Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Rod Stewart "Sailing"

Just for fun, Rod Stewart singing a nice song about sailing. Why did it seem like such a good idea to dress up in silly costumes while singing heartfelt songs in the 70s and 80s? And isn't it interesting that not only did Bonnie Tyler rip off Rod's singing style, she also ripped off his hairstyle?

Andy Warhol Auction, plus Prince's Webby, Ween Get Moldy, Peter Gammons Rocks, Courtney Love Writes

  • Some of Andy Warhol's stuff is being auctioned. I've got dibs on his chest.
  • Prince is going to be honored with a lifetime-achievement Webby. Interestingly, "webby" not "slave" was his first choice for his beard-word protest, but his beard wasn't full enough to make the B's.
  • Ween are holed up in a "shitty old farmhouse with a leaky roof and a rodent/insect infestation" with "black mold" making music and plotting a tour. "Black Mold" sounds like a good Ween title to me.
  • ESPN's Peter Gammons has a new album coming out featuring George Thorogood, Juliana Hatfield, and former Letters to Cleo vocalist Kay Hanley. On the record, he does a Warren Zevon cover and a Clash song. How about that!
  • Courtney Love has set the date for the publication of her memoirs. I wonder if she'll include the incident in Atlanta when she grabbed a certain blogger by the testicles.

Lou Reed Walks on the Wild Side for the Kitchen

Lou Reed is briefly mentioned at You'll see why I mention it when you read the following: "On Wednesday night, Chelsea Clinton, Euan and Lucy Sykes Rellie, Jacquetta Wheeler, and Wheeler's mane man Ashley Javier were among those attending a benefit for The Kitchen at the Puck Building. Lou Reed—whose other half, Laurie Anderson, serves on the Chelsea performance center's board of directors—entertained the crowd with 'Walk on the Wild Side.'" And the one-hit wonder myth lives on.

Simon Cowell Disses Prince, plus Morrisey Against Vivisection, Dave Grohl Lives, Sammy Hagar Tours, No Need to Mention Harvard in Weezer Articles

  • Simon Cowell obviously doesn't understand Advancement.
  • Morrissey has come up with a put-down that is sure to be the next big thing: "Go and be vivisected yourself." Not sure which finger or hand gesture will accompany that, though.
  • Dave Grohl is not dead, and I feel pretty good myself.
  • The upcoming Sammy Hagar tour (featuring Michael Anthony) sounds incredibly awesome. Unless you don't like the idea of a roving Cabo Wabo village (see an artist's rendering) that will be "jammed with bikini girls, body builders, mariachi bands, food, drink, contests and probably some other cool stuff to boot."
  • At long last, Weezer's Rivers Cuomo has graduated from Harvard. Now let us never speak of where he went to school again.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

George Martin Punks Paul McCartney, plus Dan Ackroyd's UFO Movie, Debbie Harry in the Red, Rappers vs. Oprah, Densmore Celebrates Responsibly

David Bowie Gets Comfortably Numb, Lindsay Lohan as Janis Joplin, Morrissey Regrets Celibacy, Paris Hilton Is Next Reggae Star, Kinks Reuniting

  • David Bowie joined David Gilmour on stage to sing "Comfortably Numb" and "Arnold Layne." Then they made a prank phone call to Roger Waters.
  • Lindsay Lohan is preparing for a possible role in a Janis Joplin biopic by allowing her room to become "a complete mess." If that's all it takes, maybe I should play Janis Joplin.
  • Morrissey regrets announcing that he was practicing celibacy in the 80s. I guess, but did anyone ever really buy that?
  • Paris Hilton's new album will contain reggae. Don't be Overt: embrace this.
  • The Kinks are reuniting! Kinda exciting.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Sting's Next Move: the Lute, plus Ministry to Hang It Up, Phil Collins and R2D2, Tom Petty Milestone, Ivor Novello

  • Sting, I don't understand you. Are you Advanced? Were you always secretly terrible. I want to embrace your new disc of 16th-century lute music, but I just don't know if I can.
  • Ministry has announced that they've got one more record in them. All they have to do is finished their current road trip, the Advancedly named MasterBaTour.
  • Phil Collins once lived with R2D2. Help me, Sussudio, you're our only hope! (By the way, please check out the American Psycho-like review of No Jacket Required at Amazon by Daniel J. Hanlow (scroll down). I've got a feeling he celebrates Collins' entire catalog.
  • Tom Petty is bringing back some moldy oldies in celebration of the Heartbreakers' 30th anniversary. And I'm not talking about Stevie Nicks!
  • Gamble & Leon Huff, Ray Davies, New Order and the Bee Gees were all honored at the Ivor Novello awards. That must have been one hell of an all-star jam.

Friday Videos, Desmond Dekker Edition: The Specials, Prince Buster and Suggs, Toots and the Maytals, and Burning Spear

This is an awesome (and fast) version of the late Desmond Dekker's "The Israelites." I figure since he has passed on that I would do my best to honor him. I'm so ignorant of reggae and ska, but I'll do my best...

