Wednesday, November 30, 2005

It'll End in Tears (I Won't Cry)-The Lilac Time

Late 80's retro-popsters (still in existence) led by Stephen "Tintin" Duffy, retro in sensibility but of a certain 80's feel on this album, specifically the production on this album (& Love for All) courtesy of Ian Broudie. The sound presages Broudie's band The Lightning Seeds and fits somewhat with Dream Academy as well, but more real instruments. We imagine this particular song in a lost John Hughes/Real Genius hybrid. The good guys are implementing their plan and this soundtracks the intervening "stuff happening" (welding, the illicit obtaining of materiel, shopping, observing the bad guys, working out) montage. In this case it would be awesome because the song is good, and the montage has not yet become a hackneyed CSI Miami total bullsh*it where people spin down a single tube at a time in some neon porn set laboratory. However, getting back to the Scooby gang of our film- the question- why will it end in tears? Does the plan fail? Are the tears the deserved retribution visited upon the vice-principal? The dumpchuck jock ex of the love interest? Or the drill sergeant of the camp for troubled youth? All I know is that the good guys are defiant, and they're not gonna cry, especially not when converting the car into a convertible, blowtorch style.

Coax Me-Sloan

Canadian power pop dorks, essentially like a more esoteric and less menacing (and now) less shitty Weezer. No, scratch that. It's hard to say, their first, Smeared is shoegazey and eclectic, including the Three Bulls! theme song "Underwhelmed", a song which essentially prophesies the geeky college indie music/blogger, and the stunning "I Am the Cancer". The second, Twice Removed was much less fuzzy, moving towards eclectic AM indie pop, and that is whence "Coax Me" comes. Non-sensical and punny, the lyrics seem written especially for Pinko Dorko's benefit, as he tends to notice the snarky turn of phrase. They have three of those type songs off of this one, today's song, "Penpals" and "Bells On" (the latter being the ultimate "I'm so sad I like this one girl but she doesn't notice me, but I'm pathetic in a secretly empathetic way"). Here's "Coax Me" (later in the week I'll write up a recommended list from this band, who really only have one crappy album out of a bunch- their latest).

It all seemed to happen so fast
Will you ever believe the way he passed away
I saw his widow speak on her fortune
She was feelin' pretty apathetic

Coax me, cajole me
Coax me, cajole me

If I drink concentrated OJ
Can I think Consolidated's okay?
It's not the band I hate, it's their fans
Three cans of water perverts me

Coax me, cajole me
Coax me, cajole me
Coax me, cajole me

And after he died
By rights she'd have cried
I gave mine away
I gave mine away

I saw a widow's peak on her forehead
It was full of lines and sinkers

Coax me, cajole me
Coax me, cajole me
Coax me, cajole me
Bonus lyrics: "Bells On"

While I'm at this funeral
You're in New York
I've been dividing my grieving
You're sleeping with a mutual friend

I dreamed that I kissed your mouth
And you thought about me
Over Christmas
Oh, you might know who I am
But I know who you are
Your heart is in your art
And mine's in New York

I'm wearing my heart on my sleeve
You're sleeping with a mutual friend
And I want to be with you again
And again
And again
I've thought about you a lot lately
So flash me your metal smile

I'm thinking about you
You're thinking about
New York
Though to you your friend was hurt
To him I owe him money
Will you pay back the thirty dollars
That he thinks I owe him?
But I don't owe him anything

If you had a funeral
I'd be there with bells on
La la la la la...

If I had a funeral
Would you even care?
Would you wear your silver dress?
Would you actually wear lipstick?
Would you lie upon my grave?
And be there with bells on
So you could ring me from this life?
From this life
From this life
So you could ring me from this life


I Should Be Allowed to Think-They Might Be Giants

I'm not too cool to admit that these guys were the first show I went to. They were on their Flood tour, Flood being an album of 2 minute nasal-dork pop gems (if you're into that kind of thing). That's pretty much how their first three albums were. The show was amazing because it was back when people went to shows to, you know, dance and have fun without beating the shit out of each other or just standing there nodding. It started to get pretty hit and miss after Apollo 18 (their fourth I believe), and this track comes from their next one, John Henry. I was also disillusioned by this band accidently seeing them twice on their John Henry tour. This is when you realize how much stage patter is canned and it is a horrible horrible moment. I'm sorry, but this track quotes Allen Ginsberg then drops the line "I saw the worst bands of my generation/applied in magic marker to drywall" and that is funny. I'm not sorry that you are annoyed. I swear this song also rips a riff from Toto's Dune soundtrack, but I'm not nerd enough to know that for sure. Who's gonna field that one for us?

