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Thursday, June 30, 2005

My favoritist website!

I'm planning on making a list of local band websites to link to from my blog, but I haven't had time. Yeah — I'm busy.

Busy falling asleep at 8:30 p.m. in front of an Asian horror flick.

Busy not drinking.

Busy trying to figure out if I really like The Who or not. I should have an answer before I die.

Busy slaying dragons.

Until I get around to compiling these sites, check out my favorite one! You've heard of these miscreants, I'm sure. So why not take a cyberstroll to and enjoy some irreverent humor and adorable boy-band poses?

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Fun with the internets.

Our illustrious Calendar Writer Meghan DeWald contributes this:

"I have no idea how recent this is, or how accurate, but it's a neat toy: Big Brother!

Apparently, it's self-generating, based on server software that "learns" from interactions with users.

The database isn't maintained by a person, from what I can tell: The Global Network of Dreams"

Jeesh, Meghan. It's hard enough to get any work done without distractions like this!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Today's tidbit of wisdom...

Comes from Frank Zappa, who is much missed in this era of media censure and cultural homogeneity.

"Most rock journalism is by people who can't write, interviewing people who can't speak, for people who can't read."

I concur.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Pod People!

This also has nothing to do with music. Unless you count the chimes of terror in my heart when I stumbled across: THE POD PEOPLE.

Although I'm involved in some geeky stuff, like music production, I'm really starting to show my age, mainly through an unconscious resistance to new technologies. The other day, I found myself getting grumpy about "Live on Demand" — the authorized CD bootlegging of concerts that you just watched. I don't know why, exactly. And another one is Podcasting, which I still don't understand.

Anyway, I was strolling past the Radio Bean recently, and happened to glance inside.
Gathered around a table filled with microphones, headphones and laptops were four of the most unlikely folks I'd have ever imagined occupying an empty coffee shop on a Friday afternoon.

Seven Days' own Cathy Resmer, Matt G. Paradise — who is a far darker lord than I — media whiz Bill Simmon, and freaky artist/illustrator Greg Giordano were podcasting  their little hearts out. They beckoned me in, but I was too frightened. Luckily my cellphone rang, giving me an excuse to beat a hasty retreat.

Beware, Burlingtonians. It's like some wi-fi Invasion of the Body Snatchers out there.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Talk about pretentious...

Billy Corgan is at it again.

Apparently, he wants to re-form the Smashing Pumpkins, and just had to tell the world about it via a full-page ad in the Chicago Tribune.

Make sure you click the link within the article, so you can see his gigantic bald head in all its newsprint glory.

Did you kids see the rock show?

What did you think of the Sleater-Kinney show?

I thought S-K kicked ass. Dead Meadow  were pretty cool, if a little repetitive. But I really dug their drummer. Their was a bit mudddy though, and I don't know where their 2nd guitarist was.

Please, please, tell me what you thought. It gets lonely here in the blogosphere.

Don't make me beg.

Oh wait, I guess I just did.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Local boy makes good...

My friend Scott Taylor — leader of epic rockers User Shorty Patent Company and erstwhile music journalist — has been racking up some press lately.

According to Taylor, "write-ups in Boston's The Noise and Northampton's The Advocate both cite drugs as the major source of the album's sound.  Yeah, thanks - I'll be sure to send those off to my Dad."

Maybe if you wrote a song UNDER 10 minutes, man!

Taylor also reports that the national magazine Under the Radar  — a fine publication, I might add — has the disc slated for review in their next issue. "I pray the person actually listens to the album more than once this time," he says. Hey — is that a dig at me?

In related news, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals new manager Justin Goldberg has given User Shorty Patent Co. a spot on his  Indie 911 website. "Justin claims to actually like the album, but he could be just saying that because Grace played on it," Taylor says.

Aw, c'mon. He probably does like it — not everybody in this business is jaded and cynical.

Most. But not all.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Jukebox Hero!

Man, I love the jukebox at my neighborhood watering hole, T-Ruggs. Well, one of my neighborhood watering holes. When you live as close to downtown Burlington as I do, you become pretty intimate with most of the Queen City's booze rooms.

