Thursday, August 29, 2002

today's at-work listening:
filtered; the best of filtered dance, mixed by robbie rivera. one of my top 10 albums from 2001, a sparkling collection of filtered-disco anthems, including stardust, spiller, mousse t, and pete heller. creamy house-y goodness.
45 rpm: the singles of the the, the the. see this entry from my first day of blog.
divine secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood, soundtrack. not quite on par with o brother, where art thou, but still a nice job by t-bone burnett, trying to do for cajun music what o brother did for americana. the best stuff is un-cajun, the new tracks from l-boogie, dylan, and alison krauss.
experience: jill scott 826+, jill scott. when an artist's second record is a live album, it's generally cause for worry. not here. 826+ expands and improves upon who is jill scott? in much the same way that badu's live album did; scott's band fatback taffy pulls and sweetens the originals like so much sticky candy. the "+" is for the second disc of the set, 10 new compositions which are pert near up to the standard of her debut. "gotta get up," featuring 4hero, and the hidden track (an "illegal mix" of "he loves me") are marvelous. believe gilles peterson when he tells you how amazing her talent is - and she's just getting started.

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

you really should read this blow-by-blow account of one of the greatest movies of all time: Hoosiers. it's also the only movie that makes me cry. ever.

denise m. lyman, an nyc landlord, is one sick fucking cunt.

topping the hitlist this week: dj lance lockarm strikes again with "s'washyawart," a phenomenal boot combining my bloody valentine's "i only said" w/the beasties' "so whatcha want" and schooly d's "saturday night." this is how good a bootleg can be. also of note: lockarm's been making a batch of goth booties, including swans vs. dre/ll cool j, and bauhaus vs. dmx. definitely worth a download 'n listen.

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

this is kind of cheesy, but truer than you might think. [ripped from an email forward.] indiana's my beloved home state.
I think anyone who has ever spent any amount of time in Indiana can agree to these. Here are some guidelines to assist others in understanding what it takes to be a Hoosier.

1. Know the state casserole. The state casserole consists of canned green beans, Campbell's cream of mushroom soup and dried onions. You can safely take this casserole to any social event and know that you will be accepted.

2. Get used to food festivals. The Indiana General Assembly, in an effort to grow bigger athletes, passed legislation years ago requiring every incorporated community to have at least one festival per year dedicated to a high fat food. It is your duty as a Hoosier to attend these festivals and at least buy an elephant ear.

3. Know the geography. Of Florida, I mean. I've run into Hoosiers who couldn't tell you where Evansville is but they know the exact distance from Fort Myers to Bonita Springs. That's because all Hoosiers go to Florida in the winter. Or plan to when they retire. Or are related to retired Hoosiers who have a place in Sarasota. We consider Florida to be the Lower Peninsula of Indiana.

4. If you can't afford to spend the winter in Florida, use the state excuse, which is that you stay here because you enjoy the change of season. You'll be lying, but that's OK. We've all done it.

5. Speaking of Indiana weather, wear layers or die. The thing to remember about Indiana seasons is that they can occur at anytime. We have spring like days in January and wintry weekends in October. April is capable of providing a sampling of all four seasons in a single 24 hour period. For these reasons, Indiana is the Layering Capital of the World. Even layering, however, can pose danger. Golfers have been known to dress for hypothermia and end up dead of heat stroke because they couldn't strip off their layers of plaid fast enough on a changeable spring morning.

6. Don't take Indiana place names literally. East Enterprise has no counterpart to the west. Also, if a town has the same name as a foreign city or country....Versailles, Chili, or Peru, for must not pronounce it that way lest you come under suspicion as a spy. To be accepted, ALWAYS add a hillbilly twang when pronouncing these names, even if you are in northern Indiana. It is common knowledge that the thick southern accents of the people of Marion and Kendallville in northern Indiana, are much stronger and more pronounced than the accents heard in Jasper, not too far north of Kentucky-Indiana line.

7. Become mulch literate. Hoosiers love mulch and appreciate its subtle differences. Learn the difference between hardwood, cypress and pine bark at a minimum. Researchers think the state affinity for mulch derives from its relatively flat terrain. People have a subconscious need for topography, and when it can't be supplied naturally, they are more likely to make little mulch hillocks in their front yards.

8. In order to talk sports with obsessive fans in Indiana, you have to be knowledgeable on three levels--professional, college and high school. The truly expert Indiana sports fan knows not only the name of the hotshot center at Abercrombie and Fitch High School, but also what colleges he's interested in, how much he bench presses, who he took to the prom, and what he got on his biology quiz last week.

9. Remember that Hoosiers are never the first to embrace trends. When we do embrace them, we do so with a Midwestern pragmatism. For example, if you see a Hoosier with a nose ring, there's a good chance he's had it undercoated to guard against rust.

10. The best way to sell something in Indiana is to attach the term "Amish" to it. The product need not be genuinely Amish. This would explain the existence of Amish moo shu pork.

I hope you found this guide to be useful. If it offends you, please let me know. I will bring a green bean casserole to your house to make amends.

no surprises: according to the vh-1 behind the music game, the btm episode I'm most like (?!) is madonna. go figure. [btw, her brand-new official website (it's about damn time!) is very nice, content-heavy with good stuffage.]

Monday, August 26, 2002

I think I actually love elvis vs. jxl's "a little less conversation" more every time I hear it. and I was in error earlier; the line is "all this aggravation ain't satisfactioning me." my bad.

it's official: u2 is releasing "the best of 1990-2000" november 12th (us). the first single is a new song titled "electrical storm," which sounds like what you'd expect, which means it's pretty good (and features bono's falsetto, always a plus). after finding a copy on winmx yesterday, I decided this called for a "bonus edition" of 'stumpydisc.' also featured are new tracks from coldplay and underworld's albums, as well as a reggae classic and, er, father mc. let's go.

stumpydisc: august 2002: bonus edition
1>addictive-truth hurts f/rakim. it befuddles me that this was produced by dj fuckin' quik, a hack as a rapper if ever there was. a stunning bollywood backdrop surrounds the first single from dre's latest protege' (strong voice, nothing exceptional), with added bonus of rakim. but why does he have to start every single cameo he makes these days with "it's been a long time"? ra, we haven't forgotten you, and yeah, it has. so record something new!
2>battle-wookie. premium uk garage from '00 (?). tasty.
3>better days-blaze. perfect american garage, beloved by masters at work. and, if you're smart, you.
4>daylight-coldplay. based on what I've heard so far, a rush of blood to the head is where coldplay ascend to the big leagues, not just in the uk but worldwide. radiohead if they weren't experimental, u2 if they still had mullets, echo and the bunnymen when they were. powerful, meaningful, and all-around majestic: think "bitter sweet symphony," "wonderwall," maybe even "beautiful day."
5>electrical storm -u2. well, look who it is... nothing revolutionary here, more like a perfectly broken-in leather bomber jacket. you know what the next line will be, and you're glad. and the aforementioned falsetto.
6>ess gee-underworld. not missing darren emerson one bit, u'world are returning with a storming slab of tech-house, a hundred days off. if "two months off" didn't convince you, this will: a return to second toughest...-style epic stuff (only touched on by "cups" from the last studio record), all moroder pulses and technoid keyb wooshes.
7>flash (live)-vhs or beta. if you'd like another perspective besides mine, read james hunter's thoughts on vhs or beta from this week's voice.
8>girls of summer-aerosmith. like a rock.
9>i'll do 4 u-father mc. hiphop the way it got on the radio in the early '90s, all creamy diva choruses and plush beats. or did I just describe sean combs' method for success?
10>i'm not over you-rhonda vincent. the next alison krauss, with a voice full of longing.
11>pda-interpol. yeah, they sound like joy division's kids. and why is that bad?
12>sola sistim-underworld. on this track from their forthcoming album, u'world throw a curve ball in slo-mo. provocative chill-out.
13>uptown top ranking-althia and donna. reggae jax from '78, so smooth, so right.
14>uptown top ranking-black box recorder. disturbing, icy female vocals + a deconstructed beat + a classic reggae track = hours of fun!
15>weak become heroes-the streets. is mike skinner the future of something?
epigram on disc cover: "I am immense; I contain multitudes." - walt whitman, leaves of grass

