10/07/2002

5 "Lost" Albums

Lord knows there are thousands of neglected albums out there worthy of a much kinder fate. We would probably have to dedicate every post for the rest of our natural (or is it, unnatural?) lives to correct such a wrong. Alas, this is not in the realm of possibility at this time. (What time would we have left for drinking and consorting with the opposite sex?) Anyway, this let's look into a few overlooked gems in the catalogs of artists whose output is quite well known, but for a variety of reasons these particular platters have fallen through the cracks. Here's a sampling (in alphabetical order by artist):

AEROSMITH

Done With Mirrors
[Geffen-1985]

With their health, creativity and popularity at an all time low and having to weather the departure of guitarists Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, Aerosmith hired replacements Jimmy Crespo and Rick Dufay and went about the business of releasing the much-maligned (but not all bad) Rock In A Hard Place [Columbia-1982]. After this incarnation of the band--for all intents and purposes--imploded immediately afterwards, the wheels were set in motion for a reunion of the original five. The fact that Perry and Whitford, respectively, weren't burning up the charts or setting attendance records on their own, surely made this a much easier proposition.

Now with the backing of a new label, their supposed comeback album Done With Mirrors met with a lukewarm response from both critics and fans alike. Which is quite surprising when you actually listen to it: the first half is a non-stop tour de force of classic Aerosmith raunch and swagger and none of the cheesy ballads that would subsequently propel them into the pop mainstream. It's rather telling that none other than The Replacements took to covering Done With Mirrors' "My Fist, Your Face" during their final tours. In the years since, Aerosmith have returned to their mid '70s popularity, and made bigger albums, but never better than this one.


MILES DAVIS
The Man With The Horn
[Columbia-1981]

After changing the face of jazz half a dozen times in the three previous decades, Miles announced his retirement with the release of the groundbreaking live albums Pangaea and Agharta [both Columbia-1975]. So obviously, expectations were rather high when the man did an about face and returned in 1981.

Unfortunately, this was not one of his greatest moments: his playing is off and some of the tunes aren't up to snuff (the dismal title track, particularly). Factor in the Miles Davis legend and, of course, disappointment will run rampant. But nonetheless, this is an engaging album when judged on its own merits and away from the harsh light of Davis' monumental status. Opening track "Fat Time" (dedicated to his then-sideman, guitarist Mike Stern) is alone, well-worth the price of admission.


ROBI ROSA
Vagabundo
[Sony Latin-1996]

Sure, he's best known for penning "Living La Vida Loca", "The Cup Of Life" and "Maria" for Ricky Martin and his own stint in Menudo, but Robi Rosa is also a former member of acclaimed '90s L.A. funksters Maggie's Dream and an accomplished, risk-taking artist and performer in his solo work. Vagabundo is Rosa at his finest; rife with meticulous arrangements, crunchy guitars, Beatle-esque orchestrations and solid performances throughout.

A fantastic record in any language, it is one of the finest rock records ever recorded in Spanish. Definitely worth seeking out.


STING

The Soul Cages
[A&M-1991]

In one of the boldest moves ever seen in popular music, Sting left--at the time--the biggest rock band in the world to pursue his jazz-influenced solo muse in the mid '80s. Two albums into a very successful new career he released a dark, brooding album that reflected his immense grief over the then recent death of his parents (The Soul Cages is dedicated to his father; the previous album, Nothing Like The Sun [A&M-1987] was dedicated to his mother).

Almost every review we've read of this album makes us think that we somehow picked up a different record: while we found it to be mature, majestic and quite beautiful, the press for the most part dismissed it as a difficult, indulgent, sour-tasting album. And despite the public's positive initial response to the Police-like first single "All This Time", their enthusiasm for The Soul Cages cooled off soon after. A shame really, since those willing to immerse themselves in this set will be rewarded with some of the most striking pop music made in recent times and some of Sting's very best.

Highlights: "Mad About You", "Why Should I Cry for You?", the hauntingly sublime centerpiece "The Wild Wild Sea", the aforementioned "All This Time", and the title track.


U2
October
[Island-1981]


Sandwiched between a fiery debut--Boy [Island-1980]--and their defiant, first masterpiece--War [Island-1983]--U2's sophomore effort is often forgotten among the more popular, influential and innovative albums that litter the Irish band's catalog. October is a simple record, albeit a passionate one.

While it has been said that perhaps U2 tried too hard not to succumb to the pitfalls of the dreaded sophomore slump--October does sound a bit forced and under cooked here and there--the album has many fine moments and still holds up rather well, decades later. Oh, and the back to back kick of opening tracks "Gloria", "I Fall Down", and "I Threw A Brick Through A Window", is for those of us who were around at the time, a reminder of U2's incredible promise and how they eventually made good on it--big time.

8/26/2002

5
Written, Directed and Produced by Kiko Jones
A Ballsy Production

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Back in the saddle again, friends. We commissioned a guest editor to cook up last week’s stew , but a series of technical and personal problems prevented them from making the deadline. So rather than whip up some half-assed issue, we decided to take a break and return to form the following week. Which brings us to this issue.

Since we’ve been in a reflective mood of late, we felt like listing our Desert Island Discs, and of course, sharing them with you. Funny how this sort of exercise can lead to re-evaluating your record collection: discs that haven’t been in rotation lately can be dusted off and remind you of a certain time and/or place and consequently, why you still love them. Some you may love but aren’t necessarily D.I.D. material. Others may have outlasted their welcome or just don’t pack the same wallop they once did. In any event, it was very hard to come up with the 5 main records on the list at first, but as we looked back on their particular significance in our lives, the list wrote itself. Feel free to opine or even send in your own. We always love to hear from you. Whether or not we agree with what you have to say.

Later,
-KJ

"You can’t erase a dream/You can only wake me up"
–Peter Frampton, "Lines On My Face"

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COMMENTS, PRAISES AND DEATH THREATS:

This was REALLY SCARY: Four of the five things in your "recommended listening" section [5- 8/12/02] have been in my CD player or downloaded from Launch Video in the past month. Like I’ve said, I think we have the same musical chip implanted in our heads. Now I guess I should really give The Soft Bulletin the chance I never gave it since I agree with all your other recommendations.

JOSH NOREK Los Angeles, CA



Check out The Fags dude, they rock ... Never mind the
name.

NELSON GARCIA Santo Domingo, Dom. Rep.

[We did. And they do. Thanks for the tip. –KJ]



Hey Kiko, can five have a movies we love section???? Old and new and cult and all in between (pornos for fun)?

My 5 Faves:

1. Rear Window
2. Fight Club
3. Love And A .45
4. The Exorcist
5. Raging Bull


D. ANGER Sunnyside, NY

[Feel free to send in your faves anytime. –KJ]

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WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO:

DEFTONES White Pony (Maverick)
THE KNACK Get The Knack (Capitol)
MYRACLE BRAH –self titled- (NotLame)
OASIS Heathen Chemistry (Epic)
RED HOUSE PAINTERS Down Colorful Hill (4 A.D.)

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WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO ?

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MR. JONES’ 5 DESERT ISLAND DISCS (in alphabetical order by artist):

THE BEATLES Abbey Road (Apple-1969)
While Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is widely regarded as not only the Liverpudlians finest recorded moment, but the greatest rock album of all time, we are quite partial to their very last album (Let It Be was recorded before Abbey Road but released afterwards in 1970). On the verge of breaking up, the lads came together one last time. And what a way to go out: "Come Together", "Something", "Here Comes The Sun", "Because" , and the side 2 suite (on vinyl) that is to this day a marvel to behold, are a few of the highlights. Kudos to producer/arranger George Martin for his deft handiwork across the board –-literally and figuratively. As we’ve gotten older and truly appreciated the talent and musicianship involved in the making of this album, we find it hard not to put down our guitars in surrender and contemplate a career in, say, carpentry or something.


MILES DAVIS Kind Of Blue (Columbia-1959)
Question: How can this 40 year-old album --and one we’ve loved for so long-- still capture our hearts after uncounted repeated listenings?

Is it that:

a) as musicians we can appreciate the artistry of Miles and the cast of heavyweights on it (including John Coltrane and Bill Evans)?
b) as music fans it speaks to us so profoundly?
c) its presence brings an added reflective quality to any situation: from conversation to romance to bliss?
d) perhaps, all of the above?

Answer: d), silly.


PETER FRAMPTON Frampton Comes Alive! (A&M–1976)
Referred to in certain circles as "the Star Wars" of music (i.e., the blockbuster album that officially turned the music business into BIG business), Frampton Comes Alive! came at a crucial time in the career of its namesake: Four albums into a solo career that hadn’t really taken off, the former Humble Pie guitarist went into the studio to listen to live tapes from the previous year’s tour in support of Frampton (A&M-1975) for an upcoming live album. Upon hearing the tracks, visionary record man and A&M boss Jerry Moss was so excited by the results that he demanded the album be released as a double LP. Like there’s a chance in hell that the bean counters and corporate lackeys of today would let that happen now. Anyway, the bet paid off: Frampton Comes Alive! went on to become the biggest selling live album of all time and Frampton himself became a huge star and ‘70s icon. Sure, "Show Me The Way" and "Baby, I Love Your Way" have been played to death, but they still stand up. The acoustic tracks are quite lovely and heartfelt; the cover of The Stones’ "Jumping Jack Flash" rivals the original; and "Lines On My Face" and "Do You Feel Like We Do" retain their majesty and momentum more than a quarter of a century later. And we didn’t even get to Frampton’s rockin’ band and killer guitar playing! On the occasion of its 25th Anniversary, Universal released a deluxe edition of Frampton Comes Alive! in 2001. This album was love at first sound for us and it’s still very near and dear to our hearts. Obviously.


NIRVANA Nevermind (DGC-1991)
Disgusted and tired of the hair-band epidemic that had infected both the audio and visual airwaves during the second half of the ‘80s, we submerged ourselves in the music of college radio heavyweights such as The Cure, The Replacements, The Church, The Smiths, and –-at the time-- some slightly more obscure acts like Soundgarden and Mudhoney. So, as the hair farmers’ careers started dying off and a new vibe was in the air, we found ourselves catching the video for "Smells Like Teen Spirit" on MTV, late one night after 120 Minutes (we have since discovered it was the first time it ever aired on the video channel). After being won over by the song’s raw power, infectious melody and highly symbolic video clip (talk about the changing of the guard: a parallel universe-type gymnasium with tattooed cheerleaders; shaved, dreadlocked, and rainbow colored heads; and Bad Brains t-shirted misfits), we proceeded to purchase this soon to be ‘90s pop culture artifact and alt-rock landmark. Then and now, we were floored by the power, angst, and ultimately, catchy nature of Kurt Cobain’s songs and the monster Novoselic-Grohl rhythm section. A big influence on us ever since. That the mighty KC was born on our birthday is just a sweet plus.


