30 October 2002

you awaken to find yourself, to your great dismay, in teletubbyland. an innocuous keyboard tone rings over and over; vague squelching sounds can be heard in the offing; the sun child gurgles malevolently; and a female chorus sings: "noo-noo, that noo-noo, noo-noo for you, noo-noo for you." a bad trip? far too cliched. no, it's the last thirty seconds of killer mike ft. outkast's "akshon (yeah!)" earthtone iii's productivity may be low but every time they release something, it drops one's jaw. killer mike, for his part, raps effectively in his da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da fashion and, once again, disconcertingly makes reference to his "cock." the release schedule for decemeber shows something called outkast presents...big boi's speaker box, a double-disc set. anyone have more information on this?
n.e.r.d. win the short list award. is it because pharrell rides a bicycle? and listens to at the drive-in? the most shocking information from this article: chad hugo wasn't present because, according to pharrell, he was "locked up." but he seems like such a nice boy!

28 October 2002

repent! REPENT!
songs to download & sing: (in this order.)
kylie, "come into my world" (fischerspooner mix)
killer mike ft. outkast, "akshon"
robbie williams, "feel"
yeah yeah yeahs, "machine"
missy elliott ft. ms. jade, "funky fresh"
jay-z, "hovi baby"
trina ft. ludacris, "b r right"
toni braxton ft. loon and pharrell, "hit the freeway"
justin timberlake, "senorita"
beatings, "bad feeling"
fischerspooner justify their existence. like trevor horn & the buggles with the chick in the tube, they digitally manipulate kylie until, at 3:22, she reaches a state of perpetual climax. utterly fantastic (and hot.)

27 October 2002

robbie williams, "feel." "feel" won't win any new converts; it won't alienate old fans. so then you're left wondering: is it interesting? pearl jam has carved out a career doing this exact same thing: are they interesting? no, says me. are they good? is "feel" good? well, it depends if you like that sound. "feel,"then, is the sound of robbie lifting the british music industry onto his shoulders, and the ensuing strain can be heard in the strings, in robbie's voice, and in the pensive piano. robbie is playing to his strength, a populism that, unlike u2, is direct and, unlike oasis, is made for yer mum. so if this isn't your thing, you won't want to hear it; if you live in the u.k., it seems like you're going to have little choice.

25 October 2002

paul wellstone, r.i.p.: anyone who knows me can tell you that i'm far from a liberal. however, i respect anyone with strong convictions who adheres to them despite the costs, especially in the ethics black hole that is washington.

as if that wasn't enough, a passing closer to my heart: richard harris, r.i.p. i was effected by this more than i could've imagined. the rims of my eyes were laced with tears. the only man, in my opinion, to conquer...no, to subjugate screen, stage & stereo has died. his two albums with jim webb remain amongst my favorites: by turns ridiculous and strangely affecting. my sadness is deepened because i think i've seen the last of a kind pass on: hard-drinking, hard-living, hard-loving; the type that waged full-out war on life, with unquenchable passion for all that they did; the breed that remained a men's men despite a sensitivity and compassion that ran deep. a thought that tends to lessen that sadness: one can never say that richard harris didn't live.

22 October 2002

new best commercial on television: cedric the entertainer asks grimace something i've always wondered about: "what are you?" the hamburglar says something unintelligible in response and ced asks if the hb was talkin' about his (i.e. c the e.'s) mama. after the cut, a dancing cedric coaxes grimace into doing the bump along with him.
chief charles moose is the kind of name that many authors aspire to creating, but that so few actually do.

21 October 2002

WOWIE ZOWIE! i want to tell you about the new blackstreet single, "wizzy wow" featuring mystikal. here's the problem, though: i don't know what i think of it yet, but i do know that you should hear it. the track sounds alive, like it's a living, breathing, dancing entity. it whispers, it growls; it belches, it stomps; it roils so that you swear that you never hear the same sequence of sounds twice. fitting, then, because teddy riley hasn't sounded this vital since, ohhh, "girlfriend/boyfriend"? could a recent declaration of bankruptcy be behind this renewed vitality? it's very obvious that he is trying and that's the problem, the line between desperation and inspiration being so thin. "i'm a, i'm a fucking legend," he screams, the man who laid the groundwork for r&b futurism fifteen years ago wondering if anyone can still hear him.

you know what, though? this is great, and the mystikal rap cinches it. it is so GLORIOUSLY misogynistic (and, sadly, so indicative of why he found himself under arrest for alleged aggravated rape):
"wizzy wizzy, that's my kind of bitch,
she can't cook but she can ride that dick,
know she ain't smart, but she's got nice tits,
she mess around but that's still my chick."

