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* - galaxy


Posted on 2010.07.20 at 17:10
I'm listening to one of my Top 10 albums, "The Real Ramona", (1991), by The Throwing Muses - after starting off a long day of music-playing with another Muses album, "Limbo," (1996). I used to hate Limbo, but now I like it - for itself, but also because it reveals several influences, like grunge, and Space-Egg era, (1998), Liz Phair. Speaking of Liz Phair, "Sound Opinions" was dissing her this week for taking a dive with her more-recent, post-1998 work. They said she went to Hollywood, tried to be Sheryl Crow, and got overproduced like a typical Britney Spears. They are partly right, and they played a song of hers which I had never heard before, which was true crap. Yes, she became overproduced, and thin in content, and so on. But if you look at her as a completely different artist, then it's possible to like her later stuff. But nothing will ever beat "Exile In Guyville", (1993).

(Tuesday noonish insert): Do you know what would be a really AWESOME music-making duo? Morrissey and Liz Phair! Wow! I'm a genius!

Speaking of Sheryl Crow, she's releasing new stuff, and her voice is excellent. Yet, it harkens back to her less-produced "Las Vegas" voice - but better developed. She even out-Phairs Liz Phair a little. The summertime song I heard is, of course, well-crafted pop. Who else was it that I once said was trying to be Sheryl Crow? - I forget. Oh wait - it was Miley Cyrus. HEY! Sound Opinions is stealing my stuff, maaaaaaaaan!

(Tuesday noonish insert): And speaking of summertime songs: One of my all-time fav albums is "Static and Silence" (1998?) by THE SUNDAYS - it contains at least two summer songs. I suggest you get it and listen to it right now. Like I'm doing. The title track is so sweet it sometimes brings a tear to my eye. And the song "Cry", another great one, seems like it was composed on C harmonica, by-crackie. The next song, "Fashion" is on this CD, but there's another song which is hot and tight, with a David-Bowie "Fame" rhythm, and which is great for mixes. For some reason, I am great at singing the high notes - on this song and others... I SOUND like the singer. With an Aussie accent. Anyway, The Sundays, I think, were one of the most influencial gruops of all time - up there with The Cranberies, and that one girl artist - not Annie DeFranco, that other one... TORI AMOS!

After listening to Spanish/Arabic artists Alamena and Natacha Atlas, noticing YET ANOTHER NO DOUBT INFLUENCE, I put on "Return Of Saturn," (2000), which I OWN because I am SAGITAR-I, and yes, I have decided that No Doubt, (esp. this album), was extremely influencial - on Alameda, Morrissey, Ska, pop hip-hopi stuff, Yamagata, the Blink182-type bands, and many more. It was that whole Marley-inspired ska thing that oddly came out of "otherwise-Albuquerque" Aneheim, with that other influencial band, Sublime. And this album featured such greats as Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads), Elvis Costello, and David Gray. And although I tend to look at multi-tracking lead-singer voice as a bit crass, like using a telephoto zoom, no one can harmonise with themself(s) better than Gwen Stephani. And though I consider No Doubt to be slightly second-rate when it comes to originality, their performance was always tight and high-quality, and "Saturn" was prolly their most original work, bringing together rock, ska, and 40's swing very well and very fresh - "NEW!" - whereas "Tragic Kingdom" was their best and most popular, but had less subtle blending of these music styles.

I've been listening to a little Doctor Dogg live. I used to avoid them cuz I thought they were provincial, and had a stupid name, but they are REALLY good. Embellished punk with a bit of a country drawl. Also - I've spent most my life waiting for a PSYCHOLDELIC wave in pop music. I listened to a little from an Aussie psychodelic band last night. "Tame Impala" or something. They really SUCK. Also, according to Radio China, there is some guy riding around in Beijing in an Impala or some rich car and handing out everyone healthy box lunches but no body knows his name. And nobody knows why. I'll tell you why. Because Newt Gingrich. That's why. Huh?...

