Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Mick Jagger and Martin Scorcese Together Again, Van Halen Kihnspiracy?, Twelve-Neck Guitar, Lou Reed and Phillip Glass

  • Mick Jagger and Martin Scorcese are making a movie about something to do with music or something.
  • The Van Halen reunion is in jeopardy! So is the Greg Kihn Band reunion (but that's a good thing in their case).
  • It's hard to play a twelve-neck guitar! But sometimes you just need that sweet twelve-neck sound you can't get out of any other guitar.
  • Lou Reed played with Phillip Glass at Carnegie Hall to benefit Tibet House. Also, has some cool new (to me) stuff, including lots of good videos. Check him out in an old Night Flight article where he talks about his dedication to having fun among other things. (You have to navigate a bunch of floating links on the rights side of the site, but it's worth it.) One last thing: Don't you talk to him about work.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tin Machine: Advancement in Action

Like most people, I was somewhat appalled when I heard Tin Machine for the first time. Then I saw them on SNL and I was blown away. Still I didn't get into the records much. But as I write this, "Under the God" is on my "Lou Reed" Pandora station, and I now completely understand why Tin Machine was not only awesome, but completely necessary. What's particularly Advanced is that David Bowie reversed the usual order of things by forming a band as an act of Advancement rather than going solo as most other Advanced musicians did.

The funniest thing is that I've been preaching the Advanced Theory for 15 years or so, but I can still be surprised by how correct it really is. There's nothing more basic to the theory than the idea that someone who is ahead of their time like David Bowie or Lou Reed will be ahead of their time. So it's funny that I'm surprised that Tin Machine were actually good because of course they were good. David Bowie was a member!

By the way, the song David Bowie sang in "Extras" is the best song he's written in twenty years. It would have been at home on Hunky Dory, don't you think?

Lou Reed and Pete Townshend at Joe's Pub: "Pale Blue Eyes"

Wow. Go here to see Lou Reed and Pete Townshend singing "Pale Blue Eyes." It's funny, but I don't think of those two occupying the same universe, and yet they clearly do. The universe of Advancement.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Ace Frehley Alive II

Let it be known:

"Contrary to published reports, Ace Frehley, formerly of KISS, is alive and well and working on his highly anticipated solo album. It has been erroneously reported on various websites and wire services that the legendaryguitarist had committed suicide. Not so! 'I don’t know how this ridiculous rumor got started,' smiles Ace, as he eats his daily allotment of wheat germ, preparing to jump back on his treadmill."

I think the treadmill has saved a lot of rockers' lives over the years. At any rate, glad that Ace is still on our planet, which, as you may remember, is not his home planet.

The Jam Reunite Except for One Member

From Aversion:

"The Jam have reunited -- though the veracity of that statement hinges on how you define 'The Jam' and 'reunion.' The mod-punk band announced it will gear up for a new album and a British tour, though it will do so without its original singer/guitarist and primary songwriter Paul Weller. Bassist Bruce Foxton and drummer Rick Buckler rustled up a replacement for Weller -- singer Russell Hastings and guitarist David Moore -- when they reform to mark the 30th anniversary of the act's debut effort, In the City, which was released in late April 1977 from Polydor. While many fans may bristle at the notion of the influential act without its principal member, it's a big step up for Buckler, who joined a Jam tribute band, The Gift, in 2005 (read full story)."

Nicely done, the Jam.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Arcade Fire's Overt Tirade Against U2, Oasis, and the Rolling Stones

It doesn't get much more Overt than this:

Arcade Fire have accused U2, Oasis, and the Rolling Stones of being obsessed with taking over the world, calling it "a total crock of sh-t".

[Win Butler] said: "It's not like we shun success, but at the same time we don't want to shove it down people's throats. In the UK there's this kind of rock star competition. I don't know if U2 started it, or the Stones or Oasis, but a lot of bands think in terms of: 'I'm going to be the biggest band in the world. F--k all those bands who've got no ambition.' think that's a total crock of sh-t.

"There's nothing less interesting to me than the idea of marketing the f--k out of something so people are forced to like it. Some bands are just manipulating people to buy music. That's how 90 percent of the record industry works! It's basically the same as selling a f--king toaster or a cruise package."

