Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Jackpot: Paul Shaffer Does Cher Does O Holy Night

It's just the audio, but boy is it gratifying. Have a listen. Hey, I just found it on video.

Merry Christmas!

Lou Reed at St. Ann's Warehouse: A Review

I'd love to believe you've all been waiting for my review of the Berlin concert (or that there is an "all" out there reading this), but I've been too upset about the Allen Iverson situation to write. Now that he is snuggled safely in Denver, I can finally put my mind to the important work of telling you what I thought. As "Sad Song" came to a close, I considered rushing home to the computer and writing: It Kicked Ass. But now that I've had all this time to think about it, I can't leave it at that. So let's start with before the show began:

When we passed the bar, we heard the music play. And the music was, of course, Lou Reed. It was a song I didn't recognize, but I'm familiar with it now because it was played on a loop for nearly a half hour. There was a scrim in front of the stage onto which was projected various images of waves in what looked like a tropical climate. That's what I always think of when I hear Berlin: the beach. Anyway, the music and imaged looped over and over, and as I got more excited, I almost wished the show would have been already finished so I could start remembering it. Just as I got back to my (assigned) seat after racing to the bathroom for the second time (two beers), the lights went down. Lucky thing, too, because had I been late, I wouldn't have been allowed in the room until after the first song was over. That's what happens when you go see someone Advanced.

Julian Schnabel pretended to be humble as he said a few words about his relationship with the record, dragging his hand through his hair to show how nonchalant he was about the whole thing. We all pretended to care, and he went away. The scrim came up.

I was expecting costumes and other Advanced features, but the only theatrical element to the show was the film projected behind them, which you could barely see. That was nice. Everyone in the band dressed as if they were just playing at their practice space. I've noticed that Lou Reed has embraced a toned down Advancement, style-wise, which makes sense, as Advancement is all about doing what is comfortable for the artist and uncomfortable for everyone else. To the right (stage left) were four horn players, a pianist, and Fernando Saunders, who played regular bass and Advanced bass (stand-up fretless electric). There was also a roving cellist. Upstage in the center back was the drummer, protected by an Advanced clear plastic wall. Reed was front and center, of course. To his left was another bass player (Advanced variety), two back-up singers (one African-American woman--an Advanced necessity--and Antony). Behind them was a youth chorus, who seemed to enjoy themselves. And now the music.

It took the band a couple of songs to get their act together. They were good, but a little ragged. Reed was reading the lyrics off of something from time to time, and it felt a little like watching a favorite actor on SNL reading the cue cards just a little too obviously. But then they all settled down, and he started playing with the lyrics. I'm sure you've heard him do this: He waits to deliver the expected line just to the point where you think he won't be able to squeeze it in, then hastily throws it out there, seeming arhythmically. I know that must frustrate the musicians, but Advanced artists always enjoy playing tricks on the band to keep them on their toes (Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, James Brown, Elvis, etc.). He still can sing when he wants, and in this environment he almost had to because otherwise he would have clashed with the kids' chorus. Of course, "oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, what a feeling" went down instead of up, but it worked nicely.

Signs of Advancement were few, but there were some rockin' solos that might have offended the delicate ears of the Overt. Luckily, that's not us.

Like I said, it took a while for the band to really get going (though I still had chills most of time), things really got going on "How Do You Think It Feels." The band was very precise, and the sound was overwhelming. Actually, I should say a word about "Caroline Says (I)," particularly the chorus. They did an amazing job on the backup vocals, sounding quite a bit like the record. It was fun to close your eyes during this show, by the way. Anyway, the band got more and more precise, perhaps due to the conductor, who at first appeared to be in a lab coat (it was actually just a long coat that matched the chorus). It was during this song that Reed gave his first "I am the master of rock and roll, and if you don't believe listen to this" look.

I don't care for Oh, Jim very much because I'm not Advanced enough I guess. But it won't be hard for you to believe that this seemed to be his favorite song to play. He traded solos with his guitarist, encouraged the backup singers to trade scats with him, and generally just romped around. I enjoyed it, but I didn't like it. But that just made the next number, "Caroline Says (II)" all the better. It was more like a dramatic reading of the song, and it's possible the song nearly brought him to tears (it did me). When I imagined this concert, I dared not hoped it would be as good as this song. And then it got better.

"The Kids" was almost too much to take. This was the song that made me love Berlin several years ago and to hear that bass line live shattered me. Also, to hear him, the actual Lou Reed, singing "I am the water boy" was like hearing Abraham Lincoln giving the Gettysburg Address. The children crying out (which made me want to go give my baby a hug) was prerecorded, but the out-of-tune flute solo was played live. They reproduced the feel of the album perfectly, only it was even more intense.

On a normal album, "The Kids" might be the high point, but no, no, no, there was "The Bed." I'm starting to run out of steam in my review, so there's no way I can do this justice. But if you like this song and didn't go to the concert, you are very jealous of me right now. The chorus did and absolutely amazing job on this one, mimicking the record with eerie exactitude. Lou Reed looked over at them proudly as their voices floated down over the end of the song and into the introduction of the finale, "Sad Song":

It Kicked Ass.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Rufus Wainwright and Lou Reed: Advancement at Carnegie Hall

I have an Advanced spy who had a spy at Advanced-Aspirant Rufus Wainwright's Christmas concert at Carnegie Hall. Here's the second-hand report, as reported by the third hand, me:

"I'm getting reports that Rufus Wainwright's xmas concert at Carnegie Hall was an advanced fest last night, including a 'White Christmas' duet withLou Reed- after Lou did a feedback guitar accompanied 'Silent Night'.Wow.Oh, he was also wearing slippers...."

Like I said, not liking Christmas is Overt. I think Rufus Wainwright was sort of born into Advancement, but I'll have to think that one over. I wonder if he'll show up in the staging of Berlin? Did I mention I'll be at that show tomorrow?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

More Lou Reed Berlin Talk From the New York Times

There's a lot of overlapping from the article in the previous post, but the Times guy writes better. Here are some highlights:

"Lou Reed refers to it with an understatement that borders on dismissal. 'It was just another one of my albums that didn’t sell,' he said dryly at a West Village cafe recently. But get him talking a little — and a little talk is all one can expect from Lou Reed — and it becomes clear that Berlin, his bleak, Brechtian song cycle from 1973, which he is performing in full for the first time at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn for four nights beginning tomorrow, is a treasured high point in a what has been a lifelong project of pushing at the aesthetic boundaries of rock ’n’ roll.