DAVID SYLVIAN Gone To Earth (EMI-1986)
While always an interesting figure during his tenure as Japan frontman, David Sylvian has opted to go further away from the mainstream in his solo pursuits. A highly underrated art-rocker, Sylvian has collaborated with the likes of composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, the late Can bassist Holger Czukay and King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp. Gone To Earth is the beginning of his fruitful collaborations with the latter (they’ve made about half a dozen records together) and one of the most moving, beautiful and accessible experimental rock records ever made. Not to trivialize the dreamy soundscapes and the profound feeling of passion it evokes, but Gone To Earth also happens to be a perfect soundtrack for certain pleasures of the flesh. When it comes to that aspect of it, the album has become our veritable aural American Express: can’t leave home without it.


JUST A FEW HONORABLE MENTIONS (well, maybe not a few):
THE BEATLES Revolver; MIGUEL BOSE Bajo El Signo de Cain; WILLIE COLON presents RUBEN BLADES Metiendo Mano; CROSBY STILLS & NASH self-titled; NICK DRAKE Pink Moon; BLACK SABBATH Paranoid; THE CURE Wish; JUAN LUIS GUERRA & 440 Soplando; GUNS & ROSES Appetite for Destruction; JANE’S ADDICTION Ritual de lo Habitual; JELLYFISH Spilt Milk; LIVING COLOUR Time’s Up; JONI MITCHELL Blue; MY BLOODY VALENTINE Loveless; THE POLICE Zenyatta Mondatta; THE POSIES Amazing Disgrace; SMASHING PUMPKINS Gish; SODA STEREO Sueño Stereo; SOUNDGARDEN Superunknown; MATTHEW SWEET Girlfriend; YES Close To The Edge; and many, many more.

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IN THE FLESH: Toni Tennille (as in The Captain and …) sings backup on Pink Floyd’s The Wall.
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Comments, Praises, Death Threats and info on previous "5"s: KikoJonesUSA@yahoo.com

8/12/2002

5
Written, Directed and Produced by Kiko Jones
A Ballsy Production

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We’re always turning on friends to cool records that we’ve come across in our musical travels. It’s a big part of our raison d’ être as music fans. A few of these platters we periodically review here, but some never make it to "5". We intend to correct that particular omission in this issue. This is music we’ve been raving about for the last year or two and recommended to acquaintances and friends approaching us with the ubiquitous "What’s out that’s any good?" or "What’s been blowing your mind lately?" inquiries. Enjoy the show.

Later,
-KJ

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COMMENTS, PRAISES AND DEATH THREATS:

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WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO:

BARE JR. Brainwasher (Immortal)
LA BARRANCA Tempestad (BMG US Latin)
DULCES PESADILLAS Cuando Duermes –advance copy-
STONE GOSSARD Bayleaf (Epic)
VELVET SUN Dreamhome (Flotation)

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WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO ?

COLDPLAY Rush of Blood to the Head (Parlophone)
LENINE Falange (BMG Brazil)
DAVID GRAY A Century Ends (Hut)
JOHN MAYER Room for Squares (Aware/Columbia)
EMILIANA TORRINI Love In The Time Of Science (Fat Cat)

FICO LAZZARO Washington, DC


DOWN II: Bustle In Your Hedgerow
WEEZER Pinkerton
WEEZER -self titled- (aka The Blue Album)
Zona De Obras Magazine Peru Compilation
CHICHI PERALTA Y SON FAMILIA Pa Otro Lao
SOZIEDAD ALKOHOLIKA Directo
FRANK SINATRA Duets
BILLY JOEL Greatest Hits 3

LEO SUSANA Santo Domingo, Dom. Rep.

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RECOMMENDED LISTENING (in alphabetical order):

JUMBO D.D. Y Ponle Play (BMG US Latin)

The exact opposite of what is commonly known as a sophomore slump, the follow-up to Jumbo’s tentative 1999 debut Restaurant is quite a spirited affair. Chock full of soaring choruses, solid playing and held together by a finely tuned production approach that gives the proceedings its underlying fluidity, D.D. Y Ponle Play is a rousing rock and roll record from start to finish. Fans of Sloan and Teenage Fanclub will surely find a lot to like in a record that would kick-ass in any language, with even the most cursory of listens (D.D. Y Ponle Play actually includes two songs in English: "Happy High" and "Far Out"). In the last few years, the northern city of Monterrey has become Mexico’s de-facto rock and roll epicenter. This album –and Jumbo itself- are a big reason why.


FINN BROTHERS –self titled- (Capitol-1995)
The Brothers Finn are New Zealanders Tim and Neil, of Split Enz/Crowded House and respective solo fame. This hauntingly beautiful album is performed almost in its entirety by the singing siblings and given an understated but effectively moody, atmospheric canvas by noted producer Tchad Blake (Los Lobos, Pearl Jam, Peter Gabriel). Reminiscent of American Music Club circa Mercury, the album’s highlights include "Only Talking Sense", "Last Day of June" and "Where Is My Soul?" (Both the brothers and the non-US version of this album are simply known as Finn).


FLAMING LIPS The Soft Bulletin (Warner Bros-1999)
Hailed as, arguably, the best rock album of 1999, it’s hard to believe this album has been in and out of our cd player (mostly in) for the last 3 years. Time flies when the whimsical but never precious sonic fabrications of Oklahoma City’s finest surround you. "Where’s the old noisy Flaming Lips I knew and loved?" you may ask. Well, the feedback and white noise that made them infamous have gradually given way to keyboards, strings and other assorted sonic landscapes. A risky, but artistically viable –and subsequently, fruitful- step in the right direction, as far as we’re concerned. But not everyone feels the same way: we came across a review that disparagingly referred to The Soft Bulletin as a misstep where seemingly " … Led Zeppelin and Yes joined forces to back Neil Young …". Nothing wrong with that in our book.


OWSLEY –self titled- (Giant-1999)
After his band The Semantics -an early version of which included Ben Folds on drums(!)- floundered after Geffen Records decided not to domestically release their debut album Powerbill (it sold 20,000 copies in Japan with no promotion whatsoever), Wil Owsley became a sideman for the likes of Amy Grant and Shania Twain. With the income from his guitar-slinger day job, Owsley started work on his self-titled debut album, which he recorded at home over the space of three years. This is an undiscovered gem littered with old-school pop hooks, catchy guitars and muscular drums. The top-notch songs may benefit from the spot-on mixes by über-engineer Tom Lord-Alge, but like Nirvana’s Nevermind, this is one of those albums where the songwriting and arrangements are too strong for you to notice how polished it is - until it’s too late: by then you’re hooked for good.


WEEZER "Keep Fishin’" -single off of Maladroit (Geffen-2002); video directed by Marcos Siega
Released exactly a year (364 days to be precise) after their comeback-inducing, self-titled disc (aka The Green Album), press and fans alike have been whole-heartedly embracing Weezer’s latest album Maladroit. To be honest, we’ve never dug anything by the band other than their first hit single "Buddy Holly". And frankly, we can’t get past the cock-rock posturing of the first couple of tunes on Maladroit, not to mention the well-meaning, but ultimately unsatisfying forays into emo and punk towards the end of the disc. But this song is driving us CRAZY!!! This is three minutes and five seconds of pure ear-candy bliss, in the same vein as Cheap Trick’s Live At Budokan classic "I Want You To Want Me". That a song like "Keep Fishin’" would garner mainstream exposure in 2002 is, on its own, nothing short of remarkable. Which brings us to the equally ebullient Marcos Siega directed clip. A faux Muppet Show episode, it features Kermit and the gang panicking over the disappearance of Weezer drummer Patrick Wilson (who’s been kidnapped by none other than Miss Piggy) moments before the band is due to perform. Siega has put together a cute, nostalgic little trip (with head Weezer Rivers Cuomo quite visibly amused throughout the whole thing) that holds up after repeated viewings/listens. Trust us: the last time we were this enthusiastic about a song and its video, Reagan was president.


You might also want to look into: JOHN COLTRANE The Classic Quartet: Complete Impulse! Studio Recordings (Impulse); CPR -self titled- (Samson); DESORDEN PUBLICO Plomo Revienta (Sony Venezuela); JASON FALKNER presents Author Unknown (Elektra); DAVE NAVARRO Trust No One (Capitol).
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TEACH YOUR CHILDREN: Guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani can count fellow fret kings Steve Vai, Metallica’s Kirk Hammet, renowned jazzman Charlie Hunter, and Primus’ Larry LaLonde among his former guitar students.

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Comments, Praises And Death Threats: KikoJonesUSA@yahoo.com

8/05/2002

5
Written, Directed and Produced by Kiko Jones
A Ballsy Production

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Last week was a lot of fun. Ranting can be quite liberating. Must do it again sometime. Soon.

Remember, feel free to forward "5" or better yet, let us know and we’ll send them an introductory e-mail and put them on the list. It could be your early Christmas or Hannukah gift to them. In which case, they’d hate you for being so cheap. But hey, you thought enough of them to give "5"! And that’s a gift in and of itself. Damn, we laid it thick …

Anyway, we’re back to random topics this week. We held back as much as we could, but in the end we just had to address this recent Michael Jackson fiasco. Besides, you were expecting it.

Hope all is well.

Enjoy,
-KJ

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COMMENTS, PRAISES AND DEATH THREATS:

Hey KJ,
I love rants [5 We Love To Hate - 7/29/02]. You should do them more often. Maybe put up a couple of audio rants on the site. 45 seconds of pure bile.

I agree with you on all almost everything, but I'm a big Kiss fan. I can see where you can get pissed off by comments and actions from someone like Simmons, but that doesn't condition my like or dislike for the music. I just think that Gene Simmons is an expert at getting attention and milking everything for every little ounce of publicity. Come to think of it, he is kind of an asshole. But hey, I don't know him personally. Don't want to.

Fred Durst... my God... poor fellow. He hasn't hurt my family, hasn't don't anything offensive, except practically RUIN 2 Years of POP music WITH his garbage and infect my drummer with Limp Biskit-itis (AAAAGGGGGGGHHHHH). Thank the Lord, WES left... When even a member of a band can't stand what's going on , it kinda shows that detractors aren't that far off. I don't like to judge but I think Limp Biskit SUCKSSSSS! I Like "Nookie", though (can't win 'em all ... I do it all for the Nookie.... yeah right).

