Guided By Voices is a band I should have spent my entire high school career listening to. However, as usual, it wasn’t until my mid-twenties when I finally got into them.
The two tracks that I have been listening to repeatedly are one of the last six tracks on the album. I mention this because those six tracks nearly didn’t make the cut. The big wigs at Matador didn’t care for them, so gave them the ax. Then, they supposedly saw the error of their ways and asked for them to be put back on. So they aren’t listed on the back of the cds. Or so the story goes. Yet, I think most of those six songs are some of the best on Under the Bushes Under the Stars.
Big Boring Wedding is not your typical GBV song. At 3:43, it slowly unfolds (especially when you consider that prior to this album, many GBV songs clocked in under two minutes, and sometimes under one minute). And, as opposed to Pollard’s usual abstract ramblings, he seems to be a little more straight ahead. However, still an ill song.
Sheet Kickers is a little more obvious. Engineered/produced by Steve Albini. So it’s got that Albini drum sound that I love. And the song itself sort of reminds me of early Frank Black. So, in short, you have Sufer Rosa production with Teenager of the Year songwriting. Hooray!
I first saw Bianchi’s art in the Shining Knight miniseries that was part of Grant Morrison‘s Seven Soldiers megaseries. I was certainly impressed by his ability, and was also kind of surprised that DC was working with someone whose style is so European. Traditionally, American mainstream comic readers haven’t been terribly open to European artists, preferring instead Jim Lee clones from Brazil. Both for some reason, Simone’s work caught on over here.
After completing Shining Knight, Bianchi went over to Marvel, where first he worked with Jeph Loeb on Wolverine. He currently is partnered up with Warren Ellis on Astonishing X-Men. But during this Marvel tenure, he still found time to be the cover artist on both Batman and Detective Comics, which is where this images hail from.
Hopefully at some point he’ll come to his senses and do some actual Batman interior work, but until then you’ll have to settle for this. Or you could buy X-Men too, I suppose.
Over the past few months, Beati Paoli has been working on new material. They’ve been planning a split 7″ with hip hop artist Aeon Grey that will also include two digital mini-albums (via download cards). the 7″, titled “Quid Pro Quo”, will feature one new song from each artist, and the download only material will be a combination of new and remixed/reworked tracks.
The release party is scheduled for june 19th (at The Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines, IA), but you don’t have to wait that long to get a taste of the new stuff. This friday, 5/29/09, Beati Paoli will be uploading a new song, called “Massive Charm Offensive”, onto their website (http://www.beatipaoli.net) and myspace. I’ll try and upload it here as well.
and just so this post isn’t completely BORING, here’s a sample of the 7″ artwork:
last month, michael jackson decided to auction off over 1,000 items from his neverland ranch. i would have LOVED to have been in the same room with all of these personal belongings, but there’s always the next best thing… One Lucky Guy’s Flickr Page.
A lot of people reading this entry probably aren’t big U2 fans. Actually, some of you might actively hate them. But there was a time before all the grand gestures and posturing when U2 was just a band of Dublin high school-age Joy Division obsessives. That’s the time that this single, “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” hails from.
“11 O’ Clock” is certainly the U2 song most indebted to that Mancunian post-punk foursome. The single was produced by Joy Division and Factory Records house producer Martin Hannett, and even the sleeve was made by Factory Records house designer Peter Saville . The band first met Hannett during the recording sessions for Joy Division’s most famous song “Love Will Tear Us Apart”, which, for U2, must have been like if Ryan Meier could have watched Weezer record “Buddy Holly”, or if I could have watched Oasis record “Wonderwall”, etc.
Hannett was actually tapped not just to helm this non-album single but the entirety of the band’s debut Boy, an arrangement that fell apart upon the suicide of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis (an event that inspired the song “A Day Without Me”, found on the aforementioned album). Curtis’ death happened soon before U2 was due to record their album and the tragedy left Martin Hannett emotionally unable to begin the album at the neccessary time. Thus, producer Steve Lillywhite stepped behind the console and a long and fruitful relationship between he and the band began, one that continues to this day.
As for the song itself, it’s not a Joy Division xerox or anything…it definitely sounds like U2. Bono still sounds unmistakeably like Bono, albeit in his early, fake British accent phase. The Edge‘s guitar part is certainly reminiscent of Bernard Sumner‘s, but it also recalls the ringing tones of Keith Levene of Public Image Ltd. And the schoolboy choir vocal break is a technique that their heroes would be unlikely to utilize themselves. Its post-punk influence and muscular performance have made it one of my favorite U2 songs. Curiously, even though it ranks among the band’s top 20 most-performed songs (largely because it was including in almost all of the band’s sets from 1980-1984) and was included on their popular Under A Blood Red Sky live album, “11 O’Clock” remains relatively obscure. It’s never been included as part of a U2 best-of or singles collections, and until last year’s reissue of Boy (on which it was included as part of the supplements), it had never been widely available on compact disc.
