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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Van the Man


The Onion AV Club once had a great post* in which it discussed how most pastimes, especially music, can be divided into two groups: the likers and the lovers. The likers are the casual fans. They are the ones who confirm trends. When a liker is into it, you know that "it" has hit the big time. And the lovers are the ones who revel in the minutiae that give them their lover status. An excerpt:

But it illustrates the difference between being a music liker and a music lover. I’d say 95 percent of the world are music likers. They like playing music while driving, cleaning the house, exercising, drinking, working, and pretty much any other activity that music can accompany without being the sole focus. Music likers buy 10 CDs (at most) every year, and it’s usually stuff they hear everyday on the local top 40 station or greatest hits collections by classic rock bands. Music likers don’t read music magazines or get into arguments about music trivia. They like music, but it’s not something worth putting too much thought into. The remaining 5 percent are music lovers. These people are irrational fans,(short for fanatic) and they buy CDs every week, read music mags, and seek out passionate discussions about music. These people will judge you based on your CD collection (whether they admit it or not), and they can sniff each other out based on the ability to name bass players and/or pre-1980 prog/funk/metal/soul artists. (The like-love split isn't specific to music. It applies to everything: movies, TV, books, fine art, theater, food, beer, whatever.

I will fully admit to my status as a liker (I don't think you could come up with a more stereotypical music liker/lover combo than me and Matt). I rarely discover truly new bands unless a "lover" friend points them out to me because they think I will enjoy the music (i.e., my friend BethAnn telling me that she thought I would like Tally Hall). And my "discoveries" are artists/bands that any music lover knew about long, long, long ago. Eons ago. When I discover music, it is likely because an oldies or classic rock station plays a catchy song that I either had never heard or haven't heard in 10 years and I remember a lyric or two, come home and Google it. Or I come across it in popular culture.

Like everyone else, I had heard Brown Eyed Girl long ago, but it wasn't until a West Wing episode that I really discovered Van Morrison. In We Killed Yamamoto, Amy Gardner cranks up Caravan and Moondance. I liked the sound and bought a Van Morrison album before the week was out. And I haven't stopped being a fan since. My 91 Bonneville -- this is a blog written by men who proudly drive crappy cars -- has a tape deck and my tape of The Best of Van Morrison was worn down by repeated listening in the time before I bought an iPod. I once took my younger brothers to Milwaukee for a weekend of baseball games. That cassette served as the soundtrack for the four-hour drive. I'm sure my brothers would be fine if they never heard Van again.

Van Morrison is a bit like the Bible: no matter what your mood is, you can probably find a Van Morrison song to fit your tastes. He does blues (like the embedded video of Van doing a great rendition of Gloria with John Lee Hooker), he does religion (Full Force Gale is probably the best song I have ever heard about the sanctuary that God provides), he does the mystical (Astral Weeks), etc. His Tupelo Honey album featured several country songs -- not this Garth Brooks type of pop/country, but George Jones-style country. Morrison wrote "Chopping Wood" about his father and it always reminds me of my working class dad. He does whatever he finds interesting. If tomorrow Van Morrison became obsessed with punk rock, I would expect to see a Nirvana-style album released within a year, followed by a tour that started in Seattle. Not only does this bring him respect, but you can hear the passion in the music. Knowing that he didn't write any songs or produce any albums simply because a label exec thinks he can get it on the radio does make it a more enjoyable experience to be a fan (and I'm guessing a more enjoyable experience for Van!)

I do and don't envy a journalist who interviews Van Morrison. Make the interview about him and he will quickly become combative and awkward. But if you ask him about his music, not only will you hear some very insightful answers about his music, but you might get a little out of him about himself.

I'm not saying anything that any Van Morrison fan doesn't know about the man. Despite being one of the most influential musicians in this era (his diverse catalog has influenced many musicians and he deserves to be listed among the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Springsteen, etc. in his influence on other musicians), he remains an enigma. I could no more describe his voice than I could explain love -- it's impossible to know where to begin. But this music liker will always love Van the Man for exposing me to so many different kinds of music throughout his career.







* -- As an aside, the author of the post is an alumnus of the same distinguished university that Blugold Matt and I are proud graduates of.

One Thing Leading To Another

I am sitting here wondering how a post about Robert Goulet's death has led me to post this video of Whoopi Goldberg wrapping up her latest comedy special on Bravo...it's just one thing leading to another I guess...I couldn't find a clip that had the complete section of the routine but here is the last 3rd.

To preface this she told the audience that she would be finishing with three jokes...one of which would upset "The Community." The first two jokes were about parrots and, as best I can tell, do not really have much to do with the last joke and her commentary afterword...

This is some powerful stuff and I wish she had begun her show with this skit and then went on to talk more about race in America.

Imitation Is The Greatest Form Of Flattery

Here is Will Ferrel doing his best Robert Goulet:



UPDATE: Having not seen this clip in a while I was surprised how much Will saying "nigger" twice is such a slap in your face...I turned on the clip and wasn't paying attention to it at first and then BAM, there it was like a a Chuck Norris roundhouse kick.

Robert Goulet


Robert Goulet has passed away and although he had a memorable singing and acting career for me he will forever be remembered as the villain in Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear and for making a cameo in one of the funniest episodes of The Simpsons, - "$pringfield (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)." Here is the song from that episode:

The Simpsons Movie DVD comes out December 18th. Pre-order your copy here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Red Sox in Red Shoes

I found this today...

Elvis Costello -- (The Angels Want To Wear) My Red Shoes

Elvis has released and re-released and re-re-released his albums and collections over my lifetime...the latest version is a greatest hits collection from his first 10 years of work...

$1

I bought this record player for $1 at a college surplus sale and it is arguably the best purchase I've ever made...maybe next to my 1984 Dodge Omni...I have recently gotten back into my vinyl collection and apparently I am taking part in "putting a final nail in CD's coffin." It's an interesting thesis that increased vinyl sales may help in the elimination of CDs but I don't quite believe it...nothing will ever kill the CD.