You're right about Spielberg. I guess that's why I liked his work when I was really young. Big fan of Raiders and shit like that. Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan are both beautiful movies; visually stunning but have some sappy moments that really fry my brains...

Coño, KJ.. You’re on it! "5" makes you think! It's good for the soul. It also makes me realize how much time I've invested in pop culture . Gotta start reading more ... Less MTV, more Cortazar!

LEO SUSANA Santo Domingo, Dom. Rep.


Could have been my favorite issue if you would have put 10 to 20 on the crime list.

ERIC HALPERIN Brooklyn NY


Howard Stern may be crude to certain people, but to make a blanket statement incriminating anyone who is a fan of Howard is ten times more dangerous and ignorant than all of his shows put together. Does anyone remember laughter? Nuff said.

G.R. JONES Brooklyn, NY

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WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO:

JERRY CANTRELL Degradation Trip (Roadrunner)
CHOCOLATE GENIUS Black Music (V2)
THE KNACK Get The Knack (Capitol)
POKET Mas Aceitosos Que Nunca (La Viuda)
WILCO Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Nonesuch)

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WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO ?

OASIS Heathen Chemistry
WEEZER Maladroit
FITO PAEZ Rey Sol
ABSINTH Live At Ocho Puertas
SANTUARIO Adicto Al Kaos

I was reading a Dominican magazine the other day and for some reason had a problem with the title "electronica genius". This piece was about Moby … who I think is full of crap.

NELSON GARCIA Santo Domingo, Dom. Rep.

[What magazine was it? -KJ]


THE CRANES Future Songs
JAMES Getting Away With It-Live
VAN MORRISON Astral Weeks
DAVID BOWIE Low
BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB -self titled-

G.R. JONES Brooklyn, NY

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THEY SHOULDN’T HAVE DONE IT
It turns out that Slick Rick has been held with out bail sine his June 1st arrest in Miami. The London-born rapper was detained by the INS on the grounds that his 1991 felony conviction is grounds for deportation. Interestingly, the Ruler (as Rick is also known) was released from jail from his conviction on that charge in 1996. He won two cases against the INS, but they succeeded on a 1999 appeal - the outcome of which was allegedly not made known to Rick or his attorneys. He’s currently not being granted bail because he’s a flight risk. Huh?! The INS can send dead hijackers visa renewals but can’t let go of this thing? After all, this guy served his time and has been crime-free (as far as we know) for the 6 years since his release. So what gives? As for the consequences of eventually being deported, Slick Rick is married and has several children, as well as other relatives in the NY area. He claims that although London was his birthplace, he has no family ties there. His label, Def Jam, has an online petition on its site (http://defjam.com) urging the INS to at least grant Rick bail while he resolves his legal problems. Stay tuned.


OFF THE WALL
Instead of accepting the fact that his lackluster albums and the scandal surrounding his alleged child molesting is what has finally brought his once shining star back to earth, it's sad to see Michael Jackson resort to pathetic shenanigans and worse, to have people believe him. Yes, the music biz is corrupt, devious and greedy. But not racist (isn't hip-hop outselling everything else these days?). No record company cares what color you are if you make them enough green. And Jackson doesn't make them enough green anymore. That still doesn’t explain as to why -according to him- they would allegedly sabotage their biggest investment. And as far as the shoddy treatment of black artists (not to mention white and brown) by the industry over the years is concerned, it is without a shadow of a doubt, quite a sad truth. What a horrible legacy of thievery and deceit! But Berry Gordy, P. Diddy, Suge Knight, and many other African-American label heads are part of this shameful legacy as well. It’s not a black thing, it’s a green thing. Michael Jackson’s remarks and accusations make a mockery of the plight of those that have, in fact, been ripped-off by their labels. This latest scandal appears to be his last stand; the final act in what has become a lackluster and quite disappointing tragedy, under the guise of a career.


LOST IN THE SHUFFLE
Now that the inept members of the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America, the major labels’ trade organization) have failed at providing an alternative to the music-sharing sites, and the research and implementation of their copy-free CDs in the marketplace has gone belly up, they want the government to let them hack into music-pirating sites. Yes, hack. Of course, that’s illegal. But cloaked underneath the Peer to Peer Piracy Prevention Act is wording that, if passed, would enable them do just that. Fuck, you all know how much we hate piracy, but this is just some bullshit. Before you know it, these clueless morons will be "accidentally" disabling non-offending sites left and right and wreaking even more havoc. We give up. The artists aren’t doing much to fight the RIAA and alert their respective fanbases as to how piracy affects their livelihood, either. The P2P bill (now, there’s an analogy) will in all likelihood come up for a vote in Congress this fall. The sad thing is that if RIAA’s membership came up with a really solid online subscription service right now, they could rack in BIG bucks. But they’re too busy keeping their collective head up their ass while searching for clues.


THE CALL OF THE SIREN MAY BE MET WITH A ROAR
Somewhat to our regret, we did not attend this year’s second annual Siren Festival, once again held in Coney Island on this past July 20th. Our ambiguity stems from not really being a fan of any of the acts on the bill, and subsequent reports of oppressive heat and uncontainable crowds, from "5"ers on the scene. We noticed that main sponsor The Village Voice took out an ad recently, where they congratulated everyone involved in this year’s event (which as far as we know, they didn’t do after last year’s maiden voyage) and looked forward to 2003. However, they may have to contend with the Mouse. Reports have been circulating that Disney is seriously interested in taking over Coney Island. And we all know that if this comes to pass, it’s goodbye old-school charm, rickety Cyclone and alt-rock festivals; hello , Times Square on the beach. The new, antiseptic, Giuliani-approved, Branson MO-wanna-be Times Square, that is. Hopefully, Disney will oblige us and take its bullshit elsewhere. Yeah, right.


CQ (2002) Directed by Roman Coppola
The feature film directorial debut by Francis Ford’s eldest son (his first appearance on film was playing Sonny Corleone as a child in The Godfather Part 2) is actually three films in one: Jeremy Davies (Saving Private Ryan) is an American working on a low-budget Barbarella-type film called Dragonfly in 1969 Paris, while filming a black and white documentary on his everyday life. After Dragonfly’s director (Gerard Depardieu) is fired for not providing a satisfactory ending, and his replacement (Jason Schwartzman) is removed from the project, Davies is promoted from editor to director. Now, on top of his struggle to come up with a climactic ending that will conform to both the producer’s (Giancarlo Giannini) tacky concept and his own sense of artistry, he has to contend with his live-in girlfriend’s cries of emotional abandonment; his falling for Dragonfly’s leading lady (Angela Lindvall); and of course, the conclusion to his own little flick. Sound familiar, you artists out there? Director Roman Coppola does a fine job his first time out, although the unavoidable ironic twist is the fact that he couldn’t come up with a satisfying ending for CQ itself. Hmm. A fun, entertaining picture, nonetheless. Look for sister Sofia Coppola’s cameo as Giancarlo Giannini’s mistress.

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BLAST OF SILENCE: This year mark’s the 50th anniversary of avant-garde composer John Cage’s most notorious piece: "4:33", popularly known as "Silence". It requires a pianist to sit at the instrument, in silence, for four minutes and thirty-three seconds before a live audience. The sound of the room (generally, the uncomfortable audience) is the actual rendition of the piece.

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Comments, Praises And Death Threats: KikoJones@yahoo.com

7/29/2002

5
Written, Directed and Produced by Kiko Jones
A Ballsy Production

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OK, the gloves are off. Time to rant and pour out some of the toxic contents of our simmering cauldron of revulsion and extreme dislikes. Sounds like a party! This issue is dedicated to the annual 100 Worst People Places and Things feature in the defunct Spy magazine, which brought us so much joy in the past and was the inspiration for this week’s issue.

Enjoy,
-KJ

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COMMENTS, PRAISES AND DEATH THREATS:

Following in the spirit of the list of 100 cd's to throw away [5: "Check Your Head" – 7/22/02] -and 100 must haves - here are my Top Ten (unfortunately, it changes from time to time):

The Clash - London Calling
Jeff Buckley - Grace
Chris Cornell - Euphoria Morning
Ac/Dc - Back In Black
Weezer - Pinkerton
Fabulosos Cadillacs - Fabulosos Calavera
The Beatles - Revolver
Pink FLoyd - The Final Cut
Ozzy Osbourne - Speak of The Devil
Metallica - Ride The Lightning
Slayer - Reign in Blood

OK, 11... there's more.... but what the hell. I would have to include:

Juan Luis Guerra - Areito
Silvio Rodriguez - Al Final De Este Viaje
U2 - All That You Can't Leave Behind
Weezer self-titled [Which one? –KJ]

Top Five Movies:

The Godfather
The Godfather 2

3 more .... hmmm, I have enough with those two.

Well, I like a lot of movies ... one of these days I’ll send you a list so we can fight over it.
Ha Ha!!

LEO SUSANA Santo Domingo, Dom. Rep.

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WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO:

CAPTAIN BEFFHEART Trout Mask Replica (Warner Bros)
THE BREEDERS Pod (Elektra/4 A.D.)
CIRCO No Todo Lo Que Es Pop Es Bueno (Head)
NOVA -advance release-

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WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO ?

CARLOS GARDEL Best Of (Hemisphere)
AUGUSTUS PABLO Original Rockers (Greensleves)
BOLA SETE At the Monterey Jazz Festival (Verve)
ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM Wave (A&M)

ROBERT JULIAN New York, NY


SOZIEDAD ALKOHOLIKA - Directo (Mil a Gritos)
SOZIEDAD ALKOHOLIKA - Polvo en Mis Ojos (Mil A Gritos)
SLIPKNOT - Iowa (Roadrunner)
GLUECIFER - Basement Apes (SPV)
SOBER - 3 singles: "Diez Añoz", "Arrepentido" & "Versus"
ANSINTH - Live At 8 Puertas –independent-

LEO SUSANA Santo Domingo, Dom. Rep.

* * * * *
* * * * *
5 WE LOVE TO HATE (in alphabetical order):

- INTERSCOPE RECORDS

CRIMES: Signed Limp Bizkit; Made Fred Durst a Vice President of A&R, so that he could sign more crappy bands and inflict the likes of Puddle of Mudd upon us, while indulging him in his already ripe pastime of directing horrid video clips; Dropped Aimee Mann from roster, who immediately afterwards –thankfully- went on to bigger and better things; Via Farmclub.com tried to strong arm indie-band The Rosenbergs into an onerous, one-sided agreement in exchange for TV exposure.

