Entry 125: 6/27/2009: Getting The Knack & F*ck The Dwarves (video reviews):
From The Onion: 60-Year-Old Hippie Pitied By 40-Year-Old Punk
SAN FRANCISCO—After spotting Dave Coleman, a 60-year-old with a graying ponytail and a frayed Hot Tuna shirt sitting on a bench in Golden Gate Park, 40-year-old punk rocker Brian Patterson said Tuesday that he felt sorry for the aging hippie. "He's just living in the past when the world has obviously moved on," said the middle-aged Patterson, adjusting the spiked leather collar on his neck. "Guy needs to act his age, 'cause nobody cares about that shit from 20 years ago. God, what a sad, out-of-touch loser." According to nearby sources, both the 60-year-old hippie and the 40-year-old punk were later pitied by a 30-year-old raver sitting barefoot in the grass.
Nice smirk, Doug
The Knack - Getting The Knack (video review): The Knack were a handful-of-hits wonder starting with 1979’s “My Sharona”, an infectious ditty that made them the biggest thing since sliced Beatles, the band they were compared to most as their record label beat that angle into a coma. The creepiness of their pedophilic lyrics, the assaholic smarminess of singer Doug Fieger, the Beatles comparisons and the inevitable backlash against overnight success made them yesterday’s news within a year, after two albums and endless touring. They put out more records, broke up, reformed, recorded again, broke up, reformed, repeat, but only the little girls cared.
2004’s Getting The Knack is a lively 85 minutes of Behind The Music-style dawdling on the band that single-handedly revived American power pop in the late 70s. Operating on the same Los Angeles Sunset Strip as The Wierdos, The Germs, and Glam Metal, The Knack, professional musicians all, tore it up without thrashing out. Believe it or not, Fieger was blown away by The Sex Pistols, and saw similarities in how he and Johnny Rotten dressed and worked the stage. On a relative scale, maybe so. Doug even says “The Knack couldn’t have happened if not for the Sex Pistols.” Really. Huh.
“My Sharona” gets top billing right away, and Sharona Alperin herself appears throughout. Doug admits most of his early songs were about Sharona, a notable exception being “Tara”, about Skafish’s roadie. Any day I can mention Jim Skafish is a gift. Alperin now sells high-end real estate to entertainers in L.A., and guess what song you hear when you visit her web site? How can something be so right and so wrong? Sharona was a Knackette, a group of underage girls from Fairfax High School who allegedly weren’t groupies. I have no proof otherwise, but, yeah. Defining creepy and uncomfortable in the new wave era, Sharona and Fieger were not romantically involved in any way at the time, but they were both in relationships, making Fieger feel sticky and everyone else icky. They started a relationship down the road that lasted for three years.
Ageless Cherie Currie of The Runaways appears throughout and provides sparse narration. Others include Weird Al, Bob Mothersbaugh, Steve Jones (ashamed to admit he loved The Knack while a Sex Pistol), Rick Springfield, all members of The Knack, rock critics, label execs and their studio producer. Doug Fieger initially comes off as contrite and introspective, but he says things that become BS once considered. He says his record label only spent $50,000 promoting the first album. What does that even mean? Fieger claims he started drinking and snorting coke because of low self-esteem, but by all accounts he was a motivated megalomaniac pricktard. His brain, larynx and mouth conspire to create vibrations received by the human eardrums as "Is it hot in here or is just my career?" Eventually he turned to heroin, over the line in the sand between recreational drug use and junkie city. The rest of the band are open, honest and seemingly normal.
The Knack were initially rejected by every major record label, but the Monday after Bruce Springsteen hopped on stage for a few songs they had fourteen offers. Get The Knack sold six million copies and set all kinds of records. As part of the backlash was the “Knuke The Knack” campaign, the brainchild of swap-meet entrepreneur Hugh Brown, who appears to laugh good-naturedly about his shirts, stickers and buttons, bought and worn by The Knack themselves. Doug blames their manager for keeping them on the road and not having them appear at The Grammys or on SNL, which was definitely not a plus. The backlash against The Knack was swift, brutal, and at the time it didn’t bother me one bit. I liked “My Sharona” on the level of it being a catchy power pop song, but they lacked the endearing eccentric sincerity of most other new wave bands. Their pedophile anthems also annoyed me. It’s mentioned their songs were “lust songs, not love songs”, and that they also wrote songs reflecting the horny mindset of fourteen year olds. That adds up to creepy. It doesn’t get any stupider than “Baby Talks Dirty”. Can you watch the video and not wince, Chester? Fieger looks like a cross between Chevy Chase and Eric Idle, and bassist Prescott Niles is fun to watch because he’s dressed and coifed like a capo in the gay mafia. No offense!
Getting The Knack by default plays out like an episode of Behind The Music, but it’s more subtle and doesn't hyperventilate in anticipation of commercial breaks. It’s honest, real and does both the band and history justice. I’ll watch this again, but not any time soon.
The Dwarves – F*ck You Up And Get Live (DVD review): This affordable DVD from 2005 demystified The Dwarves for me in a bad way. I expected only apocalyptic mayhem from the band that gave us one of history’s fastest, tightest and meanest records ever and was known to bleed their way through fifteen minutes sets stopped short by locals with pitchforks and torches. Here we find The Dwarves as mere mortals working through their 39 minute set at NY’s Continental, the default CBGBs. Sure, HeWhoCannotBeNamed wears a thong and a Mexican wresting mask, but according to his MySpace page he’s a cultured family man, and singer Blag Dahlia (real name Paul Cafaro), is a novelist, poet, producer – he even recorded a bluegrass album. I expected a bunch of GG Allins but got another night at The Continental, where the beers are cheap, the women cheaper, and a fog of B.O. disables cell phones.
I liked the songs I recognized and felt the others had little character beyond starting and starting with a few stop/starts in-between, but at that speed and sloppiness they’d all be a blur if I didn’t know them beforehand. A lot of hardcore is like that. The studio is where you define your song, and the road is where you remember what you can as you go along.
Four cameras were used and for style they alternate between saturated color and B&W. Blag’s vocals are perfectly recorded. The crowd knew all the songs and screamed the lyrics whenever Blag shoved the mic their way. My rating for F*ck You And Get Live is two naked women and a little person covered in animal blood. I liked The Dwarves more when I only knew their legend as myth.
Entry 124: 6/20/2009: Analog CyberPunk - Further Readings For The Ears XXXI & XXXII (Instrumentals) (+ dvd review)
Here's this week's edition of Analog CyberPunk: Further Readings For The Ears XXXI and XXXII (Instrumentals X) (download zip files at Rapidshare)
We interrupt this broadcast of Anal Log Cinder Poop To Bring You This Special Announcement. Behold, The Astounding World Of The Future!
1000 Ohm: "Look Around"
Ami Marie: "Wir Sind Zufrieden"
Charisma: "Gott Gott Electron"
Colin Potter: "We Are So Glad"
Comix: "Walkman Video"
Gorilla Aktiv: "Umsonst Ohne Riskio - Suono Seguito"
Invisible Limits: "Five Hours"
Moral: "Frosty Nights"
Nu_Beams: "Sterile Swab"
Plus Instruments: "So"
Tara Cross: "Limelight"
Testcard F: "Bandwagon Tango"
Thomas Leer & Robert Rental: "Monochrome Days"
Tone Set: "Wigglin' Around In Middletown"
Xex: "Fashion Hurts"
Alan R.: "Logarithm"
Andreas Dorau: "Sommer Im Dornrosental"
B.E.F.: "B.E.F. Ident"
Begin Says: "Lenine Says"
Blancmange: "Overspreading Art Genius"
Die Gesunden: "Die Gesunded Kommen"
Donnie Darko Soundtrack: "The Artifact & Living"
Fra Lippo Lippi: "Fabric Wardrobe"
Human Puppets: "Moving Closer"
Noh Mask: "Dreams Of Youth"
Pragvec: "Men's Casual Wear 1962"
Sudenten Creche: "Dance (Instrumental)"
US Festival 1983: Opening Day (video review): This is an odd keepsake from an odd series of concerts in 1982 and 1983, imagined and paid for by Apple founder Steve Wozniak, who invested (lost) twenty million dollars on a whim to create a modern Woodstock in the burning desert of Riverside County, CA, Los Angeles’ version of Arkansas. There’s no heart to it or a reason why it should exist, except it was probably expected by Mr. Woznaik as part of the original business proposal.
The US Festival attracted hundreds of thousands of people, most on this day looking like they were waiting for the next day’s heavy metal bands. Was there such a thing as a new wave mullet? “US” stood for “Unite Us In Song”, making it the USIS Festival? A huge stage was built, forcing each band spread out and become distant from each other and the audience, penned behind a wide, waterless security moat. The collective body odors warped light and created a cloud of organic tear gas that caused all engines to seize in a ten mile radius. The concert saw the first use of Jumbotron screens and had a satellite hook-up to Russia, to teach them commies the evils of capitalism.
The tape shows most of the bands from the first day of the 1983 shows, and all but the last three are one song and gone. There’s INXS, The Divinyls, Oingo Boingo, The English Beat, Missing Persons, The Stray Cats, Men At Work and The Clash. Such a large stage and venue makes the band members each small and alone, and even though everyone tries it’s like having moveable action figures putting on a show. It’s not as bad as that, but the best place to see bands is a boxcar like CBGBs, not the Grand Canyon.
MTV’s nice enough Mark Goodman narrates the event via snippets of a taped interview. The Divinyls’ lead singer Christina Amphlett is a crazed Australian female version of Alfalfa from The Little Rascals. Dale Bozzio of Missing Persons was the Wendy O. Williams of new wave. The way some of these bands dressed, like INXS, was New Romance as imagined by Tom Petty. The oddest thing about this thing is that some bands don’t even have a hit song featured. The English Beat play “Jeannette” from their third album. Do you remember that song? Oingo Boingo, who I find over-rated in general, play another generic song from their catalog.