I hate Joe Cocker. And Elton John has sucked virtually forever. But EJ put out two Country/Honky-Tonk albums long ago, classics, called "Tumbleweed Connection" and "Honky Chateau", which are highly recommended. They are comperable to that one classic Stones album which goes back to very basic Alabama-type blues - I think it's called "Beggers Banquet". Well, "World Cafe" reports that Elton John is presently working on some stuff with Joe Cocker. Now, if EJ goes back to that Honkeyweed style, and Joe Cocker keeps his apoplectic, marble-filled mouth shut, then the result would be amazing. But of course that won't happen because Elton John is a creepy fat-ass zombie. My guess is that they will sound like Randy Newman having his larynx removed while doped up on Vodka and being produced in jail by a well-plunged Phil Specter.

Why is it that most rockers make great stuff, and then they turn into celebrity vegetables for the rest of their lives? That is, if they don't die at 27. Like Elton John. Or look at Paul McCartney. One of the best voices, and the best songwriter of all time, and he is useless now. Or Elvis Costello. And what the fuck happened to Peter Gabriel? He looks like death warmed over - and his songs SOUND like death warmed over. They just STOP being creative, and spend the rest of their lives at retrospectives and fundraisers and REALLY BAD reunion tours. The only person I can think of that that maybe this never happened to is Willie Nelson, but he's country. Or Bono maybe. Is it because the record companies deliberately encourage them to put out shit, pushing them aside so that NEW artists can make more profits? Is it the cocaine? You know what I think it is? I think it's the money. It takes the edge away. It makes them lazy and uninquisitive. And put-upon. If I because a famous rocker, I would refuse wealth, and stay hungry and agsty all my life. Then I would donate all my money to the Foundation for Beating the Crap Out of Republican Presidential Candidates. Or the Society to Promote Lunar Dog-Dancing. Or the Corporation for Recycled Toenails. In this way, I will leave the planet even more angsty than I found it, and the result will be even better music. Oh - and because of all the racism accusations against the Tea Party lately, apparently they are now changing their name to the Wife-Beating Drunk Driving Party - I could donate to them, too.

I'm going to start making a list of my fav songs of all time. What are yours?


literaryrepose at 2010-07-21 01:00 (UTC) (Lien)
You know, I keep hearing about Liz Phair and that one album in particular, but I've never listened to her. Maybe I should get around to that. =)

There are a few other artists who that didn't happen to. Neil Young, B.B. King off the top of my head.. although they're not "rockers" and their newer music isn't as good as their older classic stuff. Hmm.. maybe you're right, actually..
where hypotheses come to die
madman101 at 2010-07-23 20:55 (UTC) (Lien)
Yep - Guysville is good, and so is Space Egg and Whip-Smart - too much of her is not good, except her best songs - but she is good to blend w/ sheryl crow, indie, throwing muses, etc.

i don't know much about what bb king has done lately - or even early - neil young was a genius - from the northland - great albums - he often surprises - but nothing god lately - in fact last work was terrible - but he has a lot on his hands
pretty pretty princess
lostinaphorisms at 2010-07-21 15:13 (UTC) (Lien)
It's a good point you make about musicians creativity starting to die over a period of time, and I think your right that money has a lot to do with it. One thing I've realized as I am familiarizing myself with the business aspect of the music industry, though, is that nowadays it's much more difficult to make money off of record sales. I think with filesharing and the internet, people are less likely to go out and buy cd's, and the money that is made from album sales mostly goes to the record label anyway. It seems like more and more, artists are catching on to this and going the "indie" route- self-promoting, touring more, and even producing their own stuff. It will be interesting to see what the great artists of today are doing 10 or 20 years from now!
where hypotheses come to die
madman101 at 2010-08-05 21:11 (UTC) (Lien)
so, what sorts of things have you been up to in the music business? sounds interesting.

there have been a lot of stories, etc., lately about that trend. i completely agree with you. i don't think it's such a bad thing, but it is very complicated.
abraham lincoln
abe_lincoln666 at 2010-07-21 21:06 (UTC) (Lien)

Celebrities Who Turn Into Vegetables ...

