Friday, September 29, 2006

Cuban Calls Out YouTube Morons, John Frusciante the Moogerfooger, Gwar on the Road, Bob Dylan's American Journey

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Steve Perry Is Great, and So Is Justin Timberlake

I went to the gym during the lunch and had a religious experience with "Wheel in the Sky" on the treadmill. There is no greater moment than when Steve Perry sings, "The morning sun is rising, it's kissing the day." I was all set to do a post about Perry's five greatest moments, including his amazing part in "We Are the World."

But then my random put on "Damn Girl" by Justin Timberlake, which I had purchased a few days ago but hadn't heard yet. That song is completely amazing. It reminds me a little bit of a 70s-era Rolling Stones song by way of Prince, but there's also a little Beck (I said it), and lots of funk, of course. It's the best pop song, no, best song, I've heard in a long time.

The reason I bought it was that I was in an electronics store where the album was playing, though I didn't know it was JT at the time. But it was so good, I asked the guy at the counter who it was (I never do that). He sheepishly admitted that it was Timberlake, and we both agreed that it was fantastic and though he certainly benefited from the production, he brought a lot to the music himself. I would highly recommend your listening to at least a 30-second preview of "Damn Girl" on the iTunes music store.

Jerry Lee Lewis Has New Album, Includes Zeppelin Cover

There's a long article about Jerry Lee Lewis, who has a new album coming out, in the New York Times. Let's read a bit about what made Jerry Lee Jerry Lee:

"He was sent to study at the Southwestern Bible Institute in Waxahachie, Tex., where his music stirred up its first ruckus. “I didn’t graduate,” he said. “I was kind of quit-uated. I was asked to leave for playing ‘My God Is Real’ boogie-woogie style, rock ’n’ roll style. I figured that’s the way it needed to be played.

'The boy that wanted to sing it, poor old boy, he wanted to sing it real slow and draggy,' Mr. Lewis continued. 'I said: Son, you want this song to go over? Or do you want it to be real draggy and drug out? He wanted it to go over, and I said, Well, do it this way. Doomba, doomba, doomba, doomba, and it went, man. It went over. They didn’t kick him out of Bible school, but they wanted to kick me out. But every kid in the Bible school said, If you kick Jerry Lee Lewis out of this school, then I’m going too. The dean came over and said, You see that? You have ruined a great school. I said, I haven’t ruined anything. I said, Look, let me just take a couple of weeks off, to cool things off, and I’ll be back. And he said, That’s a good idea. I didn’t go back.'”

And here's a bit about his new album:

"The album has Mr. Lewis and the country patriarch George Jones cackling through an old Western swing song, 'Don’t Be Ashamed of Your Age,' and Eric Clapton wailing a bluesy solo on the blues standard 'Trouble in Mind.' Songs like the Hank Williams hit 'Lost Highway,' Kris Kristofferson’s 'Pilgrim' and the Band’s 'Twilight' contemplate age and regret, and in 'That Kind of Fool,' Mr. Lewis and Keith Richards sing about a settled life they never had. Meanwhile Bruce Springsteen’s 'Pink Cadillac' and Led Zeppelin’s 'Rock and Roll' insist that Mr. Lewis doesn’t plan to go quietly. His piano playing roars and crashes through the songs; his voice is knowing and cantankerous."

And if his covering Zeppelin isn't enough to let you know that he's Advanced, here's more evidence:

Mr. Rip [his producer] didn’t set out to make a duets album, he said. But once he had done a few duets, he found it hard to turn down the offers; the album has 21 songs and two dozen guests. Mr. Lewis has completed another album with no guests — though Mr. Rip said he’d make room for Bob Dylan if he became available...."

Finally, Lewis wore a white bathrobe for his interview.

Early Bob Dylan Tapes at Auction

I think I've mentioned this before, but NME has a story about old recordings of Bob Dylan. Let's take a look:

"Teenage recordings by Bob Dylan are to be auctioned off in Dallas in October. The tape features four songs made by the singer in the 1950s while he was still living in Minnesota. Dylan sings on three of the tracks, which also features his school friend Ric Kangas, and plays guitar on a fourth.... The recordings, discovered by Kangas at home a few years ago, are expected to fetch up to $100,000 (£53,000), the BBC reports."

