Saturday, February 25, 2006

Okay, the greatest mystery in my pop canon...

Why is Jordan Knight from the NKOTB wearing a Bauhaus shirt in The Right Stuff video?" I mean, for at least ten years I have pondered this, and no one believes me, but now, ha, it's clearly visible in the shots of the band riding around in the convertable. And they end up chasing girls in a graveyard. Think about this, pre-Hot Topic, pre-punk revival....where the hell would a boy band member get a Bauhaus shirt? (fyi his admitted musical taste has always been of the Motown and pianist variety...The Stylistics, Elton John etc. I have never heard of Jordan name dropping post-punk bands in an interview)

Doubly confusing, but alas, invisible in the quality of the video I found, is Jonathan Knight wearing a Sugarcubes shirt under his orange shirt in the Hangin Tough video (or the extended, Hangin Tough live video). This is 1989! Again...was this some hipster working in the wardrobe department. (The NKOTB wardrobe manager/groupie recruiter Uncle Rob was an idiot pedophile...spare me from accusations of slander, I talked to the guy on the phone when I was 13 and he was an absolute pervert. If he was a record collector nerd things may have been quite different. Ewww, like I have to defend myself, here are is a note he wrote to me after I complied with his request to send some photos...)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I'm on YouTube. With treats from the Wedding Present, Tullycraft, Tender Forever, Harvey Danger, the Mae Shi, and more to come...okay, and some stupid videos of my friends and I screwing around or having innane conversations. Enjoy.

Of course, be aware that YouTube is addicting...things like a Comet Gain video from MTV's Alternative Nation, or Morrissey on the bus with a bunch of kids, or Magnetic Fields videos....

And, for those of us who believe Morrissey could never make too many records, now he's got one with the FBI as well.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I actually recognize four of artists in the Whitney Biennial this year...Daniel Johnston, Momus, Jim O'Rourke, and Martha Colburn...disturbing...its like an early nineties college radio music director gone art snob...
This is how rumors get started, thank you Mr. Stephen Cramer, now, I feel ethically icky about reposting someone else's entire story/post/article without their permission, but it's short and sweet:
on friday night, jeff griggs informed me of a masters of the hemisphere reuinion in april at the 40 watt during the annual twilight criterium bike race. "yeah, if you know any nerds who were into the masters, let em know." so, here i am, letting u know. show will be like $3 at the door.

The Masters of the Hemisphere were my introduction to Athens pop, they came through Olympia in 2000 and played live on my friend Karen's radio show.

However loveable the Masters were, Sean Rawl's Still Flyin is da bomb. It's all the name Dub Narcotic promised and never delivered...really spectacular for a bunch of indie kids....

What is more disturbing about the March 2006 of Playboy...a little interview with Stuart Murdoch or a fashion spread that begins "Whether you listen to hip-hop or indie pop, you want to dress like a rock star. Here's how"?

Summing up Stuart: he was "mystified" by Belle and Sebby being voted the best Scottish band of all time, the band has become "tougher and more rocking", and he has a "fondness for the Mets"

Good news-ish, no actual indiepopstrs were actually photographed for that fashion spread. Really, boys, keep on the argyle sweaters and ill fitting suit jackets, occasionally wear a pair of pants that are too tight, and that's all the fashion I care to see...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentines Day.
I figured having no one was better than having someone who always seemed to screw it up. Not that I don't screw it up. Every year I seem to accumulate another box of Hello Kitty cards I forget to give out.

But a small miracle happened that my other called to say he'd be passing through town tonight. I found myself speeding home from work, stopping to buy a box of condoms and feeling really sorry for the guy in front of me that was loaded down with a basket of candy and cards.

A quick fuck followed by a single cigarette, intimate conversation, and loneliness by midnight. Like all relationship decisions, I must verify this with the Radio 8 Ball..."Should I keep going with this?" Answer: Andy Dick and the Bitches of the Century, "Cock and Balls" (gist-I'd give up all the booze and drugs if I can keep my genitals...wierdly accurate.)

