October 29, 2005
Yet Another Post about Music

Or really, yet another site I don't want to forget about. Enjoyed reading Soi Disantra, particularly the interview with former Chicagolander Graham Smith, who used to front a band called Kleenex Girl Wonder. On a day of Soxmania, this particular bit was the fun read of the day:

Do you like sports (just wondering)?
Hell no. I actually do not like professional sports at all. I guess I like the concept of sports. I like tennis, especially. But for the most part, I think people should watch more good TV as opposed to doing sporting things so damn often, much less watching sporting things on TV.

For added fun, don't miss this post, in which the author pans the atrocious lyrics of the songwriter from atrocious band Live, and is then bombarded by irate fans propelled from a Live bulletin board. The comments really are the best part; as one commenter puts it, "The internet has reached new levels of awesome." I agree.

Posted at 11:10 AM
October 26, 2005
Oh to Be Delinquent

Oh to be delinquent from the blog! A rare delight. And yet there it sits, unposted-to, radiating its neglect throughout the Internet. A few things have been collected nonetheless, so here's a roundup:

Unlike 9/11, there seems to be some good art emerging from the Katrina disaster. Impromptu refrigerator art is one example, but there are good personal stories, too. I've really liked Operation Eden, one writer and photographer's personal story of returning home to the Gulf Coast. He photographs the ruins of his mother's house and the faces of various random survivors with eerie yet candid lighting; the overall effect reminds me somehow of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, although the style is very different. (Geeks will enjoy the description of how he blogs from his car.)

Meanwhile, the indiepop kids are all a-twitter over this article, which purports to lay out the history of the movement, and succeeds, to some degree. Obviously no one is going to be happy with anything less than an encyclopedic account that represents everybody, which is impossible. But the only paragraph I take serious issue with is this one:

At the same time, we've seen the rise of something analogous to the hardcore bands of the 80s. It's the underground world of post-hardcore noise where things are really happening, and along with that has come an old schism--between the tough punks and the drama geeks... Chances of some woman recording a series of weird, girly four-track songs in her bedroom and offering them up to the world like a beautiful private gift, the way Liz Phair once did: slim.

Why slim? Seems like the whole point of the article, and of indiepop, is that doing your own weird, nerdy thing is laudable and, indeed in some circles, cool. Or did I misunderstand and all the bedsit singers are just too busy doing podcasts now?

Finally, I am in growing-out-bangs hell, so what I really need is one of these. Alas, they don't seem to make them any more. And yet I see much uglier and more useless fashion statements daily, like the Ugg boots that will not die. Why god why?

Posted at 06:41 PM
October 21, 2005
Back, Belatedly

she said my name's neil schon but some people call me nina simone. some people call me andre cymone.
i've survived the '80s one time already.
and i don't recall them all that fondly.

Things here have been a bit quiet with late, with work and travel holding my attention elsewhere. Time to get back in the habit! On the Ipod this month, however, has been Midwestern guitar rock courtesy of The Hold Steady. Also enjoyable is this annotation of "The Swish." (Found here.)

Posted at 05:57 PM
October 06, 2005

Can you see the twee me?

Indiepopsters worldwide were excited to see the word "twee" written up in William Safire's NYT magazine column over the weekend. Me, I always thought of it as a good buzzword rather than a bad one. So do the friends of Kittyjoyce over at twee.net. (For a more contemporary usage, see this article.) Matt Haynes is certainly the right person to speak definitively about this, although Safire's last sentence in this excerpt may suggest he isn't entirely sold.

"In the U.K., the term twee is used only as an insult," says Matt Haynes of Sarah Records, home to many of the twee-pop groups. "It means 'unbearably cute with no real substance.' But later, twee-pop was used to denote a certain style of music, and people began to look on it as a description rather than an insult." Will Hermes, an American music writer, defines it as "nonmacho pop music with an indie-rock sensibility that critiques and tweaks rock's butch posturing."

We finally have a synonym for the American derogation itsy-poo.

Posted at 08:25 PM
October 05, 2005
"Pop Culture Races Along"

It's not hard to smirk at the ever-snarky Pitchfork publication. But although I don't always agree with them I still enjoyed this review of Rhino's Whatever: The 90s Box Set:

How many of the tracks you're excited to see here did you actively despise when they were on your teenage radio? Not yet 30 and already so wistful! Pop culture races along, and here is the ambient sound of your teenage years; I have Big Head Todd like a sepia snapshot of me growing up in Colorado and hating Big Head Todd; do we just buy this now and put it in storage for when we retire?

In truth, I was looking for Nada Surf reviews. Like this one. Because suddenly I am a fan. Salon has a free download here.

Posted at 08:54 PM
October 03, 2005
Cheers (and Novocain)

B&W is under the weather today thanks to an unpleasant dental procedure. While we sip through straws, however, we raise a glass (of soda) to Brian and Shylo as a salute to their wedding, which happened Saturday. Congratulations, you two! The pictures look like fun, and we are very sorry we couldn't be there (although I daresay my 1984 prom dress [which looked a lot like this, only in white] would no longer suit me). May you be as happy as E. and I, with less dental work.

Posted at 07:39 PM