Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Good '80s Pop, According To ...

A few people on my Twitter list answered the following:

Hey Nashville, can we assemble a GOOD '80s pop list? I'll start: Prince "Raspberry Beret." Next?


@MaryBrace I'm going to have to put Rapture by Blondie on that list. Punk/New Wave & Rap collided.


@MaryBrace my pick for good 80's pop: Tears For Fears' Songs From The Big Chair. Then again, I love 80's pop--the good & the bad.


@MaryBrace Don't worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin(1988). My 5 yr old niece LOVES that song!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Beck & Wilco Are Oarsmen

Every now and then you hear about a great rock & roll casualty; someone who was just too brilliant and perhaps naive to keep it together amid all the insanity of the record business. Syd Barrett was the most famous case. Daniel Johnston gets his due on a fairly regular basis. Less known is Skip Spence, one of the founding members of Jefferson Airplane and Moby Grape; the latter's music might have gone entirely unnoticed by anyone outside the West Coast under the age of 50, if Michael Stipe hadn't been in the Golden Palominos' 1985 crew to cover "Omaha."

Jim Ridley wrote a great article explaining the genesis of Skip's only solo album (that was recorded during his lifetime - 1968), Oar. It was recorded in Nashville, by the way, and it's one of those works music critics talk about as legendary, for good reason. You don't have to know a thing about Skip Spence or his difficulties to be startled by the fragile hope in the records first song, "Little Hands." I first came across Oar in the late 1980s when it had one of it's many reissues. With each reissue, Oar gains a little more well-deserved popularity. There was a tribute album a few years ago, even.

Beck, meanwhile, started a project called "Record Club" where he pulls his friends and acquaintances into the studio to interpret great records of the era, and now he's taking on Oar. Listen to this very faithful version he did with Wilco..

Record Club: Skip Spence "Little Hands" from Beck Hansen on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wish I Could Tell You What I Thought of V Last Night ...

... but I'm afraid it's not possible. Nashville's ABC affiliate, WKRN, elected to air Titans on 2 with Jeff Fisher, a weekly, locally-produced series promoting the local 0-6 pro-football team. It wasn't the first time I turned to channel 2 looking for one prime-time network program and getting football-talk instead, but it was the first time it almost kinda sorta mattered to me and definitely matters to others, as evidenced by the station's website feedback and Twitter backlash.

I have no small amount of sympathy for my peers who work at the channel, on the staff end. I've been stuck playing plenty of songs, over my career, that were mediocre at best and with no say in the matter. This was simply a horrendous call - the kind that drives people away from the corps traditional broadcast media and to the internet, where there's almost always someone who will satisfy a genuine jones.

Just ask Uncle Ray:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Time With the Big Man

Earlier this morning I recorded a phone interview with Clarence Clemons (E-Street Band) and Don Rio, and his longtime friend & co-author of the memoir, Big Man, Real Life & Tall Tales. It just came out yesterday and it's a fantastic read. What's great is that instead of being anything like a regular bio or auto-biography, this is a book of stories. When you hang out with a traveling band for any length of time, you'll start hearing the tales of all the crazy shit they do and some that just happens without much effort on any of the members' parts. Being around when the stories start coming out is one of the most interesting and fascinating things a fan can ever get to do - Clemons and Rio are giving fans of Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street band a huge treat by sharing these episodes. Another bonus is that the prose reads as though you're sitting at their feet.

Each chapter is a vignette; about 1/2 of them are true; the rest may as well be. I consider this book a must for rock fans. In the meantime, I think I'm going to run the phoner when they get a little closer to Nashville's Sommet Center show.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Relix Mag's Top 50 Concerts

Relix magazine released this list, compiled by journalists, musicians, and other industry vets. Of course, some of us will disagree.

#1 was the warm-up to MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech at the US capitol, with Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Odetta and Peter, Paul and Mary. The rest, descending:

50. Arcade Fire - Coachella 5/1/05
49. Pantera - Santa Monica Civic Center 5/2/94
48. Phil Ochs - Carnegie Hall 3/27/70
47. B.B. King - Regal Theater, Chicago 11/21/64
46. H.O.R.D.E. Festival - Cumberland, ME 7/9/92
45. Janis Joplin - Monterey Pop Festival 6/17/67
44. Radiohead - Santa Barbara Bowl 6/30/01
43. RATM - DNC Staples Center LA 8/14/00
42. MMJ - Bonnaroo 6/12/04
41. The Clash - Bonds Int'l Casino NYC 6/1/81
40. Muddy Waters - Checkerboard Lounge, Chicago 11/22/81
39. Metallica - Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas 1/4/92
38. Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable w/The Velvet Underground and Nico - The Trip, LA 5/3/66
37. Dylan - Boston Music Hall 11/21/75 (late show)
36. Pearl Jam - Soldier Field, Chicago 7/11/95
35. Nirvana - Unplugged Sony Music Studios NYC 11/18/93
34. Concert for Bangladesh - MSG 8/1/71
33. Miles Davis - Plugged Nickel, Chicago 12/22/65 (set 2)
32. MC5 - Grande Ballroom, Detroit 12/30/68
31. Roosevelt Sykes, B.B. King, Bukka White, Zigaboo Modeliste, George Porter & Professor Longhair - New Orleans Jazzfest 4/14/73
30. James Brown - Boston Garden 4/5/68
29. Cream - MSG 11/2/68
28. Michael Jackson - MoTown 25, Pasadena Civic Auditorium 3/25/83
27. Minor Threat - 9:30 Club, W'ton DC 9/23/83
26. Allman Brothers Band - Fillmore East NYC 6/26/71
25. Bruce Springsteen - The Bottom Line NYC 8/14/75
24. U2 - Red Rocks 6/5/83
23. The Ramones - CBGB 8/16/74
22. Grateful Dead - Fillmore West 3/1/69
21. Lollapalooza '91 - Shoreline 7/26/9120. Aretha Franklin - Fillmore West SF 3/7/71
19. The Rolling Stones - MSG 7/26/72
18. Coltrane - Village Vanguard NYC 11/3/61
17. Otis Redding w/Booker T. & The M.G.s - Monterey Pop Festival 6/17/67
16. The Who - Grande Ballroom, Detroit 5/9/69
15. Bob Marley & The Wailers - The Roxy, H'Wood 5/26/76
14. Led Zeppelin - The Forum LA 6/25/72
13. Talking Heads - Pantages Theatre LA 12/18/83
12. Pink Floyd - Nassau Coliseum 2/28/80
11. David Bowie - Santa Monica Civic Auditorium 10/20/72
10. Phish - Big Cypress 12/31/99
9. Elvis - NBC Studios, Burbank, CA 12/3/68
8. Sex Pistols - Winterland 1/14/78
7. The Band - The Last Waltz, Winterland 11/25/76
6. The Beatles - Shea Stadium 4/15/65
5. James Brown - The Apollo 10/24/62
4. Jimi Hendrix - Woodstock 8/18/69
3. Dylan - Newport Folk Festival 7/25/65
2. The Beatles - Ed Sullivan Theatre 2/9/64

et tu?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Will Roman Polanski Please Just Put His Pants On and Face The Judge, Already?

