Thursday, December 29, 2005

Overt Movie Critics

Want to know what an Overt "top-ten movies of the year" list looks like? Check out Stephanie Zacharek's at Salon (you'll have to watch a commerical). Check out these names: Arnaud Desplechin, Marco Tullio Giordana, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Jacques Audiard. I'm not saying the movies aren't great, but you have to admit that Zacharek's just being Overt in selecting them. Zacharek did include "King Kong" to throw us, but that's only because there's not a backlash against Peter Jackson yet.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Devo, For Kids

From Yahoo!:

A new generation of music fans will get hip to one of new wave's most iconic acts through Devo 2.0. For the project, all five members of Devo regrouped to re-record some of its best known songs, including the 1980 hit "Whip It!" with vocals provided by a quintet of kids. Also included will be "Cyclops" and "The Winner," the first new studio tracks from Devo in nearly two decades.

The "Devo 2.0" CD is due March 17 via Disney Sound, a family-oriented division of Walt Disney Records. A companion DVD will feature animated and live-action videos for each of the tracks directed by Devo bassist Gerry Casale.
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Calling this project Devo 2.0 is Advanced.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Cyndi Lauper on Broadway

From Yahoo!:

Pop star Cyndi Lauper will make her Broadway debut next year in "The Threepenny Opera," playing the prostitute Jenny in the satirical musical about a highwayman and his sweetheart. The role of Jenny was originally slated to be played by "Sopranos" star Edie Falco, but she dropped out earlier this month and opened the way for Lauper....
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I'm always pulling for Cyndi Lauper for some reason.

Anyway, I'm getting ready to head out to Seattle for Christmas, so posts will be sporadic until the New Year. Here's hoping eveyone gets a copy of "Metal Machine Music" this holiday season...

Da Letterman Code

This isn't really about Advancement (though Lou Reed has been known to appear on David Letterman's show from time to time), but I thought I'd share this with you because it's interesting. From Yahoo!:

David Letterman...has a female fan accusing him of sending coded messages to her over the airwaves. And he also has a New Mexico judge who has issued a restraining order for him to stop. Lawyers for Letterman this week asked for the restraining order to be thrown out, saying, "The claims made are obviously absurd and frivolous."

Letterman's Los Angeles-based attorney, Jim Jackoway, said in a statement on Wednesday that the order "constitutes an unfortunate abuse of the judicial process." Santa Fe District Court Judge Daniel Sanchez signed an order last week requiring the star of the CBS "Late Show with David Letterman," which is taped in New York City, to stay at least 100 yards away from Colleen Nestler and to refrain from contacting her.

Nestler claimed in her petition for a restraining order that Letterman had caused her bankruptcy, mental cruelty and sleep deprivation since May 1994. She asked that in addition to being barred from approaching or contacting her that Letterman be ordered to not "think of me, and release me from his mental harassment and hammering."

...Nestler wrote that she began sending Letterman "thoughts of love" in 1993 and that he responded to her on his show through the use of code words, gestures and "eye expressions" conveying his desire to marry her and train her as his co-host.
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This is the most brilliant use of reverse psychiatry I've ever heard. She's got him fighting for the right to see and communicate with her. Genius.

The Who to Tour in '06

From rollingstone.com:

The Who will launch a world tour this summer that will bring the band to North America for its first extended trek in nearly four years. "We plan to visit the USA, Europe, Japan, Australia and also South America," manager Bill Curbishley says.

"I don't want to stop, and I don't think Pete does," frontman Roger Daltrey told Rolling Stone in the fall. The Who have been working on a new album, Who2, on and off for the past decade and are scheduled to go back into the studio in February. There's no word on whether the summer tour will feature new songs, but in March guitarist Pete Townshend posted in his online diary, "I feel I can't tour any more with the Who without a new record."

Townshend's girlfriend, singer-songwriter Rachel Fuller, may open some dates on the tour.
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Well, I guess it's been worth it, then.

Carmine Giovinazzo: Advanced Actor?

I just came across this bit at fishbowl:

I know I'm not the only LAT reader who looks forward to learning about the leisure habits of minor celebrities in the Thursday Calendar column 'My Favorite Weekend.' Who knew there were so many places in SoCal to order Eggs Benedict? This week's My-Favorite-Weekender is 'CSI: NY' star Carmine Giovinazzo, who takes a slightly unusual M.F.W. tack:

"I've been here since 1997, but I really don't know Malibu from Venice, so I might like to go by the ocean on a Friday night and hang out.... After that, I'd go see Lou Reed at a live show. He's a real storyteller with his songs.... I'd love to go out to the ballpark and see the Dodgers and Mets, or the Dodgers and Yankees if they had interleague play."

A baseball game and a Lou Reed show: That is a good Advanced weekend.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Mariah Is Our Elvis

I just read this: "Mariah Carey notches her 17th No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 this week as "Don't Forget About Us" ascends one rung to the top of the chart. Carey and Elvis Presley are now tied for second place among artists with the most No. 1 hits in the rock era." I don't know what to do with this information.

Nada Surf

As in, I've been surfing the Web all day and found nada for my blog! Let's hope for a busy afternoon...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Oh! Sweet Sumthin': New Velvet Underground Release

From billboard.com:

Rhino has set a Jan. 24 release for the DVD debut of the Velvet Underground's "Live MCMXCIII," which chronicled the legendary act's brief 1993 reunion tour. Previously only available on VHS, "Live" was taped June 15-17, 1993, at Paris' Olympia and has here been remixed in 5.1 Surround Sound. The 15-song track list features such classic cuts as "Venus in Furs," "Femme Fatale," "Rock'n'Roll," "Sweet Jan," "I'm Waiting for the Man," "Heroin" and "Pale Blue Eyes." "Live" features the final performances of VU guitarist Sterling Morrison with bandmates Lou Reed, John Cale and Maureen Tucker, as he died of cancer in 1995.
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Now that's what I'm talkin' about!

The Power of the Flaming Lips

From billboard.com:

The Flaming Lips will unveil their highly anticipated new album, "At War With the Mystics," April 4 via Warner Bros. Although the full track list has not yet been announced, first single "The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song" will be commercially released March 27 in the United Kingdom. That cut was inspired by the elaborate layered vocal harmonies the Lips recorded for a cover of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" that appeared on a recent tribute album.