'It’s a great album,' he said. (He has also called it a masterpiece.) 'I admire it. It’s trying to be real, to apply novelists’ ideas and techniques into a rock format.' He mentioned William S. Burroughs, Hubert Selby Jr., Allen Ginsberg and Raymond Chandler as literary models.
'But it sounds so pretentious saying that.' he added.' It just sounds too B.A. in English. Which I have. So there you go.'”

Doesn't everyone have a BA in English? There's lots more, of course, so read the whole article. One thing though, a friend once asked me if there was an example of a project that an Advanced Artist did after they became Advanced that was rejected at first but then was accepted only after many years. I'd say Berlin falls into that category, though there is a lot of Overtness still in that record. Did I mention I can't wait until Friday?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Lou Reed Talks "Berlin" and Lots of Other Stuff

There's a great article about Lou Reed at that you should check out. It's title: "A Walk on the Wild Side With Lou Reed." My lord that's awesome! Anyway, here are a few bits:

"Over the course of the interview, Reed proves erudite, charming and just a little eccentric. His legendary prickliness surfaces only when he bluntly tells his publicist, at one point, to get lost. In a deep, lazy drawl he chats about everything from rap music ("'it's white kids getting off listening to a fantasy black person with a big gangsta life') to the loss of privacy brought about by technology ('Never save anything. You go to YouTube and you'll find more than you ever thought if you left anything around. That's why now, in studios, I erase everything. They can't release the out-takes because there aren't any'); from auteur director Robert Wilson ('Bob and I are like a hand in a glove, and that's because we're both very aware of Andy, the master. Everybody got something from Mr Warhol') to his lifelong passion, tai chi ('Boy, I wish I could bring [Master Ren, his long-time teacher] when I go to Australia').

The writer suggested that Berlin might have gone over better these days, and here's what Reed had to say:

"I mean with gangsta rap now, with its bitches and whores getting stabbed, and I'll shoot your dick off and run you over with a Mack truck, and even with country and western - I stabbed him in a park because he cheated on me - I don't know, would Berlin make more sense now? I have no idea.

"Still, I was there first, in an uncharted land that no one wanted. I was there and I had it all to myself ... That kind of stuff, what you'd call hardcore, almost made it so I couldn't make other records. You didn't know what to expect from me and that's why I've never been big. I was always on the outside."

There's a lot more, including talk of the staging of Berlin and how much everyone hated it when it came out. Of course, this is the classic example of Advancement because everybody knows how awesome that record is. Also, erasing all your outtakes is a perfect Advanced Irritant move. I really can't wait unitl Friday!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Prince at the Super Bowl

It was only a matter of time:

"Following in the footsteps of such mega-acts as the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney, Prince is set to be the star performer for the Pepsi Super Bowl XLI Halftime Show, airing live on CBS Feb. 4 from Miami's Dolphin Stadium. The big news was unveiled Sunday, during the Eye network's NFL Today and comes three days after His Purpleness grabbed five Grammy nominations for his new release, 3121, including Best R&B Album, Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song."

So when will we see Lou Reed at the Super Bowl? I guess when New York hosts the Super Bowl he'll be part of the show.

A Request for Paul Shaffer's Cher at Christmas

I've been looking forever for a video of Paul Shaffer impersonating Cher singing "O Holy Night." If you can find it, please let me know! (I would settle for the sheet music for "Yeah!".)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Friday, December 08, 2006

Win a Guitar Signed by Bob Dylan

Slate must be looking for traffic becuase they're running a contest for which the grand prize is a guitar signed by Bob Dylan. All you have to do is watch the video for "Thunder on the Mountain" and answer 20 questions. The tiebreaker "calls upon contestants to summon their inner Bobs and craft one four-line, 12-bar blues lyric, to be sung to the tune of 'Thunder on the Mountain.'" I wish I were the judge for that one, as I would imagine the entries would be pretty fascinating.

Questioning the Boss

I love Bruce Springsteen and all, but recently I heard "Born in the USA" and I thought to myself, "I'm not so sure I agree with the Boss's aesthetic decisions." And that goes for almost everything he ever did, except Nebraska and "Born to Run." Now that I look at that written before me, I'm embarrassed that I have such Overt opinions. I guess I'm going to have to bury myself in Bruce until I see the Advanced light. (As a side note, I'm not so sure I agree with Eric Burden's lyrical decisions.)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

David Bowie and Cher Medley

Unspeakably Advanced.

Flaming Lips Get a Street, UK Copyrights, Olivia Newton John: You're the One (million) I Want, Mashups Are Boring Now, Buy the King's Ring

  • The Flaming Lips are going to have a street named after them in their hometown in Oklahoma, which will be confusing because there's already a Flaming Pie street.
  • Paul McCartney and Robbie Williams are trying to get an extension on the British copyright for their music. I wouldn't worry too much about it, Robbie. (JK, RW!)
  • Olivia Newton John is suing over Grease royalties. The accountant in charge of royalties has a good excuse, though: He got chills when multiplying.
  • UK Chancellor Gordon Brown says mashups are the future. Suddenly mashups don't seem so cool anymore.
  • Elvis Presley's wedding ring is up for auction. Do you get the sense that someone in the Presley camp is in charge of figuring out what year they will be able to sell his bones?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Dunkin' Chic

As you may remember, I predicted that Dunkin' Donuts will soon lose the "donuts" part of their name, just like Kentucky Fried Chicken became KFC. Well, tonight I saw a commercial tonight celebrating their latte, called the Dunkin' Latte. My guess is that by Thanksgiving, they will call themselves just Dunkin' and use a slogan like "We're more than just donuts" in an attempt to get more of the Starbucks crowd. The question is, will they also use "Sweet Home Alabama" as their theme song? Also, as you might expect, this whole post is an excuse to use the headline "Dunkin' Chic."

