I think it’s clear that their work is of a piece–wildly innovative, to the point of being totally incomprehensible–so it should come as no surprise that Frank Zappa and Jack Kirby not only knew each other, but apparently hung out a bit
I was listening to Jeff Buckley’s Grace, and was looking for lyrics to “Mojo Pin”, and my quick google search included a link to a youtube video of a live performance video:
From there, I followed a link to footage from the same performance of “Last Goodbye” because, you know, it’s a lovely song:
And then things started to get weird.
See, that had a link to a video of Scarlett Johanssen doing a cover of Tom Waits’ “Yesterday is Here”:
There was no way I couldn’t check that out. Somewhat to my surprise, I was not repulsed.
From there, I follwed a link to a cover of the same song by Cat Power:
Didn’t care for that one as much, but oh what it led me to: The Flaming Lips & Cat Power performing a pretty good cover of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs”:
Which in turn led to video of TFL doing it with Peaches:
Which was interesting mostly for its oddity (the audio quality bites, too).
But the TFL & Cat Power video also had a link to Sabbath performing it in Paris in 1970:
That’s pretty powerful.
It is also amusing to know that Ozzy’s stage act hasn’t changed a bit in 40 years.
but certainly not in recent memory.
The news that it’s ceasing print publication and trying to make it as a web-only publication really doesn’t impact me at all. But Mark Evanier linked to a post from Lee Goldberg about the magazine that includes an amusing anecdote about covering the premeire of “The Living Daylights” while writing for the magazine:
All the journalists were invited by the studio to the premiere, which Prince Charles and Lady Diana were attending as well. We had to wear tuxedos and were driven to the event in limos. There were huge crowds being held back behind barracades in front of the Odeon Theatre as we pulled up. I got out of the limo just as a short young lady was emerging from the limo in front of me, so we walked in together. People were going nuts, taking pictures of us and waving. I leaned over and whispered to her: “Makes you wish you were famous, doesn’t it?”
She laughed, patted my arm, and we parted in the lobby. Almost immediately I was swarmed by my fellow reporters. One of them asked “Do you know who you were walking with?”
I had no idea. I figured she was another reporter. He told me it was Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders. I still had no idea who she was. So either she thought my remark was clever or that I was a complete dolt for not knowing who she was. But I like to think that somewhere out there is a photo from that event with a caption like “Chrissie Hynde with unidentified lover.”
Can’t beat that.
Listening to Blue Oyster Cult‘s “Cities on Flame”, I realized that the reason all of these older albums I love have comparatively wimpy-sounding drum tracks is because the drummers are too good–to make a big goddamned noise, you have to hit so hard that you lose any notion of subtlety.
John Bonham is arguably the prominent exception. Even when he’s beating the crap out of his kit–on “We’re Gonna Groove”, for instance (though listening back to it, its drum track is less in-your-face than I imagine it to be)–he’s still got a very subtle way with timing.
I happened to catch Don Johnson’s Heartbeat while surfing by VH1Classic’s nostalgia programming. The only reason I stopped was because I had totally forgotten who played guitar on it:
Warning, this might not be worth it to find out.
Obviously, seeing the Beatles has been an impossibility for most of my lifetime. I saw the Stones on one of their last tours with Wyman, though, honestly, I fall on the Beatles side of the great divide.
Why, then, have I not bothered to see the band for whom I have more affection than either of those?
Yes, if the Kinks do a reunion tour, I will find a way to go.
On the Eagles of Death Metal‘s new CD, Heart On, there’s a track named “Now I’m a Fool” whose vocal line is not without a resemblance to Steely Dan‘s “Only a Fool Would Say That”.
The presence of “Fool” in both titles leads me to suspect this is intentional, not coincidental.
I actually rather liked TV on the Radio on SNL last night. The last musical guest who didn’t annoy me into fast forwarding was, I kid you not, Duffy. Which kinda surprised me too.
Over on the Washington Monthly site, Hilzoy, in talking about some crazy conspiracy theorist stuff about Obama over at The National Review made a reference to When Prophecy Fails.
So, when you consider that the the name of this blog comes from a Blue Oyster Cult song, it should be no surprise (to those who know their catalog as well as I, at least) that I immediately assumed that he was making a reference to their song Extra Terrestrial Intelligence.
Of course, it turns out that he was making reference to the book that, one might guess from its description on Wikipedia probably inspired the song.
when I read that Richard Wright had died.
I’ve been dividing my purchases of late between new material by artists I enjoy (Nine Inch Nails, Daniel Lanios, others) and old material that I used to be able to borrow from Chet and Patrick, and thus have had no real contact with for the last 16 years or so.
With that in mind, I picked up Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Greatest Hits and the Doors L.A. Woman. It’s funny, because I picked up the Doors disc in order to be able to, eventually, get rid of the Greatest Hits collection I have for the Doors–I still need Soft Parade and Strange Days–while I picked up the Heartbreakers disc because I didn’t want to embark on the task of working through their catalog.
