A Quick Note About Someone You Might Care About

Chances are, some portion of the persons reading this message are friends or fans of J. Robbins. Perhaps from his days playing with Goverment Issue, Jawbox, Burning Airlines and (most recently) Channels, or maybe you know him from his production work for Jets To Brazil, Pilot To Gunnar or Jawbreaker, amongst others. 

Anyhow, to cut a long story short, J. and his partner Janet Morgan have an 11 month old son, Callum, who's been diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  Medical expenses are likely to be stratospheric, and as such, J and Janet's colleagues at DeSoto Records are accepting donations on their behalf.  DeSoto's got more details.


McGee’s War On Q

While certain US fake independent rawwwk execs waste their time with perfectly legitimate gratuitious swipes at Paste Magazine, Alan McGee's got much bigger fish to fry, as evidenced by the following entry to the Guardian Unlimited Arts Blog.

Q magazine is out of date, a true retirement home for music writers that never made it. It's the absolute lap dog of the major record companies – a music magazine for accountants and estate agents. Q is corporate. Gormless. Gutless. Always six months behind everything and full of lists, lists, lists. Well here's how others see Q magazine: a Q top 20 I'm sure they would be proud of.

1. Chris Martin and Robbie Williams
2. Anybody in U2
3. Annie Lennox
4. Anybody in Radiohead – or failing that, Coldplay again
5. Anybody in Keane
6. Anybody in a band who went to Oxford or Cambridge when any of us lot did
7. Pink Floyd (post-Syd era only)
8. Midge Ure
9. James Blunt
10. Damien Rice
11. Corinne Bailey Rae
12. Tasmin Archer
13. Dire Straits
14. The Police (both the Met and the mob Sting was in)
15. Every copycat Coldplay band we've shoved for EMI in recent years
16. INXS
17. Simple Minds
18. An Emotional Fish (the comeback)
19. Spice Girls
20. Dave Stewart

Fucking-a.  I was all set to drop the (Emotional) Fish-meet-Barrel comment, but McGee deserves some special prize for pulling Midge Ure's name out of a hat. There's a grumpy reply below Alan's screed, "You seemed to have missed Oasis off the list, they seem to have a place on the cover regardless of what they've done in a strict rotation policy along with U2, Coldplay and Radiohead," but c'mon, give the man credit where due.   Shitting on Midge Ure in late 2006 is beyond awesome.

Girls Aloud get political

Girls Aloud interview for The New Statesman 

link via Popjustice 

My beloved Girls Aloud get their Noam Chomsky on:

Nadine: "You know that basically Labour is the working class and the Conservatives are the really, kind of, upper class, and then everything else is . . . I have no idea."

Foolhardy Nadine later has an awesome rant about footballer's wives, momentarily forgetting that her bandmate Cheryl is one. 

Their Greatest Hits album, out now, is disappointingly low on Billy Bragg covers.  

Matador Movie Club: Take 2


(struggling with the chords to "I Could See The Dude", but he'll get there eventually)

After the inaugural meeting of the Matador Movie Club to see Mission Of Burma's 'This Is Not A Photograph' a couple of months ago, we reconvened to check out our beloved Britt Daniel's contributions to the soundtrack of 'Stranger Than Fiction'. The Spoon mainman was working with Brian Reitzell on the score, who also worked on Sofia Coppola's 'Virgin Suicides' and 'Lost In Translation' with Air and Kevin Shields. That man is so hip and trendy, even knowing who he is makes you feel like you're Piers Martin. Aside from instrumental snippets of 'My Mathematical Mind' and 'I Turn My Camera On', the new Britt pieces are unobtrusive in the same way as Kevin Shields' were in 'Lost In Translation', and just as lovely. It should be noted that a flattering comparison to the quality of Kevin Shields' music is just about the highest praise I can offer. 

As for the film itself, the Matador Movie Club give 'Stranger Than Fiction' a cautious thumbs-up. Mike and Lucy had problems with the film's ending, and we were all a bit perplexed at how Maggie Gyllenhaal would ever find Will Ferrell attractive (but, having said that, who is good enough for Maggie Gyllenhaal? She's awesome). The Kaufman-esque plot of a man discovering that he is actually a character in a book that is being written that will end with his tragic death isn't really exploited for all the brain-warping potential that idea has; in fact certain ideas that are central to the plot at some points (the narration, the fact that Crick cannot control his own fate) are bandonned at others. But maybe we're being too critical of what is actually a very much above-average comedy – it does have Maggie Gyllenhaal in it, after all, and it's nice to see Emma Thompson in a dramatic role again. Dustin Hoffman was…Dustin Hoffman, and Buster from Arrested Development was in it as well, proving conclusively to me that no matter what role he takes from now on, he will always be Buster from Arrested Development (I mean that affectionately). Marc Foster's direction seems shaky, to be honest, there's no massive tonal shifts or anything, but there are certain points where the film forgets that it's a comedy – but maybe that's meta and intentional. But despite our misgivings, 'Stranger Than Fiction' is a sweet little film that you'd have to try very hard to dislike. With a wicked soundtrack, natch.

The Matador Movie Club's third outing will actually be an office screening of R Kelly's opus magnus 'Trapped In The Closet'. My critical faculties generally leave me around the point in part one where R Kelly sings 'I quickly tried to put on viiiiibrraaaaaatttte'. Slays me every time.

