Does Activism Belong In Music?

Happy Leap Day!

To be honest, I couldn’t tell you if this event was an annual occurrence for the fine folks in Louisville, Kentucky but what I can definitely say is myself and Mrs. Thanks Internet are proud to have visited Louisville and even prouder to have marvelous friends that live there year-round.

The line-up for this particular music fest was  just announced this morning and it’s another line-up where I find myself feeling out-of-touch with what the kids are into these days, or attending the shows but just standing there as if they didn’t want to be there in the first place.  You just put down $150 to see and hear shit for the entire weekend,  so move your feet and bob your head. Smiling and high-fives to strangers are 100% optional.

What scares me the most about this festival, consisting of music, art, and activism (Show me what inebriation looks like — Zizz is what..I’M DRUNK, BAHHHHHHH!)  is the fact it’s in July and in the south.  I sweat after getting up to take a pee on a 95 degree day.

Well, you probably looked at the .jpeg first anyways, so here’s the line-up for FORECASTLE –  B.Y.O.Flying Ship Balloon!

Who the F are half these bands? Only one way to find out! DL their music illegally!

When Outside Magazine calls this one of the “Top 15 outdoor festivals in the country” – You better believe it!  That’s all they know!

Thanks another festival we probably can’t really afford to attend despite how much fun we will probably have.

&

Thanks, Internet!

The Band’s Getting Back Together!

The Last Last Waltz?

It’s happening – just not for The Band. Nope, they’re really not getting back together…BUT…Pretty much every other band is ready to cash in for a bit if that’s alright with you!

I don’t have the gumption to say this trend of beloved bands reuniting, especially in the alt-rock/indie scene of the past 25 years, is something that I am against. In fact quite the opposite – whatever has brought the likes of Pavement, Archers of Loaf, Polvo, Guided by Voices and many other soundtrack staples of my teen & college years back to the road is a welcomed gift I’ll take any day.

At the Drive In Reuniting? Well, that's just terrific!

Here are some words to some bands who may benefit from a reality check before picking up their reunion check.

A LETTER TO ANY BAND/ARTIST PLANNING TO REUNITE

It’s no business of mine to say the reason to reunite is purely financial, so I won’t. It’s no business of mine to say it’s rather presumptuous to announce “you’re coming to a city near you”  and only play a handful of hotspots in the U.S and expect your fans to rack up travel expenses, so I won’t. It’s no business of mine to say maybe it’s not such a great idea to perform just “the hits” to play it safe and make ’em all crowd-pleasers, so I won’t. It’s no business of mine to say you have seen better days in the looks department (some age better than others), so I won’t. Except for Iggy Pop. Please put on a fucking tank-top, sir. Starving kids in Africa want to know where they can send their weekly meal.

For just the price of a cup of coffee - You too can feed Iggy Pop!

I will say this: If you’re ready to rock again – you best get in the same mindset of when you were just starting out as a band and give the audience your sweat.  Pretend your sound didn’t influence a generation and act surprised for the loud reception in between tunes. Make believe no one has ever heard of you before even though you know they’ll be collectively be singing louder than you – and they will..and it’ll feel f’n amazing. Let us know you’re alive again.

Now, it’ll really give your fans quite a thrill if you also jump back in the studio and record new material. Don’t half-ass this. Make a full album or don’t bother. Giving your fans one song and that’s it will just give them blue-balls – especially if there’s still magic and you don’t sound like death. You’ve moved on since your last record in ’99 or whatever year you called it quits for reasons X and Y?  Hey, guess what – we’ve all moved on – it took awhile, but now we’re into other shit and your new shit just has to sound good enough. We’re not expecting an unmitigated effort.  Just remember one thing – you sucked at ballads then and you are guaranteed to suck at ballads now.  The last amazing ballad that was penned was Guns’n’Roses’ “November Rain” and it’s sad that G’N’R is a beast that simply refuses to die. Axl Rose – Please die. I digress… You are 100% allowed to write slower songs because you probably don’t have the same chops and musical prowess and most of your retained listening audience now also knows the importance of fiber in their diet.

