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.


Friday, March 18, 2005

tech help

If anyone knows a way that the Atom code for the blog or whatever it is can be imported into another site, that'd be much obliged. If you have any help to offer on syndication whatsoever, feel free to offer because I know fuck all.

The Unicorns are freaking amazing

So I was at Best Buy last night, carousing and such, and I saw The Unicorns album Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone? Being the adventurous type, I figured, mind as well check it out.



So I put it into my car's stereo, and was blown away. There are lots of ways to describe it. Like Weezer, the Pixies, and old NES game music getting it on and someone getting knocked up; like Ween junior; drugged out alterna-rock; lo-fi pop; but really, there's no clear cut way to accurately pin down the Unicorns without listening to them. The closest my friends and I have gotten is to compare them to their old band Magic Pony, but better. Far better.

And yeah, my friends are hooked on the Unicorns now too. Becuase I sprung it on them today when we were hangning out. In fact, this morning I pulled Sean into my car, and said, "You have to listen to this." I put it on "Sea Ghost", which starts off with a pennywhistle. He agreed that it was awesome, and after school we sprung it on Sam. Sam, normally, does not dig what I dig, musically. But he really dug the Unicorns. And after listening to them, you too will dig them, and possibly want to show them off to other people. Sean made plans to get a copy for himself tonight. Even Adele, who abhors my liking of good music, dug the Unicorns. I mean, she thinks that Simon and Garfunkel didn't butcher "Girl From the North Country." Which they did.

But the Unicorns are completely awesome, a duo with some help from different friends that have put together a wicked colleciton of songs with fascinating instrumentation (courtesey of tape, toy pianos and organs, glockenspiels and other oddball devices), clever lyrics, and fantastic images (the packaging- a softcase in a mylar bag instead of shrinkwrap, has the CD wrapped in an old school paper CD folder, and the cover art is amazing, nevermind their name and the title of the album). Just really great stuff, very worth checking out.So. Go for it.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

on queens and things that rule

Nick Oliveri wants to get back in with Queens of the Stone Age. Nick Oliveri rules. He helped make the Queens, and really, I have no idea what a Queens concert would be like without him. I'm reminded of the Magnet interview with Josh Homme from last summer, where he basically called Oliveri a teenager. And really, you can see that- he gets kicked out of the band, starts running his mouth about it, does a diss track, and then says, "Okay, I'm over being pissed, let's get back together."

This is no knock at Oliveri, mind. It's hope that this situation won't turn out how everyone would expect it to- like anytime an adult acts like a teenager and expects a relationship to just be mended and it's not that simple. Oliveri has said he's been talking with Homme recently, and hopefully he rejoins the band.

I mean, can you imagine a Queens concert without a forty foot tall shadow of the motherfucker screaming "cocaine"?

Monday, March 07, 2005

Bonaroooooooo

So, my friends are doing something really cool the night they graduate- getting directly on the road and going to Bonaroo. Yes, the jam band festival that is little more than an excuse to eat a lot of drugs- they'll miss the first night getting there, but it's worth it. Right?

Well, the ticket costs jumped to shy of $200 right now. That's good though. Three full days of music, and camping. That's more than good, that's fair. But prices will probably jump again. And they're only paying for two days. After that, you have to look at who's playing. Of course, when most Bonaroo fans are asked who's playing, they ask you what does it matter, because it's not about who's playing, it's about all the drugs that will be ingested and feeling the magic, man.* My friends would ask "Does anyone else matter except the Mars Volta?"

And unfortunately for them, yes. The headliner for this year is the Dave Matthews Band. The Dave FUCKING Matthews Band. Excuse, me, but what the crap? Not only do they blow, but they're kind of like, the antithesis to Bonaroo. Bonaroo is all about the music, right. Look at who's played- Dylan, Neil Young, Ween, Phish...these are not commercial bands. These are acts, and I'd like to emphasize all the connotations of that word because these guys, well, except Ween, are all about the whole playing in front of an audience deal, these acts are guided by what they'd like to do with music.

Dave Matthews Band is what would result if you wanted to make jam band type music sell well. First off, you have to put them behind a bunch of hippie movements. Then they play at colleges, and market their music specifically to upper class white college kids in Abercrombie who think their four year experience is about going to the best parties, smoking the best grass, and you know...stuff. And then, their sound. You take a bit of laid back groove type music. Then you add in shitty lyrics and throw in some moderately neat sounding guitar riffing. Sprinkle on some generic sounding rhythm section, and bam! Dave Matthews Band.

Seriously? Do they want another Woodstock 99 on their hands?

All the more reason for me not to go, far as I'm concerned.


*Fuck you hippies!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

You Asked for It

Alright, now you've called down the thunder, you son of a bitch. Don't trash Jimmy Eat World until you've listened to Clarity. I haven't heard it yet, but I've heard it's the most profound and mature of all their work.

Seriously though, the fucking Grateful Dead? Look man, I know what you look like and all, but I'm going to go out on a limb right now and say that you're actually an aging hippie who is using the internet access in his dad's basement to pretend to be a hip (you're not really hip, you're a giant dork, but you're what an aging hippie might find hip) teenager who just happens to listen to aging hippie music. Just because you have the musical taste of a 49-year old man who runs an unsuccessful vinyl record store and wears the same soiled headband every single day doesn't give you the right to ignore the awesome power of Robert Randolph's guitarist.

Fuck the Dead. I would rather shit in a bag, then put it in my CD player for an hour than listen to them or any other shitty jam band. THEY CAN'T EVEN SPELL FISH RIGHT!

On another note, Bret Easton Ellis is a self-indulgent faggot, and everyone on IMDB except me is a total jackass.

damage control

When I brought David on, it was for the entertainment value. I didn't know he'd go out and just...oy.

Rupert Randolph fucking blows. I'm tired of running into that overrated name. Look, Rupert Randolph and the Family Band are okay. They're a throwback. They aren' mightily awesome, nor are they mightily original, or mighty anything, except mighty bland! That's right! Mighty. Fucking. Bland.

Oooh, slide guitar! No one's used that in funky ways, or in rock and roll! Wowee! Yes, he does play it pleasantly. No, he shouldn't get lauded for playing his instrument servicably- Jesus, he played Bonaroo, he better know how to be good at his instrument.

To my mind, he's just another Dave Matthews- yeah, it's okay, and I guess it's kinda got its own neat vibe, but it's been done before, and better, so why waste your time on that shit?

And don't even get me started on Jimmy Eat World- how old are those guys? The singer looks like a 35 year old having a mid-life crisis. All they sing about are bullshit high school relationships. Grow the fuck up assholes.

Okay, David, remember when I brought you into EMJ! the first time, to yell at Mettalica fans? Go back to being angry, it was much more entertaining that way.