All Robert Smith Wants for Christmas Is a Cure for Writer's Block

Robert Smith has writer's block, but don't worry Cure fans:

"Thirty years in the music business is no prevention for writers' block. That is the problem facing the Cure frontman Robert Smith, who is struggling to come up with lyrics to some of the 33 new songs the band has recorded for its 14th studio album. The record's release has already been pushed back to May and the group goes on tour in March, so the pressure is on for the 47-year-old, who does not want to his legacy to be an aging band that gradually fades into the background.'I want them (the words) to mean something, it's not enough that they rhyme,' Smith told Reuters in a recent interview. "I find myself stopping short and thinking I've done this before, and better. 'I've given myself a deadline to finish the words before Christmas.'"

Christmas is an Advanced deadline for Smith to give himself. Doesn't he know that the Cure are supposed to be gloomy, while Christmas is cheerful? One might expect a Halloween deadline, but not Christmas. Overt Cure fans would probably be surprised that Christmas is even a part of his reality, but we all know better than that. And speaking of Christmas, hating it is Overt, as is complaining that Christmas ads appear before Thanksgiving.

Velvet Underground Acetate up for Auction

A while back I wrote about the lucky guy who bought a Velvet Underground acetate (for the Nico album) for 75 cents at a record fair. Well, now he's doing what any music lover would do: He's putting it up for auction. Apparently it includes five tracks that are the same as the album, but "Heroin," "I'm Waiting for the Man," "European Son," and "Venus in Furs" are different. Wouldn't it be great if the different versions were in the style of Rock and Roll Animal? At any rate, the bidding is now at $130,000, so if you want to give it to me for Christmas, you might want to find some people to help you pay for it.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Buck Owens and "Japanese" Advancement

A friend of mine wrote me an email that I'd like to share with you:

"So listening to Buck Owens 'made in japan' it occurred to me that one of myfavorite music tropes is having the guitar do a version of 'that japaneseguitar part on the b and e strings' in an otherwise non-eastern sounding song. Similar to the 'knocking' of the snare in a song when the vocals mention a knock on the door, but cooler."

He wondered if besides being cooler than the knocking, whether that guitar part is Advanced. Obviously it depends on the context, but it is definitely one of the few musical tricks that is more Advanced the knocking-on-the-door snare. Plus, the "Eastern" guitar part has the advantage of being potentially offensive. Of course, the most Advanced trick is probably the "hey sexy" whistle guitar in "The Joker," which could be offensive to half the population (though it isn't). I'd like to hear a song with the "Eastern" thing, a door knocking (or would that be a gong?), and a "hey sexy" whistle.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Neil Diamond: Ay, There's the Rubin

Neil Diamond has overcome the coding fiasco that was "12 songs" and is headed back to the studio with Rick Rubin:

"While an album of covers or another album of originals have both been discussed, Rubin says it's too early in the process to know which way it will go. 'It depends on how long the writing process takes,' he says. 'I thought if it's going to take a while to write, it might be fun to do a covers album in between, but we'll see. The material is going to dictate everything.'"

Speaking of covers records, I watched a movie about Bob Dylan's life after his motorcycle crash but before his conversion to Christianity (becoming religious is Advanced), and there was some interesting stuff about the covers record he did. One critic said that it was almost as if Dylan had made it with the intention of disappointing his fans. I loved that, of course. Another critic said that Dylan put together a tour that was inspired by a Neil Diamond concert he saw.

I don't think anyone my age or younger truly understands Neil Diamond, but he sure does write a good reggae song. One other question: When did he become the voice of Christmas?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Les Paul Meets Nintendo NES

This is a pretty great hacked guitar. How awesome would it be to be playing RBI Baseball and playing along with the music at the same time?! (See more pictures.) One other thing, you should really check out Very Little Known Facts. The post about hedge funds is too great to be believed.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Lou Reed's Live "Berlin" Update: Now With Chanteuse!

As you know, Lou Reed will be staging Berlin in December. Here's some new info about the event:

"French actress Emmanuelle Seigner has been chosen to appear in a film to be screened on stage during the concerts, to feature the entire album which tells the story of two fictional drug addicts in love in the German city of the same name.

She will play the role of Caroline in the film, made by Lola Schnabel, whose father Julian, American designer, painter and director, will be in charge of the stage setting and artistic coordination.

"Five new pieces are also on the musical line-up...."

I am so excited about this. By the way, Britt, the cofounder of the theory will be there with me, so look for us. We'll be the ones with the "Lou's Number One" foam oversize fingers. The good thing about this concert is that it will be either traditionally awesome or Advanced. Either way, we can't lose!

The Brian Eno Nokia Cell Phone

Check it out (from Let's Go Digital):

"[T]he Nokia 8800 Sirocco Edition consists of two variants - light and dark, the light inspired by the hot, dry air mass, the dark by the cooler, humid one. And as it blows, the powerful sirocco makes its own unique sound - a composition from nature caused by two air masses colliding. With nature as his inspiration, Brian Eno, the world renowned music composer and ambient music innovator, has created a unique 'sonic texture' that is organic and highly evolved."

I'm still going to be mad if it goes off during a movie.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

John Wayne's America: You Ask Me Why I Love Her?

This was the signoff for WIS channel 10 in Columbia, which was the greatest channel in the world. But the reason I'm posting this is becuase of John Wayne's amazing narration over "America the Beautiful" (it starts about a minute in, after Mr. Columbia, Joe Pinner, does his duty). For me, it will always be the soundtrack of a child's disappointment that TV was done for another day. Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeep

Lee Hazelwood: Very Advanced

I have been listening to Lee Hazelwood's Cake or Death (apparently Warren Zevon is naming other people's albums from the grave), which I think might be the most Advanced record of the year. You will hardly believe the Bach and Mozart--pronounced like Moh-ssart--non-Stravinisky breakdown in "Fred Freud" or the German singing in "Nothing." What isn't Advanced about that song? Gar nichts. And you will surely love his version of "Please Come to Boston," especially the "ain't no gold" part.

