Sunday, February 01, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up: The Verve, Bloc Party, David Bowie, The Smiths


This is sort of a personal blog because I don't have much new to post or if I do I'm waiting to post it... so for you haters who think I'm too self involved, skip this one, you know and come back for just the music some other time :)

Well, it's the day of rest today... which means of course I'm getting upsetting calls from my family lol... but outside of that it's nice. The wife doing homework and getting ready for ballet... me watching Aqua Teen Hunger Force (which I just got the wife for her birthday), Boondocks, and now some music video DVDs I picked up.

At the moment I'm watching the Verve collected videos (including both UK and US versions) which is a great trip down memory lane.

I remember this time when I was at Interlochen Arts Academy living in the Hemmingway dorms, and feeling that music/culture was really turning the corner and a lot of that rested on the shoulder of Oasis, The Prodigy, and The Verve. One day after class I saw and ad for the premier of the "Lucky Man" video! A big deal as "Bittersweet Symphony" had recieved a lot of support from mainstream television and radio... along with this we also had plugs for both The Verve and Prodigy live at the "10 Spot".

It turned out that this change in culture, one which would hopefully help elevate America to that of it's English brothers... in terms of indie/dance music getting support from the general (enlightened) public... never happened (as much as I was counting on it happening). I really thought when we were getting this strange influx of British awesomeness we were going to allow space for it in our culture lol...

The "death" of Britpop was ushered in shortly thereafter, "The Great Electronica Hype Of 1996-1998" died on it's knees when albums like "Vegas" by The Crystal Method and "Decksdrumsandrockandroll" by Propellerheads didn't really take off (albums poised to hit the "rock" lovers) and The Prodigy (mostly) died out with them (in America that is).

There were a few surprise appearances (Oasis Unplugged) and reruns of these other live performances (as well as videos by Massive Attack, Manic Street Preachers, Blur, etc relegated to late night/early morning programming) but mostly from that point on... and it pains me to write these words... it was Kid Rock (who isn't a bad bloke but his music sucks), Britney Spears, countless boy bands, and the decline of American civilization that has lead us to where we are today.

Personally? As a 15 year old kid I thought the world was going to look like the Blur video for "The Universal"...

...everyone would be interested in culture like what was shown in the pages of The Face, and music would head towards America embracing electronic music for more than commercials.

Frankly it was quite the opposite. A few bands and DJs have done very well from England coming to the US but mostly not...

And then that amazing peaceful rave culture that came from us, only to be beefed up by Nicky Halloway, Paul Oakenfold, Danny Rampling et al, and then handed back to us stronger than ever... fell apart once some dumb kid took something (that probably wasn't actually ecstasy) and blew the whole thing onto the front pages of USA Today (it sort of ended up like the end of 24 Hour Party People). I still have all the papers and the magazines. Shit effected me greatly. No I'm serious. I thought the world was going to stay like this...

I hope one day to see a less xenophobic America that is willing to not dismiss British music as "gay", and not dismiss dance music as "gay" or "video game/commercial music" (Sample Conversation: "Oh, that's who this is? Midwest Product you say? It's the music for the Hummer commercial yeah? You said they were on that PacMan label you like so much... ghost something? I knew it has something to do with videogames. So that ghost place makes video game music? Why would you listen to that shit") and a country that is willing to let people convene in warehouses, sweat out the cares of the week, and not have the DEA come crashing in.
Here's that Midwest Product commercial... gotta make money somehow... but this is one of the best songs ever written...

I hope for more information about drugs and their effects as opposed to the standard "Drugs will kill you" line that makes young kids think heroin is as safe as weed because, well, weed didn't kill them (you think I'm kidding but I'm not). I hope for a lot of things, things I'll probably never see... but I'll do what I can to work toward them...

ANYWAY I DIGRESS... The Verve videos just brought back a happier time in life where I was dating a gorgeous girl, who inexplicably wanted me because I was fat with Sammy Hagar hair, setting the bar for every relationship I would have after that (no big surprise I married her 10 years later lol). And era before terror, an era where kids who listened to NIN were able to get down to a DJ set that had both Iggy Pop and Daft Punk in it. An era where the world seemed like it listened to the Verve and Pulp during the day and then got their rocks off to Goldie and the Chemical Brothers at night. A world that looked like the photos of Rut Blees Luxemburg.


RIGHT RIGHT! Back to less personal stuff... The Verve DVD is good. So is their new album Forth... no songs that I see taking America by storm but I tell ya "Sit and Wonder", "Love Is Noise", and "Rather Be" are fucking amazing songs. Personally I dug the Richard Ashcroft solo albums but, you know, to each their own!

I also bought The Smiths video collection. I probably don't have to say anything about this because you know it's awesome lol... instead perhaps I should say how fond I am of the new Morrissey album! "One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell", "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris", and "Something Is Squeezing My Skull" are great starter tracks... but the whole thing is as good as you expect it to be :) Here's a little documentary I found on YouTube...

Morrissey- "Munich Air Disaster 1958" off the English Blood Irish Heart EP available on iTunes.

I also chanced upon a used copy of David Bowie's Sound And Vision clear vinyl boxed set... for $50 USD... it's going for at least $250 on eBay so BIG UPS TO THE CORNER RECORD STORE ON WEST MAIN STREET! Y'all did me reallllll good. I also got Bloc Party "Silent Alarm Remixed" (an album Pitchfork claimed was better than the original, something rare for a remix album) cheap, and a strange artifact... a cassette single of 808 State & UB40 that I didn't know existed! What a weird pairing... I still haven't listened to it but I expect it will be... well... interesting at the least lol...


And here's a Bloc Party track just because I mentioned them...
Bloc Party- "Like Eating Glass (Blackstrobe Remix)"

And that's it! Ramble ramble ramble blah blah blah... Be back soon... hope you had a good weekend. Enjoy the Superbowl... I hope I win the office pool lol...

UPDATE: I won my money back which is what matters. Did you hear that in Arizona, right after the winning touchdown, some cable subscribers got to see some chick unzipping a dudes fly, and then THAT DUDE waving his wang all over the place? Bizarre! But it wasn't out of place with sweating dudes piling on top of each other and smacking each others asses lol. PLUS there was a woman involved which officially makes male full frontal nudity "not gay" lol...

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