Michael Music

I’ve been spending most of my time listening to music I don’t really care a whole lot for. That’s part of my job. It’s so refreshing to come home and just put on some Michael Miller. You probably have heard me rave about him already, but I can’t say enough good things about When We Come To. The good/bad thing is that you can’t just put it on and let it play in the background. It gets to you. You want to actually listen. The words just go right to your brain. He’s telling stories and the pretty music that plays along is just icing. Joel even had some nice things to say about him on the WiLD GiFT site. They played a show together earlier in the month. They have another one coming up on Saturday. I may have to trek down to Santa Ana to see the show.

Intelligent Speak: The Grammys

b: Did you see the Joe Strummer tribute?

m: Si – one of the ONLY musical stints that worked on the grammys, most were very weak. um, does bruce springsteen know what his face looks like while performing?

b: lol – It’s the face of a man in need of a laxative.

m: I was taken aback, kinda like a car wreck with that.

b: The performance was pretty awesome. I got a little choked up. They TOTALLY pulled it off. I could have done without the Soprano dude though. I always forget his name. He bugs the shit outta me. Dude is SO ugly. I don’t care how well he plays guitar.

m: agreed, like i said most musical numbers tanked and that one rose to the occasion – Soprano?

b: And his breath probably stinks. every time I see him share the mic with Bruce, or in that case Dave, that’s all I can think about.

m: Ah…Steve Van Zant…

b: Yes, him. Ugh.

m: Yeah, creepy.

b: And with the fucking babooshka…

m: I thought of his breath when he was singing with Bruce’s wife. I don’t imagine Elvis Costello has gorgeous breath either.

b: He really creeps me out for some reason, and who cares about Elvis’s breath? It’s Elvis Fucking Costello.

m: Steve Van Zant seems like the obnoxious guy in the house – like he’d be a nightmare at a party.

b: TOTALLY!

m: Did you see that gay gay gay nelly number? MORT!

b: No.

m: It stank. So bad.

b: I saw the first hour and the Joe Strummer thing and that’s it.

m: The whole thing was a trip. Dustin Hoffman shoulda been axed, and that Dixie Chicks singer had eye make-up like she was going to Florentine Gardens with her West Covina homegirls as she sang some sweet, down-played hippy song – there were many moments of sheer perversity. The grammys kinda get suckier and suckier – their shite is all over the place, categorically speaking.

b: It blows.

Sniffle Cough

I haven’t been this sick for a while. It has to have been at least a few years, if not more, and I can’t remember the last time I had a fever while I was sick. I woke up at 5-something AM on Sunday morning convinced that my spiritless body may well be found the following day. I was burning up and couldn’t move. All kinds of thoughts ran through my head. Who would find the body? Would they know to notify my brother, who would then get word to my parents, etc? I was comforted by the fact that I had it all figured out and Holly probably wouldn’t be alone for very long (48 hours, max).

Of course I’m being totally over-dramatic about having the flu. I’m not good at being sick, not that anyone I know particularly enjoys it. At least it’s a head flu and not the stomach flu. There is nothing quite as unpleasant as the stomach flu. I just got word from my mom that my sister had the stomach flu and was vomiting and having diarrhea at the same time. I had only heard of this happening to other peopleuntil it actually happened to me in an airplane bathroom, during take-off. It didn’t help at all that I was seated next to a woman that had just undergone chemo and was vomiting throughout the flight as well.

A sweet girl came over yesterday and brought me some bread and chicken noodle soup. She also brought TheraFlu.

“I brought you cherry-flavored because…well, you know how much I like cherry-flavored stuff.”

TheraFlu has always kind of frightened me a little. The idea of drinking a hot beverage that tasted like cherry medicine was not exactly motivation to put the kettle on. At the end of the evening, I did end up drinking a cup while I watched Alias. I slept so soundly and woke up actually feeling a bit better.

