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Thursday, December 23, 2004
in one of the saddest episodes i've heard of in a while, Montoya, 45, and the coach of colombian soccer club Once Caldas was shot at least two times while trying to resist two scum that were robbing his wife who had taken out some money from an ATM to buy christmas gifts for poor children.
Montoya this year pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Latin American soccer history by leading unheralded tiny Once Caldas to victory in the continent's club championship the Copa Libertadores de America... they even took down world club giant and personal fave of mine Boca Juniors.... Once Caldas went on to the World Club Cup (the Intercontinental as it is called) final in Tokyo where they just lost to Porto of Portugal on penalties... Montoya resigned after the game...
Montoya is currently in a hospital in Medellin in critical condition. Doctor's have confirmed he is now a quadriplegic.
Monday, December 20, 2004
1. The Christmas Song The Raveonettes
2. Santa Claus is Back in Town Elvis
3. 2000 Miles (live) The Pretenders
4. Jingle Bells Frank Sinatra
5. The Christmas Ball (From 1925!) Bessie Smith
6. Hawaii Island Christmas Leon Redbone
7. Thanks for Christmas XTC
8. Have Yourself a Merry Little Xmas Chris Martin (of Coldplay)
9. The Christians and the Pagans Dar Williams
10. Red Nosed Reindeer Blues (live) Asylum Street Spankers
11. Santa Bring My Baby Back Elvis
12. Christmas Party The Walkmen
13. Christmas is going to the dogs The EELS
14. Christmas is a Joyful Day Lord Executor
15. It’s Christmas Time Yo La Tengo
16. Baby, It’s Cold Outside Tom Jones (with Cerys)
17. Christmas at the Zoo Flaming Lips
18. Christmas Night in Harlem Louis Armstrong
19. Baby, Please Come Home Death Cab for Cutie
20. Father Christmas The Kinks
21. Dig that Crazy Santa Claus Ralph Marterie
22. Just Like Christmas Low
23. Silent Night Johnny Cash
Thursday, December 16, 2004
Friday, December 10, 2004
Thursday, December 09, 2004
Backstage after the show December 8: Kim Deal in very good form on the right!.. David Lovering looking shifty on the left (he and Joey headed to 18th Street Lounge after show and this may be him making a break for it)..unidentified person trying to get some of that rock star pixie dust in the middle....picture courtesy of "EL BARTO".. hint-click on picture
fast forward to earlier this year when we heard frank black throw out the idea of a pixies reunion... a ton of shows later frank or black is leading a band that has played sold out shows all over europe and the US and is wrapping up a tour that has grossed the ungodly sum of $14 million at the pixies home base: the northeast... starting with DC and heading to the loci in boston only to end up with something insane like 9 sell outs in new york...
DAR Constitution Hall in DC is a better site for Opera or Nina Simone's farewell tour than it is for the pixies... but there they were playing a place with security tighter than at the Pentagon... where you can't even light up a cigarette.. where beer is $6.50 a cup or wine is $7.50 a thimble...where everyone's seated and you are not allowed to even dance in the aisles.... my idead of hell... but in the end i reneged on my boycott and thanks to my friend Dan Wray was looking pretty in an aisle seat in row S....
i see baldheads back stage.. they're coming out.. and just like that the pixies barnstormed through about 80-90 minutes of very fast paced rock... one classic followed another...they did shortshift my favorite pixies album Trompe Le Monde and focused on their more popular early work with Come On Pilgrim/Surfer Rosa/Doolittle getting played extensively... i think for me the biggest thrill was seeing Joey Santiago wailing away playing his style of surf punk guitar... the sound was LOUD but whenever he would start hammering away i simply had to take out my improvised plugs... kim deal thundered on bass.. to me, from my vantage point, the sound was very good... anyways, kim's bass was turned up as one would expect... david lovering was banging on the drums for all the marbles..meanwhile frank black or whatever he's calling himself shrieked and screamed his way through about 30 songs....like good modern rock stars they kept their contact with their worshipers to a minimum with kim throwing in a few comments.. she also managed to smoke a cigarette here or there.. guess when you're bringing the bacon the DAR people don't have as much of a problem with the second hand smoke?!....towards the middle of the set my friend Randy Smith did me a huge favor and let me use his ticket to stand in ROW 1 yes ROW ONE NUMERO UNO ICHIBAN right smack in front of joey who was wailing away and it was measurably louder and more powerful and intense up there.. i saw why people pay the big bucks.. anyhow... i stayed for two songs.. the second of which to my delight turned out to be a searing debaser!!!!!!! at one point joey looked at me as if to say "where did this clown in the wackjob hat come from?"..the rest of the show was one great tune after another.. we got some joey guitar feedback effects.. then the band played a four song encore...
what to say.. reunions generally never live up to the hype but i thought they sounded really good..really tight.. and they seemed to be enjoying themselves.. its nice to see them come back in their prime and getting their just deserts..its nice for me to GET to see them...i can only hope they get back in the studio soon and keep on writing their story.. there's no reason its got to end......
