Rocking the Caves

Waking Up After The Long Night Called 2001

Year-end lists are disgustingly difficult to write. It’s damn hard to remember what happened last February or March when you’re still trying to discern how you spent $150 on High Life at your local laundromat/tavern’s $1 beer night last week. Besides, lists are boring. And the Glorious Noise staff has always tried to think out of the blurb when discussing music. CD reviews and top ten lists? Leave those to Rolling Stone and David Letterman. Jeez, even the idiot record store savants in “High Fidelity” shortened theirs to top fives.

But my editor is screaming down the telephone line, and he isn’t telling me about his new Christmas puppy. And some musically significant things did happen during the past year. Check it out. And let’s look forward in unison to an Enrique Iglesias-less 2002.

January 29, 2001. Superbowl XXXV. Halftime. Britney Spears scampers onstage wearing tubesock wristbands and football pants, flanked by Aerosmith, Mary J. Blige, N*Sync, and a belt-challenged Nelly. Despite her supercharged co-conspirators, the event was all Britney, all the time. Followed up by a Pepsi commercial featuring her navel and Bob Dole, the high-profile appearance was tuned up as a harbinger of things to come for Ms. Spears and the ever-expanding tango of her endlessly advancing, platinum-grill’d pop culture bell curve.

Fast-forward to December. Fellow junior diva Jessica Simpson (albeit c-grade, in comparison to Spears, but that just means she doesn’t have as far to fall…) appears on the cover of the January 2001 issue of Maxim Magazine, conveniently forgetting her shirt. Mandy Moore, B*Witched, Wild Orchid, and Willa Ford have returned to previous day jobs at Best Buy, only to tearfully witness their own dancepop albums be unceremoniously dumped into cut-out bins by angry store managers. And Britney Spears sits alone in her enormous mansion, wondering why movie producers won’t return her calls.

By its November 6, 2001 release, Britney had been roundly panned, even by teen critics, and its lead single (the horridly bland, non-sexy “I’m A Slave 4 U”) was gasping for breath at pop stations nationwide. Where previous appearances on the MTV Video Music Awards had led to mountains of breathless hype, Spears’ confused, drab performance of “Slave” during 2001’s show made even her boa constricting co-star uncomfortable. Oops, she didn’t do it again.

Britney Spears’ year-long flameout is just one example of the Popstardom tailspin that will likely put all the boy-bands and bombshell jezebels in the poor house by summer, 2002. At least until 5 years from now, when they resurface, Joey McIntyre-like, with “serious” solo albums featuring synthesizers and laser beams.

July 6, 2001. The White Stripes at Empty Bottle, Chicago. The Strokes weren’t the only American rock band with the British press on their bozack in 2001. The UK got all weepy for Detroit City’s White Stripes over the past year, too. Two like-monikered miscreants with no use for a bassist? What’s the big deal?

That’s what a bunch of Chicago scenesters were mumbling early last July when Jack and Meg White arrived in town for their first appearance since Rolling Stone and NME began writing sonnets about their chop-shop blues juju. But in Chicago, if your band can make 300 jaded hipsters jive like Elaine Benes at a Christmas party, you must be doing something right.

Like those elegant bachelors in The Strokes, The White Stripes are deserved of their exposure, and most likely would have hit paydirt even without all the top-drawer dishing. In the year to come, it will be interesting to see what effect the band’s significant press and wider audience has on their hometown rock scene, which has a lot of potential, and even a few bands that feature a bass guitar.

August 1, 2001. Radiohead performs outdoors in Chicago’s Grant Park, and rocks 40,000 spectators with quiet desperation. After 1997’s OK Computer lauched Radiohead into an epoch of stardom they did not expect, the group reacted with the primer for clinical depression chronicled in “Meeting People Is Easy,” Grant Gee’s composite tourfilm of 1998. But Thom Yorke and his chaps rebounded brilliantly with 2000’s Kid A, an album whose protean rhythms were almost entirely devoid of the chiming guitars and hooks the size of Greenland that typified OK Computer.