17 October 2002

i got e-mail today from "kelly clarkson." she asked me if i was interested in something "hot, young, and tight" -- and i'm not talking about the performances on american idol's greatest moments. i wasn't, really, but since she offered...

i'm trying to get my head around this. (oh God.) it certainly doesn't take long, does it, before one's identity is co-opted by the spammers of the world, but what are they trying to accomplish? do they think that the average e-mail reader has stars in their eyes, that they're saying to themselves, "well, i can't delete this, it's from kelly. i mean, perhaps stardom isn't all it's cracked up to be and she finds the world of internet porn far more fulfilling, not to mention lucrative"? sure, i read it, but that's my nature. obviously i know it's not from the real kelly. (obviously.)

now, on the other hand, if i receive e-mail from nikki...

16 October 2002

songs to download & sing: in this order.
wire, "trash-treasure"
johnny cash, "bridge over troubled water"
wayne wonder, "no letting go"
common ft. mary j. blige, "come to me"
madonna, "die another day (thee retrolectro mix)"
benzino, "rock the party"
the fall, "bill is dead"
jackson browne, "late for the sky"
vogues, "5 o'clock world"
mcalmont & butler, "back for good"
-if you live in the uk, you should probably buy this since it's for charity and all.
punk rockers -- and this means you, april ((c) maura) -- don't get their music played on lite-fm.
isn't it queer?: michael is reviewing fifty versions of "send in the clowns." but, of course, you knew this because you've been reading about merzbox for a month now. riiiight?

15 October 2002

fall sets in and the change of season can be observed in my new mixdisc. as a change, i'm going to make notations about this disc synesthetically.
1. tom petty, "american girl" (from greatest hits comp, orig. 1976)
-red, white, and...yellow! like a red backdrop with splotches of white and yellow.
2. easybeats, "friday on my mind" (from nuggets, vol. 2 box, orig. 1966)
-pulsating red and purple.
3. happy mondays, "dennis & lois" (from pills 'n' thrills 'n' bellyaches lp, 1990)
-coated in yellow, with threads of green.
4. lemon jelly, "space walk" (from mp3, 2002)
-yellow and white swirls to start; the same colors undulate by song's end.
5. louis armstrong, "we have all the time in the world" (from best of james bond comp, orig. 1969)
-very dark, red & purple unfurled like red carpets.
6. pet shop boys, "only the wind" (from behaviour lp, 1990)
-thudding black with delicate purple and amber stabs.
7. r. dean taylor, "there's a ghost in my house" (from mp3, 1965)
-the color of chrome, and just as reflective.
8. primal scream, "movin' on up" (from screamadelica lp, 1991)
-just like the album cover, only formless.
9. faust, "it's a rainy day, sunshine girl" (from so far lp, 1972)
-a blank slate that, after seven minutes, becomes a melange of dull colors.
10. creedence clearwater revival, "born on the bayou" (from chronicle, vol. 2 comp, orig. 1969)
-black with golden strands echoing forth.
11. beck, "round the bend"(from sea change lp, 2002)
-the children's raft ride in the night of the hunter. or, if you've never seen that, a black hole.
12. manic street preachers, "a design for life" (from everything must go lp, 1996)
-a rainy afternoon, seen through a veil of tears.
13. moby, "feeling so real" (from songs: 1993-1998 comp, orig. 1995)
-throbbing reds and purples.
14. ll cool j, "mama said knock you out" (from all world comp, orig. 1990)
-a light yellowish-brown with dust motes floating.
15. mitch ryder, "when you were mine" (from mp3, orig. 1983)
-translucent with red vocal shadings.
16. smiths, "cemetry gates" (from the queen is dead lp, 1986)
-a large pile of november leaves.
17. take that, "back for good" (from mp3, orig. 1995)
-flickering purple-flamed candles in the darkness.
18. richard & linda thompson, "dimming of the day" (from watching the dark comp, orig. 1975)
-the evening sky lined with barren trees. richard's vocals on the bridge light a pale fire.
19. boyz ii men, "please don't go" (from cooleyhighharmony lp, 1991)
-moonlight illuminating a very fine, snow-laced web.
if msnbc is wondering why their ratings are in the shitter -- goodbye, ashleigh banfield! -- it's because 1) not enough norah. and! 2) natalie, natalie, natalie morales is working the graveyard shift. i stumbled across this jersey-educated hottie last night when i was flipping violently between cable news networks looking for more info on the latest sniper-shooting. she stumbled and stammered a lot, as if she wasn't used to having to work on her feet (which may be the case, given the lateness of the hour.) but she looked great doing it.

meanwhile, rupert murdoch's fox news is cock of the walk, but there is not a single beguiling anchor to be found on his station. is this not the man who gave the world page 3? he better heed the failure of msnbc and get some talent on the air.

