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Monday, September 8, 2008

Noel Gallagher Attacked by Crazy Canadian

posted by on September 8 at 3:38 PM

From the oasisnet.com:

Oasis', Noel Gallagher was attacked by an unidentified man during the band's show in Toronto last night. While Noel and the band were performing 'Morning Glory', the assailant ran on from the back of the stage and pushed Noel from behind, who fell heavily on to his monitor speakers.

Despite his injuries, Noel returned to the stage a few minutes later to complete the band's set but was taken to hospital after the show to be examined for a suspected fractured rib and ligament damage. The assailant was detained in police custody and will be charged with assault.

No decision has been made regarding Tuesday's concert in London, Ontario, but fans are urged to keep checking the band's web site Oasisinet.com and local media for updates.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Band Name Game!

posted by on June 24 at 1:15 PM

Q: What do these bands have in common?

The Descending Teeth
Rupert Smooth and the Sandwiches
Spandrel Addict
The Chiffon Robots

A: They don't exist ... not yet. Each tasty little moniker up there was randomly generated by way of a secret Surrealist recipe I concocted a few years ago under the influence of Andre Breton and a few bottles of porter. I've been known to impose this game on friends whenever uncomfortable silences threaten to derail an evening out. I call it "The Band Name Game". Ooh! Not bad. Yes, I'm a writer too.

Official Rules for "The Band Name Game" after this brief pause for station identification.....

Continue reading "The Band Name Game!" »


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I'm Not the Only Person Who Does This, Right?

posted by on May 14 at 3:30 PM

Who else walks around the city listening to music pretending they're in a music video and/or movie?

I do.

I totally do.

Today I was in Death Cab's "Transatlanticism" video. Last night I was in Hold Steady's "First Night" and the Clash's "Lost in the Supermarket."

I'm a star.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

For Thirsty Thurston

posted by on May 6 at 6:20 PM

urinetherapy.jpgIn response to Kirby's earlier post:

Urine Therapy and the first World Conference on Urine Therapy:

The basic definition of "urine therapy" is using (your own) urine internally or externally as a way to aid or sustain your health. Urine therapy, which includes drinking, injecting, massaging with, and/or bathing in urine, is an ancient practice that is used today, not only in times of sickness, but also in times of good health for preventive health maintenance. It has been claimed to have proven helpful in a great number of varying illnesses, ranging from a simple cold and a throat-ache, to tuberculosis and asthma, from minor skin problems such as itching to major skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis and even skin cancer. – jeff lowe

Update:

1. Midstream urine should be used.

2. Urine should be sipped like tea and not drunk like water.

3. The first flow of the day is the most important.

4. When you feel mentally prepared to attempt the actual practice, collect some fresh urine and start by rubbing your hands with it.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Daft Morning

posted by on April 29 at 9:00 AM

Via United States of Michael.


Monday, April 21, 2008

I Missed Last Night's Rock of Love Reunion Show

posted by on April 21 at 4:12 PM

But I don't really need to now that this video made it up on YouTube:

"Whatever, Stevie Nicks!"

More Than This?

posted by on April 21 at 3:45 PM

Merchant plus maize?
nathalie_merchant_150.jpg
Heaven? Is this heaven, where we are?


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

ain't that clean!

posted by on April 2 at 10:30 AM

animal vs buddy! so HOT!

oh yeah...and beaker!

No, I Don't Only Listen to Pop Punk From 1997 and Eric Grandy Doesn't Only Listen to Daft Punk

posted by on April 2 at 10:00 AM

And we can prove it, motherfuckers.

The Stranger has its very own Last.fm account, so now you can see what everyone in the office is listening to while working on the paper (or, in some cases, reading blogs instead of working on the paper).

For example, this week's issue (on stands later today), was brought to you by:

lastfmscreen.JPG

We've also been listening to the Idle Race, the White Stripes, Modest Mouse, Radiohead, Thee Oh Sees, Notorious B.I.G., Big Black, Sleater-Kinney, Aqueduct, Styx, Scout Niblett... it goes on and on.

Last.fm is pretty cool. You can type in a favorite artist and it'll create a random playlist of similar artists based on what other people who like that band are also listening to. And it's free. And it has a lot of songs available for free streaming, so if you have a craving for, say, Alkaline Trio's "Cooking Wine," but you don't have that song in your iTunes, you can log on and hear it.

