Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cinematic Titanic

If there was any doubt about my level of nerdiness, here is my post about Cinematic Titanic. This is every Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan's dream [short of the show properly coming back] as nearly every member of the original show is back making fun of bad movies. The first movie to get the Cin-Tit tribute is called The Oozing Skull. Here is the preview:

It looks like the next release will be The Wasp Woman which the group previewed at the USA Film Festival earlier this week.

The Go! Team -- Titanic Vandalism

From the Proof of Youth album.

The Flight to #3

After reading that the Flight of the Conchords scored a #3 record in the U.S. with their full-length debut by selling 52,000 records it is important to realize how far CD sales have fallen in the past decade...not to take away anything from the Conchords [they are great and I went out and bought the album on Tuesday like a good little fan] but at one time 'N Sync sold 2.4 million records in one free Radiohead albums, those days are gone and probably not to return.

Flight of the Conchords -- Bowie
From the full-length debut.

Flight of the Conchords -- Frodo
From the Folk the World bootleg.

The Party's Over

Well, it looks like the glorious days of free Radiohead albums are coming to end according to this NME article...oh, what wonderful days they were.

Radiohead -- I Am Citizen Insane
From the Com Lag (2Plus2IsFive) EP.

Radiohead -- Fog
This is the studio version from the Knives Out, Part 2 single.

Radiohead -- Fog (Again) [Live]
This is the much better live version the Com Lag (2Plus2IsFive) EP. I think this maybe the the perfect example of who Radiohead's work transforms in the live there any better example out there?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Refreshing Honesty

The best part of this video, beyond the refreshing honesty of a 7-year old, is that his punishment is not getting to play video games for the weekend...

M83 -- Car Chase Terror
From the Before Dawn Heals Us album.

Tenacious D -- Car Chase City
From The Pick of Destiny album.

Young At Heart

If you can get over your potential Coldplay bias or the fact that this song may just be about Gwyneth Paltrow's tough life, this is an outstanding performance by the elderly singing group, Young At Heart.

New Scarlett Johansson Video

First we have the new Portishead today and now the first video from the upcoming Scarlett Johansson album of Tom Waits covers...This is called "Falling Down" and you may not notice it but at the end that is David Bowie in the background.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Tuesday is National Portishead Day

So tomorrow is the big day when the new Portishead album hits North America...It has been 3,864 days since the last proper new album [September 30, 1997 -- April 29, 2008] and the reviews seem to indicate that the album may be well worth the wait...

Portishead -- Machine Gun
From the new album Third out tomorrow.

Free Coldplay Tomorrow!

From the Coldplay HQ:

We're very pleased to announce that Coldplay's new single, 'Violet Hill', will be available as a free download exclusively from for one week starting tomorrow, Tuesday April 29th, at 12.15pm UK time. This is a full week ahead of the single's conventional paid-for digital release, on Tuesday May 6th.

Then, on Wednesday May 7th, there will be a free limited edition 7-inch vinyl of 'Violet Hill' on the cover of NME magazine, backed by the exclusive B-side, 'A Spell A Rebel Yell'. You can pre-order the issue by clicking here.
Coldplay -- Don't Panic [Live on BBC Radio 1]

Coldplay -- Yellow [Acoustic]

New We Are Scientists

We are still a couple of weeks away from the new We Are Scientists album [out May 13th in North America but available as an import if you can't wait] but a single is available for download on Amazon. It is a radio edit of "After Hours" and it is typical of their power-pop awesomeness...amazingly, the word "awesomeness" is a real word in the Blogger spell check.

We Are Scientists -- After Hours [Radio Edit]

From the upcoming album Brian Trust Mastery.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Music & Lyrics: Josie Cotton "Johnny Are You Queer?"

It's hard to admit but I learned something from the Adam Corolla Show the other day. They were playing a collection of bad songs done by famous people (John Travolta's "Let Her In," etc...) and for some reason they tacked this song on the end as sort of a little known song that is great...I had never heard it but it is pretty interesting subject matter for 1982...

