28 December 2008

Soliloquy on the Christmas Holiday

Day after day I'm more confused. But I look for the light through the pouring rain. You know that's a game that I hate to lose. Now I'm feeling the strain. Aint it a shame? Oh, give me the beat boys and free my soul. I wanna get lost in your rock and roll and drift away. Give me the beat boys and free my soul. I wanna get lost in your rock and roll and drift away. Beginning to think that I'm wasting time. I don't understand the things I do. The world outside looks so unkind. I'm counting on you. To carry me through. Give me the beat boys and free my soul. I wanna get lost in your rock and roll and drift away. And when my mind is free you know melody can move me. And when I'm feeling blue the guitar's coming through to soothe me. Thanks for the joy that you've given me. I want you to know I believe in your song. Your rhythm and rhyme and harmony. You've helped me along. You're making me strong. Give me the beat boys and free my soul. I wanna get lost in your rock and roll and drift away. Now now now won't you take me? Oh, oh take me Fly high...

12 December 2008

Owly's First Post

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Internet,

Hoo-hoo! Hoo-hoo! My name is Owly, the College Degree Owl. As some of you may know, there has been a great deal of recent debate about the projected 5.8 trillion-dollar-bailout to sectors of...holy shit, look! It's a tiny vole, scurrying past the compost pile! I'm going to swoop down and snatch up that vole with my talons so that I can violently rip out chunks of its brain!

This vole's tiny gall bladder melts in my mouth! I love to eat voles! I also love to make love to owls!

Where was I? Oh my...I've completely forgotten what I came here to say. Very sorry for the inconvenience, ladies and gentlemen of the internet. Have a fine weekend and a celebratory winter solstice.

Very truly yours,
Owly, the College Degree Owl

05 December 2008

18 November 2008

FASHION: Stand-Up Comedians

Today marks a very important day in this blog. I will be writing about fashion. The least meaningful of the arts. And nowhere is the least meaningful of the arts less meaningful than in the world of stand-up comedy. I'll be giving these in a list. If you don't know what a "rider" is, go away.


BJ Novak

Act: BJ Novak is the stand-up comedian's stand-up comedian. He isn't very funny, there's nothing interesting about his act, and he made a name for himself on a TV show that will probably be canceled very soon.

The Clothes Say: "I am the everyman. Look at how loose-fitting and relaxed my relaxed-fit jeans are. I was about to go to a job interview, which is why I have on this nice jacket and dress shirt, but what the hell, I guess I'll just throw on these relaxed-fitting jeans and go tell some jokes for some of my friends. Who needs a job when you have friends like you guys? Not me!"

Rider:
1) A fun-sized bottle of Poland Spring Water
2) A fun-sized packet of Peanut M&Ms

Patton Oswalt

Act: You can tell by the way he's standing in this picture that Patton Oswalt will tell a lot of funny jokes. He's holding two fingers in the air...is he trying to communicate the word "peace"? No, he's probably making a gesture indicating the number two. What about those loose-fitting jeans? They were probably on sale.

The Clothes Say: "I am trapped in the early 90s in the body of my then-uncle Sal, who was an all-around fun guy who tried to learn how to snowboard with me and my friends this one time. Sal killed himself to escape clinical depression."

Rider:
1) Potato Chips
2) Can of Pibb Extra

Dane Cook

I've given up writing full sentences.

Act:
1) Tell fart Jokes
2) Tell sex story
3) Show penis

The Clothes Say: "Do you want to see my penis?"

Rider:
1) 13-year-olds
2) 2-Liter of Pibb Extra
3) Polaroid camera
4) Trojan Enz

Doug Stanhope

Act:
1) Vomit onstage
2) Talk about penis
3) Show penis
4) Vomit on penis

The Clothes Say: "I just need a few bucks for gas. My car's just a few blocks away, and I gotta get back to Jersey. Come on, man, just a few bucks. I got kids in the car. They're not my kids, but they're still in the car."

Rider:
1) 40 of OE
2) Purel
3) Lighter
4) Dachsund

Sarah Silverman

Act:
1) Stand still for five minutes as audience laughs
2) Vomit undigested Zoloft
3) Tell Jewish joke
3) Blowjobs

The Clothes Say: "Isn't this embarrassing? I know! It's so embarrassing! That's what's funny about it!"