Visit our profile, www.last.fm/user/seattlestranger, and see what we're listening to right this very second. And if you have a last.fm account, be our friend. We'd love to share music with you.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Stop Tha Press!

posted by on March 26 at 11:33 AM

Victoria Beckham squeezes into her tightest trousers ever!
victoriaXPO2503_468x784.jpg
The story:

Victoria Beckham braved the London chill in just a low-cut blazer, a pair of driving gloves and an incredibly tight pair of PVC trousers which looked like a second skin

Second skin my ass.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Return of Mariah

posted by on March 25 at 4:55 PM

Ooooo...
Picture%208.jpg
...what a little photoshopping can do.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Looking For My Dark Angel With Long Hair

posted by on March 6 at 1:40 PM

Oh, how I've wasted my morning. Looking for actual music news I stumbled across my new favorite website, gothscene.com. I was curious - how many goth women ages 18-40 are in Seattle, waiting online to meet me? This many:

gothscene.jpg

I couldn't help myself. I had to create an account. Oh, how I've wasted my morning. This is my favorite kind of cultural anthropology. I won't post any pictures, because that might be construed as "inappropriate" or "shitty" or something, but I can post some of my favorite headlines. The best: "Nancy Seeks Her Sid." You're looking for a drug addict to (allegedly) murder you in a hotel room? Keep reaching for those stars! Other notables: "These Scars Don't Heal," "My Kiss Is As Deep As My Bite," and "im emo i like emo guys* i like razors yah um i like unicorns too." This is paydirt. I'm going to be trolling this thing all day. And I haven't even started looking at the dudes yet.

The Best Video Game Music of All Time

posted by on March 6 at 11:23 AM

scaled.3crabs.jpeg

Over on Slog, I reviewed the Richard Powers reading last night at Benaroya Hall. The story that Powers read was all about music, and it featured a composer who was touring the symphony halls of the world with classic video game theme music.

It occurred to me during the reading that the best video game music of all time is the original Kid Icarus game for the original Nintendo platform. I don't play many video games, never really did, but I was totally obsessed with the soundtrack of Kid Icarus. Only the original Legend of Zelda comes anywhere near it in terms of catchiness, relative complexity, and all-around thematic satisfaction. From the title theme to the triumphant underworld score to the spooky fortress music to the reggae-like sky world music, it's just a phenomenal soundtrack.

All music links and the image come from The Kid Icarus Shrine, which is a truly weird, wonderful place.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Story of the Body

posted by on March 4 at 1:19 PM

There is a wonderful line in Salt-n-Pepa's most important contribution to the history of hiphop, "My Mic Sounds Nice":
23376721.jpg

"And you know, if I was a book I would sell/Because every curve on my body has got a story to tell."

Is this not the essence of Barthes' The Pleasure of the Text? , his "text of bliss (joissance)"? Barthes' writes: "The pleasure of the text is that moment when my body pursues its own ideas..." The curves, the words, the bliss, the skin, the text, the body, the story, the taste, the idea, the surface, the kiss, the salt. For a book to be great, for a poem to be great, there is "no need to be dressed." Why? Because "it's fresh to the flesh."


Monday, March 3, 2008

From Start to Finish

posted by on March 3 at 2:36 PM

I've noticed this strange trend lately...

Starting May 7th, Local H will begin a 7-night stand at Chicago’s Beat Kitchen, culminating on May 13th with the release and performance of their latest studio album, 12 Angry Months (Shout!Factory). Local H will perform a different studio album, in its entirety, on each night.

Bands playing their albums from start to finish is kind of a new development in setlist advancement. Harvey Danger is doing it this week at the Triple Door, doing Where Have All the Merrymakers Gone on Thursday and King James Version and Little By Little on Friday. I saw Sonic Youth (Daydream Nation), Slint (Spiderland), and GZA (Liquid Swords) do it at Pitchfork Fest last year. Sparks are doing it with every single one of their records, for 21 days in a row in celebration for the release of their 21st record. The idea seems to originate with the All Tomorrow's Parties Festival, who set up that Pitchfork Fest occasion and solicit bands especially for this type of thing--their next event is Public Enemy performing It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.

Why is this catching on? At first glance, it seems masturbatory. "Oooh, look at you, playing all the songs you finely crafted on your brilliant album in exactly they way you originally smartly conceived of them! Aren't you, the artist, one huge motherfucking genius?" Especially with smaller bands, it can seem like someone might be getting a little ahead of themselves. Sonic Youth are huge motherfucking geniuses, but I don't think I'd say that about Local H (ahem).

This kind of formulated track list also has the potential to blow a band's wad a little too early. If you have your single as your first track, and then you play it first, it's possible that everyone will stop paying attention right after. I was afraid of this happening at the CD release for Kay Kay & His Weathered Underground's record at the Triple Door when they played "Hey Momma" first, but luckily, their album worked in this fashion--they start to jam pretty hard by the end of it, and you should definitely start with melody and end with jam.