Johnny what's the deal boy
Is your love for real boy
When the lights are low
You never hold me close

Now I saw you today boy
Walking with them gay boys
Now you hurt me so, now I gotta know
Johnny are you queer?

'Cause when I see you dancing with your friends
I can't help wondering where I stand

I'm so afraid I'll lose you
If I can't seduce you
Is there something wrong?
Johnny come on strong.

Why are you so weird, boy?
Johny are you queer boy?
When I make a play
You're pushing me away

Johnny, are you queer?
'Cause when I see you dancing with your friends
I can't help wondering where I stand

Johnny you've forsaken
A love you could be takin'
I want to give it to you,
But you never come through

Oh, why are you so weird, boy?
Johnny, are you queer boy?
When you asked for a date
I thought that you were straight.
But Johnny, are you queer?

Johnny, are you queer boy?
Johnny, are you queer boy?
Johnny, are you queer boy?

Hey Johny.. Johny are you.. you know...

Josie Cotton -- Johnny, Are You Queer?
From the Convertible Music album.

Is This the End?

So I guess this is the end of the Madden curse?

Elvis Costello -- Green Shirt
From the Very Best of Elvis Costello.

New Turin Brakes Video

Friday, April 25, 2008


Send your music the old fashioned way to this post office box:

Matt Flaten
P.O. Box 237
Colfax, WI 54730

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"Sea-" Megapost

So I am searching for something to write about for my mega post but I'm coming up let's do the big news here in Seattle: the Seattle Seahawks released Shaun Alexander today and I think everybody was a little surprised. First the Sonics, now least it gave me an idea for my mega post...

Eugene Mirman -- Seattle, Steakhouse
From the Absurd Nighclub Comedy of Eugene Mirman album.

The Kooks -- Seaside
From the Inside In/Inside Out album.

Nirvana -- Mexican Seafood
From the Incesticide album.

Black Lips -- Sea of Blasphemy
From the Los Valientes del Mundo Nuevo live album.

Cat Power -- Sea of Love
From The Covers Record record.

Ella Fitzgerald -- Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
From the 75th Anniversary boxset.

Mott the Hoople -- Sea Diver
From the All the Young Dudes of Juno's favorite.

The Wedding Present -- Ringway to Seatac
From the Live at KEXP, Vol. 2 album.

Marcy Playground -- The Shadow of Seattle

From the Marcy Playground album.

Queen -- Seven Seas of Ryhe
From the Greatest Hits collection.

Bobby Darin -- Beyond the Sea
From the Goodfellas soundtrack.

Weinland -- Curse of the Sea
From the La Lamentor album.

Echo & the Bunnymen -- Seven Seas
From the Ocean Rain album.

The Futureheads -- Back to the Sea

From the News and Tributes album.

Modest Mouse -- March into the Sea
From the We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank album.

Bruce Springsteen -- Seaside Bar Song

From the Tracks boxset.

Feist -- Sealion
From the The Reminder album.

Travis -- The Sea
From the Re-offender single.

Coldplay -- Swallowed by the Sea
From the X&Y album.

Chavez -- The Ghost By the Sea
From the Better Days Will Haunt You collection.

British Sea Power -- Waving Flags
From the Do You Like Rock Music? album.

Doves -- Down to Sea
From the Lost Sides collection.

Margot & the Nuclear So and So's -- A Sea Chanty of Sorts
From The Dust of Retreat album.

Low -- Long Way Around the Sea
From the Christmas album.

Mclusky -- Bipolar Bears Take Seattle
From the Mcluskyism collection.


So I received an email from Hillary Clinton last for yourself:

"Dear Matthew,

Thanks to you, we won a critically important victory tonight in Pennsylvania. It's a giant step forward that will transform the landscape of the presidential race. And it couldn't have happened without you.