"We were perfectly able to conquer the challenges Queen presented, so [group member] Steven [Drozd] continued doing these strange vocal arrangements of him singing into a microphone 30 times or something," frontman Wayne Coyne told Billboard.com in October. "We took that vocal treatment and made a song out of it. It ends up being a self-empowering thing -- almost like an MC5 thing, but it's not talking about external things. It's talking about the power within you. What would you do if you had the power?"
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The Flaming Lips aren't Advanced exactly, but they are pretty interesting. And I love the quote, "We were perfectly able to conquer the challenges Queen presented." I think a collaboration with Paul Rodgers should be next.

Lou Reed to Play the 2006 Winter Olympics

From the Poughkeepsie Journal:

"Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Lou Reed on Feb. 11 will bring his band to the Bardavon 1869 Opera House in Poughkeepsie for a concert, one of only two New York shows he will play before performing at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Italy."

Obviously Italy is gunning for the gold medal in the Advanced Country competition, so America needs to step up. Is it too much to ask to have a Velvet Underground reunion (with Gwen Stefani doing the Nico parts) at next year's Super Bowl?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Fairytale of New York Video Stream

See it here. The Pogues have rereleased it and will be "donating proceeds from the record to the homeless charity Crisis At Christmas and the Justice For Kirsty Campaign. Set up by the late singer’s mother Jean, the fund has enabled the family to fight the long legal battle for justice following the tragic death of their daughter...." Sorry, no Quicktime for some reason.

Strike Is No Ball

Nothing is going on in the Advanced world so far. I blame the transit strike.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Theroux Bono From the Train

From contactmusic.com:

American travel writer PAUL THEROUX has slammed BONO's poverty awareness tactics - claiming the U2 star has no idea about what third world countries really need to tackle their problems. Theroux, who has written extensively about Africa and penned the travel memoir DARK STAR SAFARI, is concerned Bono is doing more harm than good by "badgering people for money" when education is the real key to Africa's redemption. He says, "There are probably more annoying things than being hectored about African development by a wealthy Irish rock star in a cowboy hat, but I can't think of one at the moment."
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Oh Theroux, why don't you go back to Walden pond, where you belong! Oh, and by the way, you stunk in "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle."

Bob Dylan Musical Coming in January

From the New York Times:

"The Times They Are a-Changin'," a new musical headed for Broadway, directed and choreographed by Twyla Tharp based on songs by Bob Dylan, will be about a low-rent traveling circus run by one Captain Arab and the longings of his son, Coyote, for the world outside the family business, according to a tantalizingly brief announcement by the Old Globe Theater in San Diego, where the show is to have its world premiere next month. Another character in the show is Cleo, a young animal trainer in the circus who is exploited by Captain Arab but loved by his son. Dylan fans' ears will perk up at the references to the songs "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream" ("I yelled for Captain Arab/ I have yuh understand") and "Ballad of Hollis Brown" ("Way out in the wilderness/ A cold coyote calls"), but no other details of the plot were revealed. The show is to star Michael Arden ("Big River") as Coyote, Jenn Colella ("Urban Cowboy") as Cleo, and Paul Kandel ("The Who's Tommy," "Titanic") as Captain Arab. It begins Jan. 25 and runs through March 5.
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This is so awesomely Advanced that I can hardly stand it.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Bono is POY: "Time" Makes an Advanced Choice

Bono, along with Bill and Melinda Gates, is one of "Time" magazine's persons of the year. Also, "Waiter" magazine has named Lou Reed as AOY.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

All I Want for Christmas Is Lou Reed's Leather Jacket

Here's something I just came across:

The New York Times is running their fifth annual Arts & Leisure Weekend January 5-9 , 2006 and to start it off Christie’s is hosting the first-ever New York Times Auction for The Arts. Online prebids are underway and end on January 4, 2006. Items up for sale include this lithograph of a wrapped champagne bottle by Christo, Lou Reed’s autographed leather jacket, a V.I.P. package to see “The Odd Couple”, a chance to golf and have lunch with Bill Murray or a voice lesson from famed opera diva Renée Fleming.
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So if anyone wants to bid on Lou Reed's jacket for me, that would be a really great Christmas present!

Andreas Pavel: Real Inventor of the Walkman

From the New York Times:

In the late 1960's, Andreas Pavel and his friends gathered regularly at his house here to listen to records, from Bach to Janis Joplin, and talk politics and philosophy. In their flights of fancy, they wondered why it should not be possible to take their music with them wherever they went. Inspired by those discussions, Mr. Pavel invented the device known today as the Walkman. But it took more than 25 years of battling the Sony Corporation and others in courts and patent offices around the world before he finally won the right to say it: Andreas Pavel invented the portable personal stereo player.

Born in Germany, Mr. Pavel came to Brazil at age 6, when his father was recruited to work for the Matarazzo industrial group, at the time the most important one here. His mother, Ninca Bordano, an artist, had a house built for the family with a studio for her and an open-air salon with high-end audio equipment, meant for literary and musical gatherings.

Except for a period in the mid-1960's when he studied philosophy at a German university, Mr. Pavel, now 59, spent his childhood and early adulthood here in South America's largest city, "to my great advantage," he said. It was a time of creative and intellectual ferment, culminating in the Tropicalist movement, and he was delighted to be part of it.
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So the deal is that he invented a porable tape player and patented it in a bunch of countries. Then Sony tried to screw him out of what was rightfully his. He had to deal with it in the courts for 25 years, but he won a big settlement and now gets royalties. Andreas Pavel is the Advanced Theory Blog's hero of the day not only for inventing something wonderful, but for kicking Sony's ass.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Authority Song

I just got reading a little thing about Richard Pryor on Slate. This caught my eye:

"The death of Pryor—a great enemy of ignorance—inspired in me a deep sense of my own ignorance. I knew him only as a distant icon: the guy with the sloping mustache, the shifting face, and the arsenal of voices. As a kid I had seen several of his side project—the famous Saturday Night Live slur-off with Chevy Chase, Superman III, The Toy—but I had never seen his stand-up."

