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 http://www.crankpranks.com/ 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 blogcritics.org. 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.