Get all the Chavez you will ever need in their boxset Better Days Will Haunt You...you can get it here.

Today's Mood......

...........requires the following songs



"Aw, man! The Doobie Brothers broke up! When did that happen?" -- Jack T. Colton, Romancing the Stone



"Being in Fleetwood Mac is more like being in group therapy." -- Mick Fleetwood




"But then again, [Springsteen] is an Irish-Italian, with a Jewish-sounding name. What more do you want?!? Add one big African sax player, and no one in this room is gonna fuck with you!" -- Bono

6-1


Another win...although I am getting the faint feeling that this year's Packers might be last year's New Orleans Saints...The Packers seem to be coming up lucky each week and things just work out like scoring an 82 yard touchdown pass on the first play of overtime...plus we had a 100 yard rusher this week!

The Kinks don't have anything new coming out but they are featured in the soundtrack for the new Wes Anderson film The Darjeeling Limited. You can pick it up here.

It was a pleasure to eat your lead, good sir


Roger Ebert is not a movie critic. He is a superb writer who happens to write about cinema. And he showed his satirical side in this missive. James Lipton is such a wonderful target.

Get better soon Roger -- the balcony hasn't been the same without you.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Ford


I was watching an hour comedy show of Zach Galifianakis' stand-up work and during the show he made a comment that nobody is ever really pissed at the Ford Administration...of course this is glossing over history a little bit...my Dad still mentions Ford's pardon of Nixon with strong emotion...but I get the point...Ford was mostly harmless and really the point is that I think we all wish the President (any President) could be a little less "important" and their decisions didn't effect everyone in someway...
It's late...I don't really know what I'm saying...
LCD Soundsystem have a new EP called A Bunch of Stuff out now and there are some free downloads available at their website here.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Today's mood.....

....requires the following songs:



"If we could all sing like we wanted to, we'd all sound like George Jones." -- Waylon Jennings



"For myself as well as many others, no one has been there more for inspiration than Elton John. When I first heard 'Bennie and the Jets' I knew at the time I had to be a performer." -- Axl Rose



"Ya see, what most people don't realize, and for me this was a big part of Jackson's rock 'n' roll credentials, was that Jackson Browne was a bona fide rock 'n' roll sex star." -- Bruce Springsteen

Music + Politics = Thomas Kincaid

A few weeks ago, Politico had an article about the new Martina McBride song "For These Times" and how it was inspired by former Senator Rick Santorum's daughter, Sarah Maria Santorum. She cried at the press conference when her father announced that he lost his bid for reelection in 2006.

Here is an excerpt from the article:
"As blogs parsed and parodied the image — some gleefully made fun of it, others
questioned the wisdom of putting a distraught child in front of the camera — Satcher [the writer of the song -- Matt] went to church. Her pastor held up the Bible.

“For these times in which we live, you are going to need this book,” he said. Satcher scribbled the words into the back of her book.

At 3 a.m., she wrote the song.

“I had the sermon and the picture of Rick’s little girl in my head,” Satcher said. “The song is about the fact that we are a faith-believing, conservative nation, and that voice gets very little front-page time to me.”

The first verse is about Sarah Maria, Satcher said.

In these times in which we live
Where the worst of what we live
Is laid out for all the world on the front page
And the sound of someone’s heartbreak
Is a sound bite at the news break
With a close shot of the tears rollin’ down their face
Blessed be the child who turns a loving eye
And stops to pray
For these times in which we live

The second verse is about the troops and the third touches on faith, she said."

It wouldn't be a country song if the second verse wasn't about the troops.

This song is like a Thomas Kincaid painting. All the elements of a great piece of art are there...but it is still just kitsch.

Martina McBride -- For These Times

Martina McBride's new album is called Waking Up Laughing and you can buy it here...but please don't.

Nothing Brings Me More Pressure Than...


Nothing Brings Me More Pressure Than...The downfall of Notre Dame...I guess I don't know why I dislike Notre Dame and Charlie Weiss so much but this Slate article, entitled "The Worst Football Coach In The Universe," warmed my heart:

"Just how bad is Notre Dame? Of the 119 teams in Division I-A, ND is 119th in total offense, 119th in rushing offense, 112th in passing offense, and 118th in scoring. If Notre Dame had doubled its scoring output, it would still rank 108th. If it doubled its rushing output (currently 34 yards a game), it would barely eke out Duke for 118th place."

There isn't too much dEUS news...other than you should own Pocket Revolution. Buy it here.

1776


http://view.break.com/387619 - Watch more free videos

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Jack Bauer's Turn for the Worse


Jumping the shark doesn't even begin to describe what is going on with 24, especially Season 7. Not even close. There has to be some other catchphrase for veering so completely off course that the show becomes unwatchable. 24 has accomplished that, both in plot and theme. *Obligatory spoiler alert*

As for plot, not only is Tony Almeida, who played an uneasy Tonto to Jack Bauer's Lone Ranger, alive -- but he is the bad guy for this season. 24 has always required suspension of disbelief. So bringing Tony back from the dead isn't completely shocking. But turning Tony into a terrorist leader is so wrong that I cannot even speak clearly. 24 has always made plot supreme to all non-Jack characters. But character development has to mean something. Just because Tony and Jack have had an uneasy relationship is not enough for Tony to be the bad guy.