Roman Polanski is a brilliant artist who once raped a drugged-up (but not so drugged that she couldn't and didn't say "keep away" and "no") 13 year old kid.

His many apologists, ranging from the likes of Mia Farrow, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg to anonymous internet users fall over themselves with excuses for his decades-old behavior. "But she looked so much older." "But she was no stranger to drugs." "Minors are still sexual beings." "She wasn't a virgin." "Her mother wanted to make her a movie star." "But he's been through so much."

Roman Polanski is 76 years old. Samantha Geimer, who outed herself as his rape victim ages ago, wants the whole drama over with so she can get on with her life. What judge is going to put Polanski behind bars when he can still make so much money for so many people in Hollywood, and when Samantha Geimer refuses to testify against him? "Oh but the stigma ..." Deal with it, Hollywood. The longer you drag this out, the more people can go to The Smoking Gun and read the grand jury testimony, and realize you're sending your women out to defend a man who raped a scared 13 year old kid, and you don't look too good when you do this.

Hollywood, I know you want to welcome him back, and that's understandable. You need him to make art more than he needs you to make money (as long as we aren't talking gobs of it).

Roman Polanski is a brilliant artist, whose work I admire and think anyone who cares about such things should see, as much of it as possible. But even brilliant artists have to grow up eventually, and you can only make excuses for what's in that testimony for so long before you drive away what's left of the demo that bothers to see the films you promote to a select group of people in January, February, and March, in the first place.

Roman Polanski needs to man up and deal with this, if only because Hollywood is making a major asshole of itself in defending him.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Past Time Someone Said It

Canadian radio guy Bruce Cameron:

One thing's for sure: I know I never went around singing songs from 1932, like Dance of the Cuckoos,(the Laurel and Hardy Theme) or Cole Porter's "After You, Who?"

So what's a 10-year-old doing these days going around singing "Strawberry Fields Forever?"

In retrospect, when I listen to Cole Porter's love songs it sounds like he had a better sex life than John, Paul, George or Ringo ever imagined, but still. How can anyone be mystified about teens and illegal downloading when we refuse to promote any meaningful part of their culture we can't both identify with, and make a buck off of? Don't give me Hannah Montana. Hannah's on the pole.

Monday, September 21, 2009

So Fracking Blue

I went up north on my annual pilgrimage to family, old friends, and the southeastern side of the Adirondack mountains. Still going through photos, but thought I'd share this "stitch" panorama. There's something about the deep blue of the northern sky that serves as a reminder, far more than in the south, that we're basically all hanging in outer space.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Just Out of Curiosity ...

I did a Google search on the phrase, "Beatles overload." Survey says: 575 results. It may be a long autumn for some.

Friday, August 21, 2009

1,726,967 Views and Counting

This is the #1 iTunes video in the UK right now:

This wasn't written in order to be a pop hit; it was written to promote a web-based sitcom about a group of RPGers (Role Play Gamers) called The Guild. The brilliance of the song, video and the show it promotes is that it reflects, respects, and celebrates an actual culture (well, subculture) that's rich with imagination and context. Can that be said of the songs it's knocking off the charts?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Trailer - Capitalism: A Love Story

Okay. You know this is going to be fun. (Should we, in spirit, try to smuggle in our own nachos?)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Goth's New Pin-up?

In spite of my earlier assertion that Helena Bonham Carter is the reigning Goth queen, the upcoming princess is none other than Harry Potter castmate Emma Watson. According to reports, Watson will appear in the title role as a goth-inspired version of Cinderella - and at the project's helm is Marilyn Manson. As long as he doesn't have to play Prince Charming, I don't see why it can't break out of genre, especially if it follows the traditional, pre-Disney "Aschenputtel" version the Grimms brought us the first time around.

As for Emma, it's not too far a stretch to go from this:
To this artist rendition:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Through a Crystal Ball, Darkly

My mother once told me about a long, long ago parent-teacher conference at my grade school where Sister Mary Eva confided her frustrations with me, as a student in her reading class. She was peeved that when we all took turns in reading out loud, I always appeared to be staring out the window, "daydreaming," throughout. What irked her most was my ability to be at the right spot in the story every time I was called upon to read.

Like it's that difficult to skip ahead and around a group of 3rd graders vocalizing Dick & Jane's slightly older cousins without losing place.

Remembering that, it's easy to sympathize with David Yates and Steve Kloves, who have the choice gig of bringing home JK Rowling's monster of a series franchise, but also have that much more a hurdle than most, in trying to keep us readers from letting our minds wander too far ahead. We want their movie to resemble Rowling’s book - even if knowing it so well makes it difficult to remain caught up in their take on the tale.

Yates and Kloves’ answer to Sister Mary Eva's conundrum was to add two new particular scenes, one of which neither adds nor detracts from the story (although it does give reference to the true event that closed London's Millennium Bridge upon its opening day), another I must suspect hints at a whole chunk of side-plot that will go missing in the final installment of the Harry Potter movie series, as its precursor does in Half Blood Prince.

More effectively than those surprises, it's the film details and cues, the changes in the aging cast that keep us from rushing too far ahead and wandering.

In this installment, Hogwart's headmaster Professor Dumbledore takes a more active involvement than ever in Harry Potter's tutoring, though not for Harry's schoolwork as much as the future battle he'll wage against his nemesis, Lord Voldemort. Harry needs to find Voldemort's weakness and for that they need the help of the latest UK A-lister on the roster, Jim Broadbent. While all this is going on, Harry's less deadly foe, Draco Malfoy, has been taken under Voldemort's wing and has his own tasks to complete. Laying underneath is the mysterious and brilliant Half Blood Prince, the original owner and margin scribbler of one of Harry's not-so-gently used textbooks.

Daniel Radcliffe, as Harry, reminds me of a soap opera heroine. While he plays straight, sincere, and sympathetic, everyone else around him gets to have all the fun. Michael Gambon's Dumbledore is more urgent and more biting than ever; Rupert Grint’s comedic skills come to the forefront while Helena Bonham Carter, as the evil Bellatrix Lestrange, pretty much walks away owning every scene she’s in, she brings that much zeal to the role. (Move over Elvira, we now have a new, beyond disputing, Queen of the Night.) Scenery chewer extraordinaire Alan Rickman, aka Professor Snape, actually tones things down for a change.

