inkwell.vue.297 : The Love X Nowhere
permalink #76 of 205: Steve Silberman (digaman) Thu 19 Apr 07 21:13
    
There's an amazing young jazz drummer in the East Bay named Jason Levis
who went to Naropa some years ago.  He seems to play a few nights a week
in various contexts, from free jazz to through-composed percussion pieces
to space reggae.  He's that best kind of drummer, like you Adam: an 
elegant animal.
  
inkwell.vue.297 : The Love X Nowhere
permalink #77 of 205: Gabriel Leis (gummyazul) Thu 19 Apr 07 21:59
    
You can't talk about how you would reshape the music industry without
also considering how you would reshape society and the current models
of meaning as a whole.  Sure there is some throat shoving going on, but
as well as creating their market through such tactics, they are
supplying a seemingly ignorant public with a product that matches their
intellect.  Let's talk about re-prioritizing education, moving back
toward true community with shared goals and responsibilities (the end
of car culture?), and the glamorization of kindness instead of greed,
and see how that affects the musical tastes of the public a generation
down the road.

Such subjects really make me sad for the recent loss of Arthur
Magazine.  The amazing perspectives and challenging ideas, as well as
the best of current music and art and culture.  I feel like I've lost a
good friend.

A few picks from the current rotation...

Midlake's "Van Occupanther" is a gem.  A lyrical time machine to
another time and place.

Grizzly Bear's "Yellow House" has so many good ideas I feel musically
intimidated.

Elliot Smith's swan song "From a Basement on the Hill" closes the book
on the junkie experience with such sweet beauty and poignancy.  One of
our generations greatest artistic losses.

Broken Social Scene's self titled 3rd LP is catharsis in a candy jar
of musical ideas.  More challenging than their breakthrough "You Forgot
it in People", the discovery of it's genius becomes all the more
meaningful.
  
inkwell.vue.297 : The Love X Nowhere
permalink #78 of 205: Steve Silberman (digaman) Thu 19 Apr 07 22:12
    
Excellent.  I can't wait to hear this stuff.
  
inkwell.vue.297 : The Love X Nowhere
permalink #79 of 205: Brett Chulada (brett-chulada) Thu 19 Apr 07 22:19
    
a long time ago my college band 'immersed' played our first show in sf
at the cocadrie(now closed).  the band that played after us was called
'the wave'.  i'd find out much later that the guitar player and bass
player we're the two songwriters in BRMC.  they had to be still in high
school back then.  they pissed off the sound guy by asking for
mega-reverb and playing 15 minute verve-esque jams.  they've come a
long way, no doubt.  for my money, BRMC is the best rock and roll band
going.  those guys kick out the rock and have a very strong
social-consciousness in their lyrics.  they're are certainly champions
of personal revolution from what i've gleamed from their words and
interviews.  they released 'take them on, on your own' on a major label
and had to fight to be released from their contract.  they were never
given the support they needed.  maybe because the major labels are
afraid of challenging anything at all.  it seems, though, the landscape
of the industry is changing.  the technological revolution has put the
tools of creating music in the hands of anyone who wants to do it. 
this is a great thing!  

on the side, i hope everyone participating in this will be present at
the WELL party this saturday.  it's hard to have a proper view of what
TLXN is about without seeing us perform.  our most recent recording was
done a year and a half ago!  things have evolved and i hope it will
give us more to talk about. 
  
inkwell.vue.297 : The Love X Nowhere
permalink #80 of 205: Brett Chulada (brett-chulada) Thu 19 Apr 07 22:26
    
gabriel is absolutly correct about the elliot smith album.  nothing
sums up the whole of the heroin experience like 'from a basement on a
hill'.
R.I.P. -he knew what he was doing, you can hear it.
  
inkwell.vue.297 : The Love X Nowhere
permalink #81 of 205: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Fri 20 Apr 07 07:06
    <scribbled>
  
inkwell.vue.297 : The Love X Nowhere
permalink #82 of 205: Steve Silberman (digaman) Fri 20 Apr 07 07:31
    
Yeah, I've been meaning to check out BRMC for a while.  Thanks.
  
inkwell.vue.297 : The Love X Nowhere
permalink #83 of 205: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Fri 20 Apr 07 07:45
    
Where's today's Country Joe? He had a not-the-least-bit-subtle
revolution of attitude. Here's Joe today, maybe: 

The Baghdad Rag 
 
Come on every boy and girl
Your country’s caught up in a swirl
We need you to help us fill the tank
So you can drive it along the Tigris bank
So sign up your life, unplug your ‘-pod
You’re tradin’ oil for blood. 

And it’s a, b, c,
What are we there to free?
Don’t ask me, cuz dude it’s bad,
Down yonder in old Baghdad.

And it’s e, f, g,
On the tower of Babylon,
You’ll be climbin’ a stairway above the attack,
Goin’ to heaven in Iraq.
  
inkwell.vue.297 : The Love X Nowhere
permalink #84 of 205: Adam Perry (adamice9) Fri 20 Apr 07 07:54
    
Classic.

