Thursday, July 31, 2008

Poor Rascals

See, this Last Shadow Puppets record is fantastic, right? Like, this summer's breezy sixties-style pop record you can't stop playing, in the manner of last summer's God Save the Clientele.

It's Alex, the singer from Arctic Monkeys (whom I never really gave a toss about), and his friend Miles from a band called the Rascals.

The A. Monkeys have had two records out which sold loads in the UK and the Rascals have just put out their first, which, sadly, is tedious, generic and undistinguished. Have not been able to listen to whole thing, even.

Miles co-wrote the LSP record and seemingly blew all his inspiration thereon.

So, I really feel for his two Rascal bandmates, who have to go around meeting public indifference and the derision of their mums: "Why's your record so crap?" Sellers of marrows and legumes in public stalls pointing and laughing...

Here's Miles singing one:


Almost twenty years ago, I was partying with some sorta sketchy friends and one of them pulled this record from a stack of vinyl. It had one of those white record-outline circles starting to erode the cover. It was duly played and sorta freaked me out. Super-flowy Johnny Marr-ish highlife/samba guitar lines over a combo that was obviously Vince Guaraldi. Peanuts-y, but with Brazilian overtones.
The next day I woke up and forgot all about it for eleven years.
When Amazon was coming into popular usage - no, wait, I first found it while perusing CDNow! - I found it and realized it existed and that I indeed needed it. So I ordered it from a neighborhood record shop (ask an old what this is) and it was as I dimly recalled: beautiful. Eight tracks.
Just meaning to say that as summer starts to wind down and you think of having one more cookout with some peeps, this would a good starter soundtrack, maybe.
Also, while on the subject of Vince Guaraldi, what I REALLY need to track down is the music from It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!; not necessarily any jazzy stuff, but that creepy sad flute-based stuff from when The WWI Flying Ace is behind enemy lines. Must remember to look!

"What do you want to borrow?"

I stole this line years ago and added it my repertoire of, er, stolen lines.
It comes from this, my fave of the five embargoed-for-years Hitchcock flicks.

When someone is paying you a compliment, or, perhaps, several compliments, pause, look askance and ask "What do you want to borrow?"
Seriously, try it. It's easy and fun.
The movie is silly and great and full of filthy double entendres. If only they had found a part for James Mason.
Scene with The Line is at about six minutes in:

Earl Brutus!

In observation of the passing of front man Nick Sanderson, here are six excellent factoids re 90's Britpop/rock also-rans Earl Brutus:

1. At an early show they set vats of Brut cologne in front of electric fans which blew scent wafting onto the crowd, on the premise that "a band should have a smell."

2. One of them was Jamie Fry, brother of one Martin "ABC" Fry.

3. They knew how to make those Computer World-era Kraftwerk blips and beeps that I wish I knew how to make (check out old single "On Me, Not in Me" for details). Also: Bowie obsessives (always a plus!).

4. They had a Japanese dude called Shin-Yu who would just shout stuff.

5. The main guitar guy was one of the Joboxers (of "Just Got Lucky" 80s semi-obscurity).

6. They had an onstage spinning garage forecourt sign (think of the "HOME" sign in A Clockwork Orange) which would switch sides from reading"MUSIC" to "CHIPS."

Here is the video for "Come Taste My Mind." Check the Mick Ronson equation:

Oh, the banality

Saw the Jeff Koons retrospective at the CAM in Chicago.

What's nice about Jeff Koons is when one goes to a museum and is presented with a rolled up carpet "by" some late 60s thinker, next to various ab-ex slashings, etc, a Koons piece will likely stand up and shout "Howdy!," breaking the doldrums.

Whether or not it's really all about death or what have you is sort of beyond the point. The sheer dumbness/intelligence of the execution, the effort involved in painstakingly recreating, say, an inflatable pool toy in aluminum says more about the pointlessness of the effort exerted than anything else! Love it!

So, when you have an entire room FULL of his "classics" as well as rather pointless hodgepodge newish paintings that rip off everyone from Warhol to Rauschenberg it's kind of like eating too much candy and having that listless sugary feeling. YET that very emptiness is what likely puts a smile on the artist's face! I had seen pictures of/known of his many major works for years and being in a room stuffed with them elicited no feeling whatsoever! Awesome!

So, my banality cravings are sated for the time being. And now Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis is a mere two years away!


This is one of the greatest videos of all time, natch:

All sane individuals care deeply about plucky Milky and his beloved Miss Milky. Found an old fan website wherein there are printable paper doll-pattern doodads to MAKE YOUR OWN!
Dig it!:

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Quote of the Year! of the day

“There are only two things that destroy a healthy man: love trouble, ambition and financial catastrophe. And that’s already three things, and there are a lot more.” – Peter Altenberg, 1859 - 1919

"Here to Stay"

How exactly I missed this 2002 New Order song until just recently is beyond me. Apparently, it was on the 24-Hour Party People soundtrack. Yes, well, it rules.

