Saturday, September 8, 2012

Saw Bob Mould!

And I got the T shirt! Can't say I got to talk to Bob as he was going to do a Blowoff set  pretty much immediately after the show, and my wife and I couldn't go for that, but it was otherwise exactly what you'd want from St Bob. He ran through all of Copper Blue, in order, then, did a full set of songs from the new album, and a bunch of Husker songs as well- considering the last time I saw Husker Du they did less than 10 songs, and tonight Bob did 5, I'd say it was like a double set- all of Copper Blue, with another 14 songs on top. Bob was in a great mood- better than I've ever seen him. His voice was a little hoarse, but he played the shit out of his guitar. I'm sure there will be Youtube clips to document it, but what was almost as entertaining as Bob was the crowd- about 2/3 old Gen X 'ers who remembered the early 1990's a little too well, with 1/3 bears waiting for Blowoff. That was funny. Oh, and running man- you're a hero. Gorilla boy? You suck. Nope, I'm not explaining. For some things you just have to be there.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bob Mould "Silver Age"

it goes without saying that I can't really review this-I'm too much of a fan, too many others have said what needs to be said, and so on and so forth. So, again, like the rest of this blog, it's just me talking about it.
 That having said, I do want to correct a few things that have been said about this excellent CD.  No, it doesn't sound like Sugar. It's loud rock, written by Bob Mould, but so what? That puts it in league with Sugar, Husker Du, and about a third of his solo records. Furthermore, it's not just a nostalgia trip. These songs could not have been written by a thirty year old man, and they reflect forwards just as well as backwards- for every reference to the power pop of Sugar, there's another reference to proto punk like Johnny Thunders, Radio Birdman, or The Stooges. For every reference to Husker Du Popcore, there's a reference to Pavement styled slacker indie, Superchunk styled velocity pop, and yes, Foo Fighters and QOTSA styled stoner Pop. Basically, whaddya expect? He's in his fifties, and he's written Pop rock since he was twenty. There's a plethora of notions from a vast array of sources, but the foundation is the same as it ever was- late 1960's pop cased in late 1970's post-punk. So, it's not a throwback, it's simply a writer being himself. Besides which, try to count how many of these tropes the man invented! There is no Pixies without Bob Mould, there is no Nirvana, there is no "Alternative Rock" without him. There is no psychedelic punk-at least not in any of the forms we know, so that, alone wipes out about a third of critics' darlings from the past five years, meaning, there is no Pitchfork, either. With all that on your shoulders, you'd do introspective confessional folk rock for 8 years, too. So, this isn't even a matter of a "return to form"- as I see it, it's simply a guy getting comfortable with himself.
So much for the prelude, then- how's the record?
In a nutshell, it's every bit as good as you've heard. 
This is a rock record. Specifically, it's a rock record structured equally around riffs and melody. So, no, it's not Metal, and, it's not as tightly formatted as Punk Rock. You can call it Alternative, but at this point, that's nearly meaningless. Would you like it? It's not hardcore, exactly, but it's not mellow, either- the gut check reference would be somewhere between Foo Fighters, Torche, and Weezer- but that somehow just doesn't cut it.
Song By song, it ventures from the brittle grind of Star Machine, to the churn and clang of Silver Age to the relaxed hum of First Time Joy. There's not a bad track on here, if you ask me, but again, I'm such a superfan that quite literally, some of my guitar tone is directly from Bob. That's not metaphoric- I have a stompbox that once belonged to him. So, no, I cannot be objective. Still, if I were to try to sell the record to you, I'd suggest starting with "The Descent" then go to "Briefest Moment" and follow that up with "Star Machine". That really should do the trick. I bet you'd buy it after that.
But, putting aside how much a fan I am, this really is a great rock record. I would easily say it's one of Bob's best. Perhaps it's not as lyrically deep as Bob can get, but didn't some dead British guy say something about brevity being the soul of wit? I think it's confessional enough that you should be able to relate to it at least on some points, but it's more about the tunes, and the power than it is about pondering. You can stream it, and you can buy it. What more can I say? Oh, yeah, this- if you've liked anything I've suggested on this blog- you've liked something that relates in some small way to Bob Mould. So, I bet you already have this. Good choice, then.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bob Mould Silver Age

