• Tell Your Mom to Stop Calling Me

    Giu 9 2006, 22:41

    Has anybody else noticed the obvious influence that Jimmie's Chicken Shack has exerted on Say Anything? I'm referring, more specifically, to Bring Your Own Stereo, which could quite easily have been the single greatest influence on Is A Real Boy. At the very least, Is A Real Boy seems to nod more frequently in the direction of this frequently-overlooked album than in any other.

    Unabashedly self-indulgent, intentionally pretentious, utterly microcosmic, and - probably because of those very things - thoroughly enjoyable. You've gotta love them both.
  • Tackling Life's Toughest Musical Questions

    Mar 13 2006, 16:46

    At this point in American musical-cultural history, it would be pretty much impossible for anybody under the age of 30 to claim that they don't remember the glory days of the flannel shirt. The dirtier your shirt was, and the more poorly it fit, the hipper you were. If it was ripped or had bloodstains on it, you got mega-bonus points and were pretty much guaranteed to get (at least) a blowjob from the hottest chick at the arena. While this is totally respectable in my book, and while I might even push for a resurgence of the dirty-sexy look (that arguably never died, because Carmen Electra is definitely dirty-sexy), I have often wondered precisely where the hell that flannel shirt trend came from.

    Everybody knows it evolved - maybe even spontaneously generated, but biology isn't important here - in the late 1980s/early 1990s, but there seems to be some lingering ambiguity about the particulars that sparked this movement. So let's get it all out there on the table and decide, at least for now, who's REALLY responsible for bestowing upon humanity the ability to look shitty and still get laid.

    I hereby refuse to rest or shower until I get some answers. Fortunately, since I only get cooler as my flannel shirt gets dirtier, I should be in good shape.

    Coming soon: installment number two, in which we debate the seemingly inexplicable popularity of wearing a kilt while performing. God bless the eighties.
  • The Apocalypse Looms.

    Mar 8 2006, 5:06

    Once in a while, so much objectionable shit happens that I can see no explanation other than the impending apocalypse and end of days. If we weren't rapidly headed for a fiery demise, I seriously doubt that any of the following things would have happened - and this is just in the last couple weeks!

    • Hawthorne Heights release their second studio album, If Only You Were Lonely. Some copies actually sell. An explanation for this phenomenon has been offered by Le_THieN in an amusingly brilliant but still disillusioning journal entry.
    • Nick Lachey, desperate for public attention after his divorce from Jessica Simpson (which was really stupid, as she's hotter than a keg of burning moonshine), erupts back onto the scene with his new single What's Left of Me. Expect this one to light the charts on fire - unless that's the brimstone falling from heaven.
    • Three 6 Mafia win an Oscar for their performance of It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp, beating out the legendary Dolly Parton. Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining. It's just that the Academy made it so damn easy for Jon Stewart's writers to come up with jokes. Who's keeping score for Martin Scorcese, anyway?
    • The Sex Pistols are inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but decline to attend. Why is this indicative of impending doom? Because it gives the thirty-somethings who are still wearing combat boots and hanging out in alleyways another excuse to say that punk's not dead. Get a fucking job - or at least a shower. But I've got to give points to the band for keepin' it real. Check out their statement:Next to the Sex Pistols, rock and roll and that hall of fame is a piss stain. Your museum. Urine in wine. We're not coming. We're not your monkeys. If you voted for us, hope you noted your reasons. Your anonymous as judges but your still music industry people. We're not coming. Your not paying attention. Outside the shit-stream is a real Sex Pistol.So inspiring, it almost makes me want to put a fist up. Unfortunately, I've got better things to do... like water the fish. And watch grass grow.
    • Atreyu inch closer to releasing an album that actually promises to be even worse than The Curse. Just when you thought impossible still existed. I know that I, for one, am oh-so-anxiously counting down the days until the March 28 release date.
    • The success of Walk the Line (despite the fact that it failed to impress at the Oscars, save Ms. Witherspoon) continues to be exploited, as the American people are given yet another opportunity to empty their pockets to the winner of the Genetic Jackpot - that is, John Carter Cash. SITLL MORE "lost recordings" by the great, the legendary, Johnny Cash have been compiled, likely to be the first in the series of this year's financial anal-rapings that all the die-hard fans will have to endure. My condolences to those who strive to own his complete discography: you're about to become even poorer.
    • London officials have the incredible audacity to arrest George Michael on charges related to drug possesssion. No surprises here - but, I can't lie, I'm finding it a little difficult to believe that he wants my sex when he's strung out behind bars. At least he's not raping little boys. Yet.

