Friday, August 29, 2003

what i'm listening to Right Now: Yeah Yeah Yeah's, Fever to Tell - Modern Romance

Well that britdonnatina kiss stunk of the funk of "pleasetalkaboutmeagain-itis" and sweet-marie did they say something about the radio playing the same old song! Thank you Madonna for "standing up for us" Yeah right.

Salon gives the best take of the VMA's


Going on Vacation for all next week. Won't have any internet to play with so I'll post again when I get back. In the meantime, go through the Archives and start at my first post and read all the way through in chronological order. Find out more about me.


Tuesday, August 26, 2003

what i'm listening to Right Now: Nellie Mckay, 12 Track Demo - Dog Song

Late Night Run Down:

Rooney band on Letterman Thursday.

Kings of Leon on Letterman Tuesday 9/2 aught-3.

The Sounds on Craig Kilborn tonight.

Amy Sedaris on Conan Tuesday 9/2 aught-3.

Sex Pistols on Jimmy Kimmel next Thursday 9/4.


Monday, August 25, 2003

what i'm listening to Right Now: Bob Dylan, Live at the BBC 1965 (bootleg) - Tambourine Man

Well well well, it's about time Nellie McKay took some time out of her busy recording schedule to mail me my damn demo cd! I've been waiting for it for a good bit. Now it's here and it's awfully good. The envelope that the cd came has a peta.org sticker on it. Hey Nellie, come do a show in Norfolk! This is where PETA headquarters is, and I want a makeup for the show I missed back during my New York trip.


Well the Boggs show was so Awesome! Here are some more pictures (hosted offsite but taken by me or Sweet Jaime. Pics will open in same window and are big. I have to figure out some way to shrink 'em down. Sorry dial-uppers.):

The boggs did their own sound check.

Drummer Bogg with youngest Boggs fan.

Show Time! pic 1 --- pic 2 --- pic 3 --- pic 4 --- pic 5

MoHawk Fan!

Bearded Guy just a pickin fool!

Quoting the lead singer "It's a good thing we have the barricade" I thought I'd crap myself laughing so hard.

You see, it was funny because it was not crowded at all. See this dirty Hippie had plenty of room to dance like he was at a Phish concert.

And this girl had plenty of room to drink from either of her bud light bottles. And she wasn't holding one for her boyfriend, they were all hers.

Oh, and I wondered why I was hankerin' for a Coca-Cola the whole show. God Bless Capitalism!!

And drummer Bogg was nice enough to sign some autographs.


Friday, August 22, 2003

what i'm listening to Right Now: This American Life, MacGyver - from www.thislife.org

I think I have Carpal Tunnel syndrome from using a mouse, so I've switched my mouse around and now I'm surfing with my left hand. I'm so ambidextrous! But slower. Anyway, guess what tomorrow is?

Boggs Boggs Boggs! Boggs Boggs Boggs!! Tomorrow the BOGGS!! FREE at the East Coast Surfing Championships!! 6:30pm. I can't wait. I'm bringing my digital camera and I'll get some pictures up!

Kings of Leon album is now mine. It's alright. I've cooled a bit after hearing the whole album a few times. I LOVE some of tracks, Like some of the others, and don't care for the rest. That still equals a good album. But not a great album. You know? I'll see how I feel in another week.


Catchdubs has been added to my links with the others that I think are worth checking out every day. You might remember a few weeks back when I praised catchdubs and specifically Spreewell from his music page. I don't know catchdubs from anybody, but apparently he stumbled on this blog because a few days later (Aug 11) I receive a very nice email. It read:

hey man -

glad you liked the songs. i'm working on some new stuff at the moment.
hopefully i'll be able to post mp3s within a week or two.


Well I'm still waitin. I'm anxious. I'm calling you out in public to encourage you to get on it cause I want to hear it!