Rider:
1) Nair
2) 2-Liter bottle of Zoloft
3) Photograph of own tits

Eddie Murphy

Act:
1) Cocaine-eating contest with front row of audience
2) Tell jokes at five-times the maximum explicable speed
3) Cosby impression

The Clothes Say: "I have come from the future to rape your women and...no, that's about it. Just the raping part."

Rider:
1) Hot dogs
2) 12 hyena kneecaps
3) Kayak full of angel dust

13 November 2008

REVIEW: The Job I Was Laid Off From Today


Meh.

We're living in a world where firing loyal employees is better than losing a few hundred bucks over the holiday season. But when those employees can't fucking buy Christmas presents for their children, it kind of blows. Business is always personal.

Also, I don't have children. Thank God. Because they would not be getting any Christmas presents this year.

Luckily, I also don't have friends.

Expect posts more frequently.

11 November 2008

REVIEW: Morningwood - Sugarbaby EP


Taste Your Rating: 698.77/1000.00

This is the first part in a series of reviews where I review the first five bands that you retard goblins put in the comments. Upcoming is a review of The Depths.

But, honestly, we couldn't have started in a better place. Morningwood makes the kind of music that I imagine people make in prison in their heads when they're trying desperately to push out the ambient sounds of grunting from the other cells. Morningwood is a girl-fronted (her fucking name is Chantal for fuck's sake) power-pop band whose sexual confidence is matched only by what I can only assume is their quickly growing realization that, one day, they will die.

Let me clear this up. I'm not saying that I realize that they will die (I do). I'm not saying they deserve to die (they do). What I'm saying is that what I find most compelling about this album is that every member of this band will die. They will all be dead. For example, in one particularly masturbatory moment, Chantel Claret spells the name of the band: M-O-R-N-I-N-G-W-O-O-D. In that same moment, somewhere beneath the noise of powerchords and synthesizer runs, underneath the aural experience of that danceable little number, the music self-consciously spells something else: I-A-M-S-L-O-W-L-Y-D-Y-I-N-G-B-Y-V-I-R-T-U-E-O-F-M-Y-B-E-I-N-G-A-L-I-V-E.

This I find absolutely fascinating. The idea of a band that is at once perched atop life in the most artificially sexualized pose imaginable, perhaps a band even in the process of fucking as the songs take place, at the very same moment that the band is, in the grand scheme of human life (if not all life as we know it) about to be dead. Morningwood had their debut LP out a few years ago, and this is their second release--an EP, or extended player. They are also dying.

The first thing that happens is that the telemeres in the cells begin to slowly "fray" at the edges. This is a sign of cell aging. Then, as the cells age, they begin to lose function. This process is replicated throughout most of our body systems. At some point, the heart stops, and blood no longer flows to vital organs and tissues. When these tissues can't get oxygen or other important elements and nutrients, they too die, until we think of the whole person as dead. But when exactly does death occur? Does it occur when the heart stops beating? When the conscious brain refuses to function due to lack of oxygen? When does one die?

I'm not sure. I'm not sure about all of those things. But when Chantal Claret sings "She's undone / He can't cum / Still time for her to go and get some" as a puppet in the below video, all I can think of is the fact that, like all things, her youth will eventually fail her and that her body will die.

03 November 2008

REVIEW: Your Band

I'll be reviewing the first five bands whose websites arrive in the comment section to this post. They don't have to be your band. They don't have to be your friend's band. I will review anything. Limited time offer.

But you know what to expect.

06 October 2008

SHOW REVIEW: Extra Life @ Less Artists More Condos


Of the nine Saturday, October 4ths that I've experienced in my life, this one will go down as the most inexplicable (just edging out the October 4th when I found some lettuce in the mailbox). If you've never been to Less Artists More Condos, I highly suggest a trip (preferably in the daytime, when the owner is gone, with a crowbar. Place is loaded).

It's a show/living space above some bar in Greenwich Village, and they hold hipster concerts there. But the best part is that it's actually a condo, and judging by the size and location, the space probably costs around $20,000 a motherfucking month.

