September 17, 2003

Simple Minds

The title is not a dis of anyone but the name of my favorite band in just about the entire universe. Some of you oldsters might remember this band, which was briefly dragged into the spotlight in the States back in the eighties by a John Hughes movie, and then dropped more or less out of site over here once the burnish of whatever-it-was wore off ("So, it's another Scottish band..." "Is that the band Bono likes?" etc.) I had stopped listening to them for a few years myself, and had almost forgotten them (or would have if it were not for the ubiquitousness of that song that the "rock" stations here still dig out every month or so). Then for some reason I dragged out some tapes I had made of my LPs, and then dug out my portable cd player. I had purchased Neon Lights a while back; it is a surprisingly good set of cover songs. I had forgotten how good Jim Kerr's voice was; in my chase for The Different!* in everything I had dismissed their post-Breakfast Club output as bland, studio-smoothed pop. (More on their music later; I'm too tired to write up my review, and I have others pending.) Their official site makes you register to read anything except the first few pages, but it's free. And they have a blog of sorts; so far it seems to be mostly the lead singer's diary, updated every week or two. The entry for this past August 1st has some amusing tidbits. On tour in countries nowhere near me, Kerr confronts a whiny fan:

Afterwards I want to sign some autographs and talk to some familiar faces. But all I get is a guy complaining that we did not play "Catwalk". I apologize sincerely. He complains again. I smile and apologize. He complains a third time so I tell him that it is not always possible to play every song, and that since last year we have played more than 50 or so songs including " Catwalk" many times and we will be playing more as the year progresses. He complains again, telling me that we always play the hit songs
and ask me why we have to do this? I tell him that there are no rules but some logical conclusions. He says, like what? I say that despite our hardcore following, the reality is that most of the people who go to rock shows are initially drawn with the prospect of hearing the hits. I tell him
further that I am sure that if we did not play the hits, then promoters would soon become reluctant to promote our shows, and no shows in our case eventually means no more band!!! He tells me to fuck off!.

Eventually, and to the singer's relief, the troll -- I mean, fan -- stomped off after declaring he would never attend another Simple Minds show.

Kerr gets a phone call:

My ex wife Chrissie Hynde calls. We have not spoken for a few months but I always enjoy hearing from her. Read Daniel Pinchbecks " Breaking Open The Head"

Any unconscious irony there? Nah. He doesn't strike me as the type. Right.

Kerr is greatful for modern inventions:

I need to go to bed somewhere quiet, somewhere with air conditioning. I need to go now!

Train food seems to have gone even further downhill in Blighty than the depths it had reached back in '81 when I went:

I am not complaining and I should appreciate my seat in the first class compartment, but after the buffet trolley comes round the whole place stinks of cheese and pickle sandwiches. Ohhhh! Get me back to the continent please!

Cheese and pickle sandwiches in first class? (Shivers.)

By the way, if my nattering on about some defunct eighties band has bored you, then.... Bwahahaha! Made ya look!

*The Different! was mostly Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, and suchlike bands. They don't really seem as Different! now as I once thought.

Update: edited a zillion times, because I really should be sleeping.

Update the second: what does Jim Kerr and Saddam Hussein have in common? All is revealed!

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July 20, 2003

One way of doing it

Bono has been given an honorary degree by Trinity College in Dublin:

· Mr. Paul Hewson (Bono) LL.D. (Doctor in Laws)
Lead singer of internationally acclaimed rock group, U2, Bono is an outspoken fundraiser for Third World problems. Founder of DATA (Debt, Aid, Trade for Africa), a non-profit debt-relief advocacy group, he has been instrumental in the Drop the Dept campaign which wiped out millions of dollars of international debt owed by Third World governments. He has lobbied world leaders to encourage them to contribute more aid relief to developing countries. He has been nominated for the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize.

What does the man himself say about this? I know you're all dying to know:

(Bono)... was so delighted at the award that he declined to put on his mortar board, in case it didn't fit. "My head has swollen such is the treatment I have got from the college," he said.