The only good thing about being sick is I haven’t done much of anything, especially considering all I do is something when I’m not sick. I’ve been, more or less, laying in bed (or on “the bench,” that is my sofa) for the last three days. I haven’t watched so much TV in who knows how long. I’ve caught up on the magazine reading and I’ll probably finish a book before the day has ended. Tomorrow I must…go…back…to…work.

Goodnight

It’s been a while since I’ve gotten to use my iBook so much. It’s very handy when you are laying on a bench (my sofa) or in bed. It’s much easier to type than write, though I’ve held that sentiment for quite some time.

It’s pissing out. It’s pissing so bad that I don’t want to even let Holly outside. And really, I’m not letting her out. I tell her to get out and give her a little shove if she doesn’t go. I don’t blame her for not wanting to go out in the rain. It’s like waking up in a tent, realizing it’s raining and having to go to the bathroom. I end up holding it, but she’ll just let it go on the floor. And granted, there are pads on the floor for just such ocassions, I’d rather just have her go outside so my apartment doesn’t smell like a gerbil cage, which a sweet girl said it did when she came over to deliver me the cherry-flavored TheraFlu.

The water is boiling, so it’s time to mix the cherry stuff and doze off. I have to get up for work tomorrow. I mustn’t forget to set the alarm.

A Monthly Mix Test

The latest montly mix has been posted (along with the downloadable files). If our bandwidth usage goes through the roof, we’re going to have to stop offering the files, as we don’t have enough money in the hosting account to meet demand. Maybe we’ll just post them for the first week or something. If it comes down to us having to remove the files, we’ll continue to post the list and you’ll just have to find the MP3s on your own. We like the idea about as much as you do, but we just can’t afford the hosting costs, even with some of the generous donations that people have been sending our way.

Gaz for President

Supergrass @ The Roxy (Los Angeles, CA) 02.13.03

The last time I saw Supergrass I was among thousands drenched at a soggy field on a pre-9/11 summer day in Oxford, England. I stood miles away from my usual front and center home. What blew me away the most from that concert (besides Radiohead playing “Creep”) was wandering around forever and failing to find a garbage can. Eventually a native gently informed me: “Bins could hide bombs.” Cheers.

But seriously, how kick-ass is it to be a naïve American, but able to enjoy Supergrass in a small, comfortably packed, smoke-free club with crystal-clear sound on a mild L.A. night in February? The show was complete with a celebrity sighting: Rick Rubin, who produced the opening band Palo Alto?s new record. Palo Alto was pleasant, but Supergrass was taking names (and money. An autographed promo/tour poster was yours with purchase of their new CD, Life on Other Planets).

At 10:30 sharp, Supergrass, with the addition of Gaz’s brother, keyboardist Rob Coombes, to the familiar trio of Gaz on guitar and lead vocals, Danny Goffey on drums and bassist Mickey Quinn, opened with a string of tight, well-received material from the new album, including “Rush Hour Soul” and “Can?t Get Up.”

They soon shifted to the nuggets with “Mansize Rooster” from I Should Coco, sparking a sing-a-long with the crowd shouting “Why you look-in’ soo crazy? Why you look-in’ soo lonely, for love?” The choir continued with the timeless punk rock and innocent lyrics of “Lose It” ? “I won’t come home, ’cause you never hold my hand.”

The remainder of the evening was pure brilliance. Soaked in sweat, drummer shirtless, the band rocked on with the mesmerizing “Mary” from Supergrass. Gaz’s vocals on MTV2 favorite “Pumping On Your Stereo” were shamelessly spot-on Bowie. If you closed your eyes it could?ve been ?76 and the Station to Station tour. “Sun Hits the Sky” from In It For The Money was the epic, wailing guitar apex of the too-short 60 minute set.

Returning for encores, “Moving” was otherworldly, followed by a cover of Neil Young?s “The Loner,” quite fitting since Neil was the premier act at the Roxy 30 years ago. Crowning the evening with “Caught By the Fuzz,” the audience was all smiles. Supergrass reminded us why we love Great Britain; not only because they are (hopefully) our No. 1 ally, but for its fantastic rock ?n? roll.

