How apropos that on the opening night of Chris Cornell's Scream tour in Dallas, the '90s rock god let out a bellow from his seemingly wounded ego, by incorporating not only songs from his solo years and Audioslave stint, but also more than a few choice Soundgarden gems--"Spoonman", "Rusty Cage" [see above], "Outshined", "Jesus Christ Pose", "Like Suicide", and the long lost "Gun" from 1989's Louder than Love--as well as Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song".
Spin was there.
The reception to his new tracks was lukewarm, as was to be expected, but it seems like Cornell took the bait from last week's pseudo Soundgarden reunion in Seattle, where his former bandmates--guitarist Kim Thayil, bassist Ben Shepherd, and drummer Matt Cameron--played a short set fronted by none other than Tad Doyle.
The Soundgarden reunion countdown clock starts...now.
MILTON NASCIMENTO & LO BORGES
Clube Da Esquina
Armed with solid songs and wistful, ethereal melodies, Brazilian singers/songwriters Milton Nascimento and Lo Borges assembled a cast of talented cronies—among them legendary keyboardist/arranger Eumir Deodato and virtuoso guitarist Toninho Horta, as well as Wagner Tiso, Beto Guedes and Fernando Brant—that masterfully delve into late ‘60s/early ‘70s Beatlesque pop, jazz, South American ballads, and traditional Brazilian sounds.
This is without a doubt a record of its time but one that has aged quite gracefully just the same. Highly influential in and out of Brazil—one listen and you can immediately surmise both Sting and Pat Metheny have paid close attention to this landmark album—Clube Da Esquina includes the widely-covered Brazilian standard "Cravo E Canela".
One of the undisputed classics of Brazilian music, Clube Da Esquina
is still a fascinating listen three-plus decades after its release.
Highlights: "Tudo Que Você Podia Ser", "Cais", "O Trem Azul", "Nuvem Cigana", the aforementioned "Cravo E Canela", "Clube da Esquina No.2", "Os Povos".
With that in mind, we felt like shining a spotlight on three of our current faves; the first two are pianists; the other a trumpeter.
- Probably the best known of the three for his numerous Radiohead covers, any of Brad Mehldau’s much-lauded trio recordings is a delight—and his 2006 collaboration with guitarist Pat Metheny is quite solid—but we’d like to recommend Live in Tokyo [Nonesuch-2004], a solo performance in which he clearly channels the legendary Keith Jarrett, Mehldau's original inspiration to play jazz. The almost 20 min. rendition of the aforementioned Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” is a highlight.
- Jason Moran is tremendous. And The Bandwagon [Blue Note-2003], recorded live with his trio in NYC, is a gem. His covers of Brahms’ "Intermezzo, Op. 118, No. 2"—one of the most sadly beautiful pieces of music we’ve ever heard within the realm of jazz—and the standard “Body and Soul” are pure genius; Moran’s own “Gentle Shifts South”—featuring sampled members of his family narrating their genealogy—is not be missed. Oh, and his reworking of “Planet Rock" is none too shabby, btw.
- He’s been called the new Freddie Hubbard in certain circles, and maybe the title isn’t his yet, but trumpeter Sean Jones sure is a contender. We’ve enjoyed his last three albums: Gemini (2005), Roots (2006) and Kaleidoscope (2007), but the just-released, The Search Within (2009)—all on the Mack Avenue label—might be the best one yet from this modern-day hard bopper. The All Music Guide calls it "exciting music more reliant on teamwork merging with a bigger sound than his previous recordings," while seeking to "attain the type of unified whole found in the best work of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Woody Shaw, or Wynton Marsalis." Sweet.
There has been some conjecture out there regarding Chamberlain's departure, including the drummer's influence on the band's new material, which was largely ignored by concertgoers on the most recent Pumpkins tour. We're not buying it. If there's one thing we've learned over the years, is that an egomaniac like Corgan was not going to let anyone influence his music. Not Chamberlain, not anyone. Chamberlain's contribution was his distinctive drumming, which was an integral part of the band's sound. (He's on every single one of the Pumpkins albums except 1998's Adore.) That's why Corgan brought him back into the fold, even after firing him for his once heavy drug use and its collateral damage. (Jonathan Melvoin, RIP.)