I watched this for free as a member of Netflix. In the real world there must be a dump filled with VHS tapes of the US(IS) Festival. If the original boxes don't have day-glow pastel colors all over them I’ll give each of you an internet dollar.
Entry 123: 6/13/2009: Rip It Up And Start Again: Postpunk 1978 - 1984 (book review):
“One is tempted to invoke Orwell’s dictum that some things are so stupid, only an intellectual could believe them. But, truth is, lots of normal people believe this stuff. Yet Orwell’s point is still relevant. Intellectuals look at the world through literary prisms of theory. They come up with a vision of the world – one that usually magnifies their importance – and then select facts accordingly” – relevant thought by Jonah Goldberg
Altered Images: "Dead Pop Stars", Bow Wow Wow: "C30, C60, C90, Go!", David Bowie: "Be My Wife", The Chameleons: "Here Today", The Contortions: "Dish It Out", The Creatures: "Exterminating Angels", Desperate Bicycles: "Advice On Arrest", DNA: "You And You", The Fall: "Victoria", The Flying Lizards: "Money (That's What I Want)", Gang Of Four: "I Found That Essence Rare" (Peel Session), Human League; "Sound Of The Crowd", Joy Division: "Interzone" (early version), Killing Joke: "Change" (1980 Peel Session), Kraftwerk: "Radioactivity" (live MinMax), Pere Ubu: "30 Seconds Over Tokyo", Scritti Politti: "Skank Bloc Bologna", The Specials: "Concrete Jungle" (live), Talking Heads: "Sugar On My Tongue" (1975 studio demo)
Simon Reynolds’ Rip It Up And Start Again is an entertaining and well-researched look at UK-centric post-punk, which in the common narrative came about as the original UK ’77 movement of The Sex Pistols and The Clash rose and fell in the eyes of popular interest, like a half-ton bottlerocket with delusions of orbit. The second movement to come out of the narrowly-defined ’77 scene was second wave punk/Oi, detailed in Ian Glasper’s workmanlike Burning Britain: The History of UK Punk 1980-1984. Both fit the zeitgeist of their respective scenes - Burning Britain a simple narrative and Rip It Up And Start Again a self-congratulatory mental field day for over-educated idiots who know more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing. It’s food for thought, but for every worthwhile insight there’s a matching piece of absolute fugging bollocks.
Reynolds rewrites history to fit his story – asserting XTC was a post-punk band is a stretch. Some bands didn't want to be called new wave, I get that, but here new wave bands are recast as post-punk if it fits the bill. I give him credit for considering as many bands as he did, the amount of work he put in, and the convincing way he presents his history as reality. I also thank him for not being as overly dogmatic as this book, steeped in marxist theory so dense it reads like a cut-and-paste from shredded copies of Das Kapital and Mao’s Little Red Book. As a marxist critical theorist himself, Reynolds celebrates the paranoid egotistical musings of musicians high on drugs and the masturbatory mindset of the self-impressed, but thankfully he doesn’t keep out all information that proves his subjects are less than they insist they are - if not hysterical hypocrites. He doesn’t intend it, but by focusing on philosophical marxism he provides lessons on how and why it fails in practice. Bands creep along not by their manifestos and music, a money-losing proposition, but by members with rich parents, fake disability claims and welfare claims where there’s no intention to find work. Snark!
I’m the king of saying “punk” is a meaningless term, but it requires some guidelines, otherwise ballet is punk and hell adds another circle. My line in the sand is punk and Saturday Night Fever disco cannot exist in the same space. Reynolds insists the best post-punk was “The Sex Pistols meets Chic”, and never misses a chance to quote a musician saying disco’s super neat and the new punk rock. If a punk song embraces disco it is then a disco song, a truism just like all skins are punks but not all punks are skins. The book climaxes (pun intended) with Frankie Goes To Hollywood, the last paragraph squeezing out this toilet nugget, “On one level, Frankie can be seen as punk’s last blast.” Without a line in the sand you get statements like that. Frankie’s only accomplishment was having homo-phobic NYC ethnic stereotypes wearing shirts that read “Frankie Says Relax”. As in relax your sphincter, thank you very little.
Obsessed with permanent victim culture and capitalist imperialism, Reynolds dissertates on white and black music, which is not a big factor when talking about post-punk as heard by the listener. Gobs of post-punk bands were full of socio-political crap until they decided they'd rather be rich and famous, but how seriously fans took the manifestos of sub-basement rock stars is another thing. There was no headline in the White Music Press that screamed "Finally, Dance Music For White Folk!!" Listener prejudices are a factor, but post-punk offered sexual, asexual and spastic-colon dance music with lyrics you could either notice or not. I've never heard anyone talk about new wave, punk, or post-punk in terms of color. Maybe I've never lived in a world of pure theory. New Wave, what post-punk was called until the memo went out, and I mean good new wave before new romance turned it into pap, was mainly asexual white music, and either your body moved to it or it didn't. I spent my prime years dancing to asexual white new wave music, never realizing I was making a repressive political statement. Every time I said “Disco Sucks!” I was picturing John Travolta haircuts and Huckapoo shirts. Disco was for white people – just like punk. There was black music and white music, with reggae somewhere in the middle. When I heard funk I’d do the chicken neck move a few times and then give up, because what the hell do I know about funk? I may have been guilty of omissive thought crimes, just like Minor Threat said. Miso sorry.
Since I don’t want this to become a book report I’ll leave with bullet points. Rip It Up And Start Again took on a difficult subject and was the first to do so. It makes its points clearly and with enthusiasm. It builds up and isn’t afraid to tear down when the truth hurts. There’s a lot to learn and even more to consider. My gripes are mainly with glorifying disco, equating it with punk music, and by viewing the world through philosophical marxist theories – whose only virtue, in Churchill’s words, is “the equal sharing of misery.” The US version of the book is shortened, so get the UK edition for even more of the same. I read it at work and found a decent amount of referenced songs on YouTube, most with no video attached. That was very useful.
* The book strangely asserts a master plan to post-punk, as laughable as Malcolm McLaren claiming foresight. * Lyrics are given great weight, as if most people paid attention to them beyond their surface themes. Lyrics are first and foremost sounds, like a musical instrument.* For all the hype on PIL’s groundbreaking noisemaking they wouldn’t be remembered if not for the commercial hits “Public Image” and “This Is Not A Love Song”. * The book is a study of people who combine high intellect and idiot cretinism. * Bands are obsessed with symbolic gestures. * Bands claim they’ll only create sounds never heard before, which reminds me that band interviews are as useful as police interrogations. * The poverty vs. wealth and amateurishness vs. proficiency debates are a hoot. Bands claim to not seek wealth until the facade breaks down and they lust for it like crack whores. Musicians who string together a few true chords and bang the drums in a steady pattern “can play”. Stop the “can’t play” crap immediately. * “The desire to never repeat became as much of a trap as trying to repeat formulas the way some bands do.” * In retrospect everyone is a genius. * Malcolm McLaren asked for a punch in the nose on an hourly basis, and he probably still does. * Stupid quote from Mark Mothersbaugh: “Porn is important to the lower economic classes, simply because you can’t afford real sex.” * Reynolds makes a winning case comparing industrial music to psychedelia. * James Chance was the scat-free GG Allin of his time. * Good sections on the original new wave and ska scenes. *Describes Scritti Politti as “theory addled”. * San Fran’s Deaf Club was a real club for deaf people: “Presumably the patrons didn’t mind the music because they couldn’t hear it.” * Jah Wobble on PIL, “Four emotional cripples on four different drugs.” * Bad comparison of the B-52’s to Gang Of Four. Has them in a chapter on mutant funk. Misses they were a surf band. * Too much is made of “new” sounds from home-grown instruments and expensive machines that aren’t impressive once you hear them.. * Calls OMD “Increasingly pretentious”. Of all the bands in the book I’d say OMD were the least pretentious. * Good line from the Human League, “I remember smashing the phone after I was told ‘Don’t You Want Me’ had reached number one in America. It’s so much to live up to. And when you’re number one nobody really cares about you anymore. Everyone and their grandma knows about you, so no one wants to wear your badges anymore". * New Pop was straight-edge wimp pop. Reynolds writes about it like it was hardcore. * Writes “Wham! had the least invested in punk.“ Ya think?! * Killing Joke were the Sham 69 of their scene.
Entry 122: 6/6/2009: Analog CyberPunk - Further Readings For The Ears XXIX & XXX (Instrumentals) (+ dvd review)
Here's this week's edition of Analog CyberPunk: Further Readings For The Ears XXIX and XXX (Instrumentals IX) (download zip files at Rapidshare)
Algebra Suicide: "True
Love At The World's Fair"
Candidate: "Strange Girl"
Fix & Fertig: "Cube Carrelage Blanc"
Hajime Tachibana: "Rock"
Indians In Moscow: "The Price Of Love"
Inner Landscapes: "Audio Track 4"
Matthias Schuster: "F++R Alles Auf Der Welt"
Polyrock; "Romantic Me"
Psy 231: "Rockin' Rollin' Rythmus"
Stahlnetz: "Wir Sind Glucklich"
Suicide: "Ghost Rider"
Units: "High Pressure Days"
UV Pop: "Arcade Fun"
Absolute Body Control:
"Numbers, Track 06"
Bene Gesserit: "G.P.P.M."
