Odds and Ends 012
Been Through Less Than They Think, These Guys
Diamond Rugs: Diamond Rugs (Partisan)
Whose songs do you think stick out when the Deer Tick guy convenes yet another roots-rock supergroup with the Black Lips guy and the Dead Confederate guy? ("Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant," "Gimme a Beer") ***
The Obits: "Moody, Standard and Poor" (Sub Pop)
Perpetually PO-ed alt lifers get a grip on it ("I Want Results," "No Fly List") ***
Wavves: Life Sux (Ghost Ramp)
"A joke a stroke of genius/Probably somewhere in between" is tuneful enough, finally, but make that second line "Or only a waste of time?" and we might believe he's got some brain left ("Bug," "Poor Lenore") ***
The Rapture: In the Grace of Your Love (DFA)
Posers have real lives too‑-really‑-only it's really hard to care ("In the Grace of Your Love," "How Deep Is Your Love") ***
Herzog: Cartoon Violence (Exit Stencil)
Pop boys are always facing manhood, but that doesn't always spruce up their songs ("Your Son Is Not a Soldier," "Fuck This Year") **
Surfer Blood: Tarot Classics (Kanine)
EP embraces a maturity they define in part as saving your winners for Warners ("Drinking Problem," "I'm Not Ready") **
Art Brut: Brilliant! Tragic! (The End/Cooking Vinyl)
Guitarist often shines, lyrics often don't ("Clever Clever Jazz," "Bad Comedian") **
The Front Bottoms: The Front Bottoms (Bar/None)
Two-"man" Bergen County Nerd Liberation Front cell finish each other's bellyaches, hire or simulate trumpet commentary ("The Beers," "Maps") *
I'll concede the Mr. Sammler's Planet blows, though. And I have to admit I never considered Henderson one of his great novels.
Greg- Fear not, it was not me that was attacked by crows. They seem to like me for some reason. The Tippi Hedren in question was actually the wonderful Scott Erikson who along with his wife Jennifer were responsible for bringing the band to Wenatchee. The band even stayed at their house.
To your second point about Lisa's vocals in "Waiting Room", she can do no wrong in my eyes/ears. That said, the song worked better in the middle of the set like Wenatchee, rather than leading the show as in NYC and Seattle. Chuck, gentleman that he is likes Lisa to go first. it was "Little Paper Birds" in Wenatchee that kicked off that show. By the time they got to "Waiting Room" Lisa was in a groove.
Imagine my shock 3 days later when their stripped down set started with "Kung Fu Reference" from Lohio. I later told Chuck what the world needed was an **** Pony's comp hand picked by the Chuckster himself. I sure it would be better than my AP mix tape, and mines pretty good. Either that or re-recorded versions with Lisa doing harmonies. "We're doing this comp of Wussy songs in the UK first, but we'll see"
THE ANTI-DEAN'S LIST: SAUL BELLOW
The Adventures of Augie March / A+
Henderson the Rain King / A
The Dean's December / A-
Seize the Day / A-
To Jerusalem and Back / B+
Herzog / B+
Mr. Sammler's Planet / B
Ravelstein / B
Humboldt's Gift / C-
More Die of Heartbreak / D
The Victim / ***
Dangling Man / **
Copyright, 2012 / Puppymaster, Inc.
Hot damn! Emmett Miller! Slim Gaillard! Ella Mae Morse! Bob Wills! Bessie Smith! Leadbelly! Hoosier Hot Shots! Maddox Brothers and Rose! King Oliver! Nana Mouskouri??
Until I saw a larger version of that Herzog album cover I thought the two seals were at a hockey game. I'm not quite getting the joke - "There's a bunch of babies who won't grow up to be seal-clubbers"? Seals are by nature psychotic, so don't hand one a club? A pun on the title that I'm not understanding? Something much more dada?
Whoa, is that an actual commercial radio station??
GP: I read a lot. In poetry, I liked W. H. Auden more than anyone. I loved British writers and the novels I grew up with, Twain, Dickens, and so on. I was not influenced say by Walt Whitman or anyone like that. His freedom was not my freedom, and so it didn’t affect me. But Saul Bellow had begun to write already. He freed the Jewish voice in some ways that I didn’t even recognize, but his work was all about men. Still, for Jews who are crazy about the English language, he was the one.
andVenus and Mars
,but I had the Beatles albums, my brother had the McCartney albums, and when I moved out I never felt the need to replenish them. Still can't figure out why "Beware My Love" isn't on
Wingspan,it’s two CDs for chrissakes. [Been trying to correct this screwy post in editing, but it won't let me.]
I've been almost-attacked by crows (as in their little feet grazing the top of my head) in Seattle several times. They get mean in nesting season.
Current listening: In just the last few days the ultra-oldies station (playlist goes from 1900 to around 1955) I listen to in the car I've heard the original versions of "The Old Man From the Mountain," "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" and "The Call of the Wild Goose" (by Frankie Laine, with one of the most hilariously eccentric arrangements I've ever heard. Every time I hear the bit about the "wandering foot" I think that it sounds like one of those afflictions that has its own medication advertised on TV - the kind where half the commercial is taken up with negative side effects).
Am also wondering if John S. is the "friend from Wenatchee" in the Seattle Pike Place post described as being attacked by the crow.
about the blogger
Starting in 1967, Robert Christgau has covered popular music for The Village Voice, Esquire, Blender, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He teaches in New York University's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, maintains a comprehensive website at robertchristgau.com, and has published five books based on his journalism. He has written for MSN Music since 2006.
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