Monday, December 19, 2011

More Barn

Louis CK(whose name sounds like a Calvin Klein cologne) has bucked the traditional media delivery system and is offering his latest stand up comedy special via his website for $5. The results are impressive so far; a tidy $750k profit after only a few weeks.

A documentary is in the works concerning legendary Boston rock station WBCN and the filmmaker is looking for money via kickstarter. At one point BCN was arguably the most influential FM station in the country and helped to launch many a career. Charles Laquidera, the much missed agent provacuteur from the Big Mattress morning show, now lives in Hawaii and helped to officiate a good friend of mines wedding. He's still left of the dial, very stoned, hitting on anything that moves according to sources.(people at the wedding) Good to hear.

I was recently challenged to eschew the internet for three days but failed after 7 hours because I've created a virtual world void of basic human interaction. Do people who take classes through Phoenix University join online sororities or frataternities? Apparently there are people who resist Facebook as this article by Jenna Wortham highlights.

OG Smashing Pumpkin Billy Corgan recently sat down with Stereogum for an interview in which he claims the band was too revolutionary for most people and also worthy of such company as Led Zeppelin. Corgan is kind of a twit but Gish was cool and I didn't mind the sonic mindfuck of Siamese Dream though I'm not sure it's aged so well. Maybe it's me; even Nevermind sounded silly the other day and I cringe after a few notes of Pearl Jams 10.

I was hoping after the collapse of Borders bibliophiles would flock to mom and pop bookshops and save the neighborhood bookstore. This is happening somewhat, according tp Julie Bosman writing in the Times.

In other news Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo almost died, Jon Bon Jovi is not dead, and and uber inspirational benchwarmer Rudy is a fraud according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The documentary about Motorheads Lemmy is excellent and well worth watching over the holidays. He's the last of a breed and way niccer than his handlebar 'stache would suggest. The dude even recorded a rockabilly album with a few few stray Stray Cats. Here's the trailer for the movie.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Old Lame Sign- A Spotify Playlist for 2011

Smith Westerns – Still New
Blind Pilot – Paint Or Pollen   
WILD FLAG – Romance
Girls – Honey Bunny
Mayer Hawthorne – Hooked
The Strokes – Gratisfaction
The Vaccines – Post Break-Up Sex
Van Hunt – A Time Machine Is My New Girlfriend
Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks – Forever 28
Pollyn – How Small We Are
Battles – Futura
Fleet Foxes – Grown Ocean
Wilco – One Sunday Morning
Todd Snider – Don't It Make You Wanna Dance
Kurt Vile – Jesus Fever
Real Estate – Wonder Years
The War On Drugs – Come To The City
Lucinda Williams – Convince Me
The Rolling Stones – Do You Think I Really Care

A Thousand Points Of Blight

Tim Tebow has gone from a sports specific curiosity to a full blown cultural point of contention. He even made the New York Times Op-Ed page in this curious post by former food critic Frank Bruni. How does Tebow continue to win with seemingly marginal skills and little conventional tools? Is faith an undervalued intangible in the huddle? Does God not like the St Louis Rams?

Louis Nemeth, a great photographer who still schleps his camera in New York, gets a nice retrospective in this piece by David Dunlap.

Hey it's that time of year again when critics compile best of list's and the good folks at share theirs in this podcast. It's hard to wade through the thousands of releases in todays DIY recording landscape but my shout outs include the Battles Gloss Drop, Future Crimes by Wild Flag, Dye It Blonde by the Smith Westerns, How Do You Do by Mayer Hawthorne, and Whokill by the tUnEYaRds(sic). Honorable mention for Wilco, the Beastie Boys, and the Fleet Foxes. Here is Jim Derogatis' top 40 from his Pop & Stuff blog.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Borstal Boys

Congratulations to Ian "Mac" McLagan of the Small Faces/Faces who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame(along with the rest of the band) I had the pleasure of having a few pints with Mac in Austin after one of his great Thursday night shows at Luckys Lounge. A genuinely cool dude who has released two of the better solo albums by any member of British rock royalty in recent years. The Faces, who reunited recently sans Rod Stewart, were arguably the best band on the planet from 1971-1974. For all of the Rod the Mod haters out there, and there are many, please realize  he was once a genius level blue-eyed soul singer who wrote incredibly poignant  songs. Of course it was a quick fall from grace and the whole soccer team/mass felatio rumor hurt. Here's Mac in an interview with Rolling Stone and a clip from YouTube of the Faces performing Richmond.

