8.31.2004

I just came across something I wrote back in 2000 that made me laugh. Take the '70s rock trivia quiz. Answers to be posted later.

Maybe you are pulling off that 70s look that’s come back strong: feathered long hair, patches on your fading flared jeans, suede jacket with fringe, too tight rainbow colored three-quartered t-shirt and oooh yeah, a comfy pair of moccassins. But have you really got your 1970s FM rock n’ roll down? Back in the day, the real "heads" as they were called kept track of rock’s increasingly complex who’s who with an incredible amount of detail, even if they did most of their research lying on couches in smoke-filled, black-light lit rooms studying liner-notes to a pumping 8-track stereo. Maybe it’s time to get reacquainted with some of the stars of 1970s, the rockers, the singer-songwriters and even folkies that shaped the party decade’s golden sounds. Come on, turn the knob up and imagine that you are a ‘70s rock trivia "head" and check out XXXXXX.com’s ‘70s Rock Trivia Quiz. Warning. This isn’t Brady Bunch stuff. If you don’t know which New York City band dressed up in black and white make-up, elevator heels, had a hit with "Beth" and met the Phantom of the Park in 1976, then don’t even bother. (Answer: Kiss, man).

1. According to legend, what British titans of ‘70s rock renamed themselves (at Keith Moon and John Entwhistle’s suggestion) after going down badly in front of Scandinavian royalty on an early tour as The New Yardbirds?
a. Queen
b. Led Zeppelin
c. Jethro Tull
d. Deep Purple

2. What Canadian-born ‘70s rock singer/songwriter briefly played in the first mostly white act (the Mynah Birds with Rick James) signed to Detroit’s famous soul label Motown Records in the mid-1960s?
a. Emitt Rhodes
b. Todd Rundgren
c. Neil Young
d. Peter Frampton

3. "Bron-Y-Aur" was the name of Led Zeppelin’s what?
a. rare species of pet shark to which they were partial.
b. overweight Indian tour manager
c. Satanic spiritual guru
d. Cottage in Snowdonia, Wales where the band wrote much of their folk influenced acoustic material.

4. October 20, 1977 was a dark day for Southern rock because on that day…
a. Greg Allman quit The Allman Brothers to begin a successful solo career.
b. Molly Hatchet swore off drinking.
c. The Carpenters played a sold-out show in Atlanta, Georgia where fans behaved decently toward one another, cleaned-up after themselves, applauded the duo’s icky songs and went home thoroughly entertained.
d. A plane crash outside of Gillsburg, Mississippi killed Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and his sister Cassie, one of the group's backing vocalists.

5. Walter Becker (bass) and Donald Fagen (vocals, keyboards) met at Bard College and played in band called Bad Rock Group in the late 1960s. In the 1970s they went by the name Steely Dan after a dildo in William Burroughs' Naked Lunch and made jazz-influenced records chock full of FM hits. Who was their drummer back in the early days?
a. Steve Martin
b. Tom Waits
c. Chevy Chase
d. Max Weinberg

6. Two years before Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac, they were romantically and artistically attached, recording an album for Polydor called Buckingham-Nicks (1973). It stiffed, but ended up catching the ear of one Mick Fleetwood looking for a new guitar player. Stevie Nicks says that her major complaint about the album (done a few years before Buckingham told her "Go Your Own Way" on an A-side for the Mac) was what?

a. The fluorescent lights had been "too friggin bright" in the studio during the recording session throwing her off key.
b. Her ex-boyfriend Buckingham sounds more "feminine and mystical" than she does.
c. That Buckingham convinced her to pose bare-chested with him for the album cover, explaining that it was "for the sake of art."
d. That Fleetwood Mac never played or recorded any songs from the album.


7. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young were the ‘70s first real supergroup. Their three-part harmonies, powerful often politically aware songwriting made them instantly huge at a time when hard rock was the big thing. Which of the following CSN&Y factoids is false?
a. The second CSN&Y gig was Woodstock, where they sang the Joni Mitchell penned "Woodstock." However, they also played with the Rolling Stones at the hellish, violent Altamont Speedway Concert, just snuck out early to play a more groovy UCLA gig that night.
b. In 1970, National Guardsmen shot and killed four students at Kent State. CSN&Y recorded and released Young’s "Ohio" within ten days of the event.
c. Sometimes CSNY’s skyrocketing career looked as if David Crosby had made a deal with the Devil. The same day that the band’s first album went gold, David Crosby's lady, Christine Gale Hinton, was killed in a head-on collision as she took the couple’s cats to the vet in his VW bus.
d. While other groups were using more than 21 microphones, CSN&Y refused technological upgrades, playing stadium concerts using only three mikes.

