Friday, May 06, 2005

weezer!

New Weezer album is streaming from http://myspace.com/weezer.

After first lesson: nothing sensational. It's good, but it doesn't seem to have the same depth, overall, as other albums. I'll let it sink in before forming an actual opinion.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

expansion

Along with the syndication/relocation to the Experience, I'm changing the focus of EMJ! a bit, broadening it to make it more of a culture thing than just music (I mean, maybe this will give me an excuse to update it more).

Also, there will be mammoth posts about things weekly to uh, provide more regular content. Since it hasn't quite been regular. This is always a work in progress, though and mind that myself and Tveite have lives.

Now uh, this new direction doesn't mean that all I'll do is talk about bullshit television shows or anything. It means that when I really like something outside of the realm of music, then it'll be noted and filed and the rest of you will have to put up with it. I also would like to take a pledge to be more entertaining coming up.

Whatever. I think I have all of one reader left anyway.

But getting onto more pressing matters, concert reports from the Pixies at Merriweather and Dylan at the Baysox Stadium will be coming after I attend them. Since I'm not going to Bonnarroo but have friends who are, I make have a report from them. I feel like a reporter, or something.

In the pipeline for this weekend: DualDisc, and is it any good? a look at the Rolling Stone article on Weezer; Psychonauts, one of the best video games you might never play; and I might even get around to renting Dig and offering up some opinions on that.

Eat My Justice! soon to be more fortified with vitamin I-RULE than ever.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

soapbox derby

I recently posted this in my other blog.

I want to be like Marcus Griel or Lester Bangs. I want rock journalism/music journalism to go back to being about more than "This album is good because it combines genres and is edgy-neato." or "This band spends lots of money on clothes to get a thrift store look instead of going to a thrift store. Buy their album!" That's what the longer post about Dylan and the Hawks was about. I want to return it to a discussion that reflects the quality of the art.


I believe in that wholeheartedly. Maybe Marcus Griel is a bit pretentious, but look- he's ramping up the discussion. He's making it more dangerous, more alive. In a way, this should be as artful as the music it's about. I don't like using italics to emphasize words, I believe the words should speak for themselves. But that "as" is important to me, the emphasis needs to be there. It's the point I'm trying to make. Look at the artists that have been focused on at EMJ: Dylan, The Band, ...And You Will Know Us by The Trail of Dead, I did a lot of pieces on Neil Young back when I was at Twisted Jungle and 411, Weezer, Wilco. These are artists with a lot to say, a lot on their minds. I want to get deep into it.

Just thought I'd say.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

"I want everyone dead!"

Ted Nugent is a retard. Click here to read about it!

"Remember the Alamo! Shoot 'em!" he screamed to applause. "To show you how radical I am, I want carjackers dead. I want rapists dead. I want burglars dead. I want child molesters dead. I want the bad guys dead. No court case. No parole. No early release. I want 'em dead. Get a gun and when they attack you, shoot 'em."
Wow. Maybe this is why Alice Cooper said musicians shouldn't get involved in politics. Basically, Ted Nugent loves the Constitution because it lets him keep guns (even though it clearly says that the right is there only for militias, but let's not get picky here), but he hates the Constitution and the United States because it ensures that everyone has rights, especially to things like due process of law. Let me bold that because it's true. Ted Nugent hates America. Actually, that's not good enough. Ted Nugent hates America.

See, this is the problem with gun nuts. They have no connection to, y'know, reality. Nugent thinks that not only would it be a good idea to shoot someone who may or may not be commiting a criminal act, but that it's a good idea to take justice into the hand of armed mobs. Hey, let's start lynching rapists, and carjackers and bad guys dead. Wow, hey, let's put another layer on this. Ted Nugent wants to return to lynch mob justice.