I'm now the number one fan of the man named Hazelwood, Lee.

Bob Dylan's Advanced Christmas Bear

I got an email from today that featured some Dylan-related Christmas gifts. I like the Terra-Cotta Coffee Mug Setg, but these bears are my favorite.

Bank of America: Advanced?

According to this, maybe so:

"Today's New York Times features the behind-the-scenes story of Bank of America's version of U2's "One" performed at a corporate conference celebrating their merger with MBNA. Watch it now, then read on...Quicktime download This clip could have come right out of an episode of The Office, but it is no fake - proving once again that The Office is closer to reality TV than any of those 'reality' shows could ever hope to be. That really is the BoA brass, and the song is performed by Ethan Chandler, Manhattan bank manager by day, sensitive rocker by night (favorite band: Counting Crows).

"The video is a hoot, and works on so many levels. It shows the crassness of corporate culture (especially those inspirational conferences) while simultaneously reminding us that artistic expression is such a hard-to-control beast. I'm no U2 fan (okay, maybe once, long long ago), but I'm pretty sure they had no intention of their song being co-opted to represent bank mergers, NASCAR, office teamwork, or dissing Capital One."

I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have a problem with it.


This is pretty good:

"Guns n' Roses have dumped support band Eagles Of Death Metal from their tour.... According to MTV, at the start of Guns n' Roses slot, [Axl] Rose came out on stage and said, 'So how'd you like the Pigeons Of Shit Metal? Don't worry, that's the last show they're playing with us.'"

But the Ealges of Death Metal's response is even better:

"At first the audience refused to welcome us to the jungle, but by the time we took our final bow, it had become paradise city. Although Axl tried to November rain on our parade, no sweet child o' mine can derail the EODM night train. We say live and let die."

Point to the Eagles of Death Metal! By the way, on the plane back from Seattle, I enjoyed the onboard entertainment that Delta has these days. You can make a playlist from various CDs, and the selection wasn't too bad. One of the songs I chose was "Welcome to the Jungle," and as ever, I was blown away by the introduction. There's also lots of interesting guitar interplay throughout that I hadn't noticed before. You should have a listen on your headphones next time you get a chance.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Ricky Gervais Joins Bob Dylan, Beatles on iTunes, High Fidelity Overtness, Ron Wood Can Stop Painting for a Living

  • Ricky Gervais will be appearing on Bob Dylan's radio show. It would be pretty fun to watch "The Office" on DVD with Dylan.
  • The Beatles might be coming to iTunes. I hope they'll put the twenty-whatever-minute-version of "Helter Skelter"!
  • See if you can figure out the top five reasons this article about the High Fidelity musical is Overt.
  • The Rolling Stones' current tour is the top-grossing tour ever, while the Butthole Surfers hold the title for the grossest tour ever.
  • It's nice to be back, even if blogger still won't let me put up pictures! (that's better...)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Mike Watt and Kelly Clarkson

Here they are! (Thanks to VFFM!) I'm very flattered that the Bossman Cometh thinks of me when a picture of Mike Watt and Kelly Clarkson emerges.

Okay, now I'm really going...

Greetings From Lopez

I'm on Lopez Island in Washington State (it's a part of the San Juan Islands) and have no access to the Internet except for a few minutes at the public library. And yet, furthering the cause of Advancement is important enough to use those few minutes for the blog. Unfortunately, since I have no Internet or cable, I have nothing to report. I will say that listening to Pearl Jam in Seattle is different from listening in New York. I guess it's kind of like Guiness' tasting better in Ireland. Speaking of beer, Britt discovered long ago that Eddie Vedder is singing "Oh I love Amstel Light" and not "I'm still alive." The question is, how did that never become a commercial and if so, if so, who answers? Also, that song has the same chord progression as "Dr. Love" by Kiss. Steal from the best, I always say.

I had a thought about Alice Cooper this morning that his music was not quite good enough to qualify him for true Advancement. However, his whole thing--the music, the name, the stageshow, the golf--was worthy of it. So what of these artists whose music may not be up to Lou Reed's level, but they are still obviously Advanced? I don't know, but I'm sensing a new category of Advancement is near.

So that's all I've got for you until next week...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Danzig: It's a Black Thing

Glenn Danzig's Blackest of the Black tour will stick to the West Coast because he likes to be near his home. Here's the scoop, from livedaily:

"I want to do shows where I feel like I won't be wasting my whole day away," Danzig said. "You're on stage for only two hours a night. The rest of the day, I'm stuck in a hotel or a bus or something. This way, it's only two weeks. Pretty much, if I can't fly home in an hour or two, I can drive home. I think it will be much easier for me to do."

"Last month, Danzig released "Black Aria II," the follow up to 1993's 'Black Aria,' which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Classical chart. Produced, written and--with a couple of exceptions--performed by Glenn, 'Black Aria II'" tells the story of a rebel of ancient lore--Lilith, Adam's wife before Eve."

"They're talking about doing it as some kind of Vegas show, some kind of Sarah Brightman or Cirque du Soleil thing or something," he said. "We'll see if that happens. They came to me first and said, 'Would you be opposed to this?' I thought about it for awhile and I said, 'That might actually be kind of cool.' They want to do this ['Black Aria' album] and the first one together. I told them, 'When there's something ready to show me on paper, bring it to me and let me look at it.' I'm not opposed to the idea."

If you don't think that Glenn Danzig is Advanced, you're crazy.

Lou Reed: Rock 'n' Roll (Sydney '74)

This is a funky and fast version that is, by the way, highly Advanced. He's so animated!

Lola Cashman: Subject Is Hatless

Bono will get his hat back.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I'm too busy to write in the blog these days, but hopefully some time will free up (and good stuff to write about will happen). I would like to mention that Christina Aguilera's first song on SNL the other night was incredible! Not incredibly Advanced, mind you, just incredible.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Lou Reed at Web 2.0: The Video

You read about it, now watch the video!

Lou Reed: Advanced Irrritant 2.0

This is awesome:

"The special guest at tonight's Web 2.0 Summit was none other than Lou Reed, and you couldn't have picked an artist less inclined to tolerate the nerdy audience's rude chatter and blogging throughout his show.

