Stephen Malkmus: “It Kills”

Ever woke up in the morning with a song in your head? That was the case this AM for me. The song? “It Kills” by indie rock icon Stephen Malkmus. Released last year on his third solo record, Face The Truth, the track is a slow rocker which features great guitar and vocals from the former member of Pavement.

Great, now I’m going to have it in my head all day.

Listen to a sound clip here.

The Singer of Songs PWNZ j00!

Hey! You think you’ve heard great cover versions of your favorite tunes, right? Wrong, my friends! I want you to thrill to The Singer of Songs singing those hits! The man has a magical voice and his MIDI accompaniments are stellar. I discovered this dude while browsing through Dare To Sing, so you know this is hot shit indeed. If your iPod needs a little juice, then The Singer of Songs will take it to all new musical galaxies!

Opie And Anthony PWN j00!

And now, here’s a little video montage I created in tribute to XM’s greatest commodity, O & A. It originally aired on Sniff The Tip, but it now being shared for all at YouTube, and alas, here. Music by The Beastie Boys. Rock steady.

First Lennon, now Morrissey.

Do all my musical icons seem so shady in the eyes of the FBI…? reports that Morrissey was “asked” to sit down and chat with the Federal Bureau of Investigations to make sure he wasn’t a threat to the U.S. Government. There is no truth to the rumor that this was because they were scared that his new album was going to be another Kill Uncle

What a very odd thing to say.

In doing a search to confirm that the Subways are indeed on Sire Records, I did a search to find the Sire Records website. Yes, I figured it was, but I searched, anyway…but, while the first listing was indeed for, the tag line beneath it read, “With a history dating back to the New York punk scene of the ’70s, the label continues to release unrelenting rock by bands like The Distillers, Hot Hot Heat, The Futureheads, Mandy Moore, and The Von Bondies.”

Um…I’m as big a fan of Coverage as the next guy, but even *I* wouldn’t use the words “unrelenting rock” and “Mandy Moore” in the same sentence.

Who cares what Howard Stern does?

He still sucks! No, really, he does. He’s not worth half a billion for this kinda crap. And that’s not the Opie and Anthony fanboy in me saying this. It’s just…come on..,who cares? I guess the people who signed up for his huckster show do, so congrats on paying off his ripoff fee. Me, I’m drunk and call it like it is more than usual. No regrets. Hoo-hoo sucks.

Is it wrong to be this concerned about Asia…?

Your response will no doubt approximate Reverend Lovejoy’s: “Short answer: yes with a ‘but’, long answer: no with a ‘maybe’.” Nonetheless, here’s what’s been going on in the Asia camp on the cusp of their 25th anniversary…

(To preface this for anyone who didn’t know and might possibly care, Asia – yes, the ones responsible for providing the soundtrack ["Heat of the Moment"] to one of many funny moments within “The 40 Year Old Virgin” – has been together ever since they were founded in 1981…but, since about 1991, their lead singer has been not John Wetton but, rather, one John Payne. Oh, yeah, and Steve Howe hasn’t really been in the back since, say, ’93. But keyboardist extraordinaire (and former Buggle) Geoff Downes has remained a stalwart of the group, and they’ve continued recording and releasing albums to a decidedly smaller yet nonetheless still rabid fanbase.)

Downes, Payne, and the rest of the band had been working on their next album, Architect of Time, to release it during their anniversary year. Dates have been booked for an upcoming tour and all appears right with the world.

Suddenly, it’s announced that the original line-up of Asia – that’s John Wetton, Geoff Downes, Steve Howe, and Carl Palmer – has decided to reunite and tour the world in celebration of that anniversary. It is abruptly determined that the new album – which has been hyped endlessly to the fans who’ve stuck with the band all this time – has been indeterminently shelved.

Yes, Downes, in effect, has said, “Hey, thanks for helping keep the band name going, jerks,” then kneed Payne and his fellow bandmates in the family jewels and walked away, whistling “Only Time Will Tell.”

Uh, metaphorically speaking, of course.

Whatever the case, it has now been announced that Payne and Downes have officially dissolved their partnership, with the remaining members of Asia starting a new band called ONE and releasing an album in May ’06…presumably consisting of the tunes that were almost finished for Architect of Time…with Ryo Okumoto from Spock’s Beard manning the keys.