There will be much more to do beginning tomorrow. But tonight, let's just celebrate the fact that you and I are part of a remarkable community of people tough enough, passionate enough, and determined enough to win big when everything is on the line.

Thanks so much for all you do.

Hillary Rodham Clinton"
For a long time I have tried to be positive about this election but I think I have reached my limit. "The Landscape" has not changed. Hillary cannot win the nomination [although I have no doubt she could win the election.] Tonight Hillary won 52 delegates and Obama won 46...and Hillary whooped his ass by 10% points! A few more percentage points and we are talking about using the "L" word...landslide. But that was two weeks we have North Carolina and Indiana in which Obama is polling ahead in both states. What happens when Obama wins two more states?...nothing. Hillary will continue on until the convention no matter what.

Nirvana -- Endless, Nameless
From the With The Lights Out boxset.

Muse -- Endlessly
From the Absolution album.

Monday, April 21, 2008

2:42 Mega Post

Wired's music blog Listening Post asks the question "Is 2:42 the perfect song length?"

The post's author Eliot Van Buskirk lists these songs as running 2:42...

King Missile: "Jesus Was Way Cool"
Boards of Canada: "Sherbet Head"
The Fall: "Neighborhood of Infinity"
Galaxie 500: "Leave the Planet"
Sonic Youth: "Providence"
Smog: "Your Wedding"
Lee "Scratch" Perry: "Yakety Yak"

Not exactly the classics I was hoping are the songs from my collection that run 2:42.

Highlights include two of my favorite songs "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys and "Walk Away Renee" by The Left Banke...there maybe something to this after all!

The Kooks -- Always Where I Need To Be
From the new album Konk.

Pete Yorn -- Man in Uniform
From the Day I Forgot album.

The Zombies -- Is This the Dream [Mono Version]
From the I Love You album.

Weezer -- American Gigolo
From the underrated Maladroit album.

Weezer -- I Just Threw Out the Love Of My Dreams

The Rolling Stones -- We're Wastin' Time
From the Metamorphosis collection.

R.B. Greaves -- Take a Letter Maria
From the album called...wait for it...R.B. Greaves.

Belle & Sebastian -- Legal Man
From the Legal Man single.

The Electric Soft Parade -- Stupid Mistake
From The Human Body EP.

The Platters -- Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
From the 20 Best of Doo Wop collection.

The Hives -- Fall Is Just Something Grownups Invented
Available as a single on iTunes.

The Beatles -- Lovely Rita
From Sgt. Peppers.

Deerhoof -- Scream Team
From the Runners Four album.

Marvin Gaye -- This Love Starved Heart of Mine (It's Killing Me)
From the Summer of Motown collection.

The Damned -- New Rose
From the Damned Damned Damned album.

The Kinks -- David Watts

From the Kink Kronikles album.

The Dave Clark Five -- Glad All Over
From The Hits collection.

The Cribs -- I'm Alright Me
From The New Fellas album.

Sebadoh -- Rockstar

From the III album.

Gorillaz -- 5/4
From the 1st Gorillaz album.

Johnny Greenwood -- Future Markets
From the There Will Be Blood soundtrack.

The Beach Boys -- Don't Worry Baby
From the Made in the U.S.A. collection.

Franz Ferdinand -- You Could Have It So Much Better
From the album of the same name.

Bruce Springsteen -- From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come)
From the Essential Bruce Springsteen.

Tenacious D -- Car Chase City

From The Pick of Destiny soundtrack.

Crystal Castles vs. HEALTH -- Alice Practice
From the Crimewave single.

The Mamas & The Papas -- California Dreamin'
From the If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears album.

The Beatles -- Nowhere Man
From the Rubber Soul album.

Nine Inch Nails -- 10 Ghosts II
From the Ghosts I-IV album.

Dusty Springfield -- What Do You Do When Love Dies?
From the Dusty in Memphis album.

Elvis Presley -- Love Me Tender
From the Essential Elvis Presley collection.

