WED 11 SEP | 14:27 CDT
As much as I enjoy hating Christina Aguilera, I can no longer deny how infectious her new single, "Dirrty," is. Matthew made a mention of the similarities between this single and a recent Redman track. Since I listen to almost no hip-hop, it all sounds new to me. Somewhere behind Pink's "Get the Party Started," Brandy's "What About Us," and Kylie's "Can't Get You Out Of My Head," this could be one of the best singles this year.
I guess what makes this blog "indie-centric" is that I now have to justify mentions of broadly appealing singles by telling you what obscure album I'm currently listening to. So, without further ado...
NP: Low - One More Reason To Forget
TUE 10 SEP | 01:54 CDT
Somehow, I'm the last to know a lot of things. Imagine my surprise when finding that America's sexiest living writer, Neal Pollack, now keeps a blog. I will quickly take the liberty of lifting this link straight from yesterday's entry.
In fact, I'll be doing all of my 9/11 rememberance stuff today instead of tomorrow. I don't want to tarnish the most dreaded anniversary ever with some of my under-informed and over-accusational political views. The people who died a year ago deserve better. As the day progresses, this entry will get longer and longer as my thought process jumps around various subjects regarding 9/11, the impending Iraqi war, misguided patriotism, and other things...
I used to be a somewhat staunch Republican. It's only within the last three or four years that I've started leaning a little closer to the left. And, even at my current position, I'm still within a stone's throw of the center. So, when I place blame on the Bush administration, it's not because I'm a reactionary liberal pointing a finger. It's because the Bush administration has reeked of something sinister from day one.
Let's start on 9/11 itself. Our President was en route to an elementary school
for his daily photo-op
to visit the children. Meanwhile, the first plane had struck its target -- the north tower of the WTC. You know and I know that the big man had this information in roughly...oh, two seconds. For reference, use this minute by minute account
of the events as they happened. Now that you have it handy, you may want to read this
) and try to wrap your brain around the fact that while thousands of people were burning, our President continued to read a book to a small class of children. [Note: I don't necessarily agree with the conclusions drawn by the above article, but the questions raised are worthy of consideration]
That morning, I didn't get up until after all the crashes had already happened. I don't remember what time it was exactly, but the Towers were still standing. After a visit to the bathroom and quick cigarette, I followed my usual morning routine and checked in at the FMBB
expecting the same small talk and music-related bickering. The first post I read contained a picture of the second plane hitting the south WTC Tower. I immediately clicked over to a news site to find out what was really going on. Once I had an idea of what was happening, I sort of took on the role of "reporter" to all the FMBB people who had already gone to work and didn't have access to the television coverage. For the first six hours, there was actual news being broadcast. After that, it was pure commentary and speculation. By early evening, everyone had returned home and my duties for the day had been fulfilled. I don't think any one of us had ever been so confused about the events surrounding us. It's a feeling I hope I never have again.
America is a breeding ground for the willfully obtuse. We both invented the Ku Klux Klan and disowned them. We fled England to set up a country where religious freedom is practiced, as long as that religion is Christianity. That's why these events
were occurring in the weeks following 9/11. Anger and idiocy do not mix well. Our Arab communities grieved like the rest of us that day, and they got treated this way in return. Sick.
The Axis of Evil. Right. If, for any reason, you weren't aware of what this Bush penned term might actually refer to, here's a pretty straightforward definition
. Kent Morgan, a contributor to the Gore Group Mailing List
succinctly words what many people are already thinking about the inclusion of Iran: "After years--8, was it--of bitter war, nothing could force these nations together with their differing Shiite/Sunni orientations except the aggression of the USA!"
So, isn't it bad enough that we've basically bombed Afghanistan back into the stone age? Sure, the Taliban were run out of power and that feat could probably not have been accomplished by any other means, but why are we now turning our sights elsewhere? Political bravado, plain and simple. Many agree that Iraq's no closer now to producing nuclear weaponry than they were when our 41st President started his war with Saddam over a decade ago. Sonny's got to go and finish the job that his daddy couldn't. Who's supporting this idea in Washington? Um, the Bush administration and our Republican congresspersons. Strange that an effort to protect the freedom of the civilized world would become a partisan issue. Stranger still, Pat Buchanan
calls it for what it is.
If you've read this far, you're a masochistic sort. When I started writing this morning, I was angry. I was angry at our government, at our President, and at our society. Around 11 a.m., I began feeling a little under the weather and went to sleep for the rest of the day. When I awoke this evening, I felt much more calm and at peace with my surroundings. And that's the feeling I want the world to have tomorrow -- peace and calm.
