produced QVC junk and generic household product. Sad. And I love Conway! Have you ever heard his fab duet(one of the many many!) with Loretta called "You're the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly"? It's pretty hot.

So farewell Johnny and June Carter's House. May your smouldering ashes avoid an ebay afterlife.

currently listening to: Beastie Boys, Paul's Boutique

Monday, April 9, 2007

Spacehoppers, Screws and the So-called Death of Jimmy

I love the movie Quadrophenia. Of anybody who has seen it, who the frick doesn't love it? But just to clarify, Jimmy does NOT bite it at the end, okay? Gosh darn it, I have had heated arguments with people who were absolutely iron resolute in their conviction that Jimmy went over them peachy keen Beachy Head cliffs along with Aceface's jackedup, silver scooter. This is what I have had to endure on such an occasion:

"Man, he like, was too pure for either the mod or rocker life-style and chose an afterlife existence that went beyond labels and categories."

Holy fuck, send me the tear-stained thesis when you're done. I have just the place for it...right beside my specially bound dissertation entitled, "Just Why Joanie Loved Chachi".

The entire 2 hours of Quadrophenia is Jimmy's flashback which starts immediately after we see him walking away from the lip of the cliff. It's really that simple. Sorry if I've spoiled the movie for you if you haven't seen it, but then again everybody knew how fuckin' Titanic ended and still people went in droves. Just 'cause you can see the top and bottom slices of bread doesn't mean you can't enjoy the meaty middle fabulous-ness. If you don't dig on the meat analogy, don't worry, it's good fun for vegans too. Hell, this flick has something for everyone, even for handymen/women and for carpenters 'cause there is a wicked good scene of a screw in an alleyway(nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more...)

Here's a little clip of the mods and rockers thrashin' it out. Imagine a whole posse of Fonzies (when he was actually cool in the first and second seasons) versus a gang of "Parklife" era Damon Albarn(was he ever cool, or merely a fantastic mimic?).

Who remembers Spacehoppers? I do! I do! Apparently Townshend loved this bouncy joust at the Quadrophenia legacy:

Don't let the fact that Sting is in Quadrophenia dissuade you from seeing it. He has hardly any lines.

Thank god.

currently listening to: The Stooges, S/T

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Bob Clark 1941-2007

When I was a little girl my superhip and supercool Mom told me the scariest story. It was Christmas Eve and sitting in a cozy dark room with only the Christmas tree lights for illumination, Mom wove the scariest ghost story that I had ever heard. Only it wasn't really a ghost story per se, it was the plot line of the 1974 horror classic, the original slasher film, the mother of all boogeyman flicks, Bob Clark's "Black Christmas". Now some may question why would a mother tell her kid a creepy, violent story on such a festive occasion? Where the hell were "It's a Wonderful Life" or all those cutesy Rankin and Bass claymation extravaganzahhhhhhs? Or even Mr. Clark's much lauded Christmas classic "A Christmas Story"? Well, my family didn't roll that way; my Mom was and continues to be a true original, and if anything, I'd like to think that I turned out not necessarily the better for it, but the more unique for it.

Years later I saw "Black Christmas" for myself, and hot-diggity, it didn't disappoint. If anything it surpassed my expectations a thousand fold and then some. One must keep in mind that it came before Halloween, and Friday the 13th and all those crazy holiday based horror franchises that litter the pop culture landscape like discarded blankets on Max Yasgur's farm after Woodstock. Made in 1974 in Toronto, "Black Christmas" created the very template upon which many, many future horror flicks would be based. It also the film that first introduced all those tricks of cinematography and of key plot features that have since become cliches of the genre. Seeing everything from the visual perspective of the killer? That was Bob Clark's creation. Using the telephone to terrorize? That was Bob Clark's. Infusing great comedy into an otherwise macabre scenario? That again, was Bob Clark's.

What was not within Bob Clark's control(as it is not with most of us),was the way in which he would exit this world. Although, some bastard chose to drink and drive, and in effect caused the tragic death of Bob and of his 22 year old son Ariel, early Wednesday on the Pacific Coast Highway. This bastard chose to get in his car after consuming enough alcohol to put him 3 times the legal limit for driving.