Sunday, August 25, 2002

osymyso's "intro-inspection" has given birth to pop-chop's "pop-chop-comp-elation". both are available for easy download, so what are you waiting for? where osymyso uses only intros/first lines, pop-chop takes a different tack, completing lines of songs with other lines, to wit: daft punk's "music's got me feeling so free, I wanna --" (from one more time) segues straight into "-- celebrate my love for you" (peabo bryson and roberta flack!). amazing.
and if you just want a brief history of popular music from 1955 to the present, check evolution control committee's "chart sweep" parts one and two (look under "new sounds"). simple, but nicely done.

shakira: interesting concept, horrendous execution. and dalbello had a much better song called "tango."

I've got a rare sunday off from bowling, so of course I'm listening to the brand-new uk top 40. and I am utterly, completely befuddled by scooter's "the logical song." why is this a hit?! it sounds like nothing so much as bad belgian hi-nrg techno from 1995. was there a time when music lovers thought female voices sped up to chipmunks-type levels was a good thing? "logical song" is one of those songs that must be heard to be believed. bizarre.

Friday, August 23, 2002

chet flippo has been writing killer shit for well over 25 years. he spent much of the '70s working for rolling stone (doing, among other covers, their dolly parton cover story in '78). he's always freelanced. and most all of the '90s he spent at billboard, before leaving a couple years ago to become the editorial director for cmt and, where he also finds time to write his weekly "nashville skyline" column. this week's, about the relationship between country music and the white house, is very good reading (and writing). if you care about country music (be it commercial, bluegrass, Americana, or 'y'allternative'), you need to read chet.

wow! my home-state queer brothers and sisters make me proud... interesting legal strategy, too.

"I need a tuneup daddy, 'cause you the mechanic": anyone else think trina is the new lil' kim? kim done gone uptown, but trina got one foot firmly planted in tha ghetto. and the bitch nasty! she needs to kick trick daddy to the curb and go double-platinum w/o his tired ass. babydiva's got dexterous flow for days. trina's best moments:
ludacris "southern hospitality" remix (f/shaunta, trina, and foxy brown)
trina "da baddest bitch"
trina "pull over"
trick daddy and. co "take it to da house"
missy elliot "one minute man" video mix (f/ludacris and trina)
silkk the shocker "that's cool" (f/trina)

I absolutely, positively, unequivocably love the way ludacris raps, the way words sound coming out of his mouth. but I wish he had more to say than "I got hoes in different area codes." just think of his voice as another instrument, I guess, and ignore what he's saying with it (except for the wordplay in "southern hospitality," which makes me giddy). and why do I fear that his disturbing tha peace clique is going to be about on par with d12 and st. lunatics? stop the insanity!

I'm finally going to start work on my masters at work essay today, I promise. in the meantime, you can find their website newly added to the "sites I visit" section.

Thursday, August 22, 2002

if you love music, and still believe that the rare video can be true art (as opposed to an ashanti back-slapping party, ibid. "happy"), you'll want to read the story of how the white stripes' "fell in love with a girl" clip came to be. how does michel gondry just keep pushing things forward?

anyone know when joshblog's gonna be back up & running? matos? nate? someone holla at me.

2 new semi-blogs today (both with actual blog content inside). coolly-cool. they're to your left.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

have got the pretty in pink soundtrack playing at work. makes me feel good every time, and don't playa-hate and tell me it's nostalgia talking. omd? psych furs (though I prefer the original version)? new order? echo? smiths? what a killer album. even the filler tracks (by belouis some and who-the-hell-is danny hutton hitters) are decent. anyone know when paramount's gonna release the flick on dvd with molly commentary? along with heathers (and that special-edition dvd is stellar), the definitive high-school film of the '80s.

nate's got a great piece on his blog, just posted today, about criticism v. dialogue. plus, he posted a photo of himself over the weekend, and he's cuter than I thought.

cam'ron's "oh boy": I don't even notice the rap, really, just the relentless beat and that whining-skill gulping-an-orgasm "oh boy" sample. he's come a ways since his days with "murder mase," that's for sure.

Monday, August 19, 2002

brought d'angelo's voodoo in to work today, since I haven't played it in a while. it was my #1 album of 2000, topping even radiohead's kid a. well, I hate to say it, but I do think, now, that the long-player rides the single's coattails. "untitled (how does it feel)" is a magnificent, mind-bending 7-minute soul meltdown. the rest of the album is technically gorgeous, a murky stew of reeking keybs and ?uestlove's drumming, all topped by the pliable, humming rubber band of an instrument that is d's voice. but it doesn't all come together - "left and right," f/method man and redman, sticks out particularly glaringly - and to be painfully honest (and it does pain me), some of it meanders into jazz-fusion-cum-hendrix-land, notably "greatdayndamornin'/booty" and the closing "africa." I haven't even listened to the whole thing in at least 6 months; I probably listen to the last 3 radiohead full-lengths at least once a month, because I glean such pleasure from them, and always learn something new about the textualities of the music+lyrics contained therein. whereas voodoo is a solid record, but not one I want to keep returning to all the time. d'angelo is one of his generation's more gifted artists, but where he goes from here is crucial. he can either degenerate into muso-masturbation, wanking off his own musical fetishes, or he can push things forward as he's clearly (I hope) capable of. an album full of "untitled"s and "spanish joint"s could be pretty amazing. we'll see where he goes from here. now, how about those brand-new radiohead songs? hmmm... (a new album from thom and the boys might be sooner than we think, too...)

just recently finished a sometimes shocking, and shockingly good, book, just reissued by kensington press: charles nelson's panthers in the skins of men, which was originally published in '89 by meadowland and has been out of print for many years. panthers tells the continuing tale of kurt strom, a soldier just back from vietnam who's very, very gorgeous and very, very gay. he has sex the way most of us breathe, and nothing stops him from getting who he wants - in fact, the straighter, the better. kurt ends up falling hard for nick esoldi, a married state trooper from new jersey who enjoys kurt more than he thought possible, pulling him into a series of nasty, dirty adventures involving blackmail, knockout drops, violence, and lots and appallingly hot man-to-man sex. but the novel isn't just about sex; it's also about kurt figuring out what (and who) he wants, not to mention painting a fascinating portrait of navy life post-vietnam. very highly recommended.

Sunday, August 18, 2002

have I mentioned my semi-famous cousin? I guess this means I only have one degree of separation from nina totenberg, which is pretty damned cool.

btw, bowling update: we did not bowl particularly well today, winning only 2 of 7 possible points. we finished the summer season in 4th place (out of 9 teams). oh well, I got $42, and at least my second game was a 159.

I can't fucking wait for this album. just trying to imagine what the nin cover will sound like makes my head hurt, all my synapses firing away at once.

