December 13, 2007

Tina, you're safe

Ike Turner, RIP.

Tina, ain't no one gonna hit you no more.

November 25, 2007

Remember fiction?

There is a groundswell out there to boycott the movie The Golden Compass because the author's intention is to kill God in his novels. The author is an atheist and surely that means the author is trying to raise an army of Catholic hating, God-not-believing monster children.

Whatever happened to being able to use reason to discern for yourself whether or not to accept the extolled virtues of a novel, movie, or even music? Just because I thought Wonder Boys was a great book/good movie doesn't mean I accept Grady Tripp's infidelity/drug use/letting Katie Holmes live with him.

November 22, 2007

Engerland

Non-soccer fans tune out:

Holy Mother of God, England. Israel practically gift-wrapped a trip to Euro 2008 for you... all you had to do was get a point out of playing Croatia.

And holy fuck you lost. 3-2. I bet you miss Sven. Well too bad, you can't have him back.

November 20, 2007

Things I Thought Whilst Watching Of Montreal

1) "Why do I keep thinking I should yell, 'Play Hot One, Brian Slade!"

2) "His shoes match Jenn's... and I told Jenn I really like her shoes. What the hell is happening?"

3) "There are a lot of people dancing and acting like they're moving light with their hands..."

4) "Wow, they killed Prince's 'I Would Die 4 U."

5) "What's with all the high school kids?"

Post show:
6) "Whoa, Kevin Barnes just told Jenn that Andy Lemaster is gay. She must be devastated."

6a) "You know, that makes a whole lot of sense."

6b) "Kevin just said the same thing."

Summary:
Jenn and I went to see Of Montreal at the Pageant in St. Louis last night. It was really impressive. I don't know Of Montreal's discography like the back of my hand so I can't claim to give you a track for track account of the performance. And seeing as how I'm not an obsessive 17 year old fan, I can't claim to have received a track list from the band.

My only complaint was not hearing INXS's "Need You Tonight." Yeah, I know, it was part of their karaoke set but come on.

They were spot on and incredibly tight. And I came away feeling that is what a gay club has to feel like.

November 18, 2007

Wayback Machine

We're going back to the days of Factory Records, the Haçienda, Madchester, and ultimately what were terrible fashion decisions.

Specifically, New Order. Electronic music has been getting a little more play in the northern parts of Stalin (being drunk, having a friend decide it would be a great idea to play Eiffel 65's Europop, then watching Samwell's magnum opus has something to do with it) and few did it as well for as long as New Order.

Most of New Order's singles weren't on their albums (for example, "Blue Monday" wasn't initially on Power, Corruption, and Lies) and it took until 2005 to get a more comprehensive singles collection. It came to us in the form of the appropriately named Singles.

You have to really step back and remove the cheese factor from the music to appreciate it. Their first single, "Ceremony" was still heavily shrouded in the cloud of Ian Curtis's suicide and sound like Joy Division with a more commercial vocalist (but thankfully without Bernard's lyrics). Yeah, a lot of the music sounds incredibly dated (FFS, "Shellshock" was on the Pretty in Pink soundtrack). And you can sometimes want to ignore everything after "Regret" because they start to sound a little too Eurotrash. That song is so damn catchy and it crossed-over so hard that I heard it at WAL-MART the other day (somewhere after hearing "Black Velvet" and before "Zoot Suit Riot").

So next time you feel like dropping E and taking a trip*, reach for some New Order.



* Slamdunk Stalin does not advocate the use of drugs. No, really. We're mostly law-abiding lameos.

November 17, 2007

Sticking up for myself

Alright, alright, I know. Barry Bonds was indicted.

I've been getting shit from everybody who knows I'm a Giants fan about, "Oooo, your boy got indicted for perjury and bwah bwah bwah" (yes, just like the adults in the Peanuts television cartoons).

You know what, he ain't my boy. The loyalty I had in the past was simply because he wore the black and orange. Is he wearing it anymore? No. The Giants didn't sign him back. So now I can speak freely.

Fucking 'roided up, shriveled sack asshole. You ate up a ton of cap room then had the audacity to criticize the management for declining to resign you for 2008 and calling "Dolchstoß". Eat it, chump.

November 13, 2007

Speaking freely...

I was terribly disappointed by Menomena and almost feel a need to apologize for advertising it.

Jenn had a meeting at work and we were a little late to the concert. We (very sadly) missed Jumbling Towers and caught part of Illinois. They weren't bad. I'll admit to not being as up as I should on what bands are doing these days, so I didn't really know a lot about these guys.

Menomena came on and it was just... bland. They're a band who could benefit by cranking the tempo up a notch and getting out of the middle of the road. All of the songs seemed to be at about the same pace. Even with a beer induced haze, it was dull enough to leave the show early. Oh, and the Billiken's bar sucks.

However, Norm from So Many Dynamos was dressed up as Thriller era Michael Jackson for Halloween. It was beautiful. Sorry for not saying anything, Norm.

October 29, 2007

Tomorrow night:

Hallowindie Tuesday Night @ SLU's Billiken Club

Featuring one of the better (read: GREAT) local bands, Jumbling Towers and Menomena. Totally 100% FREE.

I've seen that it starts at 8p and I've also seen 9p. Who knows, it doesn't really matter because it's sure to be an awesome show and it's totally free and the SLU Billiken Club is better than WashU's Gargoyle Club (personally).

My buzz:


If I had to pick a band that's buzzworthy by my own standards...which are obviously completely superior to MTV's Buzzworthy standards, I'd pick Rogue Wave.

I saw them at SXSW 2006 and thought that they were alright. But I listen to them now and I really really enjoy it. It makes me a bit melancholy because I didn't fully enjoy them like I do now and because I didn't get to stay for their whole set. Around that time last year was a really rough time for me, too, but SXSW was amazing and an overall great experience. So, it's a little melancholy and a bit happy...so, bittersweet. I really love listening to them, though. I'd suggest checking them out because you'll like them, too. Then grow to love them, without taking about a year and a half to fully appreciate your love for them.

October 26, 2007

Buzzworthy, brah!


I've been watching MTV today only because America's Next Top Model is on. While I'm watching I notice these commercials with these oddly familiar looking girls talking about family life and childhood. These commercials don't explain who these women are, though we are supposed to recognize how buzzworthy they are without introductions or anything of the sort. These pseudo-commercials then break and bleed into another commercial for an MTV produced television show (something starring Run of Run DMC).

Anyway, the first time I saw them I thought out loud "Is that...Tegan and Sara? No...it can't be, right? What is this?" and waited for another. Nothing was revealed until the third time I saw it and I reassured myself that it was and checked out MTV's website. Once on the site I found out that Tegan and Sara have been chosen as the MTV Buzzworthy Band of the Week. WOW.

What an honor. I think. I really don't know how to feel about this. Not like it's going to do anything but I haven't decided if it's a good thing for them or not...

October 17, 2007

Damn weather

I'm wearing long sleeves today.

I'll be wearing shorts tomorrow as it will be 84º outside.

Yes, I live in the midwest and they're projecting mid 80s for highs in the middle of October.

I'm pointing my finger at you, Captains of Industry.

TV killed the everything star:

I won't deny it; I love television. The problem lies in multiple reasons, such as a) not enough time in the day and b) quality has been replaced by quantity in the television (media) world. I really don't watch a lot of TV, but when people ask me "What's your favorite TV show?", I have an extremely hard time answering. Instead of just picking one show and moving on I think long and hard and usually give out a shit load of answers. This makes me sound like all I do is sit in front of the television with a gaping maw and keep my brain shut off to anything intelligent. Well, I've tried my best to justify what I watch and hope that people can understand that these are about the only shows I watch in any given week and more importantly, why I watch them. Enjoy!