Thursday, August 21, 2003

what i'm listening to Right Now: Bob Dylan, Live at Sheffield May 16, 1966 (bootleg) - Visions of Johanna

Wow, you'll never guess what happened to me. My coworker shows up yesterday with 4 Gigs worth of Bob Dylan mp3s. Says his buddy had it. He knows I like Dylan so he copied it for me. It's every album Dylan ever released officially. Every Album!! I don't even care much beyond 75, but if I want I got 'em. I'll pay for most of them anyway. The best part though was the bootleg stuff on there. Live at the Finjan Club in Montréal, 1962. The John Lennon vs Bob Dylan limo ride, 1966, and the Glasgow Hotel tape from 1966!! You have no Idea what I'm talking about, but it's AWESOME!!

Remember Longwave is on Carson Daly tonight. I'll set my VCR and check 'em out.

The YYY's were rerun on Letterman last night. They are written up in this downloadable 'zine called Let Them Eat Lead that Melody Nelson told me about.

This 'zine is cool. I'm glad melody posted it. But I have to have another rant.

When I read the article about the YYY's, it just helps justify this website. It's called "Rock n Roll in the Real World" because of articles like this.

The article is a negative reviewing of the Yeah Yeah Yeah's first full length album "Fever to Tell." Quoting:

"...the Yeah Yeah Yeah's are indeed a very good band live, and...this record is a woeful misrepresentation of the trio's power."

I've never seen the YYY's live and most likely never will. They probably won't make it to my town 'cause Karen O hates touring. I hope I'm wrong. But I'm not going to tell you the author is wrong saying an album sucks because it's not as good as seeing them live. Some bands are better live. Most bands are better live. Read the blogs I link in my sidebar. Read the ones they link. Most of them are New York types who are so lucky to see new bands live all the time. We here in the real world don't have that luxury. We depend on the performance burned onto those CD's. The recorded performance trumps all.

The recorded performance is the key for us!

And on "Fever to Tell" the Yeah Yeah Yeah's have succeeded in creating an Album. It's a whole thing to be digested in a single sitting. It deserves to be one big track. It's a night on the town. You're excited; you're getting ready to go out. You're "Rich." "I'll take you out boy." You got a "Date with the Night" and you got your "Man” you like him. He "makes me want to die" he "makes me want to kill” You’re dancing. "Tick Tick Tick Tick” you’re grooving. You're bumpin butts. Etc Etc Etc.

The whole album is a whole night out. By the end, its morning and you're introspective. You're unsure. Is this what I want to be doing with my life? Am I using "partying" and going out drinking as a substitute for experience?

I think this is a great album that us Real Worlders will enjoy without the crutch of comparisons to their live shows.

I must keep in mind however that this zine's target audience is not us Real Worlders and that it's unfair to criticize the article on Real World standards.

Of course, in the same 'zine is an article by Miss Modernage herself who tells me I shouldn't take anything rock "journalists" take seriously. This sounds like quite the responsibility dodge. Don't give your last name. Don't allow your picture to be shown. Don't use your name in the 'zine. Tell your readers that you're just out to make a buck. Bad mojo. But it's a damn good weblog she has, and it entertains me. I don't go to weblogs to have my life changed forever. I'm just there to have a good time and read some documentation on what others so misguidedly think is great.

Liz Phair reviewed on Fresh Air


Tuesday, August 19, 2003

what i'm listening to Right Now: Soundtrack of Our Lives, Behind the Music - Infra Riot


Yeah Yeah Yeahs rerun on Letterman Wednesday, Aug 19. (Read me review down at my July 10, 2003 post).

Longwave on Carson Daly Thursday.


Monday, August 18, 2003

what i'm listening to Right Now: Rooney, Rooney - If It Were Up to Me

Now this is some mindless pop drivel I can get behind! The other day, in this blog (Aug. 02), I was talking about watching VH1's Top 20 countdown. Well at like 8am Saturday VH1 does a "New" music hour. Rooney is doing their Strokes look-alike contest on a beach and singing this catchy little tune called "Blueside." I can't understand what I was doing up that early on a Saturday, but by-golly the coffee was good and afterwards I decided to "sample" a few tracks from this Rooney band. Well I can't say I'm gonna wear this one out, but when I'm headed to the beach, this is the one I'll bring. But I don't know if I'll care about them after tomorrow, because.... well read on.


Kings of Leon's album Youth & Young Manhood released Aug. 19!!

