Monthly Archives: July 2007

I’ve got a crush on Obama

Political tendencies aside, there’s some girl that vowed her undying love to Barack as only a Gen Y new yorker hottie can – a homemade youtube music video of course!

But that’s not the best part. This 3 year old yelling “CRUSH ON OBAMA!” is.

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It’s all just a little bit of history repeating

A few weeks ago, Doc and I fell upon an incense-filled, Marley-shirt stocked, dusty, musty record shop in Cleveland. We went in so I could ogle over old Beatles live albums and so he could work on building up his Zeppelin collection. As I perused the colorful glass-blown display case ornaments, smelling the Lavender Dreams incense, and wondering what my hypothetical child would look like in a Janis Joplin onezie, Doc carried around an armful of albums. I helped peruse the rows of vinyl. I filed through The Wailers, lots of Floyd and Zeppelin, Clapton, Stones, and all variations of 1960s nostalgia. Then I came upon Franz Ferdinand, Ben Harper, The White Stripes. What?? I did a double take and showed Doc. He gave a knowing nod and informed me that lots of band record onto vinyl these days.

I initially just thought this was a cool trendy thing to buy records because retro and hippie chic is so hot right now. But the more I thought about this, there are many a reason for this revived industry of rock. One is the hipster pastime of DJ mixing. I’ve heard some SICK (yes ma’am; sick) mixes of oldies melody lines with techno beats. Why not modern it up with some Beck and his two turntables and a microphone. Another reason for the vinyl revival may be the physicality (I’m pretty sure I’m just making words up now. Two glasses of wine will do that to you). My dad brought this up in an earlier post about people that may actually want a hard copy of albums. And an interesting fact from a business woman’s point of view is that new indie bands today are slipping their albums between Deep Purple’s ‘Stormbringer’ and Cat Stevens ‘Tea for the Tillerman’ (Before he converted to Islam and got that crazy name -Yusuf Islam – which I didn’t even know was him last time Rolling Stone reviewed one of the albums. ANYways…) to get their association in there while the gray-haired men sift through the oldies to find something a little new, boosting their credibility among the rock gods true critics, their fans.

I did a little more digging and came across two Brit articles (1) (2) about an upturn in sales numbers for their record industry.

I realize this isn’t the retro takeover that in the back of my mind I may be wishing it would be, but the growing variety of uses for the good ol’ material (I used to make notebooks out of the cardboard covers of Linda Ronstand albums) is a refreshing little revolution to the digital revolution. Just what music needs – a revolution of the revolution.

And I said noo noo noo

In the words of Lester Bangs/Philip Seymour Hoffman in Almost Famous “Jim Morrison is a drunken buffoon, posing as a poet. Give me The Guess Who. They’ve got the courage to be drunken buffoons, which makes them poetic”. Reading back on old Rolling Stone articles on Kurt Cobain and the Forever 27 gang, or Hunter S Thompson, I am initially shocked at the open recklessness of these dudes (my parents raised me well in my Midwestern sheltered town) but then I realized that this IS part of rock ‘n roll. These crazy acts of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll were at the forefront of the revolution. Rock is more than just a sound, its an existence. An existence that continually pushes the envelop, at the forefront of insanity. because that’s what rock does to you. it pushes you, adrenalin-pumping pushes.

But why did it take reading about pre-millennium artists for me to see this? Because post-millennium rock isn’t rock at all. Its Clear Channel propaganda. We should have seen it when the Backstreet Boys 2000 album was named “Millennium”. This is the album to look to when trying to uncover the culture of Y2K?? Popular music today, the stuff on the radio, is sound that so many people I know work furiously to make known they DO NOT listen to it. That they have no part in promoting that sound. Is that how bigger-than-life bands should be seen?? I’m no hypocrite. I am the first one to deny listening to Akon, Avril Lavigne, Fergie, new age Green Day. I will always claim loyalty to 1960s and 70s bands over today’s tween-friendly sounds. A generation should not finger-point who’s to blame for music of their time, but be proud of the sound their peers can produce. But that’s not so much the case when corporations are pulling the puppet strings of artists that see $$ before music notes.

Enter my chicks. I assumed for months that Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse, Neko Case, Jenny Lewis were all just ladies that I listened to in the semi-underground indie rock circuit. As soon as I heard Lily on the radio, I was (as usual) totally disappointed in her selling out to the man. That her sound would become like everyone elses and she would fade into the place up above where artists-that-all-sound-the-same float away to. Then Amy followed when Rehab hit the airwaves. I was depressed. But as both these ladies blow up (Amy on the cover of Rolling Stone last month sealed her fate in history) I noticed that neither were cleaning up their act, changing their sound or their attitude. Lily continued her drunken foolery as she performed a concert for some NYC socialites and kept called the queen bee of rich society the wrong name . Amy continues her crazy (and usually drunken) obsession with her husband (“I’m not in this to be a [bleep] role model.”). Pink has the right idea with these fellow songbirds. Neither are afraid to be wasted in public. Isn’t that what everyone dreams of? Being a rock star so awesome that you can have 5 shots of Jim Bean and sing about refusing to go to rehab? These ladies are living the dream.

Long live rock ‘n roll!

Rehab is so hot right now

Don’t worry, this isn’t some post on the party like a coke addict era of starlets (couch LiLo cough). I’m all over this badass aura of Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen right now. Way to bring back the party like a ROCK STAR persona of the past in the form of 22 year old chicks who aren’t afraid to be drunk on stage AND actually have the sound to back up their i-don’t-care-what-you-think-i-am-awesome ‘tude. Here is a picture from SNL that just about sums up the trend (Lily Allen as Amy Winehouse) ——–^^^^^

I had all these cool dude things to say about the ladies, but I’m all into youtube tonight and got distracted by videos. Numero uno is Amy Winehouse + Charlotte Church (yea that15 year old opera singing prodigy from like 10 years ago. Turns out she’s got a hot modern sound too!) doing M.Jackson’s ‘Beat It’. How could I pass that up?! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vfdl7-E80Q # Deux is Charlotte Church and Nelly Furtado doing ‘Crazy’ just because, i mean come on – how often are you going to see combos like these?? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPnYWL-U1Eo And this is where my video ADD (or ADHD – correct me if I’m wrong Erin) kicked in and my Zooey stalkerness joined the party too……..She can sing! (Sit tight through the first song – warm up. The second song makes me want to get into the cabaret scene.)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXLepw52iFs Fun fact is that in Elf, that’s for sure her singing “Baby, its cold outside”. Ok shhh I’m watching Zooey. I’ll get back to you with more power to the drunk girls later.