The two revelations in HP-HBP’s acting department this time around are contributed by newcomer Broadbent, and longtime player Tom Felton, as Malfoy. The surprise in Broadbent's case is the pathos brought to a character whose surname, in part, rhymes with "smug." In previous movies, Felton was never given much to do beyond stand around and sneer at his social inferiors, what makes his stretch the more startling. Both show surprising, deep vulnerability in their roles but Felton, particularly, ups the ante by bringing a dominating physicality on-screen that hints he may become the dark horse to watch out for, post-Potter, of the younger cast.

The warmth and cheer of Hogwarts started draining in The Order of the Phoenix, also under Yates’ watch; whatever was left is more or less extinguished here, and most of the film takes on an ethereal rendering as a reminder of the supernatural aspect in the continuing saga. The only off note is the cheerful energy of so much of the Nicholas Hooper compositions. Balancing that, the mostly-scrapped John Williams theme from the first four movies does make an elegiac reprise in a 'goodbye to innocence and adolescence' scene for Hermoine (Emma Watson) and Harry.

By the end of HP&HBP, it’s all too clear childhood has been left in the dust for its protagonists. The only trouble I think the movies are having, no matter what pains are taken with the details, is in taking the final leap into adulthood along with them and being a movie for grown-ups. Until then, if my attention should wander from the bigger picture in favor of the details, I hope its admirers would be more forgiving than Sister Mary Eva.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Those Red Hot Darlins'

Murfreesboro's Those Darlins go out of their way to point out they aren't "of Nashville" on their official website bio, but that's not stopping anyone here from claiming the Carter-Family-meets-Ramones-styled urchins. The ladies have come a long way from their 2006 beginnings, and playing with a headlamp for illumination at 2007's Mucklewain:

and are gaining good press everywhere, from the tepid applause of the NY Times to the more openly admiring Washington Post; even Mother Jones stopped saving the world long enough to groove.

Enjoy a treat from the Lightning 100 crew at Bonnaroo 2009 -

Monday, July 13, 2009

Commander Plant

Robert Plant, the former Zep singer who made Nashville's day, week, year when he teamed up with Alison Krauss got pinned with a Commander of the British Empire medal over the weekend.

Best photo caption goes to the Guardian, UK, hands down.

Sidenote: as a young DJ at WQBK-FM in Albany, my second greatest nightmare was the idea of playing "Whole Lotta Love" and going into a Geritol commercial.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Getting a Rise Out of the Lehning Brothers

Hey Hollywood! Hey NY! Hey indie film distributors anywhere! Get wise, already.

I didn't get to see Make-Out With Violence during the Nashville Film Fest because I just can't stay up that late, all right? Lucky for me The Non-Commissioned Officers, the band formed by the film-makers in order to provide a cheap soundtrack, is playing a showcase with us Saturday night at the Exit, thus creating a good excuse to plea for a screener ("don't you wanna come in on my show ...?") and get a live in-studio performance from some of the band/company members.

Eric Lehning gives the run-down of the plot in the interview's sound file, below, but basically it's boy meets girl, boy doesn't get girl, girl dies, boy gets girl's zombie and assumes care-taking duties. All, narrated by boy's younger brother as we watch the fall-out and the toll it takes on everyone involved.

It's not really a movie you can make a typical sort of judgment call on, like "great" or "good." "Highly memorable" would work. It has flaws; it's probably 20-30 minutes longer, and with one or two characters more, than there needs to be. What the story, the story-telling, the visual style and images bring to the table, however, rises so far above those flaws that it's impossible to believe Make-Out With Violence isn't destined to at least become some sort of cult classic.

Lehning, who wrote the script along with Cody DeVos and others, doesn't want to say "zombie." Instead he reaches for "the z-word." I can't blame him, because there's a bit more going on than some creature stumbling around with a vacant stare and outstretched arms. If Make-Out has to be filed under "horror," it could sit well on a shelf right next to Let the Right One In. Like Eli, in that movie, the undead in question doesn't have to go in search of her own food; she has a willing accomplice. Unlike Eli, she has nothing to offer her keeper in return.

Anyway, you can listen into the interview and two songs from the soundtrack, in acoustic performance:

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Jordan Chandler Hoax Spreading to Traditional Media

I was on an internet message board Sunday and someone published an excerpt and link to a Wordpress blog story claiming that Jordan Chandler, the kid who took Michael Jackson to the cleaners in a 1993 out-of-court settlement - was now recanting his story in the wake of Jackson's death.

The Wordpress article has since been taken down, but the site it used as a reference, Fresh News on (well-named). This appears to be the story's originating source.
Under the influence of a controversial father (Jordan Chandler) told his son to tell that Jackson had touched his penis.Jordan Chandler then told a psychiatrist and later police that he and Jackson had engaged in acts of kissing, masturbation and oral sex, as well as giving a detailed description of what he alleged were the singer’s genitals.

” Now for the first time i can’t bare to lie anymore. Michael Jackson didn’t do anything to me, all was my father lies to escape from being poor.”

Trash Selector further sends people to a Michael Jackson tribute site.

The story was all over Twitter and other internet sites, where a few people were good enough and wise enough to follow its tracks and tell others they were being had.

That was Sunday. Last night I opened up this morning's prep service I use for on air, and there was the story in all its unquestioning glory. I wrote to the support department immediately notifying them of the hoax; it was taken down about an hour ago.

Meanwhile, back at Trash Selector people are asking questions. The site's owner appears to be a deranged Michael Jackson fan with a hard time distinguishing real time for role play, there's the pity of it.
I want to say that this information it’s for sure (I mess up with the names because i was crying), I don’t really care if you believe it or not, I made a promise to an old friend to tell the truth when Michael will die and that’s what I’m doing. I’m not searching for attention i have enough of it. This is for you Mikey i will always love you…

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Yikes. Brain Suck

It's bad, isn't it? Between Twitter and my new habit of kayaking, there've been, what? some five posts since mid-May, I think. One of the two is definitely having a negative impact on creative output - I just hope it's Twitter, because I really like this.

Transformers 2 Out Today

Last week I said something on the air about the pre-promotion of Revenge of the Fallen and what a bad sign it was, speaking for the film's quality as art, that it was all revolving around how hawt Megan Fox is, and what an outrageous family Shia LaBeouf is from.

Now, Michael Bay is slamming the marketing department, too. BBC picked up on it:

In a memo sent to Paramount Pictures last month and leaked to gossip site TMZ, the director called the film's US print campaign an "abject failure".