Nothing against the writer, but why should we care at all about what he has to say about Richard Pryor if he is completely ignorant of his standup? The subhead for the article is "The most human comic of our time." If the writer hadn't seen Pryor perform as a comic until this week, how can we trust that claim (not that anyone could prove or disprove it)? I wonder how many people reading this could have written a much more illuminating article about Richard Pryor than this guy at Slate. And I wonder how many people pitched interesting stories to Slate about Richard Pryor but were turned down because they didn't know anyone who worked there. Oh well, I guess that's why we have blogs. Power to the people.

David Lee Roth: Making It Talk

There is a lengthy piece about David Lee Roth in the New York Times. Here is some of it:

"The Hollander brothers are adventurous, danger-loving visionaries for hiring a guy like me," Mr. Roth announces. "I'm getting total control! Such an aberration in this industry! As an artist, this is a pre-eminent performance!" (Yes, he's excited about the new job.)

Would it be uncool...to ask why the heck the former mouthpiece of Van Halen, the now-estranged assemblage known for hits like "Jump," "Panama" and "Runnin' With the Devil," slaps on a baseball cap and a moderately menacing headset before he acquiesces to having his picture taken? Maybe, but who cares? Not him. Turns out he is a tad sensitive about his unkempt mousy brown hair; the headset is a leftover from helicopter flying today in proud pursuit of a pilot's license he has craved since he read and watched "M*A*S*H." [So that explains it! -JH]

Between bouts of self-generated hysteria - refreshing to see a guy from the jaded, celebrity side of the coin still able to get such a kick out of himself - he is a virtual open book, and even offers up, unsolicited, his bedside manner: "It's not who you sleep with," warns the never-married Mr. Roth, "it's who wants to sleep with you again." No fooling.

...The patio door to the Great Outdoors is open because Mr. Roth, effervescent and vociferously verbal at 51 despite being 20 years past his rock-star prime, is a fresh air freak, even with the temperature hovering at freezing. Press him and he is liable to display slides of his treks to the Himalayas, New Guinea and other exotic spots.

To fend off the chill, his sips from a glass mug of black coffee are interspersed with giddier gulps from a tiny bottle of Courvoisier: Mr. Roth is no stranger to the joys of minibars. Besides, he has protocol on his side: "Oh please, it's Happy Hour," he rasps.

...Same voice: "I think I'm the one single voice who has united the liberal left with the Nascar voting bloc," he says of the audience for his music, which encompasses six multiplatinum Van Halen albums and eight solo releases. Different gig: Mr. Roth is just a few weeks from taking over what he describes as "the hottest seat in American radio," Mr. Stern's at WXRK-FM, a job for which he deems himself uniquely qualified: Sure he can sing, but as a conversationalist, just wait, he will knock your socks off.

..."Come on, I can bond with a fire hydrant," he says, explaining his faith in his conversational prowess. "I can interview a Dalmatian," he adds. "It's about the capacity to entertain, like at a really good Algonquin table. I've got a fourth-degree black belt in conversation; I think in bold caps!" Obviously.

HE is not, by the way, out to attempt anything so gauche as to replace Mr. Stern. "I'm not the new Howard," Mr. Roth says. "Your editorial bias is entirely based on your memories, and I couldn't think of more diverse backgrounds than between the two of us. The only thing I have distinctly in common with Howard is a wicked sense of humor. And Hanukkah."
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I think David Lee Roth would make the greatest wedding officiant ever. He is also quite Advanced, and you can put that in bold caps if you wish. One other thing, he says he can interview a Dalmation, but he can also be interviewed by Steve Vai's guitar. The only other radio personalities who could say that are Edward R. Murrow, Wolfman Jack, and Leo and Woody Windham.

Last Chance to Get the Keith Richards Electrocution Footage

From the NY Post:

A LONG-forgotten film showing the near-fatal electrocution of Keith Richards in 1965 is being auctioned off on Itsonlyrocknroll.com. The stunning, super-8 color flick, shows Richards hitting the floor of the stage after he accidentally touches his guitar strings to an ungrounded mike.... "I woke up in the hospital an hour later," Richards later recalled. "The doctor said [electrical shock victims] come around or they don't." [Bill] Wyman remembers that "[Richard's] guitar strings were severed and the ends were curled up, melted like fuse wire." Doctors said rubber soles on his Hush Puppies shoes probably saved the wild rocker's life. Richards is reportedly trying to obtain a copy of the flick for his archives. The auction ends today.
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So I guess if you have your Hush Puppies on, you are ready for glitter rock'n'roll.

Google Music

From slashdot:

"Google has launched a new service known as Google Music that will allow a person to search fast links to song lyrics, musical artists and CD titles on the main search results page. The user can type in the name of a band, artist, album or song in the main Google search bar special, and results will appear at the top, accompanied by icons of music notes. Items that can be purchased will have links to merchants for online ordering or downloading. Initial merchant partners include Apple Computer's iTunes service, RealNetworks Rhapsody, eMusic and Amazon.com." From the Google Blog: "A few of us decided to try to make the information you get for these searches even better, so we created a music search feature. Now you can search for a popular artist name, like the Beatles or the Pixies, and often Google will show some information about that artist, like cover art, reviews, and links to stores where you can download the track or buy a CD via a link at the top of your web search results page."

I'll have to check it out.

The Highway’s Jammed With Broken Heroes and "Born to Run" License Plates

From Yahoo!:

A New Jersey lawmaker is hoping to get mileage from Bruce Springsteen's classic album "Born to Run." State Sen. Raymond Lesniak is driving a proposal introduced Thursday to create specialty "Born to Run" license tags for Garden State drivers. Proceeds would go to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, a Springsteen-supported charity. To become law, the bill must be approved by both houses of the Legislature by Jan. 9, the last day of the session, and be signed by the governor. The tags would cost $50, plus a $10 annual contribution.

...A resolution honoring The Boss on the 30th anniversary of "Born to Run" was approved in a voice vote by the state Senate. Senators heard a recording of Springsteen's "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" before casting their votes. "Born to Run" embodies a lot of the New Jersey attitude, added Lesniak.
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Here is an example of the New Jersey attitude:

Baby this town rips the bones from your back
It’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap
We gotta get out while we’re young
'cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run

Senator Lesniak has also proposed that New Jersey change its slogan from the "Garden State" to the "Death-Trap State."