All in all, I think it's cool, though. I'm a total record nerd, and it's kind of a wet dream to be able to note every pause, every time change, every song-to-song idiosyncracy in real time. I am also an album-order lover--the kind of person who can hardly stand shuffle. This is the only way concept album should be played (right now, I'd pay about a zillion bucks to see the Extraordinaire's Ribbons of War in this fashion, but more about that record later). It's not right for every band, but when done well, playing an album from start to finish live is the most gratifying way it can be done. And the fans fucking go nuts.

Father of Mine

posted by on March 3 at 2:35 PM

125842__everclear_l.jpg

Today's news about Everclear releasing a new album brings me back to a more simple time in life. Back before high school, girlfriends, and puberty, when it all got so hectic and hard. It was 1997, so I must have been nine or ten years old when I first heard their hit song, "Father of Mine" on Kiss 106.1. That song ran my world for a solid minute, and I remember I definitely bought the album, So Much For The Afterglow, specifically to listen to it over and over again. What was it about the song that hit me so hard? I can't explain it. Even hearing it today breaks my heart a little bit. The story of a boy abandoned, given a name, only to have his neglectful father walk away and out of his life...


Friday, February 29, 2008

March 9th at Studio7!!! Firestorm!!!

posted by on February 29 at 3:16 PM

There are tales in rock lore so brilliantly absurd that I’m willing to accept them as fact despite their improbability—life is simply more rich and interesting when they are regarded as true.

Case in point: an acquaintance of mine had a great story about going to see Ted Nugent back in the ‘80s. The night started with a curtain drawn across the stage. Suddenly, the house lights dimmed and the sound of the Nuge’s blistering guitar leads blared out of the PA. The crowd erupted into applause. The curtains pulled back and the Nuge ran out from behind the enormous drum riser, still demonstrating his extensive fret board awareness while the rest of the band prepared to kick in on the downbeat of the first song (I hope it was "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang"). At the crucial moment, he leapt from the drum riser and attempted a flip that, ideally, would plant him center stage right on the first chord. Instead, the Nuge miscalculated his trajectory and landed with an amplified crunch in a crumpled heap, both legs broken. The curtains quickly drew back and the one-chord-deep concert was over.

Did this really happen? Probably not. I’ve scoured the Internet looking for confirmation, hoping that it’s true, all to no avail. But regardless, in my mind it is a historical fact. The world is a better place that way.

The recently reunited straight edge hardcore band Earth Crisis share more with ol’ Teddy than just an outspoken stance against drugs and alcohol; they also have one of those classic rumored live incidents that may or not be true. Earth Crisis is best known for the title track off their 1993 EP, "Firestorm." It’s no small wonder that they have also chosen that song as the name of their current reunion tour (appearing at Studio7 on March 9th). The song rocks. Even fifteen years and countless beers later, I can’t help but love "Firestorm." Lyrically, it’s the ultimate straight edge anthem, a rally cry to purge drug dealers from inner-city ghettos. Musically, it’s genius. At least 95% of the song is just palm-muted E power chords. If it winds up on Guitar Hero, it will be the easiest song to beat EVER.

This combination of militancy and mosh-tastic songwriting managed to carry Earth Crisis to the top of the mid-to-late ‘90s straight edge scene despite the fact that all their subsequent recordings were, in my opinion, god-awful. And while Earth Crisis shows were laden with documented reports of violence and controversy, my favorite story regarding one of the band’s performances has never been confirmed.

The rumor has Earth Crisis playing some club in Salt Lake City several years after the Firestorm EP came out. Bear in mind that this was the ‘90s, when the SLC straight edge scene was notoriously violent and considered the primary gang presence in Utah. The band, no doubt road-weary and thoroughly sick of playing their “hits”, played through a set of new material. Several songs into the set, the audience began calling out for "Firestorm." The band ignored their wishes. Between every song, the call came: “Play 'Firestorm'!”

The band finally had enough. “We’re not playing 'Firestorm' tonight,” stated vocalist Karl Buechner. There was a pause, then someone in the crowd yelled out: “Play 'Firestorm' or we’ll beat the shit out of you.” The band, familiar with Salt Lake’s violent reputation, conceded. The crowd went crazy. At the completion of the song, a voice yelled out “play it again.” The band refused. “Play it again or we’ll beat the shit out of you.” And thus Earth Crisis found their set list rendered null and void as the audience bullied them into playing Firestorm over and over again. Like the Nuge’s broken legs, there doesn’t appear to be any resources available to lend credibility to the rumors, but I just pretend they’re true anyway.

The clip below shows Earth Crisis, in all their glory, performing "Firestorm" at their final concert. Judging from the audience response, I’d say the probability of the SLC story being accurate is quite high.


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Enough About Rush... How Do You Feel About Jefferson Starship?

posted by on February 7 at 5:08 PM

Personally, I'm pro. In most cases.