How I Met Your Mother - When this show was about to come out I only had two reasons to tune in: Alyson Hannigan (because she's cute and quirky and there was no way she could possibly be as nerdy as her flute-toting character in American Pie) and Neil Patrick Harris (Hello, Doogie Howser M.D., early 90's alert! You know you watched it, too). The shows tagline, "A love story in reverse", felt a bit too hokey and awkward for me to just drop what I was doing and watch. Howerver, every week after the first airing I made damn sure I did drop everything to watch. It's almost disturbing how much these characters are like my group(s) of friends. While at times the plot or character development are cheesy, predictable or every so slightly questionable, the remainder of the show makes up for those few and far between moments. How can you say "no" to a love story that is pretty believable, though dramatized/romanticized, especially for its target demographic of the 20 and 30-somethings caught up in love and relationships. The show is a prefect balance of the portrayal of your life - the disgusting cutesie couple madly in love, the tragically single and desperately trying, and the overzealous love to hate/hate to love sexaholic maniac best buddy who knows it all. Men and women alike can appreciate the show for its ability to relate to and draw from your own life. The show strips away all the superficialities, quirks and anecdotes by showing what really happens in relationships as well as other friendships, work and the leisure life of people our age. Plus, they admirable try to remain modern by throwing in references to indie rock bands in the most nonchalant of ways, such as referencing Wilco in attempts to woo women and get them to come back to the apartment for the night...

House M.D. - Basically I love the character because he's everything I'm not while saying all the same things to people the same way I'd say them. Only I have a bit more tact and he gets away with all of it. House is a smart-ass jerk who gets away with everything because he's a smart-ass jerk, which, as we all know, hardly ever works in real life. Mix in the strangest of strange medical maladies and patients and you've got yourself a shitstorm that I'm about to bring out the popcorn to watch. Competing desires and actions, character development and ridiculousness in general make this show hard to miss.

Law and Order:SVU - Special victims are what America lives for and sadly...I'm no different. However, I will admit that lately (this season especially), SVU has come to stand for Sexual Victims Unit. While sometimes strange (read: hard to believe) and confusing due to its complexities, this show is probably one of my biggest television guilty pleasures. The acting really isn't the best, but you can't expect much from a show that casts Ice-T seriously. I do love the bad acting, though, especially from Ice-T.

LA Ink - Kat Von D is one crazy bitch and that's why everyone loves her, including me, a fellow tattooed and nutty bitch. Everyone also loves the tattooed freaks. Oh, and watching rebellion on television and following the "new thing". I thought that Miami Ink might be a great segueway to a bit more acceptance of the tattooed, but those guys regrettably furthered the image of the tattooed as "freaks", "weirdos" and "hoosiers" (without sounding like the lady from Save Ferris). While LA Ink doesn't actively try hard to be heartwarming or life changing (or mind changing) it's a lot easier to swallow than the 'roided up craziness that Miami Ink was.

I'm breaking here to give you a rest. I'll continue tomorrow. Hopefully it's still relevant then but it probably wasn't in the first place.

October 15, 2007

What are words for, when no one listens anymore?

America! SlamDunkStalin and I am reunited!

...this is news to someone, surely. Or not.

Of interest this week is the Blender list of the Top 40 Worst Lyricists in popular music.

October 14, 2007

Newish Releases I've sunk my ears into

Stalin writers try to be cutting edge in terms of new releases in books and music, but sometimes life bogs us down and we get backlogged. Jenn barely has enough time to play sudoku and mess around on Facebook; Furge is doing whatever Furge's do; I refuse to read new releases because I hate getting swept into hype and superficially liking a book.

So what am I endorsing by listening to it?


Radiohead In Rainbows
I didn't really like Hail to the Thief. I think Radiohead is a very overhyped band, despite having a career defining masterpiece like OK Computer in their discography, three good-if-not-great albums (The Bends, Kid A, and Amnesiac), and then Pablo Honey and Hail to the Thief out as well. It's not like the hype isn't deserved.
Then they go and decide to release their new album digitally for whatever price the consumer is willing to pay, sans label support, then giving fans the option of spending $80 for a massive box set containing an array of goodies best described as a fanboys wet dream. So without releasing a single note, the album became highly anticipated. What the fuck do you make of that kind of shit?
Well, it's damn good shit. I'm not a great reviewer and I'm not going to try and glowingly describe in excruciating detail the lush orchestral sounds that litter the second half of the album. No, I'm going to tell you to fight the hip notion to hate what everybody else likes and get this album.


Maritime Heresy and the Hotel Choir
I really loved the Promise Ring. I kinda tolerated Cap'n Jazz. I enjoy Maritime. Davey von Bohlen plays with words in a bedeviling, cute-as-hell kind of way that makes me mad that I didn't think of it first and no matter what band he's in, I will probably have a fanatical following for it.
I acquired Heresy and the Hotel Choir in that kind of "friend of a friend of a friend" kind of way and will have to find that person and thank them. I felt the last album had a little melancholy ring to it and I feel that vibe has been stripped away. It's a lot more of a happy-go-lucky kind of album and it feels familiar, but not in that "the only reason Smirnoff vodka won the New York Times vodka taste test was because it reminded the reviewers of getting smashed in college" way. Please buy this.

October 10, 2007

Huzzah!

After almost a year of struggle (against the scrub-time kulaks wit' no game), I hereby announce my tenancy on SlamdunkStalin.

Mad Link Ups

I was checking out the awesome Sethy's Road Life blog and noticed a wee bit of silent love coming this way.



Aww. If you had an RSS feed, it would so be in my Google Reader.

Sorry for the self-congratulation. Our previous semi-mention was when Jenn posted the picture of herself doing her best Amy Winehouse impersonation at Louie's West in Norman and having Christopher the Minister from Sirius Left of Center channel 26 say he saw a picture of this girl online looking all weird.

Unless there are other pictures similar to Jenn's out on the web... you're welcome.

Also, we seem to be having log-in problems with one of our contributors, so, it's a two horse show until we figure out what's going on with that. I'm on it, Cameron.

October 9, 2007

St. Louis Culture Bloggin'

After moving to St. Louis I wrote about some different places to go to.

Well, the Riverfront Times have released their annual "Best Of" and made a mockery of my pithy attempts at... anything.

I figured I would go through and drop a few of the places I will be visiting when time and money fully allow and a little on why.

Best Liquor Store - Randall's Wine and Spirits. Somebody will need to replace the huge void left by not being able to drive a few minutes and pick up a Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar. I'll miss you, Joe's.

Best Sushi - Nobu's. I've gotten use to suburban sushi from shopping centers. I need to step up.

Best Mexican - Señor Pique. No more Tacos San Pedro and truckloads of Mexicans means no more legit Mexican food for Paul. I'm not about to trust El Maguey, either.

Best BBQ - 17th Street Bar & Grill. Oklahoma does BBQ pretty damn well. I hate to admit it, but the farther north you go the less delicious the BBQ becomes. I'm going to trust champions more than I will trust local chains Bandana's or Super Smokers.

More next time! Enjoy the links and be envious!

October 5, 2007

I have seen the light.



I'm a recent convert to hockey. It coincides with starting to date Jenn in 2002 and subsequently attending my first St. Louis Blues game. Not to say I don't have a pedigree for hockey. My mom, her grandma, and so on, all call/ed the hockey hotbed of North Dakota home (no, I'm not being facetious. The University of North Dakota Fightin' Sioux hockey team is one of the best college teams in the country).

With the recent collapse in popularity of the league, a lot has been said about how to improve ratings. The NHL has made rule changes to try and make games more high scoring (which I disagree with on a fundamental level) while taking their games from ESPN to the mighty Versus Network, so, cut off their nose to spite their face.

I propose another person's idea. Promotion and relegation. It's been done in soccer around the world for over one hundred years. Sure, it's not "fair" that Leeds United from Leeds, England, the third largest city in England, are toiling in the equivalent of AA (League One), but they fell apart faster the Expos and paid for being such a terrible team.

The reality is that having 30 teams in the NHL is too much and a talent and monetary drain on the league. Realistically, five to ten of those teams need to go. This is how it's done:

But how do you ditch teams without looking like you're waving the white flag? You contract through relegation.

Tomorrow, issue a press release that says you will eliminate the five teams with the worst records at the end of the 2008-09 season. Then, don't answer media phone calls for a couple of days. After you've milked your moment in the PTI/SportsCenter/talk-radio sun, watch as teams scramble for players. This process will be grossly unfair: The wealthy teams will buy up the talent and the struggling teams will get scraps. Sure, a few teams will spend way above their ability to pay. They'll do it, though, because their very survival will be on the line.


Teams (read: owners) will be mad that they will no longer be able to field an underperforming cash cow anymore (read: Chicago Blackhawks). They'll likely sue. Other owners will have their pride bruised and try to spend enough to stay up or, if they go down, spend enough to get back up.