Thank you very much Jinners. You've absolutely made my life a living hell. I'm obsessed with Kings of Leon (KOL).

After seeing a few well placed articles from the British rock mags, your Kings of Leon interview was the last straw. I had to check out this band. But their album hadn’t come out yet. I've been waiting for August 19th!!!!! Well my wait is over!! Tomorrow brings sweet relief!!

Please people! Sweet Readers!! BUY THIS ALBUM!!!

Hey, o.k., I admit, I went through a bunch of hoops to download the KOL tracks before the release date, but I'm going to do the right thing and Support this band. If you like them, please do the same. If you've never heard of them, then buy it anyway and enjoy.


Raveonettes album comes out September 2nd. I dig their album work. Plus I have a soft spot in my heart for them because of the June 5, 2003 story I wrote about the free American University show. I'm still on the fence about their live show (read about my theory why at my June 13, 2003 post)

Um......That's all.


Tuesday, August 12, 2003

what i'm listening to Right Now: Beth Orton, Central Reservation - Sweetest Decline

"She wears secrets in her hair, the whispers are not hers to share. She's deep as a well." This song is catchy. It's also FULL of cliché. On amazing, hypnotizing levels. Oh wait...Let me link some stuff first.

Mike d. must had words with Miss Modernage, because he posted a pic of miss modern playing hipster bingo at the Siren festival. Sweet Jinners was in the background. No big deal, but I pop over to check out I'm Losing my Edge today (as I do everyday) and I see, "Edit: Dear Miss Modernage sorry about the post. Didn't mean to offend."

Maybe Miss Modernage should change her name to Miss Hyper-Sensitive. She was cute too. She's got nothing to be ashamed of. Although, she was probably just concerned about her anonymity based on what she said in the NYPress article. Of course, I don't think having one of the best rock n roll weblog's on the net and participating in articles for NY Press is a good way to stay anonymous. I frown on censorship type things, but cheers to Mike d. for respecting her wishes. And I'll still stand by The Modernage as one of the best on the net.

Glorious Noise message board discussion on Liz Phair. Jake says, "There are five bad songs on the album. There are also five pretty good songs and four great songs. Stay tuned for an upcoming article about Liz Phair 2003, The GLONO Edit. I've finished my tracklisting and am currently putting together the cover art. (Posted: Mon Aug 11, 2003 11:15 am)" He was following up on a previous post, "I'm in the process of re-arranging the tracks, adding the five songs from the comeandgetit ep, removing the really bad songs, and I bet I end up with an album as good as Whitechocolatespaceegg. Not saying that's great, but it'll be all right. And at least I won't cringe when I think of her anymore. (Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:49 pm)"

jenyk was enjoying looking up Liz's skirt during her show at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC. Oh, alright, he wasn't looking up her skirt. Actually, if you want to see Liz's underpanties just ask.

GQ interview. I don't know how she fits that huge ego into that little body.

So as I was saying earlier, I listened to Beth Orton a few weeks back (after my Chicago White Stripes trip) and liked what I heard. But then I stopped listening for a bit. Well I'm headed off to take a shower yesterday morning and I decide to play Beth Orton again. I'm in the shower when I realize the last stanza of this song goes: "What are regrets? What are regrets? They're just lessons we haven’t learned yet. It's like catching snow on your tongue. You can't pin this butterfly down." Even talented artist are entitled to write crappy lyrics I guess. I just happened to be listening to it again this morning and thought I'd post my thoughts on it.

You know. I write songs. And back during that Chicago trip I was singing them for relatives. Well, I had like 5 or so at that time that are nice and catchy, and I'm proud of them. But they were all so narrative. They told the listener what was going on and I wanted to write a song that painted pictures in the listeners mind. So on the huge long 18 hour car ride home from Chicago I wrote a song called "Ain't Never Seen." It's about the 5 senses Sight, Touch, Smell, et al. The first part goes:
I've seen a raging, winding river.
I've seen a rainbow in the sky.
I've seen a sweetly swimming manatee.
and I've seen a dove flying high.

And i've seen a clouds silver-lined reflection,
in the ripples of a rock-skipped mountain lake.
But ain't never seen anything as wonderful,
as the smile you bring to my face.
And I'm all proud of it. I'm thinking, "Wow what a great song" you know? I'm proud and I'm feeling like I accomplished my goal of being visual.

