Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It's been a while...

I'm terribly sorry for the lack of postings on here, it's just that I, having recently moved to a different apartment, have not had access to the usual comforts like HBO and the internet. Well, I guess I could have walked to the wine bar or the coffee shop that are each maybe two blocks away and have free wi-fi, but then how could I pretend I was a true vintage urban hipster having to rely on things like CDs and records (and the episodes of the Wire I downloaded last year and was more than happy to watch again...3 seasons' worth) and (god forbid), things like going outside and walking down a sunny tree-lined street to a garage sale where they had these terrible prints with great frames that would serve my posters nicely for a mere seventy-five cents apiece!?

I actually didn't listen to any records, though I did buy a few. Which ones I bought isn't important. What is important is that I felt cool when I bought them. Except for that copy of Led Zeppelin IV, which I'm pretty ashamed of (as I was when I walked up to the counter with it, even if it only cost me $0.49) since I will probably never listen to it and I denied some kid the ability to "totally rock out" to "Stairway" (I imagine this song is referred to as if it's your best friend, much like all of Dave Matthews Bands' fans simply call them/him 'Dave').

Wow, that reminds me of the time I went to Black Dog Records in Houston like a year ago and the bullshit owner/shopkeep typecast me (in a conversation with my dad, I might add) as a stereotypical douchebag who "discovers" old "greats" and wants to listen to them on vinyl because "it's cool again". I shit you not, this guy was talking to my dad as if I were some 14-year-old kid wearing baggy cargo pants and a Che Guevara shirt. What he said was along the lines of "Ironic how the kids [meaning me, in this case] are getting into this stuff...Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Hendrix..." (as if those were the only bands to ever have existed before Fergie and Green Day). As he said this I could feel myself getting both angry and disappointed in what this burned out old fart was saying about me. Actually, I was pretty fucking angry, though because I'm a pacifist (read: wuss), I didn't say anything but merely handed the guy the list of stuff I was looking for. No, he didn't have any Television Personalities or Sea Urchins or Beat Happening or Talulah Gosh, or any of the fifty others I had on that list, but you know what? He did have a copy of Led Zeppelin III that I could have for a mere $22, that I could listen to just the way my dad did way back when!

For the record, don't go to Black Dog Records. They love to sell "the kids" shit for four times what it's worth, and even though they have tons of records, none of them matter.

Sorry about the rant; I've got a deadline coming up at work and I haven't been in the best mood lately. I intended for this to be a happy return post, but stress is taking over (even though I'm cool as a cucumber when I nonchalantly pretend to not give a shit about this at the office). Also, sorry if none of that makes sense. I'm tired and I think I'm going to go to bed.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Black Lips - Good Bad Not Evil

There are lots of 60's punk revival bands out there nowadays. But The Black Lips are kind of pissing all over the genre's territory. I don't know how cogent that analogy is but what I mean is The Black Lips are cool and they basically own the garage rock genre. They're dirty and lo-fi and they're kind of insane.

Fourth grade thesis statement: In this essay I am going to tell you about the Black Lips new album Good Bad Not Evil, their live show, and the bassist's cock (which is very fat).

I'll bet if a kid in grade four wrote something about a fat cock in his essay he'd be expelled or disciplined. Then he'd get spanked by his step-father. I'm not in fourth grade and I can talk about cocks all I want. This review is already making our website punker.

The new Black Lips album, Good Bad Not Evil- the title of which is a reference to that old Shangri-Las song- is really cool. Do you hyphenate Shangri-Las? I forget. I like how I don't bother researching shit and I just ask our readers. That's kind of my thing.

The album's songwriting is really similar to the songwriting on their other albums. Which means a lot of call and response vocals, cool bass lines, fuzzy guitars, and dirty words. The sound quality is noticeably higher on this release though. Still lo-fi but not as much as their older stuff. Though their last release before this one was live so whatever.