Blancmange: "Holiday Camp"
C.U.B.S.: "Akut & Praktisch"
Controlled Bleeding: "Music For Last Words"
Copy Cat Massacre: "Intermission"
El Avidador Dro: "El Retorno De Godzilla"
Los Iniciados: "Danza Inca De La Tia Ubu"
Sudeten Creche: "Asylums In Beirut"
Lene Lovich: Live From New York At Studio 54 (DVD review): This is the 2007 release of a 1981 show at the legendary disco hell Studio 54, where the best of the worst snorted powders and boogie-oogied the night away. It was most likely a media showcase for the American born, UK-raised Lili-Marlene Premilovich, known to Jerry Lewis as “Hey lady!” and the rest of us as Lene Lovich, the other white meat Nina Hagen. She looks a little like Kate Bush, but recent pictures show she’s aged into a crazed rag-doll babooshka. The tape’s dated yet entertaining.
Lene paid her dues busking on subways and performing at cabarets, where women with a can-can-do attitude were asked back to perform for more spare change. Campy verboten cabaret was for her both a winning gimmick and a built-in limitation (fellow oddity Klaus Nomi's win-lose was campy spaceman opera), but thankfully for Lene her catalog is filled with enough hits to make her career more than a new wave footnote. The show slows down when she performs hyperactive Kurt Weill-inspired numbers, where surreal pop-eyed expressions make her either Marlene Dietrich as Gloria Swanson as Nora Desmond, or once again a less insane Nina Hagen. She’s backed by handsome baldy guitarist/husband Les Chappell and Thomas Dolby on keyboards. He wrote her hit “New Toy”. Toss a bucket of paint on Chappell and he’d be perfect in the Blue Man Group. She’s considered a soprano singer, for what that’s worth. Klaus Nomi sang soprano falsetto.
A few cameras are in use, one on stage, one directly in front and at least one more in the back of the room A few cheesy effects are added, because like it said in the manual for the editing deck, the equipment was made to do it, and more often than needed the colors are saturated like a cheap cassette deck with the needles in the red zone.
In the 54 minute set I liked “Say When”, “Lucky Number” (nice farfisa solo), “New Toy”, “Angels”, “Home” (her best song) and “One In A Million”. She works the stage and crowd well, but her dance moves and flash-frozen facial wackiness wore thin more quickly than I expected. It was that many motions and every quick-freeze expression was made exclusively for flash photography. Lene also plays the saxophone, which is great, but with everything else going on I was thinking she’d end the show by spinning plates. Old new wave 4ever!
I seem to be putting down Lene Lovich, but I’m not. I’m a fan and even have her autograph on the cover for No Man’s Land, which tripped up her career nicely. I kid because I love.
Entry 121: 5/30/2009: Too Tough To Die: A Tribute To Johnny Ramone (DVD review):
If the last part of Too Tough To Die was moved to the beginning I wouldn’t have spent so much time thinking the project was a disingenuous attempt to cash in on a generic Los Angeles Ramones tribute concert. It’s not until the end that the focus shifts to Johnny and you learn he passed away two days after the show he helped set up but was unable to attend, as if he held on only long enough to soldier it through. The narrative works better once you see the last scenes, criminally out of place before the end credits.
For most of the disc you might also wonder if it's weighted toward Johnny at all. It’s like the event was a Johnny Ramones tribute in that he was the last of the major three members (oh stop, Tommy got out early), but in making the dvd they felt they shouldn’t disenfranchise Joey and Dee Dee fans. Marky fans are of course on their own. Better editing would have worked wonders all the way around.
Too Tough To Die offers memories and tributes from the usual (and unusual) characters. Old photos and concert footage provide history and background. Pete Yorn is a Ramones nut who sings at least four covers with the Marky Ramone band, warbling as a singer-songwriter does, but at least he's sincere. Lisa Marie Presley (!) was so close to Johnny she saw his body shortly after he died. Rob Zombie says he was in the room as Johnny passed. There’s also Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, Clem Burke, Henry Rollins, Eddie Vedder, The Dickies, Linda Ramone (who broke Joey’s heart and caused the infamous Joey-Johnny rift, played down here), Arturo Vega, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sonic Youth, Joey’s brother Mickey Leigh, Danny Fields, Linda Stein, Seymour Stein, Steve Jones, Daniel Ray, Dicky Barrett, Tommy Ramone, CJ Ramone, Marky Ramone, tour manager Monty Melnick (his book is great), and maybe someone else.
The tribute concert has The Chili Peppers doing covers, The Dickies providing a mixed set, X performing their own songs, then Marky Ramone leads a revolving cast of musicians and singers in a set of covers. Singers include Tim Armstrong from Rancid, Pete Yorn, Henry Rollins, Lawrence Katz of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and Joan Jett. Marky Ramone has his name in big block letters on his drum kit. That’s funny in a sad yet sure why not way. The best cover is Pete Yorn singing “I Believe In Miracles” backed by two guitarists and CJ on bass. The best line is from Leonard, who approvingly calls Ramones lyrics “Intuitively Infantile”.
If you like a hybrid of band history and tribute concert, you’ll love Too Tough To Die. It didn’t work well for me because it asked me to constantly switch between my left to right brain - and I’m dizzy enough as it is. The last scenes are worth the rental, as they keep the eyes on the prize and deliver a heartfelt tribute to Mr. John Cummings. At the unveiling of the Johnny Ramone memorial statue, Linda’s dressed all in white, wearing a fur, mini-shirt and tall go-go boots. Ah, youze can’t buy class, youze can only rent it.
Entry 120: 5/23/2009: Analog CyberPunk - Further Readings For The Ears XXVII & XXVIII (Instrumentals) (+ dvd review)
Here's this week's edition of Analog CyberPunk: Further Readings For The Ears XXVII and XXVIII (Instrumentals VIII) (download zip files at Rapidshare)
20-20 Systems: "Dresden"
Art Bears: "Rats And Monkeys"
Cabaret Volaire: "Nag Nag Nag"
GPJ: "Tristess No. 3"
Hidden Combo: "Music From A Sophmore"
Ikara Colt: "May B I Day #2"
Martin Dupont: "Take A Look"
Organ: "Organ" (may not be real title of song)
Patrick D. Martin: "Computer Datin'"
Steven Grandell: "Fight At The End"
Telex "Someday Un-Jour"
Wirtschaftswunder: "Der Grosse Mafioso"
A.T.R.O.X.: "New York
Colin Potter: "Jackpot"
DL Lectric & Anthon Shield: "La Nausee Et I Angoisse"
Don Bartnick Und Crashman: "Leben In Der Geisterstadt"
Film De Guerre: "Piste 1"
Kein Mensch: "Du Tom"
Tom Furgus: "Trilobites"
Tone Set: "Waiting For Oatmeal"
Transparent Illusion: "Sections"
Made In Sheffield (DVD review): This 51 minute documentary was produced by Sheffield music archivists Sheffield Vision. I e-mailed them because I suspected the running time was imposed, and director Eve Wood was nice enough to take time out from Sheffielding to respond: “Yes it was made for a TV slot although it could have been made longer with hindsight! That is why on the DVD there are plenty of extras to look through. After completing the film we also felt there was unfinished business. A further story to tell. So we have just completed the first part of The Beat Is The Law which continues the story from 83 to 97 following the second generation of Sheffield musicians. Check out www.thebeatisthelaw.com for more info. glad you enjoyed Made In Sheffield. Regards Eve” I’m glad she pointed out the shortcomings of this otherwise nice little show because I don’t want to point them out and feel like I’m pissing in nice stranger’s cornflakes. The one review = one new enemy routine grows old.
I’m halfway through Rip It Up And Start Again, which goes into great depth on Sheffield bands like Cabaret Volatire, 2.3, Vice Versa and The Human League. A problem I’m having with the book is that it’s marinated in the same masturbatory intellectual and political nonsense as the band’s worst crimes of pretentiousness. With Made In Sheffield I expected the same vibe, but instead was met by honest assessments and pleasant personalities. The Human League’s Phil Oakey is the only assertive one in the lot. It starts a little heavy with setting up Sheffield as a dying steel town aspiring to be the set of an Eraserhead sequel. I expected a local Johnny Rotten voiceover of “I mean, literally, No Future.”
Made In Sheffield features Phil Oakey , Joanne Catherall & Susan Sully (Human League), Martyn Ware & Ian Craig Marsh (Human League & Heaven 17), Jarvis Cocker (Pulp), Chris Watson (Cabaret Voltaire), Stephen Singleton (Vice Versa/ABC), Paul Bower (2.3) and John Peel , the patron saint of alternative UK radio. Bower looks too much like Rob Schneider, and Phil Oakey of The Human League goes from a Veronica Lake comb-job to looking today like a fey Henry Rollins. Along for the ride are two members of local legends The Extras, a R&B band that went to London at the peak of their local fame only to find a whole lot of nothing waiting for them. Def Leppard are referenced as a local band that made it huge in hair metal. Made In Sheffield focuses mainly on the post-punk bands, but I wonder if these others were included to satisfy the mission statement of their original funding.
This is a low-budget TV production, but they make decent use of old footage and shoot new scenes to accentuate whatever points are being made. It helps that the post-punk bands filmed themselves often as part of their act. It seems the filmmakers had already settled on the narrative of the history, and asked questions accordingly. Sometimes interviews create the storyline, but not in this case. It’s incomplete and restricted by time, money and willing participants, but for what it is, it’s ok, and I suspect they’ll hit the next one out of the park. I’ve never seen a documentary end so abruptly. Local bands score hit records in 1982 and move out of Sheffield. Therefore they don’t exist anymore and…the end.