Well, soon after I've finished, I sit down in an impromptu living room concert and I'm playing the 5 songs that I felt confident with and they are always a big hit. People get impressed and they love them. And they want more. And so I decide I'll lay out this new one that I'm all proud of. And....it didn't impress they way I thought it would. Now I also didn't practice it as much as the others so that had something to do with it, but now this Beth Orton song is making me think about a different reason why it didn't go over as well. It's a huge cliché. It's been done to death. I've seen all this beautiful stuff, but ain't never seen anything as pretty as you. Boring. Next.

BUT THAT'S NOT RIGHT!! See, it feels like a clichéd song because of the rainbows and doves and whatnot. But then "I ain't never seen anything as wonderful, as the smile you bring to my face." MY face. You get it? It booby traps the listener because they think the song is clichéd but then I say that the most beautiful thing is MY smile.

Is that too clever for my family to get? Or is it not clever at all and that's why they aren't impressed?


Friday, August 08, 2003

what i'm listening to Right Now: Beatles, Introducing the Beatles - Do You Want to Know a Secret

I'm onto the Beatles this whole morning, but late last night I was over at bidi's checking out some of her links. I told you how I check out jinners all the time, well I like the Jean Genie a lot so I thought I'd go through her links. The first one that I pick is Catch Dubs. I'm keeping my eye on this one!!! Spreewell RULES!!! Check out the secret track on the music page!

In more, Free Mp3 news, I'm Losing my Edge links a freebie to some band called TV on the Radio. Go Check it out.

Create Bands is a fun little time waster.

I don't know if you all have ever heard of this band called the Boggs, but they are a cool, kinda bluegrass band out of Brooklyn (of course my New York readers know exactly who I'm talking about). I tried to go see them last year when they were playing a free show down in Virginia Beach, but the weather didn't cooperate so I didn't make it. BUT they are coming back Aug. 23!!!! And it's FREE!!!! RIGHT ON THE BEACH!!!

The East Coast Surfing Championship is fast approaching, and I never miss it. Of course they have a bunch of bands I've never heard off, but this year, they have the boggs and I'm EXCITED!!! August 23, 2003. The stage is usually set up around 5st street right on the beach. Then I'm stopping at Mahi-Mahs for sushi.

O.K. Here's my Sound Recorder tip I promised. I originally wrote this to help someone on a music message board. It took me a while to write and then no one ever commented on it. I don't know if anyone cared at all. But I saved it for some reason and so I thought I'd post it here and if some one is Googling for free 4 track mastering software, they can go download it and look at it. For the rest of you who don't care, it won't take up any space here.


Thursday, August 07, 2003

what I'm listening to Right Now: Marshal Tucker Band, Country Tucker - Can't You See

Let’s link some stuff first.

Black Keys on Conan Friday, August 8th. And they have a new website. They don't suck. A little "same old, same old" but it sounds good, you know what I mean?

Richie Havens at Birchmere in DC Saturday. I was going to go, but I can't now. His is the best show EVER!! When he comes to your town, GO AND SEE HIM!!

Lucky Town, a band from across the river (i.e. Norfolk/Virginia Beach) has been making a name for themselves on MTV's Road Rules and Budweiser's "True Music" advertisements. I think that's all I should have to say. (For you New Yorkers, they played the Bitter End on August 1st. That should tell you what kind of stuff we're dealing with here.) I'm not really recommending them, but simply acknowledging their existence. They will be playing at the 7th street stage at the oceanfront of Virginia Beach Sunday. Tell you parents.

Win the Guided by Voices sign from the Strokes "Someday" Family Feud video.

Steve from Blues Clues has his songs online. They aren't bad. This MSNBC article says that the Flaming Lips' producer had a hand in it. MSNBC also says it's good. Well if MSNBC says it's good that's all I need! It actually isn't too horrible. Check it out and tell me what you think.

I stumbled on more Strokes 2nd album news at the NME magazine site. Don't know if you had seen it yet. Did NME get an advanced copy of the CD? How can I get an advance copy of it? I want one.