The Association -- No Fair At All
From The Association's Greatest Hits.

The Vines -- Vision Valley
From the album of the same name.

Dinah Washington -- Unforgettable
From the album of the same name.

Glen Campbell -- By the Time I Get to Phoenix
From the Rhinestone Cowboy album.

The White Stripes -- It's True That We Love One Another
From the Elephant album.

Billy Bragg & Wilco -- Christ for President

From the first Mermaid Avenue album.

Black Oak Arkansas -- Jim Dandy
From the Dazed and Confused soundtrack

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers -- Don't Do Me Like That
From their Greatest Hits collection.

The Stone Roses -- The Hardest Thing in the World
From The Complete Stone Roses collection.

Simon & Garfunkel -- Homeward Bound
From the Greatest Hits collection.

Hole -- Celebrity Skin
From the album of the same name.

The Moody Blues -- I Don't Want to Go On Without You
From The Singles colelction.

The Who -- Squeeze Box
From The Ultimate collection.

The Ramones -- Pinhead
From the Loud, Fast Ramones: Their Toughest Hits collection.

The Kinks -- Nothin' in the World Can Stop Me Worryin' 'Bout That Girl
From the Rushmore soundtrack.

The Beach Boys -- God Only Knows [Mono Version]
From the Pet Sounds Sessions boxset.

The Black Lips -- Lock & Key
From the Good Bad Not Evil album.

Mates of State -- Gotta Get a Problem
From the Team Boo album.

M. Ward -- Green River [CCR cover]
From the Green River single.

Ol' Dirty Bastard -- Shimmy Shimmy Ya
From The Dirty Story -- Best of ODB collection.

The Turtles -- Grim Reaper of Love
From the 20 Greatest Hits collection.

Harry Nilsson -- Let the Good Times Roll
From the Nilsson Schmilsson album.

Moby Grape -- Someday

From the Moby Grape album.

The Left Banke -- Walk Away Renee
From There's Gonna Be a Storm collection.

Happy Birthday to Us

This week marks the 1-Year anniversary of You Are So Relevant and I must admit I am excited that CS and I have kept this thing going for so this week I will be posting "Mega Posts" in honor of our special day...

Thanks for your support and comments over the past year!

The Curse

Up on eBay for auction currently is the David Ortiz jersey that was nearly buried at the new Yankees Stadium with the proceeds going to charity.

Audioslave -- The Curse
From the Out of Exile album.

Wolf Parade -- It's a Curse
From the Apologies to the Queen Mary album.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Earth Moving

I've lived in Seattle for nearly four years now and I haven't experienced an earthquake yet...knock on wood...but this fall I will be moving to Missouri and I thought my danger of death by earthquake would be going down...but after today I'm not so sure.

From the Kansas City Star:

Yes, Kansas City, that was an earthquake this morning.

Area residents reported being shaken awake shortly after 4:30 a.m. by a rumbling sensation, which turned out to be tremors from a 5.2-magnitude quake centered in southeastern Illinois.

Carole King -- I Feel the Earth Move
This is the first song on the best album from a female solo artist of the 1970's.

Cheese Balls

In the same sense as this post and this post:

AC/DC -- She's Got Balls
From the High Voltage album.


On my list of "Things to Blog About" is the band Weinland. KCRW gave me a great reason to write about them today as they selected the band's song "God Here I Come" as their Today's Top Tune. It is not the most uplifting song and something you have to be in the right frame of mind to appreciate but it is beautiful nonetheless.

Weinland -- God Here I Come
From the La Lamentor album.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mariah & John

I am contractually obligated to post this Mariah Carey video because it stars Jack McBrayer, every one's favorite John Edwards impersonator.

Snow Patrol -- Make This Go On Forever
From the Eyes Open album.

Nature Boy

You know, every once in a while a story comes along that is too perfect for words. To start watch this:


But the more and more I think about this, Ric Flair represents more than just the blondest hair any human has ever had. He is exactly the personification of the person I think of when I hear the words "Bush tax cuts." I kid because I love.

