"You can't kill something that doesn't have a single definition." Punk's Not Dead: The Movie. Also: a favorable review of the DVD from GreenCine's DVD Guru.
You should always take the best from the past, leave the worst back there and go forward into the future.
The Times Online interviews Bob Dylan.
On NPR's All Songs Considered Blog, Tom Waits interviews Tom Waits. A selection:
Q: What's heaven for you? A: Me and my wife on Rte. 66 with a pot of coffee, a cheap guitar, pawnshop tape recorder in a Motel 6, and a car that runs good parked right by the door.
Q: What's hard for you? A: Mostly I straddle reality and the imagination. My reality needs imagination like a bulb needs a socket. My imagination needs reality like a blind man needs a cane. Math is hard. Reading a map. Following orders. Carpentry. Electronics. Plumbing. Remembering things correctly. Straight lines. Sheet rock. Finding a safety pin. Patience with others. Ordering in Chinese. Stereo instructions in German.
Q: What's wrong with the world? A: We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge; quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness. Leona Helmsley's dog made 12 million last year... and Dean McLaine, a farmer in Ohio made $30,000. It's just a gigantic version of the madness that grows in every one of our brains. We are monkeys with money and guns.
The wonderful Carrie Brownstein has posted an April Muxtape at her equally wonderful blog Monitor Mix, as well as a reminiscence of Danzig:
A friend of mine drove me by Glenn Danzig's house in Los Angeles the last time I was there. I felt like a kid on Halloween, scared of possible hauntings or unwelcome surprises. I don't know if it was the build-up to the drive-by, the Misfit's lyrics I had going through my head, or the house itself, but I was frightened. Only later did I think how there is no other person in music who I might be scared to meet. Yet this person's name is Glenn.
I admit to the same strange fear, although I never got that close. To add my own nonsensical anecdote, however, I did once meet other original Misfit Jerry Only, who wrote his name on me. (On my arm, by the way. I was a classy groupie, thank you very much.) He gave me a bear hug. Verdict: not scary.
I want to present a different kind of change, though. I want to change change. If you continue to change change then it truly becomes change whether it’s technology, society, the economy, or the spreading of democracy. I want to be the president that takes change and changes it over and over again.
How about presidental pardons?
Well, Foxy Brown has been in the clink for a while now. I know she has a temper, but come on! And what about Boy George? Is he still doing community service?
On Dennis Kucinich's wife:
In my America—the America that I can help create—somebody who looks like Angie Everhart can date or marry a politician who looks like Tattoo without a second thought.
A good role model for girls?
Natalie Portman. She’s obviously an incredibly gifted actor, a beautiful woman who decided to focus on her mind rather than the superficial world of pop culture. I hope that my daughter does the same thing because I know that a lot of girls—young girls—have this new idea of celebrity that’s been presented to them by people like Paris Hilton or Britney.
I'm sold. Bring on the Grohl Administration.
I could have sworn I already linked this a long time ago, but I can't find it, and, in any case, it's worth talking about it again - Girls Rock! The Movie officially opened last Friday, and I can't wait to see this documentary about a rock camp for young girls. There's no Ohio screenings scheduled yet, but I'm going to help work on that. In the meantime, you can also read the review from Bust.
In my personal opinion, there are many worse ways you could spend your time then checking out the recent vidcast offerings from They Might Be Giants' latest children's album. Anything that can genuinely entertain both me and my two-year-old at the same time is a winner, although maybe that just reveals more about me than I should admit.
From Nigel Tufnel's family to yours. Happy holidays, everyone.
While I am profoundly perturbed with this stance as content owners continue to stifle all innovation in the face of the digital revolution, it is consistent with what they have done in the past. So... we are challenged at the last second to find a way of bringing this idea to life without getting splashed by the urine as these media companies piss all over each other’s feet. We have a cool and innovative site ready to launch but we're currently scratching our heads as to how to proceed.
"This stance" is explained at the link, but basically Reznor is running into trouble with his record company trying to launch a website which encourages and features his music remixed by fans.