This could work, you know. But it'll never happen. Disrupting the status quo? Not in America. Fans would rather keep their shitty team going, rewarding them with high draft picks, than ever consider the thought of them not existing anymore or being sent down a level. I didn't realize that this was how businesses operated in the American economy. Seems a little socialistic, eh, comrades?
That doesn't carry the same kind of terror it once did, does it? Darn.

Were you there?

I can't wait until the day that my grandchildren look up at me from where they've gathered at the foot of my rocking chair and eagerly ask where I was during the Fundy Cock Craze of 2007.

There are four different links there.

Here's a list of some of the kiddy fiddlers, if you care. Source is questionable at best.

October 1, 2007

Babes in Rockland:

Sadly, though not a lesbian, I've had babes on the the brain a lot lately. Not just any kind of babes, though. In my mind, the best babes are women who rock and rock hard. My favorite band used to be Rilo Kiley, who was fronted by (easily) one of the best broads in the game (at least in my mind, but I'm also not stupid/ignorant). While Jenny Lewis still (kind of) rocks pretty hard and is a gorgeous woman it's time to examine some of the other beauties in the indie rock world.

Annie Clark:
Obviously, it's easy to see why she's so hot right now. Not only does she play guitar, she plays it well. Alongside her guitar playing, she sings out hand crafted genuine lyrics in a gorgeous and flirty soprano voice. It is absolutely true that she speaks of what it is like to be in the mid-20's in America while also remaining a true romantic of our time. How can you not like someone who has played in Sufjan Steven's touring band AND The Polyphonic Spree? Also, Annie and I are kinda hair twins. Hers is a lot more tame than mine...but I'll be damned if it's not as cute as a button, just like the rest of her. A quirky young woman who knows how to rock, what's not to love? This fellow midwesterner better be at SXSW 2008 or else I'm considering just not going at all.

Leslie Feist:
I thought I was the only one who was all up on her shit, then Apple came out with their newest campaign for the new generation of iPod Nanos (with the extremely pointless, useless and unnecessary teeny tiny video screen). Sadly, I have a soft spot in my heart for Canadians, which is partially why she gets my vote for a Babe in Rockland. She, like Annie Clark, is more than just a "solo" artist and performs with Broken Social Scene. For a time, Feist lived with roommate Peaches, which only adds to the cool factor.

Anyway, everyone is all over that infectious jazz tinged indie rock and I'm not one to argue. I'm loving it a lot and really, to be honest, just can't get enough. I'm hoping I haven't missed my chance to see Feist.

Stefanie Drootin:
I'm sure a few people are scratching their heads trying to come up with where they've seen or heard this name before. Now a transplanted Californian living in Omaha, Drootin has made a name for herself cheifly by being the bassist for The Good Life and Art In Manila. Stefanie performed in the Bright Eyes tour that featured an all woman band backing him up in 2003 before Tim Kasher asked her to become a permanent fixture in The Good Life. According to her myspace, Stefanie has been working on a solo album this past summer and I really can not wait to hear the results.

I had the great fortune of attending last weeks The Good Life show at WashU here in St. Louis. I've seen Cursive six times before but never had the chance to see The Good Life. It was nothing short of phenomenal. As a fellow bassist I couldn't help but watch and listen continuously to Stefanie throughout the show. I spoke with her afterwards about the band, the tour, the new Good Life LP (Help Wanted Nights), and about her bass (which is a freaking sweet Aria Pro II and I totally want one now).

My personal honorable mentions also go out to:

Kori Gardner (Mates of State)
Khaela Maricich (The Blow)
Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam (M.I.A.)
Lily Allen
Chandra and Leigh Watson (The Watson Twins, who backed Jenny Lewis while also having their own act)
Laura Burhenn (Georgie James)
Maria Taylor

Who would you pick and why? I'd be really interested in hearing who else is out there.

September 30, 2007

Guilty Pleasures

I was looking around on Andrew Sullivan and noticed guilty pleasures were brought up. Professor Stephen Bainbridge discusses his own guilty pleasures and laughs at the milquetoast answers provided by his peers in academia.

I thought it would be fun to ape the professor's top ten list. Naturally, this prepares me for academia:


  1. Quantum Leap. It was sort of like a more sci-fi Touched By An Angel. Really, we all wish we could go back in time but for more selfish purposes than setting right any number of wrongs.

  2. Chinese buffets. Sometimes you just have to drop down $6.99 and get four plates of chicken lo mein and what may or may not be crab rangoon.

  3. Miniture bottles of spirits. It's what airlines give you for $4.00 in-flight. I bet they're easy to sneak in to movie theatres. Turn the dull into the dynamic!

  4. Google. It pisses Jenn off to no end with how much time I spend researching the mundane. I guess you could roll Consumer Reports into this as well.

  5. 3 Musketeers.

  6. Günther.

  7. Car magazines.

  8. The Pet Shop Boys.

  9. James Bond movies.

  10. Perez Hilton.com.



I guess what can be added to this list is Phil Collins. But that's been mentioned already.

September 27, 2007

Follow up

I think somebody out there has to be wondering why I have "Sussudio" by Phil Collins on my computer.

No, it's not a random track I downloaded for kitsch to be cutely ironic. I genuinely enjoy the musical stylings of Phil Collins. The truth is much more disgusting than the fiction, isn't it?

I received a $20 giftcard from Circuit City because of a Discover Card reward this last spring. I needed a copy of Bulworth for a paper I was writing in my Voters and Campaigns class and Circuit City had it on sale. I had extra money on the card so I used it to buy an album... that album was No Jacket Required. My dad had Face Value on vinyl so I was no stranger to Phil Collins and I knew the hits.

Without getting all wankery about it, I think that Collins knows how to craft an excellent pop song and that he doesn't get enough credit from the musical community regarding his talents. It's practically verboten to positively discuss Phil without receiving some kind of criticism from the detractors.

Rush though... I don't know man.

September 23, 2007

Bad Reactions

Jenn and I were at our friend Chris's house playing Guitar Hero II. Neither of us are very good, despite both having musical training and figuring "playing this can't be much harder than playing bass".

I jokingly mentioned that Guitar Hero or Rock Band needs to have more Rush. Jenn then mentioned "Tom Sawyer". (Aside: I wasn't raised in the most musical of households; my mom's preferences was usually praise and worship music or Kim Carnes and my dad's was the Strawbs or Moody Blues. Needless to say, there were no introductions to Rush outside of my dad telling me "they're Canadian.") I said I wasn't familar with that song title. So Jenn takes it upon herself to "educate" me to Tom Sawyer by Rush. She finds the track and plays it and automatically I know what the song is and now have a name to go with the annoying synth wankery.

Then she gets on this big prog trip and starts making me listen to more Rush and watch Mike Portnoy of Dream Theatre play "Dance of Eternity" on drums, then a type of explanation from Portnoy on the bizarro time signatures employed. I responded that if you have to keep a fucking chart of your time signature changes, your songs are too complex.

So I reacted inappropriately and started cranking "Sussudio" by Phil Collins. And she got mad. Then she started hitting me. Then she bit me.

So now I'm just going to watch Futurama.

September 7, 2007

Ch-ch-changes

Alright. Things are getting back to some semblance of normalcy. Comments are finally, finally, fixed. Layout is more to our liking.

Let us know what you think.

September 4, 2007

As the story goes: RILO KILEY'S newest release...

I'd like to take this time out to delve into Rilo Kiley's newest release, Under the Blacklight. I know that it's been a few weeks since it was released and it's also been a while since SS was updated regularly and I can assure you that it will be updated more regularly.

Anyway, Rilo Kiley is easily my favorite band and has been for about 5 years. Before that it was kind of up in the air, leaning towards Cursive or something such like that. I fell in love with Rilo Kiley the first time I heard The Execution of All Things. I listened to this album over and over in it's entirety a million times over in complete disbelief that a band could mix everything I loved and was curious about all at once. Some clever lyrics, great hooks, story lines, pop songs with a country twinge, hard and rough around the ages, sweet vocals, everything I'd want from a band surrounding that singer. It was love.

This love led to my grabbing anything and everything RK ever did. I nabbed some music off eBay, got some unreleased music, fought to get them to play in my city (I've still only seen them once). I've cried, laughed, loved, hated to this music. I even considered getting an RK related tattoo. You know? Those permanent things? Yeah...insatiable love.

