Saturday, January 31, 2009


Warped Coasters made an analytical error. The best of 2008 list dismissed Canadian hardcore act Fucked Up as an artist "I could give two shits about." Apparently I did not hear the nuance below the screaming. The guitars are actually pretty interesting, and as someone that isn't exactly a regular hardcore listener, I should have given the band a better chance. The track "Crooked Head" is pretty fucking vicious and worthwhile. Sometimes I have a hard time getting past the lack of melody in the vocal lines, but there is plenty of melody paired with arty dissonance laying just under the surface. And his voice is fucking angry. Thank god for anger.
Warped Coasters regrets the error.

Twice Born - Fucked Up

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


2009 is already shaping up to be a good year for music. Previous posts provided links to stream the new Animal Collective disc (which is living up to the hype - I just received my copy in the mail today), new M. Ward album (sounds as good as 2006's "Post War") and the new Andrew Bird album (I haven't listened yet).

On the horizon is self described flower-punk act The Black Lips follow up to its breakthrough 2007 album, "Good Bad not Evil." The new record, "200 Million Thousand," drops on February 24.

Wilco I believe is set to release a new record this year, I dunno when, let's hope they take a couple big steps away from 2007's boring and guitar-cliche riddled "Sky Blue Sky."

And on March 24 the Decemberists will release their concept album "The Hazards of Love" (how many times will Meloy using the word beyonette? listen to find out ...).
You can download a track off the album here:

Throw in a couple debuts like last year's Fleet Foxes and Vampire Weekend and the decade might just close out on the right foot. Oh yeah, its time for a new White Stripes album, too, but Jack's been pretty fucking busy with the Raconteurs ... we can always hope.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

More for inpatient and cheap motherfathers

NPR's first listen page has even more of my most anticipated albums of 2009 for free and unlimited listen. Buy the discs anyway, assholes.

M. Ward - "Hold Time"

His 2006 disc "Post War" is brilliant and I have yet to get his 2008 "She & Him" collabo with Zooey Deschanel. The new album wont be released until February 17.

Fans of Wilco and Ryan Adams need apply.

Andrew Bird - "Noble Beast"

I am but an Andrew Bird beginner. The multitalented violinist/indie pop genius has released a whole gang of albums, but I only have scatter shot knowledge. Time to figure it all out before this actually drops. Dammit, it came out today (01-20-09)

Monday, January 19, 2009

"Marge vs. the monorail"

(the following premise is thin at best)
Homer asked the eternal question, "Donuts, is there anything they can't do?" And as that classic Simpson's episode demonstrated, there is little donuts are not capable of, from stopping a cheap monorail gone rogue, to filling the belly of TV's favorite yellow dad. But what happens when donuts go bad?
1. They kill Jack Nance.
Nance starred as the titular character in David Lynch's disturbing black-n-white trip into nightmare and domestication, "Eraserhead." Nance had a resemblance to Tim Robbins (even with that "Eraserhead" hairdo) and was cast in every Lynch feature after the above-mentioned until "The Elephant Man."
Nance met his fateful end not attempting a stunt, or leaving the Viper Room, but while buying donuts at the wrong time. In December, 1996 he was involved in a physical altercation with two men in a Winchell's donut shop, and was struck in the head. A friend came and checked on him the next day only to find him dead.
Donuts 1 - Mankind 0

2. They kill JFK.
Urban legend persists that Kennedy allegedly made an embarrassing grammatical error in a 1963 speech in Berlin by saying "Ich bin ein Berliner," referring to himself not as a citizen of Berlin, but as a donut. By adding the "ein," his statement implied he's a non-human Berliner, thus "I am a jelly doughnut."
According to wikipedia, the sentence would not have been misconstrued in context by Germans, and the story only persists in this country.

The AV Club pointed me in the direction of the 1985 song "Ich Bin Ein Berliner" by the Ed Gein Fan Club. The punk band turned Kennedy's famous faux pas into a macabre jest about assassination conspiracy, claiming Lee Harvey Oswald was so infuriated by Kennedy's mistake that he "plugged him in his head." If JFK had not died, RFK would not have run for president until years later. Separated by time from the tumultuous and (assassination-happy) '60s, he might still be alive today. Without the deaths of his two brothers, Ted Kennedy would not have been driven to drinking and the resulting death of his babysitter. Having a healthy family support system, JFK Jr. would not have needed to jolt his adrenaline by flying planes, saving his life along with his wife and sister in-law.
Donuts 7 - Mankind 0