MON 09 SEP | 13:36 CDT
There's a great Sleater-Kinney interview over at Neumu. It may have been there for a while, but I wouldn't know because I always forget to click that link.
As much as I detest the Clear Channel monopoly, one of my favorite stations ever is the one I listened to while living in Florida. WTKS in Orlando is now streaming online. Most importantly, I can once again hear Jim Philips from 3-7 ET on weekdays. Why am I pimping for a radio show? I wouldn't do it if I didn't think it was good. Also worth hearing is Drew Garabo from 7-11 ET.
SUN 08 SEP | 17:01 CDT
Is Missy Elliott's "Work It" really the best single of 2002? Sure it is, assuming you disqualify about ten or twelve better singles from the running. Oooh, backwards vocals! Big deal. The whole track is too disjointed to hold my interest, and that's saying a lot. I can listen to just about anything if I have the idea it might be going somewhere. "Work It" isn't going anywhere.
Graham Coxon's out, then in again, then out again. I'd like a definitive answer on whether or not he's still a member of Blur. Today's NME report leaves the question unanswered.
According to page hit statistics, never a day goes by that someone doesn't reach this page looking for information on Trading Spaces designer Genevieve Gorder. While I haven't made a mention of her in this weblog since the middle of April, I'm as curious to find information on her as the rest of these unfortunately starstruck lonesome fellows. That's why I'm happy to report that someone has now made a fairly comprehensive fan page in her honor. No, friends. There's no nude photos, and there's no mention of her appearance on an episode of MTV's Sex In the 90's, but there are a lot of other things to keep you occupied.
Wow, between that link and the mention of autofellatio below, The Rub should be busier than ever before over the coming weeks!
NP: Jim O'Rourke - Insignificance
SUN 08 SEP | 13:52 CDT
Meghan says the Sparklehorse song "sucks," but what she doesn't say is that she likes the Mr. T Experience, for example. Please take this new information into consideration as you make your downloading decisions.
SUN 08 SEP | 01:15 CDT
This week's downloads go really well together. If you get one, you might as well get the other. I've been playing them on repeat back to back for about 20 minutes now and they're wonderfully complimentary.
Buffalo Daughter's most recent album, I, is their first after the demise of Grand Royal and their most stylistically adventurous yet. The opening track, "Ivory," has no real lyrics to speak of, and very straightforward instrumentation, but the end product is a successful blend of levity and substance.
I've only been recently introduced to Sparklehorse, and last year's It's a Wonderful Life is quite an amazing album. The track "Comfort Me" is one of the more upbeat pieces and I absolutely love the combination of the pedal steel and farfisa-supplied drums at the beginning.
SAT 07 SEP | 18:39 CDT
I continue to be amazed at the searches that bring people here via Google. Most recently, "how do i nut own myself" has me wondering if this guy is trying to perform autofellatio. Well, I try to help people who need help, so here you go: Ask Dick Glover [do not view at work or with children present]. If you break your fucking back trying to do this, don't blame me you weirdo.
College football season is back, and there hasn't been a better game yet than the Alabama vs. Oklahoma match-up that just ended. I was so excited about the prospect of the Tide pulling a major upset, that the couple mistakes which cost them the game at the end didn't even bother me all that much. They'll be a major contender again within two seasons.
NP: Gogogo Airheart - Love My Life, Hate My Friends
THU 05 SEP | 17:29 CDT
I don't know the first thing about dj'ing, but I still find the idea behind the turntablist transcription methodology completely fascinating. The crew at Battle Sounds have made the handbook available for anyone to download.
Triumph was entertaining last night, but not quite up to his usual standards (or non-standards). The red carpet interviews, which I missed last Thursday, were rather good. But everything added post-show was kind of a letdown...for me to poop on!
I've already started putting together my "best of 2002" list behind the scenes. Of course there's still plenty of 2002 left, but I'd like to be ahead of the game this time. At the same time, I've started thinking of all the things I'd change about my personal "best of the 90's" list a couple years ago. What changes would you make to yours?
NP: The Walkmen - Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone
WED 04 SEP | 17:37 CDT
It's just a matter of time before a version of this show reaches our shores. The show's producers sum it up by saying, “Sick Day follows three comedians in their quest to contract as many diseases as they possibly can, over a six-week period. From nits to scabies and crabs to gout, they will aim to contract the most diseases, in the most dramatic fashion and suffer the consequences”. I imagine that if ratings start to slump, the participants will be encouraged to seek out and attempt to infect themselves with gonorrhea as well.