I don't have a review yet, but that's purely due to life events- holiday weekend, and my wife's birthday. However, I will say it's awesome, and not just because it's St Bob. This is the best release I've heard this year, and Bob's best in a decade. Buy it, buy it now.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Made in America

So, I watched some of the "Made in America" live stream from Philadelphia. Ummm, well...
For the most part, the best use was to have the EDM tent streaming as a kind of radio in the background as I did other stuff.
I had a bad feeling about it- Budweiser is bad corporate beer, Jay Z is bad corporate "rap"- not even Hip Hop, and pearl Jam are just bad. But, hey, it's free, so why not?
Well, unlike Coachella, the sound was spotty at best- serious glitches where the sound would cut out from one channel or another for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. The video was often reduced to a pixellated blur.
But what should that matter if the music made by the Artists was worthwhile, right? Well, the only two that really did bring their game were Santigold and the Hives. Santigold I've not been really a fan, but she converted me by dint of sheer dancehall and dub inflected good vibes, while the Hives did their usual, albeit abbreviated live demolition. Seriously, they are probably the best rock and roll show going. Maybe the Refused, but really the Hives will put you in a better mood.
As for the rest- I really didn't care, except X who well, it sucks to say, but they just failed. I hate saying that because they used to be a favorite, and I still love their records, and I totally understand how we all get old and break down, but John just seemed tired, Billy Zoom seemed cynical, Exene was haggard and ill, and DJ was stately- which is great for a bass player, but he's the drummer. They weren't ready to convince the indifferent crowd. I hope it was just an off night, but jeez, it was bad...

Birthday Party

So, it's my wife's birthday, and I got her some stuff that I thought you might be interested in hearing about.
First, I cannot say enough good things about Lookmatic. The customer service alone would be good enough reason to shop there. But they also have some great styles. My wife had Lasik surgery a few years back so she doesn't need glasses, but really good sunglasses are always welcome, so I think she likes her new Tippis.  Also, she's become addicted to her Kindle. I'm ok with that. She's been a Boxing, Wrestling, and Racing widow for me from time to time so I owe her. But, I got her a couple of books for her Kindle- It will Be Exhilarating and Something Like Normal. The Exhilarating book is because she runs a small business and is looking to expand to the web, and the Normal book is teen fiction (something my wife likes) written by a friend of mine. Also, I got her some gift cards so she could choose her own books and music, and I got her some of the Corporate Portraits at Shanalogic. Good hipster Art, you know?
I took her to dinner, of course, her choice, and her choice was excellent, as per usual- Bryan Voltaggio's Family Meal restaurant. I thought the fried chicken was excellent. She really liked the Fried green tomatoes, and the poutine.
I think I might take her to the movies, but that hasn't happened yet, and that's up to her. I know that we're going on a photo safari, today, and I better get ready to go do that, so just a peak for you, today.

The Wait.

Yes, things have pretty much ground to a halt here at HMLMWTMC, inc. Four reasons for that, not all of them negative. I'm waiting until I can talk freely, it's my wife's birthday, so I'm doing stuff for her, I'm pretty broke ( between money already spent on bills, car repairs, getting my son set up for his next college semester, buying crap for birthdays, and other major events, and money dedicated for upcoming events...) and  I'm pretty happy with a bunch of stuff I've already talked about ( Musically, I'm listening to the CD not yet named, Baroness, the Workers "Both Hands" and The Hives "Lex Hives", haven't gone to the movies, but did watch a lot of TV- True Blood, The Newsroom, Burn Notice, Suits and a tonne of movies on IFC and Indieplex, and I'll soon talk about the rest).
Anyway, programming should soon pick up....