Without Chamberlain, Corgan should finally lay the Pumpkins to rest. To replace him and continue using the name would be a huge mistake. Yes, we know: what about Robert Smith, or Axl Rose, for that matter? Well the former is a different situation altogether; and as for the latter, do we really need to rehash the loss of the Appetite for Destruction-era lineup?
Let it go, Billy.
"In its 22 years, SXSW has grown from a tiny music festival in the Texas capital into a massive, unavoidable media beast..." - National Post, 3/13/08
We remember watching a piece MTV did on the burgeoning festival in the late '80s. That year it featured up-and-comers National People's Gang, The Jody Grind, Snatches of Pink, Chickasaw Mud Puppies and many more. But one thing we recall vividly is a member of Poi Dog Pondering talking about how great it was that SXSW was a cool, little festival; in contrast to New York's now-defunct New Music Seminar, which had become too unwieldy in his opinion. Ah, how times have changed.
We've felt rather blasé about the Austin-based festival for a few years now. It just doesn't seem like a place for non-established artists to get much of a fair shake at trying to get the word out, and more like a vehicle for a parade of well-known acts to raise their profile or gain some "indie cred". Then we heard Metallica just played for an "intimate" crowd of 2100 at this year's edition. Jeez.
Not only has SXSW gotten way too big and corporate but Metallica's presence surely signals the festival has jumped the shark. Just ask Lollapalooza.
Fortunately for The Cure, this is not the case. As it turns out, the masses showed up for what is widely considered to be the band’s artistic peak.
Released the year Cure guru Robert Smith turned 30, Disintegration [Elektra-1989] was the result of quite a predicament: Smith was feeling the pressure of attempting a definitive musical statement as he approached a personal milestone, while in the midst of redefining the band’s sound by purposely casting aside the ‘one-dimensional gloom merchants’ tag they had been saddled with in the past. That their record company feared the finished album would be commercial suicide, surely didn’t help things one bit.
In hindsight, it’s easy to see how those fears were unfounded. But at the time, the band had come off a run of poppy, hit singles—"Let's Go to Bed", "The Lovecats", "In Between Days", "Close to Me", "Why Can't I Be You", "Hot Hot Hot" and of course, "Just Like Heaven"—and this new record was infused with a melancholy and darkness more in line with their notorious 1982 album Pornography. (Smith is said to have reacted to his looming birthday and The Cure’s new-found fame by isolating himself from the band and indulging in LSD at the time, which is seen by many as a catalyst for the sound and mood of the songs written for Disintegration.) Yet, The Cure’s two previous albums The Head on the Door [Elektra-1985] and Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me [Elektra-1987], with their respective, newly expanded musical palettes pushing the band into previously uncharted waters, can be easily recognized as a blueprint.
By adopting the consistency and sensibility of the former album, jettisoning the indulgences of the latter—while retaining its majesty—and toning down the overt ‘happy’ pop elements of both, Smith was able to reach his lofty goal of crafting his band’s magnum opus, as it were. Disintegration not only became their crown jewel, artistically and commercially, but is also third in a four-album run—which includes Wish [Elektra-1992]—deemed as The Cure’s pinnacle and featuring a now-regarded classic lineup with Smith, Porl Thompson (guitars), Simon Gallup (bass), and Boris Williams (drums) at its core. Most notably, Disintegration is the middle part of a trilogy of albums—Pornography and Bloodflowers [Elektra-2000] being the other two—which Smith feels best represent The Cure's output.
At its best, The Cure's music can be perceived as the aural equivalent of slashing your wrists or simply the soundtrack to heart-breaking longing and despair. Take your pick, but we mean both as a compliment of the highest order. Admittedly, an album like Pornography can be seen as a more effective vehicle for that bleak sense of anguish, but Disintegration has the advantage of also providing an alluring, seductive feeling of catharsis that is at the core of its appeal. Which is why, as long as there are alienated, heart-broken teenagers—regardless of physical chronology—Disintegration will live on. (We don’t exactly agree with South Park’s Kyle Broflovski, but we clearly understand why he was once moved to proclaim, "Disintegration is the best album ever!")