Entry 119: 5/16/2009: Scumrock (movie review):
Alberto Y Los Trios Paranoias: "Kill", GG Allin: "No Rules", Edie & The Eggs: "Punks Get Off The Grass", False Prophets: "Good Clean Fun", Holly Golighty: "Virtually Happy", G-Spot: "Poor Little Rich Girl", Hemlock: "Systematic Waste", The Jetsons: "Genetically Stupid", The Mad: "I Hate Music", The Mighty Gordinis: "Rock N Roll Therapy", Milky Wimpshake: "Clicking It", Noh Mercy: "Caucasian Guilt", The Nubs: "Jo", Snatch: "All I Want", Television Personalities: "Part Time Punks"
Some reviews write themselves……………..ok, it’s been three hours and nothing’s happened, so it’s up to me to finish. Director Jon Moritsugu made a 1990 film I liked called My Degeneration, starring his wife Amy Davis, who co-wrote and held the camera for 2002’s Scum Rock. This one’s really bad. Not good bad but bad bad. It sucks bad, but is a bad suck better than no suck at all? Scumrock and I should have remained casual acquaintances. What’s the film about? 79 minutes too long. You can see it for free on YouTube. I dare you watch the whole thing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBRVMQJ3wAM
There’s a conspiracy of hipster douchbaggery transpiring when you read these kinds of reviews. There’s nothing meta, subversive, counter-intuitive or post-dada situationist about Scumrock. It’s garbage. I could do better than this, and my movie would stink beyond repair. A toaster pastry could do better. Its only virtue is that the “actors” don’t try to act but read their lines as naturally as they picture themselves doing so in real life. Since they’re tentative the readings come out muted, but real life conversations are as often languid as not.
The 8mm digital camera does everything but get kicked into a dumpster. A broken clock is right twice a day, so every so often a decent angle or shot comes out, but if the camera is the viewer’s POV, it's on mushrooms and speed. The script was probably an outline at best, and I assume some actors were allowed to make up their own lines and scenes. There’s no master plan, no cohesiveness, and it took me a while to figure out there’s major plots, one involving a bitch and her band, the other about the lead singer from TV On The Radio making a no-budget art film that needs a scene with boobies to make it work. The never-seen boobies belong to the only natural talent in the production, Courtney Stephens. An image I’ll have to have electro-shocked from my brain is of the tall hipster guy wearing loose Daisy Duke denim shorts..
Amy Davis plays Roxxy, lead singer for The Puerto Ricans, a Scumrock band I guess, since I don’t think the word comes up in the film. She interacts once with Courtney’s character in the opening, asking for the time and complimenting her hair in that intimidating punk rock way punks have. Courtney is the producer of the art film, which never gets made because making films is a hassle. There’s a third plot about a few stoners and one of them has a lone nut, but it’s developed even less than the major plots and isn’t a sub-plot at all. Never mind. With all these characters and separate plot lines, Scumrock is like a Robert Altman film, in that they both fall into the category of “cinema”. When people with marginal talent are lead to believe everything they do falls under the protection of some awesome art theory, they’ll often produce crap like Scumrock. Crap which wins the 2003 New York Underground Film Festival because, hey, that must be some kinda crapfest going on in NYC. Just think what didn't make the final cut!
The film’s logrolling supporters extol its virtues like it’s a real film and not the lazy effort of people who stopped caring once they decided to make it in the first place. The fabricated user comment on IMDB opens with “Moritsugu and Amy Davis, in their fun-loving, intellectual hybrid continue to jab at normality while appealing to the alienated and outcast. They have been and continue to be one of the real counter cultural alternatives to any sort of traditional, Hollywood film-making style.” They say you can’t make this stuff up, but in this case a friend of theirs did.
Here’s a few songs from the soundtrack: "Students For Scarves And Charm (JQ version)" by Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, "Prizefighter" by The Molly Bolts, "I'm Bored A Lot" by Camelot, "Stars Are Exploding" by J Church and "Scumrock Theme" by Toni Ann. The songs get played when characters walk down the street or through fields, after hearing the director scream from a distance “Just walk around doing stuff and I’ll film you walking around doing stuff.” There’s a band referred to as “The Wastoids”, spoken as “Waste-Oids”. As it’s spelled it should be pronounced “Wast-oids”, you idiots! OK, I’ll stop now.
Entry 118: 5/8/2009: Analog CyberPunk - Further Readings For The Ears XXV & XXVI (Instrumentals) (+ bloggy stuff)
Here's this week's edition of Analog CyberPunk: Further Readings For The Ears XXV and XXVI (Instrumentals VII) (download zip files at Rapidshare)
Alien Skull Paint -
B Troop - Peroxide Romance
Dalek I Love You - Destiny
Datafreq: "I Love Japanese Girls"
Glorious Strangers: "Media, Media"
Holger Hiller: "Sentimental"
Hymn: "Hope I Dream"
Jeff And Jane Hudson: "P.C.P."
No More: "In A White Room"
Mike Oldfield: "Sheba"
Plus Instruments: "Things"
Trio: "Da Da Da"
Andreas Dorau: "Sehnsucht
Nach Dem Osten""
Christian Lunch: "Tears From Jurgen Wo"
Doxa Sinistra: "Ruhrgebiedt"
Fred Frith: "A Spit In The Ocean"
Irene & Mavis: "Just Another Spectre"
Lod Iniciados: "Desfile"
Nash The Slash: "Reactor No. 2"
Thomas Leer: "Tight As A Drum"
I can't find this joke on Google, so according to The Internet it doesn't exist yet. People always say "Every day's a gift", so at work, when people ask how I'm doing, I say "Every day's a gift... and sadly I've lost the receipt." Royalties are payable by PayPal, postage stamps or gluten-free beer.
Some pictures need no words, so pretend these don't exist.
Entry 117: 5/2/2009: Review: D.O.A. - Northern Avenger
I've heard it on good authority that Joe "Poopiedhead" Keithley, CEO and bottle-washer of Canadian punk legends D.O.A., is a great guy to deal with. Keithly also runs the Sudden Death record label, and portrayed "Guy in Group #2 in a 1990 episode of "Wiseguy". I have a lot of ground to cover, so I'll write a lot and probably not back it up with points of evidence.
2008's Northern Avenger was a thirty-year benchmark in a career that's seen only one original member, Mr. Poopiehead. On some levels it's decent and well produced by former Payolas frontman Bob Rock, but a few times it sounds like a parody of D.O.A. specifically and all political punk in general. Like everyone else from my generation I own their early comp., Bloodied But Unbowed, and the neat-o cartoon-covered War On 45. By 1984, second wave UK punk bands shot their wad and more than a few descended into heavy metal hell. My attention span pivoted as hardcore rose up to rule the day. D.O.A., even though they're from Vancouver, were a UK punk band. Joey even sang with a British accent, which I'll say little about because in college I more than once pretended to have a British accent. I also got out a moving violation ticket in DC by faking a generic European accent. I talked so fast and was so apologetic the cop rolled his eyes and told me to just go away, thinking I was the son of an embassy worker, a pile of poop no cop wants to step in. In 2008, Joey's growling like Tesco Vee, which immediately makes me think of comedy, because that's our Tesco!
Northern Avenger opens with "Human Bomb", and as an opener it makes a statement, which is "Hot Rockin' Tonight!" and the threat of being a human bomb that's gonna explode! So you know what you gotta do when faced by a human bomb. Get out da way! It's Tesco Vee's Hate Police without the degenerate charm. Thirty years ago they also wrote some Hot Rockin' Tonight! tunes, but that was when we were all young, dumb, and full of fun, and nobody noticed. "Golden State" is a winning travelogue of Joey's most familiar place in the lower forty-eight. "Devil's Speedway" seems to be about NASCAR and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., which I thought would be against everything Mr. Talk Minus Action = Zero stands for. It's been thirty years and all he can do is keep the faith. No, Keep The Faith was an album by The Business, the 1979+ Oi band that's sold out to its lowest common denominator since the turn of the century. On the other end of the spectrum is Cock Sparrer, whose thirty-four year statement, Here We Stand, is punk's most accomplished that was then - this is now collection. Northern Avenger shows D.O.A. to be not in the middle of Sparrer and The Business, but a third closer to the latter. Why? Let's continue.
"Poor Poor Boy" is a nice ska song, a genre they explored with great success on 2004's Live Free Or Die. It has horns, keyboards and stuff. "Donnybrook" is Tesco singing a light song about hockey violence, thematically taken from his friends The Hanson Brothers and made his own. I like it. Ok, here's some red meat. "Police Brutality" is beyond parody. Like an e-buddy once wrote, "who's for police brutality?" Why does every political punk band and their cousin sing about it? I get it, authority is wrong and the state keeps the people down. Punk is a middle-class affectation, so when they sing about the downtrodden I can only ask for their reading lists on the subject. The DC kids were smart enough to not go down that road, considering their prep-school roots. Barring true acts of police malfeasance, punks go out of their way to look for trouble, so when they find it from the police or anyone else I have no pity for them. This partly derives from my years working concert security. Assholes beg to be taken down a notch or twelve. Does punk make people assholes or do assholes gravitate to punk as an excuse? I've seen waaaaay too much of the latter. I did a spit-take of an imaginary beverage when Joey sings "We can only take so much, before we call, we call their bluff." Who's "we" Joey, you and the real lower classes who know you're a former law student slumming in a musical ghetto? The punk kids from the burbs? I know where my money's going on that one. Joey's a follower of sheltered intellectual coward Noam Chomsky, whose defense of Pol Pot and all Stalinist fascism is well documented. No MLKs, Ghandis or Dalai Lamas come from Crapsky's utopias because they're turned into hamburger at their first chirps for freedoms, rights and escape from police brutality as open state policy. Another thing. It's Joey's job to sing about how America sucks. Fine, we suck. This from a man whose country's peace and prosperity comes exclusively from being America's frozen suburb. Canada is a fine country but it's also one big hippie. Have fun and be cute, but don't complain too much about those who make your delusions of a perfect world possible. If Canada was 3,000 miles to the east it would be called The Former Republic Of Canadistan.
