Saturday, May 7, 2011

Lady Gaga

Ok, I just finished watching her "Monster's Ball" HBO special. I went in not a fan, and afterwards, I'm even less of a fan. Ye gads. I don't want to use this space to crap on people and their taste, but that was truly awful. I got more enjoyment out of what else I was doing- sorting laundry and playing with my cats. I've said that Lady Gaga was just Madonna meets Marilyn Manson, but I wasn't quite right. Add in a liberal dose of Bette Midler and a hefty dose of November Rain Guns N Roses, and you get a better idea of the wretchedness. I actually like Madonna, so I think I'm going to have to come up with some new comparisons, here. It was like watching some Bible Camp wannabe try to play at being a rock star. If I had a daughter, and she liked Lady Gaga, I think I'd bring her in for therapy. That might sound like a joke, but I'm serious- I'd be hoping that the doc would find some hearing damage or something.
I truly cannot understand how anyone can enjoy this soulless, gutless, humorless garbage. I watched this because I've got friends who like her, and have been telling me to give her a chance. Much like Glee, Nickelback, and Joan Rivers, I feel like watching that actually took something away from me, and made me less of a human being. So, she could do a complete 180, and release something utterly genius but it's too late- I won't give her any more chances. What utter shite.....

Friday, May 6, 2011

Ancient History

Sudden moment of Nostalgia; please forgive.
I was just thinking about the turning point to make me really like music.
My father, amoungst other things, is a bit of a musician,and my Mother, typical of preacher's wives, knew church choirs like other mothers know soap operas. So, I had exposure, but wasn't truly interested in music until much later. I was never really fond of rock and roll, in the seventies. Oh, sure, I got into Kiss, but that was much more a fashion thing than anything else; I thought they looked cool, more than I liked the music. Actually, I still cannot think of a Kiss song I really like. I much preferred Parliament/Funkadelic, and the O'Jays and Curtis Mayfield. I got into David Bowie because of the Young Americans Album, moreso than Ziggy Stardust. Around 1978-1979 that started to change as I started to hear what I called then "New Wave" music. Oh, like most kids, I got it wrong, at first- figuring bands like Australia's Angels, and Chicago's Cheap Trick to be real New Wave. But, then, in 1979 I heard what would become my first favorite record, and the gateway drug to the musical addiction I have now: The Clash. No, I didn't get into The Ramones or the Sex Pistols, like everybody else. The Clash was the big one for me. Of course, I went back and forth- I was still just a kid. So, I'd be listening to The Gap band with one set of friends, then, listen to Blondie with another. In late 1980, I finally got really turned on to what I liked, but didn't know it, yet: Punk Rock. I got invited to a punk Rock show, and found my tribe. Oh sure, I was never really accepted, and remain a poseur, even now, 30 years later; but the shows at the Vex, and the Fleetwood, and Fender's ballroom and Safari Sam's- that was the real connection. I knew from that what I liked, and who I wanted to be. Records were just a maintenance- a way of keeping that connection to those shows. Eventually, I could get into records on their own, but the real hook for me- the thing that the Clash had, was that electrical connection of real people, right there, making music out of thin air, right in front of your eyes. That's why I never got into Rock and Roll prior to Punk Rock- it all sounded like some Television show, assembled by many hands into some kind of production. Going to a Punk Rock show you could see it, feel it, hear it, and connect with it. I still liked Dance/Disco/RnB- and still do, but it's a totally different thing- it's a soundtrack, a foundation for the action on the dance floor, or the gym. It's not like the connection I still feel from raw, direct rock- whether you call that rock "punk" or "new wave" or "Stoner" or "Alternative".
It's all ancient history, now. I'm a middle class guy, settling into middle age. I'm a father of a college kid, for crying out loud. But every once in awhile, I remember that raw spark of my teenage entry into being the beat fanatic that I still most obviously am.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Haul

OK, so of course to me, the most important part of my recent birthday was the love and time with friends and family. However, that does squat for anybody who might read this. You want to hear about the presents, right?
So, here's a partial list of the haul. More to come, but here's where we are at:
Books- I'm in the Band by Sean Yseult, Destroy all movies by Carlson Connolly, Husker Du the story of the Noise Pop Pioneers Who Launched Modern Rock by Andrew Earles,Waldo's Hawaiian Holiday by alex Cox, a left handed notebook, and George Nicholas and Wilhelm by Miranda Carter.
Clothes- A grey Hoodie from H&M, as well as a striped grey shirt from H&M, and a Clash T shirt from H&M. Also, a pair of Skull and Crossbone socks, A Parliament/Funkadelic Dope Dog T shirt, and a purple striped Tie.
DVDS- The complete Prisoner TV series set, TNA's Knocked Out DVD, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
CDs- The Singles collection by the Chemical Brothers
Other miscellany- a $25 Itunes card, some Bumble and bumble hair thickening agent, and a really excellent Brazilian meal at Chima.

Like I said, there will be more. But there you go. I like all of it, and love everyone who gave me the haul