Music Zen!

Your argument is sound, nothing but sound

Archive for July 2008

Ryan Adams responds to Courtney Love’s, “Hey, you ripped my daughter off!” charges

leave a comment »

It’s only fair I link to Stereogum’s coverage of the (as described well by one of the commenters, “It’s like watching the embodiment of syphilis and herpes fight.”) Ryan Adams v. Courtney Love discussion.

If you can’t be bothered (and I wouldn’t advise you be), you can just read what Adams has to say here:

to whom it may concern,

these days i find myself working harder than ever at being at my best, overcoming my fears and pushing myself creatively in my every endeavor. my only wish after the work is completed is that it may prove further evidence that no matter how isolated we all may all feel at times, as sad or misrepresented, we are not alone. there’s hope for and within each of us.

I’ve been dealing with the truth that i have at times been a bad example and/or glorified self destructive behavior. this was never intentional, but rather a consequence of leading a public life in plain sight and never expecting any sort of preferential treatment, isolation or protection.

Regardless of varied judgments as to my cultural relevance, i am thankfully alive and exercising my joy in creating. i only hope anyone who hears, reads or sees any of my contributions will permit the work to speak where i cannot.

i’ve realized and accepted that if people decide to dislike me, they’re going to find reasons to justify disliking me. there’s nothing i can do about that. that said, it still does pain me to be accused of fictional crimes against innocents or to be implicated in romantic gossip involving the possibly reality-challenged–however unreliable the source or outlandish the accusations. in the end, however, i know that i have never done or even meant anyone any harm.

anyway, the lives of public figures are so much more boring than anyone can imagine. honestly.

and also i like metal. A LOT. (even more than last time).

I’m not really sure I see an explicit denial of anything there. But oh well, at least there’s “hope for and within us.”

Denny’s is trying to be hip. Trying to appeal to the teenage diner-going audience. But which one does not belong? I’m going to hazard a guess and say, “What the fuck is Eagles of Death Metal doing there?” Maybe it’s just me, but that seems like an incredibly random choice to include in a breakfast dish, let alone a breakfast dish with the other bands described in the article. Does anyone even listen to Eagles of Death Metal? I do every once in awhile, I mean, but really, are they popular enough to get heart-shaped pancakes? This, I ask you!

So the NME (which someone laughed at me for reading stuff on their website) is all, “Yo, Gibby Hanes from the Butthole Surfers got all freaked out at a show.” I saw Anton Newcombe do much the same thing to a sound guy and there wasn’t a fight. No one got kicked in the head. No one was “fucking love.” No one had the Butthole Surfers’s bad teeth.

Okay, okay. Like, no one reading this is going to agree, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Electric Six. Their new video isn’t that absurd at all. I’ve been to Detroit and there really are guys in raptor masks and other guys with boas and short shorts. Fact. Don’t dispute; fact.

From the NME again (ooooo), Britney Spears is supposedly getting all S&M in here. Have to say it: she’s a slave 4 u. Just shoot me now.


Written by M

July 31, 2008 at 2:43 pm

5 Great Lost Songs

leave a comment »

Well, maybe not lost, exactly, but out of the way at least. Links, incidentally, will stream the track via

Can I Stay With You?
Nick Garrie
The Nightmare of JB Stanislas, 1969
Although a minor success in Europe, this fellow was, as I understand it, virtually ignored in Britain and America, despite releasing this album, which is really quite excellent, and this happens to be my favorite track off of it. The weather’s too hot for this right now, though; it’s a wonderful early fall track–just a bit wistful but still bright.

Electric to Me Turn
Bruce Haack
The Electric Lucifer, 1970
An early electronic music pioneer, this brief little number is the opening track on a quirky, weird little album about the war between Heaven and Hell… or something, I dunno, that’s not really the point. What’s far more interesting is the sound itself–drenched in early synthesizers and odd noises, yet clearly with a pop sensibility in a way that was pretty unique for its time.

Savoir Faire
Family Fodder
Monkey Banana Kitchen, 1980
When I first heard this, I thought “Wow, this band is totally ripping off Stereolab.” Then I learned this song came out 12 years before Peng! (Stereolab’s first record, for the uninitiated). So there you go. I guess this qualifies as new wave, but the album is kind of out there and trippy, even by the standards of the already kinda oddball genre. What’s remarkable is the variety–not all their songs sound even remotely like this.