Thematically, 24 has been at the forefront of our national debate about torture. Jack has rarely hesitated to use all means necessary to either stop a suspected terrorist or get the information he needs. And the new season begins with Jack defiantly telling Senator Red Forman that he does not apologize for what he did. But 24's "contribution" to the debate has always come with a basic assumption: torture works. If you send Jack Bauer alone in the room with the terrorist, the Truth will come out. If you start from the presupposition that the ends will always turn out right, it becomes easier to make the ends justifying the means as your primary argument. If you create scenarios in which the evil mastermind will tell you exactly when the ticking time bomb planted in the subway station will go off if you only smack him hard enough, wave a gun in his face and threaten to inject him with a disabling potion, it becomes that much easier to convince viewers that torture is a necessary evil.*

But that isn't how it works in practice. Because we know that we don't want to have bamboo shoots under our toenails or want to be waterboarded or be put on the rack, we assume that our enemies will give it all up to avoid that pain. It goes to human nature's desire to avoid unnecessary pain. But read this memo. It may have been written over 60 years ago, but human nature hasn't changed much since then. You cannot beat the truth out of the opposition. Some of them harden and will see stoically taking your abuse as a point of pride (cf. how our soliders heroically state "name, rank, serial number" upon capture and Sen. John McCain's shame that he signed a propaganda statement as a result of torture**). Others will tell you what they think you want to hear if it will stop the beatings. But the notion that torture is automatically effective is a dogma that should be put to rest. Until 24 is willing to truly look at the issue from all sides of the debate, it doesn't deserve the soapbox it so clearly relishes.

* -- 24 has gone beyond "necessary evil" into the realm of torture porn. If you look at the comments section, apparently the UK version of the trailer included this exchange.
Female agent to Jack: Torture him if you have to.
Jack: I'm going to enjoy this.
I don't even know what to say. Even if we accept the argument that sometimes torture is a necessary evil (i.e. the ticking time bomb scenario), torture should not be relished. Whatever torture may do to its victim, the effect on the perpetrator is monstrous. Torture makes its victim subhuman -- and allows the torturer to treat another human being as such. The psychological effect is stunning. If 24 is going to advance the "ends justify the means" argument, they should have the dignity to make Jack the reluctant hero rather than the gleeful torturer.

** -- Sen. McCain signing a clumsy propaganda statement is not proof that torture works. He refused to sign a second statement, resulting in 2 or 3 beatings per day. He could have been released early, but refused, taking nearly six years of additional beatings. Look at the general lack of information and cooperation from our soldiers in Vietnam and compare the methods of the Viet Cong to those used by Hans Joachim Scharff -- you have more success interrogating your enemies if you don't violate basic human rights.

A blast of Frank from the past


Ask most people over the age of 13 what their favorite kind of music is or their favorite artist/group and they will respond with, "Depends on my mood." I am no different.

When I get into a funk, the kind of "I'm worn down, life sucks, I'm single, life sucks, I'm tired, work/school isn't going well, life isn't going to get any better," mood that I can sometimes get in, I usually go old school. There is something about Frank Sinatra that picks me up. It's not in the voice or necessarily the music. It's his swagger. It's being cool. It's being better than it all in a way that makes men want to be you and women want to be with you that comes through. And I can't help but pick up a little bit of it by osmosis.

The visuals aren't exactly enthralling, but I found a very cool YouTube collection of Frank's records. Someone just put Old Blue Eyes on the turntable, turned on the video camera and posted it to the internet. Computers may have turned sound into a science, but it can't replicate the feeling and sound of vinyl. Here are a few vids.



Friday, October 26, 2007

Mr. Lekman in Bloomington

CS: Next time Jens Lekman stops by Bloomington give him a visit.

Jens Lekman -- "Maples Leaves" Live from Bloomington, Indiana:

Juicy Bit


The Wall Street Journal editorial page has some not nice things to say about Mike Huckabee...well, being compared to Bill Clinton is considered "not nice" in some circles.

Here is the juicy bit:

"During a visit to the Journal last spring, Mr. Huckabee joked that one of his biggest challenges is that "like Bill Clinton I hail from Hope, Arkansas, and not every Republican wants to take a chance like that again." But it's Mr. Huckabee who is creating the doubts. "He's just like Bill Clinton in that he practices management by news cycle," a former top Huckabee aide told me. "As with Clinton there was no long-term planning, just putting out fires on a daily basis. One thing I'll guarantee is that won't lead to competent conservative governance."

Finally


Our judiciary is an imperfect response created by imperfect people to get reasonably close to the goal of protecting the innocent and punishing the guilty. And it gets it wrong sometimes. But it is good to see justice done.

What Genarlow Wilson did was wrong -- he was 17 years old when he encouraged a 15 year old girl to perform oral sex on him, which she willingly did -- but it wasn't 10-years-in-a-jail, registering-as-a-sex-offender wrong. And the Georgia Supreme Court fixed that today. Justice delayed is justice denied, but it is justice nonetheless.

I don't know of any good music about getting released from prison, so I'll just send along this Johnny Cash classic.

The tipping point

You know that a dance craze is on its way out when middle-aged white guys in Madison, Wisc. are seen doing the dance.

God, I love Bo Ryan.

Sawx Cruising past classy Rox




Although a large part of me died when the Brewers collapsed, allowing the dreaded Cubs into the playoffs, I have been keeping an eye on the World Series. I am rooting for the Rockies because the team voted to give a full playoff share to Mike Coolbaugh's widow. It's a classy move worthy of full support. Plus, the Red Sox won the World Series just three years ago.

But after Game 2, it is increasingly clear that the Rockies are overmatched. Between Colorado's long rest and the potent Boston lineup, the Red Sox are the clearly superior team this year. Right now, I am just hoping the Rockies can extend the series to five or six games.

In honor of the Sawx, here is "Tessie" from Dropkick Murphys.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Birthday Wishes


When the presidential campaigns were getting started in the Spring, I signed up for the campaign emails from most of them. Over time I have slowly unsubscribed from most of them...I was getting tired of updates on the latest of what Karl Rove or Hillary Clinton had said about the other parties candidates...but I do still get updates from Hillary, John, & Barack...

Today I received my 2nd email this week by Clinton campaign staffers and Bill Clinton asking me to wish Hillary "Happy Birthday." Apparently, she is turning 60...It felt more like trolling for birthday wishes...it's like passing around the birthday card for the co-worker you really don't care about and you would never think about again if they quit tomorrow...or better yet, it is like signing your name extra big to tell your boss how much you really wish them a "Happy Birthday."

