Archive for the 'Tunes' Category

27
Mar
09

Prince Cold Serves AIG And Banks

I like to think this is what the Obamas’ internal monologue sounds like:

25
Mar
09

The Kills Are Awesome. That Is All.

I was looking for an excuse to publicly declare my affection for The Kills, but I couldn’t find one. Granted, there’s a month-old story about their bus driver getting arrested for the hilarious crime of “sudden snatching” (huh?), but really there’s nothing.

Why am I thinking of this, all of a sudden? I spend most days with 5 other Spaniards in a small office with one set of speakers for the computers. Normally, the guy who’s been here the longest uses them, puts on some radio station that plays lounge remixes of “Like A Virgin” (or worse), and I just bow my head in silence (and giggle fits). Yesterday, though, in said elder’s absence, a new guy snatched them and proceeded to inundate my poor ears with a cavalcade of horrible Lite FM pop. It’s not that they have horrible taste in music; it’s that they like American music, but they don’t know what to listen to.

Today has been instructional, therefore. I got in early, “suddenly snatched” the speakers (book me, Dan-O), and have been schooling these poor bastards on what America is capable of, all the while reflecting that this music thang is indicative of our problem as ex-pats in general: The exported image of the U.S. is largely not as good as the reality.

We are not all fat, imperialist, willfully-ignorant, pop-star-loving blowhards. Yes, some of us are. But some of us are also perfectly nice, kind of bright, and not at all interested in whether or not J-Lo releases another album. And it is these people of whom I’m the most proud, and who tug at my Patria-loving heartstrings when they get pulled.

So no, it’s not apple pie that I miss; it’s knowing whether or not Beth Ditto is full of shit, what Charlie Kaufman’s latest movie is like, and whether or not I should invest in Junot Diaz. Yes, I know I can find out about all that through the miracle of the online community (as I said earlier), but I miss the camaraderie of the coffee shop, the brotherhood of the travel-hungry drunks.

17
Mar
09

Morons Dig Pop Music. Who Knew?

According to a PhD student’s dissertation work (and we all know that shit is golden), if you both like Beyonce and can feed yourself without incident, you’re way ahead of the curve.

The study was carried out by Virgil Griffiths, a PhD student in America, who compared students’ scores in SAT exams with their favourite music acts and genres by analysing data on social networking sites.

Those who prefer indie music are most intelligent, while pop, rock and gospel fans were all ranked at the lower end of the scale.

Fans of legendary acts like Queen, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Sinatra and Bob Marley are all around average and above when it comes to intelligence, according to Griffiths.

Radiohead, U2 and Bob Dylan all have intelligent fans, he said.

Fans of Beyonce, Timberlake and Jay-Z all tended to score below 1,000 on SAT scores, with the average being a mark of 1071 out of 1600.

Fans of Beethoven were way ahead of the rest with an average score of over 1300.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m not totally averse to Beyonce’s music, and I think it’s its inoffensive nature which makes her base broader. And, let’s face it, more listeners in The U.S. = overall dumber listeners in the U.S. (and, really, I think it’s safe to say Sasha Fierce has outsold Beethoven’s 9th this year).

What I’m wondering if where the hell is Britney Spears and/or Michael Jackson on this chart? Doesn’t crazy make the cut anymore?

05
Mar
09

I Love Radiohead So Hard


OK, so this is true in general, but right now…I just want to snuggle Thom Yorke to within an inch of his life:

Miley Cyrus says Radiohead dissed her at the Grammys.

In a recent radio interview, Miley Cyrus said Radiohead is her favorite band and biggest influence. Wha HUH?? So, she really wanted to meet them when they were both at the Grammys recently. When she requested an audience, they replied that they don’t really do that.

This is going to be my close second to my favorite all-time diss, also by an English celebrity whose intelligence and bullshit meter are waaay higher than the alleged “fan”:

Backstage at Live8 Ricky Gervais was at the side of the stage. Paris Hilton walked up to him and said how much she liked his stuff.

Ricky: “Have we met before?”
Paris “Yes. I’m Paris Hilton”
Ricky “Oh, sorry Paris, I didn’t recognise you without a cock in your mouth.”

See, Republicans? THIS is why we need to reform education. If we don’t start producing the slapdown-er instead of only slapdown-ee, we’re going to devolve into this guy:

19
Feb
09

A New Super Band?


Huh. Well, I just don’t know. Huh.

Band Members From Hanson, Smashing Pumpkins And Cheap Trick Form New Group Called Tinted Windows.

Los Angeles, CA (CNS) – Taylor Hanson of the siblings trio Hanson is joining Smashing Pumpkin’s former guitarist James Iha, Cheap Trick’s drummer Bun E. Carlos and Fountain of Wayne bassist Adam Schlesinger to form a new group called Tinted Windows.

