Sunday, December 27, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Regardless, if Phil Spector was still spending his time focusing on innovative production techniques, rather than shooting b-movie actresses, this might be the result. It's a fact: Chimes have never detracted from a song's quality.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Only 7 more to go! I'm feeling winded and may be hallucinating. This is where the grind of all those summer park practices is really going to pay off. Or I'll collapse in the final sprint. But first, let's journey to the way back machine:
Of the six tracks that feature vocals, four are smothered with the synthesized pitch corrector. On tracks like "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger," the duo make it work by pushing the instrument to its breaking point, squeezing out subhuman glips and merging the vocals into a Vai-style synth-guitar solo. But when the band relies on the tool merely as a gimmick, as on "Digital Love" and "Something about Us," the sentimental love songs come off with all the heart-melting earnestness of Kid Rock's "Only God Knows Why."
- Pitchfork 6.4 review of Discovery, 2001
They wanted their listeners to get the rush of context-free delight they had hearing music as kids, and on "Aerodynamic" and "Digital Love" they succeeded wildly, dissolving a decade-plus of dance music good taste...When a generation looks back and tries to catch a fuzzy hold of the music that made them happy this decade, Daft Punk's will be top of the list.
- Pitchfork on Discovery, the 3rd best album of the decade, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
The talk is on again.
Big Ten athletic directors (athletics director?) are calling for the conference to add a 12th team so that it might split into two divisions which would then lead to a conference championship game in football. It's not a new idea in the slightest, but according to Adam Rittenberg's report, the push this time might have a bit more muscle behind it. Or in Barry Alvarez's case, a bit more cheese.
I've been an advocate for a 12th team for the exact same reasons as Paterno and Alvarez. The Big Ten stopped playing football this season some time around Halloween it seems. While these conference championships and service academy showdowns fill the airwaves, the Big Ten and their two BCS teams are back in the Midwest twiddling their thumbs and shoveling snow. But the conference championship game will only be one effect of expansion.
The obvious first question is "Who?" Let's get this out of the way: it will not be Notre Dame. Notre Dame values autonomy almost as much as they value that NBC contract. The Irish aren't a large research institution like the majority of the Big Ten, and since they can't play defense they naturally belong in the Big East for basketball. Boo frickin' hoo, they already play most of the Big Ten in football anyway.
The usual suspects are thus: Syracuse, Louisville, Missouri, Iowa St. I'd say that Syracuse is out based on its private status. (Northwestern is a charter member of the Big Ten, but sticks out like a sore thumb amongst the publicly funded behemoths.) Iowa St. is a land-grant school (much like Purdue, Michigan St., Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio St., Penn St., and Wisconsin) but are they willing to back out of the Big 12? Missouri is in the exact same position.
That's why my money is on Louisville, and here's why. They've only been in the Big East since 2005. It would be an easy exit. What do they gain? Doesn't seem to be too much but they do get what every upwardly mobile entity wants: their own TV network. Additionally, they would be more geographically centered to their conference on an east/west axis, and I can see that making a much bigger deal for the travel budgets of smaller sports like volleyball and cross country.
If Louisville's the new belle at the ball, how will the divisions shake out? No doubt the deciding factor will be geography, but whose geography? Each school already has two permanent "rivals" as fixtures in the football season. I'd think this provision would stand in the new lineup, but then we must decide are we going East and West or North and South? If the breakdown were left and right we'd have
- East: Michigan St, Michigan, Purdue, Indiana, Ohio St. Penn St.
- West: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Northwestern, Illinois, Louisville.
- North: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan St., Michigan, Northwestern, Purdue/Penn St.
- South: Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio St., Louisville, Purdue/Penn St.
The 12th team would add a tremendous amount of publicity for a short smattering of time and the Big Ten would no doubt shove it down your throat with more "Big Life. Big Stage. Big Ten." commercials. What would really go up in smoke though, no matter who is added, is a round-robin basketball schedule. Unless the Big Ten has plans to scrap the post-season tournament, there's little chance you'll see them expand to a 22 game home and away season.
Should all of this come to pass and I wake up one day shocked to find East Carolina or Ball St. in the the conference, I do know that one thing will not go away.
They'll always call it the Big Ten.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
We had some crushing lows
We had some lusty little crushes
We had those all-ages hardcore matinee shows
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Monday, December 07, 2009
Cera is starring in the upcoming comic book come film Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. I'll admit I'm woefully ignorant of anything in the Scott Pilgrim universe when it comes to the Bryan Lee O'Malley works, but I am quite familiar with the origins of the name Scott Pilgrim.