Bill writes: "I know how happy Hillary will be to hear from you on her birthday. " Sheesh. Hillary should be sending me birthday wishes for considering voting for her...

The Office


"Ain't no party like a Scranton party."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Marriage

As a person staring down the barrel of the wedding gun [probably not the best metaphor], this essay/editorial by some guy named Roland Martin is not helpful. The thesis: marriage good, divorce bad.

CNN, why did you hire this guy? Clearly it is you trying to be more "fair and balanced" by hiring a guying getting his masters in "Christian Communications" at the unaccredited Louisiana Baptist University and writing essays on moral issues, plastering it on your "Latest News" section right along side an article about Bo Derek...

Meanwhile, Burma battles dictatorship, Pakistan attempts to form a representative government that can battle Musharraf, the band plays on in Iraq and CNN wastes resources on this...

The Dears -- Postcard From Purgatory

The Dears new album Gang of Losers is out now and you can get it here.

File This Under...

The "What Have I Gotten Myself Into File."



Best TV Music Moment

A few weeks ago, CS and I argued about the best TV Music Moment with dueling scenes from the West Wing...Looking back, it is now clear to me how wrong I was...this clip from Scrubs is the best TV Music Moment ever with Boston's "More Than A Feeling":

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Knowing the difference between anecdote and antidote....

Blugold Matt said I could introduce myself. I could write a long narcissistic post telling who I am, but I figure that if you end up reading this blog long enough, you'll get to know me. Matt is the music freak who dabbles in sports. I am the sports freak who dabbles in music. Enough said.

An anecdote that I simply must pass on that comes from a moot court argument (moot court is where law students invent a fake case that other law students have to argue in front of fake judges who are attorneys. It is as dorky as it sounds). The student had been conceding different points -- intellectually, he had dropped his weapon, turned his back from the battle and was in full sprint.

Judge: Counsel, it seems as if with that last comment, you have conceded that the other side is correct and should win this case.
The student takes a breath, runs his hand through his hair and sighs: Not intentionally, your honor.

In honor of this law-related post, I present the wonderfully bizarre music video from Jackson Browne's "Lawyers in Love." The Asian script at the bottom of the screen only adds to the weirdness of the video, which, in Pentagon parlance, "has been overtaken by events."

Nice Shoes

The mainstream media discovers Jens Lekman.



Jens Lekman -- Pretty Shoes

Gay Dumbledore

Does anyone care?


Giant Drag -- Kevin Is Gay

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark -- Enola Gay

Marvin Gaye -- This Love Starved Heart of Mine (It's Killing Me)

Pick GD's records here, OM in the D here, and Mr. Gaye here.

Relevant Interview: Aaron Schroeder

This is the first in what will hopefully become a fairly regular thing here at YASR, the Relevant Interview. First up, Kenniwick, WA's favorite indie adopted son, Aaron Schroeder.

Aaron is a self described "avid reader" who also makes great music ranging from indie Americana to 60's pop...His 2nd album Black & Gold was finished recently and I have been lucky enough to have been enjoying it for the past couple of weeks. Aaron took the time to answer a few questions last week:

Q: My favorite song on the album is "Fake Crimes" can you talk a little bit about the writing of that song and its origins?

A: Musically, Fake Crimes is my attempt at stealing from Dan Bejar's "Thief" record - particularly the"Canadian lover/ don't demean yourself" track. I was hoping to create a song with a lot of momentum right from the beginning that kept building upon itself without the whole soft/loud-Kurt Cobain dynamic.Lyrically, the track is about a pair of lovers who stage a kidnapping. Near the end of the song, thenarrator offers to take a bullet in order to save the police from shooting his lover ("Since your body isworth more than mine/ They can aim their guns straight toward me"). To me, the lyrics are actually very tender and sweet.

Aaron Schroeder -- Fake Crimes

Q: Your bio has you living in Kennewick, WA...what is the musical scene like there?

A: There really isn't too much of a scene here - what you have is yours only because you've made it. I moved her two years ago and I didn't really step into anything resembling a scene, but now I have the most amazing friends who all happen to play music. It's definitely laid back, which allows us all to create and focus on good work, rather than losing track.

Q: How long was the recording process for Black & Gold? Did you have all the songs ready to roll or did you write in the studio?

A: We didn't actually do any of the recording in a "studio". It was all done in living rooms andbasements. What I do is create the demos which the band then sort of siphons through. Once we have a good batch of songs we're all excited about, various people will just play whatever they think sounds appropriate on each song. Cramer (the drummer/ main producer) then edits everything together and we all go back and forth fucking with levels until we're all satisfied.

Q: What are the most important albums of your summer?

A: I have started out the last few summers making a Belle & Sebastian mix CD which is always a wonderful thing to walk around town listening to. I do the same thing with my Jay-Z albums as well. I listen to the Byrds a lot in the summer. The first Phoenix album, particularly the track "Funky Squaredance" is a great summer song. There's also a buddy of mine who writes amazing songs named David Bello, I'd recommend him for some interesting summer music.

Q: I write about politics as well as music...what is your favorite politician/leader and why?

A: I've enjoyed both of Barack's books on both personal and political terms. I'm also very interested in thisnew Colbert running for President thing - I think it will be interesting to see how that pans out.

Black & Gold is out now and you can pick it up from Amazon here or directly from the artist here.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Grohlian


From this month's Esquire's "The Vocabulary" section:

Grohlian adj: 1. reminiscent of Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl. Loud, carefree. Denotes the presence of redeeming, resilient charm.

Foo Fighters have a new album Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace that you can order here.