MITIGATING FACTOR: Parent company Vivendi Universal is in financial trouble. Yea!


- KID ROCK

CRIMES: Contributed prominently to the return of such hoary hair-farmer cliches as strippers, self-hating groupies and expensive, tacky videos to mainstream music scene; Got his marginally talented DJ, Uncle Kracker, a record deal; Inspired even more unimaginative, white, suburban rappers to pick up the mic; Fan of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Hank Williams Jr.

MITIGATING FACTOR: Someone who can write a line like "Punk Rock: The Clash/Boy bands are trash/I like Johnny Cash and Grand Master Flash" and mean it, can’t be all bad.


- GENE SIMMONS

CRIMES: Greedy, obnoxious asshole of very little discernible musical talent who doesn’t seem to know when to quit, despite the retirement wishes of crony Paul Stanley; At the time, celebrated the death of Kurt Cobain in every publication or show that would have him (ironically, Kurt –like most of the ‘90s alt-rockers that this low life constantly berated- was a Kiss fan. Hey, nobody’s perfect); In order to inflict more of his arrogant, ego-centric ravings and non-existent sense of style and taste on the public, Simmons has recently started a magazine and a clothing line.

MITIGATING FACTOR: Discovered Van Halen. Fuck.


- STEVEN SPIELBERG

CRIMES: Ushered –and is a continuing presence in- an era of big-budget blockbusters at the expense of smaller, more daring films, which has led to a climate of opening weekend box office/bottom line madness, making Spielberg the de-facto godfather of crass commercialism in cinema; A spiritual descendant of the ultra-corny Frank Capra, Spielberg has marred even his best films with unbelievably lame and vastly unnecessary melodrama (see the final scenes of the title characters in both Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan), for which he has demonstrated a junkie-like weakness.

MITIGATING FACTOR: Spielberg is a partner in Dreamworks, whose music division is home to Eels, Elliot Smith, Henry Rollins and Blinker The Star.


- HOWARD STERN

CRIMES: Either an elaborate hoax –which would make it a highly crude form of performance art- or a straightforward, rancid spewfest, Stern’s nationally syndicated radio show has provided a home on the airwaves for closet rednecks (and the not so closeted, as well) with its endless parade of racists, porn queens, strippers, misogynists, xenophobes and various other examples of socially and mentally damaged goods; Followers belief that all of this is somehow acceptable behavior is reinforced by Stern’s encouragement.

MITIGATING FACTOR: Makes it easier to spot the prejudiced. After all, how tolerant of others can you really be if you’re a fan of this filth? Think about it.

* * * * *
* * * * *
DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK: ‘80s B-movie actress and sometime singer E.G. Daily (Valley Girl, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure), is the voice of one of The Power Puff Girls.

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Comments, Praises And Death Threats: KikoJonesUSA@yahoo.com

7/22/2002

5Written, Directed and Produced by Kiko Jones
A Ballsy Production


* * * * *
It’s been a fun couple of days over here at the "5" factory. For one, we’ve had an embarrassment of riches in terms of source material. This one practically wrote itself. Well, not quite. But you get the idea.

Anyway, stay cool. It’s hot out there. In here, too.

Later,
-KJ

* * * * *
COMMENTS, PRAISES AND DEATH THREATS:

Welcome departure, Mr. Jones [7/15/02: 5 Flicks We Love]. What if one of the 5 was always a movie?

IVAN GARCIA New York, NY
[That’s a thought. We’ll see what we can do. In the meantime, check out our topics for this week. This issue might be what you had in mind –KJ]

* * * * *
WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO:

FLACO JIMENEZ Said And Done (Virgin)
THE GRAYS Ro Sham Bo (Epic)
JLS Serpiente En El Huerto (Zero)
ADAM SCHMITT Illiterature (Reprise)
12 RODS Separation Anxieties (Virgin)

* * * * *
WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO ?

RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS By the Way (Warner Bros)
DAVE MATTHEWS BAND Busted Stuff (RCA)
COUNTING CROWS Hard Candy (Geffen)
JJ72 Oxygen (Columbia)
SIGUR ROS Agaetis Byrjun (Fat Cat)

FICO LAZZARO Washington, DC

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* * * * *
THE YOUTH ARE GETTING RESTLESS
Although we’ve always admired and respected Sonic Youth, we haven’t been paying close attention to the more recent output by the venerated downtown/avant NYC combo. But during a recent music-shopping jaunt, we were genuinely gratified when informed that the cool album we had been listing to over the store PA was none other than Murray Street, SY’s newest release. Hauntingly sparse and melodic, we couldn’t help being reeled in by it’s subtle charms and soundscapes, confirming the spot-on decision of bringing noted producer/guitarist Jim O’Rourke on board as a full-fledged member. While we are genuinely surprised that in this plastic-music climate the band is still on a major label (and Murray Street is, in fact, selling quite briskly), what we didn’t expect was the scathing post-adolescent diary rant masquerading as a review, penned by Amy Phillips in the July 10-16 issue of the Village Voice. Aside from confessions of her once blind, teenage love for the band (for all the wrong reasons, mind you) what her piece comes down to is the earth-shattering realization -for her, of course- that since she didn’t like it, the album consequently sucks. What?! Is this the kind of waste that passes for music criticism at the Voice these days? What nonsense!


CHOCOLATE GENIUS / River To River Festival / Castle Clinton, NYC - 7/11/02
Cracking jokes with a relaxed, laid back demeanor while a gorgeous sunset provided a sublime backdrop, Chocolate Genius (aka Mark Anthony Thompson) performed nearly a dozen songs from both his albums Black Music and Godmusic for a rapt audience of 1200 fans and curious onlookers alike. Ably backed by a four-piece band that understood how to approach his Tom-Waits-meets-Jeff-Buckley-while-listening-to-Marvin-Gaye sound and featuring Elysian Fields guitarist Oren Bloedow as musical director, the Genius made the most of this outfit -as nimble and nuanced an accompanist as the songs they were performing.
In a little under an hour Chocolate Genius demonstrated once again why he’s NY’s best kept secret and why he shouldn’t be any longer. Make it a point to find out for yourself.


CHECK YOUR HEAD
It’s a given that each and every one of us has dead weight occupying space in our respective record collections. Not just crap, but stuff that that ranges from good to great that we rarely ever get around to listening to anymore. And, for reasons we ourselves do not know, refuse to bid them adieu. So when we read the introduction to Jaguaro.com’s One Hundred Albums You Should Remove from Your Collection Immediately, we let loose a chuckle and prepared ourselves for what we hoped would be a funny and informative piece. Albeit potentially polarizing, but in a good way. Instead, what we encountered was a mostly bitter, self-indulgent rant, littered with such pearls of wisdom as "all live albums suck".
So, we’re supposed to get rid of Paul’s Boutique because The Beastie Boys’ delivery of their rhymes hasn’t changed since ’89? Bowie’s Hunky Dory gets dissed but not the EXTREMELY over-rated Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars? You can’t help but wonder if these people have listened to any of the records on their list lately. Or if, for example, they’re just taking out their displeasure with Dave Grohl’s admittedly clownish antics on his former band’s landmark album Nevermind.
While it’s hard to disagree with their assessment of Combat Rock, The Beatles’ Let It Be, Synchronicity, Pretty Hate Machine, Dookie, Midnight Vultures or most of the Beastie Boys’ catalog -to name a few- the list basically plays as a whiny screed from people who just didn’t get it and are now pissed for finally having to admit that they were way too embarrassed/spineless to avoid buying albums they weren’t into in the first place (Coltrane’s Giant Steps, "a tedious, embarrassing, snoozer of an album"? The Flaming Lips’ The Soft Bulletin, "a monstrosity"? Huh?!). Shame on you for being gullible. Don’t take it out on the rest of us.

[Thanks to "5"er Jeff Kent for forwarding this piece to us –KJ]

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YO LA TENGO / Celebrate Brooklyn Festival / Prospect Park, Brooklyn - 7/12/02It takes guts for a noisy rock band to open a set with the likes of "Big Day Coming", a beautifully mellow song from their superb 1993 album Painful (especially when said album also includes a rockin’, high energy version of the same) but not only did they pull it off, the full-capacity crowd let them know early on that on this wonderful summer night they could do no wrong.
Of course, Hoboken’s finest were not about to toy with the faithful: three songs into the set vocalist/guitarist Ira Kaplan gave ‘em what they wanted, ripping into his trademark Neil Young-by-way-of-Sonic Youth wall of feedback, lost in the sound and shaking like a demented puppet. Yo La Tengo (rounded out by drummer/vocalist Georgia Hubley and longtime bassist/vocalist James McNew) were simply at their best, taking the audience on a splendid ride that made pit stops along their decade-plus career, reaffirming right from the outset why they are not only indie-rock royalty, but a kick ass live band to boot.

* * * * *
UNDERCOVER BROTHER (2002) directed by Malcolm Lee
With most comedy films these days it’s all about stupidity and not much in the way of genuine, honest to goodness silliness, which is where this little flick comes in. Starring Eddie Griffin in the title role-–a ‘70s style, Robin Hood-type badass who’s so cool, his Big Gulp orange soda won’t even spill in a car chase--and featuring the very funny David Chappelle and the yummy Denise Richards, Undercover Brother is a fun, wacky blaxploitation spoof with some Austin Powers thrown in for good measure. Based on the popular internet cartoon of the same name, UB does lag slightly here and there, but its short running time (it clocks in at 85 minutes) and steady supply of gags and amusing situations more than make up for it. Go check it out.

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* * * * *
GOD BLESS THE MAN: Not only did he discover Billie Holiday, but the late John Hammond Sr discovered and/or nurtured the careers of Count Basie, George Benson, Charlie Christian, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin and Bruce Springsteen. He’s also renowned bluesman John Hammond Jr’s dad.

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7/15/2002

5
Written, Directed and Produced by Kiko Jones
A Ballsy Production

* * * * *
We are by no means connoisseurs of cinema but by our above masthead (?!) you may have surmised an inherent love for film. You are quite right. We like to think of ourselves as indie folk but when it comes to our favorite flicks, we’re suckers for certain celluloid epic enterprises. This time out we’d like to share with you some of the movies that are closest and dearest to our hearts. With one exception they’re all grand in their scope but not big enough that you can’t see yourself in any and all of them. Isn’t that what great movies are all about, anyway?