8. Most lazy critics assume that the punk rock explosion was a reaction to the dullness of the music of the 1970s. History, however tends to favor the theory that punks were well studied in glam rock and power pop, and built on the mod and garage music of the ‘60s. Some punks, such as Joe Strummer of the Clash were even ex-hippy folk. What ‘70s guitar rock hero from the wrong side of the tracks was so knocked out by punk that he celebrated it by joining an "authentic" punk group?
a. Alex Chilton, who quit his pop band Big Star and started a group in New York called Television.
b. Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath, who joined a group with ex-members of Generation X called Evil Empire.
c. Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy, who formed a bad-boy all-star group with ex-Sex Pistols Steve Jones and Paul Cook called The Greedy Bastards.
d. Randy Bachman from Bachman Turner Overdrive, who after cutting his hair into a mohawk on a dare, liked it so much that he guested with the political punk band Crass.

9. Yes, for better or worse pioneered the progressive rock sound of the 70s and broke new ground in spiritual flakiness and muzo embellishment. Jon Andersen wrote one Yes album inspired by Portrait of a Yogi and the Shastric scriptures he discovered in the East. What did Yes manager Brian Lane do to create the proper atmosphere for recording 1972’s hit album Tales from Topographic Oceans?
a. Sent the band aboard an ocean liner with nothing but instruments, curry and rice to record in the South China Sea.
b. He brought Indian Gurus for each member of the band, available to teach meditation 24 hours a day.
c. To give the studio the feel of a rural village, he had a picket fence built around the band, equipment set in bales of hay, and a full-size cardboard cow with mechanical udders.
d. Shaved his head except for a pony tail, dressed in silk robes, crossed his legs like Buddha and sat in Yes’ studio until the album was finished.

10. The Eagles were one of the most commercially successful bands on the 1970s. Their Greatest Hits has now outsold Michael Jackson’s Thriller and is the best selling album of all time. The Eagles, however weren’t always stars. They were LA session musicians assembled by producer John Boylan as the backing band for what singer?

a. James Taylor
b. Linda Ronstadt
c. Carly Simon
d. Cher
I read this article in Automotive or some car mag while getting my oil changed about how one of the '80s Porsches was a great used car, relatively inexpensive, easy to maintain and fun to drive, yadda, yadda. So that explains why I can't stop ebaying Porsches. It turns out the '80s Porsches are pretty cheap. There's even a 924 going for $250 right now, here in IL. Of course, it will sell for a few grand more than that and I would rather not deal with the insurance, tags, parking fees for another car, but it's fun to day dream. Maybe a Triumph or a Alfa?

Listening Station
Macha "Forget Tomorrow" (Jet Set)
Masaki Batoh "Collected Works 95-96" (Drag City)

8.29.2004

Was it Sundance or IFC? Probably Sundance. I'm pissed as I was watching "Rude Boy" late one night on Sundance and figured it would be on again soon ripe for the taping (no Tivo or DVD recording here yet), and what do you know? Sundance says it's "not currently screening." Just a one time thing or what? Isn't cable all about re-running things ad nauseum?

8.27.2004

This Newsday article about Dave Itzkoff is interesting for two reasons. The guy completely created this fictionalized version of himself to appeal to Maxim readers and he was completely depressed despite his success because of his relationship with his father. If I can get a review copy of the book, I'm all over it.

8.26.2004

I heard that the brownie lady got busted. I'd do a story on her situation except that I have no time for the next month or so. I've basically gone from being a total waster in July to having the equivalent of two full time jobs for September. I'm bracing myself for it.

I had a review quashed by a higher up editor at RollingStone.com for no reason. I'm doing another review for them next month, but I'm still annoyed.

8.24.2004

I banged out some CD reviews for StopSmiling's online edition.

Perfect Panther is playing tonight at Schuba's. I am drumming. We sound the best we ever have.

I am listening to RTX and getting the shit kicked out of me aurally.

RollingStone.com evidently thinks they posted my latest review for them, though I can assure you, they did not.