Hard to believe Axl is 50, huh?

Do not tell us it’s a reunion and it’s just the lead singer. That’s way lame and actually kind of sad that none of the former band members can bear a few weeks of your antics and arrogance or whatever major character flaws you possess that a few prescriptions couldn’t mellow out.  No – you better make sure this reunion tour consists of AT LEAST 75% or more original members.  All original members is ideal but essentially we don’t want to see fill-ins (unless they were in bands more famous than yours) in the place of our beloveds. Chances are we know whether they like chunky or creamy and we also know their parents’ names. We’re weird like that but we want to see how well “Mark” aged.

The SP gang's all here...and by "gang"... well... Billy Corgan everybody!

Finally…

We’ve missed you and maybe you’ve missed us a little too and that’s why you’re back. Or maybe you just missed each other and you don’t mind us watching you get each other off on stage – with your unique brand of music.  Hey whatever’s cool – just don’t play with our emotions.  Okay, we’ve grown up a bit and we know that nothing lasts forever (Hey what a great line for a ballad…oh that’s right…) so if you gotta leave the party make sure you do the polite thing, be a humble guest and say thanks. That’s right. You just have to thank us and all old wounds will be healed just like that. Clearly, even when you left us in the cold (insert month) rain, like a loyal dog we came running to the door when we smelled your old ass(es) had come back and we’ll even pretend to have an orgasm when you scratch behind our ears.  What that means is you can play your reunion show and we’ll show up as we always did, but just remember who licked your peanut-butter covered balls all those years and how great it felt… We’ll do it again if you promise to stick around for awhile. *Lap lap*

Blur - They are still bigger than Radiohead in the U.K. (Nelson "Ha Ha!)

Those are the basics. Deal? Deal!

The only exception to these “guidelines” is if you’re the Beach Boys. I’m pretty sure the only thing these septuagenarians are out to celebrate is their limited mobility. Let them give whatever it is they have left – which let’s face it – really isn’t much but it’s admirable to see them try. So if you’re well past the age of retirement and feel like making a little extra Bingo money – you take your sweet time getting on that stage – just make sure you keep your LifeAlert bracelet on so we don’t have to worry, okay?

Yours in R’N’R forever…Signed

This guy!

So, thanks reuniting bands I’ve seen!

&

Thanks, Internet

Gettin’ Fat Tuesday

When I was 3 I loved to read. I am constantly reminded by my parents of this fact.

The last book I read was back in 2001 when I was living in Burlington, Vermont; the novel was either Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller or Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller but it doesn’t really matter since I put it down halfway through and never picked it up again to finish it. It’s actually a decent read from the half I recall reading, but I lost interest in reading it for a silly reason.

After hardly touching books in high school & college (Catcher in the Rye was the exception), I started reading again.  The objective was to just try to keep up with the girl I was dating at the time. She was an English major with quite the vernacular and quick-witted which are always turn-on’s*.  She was running laps around me with her courses of study while I attempted to impress by burning through a few books by Bukowski and Bret Easton Ellis – a few others, but all around relatively easy reads. I can’t recall if she gave a damn, but I was impressed with myself. So when the relationship started to fade, so did my interest in expanding my mind – at least with books. I partied a lot instead. Let’s not get into specifics about that right now.

I really have only myself to blame for losing desire to casually read a book and can partially blame my friends for all the partying. Point being that I have the propensity to be a lazy sack of shit sometimes when it comes to keeping sharp wits and an extensive lexicon and staying in shape.

I don’t think I realized this until two weeks after starting this blog, but this is the beginning of getting back on the horse as far as keeping the mind more engaged and I’m already starting to feel the burn there. Reading other blogs (maybe yours?) has also been a new joy. And hellooooo… What’s this that just came in the mail…?

Box of Pain

Oh hello recent purchase from Amazon.com. Are you ready for my butt sweat or what?

Indoor kid = Indoor bike

So yeah. I’m ready to give this an honest effort.

I’m ready to waste the waist.

I’m ready to stop putting on Spanx.

Thanks, Internet!