"Reed took the stage with bassists Rob Wasserman and Fernando Saunders and within minutes it became apparent that the crowd was not going to let the music stop their conversation. After his first two songs, 'What's Good" and 'Gassed and Stoked,' Reed declared: 'You got 20 minutes. You wanna talk through it, you can talk through it.'

"'I can turn the sound louder and really hurt you,' he added. 'Frank, turn it up.' The sound got louder and people looked uncomfortable.

"[Reed said] 'I was on St. Mark's Place and I thought, someday there'll be a cyberspace, and an Internet, and I'll be introduced by my Kung Fu brother [AOL Chairman and CEO] Jon Miller.'

"He...finished with a song that he said no one had heard, nor could they buy; it's for an upcoming movie produced by AOL."

That is some classic Advancement right there: embracing technology, making fans uncomfortable, hanging out with CEOs, martial arts, and selling out. Also, after he treated the fans that way, they tried for ten minutes to get him to do an encore. He refused.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Val Kilmer: A Song for Lou Reed

When Chuck Klosterman wrote that he thought that Val Kilmer was an Advanced Actor, I wasn't so sure. My doubts are no more:

Movie star VAL KILMER is beginning to think he can get whatever he wants if he sings about it - after luring LOU REED to his New Mexico ranch. THE DOORS star is recording his first album and penned a tribute to Reed only to discover the former VELVET UNDERGROUND frontman and his partner LAURIE ANDERSON had booked a fly fishing holiday on his 6,000-acre estate. Kilmer explains, "I was listening to DAVID ESSEX's ROCK ON... and out of nowhere it just says 'JIMMY DEAN' in one of the lyrics, who wasn't a rock 'n' roller but he was a rebel and sort of makes sense in the song. "I was thinking about it and I called my writing partner and I said, 'I was just thinking about what's cool, who's cool... How about Lou Reed?' "So we wrote the song and it's a very nice song and then, out of nowhere, he came to the ranch, so I'm gonna write a song called lots and lots and lots of money."

There is so much Advancement here, I'm not sure what to do. But let's just enjoy the thought of Reed and Anderson fly fishing.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Gary Numan: Asperger's Syndrome Sufferer

This is unsurprising:

"Gary Numan has admitted that he may have a mild form of Asperger Syndrome. The electro star claims that he may have had the condition since he was young, but never realised because little was known about it.Asperger Syndrome has only been recognised by professionals for a few years and those diagnosed with the disorder are often overly sensitive to sounds, tastes, smells, and sights. A person with AS may prefer soft clothing, certain foods, and be bothered by sounds or lights no one else seems to hear or see...."

"Numan told the Metro newspaper: 'I've read a lot about it and I fulfil some of the diagnostic criteria but not others. I probably only have a mild form. It means you're unable to interact socially in a way that is generally acceptable. For example, if people came over for dinner and I saw a magazine I hadn't read, I'd pick it up, sit in the corner and read it - which I now know is wrong. You also don't readily understand facial expressions. You don't communicate in the same way.'"

So the next time you're at a dinner party and ou think a friend is being a butt-head, maybe he's just being an Asperger. By the way, another symptom of AS is feeling safe in your car.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Lou Reed's Iraq Protest: Walk on the Wild Side '03

Please enjoy Lou Reed's Iraq protest song, which is a remix of "Walk on the Wild Side" (of course!). You won't believe how Advanced it is.

Bruce Dickinson: Don't Fence Me In

Here's something I didn't know:

"Neil Diamond was a sabreur and the fencing captain at NYU, and...Bruce Dickinson, the lead singer of Iron Maiden, is a world-class foilist."

Actually, I think I knew about Neil Diamond (I mean just look at him), but not about Dickinson. I guess he still puts his pants on one leg at a time, but once they're on, he's wearing a codpiece.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Return of Bad Brains

Billboard bulletin: Bad Brains back in business...

"On-again/off-again rock act Bad Brains appears to be on once more. After being asked to kick off the final week of shows at CBGB with a trio of sold-out performances, the original Bad Brains line-up of singer H.R., guitarist Dr. Know, bassist Darryl Jenifer and drummer Earl Hudson has been jumpstarted.

"...Tying in with the recent flurry of activity is a long-in-the-works, as-yet-untitled studio album produced by the Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch. The set should see the light of day next spring. 'The lawyers are finishing up the last little tidbits of it,' Dr. Know says. [I love that lawyers are finishing it up, rather than, say, a producer. -JH]

"There's a lot of dubs and there's some old school-meets-new school Brains,' he continues. 'Not moderate tempo, but fast tempo. Yauch said, 'Man, I want y'all to do some old school-type sh*t,' so we did it like that." Song titles for the rock tracks include "It's All Rock'n'Roll"....

Now that is an Advanced title! I'm so pleased that they are coming back, though I imagine I won't listen to the new record because I hardly listened to their old records. Still though, they're one of my favorite bands, if only in theory.

Prince in Vegas, De Niro and 50 Cent, Dolly Parton a Day Late for Handsome Me, Kerry Doesn't Need a Weatherman, the Voice and CMJ

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Portrait of the Advanced Artist as a Young Man

Was James Joyce a believer in Advancement? Here's what he had to say (through Stephen Dedalus): "A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery." That's as good an explanation of Mistrial as I've heard.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Why Do You Think You Are Nuts

Some people think Sonic Youth are pretty weird.

Beck on SNL

So Beck was on SNL this past weekend (best show this season, I'd say; maybe I should be watching House?) with lots of props. Now I'm going to give him more props. I had heard about the puppets, but I worried that it might have been a sort of sub-Gorillaz thing. However, the puppets added a uniquely weird element to his set. Which is strange because the puppets were pretty small. (They're projected in concert I think.) But maybe that's why they were so effective? The real achievement of the puppets was that it made me like the guy on stage who did nothing but dance around. The fact that Beck has a pointless person on stage is one thing, but to have him in puppet form is something else altogether! Is that something else Advancement? Hard to say at this point.