I Hate You
The Monks
Black Monk Time, 1966
This pretty much epitomizes the phrase “proto-punk.” A group of American army men in Germany got together to record an album that, while rooted in the garage rock traditions of the mid ’60s (see 13th Floor Elevators, ? and the Mysterians, etc), also introduced a simplicity and aggression that, 8-10 years later, would come to characterize the often diverse work lumped into the amorphous “punk” category.

Fisherman’s Blues
The Waterboys
Fisherman’s Blues, 1988
I would expect to hear this band namedropped more than I do, but… This is one of their best tracks, epitomizing what the band does best–it draws from Irish and English folk music, beefs it up with a rock-and-roll swagger gives it some literate, intelligent lyrics and inserts one of the best choruses I can presently think of (“Light in my hair / You in my arms / Ooh-hoo-hoo!”).

So there you go. There are definitely more I can think of, but I can’t seem to find full tracks of any of them, so the 5 will have to do for now (it was 4 originally, but I had to add that Waterboys song).

Written by Sarah K

July 30, 2008 at 10:38 pm

Miley Cyrus has been offered a chance to prevent more Miley Cyruses

with one comment

Ah, funny thing. First Lil Wayne reminds us to go down strapped. Now it looks like Miley Cyrus has been offered a chance to tell the 11 year olds who watch her show that, indeed, condoms are a good thing. If the government isn’t going to do it (and they aren’t, because they’re the government), it seems like asking a 15 year old girl and a bad rapper to hawk condoms is a pretty good idea, if you ask me (Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?).

I think it’s good for a few reasons:

First, we don’t want more little Jonas Brothers, Tokio Hotel, and Miley Cyrus fans. Yes, we’re talking about population control and eugenics here, but who among us can say that they’re not afraid of electing a president 40 years down the road who once loved Tokio Hotel in his or her youth? Forget inhaling; no one gives a damn. We should all be deeply concerned about the future leader of the free world having once been a Tokio Hotel fan.

Another pretty good reason for Miley to do this is that this is sort of a no-win situation for her (I just realized that’s not a good reason). If she doesn’t do it, she’s white trash who is most likely pregnant with Kevin Jonas’s quintuplets. If she does, she’s further corrupting our youth because she happened to take pictures of herself in the shower or something and now she’s selling condoms to our youth. But on the whole of it, I think she looks like less of a hobo (Or Boho; thanks, Urban Dictionary! “True bohos are permanently alienated from society, as opposed to most “hip” people who are really just young and haven’t yet integrated into the social mainstream. Bohos are usually artsy, but the majority of them are not actually artists. They are usually poor throughout their lives, and often live in blue-collar or student neighborhoods. Affluent people often adopt boho affectations, but are unlikely to be real bohos.”) if she becomes a condom pitchwoman.

I also think it’s just a flat out good idea. You know, I don’t really think that anyone should be encouraging their children to look up to a 15 year old girl (I think most people reading this and everyone writing for it were once 15…?), but telling kids not to reproduce until they’re, you know, adults ready to make that commitment isn’t such a bad thing to tell your fans. Then again, your fans are 8 year olds and I’m not sure that that’s a crowd who needs to slap on the rubbers and go for a joy ride. So maybe it’s a really shitty idea that’s just going to corrupt our youth even more and make them listen to that devil negro rap that is so popular, and detrimental to their well being.


But anyway, this is old news by now (a week in internet time is practically a year), but here’s Pitchfork’s entire review for the latest Black Kids CD:

Pretty damn cheeky if you ask me! But finally something I and the ‘fork can agree on.

But once again, Pitchfork picks a random number out of the hat — 3.3 (it was originally 0.0, but thank God it was 0.0 and not 0.2 or 0.5 or something!) — and smacks it onto a CD like anyone seriously makes a CD buying decision based on tenths of a number. Okay!

I think someone should tackle the issue of Pitchfork in an upcoming entry.

I tried to listen to the first Black Kids’ CD a really long time ago. Lemme tell you what, I couldn’t get past the first couple tracks. I was once patronized that it’s, “Good if you like to dance, like me.” I guess. But I could think of other things better to dance to. Maybe. I don’t know. Anyway, the point is that the album sucked and the band sucks and it just all sucks.

Go buy some condoms.

Hat tip to Idolator for the Miley story and Stereogum for the Black Kids piece.