8.20.2004

Still trying to get the Blackwell hook-up going again. His people are great, he's just busy and important and considering how much free time I have, I must be the complete opposite. I did chat with Carl from the Libertines today. He was soulfully intelligent and has quite an amazing way at looking at things, considering how chaotic and unstable his band situation. His co-frontman Pete Doherty is currently exiled from the band for doing too much of the drugs.

Miles, Dave and I went to the hookah bar so I that I could review it. The decor was bizarre, the belly dancer definitely doing Latin steps and the smoke quite delectable. I think it took a full hour to get our check. Good times. Ran into the New Constitution guys at the Rainbo and caught up with them. They're super nice. May have to convince them to let me executive produce their album or A&R them or do something biz-wise that will make all of us rich as hell.

Otherwise, I've just been completely deluged with work opportunities. It's going to be a busy and hopefully lucrative season which makes up for the all the total freelance partying decadence of the last few months. Having no time to go to the pool, fiddle with the guitar, write absurdly long emails may be a shock to the system at first, but watching the bank account rise is a novelty that I can't resist.

My parents moved to South Bend, Indiana this week. I'm certain to see more of them for the next few months. Or am I?

Lovin' the Lympics, aren't you? Tennis, swimming, fencing, soccer in abundance.

Top things of the week...
The Animal Collective (live at Open End)
Rodan (especially that Japanese beer with the owl logo)
scoring Spooky Tooth, Humble Pie, Robert Palmer, Stories and Grand Funk LPs for sixty cents a pop and some nice Japanese ceramics thrifting yesterday.

By the way, check the air in your car tires. I went to inflate my left front tire on the Golf and realized the tire pressure was below 10 PSI. The suggested pressure is around 40 PSI. I'm lucky to be alive.

8.12.2004

I'm waiting for Chris Blackwell to call me back right now for an interview to run in Stop Smiling, should be interesting. I'm trying to keep the Island/Marley questions to a minimum. He's only in NYC for a short time, so I have to make the most of it.

In the meantime, I've been at war with my computer lately, but have won the latest skirmish. It turns out a lot of my Word files has the W97 virus or whatever it is called. Norton fixed those. In the meantime, I tried to install OpenOffice which is supposed to be an open source alternative to MS Office which I have been cursing lately for it's constant freezing up. Anyway, OpenOffice couldn't run, even with the X11 code installed etc. so I took that monster off. I'm not quite up on Unix and all the possibilities that it holds for Mac OS X. In general, it reminds me that my computer programming training ended in 1989 with C and I'm not sure that's a horse you can just get back on and ride.

I dropped off my amp and guitar to get repaired and set-up. I've just had it with that stuff being unreliable and hard to work with. Hopefully, getting the Vox fixed won't cost too much. I went out to Niles, IL where I believe Ludwig or Slingerland drums were once made (gotta check on that). There's like a weird little area with a music shop, comic shop and a natural foods store. Otherwise, it's not a very inviting suburb, though I saw some alright looking bungalows on the way in.

Oh, by the way, been daydreaming about a FLW house. There is one (the McCartney house I think) for sale near Kalamazoo for just over 300 grand, a steal. I've yet to dream up a way to finance it. Who's sick of rented apartments? Raise your hand. Oooh, actually the Eric Pratt house is up too. I want to live Usonian Automatic style.

Now back to waiting by the phone...

8.05.2004

I'm back from New York, with lots to report, but in the meantime, there's a few things I've read this morning that are worth checking out. Jack Shafer of Slate comes down pretty hard on the media monopoly book and in many ways I agree with much of what he says (especially the part about most story ideas originating with the big four newspapers, none of which are owned by the big five media companies). Having found the Harper's article on Clear Channel from last year to be extremely half-assed and full of unsubstantiated assumptions, I was hoping he would get into that, but he doesn't.

I saw some amazing breakdancing on the train in New York, these teenagers were doing flips, one-handed stands, even spinning a bit with very limited clearance. They were really professional and charming and I was smiling by the end of it.

Passing through the WTC site twice as I caught the PATH train to and from Newark was really intense. I had no idea that the subway station looked out on the crater from the 9-11 tragedy until I got there and was therefore uprepared for the incredible wave of emotion that hit me when I walked through. Everyone stops, looks, takes photos. It's this incredibly quiet, still but massive space.