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Rolling Stones: Company Men

I just read that Antigone Rising is opening up for the Rolling Stones on a few dates. For those of you who don't know, Antigone Rising is a band that Starbucks is trying to shove down our throats (a long with coffee and sweet, sweet cookies). The Rollling Stones is a band that doesn't need to be shoved down anyone's throat, but Starbucks is doing it anyway. So isn't it interesting that Antigone Rising is opening for the Rolling Stones. But as you probably know, I believe in selling out, so I'm not at all concerned about this. And really, is there a worse gig than opening for the Rolling Stones? The opening band is made to sound terrible on purpose, and no one wants to see them anyway. The creme on the top of the frappuccino is that you get paid jack for the experience.

Joy Division Making Music for "Control"

From NME.com:

New Order are working on new material for the long-awaited biopic of former Joy Division singer Ian Curtis. Director and celebrated rock photographer Anton Corbijn - most renowned for his work with U2 - has asked the legendary Manchester four-piece to contribute songs to the film 'Control'.

...Bassist Peter Hook told NME: "We were asked to do the soundtrack to the film which I thought was a fucking great idea, for Joy Division to do the music for a Joy Division film because we've never really done a soundtrack before. The soundtrack could include new stuff. Basically Anton wants to use certain songs by Joy Division so that each song becomes a video. Like the way the 'Atmosphere' video was filmed, he wants to write videos that appear in the film.

"Every time we get accolades for Joy Division it makes [Ian's suicide] sadder, especially with the film. Working on the film has made the whole thing seem more poignant."

...Hook said the band are considering playing all-Joy Division sets at some stage in the future. He added: "We have actually talked about doing Joy Division sets and gigs but we haven't actually found our footing yet. We did the festivals and had a bit of time off but because we've played two gigs recently and had the whole UK Hall Of Fame thing we haven't really decided what we're gonna do next. If we deem it to be enjoyable then we'll do it."
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I suggest they get Paul Rodgers to sing if they get back together. Or John Cafferty if Rodgers is busy.

Don't Wait on Lou Reed

From a post titled "Lou Reed Takes the Asshole Cake" at Embrace the Dull:

So reports Liz, who waited on Mr. Reed last night at The Hotel on Rivington. I'm not sure what an asshole cake would look like...that's a lie, I'm actually quite sure what an asshole cake would look like, and believe me, Sweet Lou can keep it. I've been a Lou Reed/Velvet Underground fan for over decade, for a few years during that span my fandom reached a rabid level. ...I went so far as a to read a pretty boring bio about Lou (written by Victor Bockris) which revealed, among other things, that Lou is a total cocksucker, both literally and figuratively.

Whether he was psychologically terrorizing his girlfriend in college, treating Mo Tucker and Sterling Morrison like trained monkeys, or screwing his manager out of hundreds-of-thousands of dollars (that manager also being his then-wife) - Lou could always be counted on to be total douchebag. When he was churning out albums with the Velvets, or, to a far lesser extent, songs like Walk on the Wild Side or Perfect Day, his behavior could almost be excused. And by excused I mean he may have been a total prick but at least he was contributing something to the collective ether.

Now, with a muse long since extinguished from years of amphetamine-use (and generally being an awful human being) Lou has recused himself to the status of Nicole Ritchie or Naomi Campbell: a little dandy bitch who goes to nice restaurants and barks orders at servers who have no choice but to comply.

"I want a salad with NO DRESSING and I like pumpkin seeds and pumpkin oil and sea salt, but not regular sea salt PINK SEA SALT (ed: what the fuck is pink sea salt?). And I want NO BUTTER OR CREAM IN ANYTHING"

...Further into the meal Lou, incredulous to the fact that no one saw his leathery, ashen face and connected it to the now-legendery moped ads that he did in the late 80s, began to verbally fart out things like "stop!!" and "what!!" (seriously, he sat there shouting) hoping that his quasi-touretts would attract some much-needed attention to his star that began fading in 1971. Holy shit, Maybe John Cale was the talent in that fucking band! Mercifully, they left. Their check comped by the restaurant, of course. And without leaving Liz a tip, of course. Until today Sister Ray was one of my favorite songs, no longer...I'm sure Lou is heartbroken.
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I'm torn because I was a waiter once and the guys from Blondie treated me horribly, so I see where this person is coming from. But then again, I tend to side with Lou Reed in just about anything. I guess it's safe to say that this is Advanced behavior because it didn't happen to me. By the way, saying "Sister Ray" is one of your favorite songs is, of course, quite Overt, even if it's true.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

"Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talkin' About Him?)": A Schmocumentary

From billboard.com:

A documentary focusing on the life and career of late singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson will be released early next year. "Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talkin' About Him?)" features interviews with Yoko Ono, Randy Newman and Robin Williams as well as home videos and more than 60 songs.

Set to premiere at the 2006 Santa Barbara Film Festival on Feb. 4, the film is directed by LSL Productions co-founder John Scheinfeld. The company has also been behind several other documentaries on musicians, including Brian Wilson. Details regarding distribution and a possible theatrical release for "Nilsson" have yet to be nailed down.

Interviews with Nilsson's close friends and peers like Micky Dolenz, Eric Idle, the Smothers Brothers and Wilson will be interspersed with portions of Nilsson's recently discovered oral autobiography.

...[A]fter years of hard partying in Los Angeles (including a famous incident when he and John Lennon were ejected from a club for heckling the Smothers Brothers), Nilsson damaged his voice [too much heckling? -jh] and was never subsequently able to match his earlier achievements. He died of a heart attack in 1994.
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This is a must-see for fans of Advancement.

Prince: I Am Spartacus

From billboard.com:

Prince, who famously scrawled "slave" on his face during a dispute with his record company in the mid-1990s, said yesterday (Dec. 13) he received everything he wanted in his latest deal with Universal Records. The pairing was first reported here last week.

"I got a chance to structure an agreement the way I saw fit instead of the other way around," Prince said during a news conference to promote the video for his new single, "Te Amo Corazon."

