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Old 01-05-2010, 11:58 AM   #71 (permalink)
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Oh he's back!

Great entry as usual. Will have to check that Kraftwerk album now, as I only got Man-Machine which I enjoyed thoroughly.
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Old 01-05-2010, 02:10 PM   #72 (permalink)
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'The Velvet Underground and Nico' by The Velvet Underground (1967)


Quote:
"Warhol's brutal assemblage --non-stop horror show. He has indeed put together a total environment, but it is an assemblage that actually vibrates with menace, cynicism, and perversion. To experience it is to be brutalized, helpless. --you're in any kind of horror you want to imagine, from police state to mad house. Eventually the reverberations in your ears stop. But what do you do with what you still hear in your brain ? The flowers of evil are in full bloom with the Exploding Plastic Inevitable."
--Michaela Williams, Chicago Daily News

Quote:
"The rock 'n roll music gets louder, the dancers get more frantic, and the lights start going on and off like crazy. And there are spotlights blinking in our eyes, and car horns beeping, and Gerard Malanga and the dancers are shaking like mad, and you don't think the noise can get any louder, and then it does, until there is one rhythmic tidal wave of sound, pressing down around you, just impure enough so you can still get the beat; the audience, all of it fused together into one magnificent moment of hysteria."
--George English, Fire Island News


I was sitting in my friend's dorm room. The music is very loud. What is particularly interesting about his room is the fact that everybody draws on the wall. It's a constantly changing work of art. What's also cool is the kid across the hall from my friend is a man of immaculate taste and a regular in Ralph's room(my friend is Ralph.) You see, the room I'm in is a popular room, and a constant cast of characters goes in and out of the place. The man across the hall is named Ryan, and he has a monster of a record collection. His record player and all his vinyls are in Ralph's room, because Ralph's room has the speakers, and Ralph's room has all the dangerous and illicit things inside.

A shiver went through my spine when the cocaine hit my brain. For the next forty-five minutes I was on the verge of acting violently towards the entire world around me. Urges so strong it was hell trying to tame them and stay civil. I am an animal. I want to break that chair. Knock down that wall. Punch my friend in the face. It hit me right as the viola was wailing. Venus in Furs. I was speeding through a tunnel and my mind was racing and so was everybody else's. A fevered wail from someone across the room. It's a girl we know. She got excited by something and had a bottle of oxycodone in her hand. She gasps dumbly. The top wasn't on all the way and flew off when she shook her arms. Now the opiates are all over the floor. I laugh at her. The way the pills dropped, it looked like they fell out of her like a damn slot machine.

'Hey, Kelsey's paying off!'

I blame her craziness on The Velvet Undergound. It's the perfect soundtrack for a drug-haze. It gets you in a mood where bad things can potentially happen. It's that insanity and fear, lurking beneath the surface that makes this album so appealing. It goes without saying that it was quite revolutionary in 1967. Not even Dylan reached the depths that the Velvet Underground did.

We were all high and all crazy. There's woods behind the dorm. About ten of us went out there and chased each other around, throwing snow and horsing around. It was an intense inter-personal experience. That's what college has been like for me. I've been hanging out with the underground the seedy underbelly, the shady characters. It's an amazing way to live but is only possible in the briefest time frame. I've seen people go from promising young scholars to drug addicts within a couple of months. It's a hell of a ride while it lasts, though.

Every time I play the 'The Velvet Underground and Nico' vinyl, there's usually someone in the room who hasn't heard it before. And usually, that someone is a stoner or a duggie, and they always like the Velvets. I'm convinced that this is the drug album. The album is swimming with desperation and dirt. It just, sounds dirty at certain points. It gets the fear going.