Listen to the entire new Dashboard Confessional album at Mtv.com. Geez, Liz Phair and now Dashboard Confessional!!! What the heck is happening to me? Seriously though, he writes a decent lyric, but does this guy have any luck with women? Geez, he is unlucky in love, heh? Hey Chris, maybe it's you. Did you ever think about that?

Here's a new song Chris can sing on his next album:

Maybe It's Me By. Matthew "Chico" Cox

I've been thinking, Maybe it’s Me.
They leave me, because of too much whining.
Darkness and Grey are overtaking
Oh why oh why do they have to leave.

Maybe if I smiled just a little bit more.
They wouldn't always go run out the door.
Oh, Maybe it's Meeeeee.


So here's a little back story on the picture and song I posted the other day. The picture was taken without flash, hence the yellow. Then it was printed and erased from the camera. I laid the print on the kitchen counter and took a picture of the picture so I could re-digitize it. That's what gives it its crappy look. But I look kinda cute in it (see, no double chin!) and you can see the Mutton Chops I've talked about before.

This past weekend, not one, not two, but three strangers stopped me to tell me how great my sideburns are. ON Saturday, this girl walks up to me in the buffet line at the restaurant I was eating at. She says, "Did you come here with girl?" I told her I was. "Oh, cause I was going to give you my number. You are so gorgeous." Oh, that's right, she said "gorgeous."

Then I'm walking through Dillards at Patrick Henry Mall and this older sales guy comes up to me and starts telling me that he's jealous of the 'burns and wishes he could grow them out like mine. Was he hitting on me?

Then I'm at this wedding for a friend of a friend of a friend, and this guy starts asking me what I do, and how does my work not care, and how he wishes he didn't work in a bank because they won't let him have sideburns like this.

The burns are a surprising big hit around here.


The song I sang is from the Velvet Underground & Nico "Banana Album." Did you listen to the whole thing? There is a harmonica break near the end, then I forgot the last verse, and then I do a very early Velvet Underground-esqe random noise outro.

The buzzing sound that starts up in the middle is the fan from my laptop computer. It kinda of gives it a Velvet-esqe drone to the song I guess.

It was recorded live into the built-in microphone on the laptop and using Microsoft's free Sound Recorder. No fancy microphone or software. You can even use Microsoft's Sound Recorder to encode high quality mp3's out of your wav files! Very impressive. I'll have to sit down a write a thing on Sound Recorder so you all can do it to. (The best reason to know this stuff about Sound Recorder is not to record bad cover versions of Velvet Underground songs, but to master your four-track recordings to mp3 or to CD. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow.)


Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Hey, I got a digital camera. Jaime took this groovy picture.

Now you can make me your wallpaper.


Tuesday, August 05, 2003

what i'm listening to Right Now: Liz Phair, Liz Phair - My Bionic Eyes

Yes, Yes, it's true. I've been listening to this album on and off for about three weeks so that I can discern for myself just how good or bad it is. And it's bad. Not my thing I guess. But it will make Liz VERY rich and popular. Bionic Eyes is damn DAMN catchy though, and that's why I thought I'd listen to it again. Firewalker is pretty catchy also. But it's pretty embarrassing to admit it. "You’re like my favorite underwear. It just feels right." You’ all should be listening to this album just so you can hear it for yourself. That line is not a passing line in a song, it's the chorus! Over and over she sings it! Sweet Marie what was she thinking! But I will give her credit for Bionic Eyes and Firewalker. They are really catchy.


Strokes News: Release date=October 21st!!! Strokes to play Conan every Tuesday in October!!! (I first saw this link on Soviet Panda).

I spent the morning enjoying the free mp3's from thejeangenie.blogspot.com, which is a super great music blog I check out every day.

I also need to post this Interview with Kings of Leon that the great jinners did. Jinners is great. This is how I spend every morning. I open up Opera (the best web browser I've ever used) and open up my own site. This one that you're reading. Then I click on my link to jinners(dot)com and check her out. The chat box is the coolest! I'd covet it if it wasn't a commandment. Then I click the news link at the top of that page. That page has links to weblogs on it, and I go down the list. Every day.