Highlights: “Pictures of You”, “Closedown”, “Fascination Street”, “The Same Deep Water as You”, “Untitled”.
TicketMaster has essentially been a monopoly for many years - certainly up until Live Nation's exclusive deal [with them] ran out. They could have (and can right now) stop the secondary market dead in its tracks by doing the following: limit the amount of sales per customer, print names on the tickets and require ID / ticket matches at the venue. We know this works because we do it for our pre-sales. Why don't THEY do it? It's obvious - they make a lot of money fueling the secondary market. TicketMaster even bought a re-seller site and often bounces you over to that site to buy tickets (TicketsNow.com)!
NIN gets 10% of the available seats for our own pre-sale. We won a tough (and I mean TOUGH) battle to get the best seats. We require you to sign up at our site (for free) to get tickets. We limit the amount you can buy, we print your name on the tickets and we have our own person let you in a separate entrance where we check your ID to match the ticket. We charge you a surcharge that has been less than TicketMaster's or Live Nation's in all cases so far to pay for the costs of doing this - it's not a profit center for us. We have essentially stopped scalping by doing these things - because we want true fans to be able to get great seats and not get ripped off by these parasites.
I assure you nobody in the NIN camp supplies or supports the practice of supplying tickets to these re-sellers because it's not something we morally feel is the right thing to do. We are leaving money on the table here but it's not always about money.
Being completely honest, it IS something I've had to consider. If people are willing to pay a lot of money to sit up front AND ARE GOING TO ANYWAY thanks to the rigged system, why let that money go into the hands of the scalpers? I'm the one busting my ass up there every night. The conclusion really came down to it not feeling like the right thing to do - simple as that.
Pretty righteous. Read the whole thing here.
Now, if they have in fact reconciled, as has been reported, why is anyone surprised they've recorded together? There's a bigger problem at-hand than a post-beating, musical collaboration, folks.
the Latin Alternative Music Conference is celebrating their 10th anniversary, and will reconvene once again in NYC, from July 7th-19th, offering a reduced registration fee for all attendees.
Past performers include Café Tacuba, Manu Chao, Davíd Garza, Jumbo, and Kronos Quartet.
Zero Tolerance for Silence
Fifteen years ago Geffen Records released one of the most controversial albums ever recorded by an established artist. A huge departure from the melodic jazz to which he had accustomed his large following, legendary guitarist Pat Metheny shocked listeners with Zero Tolerance for Silence, a distorted, noisy, dense solo guitar record, which to this day remains a singularly unique and much debated part of his catalog.
Although Metheny has denied purposely making this record as a fuck-you to Geffen--it was the last record of his contract with the label--many firmly believe that's exactly what it is. We don't ascribe to that theory--in part, because it was recorded two years before it saw the light of day--and have always considered it to be an example of an artist simply confounding expectations; a piece of music that reflected his creative perspective at that point in time. More importantly, we've embraced the album as the aural equivalent of a deep howl; the soundtrack to a dark night of the soul, if you will.
The artist himself told Guitar Player magazine there was no ulterior motive at work and that "the record speaks for itself in its own musical terms....and that was exactly what it was intended to be." This hasn't stopped critics and fans alike from asking Metheny to disown it, which he has refused. But it's not like there was no precedent for this kind of music in Metheny's previous work--Song X [Geffen-1985], his collaboration with the great Ornette Coleman, comes to mind. Of course there are quite a few who disagree with the naysayers, among them Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore who praised Metheny and called him "a master" on a sticker affixed to the album's cover during its original run. (It is currently out of print.)
Often compared to Lou Reed's equally contested Metal Machine Music [RCA-1975], Zero Tolerance might be deemed by many to be be an unadulterated noisefest. But it deserves a fair shake and should be judged on its own merits. And for those up for a challenge and willing to cast aside preconceived notions of Metheny's music, Zero Tolerance for Silence will be one hard but ultimately satisfying listening experience.
[Cover art courtesy of Allmusic.com]
“You know that feeling you get when somebody embarrasses themselves so badly YOU feel uncomfortable? Heard Chris Cornell’s record? Jesus.”