Roomba Goes Midi on Your Ass, plus NME Smiths Contest, Bono's Face for Business, Lou Reed's "Meditations," Ian Copeland

  • A genius has made the Roomba midi-ready (too bad it's not the Woomba). Music Thing has the video.
  • NME wants to know how the Smiths changed your life. For me, I never tried to pass off "Ere thrice the sun done salutation to the dawn" as my own.
  • A painting of Bono's face is being used to attract foreign companies to Ireland. Because you just don't see enough of his face these days.
  • Word at the Lou Reed forum is that there is a forthcoming CD from the Advanced Mr. Reed, a "65-minute drone and feedback piece with a spoken-word piece over the top by his accupuncturist (with a very difficult-to-understand Chinese accent)." He just never lets me down.
  • Here's a nice obituary for Ian Copeland.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Ray Davies: Teach the Children Well, plus No Elton John on TV, Van Halen Reunion Inevitable, Sonic Youth and Flaming Lips, Organ Shortage

Segovia on YouTube

According to the poster, this is Andres Segovia playing "Variaciones" (though I can't confirm that). I don't know a whole lot about Segovia, but all I have to say is, "Eat your heart out, Yngwie."

Lennon Letter auctioned, plus Failed Amplifiers, Jack White Leaves Detroit, The Who Are So Bootleg, National Review's Top 50 Conservative Rock Songs

  • A letter written by John Lennon to a journalist who accused The Beatles of ripping off black music has sold at auction for £12,000. The buyer? Chuck Berry.
  • There is nothing funnier than a failed amplifier. (Thanks to Music Thing)
  • Jack White is leaving Detroit because he "just can't take the negativity anymore." He is talking about people who don't think the Tigers can keep playing so well.
  • Pete Townsend says the Who will bootleg themselves on their upcoming tour because "they fucking can."
  • The National Review has compiled a list of the 50 greatest conservative rock songs, number one being "Won't Get Fooled Again." When asked why they did the list, Kathryn Jean Lopez said, "because we fucking can."

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

U2 and the Original Rapper, plus Joan Baez up a Tree, Peter Gabriel Gets a Job, Starbucks Stops Media Bars, Woodstock Honors Levon Helm

Liking Sports Is Advanced: Bob Dylan on Satellite Radio Edition

A concerned reader provided me with a link to a Slate article that is confusingly in the style of a State of the Union address. It's really more on an article about his radio show. Let's take a look:

"With each theme, Dylan has an excuse to spin records he likes, intone song lyrics like a gnomic bluesman, crack jokes, and reveal minor clues about his influences, such as when he kicks off his first show with Muddy Waters' 'Blow, Wind, Blow,' a 'Blowin' in the Wind' source that bypassed most Dylanographers. On the 'Baseball' episode, he even sings 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game.'"

The reader notes that Dylan's appreciation of baseball is Advanced, which is very true. I know I've said it a lot, but liking your national sport is Advanced, not liking it or liking some other nation's sport (eg., an American liking soccer, a Brit liking football) is Overt. It's okay if you don't like sports at all, but it's Overt to dismiss them.

Lionel Richie: They're Dancing in the (Arab) Street, All Night Long

According to ABC News, Lionel Richie is huge in Baghdad. Let's take a look:

"Grown Iraqi men get misty-eyed by the mere mention of his name. 'I love Lionel Richie,' they say. Iraqis who do not understand a word of English can sing an entire Lionel Richie song.... I asked Richie if he knows just how big he is here. He said, 'The answer is, I'm huge, huge in the Arab world. The answer as to why is, I don't have the slightest idea.' He has performed in Morocco, Dubai, Qatar and Libya. There is obviously something up there. The more we talked, the more he theorized as to the reasons his music might be so popular here. He thinks it is because of the simple message in his music: Love."

This is interesting, because when the Taliban were destroying those statues in Afghanistan, they also destroyed the bust of Richie from the "Hello" video. Now I know why: They hated love.

Lou Reed Spanks McCain, plus Zeppelin's Swede Soul Music, John Peel 78s, They Might Be Giants Take on NSA With Ringtone, Willie Nelson and the Stones?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Genesis Reunion, plus George Clinton-ween, Nike and Apple, New York Dolls Jealous of Stereogum, Maripol, Willie Nelson Smokes Pot

  • A Genesis reunion, with Peter Gabriel, is being planned for 2008. I guess Gabriel's going to have to get the masks out his mini-storage space. Hope he can remember the combination.
  • So-Overt-He-Must-Be-Advanced George Clinton will star in and score Horrorween. I can't believe that isn't already a Ween song.
  • Nike and Apple are teaming up to create running gear. I don't think that Apple has learned its lesson from their recent time in court because the gear is called, "Beatles-Rolling-Stones-Allen-Klein-Reebok Wear."
  • New York Doll Shanon Kelley likes music bloggers, though he thinks they have more power than the New York Dolls.
  • French artist-designer-photographer Maripol took pictures of people you've heard of. Plus she invented wearing the black rubber bracelets that Madonna made famous.
  • Willie Nelson says that smoking pot helps him judge whether songs that he writes are any good. He better watch out, though, because marijuana is a gateway drug that can lead to reggae records.

Gwar on "Beavis and Butt-Head"

I figure I've been paying so much attention to Lordi, that I had to give you a little bit of Gwar (and a bonus of "Beavis and Butt-Head"). I'm all for Lordi, but Gwar did it first, and they did it better.

Lordi Takes the Square

Bob Dylan may get three streets, but Lordi gets a whole square. Let's take a look:

"The Finnish city of Rovaniemi says it will name a square after monster rock band Lordi, its surprise Eurovision Song Contest winners.... The new square bearing Lordi's name will be part of the redevelopment of Rovaniemi's city centre. The town - the regional capital of Lapland - lies on the Arctic Circle and describes itself as the home of the real Santa Claus. In a statement issued to Finnish media the official Rovaniemi Santa Claus said: 'Lordi's victory shows us that with hard work and belief in your own abilities even the greatest dreams come true.'"