...Asked why he would sign on with the biggest record company in the world given his past clashes with major labels, Prince said, "I don't consider Universal a slave ship. I did my own agreement ... I got exactly what I wanted."
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I wonder what it feels like to get exactly what you want. Good, I'm guessing.

Velvet Revolver: What a Concept

From NME:

Velvet Revolver have revealed their plans to record a concept album. Following in the footsteps of Green Day, who received worldwide acclaim for their rock opera 'American Idiot', the band have been working on the LP for months, but are remaining tight-lipped about its content.

"It's something I've been wanting to do since the last Stone Temple Pilots album, since (2001's) 'Shangri-La Dee Da' album, and it never was completely realised," singer (and former Stone Temple Pilot) Scott Weiland said. "You never know until you really completely get there, but it's going in that direction right now."

Bassist Duff McKagan told MTV News: "This album really has to make a statement. We've toured for 18 months. Now we have a brand name. Now we know each other as a band. The first album was just us together at home, a spontaneous product. Now it's time to make that record."
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Indeed.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

New York Dolls: Now With Reggae

Here's an update on the New New York Dolls album, from billboard.com

[R]eunited punk legends the New York Dolls will on Jan. 15 return to the recording studio for the first time since 1974's "Too Much Too Soon." The as-yet-untitled album, due next summer via Roadrunner, will be produced by Jack Douglas, who previously worked on the Dolls' self-titled debut. Among the tracks expected to make the cut are "Punishing World," "Plenty of Music" and "Rainbow Store." Surviving original members David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain will be backed on the set by guitarist Steve Conte, bassist Sami Yaffa, drummer Brian Delaney and keyboardist Brian Koonin.
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Sami Yaffa, for those of you who don't know (like I didn't know until a minute ago), played with Hanoi Rocks among others. I did a little research and found a piece about him here. I was excited to learn that he was a part of reggae outfit called MadJuana. I was hoping that Yaffa was going to be a hot-shot studio pro, preferably a Hopi woman. But his reggae roots are soothing.

Bob Dylan on XM

From Reuters:

Legendary folk rocker Bob Dylan will start a new career as a radio DJ when he launches a new weekly music show on XM Satellite Radio next March. The station said on Tuesday the show would feature music hand-picked by Dylan....

"Dylan will offer regular commentary on music and other topics, host and interview special guests including other artists and will take emails from XM subscribers," XM said.

..."Songs and music have always inspired me. A lot of my own songs have been played on the radio, but this is the first time I've ever been on the other side of the mic," Dylan said in a statement.
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Embracing new technology is Advanced. Satellite radio is new technology. Bob Dylan is Advanced. But I would hope you don't need me to tell you that.

The Smiths Reunion: Welcome to Fantasy Island

From billboard.com:

Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr and bassist Andy Rourke will perform together for the first time since the legendary U.K. act split up in 1987 at the benefit Manchester v. Cancer, to be held Jan. 28 at the English city's Evening News Arena.

..."Andy told me about this project he was involved in and of course I literally stood up and applauded," Marr says in an audio interview posted on the event's official Web site. "I said I'd get involved if he needed any help. Absolutely glad to do it. It's a privilege to do it. It's not the easiest thing in the world to get something like this together, because it has to be on a fairly big scale for it to be significant."
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Oh if only Andy Rourke were actually Mr. Roarke and could get the Smiths back together, if not as a band then as friends. He'd have to bring Sonny Bono back to life, but he could handle that. Smiles everyone, smiles!

Monday, December 12, 2005

David Gilmour Solo Record

From billboard.com:

Pink Floyd singer/guitarist David Gilmour will begin his first solo tour in decades March 10 in Dortmund, Germany, in support of his upcoming solo album, "On an Island." Although North American dates have yet to be confirmed, Gilmour is expected to visit the region in April.

Due March 6 via Columbia, "On an Island" is Gilmour's first solo release since 1984's "About Face." The set is packed with guest appearances from David Crosby and Graham Nash on the title cut, Pink Floyd keyboardist Rick Wright, Robert Wyatt, Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera and Jools Holland. Manzanera serves as a co-producer on the set with Gilmour and Chris Thomas. Orchestral arrangements were provided by composer Zbigniew Preisner.
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I'm not going to sit here and tell you that David Gilmour is Advanced, but I do like that line-up. And everyone has to admit that Pink Floyd kicked ass at Live 8.

Why Not Give Them Your Money: "McLemore Avenue" by Booker T and the MG's

Don't know what to buy your Advanced loved one for Christmas? Why not pick up "McLemore Avenue" by Booker T and the MG's? It's basically an interpretation of "Abbey Road" and it is pretty awesome, especially the medleys. I'm listening to "Because-You Never Give Me Your Money" right now!

Advanced and Overt

I write a lot about what is Advanced and what is Overt, and I think I've hit upon a major distinction between the two: Overt people are normal weird, whereas Advanced people are weird weird. There's more to it than that (especially for the Advanced because they also have to be influential, innovative, great for many years, wear dark sunglasses, etc.) but it's a pretty handy way to make people understand the gist.

Sinead O'Connor: I and I Do Know Mandinka

There is a review of a recent Sinead O'Connor show at the New York Times. Here's some of it:

For a woman who tore up a photograph of Pope John Paul II on live television, Sinead O'Connor is downright devout. Her faith now is Rastafarianism, the Jamaican creed that brought righteousness to reggae.

...Like a convert making a pilgrimage, she recorded the album in Kingston, Jamaica, with the eminent reggae producers Sly and Robbie: Sly Dunbar on drums and Robbie Shakespeare on bass. Sly and Robbie also lead Ms. O'Connor's band on the tour that brought her to Webster Hall on Friday night. Winston Rodney, a k a Burning Spear, was by her side, playing congas and sometimes joining her with his craggy, adamant voice.

By Friday's concert, Ms. O'Connor had all but sloughed off her previous career. She sang none of her own songs, and onstage as on the album, she strove to reproduce the original reggae arrangements. She only briefly unleashed the banshee ululation that was once her trademark; it got cheers.
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As many of you know, disappointing your fans is a big part of being Advanced. I like her method of giving the audience just enough of what the want to make them think that they were going to get something she had no intention of giving. This whole reggae thing is really great, but if I were her Advancement advisor, I would suggest that she do reggae versions of her hits, especially "Mandinka."