A New Beginning Or Something Just As Trite


It's morning in America...Today is a special day here around the YASR offices as we have added a new contributor, CS...I'll let CS introduce himself more in detail but to sum up his musical interests, let me use his own words, "older, established musicians (the only indie band I know of is Tally Hall)"...
I am not sure if CS will write about politics too much but if he does it will be an interesting change of pace as CS fills one of my two available positions as "my friend and also a Conservative."
The other Conservative slot is a two-year rotating position currently filled by another friend, Chad.

Max McGee, II



Just wanted to piggy back off Matt's post about Max McGee.

Despite being a fellow Wisconsinite, I am not a Packers fan (that is a story for another post). But growing up in a Packers household that did not own a television for about 7 years, my Sundays were set to the soundtrack of Jim Irwin and Max McGee calling Packers games on the radio.

Max is my second favorite announcer (behind Bob Uecker) because he was completely natural. The same guy who had so many great moments as a cutup for the Packers -- like when Lombardi stood before the team and said, "Men, this is a football," and McGee piped up, "Not so fast, coach" -- was the same guy in the booth. He said whatever he was thinking and his natural comedic timing took over from there.

My favorite on-air McGee story is probably apocryphal, but I don't care. Irwin was mentioning how former Cowboys/Bucs wideout Alvin Harper had to have the tip of his finger amputated after a trainer cut him while treating an unrelated injury to his hand. McGee: "He's lucky it wasn't a groin pull."

RIP Max.


And if I knew how to post music, I would post something from Amos Lee, who I saw in concert on Friday.

Lord Don't Slow Me Down


The new Oasis single "Lord Don't Slow Me Down" is available now...and like Radiohead, they are currently not signed to a record company and they want to try something new...they are distributing the new single online only on their website...

I am not going to post it as you really should support the band...but here's a brief review...

Oasis -- "Lord Don't Slow Me Down"
Ranking: Jimmy Carter

MOR rocker with Noel on lead vocals. It sounds like [and could very well have been] a left over from Don't Believe the Truth. The song comes bundle with a live version of "The Meaning of Soul" and "Don't Look Back In Anger." The latter track is very interesting in that the crowd sings so loud that at times it makes Noel vocals seem like just another voice in the crowd.

Rocktober

This Sunday was a great day for sports TV...early and late football games, the Sunday night game and Game 7 of the American League Championship Series...although one of the things I won't miss when I eventually leave Seattle is having to get up early for football...pre-game at 9am, what is the NFL thinking?...just tape delay it for the West Coast...I know I wouldn't check the internet for the scores...

Anyway, I enjoyed the Red Sox's game and I am really looking forward to the World Series...which leads me to the point of this post...the Colorado Rockies are trying to trademark the word "Rocktober" which they have been using to describe their end of the year run of winning 21 of their last 22 games....that's it...that's all I wanted to say...no biting commentary here...just alerting you to some important sports news three days after it was news...enjoy some Aesop Rock...

Aesop Rock -- None Shall Pass

The new Aesop Rock album, also called None Shall Pass, is available here. Pick up your Aesop Rock shoelaces here.

How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb

I'm catching up on my "Things To Post" list...

On Friday, the Air Force admitted that, whoops, we really did fly nuclear bombs from North Dakota to Louisiana and then parked the plane on the runway for 36 hours with bombs unsecured...yeeesh...

I was going to post a B-52s song but I discovered I don't have any of their songs...so we will live with some Bowie...

David Bowie -- Fall Dog Bombs The Moon

The Bowie Box is coming October 30th. Pre-order it here.

Brownback Out

On Friday Senator Sam Brownback dropped out of the presidential race...although his website is still up and asking for contributions...

Let me just throw this question into the abyss...what exactly was the Evangelical Right's problem with Brownback? They complain that they don't have a candidate that represents their values but Brownback seemed to fit perfectly...This leads me to wonder, what's it all about then? Is it just that Brownback isn't as famous as Romney or Giuliani? Is it really just that they want "their" candidate to be the nominee...seems like it is more about power and less about values.

Creed


I'm not sure how well known this is but Creed from The Office was once the lead guitarist of The Grass Roots. Both the character and the real Creed are named Creed Bratton and you can read more here and here.
The Grass Roots are my 6th favorite bands from the 1960s...and now every time I hear the guitar solo from "Let's Live For Today" I will think of Creed playing guitar...

This is The Grass Roots live from a show hosted by Jimmy Durante and there are some great shoots of Creed at the 1:31 mark.




The Grass Roots are still around [minus Creed of course] and they make the State Fair circuit pretty regularly. You should at least get a Grass Roots greatest hits collection, such as this one.

Still 5-1


No Packers game this week [they are all at The Kalahari enjoying their bye week] and in my fantasy football league I was able to pick up Donald Driver and DeShawn Wynn so hopefully the offense kicks it into gear after their rest...

But on the overall Packer front, it was a bad week in that Super Bowl I hero Max McGee died. Here is a video from the new and improved NFL films site that has the key Super Bowl I and McGee's key catches.

From Wikipedia:

In his final two seasons, injuries and age had considerably reduced his production and playing time. Ironically, these two seasons would be the ones for which his career is best remembered. In the 1966 season, McGee caught only four passes for 91 yards and a touchdown as the Packers recorded a 12-2 record and advanced to Super Bowl I against the Kansas City Chiefs. Because McGee didn't expect to play in the game, he violated his team's curfew policy and spent the night before the Super Bowl out on the town. The next morning, he told starting receiver Boyd Dowler, "I hope you don't get hurt. I'm not in very good shape."

However, Dowler went down with a separated shoulder on the Packers' second drive of the game, and McGee, who had to borrow a teammate's helmet because he had not even brought his own out of the locker room, found himself thrust into the lineup. A few plays later, McGee made a one-handed reception of a pass from Bart Starr, took off past Chiefs defender Fred Williamson and ran 37 yards to score the first touchdown in Super Bowl history. By the end of the game, McGee had recorded seven receptions for 138 yards and two touchdowns, assisting Green Bay to a 35-10 victory.