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Last week we failed to pay our respects to:

- Rosemary Clooney, a superb jazz vocalist who, unfortunately, was best known in her latter years as George’s aunt. Mrs. Clooney died of lung cancer. She was 74.

and

- Timothy White, a former Rolling Stone senior editor (‘78-‘82) and Billboard editor in chief (‘91-‘02) who wrote the definitive Bob Marley bio (Catch A Fire) and was always an honest and defiant champion of artists. White died of a heart attack and was 50 years old.

Later,
-KJ


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COMMENTS, PRAISES, DEATH THREATS:

Dear Mr. Jones, I have a problem. I just can't find any proper substitute for music that’s at least fifteen years old. Should I consider myself a lost cause? Or is it just good old me becoming my father? Please be patient, and help me! Is Mr. McCartney going to buy his own catalog back? I'd like to brake my pig and invest, who do I have to contact? Give my regards to Mrs. Jones.

EDUARDO BISONO Santiago, Dom. Rep.

[We’re seriously considering putting together a special issue for those of you that need to reacquaint yourselves with the pleasure of buying a new record from a current, vital artist. Not the latest fuckin’ disappointment from, say, Paul Simon. Stay tuned. Oh, and for the record, there is no Mrs. Jones –KJ]

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WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO:

CITIZEN COPE / self-titled (DreamWorks)
CLIFF HILLIS / Be Seeing You (Not Lame)
MODERN FARMER / Hard Row To Hoe (Victory)
DAVE NAVARRO / Trust No One (Capitol)
THE WEBB BROTHERS / Maroon (Warner Bros)

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WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO?

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* * * * *
5 FLICKS WE LOVE (in chronological order):

AMADEUS (1984) directed by Milos Forman

This big screen depiction of the life and genius of Mozart thru the eyes of his rival and fellow composer Antonio Salieri blew us away when we sat it upon its initial release. As musicians it left us with a glowing sense of pride from just being in the same profession as Wolfgang Amadeus himself. No matter how tenuous this connection may be.
If you care about awards you might like to know that Amadeus won no less than 8 Academy Awards.
But in the end, what really matters is that every other schmo is hailed as some sort of genius these days. Come and see what a real one looked like.

Factoid: Cynthia Nixon (HBO’s Sex And The City) plays Mozart’s cleaning lady.


THE GODFATHER (1972 )
THE GODFATHER -part 2- (1974) both directed by Francis Ford Coppola

So much has been said about this pair that we’re sure that even the least interested of you already know it all by heart. But if you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t witnessed the power of either one of Coppola’s cinematic and artistic triumphs then know this: there is no exaggeration on the part of anyone who labels these two as the greatest achievements of modern American cinema. At least we don’t think so.

Factoid: Part 2’s Cuban scenes were actually filmed in the Dominican Republic.


JFK (1991) directed by Oliver Stone

One of the most controversial and polarizing films ever, from a man who’s never shied away from contention. Stone’s descent into the murky waters which engulf the assassination of the most beloved American president of the 20th century, may not be 100% factually accurate but it certainly made people think, debate, argue and consider the merits of, not only this movie, but the endless conspiracy theories that accompany any sort of discussion surrounding the death of John Fitzgerald Kennedy as well. Watching this film made us dually proud and ashamed. Thank you Jim Garrison for the first; thank you Mr. Stone for both.

Factoid: Former New Orleans D.A. Jim Garrison himself plays … Judge Earl Warren, namesake of the commission that in their report endorsed the infamous "Single Bullet" theory that concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole gunman in JFK’s assassination. Garrison’s subsequent attack on said report’s findings inspired the movie.


SAY ANYTHING (1989) directed by Cameron Crowe
Today’s purveyors of incredibly simplistic, moronic, artistically corrupt and hopelessly one-dimensional teen fare should take a good luck at the crap they put their names on and see if it even slightly compares to the romantic comedy that is Cameron Crowe’s best work. Not even fucking close. Kudos to John Cusack and Ione Skye for their nuanced performances and that unforgettable boom box scene.

Factoid: Cameron Crowe’s mother, Alice, is in every film he’s directed: Say Anything; Singles; Jerry Maguire; Almost Famous; and Vanilla Sky.


A FEW HONORABLE MENTIONS: Aguirre, The Wrath of God; Better Off Dead; Boyz N The Hood; Fargo; Hannah and Her Sisters; Rattle and Hum; Rumble Fish; The Shawshank Redemption; Sixteen Candles; Sleepers; That Thing You Do; The Wall.

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SUFFERING FOR YOUR ART: Allegedly due to producer Howard Hughes’ decision to film 1956’s The Conqueror near atomic testing grounds in the Utah desert, director Dick Powell, many of the actors (including John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Pedro Armendariz and Agnes Moorhead), and some of the crew subsequently contracted and died of cancer.

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Remember, "5" can now also be viewed at: http://kikojones5.blogspot.com/
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CHECK OUT:

Brazilian Beat
The Most Rockin’ Brazilian Party in NYC !!!
Every Sun from 9 PM-2 AM
@ Black Betty
366 Metropolitan Ave (corner of Havermeyer St)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
DJs Greg Caz, Sean Marquand and Claudio Medusa
Spinning the best of the very best.
Be there !!!


Big Rock Fun on a Monday:

Saccharine
@ The Mercury Lounge
217 E. Houston St. (at Ave A)
New York City
This Monday July 15th - 9:30pm
Admission is $7.

great sound and always a good time...
www.saccharineonline.com


La Ruta’s latest release
Bailando En La Tierra de los Zombies
Out now on 220 Records.
Available from 220 Records:
Or directly from La Ruta: http://geocities.com/LaRuta

Also on sale at these fine music outlets:

-Manhattan:

Rufi Music
4095 Broadway / Washington Heights
212-927-1140

-Brooklyn:

Somethin’ Else
294 5th Ave / Park Slope
718-768-5131

SoundTrack
119 7th Ave / Park Slope
718-622-1888

-Queens:

Bahia Records
96-09 Roosevelt Ave / Corona
718-446-5796

Nivel Musical
78-02 Roosevelt Ave & 76-12 Roosevelt Ave.
Jackson Heights
718-424-1230

Also visit the Rock en Español section of your favorite
Fernandez Records location in Queens and Brooklyn.

7/08/2002

5
Written, Directed and Produced by Kiko Jones
A Ballsy Production

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NEWS FLASH: Top session ace Pino Palladino (Richard Ashcroft, Erykah Badu, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Gary Numan, Duncan Sheik, Paul Young, etc etc) has taken over bass duties on The Who’s Summer 2002 tour.

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As we write this, a suffocating heatwave has firmly settled its chokehold grip on the Northeastern United States. And with the A.C. busted over here at the "5" factory, you can just imagine what lovable, happy campers we’ve become these last few days. So, to avoid contemplating murder or some other heinous acts, we’ve been taking advantage of our new ISP and checking out  some cool (ha!) music-related websites. Maybe they’re already on your list of favorites. If not, then they definitely should be. We’ll let you know more sometime in the near future. Now, where did we put that fly swatter again … ?

Later,
-KJ

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COMMENTS, PRAISES AND DEATH THREATS:

Please keep "5" coming to me.  Although my musical knowledge is incredibly short sighted I can honestly admit my love for music is equal to that of a musician performer.  Is it my fault that my music knowledge is limited?  Of course it is.  Do I feel guilty about it?  Not so much.  I think one benefit and possibly the only one is that I don't hold artists to a higher standard.  If you play music I like, you are good.  For reasons only that I have an opinion, I can partake in a debate of which bands are upper-echelon and which bands got lucky or were successfully marketed.  Are my opinions valid?  Of course my opinions are valid, just for the simple fact if you are asking for an opinion that I have one to offer.  Are they as valid as a music buff/music snob?   Perhaps not, but my ignorance to music lore allows me some freedom.

Sheryl Crow and Lenny Kravitz are two musicians I like, listened to and purchased.  Generally it was their debut albums.  I think they are good performers with something to offer in a desensitized talent-less music world.  I don't think they belong in the category of rock gods and I don't think they will ever do anything to establish any sort of validity in that aspect.

I personally love Pearl Jam.  They are by far my favorite band.  Having said this I still don't think they belong in the rock god category.  I've bought all their albums faithfully and enjoyed every one, but the simple fact is that after Ten they haven't produced anything earth shattering.  They have put out good music, but it wasn't anything that challenged the previous hierarchy of music or probably more important pushed newer bands to evolve into something better.  Creed is a perfect example.  They copied the sound of Pearl Jam and sold plenty of records but having exactly duplicated a second tier band they haven't accomplished anything.

I've listened to Radiohead and liked some of their stuff, but I haven't purchased one album.  I do think they are higher up than PJ just for the simple fact they pushed the envelope of modern music and told the world there is more to explore, more new music to create.

Okay I have SO gone out of my element.  I just wanted a layman's opinion inserted to the feedback you get.

Be Well,

ERIC HALPERIN Brooklyn, NY
 
 

Hmmmm, let’s see ... I don’t think Lenny will ever be a classic, mostly because he’s [just] a good recycler. Sheryl Crow... don’t know. She’s good but ... U2, however, will be something that in 20 years time a lot of people will look back on and say "Shit, see what they were doing?" And maybe even their Pop album [Island-1997] will be vindicated.

What a coincidence that you mentioned Milli Vanilli. I was watching an ‘80s recap on VH1 out here and the "Girl You Know It’s True" video came on. How could we have been so easily fooled. Nonetheless, I still like it. Kill me.
Also, to me Pyromania is a good album. Of course, next to something like Back In Black, weeeeeelll …

LEO SUSANA Madrid
 
 

Please keep me on the distribution list. I'm a little behind on my inbox, so I'll catch the previous issue when I get there. As for immortality, there is a perception-driving reality dynamic.  The problem with acts like Crow and Kravitz becoming icons for the ages is that too much mainstream success too fast works against mystique.  You would have to talk pretty fast to convince me that anyone working so comfortably within the MTV establishment has the depth to live beyond this season's fashions.  Great ideas usually come from the fringe.  As for being both innovative and successful in the mainstream, the Beatles stand alone.
That's my two cents.