I don’t know, man. As much as I’d like to see the original line-up of Asia, this just seems like some really shoddy maneuvering on Downes’ part. It’s like getting divorced, then getting re-married, but the moment your first wife says, “I never stopped loving you,” you kick your second wife to the curb.

Way uncool.

Rather, I suppose, like admitting you like Asia…

God bless the Sex Pistols…

…for this, their reaction to their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:


American Idol: Four Go Home

Tonight’s episode of “American Idol” was the results show, where four of the 24 remaining contestants learned if they were continuing on or going back home. As has been the case for the past few seasons, this show was excruciatingly long. One hour to announce that four are going home? As you can imagine, they filled the show with lots of crap and lots of commercials, which, let’s face it, is really why it was an hour long.

First there was judge banter…blah blah blah. Then there was a group performance, which is always dripping with cheese, and I mean the kind of cheese you spray on crackers from a can. Tonight the group sang the Eagles’ “Take it Easy,” which was good for only one thing–a royalty check for the songwriters. Then they showed clips of all the performances of the last two nights, complete with judge comments.

All of the 40 million people who voted must have been saying along with me, “Let’s get ON with this already.”

Finally the women were seated in rows and they told everyone who was safe that they were safe, and brought Kinnik, Becky and Brenna to the middle of the stage. One of these women had the least number of votes. I’ll tell you who, after the break……
oh wait, this isn’t TV. It was Becky O’Donohue, the one who was a news topic today as photos of a Maxim spread from 2 years ago re-surfaced. Hey, she’s cute, and there’s no reason to believe Maxim or some skin rag won’t be calling her tomorrow. But her singing career is likely over. Of course, then they made her sing…..ugh. Stop torturing us and the ones going home, and just let them walk off the stage and into the sunset!

Then it was the guys’ turn. The bottom two were Bobby and Sway. Spike Marley was right in predicting Bobby would be the first to go….that big gay Mexican cowboy thing was just not going to fly (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Bobby so wanted to take a parting shot at Simon but couldn’t get up the balls to do it. Either way, America made the right choice.

Then the girls were rounded up again, and the next to be eliminated was Stevie Scott. Once again, Spike Marley was correct in predicting she would be one of the first to go. She just sang too softly and was so uninspiring.

Then back to the guys, and after trotting six of them out to the middle of the stage, country boy Bucky and raisin thief Patrick were left to learn their fate. The winner (or loser, actually) was Patrick, whose song choice of Melissa Etheridge’s “Come To My Window” proved to be his demise. Simon even re-iterated that. Paula, as she always does, said she was so sad to see Patrick go…, Paula is sad to see anyone go. She should just have another drink.

So there you have it…of course, they had to show this stupid montage at the end of the four–Becky, Stevie, Bobby, and Patrick–and their journey to get this far before bowing out.

Now we are down to 20, and what have we learned so far? America is not stupid, and is only going to accept greatness when ultimately choosing the next American Idol. See you all next week. And Patrick…we do know you stole the box of raisins from George Costanza.

Marley, Out.

Geto Boys: “Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta”

I recommended my #1 rap song of all time a few days ago, so why don’t we talk about #2?

It wasn’t released by the Geto Boys until 1992 on their first “best of” compilation, Uncut Dope: Geto Boys’ Best, but it appeared on my limited rap radar in 1999 during my first viewing of the Mike Judge comedy, “Office Space.” The song is used brilliantly during the movie – I’m not sure I can describe it any better than this cat, so I’ll just quote him:

Against Geto Boys’ rap declaration “Damn, it Feels Good to be a Gangsta,” (Ron Livingston’s character, Peter) commits acts of small and liberating vandalism in the office, while management and serf alike are struck dumb by his unprecedented behavior. Eventually, his sense of entitlement becomes hubristic; he dares too much and risks a terrible end.

The song features a phat groove (that’s right – with a “ph”), a simple yet effective beat, and some graphic lyrics. The best verse comes at the end when one of the Boys raps from the point of view of the then-President Bush.

Listen to a song clip here.

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