The quartet have already recorded their debut album at the Stratosphere Sound Studios in New York, which Schlesinger and Iha co-own with Andy Chase of Ivy.

They will play their first major show at Billboard’s South by Southwest showcase on March 20 at Pangaea in Austin, Texas.

The LP is set to hit the stores this spring on a label that is yet to be announced, Billboard reports.

What, Ted Nugent wasn’t available?  I hear Hammer could use some cash too.

On the one hand, I’m upset that anyone from the Smashing Pumpkins is giving anyone from Fountains of Wayne or Hanson the indie cred they need to perform at SXSW. On the other, I’m heartened (and giggling) to see the word “Taint” in their name. Feh, I suppose I’ll reserve judgment on this until it becomes clear whether or not Iha’s back on the smack (and spreading it around).

18
Feb
09

GAH!!!

teacup

What is it with the Jacksons and their obsession with theme parks??? First one devoted to Michael’s love of pederasty children and now this:

One of Michael Jackson’s brothers plans to open a slavery theme park.

From the article:

A museum for the Jackson Five is to be built in Nigeria, American developers have announced, as part of a $3.4bn (£2.4bn) luxury resort including concert halls, golf courses, casinos – and a memorial for Africa’s former slave trade.

The Badagry Historical Resort, located near Badagry’s former slave port, will include a multimillion pound memorial, slave history theme park, five-star hotel and Jackson Five museum. The project is supported in part by Marlon Jackson, one of Michael Jackson’s brothers.

“The Jackson family had been looking for a place to site their memorabilia collection,” explained Gary Loster, chief executive of the Motherland Group, to the BBC. “We visited the site of the slave port in Badagry and Marlon turned to me and said: ‘Let’s put it here, this is right.'”

“It’s such an emotional place, and I think we all felt that it was the right place to have the Jackson family memorial,” Loster said.

The developers’ plans…include a lifesize replica of a slave ship, holograms of the Jackson Five and robot versions of 18th-century African musicians.

18
Feb
09

He’s Just Really That Into Him

I love Kanye West.  Let me get that out of the way.  Seriously, I am just forever tickled by him and his antics.  His music is a wee bit on the Hammer side of the spectrum for my taste, but, oh, the ego on that guy is just. fucking. amazing. He is a never-ending carnival of self-promotion, self-fellation, and self-obsession. Why do I love this? Ah, it goes back to the ol’ parents, as we all knew it would.

I was recently discussing with my husband our disparate upbringings, and how they’ve fashioned us as people. Specifically, my parents were of the belief that a nice stiff shot of modesty was always in order. This is certainly not to say they weren’t openly proud of us or effusive about said pride; it’s just to say that it was always tempered. My husband’s parents, on the other hand, were unconditionally hyper-proud of their children’s accomplishments, to the point of sometimes, shall we say, stretching the truth about the reality of the situation. We were talking about this because we are still trying to find a happy medium as a way to raise our daughter. (Ask me about her milestones, and I’ll say she’s almost standing by herself and can kind of crawl a bit; according to my husband, she’s walking and talking.) I’m still not sure how to happily marry the two parenting philosophies, and I probably never will be (hey, you gotta screw up your kid somehow, right?), but I know one thing: People who turn out like Kanye West absolutely fascinate me.

I hate to break it to Kanye, but he’s not alone in his land of self-delusion. There was a musician in Baton Rouge (Tabby Thomas) who used to fascinate me the same way. If you asked that guy, he’d tell you that he not only introduced John Lee Hooker to the “geetar,” but also taught Etta James to sing, trained our local middleweight champion boxer, and served as the inspiration for tort reform. OK, that last one was a joke, but the rest are part of what he considers his bonafides. Needless to say, it’s doubtful any of these things are actually true, but it’s got to be wonderful to live inside that head. Really. To think that you are just the greatest thing that’s ever happened to your greatest passion in life.

Me, I’m still of the Groucho Marx philosophy, never wanting to belong to a club that would have me. But I still look in on the clubs–with the people inside who swear they invented the club, fashioned the lounge chairs, and hand-rolled the cigars themselves–with wide-eyed wonder and no little amount of both admiration and amusement. This is the long way of describing how I felt when reading Kanye’s latest interview with Details (is that still around?) magazine:

Put this in the magazine: There’s nothing more to be said about music. I’m the fucking end-all, be-all of music. I know what I’m doing. I did 808s in three weeks. I got it. It’s on cruise control…Someone could be a better rapper, dance better. But culturally impacting? When you look back at these four and a half years*, who’s the icon at the end of the day? Who broke down color barriers? What other black guy would a white person use as a fashion reference?

*in Kanye’s world, 4 and a half years is a “generation.” This is why he’s the voice of a generation, and not just a popular singer in the last half decade or so. I admit: it sounds better his way.

Plus, I will always always always love him for generating the most visibly uncomfortable moment in Mike Meyers’ career: