Saturday, June 27, 2009

Never Forget

Monday, June 22, 2009

Songs of the Season, Part 12

Beach Party Time!!!

You know, as many times as I've listened to this song, I've never been able to figure out that first line until just now, when I read the lyrics in the description of this video. And I feel foolish now. "Chewin' out a rhythm on my bubblegum." That has to be one of the all-time greatest opening lines of a song. Right up there with "I got so much trouble on my mind" and "Livin' on spongecake."

Frankie and Annette - Beach Party
Dick Dale - Miserlou
The Trashmen - Surfin' Bird
The B-52's - Rock Lobster
The Dictators - California Sun
Annette Funicello and Fishbone - Jamaica Ska

OK, Clambake is not a great movie by any means, but this scene...come on, doesn't that look like the greatest party you've ever seen?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Another Random YouTube Music Post

A great performance of a good ol' cowboy song. You can't find shit if you search YouTube or Google for "Get Along Little Doggies." You have to search for "Git Along Little Dogies." Then here's a parody of that song from Miss Ella Mae Morse:

He's raised on loco weed
He's what you call a swingin' half-breed

Dorothy Dandridge also does a great version of this song. That chorus sound familiar?

Tiny Bradshaw - Train Kept A-Rollin'
Johnny Burnett and the Rock-n-Roll Train Kept A-Rollin'
The Yardbirds - Train Kept A-Rollin' (lots of cool performances around YouTube by different line-ups of this band, including a variation called "Stroll On" that appears in Antonioni's Blow-Up)
Led Zeppelin - Train Kept A-Rollin'
Aerosmith - Train Kept A-Rollin'
Motorhead - Train Kept A-Rollin'

I love the progression of these versions. I guess like most people, I'm most familiar with the Aerosmith version, so maybe that biases me, but I really think they just nailed this song. But then I heard this one (which I wasn't even looking for), and I think it's now my favorite version:

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Songs of the Season, Part 11

(All-Time Greatest Summertime Hits Mixtape, Side 1, Track 2)

This one always felt to me like the platonic ideal of the summer song. I'm not sure why, but it's just so big, bouncy, joyful, jangly, wet and wild, all great summer songs combined into one: the Ramones drumbeat, the surf guitars, the giddy girl group vocals. It always brings to mind a big convertible full of girls on the way to the beach, laughing and giggling as they sip Slupees (or are they wine coolers?) with the radio cranked up loud (I guess this image is attributable to the video for "Our Lips Are Sealed"). I reckon it says something that I was absolutely nuts about this song when it came out, at a time when I basically listened to nothing but metal.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Songs of the Season, Part 10

(All-Time Greatest Summertime Hits Mixtape, Side 1, Track 1)

As the last class drags on, you watch the clock. It seems to be moving in slow motion, and the last half hour seems to have lasted a week, but finally, the second hand is making it's last pass around the 6, and you're body feels like a slingshot stretched to its limit. Then the bell rings, and your entire body explodes in release, this one moment a singularity of your entire childhood, an entire summer of possibilities stretched out before you: SCHOOOOOOOOLS OUT! FOR! SUMMAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

It Came From Florida: You, Josh and Me

You, Josh and Me - Welcome to Stuart

Jason and Zane premiered this wacky tune about our hometown on their first Sonic Safari podcast. I'm posting it here mostly in an effort to get it out on Google so I can get some information on it. If you read this post, and you played on this record, were involved in the recording, or know anything about it, please leave some words in comments or shoot me an email (laflizard at yahoo dot com).

Spittin' Wicked Randomness, Vol. XXXIV

Farewell to the great kung fu master. No matter how often I watch that scene, I never get used to how charismatic the guy is. And farewell, also, to the queen of Chicago blues, KoKo Taylor.

Amazing upcoming programs at the Silent Movie Theater: Wednesday, June 10, Michael Winslow, the "funny noises" guy from the Police Academy series, "will be providing a live music-and-effects track to a varied sampling of classic and not-so-classic shorts from the silent era. Not so silent anymore!" Sunday, June 14, a Mitch Hedberg tribute night! "The Cinefamily, with generous assistance from Mitch's widow and fellow comedian Lynn Shawcroft, has gone through her voluminous archives to unearth rare footage of live performances, TV appearance, and his unreleased MTV reality pilot ("The Mitch Hedberg Project"). The night will climax with a screening of Mitch's lone directorial effort, the autobiographical 1999 feature film Los Enchiladas." And every Friday night this month, comics like Patton Oswalt, Bob Odenkirk, and Tim & Eric are presenting some of their favorite films (already missed Sarah Silverman presenting Where's Poppa? last Friday).

Some good music finds this week: Music-Snob put up the only (as far as I know) other recording of Hillbilly Frankenstein after their LP Hypnotica, which I posted last year (it's still there, if you want it). Detailed Twang has a two-part post of really great fuzz-drenched psychedelic garage rock. Last Days has DEVO-ish, punk-ish, rockabilly-ish c. 1980 music from The Nu-Beams. And Funky 16 Corners has a killer two-sided single from Baby Huey.

And a really enjoyable defense of political correctness from Ta-Nahesi Coates.

Rachel Getting Married (Jonathan Demme, 2008)

I really like the scene in this film where Anne Hathaway's character gives the wedding toast. In most movies, people have one of two reactions to this kind of behavior. Either they think it's awesome, or they're outraged at how innapropriately the character is behaving (casting themselves as uptight prudes). In this scene (contrary to the way it's presented in the trailer), we see people reacting the way real people react to this shit: embarrassed and annoyed. They know they have to sit through this bore making a speech about how fabulously interesting she is under the thin guise of a wedding toast. The guests from the bride's side have sat through some variation of this before, and the groom's guests know the type well enough to see where it's going. You just have to endure these people and then move on.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Songs of the Season, Part 6

"I went to school and I did my detention
but the walls were so gray I couldn't pay attention"

I just love the hell out of this song, even if the Joe Strummer line is a little too much.