Jennifer O’Connor, Live Tonight, And As Free As The Air You Breathe

(photograph by Jeremiah Garcia, used without permission)

Apologies for the last minute nature of this message, but I've been engrossed in reading about the deep, dark dangers of SOY. (link courtesy Craig Stewart).  NYC readers are advised that JENNIFER O'CONNOR is performing tonight at Happy Ending (302 Broome Street, between Forsyth and Eldridge) as part of that lovely establishment's Music and Reading Series.  Also appearing are Chris Leo and Marcellus Hall.  Doors open at 7pm and the readings/performances begin at 8pm.  I'd love to be there, but I've got several dozen boxes of soy products I have to bring to the dump. 

Yo La Tengo – New US Dates In ’07

(olde poster art from Little Friends Of Printmaking)

More details to follow (ie. after we've pulled 'em off another website)

1/25 – Louisville, KY at the Bomhard Theater
2/2 – Jacksonville, FL  at the Florida Theater
2/3 – Atlanta, GA  at the Variety Playhouse
2/5 – Chapel Hill, NC at Cat's Cradle
2/6 – Chapel Hill, NC  at Cat's Cradle
2/8 – Charlottesville, VA at the Starr Hill Music Hall
2/10 – Philadelphia, PA at the Trocadero

Possibly Not The Furby Of The 2006 Holiday Season


From the Idea Records site :

Idea have commissioned sculptor Ian Kay of York’s Irregular Miniatures to bring to life what is hoped will be a whole range of xtc collectors figures in metal. Each set will show the band from a period in their history commencing with the ‘White Music’ era. You’ll get Andy, Colin, Terry and Barry in a live setting with relevant instruments (e.g. Barry comes with his Krumar Organ and Lawrence Piano), dressed in their monochrome best, all figures (55mm high) and equipment are cast in white metal and are hand painted, held securely in foam and clad in a pictorial card sleeve which will be signed by Andy and Colin.

Andy says 'these figures are going to be charming, I know, I’ve seen them. So hurry and order yours today'.


Somehow, Todd McFarlane missed the boat on XTC.  Stylish as the above set surely must be, Mr. Kay will have to try pretty hard to beat this

Time In, Time Out for The Queers

A recent post on unrelated bulletin board reminded me of a genius New Hampshire band with a long history, The Queers. They finally rose to national prominence in the mid-'90s and released a bunch of albums that I haven't heard since then. But their early work is sui generis, and the high point is probably the 1984 EP 'Kicked Out Of The Webelos.' I can't remember whether I have this record somewhere, so will hold off on paying massive buckage to obtain it from eBay or similar. Hunt it down.

And read a fascinating history and discography of the early Queers by Boston character Mr. B.

John Moore’s Bid For Immortality

Though there's nothing new about putting a fatwa on the leader of the free world — heck, The Bard Of Hookset New Hampshire was urging his followers to "Assassinate The President" ages ago —- it isn't often we see such desires expresed in the pages of an established broadsheet. Or failing that, their website. John Moore of Black Box Recorder / Idler / Jesus & Mary Chain fame recently had his Wokingham birthplace marked as a historical site by some of his more irrational acolytes, and he cannot help but consider the possibilities.  From The Guardian :


I would be prepared to wager that even Jodie Foster must have felt a slight tingle of satisfaction when her deranged fan took pot shots at the Gipper on her behalf. Obviously she couldn't say so at the time, and will perhaps have to remain forever schtumm…but it sure beats chocolates as a way of saying "I love you."

I suppose that using a national newspaper to solicit crime is against editorial policy, but should anybody out there feel like having a pop at George W Bush… as an early combined birthday and Christmas present for me, it would not go unappreciated. Just keep my name out of it please, and bear in mind that you would not be able to claim derangement and insanity as a defence against this particular individual.

Beat Your Ass Season Pass: Holiday Treat

mr. tough liveAttention anyone who pre-ordered "I Am Not…." and partook in our Beat Your Ass Season Pass pre-order scheme.  As a holiday treat, we asked the band to record a live song during their recent tour of Europe so that we could make it available exclusively for the Season Pass holders (man, that's a run-on).  And, like the dudes they are…they obliged.  So, log in to the still running strong Season Pass web site, download and enjoy the liveness of Mr. Tough live from Brussels!   
PS:  This ain't the last thing we're doing neither. 

What’s In A Name?


Throughly putting other desperate attempts at wacky band names to shame, Rockblogger extraordinaire Jim Hoffman of Vinyl Mine has a bunch of spam-inspired selections to choose from.   One of 'em, Bulge, has most certainly been used before — a Pete Frame family tree would reveal connections to GG Allin, Boston's Psycho and 7-time Grammy Award winners Cancerous Growth (above).  That's the thing about real life — it's still capable of being more fucked up than spam.  

Kenny gets grief


The Late Late Show is an Irish institution (like the Magdalene Asylums) which was presented first by Irish broadcasting legend and brave-name-haver Gay Byrne, then latterly by Pat Kenny, the presenter being harassed in this here clip. Of course, the Irish stereotype of the literate drunk irks me somewhat, but I can't help but applaud this heckler. He's hammered, and he still manages to articulate in a concise manner what most right-thinking Irishers think of Pat Kenny.


An Open Letter To Our Alien Overlords

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Dear Captors-to be,

Well, I guess it was just a matter of time. You've been monitoring our movements via the World Web Interweb and once you caught wind of the Hinder/Eddie Money hookup, there were no remaining questions about humanity's inability to distinguish between right and wrong, good and bad, shit and shinola.

Though I wish it had never come to this, I pledge to do my very best in polishing your spacecraft, sweeping the streets and burying my fellow humans. 

Your humble servant,