Friday, August 16, 2002

I know I should be blogging more lately, but between the top 80/stumpydisc projects (see below), and the fact that I've just been busy lately, I've been too tuckered. I'll try to be better this weekend; need to get re-inspired. maybe it's time for some winmx.

lots of folks used to call steven tyler the poor man's mick jagger, and aerosmith shameless stones imitators. but I think, listening to their new career-spanning comp o, yeah! ultimate aerosmith hits, I've hit on the one band they safely can be compared to: ac/dc. in that most of the 'smith's albums don't vary a whole lot, hewing to a similar-sounding batch of joe perry unleashed rockers and steve's-real-sensitive ballads. but like ac/dc (and, excepting their mid-'80s flirtation with synths, zz top), they're solid and dependable, like your favorite jeans or a ford pickup. and since when is that such a bad thing when it comes to music? honestly, as much as I might love radiohead or luomo or sonic youth or timbaland, sometimes I don't want to be challenged. I want the musical equivalent of comfort food, and with ac/dc, aerosmith, and zz top, I get it. that doesn't mean they're boring or uninteresting; it means you basically know what you're gonna get: great hard rock, decent tunes, and a distinctive sound. steven tyler's voice is shredded like tattered burlap as the band members all move into their 50s, and that's a positive thing.

Thursday, August 15, 2002

so, I've mentioned coastalfolk twice, promising to write about it once, and have yet to deliver the goods. well, damn; I guess it's time. this is the second compilation released by soundside studio of ocracoke, nc (po box 596, ocracoke, nc 27960, or contact gary mitchell electronically); the first was 1998's ocrafolk. that's a disc which "documented the wide variety of musical talent present on tiny ocracoke island, nc (pop. 700)" (from the liner notes to coastalfolk): mostly folk and bluegrass, mostly songs about life on ocracoke and the outer banks of north carolina. mostly splendid stuff. coastalfolk expands the concept, including songs from & about the entire nc coast. most selections were recorded live at the "ocrafolk opry," a weekly jam session-cum-performance series held at ocracoke's deepwater theater. highlights include "governor edward hyde" by jules garrish, an oldtimer on the island who still speaks with a distinct "hoi toide" accent (the song is about one of the ocracoke ferries); noah paley's "moonlight still," which isn't on either of his 2 superb albums of (largely) acoustic folk; and the tuneful, classic folk/bluegrass music of molasses creek, who not only have 2 songs featured, but back many of the other musicians on the disc. simple music from a simple place: refreshing as a sea breeze.

so, I've actually been rather busy lately (having an active social life = a good thing), which is why I've been blogging less than usual. have got some nice new cds, though. jeff made me a josh rouse comp, "pure pop perfection," which on first listen is pretty nice. mentioned the coastalfolk comp earlier. and last night I actually went to the evil best buy and picked up the new nickel creek and o, yeah! ultimate aerosmith hits, which is one those all-killer-no-filler comps: everything you need, nothing you don't. very sweet. the nickel creek, through the first couple of listens, is superb. they cover pavement's "spit on a stranger"?!! beautiful.

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

stumpydisc: august 2002/4
1>teenage dancefloor (live)-vhs or beta. new order-esque chiming guitars mix with creamy chords to make disco nirvana.
2>ten fingers-the pursuit of happiness. once of the greatest songs ever written about unrequited anything.
3>the diamond sea (edit)-sonic youth. being drowned in a sea of thurston.
4>the grass is blue-dolly parton. heartbreak, straight up no chaser.
5>the kid is hot tonight-chixdiggit!. more fubar madness. is this actually a good song that I was blinded to because of mike reno's tight leather pants?
6>the magnificent romeo-soulwax. jaxx mash it up with clash in a brixton alley.
7>the needle and the damage done (live at the rock and roll hall of fame)-neil young. performed on the mtv vmas a couple years back in honor of kurt c. by his spiritual godfather. elegiac.
8>the proxy-rjd2. def jux's house producer gets his freak on.
9>tom violence-sonic youth. schizophrenia has taken hold.
10>under the influence of the jesus and mary chain-sonic youth. live on french radio circa '86: ain't nobody humpin' around.
11>valley girl-frank zappa and moon unit zappa. like, ohmygod! totally tubular.
12>weak become heroes (ashley beedle mix)-the streets. ukg anthem becomes bigger uk house anthem.
13>welcome 2 thee lite-thee jamie starr scenario. rumored to be felix, but it doesn't matter, since it's just the instrumental of stevie's "stand back" looped and fuct wit.
14>when you're falling-afro-celt sound system f/peter gabriel. better-sounding than anything pg's done in a decade.
15>windowlicker-aphex twin. booty music from hell.
16>yes she is my skinhead girl-unrest. a teen-punk anthem.
17>you'll never leave harlan alive-patty loveless. one hell of a kentucky voice wraps itself around a haunting, nearly scary song. a highlight of the 'down from the mountain' tour.
18>you daddy don't know-the new pornographers. rock out with your clit out.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

stumpydisc: august 2002/3
1>my love is bold-danko jones. if jon spencer would take his tongue out of his fucking cheek every once in a while and just rock, he might sound this good. but I doubt it.
2>nasty voices-dj lance lockarm. "nasty" + "voices in my head" = better than either song. the way lockarm conjoins the police's harmony vocals under janet's chorus is nasty-but-nice, too. have jam & lewis heard this?
3>nineteen-ninety-nighttrain-freelance hellraiser. a holy union of the 2 most important black artists of the last 20 years. choo-choo!
4>nobody does it better (live in los angeles)-radiohead. thom yorke calls this "the sexiest song ever written." it's certainly his sexiest vocal, which is saying more than you think.
5>north star-robert fripp f/daryl hall. from '81: fripp's crimson guitar-and-keyb shadings bring out heretofore unheard pathos from daryl. a slow burn.
6>o lucky man-the grapes of wrath. canadian pop-rock piffle from the late '80s, when that was most of all I loved.
7>only shallow (live)-my bloody valentine. there are great guitarists, and there are those who make you jump back. hendrix fell into the latter category, all about the shock of the new. so does kevin shields.
8>pretty fuck look-pussy galore. more christina's band than jon's.
9>relative ways-...and you will know us by the trail of the dead. are they the second coming? no. are they as good as at the drive-in? no, comparisons be damned. but they're pretty loud and tuneful, which is sometimes enough.
10>renegade snares-omni trio. jess's favorite song of the '90s. I just think it's a right nifty piece of d'nb.
11>revolverlution-public enemy. even at not-full-strength, it's still reassuring to have them back in the world, fuckin' up shit.
12>rock you-sum 41. first of 3 selections from the fubar soundtrack, which accompanies a movie about canuck heshers. for the s/t, the makers collected covers of canadian rock songs by current artists. sum 41 + helix are a part fit. ugly metal, yum.
13>selah-lauryn hill. better than just about anything on her mtv unplugged 2.0. amazing what just the slightest production and shaping can do to a song, eh, l-boogie?
14>sex change-danko jones. "goddamn I need a sex change"?! not sure what that's about, but please, danko, don't.
15>sitting in the window of my room-alison krauss. like "selah," from the divine secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood ost. not better than most of her last album, but still a lovely lullaby from the queen of bluegrass.
16>sleep on-alison krauss. from her very first album (10 years ago!), with a much more unpolished voice and presence.
17>somewhere down the crazy river-robbie robertson. never had a use for the band. do have a use for this track from his first solo record ('88?), so twin peaks-before-it-existed it kills me.
18>stairway to heaven-dolly parton. plant and page love it, right down to the new verse dolly wrote. you should too. trouser-snake-metal becomes a burnished, uplifting bluegrass-gospel gem.
19>straight outta compton (kid606 remix)-n.w.a. oh. my. gosh.
20>sugar hill-az. I know he's still around, but really, when did he fall the fuck off? immediately after this, I guess.