Written by M

July 29, 2008 at 2:15 pm

Shuffle Post.

with 2 comments

I want to write more for this blog, I really do. Like right now, I have a number of good articles in mind (“What makes a good lyricist?,” a write-up on the new Okkervil River record leak, baroque pop profiles, etc) but I’m just so very tired. But I do want to write something, so for tonight, I’m taking the lazy way out and doing a “Shuffle Post.” Herein shall we enter the weird and wild world of my iTunes library for ten songs, yet unknown to you or I. And for each, I shall mention something about it worth noting. Okay? Okay.

1. “Who Says?” by Richard Hell & The Voidoids ( from Blank Generation, 1977 )
I love Richard Hell. This isn’t my favorite track on this album (that would be the epic “Another World”) but it IS a fine example of the fact that one didn’t have to play loud/simple to make it in the “punk” scene (in quotes because of the vague definition of such). There’s a thoughtful, shaky tension to this song (and album)–as much (or more) in common with Television (which Hell was briefly in) as The Ramones or any of that ilk.

2. “4U” by KoRn ( from Issues, 1999 )
In my defense, I went to high school from 1998-2002. Actually though, this isn’t that bad. It’s not great or anything, but it has a kind of interesting atmospheric thing going on, and it’s short so it’s over before it gets too old. I remember when this album came out… I still want to learn to play the bagpipes.

3. “Creeper” by Islands ( from Arm’s Way, 2008 )
I dunno, this album didn’t quite get to me as much as their first (or The Unicorns album) did. But there is a certain pleasant groove going on here, even if it is a little… conventional, for lack of a better word, in that it hits exactly the notes a dancy “indie-pop” song should hit . Hm. It is catchy, though–well executed if not as daring as one might hope.

4. “I Fell in Love Today” by Ween ( from Shinola, Vol 1, 2005 )
This collection was pretty lackluster compared to the group’s regular studio albums, but this song is great. You never know what you’re going to get with Ween, but this one’s anchored by a low, head-nodding groove an it never builds too far beyond that because it never needs to. It’s the kind of song you listen to and it sort of automatically makes you strut, which fits well with the theme (“You people can’t touch me / I fell in love today”). The guitar tone on the chilled-out solo is great, too.

5. “Triangle” by Tripping Daisy ( from Bill, 1993 )
I just got this today, actually, so I don’t have much to say about it. It IS hard to believe this is the same guy who fronts The Polyphonic Spree–he’s singing about a preacher jacking off on TV over a very consciously “slightly-post-grunge” guitar riff. As I understand it, this album was largely dismissed because of exactly that sort of self-consciousness, which I guess I can see. There’s nothing bad about this so far, but it’s not especially grabbing either. Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb is a pretty fine album, though.

6. “Casimir Pulaski Day” by Sufjan Stevens ( from Come On Feel the Illinoise!, 2005 )
I have a sort of a love/hate thing with Sufjan. On the one hand, he can be a little… much at times–overly precious, I guess would be a way of putting it. And this album did not need to be 22 damn songs long. However, for all his coyness, when he gets it right, he gets it right and this (along with “Romulus”) is one of his two finest moments. One could write a novel from these lyrics–there’s enough pathos and detail to back it up without being overly wordy or coming off as melodramatic as the subject matter (falling in love with a dying girl) could easily have been. It’s beautiful and the banjo/horn thing he tends to work has the perfect air of slight melancholy without being histrionic.

7. “Ice” by The Microphones ( from It Was Hot, We Stayed in the Water, 2000 )
Phil writes such weird pop songs. Because this is a pop song, despite the fuzzed-out atonality, the rapidly shifting structure (no verse/chorus/verse here), the odd tinkly bells or static sounds or whatever else. It’s catchy despite itself. That’s why this was such a great band. I think his new band (Mount Eerie) is finally going to put out another one this year. I hope.

8. “Straight Freak Show” by Love Battery ( from Straight Freak Ticket, 1995 )
Sigh. My ex bought me this album so it reminds me of some weird things. But it’s still good–definitely an unrecognized grunge/alternative/whatever band with a little bit of a psychedelic edge to them. It’s definitely of its era, but there’s a charm here–summer, soda, skateboards, that sort of thing.

