Encore: "Wake Up," acoustic, on church steps. Curious neighbors lifted windows, watched, swayed.
is Jermaine Jackson on Celebrity Big Brother, but the crowd of people who show up to yell during breaks is overwhelmingly behind him. God speed, man.
After the jump, 2006 reheated, truncated, and bold-faced. (The 2006 list is dead and mounted.)
MORE THAN ONCE:
Should Christina do Gwen's material? Then Christina wouldn't have to write any more songs and Gwen could go be a videogame.
Why is Madonna grouchy but Mary and Mariah aren’t? Is your affect related to the church you choose, or how you deal with pain? Mary’s hurt keeps her moving. Mariah was born to rock a negligee in Madison Square Garden (which is her church and stoop). Madonna’s relationship to every practice, religious or otherwise, is: “Will it improve my abs?”
James Brown: Rhythm had tenure Before James. Under JB's watch, rhythm became syllabus, text, teacher, student and dissertation.
Last days and times: December was as moist as April and Nas dropped a better record than Jay-Z. (I listened to both records exactly once.) “Hip-hop,” to Nas, was dead when he started, since he was a Kool G Rap revivalist in 1992, when Dre was already turning hip-hop into car hop and music hop. All that coffee-d up midrangey New York popcorn was about to become repertory. People don't want 16-bit snare loops and eggy metrics. Anger is a keeper, though—everybody wants to shoot somebody. Money? Lottery fantasies work equally well for haves and have-nots. People look at their feet when you say “Fight the power!" but the disenfranchised and cakey can party 2gether until the purple sun when you say “Get money money.”
Nas, also, is a drag. He does not like, or see, that hip-hop is once again dance music, thanks to snap.
Hip-hop is a distracting term when Gwen Stefani and El-P are both hip-hop and you're trying to hold a funeral. Good looking on the essay-starter, tho.
I went to a Cherish in-store, and then forgot all about “Do It, Do It.” Thanks to Jane for reminding me. Thanks to Paper Thin Walls for a re-up on “A Pillar of Salt." Idolator and I agree on Charlotte Hatherley.
The Stanton Warriors should DJ every night, and nearby.
In Which Property Gets Into an Improper State of Mind (Notes on “Marie Antoinette”): "Hey, what would it feel like to be Marie?" [Details of court life: dressing gown moshpits, blood cakes, interregnum etiquette, poker chip sensualism.] Club kids inna history style. Most speech monologue, not dia-. What is heard is overheard. This person is entirely alone.
Cat Power, Irving Plaza, Sunday, September 10, 2006, 6:30 show: Louboutin Louboutin Louboutin. Marianne Faithfull-style comeback. Meds. Records are stupid. Smoking is excellent. Who knew? Lots of people. Pants unzipped. Is she good as the backup singers? Almost. "House of The Rising Sun." Who knew?
Massive Attack, Roseland Ballroom, Wednesday, October 4, 2006: It was Bristol, not you. And the guitar: no.
Brazilian Girls, Webster Hall, Thursday, October 5, 2006: Got to be good looking cause she’s so hard to see. And stoned. And stoned. STONED.
Zadie Smith, The New Yorker Festival, Sunday, October 8, 2006: "Clichés: ‘rummage’ and ‘purse’ must be separated.”
Lily Allen, Hiro Ballroom, Tuesday, October 10, 2006: "Hello! I am singing along to my record.”
Bad Brains, CBGB’s, Wednesday, October 11, 2006: Got in, could not progress more than fifteen feet into the club. A perfect CBGB’s experience.
Spoon, Webster Hall, Saturday, December 30, 2006: Britt Daniel finds infinity in Wire. The drummer, Jim Eno, plays to a digital metronome that blinks green, red/upbeat, downbeat. (That’s an empirical description, not a figurative summary.) This may explain why, halfway through a Spoon show, I find myself wanting a ballad or a thrasher to change le beat. A genuine dad, Daniel took off his shoes for the encore but did not loosen a button.