And they were never heard from again. Just kidding. I'm sure they'll have long, successful careers and will play gold and open Tex-Mex restaurants in Arizona.

Eurythmics Symbolic of Slow News Day, plus Bono's Passport Problems, Bob Dylan Intersects Himself, Madonna Crucified, Music Genome/Pandora

  • The Eurythmics re-reunited for an evening at ASCAP's Pop Music Awards. I'm really scraping the bottom of the barrel, eh?
  • Bono got stuck in South Africa because there weren't any blank pages in his passport. Hopefully, Little Steven will come to his rescue.
  • Bob Dylan got three streets named after him in Duluth, Minnesota. That's going to cause some difficulties when giving directions. It'll be worse than all those Peachtrees in Atlanta!
  • Madonna, the Cher of my generation, is back on tour and people are trying to muster the energy to be offended by her crucifix shtick.
  • If you haven't already, you should check out Pandora. It builds playlists for you based on an initial recommendation, say Lou Reed, and finds other bands that have similar elements in their music. Then you can add on preferences, bands, songs, etc. It's a part of the music genome project, and it's a great way to discover new music. Maybe I'll talk to them about adding an Advanced category!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Lordi Wins Eurovision Song Contest, plus Bruce Willis and the Allmans, Wyclef TV, Zip-a-dee-doo-Stephin-Merritt, Modest Mouse Back

  • Lordi won the Eurovision Song Contest for Finland. If that band gets played on the radio in their home country, then I say, "To the Finland station!" (I've been waiting to use that one.)
  • Bruce Willis is going to appear with the Allman Brothers on the upcoming tour. Welcome to the world of Advancement, Mr. Allman.
  • The TV series "loosely based" on Wyclef Jean's life is in the works. The script is pretty good, except for the recurring character who keeps saying, "One time. Two times."
  • Hear now: A Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-A-Thon with Guest DJ Stephin Merritt. Hey, I've been spelling his name wrong. Probably because the spelling is Overt (even if his parents spelled it that way).
  • Modest Mouse are returning from their layoff. That's good to hear. I know how hard it is to get laid off. I hope they got a good severance package.

Lou Reed Opens 7 World Trade Center

This just in: "Tomorrow (Tuesday, May 23), New York legend Lou Reed will headline a free concert at the grand opening of the building at 7 World Trade Center. The show, which begins at noon, will celebrate the official opening of the first new building at the World Trade Center site in its new outdoor park." There will be a 60-person choir there, too, so let's hope they collaborate.

This event is interesting: He's a great choice because he has written a lot about New York, but then again he's a terrible choice because of the New York he has written about. He's not exactly cheerful, either. But I have to say that it's nice to see that the city is still committed to Advancement and isn't going to let the Overt (or the terrorists) win.

Anyway, the sad thing is that I will be at work and can't go anyway. Maybe one of you can film it for me, and I'll put it up on my YouTube account.

Scott Walker's "The Drift"

There is a review of Scott Walker's latest, The Drift, in the New York Times. Let's take a look:

"Most of the songs are slow, yet utterly devoid of the comfort of ballads. Dissonant orchestral strings appear and disappear, swelling or muttering or shivering high overhead. Lone instruments, like a fluegelhorn or a slide guitar, loom up out of silence. Electronic sounds lurk in dim recesses."
"'Jesse,' which he has described as his song about 9/11, is also about Elvis Presley's stillborn twin; it starts with a barely recognizable hint of 'Jailhouse Rock' and ends with Mr. Walker singing, completely unaccompanied, 'I'm the only one left alive.'" [That sounds awesome! -jh]
"In 'Hand Me Ups' he imagines how it feels to be crucified; the backup includes an Arabic-inflected voice, a giant bass saxophone called a tubax, a screaming woman and, when he sings, 'Its audience is waiting,' a lone rhythmic handclap."

Sometimes I fell like what I'm doing here is a lone rhythmic handclap. Maybe I should give Scott Walker a call. And in case you're wondering, I would have to say that Scott Walker is an excellent candidate for Advancement. I don't know quite enough about him to say for sure, but what I know is promising. And weird in the weird way that Advanced Artists are weird. That is, weirdly weird rather than predictably weird.

Morrissey Wants to Take on Lordi, plus Pearl Jam Gets Creative (Commons), 25 Best Music Sites, Bob Dylan Interview Book, Heather Mills Gives It Up

Sunday, May 21, 2006

New Advanced Podcast!

(If you don't want to read all this, just click the arrow on the player under my profile.)

I've put together a podcast about the most Advanced band I've been in, My Three Best Friends. MTBF was created as a reaction to an incredibly boring and Overt art-noise band some of us saw at Dotty's in Atlanta. Britt, Preston Johnson, Chris Collins (later Andy Collins), and I got together to write rock music that was simple and dealt with everyday subject matter like having to drive your brother's car because you don't have one, gathering at the water cooler at work, and playing a game of pool (or two if you had the time). At the end of our first practice, we had written half of our set. A couple of practices later, we had ten songs, which we later unleashed on the unsuspecting but eventually grateful public. We gave a lot of high fives out, and they were returned with enthusiasm. But you should listen for yourself. Just go here, or click the arrow on the player under my profile.

If you want to hear the songs in their entirety, go to my garageband page. (Just scroll down past the songs with stars. Songs include "I'll Pay for It," "Brother's Corolla," "It's Just Me," "Heat Wave," "I Drive All Night," "Welcome to the Party," "Water Jug," "Steak House," "One Game of Pool," and "My Three Best Friends.")