(Well, at least he is honest. Heh...)

Pretty good for a guy who never actually went to any classes at any university AFAIK. Let's see, he's forty-three, I'm forty... I'll still get my degree in less time so nyah!

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July 19, 2003

The day the music died

By the way, I have Vh-1 on, because it is the only thing that currently doesn't have either infomercials or some kiddie fare on (and I refuse to watch news while I am in my fragile morning state) and they just played a snippet of Mariah Carey doing Def Lepard's "Bringing on the Heartbreak." This is worse, much worse, than that time (thanks to a "friend" of mine) that I saw a video of Celine Dion and some other pop-skank (name mercifully forgotten) doing a live cover of AC/DC's "You Shook Me (All Night Long)." Just close your eyes and imagine the Canadian wailer shrieking "knocking me out with those American thighs!" Damn, people, just destroy my entire past, why don't you?

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July 10, 2003


I want to go to a Laynefest. The hell with that Lollapalulu shizzat.

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July 09, 2003

Music for the Masses

Now Ken Layne's gone and done a CD of music stuff. He sings and everything, but don't be afraid, because he can actually sing, unlike some "real" "hit" "song" "artists" (cough Britney Christina That Guy In Tool cough). And you get lots of songs for cheap. If I have any money left over from paying rent (or storage space for my stuff while I bed down in my car) I plan to buy it. And you know how picky I am. What, you didn't know? Well I am!

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June 26, 2003

Sing aschlong

Kim Du Toit lamented here on the "death of music" -- music, that is, that people from all walks of life could sing along to and even play at home on their own instruments. Well, Jim Treacher, with a little help from PBS, is taking his own small steps to rectify this lack in our society. (Um, that last link not safe for work, homes with children or, pets, or adults, and if you click on it your name probably automatically goes on John Ashcroft's Sinner's List. What, you didn't know about the list? Number twenty-four, baby!)

(The management would like to apologize for the totally tasteless joke in the title. We blame it on the deep schism between Hillary Clinton fans and Ann Coulter fans -- it's messing us up in the head. Can't we all just get along?)

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June 10, 2003


Winner of the "I Went to LA and All I Got Was This Lousy Crack Buzz" award goes to Ed O'Brien of Radiohead, who went to a forest on top of a mountain and apparently had some wicked bad hallucinations. Now, I have been to Griffith Park and looked down from the observatory there and I remember being way impressed at this big-ass forest and mountain range right in the middle of a huge city. Sure, there's a view of L.A. -- but it's in no way reminscent of any scene in Blade Runner, a movie I have seen several times. Look -- here's a picture. Here's another. I don't remember wide vistas and sunny skies in Blade Runner.

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May 24, 2003


Okay, here's a Goth mp3 to soothe you to sleep, or something:

"The Passion of Lovers" -- artist: Bauhaus.

Yes, I'm feeling nostalgic. Get it while it's hot (the best way: right-click and "save target as") -- I'm not going to leave it up on the site forever.

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Birth, School, Work, Death

I was just listening to an mp3 of that song that I downloaded from someone (probably Michele, the music download queen) when I thought to myself: "What ever happened to the Godfathers?" Well, according to this website, some of them have gotten together with some of the Damned and formed a band called the Germans. That sounds positively evil. Ah, I've seen the Damned and the Godfathers more times than I can count. Well, every time they came down to Florida anyway. I only would leave the state for bands like Bauhaus, the Cure, and U2. (One day I really need to post my experiences of all three trips to see the aforementioned bands. That and my trip to New York in 1996, supposedly to see UK band Suede, but really an excuse for me at least to finally go to New! York! City!)

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May 23, 2003

Free Floating Musical Angst Dept Report

I do like Cold's song, "Stupid Girl."

I might as well come clean here and say that other songs I like are Queens of the Stone Age's "Go With the Flow" and P.O.D.'s "Sleeping Awake."

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It came from the Eighties

Belfegore? Oh my god.

