Monday, January 29, 2007

Brian Eno and Coldplay

Pretty Advanced of Brian Eno to produce Coldplay's next record, though I'm guessing that he won't be doing this one pro bono. (Though you can't see me, I'm giving you my "get it?" look.)

Sixx and the City: Single and Fabulous

A few thoughts from the no-longer-too-young-to-fall-in-love Nikki Sixx from blabbermouth:

"Sitting here soaking up the love of my kids, all I can think about is how everybody in the house laughs a lot, a lot more than i can remember in a long time. Yes, it's different being a single dad and having a career, but different in a better way. I have a lot more to do daily and I take it very serious. I've not found anybody worthy of really dating and that's OK by me… My kids come first, then my career and last my social life… I can live without the last two but not the first. So on I trudge.

"On the musical front, DJ Ashba [ex-BEAUTIFUL CREATURES guitarist], James Michael and myself are hard at work on the music and recording of 'The Heroin Diaries' [a book drawn from Nikki's 1986 and '87 journals, when he was in the throes of a heroin addiction]. The soundtrack for the book will come out at the same time as the book. No firm release date yet, but I imagine September (don't hold me to that). It is 'not' a solo album, but an experimental musical journey. It goes everywhere an anywhere. All I can say is expect the unexpected. The trip is weird, from Danny Elfman's ghoulish arrangements, singer-songwriter story-telling to open-ended rock… theatrical comes to mind.

"This is freedom and a journey with no real expectations… We don't talk radio, charts or boundaries… We just talk 'feel.' We are feeling our way through the project. There is one feeling I will share with you all, the feeling that I've fallen back in love with music…

"My life is so full and continues go grow…"

How did we ever survive without rock-star online diaries?

Friday, January 26, 2007

Manute Bol

A little Manute Bol to get your weekend started.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

David Lee Roth Reunites With Van Halen

According to Billboard, 40 ampitheaters just got a little more awesome:

"Sources tell a contract could be signed as soon as today for Live Nation to produce a 40-date amphitheatre tour by Van Halen this summer, with original frontman David Lee Roth back in the fold for the first time in more than 20 years. As previously reported, guitarist Eddie Van Halen's 15-year-old son Wolfgang has stepped in for original bassist Michael Anthony in the new incarnation of the group, which also features drummer Alex Van Halen."

One thing I don't get is why Michael Anthony won't be there. One thing I do get is why they need a boy (or castrato) to fill in for him. Here's Diamond Dave's take on it: "To me, it's not rocket surgery. It's very simple to put together. And as far as hurt feelings and water under the dam, like what's-her-name says to what's-her-name at the end of the movie 'Chicago' -- 'So what? It's showbiz!'"

Monday, January 22, 2007

Get Busy Spinning or Get Busy Dying

This picture is from the New York Times. I'm pretty sure it's an article about that time Andy Dufresne played music over the loudspeakers at the Shawshank Prison. Actually it's a picture accompanying an article about the recent "crackdown" on Mixtape CDs. What's wild is that it's a picture of a record, but the article is about mixtape CDs. But really, I just think it's a silly picture.

Lou Reed: New York City Meat Packing District Man

This is a nice photo of what looks to be a rehearsal of the recent Berlin revival (is that the term?) that I saw. And for those of you whose eyes are drifting, that is a youth choir behind him.

The picture was sent to me by the very thoughtful Goldenfiddle. It's okay to be jealous and NSFW.

Salon Gets Advanced

Speaking of Joe Walsh, Salon's Audiofile is now the domain of a recently discovered Friend of Advancement and James Gang fan. I've always appreciated Audiofile (it's nice to get a little treat every day, even if you don't absolutely love the song), and now I have even more reason to.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Joe Walsh Argument for Advancement

I'm constantly thinking about ways to make people understand (and agree with) the Advanced Theory. Here's something: An Advanced Artist is like a song that you loved but played so many times you stopped loving it. The song is still great, but you've just gotten tired of it. Advanced Artists have long careers, so it would make sense that even their biggest fans would mistake their fan fatigue (or even critics' fatigue) for a decline of skill in the artist. In other words, everybody's so different, they haven't changed.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Champagne Jam Problem

As I was listening to one of my Pandora stations (the one I've called Lou Reed), I was reminded of something that I'd like to share with the five of you left still reading my blog. When you are listening to a customized station that takes your recommendations into account when deciding what to play, there is a hidden danger. Even though you might like a song, you might not like other songs like it. For instance, if a Pink Floyd song comes on my Lou Reed station, I have to skip it, even if I like it because of the various horrors that I would be letting into the station (like Queensryche, for instance). I guess that danger isn't so hidden, but while debating inside my head whether to accept a song from Physical Graffiti, I thought of the opposite phenomenon that occurs on the radio. When you're in an unfamiliar town and you're flipping around the dial for a station you can live with, you might choose a station that is playing a song you hate, say "Champagne Jam" (damn you ARS), because it suggests that the station will be playing things that you like. This is all seeming much less profound to me as I write it than when I was thinking it. But it is fun to think of all the terrible songs out there that make me stop turning the dial because I can guess that the next song will probably be "Heartbreaker," with "Living Loving Maid" attached if I'm lucky.