My Physic Friend is first. It's never updated so I'm starting to skip it most mornings.

Divestar is next on the list. This is a great site! Great pictures, and great reviews of the shows.

Then The Jean Genie, I'm Losing My Edge, Garage Dream, vive/le/roi, and aeki tuesday all have good links. They don't go into tons of detail, just links to stuff they think is cool.

Hard Glitter is next, and WOW this is a good one. Absolutely great! Super Duper Wonderful! I haven't linked it in my sidebar yet though, because I just discovered it the other week and I'm still feeling it out to see if it can keep my interest. But I'm pretty impressed so far. Although it makes my Opera crash for some reason. I think it's a configuration problem on my end though.

Melody Nelson is there. Good site with good, detailed posts.

The Modern Age is right smack in the middle. I hope I don't have to tell you about The Modern Age! It's THE rock n roll weblog. It has the perfect blend of links to other news stories and personal opinion.

Then I hit up soviet panda and stereogum before skipping ahead to see what drewbacca has going on.

Then jenyk/dot/com which is a little vague. It's tough to figure out what being talked about and these bands are REALLY underground. Maybe if I lived in New York and actually was Jasper I would get it. But I did like the fact that he likes Denali which is a great band (free mp3's on their site!), and without a doubt the best Virginia based band that I can offer you big city types. If you get a chance to check them out, you won't be sorry. He has pictures and a write-up of them here. One tip for Jasper though is to change your font color. The light grey on white is wretched!

The last one I check out is New York Doll, which is good. Each post is more like a little magazine article, which is what I end up doing. Writing long posts. But that's what brings you here, or at least, that's what better bring you here because I just can't seem to stop with the huge posts. I guess that's my "style."

Thus concludes my "How to Read Indie Rock Blogs" lesson.


Saturday, August 02, 2003

Just a quick manifesto.

I'm sitting here watching VH1's top 20 countdown. I call this "Rock n Roll in the World." Yet I care so very little about what the "real, real world" (meaning the "Radio world") likes. Watching VH1's Top 20 countdown reminds me of why I don't.


I see thirty-something ladies co-opting the pop styles of three years ago AND it climbs the charts. Jewel and Liz both make complete flip-flops. Liz even made it clear: "I want to sell some records” That’s a quote. It's almost pop art.

I'm not surprised at all by the success of these older women now doing the britney-esqe style. I think that 30 something woman want music that is theirs. They heard the Britney and Christina pop music, but they felt weird admitting they liked it. It was "kids" stuff. They wanted to go to the concerts, but they'd be surrounded by kiddies. Not now. They have their own "pop goddess" and her name is Liz Phair. P.S. Her album ain't that bad. It is what it is. Champaign ain't supposed to taste like Coca-Cola. Old fart Liz ain't supposed to sound like young, vibrant Liz. It is what it is, and 30 something woman are going to make her or break her.


You remember when we were kids (or at least when us mid-twenties folks were kids) and Nirvana came out and messed up the music biz? Grunge swept America and flannel became socially acceptable. Kurt Cobain said, "I'm glad it's something new, I guess people just got tired of Warrant."

VH1's has shown me that we are on the verge of a "new wave" (if you will indulge me). We were children when the "hair metal" bands were big. Preteen age. And our older brothers and sisters told us that Poison and Def Leppard et al were cool and we believed them. But when we left pre-teendom and entered our teenage years we found something different.

I'm going on record in saying that we are on the verge of a "new wave"....wait I said that already. But it's True! The kiddies that were pre-teen in the britney age are heading into their preteens....WAIT, I mean their teenage years. And as they grow up, they are going to get sicker and sicker of what the radio tells them to listen too, and they are going to rebel.

They are going to make things right in the world. They will find "the new thing" and make it insanely popular. Then the mall kids and the frat boys will jump on the bandwagon. They'll say things like, "I liked _______ band when they were on Independent Label Records." Even though they've only heard one song, and just bought the single. Then others will come, and they'll move to xxxxx town where the new thing started and then the record companies will saturate the market with clones of the band that made it all happen. They'll pay "independent" promoters to get their singles on the radio, and the American public will love these copies that have been forced upon them. They'll reward the record company’s selfishness with millions of dollars.