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May 15, 2003

Secret favorite song

I'm listening to one of the digital radio stations that cable teevee offers, the one that plays songs from the seventies. They started to play Bobby Goldsboro's "Summer (the First Time)." I hadn't heard that song in years. It was once my favorite song... it almost made up for "Honey." Almost.

What's your secret favorite song?

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May 13, 2003

Where is my mind?

Oh god, I just found myself thinking that Tiffany's* version of "I Think We're Alone Now" wasn't half bad. The chick still couldn't dance to save her life, though.

*I was also unaware that she still had a career. I pay no attention to these things, usually.

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May 12, 2003

I don't mind you coming here, and wasting all my time

Well, I've got cable teevee (and a clear picture) for the first time since sometime in 2000, and I have no idea how much older celebs and music people and such have gotten in the past three years because right now I am watching VH1C, and they are playing old 80s videos. Right now they have the Kinks doing a live version of "You've Really Got Me Now," and they just finished playing the Cars "Just What I Needed." Aaagghh! The clueless limp-spaghetti-armed dancing! The in-between-fashion-movements look of everyone's hair and clothes (basically everyone looked as if their 70s Farrah Fawcett shags had grown out and they were making do with their over-laundered old disco clothes until someone thought up new ways for people to look)! The shine all over everything that was "different" from that washed-out matte look popular in the Seventies but was not yet Eighties glitter! And... everything was pink. Weird. Did I actually live through all that?

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Cable teevee goodies

Well, the dealer cable guy was just here and he finished installing my new addiction one month of free cable. The first thing I find is an unexpected treat: a Simple Minds concert from 1995 on some channel called Trio. I'd only ever seen them live once, in 1985, when the success of that song from The Breakfast Club made it possible for their tour to make it all the way down to Miami. I've got to get my videotape machine hooked up to this teevee. (The machine is attached to the useless bedroom teevee, which is only set to get the first twenty-five channels or so.)

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May 09, 2003

Livin' in the Eighties

Perfect morning get-moving song: Prince's "Let's Go Crazy." Don't let the elevator break you down.

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May 08, 2003


The White Stripes backlash has begun!

(PS: I like the White Stripes and PJ Harvey. Can't we all just get along?)

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May 06, 2003

Radio Haha

Oh, this is funny -- just now I'm listening to this techno station on Winamp (this one, if you want to listen) and a canned announcer's voice comes on, and says, something about internet radio being "the real reason the internet was created. Just ask Al Gore!" Oh, that is funny on so many levels.

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May 04, 2003

Dixie Cups

This is the best we could muster?

ORLANDO, Fla. -- A lone protester stood outside a sold-out Dixie Chicks concert Saturday night during the band's first appearance in Florida since a member criticized President Bush over the war with Iraq.

And typically, he wasn't even from Florida:

But Texas-native Thomas Newton stood at an intersection near the TD Waterhouse Centre wearing a cowboy outfit and holding a sign that read: "I Am Ashamed The Dixie Chicks Are From Texas."

This town is too god-damn transient. In a way, that's a good thing, because it keeps the Hippie-American population down. Oh well.

(Via Damien Penny, today.)

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April 28, 2003

Loud music for bad people

Nothing like a little Sponge to help clear out those Monday cobwebs. (PS: is the pre-21st-century website design deliberate? Am I missing some sort of postmodern joke here?)

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April 26, 2003


Why, god why?

Child victims of the war in Iraq are to benefit from a new CD featuring 18 major artists.

Here's the list:

Paul McCartney - Calico Skies
Avril Lavigne - Knocking on Heaven's Door
David Bowie - Everyone Says Hi
Travis - The Beautiful Occupation
George Michael - The Grave
Ronan Keating - In the Ghetto
Lee Ryan - Stand Up as People
Beverley Knight - Love's In Need of Love Today
Moby - Nearer
New Order - Vietnam
Basement Jaxx/Yellowman - Love is the Answer
Spiritualized - Hold On
The Charlatans - We Got To Have Peace
Beth Orton - O-O-H Child
Tom McRae - Border Song
Billy Bragg - The Wolf Covers Its Tracks
Yusuf Islam - Peace Train

Next month's washed-up pop dollies get together with their irrelevant, talent-drained forebearers for The Children™. Expect this to show up in the 2-cds-for-$3.99 bargain bin within a week of its release.