So at this point you're probably wondering how the fuck one dude can afford to live in a place that's $20,000 a month when the only income he has is, presumably, illegally selling Busch to hipsters and buying cigarettes/pregnancy tests for middle school kids. Somebody's sucking some dicks on the side, right? Well, not exactly. Let me elucidate the situation.

Mommy pays for it.

Not only do his parents pay for this arty little fuckhole, but dude's parents have another home on the West coast where they live half the time. That's, like, four houses. So why does an obnoxious indie scene sprout up around the abundantly affluent? Because that's exactly who wants to appear like they're jobless alcoholics who can't afford decent clothes. Hence my Saturday night:

Band one: the keyboardist from Parts And Labor, playing pop music on his...er...keyboard. It sounded like Parts and Labor without the guy with the beard or the drummer who looks like my ex-roommate. Or the girl who does nothing.

Keyboardist dude apparently was told by one of his friends that 'Man, I mean, when in doubt, headbang or make it louder or whatever. That would be really...aesthetic. Want to buy some more drugs from my sister?' Whenever the songs got boring, they immediately became louder and he started to headbang. Holy shit. Take the Christmas lights off your set-up, cut your hair, and learn the fucking guitar.

Band two: Drunk Driver. Holy motherfucking God. They get forty hipster points. Two instruments (+7 hipster points), a female guitarist (+3 hipster points), a drummer (-2 hipster points), a lead vocalist (-3 hipster points), mind-numbingly obnoxious (+9 hipster points), a lot of destruction of property while guzzling a 40 (+4 hipster points), and the singer started the set by saying "Just put as much reverb on the mic as you can" (+22 hipster points). You can't make this shit up. Their thing was that they make loud noise, and the guy with the microphone pretends like he's drunk and swings the mic around while molesting audience members.

Ok, I fucking get it. You're a drunk driver. Add some Christmas lights, grow out your hair, and learn the fucking keyboard. You'll be moving in the right direction.

Band three: Extra Life. If you get the chance to check out this band, please do. I try to cover horrible things, but consider this the exception that proves the rule.

Oh, and watching the dictator-of-a-vocalist lead the group with a string of percussive, Eichmann-esque commands as he put on an "I'm pooping" face was a lot like watching old films from the Holocaust, with similar audio. Am I allowed to say that?
Yes. Yes I am.

29 September 2008

Your Bike Is Farts

In case you haven't noticed, I'm sick of music. This is a post about bikes.

New York has always had a history of bikes, because it's "healthier" and "more convenient" and there are fewer "mole people" than riding the subway. But keep this in mind: you are a gaggle of cocks if your bike looks like this:

Yes, I get it. Orange is as ironic as Jay Reatard sober. Thin tires are retro like The Strokes used to be before you all happened to spontaneously realize they were shitty, without listening to anyone else's opinion. But you know what I find not cool? I find it not cool when there are 27 of these fucking things parked on every block on Bedford until you hit the Hassidic neighborhood.

Ok, they don't all look like that. Because some of them look like this:



Curved handles? Check. One speed, suitable only for downhill travel? Uh huh. Obnoxious coloring? Yep. If any of your friends have heard of the brand, then try to sell it to someone from the East Village. That failing, leave it locked in front of the Charleston until somebody (probably one of your other friends) steals it while they're drunk/high.

If only to piss of the kind of people who are personally offended by a steak, I am planning on getting a real bike. And not just any motherfucking bike. A bad-ass, mountain-climbing, ass-fucking bike. The kind of bike that is made out of other weaker bikes. And unborn babies. I will call it "Cat Cancer 4000." Get this image in your head:


That's just a starter. You can start masturbating now. It all begins with an obnoxiously huge logo on the side of the chassy (which I will call the "mega chassy")--a brand name that everybody automatically associates with bikes. Schwinn, for instance. The bike will be pitch black from the dried blood of endangered species, with gigantic fucking yellow Schwinn logos all over it, even on the mountain-bike tires (tires feature treads that are at least seven inches deep and lined with razor blades).

And no fucking retro hard-to-ride bullshit. This baby'll have dual shocks. No, fuck that. Quad shocks. I'll have shocks in the places on my bike that don't need shocks. I'll even put shocks on parts of the bike that will hinder its performance. I'll put shocks on the kickstand and in the seat. There'll be shocks for the shocks.