Mr. Vaughn as a new CD coming out in November called Solos, Sessions and Encores which collects rare tracks encompassing solos, session tracks, and encores. You can pre-order it here.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Islamo-Fascism Week

In case you missed it [and who wouldn't miss something sponsored by the University of Washington College Republicans?] next week is Islamo-Fascism Week on campus...and some people are a little ticked off about it...and it's not the Islamo-Fascists...
This song is from Mermaid Avenue Volume II...get Volume I and II here.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Another Record

The Onion's take on another Brett Favre record:

Dan Marino Hosts Hour-Long HBO Special Celebrating Favres Interceptions

The Onion

Dan Marino Hosts Hour-Long HBO Special Celebrating Favre's Interceptions

NEW YORK—Dan Marino, the former Dolphins quarterback, former multiple NFL all-time record holder, and current co-host of HBO's Inside The NFL, was the host, producer, and head writer of the hour-long HBO special Mr. 278, which...



New Young Pony Club -- Get Dancey (Edit) [Get Dan-cey...get it?]

The New Young Pony Club have a new single "Get Lucky" out October 22nd.

Bodysnatchers

When I was talking earlier this week about Radiohead's In Rainbows with my Mom...yes, that's right, with my Mom, I mentioned that I particularly enjoyed the fact that no one had heard it before it was released on the 10th and we were all essentially music critics getting our advanced CDs in the mail to review for the masses...we were all Rob Sheffield.

My favorite song in my listening is Track #2 "Bodysnatchers."

Here is a live performance:

Stephen Colbert


Everyone's favorite Republican Stephen Colbert is running for President...but only in South Carolina...and he plans to run as both a Democrat and a Republican...confused yet?


Will Adam's group The Moldy Peaches ever return? I'm betting no...but until then get his "solo" records here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Vetos


Given the title of my blog, how could I not love the title of this Washington Post article about President Bush?:



Jean was a big Stax Records star and you can pick up Jean Knight's albums here.

Dispatches from a Conversation about Dylan, Costello, & The Flying Burrito Brothers

Matt,

You will be proud of me. I am going to my first concert this month and it is someone good: I am seeing Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello and Amos Lee in about 3 weeks in Bloomington. I am pretty pumped....

CS
-----------------------------------------------------------------

CS,

All I can say is "WOW"...that sounds like an amazing concert...I saw Bob Dylan at UW-La Crosse in I think 2000 and he played a lot of his newer stuff and not too many classics...but I guess he has sort of changed that in his recent concerts...

Elvis Costello has always been one of my favorites...but I have never gotten the chance to see him. I am not too familiar with Amos Lee but I have heard good things about him.

Talk to you later,


Matt

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Matt,

I will admit that Elvis Costello is 90% of the reason I bought tix to this concert. I really like his music; he has a pretty diverse catalog and a very distinctive voice -- I turned on the radio the other day and within 2 seconds, I knew it was a Elvis C song, even if I couldn't identify the song right away. Sometimes I think "I can't stand up for falling down" is the story of my life.

I will also admit that I have never "gotten" Bob Dylan. I respect him and he is obviously influential, but I have never connected with his music. I would compare it to the feeling when someone tells a story that they think is funny and then says, "I guess you had to be there."I feel like I am missing something with Dylan. Any thoughts on this?

CS

-----------------------------------------------------------------

CS,

That's very interesting...I guess my interest in Dylan is two fold:

a. Everyone considers him awesome so I need to check out what the hub-bub is about. Because I am a music freak, if anyone ever says "best album ever" or "best song ever" I have a contractual obligation to investigate. So a number of the albums I own are based on good marketing you could say.

b. When I see good song writing I appreciate it. I particularly like "Positively 4th Street" in that it is so negative and it is like a slap in the face. But I guess looking back at it, I don't have a personal connection to the music as I do other bands. Dylan is always sort of like a history lesson to me [even though he has a bunch of recent work].

When I saw Dylan it made me think of how things are different now, versus when he was playing in the 60's. The Bootleg Series Volume 4 documents Dylan's concert at the Royal Albert Hall [which continually gets mentioned as the best/most important concert ever]. He was right at the crossroads of playing folk and his increasing interest in rock & electric guitars. The first half is acoustic and the crowd cheers loudly. The second half is electric and Bob is met with constant boos. At one point, someone yells out "Judas" and the crowd erupts in applause...Bob says "I don't believe you...you're a liar" and then turns to his band and says "play it fucking loud" and they burst into "Like a Rolling Stone"....

Imagine that happening at Bloomington...Just catching a little bit of that sort of magic might make a concert worth it...


CS

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Matt,

I guess that one reason I am going is that I want to see if Dylan has an in-concert charisma that doesn't carry over to his albums.

I tried listening to Dylan for the first reason that you mentioned. I figured that he was so beloved -- to the point of mysticism and hero worship -- that there had to be something there. And I was consistently underwhelmed (the song that I really liked is Forever Young. My favorite "Dylan" song is how Stealers Wheel sounds like a Dylan impersonator in "Stuck in the Middle with You.") One of the reasons I compared Dylan to the "I guess you had to be there" kind of stories is that I feel like he is more recognized as an icon of his time than as a musician. I am sure that I would feel differently about him if I had been a Baby Boomer who had gone through the 60s, especially as Vietnam was heating up. And he deserves credit for being the first artist to use his talents to address social issues and still be a mega-star. And I admire him, much like Van Morrison, for marching to the beat of his own drum and making music that interests him,critics be damned.

But I am only a casual music fan -- as opposed to being an amateur music historian, like yourself -- so in the end, it comes down to the music. I keep broadening my horizons -- I try everything from country to rap -- but I still need music that I connect with. I generally use the iPod test for music. If I am driving back to Eau Claire, got the iPod plugged in and X comes on (whether it be an artist or a specific song), how likely I am to skip X and go to the next track? Bob Dylan generally fails that test.

CS

-----------------------------------------------------------------

CS,

So were you secretly listening to Dr. Dre and The Wu-Tang Clan when you told us your favorite artist was James Taylor?

