Category Archives: Shorties

New Culture Abuse video: Goo

Video: Culture Abuse – “Goo”

Culture Abuse – "Goo"

Directed by David Kelling and Barbara Georges. Single out now on Epitaph.

Culture Abuse won me over when I saw them on the small stage at Riot Fest in 2017. They’re a punk rock band on Epitaph but their songs have a pop sensibility and frontman David Kelling is charming and hilarious.

This 2018 Noisey interview conveys that charm, especially this bit about his mom: “My whole life she’s been like, ‘You have a beautiful voice. You need to sing!’ And I was like, ‘Mom, you don’t get it, I’m fuckin’ punk!’”

Seems like he’s been taking his mother’s advice because this new single is a pretty, acoustic love song with a woozy Mellotron line to keep things a little off-kilter.

Wish I could ride a bike
I’d ride it home to you
Cuz lately all my insides feel like goo

Ride on, brother. Can’t wait to hear what’s next.

Culture Abuse: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

“They Got the Steely Dan T-shirts. . . .”

A friend who moved out of state keeps tabs on what’s going on in Michigan as those moving from one place to another are wont to do. Whenever I’m in a hotel and get a copy of USA Today outside the door I always look at the weather for Illinois, even though it has been a long time since I lived there and I’m not likely to go back, so the climate is irrelevant. But still. . .

She sent me an email letting me know that Steely Dan is scheduled to play at the Meadowbrook Amphitheater this summer, which is north of Detroit.

My response to her, which will come as no surprise to anyone who has been reading what I’ve been writing here for quite some time, was simply: “Steely Dan no longer exists.”

When Walter Becker died on September 3, 2017, the proverbial last nail in the coffin of the band was hammered in place: requiescat in pace.

Of course, as seems to be de rigueur for musicians who were once on top of the world and are now trying to desperately stay at least near the bottom, Donald Fagen is having none of that, so he sued Walter Becker’s estate, and the band, such as it is, continues on. If “Steely Dan” was Becker and Fagen, and there is no Becker, then how is that still the band? Certainly it can be labeled as the band—unless that lawsuit comes out against Fagen’s wishes—and let’s face it: nowadays truth and falsehood seem to be exchangeable.

Continue reading “They Got the Steely Dan T-shirts. . . .”

50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 32

Rolling Stone issue #32 had a cover date of May 2, 1969. 32 pages. 35 cents. Cover photo of Stevie Winwood by David Dalton.

Features: “Vacationing in Palm Springs: A Real Lark” by Jerry Hopkins; “Traffic” by David Dalton; “Traffic Interview” by Jonathan Cott; “Johnny Winter Fiasco Goes On” by Paul Nelson; “Moog Synthesizers” by Edmund O. Ward.

News: Beatles: No Discernible Pattern; Aretha Heads Up Soul Bowl ’69; Has Graham Lost His Mountain?; Tom Donahue Departs KSAN; Mamas &amp’ Papas’ Brand-New Bag; Beach Boys Sue Capitol Records; The Dear John Letters; New York Pot; Electric Factory Ordered Shut; Memphis to Host Blues Festival; Morrison Hands Himself Over; Cl’pt’n-W’w’d-B’k’r Coming to Town; Random Notes on John and Yoko, Salvador Dali, Jefferson Airplane, Bob Dylan, and Van Dyke Parks.

Continue reading 50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 32

Old Emmylou Harris video: I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight

Video: Emmylou Harris – “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” (live in 1970)

Emmylou Harris- "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" LIVE 1970 [Reelin' In The Years Archives]

From Gliding Bird (Jubilee Records, 1969 or 70).

This Bob Dylan cover was Emmylou’s debut single, released years before she met Gram Parsons. The album, Gliding Bird, came out on Jubilee Records, which folded soon after. Emmylou subsequently “disowned” the album, but these days she links to a reissue on her website. And really, what’s not to like? Sure, it’s juvenilia, but it’s not without its charms. She’s more of a singer than an artist. But hey, she was just a kid.

Emmylou Harris: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading Old Emmylou Harris video: I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight

New Negativland video: More Data

Video: Negativland – “More Data”

Negativland – More Data

Video by Ryan Worsley. From an upcoming pair of interconnected albums.

Happy May Day. What better way to celebrate our day of international workers than with a new jam from copyright anarchist legends Negativland?

“More Data” explores the complex relationships between privacy and convenience, big data and big ego. And it’s got a funky beat. Seems purposefully designed to mess with folks gobbling edibles and watching youtube. Which can be an interesting experience, I suppose. Kinda reminds me of the Emergency Broadcast Network back in the day.

Somebody always had a VHS dub of that stuff. Where did it come from? Who had the original tape? Who knows? Somebody. Somebody knows. We just need more data.

I was just reminded that Bono took EBN on the Zoo TV tour. Which is hilarious considering U2’s relationship with Negativland. Oh, the singularity. The 90s were ridiculous.

When did online life become a non-stop Turing test? And when did humans become the ones who are failing it? It began nearly two decades ago, when advertising models staked out their territory over the data used to structure our online lives. Without a legal recognition of the right to digital self-ownership, this ‘person’ must not exist. A video single taken from the second of two forthcoming & interconnected albums, produced in collaboration with director Ryan Worsley.

