Thursday, September 27, 2007

Washington City Schmaper

When I was preoccupied with my new job and move to Atlanta, the Washington City Paper's blog Black Plastic Bag decided to take down Advancement. I was defenseless at the time, but luckily Val Kilmer came to my rescue in the comments section. Here's what the writer had to say at the end of a long post about the theory:
At heart it’s a method by which music writers can overthink old artists, expend ridiculous amounts of energy showing off what they think of them, and assign more weight to them then they deserve.
What was interesting to me is the writer read Chuck Klosterman's article about Advancement "about a dozen times." I've seen this a lot. I'll tell somebody about the Advanced Theory and they get really upset about it. Then they keep asking, "Is he Advanced?" and "What about so-and-so." Usually the anger comes from not really understanding the theory. But then they finally catch on and are eventually converted. You'll come around, Black Plastic Bag.

One more thing: He also calls Lou Reed pretentious, but is pretentiousness any less difficult to prove than Advancement?

(Thanks to Matt for pointing out this blog post.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bob Dylan With Jack White Video

I suppose you all know that Jack White sat in with Bob Dylan at some concerts in Nashville. But you may not have seen it, so I'll send you over to Stereogum for that pleasure. Here's what they have to say about it:
...a lot of you wrote us about Jack's recent sit-ins with Bob Dylan down in Nashville last week. Leonard hit us with the setlist from the 9/19 show, noting that Jack joined Bob for the first-ever concert performance of "Meet Me In The Morning," but the clip we excavated comes from the next night when, while still at the Ryman Auditorium, the two paired up on "One More Cup Of Coffee." Interesting to hear the contrast in the present state of their voices -- one gruff and worn, the other crackling, and wailing -- and as always with these live digicam clips, much less interesting to actually watch. But you should click play anyway.
How's that for the hard sell? Anyway, Jack White would love to be considered Advanced, and he might well be on his way. But just because an Advanced artist approves of you doesn't mean you are Advanced, too.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Daniel Lanois Is What Is

Daniel Lanois has worked with a lot of Advanced artists (there's some good stuff about him in Bob Dylan's autobiography), so you might be interested in this:
‘Here Is What Is’, which premieres at the Toronto Film Festival this week, is a ‘sonic, filmic, journey’ documenting life in the studio with Daniel Lanois. It covers a year in which Lanois collaborated with musicians as diverse as Willie Nelson and Sinead O’Connor, Aaron Neville and Billy Bob Thornton. And as the year also included a trip to Fez in Morocco, the film features footage of Lanois and Brian Eno working on new material with U2. Danny came up with an exclusive advance clip for U2.Com - including the very first footage of the band recording with Danny and Brian in Morocco.
You can see it here.

Friday, September 21, 2007

"Tusk" and "Metal Machine Music"

Philco Bros. weighs in on the great "Tusk" question:
I'm not sure the actual song is advanced but the idea of releasing it as a single after the major success of the previoius two LP's is very Metal Machine Music-like.
Excellent point. I'm now thinking that the album might qualify as an Advanced Irritant. In fact, I'm sure of it. And I think that Lindsey Buckingham was probably the driving force behind it. He is, by the way, one of my favorite guitarists with large brown hair (Brian May and Mike Campbell are the others).

Thursday, September 20, 2007

"Tusk" Advanced?

Anonymous writes: "What about 'Tusk' by Fleetwood Mac as a majorly advanced song?"

Good question. I think it was actually not so Advanced (it was their weirdo response to the success of "Rumours" as I remember), but the video was more Advanced than the song. Not to mention kind of sexy when Stevie Nicks twirls the baton. Why is it that all weirdo girls used to be cheerleaders? Maybe it really is hard to be a pretty girl. Anyway, what is more Advanced was the twenty-minute cover of "Tusk" that Camper Van Beethoven play in their reunion gigs.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Perry Farrell, 50 Cent, and ESPN

I'm late to the story, I know, but I had to say something about the Perry Farrell, Kelly Rowland, and 50 Cent collaboration for ESPN's college football promo. Actually, I'll let Farrell do the talking:
"[ESPN] had the idea to bring in someone who can rap and a female who can sing, and then put it together [as a remix]," Farrell told MTV News on Thursday. "Coming from the world of rock and roll — and as a DJ — I felt that a lot of rock and roll was being ignored by DJs," he said. "I wanted to bring rock and roll songs into the nightclubs because DJs are always looking for new material, and hip-hop has predominately been what club music has been about over the last 10 years. So when I heard that ESPN was interested in that and they also wanted to get a rapper, they made a wise choice. Their ears were tuning in to the things that I was hoping for. And when they told me they were thinking about 50 on it? Wow, that could be amazing."

"It's pertinent to football, but it could very much be its own thing," he continued about the track. "The music really suits crossover. I think that it's really good and I'm happy I got to do it and partner in it with 50 and Kelly, and I just look forward to rocking people on Saturday nights for the whole football season."

Perry Farrell is making a very strong case for himself here. He' s embracing sports, rap, and rock all at once (click on the labels below for more).

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

More Metal Machine Music

There's a nice article in the New York Sun about Zeitkratzer's version of Metal Machine Music. Here's a bit:
Generating the largest number of album returns in history, and being pulled from the market entirely only three weeks after its release, "Metal Machine Music" nearly finished Mr. Reed's career (there is now a standard clause in record label contracts stipulating that artists must deliver recordings that reflect the work that the label is signing them for, informally known as the "Metal Machine Music clause").

In 2000, however, a 25th anniversary reissue was released by BMG, and two years later the German experimental music ensemble Zeitkratzer painstakingly transcribed the original recording, and performed it with Mr. Reed as a special guest. A CD/DVD package of the concert has just been issued by Asphodel.

It's a bold move, since the original piece is totally electronic and Zeitkratzer is all acoustic.

...The screeching, high-pitched, high-speed melodic figures from the original "Metal Machine Music" are consigned to violins on Zeitkratzer's version, while the horns (saxophone, trumpet, tuba) hold the drone tones (an accordion does a little of both). Tremelos generated with a Fender Tremelo unit on Mr. Reed's original are reproduced manually by a cellist and a contrabassist frantically bowing their instruments. A percussionist handles the low frequencies, as well as other scratchy sounds from the original electronics (the performance footage on the DVD makes this much clearer than the CD, where the sound is often unrecognizable as being acoustic).
It must be nice to be someone who actually does stuff like this rather than just think about it.