Friday, May 19, 2006

Specialized Advancement: Royal Trux

A fellow blogger at The View From Mort Miley was good enough to write about the Advanced Theory. He wondered whether Royal Trux were Advanced even though they were never particularly successful or influential. This got me to thinking: How important do you have to be to be Advanced? Some people think that Advancement has no rules, and that I just say arbitrarily artists are or aren't Advanced. But that isn't true.

To be considered for Advanced status, you have to have achieved something remarkable and produced great work for an extended period of time. You can't have one great album and qualify for Advancement. It takes years of great, baffling, disappointing, and infuriating music to get there. But maybe there should be a special category for the not-so-well-known artists. I think I will call it Specialized Advancement.

The thing about the Advanced is that they have proven themselves to be geniuses, so it makes sense to trust their judgment, even if you don't understand it right away. Your Specialized Advanced Artists would be the ones that maybe convinced just you that anything they do is great, though they continue to confuse and anger you with their choices. And who knows, maybe they are so Advanced that they never were Overt, so no one got to know them, but eventually the world will catch up, and the band that you love, maybe even Royal Trux, will be remembered as the greatest, most influential band in the history of music. Kind of like the Wyld Stallyns.

But I think the key is that person who judges an artist worthy of Specialized Advancement has to be an Advanced fan in the traditional sense. Otherwise, you're just a guy with bad taste who loves a crummy band no one else cares about.

Styx Say Thank You Very Much Contemporary Youth Orchestra, plus Ray Davies Dates, Franz Anti Tout, Merrit Flame War, Coors Light's New 70,000 Pack

  • On May 25, Styx will perform with Cleveland's Contemporary Youth Orchestra as part of the Rock the Orchestra series at the Blossom Music Center. Wouldn't you love to be the lucky kid who gets to play Kilroy?
  • Ray Davies has added more dates to his tour. Let me be the first to say, "Thank you for the dates, those endless dates, those sacred dates."
  • Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos has something against Thatcherite capitalists. His next target: Chamberlainite appeasers. Go get 'em, Alex.
  • Stephen Merrit's "racist" musical taste merited a flame war. I like to think I had a Kleenex in the fire.
  • Someone else agrees with me that you can drink 70,000 Coors Lights and still not be drunk.

What Does Your Scooter Mean?

Vespa scooter = Overt
Honda scooter = Advanced

Friday Videos: Lou Reed's "Hooky Wooky," plus John Cale and Kevin Ayers, Leonard Cohen, Shirley Bassey, Neil Young, Ringo Starr

Let's get things started with the master himself, Lou Reed, with "Hooky Wooky." Now that is an Advanced title. Let's see what else we have today...

  • John Cale and Kevin Ayers, "Howling Man" (I didn't know this one so I hope it really is called "Howling Man")
  • Leonard Cohen, "Suzanne" at Isle of Wight (For Prince Charles)
  • Shirley Bassey, "I Want to Know What Love Is" (Unbelievable)
  • Neil Young, "Wonderin'" (Doo wah, wop wop)
  • Ringo Starr, "It Don't Come Easy" (Didn't know this song is about skiing, but boy is this song great)

"Body Piercing Saved My Life" Will Save Your Life

Andrew Beaujon (Jimmy Page's Sweater Vest) has written a book called Body Piercing Saved My Life. It is the first in-depth journalistic investigation into a subculture so large that it’s erroneous to even call it a subculture: Christian rock. He's a supergenius, so you better go read about it at his blog, or just go to Amazon and buy it now! You won't regret it.

Fun Home Movies: John Lennon's 31st Birthday Party

John Lennon celebrates his 31st birthday with pals, including Ringo and Phil Spector. It's some kind of home movie. Lots of fun.

Prince Charles Loves Leonard Cohen, plus Van Zant Appendix, Cirque du Soleil Meets Elvis, Neil Diamond's Roof Issues, Vacuum Tubes, GN'R Go Ticketless

  • Leonard Cohen is Prince Charles' favorite artist. I wonder if the prince is Advanced. Must look into this.
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd singer Johnny Van Zant had to get his appendix taken out. But don't worry, Skynyrd will replace it with his younger brother's, which sounds just like Johnny's appendix if you close your eyes.
  • Cirque du Soleil will be the latest in the long line of folks celebrating Elvis' life by exploiting him. Sounds like a big piece of merde.
  • If you're Neil Diamond's neighbor (physically, not spiritually, because we're all his neighbor in a way), you better get his permission before you build a new roof.
  • Remember when "tube" didn't have "You" in front of it all the time? Mike Matthews does. (This story will only interest you if you are interested in tube amplifiers and things like that!)
  • Guns N' Roses are pioneering "ticketless" concerts. Which is appropriate because with Chinese Democracy, they have pioneered the musicless, releaseless album.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

New York Dolls Dress Code, plus Big Star Tribute, Izzy and Axl, Vinyl's Last Laugh, Eurovision Song Contest, Myvu for the Next Generation

Grace Jones and Adam Ant, and Devo for Honda Scooters

You asked for it, you got it!

This is really great, and they give you good advice about helmets.

