Monday, April 30, 2007

Howard Stern: The Confessions of a White Widowed DJ

What is Howard Stern drinking and who is this girl with him? I think her name is Marilyn. (thanks to Goldenfiddle)

Pete Townshend: To the Lifehouse

Here's something:
Pete Townshend's decades-old vision of creating musical portraits through technology has come to fruition. The Who guitarist today unveiled his music creation, now dubbed the Lifehouse Method, to a small gathering of journalists in London. The Method is an Internet-based software program that enables the user -- or "sitter" -- to generate music from unique, inputted data. The sitter can upload four strands of personal information into the system, consisting of a digital photo, a rhythm, a sound and a voice.

...Townhend explained that the project was the culmination of an idea which had percolated since his art school days in the 1960s. The concept was first introduced in the early 1970s via music intended for the Townshend-penned "Lifehouse" song cycle and planned concept album, which eventually morphed into the Who's "Who's Next" album. Music composed through the Method's technology formed the basis of the track "Fragments" on the most recent Who album, "Endless Wire." Today's launch, Townshend noted, was an attempt "in essence, [to] close the book on the great lost project of Lifehouse, as a Who legendary non-event."
Advanced artists usually talk about their projects in grandiose terms. But talking like that about projects that never happened is pretty impressive.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Lou Reed Review

Brian J. Barr of the Seattle Weekly gets it:
Lou Reed's Hudson River Wind Meditations is built for quiet contemplation. For more than an hour, Reed, a longtime practitioner of tai chi and meditation, creates smooth and soothing sine waves that recall the gentle lolling of the fabled New York waterway. There are sounds on here that also recall the expanding harmony and ringing of Tibetan meditation bowls. The hipsters will probably laugh it off as a sign of Reed's old age, but this record has everything in common with LaMonte Young's Theatre of Eternal Music, which was a major influence on the Velvet Underground. Instead of the confrontational repetition the Velvets were renowned for, however, this is an inviting sort of repetition. It invites you to explore your own soul, which, as Jung noted, is often the most confrontational experience. What's most striking is that, while the album is considered a meditation on a body of water, deeper listens reveal creaks and groans which echo the inner workings of N.Y.C. Perhaps if the people of New York would shut up for once, this is what their home would sound like.

Incidentally, Lou Reed likes to tell people to shut up too.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Lou Reed Download: Hudson River Wind Meditations

From Fauni Gena:

A practitioner of Yoga and Tai Chi for many years, Lou Reed brings his unique sensitivity and knowledge of a broad spectrum of music genres to provide a tranquil bed of soothing harmonics that open the heart and settle the mind. The pieces on this hypnotic album will wash away tension and negative energy with sparse instrumentation and subtle waves of electronic sound.

...Hudson River's two primary tracks consist of Doppler-effect sine waves, Tibetan-singing-bowl-like sounds, and deep subharmonics.

1 Move Your Heart 28:55
2 Find Your Note 31:35
3 Hudson River Wind (Blend the Ambiance) 1:51
4 Wind Coda 5:22

To download it, go to this site. I can't think of anything more relaxing than the winds off the Hudson River.

Friday, April 20, 2007

U2 and the Spiderman Musical

I was just thinking to myself how quiet the Advanced World has been recently. Then I found this on CNN:
Get ready for "Spider-Man: The Broadway Musical." That may not be the official title, but Marvel Studios is putting the pieces together for a musical on the Great White Way starring the popular superhero. Julie Taymor, who won Tonys for direction and costume design for the Broadway production of "The Lion King," will direct, with U2's Bono and the Edge creating new music and lyrics for the project.
What will happen when the Fly gets tangled up in Spiderman's web? I don't know, but I have a feeling it's going to be Advanced.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Trent Reznor Has Been Working Out

I saw this picture of Trent Reznor in the New York Times. When did he get so big? Now if he were Advanced and wanted to get into shape, he would try tai chi like Lou Reed and Iggy Pop. Still I salute him, because I'm always pulling for the nerd who thinks he won't be a nerd anymore if he has big muscles.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Charles Pierce Is Lazy, or If Loving Nixon Is Wrong, I Don't Want to Be Right

I don't mean to be harsh, but this piece in the Boston Globe reeks of first draft. Go ahead, take a whiff and tell me that this took longer than five minutes to write. I would let it go, but Bob Dylan and the Pope are important to me. Plus, I don't care for his insinuation that the copy desk would somehow know more about the X-Men than the Catholic Church. I understand that not all columns are going to be brilliant, but a writer owes his readers a little effort. And if he did put a lot of effort into "Tangled Up in Bob" (yes, that's the amazing headline, a phrase that gets only about 1.1 million matches on Google), then I encourage you all to move to Boston and apply for a job at the Globe because they are obviously having a problem generating content.