There was a short piece in yesterday's Post about high fructose corn syrup. The headline, set in big fat bold type, was "Sweeter than suger." Unless the bad deli mushroom soup was hobbling my reading comprehension, there was no reference in the story to a scientist/activist named Suger (and I think even the Post would have capped it then). "Sweeter than suger." I know The Post is not Bananafish or the New Left Review. I expect the boosterism. ("Will the Dems match Bush's new civility?" or something like it.) But sugar is a word the average Post writer must see at least once a day, on a soda can, or a soup ramikin.
Did anyone else see this headline?
Hey, this is weird. What if I fall asleep or my cab gets stuck? How do they know I'm going to show up? I am, but it is somehow unsettling to see it posted pre-facto, rather than post-.
Uptown 1 train, 9:08 AM, Penn Station to Times Square: "Newspapers! Post, News, Times. Newspapers! Post, News, Times. Two black coaches, it's a good day. And we've got brother Obama. Might do something. But if Hillary takes it, I want her to do one thing. Lock up the slaveowners. An executive order. I'm a Virginain, grandson of a slave. Morgan, Rockefeller, DuPont, Rothschild. Just lock up these slaveowners, and I'll be happy with that."
"You have to kiss me but I'm going to hold my nose because I've had some bad experiences smelling people's hair."
If you appreciate The Radioheads, you will enjoy the compilation of acoustic performances entitled "Gagging Order" and linked here. Lyrics more audible than usual, for better and worse.
These French persons are making strong edits of what they call "EXTENDED DISCO UNCLASSICS, DISKRAUTROCK, DEEP FOLK, NORTHERN SOUL TREASURES, CODEINE DISCO, INDUSTRIAL BALEARIC BONUS BEATS, DIRTY DIAMONDS." Go to this harborage for more output. Listen to the streaming "Toxic" mix if you want to hear "Funkbox Party" by Masterdon Commiteee. (Do you want to hear "Funkbox Party"? Yes. You always want to hear "Funkbox Party.") The longer this mix goes on, the more I like it. Major.
(Rat killers call the places where rats live "harborage." And that makes rats le stile of today.)
Check out the hand-drawn Bunny Rabbit magic. (You have to go to the page and download—I can't direct link to the file for some reason.) Melisa a.k.a. Bunny Rabbit writes: "we r gonna put a smaller version on the web for download by monday at same link."
CLIVE DAVIS: Hello?
ALICIA KEYS: What's up, honey, it's Alicia.
AK: Keys, money-making Keys!
CLIVE: [pause] Darling!
AK: I know you!
CLIVE: Always good.
AK: Why are you locking down my mans and them?
CLIVE: How's that?
AK: Your guys raided Drama's crib.
CLIVE: I'm sorry?
AK: That's cool, but you gotta talk to your people.
CLIVE: What people?
AK: The CIAA.
CLIVE: Is this about Tupac?
AK: No, they took away Drama's mixtapes.
CLIVE: We tried that with the fat DJ and nobody bought it.
AK: But they're big on the street.
CLIVE: I love you and believe in you.
AK: I do drops on everybody's tapes.
AK: I'm on these things, Clive, I do hooks.
CLIVE: Just dry out for the Grammys.
AK: But you gotta talk to them.
AK: The guys who busted Drama.
CLIVE: Emo is deadwood. That album did nuts.
CLIVE: I have to go, Lisa. Do more ballads on your next MP3.
CLIVE: Call me Clive.
Last night, a young friend was talking about her boyfriend's fondness for Explosions In The Sky, which triggered my Slint war stories, which in turn triggered a "What the fuck am I on about?" pause. As discussed earlier, styles are always up for grabs, especially when the originator (if Band Zero can even be determined) is out of business. I have never felt the alleged rush and push of EITS, but I can't rate them or Mogwai on their degree of Slint-biting. This game is full of brilliant biters, and often the second one up to bat scores the runs. (Sly Stone?)