13 October 2002

hey kids! the 6th annual freaky trigger focus group results are in! it's topped by a bootleg! and in the time it's taken to get this fg up, the bootleg has become totally passe! also: it's taken so long that i no longer agree with -- or even understand! -- most of my comments. to wit, i said this w/r/t to tweet and i don't know what it means:
"not that it matters, really, since it's a fucking pear"

(but, but tom, you get my link wrong on the contributors page! the horror!)
for delillo fans: his next novel, cosmopolis, will be published in april 2003. here's a description, presumably from promotional materials:
This is the story of a spectacular downfall. One man, one day, the trembling of global markets. Eric Packer, age 28, emerges from his $104-million penthouse triplex and settles into his lavishly customized white stretch limo. At age four, Packer figured out what he would weigh on every planet in the solar system. Now, he is a billionaire asset manager, and on this April day in the year 2000, he is a man with two missions: to pursue a cataclysmic bet against the yen and to get a haircut across town. His journey to the barbershop is a contemporary odyssey, funny and riveting. Stalled in traffic by a presidential motorcade, a music idol's funeral, a movie in the making, and a violent political demonstration, Eric receives a string of visitors - his experts on security, technology, currency, finance, and theory. Sometimes he leaves the car for intimate encounters. Sometimes he doesn't have to.

for more info, and to see the book's cover, visit the delillo site at perival.com.

more don d.! the rights to underworld were purchased at the time of book's publication by scott rudin (south park, the royal tenenbaums). p.t. anderson was approached to direct, but he ultimately passed and rudin's option lapsed. the rights have since been bought by robert greenwald (xanadu, the burning bed (!)).

meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, barry sonnenfeld and disney obtained the rights to white noise in 1999. their option was scheduled to run out this month, but as recently as june '02, the movie was mentioned to have been in development at disney. i'm a bit nervous about this, but we'll see what happens.
is anyone else outraged by the nissan xterra ad featuring the stooges' "t.v. eye"? i like to consider myself a rather relaxed person. oh sure, i get flustered, even flabbergasted at times. but when i saw this ad -- with extreme skiers, no less -- i felt genuine outrage. of course this isn't the first time iggy/stooges music has been used in ads: there was nike and "search & destroy"; "the passenger" for guinness; "real wild child," used by ftd; and the ubiquitous "lust for life." none of these bothered me at the time -- in fact i was pleased to see the music get some recognition. perhaps i feel this just ossifies the trend of using "alt" music in ads, of appealing, well, to whom, exactly? it seems like it's done just to get on my nerves. "tv eye" feels like an especially personal affront, it feels like a violation of my headphone world. funhouse, i gather was not a commercially successful album, and "tv eye" is an album track. it's a song i've never heard anywhere outside of my room, my car, my discman; a song i felt that i, in particular, championed. and now it's being used to sell cars and, worst of all, it's not even a good commercial. i'm just tiring of this infringement upon my secret world by large corporations. it feels as if there's no place left for us to live privately anymore, with our passions undetected by the mainstream.
"the heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit."

11 October 2002

ever notice how celebrities never endorse tampons? it's a big market, i'd bet. as big as hair color, i would imagine, if not bigger. and it is the feria commercial with natalie imbruglia and beyonce knowles that calls this to mind. if i recall correctly, that commercial has a lot of quick cuts and makes it seem like there are more people in the commercial than just those two. similarly, this tampon commercial i saw last night used these techniques: it was very flashy for a tampons commercial. one shot had five good-looking young women standing together, and each had been featured separately. at this group shot, i stared intently, to the point of squinting, to make out if any of them were famous. i don't think they were.

i certainly can understand the reticence on the part of female stars. i mean, who wants to be associated with menzies? but have the companies tried to reach out? is it just a waste? like the commercial where one sees a hot, active chick shooting the shit, stealing one's heart, until she asserts that she "may have herpes, but it doesn't have [her.]" is natalie imbruglia, at this stage in her career, really above doing tampon ads? perhaps they should give the celebs in the surreal life a call. why, i bet hammer would do it.