Even if I don't love TMBG, I can still think of 15 or so songs that entertain, including the geek-love anthem "She's an Angel" which completely blew my mind hearing it for the first time at the Utah State Fairgrounds. Ah, good times.
I saw the best minds of my generation
Destroyed by madness, starving, hysterical
I should be allowed to glue my poster
I should be allowed to think

I should be allowed to glue my poster
I should be allowed to think
I should be allowed to think
I should be allowed to think
And I should be allowed to blurt the merest idea
If by random whim, one occurs to me
If necessary, leave paper stains on the grey utility pole

I saw the worst bands of my generation
applied by magic marker to dry wall
I should be allowed to shoot my mouth off
I should have a call in show

Monday, November 28, 2005

Positively Lost Me-The Rave Ups

You lost a lot when you lost me/
Six paperback books and a dying tree
From WOXY Vintage. Wow, some aggressively jangle pop goodness. I completely forgot about the existence of anything about this song- I knew it from way back and have not heard it for at least 10 years. Anyone remember this one? Oh crap, of course you do, you've seen Pretty in Pink, which I have not. The song is not on the soundtrack, though I'm told the band plays the song on film when "Duckie" tries to get into a club.

I am annoyed by the fact that I cannot buy it anywhere except New Wave hits of the 80's Volume 12. I was hoping to find the vinyl, but I don't want to turn into pitchperfect. It does really bother me that stuff can be out of print and that once it does it can just disappear. Obviously, there is a lot of crap out there, but this was a well-like tune, and it should be available. Here's Trouser on it. I just love that jangly riff. And the "show Miss Piggy the waaaaaaaaaaaaay home."

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Gunning for the Buddha-Shriekback

We're on the road to go gunning for the Buddha/we know his name and he mustn't get away

For some reason this song got radio play from these English New Wavers' Big Night Music set (in SLC, UT). You might remember their dance floor stomp "Nemesis" from Oil and Gold. Trouser Press bio here. This song is one of those jaunty tunes that sounds just different enough, and is different enough from what you'd expect from them (the pounding stomp and harsh scraggly chant of "Big black nemesis/parthenogenesis" from "Nemesis"), that you remember it. Comes across as an islandy travelogue of some guys quest to go gunning for the Buddha, whatever that means. I picture Inside Edition era Bill O'Reilly and his cameraman on the hunt down for an elusive story in a Duran Duran video. And then it has a couple of notes in the outro (is it steel drum? I don't remember, my computer ate this song last time my hard drive got fried) that is the outro that you are pissed the DJ talks over. I really hate that. I'm guessing only pop ren, maybe Seitz know this song. I don't know what made me think about it, I think Midnight Oil got me thinking about crazy bald frontmen. Does Shreikback have one of those?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A Seitz Video Extra Twofer

Today on the Alternative, the folks at VH-1 Classic provided us with a rare double. That's right, two Australian '80s videos in a row, one a relatively obscure track off a popular album, the other probably one of the more popular tracks off of a very obscure album.

First up was Midnight Oil's "Dreamworld", Peter Garret's polemic against coastal development in, I assume, his native country. This has actually long been one of my favorite Midnight Oil tunes. Nice hooks, solid melody, and as a bleeding heart liberal, the environmental protection theme resonated. As for the video, well, it's essentially a bunch of shots of the band playing in coastal areas, with Garret performing some of his patented gesticulations. There are numerous shots of Australia's lovely untouched Australian coasts, with hotels and industrial developments superimposed upon them, as if we couldn't quite grasp the message from the lyrics. OK, Peter, we get it. The whole "last square mile of terra firma gaveled in the mail" bit was pretty easy to figure out. Then again, this was the MTV generation they were shooting for. Not the brightest bulbs in the chandelier. This song is off of the Diesel and Dust LP, the first one I really remember hitting in the States, thanks to tracks like Beds are Burning and The Dead Heart. This one, in my opinion, was the best. [I totally agree, along with "Bullroarer"-Ed.]

Second up was the first single off of the first album from the obscure Australian power pop band, the Hoodoo Gurus. This was a band that my older brother used to listen to when I was too young and too uncool to listen to good music. Now that I'm older and just as uncool, I have a better handle on what's good and what isn't, but some of that old stuff still passess the test of time. The video in question, "I Want You Back" from the album Stone Age Romeos is the first of a trio of strong tracks that open that album, followed by "Tojo Never Made it to Darwin" and "Leilani". This band, in my opinion, was really underappreciated on these shores. This is what the New Porographers would have sounded like 15-20 years ago, at least up through Magna Cum Louder.

Anyway, the video manages to be one of the few with even worse animation values than the first video mentioned in the post. Highlights include guitarist Brad Shepard playing a guitar solo/duet with a very poorly animated claymation dinosaur. Keep in mind that nothing in the song has anything to do with dinosaurs, nor, really, does anything on the album, except for the album cover, which still pretty inaccurate, as dinosaurs were all long dead by the time the stone age rolled around, unless you're one of those wingnut "young earthers" who think that T-Rex (non-Marc Bolan division) was hanging with Adam and Eve in Eden. But still, there they are. All over this video. Dinosaurs as far as the eye can see, thanks to the magic of blue screen technology. It's safe to say that ILM was not consulted for this video. The other hilight, as in all Hoodoo Gurus videos, is Dave Faulkner's hair, of which I can't find a good picture.

Sorry I haven't done one of these in while, but I'm a lazy bastard. Also, I'm trying to maintain some product scarcity. [haha- not like we're burning beds either- also we love "Bittersweet" by Hoodoo Gurus, from Mars Needs Guitars -Ed.]