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
want to turn out the party? play this Iron Buttefly record which features a torture inducing insanity instigating 19 minute version of In-a-gadda-da-vida! the place will clear out faster than if you'd run out of beer! (nice collage on the cover though...)
On a related topic i've gotten about half way Dylan's recently issued book "Chronicles Volume 1"....to me its fascinating reading... you can look at the book in different ways... the writing itself (the style if you will) is interesting... dylan's is a great writer in whatever medium he chooses.. wether a song lyric or a book... as far as what he is writing about i find some of the observations revealing.. to get his extended take on harry belafonte for example (particularly knowing- bob does not mention it in his book- that his made his debut on a recorded album playing harmonica on a belafonte record).... to read that he believes woody guthrie sent him out on an ill fated trip to his wife's home from his hospital where he lay dying to pick up a box of discarded lyrics which subsequently became the mermaid avenue project boggles the mind.. what if he had got his hand on the lyrics?.... all i know is the book is what dylan is willing to write for us to read........ its one version of history.. the fact that he's put it out there makes it of interest.. at the very least, and if you're as distrusting as i am of his motives, we know this is what he wants us to think and we can wonder why..obviously for someone like myself its a bit dissapointing to read his constant attempts to distance himself from the 60s...in the 60 minutes interview for example he makes it quite clear that if people attached political meanings to his songs such as times they are a-changin' they were not listening to the songs.. that seems hard to accept...even for me, someone, perfectly happy to have followed his songwriting arc as its evolved over the past few decades...
then again we have to keep in mind that dylan has always used his interviews to confuse rather than clarify the matter so why would 60 minutes have been any different?
Friday, December 03, 2004
Recently picked up their “Kick” LP and listening to the record spin I thought about their lead singer/songwriter/showman/sex magnet – there I go again…I see my friends brow raised in further disapproval- Michael Hutchence who died just about seven years ago at the age of 37 which seems perceptibly younger every year.
The day the news broke I was on a weekend visit to Buenos Aires, Argentina which INXS had conquered ten years earlier while I had been living there. Back then you couldn’t walk down the happening Avenida Florida without hearing “Need You Tonight” blaring from some cheap store speakers followed by say the Gipsy Kings and Pet Shop Boys. Argentines are more broad minded in some respects and certainly more loyal than American fans. They don’t see much wrong with liking prog-rock (Yes and Rush), Ramones (the world’s most hard core following is in BA), the Cure (you wouldn’t think it but mopheads abound), INXS, Bon Jovi, GNR, Nirvana and Radiohead as the years go by without feeling it necessary to put down the previous hot band. Meanwhile Americans it seems to these humble eyes are permanently renouncing their past fandom with a swift backlash never too far behind. Argentines that liked INXS back in their heyday still do so while up here sentiment is either “Never liked them” or for the more honest, because lets be clear someone bought those millions of records, “I can’t believe I ever liked them.” You wouldn’t know it that INXS was as popular as U2 in 1987.
Anyways it was a gorgeous early summer day and I passed one of the innumerable kiosks that sells newspapers and magazines and saw one with a giant front page headline “Muere Michael Hutchence”.. and just like that the guy was gone…I think the world misses him.. I know I do… To be fair INXS had lost me with their next to last album “The Gift” which was crummy and even I stopped paying attention…I was surprised to learn that this album features a collaboration with none other than Ray Charles.. How do you like them apples? My copy is in storage somewhere but I’m eager to listen to this no doubt gem…INXS put out an album right before Hutchence passed, “Elegantly Wasted”, that I never listened to .. still have not..
I will say it clearly: I think INXS was a great rock band with one of the best frontmen in rock history.. Hutchence is often compared to Mick Jagger and with good reason.. he would preen and pout and swagger like a decadent rock demigod to perfection…Part of the allure of the rock star traditionally was he could act out all our desires and excesses (INexcess) that we could not…bag all the hottest babes… Hutchence was all this…
I like to think the difference between INXS and Radiohead exemplifies much of the contrast in what I call the poles or r’n’r..on the one hand INXS whose lyrics were largely about sex and hedonism.. a lead singer who by design or chance was always dating the hottest model around… On the other side meanwhile Radiohead, and I like them, I have no idea what the heck they are talking about… .. a less sexy singer than the lazy eyed albino Thom Yorke’s harder to envision.. his writhing in pain frenzied singing style about as attractive as a one winged butterfly.. but as much as I respect radiohead I think they are out to kill rock ‘n roll.. by taking out all the sex all the drugs all the fun and leaving us simply with whining pain and misery and darkness their android like post rock is slowly turning more and more people away from rock (much like Coltrane’s “Ascension” and Ornette’s free style improve did for jazz)…it is a neat trick cause all the while radiohead are at #1 with all the hipness and credibility of Ernest Hemingway. but what I’m saying is they are #1 in a smaller world…it is also remarkable how radiohead has managed to be heavily prog and count with an audience who loathes the real McCoy…
To me INXS was what rock was about.. about all the possibilities that come with being young and free.. but in the current post rock world of course you are frowned upon for actually saying something intelligible in your lyrics (don’t be literal!)…or even for saying to the crowd at a concert “Everybody having fun tonight?”..no…better not talk to the crowd.. be like Dylan…be the anti-hero… the anti-rock god …and if you are literal and actually put on a rocking show it better be over the top like darkness so that the fun is being in on the joke…in today’s world you are cool the less cool you seem to want to be..isn’t that more hypocritical than just being cool?…I mean have you seen the sweaters thom yorke wears? On the other hand hutchence looked like a male model.. In today’s world you’re cool if you purposefully avoid making a video..