Packer Schedule

Next year's Packers schedule came out earlier this week and here are some of the highlights:

Monday, September 8th
Home game against the Vikings
This will be Aaron Rodgers' starting debut and an official end to Brett's starting record [assuming he gets through the pre-season without injury].

Sunday, October 19th
Home game against the Colts
If the Packers are anywhere near as good as they were last season, this will be one of the premier games for the entire league let alone the Green & Gold.

Monday, December 22nd
Away game against the Bears
Above all else, we must avenge our losses to the Bears during last season.

Democratic Debate

I don't know if you watched the ABC Democratic debate last night [which may be the last one as they haven't agreed on a North Carolina debate] but if you didn't, this is all you need to know:

The boyish [George] Stephanopoulos, who has done wonders with the network's Sunday morning hour, "This Week" (as, indeed, has Gibson with the nightly "World News"), looked like an overly ambitious intern helping out at a subcommittee hearing, digging through notes for something smart-alecky and slimy. He came up with such tired tripe as a charge that Obama once associated with a nutty bomb-throwing anarchist. That was "40 years ago, when I was 8 years old," Obama said with exasperation.
If you happen to listen to The Tony Kornheiser Show online or through iPod podcasts, you know Tom Shales [the author of the above article] as the author of some of the best critical essays ever written reviewing Kathie Lee Gifford's annual Christmas specials. He takes on Kathie Lee again as she returns to morning TV here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lucky Penny

This is the type of article I love to read about doesn't change the way I feel about John McCain but I get to understand a little more about this case, his lucky coins:

McCain has a whole slew of superstitions and rituals, many stemming from his days as a Navy fighter pilot, a notoriously superstitious bunch. He won't throw a hat on a bed (bad luck), and he carries a lucky feather, a lucky compass, and a lucky penny — and nickel, and quarter.

"He had so many of them that we had to cut down — it was like a change purse in his pocket," Buchanan said with a laugh. He carries a lucky penny given to him by New Hampshire Union Leader Publisher Joseph W. McQuaid just before McCain pulled off the win there Jan. 8 (the penny was found heads up, of course).

McCain also carries a nickel he found outside his Columbia, S.C., hotel just before the primary there (and his second primary win gave him momentum into Florida, ending the race). He's also got a quarter in there, "but I think he just found that on the ground," Buchanan said. "It's always what he finds heads up." Still, it's what she called a "a lucky drummer boy quarter" — a 1976 commemorative quarter for the bicentennial.

Jimmy Eat World -- Feeling Lucky
From the newish Chase This Light album.

Radiohead -- Lucky (Live at KROQ)
The studio version can be found on OK Computer.

Confessions Of An Angry Music Fan

I received this from a friend out of the clear blue sky...

"I really hate the Gin Blossoms. Their music is banal and lice-ridden. They're going to be playing at Sawdust City Days this year. That's the mark of a fucking successful band. I want to take rocks to the show and throw them at them, either rocks at the Gin Blossoms or the Gin Blossoms at rocks -- I'm not picky. Have you ever gone to a concert to berate the band playing?

To ape Steven Colbert: "Their music is a taint, not just in the sense of a 'stain on the office,' but literally a taint - the anatomical area between the anus and the testicles."

I hate the Gin Blossoms...a lot"
Gin Blossoms -- Follow You Down
From Congratulations...I'm Sorry.

Gin Blossoms -- Hey Jealousy
From the New Miserable Experience album.

Gin Blossoms -- Allison Road
From the New Miserable Experience album.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Little Sis!

It is my sister's birthday today, so I thought I would post some songs by artists that she really likes...It pains me to say this but I would have to admit that she has a more eclectic taste in music than I do and she's taught me a thing or two about "wussy music."

Happy Birthday Avril!

Nada Surf -- Always Love (Live)
I don't know that origin of this live version but the studio version can be found on The Weight Is A Gift.