I also love the movie Mannequin.


Monday, February 4, 2008

And Now, Here's Some Children Breakdancing

posted by on February 4 at 5:21 PM

At a church talent show:

On Japanese TV:

In the living room with mismatched socks:


Friday, February 1, 2008

Who's The Nigga In Charge Over Here?

posted by on February 1 at 3:02 PM

Cold boosted from the best hiphop blog in Seattle:
isaac_hayes_juicy.jpg


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Turn Your Friends Into Idiots

posted by on January 24 at 4:43 PM

Eric's post earlier about sleeveface got me to thinking about one of my favorite similar pastimes, Photoshopping faces onto famous people. The pic that did it for me was this one:

princeboobs.jpg

which reminded (and always will remind) me of a picture that Battles put up on their Myspace of drummer John Stanier:

prince.jpg

I love doing this - especially putting my friend's faces on people that they don't like. Megan posted a great picture of Korn's Jonathan Davis the other day:

korndavis.jpg

and as it just so happens I have used Mr. Davis' distinctive body for my own fun and games. First, choose the friend you want to use and get a good picture of their face. I decided to use my friend Kellen, as he's a prettyboy and I like to ugly him up a bit whenever I get the chance.

kellen.jpg

Next, find a picture of your celebrity where their face is pointing in the same direction as your friend's. In Photoshop, make the faces in both pictures the same size, adjust color tint and angle. Select the stamp tool, hold the alt button, and click on the middle of your friend's nose. Find the center of the celebrity's nose, hold down the mouse, and carefully apply your friend's face over the celebrity. Finishing touches, like crappy mustaches, will need to be copied back over from an original copy of the celebrity pic. With some practice, you can get some pretty convincing mash ups. It's like Girl Talk, but with Photoshop... "Girl Shop" if you will.

kellen%20davis.jpg

This is especially fun if your friend ever leaves their Myspace account logged in on your computer. Make them a new default pic and change their personal information to go along with it. Good times are had by all.



Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Help Us Find Seattle's Sex Bombs

posted by on January 9 at 5:12 PM

Every year in February, The Stranger hunts down and photographs Seattle's sexiest citizens. This year we want you to nominate sexy people you know or notice around town. We don't care about sexy local celebs; we want to hear about Seattle's sexiest shoe-salespeople, bike messengers, clerks, fish-throwers, trash-collectors, and college freshmen—all the regular sexy people who make leaving the house worthwhile.

Here's how to nominate someone: Upload a photo of your sexy friend, barista, dentist, whomever... to The Stranger's Flickr group. Make sure to tag the photo "seattlesexy." You should also collect contact information for your nominee—but keep this to yourself for now. We'll e-mail you via Flickr for that info if your nominee is chosen. The submission deadline is Friday, February 1.

Stephanie%20and%20Deim%20Nguyen-sexiesttakeoutgirls05.jpegDeim and Stephanie Nguyen, Sexiest Take-Out Girls, 2005

Watch for our Valentine's Issue, chock full of free reader valentines and sexy ladies and gents, coming February 13.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

In Defense of Britney Spears

posted by on January 2 at 4:39 PM

BritneyElvis-500.jpg

Author Stephen Elliott makes the case in this week's issue of The Stranger. An excerpt:

A large part of the criticism of Britney comes from the fact that she doesn't write her own songs. If she did, it's likely the rest of her transgressions would be easily forgiven. After all, artists are supposed to be self-centered and crazy. I have to remind people that Elvis didn't write his own songs, either.

"Are you comparing Britney to Elvis?"

"Yes, I am."

Remember, Elvis wanted to lead the war on drugs. He arranged a meeting with Richard Nixon on this very topic. He showed up to meet the president of the United States stoned out of his mind and wearing a cape. But not just any cape, a half cape that went to his elbows like an unfinished Batman costume. Tell me Elvis is a genius, I'm not going to disagree with you. But can we agree on what the word genius means? The word genius almost always begs for a modifier--a "musical genius," a "physical genius," an "empathic genius." Sometimes I wonder if these qualified terms aren't interchangeable with "talented idiot."

I'm talking here about Britney Spears performing at the Super Bowl wearing socks on her hands. Compare that high-energy performance with the totem-faced members of the Rolling Stones swinging their guitars over their craggy shoulder blades. Apples and oranges, of course. The Stones write their own music and play their own instruments. They were never chosen, they insisted on taking the stage. Without any help from anyone else, the Rolling Stones are still a great band. Britney is just a performer. It's like comparing an actor and a director. Getting back to that "genius" word again. Stanley Kubrick is indisputably a genius. Tom Cruise, not so much. But I'd still rather hear Tom say, "Worship the cock." And I'd rather watch Spears dancing with socks on the wrong appendages than four old men clapping their hands over their heads. And I love the Rolling Stones. I'm just saying.