Speaking of UK imports, check out the new Def Leppard video, "Now." It follows the life of the band's trademark Union Jack t-shirt from the 80's up to the present. I can fully appreciate a band who realizes how old and irrelevant they currently are and have a bit of fun with their own heritage.
NP: Do Make Say Think - Goodbye Enemy Airship the Landlord Is Dead
WED 04 SEP | 14:16 CDT
Look for Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog on Late Night with Conan O
Brien tonight with his post-show report of the VMA's last Thursday evening. I hope he really takes the piss out of Eminem.
Why can't Pitchfork just run normal reviews? Each of Frank Black's new albums deserves its own review, firstly, and secondly, they deserve actual analysis and not just to serve as a platform for Billy Bowers to hammer out his wit before moving on to Spin.
People are saying excellent things about The Good Girl. I'm planning to see it this weekend, and I hope that what's been said is true. I haven't seen a really good film in the theater in quite a long time.
NP: The Judybats - Down In the Shacks Where the Satellite Dishes Grow
TUE 03 SEP | 22:19 CDT
A few years ago, The 25-Cent Soul Project was released on small Canadian label My Mean Magpie. It was an interesting concept. People from around North America and parts abroad sent in recorded music compositions for the two proprietors of the label, 5:17 and Patti Kim, to play around with until the songs felt right. After hearing the results of that first album, I decided to submit a song for the second installment. That second installment never came to be, though.
Just now, I was looking through some old cd-r's to see what was contained on them and stumbled across that unused submission of mine. It was "recorded" sometime either in late 1999 or early 2000 (I use the term recorded loosely, as it was just a track I pieced together using Fruity Loops). It's rather easy to pick up on the Magnetic Fields/Stephin Merritt influences, and the levels are a bit out of whack.
But, here it is. Use this track. Abuse this track. Add vocals to it if you want. That was its original purpose anyway. If you think it stinks, email me and let me know. I'm not above criticism. I just thought it was a curious little piece and decided to share it.
TUE 03 SEP | 18:57 CDT
Although I try not to discuss politics of any international sort here, I'd like to point out this well-worded take on the view of the Bush administration from abroad. The scariest part of all his bloodthirsty war mongering is that the American people are supporting any attacks on Iraq and "terrorism." I love this country, but I want to disassociate myself from it more and more every day.
Since I'm already talking about politics and news, how 'bout taking a look at the Most Censored News Stories of 2001-2002. Yeah, have I ever mentioned that I'd like to live in a nice, non-threatening country like New Zealand?
Just about the only thing that makes me feel better about living in the good ol' U.S. now is the quality of our television stars.
NP: Black Flag - Loose Nut
SUN 01 SEP | 01:51 CDT
Just a brief summary of the downloads that are available for you this week.
Arab Strap's third release, Elephant Shoe, was one of my favorite albums of 2000. Aidan mumbles his way through "Direction of Strong Man" (lyrics can be found here) while Malcom crafts a sedated but gritty musical backdrop.
Joel R.L. Phelps covers the Clash's "Guns of Brixton" with little more than a piano and some sparse backing instrumentation from the Downer Trio. If you've never heard the original...well, shame on you. But if you have, you'll be floored by how beautiful and radically different it can sound arranged this way.
SAT 31 AUG | 17:04 CDT
Vic awakens from a six day slumber to call me out on something I posted to the FMBB earlier this week. Here's what he has to say:
Paul Cox declares "I shouldn't have to buy the albums again, give me the bonus cuts on MP3!" I think one of the dumber things I've read was Paul declaring that you should be able to download music for free that's five or ten years old, because surely the artists are embarrased of some of their older stuff, cuz he is like that with his own stuff. So concerts, box sets and reissues should be free, y'all. Writers shouldn't make money from covers, either.
Fair enough. I think we can all agree that I had completely lost my mind that day. In fact, my stance on mp3 sharing, artist compensation, and ethical behavior regarding the entire process changes all the time. Does that make me wishy washy? Probably so. But I'm also constantly looking at new viewpoints from every side of the argument.