I think there are a number of reasons for that phenomenon:

1. Sometimes, people just run out of new, fresh ideas as they get older. When you're young and unsatisfied, it's relatively easy to come up with an interesting plaintive wail. When you're old and complacent, you just don't have as much to wail about anymore.

2. When a musician becomes successful, often the first thing they do is surround themselves with yes-men, fake friends, and various "experts" who promise to help their career. Sometimes this works, but most of the time it just serves to insulate the artist from the "real world," or leads them to come to the conclusion that the "real world" is nothing but yes-men, fake friends and experts (maybe not too far from the truth, now that I think about it.) So where they used to find inspiration in talking to the blind guy at the news stand every morning, they're now forced to be inspired by some talking-head from Atlantic records instead.

3. Times change, and artists don't always change gracefully with the times.

4. Creativity is a funny thing (almost like picking up girls.) If you're just sitting there, minding your own business and not trying to hard, creativity will often jump into your lap. But if you're trying to force creativity or pull an idea out of nowhere, sometimes, it's just not to be found.

I think your idea about depriving oneself of wealth and avoiding assembling a circle of sycophants and professional butt-kissers works. And more than a few "rock stars" manage to pull it off pretty nicely. It's worked (more or less) for Neil Young and it also seems to work for lesser know country artists too (e.g., Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings (RIP) and to some extent Johnny Cash too.)

One of my all-time favorite artists, Captain Beefheart figured out the perfect way to stay gold; he quit, right when he was at the top of his game, and became a painter instead.

My favorite albums/artist change all the time, but here are a few that have endured (in no particular order):

Jefferson Airplane - "After Bathing at Baxters" (The best psychedelic record ever made.)
Rolling Stones - "Through the Past Darkly" (Always flashes me back to 8th grade ... in a good way.)
Captain Beefheart - "Strictly Personal" (I used to play this album when I was throwing a party, and I was tired and wanted everybody to go home.)
Captain Beefheart - "Trout Mask Replica" (This one always sends people running for the door too.)
The Beatles - "White Album" (They're last work of group genius before disolving into four separate individuals.)
The Weirdos - "Weird World, Vol 1" (The best thing to come out of late 1970s LA punk.)

Stop me before I make a list that's 100 albums long ...
abraham lincoln
abe_lincoln666 at 2010-07-21 21:47 (UTC) (Lien)

Wait a Minute ...

I've got to add two more albums to my list:

Amon Duul II - Phallus Dei (God's Cock)
Amon Duul II - Yeti

Both of these albums are extremely psychedelic; kind of like Jefferson Airplane meets Captain Beefheart, except Captain Beefheart goes to a lot of trouble to make his music sound as it does, but with Amon Duul II, it's kind of an accident. Extra points for being associated with the Bader Meinhoff anarchist gang.

where hypotheses come to die
madman101 at 2010-08-05 21:17 (UTC) (Lien)

Re: Wait a Minute ...

you know what i was thinking the other day? the 2 remaining beatles should dredge up "real love", and other partial songs, etc., and re-record them with new stuff, and "new beatles" onto a new duoble album celebrating their ultimate demise, calling it The Black Album

or black-on-black ha ha

i don't know much about beefheart or the last two, but they sound interesting

the enumerated points you made - i agree with. but just as all commandments can be reduced to "thou shall not steal", thos points can all be reduced to "money" - although, less-so for the last one

if they were dumped on a primitive island and had to pick themselves up some new wives, they might start writing good songs again, yo
raindoggs at 2010-07-23 12:53 (UTC) (Lien)
you can not post an entry with a cut that says "girl music from the 90's" and then NOT talk about fiona apple.
i mean, come on now.
don't be silly.
where hypotheses come to die
madman101 at 2010-07-23 20:58 (UTC) (Lien)
i'm so pop

fiona apple was important - but i personally never got around to getting into her - i don't remember if there was something i didn't like about her - or maybe she was so good i was waiting for special time for her

but she's in the threesome with tori amos and annie difranco

nice pic
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