Nada Surf -- Blizzard of '77 (Live)
This is from the official Nada Surf live album, Live in Brussels.

Dolly Parton -- Better Get To Livin'
This is from her latest album Backwoods Barbie.

Dolly Parton (with Alison Kraus, Mindy Smith, and Dan Tyminski) -- The Cruel War
From the Those Were the Days album.

The Notorious B.I.G. -- Hypnotize

From the Greatest Hits album.

Freedom's Watch

The NY Times has an interesting article on the conservative 527 group Freedom's Watch. If you don't know Freedom's Watch, they do ads like this:

And they were the main focus of the push back against's "General Betray Us" adverts last year.

Here is a segment of the article:

But after a splashy debut last summer, in which it spent $15 million in a nationwide advertising blitz supporting President Bush’s troop escalation in Iraq, the group has been mostly quiet, beset by internal problems that have paralyzed it and raised questions about what kind of role, if any, it will actually play this fall.

The group was conspicuously absent this week as Gen. David H. Petraeus, the United States commander in Iraq, returned to Congress to testify. Moreover, the troubles at Freedom’s Watch come as some Democratic-aligned groups are seeking to take the offensive, with one group, Progressive Media USA, planning to raise $40 million to spend on advertisements and other efforts to undermine Senator John McCain of Arizona, the presumptive Republican nominee.

Am I Alone In This?

Am I the only one who thinks this new commercial is full of shit:

I mean, Hitler invaded Poland September 1, 1939 and the United States didn't declared war against Japan until December 8th, 1941 following Pearl Harbor. D-Day wasn't until June 6, 1944 a full 1,740 days after Hitler invaded Poland.

General Lee surrendered April 9, 1865 effectively ending the Civil War. The Civil Rights act was signed into law July 2, 1964. It only took 36,608 days to outlaw discrimination based on race.

America has a long history of dragging our feet and "waiting" on important issues. We shouldn't white wash it by saying we do all these great things "swiftly and with style." Let's not forget Winston Churchill's words: "You can always count on Americans to do the right thing -- after they've tried everything else."

The Rolling Stones -- Waiting On A Friend
From the Tattoo You album.

Franz Ferdinand -- What Are You Waiting For? (Gwen Stefani Cover)
This is from a Q Magazine CD called Q Covered -- Best of 86/06.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Last Shadow Puppets

If I get through this post without calling this band the "The Last of the Shadow Puppets" it will be a miracle....They are instead The Last Shadow Puppets and are a sort of side project of the Arctic Monkey's leader Alex Turner and some other guy who is popular in say that it is much different from the Arctic Monkeys would be a dirty lie. If you like them, you will like this.

The Last Shadow Puppets -- The Age of the Understatement

The Last Shadow Puppets -- In the Heat of the Morning (David Bowie Cover)
Both songs are from the Age of the Understatement EP.

David Bowie -- In the Heat of the Morning
From The Deram Anthology 1966-1968 collection.

Music & Lyrics: Womp-bomp-a-loom-op-a-womp-bam-boom!

One of the best games I have ever played is called Songburst in which teams battle each other for their knowledge of music lyrics. The best version is the 50's and 60's edition and as I've played with my family when I'm home some of the questions are pretty easy while others are incredibly hard.

The most difficult question is for Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti" and if you get it right, you are ceremonially named "King of Songburst." The question: what are the lyrics in the opening line of "Tutti Frtti?" It sounds easy, but in Songburst the exact wording is needed and different syllables can cost you points.

The answer is: "Womp-bomp-a-loom-op-a-womp-bam-boom!"

The "Tutti Frutti" article in Wikipedia summarizes the back story about the writing of the song nicely and to show you how great Little Richard is, just listen to Pat Boone covering "Tutti Frutti!"

Pat Boone -- Tutti Frutti [Little Richard Cover]
From the Greatest Rock 'N' Roll Songs.