Many of the songs sound the same but that's to be expected in garage punk rock. I hate song by song breakdowns and I always skip them when I read album reviews (so stop doing them you pretentious, superfluously thorough fags). I just want you to know my favorite song on the album. It's "Bad Kids". That song fucking kicks ass. Aforementioned call and response vocals abound! The lyrics are all about being a bad kid. It's hilarious. Sample lyric themes: running from the cops, demanding pills, smoking cigarettes and spray painting walls....with penises! As if the lyrics weren't cool enough they throw in the spray painting part. And I love how they chose to spray paint a penis. That's just so great. It's exactly what a bad kid would do. I hang out with bad kids sometimes and whenever I draw a picture on a bar napkin Russel the One-Eyed Wonder Muscle invariably makes a surprise appearance. "Fuck, man...of course you drew a dick on my napkin art!" Usually I draw a dog and he always gets a disproportionally large weiner courtesy of my bad kid friends.

So yeah, album gets 4.2 anti-bears because I think the better sound quality is really beneficial overall. It also gets 2.0 bears because the sound quality is higher.

One of the coolest features of being in a garage rock band is the elimination of the all-too-common criticism "this band never evolves!" The Black Lips started recording in raw, really low fidelity. Their evolution is easily achieved by recording in higher fidelity. Now they can evolve through devolution and the next album can be lo-fi again. They can then oscillate between the two fidelities for the duration of their career. Awesome!

Fourth grade transition: Now I will talk about the Black Lips' live show. I've never seen them live but that'll change October 6th down here in H-Town. I've heard they make out with each other. I've seen pictures of them in Vice and the guitarist was covered in blood! Yeah! I eat that kind of shit up. I've heard their cocks make some public appearances too.

Which is a nice segue into my conclusion. Go look at the album art for Deerhunter's Turn It Up Faggot album. It's a naked dude with an animal mask in a profile view, black and white photo negative picture. That's the bassist from the Black Lips, Jared. Now that peepee of his is pretty damn big. I mean the length is just fine. It's about average I'd say..nothing to write home about. But the girth! Damn, dude, that's a fat dick! You can stop drinking milk now!

with love,

Ed. note - Here's the penis.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Indie Pop as Fuck

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Liechtenstein, an all-female indie pop outfit from Gothenburg (Goteborg) who recalled bands such as Dolly Mixture, Girls at Our Best!, and Shop Assistants. What I present now, are their male counterparts: The Electric Pop Group.

These guys, also from Gothenburg (and sharing Liechtenstein's label, Fraction Discs), are as anachronistic as the enchanting women of Liechtenstein, only their proclivities tend toward the expanse of Sarah's catalogue instead of the post-punk inspired girl groups that dominate the other bands' influence. Seriously, these dapper young lads are the closest thing to anything Sarah that I've heard in a contemporary band. The jangle recalls the Sea Urchins and Secret Shine, with vocals that would not be entirely out of place on 7"s by 14 Iced Bears, Another Sunny Day, or St. Christopher (how many more names can I squeeze in here...Field Mice? No, not quite, but good try, mate!). If it isn't apparent, I'm not terribly concerned about bands who maybe take too much delight in reproducing their versions of their idols' output so long as they do it well. The Electric Pop Group do it well.

Just look at them, for crying out loud! If anything, they certainly dress the part.


Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Simpsons: the Movie: the Review

After 17 seasons, and years of speculation, the Simpsons have come out with a full length movie. Many people were excited, but I was not. Could a show that could not put on a consistently funny 22 minutes hope to put on consistently funny material for a timespan 4x longer?? I for one, did not believe that they could. And the once diehard fan, who used to attend simpsons trivia at the mellow mushroom pizzeria weekly, who would buy the dvd seasons as they became available, who watched religiously every sunday (or thursday), didn't even make it to the movie on opening weekend. And I didn't care. This series has offered me nothing but disappointment for years. Stupid homer antics with pointless celebrity cameos and really lame jokes.