stumpydisc: august 2002/2
1>heaven-vhs or beta. disco dreams and junk-filled nightmares, minus the nightmares.
2>here to stay-new order f/chemical brothers. less than the sum of its parts, but more than you might expect. it's hacienda-tastic!
3>hot cock annie-frogs. they used to be the worlds first gay-supremacist folk-rock duo. now, isn't that tenacious d?
4>hunger strike-temple of the dog. sums up all the good about seattle '92. I like this record better than any single album by soundgarden or pearl jam, which I guess makes this more than the sum of its parts, doesn't it?
5>i feel love (masters at work 12" mix)-donna summer. never really cared for the original of this; like it was trying to hard to be really inventive ("look! I, girogio moroder, can do it just like kraftwerk!") and wasn't, so much. maw strip the chassis and give it a fresh paint job, tuneup, lube job, and a new friggin' frame. one of their greatest moments ever. they bring out the pure joy in donna's vocal, too.
6>i love you suzanne-lou reed. I've always associated this song with that honda scooter commercial lou did around the same time. shock! horror! lou makes happy pop song! I think this even got him on mtv.
7>i'm every windowlicker-freelance hellraiser. 36 seconds of la whitney's "i'm every woman" mixed with aphex's "windowlicker": so, so wrong.
8>in my place-coldplay. in the fine tradition of magnificent uk rock singles such as "bitter sweet symphony" and "wonderwall," but possibly better. chris martin's gonna be a staaaaaaarrrrr, baby.
9>isobel (dmitri from paris mix)-bjork. our icelandic pixie rubbed up in a lovely house stylee.
10>last goodbye-jeff buckley. perhaps annoying, but undeniably talented with a raw wound of a voice.
11>leave it-yes. better than "owner of a lonely heart."
12>let me see your i.d.-various artists. from the sun city album, a stellar conglomeration of rappers led by gil scott-heron talkin' 'bout a revolution.
13>light burns clear-sparta. so does natural gas, but this is less dangerous.
14>love at first sight-kylie minogue. the natural sibling of "can't get you out of my head," looking up to her big sis in wonder.
15>mister, would you please help my pony?-ween. wrong, wrong, wrong. and yup, 3 wrongs do equal a right.
16>more than a woman (masters at work alternate mix)-aaliyah. I rejoice over software that allows remixers to slow down vocals without altering their pitch. that's used to magnificent effect here by the gods of deep house, kenny and louie. love those guitar licks that catch on your clothes. deep and deeper, like aaliyah was meant to sound this way.

spent most of last night making a new set of "stumpydisc"s for my best friend jeff (stumpy is his nickname). stumpydiscs are, simply, occasional mix discs I make for him, a combination of stuff I'm listening to, classics, and stuff I know he'll like. [he makes me "tom's bonus disc"s similarly.] oh, and we order them alphabetically by title, which can lead to some rather entertaining segues. herewith, some discussion.

stumpydisc: august 2002/1
1>7am-dirty vegas. see previous discussion of dv.
2>annie christian-prince. from '81's controversy, the lyrics are a bit on the trite side (refs to the atlanta child murders, reagan's shooting, etc.). but the music, all squinky keybs and odd guitar licks, portends the futurism of his next 2 records, which you may have heard of.
3>beauty lies in the eye-sonic youth. detuned and retuned guitars, and kim, kim, kim.
4>bounce-danko jones. deliciously nasty sleaze-rock from north of the border.
5>boys of melody-the hidden cameras. their website refers to the beautiful noise they make as "gay folk church music," and I think that sounds about right. very twee, but never to the point of belle and sebastian-ness, full of delicate melodies. more canucks.
6>cherry pie-warrant. "I mixed up the batter, and she licked the beaters."
7>cigarette dangles-the pursuit of happiness. great opening line to a song about frustrated lust (as most of moe berg's songs are): "cigarette dangles/makes me hard." ooh.
8>confidence man-the jeff healey band. I've been on a canadian kick of late, or could you tell? the flipside of "angel eyes" (which I loathe), this is so down-and-bluesy you can smell the grease.
9>copa-dj hell. a pseudo-electroclash-glitch-cut-up mangling of "copacabana." did you think it was something else?
10>cut your ribbon-sparta. the new band by ex-at the drive in members. like at the drive in, only not as good. which is still pretty good.
11>dagger through the heart-dolly parton. the first single from dolly's latest bluegrass full-length, which might be her best yet. lyrics that ache like a good bluegrass song should, plus that voice. heavenly.
12/13>days go by(acoustic)/days go by-dirty vegas. both versions of an incredibly well-written song = more value for your $.
14>don't talk to strangers-rick springfield. "did you fall at first sight, or did you need a shove?"
15>everybody wants you-billy squier. oh, whatever.
16>get ur freak on (kid606 remix)-missy elliot. would someone explain to me why kid606 doesn't have a multi-million dollar record contract?! glitchtronica genius, with the added bonus of a-ha!
17>girl from the greenbriar shore-ralph stanley. ralph + t-bone burnett = modern classic bluegrass.
18>give the peeps what they need-public enemy. chuck and flav return, sounding solid, givin' you what ya need. but I still miss the bomb squad.
19>golden boys-res. now, she's a find: a black rock chick who takes no mess. we need a new (old) tina turner, so her timing is good, too.
20>grindin'-clipse. marvelously skeletal production, just a bass and a drumline-snare-clap; are the neptunes saving their best stuff for their own acts? good for them. the rap is nothing special, but I can't think of the last time I heard a hip-hop track which excited me like this.

Monday, August 12, 2002

1. "bring the noise," public enemy (def jam '88). the original firestarter.

2. "how soon is now?," the smiths (rough trade '84). as amazing as the smiths were, this rises above all others as their masterpiece - and, in fact, a masterpiece of music, period. marr's rickenbacker chimes like a bell, morrissey's never sounded better, and joyce/rourke keep the beat on the one. combine that with one of the most stunning (and stunningly simple) lyrics in the history of rock: "I am human and I need to be loved, just like everybody else does." call it morose if you must; for me, as a teen, it was a lifesaver.

3. "i would die 4 u," prince and the revolution (warner bros. '84). short sharp shock (2:49). but seek out the full-length 12" version clocking in at over 10 minutes, too.

4. "teenage riot," sonic youth (blast first! '88). a shotgun weddin' at cbgb's; between whom I'm not sure.

5. "fight the power (from do the right thing)," public enemy (motown '89). louder than a bomb, the clarion call of spike lee's summer of discontent.

6. "kiss," prince (paisley park '86). as perfect as this is, it's not even his best single of the '80s. what does that tell you about the purple one? may be the third-driest dance record on a major. but it's not even hard, only complicated.

7. "your imagination," daryl hall and john oates (rca '81). a surprisingly rockish move from h&o that hits the trifecta every time.

8. "stop me if you think you've heard this one before," the smiths (rough trade '88). it was supposed to be their final farewell; for me, it always will be. morrissey, laid and waylaid.

9. "the pleasure principle," janet jackson (a&m '87). the second-hardest and driest dance record on a major ever (see #24), but the perfect janet single trumps the perfect george single.