SCOTT SINCLAIR New York, NY
 

Not to sound like my long-lost aunt Elton, but I feel that the candle lit by the Beatles, the Dylans, and the Hendrixes was well-kept from the winds of their successors all the way up to the mid 80's.  I think it was all part of a natural response from a changing society filled with mixed emotions: teaching kids how to duck in case of a nuclear attack; differentiating between a bathroom for "colored" and white people; not filming Elvis from the waist down because of his then indecent dancing routines. Going from all that fear to: letting women and blacks vote; acknowledging a homosexual community; abolishing the death penalty in some states and legalizing abortions in others --aside from Woodstock and the birth control pill--; was all (as we say in Spanish) 'timber to the fire' of the civil rights movement.  By then, I don't think the whole radio audience wanted to hear Arthur Fonzarelli and his father smash Chicago and Joni Mitchell records because they were considered Devil's music.  And after getting rid of the Kennedy brothers, Reverend King, and a plan on saving Vietnam, none of this was part of some people's agenda for a while; for a long while if we count Reagan-and-Bush's grand parade of painful memories.

I apologize for coming off as a pretend historian or a politician.  Don't get me wrong, I like mid ‘80's and ‘90's rock.  Although a little of it, I've sensed, sounds like a continuance of the old rather than a new individual statement (aside from today's music industry’s brilliant philosophy of selling products instead of concepts). But I feel that back then it had more of a humanitarian and/or societal motive to go upon (spiritual-rebelliousness - yeah that's the word). Not that 'things' have gotten any easier over the years.  But don't expect 'let the struggle continue' from me. I'm too old for this shit!

Thanx for your time.

PS: Rich, an ex-coworker of mine who's 44 years old, just said this to me after reading this particular "5": "Back then, I would listen to a record thinking it would change my life.  Angel (his son, who's 20) goes out and buys a record 'cause he likes a song on it."

ALEX GUERRA Brooklyn, NY
 
 

Re Kravitz/Legend piece: can't add anything.  It's very well stated.

BETH MULLEN Philadelphia, PA
 
 

Lenny Kravitz is NOT a legend. He just steals from the right people which
is an art all its own. I applaud his thievery … and nothing else.

G.R. JONES Brooklyn, NY
 

2 comments:

1- I failed to make any comments on the R&B issue due to the fact that
aside from Prince, and one or two Roberta Flack/Chaka Khan songs, I've never
been drawn to listen to R&B music.

For the first time I think I'm starting to understand the perception of music of those who came before me, it's all a circle. The same way people back in 91-92 didn't understand my infatuation with Pearl Jam (dubbing them as Zeppelin wannabees or Jimi Hendrix’s stepchildren) I do not understand the infatuation of kids nowadays with the likes of bands like Creed or Linkin Park. The same way my friends said the Wallflowers were Bruce Springsteen updated, today I say Incubus is a semi Faith No More incarnation. Too bad most of my classic rock lies on one band only: the Beatles.
I've given the greats a listen but they don't do it for me.

2- You seem to be quite willing to pounce on the internet file sharing issue. How is file sharing any different from going to a mate's house, borrowing their cd's and making a copy of the songs you like for yourself. You have an immense record collection, but lets not forget you didn't get your entire collection by paying 18 quid for each album. I do think bootlegging an album and then going on E-bay and making money of it is wrong. Was I the only person who growing up in a 3rd world country couldn't afford to buy a cd until I started working due to their high price? Was I the only kid who went to a friend’s house and asked [to borrow] a copy of the albums I couldn't buy? I can still remember going to my best friend's house when I was a kid and recording albums like U2's The Joshua Tree and Def Leppard's Hysteria. Was I the only kid sitting beside the radio with the record button on pause spending all my afternoons trying to record
songs straight from FM radio? Those songs which I loved and didn't have the
purchasing power to own on a full record. If I was the only one, then I'll shut me
gob. Otherwise I still don't think you've made a good enough argument as to
why we shouldn't download music from the internet.

Hope this makes it to your ‘zine. Sincerely and impossibly,

FICO LAZZARO Washington, DC
 
 

[Kiko Jones responds: Fico, I think I have clearly stated my position against internet file-sharing services in the past, but since you voiced your position so eloquently (and in a fake Mancunian accent, I might add), I will revisit mine. Apologies to those of you who are already familiar with this particular diatribe.

My beef isn’t with people like you, who use the file-sharing services to preview and subsequently purchase the music they discover thru Napster, Morpheus or whomever. Or those who can’t afford it, period (I’m pretty sure Lars Ulrich wasn’t worried about some kid in, say,  Costa Rica downloading a few Metallica songs). What upsets me is the fact that surveys show that people like you are in the minority. Did you know that during Napster’s reign of terror record stores near college campuses -where students had access to the service- experienced a 40% drop in sales?! I, like you, grew up in a Third World country during the ‘80s and sometimes found myself travelling 100 miles just to go record shopping. Or saving up and waiting for a friend or relative to visit the U.S. so they could bring me back that elusive (for us, anyway) Peter Gabriel or Black Sabbath album.  But this file-sharing fiasco isn’t about us, back in the day, making tapes for the car, a friend or our Walkman. This is about some dude uploading a whole album and saying "Here guys, come and get it, free of charge" and people not respecting the intellectual property of the artists involved. This about the internet generation demanding and expecting free music. And getting it by any means necessary. Of course, the major labels are lying, cheating scum, who laid the groundwork for this whole mess with their cluelessness and over-the-top greed. This has, among other things, led them to jack up the price of CDs by 20% in the last 5 years. But do you really think that if CDs were fairly priced (no more than $11.99 for a single CD, in our opinion) file-sharing would die out? And what about publishing and copyright infringement? So the artist should have no say in what happens to his/her music? Metallica (who I have problems with. Chief among them: James Hetfield’s racist comments in the past) have always let their fans record and trade recordings of their live shows with no questions asked. Yet the moment that Lars speaks out against people uploading and downloading entire Metallica albums without permission, he is vilified and accused of being a "greedy, out of touch, rock star". I saw people on the news (and heard in every day conversation) say that since they are rich, Metallica should let people have their music for free. What?! Under the same reasoning, are we going to ask Ford to give us Mustangs, IBM to give us laptops, or our local A&P to give us free groceries? So why should recording artists be held to that unique and unfair standard? But you know that things have really gotten out of hand when people making six or seven figure salaries publicly admit to not buying their significant other music as a gift because "he gets it for free off Napster" (Lisa Ling, co-host of the lame gabfest The View, Nov. 2000). If these freeloaders (no, not the cool NYC-based band) honestly wanted to preview music before spending money on it, they would go about it as you do or go to Amazon or CDNow and listen to audio clips. Right?]
 
 

Lenny Kravitz (or, as I call him, Krapshitz) is a worthless hack and will be remembered as such. He has contributed nothing significant to music. Just wanted to give my two cents...

DANA BUONICONTI Brooklyn, NY

* * * * *
WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO:

JUMBO  Duerme Despierta y Ponle Play (BMG-Mexico)
SONIC YOUTH  Murray Street (Interscope)
SOUTH  From Here On In (Kinetic)
VARIOUS ARTISTS  March ’02 Uncut Magazine Sampler
WILCO  Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Nonesuch)

* * * * *
WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO ?

OASIS /  Heathen Chemistry (Epic-2002)
PORTISHEAD / Roseland NYC Live (Go!-1998)
NORAH JONES / Come With Me (Blue Note-2001)
10,000 MANIACS / Our Time in Eden (Elektra-1992)
DOVES / The Last Broadcast (Capitol-2002)

FICO LAZZARO Washington, DC

* * * * *
* * * * *
UH HUH, OH YEAH
Two weeks ago we mentioned how Paul Weller’s live solo-acoustic album Days of Speed had not seen a US release. Well, on July 2nd that deplorable situation was mercifully reversed. Released last year in the UK, Days of Speed’s track listing runs the gamut of Mr. W’s career and even includes Jam warhorses "That’s Entertainment" and the disc closing "Town Called Malice". For a man that has accustomed us to meticulous full-band arrangements and groovy production, it’s great to hear him in such a stripped down, relaxed environment. And with a non-import price tag to boot.
 

DIVINE RACKET
"This is not a record review site. Glorious Noise is all about how rock and roll can change your life". So states GloriousNoise.com on its homepage. Purporting to be a serious site for the serious rock fan, GN currently features some great interviews with Downtown NYC scenester Legs McNeil, (Punk magazine); recently departed Wilco everything-but-the-kitchen-sinkologist Jay Bennett; and frequent Matthew Sweet drummer/collaborator Ric Menck, of guitar-popsters Velvet Crush. Other highlights include a review of the new Flaming Lips album and a tribute to the late John Entwhistle. GN does get a bit too "blog"-like at times, but manages to be a good read, nonetheless.
 

WHO’S WORSE?
Once again, The Beatles’ publishing catalog is moving to a new home. Or rather, formally moving in after subletting for a while. It seems that as a result of Michael Jackson’s none-too-rosy financial situation (not helped by the relatively poor showing of his most recent album Invincible - ha!), his now-former label Sony, will acquire his share of the Liverpool quartet’s music (they already own the rest of it) as part of a recoupment settlement in which Jackson is to fork over some $200 million dollars to cover his debt to Sony. According to reports, the deputy of Pop incurred in this voluminous debt in the form of loans and massive promotional expenditures for his releases. Yeah, $7 million video clips will do that to ya. And as for The Beatles’ publishing to be solely owned by Sony, we don’t see how this already fucked up situation could get any better in the hands of the clueless behemoth. C’mon Paul, cough up the bucks this time!!!
 

SO, WAS RON JEREMY NOT AVAILABLE?
Flaunting his trademark flag-waving redneck persona (to apparently mask his decidedly un-hip solid middle-class upbringing) and pushing his latest musical enema, Kid Rock’s most recent video includes cameos from Hank Williams Jr. and pneumatic bride-to-be Pamela Anderson. There’s also footage of Mr. Ritchie mowing the lawn and cleaning the pool, while the former Mrs. Tommy Lee takes turns watching her new paramour on TV (how many times is he going to recycle that Woodstock ’99 footage?) and hanging laundry in the backyard while wearing only the skimpiest of lingerie. Wow, we’re so impressed. Whatever.
 

HAVE YOU HEARD …
any of the following new releases: DAVID BOWIE Heathen; JERRY CANTRELL Degradation Trip; GUIDED BY VOICES Universal Truths and Cycles; LOS LOBOS Good Morning Aztlan; PAUL WESTERBERG Stereo/Mono? If you have, we’d love to hear your take on any or all of these records and while we’re at it, do a special record-review issue of "5", with you guys in the driver’s seat. How ‘bout it? All you’ve got to lose is that pesky shyness. Plus you can write it in your underwear and no one will ever know. Or see.

