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Monday, July 31, 2006

What a very sleepy day.

Can't seem to wake myself up, no matter how much coffee I consume.

Here's the best I can do:

Synth god Jan Hammer's Miami Vice theme missing from new film.


Hasslehoff & KIT rock your shit. (Thanks, MC).

I know, I know: Not so fascinating.

In other news, Kranky just sent me a new disc by a 21-year old Midwestener going by the name Benoit Pioulard. It's not dissimilar to The Contrarian, actually. Maybe a little more gooey/hazy. And better.

I like it.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Sloganeering, etc.

I saw three great bumper stickers in the last 24 hours, two of which were on the same vehicle.

The first one was yesterday afternoon. It read simply, "If you're in a folk song, DON'T GO TO THE RIVER!"

So true. How many acoustic ballads have ended in romantic tragedy by running water? A damn few, for sure.

The next two I peeped this morning. One said, "Ban Republican Marriage," the other, "Practice Compassionate Impeachment."

Cathy just reminded me of the "Republicans for Voldemort" sticker/tee shirt. Arch.

On another note, I'm realizing that my musical tastes are extremist. On the one hand, I can't get enough of Harry Nilsson ballads. On the other, I think the new Gorgoroth (thanks Chris!) is the best black metal album of all time.

If Stevie Nicks joined Sunn O))), I'd be all set.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Help! "Wonder Showzen" has come to life!!!

There's a freaky-deeky show at Metronome this evening called Revue Nu(e).

Here's what's on deck:

Lee Anderson's psych-blues band Cccome? will make you, um....

Joe Adler and Johnnie Day drift cosmically with Electric Halo. Expect a ton of guests.

Are you a giant puppet enthusiast? Then you may dig Eagle Ager.

My favorite nerds/bullies Activists/Dictators will rob you of your virgin soul. It's OK — they'll give it back at the end of the night. But I do recommend dry cleaning.

I'll be there. I'm gonna try not to drink; tomorrow I begin recording the whispered-about "Hank & Dad" project. I can't reveal any more at this juncture, except to say that quality absinthe and cheap hip-hop beats are a part of the equation.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Hope, sweet Hope.

Casey + Hope = TLA

Murf over at False 45th has a fine post about the Jesus & Mary Chain, with links to live MP3s.

Seeing Hope Sandoval in J&MCs "Sometime Always" video made me reminisce about the wee lass and her hazy, lazy voice.

Yes indeed, I had a serious crush back in the day. Anyone who says guys don't fantasize about running through the heather chasing butterflies with an ethereal moon pixie are full of shit.

I recently watched an old clip of Mazzy Star performing on "Conan O' Brien." After they finish playing, Conan comes over to congratulate the musicians, as he's wont to do. Hope just stares at him confusedly, like he's got two heads. I swear she was under sedation for the band's entire career. Then again, so was I.

I saw them live in 1994. So lovely and enveloping.

In tribute to the queen of narcotic soft rock:

The day before my birthday, 1994:

Sunday, July 23, 2006

OK- I'm getting obsessed.

I found this clip of the aforeposted DragonForce on YouTube. It features the band's two guitarists playing the solo to the song "Through Fire and Flames." The best part is that they actually put a box at the bottom of the screen so you can watch their hands close up. What geeks!

Friday, July 21, 2006


I wasn't able to editorialize about it in this last issue, but tomorrow there's a fun little concert at Battery Park. It's called "Art Zoo," and features Anna Pardenik, Rob Koier, Momster, the 78s, Magic Sparkle, the Cush, and more.

I'll definitely be there. It's right by my house, so I can stumble out in my bathrobe, BW style.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Thine Chalice Runneth Over.


I've always found "power metal" (or "adventure metal," as it's sometimes known) to be the most ridiculous of hard-rock genres. With all their neo-classical riffing and quasi-operatic vocals, bands of this variety are practically begging to be poked fun at.

Still, I admit to being compelled by D&D-inspired rockers. What would make a man (or woman) sing of wizards and battlements, anyway? The answer may never be clear. At least not to me.

Yesterday, while struggling to choose the spotlights for next week's issue, I discovered that British power metallers DragonForce are playing at Higher Ground. It's in the Ballroom, so they must be expecting some kind of turnout. I had no idea this kind of sound was a draw in sleepy Vermont. Maybe there are orcs in these here hills.

