Saturday, May 30, 2009

Live Blogging SY at Primavera Sound Festival

Thanks to WFMU's stream. They are a rare gem.

First hipped to this via the SYG, via one of my favorite people on there, then reminded a few hours later via Dave Markey's Facebook. The Internet helps us play.

The WFMU guys give us all the play-by-play as the band steps onstage. NPR wouldn't do that shit. They'd say Corin Tucker's son was a girl. Which they did. Apparently Corin had a daughter last year though, so it's all to the goodness.

--"Amish Heat", I mean "Brother James"! Steve is high in the mix. Thank Godfrey Jones. Kim just fucking showed every woman who steps in front of a microphone how to tear shit up, including the throat. Goddess.

--These pauses are fucking hot!

--Oh shit, I hear "Sacred Trickster" strumming. It must suck to be an SY fan at these festivals. Too many people, who stink, and the band is still working out the kinks. For these guys though, it's kinda doesn't suck, 'cause Kim just destroyed the planet Venus. I'll miss it.

--"Hey Joni", yes, of all DDN tracks to keep in the setlist, this was a brilliant choice. The new "Eric's Trip"? I sure hope so.

"K-k-k-kick it!" July hurry up. Please. Fuck Christmas.

What year is it really, dude? 2009. Sonic Youth are still so vital it hurts.

--"No Way". I still like it better on record. I remember seeing it in Brooklyn last year, and thinking it was a nice track, could definitely hear the Greg Sage-icity on it. Lee on the chorus with T-bone.

--"Calming the Snake". Also saw this in Brooklyn, and was far more impressed. No idea why they put the echo effect on Kim's vocals on the record. Well for the "chorus" yeah, it works, but totally unnecessary for the verses.

--Lee just put his "Delay King" crown atop his grey head and we go into "Antenna", probably my favorite off The Eternal. A little of the delicacy is lost live. Lee and Thurston sounding good together. Not like when they did "Unwind" live. I don't know what the hell was going on back then.

You know, if I wanted delicacy in my concerts I'd go see Moldy Peaches or some crap.

Lee is outta control.

--I didn't want the intro for "The Sprawl" to end, except I did, 'cause you know. They had the whole rest of the song. Those were the only parts that turned me on.

--"'Cross the Breeze". Sorry I'm not saying much, but I am at an utter loss when listening to beauty such as this. Such as them.

--"Once in a while, the guitars go out of tune."

Greenlight just posted the setlist on SYG. Kills the drama, but the dramas overrated.

"Anti-Orgasm" now and the hummingbird morse code "UH"s sound bliss.

Somebody just fucked up HARD. That whole second verse was anti-climax.

--"Leaky Lifeboat". Love the title, love the song, love Corso. I always called my body a "leaky vessel" after that phrase.

La la la la Thurston's jet-lagged.

Kim is the only one at this point. There she goes. Thurston, it's called DEVOTION, my dude. It's a lotion that Mark Mothersbaugh produces, USE IT ALL OVER YO' BODY.

--Lee's finest moment on the newie, finally. (And no, it's not "Walkin' Blue".)

No Kim on the chorus? Oh come on. I know she didn't sound ideal during the "Jools Holland" performance, oh here she is. Sounding better.

Lee just kinda mumbled that last bit. Haha, remember when Carrie Brownstein would just wing it during "Words and Guitar" at the last ever SK East Coast show? Haha, I'm bringing up Sleater Kinney 'cause that was a great show and they should come back 'cause music is 56% suckier without them. Resurrect the fucking Spells at least!

--Thurston is about to pass out. Was that "fuck for honesty"? I hope so. They've played "Tom Violence" 900 times and dude's blanking! Oh well.

--"Pink Steam" is interesting to bring back out. I'm on record as loving this song, and I do...'till Thurston starts in with that "lovely lover" shit. He won't forget these lyrics, trust. The instrumental passages though? Shiiiiiiit.

Wow, I don't recall "PS" being so...brash before. Thumbs skyward.

--Kim Gordon is ready to pounce someone. Thurston better hope it's him.

--Neil Young didn't give WFMU permission to broadcast his shit? What, you're better than them? You ain't even better than David Crosby, per Jim O'Rourke.

--Naomi just texted me. Just in time for "Bull in the Heather"!