Despite Kid A’s debut at number 1, despite the record’s smoldering genius, there was still some confusion in 2001 about Radiohead’s direction. And after months of scheduling and re-scheduling the location of their Chicago gig, many of the pale indie types soaking in the rays on that hot day last August had arrived almost out of curiosity. What would Radiohead do? How could they POSSIBLY combine their earlier material with odd jibboom of Kid A?

As it turned out, meeting people really is easy. The band did not perform behind blinking and whirring mainframes. They didn’t stare intently at their shoes for 35 minutes before walking silently, shoulders haunched, off the stage. In fact, Radiohead turned in an almost 3-hour set of music that effortlessly spanned the sonic differences between their early and more recent material. Yorke made faces in a camera mounted on his organ. He was charming. He was funny. And his bandmates filled up the impossibly pristine soundsystem with precision rock and roll and no less than 4 encores.

With their summer tour, Radiohead gently, but firmly, asserted what they had been saying all along, during all of those interviews for “Best of 2000” articles: KID A’s subdued nature was the logical progression of a rock band in flux. Amnesiac, Kid A’s stylistic companion piece, arrived without guitar heroics, and this time no one was up in arms. Seeing and hearing Radiohead quietly illustrate their chosen musical direction with passion and power along Chicago’s lakefront on a hot summer day was a great way to be convinced of their once and future greatness.

“America: A Tribute To Heroes” was the first, and one of the best, of the entertainment industry’s answers to the tragic events of September 11. At VH-1’s “Concert For New York City,” NYC’s firefighters, police officers, and emergency workers were treated to an all star bash in their own backyard, and their onstage participation helped lend the event a casual, backyard feel – as if you invited your favorite rockers and movie stars to a traditional American hoedown. Celebrities mingled freely with the real heroes, as a packed Madison Square Garden cheered it all on.

But arriving so soon after the attacks as it did, September 21st’s “Tribute To Heroes” unfolded in a more somber mood, concentrating on performances that captured the mourning heart of America, while still offering hope for the future.

Bruce Springsteen (“City In Ruin”) and Tom Petty (“Won’t Back Down”) were only two of the standouts among the multi-network event’s myriad of inspired performances. But special recognition goes to Neil Young, whose performance of “Imagine” accomplished so much without any attempt to re-work John Lennon’s original version and vision. With his straightforward, clear-eyed performance, Young not only encapsulated many Americans’ dreams and hopes for a more peaceful world; he also stood defiant against the misguided notions of Clear Channel Communications that had placed the song on a list of tracks deemed “lyrically inappropriate” in the wake of 9/11.

The terrorist attacks effected America’s musical landscape in ways both immediate and longterm. But so quickly after they happened, it was comforting to see musicians we respect and admire (or even some of those we normally deride) use their art and talent to give us all a sonic bear hug.


Best reissue of the year: Shugge Otis, Inspiration Information (Luaka Bop). One of the great “should-have-beens” in music history, Otis’ inspired work from 1974-5 contains effortless funk, dreamy island soul, and plenty of mojo that is beautifully indefinable…Oukast’s Stankonia finally gave Big Boi and Andre 3000 the crossover audience that their genre-cluttered hip hop genius deserves. They were even able to release a primer of sorts in 2001 that showcases the many highlights in their older material…Galactic Californian space-rockers Grandaddy toured with Coldplay. Here’s hoping the casual radio fan of “Yellow” skipped the third Amstel Light and went into the venue early…As mentioned above, Clear Channel’s whoring tactics only got worse in 2001. After assimilating approximately billions of radio stations in multiple markets and formats nationwide, the whoring juggernaut went after live venues, so as to force all echelons of the industry to do business with them, or not at all. No one’s suggesting that the rest of the industry isn’t fucked up. But Clear Channel is definitely at the top of the shit list. Watch out in ‘ought 2. You might wake up a subsidiary.


Unsound Effects

Elsewhere on this site (buried, I believe, somewhere in the “Comments” section) there is a lively debate on whether fundamental concert/show etiquette permits people who are not on stage to sing along with those who are performing on the stage. My contention continues to be that if you pay your money to hear a band perform, then you are entitled to hear said band perform without the accoutrements of people who have also paid their money to sit in the audience along with you. Too often I have been in the audience at, say, Elvis Costello concerts only to listen to what sounds like a variety of people with their ankles being progressively crunched by industrial-strength bear traps during “Allison.” “I know this world is killing you,” indeed.