I think of this while listening to Good Shoes, who remind me of Maxïmo Park with more Rough Trade and less Virgin, and MP reminded me of a less good
"Done to them? They haven't done anything—they're all right there on the shelf."
How long before someone titles a review of Rob's remarkable book "The Year Of Musical Thinking"?
If you like eggs like this lady loves eggs, then you must to go to
what is the name of the restaurant?
Inside. The restaurant is called Inside. And this restaurant serves a dish called chilaquiles which involves eggs, chiles of some kind—I've never been much good at differentiating members of the chile family—and a crusty element which pulls everything together in an appropriately mashy way. I don't remember enjoying anything else on the menu, but chilaquiles make me rabid with anticipation.
(Did this restaurant really close?)
Somewhere in the beginning of 2002, Ui—Clem, Wilbo, Erik Sanko and I—wrote the song "Answers." There was never a discussion about the song; it formed quickly and never needed much arranging. Playing it was something of a purge, and could go on for at least twenty minutes. We were rehearsing in a Fort Greene carriage house that had been a thermometer factory in the early twentieth century before going residential. (The house is about five blocks from where I grew up, but that's purely coincidence.) This version of the song was recorded at Bryce Goggin's Trout Studios in Brooklyn. The rest of the album was recorded in a church in upstate New York that Bryce owned, though I don't think he does any more.
Not a routine:
By making the murder such a cock-up, and omitting the obligatory police visit, Almodovar asks us to forget the murder as an actual act, and to focus instead on what animates the characters: anger, a hunger for retribution and the need for forgiveness. Put differently: for eighty percent of the movie, you’re not even sure that Raimunda’s mother isn't a ghost. Dull realism and its brothers in facticity are all off the table the minute Raimunda manages to lift Paco, all by herself, into the fridge.
So, in "Volver," why didn't Penelope Cruz (Raimunda) just grind up her husband (Paco) and serve him to the film crew? If you wrap up a person you've killed and FREEZE him in a FREEZER, which you then WRAP UP SOME MORE and bury in a hole, that person is less likely to decompose than if buried unboxed. Not to mention that fact that the freezer, duct tape, and bungee cords are all physical evidence, of an especially damning sort if the freezer can be traced to the RESTAURANT NEXT TO THE APARTMENT WHERE YOU KILLED THE DUDE. And even if you get lucky, and the water table happens to rise high enough to rust the buried freezer and rot the body—guess what? The initials of the frozen dude YOU CARVED INTO THE TREE NEXT TO WHERE YOU BURIED THE FROZEN DUDE IN THE FREEZING FREEZER are gonna tip somebody off.
Would this happen in pop music? Fuck no. Beyoncé would put on her freakum dress, put dude in a box to the left, and drive off in a drop-top. Nobody would check up on it because they would be following her, because she's Beyoncé. Then Beyoncé would go back and figure out something with lasers and mirrors that would make the box—on the left—disappear.
Are the bands who ape U2's puffy momentousness not aware that U2 have not broken up, are doing quite well and are still writing songs that—if you are a U2 fan—meet requirements? Those who don't like Interpol's joy divisions are faced with the immovable fact that Joy Division are no longer around and their steez is pretty much up for grabs. Same with Arcade Fire's Ian McCullough and The E Street Band sound—it seems perfectly acceptable to pick up a ball if the putative owner has left it outside for weeks, months, years.
I agree with Steve Albini: Joanna Newsom is a "bad ass." And I once feared what Erik Davis feared: that Joanna is a jumble of affectations and hip references. Live shows are good at correcting lightly held beliefs.