* – Mrs. Thanks, Internet loves books and also taught a year of English in high-school so I guess you can say I have a type. She also put together the exercise bike. I am a lucky man.

Dubstep

Dubstep – Why?

It sounds like I imagine all music sounding like – 100 years from now. How did we stray so far, so fast?  Or better question – Who is the fucker owning a time machine and decides to go 100 years into the future only to bring us back dubstep??

It truly feels like a government mind-control experiment gone horribly wrong. This is what robots would sound like having a cacophonous seizure.  What’s crazy is that people have learned how to create their own strains of dubstep and it’s spreading too fast to stop it.  Grammy’s are being won for making it and that’s just insane. Where’s Nancy Reagan when we need her?

That’s all I really care to dig into this matter. But before I conclude my thoughts on the relatively new genre of mus– No, I can’t bare to call it such a thing…

Here’s a cat with 3-D Glasses and a mustache glued to its face – on dubstep!

Thanks, Internet!

NOSTALGIA!

Corduroy slacks, decorative butterfly collar shirts from the 70’s and other vintage clothing, an Army satchel marked in Sharpie with all of my favorite bands at the time – none of which were on a major label.

That was my style 15 years ago or so and if I can manage to drop 40 lbs, those raspberry cords & polyester shirts will see the light of day once more! Until that time, they’re trapped in the closet probably confused by the shit I now wear from Old Navy and Target.  My pre-20’s self and current self are trying to find a happy medium – a look that simultaneously hints of a 90’s era Kevin Smith movie and just blending in.

So fuck it. I’m hopping on that semi-recumbant exercise bike and I’ve got one hell of a high-energy workout mix to get back to a svelte shape.

It's not this.

Nope, I crave something that will put me back right back to 1997 when I was on top of my game. Something that’ll get the blood flowing and pulse racing for that ultimate lo-fi twee/indie-pop workout. A collection of songs I used to know and love to get me in the right frame of mind.

Oh hello – Pop American Style.

It's this.

Like the cover boasts – Pop American Style (March Records) contains 40 original artists with 40 original hits plus a special bonus track that folks in Mecklenburg County may be familiar with – the famous Lunch Menu Man.

I picked this up in the fall of ’96 only being familiar with a good handful of the names and hoping for the best.  To me, it still remains to be my favorite compilation of the indie sub-genre.  Many of the tracks are exclusive to this release so the rarity factor also makes it enjoyable.  A discovering disappointment was had when both compact discs had not survived well over the years of wear & tear and traveling with me here’n’there.

SO – I’d like to thank Michelle who runs things over at ihatethe90s.blogspot.com for tracking a clean copy down and sharing it with folks like me who find themselves in the comfort of a bubble called nostalgia. It truly is a happy place to live inside.

Now if you’ll excuse me – I need to up the resistance on the bike and pedal my way to a size 28 again.

Thanks, Internet!

An appliance finally everyone can use!

EVERY BODY – STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING!

THIS IS SOME LIFE-CHANGING SHIT!

Sick of using machines that constantly drain the life of your batteries even when you’re not even using the damn thing?

Tired of hitting the off switch yourself and wish that the machine would be programmed to know when you’re done using it?

Ever wet the bed as an adult?

Well, you might want to see a doctor for the latter issue – but fear not – an inventor of the modern age has listened and your electronic woes have been solved!  Countless years have been spent by some asshole in his garage creating the perfect tool that allows you the user to never have to worry about turning off them contraptions yourself.  Yes, those days of toggling switches by humans are FINALLY over!   Introducing…

THIS THING!

I wish you could see the tears of joy streaming down my face. So beautiful.

If you just watched the clip – you now know the ingeniousness of this product and want to get your grubby little mitts on one of these immediately. Back of the line, buddy. The waiting list is longer than the Iphone 5 and New Kidney Donor list combined.  The price point is quite attractive too; it’s priced to sell at only $499.95.  Gotta buy 2 when it’s that cheap.

If you didn’t feel to be bothered by watching a 14 second clip – I genuinely feel sorry for you. You are missing out BIG TIME!

OKAY, GO BACK TO DOING OTHER THINGS!

Thanks, Internet!