And no fucking hipster one-speed. "Cat Cancer 4000" features 180 gears, one for each degree, so it can go up vertical inclines as well as ride upside down from ceilings and the bottoms of other bikes. It'll also have four wheels. And I'll build the whole thing out of sticks of dynamite. Not because I want it to explode, but so that I have that option available to me if I ever end up in a situation that requires a dynamite bike.

And did I mention I'll never ride it? That's right, Jerry. Instead of riding "Cat Cancer 4000," I'll buy a solid steel H2 and leave it running in front of an organic grocery store (or contemporary art museum (that means you, P.S.1)) non-stop until I am dead or totally broke, making it impossible to purchase more high-lead-content gasoline from the Taliban.

So how will I get around the city? I'll just shoot myself. Now that's a motherfucking bike.

14 September 2008

My Socks Make Better Music Than Joy Division

I think I first heard of Joy Division from my buddy Craig, in sixth grade. Craig ended up becoming addicted to angel dust. But he also lives in Florida, so his life turned out alright. Just one of many cases in point which I will present to you in the coming paragraphs.

Joy Division has the kind of brand name rivalled only by the Disneys or Wal-Marts of the world. If Disney or Wal-Mart killed themselves following the masturbatory critical reception of an album that makes me want to claw my balls off. Joy Division's consistently listed as one of the most influential groups of the 20th Century, particularly because of their popularization of that whole post-punk business. And I'll give them credit for that. After all, where would we all be without Bloc Party? Or Interpol?

I'll tell you where. We'd be in exactly the same place, doing exactly what we're doing. Which, much like snorting angel dust in Florida, isn't such a horrible thing (hurricane season aside).

What is such a horrible thing is that, to this day, people continue to listen to this band simply because, one day, Ian Curtis hanged himself in the kitchen. (First of all, how the fuck do you hang yourself in the kitchen? Give that a spin in that little brain of yours.)

Ok, so the mythos is pretty sweet. Dude apparently had a failing marriage and epileptic seizures. Before he did the whole hanging thing, he watched Warner Herzog's Stroszek and listened to that Iggy Pop album The Idiot. (Ed. Note: Iggy Pop somehow managed to suck worse than Joy Division, so this makes a little sense.) Anyway, this all makes for an interesting biopic, and you'd probably make a buttload of cash from it. Gus Van Sant should fucking get on this thing already, so he can make some more fucking bones from enormous public tragedies. (Ed. note: Fuck you, Gus Van Sant.)

One problem: Joy Division sounds like pooping, if you made dance music out of pooping. Ian Curtis cannot carry a tune, and every musician in that band owes their fucking career (New Order and otherwise) to a rope. Just look at what they went on to do: New Wave.

But what really, really tears at me, is the fucking stupidity that surrounds the cult of Joy Division fans about their musical talent. These are dudes who first touched a guitar five minutes before recording. And you can really, really tell. If you got a thousand monkeys in a room with a bunch of guitars and some drums, they would sound like Joy Division in about five minutes. Before that, they'd probably sound like Wire.

When you people listen to Joy Division, the music doesn't fucking matter. All that matters is that the dude is dark, and he killed himself. And that's retarded. He didn't kill himself because he was making interesting music. He killed himself because he was depressed and no longer enjoyed life. Which blows, yes, but it doesn't make you an artist. It makes you chemically imbalanced. Listening to Joy Division is like watching Eraserhead because Jack Nance died in a knife fight outside of a donut shop. It just doesn't make any fucking sense.

Mythos made marketing. Read the comments on this video for a parade of idiocy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCVHAjTBb1U

04 September 2008

Hipness


I hate to have to do this so early in the course of this blog, but I think if I wait to approach the issue, it's going to give a lot of freedom to anonymous commentators to say stupid shit about me.

Shit like this:
you need to get out more, or else just take that job in banking and stop kidding yourself that you follow music and participate in a community.nMcLuxuryCondos await your future self, go to them! You'll bea lot happier once you give up on trying to be the cool kid that you clearly ain't.
Wow. I don't even know where to begin. I guess I'd been presupposing some knowledge of my cultural target ("hipness") that this guy (or girl) apparently did not get the memo on. The following is long, but I think it states my point pretty straightforwardly.