Monday, June 01, 2009

One More Thing...

I find this arguemnt by anti-gay nut Maggie Gallagher kind of interesting:

Marriage is said to be primarily about love and commitment.

The Argument
Same-sex marriage should be allowed because marriage is about love, and homosexuals love each other as much as heterosexuals. Marriage is how society affirms a decision lovers make to care for each other through good times and bad.

Same-sex partners love each other as deeply and sincerely as heterosexual partners. Love defines marriage because marriages run on love, and allowing same-sex lovers to marry is more consistent with what marriage is for than restricting marriage to heterosexuals.

Furthermore, if marriage is about love, then being able to have children is not essential to marriage. The only reason that could ever justify denying marriage to homosexuals is their inability to procreate. But not being able to have children has never kept infertile heterosexuals from getting married.

The Response: This argument confuses a valued (but not a necessary) motive for mate selection with what qualifies marriage to be recognized as a social institution. Love should characterize how married partners treat each other, but love is not what structures marriage and is not what warrants public interest in affirming marriage. The public interest in marriage relates to how it moves toward bridging the male-female divide, toward favoring procreation, and toward parents setting aside individual satisfaction to cooperate in raising children.

Denying the procreational form of marriage is like denying cars are designed to drive. Cars can be cars without being driven, but denying cars are designed for driving changes a “car” into something else. In the same way marriages can exist without children, but severing procreation from the marital structure turns marriage into something else. The argument above confuses the “form” (i.e., those aspects of marriage that are necessary to make marriage, marriage) of marriage as a social institution with an “accident” (i.e., an aspect of marriage that can change without changing what marriage is) in how some couples perform. In this argument, the “form” of marriage is inherently procreational, and procreation can only naturally occur with a man and a woman. Infertility in this context does not change the nature of what marriage is, since (1) the couple are paired in a way that was designed to lead to children (i.e., a man and a woman), and (2) their infertility does not change what marriage is for other married couples.

In other words, this argument uses accidental similarity (infertility) to justify formal equality (that same-sex and opposite-sex couples are no different), and wrongly rejects a formal difference (procreational and non-procreational forms are not the same) as just an accident (i.e., it would make no formal difference).

Proponents of same-sex marriage are thus actually trying to change marriage into non-marriage by denying a fundamental and unchanging aspect of the nature of marriage. While they may still call this union “marriage,” it is in fact something else entirely.

(If that's too dry for you, the extra-crazy version of the same argument is here.) I find it interesting, because this argument is based on an idea that most people probably agree with: that if you're raising a child, that should be your number one priority in life (whether you're male or female). But that's not the actual arguement, it's just something that sounds close enough that people can conflate the two ideas. The actual argument is that the reason two people get married is so that they can raise children. A very different concept, but it sounds reasonable, and if you argue against it, it sounds like you're arguing that people should be selfish and not THINK OF THE CHILDRENS! or whatever. But ask any random person on the street what marriage is about, without prompting, and I'm pretty sure the answer would be that the two people involved love each other. That's why people get married. People don't choose a mate based on how good a mother or father they would be, they base it on love. Everyone believes this. Even people like Maggie Gallagher must have believed this before they had to come up with a reason to be against extending the right to gay people.

People get married because they love each other. Period. That love is what creates a stable household, and a nurturing environment for children, but it doesn't exist for that purpose. Love doesn't need a purpose. This is the heart of every sonnett and pop song ever written. It's just a basic idea that everyone knows to be true.

It Came From Florida - The Drills

The Drills LP (.rar file)

If the pictures didn't give it away, The Drills were an 80's metal band (I do really love that cartoon album cover, though!). I saw them twice around 1986-87, once opening for The Ramones, the other time opening for The Dead Boys (in what turned out to be a very bizarre show...the Dead Boys' bassist had died in a car accident the night before, so they ended up going on sometime after midnight with no bass. At one point, someone complained about them doing a mid-set soundcheck, and Cheetah Chrome went off on the guy. "I just saw my best friend's head cut off, and I still came out here to give you a show, so SHUT THE FUCK UP!"). I thought they were a pretty cool band, and they had a more "rock n roll" sound than most speed metal bands at the time. In fact, they sound nothing like Metallica or Slayer (there's maybe some resemblence to Anthrax), and I'd almost say they were like a faster version of Green River. I remember that my friend Bob bought a magazine at a convenience store that had blurbs about 100 or so speed metal bands, and the next day he told me that The Drills were in it. "Every single band listed their influences as Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax," Bob told me, "except The Drills. They said Motorhead, Stooges and Aerosmith," which pretty much proves they were cool. In fact, these songs don't sound like speed metal so much as the fast songs on Motley Crue, Quiet Riot or Guns n Roses albums. Oh, wait, you know who they're really like? Riot!

Unfortunately, I don't think this album really captures how cool they were. The production is murky and tinny, with very little low-end bass sound. This sort of production actually works to the advantage of punk bands, but metal is a different story. If you listen to the two-vocal breakdown on "Full Throttle" that I posted above, you can hear that it doesn't quite come off as well as it should. Still, "Full Throttle," "Joy Ride" and "Easy Action" rock hard enough to give you an idea of how great these guys were.