I would say that Elvis Costello and Van Morrison are the two best artists in doing whatever the hell they want too...be it classical, Irish folk music, whatever they find interesting at the moment...

Have you had a chance to hear the new Bruce Springsteen yet? If you aren't a big fan of his work at least give "Radio Nowhere" a listen too...best song from him in a while in my opinion...


Matt

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Matt,

Thankfully, I have advanced far beyond my college days in terms of music. My iPod has everything from Run DMC to the Flying Burrito Brothers.

I go hot and cold on Springsteen. At his best (i.e. Born to Run),there is no one better. But he has put out some pretty shitty music too.

CS

2 Tim Burgess-es

Here in Seattle, we are in the middle of a City Council campaign that has a candidate running by the name of Tim Burgess. Now all you music buffs out there know Tim Burgess as the lead singer of the great Britpop band The Charlatans [known as The Charlatans UK here in the United States].

Apparently, they are not the same person.

You decide which is which:





Tim Burgess [Seattle] has some bad news today...his campaign is $115,000 in the red.

The Charlatans UK -- Love is the Key

The Charlatans UK have a new single coming out October 22nd called "You Cross My Path. Get it here.

787


This was big news here in Seattle yesterday but I am not really sure if anyone else cares...the brains behind Boeing'S new plane, the 787, was fired on Tuesday a few days after announcing that the planes were six months behind schedule...
The Stereophonics have a new album called Pull the Pin...you can buy it here.

What the Hell?

Maybe this will stop those people worried about the Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton presidential trend...oh yeah, that's me...if Barack wins the new list looks like this:

Bush/Clinton/Bush/Dick Cheney's 8th cousin

Scary.

From the AP:

According to her spokeswoman, Sen. Obama, D-Ill., is a descendent of Mareen Duvall. This French Huguenot's son married the granddaughter of a Richard
Cheney, who arrived in Maryland in the late 1650's from England, said Ginny
Justice, a spokeswoman for Lynne Cheney.

Monday, October 15, 2007

New Hype Machine

Head over to the Hype Machine if you would please...they are about to debut an updated version of the site and they are waiting for 10,000 people to be watching the page before they do anything...3440 and counting...

5-1


Last week's Packers loss was so brutal that I couldn't write about it...this week was better obviously with the Pack beating the worst named sports team in America. But our weak running game scares me...but all in all another happy week.
The Ventures -- Hawaii Five-O (or is should be "Hawaii Five-And-One")
You learn something new everyday...for me it was that The Ventures are still around and touring. Get their albums here.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Chuck & Janis

Chuck Todd used to have one of the coolest jobs, Editor & Chief of The Hotline. Now he's the Political Director of NBC News, forced to give trite oversimplifications to complex political issues with Brian Williams [who is hosting Saturday Night Live next week], Tim Russert, and Chris Matthews.

This week, Todd mixes music and politics in claiming that Al Gore, John Edwards, Sam Nunn, and Fred Thompson didn't act as they truly wanted to in office and now that they are out they can live up to the Janis Joplin lyric: "Freedom just another word for nothing left to loose."

Of course Chuck Todd's never been elected to anything [except maybe to the party planning committee for the Political Communications Department at Johns Hopkins.]

And it makes me wonder...name one Senator that optimizes Janis' lyric? I would say Russ Feingold from Wisconsin fits the bill pretty well. If I were to ask Mr. Todd, what Senator Feingold's biggest political liability is and the key reason why he didn't run for President?...The answer has got to be that his votes and positions are not conducive to building a broad political coalition.

This political freedom seems to buy freedom of conscience and not much else.

Big Brother & The Holding Company -- Down on Me [Live]

Buy all of Janis' solo work here.

Always Stay With Your Boat

A sign on a light pole in Seattle:

Harry Belafonte -- Banana Boat (Day-O)

Harry's site is here and you can get his albums here.

Album 3


Now that Radiohead's In Rainbows [a.k.a. Album 7] is out, we can all focus on the next urgently needed opus, Portishead's Album 3. Filter Magazine has a little update on the progress of the album:

The long waited third Portishead LP is finally closer to being finished. According to a blog posted by Geoff Barrow, the album, which has been ten years in the making, is currently in the mixing stage.

While no other details have been announced, Portishead are the curators for this year's (All Tomorrow's Parties sponsored) Nightmare Before Christmas Festival going down in Minehead, England on December 7-9. The band will also perform among the likes of Thurston Moore, Black Mountain, Silver Apples, Aphex Twin and a slew of others.

Here is Portishead's blog and get their albums here.

Unstoppable

The headline: "Clinton has lead in New Hampshire primary"

A 21-point lead that is...The poll has only 62% headed toward Barack, Hillary, and John...leaving a rather large undecided category or a surprising large number of Chris Dodd fans...Some of the lower tier candidates might drop out before New Hampshire but the Big 3 are here to stay until at least Super Tuesday, February 5th [in which 20 states have primaries.]

Whenever articles are printed about Hillary's lead in national polls, they ignore the fact that our candidates are not chosen that way. It doesn't really matter if Hillary is leading in the national polls if she loses the Iowa caucus, New Hampshire, Michigan, and South Carolina primaries...But Hillary is pulling close in Iowa and leading in New Hampshire, things are looking...wait for it...UNSTOPPABLE.

House of Brothers

There is music that is spontaneous and energetic and there is music that is carefully crafted and thought through. The new band House of Brothers falls into the 2nd group with their orchestration and pop melodies. Right now, you can download the single "Deadman" for free:

Poison Control Center

What encompasses the Midwest? Like pornography, I can't really describe it but I know it when I see it.

Some basic ground rules: Ohio is not in the Midwest. Any state in the Eastern Time zone is not in the Midwest...I almost want to say the Midwest is west of the Mississippi and East of the Rockies but then you're eliminating Wisconsin and Illinois...Also, any state that fought in the Confederacy isn't in the Midwest...they are in the South. End of discussion. This eliminates Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas.