If you've got the money, please buy the tapes so Jeff Lynne doesn't get his shiny hands on them and remaster the songs!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Dave Stewart Messes With Missionary Man Bono, the Knife Overt, Microsoft Gets RIAA-eady to Rumble, Itsy Bitsy but Not Dead, Original Pogues Lazy Tour

  • Bono will be the first guest on Dave Stewart's music talk show. I wonder sometimes why it took me so long to realize how great "Missionary Man" is. (Same goes for Donnie Darko. I dismissed it because of its title, but it's surprisingly good and genuinely weird.)
  • My goodness are the Knife ever Overt! I'd never heard of them before seeing them in this NME story. My goodness.
  • Microsoft using the RIAA's legal tactics as inspiration? How fitting!
  • The writer of "Itsy Bitsy, etc. Bikini" died of Noam Chomsky disease and was buried in Venezuela. I can still smell the sulfur.
  • The original Pogues are touring America. And by America, I mean California and Nevada.

Original Flash Gordon Trailer

Yet again, very little is happening. So here's the original trailer for the amazing Flash Gordon for you pathetic earthlings (as Ming might say). Go Flash, go!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Unfortunate Gothic Archies, Hendrix Ring Tones, Sparks Ticked About Being Dicked, Styx Not Forever DeYoung, Willie Nelson the Hit Man

  • Over the last several years, Stephen Merrit has written songs based on Lemony Snicket books and now he is going to released them under the name Gothic Archies. That was my idea!
  • I'll bet you thought it impossible to hate "Manic Depression." But Verizon is going to try to prove that it is possible.
  • Sparks are not going to be dicked around by the BBC. (Thanks Cool Noise.)
  • Styx is going out on tour but they are leaving out the Dennis DeYoung songs. But even though you won't hear "Mr. Roboto" on the tour, you might as well learn its history.
  • Willie Nelson is going to play a hit man in the movie Fighting With Anger. Next up, a buddy picture with Armand Assante.
  • Monday, September 25, 2006

    This Is What Advancement Looks Like

    Nothing going on today, or maybe I'm just lazy. Anyway, everybody likes pictures...

    Kurtis Blow and Holy Hip-Hop, Pirate Radio vs. FCC, Meat Loaf and Tenacious D, Steven Tyler's Secret Hep C, Headline Challenge

    • Kurtis Blow is launching a Christian hip-hop label. It's for "young people who love God but do not like to go to church." But where is the music for people who do not like God but love to go to church?
    • Pirate radio is battling the FCC. I wonder who will win?
    • Meat Loaf is playing Jack Black's dad in the Tenacious D movie. Too obvious...should be Gary Oldman. (By the way, Meat Loaf doesn't strike me as a guy who would like Meat Loaf's music. Is it only me?)
    • Steven Tyler is no longer a hep cat, and is ready to tell the world!
    • The Chicago Sun-Times managed to avoid using "wild side" in the headline of an article about Lou Reed. But the New Zealand Herald couldn't help themselves from using "a-chagnin'" in their article about Bob Dylan.

    Friday, September 22, 2006

    You'd Have to 10CC It to Believe It

    I think you'll enjoy these lyrics for the song "Life Is a Minestrone" by 10CC:

    "Im dancing on the white house lawn/Sipping tea by the taj mahal at dawn
    Hanging round the gardens of babylon/Minnie mouse has got it all sewn up
    She gets more fan mail than the pope/She takes the mickey out of all my phobias
    Like signing cheques to ward off double pneumonia

    Life is a minestrone
    Served up with parmesan cheese
    Death is a cold lasagne
    Suspended in deep freeze

    Im leaning on the tower of pisa/Had an eyeful of the tower in france
    Im hanging round the gardens of madison/And the seat of learning
    And the flush of success/Relieves a constipated mind
    Im like a gourmet in a skid row diner/A fitting menu for a dilettante


    Lets get this romance cooking, honey
    But let us not forget

    Life is a minestrone
    Served up with parmesan cheese
    Death is a cold lasagne
    Suspended in deep freeze"

    Yes, you musn't forget that.