I can think of something less interesting: a song about how you like to ride in the backseat of a car. Of course, you can't blame a band in their Overt stage for being so Overt, but it still kind of makes me mad. After all, he is essentially trying to manipulate the f--k out people by slagging bands that are way more famous, which is basically a total crock of sh-t. And of course, I'm hoping that by slagging them, I'll get traffic on my blog! Anyone want to buy a f--king toaster?

George Bush: Blinded By Science

This is an unintentionally funny picture if you ask me.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Monday, February 12, 2007

Sting: He's Good Po-lice

So the Police played the Grammys last night as you all know, and now they're going to tour the world. I've been wrestling with the Sting issue for years (Super Advanced or terrible?), but now I've really, really decided that Sting is Advanced and that I've been a fool to deny the greatness of his solo work. If I could convince someone to pay for all the records, I'd like to sit down one day and listen to all his solo albums in chronological order. I would be in such a state of Advancement, I don't even want to think about it. Incidentally, the band sounded pretty great, I thought. And I really enjoyed that weird little Sting-ified bit in the middle, much to my surprise. Another thought: Physical fitness might be a part of Advancement. After all, most Advanced Artists are in great shape. Must be all that martial arts practice. I'll have to think on it for a while, as Omar from "The Wire" would say.

(By the way, Sting looks ecstatic in this picture, doesn't he?)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Artimus Pyle's Album, Hatred of Pro Tools

From a press release:

The man who kept the beat on such all-time southern rock classics as "Saturday Night Special," "Gimme Back My Bullets," "That Smell," and "What's Your Name" is back with one of his finest solo albums yet, 'Artimus Venomous.' In an era where 'Pro Tools perfection' is the key for most rock bands, Pyle turns back the clock to a time when rock bands truly rocked – with actual fingers on fretboards, sticks on drums, and little else between what the mics picked up and what wound up on tape.

And in addition to being one heck of a drummer (just about every southern rock drummer post-1975 has purposely or inadvertently borrowed a thing or two from his work with Skynyrd) Pyle possesses one heck of a classic rock voice, as he provides lead vocals throughout most of 'Artimus Venomous.' Standout tracks include the title cut, "Knock Me Down," and the gloriously titled " Blood Sucking Weasel Attorneys."

You know who uses Pro Tools? Blood Sucking Weasel Attorneys.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Patti Smith Covers the Allman Brothers and More

Another lovely friend of Advancement sent me a press release that is pretty awesome:

"Columbia Records will release Twelve,the eagerly-anticipated album of 'cover' [I'm glad they put that in quotes. -JH] versions of classic popular songsnewly interpreted by the 2007 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee PattiSmith, on Tuesday, April 17. Twelve is Patti Smith's first album of new studio recordings sincetrampin', her Columbia Records debut, was released in 2004, and is theartist's first-ever full-length collection of songs originally created byother performers. On Twelve, Patti Smith and her band -- Lenny Kaye (guitar), Jay DeeDaugherty (drums) and Tony Shanahan (bass, keyboards) -- work their magicon a surprising selection of classic songs and overlooked treasures fromthe rock & roll canon including 'Pastime Paradise' by Stevie Wonder,' Everybody Wants To Rule The World' by Tears for Fears and 'Helpless' byNeil Young. Also on Twelve, Smith and company interpret songs by JimiHendrix, Bob Dylan, the Doors, Nirvana, Jefferson Airplane, the Beatles,the Rolling Stones, the Allman Brothers, and Paul Simon.

An assortment of guest artists appear with Patti on Twelve includingItalian cellist Giovanni Sollima; playwright Sam Shepard (with whom Patti collaborated on "Cowboy Mouth" in 1971) on banjo; early 60s GreenwichVillage folk artists John Cohen (banjo) and Peter Stampfel (fiddle); RedHot Chili Peppers' bassist Flea; Television guitarist Tom Verlaine; the Black Crowes' Rich Robinson on slide guitar and dulcimer; and hip-hop producer Luis Resto (Eminem) on keyboards. Patti's son, Jackson, anddaughter, Jesse, are on-hand to contribute guitar and vocal respectively."