To say I was disappointed in Under The Blacklight is an extreme understatement. I hated More Adventurous when it came out, too. So, I gave Blacklight a few chances to redeem itself. Sadly, I've tried about nine times or so and I've yet to even make it through the whole thing. It nearly sickens me, brings me to tears and makes me hurt. It's like a complete embarrassment to be a fan or to have been a fan at all. This album is for all of the sorority girls and over 35 mothers who'd like to think they're "with it". I feel as if Jenny Lewis beckoned me as if to lean in and kiss me...then just reaches across, slaps me as hard as she can, laughs and then walks away. I'm hurt, mad, anxious, sick, upset, sad, depressed and just overall disenchanted.

To explain what I think happened on this album and how I feel about it I'm going to play somewhat of a game. I'm going to give us a taste of old Rilo Kiley speaking to/compared to new Rilo Kiley using lyrics from their song "Small Figures in a Vast Expanse" from the 2001 release Take Offs and Landings. Bolded lyrics will be from "Small Figures..." and the response will be in regular type-face.

let's try a new change (x3)
then we'll go on back to the old one
like we've done so many times before


The new change could be loads of things! Could it be leaving Saddle Creek for Brute/Beaute for Warner Brothers? Could it be changing everything to be a lot more dull yet a completely glossy sound and look? Who knows. But honestly, let's go back to the old one because this "new change" isn't doing it for anyone. Are your pocketbooks any bigger from selling out your sound? No? Then please, RK, take your own advice.

and i'll buy a new brain
i'll buy a new brain
you'll administer new pain
then we'll go on back to our old school
that we left so many times before


When you leave your own label for Warner Brothers I'm sure that you really could buy a new brain. Yours or anyone elses for that matter. But, no need to buy me a new brain. I'm not sure that that one would like this new album either. The only pain I'm suffering is heartbreak due to disappointment. Does that sound familiar?

and you'll ask for more and more

I was asking for more and more after More Adventurous. Well, I got more but it's really actually less. I want more of the genuine soundscapes that the last album exhibited. This new stuff is pure crap with completely forged...everything. I'd really like to know who I can blame for that.

i've just begun a new phase
i'm trying these days
i've watched you close
i'm versed in all your ways
i'm just beginning to realize
i'll get you one of these days


Again, this new phase really doesn't seem to be panning out for you. And it's definitely not panning out for your old fans. We've watched you close, too, and that's why this album is so hard to take. It's just sad that you've just begun to realize that you finally "got" your fans.

but in the end
if it was all pretend
isn't that what friends are for?
but this is real life
it's supposed to be real life
so let's pretend that we're not bored
that we exist and that we're resolved
to real things happening to me


Can it really be pretend? Please?! We would all just love you for that! Yes, as friends and fans we can just put it past as pretend! Like it was all just a big joke. Man, you guys really pulled one on us...great! Shit, but this is real life. And we've been duped. But I really am bored with this album and I can't pretend about it. I'm not quite happy about this and I'm not sure that this will ever really be an issue that is "resolved" in my mind. But I do have to accept that this happened, however, I don't have to accept that this is the best that Rilo Kiley has to ever offer.
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Other points of interest?:


Ironically, "Silver Lining" has to be the one good (and I use that word in the lightest of terms) track. This is the only one that seems to be the least counterfeit, trite, dull and anti-creative on the album.

"The Moneymaker" is completely worthless. It's a piece of shit song and it had it's own grave before it was even penned onto paper. Fuck.

"Breakin' Up" is every sorority girls wet dream/break up song. The first time I heard this song I instantly was reminded of my time at the University of Oklahoma. I imagined walking past a sorority house with this song just blasting out the window and pieces of some poor frat bro's clothing flying out. I just know that one cute little "indie rocker chick" who wears Hellogoodbye shirts and quirky glasses handed this album to her fellow sorority sister and said "Honey, I'm so sorry Chaz broke up with you, but listen to track four on this totally awesome album. It's like...the break up anthem of this or any year! Teehee!" God damn it, Jenny Lewis.

"Dreamworld" is an attempt to get spacey and stellar. In this poor attempt they end up sounding like a mixture of some new Cursive and some Starflyer 59. This song is at least tolerable, not only because of sounding like the mentioned mixture, but also because Blake sings most of the song.

"Smoke Detector" makes me wish that while listening to the album I didn't hear the smoke alarm. Fuck. I'm so pissed about this album.

"Give a Little Love" is everything wrong with music today. It's not only extremely cliche, missing way too much musically and lyrically pre-pubescent...it, for some reason, reminds me of Lily Allen, Gwen Stefani and Amy Winehouse rolled up into one horrible doobie. Like a horrible last track that was just randomly tacked on to a seemingly alright album from the 80's. GOD DAMN IT.

THIS ALBUM IS HORRIBLE AND IT REALLY PISSES ME OFF. Whose fault is this?!

THE END.

August 29, 2007

We built this city

I recently moved from the Oklahoma City area to the St. Louis metropolitan area. It's a pretty big move to make. I lived in Oklahoma since I was 10 and as much as I complained about the people, the weather, everything, it's still difficult for me to get used to calling somewhere else home.

So I thought up a neat idea would be a type of "the new resident's guide to St. Louis". My friends in Oklahoma could writhe in agony at the entertainment at my disposal (I know it's nothing compared to sitting with meemaw on the porch in 100º weather, sipping sweet tea) but that's not the point.

So what the hell should you do if you're in St. Louis either newly transplanted or visiting?
- Go down to the Loop. It's the home to Vintage Vinyl, food of every variety (Ethopian, anybody?), live music... it's sort of what Campus Corner near the University of Oklahoma campus aspires to be and what 6th Street in Austin is (but much smaller).
- Recreate the scene of vandalism from National Lampoon's Vacation. The Simpsons have taken their fair share of shots at East St. Louis (it being facetiously listed as the 300th best city to live in; "East St Louis?" to which Homer responds "Is there any OTHER St. Louis?") but one more couldn't hurt. Besides, how can you not love a town where Tina met Ike and Darius Miles grew up?
- The Zoo. It's free but you do have to pay to park. So, free is a bit of a misnomer. Either way, it's a quality zoo. They have penguins and puffins and really that's all you need to know. The bird house is great, the bears (all varieties) are wonderful... it's just fun.

This isn't all there is to do. That's basically all I've got time to write about, though. I'll explore a few more places, expound upon the Loop and other trendy shit-hot spots, and make myself look like a total dumbass. Enjoy the show.

August 28, 2007

I'm not writing any more reviews

I'm not good at it and when I'm disappointed, it's obvious. I strive to remove myself as much as possible from the review but I fail often.

So let's just say the new Rilo Kiley album style hops a lot, and I don't like style hopping. But kudos to the AV Club for presenting a polished turd as a diamond with it's glowing "A" review that both cheapened their previous album and made me throw up in my mouth.

August 14, 2007

Dammit, Jason Lee

How the hell do you go from being a pro skater, to being in scores of Kevin Smith films, to being Earl in My Name is Earl, to then voicing Underdog in Underdog and being Dave Seville in the upcoming Alvin and the Chipmunks movie?

You're dead to me, Scientologist.

August 11, 2007

Whistling is the new "in" thing:

Went to the Peter Bjorn & John show here in St. Louis the other night. It was honestly, even without the drinks, quite a good performance. I decided to take it upon myself that the people around me would become the "Bjorn cheering section". Why? Because he was cool and he's also a bassist, like myself. At one point Bjorn came over to our side of the stage and asked "Was that good for you? Yah? Ok, goot. Gooot." His swedish sounded more german...but that's just how us Yanks roll I guess.

Though I've listened to their album, Writers Block, in full, I never really grasped how many awkward sounds and whistling there really is. While the whole concert was pretty great and extremely enjoyable, the rendition of "Amsterdam" could have been better. Bjorn took it really chill and Peter tried to make it a bit too artsy for its own good. This, of course, did not ruin the concert.

I'd suggest that if you have the chance and are in the mood for a fun, kind of rock out/kind of chill night...go see PB&J. You'll have a great time. Talk to the boys after the show, too. By the way they acted before, during and after the show it seems as though they are fans of the attention. Bjorn told me they "were honored and happy to play before the American crowds", so go have a good time. Ask Bjorn for a kiss while you're at it, I know for a fact that you'll get one. I speak from experience.
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Jenny Lewis will be in the Sirius Radio studios today promoting the new Rilo Kiley album, Under the Blacklight, to be released August 21st.