Tomorrow I plan no such romance, but an excuse to wear a ridiculous combination of pink and red and glitter to work, display erotic books and movies for our patrons, and eat lots of candy. Oh yeah, and the live version of Radio 8 Ball is on KAOS Radio tomorrow night. Honestly, not a lot of indie pop will be played, and after Cars Can Be Blue's in studio performance, I'm not sure if I'll ever be allowed to reccomend a band again, but the overall quality of the entertainment, the wonderous nature of the oracle, is something I am very enchanted by.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Congradulations to the Three Imaginary Girls for a SOLD OUT 69 Love Songs Pre-Valentine's Day bash at the Crocodile. As usual, I'm too tired to write detailed stuff, so J can harass me about not writing a show review, and then in a few days I may have more to say...but come on, but there is a certain band I would comment on every post if I didn't stop myself....for instance, how the lead singer was wearing a Bunnygrunt shirt last night and we all can say:

YAY for the East Coast Bunnygrunt tour this spring. It looks like Bunny Matt is just starting to book/plan the tour...hmmm...perhaps I need a vacation?

And for a bit of liberal guilt, watch Blue Vinyl. From the milk crate storage to the computer, from the lamp in the corner to the record collection. I'm shacked up with plastic products that release dioxin at various points in their consumer cycle (oh yeah, and those toys under the bed too). The film does reiterate that vinyl is most toxic when burned (ie if your house is on fire)...but firsthand I can say you can get a nasty respitory reaction from plain old stupidity like letting a vinyl office chair roll up against a gas heater for a half hour. Or when you get asked "what would you save if your house was on fire"- your record collection is actually a practical answer because left to burn it could very well be the most toxic part of your apartment.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Okay, and gossip today, although I'm hesitant to BELIEVE anything I read in the Onion, I want to believe that Johnny Marr is working with Modest Mouse. But I suppose I can suspend my disbelief, like pretending thatMorrissey is not gray

I will be attending the Three Imaginary Girls Pre-Valentines Day 69 Love Songs bash on Thursday in Seattle. I came across Sean Nelson and His Mortal Enemies's setlist in my investigations, although the Harvey Danger frontman goes on last, he's got dibs on "Busby Berkley Dreams", "Underwear", "The Death Of Ferdinand De Saussure", and one more...(again, only insignificant gossip can be posted here, because I'm sure I'm half wrong).

Other Magnetic Fields news...Stephen is working on a cd of songs to accompany the final book in Lemony Snickett's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Yes, book 13 will be the end of our adventures with the Baudelaire orphans, and the book and cd will hopefully be ready for an October 13th release. I think you can get a sneak peak of the album by finding the audio books of the Unfortunate Events, with songs from The Gothic Archies already released.

Ohhhh I just discovered Redd Kross podcasts hosted by Jeff McDonald. The amount of new music available online is only trumped by the random information on music you already listen to that you can spend time looking at.

Or freaking out that, Now back in the studio, Redd Kross are working on a new release for 2006."

I've spend more time looking at Evan Dando photos than Supercult porn recently, and I pay for that shit yo. Right after I paid, I realized I paid for a site that has no photos of hot boys.

Wandered further until I found myself re-reading Kathleen Hanna's zine, My Life With Evan Dando, Popstar. Ah...

"I put on my headphones,
And I tune out
I am devout
The girls are singing about my life
But they're not here, they've got the wild life

If you want to find out, find out
Youv'e got to look them in the eye
That's why my only choice
Is to find the face behind the voice...."
Belle and Sebastian
Act of the Apostle II

So I hope to find time to read
I'll Take You There: Pop Music and the Urge for Transcendence soon. . I watched The Gospel According to Jesus this afternoon but fell asleep, slowly getting through Good Catholic Girls and Restless Souls: The Making of American Spirituality and I cracked openThe Confessions of St. Augustine this evening as well. I'm also still thinking about What God Wants.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Belle and Sebastian, Of Montreal, Evan Dando, David Bowie

I probably wouldn't have left the house tonight if the boy from the record store didn't call me to say my copy of Belle and Sebastian's The Life Pursuit was in. I was gifted a copy last Tuesday from a friend with superior computer skills, also breaking the traditional Death Cab for cutie album he usually gets me for my birthday.