Anyway, T-Ruggs has this hi-tech, super-slick touchscreen jukebox that's the envy of every other bar in town. Or in-state, for that matter. Sure, the selection is a little lacking, but the thing sounds AWESOME! Now I want one in my apartment, but with some Kinks, Blue Oyster Cult (1st three albums, of course) and Debussy on there.

So T-Ruggs was definitely the place to be for at least a half-hour last night. I rocked some Steely Dan, Thin Lizzy, Guns n-f!@#$'n Roses, Mars Volta, and even a little Mazzy Star. You need something soothing to come down from such dizzying rock 'n' roll heights.

Oh, and apparently I told a percussionist/pool shark friend of mine that if I had a kit, I'd be better than the drummer for The Mars Volta in 5 months. Must've been the Bud Lite talkin.'

Friday, June 17, 2005

Let Michael know you care...

This is pretty silly, and it has absolutely NOTHING to do with local music, but I simply had to do something with it:

A company called Contact Any Celebrity — a for-profit subscription website that purportedly provides the addresses of any celebrity in America — has generously provided Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch address for the purposes of promotion.

They claim they are making it available to "fans who wish to write to Michael congratulating him on being found 'not guilty' on all counts."

Of course, one imagines you could write to him to accuse him of pedophillia, bitch about his string of shitty albums or even ask him what the hell happened to his face.

But good taste would probably prevent most of you from doing so.

Anyway, here it is:

Michael Jackson
Neverland Ranch
P.O. Box 9
Los Olivios, CA

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

We get letters!

I am always thrilled by the mail that we get at Seven Days, particularly when it's a music related letter.

Loyal readers may recall a piece we published in our recent Music Issue that took bands to task for their "lame" presskits. "Selling the Fizzle" was written by one Andy Smetanka, a former Music Editor for an alt-newsweekly in Montana. Smetanka is something of a legend in his neck of the woods, having played in numerous bands. He also recently made a video for lit-rock superstars The Decemberists.

The idea for the piece was mine, but we figured that given his history, he would have plenty of tales to tell.

Anyway, there have been a handful of Letters to the Editor about the article, some full of praise for "telling it like it is," others upset about Smetanka's percieved insolence.

I would like to re-iterate that the piece was intended to be humorous.

That having been said, if bands would actually heed some of the "tips" in the article, their chances for press exposure would greatly improve.

This week's letter, from Larry Dolan of Morrisonville, advises bands not to "waste their energy trying to gain the attention of insipid rock critics — they usually are writing about music because they couldn't hack it as a performer."

While this may indeed be the case for SOME jaded critics, others, like myself, have had a pretty good run performing. And recording. And producing. And now, writing.

Bottom line: Some music sucks. Some music sucks and is promoted poorly.

Mediocrity seems to be a cultural norm these days. That doesn't mean we have to condone it, even if it comes from our own backyard.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

...And I feel fine!

Besides the Biblical signs of the apocalypse — Four Horsemen,  Whore of Babylon, etc. — there are less formal harbingers as well. While a Pink Floyd reunion including Roger Waters isn't mentioned in the Book of Revelations, it's definitely a major omen.

The show (only one thus far) takes place in the UK. You'll probably have to put your house on the market to get a ticket.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Cool interview in this Wednesday's paper...

Make sure you pick up the Wednesday, June 15 issue of Seven Days — I did a bitchin' interview with Sleater-Kinney's drum goddess Janet Weiss. We talked about politics and Led Zeppelin; two of my most beloved topics.

They play Higher Ground on June 21.

Oh, and their new album The Woods is worthy of the hype it's been getting.

My old pals at Pure Pop Records in Burlington probably have it on sale, so pick it up and start memorizing the songs.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Remember The Fags? How 'bout Gogol Bordello?

I do. Lead singer/guitarist Eugene Hutz (formerly Nicolaev) left Burlington several years ago to seek fame and fortune in the Big Apple. Guess what?

He found it.

Eugene has been featured as a model in the New York Times Magazine (sportin' a huge handlebar 'stache, I might add) and his band Gogol Bordello have several releases under their belt and fill rooms wherever they go.