3. They inspire home-grown terrorists.
Rachel Ray received a perky-smile crushing amount of heat from rightwing wackos with nothing better to do when she wore a keffia in a Dunkin' Donuts commercial last year. The keffia is the traditional scarf of the Palestinian people, and recent accessory to detached hipsters everywhere. Dunkin' Donuts pulled the ad after Ray's obviously malicious and vile attempt to inspire Americans to throw homemade bombs at Israel fell apart after one, um, pull of the thread.
Donuts (incalculable, horrific damage) - Mankind 1

4. They kill us in greater numbers than cigarettes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 1987 every state had an obesity rate under 15 percent. In 2007, every state recorded an obesity rate higher than 20 percent, save Colorado, and most states hovered around the 30 percent mark. I blame it all on donuts.
Donuts (impending Armageddon) - Mankind 1

I love donuts.

For all you impatient (and cheap) motherfathers out there

You can listen to Animal Collective's entire new album "Merriweather Post Pavilion," due out on CD tomorrow (1-20-09), here:

If no time for the full album, at least check out the track "My Girls."

go buy it, assholes.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The best song of all time ...

is easily the soul classic "A Change Is Gonna Come," originally written and recorded by Sam Cooke in 1963. Otis Redding's version is my personal favorite (preferably played as loud as possible, late night with a cig and beverage), but its been covered countless times, some of which I already had, some I did not. Of the traditional-soul takes, Redding, Aretha Franklin (who adds a bit of a jam to it,awesome) and Cooke destroy, any other conventional soul attempt is redundant (Al Green, etc). Singing of this kind isn't exactly Dylan's strong suit, but it still works. And the Cold War Kids version sounds a bit affected, but it would still be fun as shit to hear live.

1. Otis Redding
This always makes me think of the scene in "The Sandlot" with the kids on the baseball diamond watching the 4th of July fireworks.

2. Sam Cooke

A Change Is Gonna Come - Sam Cooke

3. Aretha Franklin

Al Green

Cold War Kids - (No video available)

Some dood on youtube

Brother Jack McDuff

A Change is Gonna Come - Brother Jack McDuff

Bob Dylan

"I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass.... and I'm all out of bubble gum."

We all owe Rowdy Roddy Piper some appreciation for our new president-elect.

The former wrestler starred in John Carpenter's cult classic 1988 action/horror flick "They Live," a sly commentary on Reagen-era consumerism and single-mindedness. In the film, Piper steals a pair of sunglasses from an extremist group that, when worn, reveal our planet's horrifying reality. Half the humans walking the streets and all the humans in power are, in fact, aliens in disguise. Billboard advertisements are actually mind-controlling propaganda. The film inspired Shepherd Fairey's ubiquitous Andre the Giant "Obey" art campaign. Well, it's the same Shepherd Fairey who (with infinite cred thanks to his vigilante "Obey" work) designed the iconic Obama poster that could not have hurt building the president-elect's brand and message (and probably garnered a few accidental votes along the way).
So, once again thank you Rowdy Roddy Piper, for your deadpan reading of Carpenter's script, for your choreographing of the never-ending fight scene in the alley (which was also spoofed nearly shot-for-shot by South Park) and for making a movie so bad ass it inspired an artist who then inspired millions in a presidential race.
Not bad for a meat head in a mullet.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Me, middle school again

I dusted off my copy of Cake's platinum-selling, yet still under-appreciated 1996 album "Fashion Nugget." It brought me back to getting off the school bus, zoned in on the tunes squirting out the Walkman into my ear drums through some big-ass headphones as I walked down the hallway extra slow, sneering at my classmates with an undeserved sense of cultural superiority. Nostalgia's a bitch, and I felt like making the playlist I would have at that age if I had a CD burner.

1) Cake - Nugget
2) Cake - Italion Leather Sofa
3) Beck - Devil's haircut
4) Beck - Where It's At
5) Rage Against the Machine - No Shelter
6) Rage Against the Machine - Bulls on Parade
7) Eels - Mr. E's Beautiful Blues
8) Eels - Grace Kelly Blues
9) Pearl Jam - Daughter
10) Ben Folds Five - One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces
11) Ben Folds Five - Battle of Who Could Care Less
12) Nirvana - Man Who Sold the World
13) Green Day - Hitchin' A Ride
14) Green Day - Long View
15) Blink 182 - Dammit
16) Dave Matthews Band - So Much to Say
17) Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band - Blue on Black
18) Jimi Hendrix - Purple Haze
19) Led Zeppelin - Black Dog
20) Nirvana - In Bloom

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

More MS Paint stuff

Collages by me, images downloaded via Google

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My how our governors grow up fast

We Illinoisans are lucky. We had the privilege of hating Blagojevich for six years while the rest of the country have only been exposed to his wonderful world of self aggrandizement and delusions of grandeur for a few weeks. Now when I turn on the Daily Show or Colbert Report, it's like they joined my club, as they destroy his "muskrat smuggling" hairdo or riff on his emperor-has-no-clothes press conferences.

