New Marika Hackman video: Hand Solo

Video: Marika Hackman – “hand solo”

Marika Hackman – hand solo

From Any Human Friend, out now on Sub Pop.

Not the most subtle video ever made, but that’s okay. Sometimes you want your message to come across loud and clear: Diddlin’ is fun.

Hackman said, “I wrote ‘hand solo’ as a bit of light-hearted relief, a wank anthem for women everywhere. I loved the idea of playing on old wives’ tales about the dangers of masturbation and pushing the boundaries about what is socially acceptable. I met Sam and we came up with this playful, tongue-in-cheek idea about hands all over the world masturbating on everyday objects, and even places, and eventually the world. The hands were directed by the wonderful Evie Fehilly, a sex educator who runs sex-positive workshops in London at the famous sex shop SH!. Despite the video being quite fun, I wanted to make a serious point at the end, after the world explodes in its orgasm, that masturbation is still for many women perceived as something shameful and embarrassing – the moment of shame after the ecstasy. We asked for any female-identifying people to anonymously submit their experiences of shame relating to masturbation, and we received so many heart-breaking and heavy stories. I hope that when people see these accounts, they can relate and realize that there’s no shame in masturbation.”

She also told Apple Music, “One lyric that will get overlooked because I don’t think many people are gonna understand the reference, but the first half of the song is looking at old wives’ tales about masturbation. One of them I read is that you get hairy hands if you masturbate too much. There’s a line in there that says, ‘Oh, monkey glove’—it’s talking about having hairy hands. It’s quite abstract but it sounds sexual as well. It sounds like something you might call your vagina. And it’s quite gross, that song. ‘Dark meat, skin pleat’—it’s all quite visceral. My favorite lyric is obviously ‘Under patriarchal law, I’m gonna die a virgin.’ That is insane, that is crazy! I feel like people don’t take my sexual experiences as real. The song is also a massive f**k-you, because it’s very funny and empowered with a bit of sass.”

When I was 11 years old my recently widowed mother read me a book called Preparing for Adolescence by Dr. James Dobson. My mom’s heart was in the right place and she felt a great responsibility to steer me in the right direction. I no longer had a dad to teach me about puberty and sex stuff, but can you imagine anything more embarrassing than having to hear a chapter titled “Something Crazy Is Happening to My Body” read out loud by your mom? Worse, Dobson’s views weren’t designed to create a particularly healthy attitude about sex. The bits of advice I can remember include “never do anything on a date that you wouldn’t want someone to do with your sister” and to remember that Jesus is always watching you. Impure thoughts offend God. If you’re feeling a certain kind of way, it’s best to take a cold shower.

Unsurprisingly, I didn’t take any of this advice. But I felt a lot of guilt and shame about it and that’s a bummer. These were also the early days of AIDS when we were taught that sex can straight up kill you. Hopefully kids these days have a healthier attitude about sex, but who knows? There’s an endless supply of creepy stuff out there to warp young minds. Every generation gets its own hangups.

Marika Hackman: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Daystar video: Warped Reality

Video: Daystar – “Warped Reality”

Daystar – Warped Reality

Filmed by Joshua James Huff. From The Complete Recordings, out October 25.

Full disclosure: Daystar’s Derek Phillips is a co-founder of Glorious Noise, and he was the best man in my wedding, as I was in his. We’ve been pals since we were 15 year old dorks who bonded in art class over our budding obsession with the Beatles. I listened to Abbey Road for the first time at his house. It was an exciting time, discovering new stuff as quickly as we could, which was tricky in the pre-internet age (pre-CD even!), especially when you’re too young to drive yourself to the record store and too broke to afford much even when you got there. It was work being a fan.

After we exhausted the complete Beatles discography we moved on to their solo years, side projects, and bands they produced or influenced. In the early days of usenet newsgroups and tape trading I remember inquiring if anybody had a recording of Paul’s demo of “Day After Day,” the Badfinger song. “Unlikely,” came the reply, “since it was written by Pete Ham.”

