Category Archives: Music

There’s Something Very Wrong With Us


It’s hard to shake the feeling that things are fundamentally screwed up in some way when it turns out to be easier to obtain the new album from one of your favorite bands by firing up Xtorrent than it is to walk into any one of three different music stores, cash in hand, and actually buy the CD.

I mean, I’ll wind up ordering the thing from Amazon if all else fails, but… for cryin’ out loud. It’s been said before that any company or industry that has problems taking your money is in trouble. This would seem to be a good example.

(The album itself? It’s good. Very good. But you’d expect nothing less from Dick Valentine & Co.)

I have felt the purifying flame…

…of the Reverend Horton Heat, who played at the Blank Club last night. Throw Rag and Horror Pops opened, and put on quite the rousing show in their own right. (Random aside/rant: why is it that band sites seem to be something akin to a roach motel for the utter dregs of wretched, user-hostile, late-nineties interface excess? Useless “front” pages. Self-resizing windows. Flash. “The list is long, with not a lot of smiles.”)

At any rate, lessons learned about attending a show at the Blank Club:

  • Don’t forget the earplugs.
  • Dress in layers.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.

We had to leave a little early ’cause we were getting chilled. I think we’d both sort of expected the place to be a lot warmer than it ultimately was, just because that’s the usual result of packing warm bodies aplenty into a small space, even before you factor in the heat produced by the lights and other equipment. The Blank Club is pretty well ventilated, though. This is, on the whole, a good thing — if you’re properly prepared.

Rock and Roll Boy

It has been said of Jonathan Coulton that he writes songs that are “insanely clever without being too clever for their own good“, which sounds about right. He first came to Internet prominence, of a sort at least, with his eyebrow-raising acoustic cover of “Baby Got Back“, which was followed a while later by the goofy, yet endearing, “Code Monkey“. Digging back through the archives, I see that he’s also written Greg‘s theme song: “Skullcrusher Mountain“.

He’s outdone himself with the recent “Rock and Roll Boy“, though: starting with found audio of a six-year-old boy burbling a song into his a tape recorder and ending it with a dedication to his mother, he’s actually crafted an infectiously catchy pop tune. Joe Bob says check it out.

Misheard Lyrics

I made an offhand reference to Devo’s “Whip It” while chatting with Holly the other day, and she of course caught it instantly. But then she went looking for the full lyrics, realized that she’d been under a misimpression for years, and opted to do the honorable thing by confessing: she’d always mistaken “Try to detect it” for “Tattoo Detective.”

After thinking about it further, we concluded that “Tattoo Detective” would probably be a pretty interesting job. “Miss, could I see an up-to-date registration for that tramp stamp? Uh huh. I thought so. Come with me, please.”

Of course, being part of an elite unit wouldn’t lessen the need for smooth interdepartmental cooperation. “Sir? Excuse me, sir? This is Sergeant O’Hallorhan from the Cliche Squad. He’d like to have a word with you about the barbed-wire bracelet on your upper arm. Step this way, please…”

“Hey, remember the 80’s?”

I watched Real Genius the other night with Holly. First time for her; first time in a while for me. It made me, as always, nostalgic for 80’s syntho-pop. Since the soundtrack was never released as such, and there’s no legal way to acquire the individual tracks, I was forced to become… resourceful.

One of the resources I encountered in the course of my search was Ron “Boogiemonster” Gerber’s Crap From The Past. It’s hard to decide just where to start loving this show and its host. With the fact that both exude deep affection for a wildly eclectic assortment of pop confections from the 1970s and 1980s? Or perhaps with the fact that the show’s website is a brilliantly executed homage to text-mode DOS interfaces, something at least half of today’s computer users wouldn’t even recognize?

Who knows? Who cares? The point is that it’s all good stuff. If you’re the sort of person who played Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and periodically found himself jacking a car just to drive it around aimlessly and listen to the radio, this is the show for you.