Now he's a movie star.

Yep, Eugene has TOP BILLING alongside adorable hobbit Elijah Woods in the film adaptation of "Everything is Illuminated," a best-selling novel by precocious boy-genius author Jonathan Safran Foer.

Fellow Burl. ex-pat Jason Cooley (who used to play with Eugene in The Fags) told me in an e-mail that he caught a brief glimpse of the rising star on a busy city street. According to Cooley, Eugene was being trailed by a documentary crew, who were following him to Kiev, where he was to DJ his old haunts.

Anyway, I'm s'posed to do an article on Eugene Hutz sometime in August. That is, if he isn't too huge by then.

He used to call me "Mussolini" back when I was a rock star.

check it: Gogol Bordello

Oh, and I'm not making this stuff up!


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I always thought Beck was a little creepy...

You may or may not be aware of Beck's lifelong involvement with Scientology. You might not care. You might be afraid that you'll be taken away in the night if you talk about it. Well, I'm not frightened!

The worldwide web might eventually prove to be the cult's undoing, as more and more information about their manipulation techniques becomes available. And we all know how reliable a source of information the internet is.

Anyway, I found this incredibly comprehensive account (perhaps the only account) of Beck's secret background. It's long, it's dense, but it deserves to be read.

Check it out:spooky stuff.

Colin drops some news...

My frequent e-mail buddy Colin Clary has a few weblinks you might want to check out. I wrote up a big 'ol chunk of news about him for next week's paper, but I figured, why not drop a few URLs on my hot new blog?

First up, check out out his new  tune “Loneliest on Weekends.”  You can get for free right here: MundaneSounds Compliation .

His long-awaited full-length solo album is also out, available from CDR label Asaurus Records. It's called Sweater Weather or Not, These are the Songs I Got, and it's cheap!

Clary's goin' on a big house tour, as well, joined by pal Kevin Huelbig, Jr. Tourdates are on Kevin's site.

Let's be open about things, shall we?

I was recently asked why Seven Days hadn't covered a certain specific band all that much lately. Said band is of the "jam" variety, and are one of the Green Mountains' biggest musical exports.

The answer I gave was simple: I rely on the bands (or their representatives) to send me news. My Sound Bites column is an open forum designed to keep the community up to date on local musical goings-on, space and deadlines permitting, of course. But I need you to keep me informed. I ain't no psychic.

As far as feature articles are concerned, those get hashed out between myself and my editors. It helps when I've taken a particular shine to a group, but I've covered everything from a capella to punk rock. Yes, even jam.

That having been said, part of this gig is being a critic. I know some folks don't take kindly to anyone harshing on a local band, but, having seen nearly every side of this freakish business, I have to say it's better to take your lumps here before getting completely torn apart in a larger, more competitive and less forgiving market.

I personally enjoy lots of music -- from the Allman Brothers to Black Metal, so keep working at whatever you do, and I'll do my best to get you some press.

College kids weep copiously.

It appears that the Zooma festival -- which was to feature Trey, Ben Harper and Jurrasic 5, among others -- has been cancelled due to lack of interest.

Meanwhile corporate country music packages and generic hard rock fests continue to earn huge revenue.

Check it: guess it's Ozzfest for y'all  

Yeah, yeah. it's from Pitchfork. They're still good for news, at least.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Hey Kids, welcome to my damn blog!!!

Well, here it is. I know it ain't much right now, but dontchoo worry -- we'll get 'er fixed up nice an' spiffy right quick.

So bands -- send me the links to your websites and MP3's. If I'm feeling it, I'll throw something up here. If I'm not, I'll just throw up.

Oh, check out the reigning kings of VT music related blogs:

my local blog heroes, Icebox Records

Read their hillarious, pithy and often touching rants under "Journals." Icebox is also the straight-up coolest label in the state -- their 3" series features all sorts of stuff, from blissed out rock to electronica and field recordings. No hippie-jambands or whiteboy faux-funk, though. But you know where to get that kind of thing already.

Tell 'em I sent 'ya.

Or don't.

Stay tuned!

-The Dark Lord.

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