    Batten down the hatches and grab your rosaries, boys and girls. It's only March, and I think we can already agree that we're in for a fun-filled year.
  • Which Is Better?

    Gen 11 2006, 23:06

    I was wondering today how I could go about doing an intresting comparison of the music I like and other things totally unrelated to music in general, and especially to what I listen to. Unfortunately, if I were to come up with these things on my own, it would probably throw off my anyalsis, because my conclusions wouldn't be as entertainingly random as they had the potential to be. Therefore, I decided to use dictionary.com's Word Of The Day as a basis for comparison: I went back through Words Of The Day, beginning with 10 January 2006, until I got tired of doing this. So here we go.

    Which is better: Jimmy Eat World or dubiety?
    A tough way to start. Dubiety is, apparently, "the condition or quality of being doubtful or skeptical." That's a pretty useful thing in a variety of situations. For example, if your boyfriend/girlfriend came up to you with a condom wrapper in his/her pocket and you had not fucked them in a couple days, you might find yourself virtually overrun with dubieties about his/her fidelity. This would likelybe beneficial, because odds in this case are pretty good that your boyfriend/girlfriend is a cheating piece of shit and should immediately be kicked to the curb.
    Jimmy Eat World will most likely not provide you with the same cognitive tools as a healthy sense of doubt, and might be better left for the hours after you kicked that cheating piece of shit to the curb when you start to feel a little remorse for your actions and feel like lying around and listening to them. On the other hand, Jimmy Eat World might be more appropriate for a situation resembling one in which you are drunk and trying to get a tipsy, stereotypical college girl to hook up with you. You could play her The Middle and tell her that you think its message about being yourself is really meaningful, which would all but guarantee you a blowjob (at least), whereas experiencing some dubiety about her possibly harboring syphillis would probably not get you very far in bed. In fact, that very dubiety, if applied logically, should keep you well away from the nearest flat surface and that much closer to the keg.
    The winner: dubiety. Better safe than hungover, shirtless, and probably infected with an STD - even if you did get to listen to some quality tunes.

    Which is better: Unearth or ineffable stuff?
    Ineffable, which means "incapable of being expressed in words; unspeakable; unutterable; indescribable" or "not to be uttered; taboo," is pretty clearly inferior to Unearth. Let's be logical: what the hell good is something if you can't tell somebody about it? (That being said, I can definitely see the fun in talking about something that's taboo; it's always entertaining to make other people uncomfortable.) Maybe, instead of wasting your time telling your buddy about how you saw this... thing... and it was, like, so awesome that you don't even know what to say... seriously, you were totally speechless..., you could get stoned, drunk, or otherwise fucked up and listen to some of the best metalcore currently in existence. Or, if you prefer the more frugal route, you could skip the getting fucked up part.
    The winner: Unearth.

    Which is better: Minus the Bear or being esurient?
    Esurient ("hungry; voracious; greedy") is one of those words whose existence seems to be at least borderline unnecessary. Its synonyms seem pretty closely related, and in my book, if you can use more than one other word to express essentially the same idea, the word sucks. Minus the Bear pretty clearly doesn't suck.
    Moreover, excessive esurience generally seems to create some pretty big problems for the guilty party. Remember what happened about fifteen years ago when Mr. Hussein decided that he wanted Kuwait for a backyard playground? (That, and the vast oil stocks with which to extort other, less lavishly-resourced nations.) He got bombed. Nobody's going to bomb you if you're just hanging out, listening to Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse (one of my favorites). Case closed.
    The winner: Minus the Bear.

