Entries by tag: rolling stones

Sally's Week Beats Blue's Year
Scott at rockcritics.com links some of the commentary that's followed Lou's death:


At the Jukebox we blurb a number of Velvet and Lou songs:


I make the case for the oft-derided Sally Can't Dance. Regarding my closing sentence: I was thinking of giving The Blue Mask a relisten but felt that, since I was basically looking to compare it invidiously to Sally, I wasn't really going to be listening with good ears.

Waitin' for a better day to hear what Blue's got to say.

Someone had dibs on "Heroin" but didn't make it. If anyone had paid me to write a proper memorial I'd have given prominence to a basic screaming fact that all the memorials and obits have managed to avoid and evade or not even notice, which is that the Velvets, like Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel who were already doing it* (and it was in the Stones and Airplane and a whole bunch of others then and now, really is all over modern culture), were — however ambivalently — promulgating the idea of dysfunction and self-destruction as a form of social protest against a contaminated and compromised world that had contaminated and compromised the self. A refusal, a denial. Being fucked and making an issue of it as a semi-social-marker, part of a sort of an identity politics of freaks and punks and bohos and ilk. The intersection of social class and conspicuous self-destruction.

Of course, you can like the music without this stuff being a big deal to you. But I doubt that so many people would have liked the songs so much if it hadn't, at least subliminally, been a big deal for a lot of them.

*Not that the idea is new. Presumably goes back at least to Germany in the mid 1700s. See "Romanticism, Age Of." I know almost nothing about Gothic novels of the time, but later on it was in Byron and Stendhal and later still all over Hemingway and Faulkner (when I was rereading Absalom, Absalom! for college I'd put "Sister Ray" on in the background). But I don't know how much it makes it into popular song until the 1960s. Is kinda there as potential in the Delta blues of people like Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters.

Korean rock 'n' rap
Just came across J-Tong's Mohican And The Barefoot from last October: hip-hop but with rhythms that are hard rock more than they're R&B.* I like the album version of "개판" ft. Nobrain far more than the one from two years ago that gets streamed online, so here's a raw live clip of what I assume is the newer, better version:

Question: Is there a lot of this rap-rock stuff in Korea, or is J-Tong the main guy?

*Of course, the people who invented hard rock in the '60s, the Stones and the Yardbirds most prominently, were saturated in R&B. That late '60s and early '70s groups like the MC5 and the Stooges were also saturated in R&B helped them to rock harder than most of their contemporaries. As did Miles Davis in the '70s, running together rock and funk and R&B and that other genre he's associated with (not to mention Sly, Isaac Hayes, Kool & The Gang, and a host of others). So I'm not saying that R&B and hard rock are opposites. But nowadays what's called rock and what's called R&B are pretty distant from one another (in genres like country the rock and the R&B do sometimes meld together, but they're rarely called rock and R&B); the broad area designated "hip-hop" is one place where rock and R&B do occasionally, explicitly rub shoulders.

Anyway, I've been arguing that over the last quarter century techno and acid house and rave more than rock have been playing the social role that rock once played.

I wanna see the sun blotted out from the sky
A couple of posts last month by Sabina that I bookmarked and am only returning to now, hoping that she'll return to them as well:

Here's a thought, by the way

One effect of growing up with parents who didn't get rock

The question that leaps into my mind is why haven't Sabina's immigrant parents taken to rock? As she says, "access" isn't the only issue. Words like "generation" and "culture" don't work as explanations here: they're the very concepts that need explaining. Of course, I don't have a good explanation for why my (nonimmigrant) parents didn't take to rock (they being a generation older than Sabina's), and why most of their friends didn't either.

The Yardbirds, 1965

Did people such as Sabina's parents, in that first post-Mao generation, read, say, Hamlet, and Faulkner? I wouldn't be surprised if they did. I ask because I remember fantasizing making a film about a high school drama club, 1968, the real lives of the students as they were confronting everything from the specter of the draft to their own confused and fraught love lives; meanwhile, they're acting in a production of Hamlet, from which we see scenes. This fantasy didn't develop much further, except that the Rolling Stones' "Street Fighting Man" plays near the start (the need for action but no idea what to do), and "Paint It, Black" a little later on, as the various protagonists in the play and in life refuse to reconcile.

