Thursday, July 29, 2004

4:40 p.m.
[phone rings]
"Hi, this is Matos."
"Yeah, who is this?"
"Uh, what are you looking for?"
"Are you in charge of the Eight Nights calendar?"
"Well, I'm the music editor . . ."
"Oh, well, I'm trying to find out who's DJ'ing at the Bad Juju Lounge on Tuesday night. Do you know?"
"Uh, no. Why, is it not in the calendar?"
"Oh, I'm in Tacoma. I can't get the paper here. That's why I called."
"Well, the listings are our website as well. I have to go, I'm very busy . . ."
"Oh, I can't get online, either. Look, can you just tell me who's playing there?"
"No. I can't. I'm really busy."
"You can't just tell me?"
"No, I can't. You don't call a newspaper to have it read over the phone to you."
"What?! Why, I've never been treated so rudely in my life! What is your name?"

Scharpling & Wurster, eat your hearts out.

My review of the new Sonic Youth, from City Pages. (Peep Rod Smith's treatment of same in SW--very helpful to my own, both in print and in conversation.)

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Look, people. It's really simple. I keep talking about U.S.E. on this site, and you keep wondering what I'm talking about. So go download the album already, and when you come back you might have an idea how utterly fucking incredible they were at the Block Party on Saturday. OK? Cool.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

What's up Andy Kellman?

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

A do not miss interview with the Kompakt brain-trust by the incomparable Andy Battaglia. Absolute knock-'em-dead highlight: minimal pasta. People, I think I'm in love again.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

A couple things regarding the set below, or a long explanation of what was actually a pretty simple process. I've already been asked by a couple people about the makeup of the "box"; it's specifically in the basic order of the book, or rather the book's discography, and doesn't go beyond it. (Simon's discography ends right around the time the book went to bed--the "Outro" chapter is signed April 1998.) Three years ago the great Mike Daddino made a mammoth set of 10 CD-Rs' worth of MP3s from Generation Ecstasy's discography, divided into folders based on chapters. That's what I worked from here, apart from We's "Magnesium Flares," a longtime favorite of mine.
Here's an example. The discography of "A Tale of Three Cities" is divided into "Chicago House," "New York Garage," and "Detroit Techno." Each of those have "Ancestors" subheads; "Chicago House" also has an "Acid" subhead. I chose one song for each of those categories (three "Ancestors" tracks, one each for Chi/NYC/Detroit, and an acid track), and voila--seven songs that helped define the parameters of the music discussed in the chapter. Mostly I stuck with the order of the subheads, though for "A Tale of Three Cities" I reordered it so the ancestors (Kraftwerk, Donna Summer, Loose Joints) came first, in chronological order, and then programmed the other four to flow. "Outro" was also handled this way.
In a couple cases, I used more than one cut per subheading--the "Roots 'n' Future" discog didn't have any subheads at all, so I picked three tracks. That's partly due to the emphasis of each chapter--"Roots 'n' Future" the chapter is much more about records than the "Fight for Your Right to Party" chapter, which is more about the scene surrounding Goa trance than the music itself, and partly due to my tastes (and Simon's) lying far more in the direction of jungle than Goa. And the way the discography is shaped makes it a terrific model for something like this, a project I've always wanted to put together but could never quite figure out how to, even after having Daddino's set for a year and a half. And the idea wasn't to be definitive, it was to be representative. Looking at it again, I think it succeeds. And I think I could put together another one with a completely different tracklisting that would be just as good. But not for awhile.