"Moneymaker" is the first single off the album and is followed by "Silver Lining". As the worlds biggest Rilo Kiley fan, I must say that this should be an extremely interesting release as it doesn't really fit any one mold. However, I'll let everyone else be the judge as to the question, was all the time off for side projects to their advantage or not? Regardless of what people think Rilo Kiley is just as good as The Elected and Jenny's "solo" projects.
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I did as Gorilla Vs. Bear suggested and ordered the free DVD released by Panda Bear featuring a few of his solo shows from the year. Go here to order it for yourself. I know that I'm pretty damn excited.

In other related news, Animal Collective is headed out on a fall tour starting September 5th in Boston at The Avalon and will be stopping here in St. Louis on September 24th at The Gargoyle on Washington University's campus. The cost is $15 for the general public...so go.

August 7, 2007

Holy Reissue, Batman!


I'm a big fan of the band Shudder to Think and have long desired to hear the long out of print first LP, Curses, Spells, Voodoo, Mooses. It first came out on Sammich Records in 1989 and I'd heard it was a really remarkable album, showcasing the band's powerful and unique blend of punk, glam, and melody.

Apparently, Dischord had rereleased Curses on CD for the first time and I didn't know about it. I'm disappointed in me, too.

Finally got around to it and it's wonderful. It's got all of the trademarks of Shudder to Think's later years, but with much more youthful zest. Strange time changes, obtuse lyrics, Craig Wedren's caterwaul/vibrato. The band is driven by punk much more so than their major label offerings (if there is any hint of punk in 50,000 BC), or even on the last Dischord release Get Your Goat. "Abysmal Yellow Popcorn Wall" is a powerful song with so much earnestness that you just KNOW what Wedren means even if you can't comprehend the lyrics. Easily he has to have one of the best singers in "post-punk". In Curses, it's raw and not ready for primetime.

I'm a terrible album reviewer, but I can tell you that this album is one of a kind. I can't think of anything or anybody who has even tried to pull off what Shudder to Think has done in one album, much less spanning an entire career. They toned things down at the end of their run (their contributions to the Velvet Goldmine soundtrack and their work on First Love, Last Rites and High Art can hardly be compared to their album work), but everything was complicated and thought provoking.

Alright, the wank fest is over. You can go about your business.

August 2, 2007

Reflection



It's been almost two days since the trade deadline passed in Major League Baseball. Other teams did things but I don't care about them. Whenever he gets the time, I'm sure Furge will write some melange about the Dodgers and Motown... until then, you will all have to deal with me coming to grips with supporting the San Francisco Giants.

The Giants move, at first, frightened me. We traded Matt Morris, 7-7 with a 4.35 ERA, to Pittsburgh for Rajai Davis and "a player to be named later." I did the obligatory Google of Davis and was disappointed to see we traded a pitcher for a speedy outfielder. I was ready to again write about GM Brian Sabian needing to be ran out of San Francisco (which is still true)... then I sorted through the facts.. er, stats.

MattyMo, in the last month, had a whopping 8.48 ERA. The only other Giants who came close were Jack Taschner with 8.00 in 9 innings of work and Barry fucking Zito with 7.82. Then I come to find out the Giants were shopping Morris around to get rid of his contract (set to earn 10m), even going so far as to say they'd pay large bits of it to sweeten the deal.

The league is a big place and there are obviously GMs more blind than Sabain. The Pirates GM, Dave Littlefield, would be one of those blind GMs. He not only opted to take on Morris, but take on all of Morris's bloated contract. So we dump an aging, failing arm, his contract, and get a center field prospect out of the Pirates ignorance.

And fortunately, to keep me from feeling too bad, MattyMo ran his mouth about the staff at San Francisco. Good riddance.

---------------------------------

We'll get some music news going here soon enough. Surely whatever readership we have (Jenn has access to the Google Analytics, not me) thinks I'm some dumb jock who listens to Hinder and calls everybody a "fag."

Trust me, my goal with SS wasn't to make it so sports centric. But that's the only thing I have going right now, unless somebody wants to see me write about the differences between UHaul and Budget.

July 21, 2007

Wishes for the Chelsea - LA Galaxy Friendly

1) Michael Essien does a hard tackle on Landon Donovan and incapacitates him.

2) If Essien does the tackle in the penalty area, and Landy goes to take a penalty kick, I hope to hear Joe Cole yell out "kick the fookin' ball ya bleedin' poofter!" during the obnoxious pre-penalty routine Landy has going.

3) Posh Spice's tits explode.

Ultimately, I'd like to hear a discussion between Landon's wife and himself where she asks why somebody the same age as him, like Petr Cech, is playing on such a big team and why Landon is only on the Galaxy.

"Oh, but Bianca, I AM on a big team. We have David Beckham and we're called the GALAXY. What's bigger than the Galaxy, Bianca?"
"I guess nothing..."
"Exactly. Now let's go walk our dogs and find me something that will cover my receding hairline."

Post Match
Beckham comes on and gets met with a hard tackle. Excellente. Chelsea wins, Landon Donovan acts a fool, and American sports journalists got exactly what they wanted from Beckham.

July 19, 2007

Oh, Hannah Montana!!!

I work at an elementary school and when you work in a place like that you can't help but hear about Disney's new "hits" like Suite Life of Zac and Cody, High School Musical and best of all, Hannah Montana.

Like I do every night I'm home at a respectable hour, I was watching Jay Leno and to my surprise the actress who plays Hannah Montana was appearing. Her real name is about as embarrassing as her character's name, Miley Cyrus. Strike one.

To prove her iintelligence, she called London a country. She also said that she got to go in the underwater bus thingy, to which Jay Leno replied, "Wait, what? You mean the chunnel?" Her response was, "Well, yeah, sure. I mean, I guess...if you want to get all scientific on me!"

She also showed her gleaming patriotism by telling the crowd that "in Tennesee people just don't speak French. It's just not something we do" then went on to claim that other countries only like us because most of us stay in one place, and that's America. Strike two.

Strike three, you ask? She claims to be "a vegetarian that doesn't eat any vegetables, especially anything green at all". And to make it better "she (like) totally just got done filming this afternoon for Hannah Montana and it was about candy and cotton candy and sugar rush and...I (totally) had (like) SEVEN things of cotton candy". Gag me with a...thing of cotton candy.
---------------------------------

Animal Collective is taking me on a trip to the early and angsty 90's with their new album cover. For some reason it just screams "era of Pearl Jam, Nirvana, ripped jeans and weird music videos/album covers".
---------------------------------

Lastly, for fun, go check out Charlie Brown: Anime Style.


It's nice to be back around SS again, folks. Sorry for my absence.

July 18, 2007

Kicking It With Corey



I was fortunate enough to get a few hours with the wonderful Corey Goodman of the experimental electronic one man band Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship today.

Corey is wrapping up the backend of a SFYYR tour and I told him about the brand new JR's Family Bar-B-Q in lovely Norman, Oklahoma. Corey was pleased as punch, being a wrestling enthusiast and all (Jim Ross is a Normanite who does play by play for the WWE for the uninitiated). I use to be a wrestling fan in my youth and was up for the visit.

Corey is as affable as they come, especially for musicians. JR was in store today (as he apparently is nearly daily) and Corey was extremely giddy. I was pleasently surprised that he actually comes to his own restaurant (would you see Bruce Willis or Sylvester Stallone munching down at Planet Hollywood back in the day?). We were sitting and eating and one of the many staff at JR's comes up and asks if we'd like to meet "him". Well, yeah! Of course we would!

Jim comes up and talks to us for a little bit then goes on to meet the other guests. We were wrapping up and he comes back up to us and literally sits and talks to us for something like twenty minutes. What great stories that man has! Talking about the Chris Benoit incident ("He was a good man... which I guess is hard to say about somebody who did what he did."/"I've known him for twenty years and I knew his little boy all his life"), media accusations that he was disrespectful at the Benoit funeral ("They asked me outside the funeral about steroids and what I thought. I told them, 'Today, this isn't about steroids.' And here I am being quoted as simply saying 'This isn't about steroids'!"). He's very shrewd and understands that guys are going to manipulate the system to get what they want ("We've got all our guys on our insurance plan. Back in the old days, if guys got hurt, they went to their family doctor or they went to the hospital. Now, we've got these 24 hour walk up clinics where you can get them to prescribe you just about anything you could want") and you can't nanny grown men and the leaders in the back, the guys who are clean, have to take a more vocal role in cleaning up the industry.