There is undoubtedly a ring in Dante’s hell that he chose not to describe for those ticket-holders who not only sing at shows with the type of gusto ordinarily found only on the Miss America Pageant or “Ed McMahon’s Stars of Tomorrow,” but who choose to accompany their vocalizations with dancing of a sort that is typically best described as Joe Cocker on a bad day. Yes, we all know, a la Miss Kiki Dee, that you’ve got the music in you, but could you please just keep it there until you are in the confines of your own home? Do you expect the person on stage to suddenly stop and with fear-cum-admiration announce that you are clearly a more talented person than they and therefore they’ll be promptly relinquishing the microphone to you?

I am not suggesting that people go to concerts and sit on their hands, but I continue to be puzzled by the need to let loose with lyrics and gyrations. Certainly, there are cases during which your senses are altered by alcohol or chemicals and consequently you’ve just got to bust out with your own, parallel rendition of whatever songs are being performed. But just as you imagine that, under the same conditions, you tell the best jokes and are invariably appealing to the opposite sex, know well that (a) the only ones who laugh at the jokes are those who are similarly impaired and (b) mouth drool is attractive only on those whose age is measured in months.

While I am certain that there are many who are outraged at these observations, figuring me to be a sequoia-sized stick in the mud, I am similarly certain that there is fairly uniform agreement that one place where people just ought to, well, to put it as it needs to be put, “shut the fuck up” is at the movie theater. How many times have you sat next to people who have to state the evident with a volume that drowns out the Sony Digital Sound? What is puzzling is that it invariably seems that the person making the comments never fails to observe the obvious, like seeing Estella Warren in Planet of the Apes and saying, “She doesn’t look like an ape,” or “Look, it’s the Japanese!” as the planes file through the Pali in Pearl Harbor.

That said, there is one theater that I’m similarly certain that many of us would want to sit in and would relish the comments. That theater, of course, is behind the multiple doors on the ship that is the setting of Mystery Science Theater 3000. A crack from Crow or Tom Servo is often worth the price of admission. There are few TV shows that have exhibited the nigh-Asian cleverness of MST3K. Mike Nelson, who was the head writer for the show for 10 seasons and who replaced Joel as the host when Joel managed to get back to Earth, has written a book that is de rigueur to film fans everywhere, even though it will probably never be footnoted in Film Comment. It’s called Mike Nelson’s Movie Megacheese, and consists of an array of his compact musings on what passes as popular culture at the multiplex nearest you (as well as takes on TV). (Interestingly, it seems as though Nelson saw most of the films he probed on DVD, not in a venue with stadium-seating and invariably sticky floor. Perhaps he realized that he would have been unable to keep his mouth shut during the performance and, regardless of the relevance of the bon mots he’d throw off, he’d be shunned by other patrons, if not pelted with Milk Duds.)

All of which brings me to the reason for this, which is not to be dismissive of those who sing and dance during stage shows or to chastise those with logorrhea during movies. Rather, to quote from Nelson’s book on a subject near and dear to this site, music. In one section of MNMM, he examines a number of families in film: the Arquettes, Baldwins, Culkins, Wayans, Penns. . .and Dillons. With the last being Matt and Kevin. Kevin is in Oliver Stone’s The Doors. Nelson takes the opportunity to make some observations about Jim Morrison, about whom he notes, “It probably doesn’t help that I’ve always loathed Morrison.” But not being satisfied with just making that comment, he goes on to provide a tangible reason for finding the Lizard King to be more disturbing than numerous fans did in Florida. Nelson writes,

Even if you are a fan of Jim Morrison’s poetry (and if you are, may I say, thank you for taking the time to read my book, and please know how much I understand how badly the world has hurt you as it has hurt me so many, many times. It’s us against them, my friend!), you can’t deny that his voice is very much like any given dad’s voice singing clumsily from the shower as he soaps his beefy arms. Just stop for a moment and imagine Morrison’s ham-fisted baritone shouting out his idiotic free verse “Break on through to the other side,” and now imagine your own father in his tiled stall mindlessly singing the same verse. See? They’re indistinguishable!

