Monday, May 30, 2005

What's Next, A Microwave Oven Beep?

Only in England would radio stations--I am assuming these are the culprits--place a cell-phone ring on the airwaves. It must be so thankfully brief, DJs can spin it multiple times. And, yes, it has an accompanying video.

Here I thought the death knell of the traditional music industry was Nick and Jessica.

LONDON -- Piracy may no longer be the music industry's biggest headache. A cell phone ring tone appeared set to top the British singles chart Sunday, outselling Coldplay's single by nearly 4-1."Crazy Frog Axel F," based on the sound of a revving moped, is the first tune used on mobile phones to cross into mainstream music charts, said Gennaro Castaldo, a spokesman for British music retailer HMV.Malcolm McLaren, the ex-Sex Pistols manager, told The International Herald Tribune: "Listen to this song and you can hear the death knell of the traditional music industry."

Pass the Dutchie: An Ultimate Where-Are-They-Now List

Add names, or identify current whereabouts...

Cracker
Duncan Sheik
The Smithereens
Pure Prairie League
Voice of the Beehive
Howard Jones
Primus
Ric Astley
The Romantics
Right Said Fred
Robbie Nevil
The Jungle Brothers
Simply Red
The Bangles
Suzy Q
Was (Not Was)
Poco
Toad the Wet Sprocket
C+C Music Factory
Timbuk 3
Marcy Playground
Jellyfish
Jody Watley
Slade
Taylor Dayne
The Dandy Warhols
Nina
Go West
Bad Company
Sir Mix-A-Lot
Skid Row
The Fixx
Elastica
Jamiroquai
Morris Day and the Time
Blind Melon
Stereo MCs
Fishbone
The Housemartins
Dead or Alive
Fastball
The Divinyls
Leo Sayer
The Motels
PM Dawn
The Plimsouls
Royal Crescent Mob
Dexy's Midnight Runners
Lisa Loeb
Falco
The Cranberries
Little River Band
Faith No More
The Blow Monkeys
Paper Lace
Bronski Beat
Fine Young Cannibals
The Georgia Satellites
Walt Mink
Martika
Victoria Williams
Soul Asylum
Gary Wright
Ozark Mountain Daredevils
Johnny Hates Jazz
Eddy Grant
The Dream Academy
Frente
Kajagoogoo
Rockwell
Superchunk
Prefab Sprout
Bettie Serveert
The Fall
Yaz
Eddie Murphy
The Cult
Lloyd Cole
Better Than Ezra
Charlie Sexton
Gin Blossoms
Scandal
Joe Walsh
Billy Ocean

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

"My Mind is Filled with Radio Cures"

Funny how some songs or albums suddenly become the soundtrack of your life. You have to hear them in sequence, you have to hear them when it's way too late to be up but okay, just track 3 one more time while you empty your bulk email folder again, when you've been driving nowhere, really, a continuous Grand Prix of Western, Chicago, Wabansia and Ashland, when you've been in the car parked outside for, God, was it really two hours, when you're peering up to the broken clouds above Big John downtown and trying to remember if it's toothpaste or cotton balls you need at Walgreens. You have to hear them in the morning, and and fuck it if you're gonna be late for work again, and then, once at your fluorescent desk, Media Player unspools the soundscape your life's become for nine hours, docked under a spreadsheet you can't ever seem to finish.

But way, way beyond the urgency of listening is the fact that holy shit, how could he have written this song and known me-when he doesn't know me? And the guitar crescendoes at the precise moment I need to think of what I long to think of but shouldn't, and my eyes close at the gentlest piano bridge, and the whispering coda makes my fingers curl like I'm holding someone's hand in mine. Maybe I etched the lyrics myself while in that moonlit, half-awake moment of clarity just before falling asleep.

***

We went to see Wilco at the Vic Wednesday night. It was honestly one of the best shows I have ever seen, not just because they played over two hours and over 25 songs. I am not relinquishing the top spot to Tweedy et al because I love other shows for other reasons from other phases of my life. (Crowded House, 1991; Replacements, 1991; Beastie Boys, 1998; Erykah Badu, 2001) Let's say it's the best show now--but still damn close to the top.

What was amazing about the night was the feeling that every single human in that theatre really, really wanted to be there, and embraced every song with the same yearning, attuned precision with which the band played. We all had a huge crush on each other. I mean, I was drinking dregs from a stack of 5 cashed beer cups during the third encore, and I still felt it.

Tweedy's face is heartbreaking. It's boyish and hurt and fierce and doughy. A heart laid bare.

The soaring and aching of sex and the crashing and burning of love. The delicacy of a rose petal. A mosaic of sound created with almost painterly detail, layer after layer, each brush on the high-hat and feedback howl deliberate--and free.

***

Picking apples for the kings and queens of things I've never seen
Oh, distance has no way of making love understandable

***

How can this not score my daily walks and thoughts?