4.28.2006

Kristol has his day.
This guy usually gets away with murder on TV but Colbert (who's Report is actually often hit-or-miss) gets him on the ropes and keeps him there. Cobert vs. Kristol (QT).

4.27.2006

Talkin' Nat Geo World, y'all
Er, yeah... I contributed a bunch of stuff to the fresh, hot, online National Geographic World Music Guide.

4.25.2006


The Tax is playing with E'Nuff Z'Nuff.


Zizek anyone?
I'm thinking of heading over to In These Times for the Zizek panel tomorrow night. Who's in? The other option is to go sell stuff down at Hyde Park Records.

Hit the archives at Hyde Park Records for MP3s of some of the rarest stuff they've sold lately. An LP called The Mail Must Go Through by the Cult (not the She Sells Sanctuary one) and a D.R. Hooker album that went for a cool grand.

While last week was a social and sonic overload, this one seems to be about work, dull interviews, fascinating interviews, Elizabeth miniseries immersion (love the Helen Mirren, didn't need the graphic decapitations) and few frustrating scheduling conflicts for the rock bands. And what is up with the arctic backlash weather around here? I froze my ass off today in v-neck sweater, windbreaker and wrinkled-up Burberry dress shirt.

And I almost forgot... a new feature of this blog will be to track newspaper stories that jack from articles I've already published or something like that. The New York Times recently ran two pieces on modern auction house Wright 20 and Richard Wright in what seemed like the same issue. I profiled Wright in the Chicago Reader back in 2002 or something like that.

4.17.2006



Opening band blues
I'm not talking about being the opening band, which is its own kind of blues I suppose but watching an opening band blues. The New York talent pool is running a bit shallow right now and Blood on the Wall has found that its number has come up (mixing metaphors, I know) and its time to tour with Karen O's band, whateveryacallem, er, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. BOTW just don't have it, nothing to offer really but some tired Pixies-isms and proto-metal grunge. Miggy is a cool guy and good drummer, but sorry pal, they're not giving you much to work with. I think New York bands voted them their favorite local band... possibly they meant to say favorite local band to drink beer with and tour with, because the other night they made the YYYs look good, really good. KO was bouncing gold-sparkly something that you couldn't take your eyes off. Some tunes didn't go anywhere but mostly it was worth driving up for and leaving early from. James Murphy kicked out an early DJ set later that night, bursting with disco both obscure and classic. He played a giant-drumbreak-sporting Rare Earth track, a band that you must respect simply because Motown named its sub-label after them, the first band signed to it.

It was a great social party weekend for me, highlights being the mime-styling dancing at Sound-Bar, the mind-expanding set (loads of Benelux goodies, Bad Brains, the Catherine Wheel soundtrack, a disco track called "Exercise Your Ass Off") from Nick Common Factor at Derek's converted bakery loft and the endless real lime and tangerine juice margaritas and gourmet homemade salsa bar at my in-laws easter fest. We made enough guac for 22 people and I think I ate half of it.
You'll be blazed by Average Homeboy.

4.12.2006



Gravitas
Loading the dishwasher doesn't allow as much time for deep reflection as doing the dishes by hand. But it allows more time for scanning cable for something of substance. Last night, I sat riveted by The Tank Man, a Frontline piece on China that looks at the politics and economics of China through the lens of Tiananmen Square. You can watch the special here. I had a Tank Man t-shirt for many years that pictured the anonymous Beijing resident. My cool-as-hell aunt had given it to me. She bought it from the Asian students organization at her university. One of the most shocking moments in the special features four students at Beijing University that don't recognize the photograph of tank man.

4.10.2006

I don't want to be at work today so I'm reading Music Thing.

4.09.2006


The Tooth of Crime

I caught the opening night of the Tooth of Crime at Straw Dog tonight, missed the first 20 because I was parking and with the Cubs playing, parking spaces just weren't happening. This edition of TofC is a bit different from the one I drummed for in college. Sam Shepard has deep roots in Illinois even though he's identified so much as a Californian. He was also a drummer, which makes sense if you know about the scene that's all about rhythm and British Invasion drummers in the play. Tooth was written while Shepard was living in London in 1972. But evidently, he revised the text at some point. Now, it contains references to hip-hop and seems to be more concerned with authenticity, relevance and the way the dialogue about music in the culture dances around those questions. I swear the TofC that I knew was a bit more about being an outlaw, driving fast and how being on top of the charts only makes one alienated from one's self as well as an easy target for the next generation. I remember it being a bit more Death Race 2000, but maybe it's just me.



I must suggest that anyone with Sundance (or BBC 4 in the UK) lock on to City of Men. Tivo, tape or just cancel your plans to see this. I screened the first four episodes and it just gets better and better. The first episode provides a challenging political theory backdrop for the situation in the favelas in which the stories are set, comparing the gangsters to England and France in the days of Napolean and trade wars. As for point of view, imagine an American television program that portrays kids in the slums not so much as victims, but as fully formed people who can be both creative and wonderful and selfish and stupid. The gangsters themselves are also well-drawn. There's a bit of baile funk in the soundtrack and some stuff that sounds like its from a Brazilian Morrissey.

More here in Portugese.

4.06.2006

I'm in the throes of new office Mac bliss. I didn't realize that my old eMac was slowly grinding to a non-working condition. It all went down yesterday and now I'm kicking it live with a newly souped up eMac that does two things my old comp quit doing. It plays CDs and it opens and closes windows. I also archived like 4,000 emails after dumping like 5,000 more. All in all, it's a spring cleaning of the digital variety that makes me feel good.

A quick survey of blogs and I discovered that the music writer blogger that I find repulsively pretentious in writing but actually quite nice in person is exactly that way on in the blogosphere. Not so shocking.

So the CDs are getting listened to at a furious rate. I'm hopefully screening the new Matthew Barney joint this weekend. Also, I will suggest you see the Devil and Daniel Johnston. I have a piece in the next Time Out on DDJ and I trust you will enjoy the film even more than I did as I saw it in a lousy screening room with a notebook and a bunch of crusty academic types.

And then there is this fezteefal stuff going down. Chicago is turning out to be a kind of music festival central for this summer. We're getting Lollapalooza again and the Intonation and Pitchfork festivals, which have a big nasty rivalry going. Music festivals are a good time and a good value cash-wise so I say bring-em on. I think the Intonation might have the most adventurous line-up, Pitchfork the most solid and Lolla (obviously) the biggest and safest names. The Intonation fest is curated and dominated by Vice Records associated artists.