On my first acid trip, I listened to it. During 'Sunday Morning' I wept... for myself and the stupid decisions I made. I was trying to grasp in my head the overwhelming entirety of everything. I know now that the acid trip was my spiritual awakening. The sound had surrounded me and burrowed deep into my mind like a goddamned gopher. It's an angry, aggressive beast this album, teeming with polar opposites, love and hate, aggressive passion and comatose hypnotism. It's a soundtrack for dirty, druggy insanity.
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Old 01-05-2010, 04:11 PM   #73 (permalink)
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'Let It Be' by The Replacements (1984)


An enigma wrapped in a riddle. Why weren't they popular when they very well should have been? Why did they name their magnum opus after a beloved album by the most beloved band of all time? The Replacements tried their best to open the door for others to come. Instead, in a drunken rage they busted the door until it was splinters hanging off hinges, then blacked out and fell down to the floor, drunk and drooling. Later on, Pearl Jam and Nirvana walked on through without much effort.

If they had come along at a later date, let's say the late eighties and early nineties, I don't doubt that these guys would have been popular. Hell, even in the late 70s they would have been popular. But the mid-eighties just didn't care about angst. The mainstream had been Reagan-ized and focused on partying. Hair bands were happy to oblige. For all intents and purposes true punk was dead, and New Wave was taking over.

As I listen to Let It Be, I realize that The Replacements can probably be labeled as Pop-Punk. Think of them as a raw, much more talented version of Blink-182. Blink-182 was a big part of the music of my childhood and my generation, because they sang about being a teenager and growing up. It struck a nerve. The Replacements sang about the same stuff, but were more mature and smarter. They were brats that made great music. Tough bastards with a sensitive side.

There were obstacles. The Replacements never made as good of a top-to-down album as Let It Be. There albums probably weren't consistent enough. But they were always producing gems. They were sloppy drunk on SNL, and caused a ruckus that probably prevented them from appearing on more TV shows. Paul Westerberg's voice wasn't powerful enough for the melodies he envisioned, and so his voice instead is wildly passionate scream that I absolutely love, but isn't very conducive to mainstream success.

Let It Be is a maelstrom of changing seas and shifting moods. The Replacements go all over the map and score a bulls eye with each attempt. The first song, 'I Will Dare', is a coming out party, full of the unbridled passion of youth. In some ways, Paul Westerberg could be as passionate about being a teenager as Brian Wilson was. Just listen to the song 'Unsatisfied' It startles you with it's frankness and honesty. 'Favorite Thing' is a great love song, with the guitars sounding like 'Hang Onto Yourself' by David Bowie. 'We're Coming Out' is the most hardcore things The Replacements would ever do, and they do a good job at it. 'Androgynous' gives a good defense of the 80s clothing style. 'Answering Machine' has some of my favorite Replacements lyrics:

Quote:
Try to breathe some life into a letter
Losing hope, never gonna be together
My courage is at it's peak
You know what I mean
How do say you're O.K. to
An answering machine?
How do you say good night to
An answering machine?
They were always too clever by half, and it prevented their mainstream success. If they really wanted to be as big a band as lets say, Motley Crue was in the eighties, they could have, but they chose not to. But despite all that, Let It Be really is a populist record. And I don't say that in a bad way. The Beatles were a populist band.

Whatever it was, so it goes, let it be, let it be.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:24 PM   #74 (permalink)
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'Bee Thousand' by Guided by Voices (1994)




Foreward:
This is not an essay or a normal review. It isn't even an anecdote or a short story. Just read it, listen to the album and figure it out. There's a clue in my avatar. Find out who the man in the picture is and read up on him(wikipedia will suffice)



***


The sound waves bounced around inside his skull,
backwards into time he is/was/will be sent,
a curious regression triggered by an aural association
a remembrance of things past(in search of misplaced clocks!)
into his memory and into the unfolding ugly depths of his mind.
The ugly depths of his mind goes well with the beautiful sounds.
The echos, the fear, the melodic trance machines
and the surreal mystical connections that everything seemed to--

He is sent back to a starry night, late last summer,
the cricket cacophony naught but a buzzing background hum,
staring intently into the sky, smoking, searching for hardcore UFOs,
seeing satellites crawl across the sky,
sitting with a friend and a box of fireworks,
shooting them off,
the explosions shot outwards
with white hot tendrils of light
which cut through the immense black sky.
No aliens were found.