10. "disintegration," the cure (elektra '89). robert smith sings his anguish whilst rome crumbles around him.

11. "the glamorous life," sheila e. (warner bros. '85). if tito puente was a woman and made r-and-b records...

12. "easy for you to say," linda ronstadt (asylum '82). ronstadt, a prime example of a fine talent wasted, is normally not even worth being on my radar, but this soft-rock gem kills, all because of its nasty, biting lyrics about infidelity.

13. "left to my own devices," pet shop boys (emi-manhattan '88). che guevara and debussy sitting down for crumpets and tea.

Sunday, August 11, 2002

er, what that's supposed to say: I plan to complete the "top 80" commentaries tomorrow, provided that work doesn't kick my ass (which it could, since I only worked tues/wed of last week). in which case I'll just finish tomorrow night. boo-yaa.

I plan to complete the "top 80" commentaries tomorrow, provided

# posted by Thomas : 7:04 PM  0 Comments
14. "u got the look," prince (f/sheena easton) (paisley park '87). what is "heck-a-slammin'," anyway?

# posted by Thomas : 5:42 PM  0 Comments
15. "poison arrow," abc (emi '82). no rhythm in cymbals (symbols?), no tempo in drums.

# posted by Thomas : 5:39 PM  0 Comments
16. "there is a light that never goes out," the smiths (rough trade '86). the ultimate byronic love note.

# posted by Thomas : 5:36 PM  0 Comments
17. "gypsy," fleetwood mac (warner bros. '82). stevie nicks envelopes you in her shawl and sprinkles you with fairy dust.

# posted by Thomas : 5:35 PM  0 Comments
18. "welcome to the jungle," guns 'n roses (geffen '88). grunge didn't kill hair-metal dead. real metal did. 15 years earlier, they would've been the stooges.

# posted by Thomas : 5:34 PM  0 Comments
19. "sun city," artists united against apartheid (emi-america '85). the triumph of art over politics. or, when afrika met pat benatar.

# posted by Thomas : 5:33 PM  0 Comments
20. "little red corvette," prince (warner bros. '82). get your motor runnin'.

# posted by Thomas : 5:31 PM  0 Comments
21. "I can't go for that (no can do)," daryl hall and john oates (rca '81). quite possibly the most underrated group of the '80s, at least critically speaking. the apex of pop-soul.

# posted by Thomas : 5:29 PM  0 Comments
22. "love will tear us apart," joy division (factory '80). a siren song from the edge of the grave.

# posted by Thomas : 5:18 PM  0 Comments
23. "sheila take a bow," the smiths (rough trade '86). in under three minutes, the essence of morrissey/marr distilled. punchy and punky (in spirit if not presentation).

# posted by Thomas : 5:17 PM  0 Comments
24. "hard day," george michael (columbia '88). would somebody give him a break already? the hardest, driest dance music on a major label ever, and all the better for it.

# posted by Thomas : 5:15 PM  0 Comments
25. "let's start love over," miles jaye (island '87). post-marvin, pre-maxwell. with a xylophone solo!

# posted by Thomas : 5:15 PM  0 Comments
26. "strings of the strings of life," rythim is rythim (transmat '87). modern classical.

# posted by Thomas : 5:12 PM  0 Comments
27. "loving the alien," david bowie (emi-america '84). ziggy stardust, I presume?

# posted by Thomas : 5:11 PM  0 Comments
28. "sexual healing," marvin gaye (columbia '82). marvin = smooth. maxwell's done a good job taking notes.

# posted by Thomas : 5:08 PM  0 Comments
29. "the unforgettable fire," u2 (island '84). the texture of fog, the density of the world, a climax only eno/bono/edge/clayton/mullins can muster.

# posted by Thomas : 4:45 PM  0 Comments
30. "suedehead," morrissey (sire '88). not his best solo single (that came in the '90s), but his most immediate. with a vini reilly guitar line that enunciates, "this is not the smiths."

# posted by Thomas : 4:44 PM  0 Comments
31. "fast car," tracy chapman (elektra '88). sometimes simple and quiet is best.

# posted by Thomas : 4:43 PM  0 Comments
32. "tip of my tongue," the tubes (capitol '83). music's so-so, fee's vocals are better, so it must be about the lyrics.

# posted by Thomas : 4:42 PM  0 Comments
33. "it takes two," rob base and d.j. e-z rock (profile '88). only of the most danceable, undeniable hip-hop singles ever.

# posted by Thomas : 4:42 PM  0 Comments
34. "that girl," stevie wonder (motown '83). the best thing he's done in the last 20 years. everything you [should] love about stevland morris, with the addition of sythesizers.

# posted by Thomas : 4:41 PM  0 Comments
35. "too shy," kajagoogoo (capitol '83). absolutely perfect '80s pop. period.

# posted by Thomas : 4:40 PM  0 Comments
36. "heaven," bebe & cece winans (capitol '88). brother-and-sister gospelly-creamy vocals perfectly entwined around lyrics I can believe in (but may not, given the day).

# posted by Thomas : 4:39 PM  0 Comments
37. "more than this," roxy music (virgin '82). it's all about the sax solo.

# posted by Thomas : 4:37 PM  0 Comments
38. "save a prayer," duran duran (capitol '82). simon lebon never made me swoon, either, except in the "rio" video. but this is what romance sounds like.

# posted by Thomas : 4:36 PM  0 Comments
39. "waiting for a girl like you," foreigner (atlantic '81). how do you defend a nearly indefensible single? well, here's my teenaged side: it makes me go all mushy. and I'm not a girl, nor would I want mick jones to be waiting for me. not even in 1981.

# posted by Thomas : 4:35 PM  0 Comments
another necessary interruption to the countdown: scott woods and co. at have at last posted the online exchange site visitors had with the dean of all rock critics, robert christgau. please read it. NOW.

# posted by Thomas : 4:02 PM  0 Comments
bowling update: threw a 449 series today [144/160/145], my best of the summer! and we won all 7 points as a team today. we kicked ass. our team name? no room at the inskeep.

# posted by Thomas : 2:02 PM  0 Comments
40. "private dancer," tina turner (capitol '84). tina moans. the world rejoices. that's ms. turner if you're nasty.

# posted by Thomas : 5:27 AM  0 Comments
41. "erotic city," prince (with sheila e.) (warner bros. '84). where prince gets to the important stuff.

# posted by Thomas : 5:26 AM  0 Comments
42. "desire," u2 (island '88). bono gets his schwerve on.

# posted by Thomas : 5:24 AM  0 Comments
43. "keep on movin," soul II soul (virgin '89). mellow house as template.

# posted by Thomas : 5:23 AM  0 Comments
44. "open all night," daryl hall and john oates (rca '82). white-boy pain at its most soulful.

# posted by Thomas : 5:20 AM  0 Comments
45. "piece by piece," the tubes (capitol '85). rebuilding the perfect beast.

# posted by Thomas : 5:19 AM  0 Comments
46. "the boy with the thorn in his side," the smiths (rough trade '86). hundreds of strummy jangle-pop bands could blame this. don't.

# posted by Thomas : 5:03 AM  0 Comments
47. "the future," first call (word '86). "I may not know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future": one of the best lyrics ever.

# posted by Thomas : 5:01 AM  0 Comments
48. "so may it secretly begin," pat metheny group (geffen '87). jazz which is so smooth, which is not the same as smooth jazz.

# posted by Thomas : 4:58 AM  0 Comments

Saturday, August 10, 2002

49. "shadow of a doubt," sonic youth (sst '86). kim gordon meets hitchcock; mayhem ensues.

