Thursday, April 28, 2011

Not everyone is a Jim Morrison fan

It's fair to say that Jim Morrison is (was) (is???????) one of the more divisive figures in music. For every person who orates on Morrison's artistic genius, there is another person whose views of Morrison are not as positive.

One of the latter writes for the Onion.

Citing the 17-year-old's awkward overuse of Native American imagery and general ability to make long lists of random adjectival phrases, the Jim Morrison Foundation announced Monday the awarding of a $50,000 grant to self-obsessed ... Jerome Caudry of Shullsburg, WI.

Read the whole thing here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's a wonder this band didn't play Korea

Entertainers who have a variety of talents have an advantage, because they have more of a chance of earning a paycheck. Take the members of The Relatives, a band from the late 1960s. Their most famous gig was a three-month stint at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas. Since the lead singer was under 21, she had to enter the casino via the kitchen.

Eventually The Relatives ran its course, and the lead singer moved on to another band that played a just-opened San Francisco hotel.

[T]heir first performance was in a brand new San Francisco hotel that had no sidewalk entrance built yet, so they played to mostly the janitors and whatever hotel guests parked their cars in the underground garage. But she performed so well under such intimidating circumstances that Howard "Speedy" Garfin nicknamed Lynda "Wonder Woman"!

Which was a good thing, because Lynda the lead singer happened to be Lynda Carter, who would become most famous for her television role as Wonder Woman.

But her friend from The Relatives, the drummer in the band, didn't do too badly either. Carter got him a guest shot on the Wonder Woman show, but by that time the drummer was already famous from movie and television appearances. That drummer was Gary Burghoff, most famous for playing the character Radar O'Reilly.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

And they probably don't like Jane Fonda movies either

Perhaps you don't remember - I honestly don't remember parts of it - but when large segments of the U.S. population opposed the Vietnam War, some assumed that the opponents were members of the Communist Party. "Hanoi" Jane Fonda, Walter Cronkite, and so forth - you name them, they were all part of Communist Party cells.

So you would assume that after Vietnam fell, all of these so-called Communists would be greeted with warm welcomes by the Vietnamese government. Or, alternatively, the Vietnamese government would have laughed at the stupid Americans that supported them.

Would anyone have considered that the Vietnamese reaction would be - total indifference?

Take Bob Dylan, considered by many as the voice of a generation until Bruce Springsteen and Doug Fieger came along. You would think that he would be a hit in Vietnam. Not exactly:

Days after his historic and headline-generating concert debut in mainland China, Bob Dylan played his first performance in Vietnam on Sunday night, eliciting criticism but drawing only moderate crowds....

Appearing in a performance space that could hold about 8,000 people, Mr. Dylan played to a crowd only half that size...

The New York Times and its source articles identified two possible reasons for the tepid reaction. First, the ticket prices were higher than the average Vietnamese monthly salary. Second, most people in Vietnam don't know who the heck Bob Dylan is, since half of the Vietnamese population is, in the words of the popular phrase, "over 30."

And many people, including Human Rights Watch, Maureen Dowd, and others objected to the fact that the Vietnamese government had approval over Dylan's set list - something that hasn't happened since Ed Sullivan modified Rolling Stones lyrics many decades ago.

I guess Ed Sullivan was a commie too.

Monday, April 11, 2011

If only more band interviews were like this - Emily the Strange interviews Ladytron


Interviews can be tedious, or they can be good, or they can be exceptional.

Since the band Ladytron has been around since 1999, I'm sure that the band members have experienced all three types of interviews, over and over again. So I'm sure that an interview that takes a different tack is welcomed.

I have no idea who Emily the Strange is, but she obviously knows a bit about Ladytron, based upon the questions that she asked Helen (Marnie) and Mira (Aroyo).

And oh, what questions.

The interview is undated, but a Ladytron blog shared it on April 10, so it may (or may not) be recent.

Here are a couple of excerpts:

(Emily) If you boost all the RGB and in your cover art, what do you get?

Mira: Owls kissing

Helen: Eagles and lizards.

And here's another one that Mira fans will appreciate:

(Emily) Have you invented any instruments? Tell me about them...

Mira: No but I have invented many many strains of bacteria and quite a few new genes and proteins.

Helen: Not as yet.

Let me share one more:

(Emily) Do you ever use the C-sides of records?

Mira: On the hexagonal records we use the C side for writing notes and the F sides for doodling when I'm bored.

Helen: For secret tracks.

Read the whole interview here or here.

Let me close out with some other like-minded observations about the band and its work. I like the site, in which various people analyze songs. Several people analyzed the Ladytron song "Seventeen" but two of those analyses stood out.


the song is obviously about fishing. if you are too big(21 inches) they can't legally keep you, so they take a picture and throw you back in. if you are the right size(17 inches) they want you. you guys read too much into these songs sometimes.


It's about rim sizes. She is saying that 17" rims are great because they are the most functional diameter for most sports cars. She is taking a stab at the homeys who roll around with 21" rims basically saying that they are just for show "taking polaroids" and the "say that they will let you know" part is a reference to how people who drive on oversized rims are less responsible than the general population and when they get interviewed they almost never get jobs. She makes it clear that 21" rims are "no fun" because they have high rotational weight and cause performance issues and low gas mileage. By saying "so come on" she is saying "Come on, guys. Big rims look rediculous and offer no performance advantage. Spend that money on something that will better your lives, like your education or your children."

Here is something that I wrote back in May 2005. Louis Marshall Jones is better known by his stage name "Grandpa Jones."

The only similarities between Louis Marshall Jones and Helen Marnie is that both of them wore makeup.

And I should close by thanking Martin Bryant, whose scrobble of the song "Seventeen" inspired me to dig deeper.

And after reading this Reuben/Mira interview in which they discussed the video, I am forced to conclude that shoez and ephidaboost were both on so something here.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Phil Collins revisited via @Joffi - and I do care

I previously discussed Phil Collins in this blog back on September 11, 2009, in a post that looked at his retirement from drumming due to spinal issues. It also looked at Collins' drumming work as a solo artist, in Genesis, and with Brian Eno.

It's time to revisit Collins again.

My lastfmfeeds room on FriendFeed tracks scrobbles by various music fans, and it caught this March 28 scrobble by Joffi222 (@Joffi on Twitter, Michael W. May in the real world). The song? "I Don't Care Anymore."

If you want to talk about interesting drum parts, here's a good place to start. When Collins shot the video for this song, he had a whole band behind him as the singer, but in reality Collins himself recorded all of the parts except for the guitar.

The song, incidentally, was written as the result of a breakup of a marriage. No, not the breakup with Orianne Cevey a couple of years ago that cost him millions, but from an earlier marriage to Andrea Bertorelli that ended in 1980. Collins is quoted as saying:

"I had a wife, two children, two dogs, and the next day I didn't have anything. So a lot of these songs were written because I was going through these emotional changes."

Despite this, the UK Biography Channel web site claims that Collins and Bertorelli "remain on friendly terms."

So presumably Berrtorelli doesn't think of Collins as a gorilla.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Bands encouraging covers - OneRepublic and Tamar Kaprelian

I spent one evening on YouTube listening to cover versions of the OneRepublic song "Apologize," including versions by SpongeBob SquarePants and a Chipmunks knockoff, and then I ran across this cover. One difference - this cover was selected by OneRepublic itself as the winner of a contest.

Not only did she win the cover contest, but OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder helped her get a recording contract with Interscope Records. Her first single, "New Day," ended up being used on the TV show The Hills.

More information can be found at Tamar Kaprelian's official website.