Monthly Archives: March 2010

Shut up, and Listen!

p.s. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

The other night, sensing my mounting desperation, and unable to tolerate my horrendous moodiness (on account of an imminent deadline) –  which included having to listen to me opine, “I’m only going to hear Spoon because there the only band that gets me,” over and over again (to which I believe his response was, ‘F*ck spoon!’), Tubbs (my intrepid better half) took control of the listening situation.  So, while I sat in my favorite red chair, proofreading my script, he played music and we discussed…

Gil Scott- Heron

Me: Who is this fantastic, angry black man of rock?

Tubbs: Gil Scott-Heron.

Me: (realizing) He’s been around for ages!  I think my mother listened to him when she was in her Buffy Sainte-Marie ‘Angry Native American’ phase.  That was around the same as her Melanie phase.  I think she sang about cows or something.  And then, she got into Janice Ian, and you just wanted to slit your wrists any time music was on.

Tubbs: He’s good.

Me: Kind of reminds me of the guy who sings about how they displaced all those people to build Dodger Stadium in Cesar Chavez Ravine.

Tubbs: Who?

Me: I don’t know, an angry Chicano guy of rock.  I like all the textures.  It’s deep.  I think I like political rock.

Tubbs: Are you still talking?

Me:  Heron also played at the No-Nukes concerts, that my sister Stacie went to – on a week night I might add – back when she was deep in her Jackson Browne obsession phase, which of course she masked by saying she was a no-nukes protestor, which was a total crock.  But the No Nukes concert spawned the rock star philanthropy movement, so it was sort of a seminal moment, which opened the flood gates. After that it was Amnesty International, We Are The World, Sting was hanging out with that guy with the giant plate in his lip, and Bob Geldoff became a Knight… but it all began with No-Nukes.

Tubbs: We’ll put him on the list.

Dillinger Escape Plan

Me: This makes my heart pound.

Tubbs: You’re not giving it a chance.

Me: That’s because I’m about to have an anxiety attack. Continue reading

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Your Body on Music

36 days to go…

Here’s what is supposed to happen when you listen to a song.  First (and this is especially true if you are singing in unison with others) oxytocin is released.  Oxytocin is a hormone that increases trust between people, and should not be confused with the Oxycontin that Rush Limbaugh was using – and for the record how come no one talks about that anymore?  Just wondering.  In addition to the release of oxytocin, there’s an increase in Immunoglobulin A (IgA) levels.  IgA is an important anti-body that is needed for fighting colds, flus and other infections of the mucous system.  But there’s more… listening to music also increases both melatonin (which appeared to prevent skin cancer in mice) and seratonin (the sleep hormone). In fact, some crazy study showed that Techno music increases plasma norpinephrine, growth hormone (always wanted another inch)  and B-endorphin (natural pain relief) concentrations.  But there’s a downside to this immune boosting party.  It turns out that music can also increase cortisol levels (which isn’t good for the immune system, but probably good for my tendonitis). Continue reading

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Indie vs Alt: A Breakdown of Sorts

It is my humble opinion that 'Indie' and 'Alt' and all the sub-genres spawned by them are a form of subterfuge designed to confuse people over the age of 37

I believe that the terms 'indie' and 'alt', and the multitude of sub-genres spawned by them, are a form of subterfuge designed to confuse people over the age of 35.

38 days until Coachella…

ALT ROCK

Primal Origin: A holy trinity of sorts involving the creation of The Sex Pistols, the release of Patti Smith’s Horses and Lou Reed’s Metal Machine.

Birth: R.E.M.

Favorite Son: Kurt Kobain

Aesthetic: Multi-culturalism fused with junk culture.

Source of Angst: Drug use, depression, the environment (and of course a smattering of teen angst).

Credo: Screw the media, screw the man… Although it’s okay to be famous if you dress down.

Band Names: Single words that bear no meaning, or combination of words that signify nothing.  If all else fails, use of Band Name Generator is acceptable.

Fan base: Liberal Arts Majors

Fan base aesthetic: Boys: Skater chic.  Girls: Nylon magazine.

Life blood: Shows in Clubs (preferably crappy ones) because Music Festivals no longer feel authentic.

Minor Dieties: Ska, Post-Punk, Skater-Punk, Pop-Punk

Harbinger of Doom: Coldplay

INDIE ROCK

Primal Origin : Velvet Underground

Birth: Elliot Smith

Favorite Son: Jack White

Source of Angst: Whiny vocals focused on lost love, mean parents and other teenage issues. Continue reading

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Trivial Pursuits…

39 days to go…  Why are Damon Albarn and I not bffs?