Anyway, here's one of their tunes: "Through the Fire & Flames"

It's totally goofy, no?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Ups, downs and back-arounds.

I recently reconnected with my old friend and musical mentor Mark G. Cooley. To say he was a major influence on me is putting it mildly. From Sonic Youth to Segovia, the dude primed me for a life in music.

Mark is one of the most humble, talented and gracious individuals I've known in my entire life. Close to the only one!

I fell out of touch with him at least ten years ago, due to geographical distance and personal negligence. In the meantime, he's had gallery installations all over the country, and continues to create and record some mighty fine music. As a matter of fact, it's a lot like the shit I've been listening to over the last few years.

Anyway, I'm gonna hang out with him in a couple of weeks, and we're getting ready to start a long-distance musical collaboration that I'm guessing may be the greatest thing ever put to hard drive. If it goes well, I'm actually gonna push it a lot further than B-town, where I rarely push at all.

So that's cool.

But everything else is a pain in the ass: tracking down photos of bands for the paper (sometimes harder than you can imagine), meeting deadlines, and generally trying to stay above water. I've also been having a hard time getting hold of people who I need to do some basic business with.

But here is here, and now is now.

Someday — and hopefully not too long — we'll be in a different space entirely. Looking forward to that.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Rock Opera tonite.

Steve Tremblay of Cave Bees is playing his epic song cycle "Famous Alligator" tonight at 1/2 Lounge. Chances are I'll be at Higher Ground for Konono no. 1, but it's a tough call. The fact that I'm nearly broke will likely be a factor in my decision. Drinks at Half are kinda pricey.

Here's more info, straight from the horse's mouth:

Hey everybody,
please come down to the AIR CONDITIONED 1/2 bar on
Tuesday to see Steve play his rock opera, FAMOUS
ALLIGATOR in its entirety.

There will be booklets available containing all the
pertinent information (character descriptions, lyrics,
which character is singing what), so you can read
along and find out what this rock opera is all about.

Fans of the CAVE BEES will recognize about half of the
songs from the rock opera, as they make up about 3/4
of the CAVE BEES set.

Famous Alligator is written in 3 acts, and between
acts there will be intermission entertainment provided
by MORTAL WOUND AND THE BOBOS, Chris Beneke's one-man
garage band.

This gig was only listed in the paper as MORTAL WOUND
AND THE BOBOS, so I'd appreciate it if you'd all
forward this along to all the local rock supporters to
get the word out.(thanks)

Come on down, 7/18 Tuesday night 9pm, to the 1/2
lounge at 136 1/2 Church st., Burlington.

yours in rock,

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Far out git-box.

EO blogs about the TRITARE!

I better start savin' up.

A chunk o' random.

I wonder if any of my blog readership attended the Trey/Mike/Phil Lesh & His Hired Guns concert at the fairgrounds last night. Heard it was pretty muddy. The Godz of Jam must have a rule that all such shows Shall Be Rained On.

Anyway, here are a couple of related tidbits:

Last night when I got home, I discovered a credit card "pre-approval" letter in my mailbox. Nothing strange there, I get 'em every day. The weird thing is that it was for an American Express Business Gold Rewards Card.

Stranger still was its intended recipient:

XX X Street
Burlington, VT

Yep, that's my address, with critical details omitted for "security" reasons. I don't trust you internet lot.

But why was it for a defunct B-town jam band? A depraved joke, or cosmic coincidence? And why did it arrive on the eve of Anastasio and Gordon's local performance?

I think I'm gonna torch the sucker. It's bad juju.

Onwards. I found out via The Onion's pop culture blog "The Hater" that psychotic, right-wing bimbo Anne Coulter was a Deadhead in college. This doesn't actually surprise me. In fact, the spoiled-rotten, whitebread, trust fund assholes clamoring around that scene in the late '80s and early '90s kept me from listening to the band for at least a decade.

Completely unrelated:

I received an e-mail this morning from one KM, with the subject line "I used to love the outro music to WKRP in Cincinatti." That's a reference to a post from back in April.

Its author claims to have "played that guitar."