"You talk so glowingly about Transformers being the movie of the summer, but unfortunately this has not got to the public," he wrote.

"I have been waiting and waiting for the anticipation of an 'event movie' to make it into the 'public zeitgeist'," Bay wrote in the e-mail to Paramount executives on 4 May.

In the end, it maybe won't matter all that much unless it's really, really, really bad. The average guy I talk to admits right up front, they only care that they're going to get a movie with Giant Robots Smashing Things. But I've got a feeling that their girlfriends are going to want something a little more if it's to hold up past the first weekend.

UPDATE: I just spoke to Brian, the web guy. He saw a preview and said it was awful. I told him about the 'big robots smashing things' theory. He said, "they aren't smashing enough things, then." He also mentioned that one robot turns into a "hot chick. I don't want robots turning into hot chicks. That's not right."

Could Brian be the exception?

UPDATE 2 Roger Ebert's spoken his piece and it's the most mercilous skewering I've seen him give anything since his first viewing of The Brown Bunny. Go take a look.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Naomi's Girl Crush

When I read about Naomi Wolf's Bazaar homage to Angelina Jolie, purported to explain why American women want to be and screw Mrs. Smith's alter ego, my first suspicion was that it's an article pitched and driven by Jolie's publicist(s), timed to tamp down and/or prop her up amidst all the "Brangelina split" rumors floating around.
Yes, she is conventionally beautiful: Bosomy and wasp-waisted, with that curtain of hair and those crazy pillowy lips, she is an obvious male sex fantasy. But more suggestively, polls show that her appeal and magnetism play at least as powerfully in the fantasy life of females.

Women admire Angelina Jolie, but that would hardly stop the presses. Polls also show that if women — not just lesbian and bisexual women but straight women — had to choose a female lover, they would want to sleep with Angelina Jolie. In other words, women both identify with her and desire her.

There's something more than a simply physical response. Her persona hits an unprecedented level of global resonance — and makes women want to be with her and be her at the same time — because she has created a life narrative that is not just personal. Rather, it is archetypal. And the archetype is one that really, for the first time in modern culture, brings together almost every aspect of female empowerment and liberation.

After reading the gushing essay, it resembles nothing so much as when Camilla Paglia was kicking off her decade-long fascination with Madonna,
Madonna is the true feminist. She exposes the puritanism and suffocating ideology of American feminism, which is stuck in an adolescent whining mode. Madonna has taught young women to be fully female and sexual while still exercising total control over their lives. She shows girls how to be attractive, sensual, energetic, ambitious, aggressive and funny -- all at the same time.

only, what if all those pieces were written more like Peggy Noonan's glazey-eyed love-fests over another Madonna era figure: Ronald Reagan.
Clare Boothe Luce famously said that each President is remembered for a sentence: "He freed the slaves"; "He made the Louisiana Purchase." You have to figure out your sentence, she used to tell John Kennedy, who would nod thoughtfully and then grouse when she left. Ronald Reagan knew, going in, the sentence he wanted, and he got it. He guided the American victory in the cold war. Under his leadership, a conflict that had absorbed a half-century of Western blood and treasure was ended — and the good guys finally won.

Enough of that; Wolf glosses over and assumes women and everyone else, for that matter, is too stupid to fully understand that everything about Jolie's image, especially of the last five years, is just that: image. We know it and we're okay with it, most of us. We don't want to be her, we want what she has: a terrifically-well paying, globe-trotting career, a sexiest-man-alive husband, a family, and nannies to manage it all.

But no, most of us don't want to be her in spite of the fascination, and this is why:

In case you haven't heard, in an upcoming edition of Archie Comics, Archie Andrews is going to propose, finally, to one of the two women he's been stringing along for decades, and Veronica is the IT girl. Speculation is already high that 1: Archie will have a change of heart before he gets down the aisle, and 2: if he doesn't, Betty's much better off without him, anyway. I gotta agree.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

German Promoter Fights Secondary Ticket Market (With Some Success)

Over a Depeche Mode show. From Billboard:
The District Court of Munich prohibited dealing in indirectly purchased concert tickets for the June 2-13 German leg of the tour, following legal action by the promoter.

In preliminary injunction proceedings, at the request of Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur (MLK), the District Court of Munich prohibited the Internet ticket portal Ventic, which has a German service operated by Smartfox Media based in Roermond, Netherlands, from trading in tickets that Smartfox obtains direct from the MLK distribution system or through third parties. In these proceedings, MLK was supported by the two associations of the concert industry, idkv and VDKD.

Concert promoter Marek Lieberberg in Frankfurt comments: "This decision is the first small step toward the long overdue regulation of ticket sales and the restriction of black market trading. Our aim must be to prevent professional ticket auctions and unacceptable commissions that often come to a multiple of the actual price of admission. At stake here is not so much giving the artists a further share, but the protection of ticket buyers against dubious sources and excessive premiums."

Secondary market ticket-sellers reduce concert-going to Darwinian levels where seat purchase is determined solely by income level, social contacts with the promoters, and/or the ability to log on at the exact, necessary time. Next time Hannah Montana does a show in Portland, why should any local 14 year old be forced to compete against a ticket broker sitting on his ass in Houston?

Regardless of what happens in Germany, nothing is going to change in US unless concert goers force a change, by sitting it out and letting the resellers and promoters take a serious bath.

Back .. For Now

Eeash, nothing to put a stop on blog posts like getting sucked into the Twitterverse.

The other reason it's a little dried up here is because I've been getting wet a lot! bought one of these pretties at the beginning of the month:

It's a Dagger Zydeco and it's sweet. Friends have told me I have to name my new kayak, so I guess it'll have to be Buckwheat. It's only been out on three trips so far, but with the new toy comes research into the various travel spots I can use it in middle Tennessee.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tweet du Jour

Trump: "If Carrie were an average man, this would not be an issue." Really good point.

Cortney Tidwell

Here's another one for the list of great music artists living in Nashville who can't get arrested here, but overseas, it's a different story. Cortney Tidwell's new CD, Boys, is being released by City Slang records - the European home of Lambchop, who may as well have wrote the book on how to be perceived as uncommercial in Music City - this June. No word yet on when it will be released in the US or by whom. How rich will it be if Nashvillians have to buy the import? Here's the lead single, "Watusi."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Cinco

I was at La Paz for the big to-do. More pics tomorrow, right now I'm off to bed:

When Losing Means Finding

Last year during the Olympics I made an "equal time" post, for all of the people who complained about the exploitation of female athletes at the games, that featured a lovely photo of a previous US Mens' Olympic Water Polo team. Unfortunately the host has since taken the photo down and I've been unable to find another copy. I guess this is the next best thing - an ad featuring the team, for Mikasa Sports

Everything You Learned in 4th Grade Art Class Is Wrong

Take the conspiracy theory method used in Holy Blood Holy Grail, and Dan Brown's novels that used it as a jumping off point, apply it to the art world and BOOM - you've got a wonderful little controversy to sell.