The Rolling Stones, 1966

These are a couple of the many ways into hard rockCollapse )

What about Italodisco?Collapse )

What's going on with Rainbow's "concept"?
What's going on with Rainbow's "concept"? And how do "concepts" work in general in K-pop? Even though performers do sometimes change 'em like costumes, that doesn't necessarily mean those very performers aren't committed in some deeper way to what the concepts mean. Or at least it doesn't mean that they're not committed in the audience's eyes, or that we don't hold them accountable on the basis of our (or someone's) sense of what they're doing with the concepts and who they appear to be behind the concepts.

I find Rainbow's switch from "the sexy dominatrix image"* of "A," "Mach," and "To Me" to the new one on "Tell Me Tell Me," whatever it is (cheery and serene and bright but at a half-knowing half distance?), jarring:

Music seems to be included in the concept of "concept." As it should be. Except the music on "Tell Me Tell Me" is meh compared to what Rainbow were doing a couple of years ago in "A" etc.

I don't believe that in Korea or America there's a split between authenticity and artifice; the two concepts aren't oppositesCollapse )

Destroy My Eyes (Sistar's ALONE over on the Jukebox)
Korean girl group Sistar begin their latest single with this arresting couplet:

"I don't wanna cry
Destroy my eyes."

At least that's how a few people heard it on the Jukebox. Great line, even if it's not what Hyorin was actually saying.

Here's the vid, if you'd like to mishear for yourself.

(We also talked about "Alone" on a "Volume Up" thread.)

I just need a help, 'cause of my mistakes... I'll do better, uh… it's 5:30 in the morning
While searching YouTube fruitlessly for some 2NE1/Big Bang couples action, I came across this live sitting-on-the-floor knockoff of the inferior reggae version of "I Don't Care," with G-Dragon writing, on the spot, a brilliantly half-assed, hilariously ineffective self-justification of the male attitude.

Unfortunately the dude who uploaded that vid compressed its width. Here's the same segment, with the correct ratio but without the Eng Sub:

Read a lyrics translation of "Tonight" that made fear and misogyny seem casually rampant in it, in an interestingly conflicted way — the lyrics don't want to commit to the romance that suffuses the sound, with pain equally suffusing the sound — and I've been afraid to look further, at alternate translations, to confirm my theory that when T.O.P. romantically says "Good night" at the end he's really kicking her out of bed.

E.via (artist of the year, 2010)
For the many people* who ask me "Why Korea?" my answer is love. Yes, and there are plenty of other answers too, one being that people who know more than I do come to my lj and talk to me about K-pop, providing sociability and mindwork, and another being that K-pop is creating a hip-hop, r&b, dance-pop amalgam far better than the Billboard Hot 100's, and so on and so forth. But there's always got to be love. With rock there was Jagger**, with glitter the Dolls, with punk the Stooges, with disco Donna, with hip-hop Spoonie Gee, with freestyle Debbie Deb (both the real Debbie Deb and the imposter), with hair-metal Axl, with teenpop Ashlee, etc.***

In this instance****, though, especially given the cultural distance, my not knowing Korea or Korean, I really can't say what's going on; this has inspired me to actually read some books about Korea. Not that what I learn will tell me what I want to know here, which is whether the E.via I've fallen in love with, whom I basically constructed in my mind out of scraps and song bits*****, has anything to do with any kind of reality. Did the Jagger? Pretty much everyone on my love list above has got some Jagger in her or him, or has me projecting the Jagger, anyway, Jagger Jagger burning bright, a combination of Jagger and Miss Lonely, my believing that the world is continually picking up the baton that the Stones and Dylan dropped, and dropping and picking up again.

E.via's attitude towards cute like Ray Davies' attitude towards sunny afternoonsCollapse )

video for Hey!, plus commentaryCollapse )

The Internet Rots The Brain (an ongoing saga)
So today, I was puzzling over whether the album title Beggars Banquet has an apostrophe before the s or not, and I went to Wikipedia and looked and it did not. But then I thought to myself, "You can't trust Wikipedia, so maybe I should check discogs and allmusic as well." And I went to the address bar and started typing...

And only then, finally, did it occur to me that I own the album Beggars Banquet and it is on a shelf approximately two feet from where I am sitting, and I can actually check the actual album and find out for sure, taking no more than two seconds.

(No apostrophe.)

Vomit being the acknowledgement and blessing she bestows on everything
I write funny comment in Jukebox Ke$ha thread. (Also contains Taylor content, and Stones.)