* * * * *
* * * * *
R.I.P.: Legendary jazz bassist Ray Brown (Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Oscar Peterson). He was 75.

* * * * *
* * * * *
Remember, "5" can now also be viewed at: http://kikojones5.blogspot.com/

* * * * *
* * * * *
CHECK OUT:

Brazilian Beat
The Most Rockin’ Brazilian Party in NYC !!!
Every Sun from 9 PM-2 AM
@ Black Betty
366 Metropolitan Ave (corner of Havermeyer St)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
DJs Greg Caz, Sean Marquand and Claudio Medusa
Spinning the best of the very best.
Be there !!!
 

La Ruta’s latest release
Bailando En La Tierra de los Zombies
Out now on 220 Records.
Available from 220 Records:
Or directly from La Ruta: http://geocities.com/LaRuta

Also on sale at these fine music outlets:

-Manhattan:

Rufi Music
4095 Broadway / Washington Heights
212-927-1140

-Brooklyn:

Somethin’ Else
294 5th Ave / Park Slope
718-768-5131

SoundTrack
119 7th Ave / Park Slope
718-622-1888

-Queens:

Bahia Records
96-09 Roosevelt Ave / Corona
718-446-5796

Nivel Musical
78-02 Roosevelt Ave & 76-12 Roosevelt Ave.
Jackson Heights
718-424-1230

Also visit the Rock en Españolsection of your favorite Fernandez Records location in Queens and Brooklyn.

7/01/2002

5
Written, Directed and Produced by Kiko Jones
A Ballsy Production

* * * * *
This issue marks a first: instead of 5 random or dedicated topics, we offer you an extended one: an essay on the nature of immortality in rock and roll. Let us know what you think.

Speaking of which, we were expecting and looking forward to your comments on guest editor Greg Casseus’ rather informative list of lost soul/R&B classics in our previous issue [5- 6/24/02] but nary a peep. Are you guys awake? Have we outlasted our welcome with you already? How about this: if you want us to continue sending you "5", get back to us ASAP, just to confirm you’re still interested. Otherwise, we’ll leave you be. Stay cool out there.

* * * * *
For those of you that haven’t heard the sad news, legendary Who bassist John Entwhistle died of a heart attack on June 27th in Las Vegas. The Who’s Summer 2002 tour was supposed to start the following day. Head Who Pete Townshend has confirmed that the band will indeed perform the tour despite their loss. No word on when exactly that will be or who will assume bass duties. Entwhistle was 57 years old.

Later,
-KJ

* * * * *
* * * * *
WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO:

AZUL REVOLVER / El Disco Cromatico (MP3.com)
IDAHO / The Palms EP (Caroline)
MARK MIRANDA / It’s Not You, It’s Me (advance copy)
SMASHING PUMPKINS / Pisces Iscariot (Virgin)
YES / The Yes Album (Atlantic)

* * * * *

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO ?

* * * * *
* * * * *
IS LENNY KRAVITZ A LEGEND?

As rock rolls into a new millennium and the artists that laid the foundation and/or changed the face of the genre settle into middle age and even--gasp!--senior citizenship (just to give you some perspective, Chuck Berry is 75; Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson are both 60; latter-day giants Prince, the members of U2 and The Red Hot Chili Peppers are all in their early 40s), we can’t hope but wonder if any of today’s veterans--Lenny Kravitz and Sheryl Crow, for instance--have earned enough stripes to march into the collective consciousness as legendary figures.

As a Gen-Xer in our mid 30s, we grew up in the shadow of the rock and roll greats of the ‘60s and ‘70s: too young to have experienced their music firsthand, but old enough to have been around when they were still staples of FM radio and not the dreaded "Classic Rock" radio format. As we’ve gotten older but stayed involved in popular music on a regular basis, we’ve seen a new generation of rock and roll fans emerge around us. This new breed seems to fall into 3 particular categories: those who recognize and enjoy the classics that preceded them; those immersed in the music of today with little or no interest in anything recorded before, say, 1989; and those who aren’t necessarily swayed by the sounds of today, but aren’t entirely convinced about the merits of the titans of yesteryear. It’s this latter group that brings us to the crux of our initial question.

In casual conversation, we have found that this faction may understand how The Beatles, for example, changed the whole scope and canvas of rock music, but can’t comprehend why we still fuss so much over them. "Hey, it’s easy to be an innovator when not much has been done", they say. Valid point. But it’s a premise that opens up a can of worms so huge that it could easily inherit the Earth. It did get us thinking, however. Namely, are we holding today’s artists to a lower artistic standard and thus expecting and consequently settling for less? Is this an issue of modern complacency or just a sense of them not being able to reach the heights scaled by the greats at their mightiest, so we adjust accordingly? And is selling records and being around for a while basis enough for transcending the ranks and moving on to immortality?

Perspective, as always, is a determining factor in establishing a criteria. Let’s use as an example, two albums from the same era and more or less similar appeal. We can easily agree that in hindsight, Guns ‘N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction was not only a kick-ass record, but one of the great albums of the genre. In contrast, Def Leppard’s Pyromania fails to reach the same plateau. This is not to say that Pyromania is a dud, but a classic is supposed to be timeless, groundbreaking or influential. It did sell a gazillion copies, but then again, so did Milli Vanilli. Once again, what we’re trying to get at, is this: are artists who have sold millions of records and proven their longevity, automatically on the short list for canonization? Granted, the combination of multi-platinum sales and permanence is not a walk in the park, but membership in this club is exclusive in its quantity, not quality: Celine Dion, anyone? It may be incredibly easy to defend and demonstrate the eminence of James Brown or Led Zeppelin to a new generation, but for many of them, the waters get decidedly murky when we factor in highly influential and enduring artists such as The Velvet Underground and Big Star, underground darlings whose record sales are practically negligible in the grand scheme of all things mainstream.

We’ve been privy to various exchanges where albums comparable to the aforementioned Pyromania are considered classics. In most cases, they are just relics from fondly remembered days of youth, lacking the necessary qualifications for greatness and now looked back at with fervent nostalgia. Yes, we know: we are all guilty of this from time to time. But is this the mentality that will bestow upon artists like Kravitz and Crow--albeit as talented and popular ones as these--legendary status in a few years time? Have the rules changed or has it always been just our vantage point in time that has ultimately made the difference? Ironically, it seems that only time will tell for sure.

* * * * *
* * * * *
STUPID PET TRICKS: According to researchers, termites go through wood twice as fast if rock music is being played. Interpret that as you wish.

* * * * *
* * * * *

Remember, "5" can now also be viewed at: http://kikojones5.blogspot.com/

* * * * *
* * * * *
Brazilian Beat
The Most Rockin’ Brazilian Party in NYC !!!
Every Sun from 9 PM-2 AM
@ Black Betty
366 Metropolitan Ave (corner of Havermeyer St)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
DJs Greg Caz, Sean Marquand and Claudio Medusa
Spinning the best of the very best.
Be there !!!

* * * * *
La Ruta’s latest release
Bailando En La Tierra de los Zombies
Out now on 220 Records.
Available from 220 Records: usa220records@yahoo.com
Or directly from La Ruta: http://geocities.com/LaRuta

Also on sale at these fine music outlets:
-in Manhattan:

Rufi Music
4095 Broadway
Washington Heights
212-927-1140

-in Brooklyn:

Somethin’ Else
294 5th Ave
Park Slope
718-768-5131

SoundTrack
119 7th Ave
Park Slope
718-622-1888


6/24/2002

5
Written, Directed and Produced by Kiko Jones
A Ballsy Production

*****
Hello, my lovely fellow "5" addicts.

It's been a while since I've done this, but I knew that it was only a matter of time before I would be called upon to once again submit a new installment of Greg C-style geeky insider knowledge and (of course) alarmingly jaundiced opinion.

This time around, instead of going on at length about everything that's clearly wrong about the contemporary music scene, I'm going to get into my archaeologist mode and polish off the bones of a dead, buried, huge, glorious beast that is sadly now extinct. Of course, I'm talking about the glory that was soul/R&B. I won't bore you with the umpteenth reiteration of the various and sundry reasons why you're a total fool if you don't own "What's Going On," "Innervisions," "There's A Riot Going On," "Superfly," "Hot Buttered Soul," "Young, Gifted and Black," "Extensions Of A Man" et. al.
I've done all the obscurity-digging so you don't have to, and will present 5 soul albums that may or may not be obscure except to aficionados, but which are all guaranteed to rock your world and impress your friends as to how down you are.

-GREG CASSEUS
Guest Editor

* * * * *
* * * * *
WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO:

CAFÉ TACUBA / Reves-Yo Soy (WEA Latina)
DON CABALLERO / What Burns Never Returns (Touch & Go)
JELLYFISH / Spilt Milk (Charisma)
THE LAST TIME I COMMITTED SUICIDE soundtrack
ROLLINS BAND / Insert Band Here: Live in Australia-1990 (BMG-2.13.61)

* * * * *
WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO ?

Been driving between Santiago and Santo Domingo a lot this week,
so I had a chance to listen to lots of music:

TOQUE PROFUNDO / Magia
(specifically and obsessively, the cut "Paredes del Silencio")
OZZY OSBOURNE / Down To Earth
WEEZER / Pinkerton
FABULOSOS CADILLACS / Fabulosos Calavera
FABULOSOS CADILLACS / La Marcha del Golazo Solitario
PINK FLOYD / The Final Cut
FIEL A LA VEGA / A Quien Pueda Interesar
POKET / Mas Aceitosos Que Nunca
SYSTEM OF A DOWN / self-titled

LEO SUSANA Santo Domingo, Dom. Rep.

* * * * *
* * * * *
5 LOST SOUL/R&B CLASSICS (in no particular order):

1. JUNIE "Freeze" (Westbound-1975)
Besides being a total barrel of irreverent, on-the-one fun, this underground
classic earns its spot here as an answer to Mr. Jones' recent "one-man-band" list. Walter "Junie" Morrison was a charter member of the Ohio Players and later became a key player in George Clinton's merry funk circus. In between those two tours of duty, he released three solo albums on the Westbound label, home of both the Players and Funkadelic. Three years before that little purple guy's debut, it finds Junie playing EVERY SINGLE INSTRUMENT, and WELL. This album is soooo funky and soooo funny that it actually provides a persuasive argument for cloning, as that would be the only way for Mr. Morrison to take this funky-ass show on the road.
Sadly unavailable on CD at the present time, however...