"Mountains That We Climbed" is another Hot Rockin' Tonight! anthem. It's the cd's stab at introspection, but while thirty years may have been lived all that's been learned is that nothing's changed, I guess. "This Machine Kills Fascists" is a subdued roots-rock thing with Joey singing in a slurred voice, probably sideways into the microphone. It's a nice ditty that clocks in at 1:05. "How Long Till The Day" is them being Street Punk. It's not bad but rote, like most of this cd, either by design or default. "Set Them Free" is bluesy as played by a ska band not playing ska. It's professional and easy on the ears. CCR's "Who'll Stop The Rain" must have some hippie significance in the post-modern age. It must be fun to play live. "Still A Punk" is second only to "Police Brutality" in the categories of pandering and lowest-common denominator. Physics has already proven that only Iggy Pop can sing he's a punk rocker (yes you am). Only punks sing about being what the name of their genre is the way religious people do God. The rule is that if you have to say you're something, you're not really that thing. D.O.A. has been around over thirty years and still have to claim they're punk? It's a shame because the music itself is nice on this one.
"Last Chance" is a great rocker, with nice guitar interplay. "California Hardcore Last Chance" is a variation on the one before it, probably something Joey came up with on tour in California. "Crossfire" closes the disc as it opened it, with Hot Rockin' Tonight! and by being simultaneously descriptive and non-committal. It's a statement of something but there's no conviction to the lyrics. Northern Avenger has high and low points, with great production values. It would have been nice if Joey actually learned something new over those thirty years, or at least expressed something new.
Entry 116: 4/25/2009: Analog CyberPunk - Further Readings For The Ears XXIII & XXIV (Instrumentals) (+ bloggy stuff)
Here's this week's edition of Analog CyberPunk: Further Readings For The Ears XXIII and XXIV (Instrumentals VI) (download zip files at Rapidshare)
1'Ere Classe: "Poupee
Algebra Suicide: "Heat Wave"
Ben Gesserit: "Kull Wahad"
Comix: "L'Amour Gratuit"
Department S: "I Want" (live)
Depeche Mode: "Dreaming Of Me"
Hessen Ganz Gross: "3 Antworten"
Indians In Moscow: "Dies Irae"
John Bender: "Women's Runner"
Kate Fagan: "I Don't Wanna Be Cool"
Ken Clinger: "Carla West (The Human Bird Nest)
Portion Control: "Across The Fence"
Xex: "You Think"
X-Ray Pop: "L'eurasienne"
Absolute Body Control:
"Numbers Track 10"
Blancmange: "Just Another Spectre"
Confusional Quartet: "Sigla"
Copycat Massacre: "Video Pump 4 God"
David Jackman: "Do The Dog"
DL Lectric & Anthon Shield: "Liquid Time"
Huffnung & Psyche: "Das Auto"
Lars Cleveman, Martin Rossel & Dom Dummaste: "Och Sa Sade Han"
Liquid Sky Soundtrack: "Noon"
Los Iniciados: "Presentacion Del Principe Friexinet"
Olny: "Note By Note (the song plays on..)"
Tom Furgus: "It Is If It Is By Me"
Damn, The Joker's let himself go!
I have my usual fun with Statcounter finding out how people get to my site, often through convoluted porn searches that have abso-fugg-lutely nothing to do with me, but when I read "the face of a hag waitress and the body of a bodybuilder supermodel", bippity boppity boo, I had to trace that one, and damned if I didn't write that same thing about Wendy O. Williams back in the dawn of (internet) time. Coincidence or conspiracy? Also, back before Family Guy came back for its second run, when I'd search for "Family Guy" an incest site would be listed first on I forget which search engine.
I had hoped to make my modified Dead Kennedys logo something people found whenever they searched for it by name, but so far no luck. Tip it over and it looks just like a picnic table. Is that funny or what? Whatta ya mean it's what! Hey....!
Entry 115: 4/17/2009: Name That Tune
Unknown Song - Acoustic
Unknown Song - Female Lo-Fi
Unknown Song - I'm So Stupid
Unknown Song - Irish Instrumental
Unknown Song - Mr. B Something
Unknown Song - One Way Track
Unknown Song - Pop Surf Punk
Unknown Song - Pub-Folk Riot Riot
Unknown Song - Sing This Six Times
Unknown Song - We Never Close
Unknown Song - We're Finished, You're F--ked
Unknown Song - World Is Ending Every Day
Before we begin I'd like to share what you've probably seen by now. It's Susan Boyle singing on Britain's Got Talent. When she hits the five notes perfectly it's lovely, simply lovely. It's the sequel to Paul Pott's 2007 appearance, where he made the female judge cry. I've seen it twenty times, and every time I see his sad little smile at :28 I want to give him a big one arm hey-buddy hug. I'm very protective of these kinds of people, and this reminds me how ultimately trivial punk and punk rockers are, especially in the US, where too many people suffer only in theory, posturing stands in for depth, and attitude replaces personality.
At some point of every MP3 song collector's life, be they young or old, tall or short, or one thing or another thing, they realize they've lost the titles of songs either from CD burns with no track info or from songs they've renamed only to have the computer un-rename them. Windows Media Player is a bitch for that. Here are twelve tracks I can sing along with pretty well but have no idea where they came from. I don't sing along with the instrumentals, silly.
Entry 114: 4/12/2009: Analog CyberPunk - Further Readings For The Ears XXI (Kinosian Youth Edition, Fart Deux) & XXII (Instrumentals) (+ bloggy stuff)
Here's this week's edition of Analog CyberPunk: Further Readings For The Ears XXI and XXII (Instrumentals V) (download zip files at Rapidshare)
Anne Cessna & Essendon
Airport: "Talking To Cleopatra"
Brian Brain: "Got The Hots For You"
Chrisma: "Vetra Platz"
Crash Course In Science: "Cakes In The Home"
Dark Day: "Nudes In The Forest"
Datafreq: "I Desire"
Deux: "Dance With Me"
The Doll: "Desire Me"
Social Climbers: "Domestic"
Spooky Dance: "The Spooky Dance"
SSQ: "Screaming In My Pillow"
Thick Pigeon: "Subway"
Y Pants: "The Fly"
18e Oktober: "Svarta Klot"
AD Conspiracy: "Eeg Egg"
Confusional Quartet: "Beguine Sulla Luna"
Freitoid: "Post Stanley Mambo"
Johan Vavare: "Jingel Nr 1"
Liquid Sky: "Afternoon"
Los Paranos: "Le Sureau"
Nash The Slash: "Metropolis"
The Same: "Auntie Meat"
Schleimer K: "Women"
Tara Cross: "Tori's Dream"
This is my second compilation for the brave children of Kinosia, a mentally malnourished country somewhere near Slobovaya, east of Java. They live on one canned good a day and all the false promises they can handle. Gosh bless their pointy little heads
On family business I've made the 282 mile roundtrip journey from Long Beach to Las Vegas around 75 times. The ride there in the middle of the night flies by pretty well, but the trip back, staring into the afternoon desert sun, alternates between boring and Road Warrior dangerous. I've done it with neither A/C nor music, and that's just hell. This last weekend I saw a truck flipped over on the other side of the highway and there was a military helicopter from the nearby Yermo Marine Base sitting on the concrete, which begs the question what Marines are doing in the middle of a freaking desert. I finally ate at the billboard-legendary Mad Greek restaurant in Baker, CA, home of the world's tallest thermometer, which isn't a thermometer but a concrete spire with bulbs indicating the temperature. Baker is the gateway to Death Valley, so that should clue you in on how nutty the temps are out there. The desert gets either too cold or too hot, with only a few moments of reprieve to piss you off because you know it won't last long. The Mad Greek serves the best fast food Greek ever, and their deserts are through the roof, as they say someplace somewhere. Next time I'll stop at the billboard-legendary Alien Beef Jerky. On the I-15, kept non-famous by the Wall Of Voodoo song of the same name, you can look to your left and right and see expanses of desert valleys so vast you imagine all of Rhode Island can fit there, and the landscapes take on an unreal, painted quality. Being from the east coast I'd rarely seen more than a mile or two into the distance, so to me this is still like gazing into the depths of space.
Entry 113: 4/3/2009: Review: Parasites - Solitary
[4-17-2009] Dave Parasite sent me a dissertation-length critique of both myself and my review of his latest CD. I skimmed it, as it was long and unfriendly. At one point he offered to buy back all my Parasites stuff so I wouldn't be burdened by having to listen to him - something like that. Dave's gotta be middle aged by now, so I assume he's never matured beyond the angst-ridden teen emo themes of his songs (and the cover art above), most of which I enjoy very much. I'm betting his songs are his reality, which for him must kinda suck. Dave's the poor man's Bob Mould, with a dollop of childishness on top.
This review will be filled with back-handed compliments, petty complaints and a true sense of annoyance on my part. At the same time I also love The Parasites and think this is generally (and specifically) a good record. Here goes.
I alternate calling Dave Parasite's band The Parasites and Parasites, as I do with The Ramones. Dave's lyrical inspirations are The Beatles and The Descendents, not Beatles and Descendents, which is neither here nor there, but I use whatever flows. (The) Parasites have been around since 1985 and recorded two great albums, Punchlines and Pair, both in 1994, compilations plus of their endless stream of 7" releases. Since then their output has been spotty and they never toured in a meaningful way. Dave's romantic shortcomings have led to a great body of work, but I get the sense it extends to generally not having his s--t together, therefore the endless one night stands of band members, long gaps in generating songs and little touring to speak of. The cover of Solitary is probably how Dave sees himself, and I bet his lyrics are true to his own life.