Damon Albarn Trivia

He owns a small percentage of a pub called Kaffebarinn in Reykjavik.

He has a tattoo (a heart with “Mum” written on it) on his arm.

He likes cats.

Like the rest of the band, he used to do Tae Kwon Do (a martial art involving kicking).

The bead necklace he always wears was a present from his mother when he was six, and is supposed to protect him.

He once lied about his A-level results to his parents to get into drama school (East 15, London, which he left prematurely as he thought it was too pretentious).

He grew up in a 14th century bakery.

He lost his virginity to a woman called Jane when he was 15.

He’s a Labour supporter and has spoken to Tony Blair about winning votes from young people.

He’s supposed to be quite good at Italian cooking.

He writes poetry.

Kristen Buckley Trivia

Once worked at the White Horse Tavern, the famed pub where poet Dylan Thomas drank himself to death. She does not own the pub.

She has a tattoo (sans heart) that reads τοκαλον on her arm, which means ‘highest beauty’ in Greek) Continue reading

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On Happiness

43 days to go, and I’m trying to figure out if we can put a blow up mattress in the Element because the idea of a tent is filling me with dread…

Today I watched some footage from Coachella 09, and I was stuck by how genuinely excited the fans seemed.  They were just so overwhelmed by the urge to celebrate…  In truth, I can’t remember the last time I felt giddy, unrestrainable joy. Even when I sold my first screenplay, which was a pretty life altering moment, my happiness was mingled with the realization that I was now in the enviable predicament that all writer’s face: I was only as good as my last piece of work.  So while I was amazed that I had actually sold a script, I was at the same time daunted by the fact that I had to deliver on a re-write – and do it in 6 weeks.

My mother says I’ve always been this way, but I do remember being so excited when guitarist Mike Stern would be playing at the 55 Bar.   I couldn’t wait to go to that little basement dive and listen to him wail on a b flat blues like he was the reincarnation of Hendrix himself. The energy was so palpable.  Likewise, attending Police concerts was a very joyous thing to me.   I loved how connected I would feel when Sting did that simple ‘eo-oh-oh’ thing.  It’s like those vowels created a link between us all.  It was very abstract and shamanic and at times, almost magical. Continue reading

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Musical Primates

44 days to go and I still don’t know who will be watching the dogs…

Gorillaz is a virtual cartoon-character based hip-hop band created by Damon Albarn (of Blur aka arch nemesis of Oasis) and Jamie Hewlett who I think created Tank Girl (which I never saw or read).  It’s very infectious.  Sort of Buena Vista Social Club meets Mingus Dynasty Band meets Bootsy Collins if I may be so bold.

This is very groovy music to listen to in a club.  Particularly if you are love with a boy and wondering how your life is going to turn out.  Between the tripped out music and the indifferent vocals, it’s practically French.  Frankly, I love it but as I think about Coachella, I come back to the idea of standing through an entire set.  Here’s the truth, I sit a lot when I write, but the rest of the time I’m on my feet.  In fact, I am constantly on my feet; undoing the dishawasher, going to the supermarket, straightening up, cooking, etc. Honestly, I rarely get any time to sit (pull out the violins now). I’m wondering if I could lobby for some sort of seating section. Continue reading

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MUSE n. an instance or period of reflection

"Not only are we playful, we're deep"

45 days to Coachella… (do I really have to do this?)

Muse is one of the main headliners this year so of course I had to spend some time checking them out.  They’re an English pop/power trio who despite being huge in Europe, only gained recognition in the States from their song Supermassive Black Hole (Really? Is that a title? It sounds more like an insult.) on one of the Twilight soundtracks.  They’re songs have good hooks, though sometimes they sound like a cross between Styx and Queen.  Speaking of which, remember Tommy Shaw from Styx? I had a major crush on him…  Actually I think he was sandwiched in between Davie Jones of the Monkees and Johnny Depp (circa 21 Jump Street).  Remember how amazingly cute Johnny Depp was?  I lived for my Sunday night episodes of Jump Street, but god forbid it wasn’t a Johnny Depp centric episode.  I’d sit there just waiting to catch a glimpse of him – and did you ever notice that during those episodes they invariable had him sulking in the station house.   Johnny sulking was better than no Johnny at all…

But I digress.

Muse.  They’re huge in Europe where I’m sure legions of poorly dressed guys in shorts and tube socks pump their fists en masse at their concerts.   Continue reading

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