    Which is better: Mae or diktats?
    This is an important relationship to consider in context. A diktat, which is "a harsh settlement unilaterally imposed on a defeated party" or "an authoritative decree or order," is going to do one of two things: really fuck you up, or give you the power to really fuck other people up. Mae, on the other hand, probably isn't going to do either of those things to you. I mean, what are the most extreme reactions you could really have to this band? You either like it, or you don't; it's not as though your being subjected to Mae could determine your political, socioeconomic, or other, more general, sort of future. It's pretty clear, though, that a diktat could do just that.
    Not being one to condone moderation when it comes to exercising absolute power, I'll have to choose the more polarizing of the two.
    The winner: diktats. Because life's too short not to go balls deep.

    Which is better: Alkaline Trio or things that are recondite?
    Recondite things are generally "difficult to understand; abstruse" or "concerned with obcsure subject matter." One could certainly make that claim regarding The Trio, since they have that cute habit of writing about actual events (i.e. Sadie, Donner Party, and Prevent This Tragedy), but one might also claim that they're just overgrown, pseudo-intellectual kids who drink too much.
    A point much like the one I made regarding esurient matters comes into play here: why waste time talking about something that's a pain in the ass to understand? I suppose that if you and your friends like to engage in heated debate about metaphysics, nuclear physics, subatomic physics, or some other generally unappealing field, you might prefer recondite matters to more commonplace ones. But as a general rule, I think people probablyprefer getting drunk, complaining, and/or making other people listen to what they have to say. Not necessarily at the same time.
    The winner: Alkaline Trio.

    Which is better: Say Anything or exegetes?
    I can't help but giggle at the hint of irony here: an exegete is "a person who explains or interprets difficult parts of written works." Since I've seen some of the debates regarding Max Bemis's clever and admittedly entertaining lyrics (and, I must say, they're pretty amusing - see an example), I have to wonder if an exegete might not be of assistance in these pressing matters.
    An exegete, however, is only as good as the text he's interpreting. Given this mutually-dependent relationship, I think it's necessary to make careful evaluation before declaring a winner.
    Okay, enough evaluation.
    The winner: Say Anything and exegetes tie! After all, the shoe is only as becoming as the foot that wears it. And some people have really ugly feet. But then again, there are some really ugly shoes out there.

    Which is better: Panic! at the Disco or a sine qua non?
    Unfortunately for Panic! at the Disco, there's not much they can do to compete with something that is "an essential condition or element; an indispensable thing." I mean, I like this band and all, but I also really like breathing, eating, being sufficiently hydrated, sleeping, and other necessities like bananas, watching infomercials, barfights, partridge/quail/other assorted groundfowl hunts, smashing beer bottles and threating people with the resulting shards, coffee, old men who pinch women on the butt, and Guns N' Roses. (Let's be honest, here: everybody likes at least one song by this band. And if you say you don't recognize the intro from Sweet Child o' Mine, you're a liar.)
    The winner: sine qua non.

    And, on an entirely unrelated note: How shitty are these My favorite songs, artists, and sexual positions from A-Z memes? I'd much rather read (and write) sarcastic bullshit (see above) than be subjected to another mundane list that wastes about 15 seconds of my life, before I click the "Back" button and remind myself not to expect so much.
  • Haha - that's a good one. Oh wait; you're serious.

    Gen 9 2006, 3:29

    Edited, roughly 5 minutes after posting: Holy shit, people, lighten up. What you listen to isn't a big deal. I'm not going to go out of my way to try to make you feel bad for what you like. Christ.

