don't know which genre we belong

dear friends,

1. in one of those rare instances of a rock show running on freakin' time I missed amusement parks on fire aka the band I most wanted to see at the ny2lon show. I had a prior commitment that ended at 8 & got down to bowery ballroom at 9, only to learn that the shoegaze had just ended. argh!

watched the ordinary boys set & was won over by their energy, friendliness & super fantastic bassist, despite the fact that I'm not a fan of specials meets the jam ska/power pop type bands (even though I like the originators just fine). they did a couple of covers, both good, little bitch by the specials (love that song!) & the ramones' the kkk took my baby away. one of their originals, boys will be boys, was a pleasant throwback to those great 2-tone party tracks. afterwards, they happily mixed with all their new fans outside of the venue. nice lads.

next up was the the hong kong, a band I've heard quite a bit about through admiring friends. they managed to drive me out of the venue in 2 & 1/2 songs. the lead singer, a gorgeous blonde with tired mascara-heavy eyes wearing a tight, low-cut black dress, sang well enough but projected that kind of zero degrees kelvin charisma that makes me wonder why people play live at all. she sang without moving & when she wasn't looking straight ahead, stared around the stage absent-mindedly as if looking for a misplaced shoe. the rest of the band seemed anonymously proficient but unspectacular. contributor marta sagely suggested that shyness was the main culprit for this dull display. unfortunately, when you get to play a nice venue like bowery, I believe a band must bring it up a few notches. I think most of the people I know in bands are shy but when they get on a stage they still school the masses. & I don't necessarily mean by kicking & screaming. just somehow. I dunno. am I being uncharitable?

in my irritation, I left before the ligers aka stellastarr*. I'll see them eventually though they don't really do it for me. I do like one song of theirs but the name escapes me right now*...something with the lines "it took a while/for me to know/I'm not alone". a slow building 80's style number with I wanna be a brit bellowing vocals & a sprinkle of sugary girl back-up atmospherics. nostalgic but pleasingly so.

2. I'm tryin' to figure out how to make a separate page for (cue theme music) the first official soft communication mix exchange, also known as "the covers mix", to take place on friday, june 3. when I do, I figure I can put up all the play lists of said mixes for people to peruse at will.

I'm aware that there's been a new conflict with the great cover band project meeting time, contributor george & I are working to remedy this.

in related matters, I would like to re-vamp the look of this here site but I don't have the design or interneting skills. contributor phil was kind enough to provide the new header thingy (can you tell me & the web are estranged?) & I know some of you are skilled in the visual arena so let me know if you've got any ideas or suggestions...

in pseudo-related matters, our readership rose considerably in the past few weeks thanks to a) contributor pete's posting of the ewok song lyrics. no surprise there. my feelings on revenge of the sith can be summed up thusly...chewbacca wuz robbed! & b) people googling for "scurvy and british sailors". hmmmm. & I thought I was the only one who cared.

& because there needs to be a recommendation for every number, I have to say I'm very fond of art brut. for many reasons, one of them being the fact that the tone deaf guy is the lead singer & the one who can sing mostly goes tooh-tooh-tooh in the background. anyone who can make a catchy hook out of a "popular culture no longer applies to me" refrain & talking shit 'bout the velvet underground while some dude yells "white light! white heat!" in the background without making me want to garrote them & all their friends deserves mad props.

3. I recently re-discovered a song that I wasn't even wild about EVER but is zombie plague infectious & eating my brain. that song is called oblivious by a mid to late 80's band called aztec camera. so bright & poppy it sounds like grins set in concrete, this song will either ensnare you with its sunshine or make you wanna kill people. over-produced to the point of resembling lacquered sushi, chock full of saccharine aaah's & a peppy bouncing bass line screaming loudest in the mix, I'm sure I could use this tune for murder for hire gigs. for those who see its charms explain to me why I listen to it? please? before I become a pod person?

4. because I am insane, I've run out import mag options so I purchased that old war horse, record collector. in it there's an article about the ouevre of adam & the ants. while the talk of gate sleeves & import options started to make my eyes cross, the info about ant's early stuff is intriguing & explains somewhat why the poor man wound up sitting in a bathrobe in a mental hospital rec room.

in terms of starting points, I've always loved antmusic, catchy like the aforementioned oblivious, but un-embarrassingly good with its drumming in triplicate sound (though there's only two of them!) & ant's yelping about unlocking the jukebox & doing us all a favor. I don't know how people can listen to that song & not move or at least twitch. get your grubby hands on this number. no pleather required.