    Lou Reed Takes the Chinese Out of Tai Chi

    There is a filled-with-Advancement interview with Lou Reed at Here are some highlights:

    "...Reed is writing and recording music for martial arts -- a soundtrack, if you will, for Chen-style tai chi, of which he is a loyal practitioner. Typically this music is of Chinese origin, but Reed's goal is to change things in that world as he did in the rock 'n' roll realm four decades ago.

    "'I'm making it under my name -- it's energy music," said Reed. "I was trying to make music that would give the energy of rock, but you would be able to put it into a martial arts (setting). I just wanted to do it. We're always doing it to this Chinese music, and I thought it would be great to do this.' "

    My lord is it Advanced to find doing Tai Chi to Chinese music problematic! He goes on to talk about how much he loves playing live but people who design rock clubs don't think about acoustics:

    "'If you want the best sound indoors, go into a dance club that plays techno, and they'll kill you with their sound system,' he said."

    Embracing techno is also quite Advanced. He should let somebody remix his Tai Chi music and unleash it on the dance clubs.

    Thursday, September 21, 2006

    "Spaceballs": The Cartoon

    From the AP:

    "Mel Brooks, whose comedy hits include 'The Producers' and 'Blazing Saddles,' is bringing his sci-fi spoof ''Spaceballs'' to television in cartoon form.

    'Spaceballs: The Animated Series'' will air on the G4 television network beginning next fall, it was announced Wednesday....

    "Brooks, 80, will write the pilot episode and voice two of the show's characters.
    'Spaceballs: The Animated Series' is the result of a partnership among the G4 network, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Brooksfilms Ltd. and Berliner Film Companie GmbH."

    I'm so happy that a new generation of kids will get to enjoy Dark Helmet, Barf, and Pizza the Hut. I can never get over how awesome those names are.

    Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Self-Help, and "American Hardcore"

    There's a nice long article in the New York Times about the movie American Hardcore, which is about Minor Threat and "like-minded bands." The writer pulls of a difficult feat: writing seriously about hardcore without sounding foolish. Here's my favorite part...

    "The film also hints at an underlying anxiety about race. As one former hardcore kid puts it, the genre was one of the few that 'felt like it wasn’t totally ripping off black culture,' which might be another way of saying it felt white. One big exception: Bad Brains, an all-black band viewed with a mixture of awe (they were clearly better than everyone else) and fear and puzzlement. While other bands were busily organizing and debating the scene, these guys were reading the self-help book 'Think and Grow Rich' and exploring Rastafarianism."

    And yet the question remains: Why can't I walk down a street free of suggestion?

    Tuesday, September 19, 2006

    Sunday, September 17, 2006

    Citizen Blogger

    I've got jury duty this week, so I'll post when I can...

    Friday, September 15, 2006

    YouTube in Trouble, John Peel's Favorites, Beck and the Puppets, U2 and Green Day at Abbey Road, the Who Get Sirius Channel

    • The beginning of the end for YouTube? Or, as Churchill said, the end of the beginning? (Thank you Inside the NFL!)
    • A compilation of John Peel's favorites is on its way. I'm kind of surprised to see "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls on the track listing, but hey, he was the master. (By the way, I went to see Spice World and Blues Brothers 2000 on the same day. I was in quite an Advanced state of mind that day.)
    • Beck will be doing a few dates in support of his newest record and will be joined onstage by puppets. When I saw the headline for this story, I had hoped that the Meat Puppets were opening for him, but this is pretty good. (Another by the way: I once was in a puppet company.)
    • Not content just to cover songs with Green Day, U2 covered an album cover (Abbey Road) with them too.
    • The Who will be hosting their own channel on Sirius. I can't wait until Yahoo! has their own Sirius channel. I wonder what they could name it...

    Thursday, September 14, 2006

    Lou Reed Quote of the Day

    From his interview with Kung Fu magazine:

    "I’m not joking around when I’ve said occasionally, trying to learn how to play a D chord properly has been a very big thing for me. The exact way to get this tone, which I can now do all the time, has taken forever, it seems like forever."

    Advanced Artitst are relentless in their pursuit of perfection. That's why Steve Miller takes months to record a three-chord song, and why it takes Lou Reed years to learn how to play one chord. Some people think it's silly, but you can't argue with the results.

