Oh--You Mean Those Beatles
Cotton Mather: Kontiki (Deluxe Edition) (Star Apple Kingdom)
Pieced together in 1997 from impulsively conceived, doggedly recorded scraps of DAT and four-track by Austin mastermind Robert Harrison and a Memphis tape wizard who loved how Big Star the band was, Cotton Mather's second album caught the attention of some British Beatles fanatics d/b/a Oasis, who brought them over to open and even generated some U.K. sales. While allowing his vocal resemblance to "John Lennon with a Southern accent and a head cold," Harrison's extensive notes don't cite the Beatles much even though "My Before and After" resembles "Ticket to Ride" more than its supposed inspiration "(Reach Out) I'll Be There" and "Private Ruth" echoes "For No One" straight up. Harrison is no more a genius than Noel Gallagher, so though the lyrics aren't spaced-out gibberish or obvious pap, they're unequal to the music‑-which definitely beats, for instance, the last three songs on the first Big Star album, and even more remarkable, kind of makes you appreciate Oasis. (N.B.: I'm recommending the Deluxe because it's new and much cheaper, not because I expect ever to listen to its alternates and new ones for anything except the research I presume is now complete.) B PLUS
Oasis: Stop the Clocks (Sony BMG '06)
One of the many things I never got about this band was where the Beatles were. Where was the ebullience, the wit, the harmonies, God just the singing, and, uh, the songwriting? Cotton Mather made me understand that when Oasis say they love the Beatles they really mean they love the post-Help!, pre-Sgt. Pepper Beatles. Since that span encompasses Rubber Soul and Revolver, many would say tally ho, but (a) not me 'cause I love the Beatles start to finish and (b) only if you're writing songs as good as, uh, "We Can Work It Out." Instead Oasis, meaning loudmouth bro Noel Gallagher, write songs that resemble "We Can Work It Out" in thickened texture and momentum but not depth or charm, then add arena size in the swagger of the drums and the bigged-up vocals themselves. This band-selected best-of‑-two discs lasting 87 minutes, like an old-fashioned double-LP except it's only 18 tracks‑-capture their sonic moment as fully as any freelance music historian needs. A 2010 package repeats 11 of these songs and adds 16 others‑-too many, I say. Also, it omits the opening "Rock 'n' Roll Star." If ever there were guys whose message to the world is summed up by an opener called "Rock 'n' Roll Star," it's these bigheads. B PLUS
And here's wishing you good luck!
Ryan- I can tell how important this is to you-all respect.
The only thing I figure they may want is something more commercial.
After all they want to sell this series not just print it.
So between these six-day, 50+ hour weeks installing and servicing sprinklers across suburban New Jersey, I’ve been hard (but not hard enough) at work on my own attempt at a 33 1/3 proposal. I’m giving my fair shot at The Meadowlands, since a) I ****ing adore the Wrens and have been absorbing their very manageable discography for months and months, b) I’m right here in New Jersey, still despondent about my own sense of failure and working a manual labor grind between sessions of pretending I’m a songwriter, and c) 2013 will be the album’s tenth anniversary, so it all just sort of feels right. And truly, what with all the Wrens songs about post-adolescent misery and the inability to self-motivate (plus those couple of dropped references to rock-splitting), I’ve rarely felt closer to a single artist’s music. (I mean, I don't always relate to the Go-Betweens' deeply felt watercolor poetry).
Most of you are probably thinking, “uh-oh, Ryan’s in over his head again (naturally)”. And I’m perfectly aware that the publishers of the series are probably pretty selective, and that a guy with nary a CV credit bar his whatever-it-is blog and a few months of volunteer writing at a shitty DFW weekly (though they loved me!) stands a significantly slim chance at even being momentarily mulled by [whoever just bought the series]. In fact, Charles Bissell divulged to me via e-mail that he himself has been turned down by those guys: "I had submitted proposals for some 33 1/3 possibilities a few years back but they were all given the 'what else do you have in mind?' stamp. 'Til Tuesday, ok, I can see why, but I'd also submitted Slanted & Enchanted, Exile in Guyville, the 2nd Springsteen album...”
Still, I can’t help but feeling that maybe some of the compliments I’ve gotten around here might mean something (the dangers of praising young people with undeveloped potential!), and really, if that clown who did the Wowee Zowee book can get it, a proposal is at least worth trying. But with a touch over two weeks to go ‘til I send it in, I should probably stifle my embarrassment and open up the question to this ever-invaluable community: could anybody here who knows just a little bit more about this kind of thing (i.e. everybody) give me whatever general advice comes to mind about maybe increasing my odds here? Because truth be told, however unlikely, I really do want this opportunity.
Cheers & love,
Me, the misser, the late
OK, now you young folks can go back to talking about sex. Play safe! And please don't text and drive.
Thanks for listening Irene, glad you enjoyed it. I'm not the most fluent Irish speaker in the world but I can get by talking between records.
Picnic sex might be a good theme for a show, plenty of good stuff mentioned below. My pick would be James Brown, can't remember which song it is, "I got ants in my pants and I need to dance!"
This has always puzzled me: Is an orgasm cumming, or is it something else entirely (movies often depict an orgasm, to be an other-worldly thing.) If it is, indeed, what females refer to as cumming, I don't think it's hard, to make a girl cum (but, hay, that's just me--haha).To quote Bob Marley, "so much things to say right now." But where to begin???
For being so assured in your ability, you're awfully unclear on key points. So here's the deal: cumming is when a girl is faking it, whereas orgasm is when it's real. We're living in a century of fakers after all.
This has always puzzled me: Is an orgasm cumming, or is it something else entirely (movies often depict an orgasm, to be an other-worldly thing.) If it is, indeed, what females refer to as cumming, I don't think it's hard, to make a girl cum (but, hay, that's just me--haha). Are we including squirting here? Stop me, when you've had enough. Anyone eating their cereal yet? I think I've mistaken this for a lad's forum!
7-9 referred to minutes, dearie.
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.