Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Seems like Entourage used to be kind of an awesome show. At least that's how I remember it, and I don't really have any desire to go back to confirm or deny this. I willingly sat through most of the last season, but mostly for the same reason liberals watch Fox News or frat boys watch gay porn - you love hating it so much, it double backs on you morphing into a guilty pleasure. Either way, this show is basically Sex & the City for d-bags. When I first saw this overlong, self-congratulatory puff piece of a promo, i was all WTF? but on second watch, it totally fits. They just stripped away the gratuitous, superfluous sex scenes and highly improbably frat boy fantasies to the bare shit-eating grins and pointless gawking this show has become. Simplicity at it's best. I'll probably end up watching this shit.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Let's face it, your attention span isn't what it used to be. The internets are destroying that shit by the minute. Hell, if you're anything like me, you get boreddd just takin' a pee. I've gotten sidetracked from writing this twice already and it's only the second sentence.

Now more than ever, the art of the short song is crucial if this budding art form we call "music" is ever going to make it as a legitimate medium. Wanna make music better? Wanna save the music industry from the wrath of technology? Then shorten your god damn songs. That's my solution, anyway.

Back in the 90's, we knew how to write a short song. In fact, we'd get all our buddies together write a shitload of short songs, put them all on a slab of vinyl and try to sell it to you. Here are exactly 244 songs presented to you in 3 installments:

Bllleeeeaaauuurrrrgghhh is a 1991 compilation by the now defunct Slap-a-Ham records that boasted a whopping 41 bands playing 64 songs in the mere 13 or so minutes seven inches of vinyl can provide. Son of Bllleeeeaaauuurrrrgghhh is its sequel which managed to cram in 10 more bands and 5 more songs. Obvs, if you're gonna rock that many jams in record time, they gotta be short and hella fast. They don't necessarily have to be loud, but that's just kind of an inevitable byproduct of the fastness and the shortness.

Wood Panel Pacer with Mags came from the also defunct Too Many Records (short songs weren't very lucrative in the 90s either). 100 songs on one LP and a 7". Lots of ubiquitous 90s compilation bands on here: Less Than Jake, JChurch, Operation Cliff Clavin, Schlong, Blanks '77, and 95 others you've never heard of may never hear from again. Took this from the Very Small Records blog (run by its former proprietor who posts free downloads of their out of print catalog and then some) who unfortunately ripped these 100 songs into just four continuous mp3's, one for every side of vinyl. And hey, I don't blame him. 100 songs is a lot to cut up and label for the sake of maybe less than a dozen grateful fans who don't already own this on vinyl.

Finally, for the sake of legitimacy, I'm including a video of Napalm Death's "You Suffer". This song currently holds the Guinness Book's world record for shortest song ever recorded. Now, I know what you're thinking, and yes, it IS bullshit. 90% of the songs from Bllleeeeaaauuurrrrgghhh are shorter. Fuck, Descendents have shorter songs. Moreover, Napalm Death admits to having written and recorded the song as a joke. But, you have to understand the bigger picture. Guinness is kind of like the Grammys. Shit, they're worse than the Grammys. Meaning, they don't know what the fuck is going on until years after it's already happened. Let's not take this as a slight against the Descendents, Anal Cunts and Sockeyes of the world, but as a triumph for short songs as a whole.

Friday, February 5, 2010

No doubt you've already seen this on 500 other blogs today. There's very little I can say that wasn't already said about the painfully self-aware and awkwardly clashing cultural elements at play here - not to mention Snooki's compulsive need to reassure herself, her subjects and the audience of her claim to fame and why we apparently need her around for the duration of her extended 15 minutes.

All I really want to call attention to is the fact that, when asked what kind of music they play, why – like most every other garden v variety indie rock band – Grammy-award winning Phoenix can't just admit they're a regular-ass indie rock band. I can't help but peeve at the sight of them looking at each other bewildered as if they've never even considered categorizing this wild and crazy new sound they've concocted.

We've barely cut the umbilical cord on the 2010's, but already the hot topic is how our last decade nailed the coffin shut on what we previously called "indie rock". Fingers have been pointed and theories pontificated, but I can't help but feel that part of the problem is this: successful musicians who are just as deluded as the amateur outfits who aspire to be them can't seem to admit there's nothing new under the sun and consistently delude themselves into thinking that regardless of how derivative the music they're making is, they still somehow defy categorization.

Case in point: we can't fix the product until the manufacturers acknowledge it's broken, eh?