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Saturday, July 30, 2005

The Poster from the Spankers Iota show!

The Set List from the Asylum Street Spankers concert at Iota's in Arlington, Virginia on July 28. The encore was "Beer".

Saturday, July 23, 2005

thank goodness for media mail shipping!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

frank black interviews ray bradbury!!!!!!!!!!

check it out.. frank black of the pixies interviews his main man! click here

anyone who has heard the pixies masterpiece "trompe le monde" or black's early solo work can perceive frank's fascination with ray bradbury's sci-fi universe

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Factory Records 40- Joy Division's "Still"

now raging: joy division's "still"

i've written before about how much i like joy division/new order and how important i think they are to modern rock music...

since that time i've

1) listened some more to joy division's two albums- both acknowledged masterpieces- "uknown pleasures" and "closer".... this has done nothing but confirm and strengthen my conviction that joy division was light years ahead of the rest....their music to these ears sounds like it could be recorded today and it would still sound fresh... what can i say? they had a distinct sound and its still that way today..

2) finally, and after the strong recommendations of friends saw the movie 24 hour party people which is a movie about tony wilson the founder of factory records... i found the first half of the movie interesting.. and some segments of the second half also.. but overall i found it to be a pretty lame hollywoodized version of things.. the best thing about the movie was the whole new order/joy division/ian curtis/martis hannett (Producer)/rob gretton(new order manager) angle.. the story behind the founding of the factory club itself, even the first part of the hacienda... what emerges from the movie and i have little reason to doubt its veracity is a story of a band upon whose back tony wilson built his own empire... albeit with a nice utopian sociliastic bent.. but the reality is that for all the "we will all take the profits equally" etc its clear that tony wilson's salary and the recording sessions of lesser factory bands (i think a certain ratio is mocked to the hilt... i think its acr) and artists and even the happy mondays excursion to the carribbean to record were financed by new order.. my main problem with the film i guess is the way it does not ask the tough questions about what tony wilson was doing with the finances.. rather it seemingly explains it away with a single line about how the hacienda club couldn't make money because they did not sell drugs and the kids taking ecstacy would not consume drinks cause ecstacy and drinking alcohol don't go together.... what about water?.. in any case, eventually the factory empire collapses... of course certain things about factory are nice: the anti corporate bent.. the lack of contracts. the fact the artists control their own masters etc... but in the case of my favorite band new order it really does seem a case of them being paying for the livelihoods of undistinguished peers such as crispy ambulance.... finally, the second half of the movie devolves into the typical rock film with the happy mondays being kings of excess and drugs and naked woman and all that jive which once you've been around the block becomes a bit boring.. the madchester scene is not described effectively. there is only one view of stone roses.. true they were not on factory but they were the bigger band..far bigger than happy mondays.. and even primal scream's screamadelica which was critical for the rave scene gets nary a mention....(peter hook of new order by the way produced the stone roses elephant stone i believe).... anyways, to make a long story short: interesting movie but falls a part a bit in my eyes and ends up being a cliched movie about rock excess as if in a last minute attempt to conform to the formula..

3) i bought the original factory 40 release of joy division's still..a double lp with one lp featuring largely outtakes and unreleased tracks (plus sister ray with the humorous ian curtis line at the end "you should hear us do louie louie" or some such)... but the other lp is the goods for me.. a show by joy division on may 2 recorded at birmingham university or some such... it begins with the only recorded version of joy division performing the soon to be masterpiece by new order "ceremony" of my favorite joy division/new order songs.oh there are so many.. the whole concert in my opinion (and i differ with the allmusic guide which argues some of the performances take away from the joy division legacy) kicks it.. the rumbling peter hook bass and angular jagged bernard albrecht nay sumner guitar lines (far more primal on the live recording here of say transmission than on the studio version).. the monochromatic drums (i love the part in the 24 hour party people were they show how martin hannett had morris play the drums on the roof for hours and recorded him that way to get the strange sound which i see posters around dc of bands hoping to ape in 2005 "band seeeks drummer influences joy division/new order"...but back to the story: and above it all ian curtis' about as urgent as they get vocals... the concert was may 2 1980.. may 18 1980 ian curtis was dead.... just about a quarter of a century has gone by but joy division are STILL on top

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Gone to South Beach!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

argentine rock (rock nacional argentino) web sites

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

How timely! It was 50 years ago today

yes, july 5, 1955 rock around the clock reached the number one position in the US music lasted 8 weeks in the top spot!

check out this site for the full tribute here

Decca DL 8225 Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" LP from 1956. One of the first rock and roll lp's.

the great forgotten advance scout for rock and roll

it has to be bill haley (and his comets)...

when i was a kid i remember hearing "rock around the clock" on the title credits of happy days day after day.. i remember my parents knowing who bill haley was... but in the 20-25 years since there is little doubt that bill haley has been almost forgotten... no one talks about him anymore.... people still talk about elvis chuck berry and bo diddley but no one mentions bill haley who came before them all... there is no doubt at all for example that bill haley was the first, and for a while only, white person performing and creating rock and roll... you can trace him back to 1951!!!!! which is a full four years before elvis or even chuck berry...

there is a great essay piece on bill haley in the all music guide..stronlgy recommended... check it here

Now playing: recorded in 1969 and released in February 1970... Black Sabbath's eponymously titled first album.. some hold the first heavy metal album....this is the original Warner Brothers 1871 green label release....Ozzy was still going as "Ossie Osborne" on this record...This LP was released in the UK on Friday the 13th (of course!) and the record sleeve featured an inverted cross on the inside cover with an apocalyptic poem... this was done without the bands input and sealed their fate as satanic agents in the eyes of the media... My american copy, unfortunately, does not have the poem and i'm unclear about wether it ever did..

