Sunday, August 29, 2010

When I die, I want to come back as a beautiful piece of vinyl.

But instead of my voice recorded on the grooves, I'd like my words to be read by James Earl Jones. Don't screw this up for me.

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Do you have a large collection of music? I do. But in 2010, anybody can have one for only $9.95 a month.

Joe Shockley and I were just discussing each of our personal obsessions with searching for, finding and (on some level) collecting great records. Although the few thousand CDs and tens of thousands of mp3s I've got don't matter at this point as the transition to stuff-in-the-cloud and endless subscription services marches on, there is something to be said about obtaining as much music as possible and basking in its sounds, and artwork, and endless lists of scenester thank yous...

Showing off a playlist just isn't the same as smirking while a friend calls you a crazy douche for having endless racks of CDs and records. I'm proud to have been one of those douches and I'm glad I'm not the only one.

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Brian Bell hates the new Weezer album. Oh, and it's named for the clothing company. Puke and barf all over Rivers effing Cuomo.

Seriously. Hurley paid for their studio time and gave them some clothes, so they named the album after the company as though an album title were a book dedication. Bell says it's some kind of post-modern statement. I'll give that one a little extra thought if the album is better than "Memories," the first single, leads me to believe it will be. 

I don't fault bands for getting money any way they can, this one just stings a little. 

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

The Power of Punk: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists hit Broadway

OK, maybe it was just for the "Bottled in Cork" video, but still... Is it me, or is this video making a reference to somebody?

<div style="text-align:center;width:680px;">Ted Leo And The Pharmacists - "Bottled In Cork" (Official Video) from Ted Leo and the Pharmacists</div>

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Monday, August 23, 2010

The video for the new Thermals single "I Don't Believe You" has significantly affected me.

By affect, I mean it has inspired the goals for the next sound system I install in my house. The song is pretty good too.


Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Teenage Fanclub - Like a Virgin

Like A Virgin (Madonna) by Teenage Fanclub  
Download now or listen on posterous
Teenage Fanclub - Like A Virgin (Madonna).mp3 (6227 KB)

I had a pretty damn good birthday on Friday, even with all the work. I think this song made my day on the drive home, though. But this was so unexpected I was a little surprised how excited I got when I realized what it was.

Teenage Fanclub grinds and writhes their way through it so well it made me want to suggestively roll around on the concrete in the middle of I-595 in a tight white wedding dress, with my pantie-less privates sending cars careening off the side of the highway in a mix of awe and disgust.

All random credit goes to Madonna and Teenage Fanclub for the reaction to a long forgotten cover.  

Anyway, I give it to you on the day of the lord. Enjoy.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I thought "The Perfect Drug" would be the last song I heard tonight. Until I got this email from Soundgarden...

which included this song that's been floating around the Internet for a couple weeks now:

</object><span>Black Rain by soundgardenworld</span>

"Black Rain" was recorded for Badmotorfinger and left off the album for whatever reason. But listen to the band, which is clearly in their prime. 

Sure, they were just a pretty good heavy rock band writing decent songs by the time they got to Down on the Upside, but for a while, they were a revelation. Gods, even. You know it's true, even if you think you're too cool now to admit it.

Chris Cornell deserves better than he's received in the last couple years. But then, he used to be so much better, when he had these guys behind him. (No offense to the guys from Rage, who were so much better when they had Zack in front of them, but that's a whole other thing.)

Listen to it. Now listen to it again. It's a shame there's only one unreleased song included on Telephantasm, the greatest hits album due out in a few weeks. Kim Thayil says that there's a lot of mindblowing stuff left in the vaults and that one day there will be a box set. I say shelve the hits album and give us the box. Now.

Oh, and if you can't remember "The Perfect Drug," here's the Mark Romanek-directed video for it. Everything holds up pretty well, despite 1997 feeling like an entirely different world now...

<p>Nine Inch Nails: The Perfect Drug (1997) from Nine Inch Nails on Vimeo.</p>

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

I kind of feel bad for this lonely lobster

Not bad enough to buy him and put hom out of his misery but, you know, I noticed that he looked bored.

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Gallagher, Vanilla Ice and Tila Tequila: The Gathering of the Juggalos gets wild

You'd think somebody was just writing about a ridiculous dream they had, but there's pictures. Wow.

Aside from the Tila Tequila angle - man, is she freaky looking - but who would have expected Ron Jeremy, Vanilla Ice, Gallagher, Tom Green and god knows who else to show up at a massive festival dedicated to the guys who once wrote "Bugz on my Nugz?" 

Yeah, I guess I just answered my own question. Faygo, anybody?