9. “Snagglepuss” by John Zorn ( from Naked City, 1989 )
Somewhere in the ether, jazz had a hot, steamy threesome with metal and new wave. This album (all 26 demented tracks of it) was born from that perverse union. This song bounces around between “normal” lite-jazz passages and the sound of Zorn herniating himself on his sax over other freakishly tortured instruments–like a really freaky musical game of “Red Light, Green Light.” It’s awesome.

10. “Simple Song” by Lyle Lovett ( from Pontiac, 1987 )
It’s easy for me to focus on Lyle songs like “If I Had a Boat” or “Penguins,” which are so… charmingly odd, I forget he can be this damn pretty. Incidentally, Pontiac is a milestone of alt-country music and something everybody needs to hear at least once.

Actually, on that note:

Written by Sarah K

July 29, 2008 at 3:20 am

Denver Friday

with 5 comments

At The Bug Theater in Denver

At The Bug Theater in Denver

Yeah, dude, I was there.

The last Jandek post I made seemed to get people’s attention and, shortly thereafter, I got an email from Marshall: OH OH. I was just reading on Wikipedia about Jandek. It was mentioned he is playing a show in Denver on the 25th. Between moving, working and all sorts of other drains on my watch and my wallet that have come lately, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to go, a thought that bummed me out a good deal. Sure enough, though, last night found me signing out of work and strolling my way up to The Bug Theater in anticipation.

The Bug is in the Highland area, just north of downtown, from where I was walking. Walking up Navajo St, one passes through a close group of small-looking houses, a few sort of seedy bars and a large Catholic church before coming upon the theater, on a corner surrounded by small art galleries, like a little cultural jewel. I got there at about six to find the theater doors closed. There was, however, the nondescript sign pictured above, handwritten on what appeared to be scrap paper. The whole thing was perfect.

As I waited for my friends to arrive, small and diverse groups of people began to collect in the area around the theater, from long-haired skate-punk looking kids to middle-aged socialite art-circle couples. The box office opened at 6:30, by which time a small cloud of people had formed on the corner of Navajo and 37th. A man pulled out his wallet for the cash-only tickets, saying he had never heard of Jandek, just came to check it out. A long-haired guy laughed and told him he was in for an experience.

My friends showed up around 7 and we hung around outside, one of several little clusters of people having a cigarette for a little while. Finally, at 7:30, we went in.

There were no tickets–our wrists were stamped with a face that looked like a screaming man. There was a minibar at the rear of the theater, near the entrance, that offered several varieties of bottled beer, candy, nuts, all for “suggested donations,” rather than actual prices. We got some beer and turned to sit down.

The theater itself is small–200 or so capacity; 20 ten-seat rows, perhaps. One of my friends expressed surprise there were seats–I think he expected a more “normal” show environment. At the front of the theater was the stage itself. To one side was a huge pile of amplifiers, mixing equipment, etc. A drum kit was set up in the middle. Several guitars and basses were lined up on one side. The whole thing was framed at the rear by two huge, white columns and a white crosspiece, from which dangled red curtains. The curtains were slightly open in front of a spacey, blue background. The whole thing felt both small–like existing in a little diorama–and out of time, as if a fragment of a past era. Three cameras were set up–one at the rear of the theater, one towards the middle and one at the foot of the stage.

The crowd buzzed and hummed. From the talk, some people seemed to be fans but a fair amount didn’t know what was going to happen. Tom Waits’s Swordfishtrombones clunked along under the murmur. By ten to eight, the tiny theater was nearly full, when a large, excited-looking man took the stage. He announced that the show would begin shortly and that it was “last call” at the minibar. We, along with a number of other people, grabbed one more beer and sat back down.

After a moment, the lights dimmed and the sound of the crowd died out as someone nearby commented it was like a movie was about to start. There was a long and pregnant pause.

Then, 5 people filed out onto the stage–4 men and a woman. Four of them were faces people in the Denver art scene–particularly that associated with Rhinoceropolis–might know. A young, somewhat lanky man took a seat in the front left–this was Karl Zickrick who initially picked up a red guitar, but alternated between guitars and basses. Behind him, the somewhat owlish woman in a blue flower-print dress–Brittany Gould, whose only weapon was her microphone. To the right of her a bearded man–Andrew Lindstrom–sat down at the drum kit, a wild look in his eye. A disaffected looking young man in thick glasses–Kevin Richards–sat next to him and picked up an electric guitar. And in front of him stood the Man from Corwood himself. He looked exactly as I’d expected him to look–the usual button-up shirt, slacks and fedora, and moved with an almost inhuman presence, like watching an alien being. For this show he manned a sleek, black, fretted bass.