I had a birthday gift certificate, so I also got a Marine Girls record, a Matty Pop Chart CD, a Jad Fair CD, and a Pete Seeger record.

I almost hate Sukie in the Graveyard. What is up with the photos of Tatu all over the liner notes? Granted this time the band also included tastefully moody monchromatic portraits of themselves. Where can I get a bootleg poster of giant close up shot of Stuart like I had of Evan Dando in 93? After twenty minutes of Dando oggling, I realized I'd rather have a poster of Stevie to gaze at.

So I didn't actually say how the Of Montreal show at Chop Suey on Tuesday was. Wow. First of all, there are a lot fewer hippies at their shows in Seattle than in Athens. So Chop Suey smelled better than the 40 Watt in August, but it was way too crowded to dance. And what the hell is the fun of seeing Of Montreal if you can't dance? They opened up with Rapture Rapes the Muses so I was spared the anticipation of hearing my favorite song. Kevin Barnes does glam so well. I love the glitter and the rhinestones and the blue eyeshadow and the whole lovely rock and roll icon worship. I felt like the crowd was packed so tight it was absorbing some of the sound. But the biggest difference between them as an experimental pop band and a glam pop band? I'm thinking "lip synching controversy" if they keep sounding this good live.

The opening acts were almost unmentionable.

I was hoping to find a copy of All Saints for S's birthday, but I think I did even better: an autographed copy of Angela Bowie's "Backstage Passes". I read this a few years after it came out, but I remember her going on Oprah and talking about the book and how she caught David in bed with Mick Jagger. Hotttttttttt! Seriously, at a time when I hadn't read much porn, reading about "the much fabled Lance of Love" sent me into a tizzy. Z and I used to watch Labyrinth and The Hunger for the same reason.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Truely Tweevil: K Records @ Evergreen and how to do interviews

I may backpost, may add photos, but for now, lets just look at the state of my indierockpoplife in Washington State. Or at least the last week of it. Actually, I'm tired after just writing about three events....soooo....

A week ago, Thursday January 26
Calvin Johnson/Mt. Eerie/Kimya Dawson
Evergreen Housing Community Center, Olympia WA
I drove out to Yelm to pick up S so we got there toward the end of Calvin's set. He's doing a wonderful country crooner kinda thing now. There was a period not too long ago where he was trying to experiment with his live performances, but since his tour with Tender Forever I've seen him play twice with just straight up singing and a bit of storytelling in between.
(paraphrased) Calvin said:
"I went to Evergreen in the early 90s and I see something here tonight that I never saw back then. Right there, someone is studying."

Second up was Mt. Eerie. Okay, I try. I've seen Phil play about once every six months for the past few years, and in 98-00 I think I saw him play almost once a month as the Microphones. Having seen basically the entire evolution of his career as a musician, and being completely in love with the early Microphones recordings, I still had to make the snarky comment to S that almost every song he plays as Mt. Eerie sounds like a soundcheck. He's deconstructing our notions of what songs are. He's singing about nature. The structure of verse chorus verse is completely gone. This makes me feel anxious. I never know if a song is ending or beginning. My hands freeze midair as I go to clap a the wrong moment. I just don't like it.