Lou Reed, Nico, and John Cale Do "Heroin" at Le Bataclan, plus Ghostbusters 3, Keith Richards, McCartney-Mills, Cat Stevens Back in Business

Sorry I wasn't around yesterday, but I've had pressing stuff to deal with. I probably won't be back today, so I'm going to give you a great video, plus the round up. About the video: "In the beginning of '72 three ex-members of the Velvet Underground - Lou Reed, John Cale and Nico - were touring in Europe at the same time, and decided to meet themselves for just one magical concert in a club called Le Bataclan, in Paris. ..."

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Roy Haynes at 81: You're Only as Overt as You Feel

There's a nice article at Slate about the jazz drummer Roy Haynes (I don't know anything about him), who recently celebrated his 81st birthday by playing drums like he was celebrating his 41st. Here's a sample:

"[N]o one really expected what was heard, but crowds filled the house each set because the word went out that something extraordinary was taking place in the literal underground of that most famous of jazz basements. The audiences responded with ovations to sets that were sometimes 90 minutes long because Haynes, filled with the steam of empathetic inspiration, seemed intent on swing-swang-swinging until the cows came home. The cheering throughout the week was affirmative proof that pure music, free of tricks and grandstanding, can touch everyone when pulled out of the air with the authority of an unpredictable master."

The reason I link to this is that it shows that age does not necessarily diminish genius, which is the foundation of the Advanced theory. Of course, the Advanced have a particular kind of genius, which is often hard for their contemporaries to understand. So as they continue to improve as musicians, songwriters, and producers, their music is closer to what's in their highly evolved and difficult heads, and people don't get it. It sounds like Haynes' style of innovation is more easily appreciated, so now that he's older and more skilled, it is just that much easier to appreciate. In fact, maybe he's one of the few Overt 81-year-olds. (I can't really say because I don't know enough about him.)

Slow Music, plus Advanced Golf, Uri Geller's Home Fit for a King, U2 Go Boo-Yeah! for World Cup, Pink Floyd Have a Pulse

Lordi Take a Stab at Eurovision Song Contest (Or Is It Gwar?)

The Finnish people have chosen the highly Overt Lordi to be their representative in the Eurovision Song Contest. I wrote about Lordi a while back, but let's take a closer look at their song and their style:

"The five-piece will perform 'Hard Rock Hallelujah' clad in gruesome costumes and monstrous masks. They refuse to appear in public out of costume, while their grotesque make-up takes three hours to apply. The band are so protective of their rock alter-egos, their real names remain a secret.

They are known as Amen the unstoppable mummy, Enary the manipulative valkyrie, Kalma the biker-zombie and Kita the alien manbeast. Kita has the "combined strengths of all the beasts known to man", while he and the others are led by Lordi (The Lord). With lyrics such as 'wings on my back, I got horns on my head, my fangs are sharp and my eyes are red, not quite an angel or the one that fell, now choose to join us or go straight to hell,' Finland's choice has prompted some marginal controversy.'"

I wonder how the folks from Gwar feel about all this. Wouldn't it be amazing if this actually were Gwar pretending to be Finnish?

(Thanks to Cool Noise for sending me the article.)

Jodie Foster Loses Herself at Graduation, plus Creative Sues Apple, Bono Edits, Ron Wood Saves Rolling Stones, Elvis Chest X-Ray

  • Jodie Foster ended her commencement address at Penn with the chorus of Eminem's "Lose Yourself." I wonder if she did it in that weird whisper that she uses now. Have you noticed she never talks anymore?
  • Another company is suing Apple over music issues. Boy, are the Beatles influential or what?
  • Bono is into something new: Editing papers for Africa. I guess his degree from the Columbia J School is finally paying off.
  • You can thank Ron Wood for Voodoo Lounge.
  • If you want an X-ray of Elvis' chest, go to New York's Planet Hollywood on June 17. And then go to hell because you are bad.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Britney Spears' Rap Challenge, plus Art Garfunkel, Jo Wood, Perry Farrell Gets Extreme and Takes a Pea, Thom Yorke Edges Toward Advancement

  • Britney Spears will rap on her next album. This will be a good challenge to the Advanced listener. Your mission: learn to like it. You can start by liking it ironically if you like, but you have to get beyond that.
  • Art Garfunkel got out of his $100 pot fine by speaking to kids about living a "healthy lifestyle." So that's why Paul Simon didn't like him: He's a miser.
  • Ronnie Wood's wife, Jo, says that the Rolling Stones eat only organic food when she goes on tour with them. Proving that the Rolling Stones have never seen Spinal Tap.
  • I'm not sure where Perry Farrell fits in Advancement-wise, but before we decide, it's important to know that his upcoming solo record will feature Nuno Bettencourt of Extreme and Black Eyed Pea Fergie.
  • Thom Yorke's solo record is set to release in July. Because he's still Overt, he says this isn't a "solo" project, but with any luck he will leave Radiohead to make a roots-rock record with Aaron Neville, featuring the Tower of Power horns. Plus Nuno Bettencourt and Fergie, of course.

The Wrong Guy Kewney

I'll let the poster describe this one: "A cab driver is mistakenly cast as Guy Kewney on a TV news program. BBC's latest star - a 'deer in the headlights' baffled cabbie." He is talking about the verdict in Apple v. Apple Corps, and has amazing insight. I'm hoping to get him as a guest blogger because as you know, I've had some interest in that case. It's quite amusing watching the interviewer trying to do her job.

Update: He isn't a cab driver, he's a guy who was supposed to interview for a job. Or something like that.

