Sunday, May 22, 2005

Hell no, I didn't see it.

After getting burned the last three times, I wasn't going to give Lucas opening-weekend money. Plans to go see Layer Cake today fizzled out amongst errands. I do hear from reputable sources (i.e., a person old enough to see SW in '77 and who didn't become a raving fanboy) that it doesn't suck, so I imagine it's inevitable.

So I decide to go on indefinite hiatus for TRASH, then I'm clued into a multimedia site so, so...fraught with audio question material...Theme packet, my lovelies. Either at the Burns, FOGHAT, or Trashmasters. But definitely before the end of the year. I'm committing it to pixels here so that I can procrastinate and never do it.

Oh yeah, I made good on my threat and bought the eldest nephew a plane ticket. He'll need some time away from his twin infant siblings, and his mom will need 25% more rest for one week. We're flying him down here over 4th of July weekend, then driving him back up the following weekend in order to attend a family reunion. Suggestions on how to entertain a 10-year-old boy are welcome. So far I have:

Six Flags
permutations of CityPass activities
The beach
competing at UChicago's ACF and trash events
lots of boardgames
catching up on Buffy episodes
peeler bar

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Part 2
As I mentioned before, I'm ignoring Craig's album rule a bit on the second disc because I think it fails to take into account the most significant musical fad of this decade. The Aughts will, for better or worse, be remembered for the mashup phenomenon. As such, my second disc is 1/3 mashups and/or Internet plunderphony. Since the “Artist” in a mashup is the DJ, some musicians appear in more than one mashup. However, the same song is not mashed twice, nor do any of the featured mashups include any of the non-mashed artists.

Improper Dancing - Electric Six (2002) 3:14
As if the niche of arena rock melded with disco wasn’t compelling enough, this song has one perfect moment that, when I heard if the first time, made me rush out and buy the album at the first opportunity.

Oh! - Sleater-Kinney (2002) 3:44
Here’s the other of the three voices. You either love Corin Tucker’s voice or you think she sounds like Goat Boy. My wife’s in the latter camp and even she loves this song, so that’s gotta say something.

Do You Realize? - Flaming Lips (2002) 3:32
When they aren’t being plushy-loving weirdos, the Lips are masters of turning out terribly sad music that’s uplifting in its beauty. I don’t have my own story to illustrate this, so I’ll borrow this one

Power Lunch - Har Mar Superstar 2002 2:49
Har Mar Mall is a sad little strip mall outside of St. Paul. Har Mar Superstar is a low-rent pudgy white breakdancing R&B crooner whose shows often end with him performing in tidy-whities. A pathetic joke? Sure, about as much as R. Kelly or old school Prince.

All for Swinging You Around - New Pornographers (2003) 3:42
If you’ve heard it, you know why it’s here.

We Will Become Silhouettes - The Postal Service (2003) 5:00
Hey, remember the 80s?

Get Your Hands off My Woman - The Darkness (2003) 2:46
Some of the best uses of profanity in music.

Valley Winter Song - Fountains of Wayne (2003) 3:34
So while you bought the album for “Stacy’s Mom,” I hope you stuck around for the album’s true gem, this ode to Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Y Control - Yeah Yeah Yeahs, (2003) 3:39
In the first draft of this, “Maps” was the selection. I listened to the album again today and was reminded that this was the far superior song.

She Wants to Move - N.E.R.D. (2004) 3:34
I can’t stop twitching my head like they do in the video.

Narc - Interpol (2004) 4:09
Almost too serious for their own good. The guitar puts this song on the list.

Fix Up Look Sharp - Dizzee Rascal (2004) 3:45
It’s the Billy Squier sample that makes this one.

Blinded by the Lights - The Streets (2004) 4:44
A Grand Don’t Come for Free is perhaps the only concept album where the concept holds together completely, and as such the songs shouldn’t be broken up. This track perfectly sums up why I hate nightclubs. I like the finale, “Empty Cans,” more than this song, but it’s 8-plus minutes long.

On the Verge - Le Tigre (2004) 3:31
Feminist dance-punk. What’s not to love?

No One Takes Your Freedom (Scissor Sisters v. Beatles v. George Michael v. Aretha Franklin) 5:16 (DJ Earworm)
The Beatles are frequent mashup fodder; no doubt because it’s easy to separate the vocal tracks from the instrumentals.

Dirty Bootle (Sonic Youth v. Christina Aguilera ) 3:32 (Dsico)
Speeding up Xtina’s tempo in places doesn’t work as well as one would hope, but overall it’s a fine effort.

Sunday Bloody Sunday - (George W. Bush). 3:09 (
My opinions on W and U2 are well-known, but in this case, two wrongs make a right. If only the rest of the stuff on this site were as good.

The Ghost that Feeds (Nine Inch Nails v. Ray Parker Jr.) 3:20 (
Somehow I don’t think this is what Trent had in mind when he released GarageBand files of the new album.