Also interesting was finding out that John Cena's strength coach at Springfield College in MA is now the associate strength coach at OU. I guess Dusty Dvoracek and Teddy Lehman are back in town and this dude's regimen is kicking their asses.

Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship's last date is tonight at the Mooch and Burn in Tulsa, OK. Corey is definitely an Slamdunk Stalin approved artist and we will support that man in all of his endeavors. Check out his Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship Myspace page, buy some things, and support a unique artist.

July 12, 2007

No tears for my alma mater

I'm a graduate of the University of Oklahoma in Norman. Last summer, news broke about our young phenom asshole quarterback and a quality offensive lineman being removed from the team for receiving payment for work they didn't perform. Essentially, they went to Big Red Sports and Imports here in Norman, filled out a time card, and got paid way more than they should. They maybe would work five actual hours a week and accumlated each just under $10,000 for a summer of "work."
The University caught wind of problems when they found out that the timecards recorded Rhett Bomar the asshole and the lineman having worked during team practices. It all started to unfurl and both players were out of here.

Fast forward a year. Oklahoma has just been stricken with a set of penalties by the NCAA that include forfeiting all victories in 2005 and losing a couple scholarships in the upcoming season. A lot of OU fans and students are OUTRAGED that the miraculous 2005 season with it's 8 wins, 4 losses, and a trip to the fabled Holiday Bowl will all have to be vacated.

You know, If we fielded ineligeble players like that, we deserve everything we got. We deserve to have our appeals on the charges of "failure to monitor" and having the season forfeited shot straight down. Ill-gotten gains, man. I feel no pity for my alma mater. Why should I? I'm a responsible, reasonable fan. No matter what other fans say about OU, we have no divine right to excellence. No team does. Alabama thinks they do, but look at them? They're just an angry, irrated group who compares every coach to Bear Bryant. Everything has to stack up to Bear. Hell, even at OU, Barry Switzer is in a pantheon of god-like figures simply because he won championships. He's despicable and at the end of his tenure he just let the place go wild; it was like Miami on the southern plains.

The more I hear friends gripe about how "WE GOT ROBBED", the less I'll care.

July 9, 2007

Doing a dull thing with style...

is now a requirement for new Real Madrid manager Bernd Schuster.

You see, for some people just winning is enough. Because winning takes endurance and is fairly difficult. Real Madrid won the Spanish championship this last year playing some pretty ugly soccer after not having won a damn thing in years. That wasn't enough for club president Ramon Calderon; he fired victorious manager Fabio Capello basically for not playing attractively enough. Winning? Not enough.

It'd be like the White Sox firing Ozzie "I'm an asshole" Guillen for not winning with enough flare in 2005. You know, God forbid the manager end years of torment and fan frustration... no, he's gotta kick the life out of other teams and make it look easy.

In other news, I fucking hate Real Madrid.

July 8, 2007

The 777 Wedding Glut

According to TheKnot.com, over 38,000 people were set to be married on July 7th, 2007.

Because 7 is a lucky number.

And everybody is nine years old at heart.

Or huge slot machine addicts.

July 2, 2007

Shake yours.

So, my absolute favorite band of all time ever, Rilo Kiley is releasing a new album. On August 21st we get the fourth LP by Rilo Kiley, titled Under the Blacklight, which should make everyone nervous before hearing about anything else surrounding this album. Blacklights remind me of sixth and seventh grade "parties" and all around lameness. Anyway, I obviously have to give everything a chance, especially when Rilo Kiley is involved. There are rumors that the album is only 38 minutes and 20 seconds long, with 11 songs on it. Today, SS rounded up the video for the new "single", The Moneymaker, again another title to be nervous about...

You can find the video here. Skip to about 9:21 to get to the part that matters, the music/Jenny Lewis looking extremely hot. Which, for her to look hotter than normal is something that I can't wrap around my brain...but she does do it and do it well. God damn she's hot. She gets the SS stamp of approval. Also, don't even bother with the first part. It's super sleazy and just...worthless.

Sadly, I can't say I'm much of a fan of this single. It's too glossed over and they are trying way too hard to sound dirty under the clean and glossy corporate umbrella. It just feels like someone came in and told them to "get it together, clean it up a bit" and now they are saying "Ok, we need angsty and gritty, can you give us that? I'm sure you've never done that before, so just try..."

Sad.
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Fellow St. Louisans So Many Dynamos will be recording their next album at John Vanderslice's Tiny Telephone San Francisco Studios with Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla.

In honor of the guys' recording with some great people, and not sucking without their help, they have started a new blog which keeps track of everything they have been doing while out on the road and in the studio. It should be fun and has already proved to be entertaining to me. Ahhh, road life...

Picture is of guitarist Griffin Kay sporting his "bet" moustache. It's about time to shave, my friend.

June 28, 2007

Don't Believe the Hype


Tomorrow at 6pm, those loveable scamps at Apple will be introducing their much heralded iPhone.

Gauging by the subject line, my thoughts are pretty clear: I'm too poor to buy an iPhone and activate a service plan with AT&T.

Typically, Apple will release a product of this magnitude and I'm the first bespectacled dork on the bandwagon. That's definitely what I did when they released the new breed of iMac in 2004. I'm certainly not anti-Apple by any stretch of the imagination. I mean, fuck, I'm on one right now.
I just can't reasonably think of how I could justify plopping down over $600 for a cell phone.

"Oh, it's not just any cellphone, you caustic twit."

I realize that. It's a mobile multimedia station that just so happens to allow you to make phone calls on AT&T's lousy network. When you've run your battery to it's end, you get to mail it to Apple and have them replace your battery for what might cost around $100.

I'm willing to allow myself to not hop on this costly trend so that I'm not any more in debt than I am now. $600+ for a slick phone isn't in the cards, no matter what kind of rave reviews it's getting. If you've got the skrilla to drop on it, by all means, be the thoughtless drone who will buy any Apple branded product. Enjoy when some homeless dude mugs your ass for your cell phone.

June 21, 2007

Billy Corgan loves money himself more than music

Billy Corgan has a tendency to shit on people. He even threw James Iha under the bus, man!

So now he's helping throw you, the music consuming public who grew increasingly tired of his half-assed solo albums, under the bus by releasing four different versions of the new Pumpkins disc, Zeitgeist. One at Target, one at Best Buy, one on iTunes, and one for everybody else. Yeah. Each album has different songs on it. The Target disc has the title track ("Zeitgeist") and the other ones... will not.

But Billy has enough followers to where it's not going to matter how badly he's treated others: the new album will "rock", critics are "jealous", and Billy can do no wrong.

June 19, 2007

Sufjan does Oregon; hippies scurry



The hot rumor around teh internetz is that the inimitable Sufjan Stevens will be rocking the Cascades.

You know what? I'm calling shenanigans on it. I'm calling shenanigans on the whole thing.

The track in question is "Portland, or, Whistling Underwater". Honestly, I don't see Sufjan going the experimental noise route in any way shape or form. Nor do I think that song is in any way authentic. Listen to it, guys. Tell me that sounds like a legitimate song. Even a demo from Sufjan would be better than that. That's a plant and anybody who is buying that it's an authentic track is a rube.

Hat tip: Gorilla vs Bear

June 17, 2007

Guaranteeing your child will grow up to be a dick

I've bitched about baby names before because it's something Jenn and I feel very strongly about. Whenever we have kids (which will be a long, long time from now), the kid is totally not getting stuck with a trendy current name that will automatically date them. Kind of like how there are likely a million ten to twelve year olds in Dallas running around named Michael, Troy, or Emmitt.

So, what names are totally off the plate?
Boys
Brayden/Braden - Because sometimes Brandon isn't hip enough.
Caden or Kaden - I'm not going to give my kid a Welsh name. That would just be mean.
names ending in -en or -on - This is obviously the trend. Landon, Mason, Jackson/Jaxon, Jayden/Jaden, Braxton... you're all out. Aiden/Aidan is exempt on the grounds that Jenn has Irish heritage and will fight me tooth and nail if I exclude this name from future consideration.
Colt - Awesome. That kid is going to be a huge asshole.
Riley - Oklahomans, come up with better names. In 2006, 73 of you named your kid after Jenn's old dog.
Paul - Do I look like the kind of guy who has a God complex? And besides, getting called "Tall Paul" and then "Paul Wall" got really fucking old after the 700th time I heard it... so I can't do that to another generation.