Bryan Ferry Fights for Hunters, plus Alice Cooper's Key to Alice, Ukulele Mania, MTV's Urge, Familyman Barrett Loses Lawsuit

  • Bryan Ferry is outraged by a new hunting ban in England. Well, me too then!
  • Alice Cooper was given the key to Alice, North Dakota, which has a population of 60. Linda Lavin is furious.
  • Ukuleles are so hot right now. You better start brushing up on "Yes, We Have No Bananas."
  • MTV's new Urge music service will be awesome, as long as you don't use an iPod. This proves once again that the folks at MTV Networks are geniuses. (Thanks Coolfer)
  • The bassist for the Wailers, Aston "Familyman" Barrett, lost his royalty lawsuit against Virgin and the Marley Family. That's really unfair, as everyone knows it was the bass playing that made Bob Marley what he was. Just ask any freshman who just picked up her first copy of Legend, and she'll tell you that it's all about the bass.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Real Unseen "Star Wars" Footage

This is making the rounds on the Internet, but since I don't have any news to report I'll put it up too! It's the real deal, they say. It will be probably be taken down, so watch it while you can.

Lou Reed's Honda Scooter Ad

I've been looking for this ad everywhere. As I have said many, many times before only Overt people think it is selling out to do ads. Plus, it's just too great that "Walk on the Wild Side" is featured in it.

Rod Stewart Explained

A while back, Andrew at Jimmy Page's Sweater Vest wrote an incredible post that explains why Rod Stewart is someone to be respected. For some reason, I didn't link to it, but the post is timeless, so I'll do so now. Here's some of it, but you should read the whole thing (there's even some stuff about the Advanced Theory, but you can skip over that):

"Despite enjoying many of Stewart's radio hits, I never credited him with having anything to lose, as it were. He's always seemed content to be an amiable buffoon, a cartoon lothario who'd recently settled into a lucrative senescence croaking out second-rate versions of Cole Porter songs. I wished him well but wasn't interested.

Moreover, Rod's pink-satin-blouse period is still fresh in many people's minds, and someone in the comments section of this blog recently noted he was quite upset at Stewart for 'mauling' (his word) a Tom Waits song. I sympathize with these objections."

Having established this, he goes on to deal with a number of issues, including the genius of Every Picture Tells a Story, how best to buy Rod Stewart music, and how Stewart can help you overcome your qualms about embracing blues-rock. It's a must-read for fans of Advancement.

Friday Videos, New Wave Theatre Edition: Circle Jerks, Angry Samoans, 45 Grave, Suburban Lawns, Geza X, Kaos

All of these are intensely Overt, but boy do they bring back memories. Let's start out with the Circle Jerks, then...

Jann Cold Wenner, plus Backward Light Is Fast, Bjork Box Set, Erasure Get Folky, MC5 Bassist Injured, Depeche Mode's Laryngitis Problem

  • There is an incredibly long interview with Jann Wenner here. He talks about starting up Rolling Stone and why a clean desk is very important to writing good rock criticism.
  • Can't understand how light going backward goes faster than the speed of light? It's a lot like when Burt Reynolds drove really fast backward in Hooper. It's a Very Little Known Fact.
  • The stubbornly Overt Bjork has a box set coming out. I wish the guy from the Sugarcubes (the one who mostly talked) would get his own box set, too.
  • The newest stars of folk? Erasure.
  • Former MC5 bassist Michael Davis was injured in a motorcycle accident. They say he'll be fine and kicking out the jams in no time.
  • Depeche Mode's US tour is in danger because Dave Gahan has laryngitis. Somebody call Ray Manzarek!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

UMG Settles With Spitzer, plus Wire Reissues, Drunkey Monkey, Yo La Tengo and Robert Plant, Where in the World Is Steve Mason?

The Problem With "Rocker"

I mentioned yesterday that Rolling Stone used "rocker" to describe some guy. My original, Overt, stance was that anyone who uses "rocker" doesn't rock very much. But after thinking it over, I think just about every Advanced musician would be described as a rocker, especially Lou Reed. I also think that they would enjoy being called rocker. I used to be worried about the association the term had with that Jackson Browne song where he lazily sings "rocker, oh rocker," but he was with Nico, so maybe there's something going on here that I am not able to understand. In fact, I'm sure of it. And to be honest, I wouldn't mind being called rocker myself. "Rocker" certainly carries more weight than "blogger."

Peter Bogdanovich Talks About His Tom Petty Documentary-ovich

Billboard has an interview with Peter Bogdanovich about the Tom Petty documentary he's working on. Here a bit of what Mr. Round Glasses And Ascots had to say:

"I know a little bit about rock 'n' roll, but I'm not an expert," Bogdanovich confesses. "I thought I'd learn something because I'm not set in my ways."


"I'm attracted to things that are very American -- basically Southern American -- and I think his songs have a kind of ambiguity and impressionistic quality that are very intriguing," Bogdanovich says. "It connected to some pop culture phenomena that I'm very interested in. He was bowled over by Elvis and inspired by the Beatles, and before that by the Western. . . . That appealed to me."

He promises that it will be a warts and all documentary. I'm fine with the warts, but is it possible to leave out Jeff Lynne? (I think Jeff Lynne may be Advanced, but he's too Advanced for me.)