In other news, I'm officially reversing my original opinions on the forthcoming Beck album, Sea Change. Initially, I found the material to be rather lifeless and uninspired (and I'm still not really fond of the first track, "The Golden Age"), but upon listening repeatedly to the songs, the lifeless qualities are actually turning into subtle bits of brilliance. Somber, orchestral pop hasn't sounded this good since...well, since the last time I doubted Beck around the time that Mutations was released.
NP: Built To Spill - There's Nothing Wrong With Love
FRI 30 AUG | 20:40 CDT
The soft drinks just keep coming out in new and inviting colors. While at the store a little bit ago, I came across Dr. Pepper's new Red Fusion brand. Never one to turn down a new twist on an old favorite, I promptly issued my change to the cashier and took the first sip. It's good. It tastes like...er, Dr. Pepper. I guess the "fusion" in question is the color red. Maybe there's a slight hint of cinnamon in the aftertaste, but not enough to make any real difference. So now you have two choices. Regular cola colored Dr. Pepper, or red colored, slightly altered Dr. Pepper. Big deal...
The local chain-indie record store here in Nashville, The Great Escape, has a "half-price" branch that they only open up on Fridays and Saturdays. I run down there every once in a while and rarely leave empty handed. Today, I probably scored better than ever before, though. Here's the list of purchases:
Charalambides / Historic Sixth Ward CD
Combine / Combine Present the History of American Rock n' Roll CD
Pixeltan / s/t ep CD
Fly Pan Am / Sedatif en Frequences... CD
Fly Pan Am / s/t CD
Ben Lee / Breathing Tornados CD
The Charalambides CD is really nice with a hand watercolored cover and terribly limited information. I didn't know anything about them before I bought it other than Hstencil mentioning them a few times at the FMBB. Out of curiosity, I checked on eBay to see how much people were selling it for and the last one went for twenty dollars. Very interesting...
Have I mentioned that my most recent haircut makes me look like Bernard Sumner in the video for "Perfect Kiss?" Well, it does. I'm glad I have a hat I can wear.
NP: Erase Errata - Other Animals
FRI 30 AUG | 12:35 CDT
The Drudge Report ran an article this morning claiming that Michael Jackson's award at last night's VMA show was all just a big mix up. Curious as to whether or not I misinterpreted what happened during last night's broadcast, I went to mtv.com for the video replay. It now appears that Drudge was correct. Britney Spears clearly states, "I consider him the artist of the millenium." Jacko then shuffles out, takes one of the decorations off of the cake that vaguely resembles a trophy of sorts, and starts thanking everyone from God to David Blaine (whose magic is apparently real and Michael believes in him). This is the funniest bit of freak-on-tv news since a stoned Liz Taylor made a fool of herself at the 2001 Golden Globes.
NP: Prefuse 73 - Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives
THU 29 AUG | 22:22 CDT
** I originally had jotted down a few notes after watching the MTV Video Music Awards show, but the whole piece was so simplistic and bland I decided to take it all down. **
For a more complete and uncharacteristically humorous play-by-play account from Matthew, click here.
THU 29 AUG | 17:17 CDT
Thanks to Hstencil, I now have my very own "C or D" thread at ILM. Nice.
THU 29 AUG | 02:21 CDT
Oh, this explains everything. I couldn't figure out why so many people were talking up the new Sparta record while I'm thinking it's completely awful. Now I realize it's comprised of former members of one of the worst bands of all time, At the Drive-In. I wish some people would just fall off the face of the earth.
Music isn't ruined for me completely, though. Inspired by a sticker on my punk rock neighbor's car (how I picked it out amongst the hundred or so holding that jalopy together is anyone's guess), I downloaded the new Division of Laura Lee album, Black City. Another bunch of motley fools from Sweden imported to these shores by Burning Heart, they bear almost no resemblance to The Hives. In fact, they're drawing influences from the same places The Strokes get theirs...but with such amazing results. The work ahead of Julian Casablancas to create the followup record without losing any ground to his peers just became an almost impossible task. I haven't noticed much of a hype machine around Black City yet, so maybe people will find it on their own and be able to enjoy it without pressure.
