Meowsic for the Masses

Today, an offering from something right out of the history books – The Cat Organ.

Katzenklavier in full effect, y’all!

You might think this to be a joke – but the idea for this musical instrument existed long ago with the premise to amuse and delight audiences who have grown tired of just hearing melody through brass, string, or other popular instruments.  In fact the Cat Organ premise rings all the way back to the 17th century. Even then people were getting bored of the baroque and looking for the next big thing; How far can you really go with functional tonality, am I right?  After all, the word ‘dull’ can be found in dulcimer.

So for a long time, the Cat Organ was simply an imaginative creation that existed just on paper. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought just leaving it with paper & ink was complete bullshit.

As far as we know, there has been only one man brave enough to champion the future of sound – his name is Henry “Cat-atonic” Dagg. I added the nickname part mostly because I think this guy needs something a little flashier. The other one I came up with was Snoop Dagg.

May the sounds of the Cat Organ (provided by The H-Dagg) haunt your dreams.

 

And for contrast, the Mouse Organ.

 

Thanks, Meownternet!

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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

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!

It’s Valentine’s Day

Ralph Wiggum - O.G.

This auspicious annual occasion where love takes center stage for most can be downright obnoxious to endure and/or observe. Believe me, I try my best to ignore it every year but then something happens at the beginning of the month, and BAM – it’s about making damn sure I treat my lady right.  Some years I put out a better effort than others; this year I finally…yes, FINALLY had flowers delivered to her place of work.  She was surprised and teary (we commonly chat during the day via IM – that’s how I know this info) and this Hallmark Holiday got a check plus plus. Enough about what I did right…

I’m glad my friends got the memo that today was the day to make sure they reminded everyone they knew today had a special meaning.  There certain times where I know I don’t have to log onto my Facebook account because all of the content is the same:  Proclamations of their love to their significant other, telling other people they should negate the hate and spread the love “just for one day of the year!” or my favorite recent V-Day related posts:  Liz Lemon-isms like “Happy Anna Howard Shaw Day!” and this talented doggie!   I’m glad some of my friends also find the humor in this shit.

Anyways, there are infinite amounts of Valentine’s Day related blogs out there and already having someone you love makes it 1000% easier to not want to read any of them. I’m sure they all contain interesting perspectives ranging from cynical to hopeful to desperate cries for attention. Not this post, not today.

I wanted to share with you a new musical love of mine. Her name is Olga Bell.

Bell, Olga Bell

Cute, right?  Watch this:

I love you, Internet.

Shit, I meant….

Thanks, Internet.

(Damn, now you know…Too early?)

Bonnaroo – It’s Coachella with Fewer Hipsters!

For those who have trained their eye to read .5 font size…This is a leaked poster of the 2012 Bonnaroo Line-Up. I’ve attended 3 of the past festivals and managed to have a wonderful experience. Usually that experience includes losing an article of clothing, barf-walking at night, and making sure I am the center of attention whenever awake which is typically 22 of the 24 hours in our day.  As our tent-neighbor Bobo proclaimed with much bravado over and over and over again, this is a festival where you must – “Wake up and Rage!”

That said – I’m a bit scared to find out if I can live up to the occasion again.

Thanks, Internet!

Bonnaroo 2012 Line-Up Leaked

Update:

Close, but no ciga-roo! The above indeed ended up being a fake with Prince being a huge lie. This right here is the official announcement which came out on Valentine’s Day at Noon EST.

I didn't want a 15 minute Purple Rain anyways...

Take a look at Phil now – Part 2

Phase 2: Phil’s a Grower, Not A Show-er

Peter Gabriel of course was the lead singer of Genesis until 1976. You could also say he was the weirdest frontman Genesis ever had, only because Phil Collins wasn’t really weird at all. I’m racking my brain – nope Phil was like a 1 to Gabriel’s 10 in “what-the-fuckness.”  In any case, Phil was chosen as the new lead singer after their touring duties commenced in support of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.  With Phil having a greater role in the band’s musical progression, it was was a decline of the ‘prog’ and an incline of the pop. I was searching for something that rhymed better with ‘prog’ but pop will have to do.

My social life in high school was on a steady decline for the first 2 years which as sad as it kind of was, I look back with positive reflection as the more time to myself became time to love music even more. I would get off the school bus and for hours and hours I’d listen to the alternative rock radio station whose call letters and frequency shall remain unnamed. It’s not important now, but the station itself and its disc-jockeys meant the world to me. We had a sturdy receiver and a cassette-deck hooked up to record, and I probably ran through enough tape to lasso the moon. Even when I didn’t know what would be played next my finger would be on REC + PLAY (because you had to press both) in case the next jam would be something I’d want to have for future listens.

Even though I was taping all of this music for free (minus the cost of the TDK-90’s), they were simply a musical shopping list of what I needed to go out and get as soon as I had more money for allowance, and eventually I had “real” jobs to even further my collection. By the end of freshman year, I probably had around 150 purchased cd’s of bands I liked and can still say that I still enjoy now and 25+ mix-tapes to myself. Every now and again I’d make a dub of an album for someone, but highly doubt that copy made it further than the recipient.

I was a Sham-Wow of alternative music. For high-school days, I also subscribed to Rolling Stone, Spin, and Alternative Press which gave me an even broader source to find new bands based on the reviews & pictures alone. I’d be a very tired slacker on Monday Mornings after staying up the night before to watch 120 Minutes on MTV. I also lived and breathed indie rock as my musical tastes and the years progressed and started to gain new friends that were going deeper than just Nirvana and The Smashing Pumpkins. Weekends were mostly spent just going around to used record shops & the local independent record chain to buy stuff and asking other friends what they were getting and sometimes getting jealous they got the last copy in stock. The more I bought music, the more socially empowered I felt. It certainly didn’t make me popular to be one to pay so close attention to the underground, but it didn’t matter because that’s what felt right.

Back to the hero of our tale – Phil Collins. It wasn’t until Genesis’ 9th studio album until they had a Top 20 hit in the U.S. and it certainly wasn’t prog-rock tinged in the slightest, but Phil got them the hit. And then on the next album he provided another hit.  So they had 2 measly hits after almost 10 years of many folks not giving a damn about them. In 1981, they toured in support of Abacab (which also yielded their 3rd hit) and their setlist material featured mostly newly-crafted pop songs. This alienated their die-hard fans from way back when and Genesis even faced some jeering – but that didn’t seem to matter so much as they felt the need to “do something different.”  They were losing a few fans but gaining a shit-ton by being part of the mainstream.

Phase 3: In which Phil gets his oats…Coming Soon!