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.

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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.

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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

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


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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

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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]

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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)

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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 - 7/12/02
It 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.

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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

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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

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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)

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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

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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.

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

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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 !!!
 

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

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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.

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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

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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)

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WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO ?

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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.

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

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

* * * * *
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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