I vaguely remember watching the movie. The BEZ spaceship and Steve Coogan trying to keep himself reigned in.

Anyway, this song rules. As stated previously. When I am up to speed I may issue forth a withering screed on how New Order utterly buries (!) Joy Division, and how I await a time when the now-twelve-years-old crowd will belch forth their own Interpols and such, this time with NO as their blueprint.


The above is the name of Dennis Hopper's character in Cool Hand Luke, but I believe it is Choctaw for "idjit with ants in his prison pants."

Seriously, what gives with this? Saw this picker-upper of a flick for the first time in five+ years just the other week, and the intervening half-decade must have been busier/harsher than I can remember to have scrubbed this performance off my brainpan.

All sorts of "types" locked up in a southern prison farm - Ralph "Pa Walton" Waite as the nice guy who accidentally killed someone in a car crash, Wayne Rogers as the requisite prisoner who wears glasses, Harry Dean Stanton as himself, etc - and here comes Dennis Hopper, generally simpering and being plain obtrusive - literally sticking his mugging head into frame and/or hopping side to side, all the while making cooing sounds and generally acting like a nine-year old who had some zweiback dipped in old-skool psychedelics.

Since this movie came out in 1967, it was likely filmed in '66; so maybe Dennis had been hanging out with Larry Rivers and Roger Vadim and suddenly George Harrison's dentist ran in and hipped him to the 'cid. BUT that is no excuse for trippedly thinking that maybe you need to be so damned obtrusive (that word again!) in your show-offy antics. Is one to infer a back-story of a simple idiot piney-woods child who stole one too many Studebakers and has to now Pay Society? The gurning rictus and spastic gyrations negate compassion.

Still, DH was also Frank Booth, so, like, all is forgiven. Sort of.

Pretend to spend

Driving through Indianapolis this past weekend I saw something exceedingly alarming. Saw it again on the outskirts of Chicago.

A billboard for something called Disney Radio.

A radio station, just a regular radio station on the FM dial, which was purporting to be home to much Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus. And likely other Walt-approved scoured-clean-until-rehab pop-"rock" simulacrams.

This reminded me an old Zippy the Pinhead strip/comic wherein Zippy goes to the desolated future (which at the time was 1984 [spooky]!). His tour guide shows him various oddities, including a mall/amusement park dealie where patrons go around with shopping carts and can "pretend to spend - for a fee!"

All the repellent Clear Channel-y radio stations have killed dead the joy of a summer's day with the radio blasting out fresh new hits, to the extent that today's youth can now have the charming option of a branded facsimile of the old experience.

Goofy wept.

Really, Pablo?

Saw this quote not long ago. It was from Pablo Picasso, made to the New York Times, the day after man landed on the moon:

"It means nothing to me. I have no opinion about it, and I don't care."

What a supremely goofy and dipshitted thing to say. Not even: "It's too fantastic, I can't get my mind around it to care." No, he's an artist, right, and can't be bothered with trivial happenings such as MEN WALKING ON THE MOON.

I can imagine Buzz Aldrin getting out of quarantine, and, on hearing this tidbit, biting his thumb Spain-ward: "Oh, yeah? Well, we don't care about chicks playing lutes with two-to-three faces!"


Does anyone else remember this?:

I suppose this is the type of thing for which youtube is useful, because for years I remembered this series of commercials and thought I had maybe made it up. But the seventies me was neither clever nor high enough.

What a stony seventies concept, the rotoscoping on this.

I also [seem to] recall another in the series, where it's some sort of sparking orange-on-black reverse, and the folksy Levis spokesfigure is in a mine, mining for Levis. You can just picture some blazed-out seventies ad folk listening to Workingman's Dead and sipping chamomile tea and thinking this stuff up.

William Sylvester

I'm ready to go on record, after thinking about it. William Sylvester's performance as Dr Heywood Floyd in 2001: A Space Odyssey is the greatest accomplishment in any art form, ever.
As evinced by:

Smyslov: Quite frankly, we have had some very reliable intelligence
reports that a quite serious epidemic has broken out at Clavius.
Something, apperently [sic], of an unknown origin. Is this,
in fact, what has happened?


Floyd: I'm sorry, Dr. Smyslov, but I'm really not at
liberty to discuss this.

Smyslov: This epidemic could easily spread to our base, Dr.
Floyd. We should be given all the facts.


FLOYD: Dr. Smyslov... I'm not permitted to discuss this.


"A bush baby? Well, we'll have to see about that."

Can't recall seeing this guy in anything else. Don't care! The cold politeness with which he fends off the Russian queries, the way he talks to his daughter [and it's inherently hot that a man who's like the epitome of 47-year-oldness has a daughter who's about five, like he's been out sciencing around and sort of forgot to get married until he's found some just-now-thirty seriously gorgeous glasses-wearing wife]...just these two scenes add up to a career!