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cut Chemist is on another level, and needs only a single wheel of steel to prove it.

I wish they showed more of his record collection. I'm curious about the tapes on the wall behind him too.

Words to live by: "Sometimes people are pretty tunnel-vision about what kind of music they'll let in... They'll be like, 'OK, he's even into this.' Well, yeah, I am, it's great music."


Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Friday, August 13, 2010

Despite Pete Townsend's once desperate screech, getting old isn't a numbers game. It's about being out of touch.

Andy Rooney said something recently about having no idea about Lady Gaga and what she's about. He thought it was ok though because kids today don't know who Ella Fitzgerald is.

That's crap.


Posted via email from Stephen Feller

The first hand of #blackjack in Coconut Creek, with David Cassidy

Cassidy is in the middle, in white. To his left is Max Osceola of the Seminole Indian Tribe and State Rep. Jim Waldman. Waldman got blackjack on the first hand. He also then pulled out a wad of cash to buy more chips.

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Jack White rules because he wants you to experience his music.

But when you're not paying attention, he's going to call you out for it, whether you paid for the show or not. Even if you're famous. And he's not going to stop playing the drums to do so.



(via Stereogum)

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Queens of the Stone Age - Born To Hula

Born To Hula by Queens Of The Stone Age  
Download now or listen on posterous
205-queens_of_the_stone_age-born_to_hula.mp3 (10963 KB)

If Dave Grohl were playing drums on "Born to Hula," the world would have been freaking out about it. But since "Ode to Clarissa" has a better hook, "Born to Hula" gets left in the dust when it finally sees the light of day - despite the fact that it would have been one of the notable tracks on Songs for the Deaf.

Instead of playing front on center toward the middle of that Queens of the Stone Age masterpiece, it's one of five previously unreleased studio tracks included on the "deluxe edition" of QOTSA's other masterpiece, the album that got the world's attention (after Kyuss), Rated R.

Perfect groove-based stoner rock with lyrics about getting laid, kicking ass, doing drugs or generally being cool while doing any one or combination of those three things - you've heard what it's about. The fact is, "Born to Hula" has all those things. It's the pounding in the background that is totally unexpected, and if Grohl had been the one holding the sticks, it would have been expected and minds would have been blown.

The rest of the bonus disc that comes with the Rated R reissue is a live set that spans the first three QOTSA albums and absolutely kicks. Unless you've never heard this album, you won't be surprised. If you are surprised, please, do us both a favor and fix that.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Arcade Fire - Empty Room

Empty Room by Arcade Fire  
Download now or listen on posterous
05 Empty Room.mp3 (7357 KB)

So, I got drunk and listened to the new Arcade Fire album tonight.

I've been listening to The Suburbs since the second it leaked, but tonight was different. Not only was I less than sober but I've read several reviews of it now, most notably the one on Pitchfork.

Now look, I'm a fan of the 'Fork, and I really love this album - I'd say it's a solid 7.0 instead of an 8.7 - but that's basically arguing semantics. Brilliant is brilliant, right?

Everybody, and I mean everybody, seems to agree that this uber-talented group of Canucks has done it again. Like each of the first two records, this one just gets better with every listen. 

But let me lay this out, because I'm sure the music-loving masses will follow the P-Fork lead: This thing sounds nothing like Springsteen. I know it's hip to give The Boss his due in indie circles these days but come the fuck on. Wiiiiin sounds nothing like Bruuuuuce. Not in vocal or in lyric.

No doubt, The Suburbs is a concept album focused on modern life. Part of its resonance, and I think this because I can identify, is that most of the people who will embrace this thing grew up in a relatively gentrified suburban area. It is, to put it simply, about us. Our past and future, both inside and outside, this is one of those albums that is a reflection. In that way, it just might be Springsteen-like. But that's a stretch, and that's about it.

I posted "Empty Room" pretty arbitrarily and mostly because it kicks and rolls, from opening violins to fade-out-that-should-be-a-sudden-stop ending. I could just have easily picked "Wasted Hours," because it's the track that really hit home and roped me in, but I wrote most of this after several pints of PBR (How hipster am I?) and I wanted a barn burner. Sue me.

Just acquire, listen to and enjoy the album. Trust me, it's worth however long it takes you to download it and whatever you pay for it.

(Aside from the comparisons to other artists and bland categorization of song type, the Pitchfork review of The Suburbs is, in fact, a good series of thoughts on the album and what The Arcade Fire is up to from an overall perspective. Don't be surprised - there's a reason that music fans continue to flock the Internet generation's Rolling Stone.)