(Via NZPundit.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:14 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 21, 2003

More than a feeling

In the I Had No Idea (Probably Because I Didn't Care) department, file the news that Seventies-era rock-group Boston is apparently still together and releasing albums, though their latest one sucks, according to Kim Du Toit.

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March 23, 2003


That was a nice performance by U2. Nice song. At least it wasn't "All That Jazz." Colin Farrell has a nice Irish accent. Bored now.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 17, 2003

A sensible celebrity

They're not all idiots: Lyle Lovett seems to have a bit of common sense when it comes to celebrity views on war and George Bush. (Of course, it might be that he also might have considered the result of the Dixie Chicks' antics, and doesn't want to throw what's left of his own country music career in the crapper.)

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February 24, 2003

Out of the mouths of babes, dept.

Things have gotten really weird when Kid Rock says something sensible:

Kid Rock on musicians pontificating about war in Iraq: "Why is everybody trying to stop the war? George Bush ain't been saying, 'You all, make shitty records.' Politicians and music don't mix. It's like whisky and wine. [Musicians] ought to stay out of it."

Maybe that friend of mine who thinks Kid Rock's stoopid white-boy shtick is just an act is right.

(Via a Joe, in Michele's comments.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:57 AM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

Cry me a river

Sez Sheryl Crow: "Whine! Pout! Mewl!"

Backstage at the GRAMMY AWARDS on Sunday night, Sheryl Crow contradicted CBS and GRAMMY officials when she claimed GRAMMY reps called her managemment last week asking her to refrain from making anti-war statements during the Sunday night broadcast.

Assuming this is true, has it not occurred to the woman that her management was trying to save what's left of her reputation?

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February 23, 2003

That's all folks

Well, that was fuckin' boring. I would've preferred a goofy peace protest.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:29 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Album o' the year

Who the hell is Norah Jones?

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:26 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack


You know, I think that this tribute to all the people the music industry has killed lost would have been improved by a shot of Pete Townsend being dragged off for questioning about his unusual activities on the internet. Oh, did I just type that?

"London Calling" -- anyone who can't sing can do it.

I'm beginning to remember why I don't watch tv.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:15 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Sheryl Crow and beyond

Sheryl Crow sure is dull. Strictly bar band stuff. Sorry, I'm not into her stuff. Besides, I have two Heart albums I could listen to instead.

She's wearing a pendant that is a peace sign inside a heart. That's it for peace so far. Oh, we don't get to hear Sheryl speak? Good.

Cindi Lauper just told a lame joke, and Alicia Keys decided to save the night by going right into Best New Artist. (Or as my friends and I used to call it, Best Artist That Will Never Be Heard From Again Because This Award is the Kiss of Death Award -- remember when Milli Vanilli won?)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:59 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Eminem on the Grammys

So... what's the big difference? He's sounding and performing like he always does, doing his whiteboy rap shtick.

(Or is it Grammies? Whatever.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:42 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


Remember the good old days, when it was cool to hate the fuggin' BeeGees?

N-fuckin-Sync are doing the BeeGees tribute medley. They are currently just finished destroying the only redeemable song the BeeGees ever did, "Lonely Days."

Update: well, they aren't "Stayin' Alive" all that well; in fact, they are dropping like flies. They are down to a Be.

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Sucrose intolerant

Jebus, this isn't the Grammies, it's a fargin' episode of Sesame Street. Cute widdle kiddies, a song called (I believe) "Dreams Are Real" and -- oh my ghod -- the ultimate horror...

Singing children.


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Score! I turned on the Grammies late, and the first sentence I heard from anyone was from Fred Durst (of Limp Bizkit), who said that "this war should go away!" Oh, the profundity!

I actually forgot it was on tonight, and stayed out doing various things. I rather doubt I missed anything. Already the boredom is setting in.