The character draws its name from a song off of the second Plumtree album, Predicts the Future. So, knowing my affinity for all things Plumtree I was more than stoked to find out via drummer Lynette Gillis that Cera will be wearing a Plumtree shirt in the film. Take it away, Lynette.
You may have heard: Plumtree is making an (onscreen) comeback! Thanks to Bryan Lee O'Malley, whose comic-turned-Universal pictures movie, The Adventures of Scott Pilgrim, stars Michael Cera wearing this yellow Plumtree shirt! So, now we have both yellow and black shirts for sale and a website on it's way. Soon we'll be receiving PayPal orders through the site but for now you can order shirts directly from us. $20 + shipping. Please write us here or at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.xo, Plumtree
Not only will Plumtree be getting some serious pub thanks to George Michael Bluth, I finally have something to add to my Christmas wishlist. Dreams really do come true. The shirt in fact says "Mass Teen Fainting" in homage to the title of Plumtree's first album. I only hope that yellow shirt of Scott Pilgrim is as popular as the yellow shorts of Paulie Bleeker.
My real Christmas wish is that the unquenchable popularity of this nebbish overflows and the public demands Plumtree reunion shows. I could thereby drop some cash and make a weekend of a Plumtree/Get Up Kids "Fantasy Reunion" tour. (Get Up Kids are back together!...in Australia, damn). It'll happen, come hell or frequent flier miles.
All I need is one more Hum reunion show and I can have my Christmas in peace. Please God, allow some costume designer to buy Gob a You'd Prefer an Astronaut shirt for the Arrested Development movie and we'll all be in luck.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Saturday, December 05, 2009
When Night Ripper was first released, it seemed like virtually every article about Greg Gillis mentioned that at some point, Gillis would likely be sued by every record label/band/rapper on the planet. This has proven to not be the case at all. Despite my best research, I couldn't find a case where anyone had taken legal action, and there's clearly a big sample size to choose from. Granted, the fact that Gillis literally gives his albums away on Illegal Art's website means he's not breaking the bank from his studio outputs, so he's not flaunting riches in front of those whose work he drawing from. Still, it seems kinda amazing that members of Kansas or Steve Winwood's attorneys haven't tossed out any cease and desist letters.
Friday, December 04, 2009
When I was in high school, I remember N.A.P. making similar claims about the war zone of 21st and Post. I was highly skeptical at the time, but in hindsight perhaps I owe them an apology. Could it be that niggas truly weren't playin'?
(In all honesty, whoever is doing P.R. for Asthmatic Kitty deserves a raise.)
What a letdown. You spend all day getting every detail of your beard, and the night in general, perfect. You avoid a potential milk mishap while Padma is enchanted with your globe and collection of leather-bound books. Just when things are at their peak, your damn dog throws on a tux and a top hat, and suddenly the dream with Padma comes crashing down right before your eyes. We've all been there, but that doesn't make it any easier. Learn the code, dog!
But I'm primarily putting this photo up to ask a crucial question. What is the deal with Japanese kids and their widespread obsession with the peace sign? Is there a logical reason behind it? Is it some type of motor-skill developed through mind control of all Japanese infants? I mean look at these kids! Perhaps Ross MacLochness can offer an explanation from his time in the Orient. Needless to say, all those peace signs make me think there's some sort of plotting going on.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Enough chatter. Let's talk bottom line. This is the best song Radiohead have ever written. Real talk!
It's also a source of endless entertainment for me personally, as I recall a 2001 night in West Hartford, Connecticut, wherein two of my friends got into a lengthy debate over the correct time signature of this song. It was an epic war, comprised of words and hand drumming, and me alternately taking each of their sides, ultimately ending without resolution. In fact, it's a fight that has never truly been settled between them to this day. It also sadly ranks in the upper half of entertaining activities that can be generated within the state of Connecticut.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Two minutes and 54 seconds into this track, one of the most personally captivating musical snapshots I've ever heard takes place.
This moment takes place within an album about which the back story has become indie folklore. And indeed, it's pretty much impossible to hear a Bon Iver song without picturing the interior of that snow-covered Wisconsin cabin in your mind's eye. It feels cold and lonely and necessary. The remoteness and solitude embeds itself within every moment of the album's 37 minutes, and captures a soul-crushing intimacy that previously hadn't been pulled off since Elliott Smith died. It is relentlessly authentic and raw in its magic.
Until that moment, 2:54 seconds into "Wolves."