Category Archives: Shorties

Whatever happened to the Chicago Alternative Class of 1993?

Chicago Sun-Times pop music critic Jim DeRogatis takes a look back to the promising music scene in Chicago in the mid-90s: The curse of alternative nostalgia: What the heck happened to the Class of ’93? For those of you too young to remember or too otherwise occupied to give a shit at the time, the Class of ’93 included Urge Overkill, Liz Phair, Veruca Salt, and Smashing Pumpkins. DeRo checks back after a decade and a half to see where they are now:

“Alternative to what?” we may once again ask, and finally the answer is obvious: “Absolutely nothing.” Like so many rock bands before them, 15 years down the road, the most promising members of the Class of ’93 are treading dangerously close to that sad but true scene in “Spinal Tap” where the aging metal legends find themselves playing at the state fair.

Of course, this is the same conclusion that famously grouchy Steve Albini came to, well, fifteen years ago in his fantastic letter-to-the-editor of the Chicago Reader in January 1994, Three Pandering Sluts and Their Music Press Stooge:

In your rush to pat these three pandering sluts on the heinie, you miss what has been obvious to the “bullshit” crowd all along: These are not “alternative” artists any more than their historical precursors. They are by, of and for the mainstream. Liz Phair is Rickie Lee Jones (more talked about than heard, a persona completely unrooted in substance, and a fucking chore to listen to), Smashing Pumpkins are REO Speedwagon (stylistically appropriate for the current college party scene, but ultimately insignificant) and Urge Overkill are Oingo Boingo (Weiners in suits playing frat party rock, trying to tap a goofy trend that doesn’t even exist). You only think they are noteworthy now because some paid publicist has told you they are, and you, fulfilling your obligation as part of the publicity engine that drives the music industry, spurt about them on cue.

Does rockcrit get any better than the phrase, “Weiners in suits playing frat party rock”? I’m going to incorporate that phrase into my everyday language.

Top Ten Most Popular GLONO Items: Oct. 2008

We abandoned our GLONO charts a while ago after spambots started compromising the data. Turns out that some spammers really love the Neil Young album, Living with War. Who knew?

Our methodology remains the same: If it’s from the current year (2008), it’s current. If it’s older than that, it’s catalog. Spambots are not filtered from the results, but trust us, they really love Neil Young.

Current Chart

1. Jeff Mangum, Astra Taylor Married (January)

2. Beatles From Above (May)

3. MP3: Bob Dylan – Dreamin’ of You (October)

4. Fun with Forkcast, Round 10 (September)

5. Review: The Clash – Live At Shea Stadium (October)

6. My Bloody Valentine: Live in Chicago (September)

7. Apple Genius? Not So Much (October)

8. Jeff Mangum and Julian Koster Play Engine (October)

9. Todd Rundgren: A Wizard, A True Bore (October)

10. Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise Live in Chicago (October)

See the Catalog Chart after the jump…

Continue reading Top Ten Most Popular GLONO Items: Oct. 2008

Satanic Messiah EP Available Now

The Mountain Goats - Satanic Messiah EPLast month, we told you about the Mountain Goats’ plans to put out a new double-7″ EP in a “hi-gloss UV gatefold sleeve […] in a limited edition of 666 copies” as a tour only release. Well, the digital download is available now in AAC (256kbps), MP3 (320kbps), AIFF, and FLAC formats. You can pay whatever you think is fair.

All files are available at no cost to the listener; you need not give us your email address or anything. Donations, however, through either PayPal or Google Checkout, are greatly appreciated, and, lest there be any question, are earnestly desired; neither the recording nor the mastering were free, and this site exists as something of an experiment. If you choose to accept these songs, please stop by the collection plate and sow your faith-seed, which, like a grain of mustard, et cetera.

Track list:

1. Sarcofago Live

2. Wizard Buys a Hat

3. Satanic Messiah

4. Gojam Province 1968

This is an exciting time for music fans. Hopefully, the experiment will prove that even bands that don’t have the major label cultivated fanbases of Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead can pull this off with a base of dedicated fans who give a shit about the livelihood of their favorite musicians…

Okkervil River's carbon neutral tour

We released our review of The Stand Ins earlier today, but we just saw the press release about Okkervil River‘s current tour. Their goal is to make the national tour “completely carbon neutral” by encouraging fans not to drive to their shows. According to an uncited statistic in the press release, “80% of a tour’s CO2 emissions are created by fans commuting to the show.”

The band hopes to cover the remaining 20% by selling stickers for $2 which will be used to “offset 300 pounds of CO2 emissions.” Interesting idea. If they were super hardcore, they’d bike themselves from show to show, lugging their gear behind them in one of those Burley trailers.