A new memory, going forward but still facing back,
now: a new line running straight on the grid
his hope is a slow decline downwards and spiraling
The girl he has a crush on, singing and yelling in the rain as they ran for shelter:
“speed up, slow down, go all around, in the end.”
she runs faster than him and he can't catch up.
she runs through the night and is young and full of life
she screams and she cries in ecstatic joyous splendor
she wants him to come, but he can't follow her there,
even though he wants to
he just ain't quick enough
and she won't slow down
which is why he had the crush in the first place
he knew it was an impossibility.

A new memory, going forward but still facing back,
When he was on acid and going insane,
smashing a piece of wood on the ground
imitating his heroes who smashed their instruments on stage
he felt he was on stage
twenty-five seven
the cure, the catharsis, pure emotional release
freaking out tour groups on campus, shouting:
“THIS IS IT. THIS IS THE REAL SHIT. THIS IS THE FEAR,
THE PASSION AND THE TRAGEDY”

nobody dared interrupt his awful bliss.

you know things could get much worse
you know things could get much better
could be better!

Down and out.
A guy he knew got arrested for robbing a liquor store,
the Arabs who owned the place chased him all the way down the street,
screaming in their native tongues and finally tackled him.

Let's just go get out of here
down and out

“I can't bear to shout but right now i'm trapped inside my mind.
I feel like a scientist sometimes, or a journalist, sitting here,
trying to show you the things inside my mind,
with hopes that you'll like it,
because if not, then hell, why even try?
please, someone unlock my mind
i seek to understand me
it is not working out.”


The smell of her house
he can remember it
it looks so nice
it was always nice, all of it, it's entirety
his brain is a cluttered mess.
they're all a mess

rusty and divided steel
a clash of swords and a clash of wills
we could argue and fight all day
but who cares?
Nobody will win.
Nobody ever wins.
So we sit there with our
rusty and divided steel
the race is yet to come
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:43 AM   #75 (permalink)
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Well, the man in your avatar is Marcel Proust, who wrote in search of lost time, which is referenced in, and seems to have been imitated by (in style at least) the poem you posted. Did you write it? I haven't listened to the album yet, i admit, but my guess is that the poem is essentially the story of the album? I don't know, i'm probably wrong.

By the way, Your post on Daydream nation inspired me to get it straight away even though it held little to no interest to me before. Brilliantly written stuff. I love how you meld your own experiences and observations with the music to create something more than a review.
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:52 AM   #76 (permalink)
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Quote:
The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over
I don't think they'd be able to explain it eihter, 'cos they're too far gone.
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Old 03-12-2011, 05:38 AM   #77 (permalink)
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I'd keep Kid A just as it is, I don't really like Amnesiac. Indeed until the new song Lotus Flower I haven't really cared for Radiohead's music since Kid A.

I would have liked Pet Sounds and Forever Changes to have been kept on the list. Forever Changes is classic druggy melodic psychedelia.
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:43 AM   #78 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starrynight View Post
I'd keep Kid A just as it is, I don't really like Amnesiac. Indeed until the new song Lotus Flower I haven't really cared for Radiohead's music since Kid A.

I would have liked Pet Sounds and Forever Changes to have been kept on the list. Forever Changes is classic druggy melodic psychedelia.
For some odd reason I've never appreciated the music of Radiohead with the same level of intensity as most of the band's hardcore fans. And it's not for lack of trying to like Radiohead... I own most Radiohead's acclaimed albums: The Bends, OK Computer, Kid A and In Rainbows and I'm still wondering why so many people find Radiohead such an extraordinary band. I don't hate the band but I can't think of a single song of theirs that stands out as a masterpiece of pop music.
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Old 03-21-2011, 06:09 AM   #79 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Davey Moore View Post
'Exile on Main St.' by The Rolling Stones (1972)


