Thursday, August 31, 2006

R.I.P. Voice music section

The axe has fallen:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

If this comes completely out of the blue, I apologize.

It is now official--Village Voice Media fired me today, "for
taste," which means (among other things) slightly sweeter
severance. This despite the support of new music editor Rob
Harvilla, who I like as a person and a writer. We both believed I
had won myself some kind of niche as gray eminence. So I was
surprised Tuesday when I was among the eight Voice employees
(five editorial, three art) who were instructed to bring their
union reps to a meeting with upper management today. But I
certainly wasn't shocked--my approach to music coverage has never
been much like that of the New Times papers.

Bless the union, my severance is substantial enough to give me
time to figure out what I'm doing next. In fact, having finished
all my freelance reviews yesterday, I don't have a single
assignment pending. So, since I have no intention of giving up
rock criticism, all reasonable offers entertained; my phone
number is in the book, as they used to say when there were books.
What I don't need is a vacation--the three of us just had a great
two and a half weeks, and Nina matriculated at BMCC yesterday.

No need to respond. Forward to whoever you will.


Bob Christgau

(Story here.)

I can only assume this is thus the end, the ignominous end of Pazz & Jop, 'cause 1) I figure the Voice owns the rights, and 2) they probably aren't in a spending-money-on-a-crix-poll kind of mood. Fuckin' A, New Times. Christgau will be fine, but that doesn't mean the Voice music section will. My heart is heavy today.

Pretty brilliant, or at least clever. Link via Johnny.

This just in: Kanye West is complaining! Really, you're so talented, but please shut the fuck up with the petty grievances, 'Ye.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

"We chose Pink as the signature voice because she is a tremendous talent with a crossover appeal that makes her relevant to all segments of our audience," said Fred Gaudelli, who will produce the Sunday night broadcasts for NBC.

Because no one's more relevant to all segments of the hoped-for Sunday night football audience than Pink (or, as she prefers, P!nk). Like, say, straight men. Like my Dad. 'Cause we all know that no group of people loves Mizundastood - and whatever other irrelevant albums she's released - more than straight male football fans. I mean, really: Pink?!?! NBC, how fucking stupid are you? They'd do better to just use the Law & Order theme and hope no one noticed it wasn't actually L&O.

OK Go - "Here It Goes Again"

I know, I'm the 8 millionth person to blog this, but really, how great is OK Go's "Here It Goes Again" video? And if it brings more attention to its reason for being - a fine song that gives power pop a good name, a la "Stacy's Mom" - that can only be a good thing.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Stevie Wonder - "I Ain't Gonna Stand For It"

Shocking. Its verses sound like nothing so much as a Charlie Rich song, with Stevie nearly growling, uncharacteristically way below his usual register; the piano trills and guitar (mostly acoustic, occasionally almost downright twangy) especially signify country, of the soupy, down south variety. From 1981, but it could about be from anytime from 1974 to about, oh, '85. Why didn't I know this song before now?!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

"I said I'd send for you and I did - what did you expect?"

As Alf says, quite possibly the most literally-minded interpretation of lyrics in a video, ever. (Hey - that should be a VMA category!)

Monday, August 07, 2006


Hallelujah! Finally, at last, about time, etc.: the best of Ebert, in book form. (His greatest strength has always been in the written word.) Details here. Also, an update on Roger's condition from his wife Chaz. (Links from Movie City Indie.) It's funny: in much of the country, Ebert & Roeper is on circa 1:30am Sundays; here in L.A., it's at 6:30pm Sundays, sandwiched in between the news and the start of prime time. It's like the Times says in their advertising - we live movies out here. The bf & I watched Roeper get back on the horse with special guest Jay Leno - yes, Leno - last night, and it was entertaining enough. Leno, I think, might know more than he let on; he sounded too pedestrian, for the most part. Next week, Roeper faces off against Kevin Smith, which should be very interesting television at the least, and who-knows at the most.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

As much as I love R&B and hip-hop, there's a lot of bad music at urban radio right now. To wit, I attempted to listen to Launchcast's The Big Jams station at work today (largely because I wanted to hear "Deja Vu"), and here's an excerpt of what I got:

E-40 - "U & Dat"
JoJo - "Too Little Too Late"
Sean Paul - "(When You Gonna) Give It Up To Me"
Chamillionaire - "Ridin'"
Chingy - "Pullin' Me Back"
Shakira - "Hips Don't Lie"
Rihanna - "Unfaithful"
J.R. Writer - "Grill Em"
Lil Jon - "Snap Yo Fingers"
Cassie - "Me & U"
Young Dro - "Shoulder Lean"
Yung Joc - "It's Goin' Down"

These last 4, out of order, are the last 4 songs to go to #1 on the R&B singles chart, and I despise each and every one of them. Honestly, the only one of these songs I don't hate is Shakira's, which is just mediocre (why is she so much better in Spanish than in English? I suspect Wyclef has something to do with that...). I am so fucking over "snap," the most annoying hip-hop subgenre since - well, hyphy. Only worse. I know this is a cranky-old-man rant, but I can't help myself - and I haven't even mentioned what a dud I find the new Kelis single (I mean, c'mon - Too Short?!). What has happened to urban radio this year? Apart from MJB, Ne-Yo, Beyoncé and a few others, it's nearly unlistenable these days. Where's Erykah Badu's weird ass when we most need her? For that matter, where are any of the "neo-soul" class of '96: Badu, Maxwell, D'Angelo, Come back to the five and dime, Erykah Badu, Erykah Badu...

Then I returned to the loving arms of my Launchcast, which welcomed me back with Color Me Badd's "I Wanna Sex You Up." I exhaled in relief. "Makin' love until we drown." "We can do it till we both wake up." God bless America.

"But do you not see you brought this on yourself?"

The reality TV moment of the year?

Also: if you care about this, you must listen to Tim Gunn's podcast regarding the episode (for those reading after 8/8, it's season 3/ep 4), which adds a lot of background information regarding Keith.

Two more things about this week's ProjRun, as the brilliant Rich (best ProjRun recaps anywhere!) calls it:
1. I luuuurve Laura. "Keith, what an asshole. I'm glad to see him gone."
2. Robert is so fucking hot in that wifebeater. Gaw-juss! If I didn't already have a BF, I'd want to impregnate him. Now.

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