I choose now to forgo launching into a tirade that will really, in the end, serve no greater good. Instead, I encourage you to watch the opening scene of "Black Christmas." Turn the lights down low, get cozy and enjoy what I think, is the greatest horror film ever made. If you like what you see, rent or net-huntandcapture the entire flick. You won't be disappointed! And that is both great and good.

RIP Bob. You will be missed.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Congratulations Avril, You've Done It!

Kudos, Kiddo. Oh Avril, you've made it! You finally, finally look exactly like a Barbie Doll. This calls for heaps of gratitude, and on behalf of female musicians everywhere I would like to thank you profusely for all that you have done to push the stature and the credibility of all us she-rockers up and forward! Let the big ups commence:
Thank you for further cementing the notion that we must look plasticized perfect to have hit records!
Thank you for perpetuating the popularity of Girl on Girl Hate with your current, and most brilliant single "Girlfriend". How do I love thee? Let me quote the way:
Hey hey, you you
I don't like your girlfriend
No way no way
I think you need a new one

Such articulate lyrics! Here's your finest moment:
She's like so whatever
You can do so much better

Like, amazing! Dylan better watch his ass, that's all I got to, like, say! Oh wait, you will probably be meeting him soon backstage at the next Victoria's Secret Fashion Show when you rawk the runway for their upcoming RockSlut line.
Thank you for the stellar entertainment you provide in spitting at photographers, flipping the bird and hoisting the devil horn salute. You make those gestures seem so fresh, helping us to forget all the millions of musicians who did those, like, gnarly moves before you. Darn that PJ Harvey! She doesn't entertain us in such a thrilling way, guess she's too busy making incredible records and being classy.
Thank you for ditching that silly Les Paul in favour of having the freedom to do a dance routine for your latest video. Guitars are soooooo 2002, and get in the way of carrying the latest fashion accessories, a teacup puppy, or a tattoo poseur boyfriend. I will miss all those rippin' good and "Complicated" (oh,ha ha) solos you used to do, however. Let some other girl inspire the first LadyHendrix, Avril, you have much other important stuff to do!
Finally, thank you in advance for the happy satisfaction I will feel when a year from now, you will be collecting numerous hardware from numerous award shows that will reward and celebrate your obvious gifts to female musicianship. I have begun preparations for a tickertape parade, Girlfriend!

currently listening to: Polly Jean Harvey, To Bring You My Love...gee, I'm like, so whatever!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Irish Prog Rock at its Finest!

Wow, another Prog rock band of the '70's to love. And Irish to boot. Breaking attendance records around the world, The Mystical Golden Gates of Billy By-the-By was a frequent tour partner to Fairport Convention and Clannad. Pictured here with their back- up singers Fornee 'n Kate, and with the fabled German roadie Hans-Joachim (bottom right corner), The Gates were known to trash hotel rooms with vigor and zest although curiously, instead of throwing TVs out the window, they simply took them apart piece by piece.

AWWWWW...okay okay OKAY! I know this is actually the first staff photo for Microsoft way back in '78!

...can't put anything past you guys, can I?

currently listening to: Lick the Harp, The Mystical Golden Gates of Billy By-the-By

"Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Rhubarb"

Let's play a game. Let's test your attention to detail. What do these two videos have in common?

First up, a clip from the Propellerheads' "Decksanddrumsandrockandroll" (what a great title!) featuring the one and only Mizz Shirley Bassey . It's called "History Repeating" (this one's fer you, GW!)

Okay. Now up we have "And I Love Her" from the movie "A Hard Day's Night" starring 4 guys that other than building the foundation upon which all that modern pop music(and culture, and super dope haircuts)rests, they didn't really amount to much. I like "A Hard Day's Night". I always remember it as the one where the boys pretty much kept to the script and didn't mumble "Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Rhubarb" in between giggles. "A Hard Day's Night" was shot BBD. Meaning Before Bob Dylan. Meaning before the boys met Bob Dylan. When they met, Bob gave present. If you want to know what that present was, just watch "Help!" which was made ABD(After Bob Dylan)and it will become abundantly clear what Mr. Zimmerman gifted them with(other than with profound musical inspiration).

