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 EspaƱolsection of your favorite Fernandez Records location in Queens and Brooklyn.

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