Now Kimya Dawson on the other hand, I find to be beautiful and graceful and wonderous. I'm a little uncomfortable tonight as she's just announced her pregnancy to the world and, well, I'm childfree and spend a lot of energy making fun of breeders. While she's working her merch booth during Calvin's set I smile at her, pat my stomach and give her the thumbs up anyway. But her set is a nice mix of just intriguing and insightful songs, sometimes punctuated by awkwardness at really personal stuff coming through like songs about babies and parenting.
But she told a cute story, and I paraphrase:
"I went to Evergreen. Mirah and I used to work here when it was the Greenery Cafe. After hours we would dance on the tables and sing DeLites "The Groove is in the Heart. She would say "You have such a cool voice, you should sing!" and I would say "No, you have such a cool voice, you should sing!" but neither of us were writing music back then."

January 31st
Of Montreal @ Chop Suey, Seattle WA
So I did a zine ages ago and people were always writing to me asking for advice on how to make a zine. My friend J and I had a perfect lesson at the Of Montreal here is "How to interview awesome bands for your zine."
1. Come up with some questions, and a bunch of topics you're interested in and can have an intelligent conversation about (ie books, radio, recording equipment etc. are generally safe bets)
2. Make phone calls to management/record label etc. to set up an interview
3. If you can't set up an interview, or if things fall through at some step of the process, bring your recording equipment to the show anyway
4. At the show, find the tour manager. Assuming this is an indie rock thing, ask the person selling merch if s/he is touring with the band.
5. Okay, now, any of the above steps can and should be skipped if you can properly identify the person in the band you want to interview. When you see her/him, go up and say "I'm supposed to interview you for (whatever). Can we do it tonight?" See, the general chaos of a tour coupled with a desire for publicity and/or a general sense of niceness means you will very rarely get a "no" (I have NEVER heard a no, but being female may help) . If you must namedrop the people you talked to (ie the manager at my radio station, your tour manager, your label etc.) IF THEY EXIST (if you are really desperate, you don't even really need to have talked to these people, when I was younger, I bullshitted plenty of major labels by saying they had send me publicity materials for bands I liked...I loved it "did we send you a press kit?" "oh yes, that's where I got your number" bullshit I got the number by having multiple secretaries pass me along until I got to the important people.)
6. Once you sit down with your recorder, it's really hard to go wrong. Oh I could talk about interview etiquitte but you may as well read Writers Digest for that. You're going to act nervous and ramble on and interrupt your interview subject etc. but they know you're a college radio dj or zine writer and this isn't NPR or Harper's. Either they're in a well known band and have been through this before, or they're just starting out and are too excited to be interviewed that you have nothing to worry about. That said, the best interview technique I have ever learned is to shut up and wait for the interviewee to talk. Seriously. Don't fill in silences because they feel awkward, let the other person feel awkward and fill in those silences. Okay, now I should remind myself of this every day with every person I talk to, but it comes out when I'm giving expert advice that I can't really take.

Now, the best part about this ,and I don't want to get into a indie vs. non debate, the general idea is if the band only has a handful of screaming high school girls in the front row and you are not one of them, you can probably get an interview...then again, as a screaming high school girl, I got interviews from plenty of bands desperate for publicity either by showing up or via phone, which is a whole nother story.

February 1, after returning home from Damien Jurardo @ the Doug Fir Lounge in Portland, OR
So I sent an e-mail to Teenbeat to update my e-mail address, but in an impulse I added: MARK ROBINSON PLEASE COME BACK TO OLYMPIA! (That is what I'm really thinking).

So I fell out of my chair last night when he wrote back and said maybe someday. Okay, I knew he's probably the only person who works there. Does anyone else remember getting Teenbeat records in the early-mid 90s with the catalog inserts that said they were always looking for help in the office? Sigh, or the time I thought my head would explode because Calvin did not kick me out of Dub Narcotic when I had no other reason to be there but to listen to him and Mark play back recordings so I could gloat while they worked on the finer points of production (honestly, I was wondering WHY he was recording at Dub Narcotic, because he gave such an awesome sound to everything he produced that I thought was far superior to the fidelity of D.N. studio....I mean, even Cold Cold Hearts sounded jangly when Mark Robinson was at the dials.)