Is that you, Mr. Meaker? If so, great work!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Lights Out, You Crazy Diamond.


Syd Barrett, The Pink Floyd's original Madcap, has bought the farm.

SB: "Effervescing Elephant"

PS: I totally beat Pitchfork to the punch. But I've heard they have a larger readership. ;)

In happier news, the prescription inhalant my MD gave me yesterday has already started to work. Which means no more bitching about my ear. Well, for now, anyway.

Also, be sure to go see Jolie Holland at Higher Ground on Thursday. And read my article about her in tomorrow's issue.

After Holland's set, you can go to Metronome to see The Hero Cycle and Fire the Cannons kick off their tour.

Monday, July 10, 2006

10 Things To Do In Burlington When You're Deaf.

So, here I am with a busted ear again. Since listening to music is excruciating (not to mention out-of-tune), I've found some substitute activities.

#1. Read. A lot. Currently, I'm immersed in the world of contemporary French novelist Michel Houellebecq. I normally don't do fiction, but this guy's a real pill. I've also been re-reading  H.P. Lovecraft. Interestingly, Houellebecq penned a book of essays about his work called H.P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life. (Keep in mind that Houellebecq doesn't write horror — he's just nuts.) I own it, but have yet to make it past the introduction by Stephen King.

#2. Watch movies and the like. Well, as long as they don't have a lot of music in them. Piano soundtracks especially hurt my ear. Brooke and I got bored and ordered "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" from Adelphia the other night. It was pretty ridiculous. But we have a weird Robert Downey Jr. fetish. He actually contributes a song to the film! And while the rest of the world consumes episodes of "Lost," we've been geeking out to Sorkin-era "West Wing." Don't get me started on that guy.

#3. I sometimes go to the gym to vent my frustrations at being tormented by God.

#4. Drink. Before the return of my ear thingie, I had cut back on the booze big time. Now I'm back to using it as a crutch. "Oh, demon alcohol," as Ray Davies once sang.

#5. Contemplate quantum physics. That is, in my incredibly limited capacity. I also need a refresher on the principles of evolution. Any hard-core Darwinists among you?

#6. Contemplate human suffering. It all seems so unnecessary, really.

#7. Juggle the cats. No, really.

#8. Eat salad and fruit. It's so good. And good for you!

#9. Sit around practicing scales. There's nothing to do in the studio other than get my shred on. It doesn't even require ears.

#10. Go for walks. After all, there's a big pretty lake right by my house.

So there you have it. Now I'm off to the doctor for another round of We Can't Figure It Out.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Face the Case.

That's my new catchphrase. Do ya like it?

I was thinking of going to Metronome tonight to catch Tell No One's CD release party with Carrigan and Manifest Nexto Me, but my damn ear is all deaf again and it's driving me crazy. So I'll probably skip it.

I went to the doctor yesterday, but they couldn't figure out what was wrong. That didn't stop 'em from charging $100. Oh, they gave me, like, four Benadryl. Now I'm too woozy to write.

And I've got a lot to write.

Enough of my complaining. Check out this bizarre cover of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir."

It's by some lady named Erika Stucky.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Diamonds are Forever.

Trust the Dust.

I'm planning on putting together a full San Francisco update, but for the meantime, dig this:

Brooke and I were hanging out on the docks (no jokes please) when we happened upon a sidewalk sign for some comedy club called the Green Room. Neither of us had actually ever been to such a place, but that's beside the point. What really caught our attention (actually Brooke's) was the picture on the marquee.

"Is that Screech?" she asked, squeezing my arm.

Indeed, it was. Dustin Diamond, star of TV's "Saved by the Bell" was staring back at us from the board. The show, which featured only one opening act, started at 8:30 p.m. At that moment it was around 6. While I was intrigued by the idea of checking out Screech's stand-up, we had some time to kill, and I was getting hungry.

"Let's go get something to eat first, and if we're feeling up to it, maybe we can go see the show," I said. It was agreed.

Dinner was consumed, and margaritas guzzled.

Walking back past the club, we again paused before Diamond's unmistakable visage. I was still on the fence, but Brooke pushed me over it with gusto.

"We have to go see him," she said. "If we don't, we'll end up torturing ourselves wondering what it was like."