Mike McIntyre writes:
Regarding your blog entry of June 26, 2006:
I can tell you some things about the neighborhood of the first owner of your Sears typewriter. In 1968, when Mr. William J. Thomas (of 3910 Telstar Circle) purchased that typewriter from Sears, I was ten years old and living with my parents and younger brother at 3902 Telstar Circle. So there were just two houses (and one cross street) between the Thomas house and ours. I wish I could say that I remember the Thomases, but I don't. I do vaguely recall the name, but that's about it. I asked my mom if she could recall them, but she couldn't either.
Your correspondent Patrick is correct to point out the anomalous nature of Huntsville, an old, sleepy southern town that was invaded by northerners and foreigners who helped design (and build) missiles and rockets. My family numbered itself among the northerners. My father, who had recently graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.S. in mechanical engineering, was relocated to Huntsville in 1962. He was working for Boeing at the time. Two or three years later he was hired by NASA, at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). He is still working there. MSFC is located within Redstone Arsenal, which is a vast Army installation, the boundaries of which lie just a few hundred yards to the west and south of Telstar Circle.
Most of the grownups in the Telstar Circle neighborhood either worked on the Arsenal or were spouses of an Arsenal worker. The U.S. Army was also designing missiles in Huntsville, not just NASA. The two organizations were, of course, separate (von Braun and his German team of rocket scientists were transferred from the Army to NASA when NASA was organized in 1960). In fact, I don't remember any nearby neighbors whose parents also worked at NASA. All the ones I remember were in the Army, or had some Army connection. The father across the street from us did three or four tours in Vietnam. The father who lived next door to the east also did several tours in Vietnam. They were all enlisted men. Sergeants. The father of one of the two African-American families on the block was the resident golf pro at the Officers Club golf course.
It was an ordinary, hardworking, middle-class neighborhood. As Patrick said, Telstar Circle is undoubtedly named for the communications satellite, but I think he may be wrong about Teller (and it's Edward, not Edmund, by the way). I'm not aware that Teller ever lived or worked in Huntsville. Wernher von Braun did, of course, but he lived in a somewhat more upscale neighborhood than we did (on top of Monte Sano, as I recall). No saint he, I suppose. As Tom Lehrer once sang:
"Gather round while I sing you of Wernher von Braun,
A man whose allegiance
Is ruled by expedience.
Call him a Nazi, he won't even frown.
'Ha, Nazi Schmazi,' says Wernher von Braun.
Don't say that he's hypocritical,
Say rather that he's apolitical.
'Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?
That's not my department,' says Wernher von Braun."
I don't know about all that. I do know that my father met von Braun, and once attended a meeting with him, and said of him that he was enormously charismatic and talented.
This photo was taken in the late 1950s, I believe. It's looking roughly north. The Telstar Circle neighborhood didn't (quite) exist yet. The development of it started in the next several years from when this photo was taken. The large open field to the right of the main road (that bisects the photo on the vertical diagonal) is where the Telstar Circle neighborhood would soon be, fairly close to the forested area in the lower right part of the photo. You can just make out the guard shack to get into/out of the arsenal in the center of the main road, towards the bottom. There is a line of cars going into the arsenal, so the photo was probably taken in the morning. There is a row of army buildings, of which two are visible at the extreme left. My house would have been on the extreme right, in the open field, but closer to the forested area. The house with your typewriter would probably be just out of frame to the right.
Of course, you can also use Google to see a satellite view of what it all looks like now.
Luc Sante: "Yes, it's an unused ticket. October 1974. My date elected to go see Fairport Convention instead. But I went! He was at the end of his peak then—"The Payback" was on the radio. The show itself was the last gasp of vaudeville: cartoons (Road Runner), followed by a fashion show, followed by a shout-out to the celebrities in the house (Mick Jagger and two African ambassadors), followed by a series of his protegé singers. JB came on after about an hour and a half. I remember thinking, "Damn! The guy can still move! And he's so old!" He was 41, I guess. If I'd been in the city I definitely would have made the pilgrimage to see him lie in state."
And a post on JB by Roy Edroso that Luc pointed out to me. (Reverb Motherfuckers! Confused? Click around.)