You grew up not fitting in with the popular kids. You couldn't catch a baseball. You liked (and could) read. Maybe you were gay. Maybe you played in the marching band. You got picked on and were too weak-willed or self-effacing to stand up for yourself. Whatever it was, it made the world just a little bit horrifying.

Why did you turn to music? You turned to music as an escape. As a means of forming some sort of self-identity that didn't rely on the socially imposed structures and codes you couldn't (or refused to) live up to. Music didn't judge you for the clothes you wore. Music didn't shoot down everything you had to say. Music didn't spit on you while you were walking through the hallway. It was immersive and accepting, and that was all it was. It couldn't possibly be anything more. Occasionally, it was beautiful. Occasionally, it expressed something about what you were feeling that you thought no one could ever know.

Fast forward five or ten years. You're in high school, college, Williamsburg, wherever the fuck you are. Guess what? Ten years is a long time. All of a sudden, you're not some little prepubescent social fucktard anymore. You've got friends. You've fucked someone. Maybe they fucked you back. Guess what it's time to do? It's time to take out your built up social anxieties on the rest of the world, now that you have the means of doing it. It's time to form a little vaguely-bordered cult of obnoxious beards, big white sunglasses, skinny jeans, V-neck T's, flannel shirts, and square frames. Cut your hair like an asshole. Trade integrity for irony. Wear white after labor day.

But you know what? That's not enough. Because now it's time to use your music as a social weapon, both to extract some sort of impersonal revenge from years of perceived abuse and to further distance yourself from the ranks of "normal" society who are below you. You know, the people who work in banking and live in "McLuxuryCondos." So go ahead. Play music they couldn't possibly enjoy. Extract revenge without meeting anyone face-to-face. After all, your enemy is now gone. The enemy that you felt was so unbearably real when you were a dweeb has aged, changed, and moved on. But you can't. You have to make yourself superior in some way. And so you do it with music. Instead of loving music, you use it as a weapon. And you'll want to like the music you're listening to so badly that, no matter what it is, it will become what defines you. You'll use music as a tool of social judgment, and you will trap yourselves.

Music never had the capacity to judge you. But you've found a way for it to judge everyone else. Congrats.

I understand all I'm doing is making judgments myself, but I'm not using music as a weapon. It could never be that effective. What I am doing is trying to make transparent whatever shitty fucking weapon you assholes think you have. I follow music because it's what I love. It moves me. It makes me happy. Genuinely happy. To respond to the anonymous user above: I don't belong to a community. I don't give a shit about community. But I'm not going to stand by and let a "community" wreak havoc on music (in the name of music) so that they can feel a little better about themselves. Your community is the kind of support network that's ruining art. It's the kind of network that will supply huge crowds and endless pats on the back to people who are creating sounds that don't mean anything, that don't truly move anyone. Sounds that are inarticulate and passionless.

There's some stuff out there that's just plain horrible. And this entire blog has been, and will continue to be, a little tongue-in-cheek. I like some of these bands, even if I'm attacking them. But get one thing straight: I don't like you.

31 August 2008

Parts And Labor At Market Hotel


I just got back from a show at the Market Hotel, a place that appears to be an abandoned building but is, in actuality, some kind of market or hotel.

The bands: Parts and Labor, Pterodactyl, and some drum group that saw Stomp too many times.

The gimmick: The bands took turns playing songs. Play continued clockwise around the room. This is something Dan Deacon recently dreamed up, so I'm sure they got the idea from Pitchfork. Strike one. One of the other gimmicks was that it was so hot I wanted to shoot myself.

The result: Deafness.

I think it's impossible for me to review this shindig very fairly. It was really impressive when I first got there, what with the excited crowd, the darkness, and the loud noises. This was before I realized that all the hipsters had a personal 40 of OE and that beers there were five bucks. That's, like, half a Hamilton.

Let's get one thing straight. If you're going to hold an overcrowded, understaffed, windowless state-tragedy-waiting-to-happen illegally in the open space above a grocery store whose roof cannot support the thousands of pounds worth of human bodies and expensive electrical equipment weighing down on it, you do not charge five fucking dollars for a beer. Let the Charleston do that.
Nor should you be allowing all three bands to play at the same time to close the show, deafening everyone in the room.

