Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This Is Rock and Roll

I found myself on the Violent Femmes' website and stumbled across a hilarious list of events in the band's career they found worthy of remembering and passing on. Sample:
When the Femmes worked with producer Michael Beinhorn (Chili Peppers, Soundgarden, Soul Asylum, etc.) he threw a temper tantrum because the recording studio refused to provide him with a playpen for his dog who had been pissing all over the sound board.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Margaret Brown Interview

As promised.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Movie Review: The Order of Myths

Margaret Brown intended to make a narrative fiction film in her native Mobile, Alabama, and set it in Mardi Gras season; when the time came to get down to business she discovered that the local dramas more than outweighed her own imagination and so it become a documentary. The Order of Myths takes its name from a specific Mardi Gras parade and yet it's even more fitting for the film, a thoughtful examination of the racial and economic segregation of the players and legends of Mobile's Carnival - the oldest such celebration in the US - and how traditions are used both as means and reason for the ongoing separation of the classes.

Mobile has two Mardi Gras celebrations; one for the descendants of its European settlers, one for descendants of African slaves. Order introduces us to the King and Queen of both courts, a handful of other players who make the civic aspects of Carnival happen as planned, and a few from the sidelines with helpful knowledge of Mobile history. Brown's own mother was a Mardi Gras Queen and her grandfather a respected Mobile elder, circumstances which gave her access to places no others have ever been allowed to film, and people who might not otherwise talk to a NY film school graduate.

The majority of the court speak openly of their highly mixed feelings on the segregated nature of the event and its people: the white court, a bastion of wealth, power and privilege, knows it's antiquaited but sees little reason to mess with what works; the black court would like to mix it up a bit more, but they also want the comfort of tradition. Having been to one of the few renowned Carnival cities, it's hard to blame them; there is a civic aspect to Mardi Gras that's never communicated by Richard Simmons' bead-throwing TV appearances and The Order of Myths does a terrific job of demonstrating Mobile's pride in its people and the other side of the coin, the downer aspect - so much of that pride falls on one specific group to the exclusion of others.

The most disturbing moments arrive through the players on the sidelines. A thread of self-inferiotic thought evidenced in some of the statements of the African descendants: the little girl who states the white Mardi Gras is probably better; the black formal train designer whose esteem for praise delivered by her white counterpart seems a tad unhealthy; on the other end an ingratiating train designer declaring to a former, now aged (white) Mardi Gras deb, "there is only one Mardi Gras Queen."

What makes The Order of Myths such a great watch (in addition to the very well-shot HD-to-35mm print) is that Margaret Brown shows all this without condemning anyone and without manipulating the viewers into doing it for her (many of at the showing I attended found a good deal of humor). These are her own roots she's examining and trying to reconcile herself to. She's also trying to get a conversation started. Happens easier when no one's yelling.

Directed by Margaret Brown - 97 minutes. Expect audio from an interview in a few days.

Chris Thile Interview

The on-hiatus mandolin player from Nickel Creek and many other collaborations called to talk about his upcoming Schermerhorn show w/Orchestra Nashville bassist Edgar Meyer, his $250,000 instrument, the Cubs and whatever else was on his multi-track mind.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blue Eyed Blacks

I can't be even remotely unbiased about this one.

Blue Eyes Blacks are my former co-worker and all-around cool guy Jason Moon Wilkins and a cast of acquaintances he's helped out and been helped by. The album is Black Eyed Soul and it has a quiet intensity that mirrors the Nick Drake-Elliot Smith-Leonard Cohen-Vic Chesnutt school of mope-rock Jason's into (so much he named his first child after Smith), without mirroring the mopeyness itself.

Catch some samples here.

Nashville Scene Readers Poll - Yay Us! - And a Minor Rant

Someone brought in a copy of the new issue and Lightning 100 was voted Best Rock Radio Station. Also, we came in at #2 for Best Pop Radio Station and #2 for Best Urban Radio Station. So ... yay us and thanks, Scene readers.

Now, for the rant.

I have to assume the top reason people vote us in for "Best Urban" station is they do it as a joke, related to the fact our studios are in what some call, "the 'hood," at Marathon Village. It may be possible that some people who intend to vote for 101 The Beat maybe miswrite their vote, and/or whomever is tabulating results for the Scene misreads. Some people have speculated to me that Scene readers just don't know what other Urban stations are out there.

I feel badly for the people who bust their asses for ones that don't get a mention because some people think it's funny.

This past Monday morning at 5am another car deliberately followed me from 17th & Jo Johnston to the Marathon Village entrance. I never found out what they wanted, most likely because a sizable Marathon Fitness crew was right outside, out in front and the driver turned around and went back to the direction they were originally going. Thinking benevolently, I'd hope they were hoping I might be a drug dealer.

I just drive through, twice a day. It's not funny to me that there are law-abiding, non-violent citizens who are at risk of similar or worse encounters 24/7 because of economic segregation. No, that's not funny at all.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Today's MySpace Friend Requests, Approved

Int'l - James Harries (pro: "Harris") - something really intriguing here, in a sort of full-throated, dramatic, kind of way. And who doesn't love Pete Yorn hair, hmm? I'd be even more curious to hear what he'd do with time to develop and a recording budget.

For local Lightning, Jennifer Friend - stay away from the Sneaky Peak stuff, but the top two songs are great if you like blue-eyed soul.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ack! He Cursed Me

I just said "nukular" instead of "nuclear" on the air, in a newscast. W's cursed me for posting the trailer, you think?

W - The Trailer

I get the feeling this movie is going to be kinda sorta like the This Is Spinal Tap of politics.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Surrender to Frankenreiter

I'm not a huge DF fan, more what you'd call an "appreciator." This new album is so solid, though, that it's definitely something I'd seek out and play for friends.