10 October 2002

the best commercial on television is for steven seagal's true hollywood story. it seems to be about only twenty seconds long. first, the professional announcer sets the scene, intoning over a montage of seagal images. then it cuts to video footage: seagal, with his back to the camera, is running down a hall. his arms, swinging very freely, are bent at about a 140-degree angle; his hands, open, are pointing towards the ground; his feet are giving his ass a kicking with every stride. over the top of this, a disembodied voice says, "if you look at him run, he runs like a woman."
kabbalism: is it the religion for celebs who smirk at scientologists? reason i ask is that i just saw madonna on larry king talking about the sect. it seems like a very convenient faith: according to her, one is not beholden to petty dogma or forced to adhere to constricting rules, dietary or otherwise. instead, they just have to understand that "we are all one." jesus was a kabbalist, she says. so is guy ritchie. (guess who converted whom?)
"the ketchup song" is the worst song on the radio right now. thankfully, for now it's quarantined on ktu, which always seems to be ground zero for this type of contagion, cf. "heaven." now, i was aware of "the ketchup song," how it was poised to be the next big novelty hit. also, i heard this song on the radio which i wanted to come home and say was the worst song currently on the airwaves. i subjected myself to at least two minutes worth of the song, a song that seems to be nothing more than the chorus of "rapper's delight" with some "la la"s thrown in and set to a "latin" beat that even paulina rubio would scoff at. i'm saying to myself: "this must be 'the ketchup song.' it has to be." so i sit through this onslaught and, whaddya know, the dj doesn't say what the song was. so i go to ktu's website, check their playlist -- and there it is. "the ketchup song." i verify some lyrics, and that brings us up to date.

"the ketchup song" is the sound of your mother dragging you out to the dancefloor at your sister's wedding.

09 October 2002

i don't think i've said anything about erick sermon's "react." hip-hop's recent fling with the east began with timbaland's asian dalliances and were brought further into focus by dj quik's production on "addictive" by truth hurts. that track was structured so that it seemed like the bollywood soundtrack was coming from a passing car of from the upstairs neighbor's apartment. truth hurts peformed her half of the song as if she were coolly unaware of her hindi counterpart. this is where "react" differs from what came before it: the chorus of the song is a reaction to the vocal sample. "whatever she said, then i'm that," sermon responds. this self-consciousness would seem self-congratulatory in other hands; sermon is such a laid-back, mirthful guy, though, that i'll give him a break (a luxury i wouldn't afford to, say, jermaine dupri). besides, it's satisfying to hear him finally formulate a cogent post-epmd, post-zapp sound, like an artless timbaland with dr. dre’s polish (providing he did produce the track, which has always been his raison d'etre.)
what the FUCK?!: pardon my language but, again i say, what the FUCK?! link from mitch; i don't know whether to thank him or to (meep) spank him.
stolen from bill:
Not a sample sale?

Toni Braxton is accusing hitmaking couple Jay-Z and Beyoncé Knowles of "lifting" one of her songs.

A few months ago, expectant mother Braxton recorded "Me and My Boyfriend" (which samples Tupac Shakur's "Me and My Girlfriend") for her CD "More than a Woman," which is due out next month.

Braxton's Arista Records rep, Chris Chambers, tells us that Braxton offered Def Jam Records president Kevin Liles, a friend, the chance to hear the completed track early.

According to Chambers, Braxton believes Liles "played it for [Def Jam artist] Jay-Z" and that the rapper and his new love interest, Knowles, cribbed the Tupac sample and a melody from Baxton for their duet "Bonnie and Clyde."

"When you listen to them, they are the same song," claims Chambers. "She [Braxton] thinks it's unethical."

A Def Jam rep had no comment at press time.

i remember a similar 'disagreement' transpired between ice cube and cypress hill, the latter claiming the former stole a beat of theirs that they'd played for him the studio. this situation is interesting because, in olden days, r&b artists used to make the beats that rappers stole: in this scenario, an r&b singer is claiming that a rapper stole a beat that she in turn stole from another rapper. now, i tend to like it when r&b acts jack hip-hop beats -- besides being turnabout-is-fair-play, it's almost like a bootleg, airy vocals and melodies contrasting with a hard-hitting track. what i no longer care for are acts who utilize a beat that was once an r&b song but a song that only became popular after it was used by a hip-hop artist, e.g. ashanti's "foolish." it's the same kind of recycling that makes "heaven (candlelight remix)" insipid, viz. power-ballad-cum-lame-dance-cum-power-ballad-all-over-again.