# posted by Thomas : 8:21 PM  0 Comments
50. "a girl in trouble (is a temporary thing)," romeo void (415 '82). but deborah iyall and cool sax-splashed new wave are forever.

# posted by Thomas : 8:20 PM  0 Comments
51. "two tribes," frankie goes to hollywood (ztt '84). metal machine music at the edge of apocalypse.

# posted by Thomas : 8:19 PM  0 Comments
52. "something i can never have," nine inch nails (tvt '89). an industrial piano ballad?! exquisite ache.

# posted by Thomas : 8:17 PM  0 Comments
53. "do you really want to hurt me," culture club (virgin '82). if I'm boy george, the world is jon moss.

# posted by Thomas : 8:12 PM  0 Comments
54. "flesh for fantasy," billy idol (emi '84). subtlety from steve stevens, not so much from billy. do you like good music? do you like to dance?

# posted by Thomas : 8:09 PM  0 Comments
55. "neighborhood threat," david bowie (emi-america '84). bowie as mid-'80s manson. either one.

# posted by Thomas : 8:06 PM  0 Comments
56. "strike it up," black box (deconstruction uk '89). [actually '90 - I oopsed.] diva-house as template.

# posted by Thomas : 8:04 PM  0 Comments
57. "everyday is like sunday," morrissey (sire '88). trudging slowly over wet sand? what's so bad about that?

# posted by Thomas : 6:18 PM  0 Comments
58. "space age love song," a flock of seagulls (emi '83). truth in advertising.

# posted by Thomas : 6:12 PM  0 Comments
59. "you got lucky," tom petty and the heartbreakers (mca '82). one of those songs that inexplicably sounds much better late at night. almost like a future-perfect version of tom & the heartbreakers.

# posted by Thomas : 6:11 PM  0 Comments
60. "beat it," michael jackson (epic '83). jacko is the magnet, and eddie van halen is steel.

# posted by Thomas : 6:10 PM  0 Comments
61. "she's a beauty," the tubes (capitol '83). art-damaged punks fucked by david foster = pop perfection.

# posted by Thomas : 6:04 PM  0 Comments
back from ocracoke/obx a short time ago; had a blissful trip. no real music stuff to report, apart from hearing morrissey's "november spawned a monster" on the radio!! and buying the new coastalfolk comp, more on which shortly.
now, as casey would say, back to the countdown.

# posted by Thomas : 6:00 PM  0 Comments

Friday, August 09, 2002

leaving momentarily for the lovely island of ocracoke, on north carolina's outer banks. will return to the blog saturday afternoon.

# posted by Thomas : 6:04 AM  0 Comments

Thursday, August 08, 2002

62. "the look of love (part 1)," abc (emi '82). high-gloss new-romantic pop with the levels nailed at 12.

# posted by Thomas : 9:36 PM  0 Comments
63. "hangin' on a string (contemplating)," loose ends (mca '86). a creamy slice of key-lime r-and-b, all relaxed yet talkin' 'bout frustration. bonus points for being british r-and-b.

# posted by Thomas : 9:32 PM  0 Comments
64, "synchronicity II," the police (i.r.s. '83). sting and co's last desperate-sounding rocker. sting's last one too, for that matter.

# posted by Thomas : 9:29 PM  0 Comments
65. "pop life," prince and the revolution (paisley park '85). prince as piper at the gates of dawn.

# posted by Thomas : 9:27 PM  0 Comments
66. "my secret place," joni mitchell f/peter gabriel (geffen '88). overproduced as hell by her standards, and all the better for it. a divine marriage of 2 singular voices, singing singularly about togetherness.

# posted by Thomas : 9:24 PM  0 Comments
67. "blood and roses," the smithereens (enigma '88). a classic out-of-time rock combo (if they'd been around in the late '60s, superstardom would have greeted them eagerly) with a classic song about a girl.

# posted by Thomas : 9:20 PM  0 Comments
an interjection: I am so fucking ecstatic right now. one of my favorite websites,, has added a link to my blog. maybe I'm just easily impressed/amused, but I think it's really fucking cool. I feel like a teenaged girl meeting justin timberlake.

# posted by Thomas : 8:39 PM  0 Comments
68. "for the love of big brother (from 1984)," eurythmics (rca '84). speaking of cold... annie and dave at their absolute iciest, which in this context somehow translates to warmth. as evocative as it gets.

# posted by Thomas : 2:41 PM  0 Comments
69. "on our own (from ghostbusters II)," bobby brown (mca '89). when bobby met sigourney, the sta-puft marshmallow man, and some marvelously cold synthesizers.

# posted by Thomas : 2:36 PM  0 Comments
70. "headed for a heartbreak," winger (atlantic '88). an anguished last call on a relationship from a surprisingly talented band.

# posted by Thomas : 2:33 PM  0 Comments
71. "it's a sin," pet shop boys (emi-manhattan '87). neil tennant asks his priest what he's done to deserve this.

# posted by Thomas : 2:32 PM  0 Comments
72. "sinking," the cure (elektra '85). the politics of suicide, set to suitable musical accompaniment.

# posted by Thomas : 2:28 PM  0 Comments
73. "mountains," prince and the revolution (paisley park '86). from his most underrated album ever (parade), a chug-a-lugging singalong synth-drum-powered funk workout.

# posted by Thomas : 2:18 PM  0 Comments
74. "dr. feelgood," motley crue (elektra '89). the final, and best, unholy screech from the el-lay hairspray-metal scene; not an aretha cover.

# posted by Thomas : 2:15 PM  0 Comments
75. "suicide blonde," inxs (atlantic '89). sadly, their last bright moment in the pop firmament: michael hutchence howls as his band (and they were most definitely his band) cranks the harmonica up to 11.

# posted by Thomas : 2:13 PM  0 Comments
76. "avalon," roxy music (virgin '82). the girls coo in the background, while bryan ferry decides what to wear to dinner.

# posted by Thomas : 7:47 AM  0 Comments
77. "stand or fall," the fixx (emi '82). red skies at night, cy curnin's delight.

# posted by Thomas : 7:45 AM  0 Comments
78. "the adventures of grandmaster flash on the wheels of steel," grandmaster flash and the furious 5 (sugar hill '82). 5 years of music history sent to flash's chop shop. did debbie harry get royalties, or at least a thank you card?

# posted by Thomas : 7:42 AM  0 Comments
79. "the headmaster ritual," the smiths (rough trade '83). "beligerent ghouls run manchester schools": oh, so accurate (see below).

# posted by Thomas : 7:40 AM  0 Comments
80. "what about love," 'til tuesday (columbia '87). nothing but raw ache, and aimee mann's excruciating braid.

# posted by Thomas : 7:37 AM  0 Comments
earlier this year, I finally compiled my "top 80 of the '80s." admittedly, it's not complete; any time you attempt something of this breadth, you end up missing crucial stuff (hello, "i feel for you"!). but I still stand by my list, and like it a hell of a lot, so much so that I compiled it onto CD (a five-disc set; if you're interested in a copy, let me know). over the course of the next couple of days, I'm going to count down the entire 80 here, with comments. herewith, let the countdown commence!

# posted by Thomas : 7:36 AM  0 Comments
in case you just can't be bothered or don't have the time to download full music videos, you need to bookmark sputnik 7, which is packed full of wonderfully weird, underground, and disturbing clips. if you haven't seen aphex twin's "windowlicker" video, brace yourself, jason.