I suspect that you’ll never listen to “Touch Me” quite the same way again.

Glorious Noise Interview with Califone’s Tim Rutili

Glorious Noise Interview

10 Questions for Califone’s Tim Rutili

By Derek Phillips

Since the early 90s, Tim Rutili has been crafting his own brand of “rustic pop.” From Red Red Meat to his current band, Califone, Rutili has developed a style of songwriting at once haunting and hummable. The following is an email interview with Rutili from the office of his own Perishable Records.

GLONO: I read a lot of critics describe Red Red Meat as “Stonesy” rock. Critics often project their own tastes and experiences into what they hear from bands (and that’s part of the job). But what do you hear when you go back and listen to those songs? What influences come across now that maybe weren’t quite as clear then or not at all clear to critics/reviewers/etc?

TIM RUTILI: I try not to think like a critic. When I hear music that we did a long time ago it sounds like 4 really creative (but extremely unfinished) people working together. Also, I can’t help hearing an enormous potential that we never came close to reaching while we were together. It’s a little frustrating… I don’t listen to that old stuff very often.

I was in a bar the other day and they were playing “ above the manger..” and I didn’t recognize it at first. I thought it was some fucked up German music like Can or something. It was good to hear in that setting. It didn’t sound dated or anything but I don’t think I’d put it on at home…not feeling very nostalgic these days.

I remember really liking Spaceman 3 and Syd Barrett at the time. I also really liked Tricky and Massive Attack too. Always loved the Stones and early Rod Stewart and the Faces. We really wanted to sound like that but it always came out wrong, I guess.

2. How did that sound jive with Sub Pop? In the early 90s, Sub Pop became a sort of totem to Grunge and the alternative nation. How did you fit into that and what kinds of issues arose?

We didn’t really fit into anything and we didn’t worry about it. We were always about making our own world because we couldn’t find a place for ourselves in this one. But…I still love a lot of the stuff that Sub Pop was doing at the time. Especially Mudhoney. They are one of the best bands ever.

3. How is Califone connected—musically, rather than by personnel—to Red Red Meat? How is it different?

Califone is the next step after Red Red Meat. All the Califone stuff could have been Red Red Meat stuff, I guess. Maybe it feels a little less rock and a little more about songwriting and patience.

I don’t know. I never stopped. We always could do anything we felt like doing. It’s still that way. Everything always leads to right now…

4. I hear strains of Neil Young’s darker 70s music (Tonight’s the Night, Zuma, On the Beach, Time Fades Away) in Califone’s “Room Sound.” Am I just projecting or do you hear it too?

Sure. I love those records very, very much.

5. I am intrigued with music that combines folk spirit with modern, electronic sounds. What is it that we find so appealing about this music?

I have no idea what it is like for other people… We seem to just use the tools that we have at hand. I think if we only had a tin can and a 76-piece orchestra the music would still be about searching within ourselves for some sort of collective nature or source. Not a lot of thought goes into it. It is just instinctively where we end up. I look forward to seeing where it wants to go next.

6. What is the common thread that links all of Perishable’s artists? What is it they have in common?

The only rule we have is that Ben [Massarella, Perishable Records co-owner and Califone percussionist] and I both have to love the music in order to put it out.

A long time ago we got together with our friends in Rex. They were from Brooklyn and we toured together for a while. Usually at the end of the night we all piled on the stage and played together. Sometimes it was a huge mess and other times it was beautiful. We talked about recording together.

We actually got the chance to make a record for a label. We got together and wrote, recorded and mixed it in 10 long days. We called the band and record Loftus after our good friend Tim Loftus (no relation to our own Johnny Loftus—ed.).

The label didn’t know what to do with us at all and we got the record back and decided to release it on our own label and things kind of opened up from there. Every member of Loftus has given us something to put out. Orso is Phil’s [Spirito], HIM and Out in Worship is Doug’s [Scharin], Sin Ropas is Tim Hurley’s, Curtis Harvey has been working on his record for us for a while.