So needless to say, when I saw the movie earlier tonight, my expectations were low. I had heard some good things from some people who saw it, and read good reviews, but nevertheless I remained skeptical.

So onto the movie...

I've got to say, the movie surpassed my expectations. I enjoyed it. I found myself on numerous occasions laughing out loud. It made me remember what it felt like to watch new simpsons material that was actually clever and funny- something that I haven't experienced since perhaps early high school. Are we talking on par with this classics of the golden years? Episodes like "Kamp Krusty," Boy-scoutz in the hood," and "Flaming Moe's" to name a few. Of course not. Expecting that would be ridiculous. But it WAS funny.

I feel like there's so much I could write about on content, but I would rather not give anything away. It's too soon to critique which jokes worked and which didn't- maybe I'll go into that in more depth at a later date so as to not spoil the movie.

I have a feeling Garz won't like the movie as much as I did. I concede, it did get a bit slow at times. But then again, even some good episodes may get a little too much if 4 were watched back to back to back to back. What I'm saying is, they did a good job. I'd put Southpark as the gold standard of cartoon tv shows turned to movies (no, it's not the jetsons meet the flintstones). This movie didn't reach that level, but it was still solid. They actually had a plot, which seems rare for newer eps which just throw a hodgepodge of crappy jokes together and call it a day. Sometimes, during the slower moments, there was too much plot and not enough humor. But that generally happens in even really good comedies (the last 15 min or so of knocked up comes to mind).

I would like to write more. However, I have to be going in 15 minutes. I hope that Garz will write a review on the movie as well, to give another point of view. In terms of the scale, I give it 1.6b/4a-b. The 1.6 because of the dragging moments. Tom thought there wasn't enough Mr. Burns, but that didn't factor into my grade. The 4 is because of the quality of the movie. (And because a bear does in fact make an appearance) Yes I'm only 23, but this movie really took me back. It just felt good to watch. The simpsons is the show of our generation. I can't remember a time when the show wasn't on. I'm too young. I remember Monday (or friday) mornings, sitting in the middle school cafeteria talking with my friends about the previous night's newest episode, trying our best to recount all of the funny jokes, etc.

Anyways, bottom line: go see the movie. You won't regret it. And if you do regret it, then you suck. You're such a simpsons snob that you can't appreciate that this movie actually DOES have merit.

that's all. Off to have a beer!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Hello! First of all, let me say that this post exists solely because charz2k is in dire need of some new content. Never content to rest on our laurels, I can assure you that the recent lapse is due to the exceedingly hectic lives led by each of the contributors, lives that are so enriched with non-writing-related activities that by the time any of us gets to a computer, we are so exhausted from being so extremely interesting and important that we instantly pass out only to wake up and be whisked away by some other amazing undertaking.

Instead of writing about any of that great stuff, though, I'm going to write about a dream I had (or the small part of it that I actually remember). So I was on vacation in the Cayman Islands. I'd never been to the Cayman Islands, neither in dream-land nor in real-life, so I was quite excited as you may surmise. The beginning of the part I remember has me in the plane, about to land. All of a sudden, when the plane is maybe a hundred feet from the runway, it just drops out of the sky, kind of bounces on the ground, and then a ladder is brought out an everyone deplanes. WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED? Chill out dude, that's what happens on all flights to the Caribbean. The runways are too short for jetliners to land, so the jets have adapted to hover until they're about a hundred feet from the ground, and then just drop. Why could the jets just not hover all the way to the ground? In my dream I didn't think to ask. In fact, the only thing that crossed my mind is how much of a pain in the ass it must be for the rich folk who go to these Islands all the time and have to go through that shit.

Once on the ground, I looked around and there were like 10 planes all dropping out of the sky. For some reason, every plane was a Boeing 727, and they were all kind of beat up on the underside.

That's it. Oh, and I've been listening to some stuff by The Electric Pop Group lately. It's pretty good. Look them up yourself.