The Parasites play one one kind of song really - the yearner, quaint in the Beatles "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" context and sadly emo in the modern age. The thing is The Parasites aren't emo but part of a small power-pop punk sub-genre populated by fellow yearners Sweet Baby Jesus and NJ's (The) Fiendz, who all do their version of what the Beatles sounded like when you couldn't hear any music at a Beatles concert over the sounds of teenyboppers crying, screaming and throwing themselves in front of trains.
Almost all original Parasites songs are played at the same pace, all share the general theme of yearning, and many are seemingly the same songs with sections reordered. On the plus side the melodies are strong and the pep peppy. The Parasites are a true singles band more effective on singles and compilation, whereas on CDs you might as well be wondering why this guy is singing song after song about custard. Lyrically a Parasites CD is surreal.
Solitary is Dave's first full-length in ten years, following the generally weak Rat Ass Pie. The years gave him plenty of time to write enough good material to make Solitary a solid Parasites comeback. The stand-out tracks are "So Wanna Kiss You" (soaring guitar, nice chorus and neat chords), "Say It Again", "Gonna Get You Back", where they change it up by adding a little Bad Religion influence, and the Buzzcocks-ish "Really Really".
The first time I listened to Solitary I thought how nice it was that The Parasites decided to record the same old songs again. I don't mean that in a bad way, but there it is.
Entry 112: 3/29/2009: Analog CyberPunk - Further Readings For The Ears XIX & XX (Instrumentals) (+ bloggy stuff)
Here's this week's edition of Analog CyberPunk: Further Readings For The Ears XIX and XX (Instrumentals IV) (download zip files at Rapidshare)
The Actor: "Deutsches Modchen"
AG Geige: "Nazenwalzer"
Arthur Harrison & Rupert Chappelle: "Interstellar Safeway"
B Movie: "Moles"
Futurisk: "Poison Ivy"
Industry: "Ready For The Wave"
Los Microwaves: "Radio Heart"
Martin Dupont: "Sticks In My Brain"
Nash The Slash: "Dead Man's Curve"
Plus Instruments: "Special"
Severed Heads: "Adolf A Carrot"
Telex: "Twist In St. Tropez"
Tone Set: "What Good's A Hit Song?"
Y Pants: "Favorite Sweater".
AK47: "Stop! Dance!"
Christian Lunch: "Bitchen Egyptian"
Deutsche Wertarbeit: "Deutscher Wald"
Doris Norton: "Machine Language"
E.G. Oblique Graph: "Fall Into Glass"
Intense Molecular Activity: "Beat Street"
L'Aventure Imaginaire: "Athen"
The Little Legends: "Swamp Walk"
Mockba Music: "Harry"
Olney: "Heart And Soul"
Selentie Vox: "Sans Titre"
Syntoma: "Sensaciones Ilegales"
I abbreviate the country's most over-used expression "In This Economy" as "I.T.E.", which I know doesn't save time because I then have to explain that I.T.E. means.
Here's how some people found my site this week: "retro junk burger king mid 90s", "columbine, happy they're dead", "captain kink's sex fantasy theatre", "top 10 deadliest man alive in 1983 records", "ants in the plants make him yell uncle", "i doo doo u do sepuku meaning", and the ever-recurring "old spunkers".
Entry 111: 3/21/2009: Proselytizing Power Pop Punk, The Nothing To Be Embarrassed About Edition
Hanson Brothers: "100 +
Hanson Brothers: "He Looked Alot Like Tiger Williams"
Hanson Brothers: "I'll Ask The 8-Ball"
Hanson Brothers: "Jack Off"
Hanson Brothers: "You Can't Hide The Heino"
Huntingtons: "Annie's Anorexic"
Huntingtons: "Jeannie Hates The Ramones"
Huntingtons: "No Pool Party Tonight"
Huntingtons: "Poster Kids"
Huntingtons: "Shut Up"
Lillingtons: "I Saw The Milkman (On The Moon)"
Lillingtons: "Hooked On You"
Lillingtons: "Lillington High"
Lillingtons: "Russian Attack"
Lillingtons: "X-Ray Specs"
Riverdales: "Back To You"
Riverdales: "I Accuse My Parents"
Riverdales: "I Think About You During The Commercials"
Riverdales: "Plan 13"
(Now Dead) Cookie Monster Will Share His Rapidshare Zip File Of These Songs (Nom Nom Nom)
If you're going to download only one zip file this year of twenty songs from four power pop punk bands, for the love of Pete please let it be this one. It's better than bad, it's good!
Power Pop Punk gets a bad rap and deserves whatever bad rap it gets. It comes down to the bands. The farther away you get from the Johnny Ramone model the worse it will most likely be. The best bands front guitarists who cram their 3-to-4 chords with fluid and creative down-strokes, turning simple walls of sound into symphonies of melodic mayhem. It also greatly helps to have a "The" in front of your name, and the bands above get it right on all accounts.
The Hanson Brothers are NoMeansNo with the drummer as singer and another human on drums. They're the least power pop punk here by simple definition, but as a Ramones tribute band they're also the most talented -- by far. By definition of being NoMeansNo there's also a combined emphasis on their bread and butter of drums and bass. By another definition any band that aspires to be The Ramones are power pop punk. The Huntingtons were a "Christian" punk band on Tooth & Nail who rarely sang of their faith but were held at arm's length because of it. They started fairly generic but soon decided to go The Ramones route with occasional detours into The Queers territory. 1998's High School Rock and 1999's Get Lost are their best work. The Lillingtons began by recording songs of immaturity ripe for Blink-182 fans, but thankfully guitarist Kody Templeman, now with Teenage Bottlerocket, thought about it for a moment and decided to write what's sometimes inarguably the best modern power pop punk record, Death By Television. There's a few songs influenced by Bad Religion, but otherwise it's Kody Templeman IS Johnny Ramone with the bass far behind and the drums along for the ride. The Riverdales is a Screeching Weasel side-project with a new album due this year. They basically adopted The Hanson Brother's hockey shtick and wrote Screeching Weasel songs with more emphasis on the Johnny Ramone angle. Their third cd, Phase 3, paled in comparison to the ones before it. Six years later they should have stored up enough winners to make the next one a winner.
Entry 110: 3/14/2009: Analog CyberPunk - Further Readings For The Ears XVII & XVIII (Instrumentals) (+ bloggy stuff)
Here's this week's edition of Analog CyberPunk: Further Readings For The Ears XVII and XVIII (Instrumentals III) (download zip files at Rapidshare)
Der Herr Kam Uber Sie:
"Love Me Or Leave Me"
The Epoxies: "Everything Looks Beautiful On Video"
Iron Curtain: "The Burning"
Kas Product: "Take Me Tonight"
Kebob: "Life Is A Joke (short cut)"
Linear Movement: "Due To You"
Mats Oloffson: "Silicon"
Olney: "The Parade On Olny Avenue"
Oppenheimer Analysis: "Security Risk"
Our Daughter's Wedding: "Airlines"
Polyphonic Size: "Mode"
Tuxedomoon: "Pinheads On Parade"
The Units: "Cannibals"
A Blaze Color: "Fisk
Absolute Body Control: "Numbers track 04"
Bene Gesserit: "Clear Blue Sky"
Bernard Sza: "Welcome (To Deathrow)"
Liquid Sky Soundtrack: "Margaret's Childhood"
Los Iniciados: "Obertura"
Minny Pops: "Mountain""
Neal Von Non & The Guinea Pigs: "Digress"
Olney: "Of Palindrome Design"
Social Climbers: "Ernie K"
Work-Shy Brothers: "In The Eye Of A Hurricane"
Science will back me up on this, but I've noticed the higher the driver sits in a pickup truck the bigger an asshole that person will be. Physics has already proven that if you drive with the stereo so loud that cars down the street shake -- you're a "look at me" asshole.
I Hope My Surgeon Feels This Way:
New York Times:
A recent study by
researchers at the University of
California , Irvine , found that a third of students surveyed said that
they expected B’s just for attending lectures, and 40 percent said they deserved
a B for completing the required reading.
“I noticed an increased sense of entitlement in my students and wanted to discover what was causing it” said Ellen Greenberger, the lead author of the study, called “Self-Entitled College Students: Contributions of Personality, Parenting, and Motivational Factors,” which appeared last year in The Journal of Youth and Adolescence.
....Jason Greenwood, a senior
University of Maryland echoed that view. “I think putting in a lot of
effort should merit a high grade,” Mr. Greenwood said. “What else is there
really than the effort that you put in?”
“If you put in all the effort you have and get a C, what is the point?” he added. “If someone goes to every class and reads every chapter in the book and does everything the teacher asks of them and more, then they should be getting an A like their effort deserves. If your maximum effort can only be average in a teacher’s mind, then something is wrong.”
Sarah Kinn, a junior English major at the , agreed, saying, “I feel that if I do all of the readings and attend class regularly that I should be able to achieve a grade of at least a B.” major at the
Entry 109: 3/7/2009:
I'm Proselytizing Bands, Because It's Condescending
The Lazy Cowgirls -
Frustration, Tragedy And Lies
The Lazy Cowgirls - I Can't Be Satisfied
The Lazy Cowgirls - Intellectual Baby
The Lazy Cowgirls - Loretta
The Lazy Cowgirls - Who You Callin' A Slut?
Leatherface - Diddly Squat
Leatherface - Gang Party
Leatherface - Lorrydriver's Son
Leatherface - Shipyards (Piano & Vocals Mix)
Leatherface - Springtime
NoMeansNo - I Get Up In The Morning
NoMeansNo - I'm An Asshole
NoMeansNo - I've Got A Gun
NoMeansNo - Joyful Reunion
NoMeansNo - The River
(Now Dead) Click The Icon To The Left To Download The Delightful Zip File Of These Delicious Bands
Before I get started I'd like to welcome the person who found this site by searching for "homemade extreme incest big copilation facial porn tv". Welcome home, friend.