While it’s unfortunate that “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” has become obscured by the likes of “Beautiful Day”, ultimately its quality remains remarkably undiminished. If one is inclined enough to seek it out it provides a vision of U2 before the pomp and stadium circumstance, when the band were still an up-and-coming concern and willing acolytes to a more idiosyncratic sound.
Live at Red Rocks:
And a live version of b-side “Touch”, San Francisco circa ’81:
If you’re familiar with collegiate CLUB sports then you’re more or less familiar with what all college sports were like prior to the foundation of the NCAA. If you’re not familiar, many schools field teams outside of official varsity competition that act as clubs, not athletic department activities. Many schools have club teams in sports like ice hockey, lacrosse and rugby. These teams usually compete against teams within the same region and get most of their nationwide kicks at one or two big tournaments. This means that colleges of various sides play each other and they even compete against non-college clubs. These teams may or may not have professional coaches but they do take themselves seriously.
Compare this to the NCAA sports, which require extensive travelling, professional coaching staffs that spend as much time recruiting as coaching staffs and big losses. Yes, very, very few athletic departments actually produce a profit. Even if your school’s football and basketball teams are popular their revenue probably can’t offset the losses incurred by the track, golf, tennis, soccer, etc. teams. Schools treat their sports like big PR machines and they rely on dumbass boosters to sponsor the whole thing.
That’s the worst thing about college sports; there are tens or perhaps hundreds of thousands of dumbshits donating hundreds of millions of dollars every year to the athletic departments of this country. And for what? The pride that comes with your alma mater winning some fucking games? Why are you proud? When Florida football, which I grudgingly semi-support because I love Jesus Christ, all it really says is that UF is the best at recruiting and probably has a big budget. It’s not like we’re dealing with an even playing field, especially when teams like Florida pack their schedule with cupcakes like The Citadel. When a school’s football team reflects the coach’s recruiting efforts and NOT the actual school population at large then there’s no real representation at all. It would be like if the UK recruited a bunch of basketball players from the USA, nationalized them and made them the UK national basketball team.
It’s just awful that all these people are donating big bucks to something as stupid as college sports. Newsflash: No one deserves $4 million to coach a fucking football team, especially in college! Donate your money where it might be useful, like the Humane Society! Boo yah!
Today I randomly remembered that I used to like Ben Folds Five. Perhaps hoping for something to defend, I just listened to the 30 second samples from the album ‘Whatever and Ever Amen’ on Amazon and I found nothing to defend. In the past, I have definitely been guilty of liking bands that use instrumentation uncommon in rock music. Did I just like BFF because there was no guitar and they used piano and the bass was often fuzzed out? I don’t know, perhaps. But the singing is terrible, the songwriting really cheesy and worthy of an Andrew Lloyd Weber musical but less melodramatic (except “Brick”, which is very melodramatic).
I know there are other bands I once liked 100 years ago but have grown out of but I’m having trouble thinking of the examples. Did I block them from memory? I don’t have any Motley Crue albums anymore but I probably still like them as a guilty pleasure. I don’t love Primus like I used to but I do still like them at least.
Oh, duh! Mannheim Steamroller! I think the MAIN reason I liked them was for the instrumentation. I was dragged to one of their concerts when I was 14 and they were using electric violin and electronic drums and harpsichords and stuff. It was YEARS before I realized the music was really cheesy and the compositions not even very interesting. Too bad I bought most of their albums. God.
Oh! I used to have a Green Day CD! And a Hole CD! And lots of grunge CDs by artists that I don’t hate but don’t really have an interest in now, ie I was once a big fan of Pearl Jam (back in 1992).
Has any of you grown out of an artist? Maybe even one you hate now?
"Being Strangled" b/w "Us Mere Mortals" (02/08/11)
"Billy and the Black Spot Under an Ugly Moon" (01/11/11)
"Radio Prohibidas" b/w "Never Know" (01/11/11)
"Merry Christmas (Don't Forget To Write)" (12/25/10)
"I'll Take The Bullet For You" b/w "Zenith/Nadir" (12/14/10)
"Warholism (Is Polaroiding)" b/w "Among The Saints" (11/09/10)
"Frantic Prayer" b/w "Kicking The Tires" (10/12/10)
"Gravitational Collapse" b/w "Carcinogenic Kiss" (9/14/10)