Continue reading Okkervil River's carbon neutral tour

Springsteen to Rock Super Bowl XLIII

Six years ago yesterday on Glorious Noise, Johnny Loftus compared the NFL season to a world tour by your favorite rock band. Specifically, he explored the similarities between Bruce Springsteen and the Chicago Bears:

Brian Urlacher is not Bruce Springsteen. While the Chicago Bears’ leading tackler and unassuming team leader was a free safety, wide receiver, AND punt returner at New Mexico, Urlacher could not at press time sell out the United Center based on his strength as a songwriter, singer, and bandleader. Nevertheless, Urlacher’s weekly onfield heroics and meat and potatoes demeanor are a rallying point for many Chicagoland football fans. And while he’s never sold out the UC, Urlacher’s passion between the goalpoasts is a big reason why so many Chicagoans make the trip to downstate Champagne for Bears home games, played away while Soldier Field is on the DL. He gives them something to believe in, and please don’t make any Poison bits here. Because the NFL’s highly-paid heroes are, for many Americans, as singularly heroic as a rock and roller like Bruce Springsteen.

I guess we were a little ahead of our time because the National Football League has announced that Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will play the halftime slot at the Super Bowl on February 1 in Tampa Bay.

Is Loftus some kind of crazy prophet or something? GLONOstradamus, baby!

Napster Bought by Best Buy: Why?

NapsterI guess I do not understand big business. Best Buy To Buy Napster For $121 Million. Why? What the fuck can Napster possibly offer to anybody? The kitty’s been dead since 2001. Or shortly thereafter.

Looking at the details, it’s obvious that $121 billion is a bit of an exaggeration: “Included in the deal is approximately $67 million in cash and short term investments held by Napster, meaning the net price of the deal would be $54 million, the companies said.” Still $54 million dollars? What for? Oh wait: “The companies said the proposed acquisition includes Napster’s approximately 700,000 subscribers, its Web-based customer service and mobile capabilities.”

700,000 subscribers? Are you kidding me? There are 700,000 people who think think spending $12.95 a month to stream tracks is a good deal? Wow. I guess I do not understand people.

Britney's Mom's Book Deal Back On

Lynne Spears - Through the StormLast year, shortly after her 16-year-old daughter got knocked up, Lynne Spears lost her book deal. Well, it looks like the deal is back on, since Through the Storm: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World is due next week from Christian publisher Thomas Nelson.

Originally titled Pop Culture Mom: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World and described by the publisher as “a parenting book that’s going to have faith elements to it,” it had been set for publication on Mother’s Day, 2008. Retitled and appended to include Jamie Lynn‘s pregnancy, it’s sure to contain lots of helpful advice for new parents.

The AP obtained an early copy. MTV sums it up.

The Sun has some shocking details (Sex at 14! Cocaine at 16!), but the publisher denies them and clarifies that Through the Storm “is not a ‘tell all book’ nor a parenting book.” Uh huh.

MP3: Britney Spears – “Gimme More”

35 Places for Free, Legal Mp3s

The gang over at The Download Squad has compiled a handy list of 35 sites where you can download free, legal music without fear of subpoena from the RIAA. As they say:

In the interest of helping our readers stay out of jail and avoid massive fines, here are a bunch of places you can get tunes without fear of finding a summons in your mailbox. There’s plenty of good, free, and legal music on the net for you to download.

Sources range from the obvious (stereogum, garageband, and Spinner) to the more obscure (altsounds, honc, and 3hive). Of course, they failed to mention GLONO, who’ve been providing links to free, legal music since 2001!

Anything else you’d add to this list?

Internet Radio Is Doomed

The Washington Post looks at webcaster Pandora‘s imminent demise in spite of its popularity (“about 1 million listeners daily” and “40,000 new customers a day”): Giant of Internet Radio Nears Its ‘Last Stand’.

Thanks to the music inudstry’s lobbyists, web radio has to pay twice as much per song as terrestial radio, which only pays a publishing royalty to the songwriters and publishers. In addition to that, web radio also has to pay the record label a “performance royalty” for the master recording:

Traditional radio pays nothing in performance royalties, though SoundExchange is pressing to change that. Satellite radio pays 6 or 7 percent of revenue. And then there are webcasters, which pay per song, per listener.

Using listener figures from Arbitron for XM Satellite Radio, it is possible to estimate that the company will pay about 1.6 cents per hour per listener when the new rates are fully adapted in 2010. By contrast, Web radio outlets will pay 2.91 cents per hour per listener.

Gee, that hardly seems fair. These industry lobbyists are the same people kicking themselves for “allowing” MTV to promote their products (i.e., albums) without paying them a royalty for airing promotional videos.

More insanity after the jump…

Continue reading Internet Radio Is Doomed