# posted by Thomas : 7:08 AM  0 Comments
more killer boots.
one I just found yesterday, "slave it," by stark effect, makes an unholy union of yes' "leave it" (remember? the follow-up to "owner of a lonely heart") and la brit's "slave 4 u." inspired.
dj lance lockarm is a guy you may have heard of; his boot "bring the muzik back" is getting some actual radio play in the us (particularly on 97x, one of the nation's best and truly alternative stations). for my, er, free download, though, his best work is an early piece he did called "nasty voices," where janet meets the police in a back alley. ace!
richard x is a genius. he's the one who first thought to piece together adina howard's "freak like me" and gary numan's "are 'friends' electric," which ended up being re-recorded by sugababes, giving bastard pop its first uk #1 single. under the guise of girls on top, he's released a number of 7"s through rough trade, the most shockingly beautiful of these being "i wanna dance with numbers," which lays whitney down on a bed of kraftwerk, making her sound much more sad and melancholy.
and then there are the kings, soulwax. if you haven't heard the infamous "smells like booty" by now, what are you waiting for?! a culture clash of the highest proportions.

# posted by Thomas : 5:57 AM  0 Comments

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

I am completely obsessed with bootlegs.
fortunately, if you've got a decent firewall program on your machine, and a decent connection, you can shower your harddrive with 'em. not only does boomselection kick ass (and be sure to buy their new mp3-cd set), but mcsleazy's get ur bootleg on forum is a great place to chat about, and find links to, some killer (and not-so-) booties.

fuck, are there enough links in that paragraph?!

and whether you can live with or without eminem, be sure to check boomselection's "with or without me" mini-site, devoted to the 18 billion "without me" boots in circulation. there's currently a glitch in the downloads, but it should be fixed soon.

my faves:
jjrob's daft punk v eminem, which I call "aerodynamic me." of course, "aerodynamic" is so fuckin' cracking it'd sound good mixed with damned near anything.
freelance hellraiser is a genius. my latest find of his is a prince v public enemy piece I call "nineteen ninety-nighttrain." find it on winmx.

more later; my best friend jeff just made it here after a 13-hour drive from indiana.

# posted by Thomas : 4:53 PM  0 Comments
current hitlist:
vhs or beta, le funk
white stripes, "fell in love with a girl"
dolly parton, halos and horns
willie nelson, "maria (shut up and kiss me)"
freelance hellraiser, "nineteen ninety-nighttrain"
dirty vegas, "7am"/"days go by"/"simple things part 2"
2 many dj's, as heard on radio soulwax pt. 2

# posted by Thomas : 1:20 PM  0 Comments
originally, I was annoyed by all this "garage revival" hype, especially considering the titans of the scene, the strokes and white stripes. and honestly, the hype is still obnoxious. vines? hives? meet ramones. but the strokes grow on me with each listen, 'cause they've got some fine-ass melodies buried in their tunes, and the white stripes have really got me. "hotel yorba" reminds me of yo la tengo, of all things; it's damned near pretty. knowing that jack's going to do some vocals on t-bone burnett's cold mountain ost (think o brother, where art thou grandfather?) doesn't hurt, either. but it's the "big hit single," "fell in love with a girl," that's the killer. not even 2 minutes of garage-punk trash with lyrics I still can't make sense of after 50+ hearings, "in love" barely describes how I feel about the white stripes' money shot. the amazing lego-constucted video is merely the bavarian cream in this doughnut.

# posted by Thomas : 11:23 AM  0 Comments
I'd started this post last night, and then accidentally deleted it. oops.

the 5 greatest albums of all time.
1. it takes a nation of millions to hold us back, public enemy. this is the record that altered hip hop - and the sound of pop music - inescapably, forever. the bomb squad's production was so dense, so thick, like cake batter. don't think they changed the rules? listen to any of the radio hits from dr. dre's the chronic, which came 5 years later, and tell me otherwise. and then there's the dynamic duo, flavor flav's yang to chuck d's yin, the court jester and the high priest. chuck d's voice is in itself a thrill akin to miles' trumpet or hendrix's guitar; he's the best rapper of all time. period. rakim? biggie? jay-z? bow down before the grand master. and not only is this the greatest album ever made, it features the greatest single, "bring the noise." sheer unadultered genius.

2. the queen is dead, the smiths. the band of the '80s at the peak of their collective powers, notably (of course) morrissey and marr. marr's guitar work is at its most lyrical and stinging, and the mozzer's voice never sounded more morose or passionate. combine that with a phenomenal set of lyrics (if "there is a light that never goes out" doesn't break your heart every time, you don't have one), and you've got an undeniable classic.

3. the lexicon of love, abc. producer trevor horn has had many high highs in his career (think the art of noise, think frankie goes to hollywood), but none reach these grandiose heights. lexicon, simply put, is the apex and apothesis of new romantic glammed-up soulboy pop. it would just be an empty shell, however, without martin fry's spot-on, martini-dry observations on men and women - he was a postmodern bryan ferry before even he knew.

4. rumours, fleetwood mac. the disillusion of two separate relationships compunded by far too much cocaine, told through a gloss of california rock with a dark underbelly, as you could only do in the '70s. "if you don't love me now/you will never love me again" (from "the chain") is one of the most gorgeously biting lyrics ever composed.

5. daydream nation, sonic youth. wherein the nyc noise merchants wed their skronk-und-drag to pop song structures their way, and break on through to the other side. "teenage riot" is a shotgun wedding at cbgb's, "kissability" an alternate-universe #1 single. and through it all, kim just stands and stares at you, so coolly, making you lose all your nerve.

# posted by Thomas : 7:01 AM  0 Comments

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

vhs or beta is my new favorite new band. since I got their debut lp, 'le funk' (on records), available in finer records stores and from, I've listened to not-that-much else. and I kept trying to find ways to explain their sound to friends, and kept having problems. disco/funk on live instruments? no, too simple. new no wave? too obscurist. so, what I can tell you is this: imagine a jam session between chic and girls against boys, with let's say steve albini producing. still with me?

see, what I've never understood that people miss with chic is it was all about live instrumentation, most notably nile rodgers' stabbing guitar licks and the late bernard edwards' throbbing bass. vob have that same kind of pushing, propelling sound driving their sound, not to mention a drummer worthy of a spot in james brown's band. their effects are almost entirely done with pedals, and the occasional processor on the vocals. the chic influence is quite strong, except when they get a little post-punk on your ass (i.e. gvsb, and I also hear a lot of big black/rapeman in their melting pot, that kind of stutter-stop rhythm, the harsher guitar patterns). 'le funk' also includes 2 live cuts, which show that they can cut it even better on the stage. there's so much tension in their compositions, all ebb-and-flow, rising to an inevitable, orgasmic, discotastic climax every damn time.

# posted by Thomas : 1:19 PM  0 Comments
definitive proof that the backstreet boys (or at least well-meaning dope nick carter) may well be even more idiotic than originally thought. "unexpectable"?!

# posted by Thomas : 9:48 AM  0 Comments
I almost forgot - thanks to gaz for reminding me that the "oh, manchester" line is from "suffer little children." I had a mental blog, er, block.

# posted by Thomas : 8:38 AM  0 Comments
in case there are some of you out there wondering what my blog's title means, it goes like this. it's got a double meaning for me. "oh, manchester, so much to answer for" is a line from the smiths' "suffer little children." the smiths, if pressed, are my favorite band of all history. "how soon is now?" got me through the darkest days of my teens. as an added bonus, I grew up in north manchester, indiana, so that line had/has added resonance for me. and trust me, (north) manchester has an awful lot to answer for. any other questions?

