Tag Archives: active listening

Life’s Been Good To Me So Far…

Joe Walsh... the epitome of the bloated, addle-brained rock star...

8 days until my sonic imprisonment begins…


Going to see DEVO is really just an exercise in nostalgia. I think what the kids don’t realize is that back in the day none of us wanted to go see Devo.  Sure, you might sit through a show when they opened for someone (like I did with Flock of Seagulls when they opened for The Police) — but back then MTV was actually fresh and cool, and Devo had a few good videos that we all enjoyed, but that was pretty much it.  Now, if they have decided to have some sort of 80s panel at Coachella, during which they show Devo videos along with maybe Kim Carnes’Betty Davis Eyes and Video Killed The Radio Star, I’d be happy to follow up with an in-depth explanation of the cultural importance of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but otherwise I think I’m going to skip Devo.


Grammatical issues aside, I have to take this band seriously because it is Dave Grohls new endeavor and it will surely be on Tubbs’ Coachooser.  But as I listen, I’m already thinking that Them These Those Crooked Vultures seem to lack a relevance factor.

Two song titles include Scumbag Blues and Caligulove. Really?  I can see them sitting around Dave’s home studio just giggling at the genius of those titles.  This is what happens when overinflated egos collide with arrested development.   It just feels too cute somehow.

The thing that made the Foo Fighters great was that they emerged from the wreckage of KC’s death all raw and real.  They were full of emotions that couldn’t really be articulated because they were too fresh.  Believe me, I’m not saying that rich rock stars have to just disappear into the abyss or become recluses in their mansions –  but there is something to it.   The only alternative is to become self-aware about the whole thing, the way Joe Walsh does.

As I listen I find myself asking what’s their pain?  What are they angry about? Where is the quiet pathos or the screaming anger?  Where is the context?  Now that I think about it, what do they have to be angry about?   Nothing.  And maybe that’s the problem.

I suppose I will have to go to this, but fingers crossed they’re on at the same time as Florence+The Machine because I’d rather hear the rantings of an emotional twenty three-year-old who thinks she’s got it all figured out, than the self-important musings of a bunch of millionaires.

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9 days til Coachella.  

Okay, this is fast approaching and there’s more music to check out so without further rambling…

Kate Miller Heidke

It’s very gynopop. I feel like she’s the bastard child of Sarah McLoughlin and the blonde lady from ABBA.   How else can I describe this?  Hmmm… let me see: The Soundtrack from Chicago meets Paloma Faith?  Alternative pop folk with a theatrical twist? I don’t know really.  It’s all very harmless but to be honest I’m currently in the throws of a real estate depression.  I need to move, but at the same time I’m not seeing anything I like in my price range.  I want to go higher, but I have the fortune and misfortune of never knowning how much money I will earn a year, and therefore this presents an entirely new level of stress where gambling on future income.  I’m not in the right state of mind for this even though the song Are You Fucking Kidding Me? is sort of funny.

Faith No More

Funk Metal.  Bleh.  I could live without them.

Miike Snow

Swedish band.  Enough said.  Actually, here’s a fun thing to do if you find yourself dining with a Swede.  When the waiter asks ‘Are you finished?”  quickly blurt out, “No, he’s Swedish!”.  (Get it? Finish/Swedish…) This never gets old for me.  If only I had more Swedish friends to do that with.

Florence + The Machine

This is the stage name of Florence Welch, and despite her unfortunate name, which sounds like some sort of dishpan version of Raquel Welsh, I think I like this.  It’s got a raw quality that I appreciate. Oh! and I just found out that Flo’s mother was both a Renaissance scholar and a regular at Studio 54 (be still my beating heart).  I imagine her popping out in her DVF wrap dresses and Ferragamo heels with a copy of Calderon’s Life is a Dream tucked in her purse.  It doesn’t get more late70s glamourous than that – at least not in my book.  I also just learned (as I’ve been listening, and p.s. what did we do before Google?), that Florence suffers from OCD, ADD, insomnia, and dyslexia – so it’s good that she can sing, because honestly what else could she do?

But in all seriousness she has a great voice.  She’s sort of tortured but in an intelligent, strong-willed way.  I tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve and therefore I appreciate it when others stand up and rail against misfortune (or real estate depression).  One click and I have just purchased her latest Lungs.  I’m actually excited to see her, which is shocking, given my current frame of mind.

Next up: A deconstruction of aging rock stars.

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Killing Myself to Listen

I knew I had a lot of music to get to this weekend, but something about enforced listening reminds me of my torturous first year at Manhattan School of Music.  To avoid any freak-outs,  I dragged my eight-year-old son into the process. He wants to be a rock star so it really seemed to be a no brainer.  Here’s what we checked out:

Charlotte Gainsbourg – At first I think I might like this. It’s like Grey’s Anatomy (soundtrack) meets Bjork pre swan dress.

“Is she Indie?” I ask Liam.

“Of course she’s not Indie, she’s more New Wave,” he explains.

“What’s the difference?” I ask.

“New Wave came out of punk, and glam rock.  Indie is all about clean guitars and singers who sort of whine,”

I beam with pride.  It’s nice having such an informed son.

“Besides,” he continues, “She can’t be Indie because she’s French, and Indie bands are all from India.”

Did I mention he’s only eight? Continue reading

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