Friday, December 09, 2005

CVB: Big Decisions

Everytime Camper Van Beethoven's version of "Interstellar Overdrive" comes on my iPod, I have to ask myself, "Can I commit to this song?" Usually, the answer is No. But today it's a resounding Hell Yes.

Prince: "Te Amo Corazon"

From billboard.com:

Prince [off-the-charts Advanced] has inked a deal with Universal for the release of his next album, "3121." The set will be preceded by the single "Te Amo Corazon," the video for which stars actress Mia Maestro ("Frida," "The Motorcycle Diaries") and was directed by actress Salma Hayek. The clip, which was shot in Marrakesh, will be available online Tuesday (Dec. 13) via Prince's NPG Music Club site.
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Prince shooting a video in Marrakesh with Mia Maestro and Salma Hayek? That is the sexiest thing I've ever heard.

Considering Isaac Hayes

From Yahoo!:

With his name reaching a whole new audience thanks to "South Park," [Isaac Hayes's] label has just released a two-CD retrospective, "Ultimate Isaac Hayes: Can You Dig It?" to remind people that he is primarily a musician. "Especially younger people," Hayes, 63, said in a recent interview at the Los Angeles office of Concord Records, which recently bought the catalog of Hayes' old Stax Records label. "They don't know what I did. Only the hip-hop producers (do)."

The package features hit singles, album tracks, rarities and movie tunes spanning 1969 to 1975, including bold reinterpretations of pop standards like "By the "Time I Get to Phoenix" and "Walk On By" as well as his own "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic." All showcase his smooth, baritone voice, a seeming prerequisite for soul stardom. "People always said, 'Barry White ripped you off.' He did not," Hayes said. "We both had deep voices. In fact, we tried to say we're the Deep Throat Brothers! ... Lou (Rawls) came up with the idea that me, Barry and him do the Three Baritones. But Barry never did get around to that." [If only they could have done that! -JH]

...Hayes left Stax in a dispute over royalties in 1975, the year the faltering label went bankrupt. He himself filed for bankruptcy shortly thereafter, and lost all his songwriting royalties. He plans to write a book about his financial woes. "I'll tell the whole damn story," he said darkly, but quickly brightened when he revealed that for the first time in years he would receive royalties for the new retrospective.

He also plans to write a series of children's books, titled "Adventures of Uncle Bubba" and is looking for a publisher. The album also boasts a rare foray into gospel with the tune "His Eye is on the Sparrow," which was a favorite of his grandfather's. Despite being born and raised in the Baptist Church, Hayes never focused on gospel after he joined Stax. These days, he's a Scientologist, having been involved with the religious movement for 14 years, and is working hard to move up through the grades.

His Isaac Hayes Foundation brings federally funded Scientology-based study techniques to underperforming inner-city schools in America, in partnership with fellow devotee Lisa Marie Presley. "But it's not religious, he said. "It's just something that people need."
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All-time great songwriter, bold reinterpretations of pop standards, royalty disputes, known by many as a one-hit wonder, "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic," appearing in "South Park," writing children's book, converting to another religion: Isaac Hayes is Advanced.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Dolly Parton Writes Song for "Transamerica"

From billboard.com:

A brand new track from veteran country artist Dolly Parton will appear on the "Transamerica" soundtrack, due Feb. 7 via Nettwerk. "Travelin' Thru" was written by Parton specifically for the Duncan Tucker dramedy.

"It was proud to be asked to write a song for 'Transamerica,' Parton says of the Weinstein Company/IFC Films title, currently playing in limited U.S. release. "It's a remarkable movie that touches you in every single place of human emotion."
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If there is one person who can make preoperative transexuals acceptable to mainstream America, it's Dolly Parton. I'm pretty sure she could French kiss Saddam Hussein on the White House lawn and everyone would still love her.

Bono and Tom Brady

See Bono "roast" Tom Brady, Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year here" As I have written many, many times now, embracing sports is Advanced, but it is usually more Advanced to embrace the largest sport in your culture. Bono is always flirting with Advancement, but he never can make it quite over the line to full-on Advanced. That's why he feels fine to be involved in the Super Bowl and having John Madden appear in U2 videos about field-goal kickers.

CBGB to Close on Halloween

From NME:

CBGB is set to close its doors for the final time on Halloween 2006. The legendary New York music venue, the cradle for the '70s punk scene and launch pad for bands such as The Ramones and Talking Heads, announced the agreement with its landlord yesterday (December 7). The deal with the Bowery Residents Committee (BRC), who own a 45-year lease on the property at 315 Bowery, seemed impossible following the expiration of the previous lease on August 31. However, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office interceded and helped reach an agreement which avoided a potentially bitter court battle.

...Kristal must now leave the venue by October 31, but the proprietor has revealed that he is already looking for a new venue. Other sites in lower Manhattan are being visited by Kristal with a view to reopen CBGB once the new deal expires, and a month of closing celebrations are expected at the old space. Kristal has also revealed that he is considering opening a branch in Las Vegas and is unconcerned about creating the ambience of the original CBGB. "Things are different all the time - look at the 70s, the 80s, the 90s," he said. "The most important thing is we're keeping the integrity of CBGB. It won't be exactly the same, but it will have the same ingredients."
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Good to know I'll still have a place to watch lousy rock bands and pay $7 for a Dos Equis.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Pogues Coming to America

According to kingblind.com, the Pogues are playing six dates in America:

Friday March 10 Washington DC 9.30 Club
Saturday March 11 Atlantic City Borgata
Tuesday March 14 Boston Orpheum
Thursday March 16 NYC Nokia Theatre
Friday March 17 NYC Nokia Theatre SOLD OUT
Saturday March 18 NYC Nokia Theatre

You know, it isn't the Christmas season until I hear "Fairytale of New York," though "Father Christmas" is almost an adequate substitute.