The whole essay's here. I'd quote more, but just go read it.


Friday, December 28, 2007

Cred Liquidation: Everything Must Go!

posted by on December 28 at 3:52 PM

Mountain Con came up in conversation the other night, Seattle Times writer Andrew Matson telling me exactly how bad, bad, irredeemably bad they are. I stood by my affection for the band's lab-crafted electro pop (I'm still humming "Ophelia") and offered Eels and Cake as similarly styled bands unworthy of the derision they receive. This Matson could not fuck with.

Then I blew my conversational advantage by mentioning my fondness for this song:

The fondness is situational: 1999, 24 years old, a perfect summer romance with a beautiful homecoming queen from South Carolina, slow dancing on the back porch of her parents' river house (actually a trailer by a canal, but "canal trailer" lacks a certain ring). The story is longer but that's the highlight. She wore A&F and had a sultry drawl and I was smitten. A month later I moved to San Francisco to start the rest of my life.

To which Matson replied, "That lends credence to the argument that there are no bad songs, only bad DJs." I like that idea--any song has merit if associated with the proper memories. Put on a crap record at a crucial moment and that crap record is cannonized in the soundtrack of your life, like it or not.

It's been eight years since that LFO song infiltrated my consciousness, and now that it's there, it earns a reluctant smile. It's bad, bad, irredeemably bad, but good for one particular memory.

PS. Also, Sugar Ray, "Every Morning." Please kill me now.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Year End Lists...

posted by on December 26 at 11:45 AM

suck. Really. The process of quantifying music, of rating it, of strategizing for top spots and votes and number ones drains all the joy out of it. A lot of writers are into year end lists, the one and only time critics can attack music with a methodology. More power to them. I ain't going out like that.

Instead I put together a best-of mixtape every year, which is more inclusive and creative and more fun to do and listen to. This year's mix fills up two CDs--once I started I couldn't stop. The idea here was not to rank songs in order of preference but to build a viable mixtape like I used to do with old Maxells to give to friends. I can safely say that I listened to more good music this year than any other, which is the reason this thing got a little out of hand, and the reason why every track on here is a keeper.

The track list:

Disc I

1. "All My Friends," LCD Soundsystem, The Sound of Silver
2. "Friends Like These," Mobius Band, Heaven
3. "Ungawa," Chow Nasty, Super (Electrical) Recordings
4. "Patty Lee," Les Savy Fav, Let's Stay Friends
5. "My Sword Hand's Anger," Apostle Of Hustle, National Anthem Of Nowhere
6. "The Underdog," Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
7. "My Body Is A Cage," The Arcade Fire, Neon Bible
8. "Seahorse," Devendra Banhart, Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon
9. "Night + Day," The Moondoggies, The Moondoggies
10. "First Fantasy," Citay, Little Kingdom
11. "New Song," Nomo, New Tones
12. "Atlas," Battles, Mirrored
13. "Do Not Fold/Do Not Bend," Velella Velella, The Bay Of Biscay
14. "Rainbowarriors," Coco Rosie, The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn
15. "Paper Planes," M.I.A., Kala

Disc II

1. "If This Ain't Love (Don't Know What Is)" Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators, Keep Reachin' Up
2. "We On," Gemini feat. Lupe Fiasco and Pooh Bear, Leaked single
3. "Motorin'," The Saturday Knights, EP
4. "Shine Language," Lifesavas, Gutterfly: The Original Soundtrack
5. "TheGameNeedsMe," Dyme Def, Space Music
6. "Success" feat. Nas, Jay-Z, American Gangster
7. "You Know I'm No Good [Remix]," Amy Winehouse Feat. Ghostface
Killah, Back To Black
8. "Pull Shapes," The Pipettes, We Are The Pipettes
9. "Here Comes That Feeling," El Perro Del Mar, El Perro Del Mar
10. "Elizabeth Sways," Sean Hayes, Flowering Spade
11. "Wild Mountain Nation," Blitzen Trapper, Wild Mountain Nation
12. "Ain't It Strange," Dr. Dog, We All Belong
13. "What Light," Wilco, Sky Blue Sky
14. "I Must Belong Somewhere," Bright Eyes, Cassadaga
15. "Seeds Of Night," The Cave Singers, Invitation Songs
16. "Seems Like Home To Me," Two Gallants, The Scenery of Farewell
17. "Seventeen Year Cicada" El Capitan, Stickeen
18. "Living Of Love," The Avett Brothers, Emotionalism

Consider that my "Top 33 of 2007."

If anybody's interested, I can zip file the mix to email addresses for free, I think. I haven't used a lot of ZShare, but I tried it last week and it's pretty easy. Send an email to jzwickel@thestranger.com and I'll send you the mix.