Friday, July 01, 2005


its come to my attention that, shockingly, i might not know what i'm talking about when it comes to the supreme court and abortion.. apparently bush may still need one more justice (in addition to the replacement for o'connor and the future replacement for chief justice rehnquist) if he hopes the supreme court will overturn roe v wade...the supreme court with the replacement of o'connor by a pro-life justice may have the votes to tighten controls on abortion though..

anyways.. clearly i'm not the person to turn to for quality assesment on this matter...

In a Cuban State of Mind: Silvio Rodriguez's LP "Dias y Flores"... this is i believe the original Cuban LP (blue label) from 1975 on state-run recording label Egrem.. Catalog number LD 3467. Silvio Rodriguez is the most famous exponent of the "nueva trova" ("new troubador") movement which is to my ears a return to folk music (wikipedia sums it up as combining folk music with politicized lyrics..)... pablo milanes is another big name in nueva trova..

Cuban-American "relations" or lack thereof

a friend sent me the press release by Frank Calzon, Executive Director of the Center for a Free Cuba following three congressional votes yesterday which ".. demonstrated a growing congressional opposition to any efforts designed to weaken U.S. policy against the Castro dictatorship.”

i reproduce my response below:

i'm sure you know how i feel about this!

this is just perpetuating a failed approach, largely in order to placate the cuban american community and further a grudge (we feel he wronged us in 1959- and embarassed us further by having the audacity to stand up to our invasion during the bay of pigs - and we are taking this to the grave!).. of course all this hurts the lot of the already impoverished cubans whose very interest we proclaim to the four winds to have in mind!....

do people in government, and the media, fully realize that the embargo and sanctions have been in effect for decades and fail to accomplish much of anything?!... castro remains entrenched in power and the ones who suffered and continue to suffer are the cuban people who either do not wish to or cannot rid themselves of fidel... our policy spanish the word is NEFASTA..i guess "nefarious" is what it means... we make things as bad as possible for the cubans arguing we are doing this for their own good to help them rid themselves of castro.. then when they flee the bad situation and arrive in our country we feel happy and say "See! i told you! things are really bad in cuba! they want to come to america!"..

i would have more respect for the US if it invaded Cuba and got rid of Castro rather than perpetuate this policy of isolationism (an embargo by the way constitutes an act of war under international law).. castro should retire or otherwise move on but he remains in power... since he does not attack the United States except in increasingly rambling long winded speeches few listen to and none take seriously or pose any threat to our interests our policy against cuba is unelightened and seems largely based on a petty grudge to punish a man that has always stood up to us and made our life difficult... this of course is why castro is, albeit mistakenly, a hero to people all over the world....he is viewed as the david to our goliath

perhaps during the cold war america's policy against cuba had some basis.... now cuban american relations resemble those of two brothers who had a fight over some woman 46 years ago.. one brother subsequently married the woman but she died 16 years of the brothers is now senile and the other died..... and yet the battle rages on.. meanwhile the children and grandchildren have no idea why there even is a fight or why they don't talk to their relatives!..

these policies have real consequences: ibrahim ferrer of the buena vista social club, a man who gave many americans pleasure ("dos gardenias.......") wanted to play some shows in the US (an 80+ year old OLD man!!!!!!!!!!!) last year and was not given a VISA...shameful absolutely pathetic stuff any way you look at it..

why can't the United States of America aspire to be better?...actions of this sort ought to be beneath us!


sergio magnacca
ps the kicker is the US bases its actions feigning concern for cuba's political prisoners when we ourselves have political prisoners in cuba at guantanamo!!!!!!!!!!!!

shocker in gloomtown!!!!!!!

Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is retiring!

Her retirement presents bigger implications for the future of the United States than the retirement of Chief Justice Rehnquist would have held...Justice O'Connor has typically been a moderate conservative voice.. her pro-choice vote on abortion decisions will likely be replaced with that of a pro-life conservative appointed by bush and abortion will likely become illegal in the next two years.

In spite of a career on the bench exemplified by common sense key swing votes swaying the court one way or the other (of 175 5-4 decisions she was the fifth vote on 135!!!!!!!), she will forever be linked to her uncharacteristic vote in Bush v. Gore 2000 where she was the key fifth vote in a majority overturning a decision by Florida's State Supreme Court of Florida mandating a statewise recount.... she has never substantiated her critical vote as she did not sign on to the opinion written by three of the Justices in the majority or write her own concurring opinion... To my mind she lacked the political courage to do what she had to know was right which would have been to in effect put Al Gore in the White House by ensuring all votes were counted.

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