    Instead of making a list of things I really like, I've decided to do the appropriately angsty thing and write about things that I really hate. Since there are times when I hear some things that make me question whether natural selection applies to musicianship, I figure I'm justified in bitching a little bit about it.

    Just in case the virtual global domination by U2 wasn't bad enough, here comes another band hellbent on empire. The logic behind creating this band MUST HAVE BEEN like this:
    What's the worst band we can think of?
    U2. Definitely U2.
    Sweet. Let's try to be them!

    If you're going to suck, you should at least suck while doing your own thing. Fuck Coldplay.

    I just plain don't like this band. No real reason, aside from the fact that generally prefer to listen to music that doesn't make me think I live in some virtual reality, computer-game ambient hell.

    The Shins
    When did being a hippie become cool? And how is it that being a hippie allows you to be simultaneously REALLY indie rock and entirely mainstream? Fuck hippies.

    One of my favorite examples of irony is when kids who listen to Nirvana complain about "emo kids" who "whine and cry all the time." Talk about (and pardon the horrific cliché) the pot calling the kettle black. There are few things that seem to be more bitchy and generally annoying than Nirvana.
    Go ahead, yell at me. Fuck Nirvana, too. Just because your singer dies doesn't mean you deserve to define a generation with your shitty-ass grunge. So fuck Seattle.

    Pink Floyd
    Give me a guitar and some acid and I could make noises like this shit, too. Don't believe me? Whatever. PM me and we'll get together sometime. You're buying.

    How the fuck do you get this backwards R without copying and pasting? Anyway, trivial font details aside: ugh. Their last video was pretty entertaining, and I commend them for their cross-genre efforts, but that doesn't make up for the years of sucking that preceded it. I guess when you're a freshman in high school, though, hearing Jonathan Davis talk about how he's "got the life" must be super-inspiring. Too bad I missed the memo.

    Elliot Smith
    Once again, suicide should not deliver immortality into your cold, lifeless hands. Proof that life isn't fair (as though his pseudo-introspective, whiny songs weren't ample proof in themselves).

    I can't even ask a rhetorical what the fuck? because I am largely convinced that therecan be no rational justification for this band's existence. Wasn't their first single a collaboration with that guy from 12 Stones? How telling. How appropriate. When you're collaborating with 12 Stones, you should probably throw in the towel on your life. And, as demonstrated by the untimely, self-induced demises of Kurt Cobain and Elliot Smith, suicide has huge financial rewards for your beneficiaries. Even if they're heinous bitches who sing for Hole, who also suck. Fuck chick rock.

    Which brings me to another point: how shitty is chick rock? Fuck Fiona Apple, Sinead O'Connor, Alanis Morrissette, Sarah MacLachlan, Jewel, Melissa Etheridge, and anyone else who ever played on Lillith Fair. You can't use lesbianism as an excuse to be famous, you bitch. Go buy a dildo.

    I could go on, but I'm feeling a little sick to my stomach. Don't think I'm a totally negative person, because I'm really not. In fact, I really like some things. Unearth are just super, I'm much more fond of Children of Bodom than the profile indicates, and I should pay more attention to The Bled. I like to listen to Atmosphere when I'm writing papers or doing research, and I like miss Imogen Heap (and, of course, Frou Frou). The boyfriend has even got me listening to Guns N' Roses and, when I'm exceptionally drunk, Journey. Alkaline Trio have been a favorite for years, and Say Anything have almost managed to convince me that there are still interesting things to be done with alternative/punk/rock (or however you'd like to classify their music). Jimmy Eat World continue to impress (apart from their live show, which is lamentable) with their relative diversity and staying power, and I like to listen to a little Sigur Ros when I need to unwind.

    I could go even longer about that, but I think the point is clear: I'm trying to avoid bad music. Fuck bad music. There are too many good things out there to justify wasting time on things that suck. In the wise (albeit paraphrased) words of the signs gracing the entrances of Joe's Crab Shack franchises: Life's too short to listen to shitty music.