She had a point. We weaved through the human detritus to the club entrance, where a gussied-up chick was standing behind some kind of podium. This was the Gatekeeper. Suddenly it dawned on me that this was a real show, where they, like, charge admission.

"What if it's too expensive?" I asked Brooke.

"Should we set a limit?" she replied. We decided on twenty bucks, which turned out to be the ticket price. Kinda steep. But at that moment Screech himself walked by.

"How was your hamburger?" the Gatekeeper inquired, as Screech opened the door with authority.

"It was sooo damn good," he answered, before vanishing into the venue.

"He's really dirty," the Gatekeeper said to us, as if confiding a secret.

OK. We have to see this fucker. Paying the cover, we entered the venue.

Inside, we took our seats at a tiny table near the right side of the stage. We could have sat dead center, but I figured that might be a little too risky. Who knows if Screech will attack?

Comprising the audience was a gaggle of college-age gals, a few thirtysomething couples, and a contingent of older folks positioned on the opposite side as ourselves.

The opening act was about as dull as one might expect. What does it say about your talent if you're warming up for Screech? Twenty bucks was beginning to seem like a real waste of money.

Finally, Dustin took the stage. He immediately launched into a spiel about "Grandma porn," which was neither shocking nor provocative. The lamest part is that he kept anticipating differing reactions from the males and females in the crowd. "You guys know what I'm talking about," he'd say. "But you chicks are, like, ummm...."

Wow. That's almost as funny as noting the differences between how white people and black people dance.

He later told a convoluted tale about an old Jewish woman who happpened to catch one of his performances. Apparently, she enjoyed his rap about geriatric genitals. The story resolved itself in a "punch line" in which the elderly gal lifts up her skirt and yells, "Soup!" Don't ask me what the fuck that means, but he used it as as a "callback" throughout the set.

At that point, a handful of the older folks in the crowd got up and left.

"Where are you going?" Screech asked. "To take a shit?" Still not funny.

Soon we were treated to the revelation that Mark-Paul Gosselaar (who played Zach on SBTB) was in fact, a homosexual. "All I'm sayin' is that Zach loves the cock," Screech said. "Trust the Dust."

And there's another one: "Trust the Dust." What a sorry-ass catchphrase.

It wasn't a total wash, however. Diamond had one really funny bit where he was mistaken for an employee at Wal-Mart by a less than brilliant customer. Said shopper implored him to "get back to the breakroom and put on an apron," which he did. Diamond summarily re-arranged the entire Bay Area store to his likings.

"First things first: I put the Visine next to the Twinkies, where they belong," he said. For proof of his tale, he pulled a Wal-Mart apron from the bag he'd brought onstage. It seemed plausible enough, and showed the lengths to which Screech will go for his "comedy."

Trust the Dust.

At the end of the night, we headed for the restrooms, where a major line had developed due to a suspicious lack of porcelain. One of the employees, a stocky Mexican fella who looked like he'd stepped out of central casting for a spaghetti western, began to chat me up.

"It's great you came in tonight," he said.

"Yeah, it was fun," I replied.

"So what's up with those old people walking out?" He asked me.

"I dunno. I was on the other side of the crowd."

"Well I guess they were Christians."


"Yeah, they came and gave me a hard time about how offended they were."


"Can you believe that?"

"What I can't believe is why older folks who have conservative religious beliefs would even enter a comedy club."

By that point I'd managed to complete my transaction.

"I know, it man. Well, have a good one, buddy."

In Brooke's bathroom line, the ladies expressed indignation at something entirely different. No, it wasn't Diamond's million references to feminine hygiene, or even his "Grandma porn" bit. It was the fact that "Zach" was gay. No one wanted to believe it.

People are sad and ridiculous.

Still, it was a fun night. You gotta admit, Screech is hardly who you'd expect me to go see in San Francisco.

Supposedly Diamond has a TV comedy special coming up. At least that's what he says. And as you've learned, it's all about trust. Anyway, maybe you can catch a glimpse of "The Dust" in action.

POSTSCRIPT: This isn't Dustin Diamond's home page. Apparently, he sued the webmaster. Unsuccessfully.

This is. T the D, kiddies.

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