Greg Graffin Goes Solo, plus Kurt Cobain a Hero, Mary Wilson Protects You, R. Kelly in the Lingo, Petty Scalpers, Tao of Willie

  • Bad Religion frontman Greg Graffin's solo record: a "vivid, hi-fi recording that makes you feel as if you are in a 19th century pine-floored cabin or village-church with the musicians right there next to you," and it displays his "love of country rock in the vein of Gram Parsons, the Band and Neil Young." I hate Bad Religion, but this is promising nonetheless.
  • Kurt Cobain has been named the "Greatest Hero in Rock 'N' Roll" by NME readers. Other heroes include Ian Curtis and Pete Doherty. I guess "hero" means something different over there.
  • Supreme Mary Wilson is trying to protect the world from bogus versions of "legendary vocal groups." Is she trying to tell me that it wasn't the original Ink Spots I saw in February?
  • "Do an R. Kelly" has become a part of the English language. Just be careful how you use it.
  • Tom Petty scalped the scalpers. How Petty.
  • Willie Nelson has a book called The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart. I'll be he grows his own hydroponic Tao.

The Osmonds: "Crazy Horses"

This was sent to me by an Advanced gentleman I know. He describes this video well: "early, howling avant-synth pioneers . . . the Osmonds. Who knew?" It is also very clear why Donnie became the star because while the song totally rocks, the lead singer's voice just doesn't cut it. But when Donnie comes in, hold on to your hats. And wait to your hear the intense synth wizardry!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Neil Peart's Cowboy Way, plus Scissor Sisters' Ode to Macca, Tom Verlaine, Rockers, Sell Out Concert in Ten Minutes, Name That Dolphin

  • Neil Peart has a special composing hat that he requires if he is going to write. No, it is not a Packers cheesehead hat.
  • The Scissor Sisters have written an ode to Paul McCartney. Now maybe he'll drop that McCartney/Lennon songwriting business.
  • Tom Verlaine wants people in 2030 to find Marquee Moon interesting. Do I have to wait that long?
  • Rolling Stone uses "rockers" in a headline. That is so Jackson Browne. (More about "rockers" later -jh)
  • Ever wonder how concerts sell out in ten minutes? Wonder no more.
  • Dolphins have names. So now you really, really can't eat tuna.

Georges Méliès - Un homme de têtes (early film, 1898)

I had no idea they had YouTube in 1898! This film is a little bit of headless fun that I thought you might enjoy. It doesn't have anything to do with Advancement, but there is a skull-crushing banjo.

Keith Richards Is Fine, plus Buzzcocks Get Warped and Shod, iTunes Wants Beatles, Rockists vs. Poptimists, Mike Tyson in Westlife

  • No brain damage for Keith Richards, despite what you may have heard.
  • The Buzzcocks are going to play the Warped Tour for two weeks. I think they're doing it for the free Vans.
  • Apple says they will do "everything we can" to get the Beatles in the iTunes music store. A good start might have been not to go back on the agreement they made not to sell music. Wait, how would that work?
  • Jody Rosen at Slate asks, "Does hating rock make you a music critic?" then writes a bunch of crapola about "rockists" and "poptimists." Does hating music critics make you rock?
  • Mike Tyson wants to record with Irish boy band Westlife. That guy is just too fascinating.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Lou Reed Book Signing

From Rolling Stone (in the "and More" section of the news):

"Lou Reed will be signing copies of Lou Reed's New York -- comprising more than 100 of the musician's photos of the city-- at the International Center for Photography Museum Store in New York on Friday. Those unable to attend the 6 p.m. reception, which will feature music composed by Reed for 'meditation and absorption of the photographic image,' may call the ICP museum store at (212) 857-9725 to reserve an autographed copy of the book."

I wouldn't mind a little meditating and absorbing, so maybe I'll head over there and check it out.

Is Stephen Merritt a Racist?

Sasha Frere-Jones (New Yorker) and Jessica Hopper (Chicago Reader) think so. But John Cook of Slate thinks they are wrong to judge a man by his record collection and dislike for Outkast and Justin Timberlake. Yes, Justin Timberlake. It's an interesting if inconclusive read. It would have been nice to hear what Merritt has to say about it because we're just left wondering which brainy music critic to believe. And everyone knows you can't trust a brainy music critic.

Prince in Vegas, plus Master P(apa), Slayer at Hot Topic, Hillary Clinton Gets Foxy, Roger Waters Racing With the Moon

  • The price for a ticket to one of Prince's suing Sony because he says they are sabotaging a Lil' Romeo track. Someone's angling for a good Father's Day present.
  • Slayer will give us a listen to some of their new stuff on an EP, which will be available exclusively at Hot Topic. Sounds like Slayer might be trying to supplant Metallica as the world's most evil pop band.
  • Hillary Clinton: Advanced Politician?
  • As you probably know, Roger Waters is going to be playing Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety on his upcoming tour. What you might not know is that you have Formula One racing to thank.

David Bowie Spends Down Time With Fielding Mellish

According to Billboard, "David Bowie will curate the inaugural High Line Festival, to be held in May 2007 in neighborhoods underneath the High Line, a public park being created atop a long-abandoned elevated railway line on the west side of Manhattan." He's going to play an outdoor concert, and looks forward to giving some emerging artists some exposure next to "very well-known names." As you may remember, he is taking a year off from touring and recording, so I guess the outdoor concert will be the end of that. So what does he do with his time off? "One day," he says, "I watched three Woody Allen movies in a row." I love the image of David Bowie watching Woody Allen movies in his jammies, eating a pint of Ben and Jerry's.