So Perishable started with us releasing the first Red Red Meat records and we kind of stopped the label for a while when we were working with Sub Pop and started it up again with the Loftus record. It’s still growing. I like what we do. Things have flowed along and good records have come to us in a very natural way.

7. Many labels, especially smaller ones, have a sort of sound that they seem to promote. I can hear a certain commonality between Perishable’s acts, but do you hear it? If so, is it a conscious and deliberate attempt to establish a “Perishable sound?”

It is not really a deliberate thing. We just try to do what we like. We tend to like a lot of different stuff and have many talented friends.

8. For many smaller labels and even some individual acts (Wilco, Aimee Mann, etc), the web has enabled them to connect directly with the audience. In some cases, they’ve severed ties with labels (other than for distribution) all together. Does Perishable use the web much? Any plans to expand web use as a promotional or delivery tool?

We try to have fun with our website. I am not that crazy about mp3s but they are a good promo tool. We still like packaging and we try to make our releases as handmade and as beautiful as possible. I still have fond memories of obsessing over vinyl records. I miss those days.

9. Popular music seems to operate in cycles with the focus on rhythm and beat oriented music (teen pop, R & B, etc) to more lyrically substantial songs (the recent “singer/songwriter” buzz all the industry rags yammer on about). Are we about due for a new shift? Are the bells tolling for teen pop and can we expect a renewed interest in more “serious” music?

I have no idea what’s coming next. I love a lot of silly pop music too.

10. Like what? Do you like anything particularly embarrassing to admit?

I listen to the radio when I drive…I liked Aaliyah, that dead girl. That song on the Dr. Doolittle soundtrack with Timbaland is amazing. I saw the video and went out and bought it immediately. The grooves and the production are really good. And I have quite a fascination with Britney. I watched her live in Vegas

Concert on HBO. I couldn’t take my eyes off it. They made it rain inside the Enormodome for the encore and Britney hung from wires in the eye of the storm and got soaked while singing. I loved it. I like her videos too. I got some stickers in a gumball machine with her sexy photos on them and put them all over one of my electric pianos.

I am still obsessed with the last D’Angelo record too. But that’s just really, really good music period. I have a dream of producing a hip-hop record someday. I have tons of really good ideas for it.

As far as pop music goes I don’t ever like the fake punk rock and earnest creed-like bands but I can usually find something to like in almost all hip hop or dance-oriented stuff. Even if it is just the drum loop or a vocal line or something interesting that they did with the computer… there’s nothing wrong with showbiz if it’s completely shameless. If I have to see people selling sex or selling sincerity, I will chose the sex any day of the week. In the pop music world both are masks and lies but I think the sex is much more entertaining. That’s what it’s all about.

Catch Tim Rutili with Califone tomorrow night, December 22, at the Hideout in Chicago.


No Doubt See Ted Nugent in an Airport and Don’t Ask Him to Produce Anything

Johnny Loftus

Rock Steady. Hey, that’s a cool-sounding term, man. Are you thinking of Sly & Robbie, Prince Jammy, King Tubby, or some other “-y” moniker’d grass-roots dub reggae producer? Yeah, you down, dog. But hold up. It’s also an anonymously cool sounding moniker for No Doubt’s new studio record, their first since 2000’s Return of Saturn, and their first since frontwoman Gwen Stefani’s meteoric rise to “I’m Helping You” fame, which came only after the backlash to her band’s Tragic Kingdom record of 1995, a backlash that pigeonholed the Orange County-based group as one of those Bunch Of Guys Backing Up A Babe bands. (Shit, they even chronicled the hype in their video for “Don’t Speak.” So don’t blame me.) Since her scene-stealing turns as sidewoman for Moby (“South Side”), and Eve (“Let Me Blow Ya Mind”), Stefani has grown beyond her previous stature as simply the platinum-blonde vocalist of No Doubt. She has become a spokeswoman of curiously glittery bras, the defiantly non-hot, yet oddly hot vocalist that is now somehow walking point for the 80s/New Wave/Neon/Rayon revival that is allegedly on its way to our collective pop consciousness, just like furry tooks for women and those killer bees that seem to amass on the Mexican border during every sweeps week. How does America’s Katrina & The Waves bank on their girl’s florescent exposure? Well, hiring a bunch of Justice League producers and releasing a genuinely solid dance-pop record (in the middle of winter, mind you) isn’t a bad idea.

