Shot Of Rhythm

[ Thursday, October 30, 2003 ]


This is likely my last blog for the weekend, or at least through Sunday. There's a Halloween party tonight that may go down in history, or infamy. Or both. I may have to hope that I'm lucky enough to be known afterwards as one of the "fortunate survivors." We shall see.

Alright, they say that admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, so here goes: I like The Eagles. I know it's fucked up, and that in many ways they represent the worst of 1970s rock, the sort of "hey man, it's alright, our lives suck but let's make sure we don't play too loud" thing that made punk an absolute necessity. I know that you might - and I emphasize might - be able to cobble together one decent album from the combined works of Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Glenn Frey (whose song "The Heat Is On" is really one of the worst things to ever come out of a member of the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame). And I know that they really hit bottom when former Flying Burrito Brother Bernie Leadon left the group, taking his country sensibility with him. But I just can't deny the fact that, at their best, they made some of the best country-rock of anybody. "Take It Easy" (written by the great Jackson Browne, who's a better songwriter on his bad days than any Eagle), "Peaceful Easy Feeling," "The Long Run," "Already Gone," "Tequila Sunrise," "Lyin' Eyes"...any objective analysis, with all context and perceptions set aside, reveal these to be top-shelf performances. Not that they compete with the best Gram Parsons, but they're still not anywhere near as terrible as the multitude of sins done in The Eagles' name. (Or the sins committed by said Eagles when they tried to be big-important-rock-and-roll-poet-philospher-kings; if I have to listen to "Life In The Fast Lane" one more time, somebody's gettin' punched.) But I implore all Eagle-haters to listen to the country-inflected stuff, and tell me that it's really all that terrible. I don't think you'll be able to do it. Holla back if you think I'm crazy.

By the way, I hate to use this all-important bandwidth to make a personal request, but if anybody whom I'd see before Saturday night could pick up some copies of Friday's BADGER HERALD, I'd much appreciate it. I'm gonna have a profile of Robbie Fulks in there, and I'd like to hook him up with a couple copies at his show. Pick up as many copies as you can carry, because I've got other uses for them. I'd much appreciate it...

On the box right now: Billy Bragg, MUST I PAINT YOU A PICTURE? THE ESSENTIAL BILLY BRAGG, Disc 2.


Dove With Claws [10:59 AM]

[ Tuesday, October 28, 2003 ]


I had a real 21st-century moment yesterday. Got in the elevator at my apartment building, and was joined by a couple, the male half of which ha a laptop on and open blasting an mp3 of James Brown's "Gonna Have A Funky Good Time," the female half of which had a cell phone that started ringing, the tone being "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." Here I am in an elevator with two competing forms of new music media. I was gonna ask if they'd cleared the copyright, but I wasn't in a snarky mood.

The "Funny Kid" has now become the "Funny Guy," at least in Mark's words. Mark spent two pre-class minutes today singing the "Funny Guy's" praises, in a way that made me think that Mark - despite claiming to have a girlfriend - might be just a little bit more in love with said "Funny Guy" than we had originally suspected. We meaning me, of course.

On the box right now: Bottle Rockets, BLUE SKY. Great new record from one of America's best bands. Check 'em out.


Dove With Claws [12:21 PM]

[ Sunday, October 26, 2003 ]


Sometimes things turn out right...the Florida Marlins have won the World Series, defeating the New York Yankees, a team with three times their payroll and seemingly infinitely more arrogance. God bless baseball...

I saw KILL BILL last Saturday night with Mr. C. Dug it much, more classic genre-blending from Tarantino. To get pseudo-intellectual for a moment, there's a real hip-hop sensibility to the way he slices and dices previous imagery and conventions, and - when it works - it's as innovative as the best DJs. (It's no surprise he worked with The RZA, resident Wu-Tang genius, on the score for this film.) It'll be interesting to see how the second half turns out, but right now it's a winner.

Nothing else to say right now. Next week's actually rather hectic for me, as I've got a bunch of stuff to write and some things I gotta get done. Hopefully I won't drop out of contact.

On the box right now: Freddy Fender, INTERPRETA EL ROCK AND ROLL.


Dove With Claws [8:39 AM]