Looking at the songs on INXS biggest seller, KICK we see their best known song “Need You Tonight” .an open ode to the one night stand… or “devil inside” about two people, yes, on a one night stand with the line “Look at them go look at them kick makes you wonder how the other half lives…”, well the other half might just be the half that listens to radiohead on Friday nights….or we have “new sensation” which again is about enjoying the heck out of whatever you got..
I think its sad that INXS’s “legacy” has been shredded to a pulp.. first the confusion about whether Hutchence’s death… did he asphyxiate trying to wank off or was it a suicide over a girl? Or what? And then we have the remaining members of INXS current ploy to find a new lead singer via a Mark Burnett (i.e., survivor) produced reality show…INXS current legacy has the weight of a paper clip and it is sad to see that taking into account how many great songs they came up with over a TEN year period from “don’t change” to “heaven sent”… it somehow seems unfair…
First of all the CD Game Exchange chain stores always have some vinyl.. now most of it is trash (Streissand records galore, records way scratched up [why do you guys buy these?], etc.) but occasionally you can find something nice… It’s a great pace to buy all those 80s albums on vinyl that you would never buy but might if you could get them for a quarter or two…but like I’ve said I’ve found some gems there too… the main stores I like to hit are the one in Adams Morgan (by 18th and Columbia) and the one by the Tenleytown metro….now its also true you have to go often as you never know when a fresh stock of LPs will arrive and they don’t stay around once they put them out (the wolves are hungry hungry like the wolf)…
Smash records in Georgetown is one of the better places in DC.. its on M street about two blocks from Wisconsin…it used to primarily cater to punks (its been around over 20 years I think) but has recently been shifting more and more to vinyl. There are crates and crates…some real bargains.. I found a Sgt Pepper’s mono for $5 and even the original US Beatles album, “Introducing the Beatles”…plus the guy who owns and runs the store is about as nice as they come.. Bobby… he does occasionally list his higher end stuff (say an original Nick Drake or Blue Note) on ebay but I can forgive him that…they’ve got a web site at http://www.smashrecords.com/..
Second Story Books is an interesting animal.. the store in Dupont Circle.. (right off the circle) can be maddening..at times they have a great record in great shape for $5 and at times the same record completely trashed will be $20.. lately they seem to be marking up the jazz stuff (isn’t everyone?)… but you can occasionally find something good here...i recommend it.. now the new branch in Bethesda (two blocks from the metro) is a little pricier…back in the day I found Dexter Gordon’s “GO” on original pressing for $20 at dupont.. doubt that would happen today but I keep looking! They also have a web site at http://www.secondstorybooks.com/.... Obviously its mainly a book store but they get good vinyl turnover at the dupont locale..
The newest entrant in the vinyl sweepstakes.. the new kid in town to quote the eagles of soft rock are crooked beat records also in adams morgan..they just opened recently and they have a nice selection of both used and new vinyl.. the guy that runs the place, neil bechton, is a great guy… and they occasionally put some nice stuff in the dollar bins….... I found the lynrd skynrd original flames cover (howard park autographed!) for a buck and even the doors strange days (tan label baby!) for a dollar….they are at somewhere around 2300-2400 18th street….check them out at http://www.crookedbeat.com/... Check them out!
Orpheus Records is located in Arlington right off of the metro stop after Courthouse (Clarendon or Ballston why can’t I remember?)….these guys have been around since BC… check them at http://www.orpheusrecords.com/ … I occasionally poke in here but they don’t renew stock that fast, they don’t have it well organized and its overpriced…
Joe’s Record Paradise located in Rockville Maryland is a store I would go to a lot more if I had a car… its pretty much too far from the metro though I’ve done it… huge selection… check them out at http://www.joesrecordparadise.com/ this is where I bought public enemy’s it takes a nation of millions to hold us BACK y'all!…..
I would say that’s the A-List of DC Vinyl..
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