The three bands above possess the ability to transcend the limitations of their instruments and the genres in which they dwell. Through talent and determination they've written songs that rise above the sum of their parts, music others may be able to cover but never recreate. The Lazy Cowgirls and NoMeansNo were able to bring their magic to the concert stage, but Leatherface sadly chose the other path of showing up one musician short, being too drunk to play or not bothering with a sound check.
I'll bottom-line these bands for you. The Lazy Cowgirls put on live shows that blew you away from the first note to the last. If you were able to rub the bald head of bouncing Pat Todd during a gig it was said you'd have good luck for a year. Their best work were their early singles and the 1995 CD Ragged Soul, whose consistent excellence even took their most loyal fans by surprise. Their only problem was that they did the same different thing for too long, making their catalog a run-on sentence. Leatherface, led by the unfocused alcoholic genius Frankie Stubbs, started as a poor man's UK Subs. In the early 90s Frankie came up with the idea of making his band hardcore punk's melodic answer to Molly Freaking Hatchet Or Something. Soon after came Mush, a landmark album as new and exciting as the first Ramones album. Not before or since has punk spawned a band with two guitarists that dance around each other the way Leatherface does. Leatherface created the sound you hear in their songs. They record sporadically and the next one's well overdue. NoMeansNo are adding a 4th musician for touring, but as a long-running three-piece there was never any argument they were the most technically talents musicians in punk (at least among those who don't pepper their language with a constant barrage of "uh, like, uh" and inappropriate laughter). They incorporate punk, jazz and hard rock into their work so I tend to either like their songs or have no interest in them. It's not a love/hate thing but a Yes Please/No Thank You arrangement. Their live DVD is a great value and includes a whole nuther show with their alter-egos The Hanson Brothers.
Entry 108: 2/28/2009: Analog CyberPunk - Further Readings For The Ears XV & XVI (+ bloggy stuff)
Here's this week's edition of Analog CyberPunk: Further Readings For The Ears XV and XVI (Instrumentals II) (download zip files at Rapidshare)
Bert Barten: "On Spel Met Wie"
Die Kapazitat: "Je Mon Fous"
Ensemble Pittoresque: "Artificials"
Gadgets: "Kyleaking - Making Cars"
Jill Kroesen: "Wayne Hayes Blues
Matthias Schuster: "Raumkrank"
Nightmares In Wax: "Shangri-La"
Nine Circles: "I'm Deeply Touched"
The Normal: "T.V.O.D."
P-Model: "Pinky Trick"
Solid Space: "A Darkness In My Soul"
Xeno And Oaklander: "Celeste"
A Mouse Orchestra: "A Lump
In Your Throat Pt. 2"
Confusional Quartet: "Dlin Dlon Cow-Boy"
Daily Fauli: "Zoo"
Doxa Sinistra: "Coolidge Effect"
Farenheit: "Farenheit #1"
Glamour For Evening: "Why Don't You Hear Me?"
Irene & Mavis: "Holiday Camp"
Logic System: "Plan"
Los Microwaves: "Postponed Is Not Forgotten"
Moev: "Common House"
Social Climbers: "Palm Springs"
V2 Schneider: "Masko (Instrumental)"
Sitting in a Trader Joe's parking lot I came up with a bumper sticker: "My Prius has 10 Bumper Stickers On Why I'm Better Than You".
My Favorite New Euphemism: It's been raining here in SoCal, where as far as I know all that water is channeled directly into the ocean. Meanwhile a drought emergency has been called. Local TV news filled the gaps between commercials with reports of drivers who spun of of control and flew off exit ramps or played bumper cars on the 405 freeway. The reason given is now always "Hydroplaning", which really means you drove like an asshole in the rain and lost control of your vehicle. A teenager's first car should be made out of foam rubber.
Entry 107: 2/21/2009:
Devo Old Punks
Lux Interior: Dead at 62.
The death of Cramps singer and hip-hugger leather pants fetishist Lux Interior (real name: either Herbert Snivelton or Erick Purkhiser) didn't phase me because, as I'm told, people die. What I did notice was that he was 62. In regular people years that's gotta be like 113. I'll repeat this if I have to, but Lux was born a year before Iggy Pop. Lou Reed was born in 1942, the only reason the earth hasn't spun out of orbit and into the sun. The Stooge's Ron Ashton died at 60, but that came as no surprise.
I'm pushing 48, and my memory of Vietnam vets comes mostly from movies and a vague memory of the mid 70s. Vietnam vets are stuck in my mind as Travis Bickel in Taxi Driver and those wacky kids from The Deer Hunter. John McCain was a Vietnam vet, and he's about as old as you're allowed to be by law! I wonder when they'll be talking about the last surviving WWII veteran. When I was a kid you could still find Indian Head nickels in circulation. Time for my next nap!
I'm going to crawl on a limb of ignorance and say punk hasn't been revolutionary in years, and it probably never will be again. The number of punk record labels and stores fell off a cliff, zines are an endangered species, and alternative cultures have been blended into one interchangeable mix by media, corporations and, surprisingly enough, by music buyers themselves. I also suspect the number of new sounds in punk is finite and may have been reached waaaaay back there somewhere. Every generation will have their own punk scene, and it will be as important to them as my scene was to me, but new isn't new anymore, and the best they can hope for is a sweet version of something old. Punk's not dead, and it never will be, but it's now, more than ever, a component of a bigger picture.
(Now Dead) Here's some old punk songs, chosen randomly.
Alternative Wheels: "Army
Alternative TV: "Action, Time, Vision"
The Clean: "Beatnik"
Cock Sparrer: "Because You're Young"
The Dictators: "Two Tub Man" (live)
Eater: "Sweet Jane"
Eddie & The Hotrods: "Teenage Depression"
Flux Of Pink Indians: "Background Of Malfunction"
Heartbreakers: "All By Myself" (LAMF)
The Modern Lovers: "Pablo Picasso"
The Skids: "Sweet Suburbia"
The Soft Boys: "I Want To Be An Anglepoise Lamp"
The Stooges: "I Wanna Be Your Dog"
The UK Subs: "T.V. Blues"
The Velvet Underground: "We're Gonna Have A Real Good Time Together"
Entry 106: 2/14/2009: Analog CyberPunk - Further Readings For The Ears XIII & XIV (+ bloggy stuff)
Here's this week's edition of Analog CyberPunk: Further Readings For The Ears XIII and XIV (Instrumentals I) (download zip files at Rapidshare)
Candidate: "Hero 0"
Causey Way: "The Smartest Employee"
Frohliche Eiszeit: "Madchen In Der Eisbar"
The Human League: "Seconds"
Kas Product: "Never Come Back"
Mark Lane: "Mystery Hero"
Metal Urbain: "50-50"
Moral: "The Wedding"
Oppenheimer Analysis: "Subterranean Desire"
SIC: "Voltage Control"
Subject: "The Happy Nurse"
Trees: "11:00 AM"
Vita Noctis: "This Is Not The Life"
18e Oktober: "En Gomd Tid
A.T.R.O.X.: "Against The Odds"
Bene Gesserit: "Clear Blue Sky"
Blancmange: "Sad Day"
Brian Brain: "Jet Boats Up The Ganges"
Doxa Sinistra: "Conversation A La Chaine"
Les Freres Lefdup: "Caracol"
Logic System: "Domino Dance"
Plus Instruments: "Rush Hour"
Douchebaggery, Thy Name Is Carl's Junior
Living in Southern California I have more than passing knowledge of local douchebag culture, which sadly imagines itself to be counter-culture. Orange County is a multi-cultural suburban ghetto held together by the glue of cretinism, inconsideration, stupidity as fashion, stupid fashion, and over-compensation through every variety of motor vehicle numbnuttery. And, oh yeah, everybody's a MMA killer. I don't know if Carl's Jr. is the official fast food of douchebags, but their ads work hard to get their attention. Guys are dicks and proud of it, and chicks are stupid playthings who only date douchebags who treat them like garbage. Carl's Jr. ran the Paris Hilton car washing ad, which sure looks like a parody. These ads are how Carl's Jr. sees themselves and their customers. Wow.
There's two editions of Analog CyberPunk this week. The second is all instrumentals. Gosh I hope you like them.
Entry 105: 2/7/2009: Missile-Anus Stuff
"Missile-Anus Stuff" is a tasteless play on words but it always makes me laugh, and amazingly it only came up once on Google. I'm going to continue oldpunks.com until I run out of Analog CyberPunk compilations - a few months on a bi-weekly basis. On the other weekends I'll post simple things of no inherent brilliance or insight. When all's said and done I'll have done this for almost ten years, writing over 2,000 pages (by word count). I don't buy music or follow bands anymore, and I've lost my taste for offering opinions. When I started this MP3 blog I posted two songs at a time, each with a theme of some type. I'll post more of those type thingies to fill up space and time.
The lovely Austinians at Phoenix Hairpins granted my third genie wish by ripping Meat Joy's classis DIY, lo-fi punk LP from 1984. Meat Joy featured feminist singer Gretchen Phillips and busy actor John Hawkes. Here's three of my favorites:
Meat Joy: "Another Pair"
Meat Joy: "Proud To Be Stupid"
52 Girls + 44 Women = 96 Women And Girls: Everyone knows the B-52's. "52 Girls" only lists 24 names, so maybe the "52" came from the band's name itself. As you listen think of this as minimalist surf. It takes on a whole new meaning. The Nails had their big hit, "88 Lines About 44 Women", and a whole other sound for the rest of their material I was able to find. I think it sounded like Bar Rock or something that tried but didn't add up to much. There's two version of this song, one from 1981 and the other from 1984. I don't know which one this is. It's a neat extension of Lou Reed's "Walk On The Wild Side", and damn that's a lot of lyrics for one person to remember. It's also like Jim Carroll's "People Who Died". Here's an old video that'll make you laugh. The guy gets the name of the song wrong. It is, all-in-all, a classic.