I think today's Country Joe is alive on Neil Young's "Living With
War," which was one of my favorite albums of last year. "Don't need to
stinking war" indeed.
  
inkwell.vue.297 : The Love X Nowhere
permalink #85 of 205: Steve Silberman (digaman) Fri 20 Apr 07 08:08
    
That's hilarious, Scott.

But about the absence of "relevant" music these days, I'm going to 
(unexpectedly) play the devil's advocate.  Poet Robert Bly, who once 
edited an anthology of poems against the Vietnam war, remarked that the 
problem with a lot of poetry written to address contemporary issues was 
that, while its heart was in the right place, it sucked as poetry:  Bly 
called these poems "more wooden nickels for peace."  I have to agree with 
him.  You have to rewrite Country Joe's tune to make it relevant;  
otherwise it's just a dated period piece.  Dylan's "Masters of War" is not 
dated -- where's THAT kind of protest music now?

But there's some pretty good stuff out there by people younger than hoary
old Neil Young.  Pink's "Dear Mr. President," for instance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eDJ3cuXKV4
  
inkwell.vue.297 : The Love X Nowhere
permalink #86 of 205: Adam Perry (adamice9) Fri 20 Apr 07 15:06
    
The Black Angels have a lot of great stuff on their "passover" album
(2006)  that protests war without referencing popular culture, but none
of it is nearly as deep and articulate as "masters of war." However,
one of the best protest songs I've heard in my life is a song from that
album called "First Vietnamese War." Chiggity check it out ASAP on
iTunes or myspace or whatever.
  
inkwell.vue.297 : The Love X Nowhere
permalink #87 of 205: Steve Silberman (digaman) Fri 20 Apr 07 15:13
    
Guys, deep in your secret heart of hearts, what's the hardest thing about 
being a musician?
  
inkwell.vue.297 : The Love X Nowhere
permalink #88 of 205: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Fri 20 Apr 07 15:28
    
>>> -- where's THAT kind of protest music now?

Exactly! Where is today's compelling protest music (other than some
Rap)? [And trust me, no one ever paid to hear me sing or play, so in a
spontaneous-woke-up-this-morning-thinking-about-this-question, I
resorted the spoof]. 

I agree that to have the same impact as The-Fixin'-To-Die-Rag, a
contemporary songwriter would have to come up with something fresh. 
Actually, it might take a renewed selective service draft to rekindle
the old spirit of Country Joe & the Fish.
  
inkwell.vue.297 : The Love X Nowhere
permalink #89 of 205: "The Best for Your Health!" (rik) Fri 20 Apr 07 15:31
    
"Fixin' to Die" has been a bit problematic for Joe.  He lifted the melody
for an old Kid Ory tune, and Ory's daughter sued and won.
  
inkwell.vue.297 : The Love X Nowhere
permalink #90 of 205: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Fri 20 Apr 07 15:52
    
Steve, thanks for the link to "Dear Mr. President."  Powerful, and I
loved watching the reaction of the young crowd. [When I first read the
title I half-expected a spoof:  "Dear Mr. President, play us a tune,
something to make us all happy"]

So, then, if powerful songs are being penned (at least some), this
brings us to the second part of the earlier question––what are the
subtle forms of censorship in play keeping such a vibrant form of free
speech from being heard?  What are the best alternative ways to
circumvent these obstacles? With You-Tube or My Space how do you keep
powerful songs from getting lost in a sea of too much mediocrity?

  
  
inkwell.vue.297 : The Love X Nowhere
permalink #91 of 205: Steve Silberman (digaman) Fri 20 Apr 07 16:07
    
> what are the
 subtle forms of censorship in play keeping such a vibrant form of free
 speech from being heard?

Here's a provocative notion:  I believe one of the subtle forms of
censorship in play is the stench of it's-been-done-ness that has
surrounded public displays of social activism, or even earnestly taking a 
political position, since the '60s.  It's the downside of a generation so 
strongly trademarking something as big as the desire to change the world.
  
inkwell.vue.297 : The Love X Nowhere
permalink #92 of 205: Adam Perry (adamice9) Fri 20 Apr 07 16:39
    
Gabriel? Brett? Where are ya? Don't make the mistake of leaving this
one to the drummer.

I think it's a choice. People with a lot of money who own a gigantic
voice like MTV or Clear Channel Radio have a choice between bestowing
great, important art (the best they can find) upon a massive number of
human beings or instead selling that voice to the highest bidders.  

Powerful songs are getting lost in a sea of mediocrity because instead
of playing the best music they can find, these stations will play
whatever music is fed to them by a record company owned by one of their
sponsors, or a record company owned by the corporation that owns their
station. Yada yada. And the masses accept that music as the best out
there, because it got on bigtime radio or MTV. They take what they're
fed, and if we fed them the best music we could find, they'd take that
too. 

I think MAYBE there was a time in the early 90's when mainstream radio
and MTV were just playing what they thought was good, but that seems
like an eternity ago now. Now they don't really even play music on MTV.