Girls
Alexis, Jasmine, Isabella, Kaylee, Sophia, Brianna/Breanna - If I want to raise a bitch, I'll get a dog.
Brooklyn - Thanks a fucking lot, David Beckham. I know you named your boy that, but apparently enough girls liked it to name their daughters this.
alternate spellings of traditional names - Caitlin? You're now "Kaitlyn".
Trinity - I didn't like the Matrix this much, though I do appreciate the theological ramifications that you... naw, you didn't think theologically when you named your kid this.
The name of any of my exgirlfriends - Nothing says awkward like naming your daughter after a past mistake. Do you think Ian Curtis would have asked Deborah to name their daughter, "Annik"? (nevermind that the relationship hadn't started yet)

June 15, 2007

Seriously, when will this end?

The whole stealing everything from good bands that don't deserve it thing has really got to stop. It's getting ridiculous, it's not funny, and it really just pisses pjretty much everyone off. Obviously the band/artist is the most pissed off but it really pisses off the fans, freinds and family.

What brings this specific rant up? Corey Goodman, one man band Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship, had his things stolen in Chicago a few days ago. Being from St. Louis, I'm not too super totally surprised that it happened in Chicago with all those classy people running around. Ok, just kidding, especially because its happened everywhere. And it's getting really old.

From Corey's Myspace bulletin:
Yep
I got robbed tonight in Chicago.
My passenger side door is screwed up
My PA system, my new shoes, my shaver, and all my cologne/deodorant/a whole bag of that cleany/smelly stuff is gone.

I'm going to finish out these next days of tour, but I'm not sure about what's going to happen with the rest.

I'm not really sure what I did to deserve this.

more details tomorrrow. I'm going to sleep.

corey


So, just stop. Damn it.
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A few days ago Rolling Stone reported that Kelly Clarkson has cancelled her tour. Well, cancelling tours isn't really news to anyone in the entertainment world. However, Kelly didn't cancel her tour because of any medical or health issues, no family problems that needed fixing. Nothing like that, in fact. Kelly Clarkson cancelled her tour because it was believed that ticket sales weren't adequate. Kelly also fired her manager this past week.

The Clarkson Media Specialists claim that the shows are only "cancelled for now" and that they must re-evaluate the "size and scope of her shows". Also, it's "been really difficult" to do such things before the "imending release of her album My December".

This American Idol starlet may just have America turn on her after all the Soccer Moms had to return their tickets and Dads who had to buy their love through this show had to get their money back. Maybe Ms. Clarkson isn't as good as she thought she was...screw what America thinks, right?
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Lots of news on the Saddle Creek front. SS, as well as loads of other blogs and music sites, reported a few weeks ago that Georgie James has now moved on over to Saddle Creek. Which is totally loads of awesome and I'm so looking forward to the new release on the record label.

The guys also opened up Slowdown, their own music club and bar on 14th Street in Omaha. The bar is pretty unique in that they don't allow smoking, which is make or break to some customers in relation to bars. Also, the club is an all ages venue. Lastly, the music bar has no television sets to seperate themselves from other sports bars that seem to be concentrated in nearly every town in America.

Also, Tuesday marks the date of the newest release of some Two Gallants material. The Scenery of Farewell EP is a five song gem that features Adam and Tyson eve more stripped down than their past releases. The EP is acoustic and includes some work by a cellist, pianist, violinist and stand up bass. The boys are also out on tour with none other than Les Claypool. How'd they get hooked up with such a mess? Claypool saw them live, became a fan and asked them to go on tour with he and his band of...jam. I was at the St. Louis show and wanted to rip my eyes out of my skull during Claypool's set. However, Two Gallants was great, as completely expected and every time I see them live I think I become even more of a fan. Damn.

Also, how is it that I just now found out that Clint Schnase, ex-drummer for Cursive...is now the ex-drummer? Cursive is only one of the best bands to come out of Omaha (and one of my personal favorites). Anyway, there is no more Clint drummming for them and they had a different guy go out on tour with them during their tour with Mastadon and Against Me! and I'm not sure when or if they have named the new permanent drummer. The Good Life, Tim Kasher's other band, will also be releasing a new album sooner than later and that's some pretty important information to have, too.

June 12, 2007

Hope and a prayer

What's funny about the dig I took at Jenn's Cardinals and all of the NL "Comedy Central" (thanks Furge) is that we'll be able to back up the smack on the field.

July 6-8 in St. Louis. With any luck, I will be up there getting jeered.

And hey, maybe Rick Ankiel will be there, too.

June 11, 2007

Major League Letdown

Recently on BBC Five Live's football (soccer) call-in show, 6-0-6, a commentator who had been to the United States and went to an MLS game (DC United and L.A. Galaxy) commented that the quality was poor. She went so far as to say that it was the quality of "Barnsley and Luton", both of which played in the second level of the English soccer system. Luton were relegated to the third level (because unlike in America, bad teams are punished with demotion as opposed to being rewarded with the opportunity to score some potentially franchise changing player) and Barnsley nearly followed them down.

On top of this kind of external insult comes the internal nonchalance of the league for the ways of the rest of the world. Europe and South America halt play in their domestic soccer leagues when the big summer international tournaments come. For example in Europe, they are currently playing qualifiers for Euro 2008. When Euro matches are going on, national leagues across Europe grind to a halt and nobody plays their club games simultaneously as the national team matches. It's verboten... or, at least heavily frowned upon. But not America! No no no! Because of the demands of having teams playing in arenas that they share with other sports teams (New York Red Bull plays at Giants Stadium, Houston Dynamo at Robertson Stadium on the University of Houston campus, etc.), the brass at Major League Soccer feel they must play on through international tournaments.


Case in point? The United States is hosting the Gold Cup, which is the main tournament for our region (CONCACAF). In spite of this, the league is playing through the Gold Cup, even though a good percentage of the players participating in the competition ply their trade in Major League Soccer. So, what happens? Quality of play drops even further because the best players for each team are usually pulled for international play. You have teams fielding weakened teams, playing while their peers are representing their country. Isn't that just a massive crock of shit? To me, that shows massive disrespect to their teammates, to their countries, the country they play in, and to the game itself.


Speaking of disappointment, let's look at my San Francisco Giants.
Holy hell, bottom of the division. But if we were sitting in the NL Central, we'd be second. Yeah, I'm taking a pot shot at Jenn's Cardinals... who we are currently better than. It doesn't help that we've: lost 7 out of our last 10 games, got swept by the A's (I guess I'm not hardcore enough of a fan because I don't have any animosity for them), our $120mil pitcher is 6-6 with a 4.02 ERA (fucker isn't getting the resepect of having his name typed until he starts getting results), and MATT MORRIS IS OUR BEST STARTER. Offensively, we're as weak as ever. I guess Brian Sabean is gorging on Barry Bond's 'roided feces because there is no reason why RYAN KLESKO should be our best hitter for average. Fuck. I'm pissed. I can't type anymore without the help of a paperbag. I'm going to hyperventilate over this page.

I'm going to drown my sorrows in Wheach.

June 10, 2007

Short post /// real deal tomorrow

You know, I think we've come full circle.

I've seen Paris Hilton give a sleazeball a blowjob in night vision... and then watched as the photographer who shot the iconic picture of a napalmed Vietnamese girl during the Vietnam War snap a picture of Paris crying in a car as she was being sent back to jail.

Thankfully, there was no crying during the blowjob.



Post tomorrow about Major League Soccer segueing into chatter on my beloved and beleaguered San Francisco Giants.

May 31, 2007

I think I'm winning:

SUNDAY, JUNE 3RD - RIVERFRONT TIMES MUSIC SHOWCASE 2007

This sort of "mini-festival" consists of a numerous amount of nominees for the RFT Awards, which comes around in about 2 weeks. This is such a great idea and looks to be a huge amount of fun, massive amounts of good beer and company, and most importantly GREAT local music. Sadly, it is reminiscent of SXSW because there are plenty of good bands and a few of them all play at the same time at different venues, of course all within walking distance. However, the fact that it's $5 for a nearly 10 hour day full of music makes it that much better. My pick? The best show will be at Cicero's and that's where you will find me and the rest of the SS crew. It will be a great time there with the Dynabros and then we'll probably head over to Blueberry Hill's Duck Room for Target Market to tear it the fuck up. Come hang out with us. You have no excuse if you are in the area because I'm giving you the schedule, here.