You know, once I got over my dark teenage obsession with The Downward Spiral, I didn't imagine Trent Reznor would ever really be one of my prominent heroes, but he's gone and become just that. I hope they find a way to make this work.
My collection is really about creating a digital archive for Dylan fans worldwide to enjoy, and to share these images which have been freely shared with me. That said, I really love the materials from the 1960s, since they tend to be fairly rare. The Newport '65 stub image made me really happy, and was sent to me by the woman who actually attended the event with that particular ticket. I was thrilled to talk with her and add it to the archive.
Can you imagine being at Newport in '65? I wonder if that woman applauded or booed when Bob plugged in. Or just waited to see what would happen.
I've always saved my own concert tickets, but, ironically, the one time I saw Dylan, I had to turn in my ticket for a wrist band so I could get on the floor. In exchange, though, I got to watch the show from about thirty feet directly in front of the man himself, so I probably shouldn't complain about not being able to hold onto the stub. Very cool site, in any case.
Whew. I Rock Cleveland has dissected the entire Radiohead In Rainbows saga, in four parts:
Last week I posted a link to the 2003 documentary It's Everything and Then It's Gone, which is about the 70's and 80's alternative music scene in Akron, Ohio. After doing a bit of digging, I discovered the director, University of Akron's Phil Hoffman, also made a sequel: If You're Not Dead, Play!!, which covers the second wave of Akron garage bands. I also found out that Hoffman received Emmy nominations for his work on these docs.
"What most surprised me as I created the documentary is that I've become an advocate for 'rock-as-art,'" mused Hoffman. "The average person who considers rock 'n' roll only looks at the musical part. These bands were dedicated to it as performance art -- as theater -- and I have come to appreciate the full artistry of their work."
This doc too is available to watch online.
I saw the local PBS documentary It's Everything and Then It's Gone a few years ago, when I still lived in NE Ohio, and just thought of trying to track it down. It's the tale of how Akron, Ohio almost became the next musical hotspot in the punk and post-punk eras. Even if it never quite got the street cred that places like Seattle or Austin would someday earn, it still produced some noteworthy artists like Devo and the Rubber City Rebels. Great little doc, and it's all online.
More than a couple of years ago, during one of my college spring breaks, my friend Sarah and I drove from Ohio to spend the week in her home in Texas. The route we took went straight through some cities I'd never been to before: Little Rock, Nashville, and Memphis. The first time we passed through Memphis, dark and shining, I saw a sign that stuck in my mind for no immediately obvious reason: Wolf River. It was only after Memphis was behind us that I remembered why I knew the Wolf River. It was the river in which, ten years ago today, musician Jeff Buckley drowned.
Jeff Buckley was one of those artists that inspire a highly sentimental following. Not only was he a craftsman of beautiful, lyrical songs, sung in his distinctive soprano, he died unexpectedly, tragically young. I'm sure if I did the search, I'd find dozens of tribute websites. But even if he has a fervent following, he is still not necessarily well-known in the mainstream.
He only completed one formal album: Grace, a veritable masterpiece of modern folk-rock. His live and unfinished work, however, pulled in blues, soul, and R&B influences. He synthesized what was good and unique about almost all the traditionally American forms of music, and spun it for contemporary audiences. His covers ranged from songs by Screamin' Jay Hawkins to songs by Bad Brains to the heartbreakingly well-done version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." He was praised by artists as varied as PJ Harvey, Chris Cornell, and Bob Dylan.
Chances are, had he lived, Jeff would have made much more for himself than a respectable indie name. As it is, he's, sadly, a rather small entry in music history, often almost overshadowed by his untimely death - a bizarre accident during an impromptu, late-night swim in Wolf River on May 29, 1997.
Memphis holds a lot of American musical history, from the beginnings of Elvis to the continuing blues tradition. There really isn't a city better entrusted with the legacy of Jeff Buckley. As I passed through it that night, looking back at its soft lights from the bridge over the rolling Mississippi, I tied the two forever in my mind. Now, instead of a forgotten footnote, he's part of something that begun before him, and that goes on strong after him.