My pal Jeff busts my chops because I like short songs. Pop songs. I don’t like extraneous filler. Get in and get out.
But I also like Funkadelic. Sometimes a song needs to stretch out to get its point across. I wouldn’t cut a minute out of “Sister Ray,” for example. Same with “Like a Hurricane.”
This song, I’m not so sure. When I suggested that the last three minutes don’t add anything to this song except length, good old Jeff pointed out that “They give you time to reflect.” Which is fair enough. Reflect away.
I usually keep an eye on Billboard‘s Chart Beat, but I must have missed it a few weeks ago because the week ending July 13 set a new record for the fewest overall album sales with just 4.05 million. Things are rough for the album:
Weekly album sales volume has been below 5 million for the past 12 consecutive weeks. The 5 million mark has only been surpassed in five weeks this year. To compare, a year ago at this point, there were 21 weeks where sales were above 5 million. Weekly volume didn’t fall below 5 million in the SoundScan era until 2010, when, in the week ending May 30, album sales dropped to 4.98 million.
Sales have bounced back a little in the weeks following the new record low, but now they have gone back down to 4.1 million for the week ending August 17. I wonder if 2014 will see them dip below 4 million for the first time ever.
Do streaming services offer “album play” data? Not that anybody streams entire albums, but if they do I suppose it should be counted. Or maybe not.
While I was researching my Lolla 2014 piece I was surprised and disappointed that I could not find the original 2005 Lollapalooza map online anywhere. I stumbled across Jim DeRogatis’ 2006 news item about the fest’s expansion for its second year, which reminded me that in 2005 everything had been crammed south of Buckingham Fountain. I had completely forgotten that.
So I dug through my personal archives and discovered my original program and scanned it. You’re welcome. It’s a little wrinkly and messed up because it lived in my pocket for a couple days as I stumbled around getting loaded and eating smuggled KFC.
Given the anti-gay laws and whole Edward Snowden contretemps, it seems as though Russian vodka isn’t as popular in drinking establishments in the West as it once was, which provides an opening for distillers from other countries. . .including Iceland. Yes, the land of Björk.
Timing is good for Reyka vodka, which uses lava rocks for filtration, especially as it is running a contest for musicians, DJs and fans to perform at and attend the Iceland Airwaves music festival, which will be held October 30 to November 3.
Musicians and DJs have until August 19 to send in their work to Reyka, using Grooveshark (http://grooveshark.com/reykabands). Music lovers have time for a cocktail or two, as they’re not to sign up for their chances to win until later this month: they can do it on Reyka’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ReykaVodka) from August 30 th through September 30 th.
There will be two bands and two fans sent to the festival among the glaciers and lava.
Says Reyka senior brand manager Lindsay Prociw, “We want our creative friends around the world to flock to Reyka’s land as a beacon of inspiration and imagination, and we’re happy to shepherd them one band, or fan, at a time.”
Presumably with a sufficient number of Reykas on the rocks, and shepherding is a requirement.
Look at this picture and just imagine the comments. Imagine being a poor soul with ugly shoes who happens to pass by. The insults would be earth shattering. Mozzer, Russell Brand and Noel Gallagher all passing judgment on you in a public space? It’s just too much.
But now imagine that rhetorical arsenal put to work for good. Imagine these were the judges of a nationally televised talent show. Forget American Idol or The X Factor or America’s Got Talent…this is Fuck Off The Stage!
Act after act would come out to perform their bit and then stand there as these three loudmouths dress them down for the entertainment of millions. Mozzer’s turn-of-phrase, Noel’s Northern English verbal blunt trauma, Brand’s…Brand-ism. The horror!
And the best part would be that nobody wins…ever. The season would end with no winner, no big finale…just those three guys having pints and talking shit. THAT I would watch.
Way back when we first kicked off this whole shit show I posted an article on my recent record buying finds, including a pick-up of an album for which I knew some personal, detailed history but had never actually heard or seen. One of my longest-running musical collaborator’s father had engineered this album (among many others in the late 60s Detroit scene) and he’d told us stories about his adventures with the jazz-rock duo Teegarden & Van Winkle.
Jim Cassily was always good for a story and his eyes would gleam with more than a hint of mischief when he told these particular tales. He loved that his son was in a band as well and clearly revelled in sharing his own exploits as a musician and engineer. Whether it was the early days with Bob Seger or his later life discovery of Irish folk musicians, Cassily was an enthusiast. None of those stories quite got the excited treatment of his days with friends Dave Teegarden and Skip Van Winkle though. To hear him tell it, we had missed the Detroit equivalent of Traffic. Finding that record in 2001 confirmed the musical prowess he credited to the band and now this video clip bolsters his claims that these guys would get “out there.”
Dig this awesome clip of pure Detroit freak-out, live on TV.
VIDEO: Teegarden & Van Winkle Live on Detroit TV
*Note: That dapper man with the ascot (or whatever that is around his neck) is Jim himself, running sound and feeling groovy.
This is so good. MOJO magazine shared this fantastic poem and here’s the back story:
“The preposterously youthful 60-year-old is currently touring the UK, and while MOJO’s requests for an interview met with the usual polite refusal, Richman offered to interview himself in the form of a poem.”
It starts out like this:
So Jonathan, does it feel at all strange to be sixty years old,
Singing in clubs now for forty odd years,
Playing for students a third your age?
Yes, it feel strange.
Yes, it feel strange.
My face keeps on changing, but the public stays 20.
I once almost got into a fight with a guy over Jonathan Richman. I was young and earnest and couldn’t believe that any decent human being could have heard but not like Jonathan Richman. It didn’t come to blows, thank goodness, but that’s mostly because it was morning, I was hungover, and I was staying at this guy’s apartment for the weekend. I’ve gotten considerably less rigid regarding my prerequisites for decent humanity, but I still think that if you don’t like Jonathan Richman you’re probably an asshole.