Alex Kapranos Writes a Book, Wal-Smart's Smiley Smile, Graham Coxon to Hurry Up World Cup, Tear Down "Ca Ira", Nick Cave Writes a Movie

  • Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand will have a book published later this year. It's a compilation of his food columns he's been writing for The Guardian. If my time in Scotland is any indication, mayonnaise should be well covered.
  • Wal-Mart: If you'd like to smile, clear it with our lawyers.
  • Graham Coxon has recorded an unofficial World Cup song, a version of Sham 69's "Hurry Up Harry" (with Jimmy Pursey) called "Hurry Up England." So if you really love Christmas, come on and let it show.
  • The long-threatened Roger Waters opera, "Ca Ira," will have its premiere in July. But unless you're in Poland at the time, you'll be safe. (I'm sure it will be fine, but I wish he'd just get back together with his band so I can't support any of his outside projects.)
  • Rolling Stone has an "online exclusive" about Nick Cave's movie. It stars Paul Hogan and Yahoo Serious as 19th-century prospectors.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Stream Brian Eno/Paul Simon, plus No Lennon at Apple Store, Buzzcocks vs. Racism, Jack White Is It, Lou Reed Explains It All

  • Stream the new Paul Simon/Brian Eno collaboration at AOL. Dig that sonic landscape!
  • Apple won't get access to John Lennon's solo work because of the dispute with Apple Corps. You're going to have shave your fish somewhere else.
  • Graham Coxon and the Buzzcocks hate racism, will rock to show it.
  • Jack White says that making Coke commercials isn't selling out. He explained, "I thought it would get me on the Advanced Theory Blog."
  • Finally, here's what Lou Reed has to say about his photography show in Rome (I've given you some of this before, I think): “[T]hese images are the result of a small attempt to share the beauty that has bedazzled the consciousness of this viewer standing on the edge of the river with a box in hand trying to catch the lightning bolt of time. This is organic photography, a recording of the city’s celestial light show—the blazing changes from dawn to dusk across the Hudson—an everyday recording of the majestic flowing sky and waters produced by a deity of such endless talent and originality that a photographer can only snap, focus, and pray that this or that camera, lens, digital back, and all the technical advances coming by the minute can somehow capture a fragment of the quickly shifting magnitude being presented for the inspiration of anyone looking.” That's exactly what my dad told his friends before he showed them a slide show of our family's trip to Disney World.

Mark Mothersbaugh in "Wired": Overt or Advanced?

There's a nice, long article about Mark Mothersbaugh at Wired. Let's take a look:

"In short, the world Devo propounded is all around us, and Mothersbaugh, 55, is providing the soundtrack. Over the past 15 years, he has scored nearly two dozen movies, including Lords of Dogtown, Herbie: Fully Loaded, and Wes Anderson films like The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou and The Royal Tenenbaums. He has supplied the music for more than three dozen television shows, not to mention nearly 100 TV commercials for household names like Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Nike, and Toyota. His latest gig is scoring Big Love, HBO's new series about a polygamous family."


"Much of Mothersbaugh's most inventive work appears in the movies of Wes Anderson. The director is obsessed with music, and the two often spend hours together listening to stylistic models before Mothersbaugh composes a note. For Rushmore, it was the baroque strains of Vivaldi; for The Royal Tenenbaums, French impressionists like Debussy. These days, they're listening to Gilbert and Sullivan operettas in preparation for Anderson's next production, an adaptation of Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr. Fox. 'It's a dark story,' Mothersbaugh says. 'There's a lot of flesh eating involved.'"

...and finally...

"Mothersbaugh is currently preparing for the Cal State Fullerton show of his Beautiful Mutants series. In a small basement room adjoining a storage space filled with vintage synthesizers, he shows me a stack of 19th-century daguerreotypes, mostly portraits. He started out using a camera and mirror to make the two sides of a face utterly - and unsettlingly - symmetrical. Now, with Photoshop, he can alter the images in a variety of ways. The subjects of the photos seem to be deformed by forces beyond their control - accidental irradiation? genetic modification? ...'It's a sophomoric exercise,' Mothersbaugh admits, 'but I like it.'"
Mark Mothersbaugh is an interesting case because on the one hand you have Herbie: Fully Loaded, but on the other you have Beautiful Mutants. Devo was certainly Overt, yet continuing with Devo as he has (not to mention the whole Dev2.0 project) is Advanced. (Going solo but playing Devo music would be more Advanced.) So what is he, Overt or Advanced? I'm going to have to say Advanced by a hair because he never tries to explain away his work in ads and TV.

Keith Richards Surgery, plus Apple v. Apple, Stairway to Heaven Backward!, Funny Gadgets, Liverpool FC and Johnny Cash, Neil Young and Barack Obama

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Paul Simon and Brian Eno's "Surprise"

There is an interesting article in the New York Times about Paul Simon's new record that was produced by Brian Eno. Actually not "produced," exactly, but, well, read this:

"'We met at a friend's house in London, at a dinner party,' Mr. Simon said. 'Brian invited me to his studio. I came over and brought a little bit of this work. He started to play over the CD, and it was a really nice combination. I think we both saw it immediately.'

Over the next two years, Mr. Simon and Mr. Eno convened four times, for stretches of no more than five days. 'I brought him different songs at different stages of completion,' Mr. Simon said. 'He would play something that would add texture or space. Sometimes he would take a sound that existed already and put it through his electronics, change the sound and the musical implication.' The final credits for 'Surprise' read "Produced by Paul Simon, Sonic Landscape by Brian Eno.'"

Good ol' Brian Eno. Anyhow, this is an interesting collaboration for sure, and I'll have more to say about it once I hear the record. Until then, I guess you'll just have to depend on the Times. Sorry about that.