29 May 2006

Soy un Perdedor

Memorial Day weekend. Jen is up in the Region. I am here at HQ.

So far, I have watched three of the "Classic Album" DVDs: A Night at the Opera (Queen); Ace of Spades (Motorhead); Bat Out of Hell (Meat Loaf).

I also watched New York Doll, which is about Arthur "Killer" Kane, who seemed to be such a sweet, sad guy. How's this for an ending: After playing a triumphant reunion show with the survivng New York Dolls, Kane returned to Los Angeles feeling a little run down and sick. After three weeks, he went to see a doctor. He was diagnosed with leukemia and died two hours later. If that exact same scenario were presented in a novel or a fictional film, it would be seen as maudlin and unrealistic.

I also picked up a documentary on the Runaways. When the boss is out of town, I always try to hit Wild & Woolly and rent all the obscure and/or foreign movies that she doesn't want to sit through, but I can never remember which ones I want to watch, so I usually just end up looking through the music section (see above).

A couple of weeks ago, Jen and I were playing pool at the Barret Bar. The music they were playing was really good and it was obviously all from the same album. After seven or eight fantastic songs in a row, I went over and asked the bartender who was playing. It was Beck's Guero. Better late than never. I hit a few of my usual used CD haunts but I finally gave up this weekend and bought it new at Best Buy. Now I might have to check out Sea Change.

The album graphics are highly reminescent of Henry Darger's art. As I haven't bothered reading the liner notes yet, this may be intentional.

20 May 2006

Pretty Kitty

...a.k.a. lame-ass photoblogging, but what the heck.

15 May 2006

Goddamn Electric

For whatever reason, VH1 has ressurected their Behind the Music franchise, and it's about fucking time. I watched the all-new Ratt and Pantera episodes. The episodes showcased two bands that ostensibly play the same genre of music but were in actuality at opposite poles of the metal spectrum.

The one on Ratt was amusing in a pathetic sort of way, because Ratt has always been a pathetic sort of band: no real substance, just a nonstop babes ‘n’ booze party train (although I do own a copy of their greatest hits CD – I’m not made of stone). They were no worse than any of their contemporaries, but they weren’t any better, either. I thought it was horribly disingenuous to present the interview segments with former guitarist Robbin Crosby without indicating that he, like, died in 2002 – a factual tidbit they saved until the very end of the episode. Also, singer Stephen Pearcy looks like hell.

The one on Pantera had more meat, so to speak, and it rightly opened with the murder of guitarist Dimebag Darrell Abbott. The show presented Phil Anselmo as the root cause of Pantera’s eventual dissolution, which I don’t think is entirely accurate, but it’s a moot point now. Anselmo is an interesting character. He says he’s clean and sober these days but he looked awfully doped up during his interview segments. I wouldn’t want to ride in an elevator with him, but he is easily one of the most intense performers in metal; a truly scary dude. And Down, his offshoot collaboration with Pepper Keenan of COC (one of many Anselmo side projects), is awesome.

I always had mixed feelings about Pantera. I was working at a record store shortly after they broke big. Practically all of the people who bought Vulgar Display of Power were what you’d expect: ignorant, redneck assholes who thought Black Flag were a bunch of fags, yet couldn’t see the similarities between the two bands. On the rare occasions when I would play Pantera through the store’s PA – mainly to irritate customers or fellow employees – I discovered that despite their white trash audience, I didn’t hate Pantera's music, which was brutally simple and direct. It’s not all that different from a lot of hardcore, only it’s played at a slower tempo.

Anyway, a couple of years ago, I got an advance of The Best of Pantera: Far Beyond the Great Southern Cowboys' Vulgar Hits disc and I favorably reviewed it in LEO. If I can dig it up and I’m not embarrassed by it I’ll post it here for completeness’s sake.

I hope VH1 airs more episodes of Behind the Music. I suggest doing shows on Cheap Trick and the Cars, for starters.

10 May 2006

Nobody's Fault But Mine

The great computer war may be over.

I tried, as a last-ditch effort, to reformat the Seagate on the Gateway (remember, I reformatted it for the Mac so everything is copasetic on that end -- for now, at least). As expected, that did not work. However, while I was thumbing through the section of the Seagate's instructions I hadn't yet bothered to consult, I saw that Seagate does NOT recommend using their drives to switch back and forth between PC and Mac. So, yeah, this ordeal was pretty much my fault. Whoops. That's what I get for cutting corners.

So anyway, I bought a 1GB flash drive and transferred most of the crucial junk from the Gateway to the Seagate and/or the Mac. I rationalized that expense as being probably what I'd pay for a tech geek to fix it. Of course, the printer still doesn't work, but then, it didn't ever really work with the Gateway after we had its hard drive replaced the first time.


08 May 2006

Running from the Body

Grant McLennan died this weekend.

Known, if at all, as one-half of the creative axis of the Go-Betweens, McLennan was also one-half of the creative axis of Jack Frost, which also featured the talents of Steve Kilbey, who has written a few poignant remembrances of McLennan on his blog. Both Jack Frost CDs are worth buying, and he would probably want to be remembered for his music, not lame tributes on various web pages.

McLennan was 48 years old.


The lack of recent updates is due to the recent spate of internet outages, so if you're one of the millions who have made DMBYSC the cornerstone of your existence (TM Sam Sugar), blame Insight Broadband, not me. For once.