I remember watching his teevee show on VH1. One of the "challenges" was to play chicken with a truck. On foot. And the contestant kept running, because hey, they wouldn't actually run him over, would they? Well, they did. And Nugent had no remorse. Because you know, shit happens. Ted Nugent is scum.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

whoa backslash lately

So. It's been a while. David and I have these things (and boy, do I want to call him Travv), have these things called lives. They interfere sometimes. That's the main reason David writes less than me, but my life is creeping up on me too, what with graduating high school and all very soon. So what's been going on lately? Jitterbug Perfume, a marvellous novel by Tom Robbins, which means a heavy mind trip and a lot to digest. It's funny and it sings. It's about beets. Not like, y'know, Ginsberg, like, y'know, the vegetable.

I have found a great music magazine, one of the few I like. It is Uncut and from the UK. The thing that drew me to it? The cover story was The Band. So of course I had to pick it up. And the article, while having some great sidebars, didn't have anything other than what I've read at the phenemonal Band website, which has a rolling collection of articles about The Band, Dylan, and the individual members. In fact, it pilfered from many articles posted at the site, but didn't actually mention the site, which seemed very weird. Anyway, there's a box set due out soon that's supposed to have more rarities than the last box set, so check that out. Actually, the sidebar stuff was really cool, like how Eric Clapton not only broke up Cream because he was so taken with The Band's Music From Big Pink, but that he went to Woodstock to play with Dylan and The Band and asked to join them. He was turned down.

Finally got around to picking up Clinic's Winchester Cathedral. It has less "rock" songs than Internal Wrangler, but it's still a rocking album...a really nice vibe that you can't get anywhere else. It's a shame they haven't caught on in the U.S., even though bands that ape their sound, except do it more boring, like the Arcade Fire, are lauded and make indie kids cream their jeans. The texture, the instrumentation, the overall vibe of the music is just something that swallows you whole. I highly reccomend it.

Did more listening to the Unicorn's Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?. Well, lyrically, it has really great, light spots, such as the arguing, or the sheer delight of "I Was Born A Unicorn", but then you listen to it more, and it's a concept album...it's about a young man living life scared of death, forgeting about death, and then gettin' the cancer. It's something more than it appears, which really speaks to the album; the kitschy-but-dark artwork, the toy pianos and pan pipes betraying the great control of the different genres that are woven together (the rap beats, the funk keyboards, the garage rock guitars). Seriously. If you haven't bought it yet, you can get it at here from Amazon. Get it. Now.

Saw the new Weezer video. It's great cock rock. It's nerdy cock rock. It'll be a good album. I don't have my hopes up, but that'll just make it better, right?

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Who Hires These Fucks?

So I picked up the new Queens of the Stone Age today on the way home from my drum lesson (AWESOME CD by the way) and while I was ripping it onto my computer, I read the AMG review that always comes up on my media player when I put in a CD. It was really fucking long and bizarre, not saying much except how Nick Oliveri is, in fact, NOT in the band anymore and this album is apparently incredibly sexy.

Alright, let me point something out right now.

If you are reviewing ANYTHING, be it music, movies, soap, DO NOT just use the first adjectives that pop into your mind, regardless of how utterly useless they are to your reader. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT "SEXY" MUSIC SOUNDS LIKE. And it's not just this album either, a ton of AMG's reviews are at least a little bit 'off.' Check out this one for "Origin of Symmetry" by Muse.

"If you're going to pillage someone else's ideas, then go for broke. Because even if you find yourself crammed between the barriers of creative space, utterly at a loss for ideas, expression, or thought, you'd still have your self-respect buzzing in your ear like a mad angelic insect, putting down his newspaper and taking out his cigar to remind you that, hell, if want to sound like Radiohead when even Thom Yorke doesn't want to sound like Radiohead, you might as well take it to such preposterous, bombastic, over the top levels — church organs, mental electronics, riffs bouncing off each other like the monolithic screams in 2001 — that you'd finally be in position to crack skulls like coconuts and make the world's speakers ooze gooey blood."

CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME WHAT THE FUCK THAT MEANS?! The REALLY bizarre thing is that although that review doesn't make a damn bit of sense, nor does it sound positive, the CD got a four star rating from the same site. If you're going to write a review, the purpose is not to be as wordy as humanly possible while still saying nothing, the point is to educate the people who have not heard/seen/showered with the product you are discussing. Basically, all the above review tells me is "This CD is weird and I need to get laid."