08 October 2002

being granted the right to perform a bond theme is an honor, a recognition of either where one is at in the industry (a-ha) or how far one has come (tina turner). then, of course, there's the strange case of matt monro. but i digress.

with this boon, there is the weight of expectation and legacy. since bond has been ceded a gradually lower profile, catering to a niche market, the former is easily borne; the latter is arguably as strong as ever, with the redoubtable ghosts of john barry and shirley bassey ever-present. most artists commit self-abnegation, surrendering their particular styles and checking their egos at the door -- iggy pop, for chrissakes, on the shaken and stirred comp, mews a respectful "we have all the time in the world." a small few, though, have made bond their bitch. so to speak.

paul mccartney was the first artist to pen his own bond theme, but the overlapping of styles -- the pomp, the circumstance -- between bond and wings makes this a negligible case. next, then, were duran duran, who flung both bond and his heritage into the fire and forced him to dance therein. the end result: a #1 pop single. "view to a kill" sounds like contemporaneous duran duran material, and even the sampled horns from the 007 theme reinforce that. maybe this is why i'm reminded of duran duran when i hear madonna's "die another day."

like the duranis, madonna makes bond bend -- or dance, even -- to her rules. "i'm gonna break the cycle, i'm gonna shake up the system," she says and that she does. david arnold, current bond composer, is electro-friendly but it's hard to imagine that anyone but madonna and (i'm guessing) mirwais had a hand in this single. pizzicato strings swoop in and out of the track, blissfully unaware of the beat's fluctuating rhythms, of the stop-and-start patterns of the track. james bond is reimagined as a club maven, living in williamsburg, listening to tiga, and the change does him good. the change will assuredly do the bond theme good: "die another day" is the first single since, yes, "view to a kill" to trouble the pop charts. meanwhile, madonna, known for her penchant for frequent reinvention, wisely stays the electronic course and comes up with her best single in ages.

07 October 2002

songs to download & sing (in this order):
lemon jelly, "space walk"
mitch ryder, "when you were mine"
jay-z ft. beyonce, "'03 bonnie & clyde"
ll cool j ft. marc dorsey, "love u better"
suede, "lonely girls"
sinead o'connor, "molly malone"
foo fighters, "all my life"
shania twain, "gonna getcha good"
snoop dogg ft. pharrell, "from tha chuuuch to da palace"
von bondies, "it came from japan"
can anything be inferred about the politics of the networks showing -- fox, upn -- and not showing the president's speech on iraq? (abc, cbs, nbc.) abc may not want to interrupt its lead-in to monday night football; cbs, to everybody loves raymond. and nbc has msnbc (and fear factor.)
i've been negligent by not mentioning some of the fantastic blogs that have recently registered on my radar. they are:
submeat: thomas has great taste -- mainly because it seems to mirror my own -- and probably the best 90s list i've seen to date. (and i don't expect to see too many more.) also, he was unwittingly the catalyst for this post, reminding me of the great sites that i've been meaning to give a nod to for the longest time.
perpetual motion: bill johnson! one of my old a.m.prince cohorts, all grown up and with a site of his own. oh, sure, he likes jeff buckley, but he's generally good people. just don't ask why they call him junebug!
the minor fall, major lift: tmftml is a great repository for links and features pithy commentary on each. readers of this page may remember when it went through a newslink phase, but rest assured, tmftml pulls it off with greater aplomb.
the rub: first off, the rub is one of the best-looking sites i've come across and, hands down, the most attractive pita page. but, like yours truly, more than just looks factor into its appeal. the writing is intelligent and compelling even though, musically, our taste has little intersection. different strokes and all of that.
no rock&roll fun: simon b. writes at length about a number of uk music issues, all of which are dear to my anglophilic heart. PLUS: lots of pictures of debbie harry.
spizzazz: spizzazz has fairly great taste, avril notwithstanding. moreover, there's a free-wheeling, devil-may-care approach to writing that was once this page's stock-in-trade.
odd credit from the sopranos: watching the credits after last night's episode, i noticed this: dialect coach to mr. gandolfini. he was born and raised in westwood, nj; he went to rutgers. why does he need someone to teach him how to speak like he's from jersey? is his accent not stereotypical enough?
ti esrev er dna ti pilf nwod gniht ym tup i: so, if you haven't figured out yet, the backwards message in the chorus of missy's "work it" is saying, "i put my thing down, flip it and reverse it." in the second verse, she says, "watch the way missy like to take it backwards." credit it to windows sound recorder and an inquisitive nature.