I’m really enjoying the Tom Petty, but I still can’t figure out why I made what is a fairly uncharacteristic move–buying a collection. I usually like a lot of stuff that never makes Greatest HIts collections; I know it’s definitely true of the two Tom Petty albums I’m most familiar with. Oh, well, I suppose I would be bored if I wasn’t somehow a mystery to myself.
Apropos of nothing other than the fact that I’m discussing Petty, I will mention my favorite line on all of Petty’s Full Moon Fever:
Well I’ve been to Booker,
and I’ve been to Micanopy,
I’ve been to St. Louis too,
I’ve been all around the world.
I remember well my surprise, the first time we drove from Miami north and passed a sign for Micanopy. It is, unsurprisingly, not far from Gainesville
How is it that I end up watching two things (Season 3, Pt 1 of Entourage and Superbad) inside a couple of weeks that have Ted Nugent’s Stranglehold in the soundtracks?
You know: finding the images that need to be re-installed in the blog posts, removing ancient copies of the blog from its days running under Blosxom, so forth and so on–I ran across a .wmv of the song “Shake Your Blood” by Probot.
And I thought to myself, “Why am I keeping around a copy of this video–I know it must be up on YouTube.” And then I looked at the date, and realized that I had had it since before YouTube existed.
Yes, I know that Chet is the only one likely to get the joke. Still.
No, not Friday, the song by Big Star. I hadn’t heard it in a long time, and it just showed up on the big shuffle.
Oh, and while watching some footage of the Sex Pistols, I realized that my Father-in-law has an eerie resemblance to Johnny Rotten. And no, I’m not making this up–Anne agreed.
I wanted it for walking around, where the 80GB Classic I’ve got is just too clunky and insufficiently solid-state.
There was the requisite monkeying with LInux and its somewhat fractious relationship with iPods, and then I started putting stuff on it.
I’ve been so used to dealing with my music collection in its entirety, or at least in very, very large chunks–I started ripping things en mass in mid-’99–that it was sort of interesting to realize that I could get maybe 150 songs on the thing. I had to really think about what I wanted on there.
Some of it is obvious, at least to me: some Stevie Wonder, some Steely Dan, some Queens of the Stone Age, some post-Rattle-and-Hum U2 and all sorts of other eclecticism that has fascinated me for a long time.
Some of it was less obvious–for insance, I’ve been listening to Massive Attack’s “Teardrop” a lot of late. I got there in a way both obvious and circuitous.
I watch House (I want to add, “of course”, but, of course, there is no “of course” about it), and at one point in the season finale I heard a cover of a song that I recognized but simply could not place.
The internets know everything, though, so in short order I was able to find out that it was a cover of the aforementioned Massive Attack song. I was then somewhat embarassed to read that the original version–which I own, and, obviously, find fairly recognizable, is the theme for the show.
And then there are the desert island tracks. King Crimson’s “Discipline”, Led Zeppelin’s “Bron Yr Aur”, a few other things that I think I could listen to every day for the rest of my life in tight rotation and never get tired of.
And then there’s Jeff Buckley’s “Vancouver”. Everyone goes gaga over “Hallelujah”, but there is an echo of pain in “Vancouver” that punches me in the gut each and every time.
I’m bad about noting the anniversaries of deaths–I had to look up his on Wikipedia–so I’m a few days late in noting that it’s been 11 years since Jeff Buckley died, and not a week goes by that I don’t wonder what he would have accomplished.
And just to illustrate the self-referential nature of my musical tastes, the vocals for “Teardrop” were recorded shortly after Elizabeth Fraser (the vocalist on the track, and a friend of Buckley’s), got word of his death.
Which is why I’ve pretty much only ever used stuff I’ve ripped myself. I don’t even like the way Nine Inch Nails has tagged their own stuff with the last couple of releases.
Thus I was amused to find out about a form that last.fm have to show you some of the wild-ass stuff that people’s mp3s have tagged in them.
Moog Music is making a guitar. As you might expect, it’s all sorts of bizarre.
The absolute high-point of the show for me was the rendition of Blockhead, which, with 10 Crafties and Robert Fripp to boot, was quite powerful. The most beautiful was easily the piece done entirely acoustically as the final encore. The most whimsical was the theme from “Mission: Impossible”.
There were pieces, certainly, that didn’t move me. But at the same time, watching an ensemble like this perform holds its own energy–to watch a group of players working in such synchronicity is amazing.
Check out his drum solo:
One of the more interesting things about the Great CD-Ripping project (I’m within 30 discs of being done!) is realizing what I have never gotten around to ripping. Frankly, some of it baffles me. For instance, I had never gotten around to ripping my Stevie Wonder material, despite the fact that it’s some of my favorite music on Earth (it’s the stuff from the 70′s, when Stevie could Do No Wrong). I never ripped either of the Who discs I have. Or the Los Lobos collection Chet got me umpteen years ago, even though I think that Kiko and the Lavender Moon may be one of the most perfect songs ever.
There have been any number of other single disc things that I’ve noticed, but those are the biggies that I remember right now.