Don't just say "the videos are both in black and white". That's lame. Sorta DDVS lame. Dylan Does Victoria's Secret lame.

currently listening to: Gomez, Bring it On

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Gallo(n) of Cool

I love Vincent Gallo. I love Buffalo 66. I love The Brown Bunny...yeah, that was me. The one person is the world who absolutely loved it. Other than Vincent himself. Vincent loves Vincent. In fact, if Vincent could go down on himself, he would never feel the need to write any female characters into his flicks. They could be just as he wants them...ALL ABOUT HIM. Which is okay. I'm on permanent standby with this guy and follow his career with a mixture of awe, envy, fascination, and that good kind of disgust where you pretend to be offended but secretly you are wickedly thrilled.

Vincent has a studio. The studio is called THE UNIVERSITY FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND THEORY OF MAGNETIC TAPE RECORDED MUSIC STUDIOS. If there is one thing I can't stand is a vague title; the implied meaning of which is shrouded in a cloud of complete mystery. All joking aside, it becomes pretty obvious pretty quick to any potential Gallo-vers that the man's artistic profile illustrates a gorgeous balance between a place of austere, clinical, sterile educational film-like manufacture with a place of warm, analogue-based, get your hands dirty, gold halo-glow and meter in the bright red type of creation. Check out his music related website here, and make sure you click on his studio link. It provides an amazing visual tour highlighting the gear and studio sundry of chez/studio Gallo. Brother likes the Rickys. And his gear manuals and reference material are meticulously organized.

Another reason why Gallo ranks super high with me is his collaboration with guitar genius and enigma that is John Frusciante. I would say he is with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but I would prefer to phrase it thusly, The Red Hot Chili Peppers are with him. I like the Peppers okay, but I love Frusciante's guitar work. His solo work is stunning and inspiring. There is something so "Grade Nine" about the Peppers, like if you polled a thousand Grade Nines, 985 would confirm the Chilis as their favorite band. My guess is that Flea and the boys tickle that age of hormonal mix with just the right feather.

So check out the Frusciante/Gallo fuse for "Going Inside". Check it while you can, Gallo is notorious for finding and pulling stuff he didn't have a hand in putting up.
What a control freak(this has at times been his very strength)!

Now if you will excuse me, I have to go "Span some time".

currently listening to: Shirley Bassey, The Remix Album

Monday, April 2, 2007

I'm Like, A-Bored.

Last night I watched the Nelly Furtado Variety Special on TV. Nelly, suited up in a spectacular array of kicky-cute, up to the minute fashion hotrags, entertained and charmed the audience and her guests with her hallmark sassy'n snappy...Ewwww can I throw up now at my lousy attempt at a press release? May I also backpedal and call last night's Nellyfest by its proper title?

The Junos. Now, The Awards Formerly Known as the The Junos. Last night it was made abundantly clear, in a whisper with all the subtlety of Tara Reid at an open bar, that until further notice, the Junos will now be referred to as the Nelly's. Sistah hosted, sistah performed, sistah won all five of the awards she was up for (OOOOOOOOOoooooo surprise! Didn't see that coming!). Sistah probably wrote all her copy for her little skits and sketches 'cause they were about as funny as a knock knock joke told by Carlos Mencia after he stole it from some five year old.

But the night wasn't a total loss. At the very end there was an incredible performance by Montreal's own (take that, Arcade Fire!) DJ Champion, that kicked my Toronto-jaded ass awake and appreciative of Canada's latest rising talent.

Band had 4, yes, four guitarists thrashing good, bad and ugly. Hello! Here's the vid clip of the song, "No Heaven". Loud volume is recommended.

The live version was amazing. Unbelievable actually. Until, fuckin' Nelly just couldn't stand that a potential upstaging was occurring, and so swept out her divass to crash the rawkin'. Sorry Nelly, you looked stupid givin' it in a tissue paper ball gown and an upswept hair-don't.

Years ago I went to the Junos. The music management company that I interned for was kind enough to get me a ticket so I felt it only fair and respectful to wear a, ahem..."frock" for the event. So I wore a lousy dress, but kept it me-real by wearing my Docs. I ended up having better seats than, get this, Rush. In fact they were sitting directly behind me. All during the borefest, I had to resist the temptation to turn around and ask Geddy just how heavy was that double neck Ricky, and hot damn, did I ever have to fight the urge to ask Neil just how many pieces went into his entire drum set up.

I think I was the only one in the first five rows who had neither a business card nor a networking agenda. I only had Tom Sawyer on a constant loop inside my head.

It helped block out Celine Dion performance.

currently listening to: Slint, Spiderland