06 October 2002

(n.b. the new jay-z single, i've just discovered, is officially being called "'03 bonnie & clyde." it's gone by both names on the net, and even that title is a nod to a line in tupac's original ("'96 bonnie & clyde.") i could've edited the below to include this information, but i didn't want to ruin the symmetry.)
the metempsychosis of tupac shakur: following tupac's passing, the race was on as to who would be the new tupac. an early contender was dmx because he was raw; his music belied his east coast roots; and he was often seen shirtless. he also had the dubious task of resurrecting steven seagal's film career with exit wounds. the co-star of seagal's lastest movie is the next in line for the tupac crown: ja rule. like dmx, he has a penchant for toplessness; unlike dmx, the ladies love him for his vulnerability. ja rule's problem, though, is that he's far too eager to please. for sho', tupac wouldn't have done a j-lo duet unless he was poking her, and so the search continues.

the least likely person to inherit the role, particularly given his fealty to his boro and his kinship with biggie, is jay-z. and yet the new jay-z single, "me and my girlfriend," is "me and my girlfriend" by tupac, d.b.a. makaveli. the beat is the same, the chorus is the same -- well, almost: beyonce sings the second line of the chorus which, in the original, went "down to ride to the bloody end." it doesn't go that way anymore. i have no idea how one begins to credit this thing. (for one, i suppose, there'll be a writing credit for prince, whose "if i was your girlfriend" is interpolated near the end -- a jay-z addition to the original. )

on the heels of common's "i used to love h.e.r." rappers nationwide begin introducing metaphor to their rhymes. so in pac's version, "me and my girlfriend" is about his 9mm; jay-z takes the literal route and makes it about his sex shooter, his girl. rumor has it that jay is poking beyonce, to the, one can only imagine, great consternation of matthew knowles. jay-z has his thuggish side, as we all know, and even his misogynistic side, but here he offers some tenderness: "the problem is you dudes treat the one that you're lovin' with the same respect that you treat the one that you're fuckin'." he even talks about watching sex & the city!

virility, ruggedness, and sensitivity: jay-z states his case as heir to both biggie and pac.
zadie smith's second novel, the autograph man, is out. and apparently it is no good. a shame since i was looking forward to it; anyone want to say otherwise?
you know you're watching too much reality tv when you're watching tlc's a dating story -- now, wait, i'm not finished -- and you recognize the woman as one of the "contestants" from the bachelor (gwen). i think this even one-ups big brother 3's josh appearing on blind date. (but still not as amusing as bobbie brown's appearance on the self-same show, where she gets dissed by a meathead.)

