29 September 2004

so, yeah, smile is out in record stores, thirty-seven years after its conception. but william shatner can top that -- it's taken him THIRTY-SIX YEARS to record his sophomore album. well, maybe it doesn't top that, but it does beat my bloody valentine, guns & roses, and the stone roses combined.

"that's me trying" was penned by the unusual writing team of nick hornby and ben folds, with aimee mann on backing vocals b/c, when you hear the song, if you hear the song, you'll realize that this is exactly the sort of thing she does. i'm not a big fan, or, indeed, a fan at all, of either of the musicians involved: indeed, out of the three here who have recording contracts, my favorite recording is "mr. tambourine man." so, of course, the cynical reaction is to think that this will be some unholy synthesis of about a boy, "brick," and the magnolia ost and that's even without accounting for shatner. a few minutes in, mildly enjoying the track i mentally composed a short review: "wow, this song really makes me wish i had a child i'd abandoned just so i could try to make up with her."

but, holy shit, out of nowhere, this thing moved me. it's like david ackles' "down river," except about a kid, about a girl (quiet -- i'm trying to be serious). basically, it comes down to shatner as actor and the listener's ability to believe him. perhaps it's just me, and i apologize mr. shatner, but i can see shatner as deadbeat dad easier than i can see shatner as jarvis cocker (which is another song, and another story.) sample lyric:

how about this: let's choose a book and we'll read it before we meet,
then we can sit down at a restaurant, have a look at the menu, and talk about it while we eat.

see ... if we never had a problem, then that's what life would be like.

he speaks, he doesn't sing, this is shatner being shatner, not being richard harris; shatner as personality, shatner as pitchman -- but more than that, this is shatner the pitchman in the service of shatner, the man, a man who has know pain: the record draws a remarkably thin line between the two. the latter subsumes the former by song's close. in one of the bigger musical surprises of 2004, even more so than the cover of "common people," "that's me trying" does something that never entered my mind prior to hitting play: it makes me feel.

28 September 2004

u2, "vertigo." having saved their career, bono is now free to save the world. if "vertigo" is any indication, how to dismantle an atomic bomb will be a laid-back affair, to its predecessor as rattle & hum was to joshua tree: htdaab will be the concert album, only without the concert, if that makes any sense. only, one can hope that it won't be the zooropa to achtung baby. (an aside: as much a beating as zooropa takes, "the first time" and "stay" are two of my more favorite u2 songs.)

as for "vertigo" itself, it's fun, though one would like to hear what the earlier, fire-breathing incarnation of u2 would have made of it ... until one recalls that said version of u2 was anything but fun, and so the looseness and the playfulness, typified by the interjections of spanish, would be out the window (i mean, could you imagine a young bono skipping from three to fourteen in his count-in?) still, the band knows what we're looking for, and bono is smart enough to throw in the grace note of "feel," and then "kneel." in short, i am optimistic.

preliminary thoughts on nancy sinatra: the best song i've heard is, and typical in these all-star affairs, written by a couple of nobodies and nancy's kid, called "bossman" (the song, not her kid, though if she wanted to heaven knows i wouldn't stop her.) the most memorable, mostly for bad reasons, is thurston moore's "momma's boy." creepy early 80s soniks, but the rest is garbage and not even intimations of oedipal-lovin' can save it.

oh, and jarvis cocker's "don't let him waste your time," with nancy as agony aunt, may ultimately end up being the best track on the album. bono & the edge's contribution makes me less optimistic about their own album: the title, "two shots of happy, one shot of sad," is so bad that even michael buble would think twice. lastly, if morrissey were a true friend, he would've suggested that nancy cover timi yuro's "interlude," something he and siouxsie sioux did to grand effect, instead of throwing her the dog from his own most recent album.

27 September 2004

oh my God. what i'm suggesting sounds like a livejournal, doesn't it? only without the pictures and the angst. well, most of the angst. i am somewhat angsty. after all, i just turned 27. tick tick tick ...

26 September 2004

that, indeed, what i want to do here is to do this for me. i've always had this notion that there is this "audience" out there, composed of i don't know whom -- well, maybe not, i can always guess a few of you who are around to poke the corpse with a stick. does that sound terrible? it does, doesn't it. i don't mean it that way at all: in fact, i love youze guys -- and if there are girls among you, i love you MORE. despite the fact that i don't ever do anything to see how you all are doing. i do think about you and the thoughts are always quite fond and tender.

so, with all those beautiful sentiments related, what i'm saying is that i don't care if people are reading this. i don't can if people AREN'T. what my new formulation is for 'vain, selfish & lazy' is exactly that: vain, selfish & lazy. well, perhaps less of the "lazy." so, no more lists. no more countdowns. but more unfinished fragments. HOORAY.

or should that be "boo"?
i think part of the problem is this compulsive belief that everything i post on here be definitive. i'd much rather use this as a honest-to-goodness journal (i can't bring myself to say the b-word anymore, despite the fact that vs&l is powered by it; it's a word that's not meant to be said, in my estimation at least, and recently all anyone anywhere can do IS say it) instead of as a platform for honest-to-goodness polished pieces.

all right.

so people are watching this space. how WEIRD!

i wish i could think of a way to make this seem less like a burden, like something that needs to maintained, and that it needs to be maintained in a very particular way. perhaps i could sneak in posts while i'm in office hours at school. is that reckless and/or irresponsible?

if anyone is interested, i'm looking at my winamp and these are the artists currently populating it: the chameleons; television personalities; jacques dutronc; blood, sweat, and tears; the bluebells; comsat angels; and eminem's new single.

08 September 2004

holy shit!


sean hannity used sleeper's "what do i do now?" as bumper music on his show. WHAT?!

just don't ask me how i now.

wow, i'm really glad no one will read this.