--And now we're talking during "Expressway". Jealous much, bitch?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Purple Pride

Fran Tarkenton is a god among sad little children. He has said what so many of us in the Vikings fanbase believe, and the media castigated him for it. What a sad day when Marcellus "Sack Machine" Wiley can actually sit down in front of a camera and attempt to demean a Hall of Famer.

What does Tarkenton never winning a Super Bowl have to do with the content of his opinion? Trent Dilfer won a Super Bowl, and no one gives a shit what he has to say. If Dilfer ever came up with a foolproof solution for correcting the current economy, he'd have to relay it through Mel Kiper.

Fran Tarkenton makes me proud to be a Vikings fan.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Music and Heroes of America

AIRDATE: 5/23/89

Schroeder is ready to give the most fantastic school report on music ever, utilizing the same stage featured in It's Magic, Charlie Brown to teach his classmates about the rich history of American tuneage. While initially agreeing to let Snoopy help, the towheaded wunderkind had a change of heart when he remembered how performance-prone the pawed one was. It took the pleading of Charlie Brown and the hysterical tears of the wronged dog to sway Schroeder.

With a full band rocking shit (check Patty's bow in the crowd!), Schroeder is doing a great job entertaining his peers. When Lucy comes on the stage, however, he loses his crap. Almost literally. See, Lucy and the girls have a report of their own due: the heroes of America. The teacher on the scene (who sounds like a muted trumpet, to the thrill of those who were rendered apoplectic by the talking grown ups found elsewhere in the miniseries) deems that both reports shall take place onstage, with each giving equal time to the other. Lucy is beyond happy with the compromise, while Schroeder blood pressure shoots up to stroke level every time the girls are ready to present. He's so annoying.

ANIMATION: Disappointingly washed-out, without much life. Guess they thought the non-stop soundtrack could salvage it? 6

MUSIC: Well...pretty much it does. Ed Bogas and Desiree Goyette (Lou Rawls with the vocal assist!) get a 10 simply for the variety of songs on display.

"I Dream of Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair" - Stephen Foster
"O Susanna" - Stephen Foster
"America the Beautiful" - Katherine Lee Bates & Samuel Ward (which absolutely should be the American National Anthem)
"Stars and Stripes Forever" - John Phillip Sousa (best version not featuring Lisa Simpson on sax)
"I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy" - George M. Cohan (did anyone else have to watch Yankee Doodle Dandy in Music class? That shit took forever)
"Alexander's Ragtime Band" - Irving Berlin
"Maple Leaf Rag" - Scott Joplin
"St. Louis Blues" - W.C. Handy (I'm sure hockey nut Schulz appreciated these two back-to-back)
"When The Saints Go Marching In"
"Where Have All the Flowers Gone"
"Hound Dog" (not the Elvis version; the remake is bad, but brief)
"Linus and Lucy" - Vince Guaraldi (yes; Charlie Brown says this is his favorite song. You'll never hear a more 80s version of it, for better or worse)

VOICES: Erin Chase and Curtis Anderson get 7.5's for Charlie and Schroeder. They're about as dull as the animation. The latter in particular is trying way too hard, my dude.

8's for Marie Wise as Marcie and Jason Mendelson's Pep Pat (sounding here the most boyish the character ever would). Erica Gayle's Lucy brings up the rear at 6, while top honors are shared by Hakeem Abdul-Samad's Franklin and Brittany Thornton's Sally each earning a 9. The former sounds awesomely Gary Coleman-ish.


--The banjo is almost always the coolest instrument in any band. Unless someone else is playing the contrabass sax.

--Of course, Lucy's first heroes are great American women like Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, and Amelia Earhart. To celebrate the last of those, Patty gets her Ace on. I don't know if it was intentional, but after this segment, Schroeder and the boys talk about "America the Beautiful", one of the great accomplishments by a woman ever.

For what I believe is the only time in the history of the specials...the word "peanuts" is uttered.


Pretty much.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Peanuts Is Timeless, Pt. Hai Agn

And they ain't rootin' for Sidney goddamn Crosby either.

That's one of the most blah headlines ever.

40 years ago, the first non-Russian dog in space!

Follow the link within the article.

New Peanuts book aims to affirm, while new Monte Schulz novel promises to awe.