As for the second song, I am totally sick of people banging on things. It was charming a long time ago, but I'm about Stomped out. And yet, I loved it when Beck did it! I should have wanted to punch the TV when the pointless guy brought out a fake turkey, but I smiled instead. And a bunch of hip-looking dudes sitting around a dinner table instead of playing instruments? If it had been the Killers, I would have rolled my eyes out of my head. But Beck? Bon appetit!

I agree with my brother that the songs weren't much to speak of, though neither of us noticed until after the show was over.

So that's me on ATB on Beck on SNL.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Slate's Take on Bob Dylan Musical

There is a review of the Bob Dylan musical at Slate. Let's take a look:

"Attend a performance of Twyla Tharp's new Bob Dylan musical The Times They Are A-Changin', and you'll inevitably find yourself wondering: What on earth would Bob Dylan make of this? What would he make of the "Highway 61 Revisited" production number, during which a circus ringleader bellows, "For the first time anywhere … live on our stage … God!"—at which point a dancer, dressed as the white-bearded and be-dreadlocked deity, lurches onstage atop 10-foot stilts? And what about "Like a Rolling Stone," a spectacle that features a mammoth balloon shaped like a circus sideshow fat lady, clowns bouncing on exercise balls, and an earnest young man belting out "How does it feeeel?" while air-strumming an oversized sequined guitar?"

He is Advanced, so of course he loves it.

"The fable, as near as I could make out, involves a down-at-heel circus, a pretty girl in a red dress, and a struggle between a father and son. The circus is presided over, in the gentle manner of Joseph Stalin, by a ringmaster named Capt. Ahrab, whose look is a cross between Christopher Lloyd's wild-eyed scientist in Back to the Future, the Joker from Batman, and Dylan's creepy whiteface get-up on his 1975-76 Rolling Thunder Revue tour. The other dramatis personae are Ahrab's son, Coyote, a rosy-cheeked wuss in suspenders; the girl, Cleo; and several clowns, dressed in Mad Max-style rags, who are forever hurtling their bodies through the air—the action-adventure part, I guess.... The truth is, Bob Dylan on Broadway is just as awkward in practice as it sounds on paper—an aesthetic car crash."

I don't have time to go into this in depth, but it sounds like it might be one of the most Advanced works of art ever.

(Blogger still won't let me post pictures)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Kiss Take on Starbucks

From the increasingly indispensable blabbermouth:

"Michelle J. Mills of Whittier Daily News recently conducted an interview with KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons about the recently released KISS fragrance lines for men and women.

'The idea of KISS fragrances initially was not just limited to fragrances, it was for everything head to toe," said Gene Simmons.

The collection includes 'underarm deodorant, shampoo, fragrances, body oils for him and for her,' he said. 'It's a full line and we have special Merry Kiss-mas boxes where you can stick one or more of everything in there and get it all and giveaway gift baskets and blah, blah, blah.'"

There's more:

"'This is turning into a KISS world actually because we already have the Kiss Coffeehouse, the first in a new franchise, that's already opened in Myrtle Beach, that's a massive hit,' Simmons said. 'We intend on doing 100 coffeehouses in the next two years.'"

That last quote is priceless. Plus, Myrtle Beach is the single greatest place in the world to open the flagship Kiss Coffeehouse. Make mine a venti, God of Thunder! (By the way, I still think he looks cool as hell in his makeup.

Cast of Dylan Musical on the View

My old friends at Best Week Ever has the cast of the Bob Dylan musical singing on The View. Unsurprisingly, BWE missed how Advanced this is and makes fun of it. But one commenter ("bestgayever") hit it out of the ballpark:

"you idiots!!!
i cannot believe you posted this!"

Here's to you, bestgayever. But good luck trying to get BWE to understand Advancement.

(Thanks to the coolest mom ever!)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

U2 and Green Day on YouTube

Now this is why Google laid down $1.6 billion!

Alice Cooper Gets His Sword Back

From Blabbermouth:

"ALICE COOPER's sword — which he lost during a show in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, on Friday — has been found. According to WFMZ-TV, a Monroe County man and his 12-year-old daughter called the station to say that they have the sword and want to give it back.Cooper lost the sword when 'it got caught in a dancer's whip and it landed in the crowd,' according to a posting on the singer's web site. Cooper was offering a reward of 500 dollars, two free tickets to his show in Reading, Pennsylvania, and backstage passes to whomever returned the sword, but the sword's finder told WFMZ-TV he wouldn't accept money. However, he did indicate that he would like to go see the shock-rocker again."

Those Alice Cooper fans are a sweet bunch! Now watch the TV report.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Weird Al Rules the Charts, Pixies to Record Again, Thomas Dolby Still Blinding, Yet Another Article About the iPod, the Douchebag in the Mirror

  • Weird Al's latest album is his highest-charting record yet. Now That's What I Call Polka!
  • Well, now Frank Black says the Pixies will make another record because he doesn't want them to be a "county fair band." Speaking of which, George Jones was a no-show again at the South Carolina State Fair.
  • Thomas Dolby is hitting the road to support a live CD and DVD. Billboard felt it necessary to add this: "The CD portion...features live versions of songs such as 'She Blinded Me With Science'...."
  • I don't know why Apple even bothers advertising the iPod anymore.
  • Finally, a word about "douchebag." When I was at VH1, I noticed that "douchebag" had become a favorite word of "comedy" writers and all kinds of people on the Internet. It's interesting that the word has made such a comeback, as actual douching is not nearly as popular as it once was. The other interesting thing is that it's a good bet that if someone uses "douchebag," he is a douchebag himself.

Monday, October 23, 2006

A Tip of the Advanced Cap to Tommy Lee and Brian May

I'm not going to sit here and tell you that Tommy Lee is Advanced. But this is pretty impressive:

"With MÖTLEY CRÜE drummer Tommy Lee's hottest new product — called Tommy Lee's Crank Pranks — you can enlist the help of the legendary rocker to send crank calls to your buddies. Whether it's a call from the IRS about an audit, the credit card company calling to inform your friends their card's been shut off, or a call from the doctor with some unwanted test results, Tommy's sure to keep your friends wondering what hit 'em! But beware! With more than a dozen crank calls to choose from, you may end up a victim of a call from Tommy too! Visit to start a prank war today!"