Right on. I’m happy Negativland is still around, doing their thing. Hopefully, there are a bunch of stoned college students sitting in a shitty apartment having their minds blown by this stuff. Good times.

Negativland: web, fb, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New L7 video: Stadium West

Video: L7 – “Stadium West”

L7 "Stadium West" Official Video

Directed by Rob Sheridan. From Scatter The Rats, due May 3 on Blackheart.

What more is there to say about L7? They are back and they are kicking ass.

L7: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Christian Lee Hutson video: Northsiders

Video: Christian Lee Hutson – “Northsiders”

Christian Lee Hutson – Northsiders (Official Music Video)

Directed by Gus Balck. Single out now.

I have been on a huge Phoebe Bridgers kick lately so when I heard that she produced this song, I jumped on it. It blew me away the first time I listened to it and continues to get to me every time.

The following verses reminded me of being a teenager so bad it made me gasp:

We were so pretentious then
Didn’t trust the government
Said that we were communists
And thought that we invented it

Morrissey apologists
Amateur psychologists
Serial monogamists
We went to different colleges

The whole song evokes the awkwardness of a time in your life when you’re trying so hard to be cooler and smarter than you really feel. There’s an emotional intensity to those years that grownups quickly forget. On purpose. It’s painful to remember how strongly you felt things when you were young, all while pretending to be nonchalant and aloof.

Hutson has said, “‘Northsiders’ is sort of a collage of memories I have of several different friends from high school. I think it’s about the friendships you develop that make you feel seen and understood at that time in your life where you feel invisible and misunderstood.”

The double-tracked chorus (“Nothing’s going to change it now”) sounds as much like Elliott Smith as anything I’ve heard. (The only thing that comes close is the way Phoebe Bridgers sings, “I don’t wanna be alone anymore” in “Demi Moore.”)

So who is this guy? Hutson is a 28 year old songwriter from Los Angeles who co-wrote “Ketchum, ID” with boygenius as well as “Chesapeake” and “Forest Lawn” for Better Oblivion Community Center. He’s been releasing solo material since 2012, and lately, he’s been touring with BOCC. No word yet on when a new album will come out or on what label.

But if he’s got an album’s worth of material half as good as “Northsiders” it’s going to be a something else. Wow.

Christian Lee Hutson: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Dressy Bessy video: Tiny Lil Robots

Video: Dressy Bessy – “Tiny Lil Robots”

Dressy Bessy – Tiny Lil Robots (Official Music Video)

From Fast Faster Disaster, due June 14 on Yep Roc.

Dressy Bessy is back with their first single off their upcoming Yep Roc album, Fast Faster Disaster. All the charm that brought this band national attention in 2005 with Electrified is present in “Tiny Lil Robots,” an ode to parenting complete with a “Little Miss Fucking Sunshine” shirt.


And I’d still rather listen to Dressy Bessy than Coldplay.

Dressy Bessy: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Via apples.

50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 31

Rolling Stone issue #31 had a cover date of April 19, 1969. 32 pages. 35 cents. Cover photo of Sun Ra by Baron Wolman.

Features: “Sun Ra” by John Burks; “Earthquake! California Fears Fear Itself” by Jerry Hopkins; “Bunky & Jake” by Paul Nelson; “Cerebrum” by Charles A. Fracchia; “Jethro Tull & His Fabulous Tool” by Ben Fong-Torres.

News: Morrison’s Penis Is Indecent; Censors Muffle Smothers Bros.; Blue Meanies Attack Beatles; “Tim Hardin: Hobnobbin’ With The Superstars” by Tom Nolan; An AFM Ban on the Moog Synthesizer?; Fillmore West vs. 28 Flavors; “When They Were: Mason, Capaldi, Wood & Frog, RIP” by Jonathan Cott; Jazz Takes Gas At Fillmore East; Flatt & Scruggs’ Last Breakdown; Rolling Stars: Sun to Enter Sign of Ram; Mercury’s Rockers In the Boondocks; Hearst Closes Its EYE; Cream Movie Is ‘A Real Bomb’; MC5 Kick Out The What?; LA’s Open City Closed Down; Random Notes on Cass Elliot, James Brown, Jeff Beck, Plaster Casters, Janis Joplin, methamphetamine, CSN, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eric Clapton, Johnny Cash, and Aretha Franklin.

Continue reading 50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 31

New Charly Bliss video: Hard To Believe

Video: Charly Bliss – “Hard To Believe”

Charly Bliss – Hard To Believe [Official Music Video]

Directed by Henry Kaplan. From Young Enough, due May 10 on Barsuk.

I was nervous that Charly Bliss might have abandoned their guitars on their new album. The first single was a synth-driven nu wave jam, but the guitars are back on this new one. Eva Hendricks is even rocking one of Annie Clark’s signature St. Vincent Ernie Balls (“There is room for a breast…or two!”)

The band says “Hard To Believe” is “about being addicted to a bad relationship, and the endless cycle of trying and failing to end one.”

I’m kissing everything that moves
I’m kissing anything that takes me far away from you
But I would rather eat than starve
I would rather kiss you hard

Charly Bliss: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Charly Bliss video: Hard To Believe