It's rare if you encounter an album with less bullsh*t and frills than this. The bullsh*t levels would have to be negative because this album has none. And negative bullsh*t? Well, that's just a bullsh*t concept. This album is literally a tour across the Rock and Roll landscape and clearly illustrates that: Rock and Roll will kick your ass, get your girl and then do a funky dance with her, steal your money and gamble with it, then win and use the proceeds to buy drugs, getting your girl addicted to heroin and when she overdoses and dies, will do a sad bluesy ballad as a tribute to her(after all, Rock and Roll isn't soulless), making you watch the entire time, and after it's all over, Rock and Roll will buy you a beer, because he's that kind of a guy. He's like the Count St. Germain of Music. If you don't know who that guy is: Saint-Germain: The Immortal Count

Pretty crazy, about that Count guy, eh? Immortality. Even though I mostly despise ACDC, I share their scholarly views regarding Rock and Roll, and Exile on Main St. is a great example. Rock and Roll will never die, mostly because of albums like Exile. Ballsy, roots and raw, speeding along the tracks at three hundred miles an hour. The songs tend to cut off abruptly, a staggering effect which is used effectively, although at the time it was because Jagger decided he wanted to edit the album although he wasn't very skilled in a technical sense. That's a very Rock thing to do. Or arrogant. But then again, Rock is arrogance. Also, isn't that album cover pretty damn crazy, too?

It was post-Beatles, Bob Dylan had went off and done his own thing and would occasionally go the way of JD Salinger, and the people were looking for a leader, and a member of the Old Guard stepped up, The Stones, and carried the torch and passed it on when they saw fit, which came a few years later when Springsteen emerged. But, until then, they rocked out, and they did it better than any of the Americans who claimed to have invented the form.

This album is the opposite of innovative. It is a composite. An amalgam of everything that made Rock and Roll what it was, and Mick and Keith and the others were simply marionettes, interpreting a vast catalog. They pulled in Mississippi Delta resources, British Invasion sources, Jazz, New York bohemianism, basically every strand of Rock and Roll existing back then. And then they created a masterpiece. You know how in an earlier essay, I talked about the 'Great American Album'? This would qualify if it wasn't made by a bunch of limey bastard geniuses.

Sweet Virginia and Loving Cup are big highlights. Loving Cup has that classic Rolling Stones moment where they all of a sudden kick into gear. Think about in “You Can't Always Get What You Want”, where it starts soft but then goes into high gear: “You get what you n-e-e-e-e-d” and the drums pump up, etc. The same thing happens in this. It's near the beginning, and it, of course, is on the line: “Gimme little drink, from your loving cup!” Classic Stones. They really know how to build a song up and let it progress.

Not only is it a bad ass album, it's not afraid to be sensitive. The album runs the whole gamut of emotional range. The best Rolling Stones song on the album, by far, is a song called Let it Loose, a sad ballad with perhaps Mick's best vocal performance. The rhythm and progression of the song is brilliant. It might even be the best Rolling Stones song EVER. It's certainly my favorite. It has that sort of effect on me. Other songs in the same vein include Shine a Light, which I feel should have ended the album, putting Soul Survivor on a different part of the album.

A lot of friends of mine talk about how there can be no new genres, only subtle variations on what already exists. There has been so much innovation. Get a group of people together and try and combine random and disparate musical idea together and if someone's got enough of an encyclopedic knowledge, they'll tell you it's already been done. So where would we go from here? Perfection. Let's stop focus on being the most innovative, and lets focus on perfecting sounds and genres instead of trying to break them in half. The Rolling Stones didn't reinvent the wheel here, they just made a hell of a damn good wheel. And that's why this is one of the greatest albums, ever. It doesn't make any pretentious claims, it just admits that it is, what it is. And that's what Rock and Roll is all about. Being who you are and saying 'f*ck you' to anyone who has a problem with that.
This is the best review I've read in a long time. You are kick ass right now. I love the first paragraph particularly.
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:45 AM   #80 (permalink)
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But despite all that, Let It Be really is a populist record. And I don't say that in a bad way. The Beatles were a populist band.
Please don't compare this group to The Beatles. John, Paul, Ringo and George were in another class compared to The Replacements as far as I'm concerned.
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