# posted by Thomas : 8:18 AM  0 Comments
...and while we're on the subject, joshblog is so smart I can hardly stand it. some of the most beautiful, elliptical, yet straightforward writing I've ever found on the web.

# posted by Thomas : 7:14 AM  0 Comments
I am so incredibly jealous of michelangelo matos' talent in writing, I could just spit. instead of spitting, however, I'll just enjoy reading his musings on music. you should, too.

# posted by Thomas : 6:56 AM  0 Comments
as bad as the american pop charts are, the uk seems to get it right most of the time (even including their unhealthy predilection for made-for-tv popstars and songs used in commericals). to wit: mcalmont and butler's "falling" entered the uk singles chart at #23 this week. and beth orton's new album came in at #8. and elvis vs. jxl, of course, was a massive chart-topper on the other side of the pond. if nothing else, the uk charts are never boring.

# posted by Thomas : 6:45 AM  0 Comments
back at work, finally got some good sleep last night, and time to blog.

herewith, the usher method of bowling.
when bowling, especially in competition, it's important not to overthink things. after a while, muscle memory should take you through your stance, approach, and release. accordingly, I try to clear my head of bowling (not obsessing over a badly thrown ball or a missed spare, f'instance) when I'm on the lane. for some bizarre reason which even I can't explain, what -- well, let me back up a minute. it's not bizarre (c'mon, have you been reading?) that I'd do so by singing songs in my head. music is who I am. what is perhaps a bit bizarre is the song that seems to do the trick: usher's "u don't have to call." not only is it one of the best pop singles of '02, I know most all of the lyrics, so I can concentrate on those instead of overthinking my bowling. to make things even weirder, I tend to do (sparingly, and hopefully discreetly) bad white-boy approximations of usher's dance moves from the video. [I did not get the 'rhythm' portion of the "gay gene."] these help keep me loosened up. and no, I don't do them on the approach, but while I'm waiting to throw my next ball. I'll tell you what: I can't argue with a 148 and 166. so I'm gonna (try to) keep doing it as much as I can without being entirely obnoxious to my teammates. "don't leave your girl 'round me, true playa for real, that's my n---- for real, uh..."

# posted by Thomas : 5:48 AM  0 Comments

Monday, August 05, 2002

I'm back, and exhausted. had a great weekend in raleigh, but am so, so tired, and my legs hurt (you try bowling 12 games in 36 hours and let's see how you feel...). as time and energy allow, I'll share some tales from grabit 2002, including the musical method I used to bowl 148 and 166 games in the team competition. patience, folks.

# posted by Thomas : 3:12 PM  0 Comments

Friday, August 02, 2002

I'm off, shortly, to raleigh for grabit (see below). will return monday with plenty of tales, I'm certain, to overstuff this blog.

# posted by Thomas : 7:02 AM  0 Comments
last night, at the bowling alley, they had the music set on a "top hits" channel (like from digital cable), and over the course of 2+ hours, I realized quite thoroughly that this is the worst year in EONS for top 40 radio.

start with nelly, who represents every single thing bad about hip-hop in 2002. he's the "thug" version of m.c.hammer, and hammer at least had some good samples (c'mon, he sampled prince on "pray"!) and better fashion sense (mock if you must, but I'll take genie pants over facial band-aids any damn day). fortunately, I also expect nelly to have the shelf-life of hammer. hope he's investing well. his lyrics are vapid ("hot in herre" is made for strip clubs and "best bikini" contests at frat bars), his production is worse (the neptunes have a few things to answer for this year, their n.e.r.d. record aside).

then there's the new teen-"rock" (and I use that term very loosely) girl brigade, led by avril, michelle, and vanessa. apparently, we're supposed to love them because a) they write their own songs, and b) they're not britney. unfortunately, a) their songs are pretentious journal scribblings, b) at least britney's honest: what you see is what you sweat. from britney, you can at least get a cheap thrill, not to mention that she's made a number of perfect pop records. whenever I hear one of the new girls, I'm reminded how much jewel has to answer for. the lilith fair brigade is getting its revenge, folks, and it ain't over yet. this is what you get for buying all those limp bizkit records.

mario, bow wow, b2k and the rest of their ilk aren't worth a mention, other than that (and we all knew this already) little black girls need teen idols, too. bet's "106th and park" has become "trl."

chad kroeger and nickelback make me want to commit suicide. I feared that creed would "influence" other bands, but never imagined it would come to this. and you're right, chad, only a hero can save us. and it ain't you, or default, or puddle of mudd, or tobey maguire for that matter. [side note: is it just me, or is tobey on the verge of becoming his pal leonardo? think about it.]

last year at this time, we had "bootylicious," "get ur freak on," souldecision, great u2 singles, and the start of the ascent of alicia keys (and that's just the radio stuff). what went wrong??

# posted by Thomas : 6:05 AM  0 Comments
the college football season is almost here, and with it comes the return of one of the most beautiful men alive, kirk herbstreit, former osu qb-turned-espn analyst. check the video of his preseason picks -- looks like kirk picked up a tan over the summer! wonder what his tanlines look like... mm-mm-good!

# posted by Thomas : 5:32 AM  0 Comments

Thursday, August 01, 2002

said tonight at a late dinner, by a friend of mine: "I just wanna hear you scream like a little girl when _____ penetrates you." [the names have been removed to protect the not-so-innocent.]

said by someone else (whom I like very much), while lying in bed reading an issue of playboy: "why do they have to have all these titties in here?"

# posted by Thomas : 9:46 PM  0 Comments
rob thomas apparently just needs to stick to writing for other people (preferably aging icons). his stuff with matchbox 20 is always fair-to-middling at best; his work for others, however, is pretty damned good. I actually liked "smooth," his grammy-winner for santana, quit a bit. his track for willie nelson, "maria (shut up and kiss me)," is even better. a horn-laced pop-rocker, which inexplicably, lost highway has gotten on country radio (yesssss!) -- it's almost as good as "mendocino county line" (which is ace). no surprise that it's on cmt, the country's best country radio station. on billboard's country chart? that's surprising.

# posted by Thomas : 9:58 AM  0 Comments
it's jen's birthday, and she doesn't look a day over 24! or 25, at least. send her an e-card, why don't'cha?

# posted by Thomas : 7:50 AM  0 Comments

gentlemen, start your bowling bags!
I leave tomorrow for a 4-day weekend in raleigh, nc for grabit, a gay bowling tournament. my entering average is a 135 (my final average last season), which is on par with my current average of 134. I really, desperately want to bowl well in raleigh, not only for myself (it's my first tournament, my 2nd will be sassi, which we host here over labor day weekend), but for my teammates, especially my doubles partner and roommate, michael. michael is an incredible bowler, with a 185 average. damned near everything I know about bowling I learned from him, and I think he's going to have a stellar tournament -- he monied at the igbo annual tournament in fort lauderdale, fl over memorial day, and that had over 700 bowlers in competition! so, I'm just gonna take a deep breath, and bowl to the best of my abilities. and have fun. this is a vacation, after all.

# posted by Thomas : 7:44 AM  0 Comments
"she could've turned out to be almost anyone/oh, almost anyone/with the possible exception of who I wanted her to be" - jackson browne, "that girl could sing" (1979)
I normally find the ralph nader of music (and no, that's not a compliment) incredibly insufferable, but what a great lyric (and song). a good way to start blogging today.

# posted by Thomas : 6:03 AM  0 Comments

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