We find the whole Twitter phenomenon to be ridiculous—what is it, micro-blogging? the online equivalent of phone-texting?—but if it's going to become the home of 20-words-or-less record reviews, it's only fair that J.D. Considine—whose infamous pithy reviews of Yes' Big Generator ("Just say no") and the self-titled debut from prog supergroup GTR ("SHT") in the now-defunct Musician magazine, are legendary in certain circles—should get some monetary compensation.
[Album cover courtesy of allmusic.com]
"We thought 'We have two days to do it and one of the days is mixing.' So we played live. Ozzy was singing at the same time, we just put him in a separate booth and off we went."
- Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi.
The mighty Black Sabbath's self-titled debut was released on Friday the 13th, in February of 1970. So, taking advantage of any excuse to simultaneously post some Sabbath and go for the cheesy 'Friday the 13th' segue, we bring you the legendary Birmingham quartet's unofficial theme song in all its doomy glory. Enjoy!
The shows will take place at the O2 Arena, and will break the previous record for shows there: Prince's 21-night stand, in 2007.
Aside from the numerous artists that would inevitably be missing from this kind of tribute, we gotta wonder why there's no Prince or Van Halen on here (and why the former didn't cover track #3); and is track #7 some kinda joke?
Tracklisting as follows:
|1. "Just Got Paid" - (originally recorded by ZZ Top) Mastodon|
|2. "Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles" - (originally recorded by Captain Beefheart) The Black Keys|
|3. "A Case Of You" - (originally recorded by Joni Mitchell) Michelle Branch|
|4. "Here Comes A Regular" - (originally recorded by The Replacements) Against Me!|
|5. "More Than This" - (originally recorded by Roxy Music) Missy Higgins|
|6. "Into The Mystic" - (originally recorded by Van Morrison) James Otto|
|7. "Like A Hurricane" - (originally recorded by Neil Young) Adam Sandler|
|8. "You Wreck Me" - (originally recorded by Tom Petty) Taking Back Sunday|
|9. "Burning Down The House" - (originally recorded by Talking Heads) The Used|
|10. "Midlife Crisis" - (originally recorded by Faith No More) Disturbed|
|11. "Paranoid" - (originally recorded by Black Sabbath) Avenged Sevenfold|
|12. "Borderline" - (originally recorded by Madonna) The Flaming Lips with Stardeath And White Dwarfs|
4/18 - Indio, CA [Coachella]
4/21 - Austin, TX
4/22 - Dallas, TX
4/24 - Denver, CO
4/27 - Seattle, WA
According to Rolling Stone, the show will feature "an enormous LED screen, classic films scenes and, of course, John Williams' landmark score," performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir while a "re-edit of all six movies into one 90-minute narrative" is shown on the big screen.
Further European and American dates have yet to be announced.
We gotta be honest, while Zamora--the first openly gay, HIV-positive man on TV--was an activist, educator and inspiring figure to many, we still feel kinda weird about a movie made about a reality TV star.
Yes, he was obviously more than that, but there are many other worthy, HIV-afflicted, activists/educators/role models whose biopics aren't going to be made any time soon.
Here's the trailer:
A few months ago, before this album's scheduled release dated was pushed from late 2008 to March '09, we had the following to say about it:
We don't care if Timbaland used to go record shopping with Mark Arm, roadied for Tad, or cooked up smack with Layne Stayley using one of Artis' spoons, he has helped Chris Cornell squander whatever fan-based goodwill he had left. Period.
Gen-X, you now have your own version of Rod Stewart. [shudder]
We stand by that review, but now on the occasion of its actual release we thought we'd amplify our response to this monstrosity.
In certain circles, Creedence Clearwater Revival's swan song, Mardi Gras [Fantasy-1972] is considered the worst studio album ever released by an artist of certain significance. Well, now it clearly has stiff competition. With Scream, Chris Cornell has unequivocally tossed his hat into this rarefied ring, but at least he's battling it out with legends, huh?
Much has been written about the former Soundgarden/Audioslave frontman's solo outing number three, produced by noted modern day R&B producer Timbaland. It's almost universally negative. And while whatever defenders this record may have will want to blame a close-mined audience for the backlash, it's a bit more complicated than that, even if there is a tiny sliver of validity to their position.