The real question is whether Guns & Roses will reunite at the ceremony but smart money says no. I'm not sure how to take Axl Rose but his eccentricity seems more Liberace than Syd Barret. Who knows if the band would have dissolved into self parody had they stayed together as modern rock got leaner and meaner and the band seemed hell bent on grandioise ballads. That being said, I hope they do perform together if only to complete my rapid descent into middle age as I listen nostalgically to Mr Brownstone sipping my one nightly beer and chewing on a carrot stick for cardiovascular reasons. Here's an interview with Steven Adler, the most accesible member of G&R(ie broke), from Rolling Stone.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Home For The Hollandaise

Portland has become a foodie mecca through it's stubborn attachment to locally sourced foods and close knit culinary community. Some say this is undeserved and the creation of travel writers looking for the New New Thing that doesn't exist in Brooklyn. No matter the reason, GQ Magazine has a nice article on the Scene.

What's a little revionist history between friends? Plenty according to Edward Rothstein who pays a visit to Virginias Museum of the Confederacy. What is the South now anyway? Mass media has destroyed the quaint pockets of regionalism in this country and Atlanta could be Seattle albeit with better grits.

P. J O'Rourke, who has been in hiding while battling rectal cancer, is back with a new book called Holidays In Heck but it pales in comparison to his earlier work writes Bill Scheft in this review.

Looking to book a cruise but tired of shuffleboard and long buffet lines? If you get an extra 60k then you could take a dive to see the Titanic in April as this article details.

RIP legendary guitarist Hubert Sumlin who was Howling Wolfs main man. Check out this YouTube interview where he recounts his glory days.

The Flaming Lips have teamed up with og primal screamer Yoko Ono for a Christmas song thats sure to scare the bejesus out of the kids. Listen to it here courtesy of Pitchfork.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Counter Culture

I'm always fascinated by first hand accounts of mere mortals hanging out with Bob Dylan and this is one of the better ones courtesy of It mainly concerns Victor Maymudes who was a legendary Greenwich Village philosopher and Dylans right hand man for many years.

The idea of a rock and roll hall of fame is preposterous but it exists so I'll write about. Essentially a vanity project for publishing icon/asshole Jan Wenner, the Rock HOF does produce a discernible bump in sales for those deigned worthy of the honor as Janet Morrisey writes in the New York Times.

I'm sure we all have our tricks and have fumbled around the region with a vague idea of what we're doing only to be met with silence. Thankfully scientists have cool grant-funded projects and can map the female brain during orgasm in 3D video. All told 80 regions of a womans body fire during climax, an unbelievable number and more proof that women may in fact over think everything. (joke courtesy of the guy sitting next to me at the bar who was reading over my shoulder. Good job Mr. Broncos fan)

The Black Keys have become a borderline great band and pass for mainstream authentic in these silly auto tune times. Alan Light chronicles the bands slow but steady rise to stardom(a planned MSG gig and a show at the Cumberland County Civic Center) in this article from the Sunday Times.

Are books dead or just dying a slow death? Publishers are upping the ante with gilded covers and other treats for the book buying public writes Julie Bosman.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What, Me Worry?

In a few minutes Bobby Valentine will be introduced as the 45th manager in the long history of the Boston Red Sox. His often wacky contributions to baseball are well documented but he also changed something even closer to my heart: the common sandwich. It seems Bobby V invented the wrap in 1980 as this video details.

Is the iPhones personal assistant Siri an anti-abortion crusader in Steve Jobs clothing? Maybe so as this article points out.

Ok, when was the last time you thought of the design aesthetic of the common thermostat? Never? Let me introduce you to this, the coolest gadget I've seen in years which doubles as a temperature brain for your house.

The Grammy nominations are in and the collective yawn you hear is from music lovers everywhere. The usual suspects are represented including Kanye West, Lady Gaga, and the Foo Fighters. Bon Iver, the Wisconsin sadcore outfit, are up for Best New Artist and Record of the Year. In true Grammy fashion, the album is not nearly as compelling as their debut and actually sounds like Christopher Cross 2.0. The Grammys are striving for indie cred but are usually three or four years behind.

So where was that culture bearing anthem "American Pie" really written? Not in Saratoga Springs says songwriter and Mainer Don McLean in this interview.

The Village Voice has compiled a list of the ten biggest swinging dicks in film history. Woody Allen, who is included, once said he's the only "male who suffers from penis envy."

RIP Napster reports Pitchfork who also unveil this years SXSW keynote speaker as none other than Bruce Springsteen.