Well, it’s thirty years later, and my homie has a band that has recorded an album’s worth of material that’s the direct result of all those years of obsessing over classic sounds. And now they’ve released their second video. DP told Indie Band Guru, that “Warped Reality” is “about those screw-ups in all of our lives who we just can’t give up.” (I hope he’s not talking about me!)

And have you ever noticed
You are always all alone
Holding on but hopeless
Homeward-bound but never home

Their album release show is on Saturday, October 19 at Bunk Bar in Portland with the Resolectrics and Messimer. I’ve already got my copy and it’s a thing a beauty. Dig it.

Daystar: web, fb, bandcamp.

New Kim Gordon video: Hungry Baby

Video: Kim Gordon – “Hungry Baby”

Kim Gordon – "Hungry Baby"

Directed by Loretta Fahrenholz. From No Home Record, out now on Matador.

You’ll never be as cool as Kim Gordon. It’s stupid to try. She proves it’s possible — although extremely rare — to be arty and rockin’ at the same time. Seriously, how many other musicians can pull this off without coming across as a totally pretentious dingdong? Her secret is that she confident and capable in both worlds. Plus she digs loud guitars noisy enough to blow the wine and cheese out of any art snob’s trembling hands.

Let’s make music
All day long
But not today
Some other time

Her debut solo album is out today.

Kim Gordon: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Kim Gordon video: Hungry Baby

New Amy O video: Crushed

Video: Amy O – “Crushed”

Amy O – Crushed (Official Video)

Directed by Anisa Curry Vietze. From Shell, due October 25 on Winspear.

Last time we checked in on Bloomington, Indiana’s Amy Oelsner she was ripping it up Shocking Blue-style with “Lavender Night.” This time around she’s more subdued and nostalgic, remembering “taking pictures without phones.”

Oelsner says her new song “is about looking back on that time in late adolescence/early adulthood when you don’t have much of a place of your own in the world, so you find spaces that are yours in the public sphere. Abandoned roads, parking garages, suburban hideaways–somewhere to discover yourself and each other. The video was directed by Anisa Curry Vietze and animated by Hadley Gephart. Not too long ago, Anisa attended the teen center where I worked with her friends (who were also featured in the video.) It was special to work with them on this project as it tied together my own personal memories of adolescence with my present self, who works to empower young people in their creativity as an Arts Educator and Organizer.”

We’re all for empowering kids to strip down and splash around in flooded roads. One of my most vivid childhood memories is riding bikes around Riverside Park when it flooded one year. That’s probably not a particularly smart or safe thing to do and my mom probably would have freaked out had she know I was doing it, but it was a warm spring day and the water was up past my pedals and there were no grownups around to tell us not to do it. The sun was shining and the cool water seemed still enough. The resistance made it hard to pedal but we could build up some speed on the shallow parts, water spraying behind us and all up our backs. We were soaked. And it was fun.

Amy O: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Atonal Apples, Amplified Heat: Ginger Baker, RIP

There are some people who, it seems, endure long after others would have collapsed in a dissolving heap, people who, even with the deck stacked against them hand after hand, stay at the table, albeit often moved to a table that is somewhere in the darkness, away from the brightness that they once helped generate.

And so we learn of the death of Ginger Baker.

By and large, Baker is known for his superb drumming and awful singing when he was a member of Cream, a band that lived just 2.5 years but which has an afterlife like musical carbon 14.

Of the three members of what is often cited as the first “supergroup,” when there were such things, now having given way to recordings by a given “star” who is performing “with” another “star,” who may or may not be of the same genre, Eric Clapton is really the only one who continued to have a career in the broad public eye. Immediately post-Cream Clapton created Blind Faith, which included Baker, but it really didn’t make much of a stir—brilliant music notwithstanding—as it was mired in controversy because the original cover of its debut album was a color photograph of a topless 11-year-old girl. It was soon replaced with a sepia-toned photo of Clapton, Baker, Stevie Winwood, and Ric Grech, but the proverbial damage was done publicly and given internal acrimony the band lasted a year.