The Morning Glory I Love (REM v. Oasis) 3:51 (faultside)
One of the last REM songs I liked coupled with the only Oasis song I can bear.

Sunshine a Go-Go (Beatles v. Dee-Lite v. The Who v. The Byrds) 4:42 (ccc)
Still more Beatles. This is from a project called Revolved, in which the Revolver album is mashed with various things. There are a few clunkers in the project, but when it’s good, it’s great. Here we have Good Day Sunshine meeting Groove is in the Heart, Eight Miles High and I Can See For Miles, as well as too other beatles songs. The end result is something trippier than John ever came up with for Sgt. Pepper.
Craig's Mix CD challenge pt. 1
So Craig came up with two mix CDs representing the 00-decade so far. He didn't issue a challenge per se, but perhaps there's memeage potential:

The Rules:
* All songs released on an album between 2000-2004
* No more than one song per artist, no matter how much you want to double up.
* Must fit on two standard 80 minute CDs.

I'm fudging on the must-be-from-an-album rule, because I think it ignores the one musical thing this decade will be remembered for -- but more on that in part 2, which i have, but must still annotate. So, please commence hatin' on my Disc 1:
The Bad Touch, Bloodhound Gang (2000) 4:20
Look, it gets better, really. Every decade needs a "Humpty Dance."

Ms. Jackson, Outkast (2000) 4:30
The Song of that particular summer.

Goth Girl - John Wesley Harding (2000) 3:12
Once Around the Block - Badly Drawn Boy (2000) 3:44
Two bits of whimsy from Brit quasi-folksters.

Weapon of Choice, Fatboy Slim (2000) 5:45
Maybe this is coasting on the strength of the video, but one cannot deny this: if you walk without rhythm, you won’t attract the worm.

A Place Called Home - PJ Harvey (2000) (3:42)
There are just 3 voices that emerged in the nineties who sound like their sole purpose on this earth is to grab a mic and bring the rock. One of them, Zack de la Rocha, didn’t do anything in the aughts to make this list. One of the others is Polly Harvey, and this is my favorite song by her.

Going Blind - Go-Betweens (2000) 2:56
These 80’s Aussies reunited, turned out this album, and made me wonder why I never heard of them 15 years ago.

Mad World - Michael Andrews/Gary Jules (2001) 3:05
Yes, the Tears for Fears cover from Donnie Darko.

Book of the Month - Lovage (2001) 4:36
Dan the Automator is one of the underappreciated geniuses of hip-hop. His “Music to Make Love to Your Old Lady By” is best enjoyed as an album, but this is one of the best individual tracks.

’97 Bonnie and Clyde - Tori Amos 2001 5:46
I’m not the biggest Eminem fan or Tori Amos fan, but Tori covering Marshall is compelling and creepy.

Same Boy You’ve Always Known - White Stripes (2001) 2:54
Any number of tracks from WBC or Elephant could have made the list; this choice is slightly more than arbitrary.

19-2000, Gorillaz (2001) 3:27
I have nothing witty to say here.

Last Nite, The Strokes (2001) 3:17
So we miss Ric Ocasek? (*) We also seem to miss Tom Petty.
(*)a reference to Craig mentioning Ocasek while citing "Stacy's Mom" by Fountains of Wayne

Five Days - Tricky (2001) 4:19
The last triphopper making interesting music rescues Cyndi Lauper from touring with Cher and makes her cool again, if only for a while.

Get Ur Freak On - Missy Elliot (2001) 3:56
Yeah, it deserved to be played from all those car windows…

Romeo - Basement Jaxx (2001) 3:55
…but this shoulda’ been heard from more.

In These Shoes? - Kirsty MacColl (2001) 3:39
Hurt - Johnny Cash (2002) 3:38
Keep Me in Your Heart - Warren Zevon (2003) 3:28
Redemption Song - Joe Strummer (2003) 3:28
I thought chronology was less important than keeping these four -- swan songs by favorite artists and/or legends -- together. The next disc starts off more upbeat.

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Excel Quiz Update
I'm up to 199. of 270. As I mentioned before, I got 113 without outside help. The others were mostly through Allmusic and Google images -- entering, say, "Spice Girls", then focusing on "similar" or "followers" entries. Kirsti was also a huge help -- having traveled to the UK nearly every year in her youth, she's well-versed in obscurities to these shores. So things like The Wombles, Bucks Fizz, and Black Lace (163, 179, and 81) are all her.

I just now located all the answers; look here for them if you get fed up. Comments about "oh, so THAT's who that was" or "WhoTF are xxxxxx suposed to be?" are welcome.

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

quick hits
Say it ain't so, Boo Berry!

My summer entertainment dollar is spoken for in so many non-Sith ways. Here's a freebie from one album I'm eagerly awating. Here's another.

Movies? Feast your eyes on the trailers for this and this.