Didi Benami Plays With Fire
Erika brings up Didi's "Play With Fire" over on the Didi-Rhiannon thread, and I talk about it on the Freaky Trigger canon thread. Here's what I say:

Saw Crystal Bowersox and Didi Benami from Stones night on American Idol, and for the second week in a row I thought that, although Bowersox' vocals were stonger and richer and more self-assured, it was flighty quirk-and-curlicue girl Benami who managed to burrow deeper into the music, even while flubbing and flying around it too. It helps Didi that I way prefer "Play With Fire" to "You Can't Always Get What You Want." On the latter, Crystal didn't really communicate much beyond "good voice" and "jazz-soul command," nothing about wanting and getting; she has done and will do a lot better, whereas Didi is unsure and unformed but she's already given three gripping performances, this and "Rhiannon" last week (which you'd think would have been a suicide choice) and "Terrified" during Hollywood week.

The thing about the Stones' best material, which sold big because it meant a lot of different things to different people, is that, paradoxically, for me the material isn't open to a lot of interpretations, and I rarely like to hear it covered. If you can't do Jagger's tensions - e.g., "Heart Of Stone," which is the Stones' real can't-always-get-what-you-want song - can't totally deliver strength and menace while writing lyrics that expose the strength and menace as a fraud, with the singing and playing forcefully counteracting the lyrics and being as convincing as the supposed unmasking... if you can't prance along that balance beam, then what's the point?

Since this time it's Didi's voice, you get the sense that, though as the singer she's the narrator, she as much as the person she's singing about can be menaced and played with, but nonetheless she'll display bits of vocal strength that make the "don't mess with me" credible; and because the song's lyrics own the weakness a lot less than "Heart Of Stone"'s do, Didi's actually brought something to the song, walks along her own borderline between not getting what you say you can, and getting what you say you can't, and not knowing what you need.

Play With Fire videoCollapse )

EDIT: I say favorable things about Crystal Bowersox' appearance over on Martin's lj.

Dreams unwind, love's a state of mind
Strangely lilting version of "Rhiannon" by Didi Benami on American Idol, like she's dancing carefree on icicles, very audacious to give it a different mood. Then in the last ten seconds she finds her way to what was haunting in the original.

Then she is the darkness; FM liveCollapse )
Only dipped a little into American Idol this week, just this and the Bowersox and the Magnus. (Bowersox was masterful, striding through a Tracy Chapman blues while giving the impression of having wind held in reserve, totally at her command; don't see how she doesn't win it all unless she gets sick again, but me, getting a little restless... well, Kara gave us the usual platitude, "this is what we talk about when people know who they are," and I was wishing I was sitting in Simon's spot so I could say, "Yeah, well, Kelly Clarkson doesn't know who she is, and Elvis Presley never knew who he was, and Kara here doesn't have a clue who she is and wouldn't be as interesting if she did, but yes, it was a beautiful performance, always a pleasure etc.")

So, anything else of note on this week's AI?

h/t Jimmy Draper.

Yet Another Year In America February 4, 2010
Hallelujah I'm a bore, or the Top 40 is, anyway, with a Haiti charity knock-off and a country disappointment the only newcomers on an already snoozing chart.

Justin Timberlake & Matt MorrisCollapse )

Jason AldeanCollapse )

Speaking of Hope For Haiti, down at #72 Taylor Swift's Better Than Ezra cover is painfully out-of-tune, though the pitch problem is the musicians' at least as much as Taylor's; I seem to be erratic as to when pitch problems bother me. Taylor herself is erratic: Cis reported last year that Taylor's London show was completely in tune, and Himes wrote in his year-end essay that he'd witnessed her being pitch perfect. Maybe for all of Taylor's apparent poise, she actually chokes in the face of a national TV audience. (But my own pitch problems never have anything to do with choking or not, from what I can tell.)

Guitars don't kill music; musicians kill music
Just posted this on the ilX Rolling Music Writers' Thread in response to some unthought-through statements from Matos and Weingarten:

I doubt that someone who hasn't "earned" the right to use the first person has earned the right to bore us with adjectives and genre designations either. Someone who falls asleep at my use of the first person isn't interested in my ideas anyway, whether I'm in the first person or not. To go back to my analogy [upthread], the phrase "guitar band" is a red flag for me these days, indicating that I'm likely to dislike what I hear. But the problem isn't with guitars themselves; guitars don't kill music, musicians kill music, and if you had the same guys playing keyboards or xylophones they'd probably be just as dreary. "Electric guitar" meant electric excitement in '66, it means drudgery now. But there's plenty of electric guitar excitement in music today - great stuttering Keith Richards-style guitar chords at the start of Martina McBride's "Wrong Baby Wrong Baby Wrong," for instance - it just doesn't usually come packaged with "guitar band" on the label.