Parts And Labor: a pop punk band posing as a psychedelic rock band. They've got a girl guitarist who, I'm 99% sure, didn't play a note all night. But she was hot so whatever. Dude with the beard was tight-looking. Sweet glasses, man. None of them could play their instruments.

Pterodactyl: a hardcore band posing as Abe Vigoda. At one point, someone screams "You guys suck" as they start their song. They did.

The drum circle: Stomp. The only thing they had going for them was the flashing light, and the dude who screamed into the vocorder had a cowbell. That he didn't know how to play. But whatever, malt liquor makes everything seem interesting.

If I was a nicer person, I would say something like "At least it was entertaining." But I'm not. In all honesty, the next time I hear about anything like this, I'm calling the cops immediately. And not because I care about anyone's safety.

10 August 2008

Animal Collective Writes Terrible Music

If there's one thing that I have learned in the past 24 hours, aside from the fact that my legs cannot in fact take a "licking" and keep on "ticking," it's this: the sheer number of human beings who will stand in front of Animal Collective while they play terrible music is simply mindblowing.

I just got back from All Points West. Radiohead, as always, annihilated. But that isn't what I want to talk to you about. I want to talk about a little experimental electronic group called Animal Collective; a group that features a dude who calls himself Panda Bear. You might remember Panda Bear as the 2007 artist-of-the-picosecond over at Pitchfucker, the asshole of the internet. Well, apparently, he's back with his old band, and they continue to write music that somehow strikes a balance between being incomparably annoying and tragically, overpoweringly elitist. There are few bands in the history of bands that suck this much hipster clit. Here's a formula I have devised:

Set Reverb To "Stupid" + One Measure Of Keyboard Blips Repeated Indefinitely + Sing Two Notes = Animal Collective

I have never met a single person I respected who gave a horse's perineum for this band. So why did 8,000 people go to see them at All Points West? Why did their interminable, unmelodic, uninteresting sound poop enter into so many lives today? I HAVE NO IDEA. Let me repeat that, in case you didn't hear it the first time. I HAVE NO IDEA.

Sometimes, you just have to wonder.

22 July 2008

How to tell if a band is from New York or L.A.

Today’s post marks my first fat, ugly steps into the fat, ugly world of internet blogging, or “web logging” as the old-fashioned types refer to it. I will not be introducing myself. I will, however, be talking about things musical and otherwise.

Today’s post: How to tell if a band is from New York or L.A.

If you’re like me, then you’ve spent the last five years trying to convince people that you can tell just by listening to a band if they’re from L.A. If you’re not like me, you’ll need a little help, which follows.

1) Check to see if the band has an album out. They do? Then they’re from New York or L.A., or an executive in New York or L.A. heard about them from their friend who used to live in Seattle.
2) Check the album for reverb. Is there a ton of reverb on that sucker? New Fucking York.
3) No reverb? Hold on, a minute, Judy. If there’s no reverb and the music isn’t very well-written (Cold War Kids, Ravens and Chimes), then the band’s from New York. However, if the music is well-written or the band full of actors (Rilo Kiley, The Apex Theory, Mellowdrone, Phantom Planet), the band is definitely from L.A.*

See? It’s that easy. I offer facts. The big question is, why is that the case? Here’s why. New York has an actual music scene. The L.A. music scene is about being famous. So the people that want to be famous work painstakingly on their songs and on being original and interesting, and when they record, they want that shit sparkly. New York, however, has always prided itself on its blasé approach to art and a sense of ironic distance from the rest of the world. New York: home of the nothing. That’s where reverb comes in handy. You don’t have to try as hard when every instrument sounds like a detuned flute, and you’re more popular when you don’t try very hard. Voila. Now you can tell where bands are from. Thank me later, when you’re enjoying your newfound respect as a band-city-teller-person.

*One deviant: No Age is from L.A. The music is horribly written, inarticulate and soaked in shitty reverb, which would normally indicate New York, but in this case, they are part of a small scene surrounding The Smell, a terrible club for idiots.