Monday, December 07, 2009

Music These Days

Gad, another month (or so) without a post. I sure know how to keep a blog lively, don't I?

Happed across this oddity: "The Beatles Never Broke Up"

The story is this guy passes out in the desert somewhere and is rescued by an inter-dimensional explorer who happens to come from a parallel world where the Beatles never broke up, so before the guy is dropped back in our dimension, he lifts a mixtape the traveler's college girlfriend made.


That (mildly clever) bullshit aside, the site has a free (and surely illegal) mashup of Beatles and Wings tunes. It's a cute diversion, and intriguing attempt to sound like what it claims to be. Frinstance, it changes the Wings song "Jet" to "Jen" and is edited just enough to sound like it's calling out "Jen" rather than "'jet".

TLD: This reminds me of a site I can no longer find (I have it on an archive but don't care to search for it now) that was ostensibly a blog (before they were known as blogs) about this woman who was dying in Alaska of some mysterious disease that gave her migraine headaches so profound she was unable to function or remember what she did when they hit. Oh, and her eyes would go completely red like a vampire, so she would often frighten children if she was out and about when one hit.

The other story-line was how much she loved to screw, and her fetish for guys who were kielbasa-sized - teeny peenies need not apply.

The weird mix of tragedy and erotica was, well just that: weird, and it was fun to guess if the author was a real person relating true events or someone just having a lark. I came down on the side of "lark" because the final two posts were made by her friend who found her out dead on the top of a mountain. Topless.

Since most women wouldn't put so much emphasis on the state of a dead friend's relative state of dress, or linger on that fact so pruriently, it tipped the scale for me. I also remember the new author waxing on about her vision of the woman's soul lifting up out of her body and looking down on her bare form, and noticing how beautiful she was, even in death.

It was interesting purple fiction when it was out there. More than a few newsgroups debated whether or not she was real.

I don't think there will be all that much debate on the alternate reality Beatles tape though. Pure boy bovine shite. Someone put a lot of work into it, though.

In the world of real music, I recently spun up the new Flaming Lips, Embryonic. Both myself and my eldest daughter, who love all the FL stuff we've heard so far (essentially the trilogy - Bulletin, Yoshimi, and War), were less than impressed. My daughter didn't even recognize it was the same band.

I heard snippets of stuff I liked, but not one whole song. I'll probably carve it up and place the interesting stuff between other Lips cuts on some future anthology, but I doubt I'll put it on again to listen on purpose.

You can never really know, but it felt like they had a lot of good half ideas, but just couldn't get any of them to gel into a couple of complete good tunes. Kinda like Abbey Road's second side - except the Beatles realized all they had were interesting partial songs and rather than try to make them stand alone, they mashed them into one big medley.

Still, I will check out all future Flaming Lips efforts. They're on my "always check it out" short list with Dwight Yoakam, Joe Jackson, Jeff Lynne, Rickie Lee Jones, U2, Everclear, Ween, Steve Miller, Elvis Costello, Maria McKee, Marshall Crenshaw, and Donald Fagen.

(Quickie: the brand-new Rickie Lee Jones is OK; fans should give it a spin.)

The album I've been putting back in the machine the most is Moby's latest, Wait for Me. It's one of those things he does best: a wall of oddly pleasant melancholia.

The melodies and chord progressions that bang around in that man's bald head can be some of the most beautiful you've ever heard. If there's such a thing as reincarnation (and I don't think there it, at least how most people think of it), Mozart is back, living in New York, and running a vegan restaurant. (And is a Christian to boot.)

The other thing I'm enjoying the hell out of is Cheap Trick's Sgt. Pepper Live, which is a performance of the whole album, in order (with a little help from the New York Philharmonic), plus parts of the medley from side 2 of Abbey Road as the playout.

Listening creates that sorta fun cognitive dissonance you get when hearing a really good mashup of two songs you know really well, but without the betrayal of not hearing what you expect. This is a band in top form, sonically in the same place they were on the fantastic At Budokan, playing an album anyone my age knows by heart. Somehow it rocks just a bit more than the original.

Here's something I found via Attu Sees All (google that and you'll find Attu's site - NSFW, though):

EMBED-Ballon Bass And Box Jam - Watch more free videos
You can bet I'll be annoying some folks at the next party with that particular contraption.

Finally, this must've missed my radar due to the sad fact that no one has really broadcast videos in a long time. Bjork continues to floor me with some of the visuals (and songs, of course) that she's dreamed up. This tops them all, though. Growing a ribbon dress out of your nipples? Wonder what gave her that particular nightmare. NSFW, btw, due to nipples.


Whisky Prajer said...

I didn't realize until I read this that I hadn't given Embryonic a spin since I posted my first thoughts back in October. I guess it's missing the "fun factor" that Yoshimi has in spades. Not that I begrudge the spent money. You're right about the Lips: even their not-great stuff is worth spending money on, just to see what they're up to now.

yahmdallah said...