A tribute to the BeeGees?

Rock musicians are starting to rival opera divas in the ego department, with rather less justification: discuss.

An observation: this Target commercial is so annoying it makes me not want to shop at that store any more.

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February 22, 2003

What Would Sheryl Do?

Oh, man -- this is going to be hilarious.

Get ready for antiwar protests at tomorrow night's Grammy Awards ceremony.

Despite a report that CBS executives had considered blocking politically outspoken rockers, the network said last night it would not pull the plug on anyone protesting a war against Iraq.

I might even watch it. Me, a bottle of (Aussie, Israeli, or California) wine, and the spectacle of big-headed rock stars making utter fools of themselves on national tv.

Sheryl's gonna be there!

Musician Sheryl Crow, who made headlines when she wore a "War Is Not the Answer" T-shirt at the American Music Awards in January, plans to hand out 300 "No War" buttons tomorrow.

Better make that a fifth of Jack Daniels. Or two.

Hey, I've got an idea! Who wants to get together and have a Grammy Night Blogbash? It's more fun to drink and mock in company.

(Via Scott Chaffin.)

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Not an idiot

I have made plenty of fun of Bono recently, but it isn't because he's part of the Celebrities Against Icky War Because It Makes Us Uncomfortable brigade. Whatever his faults, he is not about to join the ranks of the Saddamites human shields currently attempting to infest Iraq. Read this article to get his reaction to the carefree assumption by certain members of the FOS* that he would obediently trot over to Baghdad just because they asked him to.

There is an undertone of pique in the article about Bono's apparent refusal to spell out just what his position on the whole Iraq thing is. I have the feeling that he is probably keeping mum about this particular situation because he knows that a large percentage of his fans would spit up nails if he actually told them what he really thinks. He is not a fool about his own career, whatever else he might be foolish about.

*Friends of Saddam.

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February 18, 2003

Seeds of Our Demise, the continuing saga

Oh yeah -- I forgot about this juicy nugget. Actually, I am almost sure that Bono and/or the band have been nominated before for this dog and pony show. I hope they don't win. I really don't feel like packing up all my U2 stuff and mailing it to Polygram. For one thing, there's rather a lot of it, and shipping costs are so dear.

(Via Dean's World.)

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February 17, 2003

Well that's one way to sell CDs

Well. Back when I saw unknown folk singer Jewel open for Peter Murphy (at the Cameo Theater in Miami Beach, sometime in the early 90s) she was just an innocent-looking little thing from Alaska or someplace. My, how we've grown. Now I see why her annoying songs are so popular.

(No really, she's pretty hot in this picture, and I am not the kind of girl who noticed such things.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 09:08 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

February 14, 2003

Music Wizard

Ian McKellan's "desert island disks" are... interesting. They run the gamut from a performance of "The Stars and Stripes Forever" to Abba's "Dancing Queen."

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January 22, 2003

One last cigarette

Just one more: the PC crowd has airbrushed the cigarette out of Paul's hand for posters of the cover of the Abbey Road album. You know, I am surprised no one has started up a campaign against the anti-tobacco people for dissing the culture of the Native American. After all, they are the ones who discovered the stuff.

(Via greeblie blog.)

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January 06, 2003

Screw Disco Dan!

Isn't it interesting how the majority of Solonor's Bad Song Nominees, a.k.a., "Songs that make you want to PUKE," (which are all my least favorite songs in the whole world too!) come from a certain decade? (cough the Seventies cough) The Seventies were HELL. They SUCKED. Don't you forget it. PREVENT THE SEVENTIES FROM EVER HAPPENING AGAIN.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:37 PM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

January 01, 2003

Yes, Tommy, I can hear you

My neighbor in the apartment next door has chosen to play his stereo very loud. Right now the album he has on is The Who's Tommy, which I also happen to own. I wonder what would happen if I dug the LP out of the closet and started playing the very same track. Would he think there was something wrong with his stereo?

Oh well, at least he's not into Britney Spears, or (c)rap.

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