Baker went on to other things like Ginger Baker’s Air Force, which made it to the close out bins at record stores faster than he could hit a tom-tom. (Speaking of which: Baker’s “Toad,” from the “Wheels of Fire” album—incidentally the first double album to go platinum when this was truly the result of people buying physical artifacts—was undoubtedly played on desktops (as in physical classroom furniture) by more teenage boys than any other rhythm before or since.)

Continue reading Atonal Apples, Amplified Heat: Ginger Baker, RIP

50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 43

Rolling Stone issue #43 had a cover date of October 4, 1969. 40 pages. 35 cents. Cover photo by Steven Shames.

Weird issue. No reviews, no regular columns, no silly poetry. The whole issue is basically devoted to John Burks’ giant 30,000-word feature on the underground press.

Features: “The Underground Press” by John Burks; “The Radical Media Conference in Ann Arbor” by Don Demaio; “Great to be here, Great to be here, It sure is [Bob Dylan at the Isle of Wight Festival]” by Marty Grayson.

News: Beatles’ Next LP Due in October; Rolling Stones to Tour the States; “LSD: Psychedelics And Beyond” by John Grissim, Jr.; Learys Escape A Felony Rap; “Chicago Blues: Peace at Last” by Don DeMicheal; “After Woodstock: Money and Smiles” by Jan Hodenfield; A Guide to the Underground; “Pop Chronicles Chronicle Pop” by Jerry Hopkins; “A Melting Pot at Sky River Festival” by Tom Miller; Airplane Free in Orleans Pot Case; “Fillmore’s Latest: A Record Label” by Ben Fong-Torres; Crosby, Stills, Etc. A Sellout, Etc.; Burglars Clean Up At the Matrix. And Random Notes on Donovan, Ed Sullivan, Aretha Franklin, Jon Landau, MC5, Boz Scaggs, Youngbloods, Paul McCartney, Elaine Brown, Walter Carlos, and Country Joe and the Fish.

Subscription offer: Love Man by Otis Redding, free with 50 cents shipping. $6 for 26 issues; $10 for 52.

Previously: Issue 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42.

New Belle and Sebastian video: This Letter

Video: Belle & Sebastian – “This Letter”

Belle & Sebastian – "This Letter" (Official Music Video)

Directed by Stuart Murdoch. From the Days of the Bagnold Summer original soundtrack, out now on Matador.

It’s not every day you hear Belle and Sebastian use the f-word, but these are not normal days, my friends.

Though the world is fucked according to the news
Doesn’t get you out of what you have to do
Though the world is fucked and swinging to the right
Doesn’t get you out of what you have to do tonight

“This Letter” is a pretty bossa nova ditty in the form of a letter to a special friend. “All I want for you is joy and peaceful love / Who you get it from is not my main concern.” Wonder if these guys have been listening to Leonard Cohen?

Stuart Murdoch says, “After the Boaty Weekender I got the chance to make another video. With limited time, I called upon 3/4 of boat mates Wet Look to help me out. They play three tired film crew people, who just made a Belle and Sebastian video – but they quite fancy having a go at filming themselves, so they get hold of Super 8 cameras, and start messing about.”

Belle and Sebastian: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Wilco video: Everyone Hides

Video: Wilco – “Everyone Hides”

Wilco "Everyone Hides" (Official Video)

Directed by Jamie Fleischel. From Ode to Joy, due October 4, 2019 via dBpm.

Boy, as if I needed another reminder how much I miss living in Chicago…

In Wilco’s new video the band runs around town visiting all the best spots including Laurie’s Planet of Sound, the Music Box, and Wrigley Field. There are several Wilco easter eggs like Pat Sansone catching a matinee of the Peter Sellers film “Being There” and Glenn Kotche sneaking around Marina City.