We all know the legend of how the brilliant painter Vincent Van Gogh cut off his ear in an act of romantic (or something like it) desperation. Two German researchers are now claiming it was all a made-up story to keep the real mutilator - visiting fellow artist Paul Gaugin - out of jail. They're selling a new book that lays out the theory, In Van Gogh's Ear: Paul Gauguin and the Pact of Silence.

This one just started hitting the web a few hours ago, and it's already getting slammed by Bloomberg's Martin Gayford:
In a gripping passage, Gauguin describes how he left Van Gogh’s house that fateful evening after an argument. While crossing the square outside, he heard “a well-known step, short, quick, irregular. I turned about on the instant, as Vincent rushed forward toward me, an open razor in his hand.” Gauguin claimed he quelled the madman with a glance.

Many have doubted that happened; it may be a story Gauguin invented to absolve himself from the guilt of having deserted his poor friend. That’s plausible. But to suggest that the glittering blade was actually in Gauguin’s own hand, and that he used it on Van Gogh’s ear is a leap into wild conjecture.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Labels Are Losing iTunes Money as a Result of Variable Pricing

Okay, there's a funny. After screaming that Apple was keeping them from making as much money as they possibly could and threatening to do god-knows-what to iTunes/iPhones availability for their catalogs, the majors have cake all over their faces as it's shown Steve Jobs & company understand far more about young record buyers than Wall Street ever will. From Digital Music News:
Major labels are seeing sales decreases following a shift towards variable pricing on iTunes, according to numerous sources to Digital Music News. The sources include executives within the majors, all of whom requested anonymity.

In the initial weeks following the pricing changes, including a move towards top-end, $1.29 downloads, overall revenues are moving downward. Lower unit sales can still result in greater revenues given the higher pricing tiers. But according to the figures shared, unit sales are dipping far enough to produce aggregated revenue declines compared to the pre-variable position.

Monday, April 27, 2009

More Gomez Love to Go Around - and Then Some

As if Ian Ball hasn't been busy enough with Gomez and the solo album he put out last year, he and a couple of his bandmates (Olly Peacock, Dajon Everett) were part of a recent collaborative "supergroup" type project that's going to see the light of day May 12. In addition to those three, Operation Aloha comprises: Maroon 5's James Valentine and Jesse Carmichael; Phantom Planet's Sam Farrar, and several others (14 people in total). A MySpace page already exists with sound files.

You Knew This Was Coming, Right?

The funny thing about the less kind internet reaction of teenaged boys and younger men (and some young women) to Susan Boyle is how it revealed what little they understand of what goes into the making a typical starlet (see below) - or for that matter, anyone with a highly active, upscale, social/professional life - from the visual side.

Eyebrows tweezed, check. Hairdo and color, check. Wardrobe - in progress. Now, about that double chin .... one month? Two?

Just in case you've forgotten:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

And Bonnaroo Is Coming

Very disturbing video making the rounds, from a Coachella incident. One concert-goer (probably on drugs) stripped down and when three police officers confronted him, reasonably, and tried to get him to put his clothes back on, he refused. After a couple of minutes back and forth, they took him down. What seems more than a little unreasonable, to me, was the number of times they tased him instead of putting the cuffs right on him.

Video here

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

There's the Dickens

From USA Today:

Streep juggles pots, pans and pâté in what promises to be a deliciously rich portrait of Julia Child during the decade-long span when she evolved into America's queen of French cuisine in Julie & Julia. Joining her is Amy Adams, her nun sidekick from Doubt, as blogger Julie Powell, who spent a year toiling over all 524 recipes in Child's classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

The above photo will remind some people of Dan Ackroyd's famous SNL spoof:

I'm put equally in mind of this:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Green Day Tour Dates

Just announced. All venues TBA. I expect Nashville will be either Riverfront Park or the Sommet Center.


3rd Seattle, WA
4th Vancouver, BC
6th Edmonton, AB
7th Saskatoon, SAS
9th Winnipeg, MAN
10th Fargo, ND
11th Minneapolis, MN
13th Chicago, IL
14th Detroit, MI
16th Hamilton, ONT
17th Ottawa, ONT
18th Montreal, QUE
20th Boston, MA
21st Philadelphia, PA
22nd Pittsburgh, PA
24th Hartford, CT
25th Albany, NY
27th New York, NY
29th Washington, DC
31st Nashville, TN


1st Atlanta, GA
3rd Tampa, FL
4th Miami, FL
5th Orlando, FL
7th New Orleans, LA
8th Houston, TX
9th San Antonio, TX
11th St. Louis, MO
12th Kansas City, MO
13th Omaha, NE
15th Denver, CO
16th Salt Lake City, UT
18th San Jose, CA
20th San Diego, CA
21st Las Vegas, NV
22nd Phoenix, AX
24th Sacramento, CA
25th Los Angeles, CA

Wilco Tour Dates

6/12 - Cincinnati, OH - Aronoff Center
6/13 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo
6/15 - Oklahoma City, OK - Bricktown Events Center
6/17 - El Paso, TX - Abraham Center
6/18 - Tucson, AZ - Centennial Hall
6/19 - Las Vegas, NV - The Joint
6/20 - Pomona, CA - Fox Theater
6/22-23 - Los Angeles, CA - Wiltern Theater
6/27 - Berkley, CA - Greek Theater
6/28 - Stateline, NV - Kake Tahoe Outdoor Arena
6/30 - Jacksonville, OR - Britt Pavilion
7/3 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks
7/8 - Vienna, VA - Wolf Trap
7/10 - Wilmington, DE - Frawley Stadium
7/11 - Lowell, MA - Le Lacheur Park
7/13 - Brooklyn, NY - Keyspan Park
7/17 - Portland, ME - Maine State Pier
7/18 - Wappingers Falls, NY - Duchess Stadium
7/19 - Lewiston, NY - Art Park

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Review: State of Play

Helen Mirren, Rachel McAdams, Russell Crowe

It’s hard to write about the new Russell Crowe thriller State of Play without giving away major plot twists; it’s even harder to think about the feature film and compare it to the original BBC miniseries, and not come up feeling movie audiences are being cheated a little bit. On further reflection, it feels like the movie audience got cheated at least a little whether they see the original TV version or not. The silver lining is, if you can enjoy thrillers where it’s all about plot, plot, plot, a la DaVinci Code, you should come away from this feeling like you’ve been well-entertained.