    Lou Reed's Rocky Mountain Way

    The Rocky Mountain News is stoked about Lou Reed's upcoming appearance at the Telluride Blues (!) Festival. Here's some of what they have to say:

    "Even if he hasn't had a new studio album in three years, you can find new Lou Reed recordings and performances. Recently he has worked with everyone from The Strokes to Jack White's new group The Raconteurs, as well as soul legend Howard Tate.

    'I'm a working musician. I like to play. It's what we do. I've been a big fan of Howie Tate forever. I was at a show, I forgot what club it was. . . . Later on they got in touch with me about Howard doing one of my songs. I was very, very thrilled. That's how that happened,' says Reed.... "

    "Reed is on other recordings as well, including Rogue's Gallery, a double-disc collection of sea chanteys and pirate songs; Reed contributes an eerie reading of "Leave Her Johnny." 'How do you like the sound I'm singing to?" Reed demands. [I love that he "demands" it. -JH] It sounds like a low keyboard part.

    'It's a guitar,' Reed says triumphantly. 'Yeah. It's a thing made by Electro Harmonix, naturally. One of the young guys turned me onto it. It's called The Hog. That's what's doing that. It sounds like some astonishing electric church organ or something. It's a big, big sound.' Reed has always been into technology."

    In case you hadn't heard, Advanced Artists are always into new technology. Playing a blues festival isn't too bad either.

    U2 Makes Their Case With Green Day on ESPN

    Here's something that has Advanced Theory Blog written all over it, from Billboard:

    "U2 and Green Day will debut their collaborative cover of Scottish punk band the Skids' 'The Saints Are Coming' during a live performance on Sept. 25 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. The show will serve as the official reopening of the venue prior to the New Orleans Saints' Monday Night Football game against the Atlanta Falcons.

    ESPN will broadcast the performance live, while Rhapsody will offer a live audio stream. Afterward, the performance will be available for purchase via Rhapsody, with proceeds to benefit the instrument replacement fund Music Rising, co-founded by U2 guitarist the Edge."

    So we have a collaboration on a cover with a band most people wouldn't think is worthy of carrying Adam Clayton's jumpsuit (though you have to admit the write a catchy song), a tie-in with a football game, using a sports channel for the song's premiere, and simulcasting using new technology. That's an Advancement grand slam if you ask me. But the question is, are U2 still just pretending to be Advanced?

    Bob Dylan: To Timrod He Did Some Changing, or How Many Timrods Must a Man Walk Down

    I think I might know now why Bob Dylan went to South Carolina to shoot that commercial: He needed material for his next album. The New York Times has the story...

    "It seems that many of the lyrics on that album [Modern Times], Mr. Dylan’s first No. 1 album in 30 years (down to No. 3 this week), bear some strong echoes to the poems of Timrod, a Charleston [SC] native who wrote poems about the Civil War and died in 1867 at the age of 39.
    'More frailer than the flowers, these precious hours,' the 65-year-old Mr. Dylan sings in 'When the Deal Goes Down,' one of the songs on Modern Times.

    Compare that to these lines from Timrod’s 'Rhapsody of a Southern Winter Night':
    A round of precious hours/Oh! here, where in that summer noon I basked/And strove, with logic frailer than the flowers."

    "Henry Timrod was born in 1828 and was a private tutor on plantations before the Civil War started. He tried to sign up for the Confederate Army but was unable to serve in the field because he suffered from tuberculosis. He worked as an editor for a daily paper in Columbia, S.C., and began writing poems about the war and how it affected the residents of the South. He also wrote love poems and ruminations on nature. During his lifetime he published only one volume of poetry. Among his most famous poems were 'Ode Sung on the Occasion of Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead at Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, South Carolina 1866,' and 'Ethnogenesis.' Mr. Cisco said he could not find any phrases from these poems in Mr. Dylan’s lyrics.

    Mr. Dylan does not acknowledge any debt to Timrod on Modern Times. The liner notes simply say 'All songs written by Bob Dylan' (although some fans have noted online that the title of the album contains the letters of Timrod’s last name)."

    I guess all the good ones do this kind of thing, especially in the blues and folk genres, but I wonder if plagiarism is Advanced. At any rate, this is one more point in favor of South Carolina being the most Advanced state.