Little Richard -- Tutti Frutti
From pretty much every Little Richard Greatest Hits collection, such as Greatest Gold Hits.

There Is Nothing Wrong With Kansas or Pennsylvania

As part of the political bloggers of America, it is my solemn duty to weigh in on the flap about Barack Obama's comments about Flyover Country America.

If you have not read them, here you go.

"You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them," Obama said. "And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

Most of the furor has focused on two words: bitter and cling. Those words make the voters sound like the American electorate's version of Hiroo Onoda. Those two words are why Obama is out there today apologizing for his word choice. But what struck me was not bitter or cling, but the references to guns, religion and "antipathy to people who aren't like them."

Guns are a cultural issue. To a working man in Pennsylvania or Indiana or Wisconsin, gun control is an issue about how you view him and his life, independent of whether or not his job was shipped to Central America. For those men (and women), advocates of gun control are showing they don't understand how he lives. They were taught gun safety at a young age and have a deep reverence and understanding for the carnage a gun can cause. They have a gun for hunting, which is likely a part of family tradition. I know in my family, most hunts involve three generations of Smith men. They own that gun for the off chance that someone decides to mess with them. But they would no more use a gun to commit unprovoked violence against another human than they would use their car to mow down children playing at recess. And the same goes for the guns owned by the neighbors, friends and co-workers. And this was true when the blue collar jobs were still in towns like Scranton and Lancaster and Harrisburg. The streets of Chicago may have a problem with gun violence, but the towns of Pennsylvania do not and gun ownership represents a distinct part of their lifestyle. That is why those voters focus on that issue -- it is a microcosm for understanding them.

To say that voters turn to religion or to xenophobia because their jobs are gone is just as befuddling. It is part of an argument that liberals constantly make: the working class should vote Democrat because Democrats are best for their pocketbook. As George Will put it, "
The crux of the political left's complaint about Americans is that they are insufficiently materialistic." Ironically, this argument fits best within the contours of Hillary's campaign. Her agenda is a checklist of ways to make life better for ordinary Americans: making college tuition more affordable, reworking health care, addressing the housing market. It is all about small transactions beyond a larger strategy of saying, "I'm the best candidate because you will benefit most from what I will offer." And when these voters still elect Republicans, we get asked what is the matter with Kansas.

But politics is more than choosing whose transactions will benefit you the most. Voters want to leave the country in a better place for the generations to come and that doesn't just mean they want affordable college tuition and middle class tax cuts. It's about competing visions of morality. And those issues are microcosms for what kind of country they want to bequeath. To dismiss that as nothing more than the fevered rants of a populace distracted by the loss of jobs shows a real misunderstanding of the role of culture in society. It shows an underlying belief that the cultural struggles are really nothing more than class struggles. Not only is that elitist, but it is empirically wrong.

Had Obama left his remarks to only immigrants and trade measures, he would have come much closer to truth. There is a rational relationship between saying, "The jobs are leaving. Don't bring in any more cheap labor or cheap products." But to say, "The jobs are leaving. Don't you dare touch my gun," or "The jobs are gone. But better keep the homos from getting hitched," strains the logic. Even if Obama had been more judicious in his word choice, it would not have altered the fundamental message; a message that should give us pause.

A Resolution

In Support of the Stone Temple Pilots song "Vasoline" being named the All-Time Grunge Anthem

Whereas, Stone Temple Pilots have reunited and will be touring the 2008 summer festivals, AND

Whereas, Stone Temple Pilots best album was Purple, AND

Whereas, the best song on Purple was "Vasoline," AND

Whereas, "Vasoline" starts of with that cool reverb humming, AND

Whereas, the lyrics of "Vasoline" are vague and yet important sounding [like every good grunge song], AND

Whereas, "Vasoline" has one of the best opening guitar riffs in history, AND

Whereas, "Vasoline" includes such great lyrical snippets as "blow a kiss and tried to take it home," "it has rendered me punch drunk and without bail," and "you'll eat the lies," AND