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I woke up this morning, and got myself a tweet. And a Spoon video.

@WaltIsFrozen If Republicans would stop implying every Muslim shares collective blame for 9/11, maybe they wouldn't need a cultural outreach center.

Spoon does "Nobody Gets Me But You" on Jimmy Fallon, courtesy of The Music Slut:


Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Beck - Lord Only Knows

Lord Only Knows by Beck  
Download now or listen on posterous
1-03 Lord Only Knows.mp3 (6406 KB)

Beck has soul. The guy who sang about Sexx Laws and wrote lyrics about cheese whiz has soul. And I don't need to post something off the self-wallowing Sea Change to prove it, because "Lord Only Knows" is clear as day on that fact.

I was going to post some sort of obscure, b-side because I've been flipping through Mr. Hansen's albums for a couple days now in between spins of the latest albums from The Arcade Fire and Jaill (both of which are completely effing stellar, but I digress). Frankly, I don't think it's necessary. Check this out.

On "Lord Only Knows," Beck is getting by. Scraping his way from hipster noise-maker loved by Thurston Moore for the obtuse-Dylanesque lyrical bender and thorough appreciation of feedback to the perfect lifestyle mash-up of the Dust Brothers. Yes, it's a long way from Mellow Gold to Odelay. But the later it gets, the better Beck gets. Because that DJ behind him is getting wasted, and the singer is still sober.

"So I'm picking up the pieces, and I'm putting them up for sale. Throw your meal ticket out the window, and put your skeletons in jail," he sings on the first verse of the song. Check yourself out, and throw caution to the wind. Stop being careful. Look where it got our rosey-cheeked Scientologist, for Christ's simple sake.

Beck always had the funk, he just heard it in his head and then imitated those sounds with whatever he had around him. The Dust Brothers helped him bring that stuff to life so that people who weren't stoned out of their gourd could experience the same thing.

As time goes on, I'm increasingly convinced that Beck Hansen is one of the truest artists to hit popular music since fat cats in fancy suits in front of coke-covered mirrors during the Reagan years started ruining the music industry. Hansen spent the last year covering some great albums with a host of really interesting musicians, recorded with all sorts of other artists and just sort of explored whatever the hell it is he wants to do. 

Really, he's done whatever he wanted a long time. Nobody has questioned him as he made all sorts of records, with all sorts of people, and tried all sorts of things. Maybe they stupidly weren't paying attention, missing out on a guy who exists completely outside of all the hip, hip, hip shit we all freak out over.

All along, for as much as I have enjoyed every single one of his albums, and I really have - Midnight Vultures and The Information may be two of the most underrated albums of the last decade - "Lord Only Knows" has remained one of my favorite songs by this weirdo. Over and over, I can let it play, and it just continues to resonate. It's probably one of my favorite songs, period.

I was going to give you "Clock," or "Halo of Gold," or the mind-blowing mash-up of Michael and Janet's "Scream" with Beck's "E-Pro." Hell, I almost caved to "Pay No Mind (Snoozer)." Instead, I went with the obvious song that, fifteen years later, still stomps a mudhole in my soul, because it is that god damn good.

"I'm going back to Houston, to do the hot dog dance... I'm going back to Houston, gonna get me some pants..."

Yeah, that's what I'm talking about.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

In light of my "I-Heart-Journalism" post last night, I remembered something from Politico a few days ago...

I'm not nearly as bothered by the whole Journolist debacle as some people (mostly on the right) are. Journalists have opinions, and they often discuss them. And their opinions tend to be all over the map despite what you've heard.

Aside from that, this somewhat personal piece from Politico captures just how pompous some people who have chosen reporting/journalism as a career can be about it. Plus, they drill this kind of thing into us in college.

There are all kinds of journalists, covering all sorts of subjects. Most of us have this much pride in our work.

That's all. I'll try not to make this an ongoing series, so don't expect a part three...

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Monday, August 2, 2010

Every once in a while I read something that reminds why I decided to chase writing (as in, journalism) as a career.

It's possible that the only people who get this will be the ones who have taken a shot at my line of work...

I have not, at any point, attempted a freelance career. Nonetheless, I see a little bit of myself in that piece. And I'm sure most of the people I had class with in college or have worked with anywhere see themselves there too.

No single person has ever told me that this was a good career choice. Even the people who do it, and obviously live for it, won't say it directly. Rather, they describe just how much they worship the job, the lore, the difficulty and the rewards that require a certain type of respectable dorkiness to enjoy.  

(via @1000TimesYes, who is one of the people I refer to above.)

Posted via email from Stephen Feller