    Wednesday, September 13, 2006

    Kung Fu Lou

    Nothing to add, but thanks to Philco Brothers. Update: Read the article! (Thanks PB)

    Lou Reed's Tai Chi Master Has Made a Video

    Not much going on again, so let's enjoy this promo for Master Ren's Tai Chi video, which features Lou Reed's music and an amazing picture of Reed on the cover of Kung Fu magazine holding a sword or something like it. Embracing the martial arts, especially on stage, is Advanced. As you probably know, Elvis invented this particular brand of Advancement.

    Tuesday, September 12, 2006

    The Rolling Stones Summarize Faust in Cartoon Form

    Here's a little something from Billboard:

    "The Rolling Stones, long identified with their lips-and-tongue logo, are about to get the cartoon treatment in 'Ruby Tuesday,' an animated film featuring 12 of their songs set to begin production later this year. EuropaCorp. and Mick Jagger's Jagged Films are co-producing the project, which will be written and directed by Paul and Gaetan Brizzi. The story is described as 'a Faustian tale of a single mother searching for happiness in New York.'"

    I totally forgot that Faust was a single mother searching for happiness.

    Yo La Tengo: What's the Score?

    As many of you know, embracing sports, especially a major sport in your country (if you are in America it is Advanced to like baseball or football, but it is Overt to like soccer--especially if you call it football--or rugby). So it was with great delight that I read this article about Yo La Tengo, sent to me by an alert Advanced Reader. So is YLT Advanced? Let's see...

    Pro: "The name Yo La Tengo comes from a story about miscommunication between Latin and American outfielders from the 1962 New York Mets."

    Con: “I left sports for rock music at about 15,” remembers McNew. “I think it had something to do with the emergence of jocks. I liked sports, but at some point I just didn’t have much in common with anyone I was playing with."

    Pro: “I think there are parallels between being a band and being a sports team,” says Kaplan. “Athletic comparisons and metaphors come up within the band a lot."

    Con: “I had World Cup fever this year,” says McNew. “The whole game is a broken play. It’s all improvisation and guys trying to figure things out while they’re running as fast as they can. I like when we improvise like that when we play music.”

    Pro: “TBS once used our song “Moby Octopad” on its NBA pre-season show,” remembers Kaplan, a die-hard New York Knicks fan. “But they used it as part of a Chicago Bulls montage.”

    Con: “The first time I heard the Ramones at a stadium, it was a crisis for me because it was so wrong,” says McNew. “But maybe for the first person who played ‘Blitzkreig Bop’ at a sporting event, it was an act of subversion, but it caught on. Maybe he committed suicide over that because he couldn’t believe what he had done.”

    Pro: “The roar of the crowd in sports literally is a roar. The entertainment roar is more like a ‘Wooo!’... We played a show at the Fillmore in San Francisco where we came out really strong, and when we stopped after the third song, there was something like a roar. I almost started crying.”

    You make the call!

    Are You Ready for Some Advancement?

    There's not much to report this morning, so I thought I'd mention something that has been on my mind for a little while: the extremely impressive band Hank Williams Jr. put together to play the Monday Night Football opener this year. It includes Rick Nielsen, Steven Van Zandt; Little Richard, Bernie Worrell (from Parliament Funkadelic), Charlie Daniels, and Clarence Clemons. I'm not sure, but I believe that if Warren Zevon were still alive, he would have been a rowdy friend too.

    Monday, September 11, 2006

    Nick Cave Movie Wins the Second Annual Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence

    From NME:

    "Nick Cave has won the inaugural Gucci prize for script writing at the Venice Film Festival for 'The Proposition'. The criteria for the award, made on Friday (September 8), was any internationally acclaimed artist for outside cinema who has made a remarkable contribution to a film in any capacity in the previous 18 months."

    Does those criteria strike anyone else as somewhat suspicious/ridiculous? I love it, of course, but one wonders if Nick Cave's agent works for the film festival. Anyway, the good news is that he plans to follow up with...a comedy set in the Outback! He is just itching to be Advanced if you ask me.

