• Some bands I've seen - updated, but still incomplete

    Abr 30 2010, 23h08

    I just started brainstorming trying to recall live shows I've seen. Came up with this list instantly. I'm completely sure I'm forgetting tons, even important shows and esp. shows over the past five yeats or so.

    Anti-Nowhere League
    Alejandro Escovedo
    Angelic Upstarts
    Bad Mutha Goose
    Big Boys
    Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys
    Black Flag
    Blood on the Saddle
    Bruce Springsteen
    Butthole Surfers
    Chris D and the Divine Horsemen
    Circle Jerks
    Dead Kennedys
    Detroit Cobras
    Dizzy Gillespie
    Drug Puppies
    Ed Hall
    Elvis Costello
    English Beat
    Fab Thunderbirds
    Free Money
    Fudge Tunnels
    Gardez Lou{/artist]
    George Jones
    Hank Williams Jr
    Husker Du
    Jesus Lizard
    Jo Carol Pierce
    Joe Ely
    John Cale
    John Doe
    John Hiatt
    Jonathan Richman And The Modern Lovers
    Killing Joke
    Laurie Anderson
    Los Lobos
    Loose Diamonds
    Lazy Cowgirls
    Legal Weapon
    Legionnaire's Disease
    Marching Plague
    Meat Puppets
    Mojo Nixon
    My Dolls
    No Trend
    Nine Inch Nails
    Pain Teens
    Plastic Idols
    Poison 13
    Public Enemy
    Rank and File
    Really Red
    Red Rocker
    Roky Erickson
    Rolling Stones
    Scratch Acid
    Sister Double Happiness
    Social Distortion
    Sonic Youth
    Stickmen With Rayguns
    Sugar Shack
    Talking Heads
    Teddy Boys
    The Fix
    The Jam
    The Kinks
    The Specials
    The Who
    Three Day Stubble
    True Belivers
    UK Subs
    Von Iva
    Yo La Tengo
    Zeitgeist (and also as The Rievers)
    ZZ Top

    Should add:
    Geto Boys
    Paul Simon
    BB King
    Jack Officers
    Kool Moe Dee
    Buddy Guy
    Clifton Chenier
    Bob Dylan
    Bela Fleck
    Jimmie Dale Gilmore
    Koko Taylor
    [artist]Nine Inch Nails

    Still forgetting dozens. At least.
  • I now realize I only THOUGHT I was in love

    Mar 10 2010, 18h44

    Yesterday I wrote a love note to Suzanne Vega in this journal. But today I own Beauty and Crime and she's more stunning and a more staggering genius than I even knew then.

    Plus, she inspired me to dig out my old Rickie Lee Jones - and not so old Rickie Lee, too - and listening to Company I found myself a little weepy despite myself. Will be listening to a bunch more of Ms. Jones this afternoon... another unbelievable talent.
  • Softee

    Mar 9 2010, 23h44

    I remember kinda liking Suzanne Vega back in the Luka days, but thinking she wasn't really to my taste. Never tempted to buy a Vega record back then.

    But years later I heard tracks from Songs In Red And Gray and 99.9 F° and thinking they were really good and got around to buying a whole bunch of her music. Cuz now I think - despite a totally knee-jerk and maybe unfounded dislike of the Liilith Fair hoopla - S. Vega is a freaking BRILLIANT songwriter, lyricist, and performer.

    Can't listen to Soap And Water without getting at least a little misty. She's a fucking genius.

    So am I growing up, growing old, growing soft, or all of the above? Don't really care much, but kinda stop to wonder sometimes.
  • Viva Houston

    Mar 9 2010, 18h29

    Been spending a lot more time back in Houston, Texas lately and every time I go, driving through the waste and blight, the corporatized areas that used to be so cool, and the overwhelming sprawl of the place, I keep finding myself in love with it again.
    It's hideous, yes, but perversely its horrors foster a particular kind of rebellion and freedom as they beg you to reject the ugly. And so there is a parallel Houston full of brilliant musicians and all kinds of artists and ... it's splendid.
    Listening to Culturcide and Really Red this morning, and feeling lucky as shit to have been raised up there. Because it was at once such a fucking backwater and humongous urban center, it was free of much of the pressure to "rebel" just like everyone else did, but had enough people for me to find great and inspirational friends and true-rebel role models.