And all will be right with the world.


Friday, August 01, 2003

what I'm listening too Right Now: Nellie McKay, Live at JOES -David

Yeah I'm still going on about Nellie McKay. The more I've listened the more impressed I get. I've also been talking (via email) with Luke Kaven (who is president of Smalls Records, which is a jazz club. Go over to their site and check out the free mp3's. And if you like them, support them, and buy them). We've discussed Nellie's songs, and he's been straightening me out on a few things. Offering his much appreciated advice on how to interpret and analyze an artist’s work.

Some excerpts:

Me: Which of an artists works are more interesting to analyze? Is it the work that touches the artist most deeply, or is it more important to pay attention to my own
feelings and analyze the work that is closest to me? The work that creates genuine emotion within me?

Luke: I think these two things can be separate, but they can also coincide. More to the point, the reasons that an artist has in producing a work can be important, but it can also be important the way a work affects you even if the effect was not intended by the artist. But I wouldn't want to deny the first. Exegesis is often a part of the aesthetic experience, part of what contributes to aesthetic experience par excellence.

He doesn't really go out a limb there. But then he gives us this very interesting idea:

Luke: Imagine that you could not hear a common rhyme. You would say in such cases, knowing what you do, that you were missing something when you were, say, listening to Rap, or reading Shakespeare. You might know the meaning of the words, but the words wouldn't carry the impact that they were *supposed* to carry. But it seems that everyone can grasp a common rhyme, and it would seem odd to suggest that in cases like Rap and Shakespeare that the artist didn't intend it.

But consider the matter again! A rhyme is a deceptive thing. At first glance, it seems that a rhyme is a relationship of similarity between words uttered with a certain temporal regularity. But on further reflection, a rhyme is not based on phonology, but based in more abstract auditory properties. This opens up a new realm of possibilities. Could it be that other musical qualities, such as intervallic features and rhythmic features can form the basis for this extended sense of "rhyme"? The answer, I think, is yes. In fact, this set of assumptions is partly the basis for sophisticated music, and it is especially exemplified in complex musics like BeBop. Charlie Parker was a genius at using complex harmonic relationships involving substitute harmonies and unusual note choices as the material for such musical "rhymes". Consider where a given note is the root of the underlying chord (or the flatted ninth, or the sharpened eleventh for that matter). These are discernible features among musical events, and they can play a suitable role in our judgments about the similarity between two musical events in one temporal stream. But here's the wrinkle. While such things are discernible features, they are not discernible to the wholly untrained ear, whereas the "common rhyme' is discernible by just about everyone.

Now, you might need a dictionary for some of these terms. No shame in that. I did.

Luke: This is where one's knowledge contributes to one's experience. The more musical relationships one can discern, the more one can grasp the thematic elements of a musical composition, and the more one's experience approaches satisfaction. And in our judgments about musical similarity and musical "rhymes", almost everything we know may come into play. For a lot of different kinds of music, it is a challenge to us to meet the music halfway. And in doing so, we are also then approaching the kind of understanding that the artist had in producing it. Charlie Parker knew that those musical relationships were there. Play a Charlie Parker record for most people, and they are clueless. Study music for a few years, and then it becomes more and more evident why Charlie Parker was a genius of stunning magnitude, and why -- a million saxophone players later -- virtually nobody has been able to approach that level of achievement.

So that's interesting. I never thought of things that way.

We talked about Nellie a bit. Her songs, her talents, her weaknesses. I offer up the following questions.

How important is her age to our enjoyment of her songs?

If her song Sari were played, and I found out she is 36, would it hurt my feelings toward the song? Is the song better because it was written by a youngster?

Would Liz Phair's "Why Can't I" impress me more if Liz was 19 and not 36? Would I give that song more respect if it came out of a 19 year old? Is that why Liz got trashed by reviewers for this new album?

Will Nellie dumb down her songs for Columbia records? Should she? She's made no bones about her desire for fame. So she might do what ever she thought would sell the most records.

Is that bad? Is it o.k. for an artist to want to sell records? Liz Phair's thinks so.

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