You see, back in 1999--yes, Cornell's been a solo artist almost as long as Soundgarden were around--his debut album Euphoria Morning was met with modest sales and the disappointment of quite a few of his former band's followers, who were obviously expecting a retread of Superunknown [A&M-1994], or something. We praised the album, found it to be a natural progression from the work he'd done with his previous band, and noted how those who were surprised by it had not been paying attention to the evolution of Cornell's songwriting over the last few Soundgarden records. So, yeah, there is something to the people-can-be-intolerant-to-changes-in-an-artist's-musical-path argument. But after Carry On, 2007's mediocre followup to Euphoria Morning--with its limp, misguided cover of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean"--all bets were off.
Of course, a collaboration between a grunge-era icon and the likes of Timbaland was gonna raise eyebrows; that's a given. But it's not the portended and now-realized car-crash outcome of the album that's worriesome--it's the steps taken there. It's the emptiness of Carry On, the touring with Linkin Park; working with Timbaland without a substantive artistic goal; the joining of forces with the likes of Justin Timberlake and John Mayer; and finally, the clumsy symbolism of smashing a guitar--his former musical self?--on the cover of this new album; all of which come across as the acts of man hell-bent on burning, no, blowing up the bridges to his past. Yes, nostalgia can be deadly for an artist wanting to move forward, but was THIS really the best alternate route?!
In the end, the problem is not at all that Cornell chose to make a contemporary R&B record, it's that Scream is assembly-line, Pussycat Dolls/Britney Spears-type tripe of the most uninspired kind. Perhaps if he'd chosen to further explore the inklings of old-school R&B found on "When I'm Down" and "Wave Goodbye", from Euphoria, we might've gotten something interesting this time. Instead we're left pondering the motives and intentions of a major talent, one who is perilously close to dismantling years of hard-earned popularity and acclaim over baffling decisions and half-assed musical attempts at reinvention. Forgive us for the melodrama, but in these times of musical bankruptcy it's a tough blow to witness someone of this stature pointlessly fritter away a career of note for some ill-conceived stab at who knows what. Talk about a mid-life crisis...
Strike two, man.
Police Seize more than $1m from Phish Fans
HAMPTON, Va. – Some Phish fans are leaving Hampton a little lighter than when they arrived for the band's weekend reunion.
Police said Monday they confiscated about $1.2 million in illegal drugs and more than $68,000 in cash from concertgoers. Authorities also arrested 194 Phish fans during the three-night celebration of the band's return to the stage after a nearly five-year absence.
Most of the arrests were for, use and distribution, police said.
Tourism officials had estimated 75,000 fans would be coming to the coastal Virginia city. Nearly 200 law enforcement officers worked the weekend event, with the Vermont-based band picking up the tab.
You guys paid for the narcs? Bummer, dudes. [heh, heh]
I don't want to talk about the merits of U2's new album, No Line on the Horizon. It sucks. It's genius. It's boundary breaking. It's pap. Read the magazine or blog of your choice to get the opinion that matches your own preconceived notions. There's an opinion for everyone, and there's a bit of wisdom in each.
The album is not the point. U2 keeps moving. THAT is the point. And there is a difference between moving and just going. The Stones "go." They are moving on inertia.Every time U2 comes back, we get a chance to rally around something. It's nearly impossible to rally around anything these days except tragedy. Remember when we ALL came together around a band and an album? We gathered together to celebrate each other. The band was there, but they weren't the point. WE were the point. Now we huddle in a million tribes around subgenres, chat rooms, message boards. We sit alone with our cynicism and convince ourselves that nothing is cool, nothing is right, and nothing is worth celebrating. We don't move. We barely even go anywhere.
But U2 keeps moving. They dare to get out, wear their hearts on their sleeves, and demand to be the next big thing. How many dudes pushing 50 have the balls to say, "I'm going to be the next big thing"? There are a million young dudes all standing in line to be the next big thing. They're taking your job, your girl, your place at the bar. The place for dudes pushing 50 is at the back of the line next to the dump bin of Rolling Stones vinyl.