Have Patti Smith and Prince been talking? You know, I've always thought Patti Smith was about as Overt as you can get, but this is a pretty bold statement of Advancement. I'll have to hear the record for myself, but I'm pretty excited. The inclusion of a hip-hop producer is a particularly nice touch.

Chris Isaak on Ice

Here's something surprising:

"Disson Skating brings Kleenex Fashion on Ice, with special guests Frederique and Chris Isaak, to the Sovereign Bank Arena on Friday, December 1. Frederique van der Wal, one of the most recognizable faces in the modeling world will be the host of the night, while skaters show off the hottest fashions of today. Chris Isaak, who's best known for his hit song 'Wicked Game,' will supply the music for the models to strut their stuff to. "

He's going to put the "ice" in Isaak! I'll never forget when I first heard "Blue Hotel" on Late Night With David Letterman. I was entranced by both the song and his shiny suit. I've loved him ever since, and now I love him even more.

Advanced Video: Prince's Super Bowl Press Conference

A friend of Advancement wrote to alert me of this press-conference video. I think you'll like very much Prince's answer to the first question.

Update: Another friend of Advancement, Leanne, notes that it was particularly Advanced of Prince to play a Foo Fighters cover. I didn't realize that he played a Foo Fighters song, but she is so right!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Prince a God?

So did Prince make it rain at the Super Bowl? Does he have that power? I wouldn't put it past him. The bigger question is Why did he feel like he needed to do covers? Of course, we know the answer to that: He is Advanced. I liked mostly everything about his performance, especially his starting with the "We Will Rock You" drums. I know when I think of Prince, I think of Queen.

Prince always has the best sounding guitar. It has a sort of Jimi Hendrix quality, but it still sounds modern. It was a bit high in the mix, but when a guy can play like that, I'm not going to complain. I loved that he started with a regular Telecaster and ended with the purple Phallicaster. I particular appreciated his trick of projecting himself in profile to a flowing sheet. Napoleon invented that, by the way. Also, and somewhat related, does anyone move better in heels? He should be a model coach if you ask me. He could make lots of money that way. I was also glad to see that he protected his hair from the rain.

I can't think of anything else to say about his performance. It was everything I thought it would be, plus CCR. Now onto to daydreaming out the Police reunion...

Friday, February 02, 2007

Manute Bol

Yes, two people had the same idea. Have a good time this weekend watching the Super "Bol"!

Harry Chapin's Gory Story Song: "Sniper"

Thanks to Pandora, I discovered the positively Meatloafian "Sniper" by Harry Chapin (like Columbus discovered America I guess, because I would imagine there are aboriginal Chapin fans who have known this song for years), and I have to say it was an extremely Advanced listening experience. Chapin wasn't Advanced, of course, but to listen to that whole song is a highly Advanced exercise. Here are some of the lyrics:

"I didn't really know him.
He was kind of strange.
Always sort of sat there.
He never seemed to change.
He reached the catwalk.
He put down his burden.
The four sided clock began to chime.
Seven AM, the day is beginning.
So much to do and so little time.
He looks at the city where no one had known him.
He looks at the sky where no one looks down.
He looks at his life and what it has shown him.
He looks for his shadow it cannot be found.
He was such a moody child, very hard to touch.
Even as a baby he never smiled too much.
No no.
No no.
You bug me, she said.
You're ugly, she said.
Please hug me, I said.
But she just sat there with the same flat stare
That she saves for me alone
When I'm home.
When I'm home.
Take me home.

He laid out the rifles, he loaded the shotgun,
He stacked up the cartridges along the wall.
He knew he would need them for his conversation.
If it went as it he planned, then he might use them all.
He said Listen you people I've got a question
You won't pay attention but I'll ask anyhow.
I found a way that will get me an answer.Been waiting to ask you 'till now.
Right now !
Am I ?
I am a lover who's never been kissed.
Am I ?
I am a fighter who's not made a fist.
Am I ? If I'm alive then there's so much I've missed.
How do I know I exist ?
Are you listening to me ?
Are you listening to me ?
Am I ?"

I wonder how many people had to die to inspire this song? In any case, you should have a listen and see how Advanced you feel afterward.