    U2 Records With Green Day, Patti Smith Likes Her Mom, Donald Trump Thinks Macca's an Idiot, Scarlett Johansson Loves David Bowie, I Love Weird Al

    Friday, September 08, 2006

    Strawberry Alarm Clock's Surfboard Guitars for Sale

    Nothing much is going on out there these days, though I don't know why. Perhaps it's a Labor Day hangover. Anyway, I did find an interesting (to me) item at my favorite weird-gear site, Music Thing. I'll let them tell you what it is:

    "These three guitars were made for the 60s psychedelic one-hit-wonders Strawberry Alarm Clock by Semie Moseley of Mosrite (much more about him here) . As if that wasn't cool enough, Semie sent the surfboard-shaped guitars to Von Dutch to be painted. After the band played them in a film (possibly 'Beyond the Valley of the Dolls'), Semie got the guitars back."

    Those guitars would make Prince jealous! Hopefully we'll have more Advanced news later in the day.

    Wednesday, September 06, 2006

    Don't Mess With the Advanced Theory

    I've been very busy today, so I haven't had a chance to write much. But please note that Bob Dylan has the number one album and Robert Christgau is no longer at the Village Voice. I'd like to think that I had one-tenth of one-tenth percent of something to do with that. Next thing you know, Metal Machine Music redux will be number one on the dance charts.

    Return of "Metal Machine Music"

    Great news for fans of the beloved Metal Machine Music, from (and Pitchfork):

    "Cult hero Lou Reed plans to revive his 1975 feedback noise double album Metal Machine Music.

    ...Although the album was actually reissued by an English label in 1991, when it was first released many fans returned the album thinking their copy was defective. Now Pitchfork Media reports that the ever adventurous Reed will collaborate with 'avant-garde German music collective' Zeitkratzer to attempt 'audacious, clangourous realizations' of the, uh, songs for a 2007 CD/DVD."

    I generally consider Metal Machine Music to be the greatest Advanced Irritant of all time, but now I'm wondering if maybe I've been selling it short all these years. Perhaps it is yet another example of an Advanced Artist being so ahead of his time that people think he must be joking or crazy when in fact he's brilliant. I haven't listened to the record in a long time, but maybe it's time to revisit it with fresh ears. At any rate, Lou Reed's revisiting it with any ears is extremely Advanced.

    (Sorry for the late first post, but Blogger has been funny this morning.)

    Tuesday, September 05, 2006

    Sulton's Choice: New Cars or Meat Loaf? Plus Cars DVD News

    According to Billboard, a Cars documentary will be released Oct. 17 as a DVD/CD package. Rick Ocasek produced it, and here's what he has to say:

    "The backstage stuff is stuff in hotel rooms and dressing rooms," Ocasek told last summer. "I think it will be a nice insight into what the Cars were really like. There's interviews, video outtakes, kind of just hamming it up, and some nice club things that probably people wouldn't have gotten to see, from way back. I think it's the most comprehensive thing that's ever been put out on the Cars."

    Also according to Billboard, the Todd Rundgren/surviving Cars project New Cars (such an Advanced name) is going back out on the road soon. Unfortunately, bassist Kasim Sulton won't be able to join them because he has a prior commitment to Meat Loaf, who will be touring in support of Bat Out of Hell III.

    This has got to be one of the most Advanced news items I've ever seen.

    Lou Reed on the MTV Music Awards

    A member of the Advancement Foundation saw the MTV Music Awards last week and has brought up two excellent points about Lou Reed's appearance (which I missed somehow):
    • He fronted the Raconteurs (unannounced), but only played songs he had written himself, and...
    • presented an award with Pink, a moment punctuated by Reed's public criticism of MTV for not playing enough "rock n' roll."

    As most of you know, Advanced Artists will take any chance they have to talk about rock'n'roll.

    R.E.M. Reunion, Peter Cook Book, New Breeders Album, Billy Bragg vs. MTV, Meat Loaf Hires Vocal Coach

    Friday, September 01, 2006

    "I Heard Her Call My Name"

    Sorry for the lack of posts, but I've caught Labor Day Fever a little early. So please enjoy how Advanced Lou Reed's guitar is in this performance of "I Heard Her Call My Name" and I'll see you on Tuesday. Unless I get inspired before then...