As State of Play opens, two seemingly random murders take place. One victim is a street kid, the other is an assistant to a US representative played by Ben Affleck, whose emotional reaction to the assistant’s death unfolds before a televised committee hearing. The media assumes - correctly - an affair has been taking place. They also assume the death was a suicide, but we, the audience, are clued in otherwise.

From there we get two hours of spandex-tight thriller that displays the relationships between newsmakers, news reporters, the now corporation-directed, business nature of reporting, and how everyone involved plays the other for their own ends, pushing a forward a narrative that’s occasionally something like the truth in the process. (There's also a romantic homage, as undercurrent, to the newspaper business in general, from the outrageous sloppiness of the newsrooms to the final film sequence depicting how a newspaper is made and distributed.)

Everyone involved is working at least two angles. The dead girl was in love with the congressman she researched for, investigating a privatized military business (think Blackwater Security). The congressman was, in addition to other things, using his longstanding relationship with reporter Cal (Russell Crowe) to leak the slant he wants the story of the girl's murder to take. (Looking at the two actors, it seems impossible to picture Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck as dorm-mates, let alone attending the same school in the same decade. The actors are eight years apart in age, and it shows.) Cal is trying to protect his friend’s political career from blowing up while, at the same time, trying to get the story right and play down a previous affair of his own with the congressman’s wife, inscrutably portrayed by Robin Wright Penn.

It was no mean feat to take a six-part series that never had much fat in the first place and whittle it down to two hours without losing any major plot points and for that the screenplay writers, including Tony Gilroy (of Bourne fame, if that gives you an idea), deserve a lot of credit. The cheat is the characters and acting suffer badly as a result. Everyone is perfectly watchable; there's just not that much room for character dialog. Visual shortcuts and archetypes operate as a substitute. Cal keeps a bottle handy and Dixie cups to pour the booze in, therefor he must be one of those, old-school types keepin' it real, man. Rachel McAdams' blogger-cum-cub reporter has her ideals and her lack of patience to run on and not much else. Helen Mirren isn't quite crusty enough to be Bill Nighy or Jason Robards in drag, but she's not far from it, either. Affleck is impossible to get much of a vibe on, at all.

My other problems with State of Play are these: the final plot twist comes so swiftly and with so little warning that it's as if the movie deliberately pulled its punch after spending so much time on one specific line of attack. Also, due to so much someone's-watching-you camera narrative, Russell Crowe’s Cal seems to be in jeopardy so often that by the time the final bullets fly, after that ultimate plot-twist is unraveled and so much of the film's air seeped out in its harried denouement, there’s no real reason to care any more.

127 minutes that go by quite fast.


From Salon Magazine's review of Observe and Report:

After Ronnie coerces Brandi into going on a date with him, during which she consumes numerous cocktails and takes too many pills, he grinds away at her in bed as she lies still beneath him, seemingly unconscious, a trail of spit-up trickling down her pillow. He pauses briefly to make sure she's not comatose, and she momentarily perks up, urging him not to stop.

The intended point of hilarity here must be that what Ronnie is doing is almost date rape, but phew! not quite. Brandi knows what she's doing, and she's OK with it -- because she's really just sort of a sleazy girl to begin with, right? Even if you just write the gag off as a sick joke, it's no fun to see Anna Faris used this way.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Some People Ought to Be Spanked

I started going apeshit for Franz Ferdinand's new album, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, somewhere around the 3rd bar of attitude that came dripping out of "No You Girls." Even though it kills me that there's very little here that Roxy Music wasn't doing in 1975, at least someone's doing it and trying to move forward instead of spinning their wheels in Guyville.

Not ten minutes ago I picked up a Paste, saw their review and had a major 'WTF alternate universe is he in?' moment:

But it's been a long time since a band as good as Franz Ferdinand made a record as appalling as Tonight: Franz Ferdinand. Truly, the four dapper Scotsmen that constitute this group should be ashamed of their tuneless, thoughtless, meaningless new offering, which distorts the proud legacy of a band that once mattered.
What makes the album so bad? Is it the leering vocals? The uninspired melodies? The horrific production, which cranks the sound until it's literally painful to the ears?

Dude. What've you got against, you know, dynamics?

I try to not intellectualize music anymore; it's not worth it to spend ten minutes - let alone two hours - ripping my hair out to articulate why something is good when I can just sing along to it or shake my ass, you know? It moves me or it doesn't. It throws me up against the wall or it doesn't. And the biggest problem with pop music in 2009 is that very few people who have access to distribution and promotion channels care to move anyone anywhere except in the direction of the bank.

Not only do I disagree vehemently with the Paste review, I also think it contains the most childish shots I've ever seen a creditable magazine take at an artist. It looks like something a pretentious message board user with no sense of self-discipline or restraint would post. Is this what professional journalists must devolve to, to get attention from online users? Imitate the worst of them?

And I love that Island Records' founder Chris Blackwell, no less, took enough exception to comment:
Much of what goes into determining great art or great music can be dismissed to taste and preference. In that regard I disagree with Nick Marino’s review on all accounts. Lucid Dreams, in particular, is not a mistake but a song that shows a band that is willing to take a risk and trusts that their fans are loyal enough to take that risk with them and that in the end will be glad that they gave the song a second listen. My primary concern with Mr. Mario’s review, however, is that it is ill-informed. Franz Ferdinand is neither lazy nor confused. The recent documentary of the recording of Tonight shows the time, care, and intentionality that went in to the recording of this album. The sounds that Mr. Marino chalks up to “horrific production” are part of a profound recording process that the band purposely used to create the sounds they wanted and that added to the meaningfulness of the song. I encourage all your readers to watch the documentary and give Tonight a second listen. Too often, we are so use to “instant classics” that we do not recognize true depth, inspiration, and greatness when we see it. In a few years we will look back on Tonight and say, “That is when Franz Ferdinand gave birth to their Achtung Baby.”

I don't know about the Achtung Baby business, I think they'll need to keep stretching out just a little bit for that. But there's no reason to think Franz Ferdinand isn't capable of it, as long as they cover their ears to infantile reviews like that one.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Boyle Gets Up For the Early Show

The sensation continues ...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Torchwood Fans: Heads' Up

If you missed it the first two times around, the Doctor Who spinoff returned to the BBCAmerica cable-waves two weeks ago and is back on Saturday nights. It was announced last August that the third season will only consist of five episodes and will run on consecutive days (I can't imagine they won't milk it out over five weeks for American audiences). That's not enough Captain Jack in anyone's book.

In the meantime, series' star John Barrowman has a great profile in a recent edition of the Independent.