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It's true, I have succumb to the grips of Cansei De Ser Sexy. When I first heard them, around a year or so ago, I thought they were a complete joke. So, I didn't give in because I didn't want to be "that girl that listens to that joke bands like Tenacious D". Don't ask why, I just thought that it was a joke, too weird and kitschy. And, now I'm completely head over heels. It's true. Anyway, thanks to Gorilla vs. Bear (whom seems to be one of bloginternerd loves) I've found that Lovefoxxx is possibly cuter than I ever thought. She seems to be relatively pleased with herself in nearly every scene where you can see her smiling face. Though, I must ask...why The Bloodhound Gang?


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My Old Kentucky Blog (also one of my bloginternerd loves, especially because of his use of "internerd" like me and "El Doucho") is spotted knocking on Kobe. I have never ever in my life liked Kobe Bryant and this just helps me further that hate and distrust I have of the guy. MOKB does a great job of expressing that hatred along with the general crappiness that is the NBA. Sorry, the only hoops action I can get into lies in the hands of the NCAA.
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Junior Senior have announced plans to release their latest album Hey Hey My My Yo Yo stateside on August 14th, only two years since its release over there (as the war-time song proclaimed). The now defunct Le Tigre is featured on the album, as are some of the B-52's. It's been far too long, my friends. Speaking of Le Tigre, check out this Junior Senior video featuring JD AND Peaches (it's a twofer)!!!

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I've always had a soft spot for Perry Farrell, maybe not always his bands but him as a person. I just think he's a cute little guy...or something. Anyway, I just thought I'd add this goofy video from Spinner. One of my favorites? The kid with the toaster oven.

May 17, 2007

Need your needs:

I'm extremely excited for the news I'm about to announce. Quite a few people already know about it, but I'm particularly excited and it's for all kinds of reasons. Georgie James has announced that they have signed with Saddle Creek and will be releasing their new album, Places, in September or October of this year. This is great news because not only am I a fan of Georgie James but I'm also a lame-ass, weak little Saddle Creek street teamer (still). What does that mean for me? I get promotional goodies, I get to share the wealth of good music, poster up St. Louis and surrounding areas with Georgie James/Saddle Creek stuff, and I'll get the album before you suckers do. I'm also looking forward, hopefully, to seeing them play live here in St. Louis (for free, because I'm awesome). I still miss Q and Not U (a lot) but I'm really happy for Georgie James and looking extremely forward to their future and success.

Some "upcoming" Georgie James shows:
May 26: St. Stephen's Church - Washington, D.C.
June 14: The Mercury Lounge - New York, NY
June 15: Mojo 13 - Wilmington, DE
June 16: Johnny Brenda's - Philidelphia, PA
August 11: Recher Theatre - Towson, NJ*
*With Ted Leo and Birds of Avalon (neat!)
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In the past 6 months of so I have completely fallen in love with Cansei De Ser Sexy. I must say, without sounding too awkward, I've been watching every move that CSS makes and just watching their name pile up in the "playing at _______________ festival" categories and blog posts/ music news stories. CSS was actually a huge make or break for making the decision to go to Lollapalooza or not (which I still can't, unless you'd like to donate to me/SS or I find a big bag of money...I'm a teacher). Anyway, thanks to Gorilla Vs. Bear and, in essence IHEARTCOMIX, I've found a way to quench my thirst for some new CSS information and junk. So, here it is, albeit a bit creepy because it reminds me of those nightmare-inducing things or creatures they used to just throw in randomly to children's programming...


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And now for something completely different.
*
A real big "ooopsie!" from Engadget today, who temporarily cost Apple $4 million after claiming that they had recieved "information" that the iPhone and Leopard (the most recent/next version of Mac OS X). So, what sucks more? The fact that you started the rumor that sent stocks plunging...or fessing up to it like a child? Who knows, but at least they "cleared up" the misinformation later on in the day. This is why you read and reread and reread again with news like this. Hell, any kind of news. That's just a lesson in messing up, saving face, apologizing and then...being ridiculed for it later on. However, my favorite part? The fact that Engadget just declares "False Alarm" and I just want to add an exclamation point after that to show the true ridiculousness of the whole damn thing.

*Credit to MSN Money - Apple Inc. - Stock chart, Index chart.

May 16, 2007

Because you all care sooo much...


What am I listening to?

Battles - Mirrored. I remember walking around campus listening to EP C's "B+T" on my now sold-for-rent-money iPod and feeling totally encompassed by the layers and layers of sound. Mirrored does not disappoint but does disorient with all the Tyondai vocalizing (ok, mostly just in Atlas... totally jarred me when I first heard it). But hey, NME is sucking at the teat of Battles, so, I shall continue to do the same.

Lifetime - Lifetime. It's fashionable to crap all over hardcore, much less melodic hardcore punk like Lifetime. I mean, Lifetime is in some ways responsible for a lot of the bullshit being pushed out today by being influential on a lot of musicians who are massive tools. Pete Wentz, for example. His label is responsible for putting out this Lifetime album, but I'll be damned if Pete and Fall Out Boy haven't aped melodic hardcore for all it's worth and earned a huge profit... the least he can do is put out a new Lifetime album.

So Many Dynamos - Flashlights. The Dynabros are a band very near and dear to my heart. Jenn grew up a mile or two from Ryan and Norm, competed against them in jazz band competitions, and once I entered the picture, dragged me to their shows. I've been able to watch a band coalesce from a pretty rough smattering of influence worship to a cohesive group pounding out creative, original (fuck the critics who can't come up with anything better than constant comparisons to the Dismemberment Plan) tunes. This album is just another step in the progression of four dudes I really admire and think of as friends in their musical journey. I will now go extinguish myself, because that was flaming.

The Field - From Here We Go to Sublime. Eh... I don't know about this. Seems like it's missing a lot, but that's the point of minimalism. Bah. Somebody is bound to remix this if they haven't already.

Feist - The Reminder. I wrote my thesis about the role of men in the women's suffrage movement in England. An interesting dynamic was the way that sex was portrayed in the public. Before the emergence of the feminists demanding suffrage, men could do things like read, paint, consume fine wine, and really just enjoy life without being painted as "fags"... sorry, "poofs." Along comes men uncomfortable with their traditional roles being questioned and masculinity gets redefined. Feist is one of those artists that will get you painted as a poof if you say you like it to some over-compensating petrolhead jackass. I'm going to go all renaissance man and say it's quality work that deserves to be acknowledged as such. Leslie Feist is immensely talented. Boo small-penis-overcompensation! Hooray Feist!

May 14, 2007

Apologies, Apologetics.

Slamdunk Stalin apologizes for the lack of updating! We were either graduating college, celebrating those of us here graduating college, or...drinking. So, needless to say right at this moment we've got little to nothing to report or to say. Because of our extreme lack of damn near everything newsworthy I give you...me drunk and making fun of Amy Winehouse. Huzzah! We'll be back within the next day or two.

Thanks to Perez Hilton we have this very flattering picture of only the most gorgeous woman in music: *Note: We didn't add that "Oh Amy", but kudos to Perez Hilton for doing so, I guess.

And this...would be me mocking her. Blah. I must say...I know how to look damn sexy about all the time.

Also, we wanted to share some show information! Yay!

My friend Corey Goodman of Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship will be playing with YACHT this Friday for $5 at Lemp Arts Center for $5. Seriously? Awesome! Corey/Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship needs some help from anyone and everyone who can help him. First of all, he needs your votes for the Riverfront Times award for "Best Eclectic/Uncategorizable" act. Amazing! Also, Corey needs more help with touring, so if you're a kind soul and good at helping people book shows then head on over to the SFYYR myspace page to help him out! Come on, who wouldn't want to give such a hot act your help? Also, don't expect me to give up talking about the RFT awards. With the RFT showcase coming up within the near future, friends in a few of the bands and just wanting to have a good time, the talk of the RFT awards won't end until the showcase is over. I'll probably even talk about it after the showcase...

Here's that YACHT video. Get excited!