Awesome article that debunks a bunch of garbage "facts". Read it and remember it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Give Up the Goods

I visit Ebay only once every couple months. I can't afford a greater frequency of pop-bys. Here's some items I've been snooping at.

Snoopy Ornament Set, 28 items. Collectible box for the runaway win.

Snoopy World Tour, also 28 strong. Another beautiful Chinese collectible.

I wanna buy this tee and rock it front row when SY plays DC--both nights.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hate To Disappoint the Lee Ranaldo Fanboys, But...

Even with their white-haired poet at Cannes Film Festival, the three other Sonic Youth-ers hooked up with Bill Nace to deliver 20+ minutes of screaming hell. I deliberately use textual economy here, 'cause, well, the review of No Fun Fest is the last chapter of No Setlist. So you'll have to wait, but not for long.

In the meantime, help yourself to these short clips shot by yours truly.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Peanuts Is Timeless, Pt. Push Push in the Bush

People need to get paid.

My two favorite sports teams--the Vikings and Capitals--are perennial could-bes. The difference being, the Caps will win a Stanley Cup within three years. The Vikings will need more than a washed-up hick to get there.

Whoa, someone knows their shit!

Someone else does not.

The football gag is easily recalled, but remembering the classic McCovey lament is special.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Off To New York

For music (No Fun Fest), friends (Derek for sure, Annie I hope), walking and Thai food.

See y'all Monday.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Peanuts Is Timeless, Pt. Overtime

Never saw Chuck play much soccer, but yeah, he woulda sucked at it.

Lying liars and the games they play.

And that's all I got this week, 'cause the Caps took it out of me.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Building of the Transcontinental Railroad

AIRDATE: 2/10/89

STORY: Remember trains, kids? This installment of This Is America, Charlie Brown is dedicated to the First Transcontinental Railroad, 1800 miles between Nebraska and California, completed in 1869. It's arguably the most involving and therefore moving story in the entire miniseries, and I recommend it most highly. Charlie Brown narrates this true tale in the straightforward manner it deserves, hailing the bravery and ingenuity of the many thousands of workers while not whitewashing over the difficulties initially faced by the Chinese workers who provided the greatest support of all.

Kids can get a real appreciation for what a feat this was. "Back in my day" is a hoary phrase intended to make younger generations somehow get it around their knuckle heads that what they see as hardships now are really not all that trying compared to the effort, will and risk required by such projects as this. The very idea of so much manual labor required will probably make your average Twittering teen pass out and break their Iphone.

It's also a good reminder of what can be great about America, and how much undeniable good its people have done in the name of unity. The competition between the Central and Union Pacifics captivated the country in a way that really only half-brain reality shows and overblown health risks can do nowadays.

There is of course much undeniable bad done in the name of patriotism. There are films out there that deal with those dark events. This is not one of them. 10

MUSIC: Harmonica-driven soundtrack that perfectly fits the visuals, but the stars here are the Winans, who harmonize such standards as "I've Been Working on the Railroad" and "The Battle Hymn of the Old Republic". It's very tasteful, and helps provide the viewer with a real feeling of the lesson in community that lies at the heart of this story. 9

ANIMATION: 9. Lots of nice color on the trains. Not exactly sharp drawing, but not slipshod either. The spike-driving "anvil chorus" is a recurring scene done superbly.

VOICES: Erin Chase as Chuck, Brandon Stewart as Linus, and Curtis Anderson as Schroeder all get 8s. All do well, especially Chase, who has by far the most to say of all the kids. I like how old-school Schroeder sounds, though.


--In addition to the usual array of original pictures from the various sites, the producers also reveal for the very first time who drove in that final golden spike in Utah. Shit is mad historically accurate!

--Must kill cactus! Weeee!

--The only real "hey don't forget this is a cartoon" silliness comes when Spike happens upon a saloon and treats the fellas to a harmonica gig. Promptly getting tossed out on his emaciated puppy ass when he knocks over a table.



I'm scared.

--This special shows the famed picture (shot May 10, 1869) of workers gathered at Promontory, UT to celebrate the railroads completion. Mention is made of the fact that none of the Chinese workers appeared in the picture, and it is suggested that racism was the cause of their exclusion.