Demi Moore Pwns Twitter

Who knew?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Susan Boyle - The Voice Rocking The Internet

No one ever heard of Susan Boyle until this video from the UK tv show Britain's Got Talent started making the rounds two days ago:

For a longer version, complete with judges + audience showing their pre-judgement before this woman unleashed that beautiful singing voice on them, try the YouTube clip.

In the Herald, writer Colette Douglas Home left this scathing indictment, which may explain part of the clip's wildfire appeal:

Susan, now a bankable discovery, was then roundly patronised by such mega-talents as Amanda Holden and the aforementioned Morgan, who told her: "Everyone laughed at you but no-one is laughing now. I'm reeling with shock." Holden added: "It's the biggest wake-up call ever."

Again, why?

The answer is that only the pretty are expected to achieve. Not only do you have to be physically appealing to deserve fame; it seems you now have to be good-looking to merit everyday common respect. If, like Susan (and like millions more), you are plump, middle-aged and too poor or too unworldly to follow fashion or have a good hairdresser, you are a non-person.

I dread to think of how Susan would have left the stage if her voice had been less than exceptional. She would have been humiliated in front of 11 million viewers. It's the equivalent of being put in the stocks in front of the nation instead of the village. It used to be a punishment handed out to criminals. Now it is the fate of anyone without obvious sexual allure who dares seek opportunity.


Susan is a reminder that it's time we all looked a little deeper. She has lived an obscure but important life. She has been a companionable and caring daughter. It's people like her who are the unseen glue in society; the ones who day in and day out put themselves last. They make this country civilised and they deserve acknowledgement and respect.

Think of that, the next time you see an advertisement for Wife Swap, or any of the other "reality" shows that exist to make a joke of the unglamorous.

Coming Up: State of Play

If I'm looking forward to this new Russell Crowe movie:

It's because I've seen the 6-part BBC production from 2003, starring Kelly McDonald, John Simm, & Bill Nighy. James McAvoy also had smaller, but memorable role. What we probably won't get with the movie version are the "character" moments, so here's some of what you're missing:

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Blogger Plagiarism: How Widespread Is It?

Colleen McCullough's 1985 book A Creed for the Third Millennium has been on my mind recently. I read it when it first came out; it's a retelling of Christian mythology set to presidential politics, and it's hard not to see parallels with our current situation.

So I went casting around the interwebs to see what discussions were taking place, if any, and came across a blog called Reading Room where a review was posted in January 2008 from author Gautami Tripathy. Note the first two paragraphs:

A Creed for the Third Millennium speaks of a world in not-too-distant future. It is more than a simple analogy for a time-transplanted gospel. Dr. Joshua Christian is born during the presidency of Augustus Rome. His story unfolds during the presidency of Augustus's hand-picked successor Tibor Reece, when the government invents "Operation Messiah" in order to bring a message of spiritual renewal to an oppressed citizenry, despite the reluctance of Cabinet secretary Harold Magnus . Christian's advocate Judith Carrioll manages the project, to his ultimate detriment, while hired biographer Lucy Greco tells his story for the masses.

Despite the many unsubtle analogies to the New Testament, "Operation Messiah" cannot follow--the story of Jesus too literally, hence author Colleen McCullough experiments with twists on the story in its twenty-first-century setting. Sometimes her twists makes sense, but more often they do not, and they leave the reader wondering where she was trying to go with her story. She may not have known herself. But she paints an interesting twenty-first-century America, despairing over climatic and economic changes, whose government goes searching for someone "capable of teaching a sick nation how to heal itself" and finds and then elevates a made-to-order messiah. These manipulations finally destroy the messiah.

There were a couple of comments. No major. Then I went to to see what they had, and saw this spotlight review from Brian Melendez in 2001. The second two paragraphs:

This book translates that story into the not-too-distant future. Unfortunately the translation is rather sophomoric. Dr. Joshua Christian (Jesus Christ) is born during the presidency of Augustus "Gus" Rome. His story unfolds during the presidency of Augustus's hand-picked successor Tibor Reece (Tiberius), when the government invents "Operation Messiah" in order to bring a message of spiritual renewal to an oppressed citizenry, despite the reluctance of Cabinet secretary Harold Magnus (Herod). Christian's advocate Judith Carrioll (Judas Iscariot) manages the project, to his ultimate detriment, while hired biographer Lucy Greco (Luke the Greek) tells his story for the masses.

"Creed" is both less and more than a simple analogy for a time-transplanted gospel. Despite the many unsubtle analogies to the New Testament, "Operation Messiah" does not follow--cannot follow--the story of Jesus too literally, so author Colleen McCullough experiments with twists on the story in its twenty-first-century setting. Sometimes her twists makes sense, but more often they do not, and they leave the reader wondering where she was trying to go with her story. She may not have known herself. But she paints an interesting twenty-first-century America, despairing over climatic and economic changes, whose government goes searching for someone "capable of teaching a sick nation how to heal itself" and finds--then elevates--a made-to-order messiah.

Just how prevalent is this on Blogger/Blogspot? I've come to expect it from 'bot sites that lift content wholesale and re-publish it in obscurity, but this? Do people really imagine no one will notice?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

How Not To Interview Billy Bob Thornton

An infamous Billy Bob Thornton radio interview is making the rounds and he's being called a heathen, more or less, by most of the world for giving CBC personality Jian Ghomeshi one of the harshest interviews ever on live air. There's even a YouTube video:

Full audio is here.

Billy Bob came into WRLT studios not all that long ago, arriving an hour late and by reports, was otherwise amicable. But in this particular case, I hope the interviewer learned an important lesson: when you've got someone in the studio who is as obviously sharp as BBT is, the last thing you want to attempt is anything remotely like a "serious" interview.

The second-to-last thing you want to do is share your crash and burn with the whole world. It makes me wonder if the whole thing isn't a stunt.

UPDATE: The interviewer, Jian Ghomeshi, was a member of Moxy Fruvous, who you may actually remember from when Lightning 100 played their song "Michigan Militia." They even played one of our Nashville Sunday Night shows and one of the things that made the evening memorable for me was that, prior to the show when I was chatting with the band, one member in particular was totally trying to fuck with my head (and looking back, it could very well have been Ghomeshi) and it was something about Northeast people I missed very much at the time. This just reinforces my suspicion it's all a put-on.

UPDATE II - looked at more of Jian's vids. Okay, that really is his style, to give it so much gravitas. You'd think someone who'd been in a band would know better ...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Into the Wild and Onto the Road

While Pearl Jam and fans are basking in the reissue of 10, Eddie Vedder was making plans for a solo tour. Liam (Son of Neil) Finn opens.