    God save Houston!
  • The Heart Wants What It Wants

    Fev 18 2010, 19h03

    I've read somewhere that the Soldier by Iggy Pop sounds "wrong" and is one of his lesser efforts.... apparently this "wrongness" was because he and a guitarist who was working on the LP (I think it was supposed to be Glenn Matlock or something? That doesn't seem quite right... {INDEED - IT WAS WRONG. UPDATE: IT WAS JAMES WILLIAMSON}) ended up in a big row with Iggy and so all the lead guitar parts that had already been recorded were just stripped out of the mix and the LP finished without any lead guitar.
    I have NO idea if this is true or what. But Soldier does sound kinda funny.... but I'd never ever say WRONG. Somehow it remains one of my fondest Iggy records... though I love just about EVERY Iggy record.... but somehow I get a bang out of Soldier that's supertremendous....

  • Heh.

    Fev 2 2010, 5h24

    Topsy turvy ol' world. And as always, everything is brilliant - and what isn't brilliant is good enough.

    Luck seems to be returning, even though I don't believe much in luck. Seems like luck comes to those ready to be lucky - maybe that's what I'm saying. Feeling ready to see the blessing when it appears, and then suddenly more blessings everywhere.

    Big personal transitions that all seem to be coming up trumps in the most curious ways... and the little things, too.

    One of the little things, for instance - last Fri. got a last minute offer of a free ticket to go see sold out Yo La Tengo show at Antone's here in Austin. Out of the blue, totally unexpected and awesome opportunity, and just when I needed it.

    The show was fantastic, and it was the first time in a long time I went out alone to see a live show - which also reminded me of the fantastic and liberating feeling of being out alone. I took the city buses to and from my place to the show - which if you live somewhere east of the Mississippi or on the far West Coast might not seem like a big deal, but I've never done it before. Either walked - which is kind of a trek from my place but I enjoy weather permitting (which it wasn't) - or hassled with parking and driving and drunk drivers or - more rarely - taken cabs and hassled with getting a cab home. Public transport - another liberation.

    The whole night was just perfect. Confusion at the door - my name wasn't on the will call list like it was supposed to be, or the name of the other guy i thought might be there and I got booted.

    But being booted didn't trouble me. Oddly, not a bit. Really wanted in - and the ticket was paid for and assigned to me - I was supposed to be inside. But somehow didn't make me aggro in any way at all - felt blissy happy just to be out and around.... and what the fuck, the ticket was free and unexpected. I was okay with the whole thing. But chose to keep pestering the universe to let me in and I got let in before the first act.

    And both the opening act and Yo La themselves and the whole wonderful synchonistic character of the night catalyzed the most ferociously creative and inspiring and encouraging feeling about my life, my creative pursuits, my friends, and EVERYTHING. And no drink or drug involved, but an intense and very good "trip."

    Can't explain well or better so I'll quit trying, Just wanted to jot down a note to remind myself about an extraordinary night.
  • any excuse is good enuf - even Christmas!

    Dez 11 2009, 19h33

    Heh. I'm so thrilled about this whole Xmas season thing. Started the Xmas music virtual excavation and metaphorical blowing-off-of-dust last night. Gotten quite a mess of it built up over the years. Songs by dozens and dozens of artists across all kinds of genres - like Eek-a-Mouse, Sonics, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Asylum Street Spankers (and of course Thurl Ravenscroft), James Brown, DBS, Sammy Davis, Jr., Rosemary Clooney, Bad Brains, Jackson 5.....

    Hee! Novelty songs..... either they sound brand new (I listen to them so seldom) or they sound familiar and welcome reminders of Xmases past.... neat!
  • hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee heeeee SO EXCITED

    Dez 3 2009, 18h10

    Since someone recently replied to an ancient post of mine about a song called exclamation point girl, i started rifling my library for "[whatever] girl" songs, and songs with "girl" or "girls" as the last word....

    rediscovered Itabashi Girl and remembered why I so fucking LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE Kazumoto Endo. I swear, I'm sporting a grin like a 12-year-old with his first porno mag and a woodie to match. Surprising, fun, engaging, aggressive, surprising again, and just fun, fun, fun - but it feels kinda like smart fun without feeling brainy or affected. just perfect. MMM!
  • trying again - solve the mystery song? please!? (texans and austinites, you may have…

    Dez 3 2009, 17h40

    Long ago - seems eons - I posted this:
    solve the mystery song?