Lou Reed Photography Exhibit

From artnet.com:

Famed Velvet Underground frontman Lou Reed exhibits his photographs for the first time in two simultaneous exhibitions at the Gallery at Hermès above the flagship store on Madison Avenue and the Steven Kasher Gallery at 521 West 23rd Street in Chelsea. "Lou Reed’s New York," Jan. 20-Feb. 25, 2006, features over 50 trippy color photographs of city sunsets and the urban night sky, as well as a selection of "idiosyncratic" self portraits. Reed, a New York resident (and companion of musical artist Laurie Anderson), has previously put out a book of his photos; this exhibition coincides with his second, which is published by Edition 7L and distributed by D.A.P. The price is $48.
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I'm wondering if "idiosyncratic" might be a euphemism for "Advanced." I guess I'll have to go to the gallery and find out.

Minus 5, Plus R.E.M. and Wilco

From nme.com:

Members of REM and Wilco are to star on the next album by the The Minus 5 collective. 'The Gun Album' is out on February 7, and features core members Scott McCaughey, guitarist John Ramberg and REM stars Peter Buck and drummer Bill Rieflin surrounded by such guests as John Wesley Harding, Kelly Hogan and The Decemberists' Colin Meloy and John Moen. Also featured on two tracks are the members of Wilco, who previously teamed with The Minus 5 for the 2003 album 'Down With Wilco'.
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I wish I were part of a collective.

AC/DC: Just Say Yes

Over nachos last night, I realized that for a whole generation (mine), AC/DC was the gateway drug to punk rock.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Morrissey: A $70 Thousandaire

From aversion.com:

Just as the promotional cycle for the Moz’s Ringleader of the Tormentors begins to heat up, so does the ill will between Morrissey and his former band mates. This time out, Morrissey’s peeved that Smiths drummer Mike Royce announced he’s hocking rare Smiths material on eBay. Morrissey responded with a statement that claims Royce shouldn’t need the money. By Morrissey’s estimate, the singer’s received more than 1 million British pounds (about $1.6 million) in royalties since the start of The Smiths – that’s nearly $70,000 a year.
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Am I the only one who thinks that that's not very much money?

No How, No Way

Nothing is going on in the Advanced world so far today, but I'm sure things will pick up in the coming hours.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Kate Bush's "King of the Mountain": The Citizen Kane of Advanced Videos

You absolutely must see the Kate Bush video for King of the Mountain. (Go here.) Here's a quick-hitting list of what happens:

Black-and-white, Greek statues, headlines about the death of Elvis,white jump suit comes to life off a rack, dances with kate bush, switches to color as the Elvis suit flies with birds and drying laundry, Elvis tabloids, something to do with Russia, Kate cradles the suit, then if flies over the snowy mountains, signs of Elvis in "Yeti" county, dogsleddder (an elderly Elvis) dances with white suit, long live the king. Then a shot of a sled with "Rosebud" painted on it.

If you have any doubt about whether Kate Bush is Advanced, it will be erased after you watch the video.

Sinead O'Connor: A Sufi Adventure

There is an article about Sinead O'Connor worth reading at the Globe and Mail (thanks to the wonderful folks at Jimmy Page's Sweater Vest for letting me know about it). Here are some choice bits:

O'Connor's life has gone through many twists and turns...including a recent three-year retirement from music, but she sees a straight line running from the girl pictured on the cover of her new album, Throw Down Your Arms, to the collection of reggae classics inside. Even at the age of seven, she says, O'Connor was looking for the God that she found much later in the music of Rastafari. "I understood prior to age seven that God needed to be freed from religion," she says. Her earliest understanding was that God was a bird (as represented in so many paintings of the Virgin Mary), and that He had been ritually trapped in the tabernacle.

..."I kind of understood that music was God, if you like. That it's a little connection, a telephone to God. . . . I hadn't wanted to be a pop star. I wanted to write prophecy, about saints and everything. I'm kind of obsessed with religion and theology. . . . I believe that God is underemployed, and extremely lonely."

..."[ Throw Down Your Arms is] not a reggae record, it's a hard-core Rasta record," she says. "I was approaching these songs as scriptures, and honouring the priesthood of these artists. They're creating this space in their music where God can exist outside of religion, and I want to pass on their teachings and example. . . . In some ways, the album is a book of teachings, or a mass. I ran the songs in sequence the way I would celebrate a mass."

...[O'Connor] put up about $1-million (U.S.) of her own money to make the project go. But she insists that this recording is in no way a continuation of the career she declared dead and buried in 2002. "I completely dissociate myself from anything to do with Sinead O'Connor as I used to be," she says. "This is the first album in a career in religious music. I hesitate to say that, because the perception of what that means is so gacky. I have at least created a new arena for myself, within myself, because the old arena was killing me."

Next to come is an album called Theology, based on scriptures from the Old Testament, with Irish guitarist Steve Cooney. After that she may do a recording of Sufi music, or gospel, or any of the other types of spiritual music that now seem like almost the only things worth recording. She also wants to make "a silly record for babies."
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Either she's a genius or she's insane in the membrane. Or maybe both? Regardless, I can't wait to hear that Sufi record.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Echo and the Bunnymen Advancement Watch

As you may remember, I don't think that Echo and the Bunnymen are quite up to the level of Ådvancement. A lot of people love them, and they made some good music, but they didn't do enough (weren't innovative, not ahead of their time, not influential enough, etc.) for me to give them the benefit of the doubt that the Advanced have earned. But I was impressed by this description of a recent show:

"Meanwhile, McCulloch was a major presence, having had a quarter century to perfect his stage persona. With Bob Dylan sunglasses and morning hair, right hand perpetually resting on the microphone and holding a cigarette, he was the perfectly aloof too-cool-for-school frontman. His voice is now more of a Lou Reed croak than a Jim Morrison baritone, and impeccable covers of "Walk on the Wild Side" and "Roadhouse Blues" proved his reverence for both singers."

Well, he may not be Advanced, but McCulloch is certainly giving it his best effort. Kudos to him.

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Perhaps Advanced Donald Fagen's New Solo Record

From billboard.com:

Steely Dan principal Donald Fagen finds love in an airport security line, mulls the ramifications of a ghostly feline, chats up the late Ray Charles and ruminates on aging and death on "Morph the Cat," his first solo album in 13 years. The nine-track set is due early next year via Reprise.