And don't forget this:"...Tommy Lee is giving hand at fashion. The drummer is starting a fashion line which he simply calls "PL for TL" — People's Liberation for Tommy Lee. The limited PL for TL line, inspired by his extensive ink collection, will mostly consist of jeans, T-shirts and hats for men and women, with imagery from the rocker's many tattoos reflected throughout the graphics and detailing."

I tip my hat to you, sir.

P.S. Brian May has some fairly interesting stuff going on too.

Lou Reed Down Under, Thom Yorke's Favorite Radiohead Song, Chambelin High on MySpace, EMI Parlophone Online Demos, Airplane III (Please)

  • Lou Reed screwed Australia's Sydney Festival. If they can't think of better names for their festivals, it serves them right.
  • NME reports that Thom Yorke has revealed his favorite Radiohead song: The Air That I Breathe, by the Hollies.
  • Jimmy Chambelin wrote on his MySpace (of course) page that the Smashing Pumpkins' new music is "sounding fantastic." Of course, he also said that "everyone reading this is hitching their silver chord to the Great Pumpkin Space Train!" I'm convinced!
  • EMI Parlophone has set up a new online demo system where you can upload your demo. This is great because now they can ignore your music more efficiently than ever.
  • I have a controversial new plan to defeat the terrorists: Airplane III. What better way to show that we aren't going to live our lives in fear? Just think of the great airport security jokes! Robert Hays would take the Lloyd Bridges position, of course, but I'd like to Sean Penn in the Robert Hays role. Also, how about Shirley Maclaine in a cameo like this: Sean Penn: "Surely you can't be serious." Shirley Maclaine: "I am serious." Sean Penn pauses, waits a beat for her to say "and don't call me Shirley," which she doesn't say because her name is Shirley. Take that, Saddam! I mean, Osama!

The Peel Possessions

From NME:

"A decision on what to do with John Peel's huge library of records, tapes and CDs is yet to be reached, according to the late DJs family. Peel was estimated to have 25,000 vinyl albums, and the collection was recently valued at £1.5 million. It was suggested that the British Library might take the collection, but for the moment the collection will remain at the Peel family home in Suffolk. His daughter Alexandra Ravenscroft said: 'We've not had any discussions about what is going to happen to the collection in the long-term. For now it will stay at home.'"

The Ravenscrofts could have one badass sidewalk sale, no? And here's a tip: if the Ravenscrofts ever move to another house and they ask you for help, say no! Records are a lot heavier than you think. Still, if they are looking for a place to put the records, I've got a couple of free shelves, and I'd be glad to store them.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Slate Overthinks Weird Al

If you're like me, you love Weird Al and you read Slate. So yesterday, you were happy when you found the article "Troubadork: 25 Years of Weird Al Yankovic." Unfortunately it was marred by what will now be known as the Smartypants Treatment (AKA the Whatever, Dude! Treatment). Let's take a look at a passage:

"The only 'weird' thing about Weird Al Yankovic (and it's not weird in the way he seems to want it to be weird) is that he insists on calling himself weird. The tag, at this point in his career, is like an appendix or a vestigial tail—a remnant of an earlier evolutionary phase, now a little misleading. It's a spray-on, pseudo-zany veneer that manifests itself mainly as an unshakeable faith in the hilarity of Hawaiian shirts and hamsters; it's incidental to the rigorous logic of his actual comedy. (My 2-year-old daughter calls him 'Funny Al,' which seems better.) Unlike Salvador Dalí or Mel Gibson, Yankovic isn't essentially weird—i.e., a figure with whom we have nothing in common. In fact, the opposite is true. Weird Al's essential service is to point out that, from the perspective of the middle-class suburban lifeworld, pop culture itself is weird. This is the paradox of Weird Al's weirdness: He's actually Normal Al, a common-sensical, conservative force. He's Everyman trapped on Neverland Ranch, exposing as many stylistic excesses and false profundities as he can."

Whatever, dude! I guess you know weird better than Weird Al! Just forget all that stuff and watch this amazing video. (I know I've linked to it before, but it's just so awesome.)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ono Sues for Money, Peter Gabriel: Remix the Monkey, Michael Jackson and Black Eyed Peas, Patti Smith Spit Take, Sting Is Bored With Rock

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Advancement on the Sunset Strip

I saw Aaron Sorkin's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip last night, and Sting--with his lute--was the musical guest. I'll get to the lute business in a second, but first a couple of words about the show in general. I love A Few Good Men (and thanks to TNT I can watch it daily!), and West Wing is one my all-time favorites. But the new show isn't quite cutting with me. I guess the problem is that I don't mind that Sorkin thinks that he is morally superior to Marines or that he smarter and more noble than anyone who has ever served in public office. But I do mind that he thinks that he can write funny sketches because he can't. The problem is that he treats Josh Lymon and Chandler (I mean Danny and Matt) as saviors not only of the show but of television itself, but the fictional show they are making just isn't that good. And unfortunately the real show is that good either, but maybe it will be. The thing is, Sorkin sounds great coming from Jack Nicholson or Martin Sheen, but when it comes from the guy from Wings, it doesn't quite work out. Not that I didn't enjoy Wings from time to time. But on to Sting and his lute:

I like it. The first song on the show wasn't too great, but then he played that "Fields of Gold" song (or whatever it's called), and I found myself moved by it despite the fact that I had always hated that song. Or at least I thought I did. Anyway, I'm now totally convinced that Sting is Super Advanced, and it is time to embrace that. So bring on Ten Summoner's Tales (and the night)!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Tom Waits While Scarlett Johanssons

This is awesome, from Fox(y) News:

"Scarlett, I am told, has signed a deal to make her first record. "Scarlett Sings Tom Waits" is being recorded now and through the winter, with a possible release next spring from Rhino Records' recently reactivated Atco label. The eventual release date will be coordinated with Johansson's movie schedule."

Thanks VFFM!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Roger Daltrey on CSI, Oprah and Bono, Lou Reed From Berlin to Coney Island, Joey Ramone Biopic in the Works?