Happy holidays and merry New Year. Now let's rock.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Back from Vacation

posted by on November 27 at 12:10 PM

Yesterday I was here:

Today I'm here:

South Florida to Seattle--two places immediately identified with a particular sound, a particular feeling. Those sounds and feelings couldn't be more different.

The people that gag at Jimmy Buffet have never sat barefoot on a sailboat on a balmy Florida evening and sipped a margarita. Those who resist Nirvana have never been alone and depressed in a bedroom. One condition is universal and personal, the other specific and communal. Embracing both should be like matter/anti-matter, but somehow it makes sense in my life.


Monday, November 5, 2007

You Gotta Do What? I GOTTA BELIEVE!

posted by on November 5 at 2:16 PM

pspparappa.jpg

10 years ago, I would sit with my buddy Jason, smoke weed and play PaRappa The Rapper on his Sony Playstation for hours and hours. 'Twas bliss.

PaRappa The Rapper is a game in which you play as a little dog named PaRappa. He wants to do a bunch of stuff that seems out of his reach: beat up bullies, get his driving license, buy a new car, go to the bathroom.... And to do so, he has to rap just like his teachers in each situation. It's hilarious and awesome. And cute as a button.

Imagine my excitement when I found out it was released for PSP last month! Whoowee! It's got awesome extras like songs you can download to your PSP into the game from a special website you can access from your system. (Okay, the only thing different about the songs is the music, the raps stay the same).

I was never able to get very far in the original, but last night I hit the jackpot bonus! That only happens when you reach the "U Rappin' Cool!" level of each stage. At that point, my teacher kicked down the walls of the dojo and I was able to just "freestyle" for two minutes just goin' crazy on my PSP! I wish I could have recorded it, but this will have to do.

This person doesn't go to bonus, but his dope beats gave me inspiration on my journey to freestylin' as a puppy dog rapper.

Enjoy!


Thursday, October 25, 2007

What's Your Jam?

posted by on October 25 at 1:29 PM

Whenever I've been out and heard American Athlete DJ he's dropped "Streetplayer" by Chicago. That has been my jam whenever I see him. I just love dancing to that song.

So what's your jam? When you go out and the dj drops it, what song can't you just not dance to?

Here's video of a Japanese band covering it. Still funky as fuck!

Dig the hilarious brass section! And the dance section in the middle.


Friday, October 5, 2007

This Is So Dumb

posted by on October 5 at 4:35 PM

A new twist on an old Jake E. Lee guitar solo....

I must say, I admire the dedication of the person who lovingly synced it. Ridiculous. And Ozzy is spot on. Original HERE ... hm, not half bad either.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Steely Dan is Not Music. Or, How I Learned to Appreciate Steely Dan.

posted by on July 17 at 1:36 PM

It all started when I shared the new Maritime song with my friend Mac...

Mac: It's pretty decent. Maybe if I liked music...
Me: Yeah, you don't.
Mac: No, I really don't. All I wanna do is get chonged and listen to Aja by Steely Dan, and that doesn't really qualify one to speak subjectively on the subject of music.
Me: At least you know where you stand.
Mac: Ya know, I know enough to know what ain't music. And Steely Dan, my friend, is not music.
Me: What is it?
Mac: Background noise for supermarkets, something to distract you while you dig around for a bag of frozen peas that isn't a solid block.
Me: And that's why you like it?
Mac: No. I like it because it's patently offensive to the sensibilities of just about everyone. And I kinda suspect that they did that on purpose.
Me: You think the band had that much self-awareness?
Mac: Steely Dan?
Me: Yeah.
Mac: http://www.steelydan.com/hof.html
Me: I had no idea...
Mac: http://www.steelydan.com/faq.html
Me: So that's why you like them?
Mac: Because they're dudes who are pissed that they couldn't write show tunes? And have spent the last three decades engaging in the biggest injoke ever created as a result of that rejection? Yeah, just a little. I mean they wrote a song based on "a modest proposal." How can I not get down with that?

And now, ladies and gentlemen, Steely Dan:


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Call the Music Police!

posted by on July 3 at 3:08 PM


I love the Misfits' Static Age.

I think there are two ways I could write about this love. There's the way in that I already know everything about music, Glenn Danzig is a genius, "why am I even bothering to reveal a love that's so obvious" way. And then there's the more serious way. The Misfits have been stolen from me.

One of my favorite activities at any point in time is to walk up to a teenager, usually a boy, wearing the Misfits Skull, and ask him what his favorite Misfits song is. This always catches the teenager off guard--I don't look like a Misfits fan, right? I don't shop at Hot Topic, my hair is its natural red-blonde (not dyed black), I'm female. I think I look kind of punk, but more in the B-52's way than in the Glenn Danzig way. The teenager almost always stutters their answer.