The song is good too. Similar in spirit to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot‘s “Kamera,” it even echoes the themes of that song (“Which lies I have been hiding” vs. “If you’re selling yourself on a tale…”)

But I don’t know about Tweedy’s whispery vocals. I wish he’d just sing in his regular voice more. Still though, I’m happy Wilco is making new music and I’m looking forward to seeing them on this upcoming tour.

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

50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Woodstock

Rolling Stone issue #42 had a cover date of September 20, 1969. 40 pages. 35 cents. Cover photo of naked Woodstock attendees by Baron Wolman.

This issue is back up to 40 pages again after issue #41 was down to 32 pages, and this is where the myth of Woodstock was created.

Even scholarly Greil Marcus was rendered breathless by the scene:

At the festival thousands were able to do things that would ordinarily be considered rebellious, in the terms of whatever current nonsensical sociological theory one might want to embrace. Selling and using all kinds of dope, balling here, there, and everywhere, swimming, canoeing or running around naked, and, believe it or not, staying up all night—one could do all of these things simply because they were fun to do, not because such acts represented scoring points against parents or Richard Nixon or Reader’s Digest.

So yeah, the Stone’s Woodstock coverage is to blame for all of the Boomers’ nostalgia. This was the peak of their civilization and nothing would ever come close to comparing with it. And the rest of us have been failing to live up to their standards ever since. Thanks a lot, hippies.

Features: “Woodstock: It Was Like Balling for the First Time” by Jan Hodenfield; “The Woodstock Music and Art Fair” by Andrew Kopkind; “The Woodstock Festival” by Greil Marcus; “Earthprobe” by Colin Moorcaft; “Pale Marble Movie” by Richard Brautigan.

News: “‘New’ Dylan Album Bootlegged in LA” by Jerry Hopkins; “Dylan’s Back Up Comes Up Front” by Jack Hurst; Beatles Get Back, Track by Track; John and Yoko On a Peace Cruise; “From Stud to Star: Ronnie Hawkins” by Ritchie Yorke; “Journal of Jazz On Texas Nights” by Don Roth; Jefferson Airplane Flies Free in LA; David Harris Goes to Jail – Noisily; Festivals; “Kim Fowley” by Ritchie Yorke; Heat Canned In Denver; Court Kicks Out Anti-Rock Laws; “Pepper’s Lounge: Home of the Blues” by Jim O’Neal; Motown Cleffers Balk, Take Walk; Jesus Saves—In Topanga Canyon; “Now, the Medium Is the Movies” by Jerry Hopkins; “Germans Beat Off Sex Film-makers” by Eric Geiger; Free Press: Know Your Local Narc; Flatt and Scruggs Get Together; Random Notes.

Continue reading 50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Woodstock

Riot Fest 2019: Do You Realize??

Big music festivals might not be the ideal way to experience music you’ve never heard before, but from a quantity perspective it’s hard to beat. I figure I saw 30 bands at Riot Fest this year, and of those, I had previously never listened to 13 of them. And that’s what makes a fest so compelling for music fans: there’s the potential to stumble across your new favorite band on the way to the taco truck.

Of course, the odds of that happening depend a great deal on the fest(s) you attend. Glorious Noise covered Lollapalooza from the time it settled in Chicago in 2005 all the way through 2016, when it expanded to four days and gave up any semblance of quality control. We’ve been going to Riot Fest since then. What makes this fest unique is in a world where everybody listens to everything on shuffle and even the fluffiest of mainstream pop is given critical acclaim, Riot Fest has stuck with its original idea of showcasing punk rock bands.

For fifteen years!

Their definition of punk has expanded its umbrella beyond old school hardcore to make room for some hip-hop, reggae, and jangly indie pop as well as founding fathers of rock and roll like Jerry Lee Lewis and, yes, even the Village People. But the focus has always been consistent and if you still prefer guitar bands, there’s really no other fest that compares. I don’t think we’re going to have to worry about Riot Fest booking Ariana Grande anytime soon. Better find a focus or you’re out of the picture…

Continue reading Riot Fest 2019: Do You Realize??

Rock and roll can change your life.