  • Roger Daltrey is going to appear on CSI. The more I think about it, the more I become convinced that he is the truly Advanced one in the Who.
  • Oprah and Bono are promoting an iPod and a line of clothing to raise money to fight AIDS. You can find the stuff at the Gap. The Gap, I say.
  • USA Today is excited about Lou Reed's staging of Berlin in December. I'm excited that Antony will be leading a children's choir at the show. (Good ol' Bob Ezrin.)
  • More Lou: There's a little something about Coney Island Baby's "redemptive power" at The writer manages to bring Justin Timberlake into the article, but only to diss him. Tsk tsk.
  • The life of Joey Ramone may be getting the biopic treatment. I hear Vincent Chase is going to play the lead.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I Will Show You the Stooges

The Stooges are back in the studio, more Advanced than ever. Billboard has the story:

"The reconstituted Stooges have spent the past week recording their first album since 1973 at producer Steve Albini's Electrical Audio studio in Chicago.... Bassist Mike Watt, who is rounding out the lineup of vocalist Pop, drummer Scott Asheton and guitarist Ron Asheton, is chronicling the sessions in explicit detail on his Web site, which lists such new tracks as 'Trollin',' 'Greedy Awful People,' 'Claustrophobia,' 'Mexican Guy' [Advanced title -JH] and 'I'm Fried.'

"'O Solo Mio' is said to be 'the real ballad ... of the bunch'...while "She Took My Money" is pegged to feature saxophone."

"'All the same passions and problems are there,' Pop told Billboard of writing with Scott and Ron Asheton. 'But the problems are in a more muted style. I'm still the showoff in the group that gets all the attention. Everyone has their role. It's pretty much the way it was in high school.'"

You have to love that they are doing "O Solo Mio" (by the way, "OSM" is where the tune for "It's Now or Never" came from, which I didn't know until last year), even if they are just lifting the title. And no Advanced reunion record would be complete without a sax. Nice work!

Keys to the Casio, Yahoo Hates YouTube, Nielsen in the Dorms, A Rare Diddy Wham!, Dave Davies Loves Yoga

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Jimmy Buffet's eTicket, Pete Townshend in the Attic With Vedder, New York Dolls Tour, Roger Waters Moons Audience, Lindsey Buckingham

  • As you may have heard, Jimmy Buffet was detained in a French airport for having 100 tabs of ecstasy. He was fined 300 euros but his publicist says they were on 20 tablets and they were "prescribed." And I thought my dentist was cool for giving me nitrous during a cleaning!
  • If Pete Townshend can ever get Eddie Vedder to get off the phone, he will work with him.
  • The New York Dolls just kicked off their first tour in more than 30 years. There were no survivors, but the tour will continue.
  • Don't worry: Roger Waters' performance of Dark Side of the Moon was a "brilliantly performed and accentuated recital." I haven't seen a brilliantly performed and accentuated recital in forever.
  • Automatic Headline of the Day: "Lindsey Buckingham Goes His Own Way." And he has big love for the holiday road, not to mention the chain, which will keep him together.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Like Sand in the Hourglass, So Is This Day of My Life

It occurred to me just now that I still like Pink Floyd. I also like "Stairway to Heaven," but I don't like Black Sabbath's longer songs. I like the Pixies, but I always find myself skipping them on my iPod. I would never turn them off the radio though. All my iPods (I've had three, I think) have liked Fugazi and Minor Threat if the number of times they have been chosen at random is an indication. I never get tired of the hits of Tears for Fears, and I've liked every single Michael Jackson has released that I can think of. I used to feel that way about Madonna, too. I like "Mississippi Queen" and Mississippi Fred McDowell. I like "Breakout" by Swing Out Sister, and I like "Break On Through" by the Doors. I like greatest hits collections but I don't like bonus tracks. I like it when I find early signs of Advancement: George Sand once wrote in a letter to Gustave Flaubert that he shouldn't worry that people didn't like his books after "Madame Bovary" because a writer as great as he was could not write something bad and would always be improving (paraphrase). I like "Wrong Way" by Sublime, but not that first big hit of theirs. I like bands that I like and don't understand why people seem to be so eager not to like the bands that they like. I like it when there's more news in the Advanced world so I don't have to write things off the top of my head...

P.S. Also, I don't much like the blues, but I love documentaries about blues musicians.

Kinks to Reunite?

Ray Davies, who was just honored by the Broadcast Music Inc (some kind of icon thing), suggested that he might try to get together with his brother. From NME:

"Sibling and former Kink, Dave Davies, suffered a stroke in 2004, but Ray Davies was confident the two would work together again. He [Ray} told BBC 6 Music: 'I'm trying to track down my brother, see how he's doing. Maybe he could guest on a few tracks. But we'll see.... I spoke to him before I went on my last tour in America, and he's really on the mend. He's playing again, so it's a good sign."

I wonder how difficult it is to track down Dave Davies, especially if he's your brother. In any case, I would be kinda excited if they were to get together for a little music making. By the way, my favorite Kinks song these days is "Ping Pong."

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Bob Seger Is Back

Not much has been going on the last few days, plus I've been incredibly busy, but at least Bob Seger has recorded a new record and is hitting the road for the first time in ten years:

"Bob Seger (tickets music) is set to back his latest album, Face the Promise, with late-year roadwork that will mark his first concert tour since 1996.

"...Face the Promise, which hit stores Sept. 12, is Seger's first studio effort since 1995's It's a Mystery. The interval between the two discs is the longest in the 61-year-old singer's career. The new album's initial single is titled 'Wait For Me.'

"'It's a pretty high-energy rock record,' Seger recently told USA Today. 'I would say it's more rock 'n' roll than usual. I wrote a lot of songs, a lot of songs. I probably recorded about 30, but the best songs happened to be more rock-leaning.'"

I'm actually of the Seger school that prefers his more thoughtful, less-rocking tunes ("Main Street," "Against the Wind," "Night Moves) than his hard rockers ("Old Time Rock and Roll," "Her Strut"), but it's nice to have him back nonetheless.