"Umm, I don't know, I like Danzig's newer stuff, I guess."

MOTHERFUCKER! YOU STOLE THE MISFITS FROM ME!

JZ says, "You can't judge a band by it's crowd." This is totally true. The Misfits are the most wrongly appropriated band of all time. At least most Nirvana fans have actually heard a Nirvana song, but since the Misfits don't get played on 107.7 The End their "fans" are mostly fakers. Glenn Danzig founded an entire style, and I understand the fake goth weirdos love him for that, but take his devil-lock, not his band! Static Age is too good for you losers. I wish this didn't upset me so much.

I'm going to go listen to some more punk, because I'm a true fan.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

In My Head

posted by on June 27 at 11:46 AM

"I have my oh-own life. And I am strong-grr than you know-oh..."


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Isn't Angus a Cow's Name?

posted by on June 20 at 12:00 PM

After I posted my praise for Love Spit Love's "Am I Wrong?" the other day, I mentioned the Angus soundtrack (which features said song). Someone left a comment saying, "The Angus soundtrack?" Well yes, the Angus soundtrack.

angus.jpg

I'm not sure if the comment was questioning my liking the Angus soundtrack, or just wondering what the hell the Angus soundtrack was, but let's assume it's the latter.

Now, I'm 27. As a teenager, I went to a lot of shows at RKCNDY, I listened to a lot of Bay Area pop punk, and I have been recently described as an "alterna-teen" (I took no offense, should I've?). When the movie Angus came out, I was 14 or 15; it was made for kids like me. If you can't relate you probably a) have never even heard of the movie Angus (it was a flop, I think), or b) thought it was for all the retarded "alterna-teens" who'd line up outside of RKCNDY hours before the Mr. T Experience show (which it was and which I was).

It's a story about a super smart fat kid and his scrawny, nerdy friend trying to survive the awfulness that is high school. They get bullied, beat up, laughed at, and shunned by the jocks and cheerleaders. There are tons of cliches, there's a very predictable storyline, but I loved it. And why I loved it was mostly because of its soundtrack.

Check it:
1. J.A.R. (Jason Andrew Relva) - Green Day
2. Jack Names The Planets - Ash
3. Enough - Dance Hall Crashers
4. Kung Fu - Ash
5. Back To You - The Riverdales (Listen via screechingweasel.com)
6. Mrs. You And Me - Smoking Popes
7. You Gave Your Love To Me Softly - Weezer (Watch via youtube.com)
8. Ain't That Unusual - Goo Goo Dolls
9. Funny Face - The Muffs
10. White Homes - Tilt
11. Deep Water - Pansy Division
12. Am I Wrong - Love Spit Love

Yeah, there are a few bummer tracks (not the best Smoking Popes tune, for example), but man... Ash? Pansy Division? One of my favorite Green Day songs that wasn't on any other record at the time? One of the best Weezer B-sides? And, of course, that great Love Spit Love song that doesn't make sense? Yes, please! Even to this day, I still get happy when I listen to it (haven't seen the movie for years, however, so I can't say it's held up as well). The soundtrack is available used and new at amazon.com starting at $0.32. Buy it, get nostolgic. It'll be the best quarter, nickel, and two pennies you'll spend all year.

(Speaking of good soundtracks from 1995, see also: Mallrats.)


Friday, June 8, 2007

Willow Don't Cry

posted by on June 8 at 11:58 AM

There are so many aspects of this video that blow my mind. Enjoy.

Leslie and the LYs will perform at the Capitol Hill Block Party this summer.


Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Invasion of Your Privacy

posted by on May 9 at 11:17 AM

Okay, so yesterday Trent Moorman made a great post, HERE, about Sonic Boom Records. In the comments, I claimed to have a book of photographs of the band RATT. I found it. I bought this book years ago, stoned out of my gourd, at Value Village. It's one of those things that you can only magically find when your super-baked at the thrift store. At first, it looked like a library book. Then I opened it and noticed the big stamp on the first page: THIS BOOK IS NO LONGER PROPERTY OF THE KING COUNTY LIBRARY. After examining the pages and pages of pictures, I decided that the book wasn't expelled because of age (1985), or subject matter ('80s hair metal), or for any other reasonable reason. My theory is that some little old lady librarian saw something wrong with THIS, THIS, or maybe THIS....

ratt-snake.jpg

What's wrong with boys in a little spandex?


Tuesday, May 1, 2007

I Turn To Stone When You Are Gone

posted by on May 1 at 4:38 PM


I am definitely obsessing right now–-hard. I am obsessing over a deep feeling, an feeling that is speaking to me. It's saying, "Ari Spool, don't you wish you were a member of the Electric Light Orchestra?"