June 8 Albany, NY Palace Theatre
June 11 Philadelphia, PA Tower Theatre
June 12 Philadelphia, PA Tower Theatre
June 14 Baltimore, MD Lyric Opera House
June 15 Baltimore, MD Lyric Opera House
June 18 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
June 20 Memphis, TN Orpheum Theatre
June 23 Atlanta, GA Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
June 29 Maui, HI Castle Theater
July 1 Honolulu, HI Hawaii Theatre
July 2 Honolulu, HI Hawaii Theatre

Brandon Flowers Talks Heresy

It won't win him many fans on the West coast, but The Killers' Brandon Flowers is loudly saying something that needed to be said in 1992 when record labels were scraping the barrel for Nirvana clones:

“I don’t mean it in a bad way, but I think Kurt Cobain and grunge took the fun out of rock ’n roll.
“Everything’s changing, though, and it’s starting to become a lot more playful and brighter.”

And then he had to go wreck it by dissing Kinds of Leon: “We’re learning that they (American audiences) like the guitar Killers, whereas you guys in the UK and the rest of the world have got this more melodic pop-orientated album.

“Kings Of Leon filled that guitar spot nicely in America but they don’t have a song like Human."

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Fox Fires Movie Reviewer For Doing His Job

This is an interesting situation. We're in an era where self-promotion is the name of the game, no matter how distasteful. We're also in an age of corporate conglomerates and "synergy" (which I'm sure is no longer a buzzword - perhaps "vertical marketing" is the preferred term?) where a company can own both a movie studio and a media outlet to promote the studio's output.

When being part of a multi-faceted business sucks outrageously is when you are forbidden from competing against outside interests because management thinks it's more important to prop up a weak internal link. In this case, security.

Several days ago, a copy of the forthcoming X-Men spinoff Wolverine was leaked to the internet. Roger Friedman had the misfortune of being in Fox News' employment when he did what he needed to do to remain relevant as a paid movie reviewer at a time when crowd-sourcing is pushing professional media people out of work - he wrote a review of the leaked movie.

Result? Fox fired him. From a company-loyalty standpoint, I am not unsympathetic. It's important for the studio the movie not be leaked and it sucks for them that one of their staff seemingly validated the leakers. But Fox is also a media company and the creative people in that division have to think about remaining competitive, as well.

It's an uncomfortable time for media people in general, right now. I don't know what the solution is; recently a conversation with a freelance writer of 20 years ended with, "fuck the internet." In the coming weeks, I hope to speak with more, in hopes of ... well, I don't know just yet. I know that most of the people who see the problem for what it is can't speak of it through the outfits and outlets that employ them. Hopefully, some good ideas may come out of it.

Monday, April 6, 2009

New Lily Allen Video Pays Tribute to Porter Wagoner

I remember reading a 1990s article on Lucinda Williams in Rolling Stone, and was struck by something she said about the country music industry based in Nashville. To paraphrase, "Music Row has an issue with the mention of body parts."

To the gentlemen and ladies of 16th & 17th Avenues South and surrounding vicinity, we present you this gem:

Friday, April 3, 2009

Gomez Interview

Lightning 100 started turning Nashville radio listeners onto Gomez with their 1998 debut, Bring It On, and some of us have been digging on the UK quintet's unique bluesish-poppish tunes ever since. Their new critically-acclaimed new album, A New Tide, came out this past Tuesday and I got to celebrate by talking to Tom Gray.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

DADDY's Here

The ever-magnificent Will Kimbrough & Tommy Womack were in the studio this morning to promote their Tin Pan South show (Wednesday 4/1 at Mercy Lounge). They came, they talked, they played a couple of great tunes.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Tiger Who?

See Henrik Stenson. Henrik is a professional golfer.

Swing, Henrik, Swing.
Because he's Swedish, I guess, when his ball lands in the Florida mud at a PGA championship game, Henrik finds it more distasteful to get muddy trou than give sports photographers a package shot.

Strip, Henrik! Strip!

Just FYI, he's 3 under par at the time of this post.

Birdie, Henrik, Birdie!


18 of them. That beats Nadya Suleman. Happy Friday.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Music City Mayhem: Day 1

Congratulations to Chip Greene, whose fans turned out in a big way to vote Chip and his music onto the next bracket. OBLiO: Thanks so much for participating. You're great. Now here's the cane.

Next up: Ben Cyllus v Wess Floyd & the Daisycutters

Monday, March 9, 2009

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Great Woods

This morning, I tagged along on a very special, very private, Team Green outing to hike through the Hill Tract — a pristine old growth forest in southwest Davidson county. The tract recently became available to the Friends of Warner Parks, for purchase. So far, they've raised about 90% of the necessary funds and have an agreement in place to make the buy, with the intention of turning around and donating it to Metro. You can get details and make a donation, if you like, here.

Anyway, there were about 15 of us out in this very pristine area of town. A few of the trees were huge, largest I've ever seen. This big:

Hopefully they'll be able to hit their goal before closing; it would be a shame for Nashville hikers to lose this opportunity.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Yankee Clipper

We had a great studio visit with Canadian artist Serena Ryder a couple of weeks ago, and I just saw the video footage is online:

Go here for pt 2.

Friday, February 27, 2009

It's Official: We Are a Nation of Slackers

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Fox said on Thursday it has ordered two more seasons of animated comedy "The Simpsons," ensuring the show that started in 1989 will surpass "Gunsmoke" as the longest-running prime-time U.S. television series.

"The Simpsons" will start its 21st season in the fall, after last year tying the longevity record of "Gunsmoke," which ended in 1975 after 20 seasons. Its second season in the two-year deal will come in 2010.

I still miss St. Elsewhere.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I Don't Miss This

I shoveled a few inches of snow while I was in NY last week, for old times sake. Did not put on the skates, though.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Bet He Makes a Killer Omelet, Too

Hugh Jackman, Beyoncé
I think Hugh Jackman proved, Sunday night, there's a case to be made against ironic detachment in an Academy Awards ceremony host. Not that I'd want to see a fan-wank every year, but as much as I have loved Jon Stewart & Co, Jackman's sincerity was a nice change of pace.

The staging changes - stealing the intimate look the Emmys adopted in the last couple years - were refreshing for most of the show, up until a point. Specifically, the point where I was past ready for bedtime (I can't imagine how East coasters deal with this) was the point where I'd had enough of the reality show-type nomination readings. Was someone going to get an award, or get booted off the island?

But we all know what really matters — the fashions!

There were two trends I noticed, both returnees from the past: deep blues on the comeback trail, and serious construction. RPI-worthy.

First the blues - few but very noticable.

There was someone else, too, who took it a step further with awful 1970s' blue eye makeup.

Then there were the super-constructed dresses.

This is my tatt:

And these are my

Oh, never mind.