Not so, says U2. Life begins anew each day when we decide to open our arms in front of the crowd that loves to hate. They lead with joy and believe that they can still matter. Maybe they don't. Maybe everyone is laughing behind their backs. In front of their faces. Maybe U2 will have the last laugh. Maybe the album sucks. But who cares? Who else do you know who works this hard in their forties? Except Obama. That guy is definitely busting his ass.
Yes, that last one was from a soundtrack, but you get the point.
But all this talk about a singles-driven marketplace makes it unavoidable for us to see the irony in how technology has affected the music business in a way no one bothers to mention. In other words, the relevance of singles over albums; artists signing all-inclusive deals (recording, management, touring, merchandise)...it's staring to look like the '50s all over again.
One of these days some artist is gonna find themselves face-to-face with the 21st century version of a-Cadillac-in-lieu-of-payment-for-their-work scenario. Let's not kid ourselves: the major labels as we know them may perish, but the bloodsuckers will reinvent themselves and make it happen somehow. Soon. Just you wait.
Donations can be made here.
"...the...singer returns next week with his most unlikely offering. Produced by Timbaland and featuring contributions from John Mayer and even Justin Timberlake...throwing down the guitar (as the cover art symbolically depicts) in favor of continuous dance grooves and hip-hop beats."
If you answered Chris Cornell, we regret to inform you that you are sadly and unfortunately...right. Mayer? Timberlake?! Man...
05/08/09 - West Palm Beach, FL
05/09/09 - Tampa, FL
05/10/09 - Atlanta, GA
05/14/09 - Albuquerque, NM
05/15/09 - Phoenix, AZ
05/16/09 - Chula Vista, CA
05/18/09 - Las Vegas, NV
05/20/09 - Irvine, CA Verizon
05/22/09 - Mountain View, CA
05/24/09 - George, WA [Sasquatch Festival]
05/26/09 - Englewood, CO
05/27/09 - Kansas City, MO
05/29/09 - Chicago, IL
05/30/09 - Noblesville, IN
05/31/09 - Clarkston, MI
06/02/09 - Toronto, ON
06/03/09 - Darien Lake, NY
06/05/09 - Camden, NJ
06/06/09 - Holmdel, NJ
06/07/09 - Wantagh, NY
06/09/09 - Columbia, MD
06/10/09 - Burgettstown, PA
06/12/09 - Charlotte, NC
Not only were The Monkees the first band we ever followed, but one of our favorite tunes of theirs was the first song Tork ever wrote: "For Pete's Sake", the closing theme song during the second season of The Monkees' TV show, sung by bandmate Mickey Dolenz and featured on the band's controversial third album, Headquarters.
All our best to Peter Tork. A speedy recovery to you, sir.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Fallon jumped into night four's opening monologue rather harshly and without pause; Ludacris performed with The Roots (who recently spoke to Rolling Stone about their new late night gig).
NEKO CASE Middle Cyclone (-Anti)
RAUL MALO Lucky One (Fantasy)
PRODIGY Invaders Must Die (Cooking Vinyl)
U2 No Line on the Horizon (Interscope)
MARTY WILSON-PIPER Nightjar (Second Motion)
Plus, here's a few we're looking forward to:
ISIS Wavering Radiant (Ipecac) [May 5]
MASTODON Crack the Skye (Warner Bros) [March 24]
PREFUSE 73: Everything She Touched Turned Ampexian (Warp)
First, it was his infamous treatment of 2002 tourmate Beck--truth be told, he put the Lips in front of the biggest audiences they'd ever played for at that point--who according to Spin, Coyne considered to be "overwhelmed with being famous and being cool or whatever. So I started fucking with him." Nice touch.
He's been yapping about that tour for years now. "So I started fucking with him" doesn't really sound like he was trying to make the best of the situation. Why didn't Coyne just avoid the guy when he wasn't dealing directly with him--we're pretty sure he and Beck weren't joined at the hip 24/7 on that tour--and move on. Jeez.
Fast forward to 2007: in the UK's Guardian, he proceeds to rag on Nirvana's Nevermind calling it a "a poisonous, pernicious influence" and disparagingly compares it to Nickleback (!) while assuming newcomers to the 1991 classic will wonder "What are these drug addicts going on about?” Which is pretty rich coming from a guy whose band’s key musical ingredient is someone who was a raging junkie for a decade.