Now here's a Philco Brothers problem. What to do with this spot-on Ween cover of "Champagne Jam"? Just love it, I guess. The thing is, though, after listening to the Ween version, I realize how I'm not taking my own advice and loving the original version. So I officially now enjoy "Champagne Jam." The beauty of the Advanced Theory is that it makes it possible for you to love something you think you hate, which opens you up to new worlds of musical enjoyment. I guess you could say that the Atlanta Rhythm Section were all shadows of the waxwing slain.

Friday, January 12, 2007

I Dream of Paul Stanley

I ride up to Paul Stanley's Tuscan-style villa, greeted by him, his wife (Erin), and his two boys. "We enjoy entertaining," he says to me, "but we don't go out." I smile appreciatively, looking over his 9000-square-foot home, perched high in the hills. "There's no Viper Room. For us, it's the diaper room," he adds, and we all laugh the tired laugh of new parents. We walk past the outdoor fountains and column-lined loggia that blend into the landscape, and I look out onto the view of the Pacific. "It's so much like Europe," Paul notes, "that you'd be fighting what's natural in the terrain to build something else." Inside, I'm taken aback by the hand-painted frescoes that abound, especially the one in the dining room depicting celestial gods and goddesses among the clouds. "Tiepolo," he says, not needing to say more. Colin, their four-month-old, smiles up at his father, who meets the child's gaze but speaks to me: "There's something comfortable about being in a place that has a soul." The star that frames his eye is perfect.

Wait, that was no dream, it was a USA Today article featured in

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Weiland's Open Letter to Charlie Weiss: Where You Going With That Facemask I Found

Here it is:

"Okay Charlie, at this point I am going to assume that you haven't spoken to the Giants' organization about their 'potential coaching job.' But LEAVING NOTRE DAME, your alma mater, without having achieved really anything of monolithic proportions like you've promised us, is absurd and unfair. So at this point, I will get on my knees and beg. Don't do it, coach. Don't do it! Stay and do what you promised; your team, your school, the fans, the legacy deserves to be taken to the promised land. Your recruits, Charlie, who are just beginning to trickle in, came to play for you. You! Not someone else and they are coming to South Bend to those brutal winters from places all over the country — from the South to Southern Cal, just to be led to the promised land. Jimmy Clausen, the most highly recruited player in high school football, committed to Notre Dame. When asked why in a recent interview, he said to play for coach Weis and get a new environment. Why? The promised land, the crown jewel, the national championship. But we can't start talking about Notre Dame in the same breath as a national championship yet. You've gotta win one. The team's gotta go out there and get one. We, the Irish nation, fight for it with you together and we will all win one together and walk away to the promised land together.

"Yours truly, Scott Weiland, rock n' roll singer, STONE TEMPLE PILOTS, VELVET REVOLVER, legacy and Notre Dame football fan."

There was a day many years ago where I came to the realization that I loved STP. Even now I want to qualify that in some way, but the plain truth is that they wrote a lot of great rock songs. One night my friend Andrew and I sat down and listened to all their records in a row, then watched Starship Troopers in the theater. It was a wonderful night. Anyway, it's good to see that Scott Weiland is so passionate about his football.

Bad Blogger

Sorry I haven't been posting much, but my busy-ness at my business should calm down soon. Luckily, the amazing Chandler, my new favorite Argonaut, has done a remarkable job of spreading the word about Advancement on her MySpace blog. Dismissing MySpace is Overt, by the way. It's always interesting to see how the Advanced Theory is interpreted, and her blog entry is no exception. I'll try to get back to blogging soon so she won't show me up!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Bryan Ferry's Dylan Covers Record: Advancedesque

Bryan Ferry really wants us to believe he is Advanced:

"According to Roxyrama, an unofficial but authoritative fan site dedicated to Ferry and Roxy Music, EMI will release Dylanesque sometime in March. Although no track list has been officially confirmed, songs interpreted by Ferry for Dylanesque reportedly include 'All Along The Watchtower,' 'Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues,' 'Simple Twist Of Fate' and 'The Times They Are A-Changin',' among others."

Here's the full track list:

"Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues"
"Simple Twist Of Fate"
"Make You Feel My Love"
"The Times They Are A-Changin'"
"All I Really Want To Do"
"Knockin' On Heaven's Door"
"Positively 4th Street"
"If Not For You"
"Baby, Let Me Follow You Down"
"Gates Of Eden"
"All Along The Watchtower"

Ferry is one of those borderline Advanced cases. I'm not totally convinced his role in Roxy Music qualifies him, but maybe someone out there can prove it to me. Whatever the case the concept and, especially, the title of the record are amazing.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Police Reunion in the Works?

Let's get the year started with a nice rumor:

"Sources told the reports -- in the British press [of a Police reunion]-- were legitimate, but they would not publicly comment until final details are nearer to completion.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the release of 'Roxanne,' the single that broke the Police in the United States. In a statement issued last month, A&M Records said, 'It is our intention to mark the anniversary by doing something special with the band's catalog of songs. Needless to say, everyone is hopeful the band will support our plans and while early discussions have taken place, nothing has been decided.'"

A reunion would be a good test of the "Is Sting Super Advanced or Just Terrible" question. Or maybe it wouldn't, now that I think about it. After all, if they turn into a lite-jazz band, then you could say that Sting ruined them, but you could also say that Sting made the other guys great back in the day. Oh, Sting, your case is so upsetting.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Happy New Year

I have very little time to post these days, but soon things will settle down and I can get back to Advanced business!