Monday, July 19, 2004

So over the weekend I finally sat down and did something I'd been intending to do for a year and a half, or longer, which is:
Generation Ecstasy
A 6CD "box set" based on Simon Reynolds' book
Disc One
1.      Kraftwerk: “Trans Europe Express” (6:52)
2.      Donna Summer: “I Feel Love (12 Inch Extended Mix)” (8:13)
3.      Loose Joints: “Is It All Over My Face (Larry Levan Mix)” (6:56)
4.      The It: “Donnie (Ron Hardy Mix)” (8:09)
5.      Pierre’s Pfantasy Club: “Dream Girl (Ralph Rosario Mix)” (8:49)
6.      Rythim Is Rythim: “Strings of Life” (6:05)
7.      Photon Inc.: “Generate Power (Wild Pitch Mix)” (8:46)
8.      Ten City: “Devotion” (6:51)
9.      Lil Louis & the World: “French Kiss (The Original Underground Mix)” (5:18)
10.  M/A/R/R/S: “Pump Up the Volume” (4:06)
11.  A Guy Called Gerald: “Voodoo Ray” (4:24)
12.  Happy Mondays: “Step On” (5:17)
Disc Two
1.      Nightmares on Wax: “Aftermath” (4:36)
2.      Unique 3: “The Theme (Unique Chill Mix)” (7:30)
3.      Nicolette: “Waking Up Remix” (5:01)
4.      Beltram: “Energy Flash” (5:47)
5.      T99: “Anasthasia” (4:35)
6.      Shaft: “Roobarb & Custard (Dr. Trip & Bob Bolts Mix)” (5:42)
7.      A Hippy, a Homeboy & a Funky Dread: “Total Confusion” (3:53)
8.      Messiah: “There Is No Law” (3:59)
9.      NRG: “I Need Your Lovin’” (4:00)
10.  SL2: “On a Ragga Tip” (5:06)
11.  The House Crew: “Euphoria (Nino’s Dream)” (6:46)
12.  DHS: “House of God” (7:39)
13.  Hardkiss: “3 Nudes (Having Sax on Acid)” (8:23)
14.  Juno Reactor: “High Energy Protons” (6:28)
Disc Three
1.      Aphex Twin: “Analogue Bubblebath 1” (4:46)
2.      The Grid: “Floatation” (5:31)
3.      Orbital: “Halcyon + On + On” (9:27)
4.      The Age of Love: “The Age of Love (Watch Out for Stella Club Mix)” (6:46)
5.      Acen: “Close Your Eyes (Optikonfusion!)” (6:03)
6.      DJ Hype: “Weird Energy” (4:54)
7.      Nasty Habits: “Here Come the Drumz” (5:08)
8.      Underground Resistance: “Jupiter Jazz” (4:32)
9.      Drexciya: “The Bubble Metropolis” (6:56)
10.  F.U.S.E.: “F.U. 2” (5:50)
11.  Carl Craig: “At Les” (8:06)
12.  Dark Comedy: “War of the Worlds” (6:37)
Disc Four
1.      Resilient: “1.2” (8:37)
2.      Renegade ft. Ray Keith: “The Terrorist” (6:03)
3.      Phuture Assassins: “Roots ’n’ Future” (5:54)
4.      Shy FX & UK Apachi: “Original Nuttah” (5:13)
5.      Bjork: “Cover Me” (2:06)
6.      Bjork: “Cover Me (Dillinja Mix)” (6:22)
7.      Sperminator: “No Woman Allowed” (3:35)
8.      Party Animals: “Have You Ever Been Mellow” (3:08)
9.      Hixxy & Sharky: “Toytown” (4:47)
10.  Tilt!: “Hell-E-Copter” (6:25)
11.  The Horrorist: “One Night in N.Y.C.” (4:14)
12.  Wink: “Higher State of Consciousness (Tweekin’ Acid Funk Mix)” (6:15)
13.  The Crystal Method: “Busy Child (Club Mix)” (7:27)
14.  Tricky: “Aftermath” (7:38)
Disc Five
1.      Depth Charge: “Depth Charge” (5:47)
2.      DJ Shadow: “Lost & Found (S.F.L)” (10:06)
3.      DJ Vadim: “Headz Still Ain’t Ready” (5:55)
4.      Gravediggaz: “Diary of a Madman” (4:33)
5.      Ghostface Killah: “Daytona 500” (4:40)
6.      Omni Trio: “Renegade Snares (Foul Play VIP Mix)” (6:31)
7.      Apollo 2: “Atlantis (I Need You) (L.T.J Bukem Remix)” (7:26)
8.      Alex Reese: “Pulp Fiction” (6:13)
9.      Roni Size & DJ Die: “Music Box” (5:10)
10.  DJ Zinc: “Super Sharp Shooter” (6:41)
11.  Trace & Nico: “Squadron” (7:24)
12.  µ-Ziq, “Hasty Boom Alert” (5:14)
Disc Six
1.      Burger-Ink: “Twelve Miles High” (11:22)
2.      Luke Vibert: “Music Called Jazz” (5:22)
3.      Mouse on Mars: “Saturday Night Worldcup Fieber” (4:21)
4.      We: “Magnesium Flares” (7:00)
5.      Alec Empire: “Hard Like It’s a Pose” (3:29)
6.      The Bucketheads: “The Bomb!” (5:29)
7.      Daft Punk: “Da Funk” (5:29)
8.      Underworld: “Rez” (9:57)
9.      Green Velvet: “The Stalker (I Am Losing My Mind)” (10:02)
10.  The Fabulous Baker Boys: “Oh Boy” (4:41)
11.  The Chemical Brothers: “The Private Psychedelic Reel” (9:28)
(special thanks to Mike Daddino)

Thursday, July 15, 2004

This might be real, but Problem Drinker still wins for his [/her, yeah, whatever] title.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Guess what's back?

