Monday, June 20, 2011

It's so good to be here, asleep on the lawn.
Some notes towards a Neil Young summer, or what will probably be a Neil Young / Descendents / Sun Ra / Motorhead / Bill Callahan / everything else summer. But really, I just want to mention On The Beach, because I've been listening to it all the time, and even when I'm not listening to it, I'm thinking about it, and I suspect I'm even thinking about it when I'm not thinking about it. Maybe it's that it reminds me of someone and that I can hear her Fargo/Rochester accent singing "I'm a vampire, babe" and "I went to the radio interview/ended up alone with the microphone", and that it's a killer sometimes. Or that the line "sooner or later it all gets real" flashes in my mind every single day, or that "Revolution Blues" is an ultimate driving with the windows down in the warm air and feeling there's no way you won't survive song (the word BADASS, all caps, comes to mind), or that the solo around the 3:15 mark of "Vampire Blues" is like an anti-solo or a middle finger to boring virtuosos (or just a miraculous fuck-up?), almost jokey but absolutely not a joke. Maybe it's the flowery wallpaper inside the album sleeve, or that some Neil Young records feel like EVENTS and Beach is one of those in-between LPs or something, not that it's a non-event, it's just off-the-cuff in a way, not labored over. Did he have a studio at his house overlooking the coast? Was everything done in one take? Did he ever kill anyone in Laurel Canyon? I want to dig for every little bit of Beach session minutiae, and then pick up Trans, Zuma, Everybody's Rockin', American Stars N' Bars, etc, just jump down the Neil rabbit hole and see where it takes me. Fuck, have you heard Le Noise? Beach is all sunsets and being at a distance and being exhausted but it's nice out so let's keep going kind of attitude, and that's what I need so that I'm not just spacing out and counting down to Fall. It's easy to get buried in the past, for real, but fuck that.

Neil Young - "Revolution Blues"
Neil Young - "Vampire Blues"
Neil Young - "On The Beach"
Neil Young - "Ambulance Blues"

Also: not trying to get into a Taste War, or what's that phrase, "class antagonism"? But I went to one of the Jazz Fest shows, The Budos Band down in a huge tent near Main and Gibbs. 20 bucks, and Leah and I only caught half of their second set of the night, and I only had enough money for a couple overpriced whatever beers. It was strange. Budos was good, if a little crisper and modern-er than their records. On vinyl they're a band straight out of the sweaty, well-dressed sixties, soul/funk rhythms, great horns and bass, scratchy guitars, lo-fi enough to sound old. They're an ideal summer band (I wrote about that first record a few years ago, see!). The full clear sound at the venue and the actual physical presence of the band itself erased my dream vision (in my mind they all looked like young Ornette Coleman with sunglasses and short-sleeve collared shirts and tailored slacks; this is not what they in fact look like), and then there was the audience. Again, not picking a fight, but it was a mix of jam band kids and normies and then all these middle-agers. People's parents, or maybe people who could afford a season-pass or whatever it's called. I shouldn't even care, the band was solid, people were dancing their asses off, but I felt out of place almost. It was so comfortable. I wanted it to be in a club where you couldn't breathe but couldn't stop moving. Why?? I love breathing. When I heard Budos for the first time, it was music that felt, maybe not revolutionary, but like it was needed. Necessary music, dance music that was also a time machine and had tons of real instruments. I was also big into Hypnotic Brass Ensemble at the time. I don't know, I get lost in my own music fantasies and when the reality doesn't match up, I get grumpy. There was a woman doing a light workout routine to the live Budos set and she seemed happy (I have video of it, I should post it). So what am I complaining about really? Am I complaining? I've listened to Forbes/Young/Walter's American Free a few times and this is what I want. I want to be pummeled and flattened I guess. I missed their show a few months back (maybe it was a year ago?) and I'm kicking myself way hard. Something raging and transformative in the tight quarters of a frightening punk show is almost always the way to go, and I realize it's not for everyone, and there can be the soothing and the vintage and I'll totally get into that and love it, but I also need to be taken outside myself and feel like I will never be balding and will always be horribly restless on the inside.

Forbes/Young/Walter - "Red"
Forbes/Young/Walter - "Yellow"