Whip It Good

“Whip it on” is the debut EP from The Raveonettes. They are a two piece act from Denmark that many people expect to be the next big thing. Having said this, I expected to hate this album. But it’s very clear to me that it is truly something special and different.

Their sound is unique and distinctive. Listening to this EP, some of their influences become instantly obvious, while others are surprisingly subtle. They list among their influences, The Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth, Bob Dylan, Jack Kerouac, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and the Cramps. The similarity to Sonic Youth is perhaps the first thing that sticks out. And while they remind me of Sonic Youth in many ways, I feel they have more mainstream appeal. They bring punk and pop to the cacophonous symphony of feedback and electric guitars. Only 3 songs on this EP break the 3 minute mark, and that works very well for me. They combine the short attention span of punk with the crazy experimentalism of art rock.

Sune Rose Wagner provides the lead male vocals which are somber, haunting, and methodical, like a steady drumbeat. All of the vocals are accompanied step for step by the female vocalist, Sharin Foo. They don’t sing the type of harmony you might be accustomed to; they sing what they call a “boy-girl” vocal technique. It’s essentially the two of them singing the exact same lyrics and melody in different octaves. This dual vocal technique gives it a creepy quality that is dark and sexy and sure to be their trademark.

This album transports you to a Mad Max sort of dystopia. The guitars sound like 60’s surf rock from an alternate universe, the vocals are restrained and haunting, and all of this is backed by swells of feedback and a hissing, screeching symphony of industrial noises and sound effects. This voyage to another world ends like a B movie with the final track, “Beat City” conjuring images of a beat-up old Cadillac driving across the desert. Sune’s professed inspiration, the drive through the deserts outside L.A. shines through crystal clear.

This is an amazing EP. They were on a mission to bring us something different and they did it masterfully. With 8 tracks, it seems long for an EP. At 21:39, it goes by much too quickly. The Raveonettes are an amazing new band and this EP will barely be enough to hold you over until they release their full length album.

Best tracks: “Attack Of The Ghost Riders”, “Veronica Fever”, “Chains” and “Beat City.”

Watch the video for “Attack Of The Ghost Riders,” along with some live performances from The Mercury Lounge in NYC in their video section.

More About My Job

One of the problems with working (on average) 11-hour days is that I don’t get much of a chance to find out about new music anymore. And it’s the damnedest thing because prior to my new job I did a lot of paying attention to what was going on in the world of music. Whether it was visiting sites, reading magazines or just listening to a bunch of CDs at Amoeba, I felt like I was at least making a valiant effort to stay up with what’s going on in music. That’s just not so easy anymore. I even stopped TiVo-ing Brand Spankin’ New on MTV2. I just don’t have time to watch anymore, not that I ever discovered much watching that show. I listen to music a lot during the day, sometimes it’s my iPod, but a lot of times I’m listening and compiling music that I would just assume do without. That’s not to say the music in some of the films that we’re working on doesn’t serve the film well, because it does. The thing is, every film is not a Cameron Crowe film. Yeah, I was shocked too!

I barely have a damn thing to complain about, really. I mean if it weren’t for my job, I would have had to wait until April to listen to the new Lucinda WIlliams album and find out for myself that The Exies suck really bad. I’d been hearing things about them, but since I don’t listen to commercial radio or watch MTV, somehow I was lead to believe the band was good. They aren’t. Not even in the ballpark of good. Lucinda is another story.

I Haven’t Forgotten

I know it’s been a while since I updated the site. Having a job that demands 10+ hours a day just doesn’t allow much time for other things. I’m trying to find the right balance to keep the site going, but until I figure things out, updates will be sporadic. I know the Monthly Mix is missed, but needless to say, if I haven’t had time to make simple updates to the site, I also haven’t had time to compile a new monthly mix. Again, I’m trying to work this balancing act. It’s just not the easiest thing to do on your own. If there’s anyone out there that wants to help out, I could certainly use the help. Also, thanks for all the kind emails.