5. my friend nichol once introduced me to a very nice former boss of hers with the soubriquet dr. cool (though being that my brain is a stone dry sponge, I'm probably remembering this wrong). anywho, we'll stick to dr. cool. the good doctor & I had a conversation about how it was possible to completely miss the fact that this charming man was the gayest rock song ever. it's true, I didn't really piece the story together, I was more into the bright & shiny rickenbacker leading me around like a pied piper-ee to notice the leather running smooth, etc... after he was done making fun of me, he recommended al stewart. the man responsible for the terrifying year of the cat? yup. it's taken me this long but I finally looked into it. night of the 4th of may is preposterous, long & pretentious with a guitar sound that's like more than a feeling but with a slight patina of class. yet...I do like that warm, insular 70's sound; bass runs like lightly trotting horses & drums so precise they unwittingly conjured the age of the drum machine. maybe in a few years you can look him up too & tell me that it sucks. in the meantime, thanks dr. cool.

love, d

ps I'm running a slight fever so forgive me if this is more incomprehesible than usual!

pps hey kids! making none too subtle internet demands on your fellow contributors really does produce results! as requested contributor bryan has posted his gorillaz track by track review here.

*see below

songs to seek: in the walls/stellastarr*, boys will be boys/ordinary boys, bad weekend/art brut, oblivious/aztec camera, antmusic/adam & the ants, night of the 4th of may/al stewart


Blogger george said...

oblivious is great, but the video may be one of the "gayest" videos ever. it features roddy frame up in a treefort serenading a gaggle of youngsters and such. but it's catchy so all is forgiven.

3:44 PM, May 24, 2005  
Blogger d said...

a treefort? serenading children? I need to see this so I can laugh & laugh...

3:57 PM, May 24, 2005  
Anonymous mike said...

Ouch. The first Aztec Camera LP, _High Land Hard Rain_, is one of my all-time favorites. You may not like "Oblivious" (and I agree the video's obnoxious), but you should check out the rest of that album all the same. "Walk Out to Winter" and "We Can Send Letters" are two of the best songs I've ever heard.

8:47 AM, May 25, 2005  
Anonymous mike said...

Oh, and listen to the Pet Shop Boys' "West End Girls" next to Al Stewart and marvel at how similar the vocals are.

8:50 AM, May 25, 2005  
Blogger d said...

actually, mike...what I was trying to say is I love oblivious, despite myself! I can't stop listening to it! I even do a little dance to it as my co-workers can attest as they cower under their desks.

it's just funny when you find a song you should, by all your usual standards, not be feeling AT ALL & there you are groovin' like an organ grinder's monkey.

10:16 AM, May 25, 2005  
Blogger Pete Galub said...

Do you know what Elvis Costello said about Roddy Frame (Aztec Camera's leader)? He said something like "He is writing better songs than I did at that age!" Flattery for sure, but a little condescending when you consider Roddy Frame was 17 when he put that record out. But "High Land..." is A Great Record! Great guitar solo in "Oblivious" as well.
And, for your covers mixes you should definitely add their cover of Van Halen's "Jump" if you haven't already.

12:56 PM, May 25, 2005  
Blogger d said...

jump? really? I'm actually running into a bit o' trouble with the mix. I can't fit all the ones I want to do, also I don't want to repeat songs other contributors are likely to select (see: bryan & sonic youth). there's also the tracklisting, currently my mix is a bit low-key, with a lot of instropective numbers not enough rockin'. wah!

1:01 PM, May 25, 2005  
Blogger Pete Galub said...

Well, I only own it on cassette, but it's possible you could find it online somewhere. It's GREAT!

8:03 PM, May 25, 2005  
Anonymous guile said...

you've got good taste in music :)..

4:52 AM, May 26, 2005  
Blogger d said...

thanks. a lot of people whose taste I respect mock my popular r&b leanings (songs where people go whatevah, whatevah) & who's to say they're not right? taste is subjective & all I know is that I really LOVE what I like, no matter where it comes from.

I need to find that "jump".

11:01 AM, May 26, 2005  
Blogger Pete Galub said...

It was played on a show on FMU, which you can listen to (and skip around) here..

The DJ also played Pat Boone's cover of "Panama" Yes, THAT Pat Boone who put out his "In a Metal Mood" record in the 90s, with covers of all "heavy metal" tunes. It's pretty hilarious..

11:36 AM, May 26, 2005  
Blogger d said...

I'm trying to imagine boone doing that "ease the seat back" part. yikes!

12:00 PM, May 26, 2005  

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