If I can lazily attach to the theory this overly mean criticism of a writer who probably was working on lots of other things and didn't have much time to devote to his column that he writes to feed his family, laziness is a hallmark not just of dashed-off columns and brainless headlines, but of Overtness as well. The "Overt," which was originally short for "Overt Weirdos," do exactly what is expected of them (or exactly the opposite, which is just as easy to do). For example, there are lazy ways to be weird (tattoos, funny hair, hating Dark Side of the Moon) that everyone recognizes as weird, and that is what the Overt embrace. In other words, it's being weird without being weird. Not only that, it's being weird without consequences.

The Advanced, on the other hand, are weird in a way that is harder to categorize. It's Bob Dylan's conversion to Christianity. Lou Reed's haircut in the '80s. James Brown's loving Richard Nixon. Why would the man who wrote "Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud)" embrace the man who said "I have the greatest affection for them [blacks], but I know they're not going to make it for 500 years. They aren't. You know it, too. The Mexicans are a different cup of tea. They have a heritage. At the present time they steal, they're dishonest, but they do have some concept of family life. They don't live like a bunch of dogs, which the Negroes do live like." Whatever the explanation, you have to admit that Brown's affection for Nixon was thoroughly weird and not at all lazy.

Maybe the country would have been better off if James Brown would have supported the other guy, but it would have just given the headline writers just another excuse to use "James Brown Feels Good (About McGovern)." And Charles Pierce might not have a job today!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Elvis Costello: "Rock and Roll Music"

Andrew at Jimmy Page's Sweater Vest wrote to remind me that one of Elvis Costello's new collections of hits is called "Rock and Roll Music." As most of you know, embracing rock and roll (and using the term in song and album titles) is almost as important to the Advanced Artist as wearing black leather jackets and dark sunglasses.

Side note: Remember when he had that beard? Has anyone ever heard an explanation for that (other than Advancement)?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Police to Record Again?

From NME:

"Andy Summers has hinted that the band may get to work on a new album after their forthcoming world tour.... He added: 'If we do well with these concerts we may well make a sixth album. I can't see why not.'

"'We've been jamming acoustically lately and we've been really enjoying it,' said Summers. 'We'll be playing a couple of new songs at the shows in the summer.'"

Is there anything better than hearing new songs tat a reunion concert? Yes, hearing new songs that are the product of acoustic jamming. You win, Sting.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

New Balance Joy Division Sneakers

This story definitely belongs in this blog, but I don't know exactly what to think of it:

"Here is an interesting sneaker if you’re a fan of New Balance or English rock band Joy Division. It looks like New Balance has produced a tribute sneaker for this legendary group. The sneaker is done in white and grey featuring Joy Division’s first album cover graphics on the tongue and insole. We don’t know if these are going to release, but we will certainly keep you posted when more information surfaces."

I could see someone making Cure-tribute sneakers, but this one is a bit perplexing. And wonderful.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Cure and Ashlee Simpson

I had my doubts a long time ago, but Robert Smith is definitely Advanced:

"The Cure frontman Robert Smith has teamed up with singer Ashlee Simpson for a collaboration on her new album. The as-yet-untitled album is the follow up to 2005's I Am Me. Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz denied any involvement in putting the unusual pair together, even though both of them are his personal friends. He said: 'I doubt I had anything to do with it, 'cause they were friends since she was performing in Chicago. But I definitely only have good things to say about Ash--I think the collaboration could be great.'"

I really can't think of a more Advanced move.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Lou Reed Concert New York

If you've got $85, you can see Lou Reed at a new venue owned by the the owner of B.B. King's Blues Club. Wait, it's not B.B. King? Anyway, here are the details:

"The HighLine Ballroom, a new performance space in New York's meat-packing district on 16th Street (between Ninth and 10th avenues), will open April 30 with a concert by Lou Reed.

The first month at the HighLine Ballroom will feature performances by Mos Def, Amy Winehouse, Jonatha Brooke, Spank Rock, Meshell Ndegeocello, Talib Kweli, moe., and Disco Biscuits.

Inspired by the aesthetics of High Line Park, the HighLine Ballroom features a minimal industrial decor providing open sightlines of the stage from every area within the club. Outfitted with a state-of-the-art sound system and lighting, digital sound boards and what's billed as the largest stage in the city for a club of comparable size, the 700-capacity venue will book bands at all levels."

If you're worried about the cost, you'll feel better knowing that 25 cents will go to the Friends of the High Line, the "nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and reuse of the High Line elevated rail structure."

Learn more about Lou Reed and Advancement!