    It's a wild plea for help identifying the artist of a song most likely titled "Exclamation Point Girl" from a CD some friend of mine ripped without giving me any clue what song was what or by whom. Because I think it came from an Austin friend, I'm guessing it might be some local artist.... but I've really no idea. Could be some woman with a boy-voice from Laos for all I know. I'll try to post a snippet - lo-fi and shortish so as not to infringe on whoever owns the creative rights - somewhere if I can figure that out.

    In the meantime, I've described the instrumentation, sound, and transcribed the lyrics on that old post linked above.

  • things, obviously, change. but sometimes you notice.

    Set 30 2009, 0h20

    ynchronicity wound a couple of stray threads together and prompted a kind of a little landslide of mini-revelation to hit me today.

    It started like this:
    Girlfriend - i don't know why - suddenly had an old "Tomorrow Show" with Tom Snyder from Youtube playing through her computer. It was an interview I'd never seen from about 1983 with an incredibly youthful looking Clash. They were so nice. Not in a pejorative way, like when a child shows you some stupid drawing and you say it's "nice" and "interesting" because it betrays not only no shred of discernible talent but also not the least clue what the intent might have been to start with. Not that kind of "nice." The regular kind. Like they looked like a bunch of scruffy nice-boys in a band popular with the kids bantering with a talk-show host. Mick Jones did punch a teddybear, but only after Joe Strummer had cutely cuddled it. Okay, maybe there was a little irony in the cuddle, but I still thought it was cute. And Jones' teddy-punch was hardly a basting, it was kinda cute and all ironic and playful. And I was sitting there admiring Joe Strummer - even as he implied he might still be squatting because rents in London were just too high - because he'd already poured God-knows how much dosh into making his teeth all straight and pretty. Which way back in the day, I recall, had some snot-nosed little shits shaking their heads and wagging their tongues about how that was some kind of anti-punk sell-out move. I mean, you know what his snaggly old teeth looked like BEFORE he got the work done? They looked uncomfortable. I remember thinking, though at the time I was still a snotty little shit in short pants my own self, "Fuck a bunch of anti-dentistry judgmental bullshit. Good for him!" And hoping I'd have the same good sense if I were in his position.

    Okay. I'm begging patience with my long and snaking windup before what I suspect may be a fairly slow and underwhelming pitch. Skip a bit if you like, or skip it all. I'm enjoying myself - so!

    As I watched Tom Snyder for the first time since about 1981, when I was probably a junior in high school, I remembered watching his infamous Public Image, Ltd. interview when it was first aired. I've told people ever since I saw it on its original airdate. I was mightily impressed with Misters Lydon and Levine. I could see Keith Levine was completely loaded even at that tender age. And I could see that John Lydon was being a brat, but I think that was the point. At the very end of that episode, in the last little 30 second bit of show before the credits, Tom Snyder had looked into the camera and bitterly spat something like "Well, I apologize to my viewers for tonight's show. But I had no idea how horribly my guests would behave, they were entirely different this afternoon. Anyway, if anyone wants {dripping with sarcasm... "as if"} a transcript, send me a penny..."

    So, because I used to write away to bands, fan clubs, the PotUS, and anyone else I felt like back then, I promptly wrote a short request for a transcript, stuffed it in an envelope with a penny dutifully included, called Manhattan directory assistance and got NBC's mailing address, and bunged the thing in the mail next day. Sure enough, after a little while, I got a nice big envelope back from NBC with a hasty and kind of sloppily transcribed manuscript of the evening's chat. With a shiny penny - very possibly my own - taped to the first page. Couldn't tell if that were a kind of dig or if they just didn't know what to do with the stupid penny, but it seemed kinda funny. Still does, now I think of it.

    And for years I treasured that stupid transcript, and now and again would drag it out and reread my favorite parts. And because I actually had the transcript and reread bits a lot and the whole thing occasionally, I retold the interview with some confidence that I was being fairly reportorial and accurate.

    So after we both fondly watched the young men who were then The Clash, I told GF about the existence of the PiL interview and a couple of funnier moments (briefly), and the transcript I used to have. And then, naturally, noticed a link right beside the Clash clip that went to the PiL clip (

