Whales Win.

September 11, 2014

On one day, in 2001, I am down in Battery Park with thousands of other people, after the two plane strikes. It’s a ridiculously beautiful day. We all take moments between trying to get cell calls out to watch the towers as they catch fire, hearing the groans of the structures as the first finally falls, dust covers up the sky. Eventually, we hear the second collapse and the sky goes dark.

On another day in 2008, I’m on a small boat off of Provincetown, MA. We have seen whales surface, dive, a mother and her calf easily slide back under the water. The captain tells the crew and passengers to be very, very quiet, very still.

I look to the bow, the dark blur to coal black water glows green.. and I see the mollusk covered snout of a humpback whale. The entire giant creature, slides beneath the boat without effort. I have no idea how it perceives us, but to see one being, one entity so large yet so utterly graceful….

In both cases, which I only put together recently during a commute, I was suddenly face-to-face with things so far outside of my life. I’ve experienced both from afar.. the aftermath of terrorism at home, and when I lived in London. And whales.. I mean, there have been seals, dolphins and the blue whale model at the Museum of Natural History. But until you are there with the larger reality in front of you… you can’t comprehend.

In both cases, these things became real in one sharp moment.

I’m thinking about both, because after a long time, I’ve ended up scheduled to work on 9/11. Now, I’ve always said that I know as bad as my 9/11 was, so many people went through so much more. On that day, or the days affected by if. I also always took that day off.

Just in case. Just in case there was some last trauma, or trigger. Some last freak out. And I’m done with that. Just as there are sounds and horrors in the distance, there be whales.

Whales win.

Round Two, Post 3-Nirvana vs The Pixies

September 4, 2014

Originally posted on American Bands-Who are the best?:

There is only one time when Pixies communicate well together: When they’re behind their instruments. Perhaps this is because they’re communicating with and about the common language of music, which, for all intents and purposes, makes dealing with feelings much easier than actually talking about them. They’re one of rock’s most dysfunctional families.

Pixies made it past the first round because they are a Great band. Great songs, great arrangement, great delivery onstage and in the studio, Gigantic impact. If you dig any “indie” rock that’s happened since about 1989, you’re hearing the influence of Black Francis, Kim Deal, Joey Santiago and David Lovering. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and that’s all Kurt Cobain was trying to do when he wrote “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.

They count together, they hit together, and goddamn if those chords and those vocals don’t tug at the emotions. The ferocity in the…

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Round Two, Post Two-The Allman Brothers (Southeast) vs. The Eagles (Southwest)

September 2, 2014

Originally posted on American Bands-Who are the best?:

DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK! WE’VE BEEN HERE FOR YEARS!

Okay maybe not.

We took some time off because of various reasons. But we’re back to a regular schedule of updates (11am, every day).

Rez expounds on his most/least favorite band. The Eagles, from Los Angeles.

The Eagles are a great band.

There. I said it.

Great.

I hate them, but goddamn.

The seventies, for me, is a time of great fertility for rock and roll. So many things are happening, most of them at the same time. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to be a rock journalist while the seventies are happening, because it must have been like fishing with dynamite. Even the pop music of the time period was exciting. Country is rockin’. The Funk has become part of pop culture. Punk rock happens at the end of the decade.

And the charts…

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Round Two: Metallica VS. Journey

September 1, 2014

Round Two: Metallica VS. Journey.

Hilarious video: Anita Sarkeesian vs The Legion of Doom

September 1, 2014

Originally posted on we hunted the mammoth:

The saga of that still-just-hypothetical “documentary” about Anita Sarkeesian and other evil Social Justice Warriors just got a little stranger.

The dogmatic duo behind the project — lady hating YouTube blabbers jordanowen42 and Davis Aurini — are still having a bit of trouble raising the necessary funds (so much so that Aurini wrote an angry, rambling blog post aimed at those who think he and his pal are too inept and biased to make a decent film).

But a new video  — put together by Kav P and a friend, and posted above  — reveals that the dogmatic duo has found some surprising new allies.

Enjoy!

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A Men’s Human Rights Movement Graphix Xtravaganza of Joy!!1!

August 6, 2014

Originally posted on we hunted the mammoth:

Actual "meme" from AVFM. I did not make it up or choose the font.

Actual “meme” from AVFM. I did not make it up or choose the font.

That last post was a bit, well, grim. So I thought I’d lighten the mood with some terrible, terrible memes from A Voice for Men’s Facebook page. They’re so Men’s Human Rightsy that you can practically smell the human rights wafting off of them!

Or could that be the powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity?

Either way, enjoy! For a fun game, see how many different examples of ideas that do not actually enhance human rights you can find in the memes below! For example, I found both misogyny and transphobia! See what else you can find!

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Matchup #31: The Southeast – Flaming Lips VS. The Meters

May 19, 2014

Originally posted on American Bands-Who are the best?:

In all honesty, I had no idea who The Meters were when I was assigned them. Considering my deep and abiding love for New Orleans music, this was a huge surprise to me. Then I saw the words “funk band”. I fought long and hard to keep Parliament Funkadelic out of this competition, and immediately got my dander up. Then I listened to the songs.