...He woos an airport security screener on "Security Joan" ("Girl you won't find my name on your list / Honey you know I ain't no terrorist"), talks shop with Charles on "What I Do" ("He says, 'Don don't despair -- just take some time / You find your bad self -- you're gonna do just fine'") and imagines a "thuggish cult" taking over the U.S. government on "Mary Shut the Garden Door" ("So if you ever see an automaton in a midprice luxury car / Better roll the sidewalks up, switch on your lucky star").
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Donald Fagen is one of those musicians that I'm tempted to call Advanced, but he hasn't really done any of the things Advanced people do. I just know that he is quite weird, but in a totally unique way, and yet his band is a classic-rock mainstay, even though they don't really play rock. Advanced or not, I really loved "The Nightfly" and the "New Frontier" video. That album is the soundtrack to some nice memories.

David Brent Podcast

From Slate:

...I already know what I'll be listening to on the bike next week. On Monday, Britain's Guardian newspaper will unveil a new weekly comedy program from Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. Yes, the guys behind the brilliant BBC TV series The Office and HBO's Extras. The two started on British radio, but now that they've decided to return to the medium, they're doing so in a podcast. The Guardian quotes Gervais on why he's going online rather than over-the-air: "I want to do a radio show where I can say what I want, when I want, for as long as I want and that's free for anybody who can be bothered to listen, anywhere in the world."

Would you say the creator of the immortal David Brent gets podcasting? Yeah, I'd say so. Of course, I haven't actually heard the new show yet, but it almost doesn't matter. Gervais and Merchant deserve a big audience based on their past work and on the theory that podcasting should embrace an anti-TV model—it should give talented and promising people time to work out the kinks and build an audience, rather than yanking them off the air after a few weeks.

The Guardian says this website will have the podcast beginning Monday, Dec. 5. [You have to go there on Monday to find out where to go, I think. -jh]]
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That should be awesome. By the way, if you liked the original "The Office," it's Overt not to like the American version. In your heart, you know it's true.

Slow Morning, 311/Stapp Flap

There's not much going on in the Advanced world. I'd like to write something more, but I'm just so preoccupied with this Scott Stapp/311 fight. I just don't know who to believe.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Bono and Alicia Keys Won't Give Up

From Yahoo!:

Bono and Alicia Keys are teaming up for the kids. The artists have joined forces to record the single "Don't Give Up (Africa)," and will donate all proceeds to Keep A Child Alive, an organization that provides medicine to families infected with AIDS and the HIV virus.

The song will be available exclusively through iTunes Music Store, beginning on Tuesday. Bono and Keys first performed the charity ballad together Nov. 3 in New York at the Black Ball, Keep A Child Alive's annual fundraiser, where Keys took the stage, playing her trademark piano and Bono sang via satellite from a remote location. The song was originally recorded as "Don't Give Up" by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush for Gabriel's 1986 album So. "I love this song," Keys said in a statement. "And I love Bono. I really respect what he has done for Africa and how he has used his fame to do good in the world. I hope I can do half as much in my life.
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I hope this will be better than Jim Kerr and Vanessa Carlton's "Bigtime (Greenland)."

Sinead O'Connor No Fan of Little Prince

From contactmusic.com:

SINEAD O'CONNOR shocked fans in Chicago, Illinois on Tuesday night (29NOV05) when she blasted the man behind her biggest hit live on stage. Performing reggae songs from her new album THROW DOWN YOUR ARMS, the eccentric Irish singer took offence when one fan repeatedly screamed out for her international hit NOTHING COMPARES 2 U. She initially ignored the requests, until another fans screamed for PRINCE, the writer of the song, at which point she hissed, "F**k that f**king midget."
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Prince replied, "What is essential is invisible to the eye. It's only with the heart that one can see clearly."

Brian Eno and the World Cup: On Some Faraway Pitch

From billboard.com:

Germany will stage the World Cup's first opening gala next year, but organizers yesterday (Nov. 30) promised it will be nothing like the extravaganzas seen at the Olympics and the Super Bowl. Artistic director Andre Heller, who unveiled a creative team that includes Brian Eno and Peter Gabriel, aims to keep the June 7 spectacle a surprise but he promised the gala will have no parade of superstars and will not echo the local themes used at other major sporting events.

"We have an enormous space to fill but we won't do it with banal figures," he said. Performers will include American soprano Jessye Norman, the Black Eyed Peas, Algerian singer Cheb Khaled and around 5,000 volunteers.

...Eno is composing a 2006 World Cup anthem using instruments from across the world to form a very different orchestra. Music director Gabriel promised to "make some noise." Asked why he had signed up, he joked, "It's the same attraction for a musician as for a footballer -- money, sex and drugs."
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As I have discussed many times before, embracing the major sport of your country is Advanced, so I'm very pleased that Brian Eno is involved in this. (An American embracing soccer is usually Overt, especially if they call it football.) It's curious that the organizers consider the Black Eyed Peas somehow above the "banal figures" one normally encounters in sports spectacles. I like them as much as the next guy, but they seem like the exact sort of act you would expect to see at the Super Bowl halftime show.

Advanced or Overt: Billy Gibbons and White-Guy Dreadlocks

Advanced or Overt: White-Guy Dreadlocks

Here's a great description of Billy Gibbons from the New Yorker: "Gibbons drinks beer through a straw, to keep the suds from getting in his beard, a double-barrelled two-footer that, along with a pair of Ray-Bans and an African cap that resembles a full head of stubby dreadlocks, leaves little room for evidence of a face. " For those of you who don't remember, Gibbons and ZZ Top are part of a very select group, the Advanced Blues Musicians who, rather than wearing dark sunglasses and having long hair in the back*, wear dark sunglasses and have long hair on the front. At first I misread the article and thought that Gibbons actually had dreadlocks (white-guy dreads are extremely Overt), which had me flummoxed. Of course, if he were to have dreads, it would make perfect sense: Just as it would be Advanced for Lou Reed to sport a green mohawk (the most Overt punk haircut), it would be Advanced for Gibbons to have the usually very Overt dreads. The general rule is that when an Advanced artist embraces something Overt, it is an Advanced move.

* The official Advanced look is a black leather jacket, dark sunglasses, and an unironic mullet, the longer and bushier in the back the better. This look was perfected by Lou Reed in the 80s.