This FAQ shines more light on the subject, citing several sources that claim the Chinese were not included because, simply, they were not there.

--You know what would be a great American project? Finishing I-70 so that it goes into California. Fuck Cove Fort.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Freedom of Speech, Just Watch What You Say

Some 17-year-old Penguins fan from Chambersburg, PA got real mad after the Pens lost Game 2 of their NHL Eastern Conference semifinals matchup to the Capitals and made a death threat against Caps superstar Alex Ovechkin on a Pens message board. A regular poster on the Capitals message board read it and brought it to everyone's attention, even asking who in law enforcement should be contacted. The general vibe was that this was some young, bored, overemotional douchebag with a mental disorder. I mean, posting on the message board, making death threats, rooting for the Penguins? It all adds up to one disturbed individual. But not all off-kilter people in this world take the lives of others. I read it and thought, Meh.

Yeah, meh.

But the threatening post was brought to the attention of local police by...not Caps fans...not only the Caps front office...but also by the Penguins front office. Which makes all the Internet bitching by Pens fan about the Capitals blowing this out of proportion laughable.

Monday, May 4, 2009

If You Don't Think This Is the Worst Song Ever, I Will Fight You

Sickly, treacly 70s suburbanite sex fantasy as written by some backwoods yokel who thinks fishing metaphors are the height of Eros. There are people who claim that this song is a camp classic, that it can be enjoyed ironically, that it's so bad it's actually good. That despite being shapeless and spineless, this track is somehow a free-spirited ode to the good life. I blame Anchorman and Boogie Nights for the perpetuation of this utter falsehood. Even South Park must share be held accountable; "After School They'll Fight" is hilarious, but it seems to have somewhat validated the source material.

Put your keys in the punch bowl, and whoever you hook up with, you end up writing some bullshit song about how great it is to fuck on your lunch break. Get the fuck outta here.

And that cheeseball with nuts effect in the chorus? Oh my hell no.

"Rubbin' sticks and stones together makes the sparks ingite
and the thought of rubbin' you is getting so exciting." the stones represent the vagina? Terrifying.

I thought short and hard about whether this or "I Don't Want To Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith was my most hated song of all time, but it's gotta be "Afternoon Delight". Aerosmith's turd at least has that Diane Warren bombast to really give you some substance to hold onto and hate hate hate. But "Afternoon Delight" is just flavorless cotton candy. Bleh.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Peanuts Is Timeless, Pt. Merzbow Endangered By Wilbur

Snoopy sez, "C.C. Sofatsia is overpaid." He also nods in the general direction of his owner's MLB manifestation.

Charlie Brown's yellow-and-black tee is just a ruse, trust me. He rocks the red, and the Penguins are straight Shermy status this round.

I'm going to stop pulling for the Sharks as my go-to West team. Mama Cass never choked, but they sure do.

Rest in peace to another Snoopesseur. We're a special group.

Jim O'Rourke has always struck me as the modern-day Schroeder.

Recipe for success: don't be like Chuck.

This always appealed to me about the writer life.

Interesting piece.

Teacher of the year!

Fucking classic. I await further installments.

More Reunion reviews. That one was good; here's one that's not.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The One Where My Life Gets Flip Turned Upside Down

Come the end of June, I will be leaving my current position as a title abstractor. July will be dedicated to Sonic Youth concerts, then by August I'll have hopefully parlayed connections into a new abstracting position in Montgomery County. There's a lot bubbling right now, but it would be very foolish of me to presume anything as of the moment. I will be in Montgomery County as a permanent resident by the end of summer, this I can guarantee. No one is happier to hear that news than me.

By the end of June, No Setlist should be ready for print. I could not be more thrilled to get my writing out there for any and all interested. Even if they don't know they are yet.

Cognizant of the fact that my new, non-fam boss will likely not accommodate my proclivity towards SY live overload, I'll be enjoying this tour like it's their last. My current SY tour plans (my blog will house the reviews and pics of all future SY shows) are as follows:

July 3--NYC
July 5--DC
July 8--Richmond
July 23--Boise
July 25--Seattle
July 28--Portland
July 30--Salt Lake City
July 31--Denver
August 2--Oakland

Any future NYC, DC, Cali, or possible Vancouver gigs, well...just add 'em on.

Sonic life is eternal.