Whereas, "Vasoline" has one of the greatest videos ever made, AND

Whereas, the video includes folk dancers in lederhossen, clowns dancing, and Scott Weiland at his most healthy looking, AND

Whereas, it has Scott Weiland doing that weird dance with the cane, AND

Whereas, if Nirvana were The Beatles and Pearl Jam was The Rolling Stones, the surely Stone Temple Pilots would be The Who or maybe the Kinks, AND

Whereas, suicide should not be celebrated, AND

Be it resolved that, Stone Temple Pilots' song "Vasoline" will be considered the All-Time Grunge Anthem.

Stone Temple Pilots -- Vasoline
From the Purple album.

Ken Lee

I laughed so hard that I cried. Amazing.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


If you've got a free hour and a half, check out the documentary My Kid Could Paint That about 4-year old painting sensation Marla Olmstead. For nothing else, it makes good old Charlie Rose look like one of the biggest dicks of all time as he goes after Marla as possibly a fraud in a segment for 60 Minutes.

I couldn't find the particular 60 Minutes segment on YouTube but the trailer has some segment of the piece:

Deep Purple -- The Painter

From the Deep Purple album.

The Law -- Watching the Paint Dry

This is from an NME CD about artists on the 1965 Records label.

Music & Lyrics: The Left Banke -- "Walk Away Renee"

At the same time, The Left Banke's "Walk Away Renee" is one of the most compelling 60's recordings and also one of the most unintelligible songs ever. The title helps us some and over the years I think I have pieced together Michael Brown's lyrics for the most part but the second verse is still somewhat of a mystery to me.

"Walk Away Renee" Lyrics:

And when I see the sign that
points one way
The light we used to pass by
every day

Just walk away Renee,
You won't see me follow you back home
The empty sidewalks on my
block are not the same
You're not to blame

From deep inside the tears that
I'm forced to cry
From deep inside the pain I
I chose to hide

Just walk away Renee,
You won't see me follow you back home
Now as the rain beats down
upon my weary eyes
For me it cries

(Flute Solo)

Just walk away Renee,
You won't see me follow you back home
Now that the rain beats down upon my weary eyes
For me it cries

Your name and mine inside
a heart upon a wall
Still finds a way to haunt me,
though they're so small

Just walk away Renee,
You won't see me follow you back home
The empty sidewalks on my
block are not the same
You're not to blame
The Left Banke -- Walk Away Renee
You can download the entire There's Gonna Be A Storm: The Complete Recordings 1966-1969 on for $8.99.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wouldn't You Know It

I'm afraid that now that I know I will be moving away from Seattle in July that all these great opportunities will happen in Seattle just after I leave. Case in point, yesterday they announced a "teaser" list of performers at this year's Bumbershoot which happens each year over Labor Day weekend. Of course, two of my favorite performers/groups, Beck and Stone Temple Pilots [on a reunion tour], are playing...

Beck -- Nausea (Live on Saturday Night Live)
This is from Live on SNL! album [only available at Target].


Forget the Olympics, it's Radiohead's Greatest Hits that you need to boycott!

For background, you can read this article. In a nutshell, Radiohead's former record label, EMI, has determined what Radiohead's greatest hits are and packaged them up without any input from the band. Of course, no In Rainbows songs are included. Never mind that they have thrown "2 + 2 = 5" on the standard disk and "True Love Waits" on the Special Edition Only version. How dare they!

Radiohead -- True Love Waits
From the I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings album.

Bad News For Boeing

If there is one area of news that living in Seattle has kept me abreast of more than I should be [besides Bigfoot news] is aviation news and specifically the ups and downs of Boeing. It's been a pretty bad few months for Boeing...first they delay the 787 Dreamliner once, loose a 25 billion dollar refueling-plan contract, and now the Dreamliner is delayed again [this time until early 2009].

Albert King -- Born Under A Bad Sign
From the Born Under A Bad Sign album.