Have you checked out Jesse Michaels' thrash metal blog? Please do so now. I finished Bill Callahan's Letters To Emma Bowlcut the other day, and you should do that, too. I keep thinking of the part where the main guy says "I hope someone drops a burlap sack of cash on your doorstep. And that you will undo a button on your poncho". Girls should be melting. I've been singing his "America!" for days, I can't stop. Also, if you haven't picked up Ellen Willis' Out Of The Vinyl Deeps, you really should (cool trailer for the book here). Great, great, great stuff and important in the history of feminist rock writing. Also, she liked all the shit I like (Dylan, VU, Van Morrison, Dolls), except she said the first three Sabbath albums were terrible. And she was into CCR and Janis and I can't really hang with them. I can only listen to them from a radio that I'm not paying attention to. Dick Snare recording is nearing completion, too, even though Kaci's in Switzerland right now living the high life, if the high life includes working a job you don't necessarily like (ironing sweatpants?), but getting to nanny some cool kids and skip town for Paris to see live Dinosaur Jr and skateboard expos. A postcard she sent me included the phrase "cool peens". So there's that. Otherwise, if you need me I'll be drinking coffee and trying to write lyrics while the plumbing gets fixed. PEACE.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Yooo, here's the Dick Snare recordings I mentioned way back when, titled Sega Tapes, an homage to the citizens of Quad City. Two joints, one called "Punta Gorda" and one called "Smith-Corona", done pretty quickly--a few takes of each song, a couple quick doubled guitar takes, and maybe three vocal takes total for both songs. Everything sounds HUGE and together, mostly thanks to Kolbe Resnick. Also, new podcast by me, Kaci, and Kolbs is here. Longest one yet, but it flows pretty well and you'll get to know some of the songs we liked/remembered from our childhoods. It's entertaining (I think!). I'm currently in the process of moving to Rochester, so my mind is on how many cardboard boxes and plastic tubs I need to carry my shitload of shit, and the only music I've been hearing is stuff I put on in the background while I pack and unpack. Cold Cave's Cremations, Grinning Death's Head's LP, Death's ...For The Whole World To See, Milk n' Cookies, Shoppers, etc. Today I slowly woke up after having a dream that I met the man who's life inspired The Wonder Years. He lived in the neighborhood I was moving to, and I went over to interview him for a magazine I was working for. We went into his living room and he still had a Christmas tree up, but the dream could've taken place in January, I'm not sure. We sat down and he started talking about the girl who was the actual Winnie Cooper, who he'd eventually married and who'd died a few years ago from cancer. We both got really choked up, and I kept thinking how unfair it was that he had to lose her and that he lived in a shabby apartment by himself in a dreary part of town. He seemed like he never got any royalties from the show. I assumed he must have written a book and then some producer adapted it for TV, but as I kept talking to him I got the impression someone had just overheard his life story and a lightbulb went off over their head, and then they changed all the names and cast Fred Savage and filmed the pilot and they were off. Kind of fucked. Dude just kept on living, though. I wish I could remember his name. I'm never gonna watch that show the same way again! Anyway, I woke up, watched two episodes of Doug, then watched Tamra Davis' doc about Basquiat, The Radiant Child, which you should watch. Heroin death is fucking dumb, but I could look at SAMO graffiti all day. BOOM FOR REAL. Can't wait to get the Gray cd. Also, here's a couple songs I've been thinking about: Chalk Circle's "Scrambled" and "Subversive Pleasure" (from the incredible Reflection, available from PPM), Albert Ayler's "Masonic Inborn, Part 1", Harald Grosskopf's "So weit, so gut" (from Synthesist, reissued over at RVNG), The Tornadoes' "The Breeze and I", Jonathan Fire*Eater's "I've Changed Hotels". I haven't listened to a lot of things but I'll get around to them. Thinking about going to Jucifer tonight, thinking about getting a lot of Sonny Sharrock records. Thinking thinking thinking....

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Yooooooo, what's up? Guess what--THIS BLOG STILL EXISTS! People Mover is alive and well and not exactly motivated. But here are some nuggets: my band is in the process of recording, and, if they're not too sucky, I'll put the songs up here. The band is called Dick Snare. I play guitar, my friend Kaci plays drums, and our friend Kolbe is recording us. If you want to hear a rough practice demo of one of the songs, click here. You can also follow us on tumblr here. Our first show is February 18th (really fucking soon!) at the Dress Barn in Rochester City, NY. Kaci and I have determined that we'll be rocking shit as hard as possible. Come see us! Also, if you go to our tumblr, you can check out a couple podcasts we've done. New one should be happening soon. You should also stop what you're doing and check out my friends Kelley and Kyle's "Two Dummies" podcast here. Garage/goofball mania. And then you should stop what you're doing again and check out my boy Tyler's monthly mixes over at Androids-Anonymous. Best mixes you will ever hear EVER. Not kidding. Also, he just posted a recipe for his delicious vegan cornbread, and he's not even vegan! What else? I'm assuming you saw the Ice Age video and thought "man, I gotta get that record". I did the same thing! This Verma stuff is cool and it's FREE. The new Earth jammer is record of the year. Listen to "Old Black". I'll probably write something about Jane Birkin's Di Doo Dah soon (favorite record of 2010, hands down), which includes "Help Cammioneur!", which is better than "Le canari est sur le balcon". The Nerves/etc. tribute comp is pretty killer. Davila 666 doing "Hangin' On The Telephone", Audacity doing "Why Am I Lonely", P & the Ps doing "Any Day Now". Oh and I finally heard "King of Fuh", too! Beyond that, I don't know. I'm waiting on a copy of On The Beach (ahem). I can't think of anything else I'm freaking about. I mostly hang with my girl and watch Larry Sanders and listen to Legends 102.7 and daydream about reading all day long. Oh, here's a picture of me in front of the animatronic T-Rex at the RMSC. I'm at that point in winter where I just don't care how long my hair is and the cold is basically killing me. I work like 10 hours a day, face brutalized by sub-zero winds, openly swearing at sidewalks that aren't shoveled. But Lungfish's "Lay Yourself Aside" is cool, and I can't wait to eat homemade burritos with the girl who coined the term "butt babies". I'm gonna be in my early 30s as of 11:30 tomorrow night. More updates soon, probably!