This is the most rock n’ roll funk has ever been. You want a party in the streets? The Meters are your men. They brought Second Line grooves to a much larger audience, making it seem as though they’d always been there, and why not? They damn well should be. I wrote a Second Line for my upcoming album, and I sure as hell would call it rock n’ roll. Just you wait. Deeply Meters inspired without ever having heard ‘em. Doesn’t make sense? Just…

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Matchup #30: The Southwest – Van Halen VS. Weezer

May 17, 2014

Originally posted on American Bands-Who are the best?:

Seth sez: Weezer FTW.

Consistency is a difficult thing to maintain, especially in bands. With creative pursuits, there is a revolving door, and Weezer are no exception. Even those members of the band who have been around the longest – Rivers Cuomo, Brian Bell, Scott Shriner and Patrick Wilson – change seats regularly. I saw them in 2008 at Madison Square Garden, and they rarely played the same instrument more than three times in a row.

They really perfected the combo of nerd and punk rock, and developed a signature crunch that never fails to bring on the air-guitar; With heart-on-polyester-sleeve lyrics about holing up in your garage, falling in love with lesbians, they do it all with a straight face. The band is possibly THE definition of tight, and with just the right amount of stone-faced ridiculousness to keep it interesting. They’ve churned out a style all their own…

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I Wouldn’t Want to Be Her Brother, But A Bit of Alright, Still.

April 25, 2014

Lily Allen is one of the cases where the hype machine, even if a bit too loud, was working for the right artist. Before she broke big, before she hit the States, there was buzz and internet hum about the new bright, young thing from England. She not only lived up to it, but more than took charge of it. A wise mix of good bad fashion choices, and just the right exploitation of her looks didn’t help.

Was she a music crush for a while? Most certainly. Any music geek with a thing for ladies in the mid 00’s had a thing for her. I was more of a Kate Nash man, though lately, Kate has gone a bit odd style wise. (BACK TO THE GINGER, LOVE! TA!) So she’s attractive and can generate celebrity. But is she any good?

Absolutely. Lily, besides pumping out delightful and varied music, is also good with the lyrics. And not bad at patter or rap, either. So, yeah.

Her first album, ‘Alright, Still,’ is a perfect debut. You get the sense of who she is,  just how sharp her lyrical teeth are, and a lot of fun music. Which also happens to have dark edges, broken glass, and enough snark to make you cough on your g&t. Think of her as Dorothy Parker for the Pot & Ecstasy generation. Take a gander at her video for ‘LDN':

 

 

Whether you’ve lived in London, New York, or any really great city, you get the love for city just so wrong, and raw, and awful, yet why would live anywhere else? Another track to please, among many is ‘Alfie.’ About her brother, Alfie Allen. Theon Greyjoy, on ‘Game of Thrones.’ Take a listen. He might actually envy his character, who was only beaten, lamed, and castrated.

I just watched the video. Yup… insult to injury, all while Ms. Lily plays up the Bright Young Thing look.


The entire album plays smooth, easy, then hits you with nice jolts of darkness. It was followed up in 2009 by “It’s Not Me, It’s You.” A touch more electronic and dancey, and another great album. She’s back, making clear that she you to wrap your heart in a nice box, so she can stomp on it while you thank her for it. In fact, she’s just “Not Fair”Again, snark, wit, and someone either let Ms. Allen down, or is really worried she’s writing about them. Enjoy the music, pay attention to the lyrics, and take in a female artist not afraid of pissing people off. Usually for the right reasons. She’s ramping up for her next release “Sheezus” and yep… people are pissed off. I’m going to let them have their time, and argue, and check out the video that has confused everyone. But instead, I want to share her cover of Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know.” I was shocked when she made the choice.. Lily doing one of the sweetest, most emotionally pure songs I have ever heard? And even if it’s not clear if the protagonist has salvaged the relationship, there’s a hope there.Lily nails it. The video’s balance of animation and the craft involved just speaks to the quality she’s always delivered, and the promise of more. I don’t know if “Sheezus” will be the disappointment some people really feel (or want) it to be. But I don’t care. Lily Allen is a great artist, with more range to explore, and I hope she keeps on exploring the less-snarky side. Even if she turns around, two fingers in a delightfully English lady like “FUCK YOU!”

 

Artist: Lily Allen

Album: Alright, Still
Year: 2006
Date Listened in Tour: 7/15/08
Rating: *****
Best Songs: “Smile”,”LDN”

 

Album: It’s Not Me, It’s You
Year: 2009
Date Listened in Tour: 3/20/09
Rating: *****
Best Songs: “Everyone’s At It”,”Not Fair”

 

For Those Just Tuning In:

April 24, 2014

Originally posted on American Bands-Who are the best?:

Friends, Rez and I just wanted to take a moment and thank those of you who have been tuned to the blog, and those of you who may be joining us mid-stride. I can’t speak for the readers, but I can say the writers have been having a GRAND time letting our nerd flags fly. We LOVE music, and we LOVE sharing that with the world. There have been some great moments of honest, open debate that have really sparked conversation, and some genuine intros made to bands people might not have known otherwise. A fantastic by-product of this project. So thank you for joining us on this savage journey into the heart of American Music.

I can also tell you this: Plans are being laid down as we speak for the next round of throwdowns. In other words: We like talking so much, we plan to do it some more.

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