An appearance at a 2008 festival in Mexico elicited this choice remark from Coyne:
We recently did a festival...and fucking Nine Inch Nails and Stone Temple Pilots were worried about our confetti getting on their little guitar setups. And I'm just like, "Who gives a fuck?"
Now, we weren't there and obviously don't know what exactly went down with NIN and STP, but personally, when we perform live we make sure to get all our crap--gear and otherwise--off the stage for the next band, just out of respect. And, trust us, we're not playing on the same bills as international stars who expect a certain level of professionalism, but it's a courtesy we extend and welcome in return, so there you go. Coyne, meanwhile, needs to make an issue of it and poke fun at easy targets. (We can just imagine Spin readers gushing, "Ooh, he's so cool, sticking it to the big, bloated, rock star prima donnas.") Whatever.
The most recent object of Coyne's scorn are The Arcade Fire, who he skewers in a recent piece in Rolling Stone's "Smoking Section".
We don't care for The Arcade Fire, but Coyne's shit-talking has become a real turn-off. We recommend he leave the trash talk to Noel Gallagher, who's better at it and and actually has a sense of humor. Instead, he should be concentrating on making a decent followup to that crappy At War with the Mystics album and put to rest being the one-man TMZ he's kinda become lately.
Jimmy Fallon's monologue was OK; The Roots were great. Musical guest was Crap Your Pants, um, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Suffice to say, we didn't stay tuned for that nonsense.
PS: This is not a dig at the blog itself. It's just that a bunch of the people commenting on there really need to step back and chill for a bit. Jeez.
Which got us thinking, if U2 were a brand new band we'd wager quite a few of the too cool naysayers always jumping at the chance to knock Bono and co. on a regular basis, would be falling in line as the breathless sycophants they show themselves to be whenever some lame-ass, flavor-of-the-month-blog-band arrives on the scene.
(You know who you are.) But we digress...
Meanwhile over at NBC, the debut of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon got off to a good start, as far as we're concerned. (We'll leave the minutiae to the TV critics.) And that is: his monologue wasn't bad; and The Roots were great. (As was their first-ever comedy bit with Fallon.) Hopefully, the known-to-be hyper host will chill somewhat and find a comfortable groove and succeed in his new job.
No, he was never our guy but he is Conan's successor and we don't want him to fail.
Looks like TV Land got tired of just showing Green Acres reruns, huh?
On a personal note, Schumer's piece did prompt us to re-listen to the album. Upon a couple of spins we immediately remembered why it is one of a handful of discs we actually returned to a record store shortly after purchasing it: Monster isn't the train wreck it's been purported to be over the years; it just sucks. Period.
"I disagreed violently with that. You can't allow other people to put a price on what you do, otherwise you don't consider what you do to have any value at all and that's nonsense.Old fogey who doesn't get it or principled artist? What's your take?
If I put a value on my music and no one's prepared to pay that, then more fool me, but the idea that the value is created by the consumer is an idiot plan, it can't work."
The late, great Miles Davis, after retiring from music in 1975, did not release a studio album for next 6 years, but once he did he continued recording for the next decade until his 1991 passing. While his final batch of studio recordings have their defenders--they're mostly hit-or-miss--sadly, his first salvo from the comeback trail was probably the worst of the lot: the incredibly sub par The Man with The Horn (Columbia-1981), which, for sentimental reasons, we happen to enjoy for the most part, but will readily admit to its bland mediocrity. (The title track is just beyond lame.)
Obviously, we've been thinking about the subject lately and were wondering what albums you guys would put in the same category as The Weirdness and The Man with the Horn. Some of you have made your feelings clear on Guns 'N' Roses' latest, Chinese Democracy, and the rumored upcoming Sex Pistols album, so the inclusion of those two would not be a surprise. (Even though the existence of the latter is hypothetical at this point.) What about Big Star's In Space? Or perhaps Pink Floyd's The Division Bell?
So have at it, people: what worthy artist do you feel squandered the opportunity to return to the good graces of their followers by culminating a prolonged absence with a major dud?