All posts by Jake Brown

Six Degrees of the Bay City Rollers

The folks over on the Bomp! List have been playing a fun new game. The idea is to get from one band to another completely different band in as few steps as possible.

The rules:

1) Pick two somewhat popular but fairly unrelated bands.

2) Go to allmusic.com and type in the name of one of them.

3) Using only the ‘Similar Artists’ link, find your way to the second artist.

I attempted to go from the Sonics to NWA but after about 1,000 clicks only made it to Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and MC Ren. Let us know how you did!

I guess she is the devil after all

Wow. I found a site that puts Focus on the Family’s Plugged-In to shame. Fight the Good Fight reveals how “the most popular musicians from the 1950’s to 2000 have been and are being used as puppets by Satan and his fallen angels to increase man’s rebellion against God.” I can dig that, but even my girl, Britney? Well, I guess so. Who knew?

Keep music evil (image from unamerican.com)

Thanks to Plastic for uncovering this site.

The Gorillaz: King Bong

When I first heard about the Gorillaz, I got really excited. The Gorillaz are a cartoon band that is actually made up of the guy from Blur, Dan the Automator, Del the Funky Homosapien, and some turntable wizard. And drawn by the original creator of Tank Girl. That sounded really cool to me.

And then I saw the video for “Clint Eastwood” on 120 Minutes (yes, believe it or not, 120 Minutes is still on the air — Sunday nights on MTV2). The video clinched it for me. A great sing-songy pop chorus, classic Del rhymes for the verses, and fresh production (as always) from the Automator. The cartoon didn’t impress me that much but the song was great. The Gorillaz seemed to totally reinvent and revitalize two genres that I’ve pretty much stopped caring about: britpop and hip hop.

Unfortunately, the album does not continue along the same lines. “Clint Eastwood,” in fact, is the only track that features both Del and the guy from Blur. Del shows up by himself on one other track, but the rest of the album is basically just a solo album by the guy from Blur that’s produced by Dan The Automator. And as that, it’s pretty cool. Some nice beats, some cool vocals, some Blurry guitars. But I was hoping for so much more. I was hoping for a new direction, a new sound, a new combination of different musical styles. In essence, I wanted Del on every track.

It would have been so cool. It still is pretty cool, but not in the way that I wanted. Nevertheless, my friends can expect to see “Clint Eastwood” showing up on lots of my mixes this summer.

Shameless

Shameless

Here’s a five dollar coupon for cdnow when you spend $19.95. It lasts until June 26, so there you go. Full disclosure: cdnow is owned by a major label, and I get a tiny percentage of whatever you spend when using this link.

Don’t like it? Let us hear about it, and then head off to your local, independent record store and buy some records.

Jake

How did I miss this story?

Salon.com asks the question, “If Jenna Bush is a pothead, is it news?” I think it is. And this points out the hypocrisy and utter ridiculousness of the Drug War.

Glorious Noise Reader Feedback

Recent visitors to Glorious Noise might have noticed that if they click on the “Discuss” link at the bottom of a post, they’ve been getting nowhere for the past couple of weeks. I apologize for that. The interactivity is what makes this fun and interesting.

I implemented a new, temporary commenting system tonight. The only reason I bring this up instead of leaving it behind the scenes where this sort of technical update belongs is that the new system has pop up ads. As dreadful as they are, we’re going to have to put up with them until our old commenting system comes back to life or our gracious webhost installs a particular scripting application. The pop ups are the annoying cost of an otherwise free webhost that allows PHP scripting. Believe me, they bug me as much as anybody so I will get rid of them as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, the old comments are not available under this new system, but I will attempt to restore them as soon as the old system is resurrected enough to do so. Thanks for your patience.

Happy Birthday Dude

It’s Bob Dylan’s 60th birthday.

Jolie told me a story about how when she was a little girl she heard a song on the radio. The singer’s voice appalled her. She couldn’t believe how grating this man’s voice was. She asked her mom why music like this was allowed on the radio.

“It’s political,” her mother said, and left it at that. That was enough. It all made sense.

I love Dylan’s voice. And I love his songwriting. And I love the fact that he introduced the Beatles to grass. And I love that he plugged in and went “rock and roll” when all the folkies thought of that as the ultimate sell-out. He may be a creepy old guy who looks like Vincent Price now, but he’s still got more of the rock and roll spirit and soul than anyone else out there today. Especially those of his generation…

Who needs Napster?

Napster’s new subscription service is dumb. More than five bucks a month for files “limited in audio quality and unable to be burned to CD.” Please.

Fortunately, there’s a new kid in town in the peer-to-peer file-sharing world, KaZaA.com. Unlike Napster, it allows you to search for and download files directly from your browser. Actually, it only allows you to do this 15 times before it requires that you download the KaZaA Media Desktop, which claims to provide faster searches, faster downloads, resumable downloads and more files. Or you can delete KaZaA’s cookie and do another 15 browser-based searches. Also unlike Napster you can get at other users’ video files, documents, and other files as well as audio files.

KaZaA is not a Gnutella client, so those of you who are trying to reunite the world will be disappointed by one more splinter of an already fractured user base. But most of my searches returned several hits, so there are apparently a lot of people using it. The technology claims to be 50 times more scalable than Gnutella.

KaZaA’s network is a distributed, self-organising network. Neither search requests nor actual downloads pass through any central server. The network is multi-layered, so that more powerful computers get to be search hubs (“SuperNodes”). Any KaZaA client may become a SuperNode, if it meets the criteria of processing power, bandwidth and latency. Network management is 100% automatic – SuperNodes appear and disappear according to demand.

So it seems pretty cool. Unfortunately, they will only allow you to get at mp3s with a bit rate of 128 kbps or less until they can figure out a deal with “European collecting-rights organisations.”

It’s worth checking out KaZaA.com before the Man shuts it down.

Weezer vs. the Record Industry

Guess who won. You can find out who won the epic battle for control over the shape of Weezer’s new album in the latest Glorious Noise Feature. Check it out now.

Continue reading Weezer vs. the Record Industry

A great interview with Robert Chirstgau

A great interview with dean of American rock criticism, Robert Chirstgau, on Salon.com. Check it out. I’ll write more later. You should too.