I do have to admit that I worry sometimes that new stuff isn’t going to get its due, in amongst the 30-days-of-continuous-music that I’ve currently got access to. For instance, Year Zero hasn’t yet made a real impression, and I don’t think I’ve even listened to the new Modest Mouse. Hmmmm.
…at least so far: I finally sat down and listened to the Ani DiFranco CD my sister got me, maybe a decade ago.
Before I continue, one funny note: I knew about Ani DiFranco before she did; I remember, albeit hazily, seeing video of a bald chick playing ferocious acoustic guitar in weird tunings on a public access channel in Boston. As is often the case with seeing things in weird venues like that, they never told me who the fuck it was I was watching. So, you know, years and years pass…
Anyway, I’ve had this on the shelf forever, listened to it once or twice, and I let it sit. For whatever reason, I wrote her off as too earnest, too literalist, I dunno, too unsubtle.
As often seems to be the case, I wish there were some effective way to reach back and slap the me of ten years ago.
Which isn’t to say that I think the music will appeal to everyone; it’s demanding in its lack of sentimentality–I think that’s what I had perceived as earnestness before–and at least in her older material, well, it’s mostly the narrative of intrapersonal relationships, so it’s not entirely outre to suggest that it sometimes sounds like a few songs repeated endlessly. And it’s all pretty specifically political. And sometimes It seems lyrically awkward, though sometimes that very awkwardness comes, after repeated listening, to seem inevitable and necessary.
But it’s also music that speaks of joy and hope and possibilities in a very unambiguous way.
And she can play the fuck out of a guitar.
So maybe everyone else on the planet earth already knew about this, but the idea that one of Judas Priest’s signature songs was originally a Joan Baez tune was somewhat, err, startling.
I am intensely curious to know what Joan Baez thinks of the cover version.
I was involved in the prior discussion while at a performance by The Water Callers, a local pair. If you go to the myspace page, I would suggest you listen to In The Moonlight, which I think is the best of the tracks they’ve got posted, though not the best they’ve written.
It was fun, even if it does end up with me posting this after midnight. We saw a number of people from the kula there, some expected, some not. I don’t think we’ve been as likely to run into people we know out of the blue since living in Tuscaloosa.
It’s rather nice.
As I was tooling around the UNC campus, playing musical subversive (that is, playing whatever mix CD I had in the car at moderate-to-loud volume in the hopes of making the lives of people I passed a little more surreal when things went from, say, Beck to Earth, Wind & Fire), I came to a stop sign. At these points I usually turn down the stereo a little, and I kind of idly noted that this was probably a kind move for the older, almost elderly gentleman passing in front of me, though it was just Dear Prudence on at the time, so it’s not like it’s all that abrasive.
And then it hit me–this song is nearly 40 years old. A guy as mobile as this one was couldn’t be more than, say, 70, which means he was 30 tops when this came out. Hell, this guy could easily have been a Beatles fan. And yet the track doesn’t sound dated at all.
It’s been a long running joke with Chet that if I am unaquainted with some particular bit of American culture–movie, TV show, what have you–it is because I was in Germany at the time it happened.
In many cases, of course, this is actually the reason, but it eventually morphed into an all-purpose response.
So, after Chet pointed me to a Stevie Wonder video, I ended up doing a little YouTube archaeology (which spawned another post from Chet) to find something I’d always heard about but never seen because, well, I was in Germany when MTV launched.
It is somehow nothing like what I expected, and yet exactly what it should be. And it includes everything in the title to this post.
I present to you, Van Halen’s video for Pretty Woman. Because in 1982, no one knew that this wasn’t what music videos were supposed to be like:
Well, “Wow” for a start, I suppose. “Huh?” follows along sharply thereafter.
Microsoft is using recordings of Robert Fripp in one of their Windows Vista sound themes, and they’ve got the video to prove it.
Now, Linux-head that I am, I’m not really all that anti-Microsoft, I just don’t see why people put up with it. Maybe this is a good reason.
Oh, I lied, I do know what to say. Fripp uses a Mac.
Well, yeah, at least two people who might read this do know, but for the rest of you, witness the lovely protectionism of mid-to-late-60′s America:
In 1966 the American Federation of Musicians, convinced that British bands were getting a disproportionate share of musicians income, had the Kinks banned from touring in the United States. The organization finally relented in October 1969.
Presumably the AFM pressured the government to deny them work visas. The part that seems so frigging weird to me is, well…_The Kinks_? I mean, were they worried that if they banned the Beatles or the Stones there would be riots (not that weren’t anyway , so they picked on someone who was arguably less-popular but still better known than most of their contemporaries?
It seems likely that this ban had a significant effect on the band, since it kept them from playing the most lucrative market during a critical time.
Anyway, here’s a nice little dose of the Kinks, from Do You Remember Walter:
Yes people often change,
but memories of people can remain.
The Denial Twist by the White Stripes is the siren song–it will lure you onto the rocks, yes indeed. Save yourselves, I am lost!
My God, It’s Perfect.
If you think that a kiss is all in the lips
C’mon, you got it all wrong, man.