A clarification: My job is public, but I do try to keep some things non-job-related, including my regular email address. So I tend to limit the Yahoo account to personal interactions, for sanity's sake. If you're trying to reach me for job-related reasons, please email my work address (it's also at the bottom of just about any SW article I've written; see archive at right). I'm bad enough about replying to email as it is, obviously, but I tend to not respond to either pitches or publicity material sent to the Yahoo address. Thanks for understanding.

"Bland harmonizing by guys that could barely swim." "Any backyard garage band could probably have recorded this and done a better job." "Country Rock didn't begin with Gram Parsons, it began with Steve Earle." "Listening through this entire album is like running a marathon, only more tiring." "Something about Dylan just doesn't jive with my inner groove, man." "as with 99% percent of the music any Beatle is involved with, there is no rock n roll on this album." "Mr. Biafra seems to think that corrupting the minds of children through loud music is somehow more noble than property ownership." "Let's critique Bruce and the E. Street band . . . The whole band sounds like Meat Loaf - Bat Out Of Hell." "Nothing repulses me more than Bono's delicate voice." "This is ignorant peons preaching to the equally ignorant masses who swallow any rubish a creature of pigment spews." "Kurt even had a tattoo that comemorated the corporation of K Records. Oddly enough it was owned and managed by Calvin Johnson, the Beat's yuppie singer!" "This is simply music to dress yourself in light blue, buy a golden book of nursery rhymes and then babysit yourself to death with." "I heard them on a Late Show and thought they sounded nice. Obviouslly, they were playing the only song on the cd that has any redeeming qualities." Nate saves you $16.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Our theme this week: "Surprisingly Good Electronica." update: it took approxmiately three and a half hours--about two and a half longer than I was expecting--for someone to email me and say, "Isn't is surprising when any electronica is good?" Kate Silver, you win an autographed copy of Generation Ecstasy!) (Note: Kate was kidding. Well, she indicated so, at least. I have my suspicions, however.)

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

The key sentence of this profile: "As academics often do, though, he feels a passing knowledge is enough to theorise." See also Douglas's even-toned, completely dead-on take-down of Jeffrey Dvorkin's "The World Has Moved On, But I Will Not Be Moved! Pt. 487 (Radio Mix)." (First link via Sasha.)

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Staying up late working on this Sonic Youth piece for City Pages, not because it's due next--there's other stuff in front of it, and I'll take care of that over the weekend--but because I suddenly had a couple stray angles intersect and create a bridge from my thinking "JesusfuckingChrist they really are the best rock band ever, statistically anyway" to actually having something meaningful and non-fanboy-sounding to say about it. Which is not easy! I'm not a flexidisc-chaser by any means but with a couple song-exceptions I believe I've liked every single "real" SY album since damn near the beginning, and where Murray Street seemed rock-meaning-pop and that's good, Sonic Nurse is just this . . . summation, really, of everything they do, without sounding like that's what they aimed for--more like they just plugged in and that's what emerged. They're so comfortable with each other, they have such easy rapport, and yet they still sound alive to each other's nuances rather than on autopilot--compare early Grateful Dead w/later, for instance. That's rare enough to be near-extinct; I can't think of a rock band that's managed to keep that going so long while continuing to write good-to-great material besides. Maybe O'Rourke being in there keeps it going like that. All I know is that this might not be their best album ever, but I also think there’s a reeeeeaaal good chance I’ll change my mind in a year or ten.

Friday, July 02, 2004

"I'm sayin', bro!"

I'm not sure I've ever mentioned this on either this or the previous blog, but this two-year-old piece by Michael Daddino is one of the most utterly moving pieces of music writing--of writing, period--I've ever encountered. And reading it again (and still getting hit like a ton of bricks by it), I realize the degree that the first third of the SOTT book was forecasted, if not inspired, by it. Thanks, Mike.