I've had conversations with DJs at some of the biggest rock radio
stations in America that say "I love The Love X Nowhere's music and
would love to play it, but we don't even choose what to play here."
They're fed a corporation-approved unchangeable playlist from Clear
Channel and that's what they play each day. And don't even get me
started on Wal-Mart (which I think might be the top music retailer in
the country right now) telling the kids of today what to listen to.

I'm of the opinion that countless legendary rock songs and legendary
rock artists never would have made it today (never would've been heard
by the masses) because they wouldn't have been given the chance.

Anyway...for me, the hardest part of being a musician is the sad
reality that in modern times it'll be possible but nearly impossible to
advance to a stage where I won't have to work at anything else to
support my addiction to playing the drums.  And that's what I've wanted
out of life since I was about five years old: to grow up to be able to
say "I'm just a guy who plays the drums" like Bill Kreutzmann loves to
say so much. I want to be on the road with people I like playing music
for people who like it. And do nothing else except record an album
from time to time. Pretty simple. 
  
inkwell.vue.297 : The Love X Nowhere
permalink #93 of 205: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Fri 20 Apr 07 16:42
    
Rik, that's interesting about "Fixin' to Die."  I'm imagining Joe
standing before some ultra-conservative judge trying to elicit sympathy
for this particular song.    
  
inkwell.vue.297 : The Love X Nowhere
permalink #94 of 205: Adam Perry (adamice9) Fri 20 Apr 07 17:11
    
By the way, did anyone catch John McCain singing "Bomb Bomb Iran" when
asked what our Middle East policy should be? 
  
inkwell.vue.297 : The Love X Nowhere
permalink #95 of 205: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Fri 20 Apr 07 18:22
    
I like your earlier answer, Adam.  I think you hit on some big factors
as to why the spectrum of music available to hear is limited.    

I doubt if it was ever easy to make it in the music industry, but in
the late '60s music was, far and away, the dominant medium for kids
coming of age, and there was a time at the end of the decade where the
record companies were pretty liberal about signing up bands. Also, rock
defined the youth culture of the era, generated the mantras, affected
attitudes, and was often an alternative way of communicating.  Now
there is so much more competition for everyone's attention (and money).
 
  
inkwell.vue.297 : The Love X Nowhere
permalink #96 of 205: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Fri 20 Apr 07 19:45
    
>>> the stench of it's-been-done-ness that has surrounded public
displays of social activism, or even earnestly taking a political
position, since the '60s.  

I think there's some truth to this, especially in how the
play-as-power brand of theatrical protest has lost its ability to shock
or grab media attention.  I also think that "the establishment," if
you will––now controlled by many of those who came of age in the '60s––
has figured out how to better limit the information and control the
impact of activists.  Security is often used as a pretext to stifle
dissent. For example, in 1969, Richard Nixon went out at dawn to the
west lawn of the White House and started talking to some anti-war
protesters who were sleeping on the lawn.  Remembering how reviled
Nixon was, this was surprising even for then, but can you imagine
anyone today being allowed to sleep on the White House lawn?  And, as
for Bush, I keep thinking of the Saab-driving school teachers in the
Midwest who were arrested near where Bush was going to speak because
their bumper sticker read "Peace Now."  


>> It's the downside of a generation so strongly trademarking
something as big as the desire to change the world.

I would suggest that this generation did change the world, that the
tension between the mainstream and counterculture resulted in a
synthesis that was not what those on either side of the great permeable
divide expected.  The product is called postmodern society, a place
that is at the same time more hip and more authoritarian than American
society of the early '60s. I don't think that a we-can-change-the-world
"trademarking" is responsible for a more jaded, resigned-to-the-system
climate that we have today. Rather, I think that the fragmented,
privatized mass society contributes toward the collective ennui that
impedes most momentum toward hopeful change. 
  
inkwell.vue.297 : The Love X Nowhere
permalink #97 of 205: Adam Perry (adamice9) Fri 20 Apr 07 20:24
    
The internet has a lot to do with privatizing modern society. Millions
of people today are too concerned with changing their myspace profile
to want to change the world. It's Generation Me. 

Roger Waters had a great line: "this species has amused itself to
death." But I don't that means we don't care...maybe it's that we have
too many options.
  
inkwell.vue.297 : The Love X Nowhere
permalink #98 of 205: Gary Lambert (almanac) Fri 20 Apr 07 20:52
    

The "amused itself to death" line did not originate with Roger Waters.
He borrowed it from the educator and social critic Neil Postman, whose
1980s book "Amusing Ourselves To Death" is a well-known and much-debated
critique of television's effect on public discourse.
  
inkwell.vue.297 : The Love X Nowhere
permalink #99 of 205: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Fri 20 Apr 07 20:54
    
>> maybe it's that we have too many options.

In 1970 Alvin Toffler wrote Future Shock and coined the term
"information overload."  The future is now.
  
inkwell.vue.297 : The Love X Nowhere
permalink #100 of 205: Adam Perry (adamice9) Fri 20 Apr 07 22:39
    
Lambert comes to the rescue!

Hey Gary, I know you spend a lot of time in NYC, but what are some of
your favorite current SF bands?
  

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