And that’s just what No Doubt has done with Rock Steady, an album that features the tweaking of Nelee Hooper, William Orbit, and perhaps most importantly (and flatteringly) for the group, reggae gurus Sly & Robbie. The presence of the classic reggae rhythm & bass duo most likely influences the set’s title, as the Riddim Twins’ appearances with and influences on basically every seminal reggae/ragga artist of the last 35 years is beyond self-evident. No Doubt’s island influences have never been a secret. But having the loot to hook up production from your heroes? That’s something that your average Cali third wave ska group can’t muster. Sly & Robbie’s dub-electronica mojo is evident on “Hey Baby,” a song that’s a tailor-made single for the Clear Channel “KISS-FM” set, but taken to a psycho, herky-jerky level, with galactic feedback and a great organ break backing up Stefani’s vocal hook. It’s like dub plate Pink blown up for the clubs, but without that white cheerleaders from Bring It On, “we’re fooling you with half-assed, allegedly adventurous beats” shtick that defines the self-proclaimed 2-Step Garage beats of N*Sync and Britney Spear’s recent yawns. The comparison is valid: Ever since Tragic Kingdom’s explosion, and especially since Stefani’s most recent and very glammy publicity, No Doubt is fully moving within the Pop market. The genius is that they’ve released a solid record into a market inundated with shit-stained drek resembling Pat Boone covering Little Richard. You know – all talk, no action. You better bring it? It’s already been brought.

The money train didn’t stop with Sly & Robbie. Think about hot production in the last, say, 5-6 years. What comes to mind? Nelee Hooper (Bjork). William Orbit (Madonna). Ric Ocasek (Weezer; Guided By Voices). Timbaland & Missy Elliot (Aaliyah; themselves). Check it: They all worked with No Doubt during the sessions for Rock Steady. After a brief intro, Hooper’s “Hella Good” kicks out a groove that’ll make ABC News’ John Cochran bust moves like he should have played Hammer in VH-1’s biopic. And you don’t stop. Orbit shows up to mix down a decent reset of Madonna’s “Music,” (which he didn’t produce anyway, but I guess Mirwais was busy eating at QuickBurger when Gwen rang his flat), and Ric Ocasek arrives to further solidify the nouveau-retro flair he added to the mediocre material on Weezer’s Green Album. “Don’t Let Me Down” and “Platinum Blondelife” sound like Teena Marie fronting The Cars, and that’s no joke. Best of all, Ocasek produced Bad Brains’ Rock For Light, the coolest album of 1983, and Tony Kanal knows it.

No Doubt are important in the grand marginal scheme of traffic-jam guilty pleasure radio lullaby rock. Sure, Nelly Furtado’s “I’m Like a Bird” was pleasant enough the first 450 times. But jeez, release another single, would you? And now that Jewel’s dishwater new material has her thinking of spending a promotional year in the trunk of an Anchorage, AK Grand Turino, Stupid Radio needs something that the average dope can hum along listlessly to while waiting in line at McDonald’s. And if that brain-evacuating slush happens to feature Sly & Robbie cutting up some primo instrumental juju, or Ric Ocasek moving in stereo, then super size it Pilar, because radio just got better for the next two and a half minutes.


The Glorious Noise Interview with the Handsome Family

The Glorious Noise Interview with the Handsome Family

I recently had the opportunity to interview Rennie Sparks, the lyricist/autoharpist half of the Handsome Family. Check it out!

Continue reading The Glorious Noise Interview with the Handsome Family

Have You Heard a Good Movie Lately?

During this, the holiday season, plenty of people go to the movies. Consequently, you’ll find that in the entertainment sections of newspapers there are display ads galore, as each of the film companies tries to separate us from our dollars to see one of their productions. But one thing that is becoming increasingly apparent: As these film companies become parts of vertically integrated mega-corporations, it is not enough for them merely to take your money for a set of ducats. Rather, they want you to spend even more. I am not talking about action figures or cups that glow from Burger King. I am talking about music.