The Nails: "88 Lines About 44 Women"
Annie Rexic: At one level I'm amazed there's a bunch of pro-anorexia websites, but in a society where every group is entitled to feel empowered, that's what you have and can get away with. I don't believe in slow suicide as it's dramatic and pathetic. Get it over with and don't leave a mess for others to clean up after. OK? Years ago I was in a hospital and by accident someone I knew as a family friend was there because of anorexia. I didn't say it but part of me wanted to whisper to her "Just f--king eat" and then walk away rubbing my hands together like I just cut the Gordian Knot of her mental problems with the edge of my simple solution. Both are great songs
Meat Joy: "Slenderella"
Entry 104: 1/30/2009: Analog CyberPunk - Further Readings For The Ears XII (+ bloggy stuff)
Here's this week's edition of Analog CyberPunk: Further Readings For The Ears XII (download zip file at Rapidshare)
Alien Skull Paint: "Fly
Baard: "Saviour For The Nations"
Citizen UK: "Dining On Expense"
Cold Phoenix: "La Fleur Du Destin"
Guyer's Connection: "Ar Isch Schon"
Helen Love: "We Love You"
Informatics: "Satellite To Russia"
Iron Curtain: "First Punk Wars"
Martin Dupont: "Dirty Hands"
Product Of Reason: "Active Repetition"
Science Patrol: "Bandit Ducks From Outer Space"
Stahlnetz: "Vor All Den Jahren"
Sun Yama: "Subterranean Homesick Blues"
I'm cheering for the Arizona Cardinals just 'cause I like Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald. (Hey, they lost!)
I was in Las Vegas this weekend for a contract hit, and also to visit my father. I stopped at the indoor flea market for a second stun gun. I'd own a real gun except I'd use it in a heartbeat in a situation like finding the "people" who broke into my car to steal my stereo. As they probably used the money to buy drugs and feed their starving families, I know it's not my place to complain. In my book not enough of the wrong people are dead. I spent some time in the As Seen On TV booth, fascinating because it's the embodiment of olde-timey ideas like gumption and the can-do spirit. Some of these items are the exact opposite of Rube Goldberg Devices in that they accomplish simple tasks in simple ways not even worth the cost of free. Then there's this, an idea so beautiful I would weep if I had human emotions. The One Trip Grip Grocery Bag Holder serves the human condition better than the work of every poet, nihilist philosopher and radical political theorist combined.
Entry 103: 1/24/2009: Review: The Queers Are Here DVD
I found this 2007 DVD used for $2.99 and for the first minute I thought I knew why - it started with an amateur video recording of The Queers playing "I Spent The Rent" on a small, over-lit stage. Then something strange happened. The band stopped playing and singer Joe King (also Joe Queer) started a surreal cycle of yelling at someone to stop messing with their roadie. No real violence was implied, he just kept on repeating that their roadie shouldn't be messed with. As with most music DVDs there's no reason to see The Queers Are Here twice, but on the whole this is a lot better than its parts, due to professional editing that turns snippets of snuff-film quality tapes and a few music videos into something pretty decent (for a change).
I saw the Queers a few times in the 90s and they were always good for 45 minutes of whatever it is the world expects from them - sloppy power-pop punk and Joe cursing. Live they're stuck in the A Day Late And A Dollar Short era of snotty garage Angry Samoan-influenced punk, which works best because the sound quality of live shows blows on a fairly universal level. In the studio Joe's been able to satisfy his obsession with Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys, peaking around 95-96 with the Surf Goddess 7" and the CD Don't Back Down. 1998's Punk Rock Confidential was their last decent and cohesive album. Since then they've toured a lot and put out some product here and there. I remember hearing Joe was hooked on heroin, but the internet only yields an advice column where he's probably being funny about heroin as a cure for hangovers.
The DVD is an hour mix of various live shows, backstage banter, videos for "Don't Back Down", "Tamara Is A Punk" and "Punk Rock Girls", and a cute and colorful stick-figure animation for "I Can't Get Over You", sporting great harmonies provided by Lisa Marr, the best female singer/songwriter of her time and place. What keeps the live songs interesting in spite of the limitations are flawless editing and sound sync of the same song sometimes performed visually at different venues, where it's insanely obvious Joe changes band members as frequently as I do rolls of toilet paper. The sound quality of the live songs are horrible and they're filmed with a Close 'N Play video camera (no such thing), but the flawless editing and sound sync alone make this worth seeing that one time but not twice.
The interviews with Joe find him to be overly opinionated about punk rock and his place in it. Joe's knocking at middle age's door, and obsessing on the trivial nature of what really "punk" seems a waste of one's life. He puts down Rancid and NOFX but respects Green Day as a band with hardcore integrity. That's right, WTF.
The Queers Are Here was worth the $2.99 of trade-in value I had at the store. Your results may vary.
Entry 102: 1/17/2009: Analog CyberPunk - Further Readings For The Ears XI (+ bloggy stuff)
Here's this week's edition of Analog CyberPunk: Further Readings For The Ears XI (download zip file at Rapidshare)
Att Som: "Film Noir"
Delta: "Mr. E. Chaos"
Earthling: "You Go On Natural"
Femme Fatale: "Velours"
Jesus Couldn't Drum: "Caught In A Dream"
Komputer: "The World Of Tomorrow"
P-Model: "White Cigarettes"
Pragvec: "Happy Valley"
Seep Maier's Gloves: "Ambition"
Servotron: "3 Laws"
Special Affect: "Headache"
Sudeten Creche: "Are Kisses Out Of Fashion"
Taxi Girl: "V2 Sur Mes Souvenirs"
UV Pop: "Four Minute Warning"
Y Pants: "Beautiful Food"
The Sex Pistols' Steve Jones is looking for a job.
A few years ago I bought a reconditioned 1998 Ford Escort with high mileage. It looked and ran like new, it was cheap, and all-in-all it's a great little car. All along I figured nobody would steal it or even give it a second glance. A few nights ago somebody broke the small rear passenger door window and ripped out my CD player and the oval-shaped Escort faceplate that holds it. The faceplate also holds the heat and A/C controls. Total cost of repair for the window a used cassette faceplate and all the innards? $500. Anyone who steals for a living should die. Anyone who thinks stealing is harmless should lose a leg. We need more prisons, not less, and they should be work camps where losers pay back their debts to whomever they screwed over. The world needs a lot more dead pimps, crack dealers, child molesters and thieves. Boo Hoo F U. What a sad little story about how society made you a monster. Now die.
Entry 101: 1/10/2009: DVD Review: Devo Live (Rhino)
Curious Case Of Devo Live
Devo Sampler Of Misc. Stuff
Devo 2.0; "Freedom Of
Choice" (Devo-approved kids Devo cover band)
Devo: "Be Stiff" (live)" (from DEV-O Live, 1980)
Devo: "Beautiful World" (demo)
Devo: "Luv & Such" (original version of "Mr. B's Ballroom)
Devo: "Recombo DNA"
Devo: "Snowball" (demo)
Devo: "Whip It" (EZ-Listening Disc muzak version)
Devo: "Fountain Of Filth" (Hardcore Devo Era)
Devo: "Blockhead" (live Mongoloid Years)
Devo: "It Doesn't Matter To Me" (live Now It Can Be Told)
Lonnie And The Devotions: "Jocko Homo" (from the Devotees album)
I tend to overthink this dvd, but I tend to do that with all trivial yet annoying things. It seemingly (and obviously) goes against everything Devo stands for, at least as evidenced in every interview with bassist, singer and songwriter Gerry Casale - Dave Thomas look-alike and modern music's most angry and impotent individual. Years after Devo's deserved rise and begged-for fall they come back in 1996 in a sunny summer afternoon show opening for Metallica fans at Lollapalooza in Irvine Meadows, CA?! Opening with "Whip It"?!
The set list is great and they play everything well and with gusto - "Whip It", "Girl U Want", "Satisfaction", "Uncontrollable Urge", "Blockhead", "Mongoloid", "Jocko Homo", Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA", "Gut Feeling", "Slap Yer Mammy", "Gates Of Steel" and "Come Back Jonee", but Devo's sweating in the hot August sun on a large and mostly empty stage, playing for Metallica fans waiting for something completely different. The cameras desperately seek and occasionally find a Devo fan or a drunk chick dancing comically in the name of phun, usually accompanied by a male friend assuming this is what you have to do to get laid. My head's in my hand and it's moving slowly to the left and right. I deserve better. Devo fans deserve better. Oh the humanity...
As a comeback Devo should have revisited their Hardcore Devo days and toured playing smaller clubs to the delight of long-suffering fans. But no, most if not all their shows since 1996 have been in overpriced nostalgia gigs catering to the varieties of spuds whose very existence usually make Gerry spittle, ball his widdle fists and explode in impotent rage. Mark Mothersbaugh is an instigator for sure, but his tombstone won't read "De-Evolution Is Real" like it will for Gerald. The best Gerry moment in Devo Live is after the show, as the band is filmed taking the mile-long journey back to their trailer. Gerry's all puffed up with insecure pride like the fat kid in weight loss camp who just won the belly-flop contest. He can't stop talking about how relatively great they did - you know, considering. [Head shakes left and right, but not back and forth].
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