red flagCollapse )

Albums '00s
I have made a decision for the remainder of 2009 to listen to no more Albums I Haven't Heard Yet. So, a trifle early, here is my decade's end albums list:

Top Ten Albums Of The '00s

1. Ashlee Simpson Autobiography
2. Montgomery Gentry Carrying On
3. Big & Rich Horse Of A Different Color
4. Britney Spears Blackout
5. t.A.T.u. Dangerous & Moving
6. Various Artists Global Hits 2002
7. Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP
8. Ying Yang Twins Me & My Brother
9. Fannypack See You Next Tuesday
10. Paris Hilton Paris

ExuberanceCollapse )

Travel results in bryophytic paucity
Was perusing old Populars and found my way to an all-time classic thread from 2005 in regard to Roger Miller's "King Of The Road." Tremendous commentary on all sides of the question (and stunningly, "King Of The Road" revealed big questions), Marcello being hilariously witty in dissent, and as for my own contributions, I must say that if you'd been following my work before then I probably come across as someone who continually rerecords and rereleases the same song in the hope that this time it will finally be a hit. But I do like my retort to a generally very smart post by "Matt" (think this is Cibula rather than Matt DC, who also posts on the thread) wherein he inexplicably says that "King Of The Road" is about many things but the Rolling Stones is not one of them. And I say:

"Just what do you think the phrase 'A rolling stone gathers no moss' means?"

Memedog 2: Potential Unresolvable Conflict
Mark gave me: pragmatism! r. meltzer! red dark sweet! call-and-response! the rolling stones!

Pragmatism!Collapse )

R. Meltzer!Collapse )

Red Dark Sweet!Collapse )

Call-And-Response!Collapse )

The Rolling Stones!Collapse )

I Cross The Line
Conversation on Saturday afternoon:

Me: The Rolling Stones' Got Live If You Want It is way way better than Get Your Ya-Yas Out.

Derek Krissoff (UGA Press editor whom I was now meeting in person for the first time): This morning I vowed to myself not to get into an argument with you about music, but you have NOW GONE TOO FAR!

Rules Of The Game #22: Night doesn't work, day doesn't work
Latest column. I belatedly jump into the Sasha-Carl convo, though I guess my point was that the convo wasn't yet happening in their pieces. And I assert that the Backstreet Boys belong to the discussion.

The Rules Of The Game #22: Night doesn't work, day doesn't work

I display insecurities, ask questionsCollapse )

Links to my other Rules Of The Game columnsCollapse )

Rules Of The Game #9: The Teens Are Cool But They Burn Out
The Rules Of The Game #9: The teens are cool, but they burn out

I make a bunch of bald statements many of which I barely even try to explain much less support. Which means I've got lots of bones I can put flesh on in the future, if I can find the right skin for 'em.

But here's a bone that's especially worth getting some flesh, fat, and muscle from you guys: If you were to form a band, what would it sound like? An implication of what I've written here is that, though I love hearing scads of modern music, I can't imagine myself making any of it. To paraphrase Pink, it's so pretty (or icy or funny or brutal) but it just ain't me.

Aly Michalka meets Brie Larson and Lisette Melendez in Lil Jon's kitchenCollapse )

Links to my other Rules Of The Game columnsCollapse )

Rules Of The Game #8: Which Social Class Sounds Better?
Rules Of The Game #8: Which Social Class Sounds Better?

Tuesday Morning, 2 a.m.Collapse )

My use of "class" is as problematic as ever, but the question here is can one class (or whatever) make better music than another class? And my answer is "sure," but this isn't inherent in the class; the goodness of the music happens in a particular time and place and has to be explained historically in reference to that particular time and place. From 1963 through about 1979 Anglo-American bohemia made some of the best music in the world; then it rather abruptly went down the crapper (at just about the time I was starting to perform onstage). This doesn't mean it wasn't subsequently meaningful and of value to the people who cared about it. And interestingly some of my favorite current music from both the mainstream and from country - ordinary mainstream girls like Ashlee Simpson and Kelly Clarkson, country oddballs like Deana Carter and Big & Rich [whose new album is a snore, unfortunately] - is saturated in old bohemian values. So...????

Links to my other Rules Of The Game columnsCollapse )

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