    Watching it was astonishing. Though I was close enough on most of the words (thank you, transcript), I'd badly munged reporting the atmosphere and the mood and affect of the three guys. And it was a funny feeling, because I think that what I remembered is what it really felt like at the time. And not because I was so different in particular, but because TV and chat shows and media and everything was so different... at least to some significant degree. Sure, I'm different. My grown-up self has a different - often appreciably different - perspective on almost every fucking thing than my 16 or 17 year old self had. But I had the strong feeling that the kind of difference in my memory of that interview and the way it looks now was fundamentally different than the usual. I remembered Tom Snyder having a real fit, but in fact he just looked kind of peeved. I remembered so distinctly how apparent his total meltdown was when he turned to the camera before a commercial break and asked rhetorically, "Isn't this fun gang?" But on re-watching, again, he just looks like a mildly peeved asshole. I think that TV personality meltdowns - not to mention reality TV meltdowns and the constant seething and fucking pathological hate constantly boiling out of FOX news - has changed the standard for what constitutes a "meltdown." And by the same sort of logic, Johnny Lydon looked far less provocative and outre. He seemed much more a run-of-the-mill TV brat. One I still particularly enjoyed, though. I don't like many bratty celebrities, but his brand of brattiness still appeals - maybe it's that I find him unaccountably charismatic or that he's at least fractionally more clever than the run-of-the-mill smartass... not exactly sure. Anyway.

    Don't get me wrong -- the clip was still funny for the same reasons it was funny the first time. Johnny and Kieth fucking with the uptight chat-show host and the uptight chat show host going whole hog to rise to the bait and cede some measure of control of his show to the snotty Lydon and addled Levine. Snyder was clearly agitated and that's what they wanted - so it was funny. But it was funny much more like other stuff is funny watching it today. We've seen smartaleck shenanigans that are way more provocative and over-the-top, and we've seen people (Bill O'Reilly for instance?) be far more ballistic and angry with smartalecks. So the bar got moved. But I wasn't watching closely enough to notice it as it migrated along. It moved and I was totally unaware it moved.

    So, at this point a little brainteaser arises on the way to the fucking point I'm trying to get around to making. Is the way I've been telling that interview a more or less accurate historical picture of the moment than you get actually watching the clip on youtube? I mean, my telling captures the mood and feeling of that time and the outrageousness of what was going on in a way that the actual clip - considering the bar has moved - just doesn't. Boils down to another question of which kind of truth is preferable to another, I guess.

    So I had these two interviews suddenly come into my consciousness at once this AM. First I was stunned by how innocuous a bunch of good-hearted scruffs the Clash circa 1983 appeared to me now (from an interview with Snyder I'd never seen) and how much more naive and innocent Lydon and his silly taunting seemed in today compared to how it had felt back in 1981. And with those two factors, I found myself performing a little simple mental algebra, and was forced to wonder how the Clash would've looked to me had I seen that interview the first time it aired.

    Would Strummer's insinuation that he might still be a squatter have seemed less like a slightly silly bit of largely harmless disingenuousness? Cuz that's all I got out of it, really, watching him this morning. And would their claim that they weren't doing the band so much to be entertaining as they were trying to "deliver news" seemed at all fresh or of any particular interest? Cuz it just sounded like one of those things "serious" rock bands and nasty gangsta rap acts from the 90s always say when I heard it this AM. It didn't have any weight at all. Just another fucking thing to say.

    But then I think about how listening to the Clash was not at all like listening to just a great rock band back then. It was a fucking wholesale motherfucking REVELATION. Lester Bangs calling them "the only band that matters" and that making sense to me - I still totally get that he wasn't just being effusive, in some important and fundamental sense he really fucking MEANT that. Cuz I felt it, too. The Clash blew open whole new possibilities for tender teenage snot me - revelatory new ways of thinking about what rock music could be, what pop culture could be, what was wrong with everyfuckingthing and why and how the world was all fucked up. It WAS news, goddammit, to ME. And not just to me, I know it. I know that they scared people and pissed people off and that they were REALLY that different.... as well as energizing and beginning to open the eyes of a whole bunch of kids and people who heard them kinda like I did.

    So I guess that the final pitch was even less revelatory than what I'd planned when I started whinging on at the beginning of this thing, but here goes... underhand, softball.

    I think we all tend to forget sometimes how really fucking enormous the Sex Pistols and the Clash and the Ramones and Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers and all those bands really were. And I think we tend to forget that the punk rock explosion was more than just a mindblowingly fun hoot or a silly and affected little bubble. Even at this very moment - RIGHT NOW - I can hardly believe that it was also a real and radical and transformative thing. The idea seems like the hyperbolic hyperventilating of some old crank, or at least some kind of romantic idea about an important moment in my personal history. I worry that saying this will just make me look foolish or insincere. I mean, how could pop music have EVER really been any kind of serious factor - it was just just a bunch of innocuous but bratty provocateurs, right? Like Lydon and Levine on the Tomorrow Show?