I think of this as I listen to my Midwest brothers, Poison Control Center from Ames, Iowa.

They have a great little ditty "Glory Us" which reminds me of Eels vocals vs. Mates of State's organ.

Poison Control Center -- Glory Us

PCC have an album and an EP out on Afternoon Records. Get them here.

Jango

Since we here at YASR are now a big time music blog, we get a lot of corporate swag sent to use that we have to donate to the Goodwill...I mean who needs two of the new Toyota Matrices anyway?...

One of the benefits I have been enjoying over the past week has been a promo look at the a new social music site, Jango. It's a little bit like last.fm, a little like iLike, and a little bit like Facebook.

Anyway, I like it and I have some promo invites and I can give away...if you are interested just drop me an email and I will send you one [supplies are limited...not too sure how long it takes to recharge my invites].

I'm Not The Only One To Notice This I Hope

Jack McBrayer a.k.a Kenneth the NBC Page from 30 Rock


John Edwards a.k.a Candidate for President

Uncomfortable Headline of the Day

"Jewish Power Dominates at Vanity Fair"

Here is some additional information:

It's a list of "the world's most powerful people," 100 of the bankers and media moguls, publishers and image makers who shape the lives of billions. It's an exclusive, insular club, one whose influence stretches around the globe but is concentrated strategically in the highest corridors of power.

More than half its members, at least by one count, are Jewish.

Bad Religion -- American Jesus (Live)

Bad Religion have a new album out called New Maps of Hell which you can get here.

Vern Funk

This is Seattle...this is what it is all about...this is real...it is not a parody...well, it is a parody...but this is a real insurance company...and a very successful one at that...

Photos

Blogger's photos aren't working right currently...hopefully the problem will fix itself...until then imagine a big old black pirate flag photo in the Pirate Prude post.

UPDATE: So now the pirate photo works but the older ones don't....mmmm.....

Pirate Prude

I'll keep this short: Pirate Prude rock.
Get more free songs here. The Pirate Prude blog is here.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Juviley


You never know what is waiting for you in your inbox...recently my level of spam has gone through the roof and so I am getting a little less careful about what I send to the "report spam" folder of my gmail...an email from this group...well, singer/songwriter almost had the same fate last week...
I was glad I noticed it before it was too late...Juviley is Or Zublasky from New York City who makes beautiful pop music. Comparisons to Belle & Sebastian and Elliott Smith would be appropriate. In the song available for download here, "Go Try Again" I hear a lot of the Kings of Convenience...that sort of sound made while reflecting on your life on a cloudy Saturday afternoon...
You can buy the entire Juviley album from his myspace page here.
Upcoming show:
October 10th, 7:00pm
Juviley @ Wicked Willy's
149 Bleecker St.
New York, NY 10012

Album 7

I just pre-ordered Album 7 from Radiohead...officially titled In Rainbows. In my earlier post about the news of the release I didn't mention that there is no "official price" and you can pay whatever you think if fair. A very interesting idea considering a typical record contract [for a band of Radiohead stature] would give the band between $2-3 a CD. Now that Radiohead is record company free, nearly the entire purchase price goes straight to Thom and the Boys.

That being said, I bought my copy for $12.99 [6.38 pounds + a .45 pound service fee]. I am more than happy with this because I had given up hope for any new Radiohead release this year and I love the fact that I learned about the release and get in in under a week and a half. I am not the typical buyer however as I will happily pay for the downloads and then buy the set that comes out in December...

The confirmation email they sent me says that I will receive another email on the 10th...tick tock...tick tock

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Truest Things Tony Snow Ever Said

From The Raw Story:

Letterman told Snow he keeps hearing what a warm, cordial man Bush is in private, but that "something happens when you put him in front of an audience. ... He can't get it, it's stuck in gear. ... Is that a fair assessment?"

"Yeah," said Snow. "And there are time you want to just dash your brains out against the wall."

$220,000 Reasons to Change Things

The track listing that cost Jamie Thomas $220,000:

Guns N Roses "Welcome to the Jungle"; "November Rain"
Vanessa Williams "Save the Best for Last"
Janet Jackson "Let's What Awhile"
Gloria Estefan "Here We Are"; "Coming Out of the Heart"; "Rhythm is Gonna Get You"
Goo Goo Dolls "Iris"
Journey "Faithfully"; "Don't Stop Believing"
Sara McLachlan "Possession"; "Building a Mystery"
Aerosmith "Cryin'"
Linkin Park "One Step Closer
Def Leppard "Pour Some Sugar on Me"
Reba McEntire "One Honest Heart"
Bryan Adams "Somebody"
No Doubt "Bathwater"; "Hella Good"; "Different People"
Sheryl Crow "Run Baby Run"
Richard Marx "Now and Forever"
Destiny's Child "Bills, Bills, Bills"
Green Day "Basket Case"

I have always been a little hesitant about posting songs on this blog from artists that have not expressly asked me to...and this case makes me reexamine those thoughts. So from here on out, I will just post music sent to me by the artists themselves and free tracks available on official band websites.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Shiver Down The Spine Of Every Music Blogger

This case [for which Wired is writing a great blog about] going on in Duluth, MN should make every music blogger stop and think a little bit...why aren't bloggers getting sued by the RIAA yet?

More West Wing, More Massive Attack (Sort of )

My buddy Craig suggests an even better West Wing choreographed segment than the Zoe Kidnapping/Massive Attack's "Angel" clip. This clip comes from the Season 2 episode "Two Cathedrals" and features Dire Straits "Brothers in Arms." The context here is a press conference following the disclosure that the President has MS and the press wondering if he is going to run again.



Tip of the hat to MGR, who sent along a cover of Massive Attack's "Angel" by Sepultura which changes the tone of the song significantly.

Sepultura -- Angel [Massive Attack Cover]