Watching Blago shoot shit-colored rainbows onto the brows of journalists, just hours after his impeachment, was almost enough to bring a tear to my cold, cold blue eyes. But our little Blago has grown up so much. It seems like just yesterday everyone in my hometown — the capital of Illinois, Springfield — couldn't stand the fact that he refused to move to the governor's mansion and remained living in the Chicago area. The man flew a taxpayer-funded jet to the capital whenever he had actual "work" to do, which we now know means shaking down a children's hospital, or anything else that only he would think he could get away with.

Friday's post-impeachment press conference was the best 15 minutes of political television I have ever watched. He spoke for at least 10 minutes about his wonderfully irrelevant health care reforms, but managed to avoid his shady deal to bring in foreign meds that he knew couldn't be sold here. He even implied that his scandal and impeachment was all political payback because he had been such a steward of the people. After reading his laundry list of accomplishments, the man pointed to an uncomfortable crowd of disease survivors (beneficiaries of his benevolent gubernatorial work) he shamelessly propped on stage like a scandal-deflecting force field. As John Stewart said, Blago acts like we can't see him, and it would just be too awkward for us to, you know, spoil the moment by telling him he's less than a little transparent.

The magnificently staged bullshit ended with a poetry reading, a fucking POETRY READING, and not a mention of his pending trial in the Senate, nor even a slight break or pause from his infinite hubris. Like the slime flowing underneath NY in Ghostbusters II (haha), he is a creation generated by the populous' growing cynicism, hatred and unflinching post-modern shame.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

More fun with MS Paint

Collage by me, images downloaded via google

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fun with MS Paint

Collages by me, images downloaded via google

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Let's go see "The Hottie and the Nottie"!!!

Apparently film distributors don't think central Illinois folk are sophisticated enough to watch anything worth viewing.

For years I've wondered why none of the critic-lauded fare ever makes it to the local multiplexes. I always assumed the theater owners had at least some say, and plenty of poor taste. Thursday's Cue section of the Journal Star interviewed local theater owners and industry insiders about why "Milk," "The Wrestler," "Rachael Getting Married," "Revolutionary Road," "Frost/Nixon," and other Oscar fare have not yet run through Peoria's projectors. As it turns out, owners of the Rave and Willow Knowles really don't have a say in bringing decent cinema. It's common practice for distributors to slowly roll out the critic darlings in big cities, to garner buzz without spending money on advertising. One would expect that when the film goes into wide release, it would end up here. Not so. I eagerly anticipated "Synecdoche, New York," but as far as I know it never made it, even after going into wide release. According to Danielle Hatch's article, "It's up to when the distributors want to make a given film available to a given market."

It's not like these are esoteric and abstract noise-art projects. "Synecdoche" was written and directed by Andy Kaufman, writer of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "Being John Malcovitch," and "Adaptation," some of the best films and inventive writing of the last 20 years, and all three have a pretty wide following.

The distributors are probably right not to waste the celluloid on unappreciative eyes. I attended one night of Peoria's annual Film Noir festival at the historic Apollo Theater. The ornately refurbished theater plays host to a week of classic noir from the genre's golden era of the '40s, to revisionist works from modern decades. My friend and I were two of only 10 people in the audience, despite the fact that the showing was free (with a suggested donation), and gourmet appetizers were provided by a local caterer free-of-charge. Notable speakers provided insight into the period and film before and after each double bill that week. The event was widely publicized in the arts section of the Journal, and columnist Steve Tarter puts the whole thing together. It's not like nobody knew about the damn thing, people just don't care about good film in small-sized cities. Maybe it's a result of years of conditioning provided by the culture barons living on the coasts. At least Peoria has an "art house" cinema, even if it does only show films sparingly, and rarely shows any new foreign or indie cinema.

What is showing in Peoria defines crass. Nine of the 17 movies currently in theaters locally received a 1.5 star-or-less rating from the AP film reviewer printed in the Journal. Five of the 17 received 2 stars. Only THREE of the 17 movies received a three star rating or better. Enjoy your night at the movies, fuckers.