To which I reply, "YESSSSSS PLEASE MIND MAKE IT SO I LOVE ELO SO MUCH I AM ROCKING OUT SO CRAZY RIGHT NOW AND I HAVE LOTS OF PENT UP AGRESSION THAT I NEED TO LET OUT IN A HEALTHY WAY AND I NEED TO BE LOUD AND GET INTO "LIVIN' THING" REALLY HARD WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO AAAAHHHHHHHHH!"

And my feeling says, softly, in a whisper, "Karaoke, my dear."

Phew. It feels so good to solve your urges.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Waste Time at Work

posted by on April 18 at 1:23 PM

I'm a video game designer with an abiding love for intuitive music composition programs; this affection is shared by exactly .04 percent of the game industry as a whole. One day this may change, but until then the 'net can serve as a decent source for simple but effective programs intended to give nonmusicians a taste for performance. If you have headphones, click away....

DJ Trainer A standard loop mixer, but very well done. Utilize the "keys" button in the top right corner; it'll give you keyboard control.

LoopTracks An innovative little mixer. Basically you explore your way from track to track. Click and drag things until music happens.

Dub Selector The simplest of them all. Many of these dub mixers can be played with a gentle wave of your mouse.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Alessi Brothers

posted by on March 27 at 9:36 AM

The Brits love affair with attractive young men with high voices didn't start with Jake Shears and end with Mika. Here's are the Alessi Brothers singing their 1997 UK hit "Oh, Lori":

I heard it on a CD compilation called "Guilty Pleasures," and fell in love with it after listening to it three or four times--and I was in love with this song before I saw this video and discovered that the Alessi Brothers were good lookin' identical male twins.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

I Can’t Sing; I Love to Sing

posted by on March 15 at 2:05 PM

So I got an iPod for Christmas. At first I was all “Cool, I can listen to music!” and I did. But then I started to play with it more and now I’m really into the whole “making playlists” thing. You know about it, right? Of course you do. You probably had an iPod a decade ago.

I love making playlists. It’s like making a mix tape… except, you know, without the tape. I have a list for when I’m pissed, a list for when I’m happy, a list for when I’m reading, a list for when I’m running, a list for when I’m walking to QFC at 2 am to get butter because I felt like making snickerdoodle cookies instead of sleeping (there’s a lot of Mogwai on that one)… I have a list for everything.

My current favorite, though, is the playlist for when I’m stuck in traffic on the way home from work because this city doesn’t have decent public transportation that can get me from Capitol Hill to Ballard without being stuck on Denny, I-5, and/or in Fremont for 45 minutes. I love singing in my car.

Chances are, I'm rocking:

Tom Petty “American Girl”
The Arcade Fire “Rebellion (Lies)”
Screeching Weasel “Leather Jacket”
Mr. Big “Be With You”
Madonna “Cherish”
So Many Dynamos “Search Party”
Against Me “We Laugh At Danger and Break All the Rules”
Queen “Don’t Stop Me Now”
Journey “Don’t Stop Believin’”
Schoolyard Heroes “Bury the Tooth of the Hydra and a Skeleton Army Will Arise”
Weezer “El Scorcho”
Bonnie Tyler “Total Eclipse of the Heart”
The Foundations “Build Me Up Buttercup”
Jawbreaker “Do You Still Hate Me?”
Get Up Kids “No Love”

Those are just some of my currently favorite sing-along songs. There are tons more. I'm a terrible singer, but I love to do it.

Now that I'm finally a part of this whole iPod trend, I should think about getting a computer that was manufactured in this decade and is connected to something other than dial-up Internet, huh? Yeah, probably.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Public Image Unlimited

posted by on March 14 at 2:37 PM

I've been on this crazy Public Image Ltd. kick of late. It started with the anthology John Lydon: Stories of Johnny. I picked up a copy for the essay by underappreciated punk original Judy Nylon, but found myself completely absorbed in the comprehensive essay "The Wrecking Ball: Public Image Limited 1978-83" by Clinton Heylin. Then, after years of searching, I found a relatively inexpensive used copy of the "authorized bootleg" Commercial Zone, the original version of the fourth PiL album (before John Lydon wiped off Keith Levene's contributions and replaced them with shitty horn parts and retitled it This Is What You Want... This Is What You Get).

Apparently, I'm not the only one feeling romantic about PiL right now. I just received an advance promo of the new album from Japanese artist Cornelius, entitled Sensuous. Take a gander at the CD insert:

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Fortunately, the music inside is much better than that of the 1986 Public Image album which the jacket art parodies:

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Unfortunately, the finished Cornelius artwork looks like a close relative of the sleeve art for some crappy trance single. Bummer.

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