03 October 2002

another week, another mix. here are the contents of my latest compilation.
1. blondie, "hanging on the telephone" (from parallel lines lp, 1978)
-a telephone ringing seemed like the perfect place to start; in this age, it's environmental static.
2. kitchens of distinction, "drive that fast" (from mp3, orig. 1991)
-band's name came up when the topic of interpol was broached. hearing this is a brilliant outgrowth of that discussion. like bunnymen for u2 fans. i'd buy this album if i could find it.
3. patrick hernandez, "born to be alive"(from disco box box, orig. 1979)
-i remember hearing this on the radio and thinking it was new order. until i realized radio doesn't play new order.
4. golden boy ft. miss kittin, "rippin kittin" (from mp3, orig. 2002)
-not a reinterpretation of the misfits' "mommy, can i go out and kill tonight?" or a nod to mother, may i sleep with danger? or even a rape fantasy about la kittin, but immensely enjoyable all the same.
5. madonna, "die another day" (from mp3, orig. 2002)
-oh, i want to say more about this later.
6 beck, "lost cause" (from sea change lp, 2002)
-supposedly the "winona" song. somehow she came up in my class about victorian literature. beck, however, did not.
7. prince, "when you were mine" (from dirty mind lp, 1980)
-because i couldn't find a decent-sounding version of mitch ryder's cover.
8. al green, "i tried to tell myself" (from have a good time lp, 1976)
-his most insidious hook. i find myself singing it more than any of his other songs, so i put it on a disc.
9. coral, "dreaming of you" (from mp3, orig. 2002)
-probably the most garage-sounding song of any i've heard during this whole 'revival.'
10. rolling stones, "i just want to make love you" (from the london singles collection comp, orig. 1964.)
-because i do.
11. buddy holly, "i'm gonna love you too" (from the buddy holly collection comp, orig. 1957)
-much better than the blondie cover. though the above's "not fade away" is better than his.
12. creedence clearwater revival, "travelin band" (from chronicle, vol. 1 comp, orig. 1970)
-long one of the gaps in my listening. quite intentionally since i find most of their hits boring. but columbia house interceded, said i needed to fulfill my obligation and the pickins were slim. so i ordered chronicle. this is my favorite, currently, as it plays into my love of little richard, and then throws in a little chuck berry and chubby checker for the hell of it. i like my rock loud and fast. just like my women. (i also like my rock short, but that's not necessarily always the case with my women.)
13. ramones, "do you want to dance?" (from rocket to russia lp, 1977)
-i had the beach boys cover on one of my recent mixes. i had heard the original -- by bobby freeman -- on the radio the other day and was impressed by how three very different versions were made from such paltry original material.
14. mitch ryder & the detroit wheels, "jenny take a ride!" (from rev-up: the best of... lp, orig.
-the first bootleg? combines chuck willis's "c.c. rider" and little richard's "jenny, jenny," mixes them up, and gives it a clever title. neat!
15. aerosmith, "mama kin" (from aerosmith lp, 1973)
-covered, but not improved by guns 'n' roses. aerosmith at their most doll-ish, like "human being." which guns 'n' roses did improve upon.
16. sinead o'connor, "mandinka" (from the lion & the cobra lp, 1987)
-i love sinead: her look (and her looks), her attitude, her sound. but there are few of her songs that i really like. this is one of them.
17. playgroup, "number one" (from playgroup lp, 2002)
-i'd really love new daft punk, but this will do for now.
18. sam cooke, "tennesse waltz" (from keep movin' on comp, orig. 1964)
-never has this sad song seemed so celebratory. credit it to cooke's vocals, among his best and most exuberant.
19. gene pitney, "every breath i take" (from back to mono (1958-1969) box, orig. 1961)
-i really don't know how this song got here. i suppose i hear a collection of songs and then another song starts to float through my head, suggesting itself as a fine compliment to the rest. this would be one.
20. new edition, "can you stand the rain?" (from greatest hits, vol. 1 comp, orig. 1989)
-nostalgia. pure nostalgia.
21. elvis presley, "in the ghetto" (from elvis 30 #1 hits comp, orig. 1969)
-as mentioned earlier, the track with the best remastering. and a damn fine song besides.
22. coldplay, "amsterdam" (from a rush of blood to the head lp, 2002)
-oh, i know. i know.
23. frank sinatra, "dancing on the ceiling" (from in the wee small hours lp, 1954)
-the last track selected for the disc. it struck me as a perfect coda -- to-the-point longing, a suitable response to coldplay's vague melancholy.

01 October 2002

karen o. is the shirley temple of rock. and i would not like the yeah yeah yeahs if she were a man. it is her cooing that keeps songs like "tick," "black tongue," and, yeah, even "bang" from being garage-rock bores. a chorus of "uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, OOOH" would simply not work in the hands of a male singer, and i'm sure it doesn't even translate to the page very well. it is the pitch hit on that "OOOH" that resonates with me, somewhere south of a girlish shriek, somewhere north of an orgasm.

and i'm not sure what this says about me. am i a sexist? am i merely buying into karen o.'s shtick unquestioningly? for the record, i've seen her and i'm not really that attracted to her -- does this mitigate things? or does it make me even more irredeemably male, i.e. the phone-sex-operator effect?
here you can find the results of the rolling stone readers top 100 albums poll. americans sure do love their flannel-rock: any number of albums by counting crows, dave matthews band, and pearl jam can be found scattered throughout the top 100. for those of you who'd rather not click the link, here are the top 10:
1. beatles, revolver
2. nirvana, nevermind
3. beatles, sgt. pepper's lonely hearts club band
4. u2, the joshua tree
5. beatles, the white album
6. beatles, abbey road
7. guns 'n' roses, appetite for destruction
8. radiohead, ok computer
9. led zeppelin, iv
10. u2, achtung baby