Fuck you, AMG.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

how to kill time on a Sunday/Weezer rocks.

Sunday nights never really bring anything too much in the way of excitement. Generally just waiting around for Monday. So, I was bored and watching vidclips on my computer when I came to Weezer on David Letterman many years back, playing "Say It Ain't So." In that four minute performance are all the reasons why I love Weezer, and why I'm looking forward to May 10.

Let's forget the fact that music is something more than good. The thing about Weezer is that it goes beyond the music, it's about the band too, the people. Fans hold Rivers Cuomo up as an idol, they monitor his every word and action, when he lets them (he is quite the private cat). It's a kind of bitchy, scary thing; the fans project themselves onto Rivers, and the rest of the band, in a huge way- even debates about whether or not he should shave. The band is a group of nerds, for the most part. That's the nice label that the Stone and Spin and all the other music magazines can put on them- nerd rock. There's even a song about it on their first album. That right there puts them on par with a hell of a lot of people who are looking for music they can relate to. They're goofy and funny and they did a video with the Muppets. An amiable bunch. The lyrics are full of self doubt and sadness and angst and the kind of emotions a teenager feels on a Sunday night. Not even a teenager, just anyone who doesn't have a good grasp on where they're at and where they're going. Even now, I feel like I can describe the group fairly well because I feel so close to them. Rivers has a gift with his words, that anyone can look at them and see themselves.

I remember reading an article in Spin when Maladroit came out. I don't remember the context, but I think it was in an airport. I generally don't like heavy fair when I'm on a plane, so Spin makes sense, really. And it pigeonholed Brian Bell as the fashion conscious member or something like that. And based on how they carry themselves, it's really easy to assign personalities to the members. Pat is goofy and amiable. Brian is the cool one. Scott is the one who can kick the shit out of you. Rivers is god.

So you see these guys on Letterman. This was when the Blue Album had come out, their debut. At this point it had sold two million copies, and Letterman introduces them by saying just that and then telling the audience that he's not scared of them. He was probably impressed though. Weezer had been together, now, I've probably got all the times and what not wrong and it seems really easy to look them up, but I'll wing it, for something like two years at that point. Within two years of playing together, they had not only gotten signed to a major record label, David Geffen Company, had something like two hit songs, and millions of sales. That's impressive, right.

So you see these guys on Letterman. And they play. And the singer doesn't move much, but he kinda sways back and forth. If you notice such things, there's a bulging underneath one of his pant legs; a leg brace. As it's been said, he was in a lot of pain that night and the other members were told to be more animated or something like that. So Matt is pure fucking energy, jumping around wearing Rivers's glasses. Pat makes drummer faces at the camera, a slightly spotchy green dye job on his head. Brian is quite easy to pigeonhole as the cool one even in this clip, as he's there and he's playing, and he's into it but he yeah, he's dressed in a more tradional rock-man garb (a great moment with Brian is on the Weezer DVD when they play "Pink Triangle" and he's stomping his feet and yelling. really, it defeats all this pigeonholing that's done. and has anybody actually thought of the pigeons?).

It's a good performance. It's a great performance. The music is spot on. Everyone is really into it. And there's this moment when the singer, this guy you relate with, you hear his albums and it's like hearing yourself, the singer who's in pain and in a leg brace and not really moving around, he's singing with his eyes closed.

Dear Daddy,
I write you in spite of years of silence.
You've cleaned up, found Jesus,
things are good or so I hear.
This bottle of Steven's
awakens ancient feelings.
Like father, stepfather, the son is drowning in the flood.


And in that moment this singer holds the note and opens his eyes wide and they gape back. He's not looking at the camera, his head is tilted up. Just like you can read into the lyrics and into the band's personalities, there is so much that could be taken from that simple movement. His eyes open and it's open to interpretation and you feel like you've just conquered something yourself. And because you have such a strong connection with this man Rivers Cuomo, but more like this rock star Rivers Cuomo, the man Rivers Cuomo calls his fanbase "annoying bitches." And our reaction? All the Weezer fans I know smiled at that because it's true.



May 10 is when Weezer's new album, Make Believe, comes out. Pick it up. I know I will.