NP: Division of Laura Lee - Black City
WED 28 AUG | 23:48 CDT
After I finished watching Birthday Girl earlier this evening (which was quite good, by the way), I decided to head downtown to Tower Records and people watch. The average chain record store shopper is a queer animal. I don't necessarily look down on them, because most of them don't take music seriously. It's just a thing they use for background. Or for parties. Or for driving. To these people, buying the latest hit cd is no more important than getting the Sunday paper. So why is it that they're the ones who mull around in every aisle for a couple hours bothering employees with idiot questions? Things are stocked in simple alphabetical order. If you can alphabetize, you can find what you're looking for. CD's usually have tracklists on the backside. However, these people still need assistance searching for particular songs. And then there's the people who ask, "You know that song that goes...[insert humming here]...you know it? I have no idea who it's by. It's on the radio and it's by a girl and they play it all the time..." Now, is it really difficult to do a little research before going to the store? Call the radio station or something. Go online and check for lyrics or a title on one of the mass merchandise sites. Or better yet, just go to Wal-Mart. They've probably got what you're looking for.
On the other side of the spectrum, record companies are catering to these people. I passed by the Nirvana section tonight and saw a sticker on Bleach that read "Nirvana's First Album!" I'm figuring that either a generation has officially passed and new record buyers have no idea about the order in which Nirvana's standard catalog was released, or Sub Pop is trying to fool people into buying Bleach again, hoping those who already own it have forgotten. This practice is most often associated with country music releases, though. I'll try to avoid generalizations, but really...your average country music fan is more concerned with making his trailer payment than knowing which albums were released this year.
This really started out to be a great diatribe on chain retailers, average folks, and sneaky record companies. It just fell to pieces somewhere, though. Anyway, before I left, I picked up The '92 vs '02 Collection EP by Prefuse 73. Well worth the six dollars.
WED 28 AUG | 13:09 CDT
I came across Palabras Básicas when I was looking for the correct spelling of "ese." There's so much more there to learn, though. Now I can keep up with what's really going on the next time I watch any movie from the 1980's on Galavision.
The Gloved One is getting set to star in a new movie based on the final days of Edgar Allan Poe. To make matters worse, he's taking acting lessons from modern-day Marlon Brando. Lessons? Who needs lessons? If you've seen The Wiz, you know that Jacko is already capable of a performance that's pure gold!
Maybe you're one of the few people who doesn't already know about the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Give it a spin.
NP: The Jayhawks - Hollywood Town Hall
TUE 27 AUG | 17:34 CDT
Many thanks to Tom for linking The Rub over at NYLPM. It goes a long way in explaining the record-breaking hit count today (175 as of this post). And my sincere apologies to any of you viewing the site for the first time. The lack of content is due to the recent archival. The quality of the content is no one's fault but my own.
The Rub is often referred to as an indie-centric weblog. I suppose there is a fair amount of indie rock mentioned from time to time, but no more than any other genre of rock music. If I'd been writing in 1996, this place would be "all indie, all the time." I long ago abandoned any idea of trying to put forth a hipster image, though. Now, I just listen to and write about whatever comes along. Whether that be Guns n' Roses or Xiu Xiu or Madonna, all things are fair game.
Kate at Thrown Askew suggested I put together an "about me" page somewhere. I may get around to that, but there wouldn't be much of anything there that isn't covered daily on the pages of The Rub. I'm 28, live in Nashville, listen to music a lot, watch television too much, and throw around opinions like so much fertilizer.
So, if you're new, stick around. If you've been reading since the beginning, you know this place is pretty hit-or-miss, so I thank you for the continued support.
NP: Hefner - We Love the City
TUE 27 AUG | 11:00 CDT
A quick happy birthday wish to our friend Martin. He's 24 today -- oh, the children are our future!
I came across this while perusing ILM today. If this thing would have existed ten years ago, I wouldn't have wasted so much time buying random cd's that just looked "cool." It's not complete, but there's plenty there to keep the up and coming music listener occupied for quite a while. So, bravo to the nerdmagazine.org guys.
NP: Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To the Head
TUE 27 AUG | 00:43 CDT
The vacation is over and now I'm back home. Nothing eventful enough to write about, really. Just a lot of free time in the Florida sun and not much to think about.
Weekly downloads are a couple days late this time, due to the fact that I made a somewhat valiant effort to avoid the internet most of last week (although I did show up briefly in a few places).
I rarely ever listen to straight-ahead indie rawk these days, so that's probably why it took me so long to stumble across the Weakerthans. The Left & Leaving album was released in 2000, and was nowhere near my listening radar at the time. "Aside" is one of those songs with a great chorus that goes on for miles. The real kick in the ass is that they played here in Nashville while I was gone. Ow!
Check the most recent archive and you'll see the post where I raved about the Czars' beautiful cover of Tim Buckley's "Song To the Siren." Well, instead of just reading about it, why don't you download it? You know you want to.