Throwing down the gauntlet

he could be a designer

Since no one responded to my previous post about creating a logo for this blog, I have thrown down the gauntlet.  We’ll keep this ugly (?) new look until someone creates a cool logo.  How about you??

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Ben’s sick day links

Doug shmoozing 

If I’m going to be home with the flu, I might as well post some interesting links.  And BTW, all hail our new contributor FiestaRed…let’s hear more!

1- If you’re afraid of the big bad record companies prosecuting you (read this article about Doug Morris if you really don’t realize how out of touch the big labels are), there are many other options for ‘sampling’ new music. 

 Since I am a metalhead, I recommend you check out these blogs (you might need to brush up on your Spanish):

InfiernoMetal    Classic Extreme Metal    TheBlackHorde 

2- Go see Van Halen (with David Lee Roth)!  Lefsetz Letter has the best review yet

3- Read the true story of the Merzbow Car!

Kid Nation’s Sophia Stands Up For Libraries/Librarians Everywhere

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Sophia does the ALA/SLA etc proud on tonight’s Kid Nation…the town chooses an arcade over a library as their reward, and while everyone is zoned out on video games in the arcade, Sophia buys up the town’s books and opens a town public library…I’m sure this one might make the librarian blog rounds in the next few days!

Major Stars and Dark Fog–best bands ever!

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Major Stars and Magic Hour have been two of my favorite bands since like forever. Best guitar solos ever, I mean it. Imagine Mahavishnu Orchestra, John McLaughlin, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, mixed with Sonic Youth, Brian Eno, Nice Strong Arm, Polvo, Dinosaur Jr., Swervedriver, Fucking Champs. The best of gentle psych rock mixed with fierce rock. Much of their music to me sounds like the guitar playing of Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation mixed with the solos of the best John McLaughlin, like on the Devotion album title track (this description also fits Nice Strong Arm’s Reality Bath), mixed with the gentle singing of Brian Eno’s first few albums–for instance, hunt down their awesome track “Strange Reaction.”

The Fader: “Major Stars are the best rock band in the world.”

I couldn’t get this Major Stars live show set on WFMU to work earlier, I’m going to try again later..Their new album Mirror/Messenger is out now on Drag City!

See them on limited tour now!

I’m about to see them with Dark Fog in Chicago. Dark Fog is also great! Check out this awesome song Tomorrow. Get yr freak on!

*Update–just saw them the other day–the best rock show I have ever seen! Fantastic! Rock and roll incarnate! Wish I got to buy Kate breakfast (part of a mid-set request) ! Bought a t-shirt and their new CD, which is also totally fantastic. I don’t have Synoptikon yet, which also had the new female rock singer Sandra. It takes a few minutes or hours or days to get used to the new rock singing, without Wayne’s gentle psychadelic-type singing, but it’s all awesome! Good job guys/girls! After seeing them, I had a dream about some old New England friends of mine, such was the pleasant Cambridge vibe of the Major Stars. The new album by the way was engineered by Tim Shea, ex- of the amazing Green Magnet School by the way! More proof that rock and roll will never die. Visit their record store Twisted Village if you’re ever in Cambridge.

I first heard Magic Hour (precursor to Major Stars) when I was buying a Swervedriver CD at Penny Lane in Westwood, CA in the early 90’s, and a record clerk there was like, if you like Swervedriver, you’ll love this band…it was the No Excess is Absurd little grey CD box package. Thanks Mr. Record Store Clerk, that was one of the best recommendations ever!

*UPDATE*

I just have to say though, I’d like to see more of Wayne’s blissed-out psych/Brian Eno vocals ala Magic Hour in Major Stars.  The lady singer is good, but let’s have her play tambourine and percussion on some of the songs to let Wayne sing some.   More psych/folk and less hard rock on the next few Major Stars albums?  That would be a nice change up since there are tons of bands doing hard rock and a lot less doing the Magic Hour psych/Sonic Youth/John McLaughlin’s Devotion kind of thing.

Great photos from UnderExposed

Kool Keith

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“I gotta put the baboon back in the zoo”

Every few years I check up on what Kool Keith is doing musically. He is truly a genius musician in the purest sense of the term–he just does his thing, and does it well–well, like any genius, he has his amazing songs, and a few questionable ones too! He has weathered ups and downs in hip hop as a whole–and basically has created his own musical universe.

He basically raps off in his own dimension seemingly self-sufficient and not needing much connection to what popularly passes for hip hop on mainstream TV and the radio. Imagine if some skillful rapper like Jay-Z was channeling Wesley Willis, Captain Beefheart, and Frank Zappa. With the large number of records he has put out it’s like he is exerting his sheer willpower, remaking the universe in his own vision. I think Nietzsche and Ayn Rand would appreciate it–that is, if they listened to hip hop.

The Styx-Mr. Roboto video/movie exists!

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I can’t embed this, but here’s the YouTube link: Mr. Roboto.

Awesome, but those grinning robot faces are kind of…Japanophobic, no? It was the early 80s, Russia was the big enemy, and Japan was going to take over the world and replace us all with robots…

Visit the Center For Roboto Research And Preservation

Fun With Classic Rock


Amazing proto-punk garage video from 1967: Blue Magoos, We Ain’t Got Nothing Yet. Very pre-Violent Femmes, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, etc.

I finally looked up the lyrics to Mannfred Man’s “Blinded by the Light.” You will undoubtedly ascend another rung on the galactic ladder once their cryptic words are etched into your brain. Their song “For You” ranks way up there.

Excerpt:

“Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce,
another runner in the night
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce,
another runner in the night
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce,
another runner in the night

Madman drummers bummers, Indians in the summer with a teenage diplomat
In the dumps with the mumps as the adolescent pumps his way into his hat
With a boulder on my shoulder, feelin’ kinda older, I tripped the merry-go-round
With the stereo pleasin’ and sneezin’ and wheezin, the calliope crashed
to the ground”

“Some brimstone baritone Andy Sack from rolling stone preacher from the east
Says, “Dethrone the dictaphone, hit it in it’s funny bone, that’s where they expect it least”
And some new-mown chaperone was standin’ in the corner, watching the young girls dance
And some fresh-sown moonstone was messin’ with his frozen zone, reminding him of romance”


Genesis: Carpet Crawlers.  I bet Radiohead likes this son–the singer seems to sing like this a lot.


CSNY (Crosby Stills Nash and Young): Dark Star


Cheap Trick: Downed
This song was made in 1977–sounds so modern!


Stampeders–Sweet City Woman