Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Notes And Observations While Researching The Book

Good Mighty Christ Hall & Oates rocked.

Caught between the shining star and the dreams that never came true. Among the heroin monkees and the folks that time forgot. Tired of the race that I never even started. Blue-eyed soul shaking the speakers. John kills Paul ev'rytime. Tire tread measuring the distance to the start, blind backwards somewhere near the future. Theo knows the rules to this madness that makes men better than me break down and cry. "I can't go for that", indeed. Better to be safe than Sorry, Somehow. Makes sense to the senses. Borrowed crooked lines that move to the swing of the bat that will never know the pain of the legion of ayre. The Legion Of Denial. The Legion Of One. A Gang of None. Broken, not broke. An orange vase that carries the dreams of the sleepless. That borrows from the rested.

"Say No Go".

Paper this twice, bleed the forgone. Table the news, bring on the night. Time will reveal the end. Makes the night two times the one. Twice the long. Never the end that meets. Please? Sure. Can this trouble the saint? Can this mean the end? Family Bible. Moo-Cow. Kind of brings it home. Like of like '84. Kinda like home. Kinda of like the one I love.

"Until I'm proven wrong...."

Drinkin' my brothers alcohol. Just like before. The one that moves the rest. The rock that beats them all. The one that heads the call. The one that removes the mask. "1,3,2." It gets the best of you. This light brings it all together. Brings it all back home. Brings it to the front. Kills the disease. Brings me to my knees. Notes and observations while researching the book.

"Watch out boy, she'll chew you up."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Dead Weather or Gets A Little Boring

Mothers. Buffalo. Birds. Uriah Heep with some muscle. Pony. Classic rock records made in Nashville. Gawdawful reggae strainded through the white guy blues . Cadence. Verse. Cadence. I think I hate Josh Homme more than ever. And he has nuthin' to do with this pile of shit. Oh, cool weird noise, Jack. I miss Meg. Rush Vs. 311 = Treat Me Like Your Mother. Bored now.

New Shakira sounds like old Shakira. Bet the video's great.

Scott McCaughey and his Minus 5 have a new one out. He plays bass in Robyn Hitchcocks band, the Venus 3. You know what it sounds like. Just switch up the words. I like my Grant Lee Phillips from the bottle. That's just me. La La La.

BTW, new band name - Minus Venus 53. Yawn.

I'm scared of myself. I've listened to the new Mandy Moore more than the new Wilco and Son Volt combined.

Maybe the world just needs a tilt. Or maybe i just need a drink.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Mirror Ball Rising

A long time ago in a town not so far away (I , in fact, will be in Richmond this weekend for my brother's annual birthday drunkfest) there lived two brothers. Now individually, these two boys were pithy, angsty, brilliant, acerbic, stupid, charming, gassy drunks that could lay a dark wet blanket over almost any affair that you could imagine. With their Wonder Twin powers activated, however, they were the most formidable perpetual sarcasm machine that the world has ever known. The catalyst for activation was music and that music could be many things but at root, a lot of it sounded like Neil Young. Now the Church of Neil has many followers, among them Jay Farrar, Matthew Sweet, and Jason Molina. No disciple, however, has ever brought forth the fury with both voice and guitar like the fury wrought by J. Mascis.

Mascis has been on my radar ever since he formed a rockin' lil' combo called Dinosaur Jr. Now without rehashing a bunch of history which you can read by clicking that link up there... Dinosaur Jr., like The Cure (who Dino Jr. covered once), has often been a J. Mascis vanity project with revolving members. That said, they have never been as strong as they were in their initial configuration of J., Lou Barlow and Murph. In 2005, one of the most unlikely reunions this side of Bob Stinson's resurrection occurred and that original lineup reunited and recorded a record, Beyond which was released in 2007. The record was well received as was the accompanying tour (or so I hear, I never leave the house).

Now, in 2009, a sophomore effort has been released and my expectations were somewhat low. Beyond was good, but it never struck me like I had hoped that it would so I awaited the latest, Farm, with little excitement but some anticipation. That, my two readers, was a mistake.

Farm begins with what has become my anthem of the summer, "Pieces". Mascis' guitar line is melodic and gritty; and his voice, as always, is thin but unwavering. The song, seemingly about J.'s never ending heartbreak, is just the beginning of what is possibly my favorite DJ record ever. Farm is a return to the heavier sound of early DJ with a solid nod to the melodicism of later albums. The record is anchored by three longer songs while surrounded with shorter more playful pieces. Two Barlow compositions adorn the record and while dissimilar given the differing voices and writing styles of the two songwriters, they fit nicely into the mix of Farm.

Nerdspeak aside, the record rocks from beginning to end. I haven't really felt a "soundtrack of the summer" vibe from a record in a long time. You know those records, the ones that you can't stop listening to during the hot, long summers. A few of mine have included Pavement's Slanted and Enchanted, Neil Young's Mirror Ball, and (though it was released in January of 1985), New Day Rising by Husker Du. This is the first one that has hit me that way in a while.

Grab a pal, crack a cold one and throw yourself the only listening party you're gonna need this summer.

Dinosaur Jr. - Farm - A-

Summer Babe

So, it's my fault.

I was under the impression we were taking the summer off. Brother Van's gone blog happy and, frankly, it's making me look bad. So, it's time to dust off the old keyboard, insert the headphones and let you good people share in my genius. First, let us discuss the new Moby.

What? You Say. What?

That's right , Moby. Capital M - oby. And if I'm listening to Moby, that can mean just one thang. That's right kids, Uncle Ran is cleaning the bathroom. Let me tell you right now, if'n you just have to clean the shitter there is simply no better record. "Wait For Me" has surpassed "The Head On The Door" for this guy. And if you are counting at home, that's 24 years of cleaning the bathroom.

"But tell us, Ran, is that all it's good for?"

Why, of course not, children. "Wait For Me" has plenty of other uses I'm sure. Making the bed, perhaps. Flossin' the teeth. And I'm sure it's the best possible soundtrack for aging white hipsters to listen to at the after party. But, I just don't know what that means.

For me, I likes to listen to it high on Tilex and coffee. 8:30 on a Wednesday mornin'.

Grade B