Without a word, the songs began to snake into existence, and this is where things begin to get difficult to describe. Put simply, I hope this show gets released on DVD (as “Denver Friday,” presumably), because I’m not actually sure what really happened. For a while, I seriously thought I was having an especially strong acid flashback–the howling sounds took on an eerily organic quality and everything became alive (microphone stands were insect limbs, the instruments were shrieking animals, etc). I was drifting in and out of reality, people around me and onstage were disappearing and reappearing, crawling, snaking moving–the whole room seemed to be growing and shrinking. There was a point where people were trees and the sound was a cloud of spiders moving over them, or a point where the notes were being played on the ligaments and tendons of the collective body of everyone present–weird shit like that. Something would ground me in reality for a moment and then the music would carry me off into this weird inner imaginative recess I didn’t even know I could tap into.

Put simply, it felt like my mind was broken down and reassembled piece by piece. I’ve never experienced anything like that, especially not while (reasonably) sober. Hell, even drugs don’t quite get to the level this did.

In a more grounded sense, I do know there were some cool things going on. The drummer was running chains over his kit, scratching his ride cymbal with the end of his stick, bowing a hand cymbal–all sorts of other nutty stuff. The patterns of the either one or two guitars wound around each other, the female howls added a spookily etherial quality to the whole affair, etc. For the most part the light was dim, but on at least two occasions, it was refracted off a disco ball above the stage that rotated and cast flecks of yellow glow in a spinning vortex around the room.

I don’t know how many songs were played–seven or eight, maybe. I do know that the actual performance went on for about 2 hours and 15 minutes and that afterwards, I almost couldn’t breathe. The performers filed off as wordlessly as they had appeared, the lights went up and the crowd milled outside. Talking on the sidewalk, the friends I went with were all surprised at how intense the experience had been–that it came on so strong and didn’t let up at all. As we drove home, none of us could really think of a comparable experience.

Basically, if you ever get the chance–and it is long odds, but still–go see a Jandek show. The next (and only other announced) one will be in Columbus, OH on 10/10. Even if you have to drive a couple hours to get there, it’ll be worth it.

Damn, son.

Written by Sarah K

July 26, 2008 at 2:11 pm

Posted in Concerts

Tagged with , ,

Cavalera Conspiracy show that I went to

with 3 comments

So, I told a few people here about the free tickets to see Cavalera Conspiracy. It was a fun show. A lot of energy from all the bands that played especially Throwdown, Dillinger Escape Plan, and definitely Cavalera Conspiracy.

The reason I’m making this post is because of what happened at a Throwdown set. The show was pretty much full of Metalheads and a few scene kids alike. When Throwdown started playing the show, all the tough hardcore kids started Hardcore Dancing in the middle of the room. There just being rude to everyone because when they hit someone, they just won’t stop. And when people were telling them to stop, they just continue with there act and just kicking and hitting everyone.  I guess this caught the singers attention and told the kids “Hey cheer up emo kids Eminem didn’t die”. This got the crowd laughing at this kids.

Second to last song on the Throwdown show, the singer purposley went down on the stage and into the middle to mosh with us, which was great. Then he came up to this hardcore kid who was hardcore dancing earlier (hewas wearing a black shirt, gym shorts and flat rimmed hat) and just openly tackled this kid, knocking him on his ass. Then the singer went back up on stage and they played the last song. The singer once again came down to the crowd and approached the same kid. The kid pushed the singer back, then the singer just smacked this kid in the face. You can just tell the kid was about to cry. It was hilarious.

Long story short, if your gonna piss off metalheads in the concets, especially on a Throwdown show, be weary of people literally kicking your ass.

Written by rippingcorpse

July 24, 2008 at 11:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with


leave a comment »

Indeed, Idolator, faithful watchers of the Courtney Love blog scene that they are, has reported that the woman who once intoned a request to have her anus waxed (life advice: do not Google this news story) has decided maybe it would be a good idea to stop blogging. She regrets to inform us that, “LACK OF GRAMMATICAL CORRECTNESS AND SPELLING MAKES ONE LOOK ON DRUGS FOR SOME REASON.” Hear, hear, I say. Also, I intend to put that on a t-shirt posthaste.

Written by M

July 24, 2008 at 7:28 pm

Posted in Uncategorized