While perusing the December 16, 2001, edition of the New York Times, I began to take note of the inclusion of references to the availability of music that were in the ads for movies. The following list takes into account all of the ads that I could actually read the small print in (and the ink used in newspapers tends to bleed into the paper, so there is difficulty when things get exceedingly small: in a 2 x 2-in. ad for Focus I was able to discern only “Soundtrack Available on” and the label’s logo was obscured) or that had more than a brief amount of text (and a surprising number of URLs and AOL logos).

First, the surprises. Moulin Rouge, which is in re-release with hopes of garnering awards (it says in the ad, “Attention Academy, HFPA & All Guild Members; You and a guest are cordially invited to attend any performance of Moulin Rouge! Just show your card for admittance”), a musical, does not have a reference to the soundtrack in its ad. Perhaps 20th Century Fox (and when will that name flip a calendar page?) doesn’t want to worry about the Grammy’s.

Behind Enemy Lines, which rocks you in commercials with fast-flying fighters and Owen Wilson singing a bit of the Doobie Brothers, is music-free in its ad, as is the Coen brothers’ The Man Who Wasn’t There, which is all the more surprising since their last outing spawned a whole new interest in pickin’ and grinnin’. The Royal Tenenbaums are audio object-free, as is Joe Somebody. In the Bedroom is evidently a quiet place to be.

But let the music play!

Many of the ads have a demur notation. As in Waking Life merely indicating that “Soundtrack available on TVT Soundtrack” and Monsters Inc. has an “Original soundtrack available on Walt Disney Records.” You can get soundtracks for Charlotte Gray, Shrek, The Majestic, The Shipping News, Amele, Bridget Jones’s Diary, and A Beautiful Mind.

The ads that are all the more interesting, however, are those that plug—big time. As in:

Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: “Music from the Motion Picture Featuring Brand New Music by Aaron Carter, ‘nsync, Britney Spears, No Secrets and Other Superstars on Nick/Jive CDs and Tapes.” I particularly like that “Other Superstars.”

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: “Soundtrack Featuring 2 New Songs By Enya Including ‘May It Be’ Available on Reprise Records.” You can never get enough Enya nowadays.

Vanilla Sky: “Soundtrack Available on Reprise Records Featuring Songs From Paul McCartney, R.E.M., Radiohead, Sigur Ros.” I am only disappointed that Cameron Crowe didn’t insist that a Beach Boys’ tune be included in the verbiage.

Kate & Leopold: “Soundtrack Available on Miramax Records Featuring New Music By Sting.” Oh, yes, Hugh Jackson and the irrepressible Meg Ryan, swooning to Sting. . .

Not Another Teen Movie: “Soundtrack Featuring ‘Tainted Love’ by Marilyn Manson and Music By Orgy, Saliva, Muse, and Mest.” This one is understandable. Teen movies, self-denial notwithstanding, tend to have better soundtracks than plots. But I like the way the copywriter indicates that “Tainted Love” is not music.

And this has to be my favorite of all:

Ocean’s Eleven: “Soundtrack Features New David Holmes & More Musical Must-Haves! Check It Out!” The exclamation points and “Must-Haves” are classic. But I’m holding out for Sammy Davis, Jr.

Question: Before you listen to soundtracks, are you supposed to go to the snack bar first?

20,000 GLoNO Fans Can’t Be Wrong

Well, it looks like we did it. Another monumental milestone in the history of our little website: 20,000 visitors. We here at Glorious Noise would like to thank you all for stopping by. We’d especially like to thank all of the people who check in on the site every day and contribute comments to the Discussions and Message Boards. And all the great sites out there that link to us. We really do appreciate it.

It seems like only yesterday that we hit 10,000. And it wasn’t too long before that that we started this whole thing. We will be celebrating our first anniversary on February 6, and the fact that people are reading our stuff makes us feel like what we’ve been doing has been a worthwhile way to spend our time.

Thanks again, everybody. We love you all. Drinks! For all my friends!

Rock and roll can change your life.