2. CURTIS MAYFIELD "Curtis Live!" (Curtom-1971)
For his second post-Impressions solo release (after 1970's brilliant "Curtis"), the Gentle Genius takes his stripped-down and super-funky band into the Bitter End for an incomparable live recording that truly compares favorably with any live album of the rock era. Two guitars, bass, congas and drums, plus that wise and knowing voice, are all Curtis needs to keep you spellbound and practically applauding in your own living room. His between-song raps are witty and loose, and songs like "I Plan To Stay A
Believer," "Stare And Stare" and "Mighty Mighty (Spade And Whitey)" will never leave your head once lodged there. Plus the deepest version of "We've Only Just Begun" you'll ever hear. Simply a must-have, and now available on CD from Rhino.

3. BOBBY WOMACK "I Don't Know What The World Is Coming To" (UA-1975)
I could have picked any one of a half-dozen killer early ‘70s Womack albums, like "Communication," "Understanding" or "Facts Of Life," but lately I find I can't stop playing this one. It rocks, it grooves, BW sings his ass off (as usual), AND it's got "If You Want My Love (Put Something Down On It)" and "Superstar." Nuff Said! Also, special mention must be given to the cover shot of Bobby, dressed in black, with big dark shades, cigarette in hand, sittin' back with a gangster lean, obviously coked to the gills, looking like the biggest badass EVER. Must have scared off many a potential
buyer!

4. RUFUS & CHAKA KHAN "Ask Rufus" (ABC-1977)
Another case of "which-one-do-I-pick?" Basically, any mid-‘70s Rufus and Chaka will always be worth the money (especially since they're all budget-priced on CD), but this one has begun to overtake "Rags To Rufus" as my all-time favorite. Diverse and adventurous, it nevertheless keeps the band's fans satisfied with what they already know and love. The songs attain a new level of sophistication and the arrangements offer fascinating twists and turns. And despite the rather prosaic title, there have been few songs as genuinely sexy and seductive as "Everlasting Love." Other highlights
include "Hollywood," "Earth Song" and (ha,ha) "Slow Screw Against The Wall"
featuring Ron Wood. And let me also stress that Chaka's Arif Mardin-produced
solo albums for Warner Bros. such as "Chaka," "Naughty" and "What'Cha Gonna
Do For Me" are all completely amazing. Chaka is a total goddess, and she truly has never gotten her full due. Time to change that, folks!

5. ROTARY CONNECTION "Songs/Hey Love" (Cadet -1969/1971)
I justify pulling this 2-for-1 scam by reasoning that the only way to obtain
these two magnificent albums on CD is as a twofer anyway. The former features psychedelic soul-rock renditions of the rock hits of the day, by the likes of Hendrix, Cream and the Band, plus the spookiest version of "Respect" you'll ever hear. RC were the Chess/Cadet label's in-house "connect-with-the-kids" rock experiment, and Minnie Riperton's glass-shattering range one of the few constants in an ever-shifting
lineup.
Starting off as producer-arranger-complete genius Charles Stepney's sonic playground, they evolved into a redoubtable and utterly unique
psych/orchestral/gospel/R&B/pop outfit, complete with Stepney as an actual band member. 1971's beautiful "Hey Love" album, their swan song, is the real reason to track this CD down. "I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun," "Song For Everyman," "If I Sing A Song" -basically, the whole album is like a dream you don't want to wake up from.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

DJ ROGERS "DJ Rogers" (Shelter 1973)
AL GREEN "Al Green Gets Next To You" (Hi 1971)
KOOL & THE GANG "Light Of Worlds" (De-Lite 1974)
O'JAYS "Ship Ahoy" (Philadelphia Int'l Records 1973)
IMPRESSIONS "This Is My Country" (Curtom 1968)

All of which deserve FAR more than a measly "honorable mention," but this IS "5", so...

* * * * *
* * * * *

YES MAN: Fans of Yes might want to check out Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante’s defense of the ‘70s British prog-rock heroes in a letter to the editor in the June ’02 edition of Mojo.

6/17/2002

Flashback: 2002

5
Written, Directed and Produced by Kiko Jones
A Ballsy Production

*****

Of late, it seems the Grim Reaper has been really busy when it comes to the music business. Though never fans of the ‘80s hair farmers known as Ratt, we know for a fact that quite a few of you were. And so, it is our sad duty to inform you that former Ratt guitarist Robin Crosby died on June 9th after an eight-year battle with AIDS. Crosby had contracted the deadly disease through heroin use. He was 41.

****

We keep getting feedback from some of you telling us how much you enjoy "5" and how you’d like to write in, so, why not? Like the old advertising catchphrase and subsequently infamous line used to go: "try it, you’ll like it". We know we do.

Later,
-KJ

COMMENTS, PRAISES AND DEATH THREATS:

I got into a conversation last night with a friend who had just watched High Fidelity and just discovered Paris, Texas, and we had the perfect segue for me to tick off my five favorite soundtracks (in no particular order):

1) Ry Cooder, "Paris, Texas"
The bottle-neck guitar playing stretches out here like the desert in Wim Wenders' movie. Melancholy sustained over a whole record. Back when indie movies were actually idiosyncratic, and soundtracks were more than a marketing device. Best heard at dusk, when it's hot and you have a whisky on the rocks nearby.

2) Various, "Repo Man" –
Soundtrack as punk rock mixed tape. Another quintessential American indie, with Emilio Estevez's only bearable performance (ok, you can have The Mighty Ducks) [what about his turn as the lead in Wisdom? –KJ], it wasn't until recently that I noticed how much of the Latin influence on LA punk is obvious here. The Plugz have three songs, including the Spanish-language version of "Secret Agent Man" and there's the cholo punks of Suicidal Tendencies with the classic of SoCal suburban disaffection "Institutionalized."

3) Ruben Blades, "Crossover Dreams"
I haven't seen the movie since it first came out in the 80s, but the whole story line is so obvious from the sequence of songs, from Rudy's experiments with calypso and doo-wop to break out of the cuchifrito circuit, to his encounter with the roots of salsa
in "Todos Vuelven", to his reprise of the song at the end of the record.

4) Ennio Morricone, "The Mission"
I never got this, and never remember it well, but anytime I hear bits of it I stop and ask what it is. The padrino of movie soundtracks does it again, soaking everything in mood and place.

5) Neil Young, "Dead Man"
My nephew Jason calls this movie "sonambulist" and he's right. It's like a long, long dream, and you fall asleep in the middle not because you're bored but because your brain waves tune to that frequency. And then you wake up, and it's still there. The music here is like that hum of your brain in deep, deep sleep.

CAROLINA GONZALEZ Brooklyn, NY


Re: PAUL WELLER Heliocentric -import- (Island)

Is this a NEW Paul Weller album??? I'm a big fan of his first two solo albums, but not of the last two. Just curious.
Also glad to see you give props to The The's Dusk in your previous issue. I think we have the same musical chip implanted in our heads. You should check out the new
2 disc The The retrospective that just came out on Sony/Legacy. It's got some cool bonus tracks and remixes.

JOSH NOREK Los Angeles, CA

[As far as we know, Weller’s latest release was 2001’s Days of Speed, a live album from his solo acoustic tour the previous year. Heliocentric was released in 2000 and is his most recent studio LP. Neither one has seen the light of day here in the US. As for his self-titled, solo album debut (after The Jam and The Style Council, of course), we too have quite a soft spot for it. We were very lucky to witness an excellent in-store performance in support of this particular album, at the downtown NYC Tower Records in late 1992. –KJ]

*****

WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO:

CHRIS CORNELL Euphoria Morning (A&M)
LOS HIJOS DEL REY con FERNANDITO VILLALONA self-titled (Karen)
JANE’S ADDICTION Ritual de lo Habitual (Warner Bros)
LENNY KRAVITZ Greatest Hits (Virgin)
TUATARA Trading With the Enemy (Epic)

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO ?

*****
*****

DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK
It seems that Napster may be returning to cyberdom pretty soon after all. The beleaguered music-swapping "service", has taken steps towards financial consolidation by declaring Chapter 11 and setting up a new business plan that would attract investors and establish the company as a prime music-download site. Except that this time people would have to pay, as opposed to just making off like bandits with the stuff. Will it work? Will people stay away and just continue using the existing music-theft, uh, download providers that let them have it free of cost? Will Lars become an investor in Napster? Will Metallica finally recognize that it’s time for them to retire? Sorry, got a bit sidetracked.

DR. FEELGOOD
The ranks of drummers turned frontmen once again swell up with the addition of former Motley Crüe skinsman and unwitting porn king Tommy Lee. Although he had already grabbed the solo spotlight with his Methods of Mayhem outfit, Lee has officially switched to guitar and released a new album under his own name, garnering kudos from VH1 and landing the cover of a recent issue of Guitar One magazine. When he’s not getting pointers from buddy and head Foo Fighter Dave Grohl (another drums to guitar convert), Lee will be getting ready to tour in support of his Never A Dull Moment album sometime this summer.

I’LL STICK AROUND
And speaking of Dave Grohl, the man Courtney loves to hate (ha!) has been back behind the kit of late, touring with former Foo Fighters opening act Queens of the Stone Age. Grohl-–who also played drums on the latest QOTSA platter as well as last year’s self-titled debut by Tenacious D--should be soon gearing up for the release of the Foo’s fifth album. But if the lame, Queen-retread stylings of recent single "The One" are any indication, our man needs to go back and write some more songs. Good ones this time, Dave.

GOD WAKE THE QUEEN
We recently caught a chunk of VH1’s telecast of the concert commemorating England’s Queen Elizabeth II’s golden jubilee. One word: booooring. Aside from a few highlights (among them, host Sharon Osbourne’s off-stage antics with hubby Ozzy; Paul McCartney’s rendition of the irreverent "Her Majesty"), the insipid performances and stodgy line-up was more than ample justification for the Sex Pistols reforming and subsequent threats of wreaking havoc all over again. Talk about a royal pain in the ass.

DOO UNTO OTHERS
In a bid to dethrone Dude, Where’s My Car? as one of the worst movies ever made in our lifetime, the Scooby Doo movie was finally released to resounding cries of agony. Some studio bigwig must have pictures of Freddie Prinze, Jr. cavorting with assorted farm animals or Sarah Michelle Gellar must have a monstrously insatiable drug habit that needs taking care of. Otherwise, why would these kids wreck their already questionable film careers with dreck of this ghastly nature? Come back Pauly Shore, all is forgiven. Well … almost.

*****
*****

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Les Paul; top-notch musician, studio recording innovator and designer of the world-famous Gibson electric guitar model that bears his name (87).