Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I know a little.

Ken Jenning's long run on Jeopardy is finally over. He lost on Final Jeopardy to Nancy Zerg. But boy what a run. 74 wins and 2.5 million in pre-tax earnings.

I know several people, myself included, who could crush him in a straight-up general trivia contest without a time element. But put him with a Jeopardy buzzer in his hand, and you're talking something else. Yes, he missed a lot of pretty easy Final Jeopardies, but that's the point. It seldom mattered as he usually had runaways of up to $30,000. No, he wasn't the smartest guy ever on Jeopardy; I vote Frank Spangenberg (the mustachioed NYC cop) but know some will pick others. What Jennings was was simply the greatest game show contestant of all time. He had three things going for him:

1) preternatural buzzer reaction speeds,
2) the ability to play the clock and grab answers late from his head, and
3) uncanny poaching ability on questions with several potential answers by letting others ring in first and eliminate options.

I'm not sorry to see him, his smirk, and his cutesy pie varying signatures go, but I do salute his majestic achievement.

Le Roi est mort. Vive La Reine!

Monday, November 29, 2004


Why Blue is Better (a partial list)

Almost Blue
"Am I Blue"
"Behind Blue Eyes"
"Blue Again"
"Blue Bayou"
"Blue Blue Blue"
"Blue Blue Eyes"
"Blue Cheer"
"Blue Christmas"
"Blue Clarinet Stomp"
"Blue Hour"
"Blue Monday"
"Blue Moon"
"Blue Moon of Kentucky"
The Blue Note
"Blue Ridge Cabin"
"Blue Skies"
"Blue Suede Shoes"
"Blue Velvet"
"Blue Yodel"
"Blueberry Hill"
"Bluer Than Blue"
The Blues (all of them)
"Bonnie Blue Flag"
"Deacon Blue"
"Devil with the Blue Dress On"
"My Blue Heaven"
"Rhapsody in Blue"

Down on the bayou.

I spent the 2004 Thanskgiving weekend in Fairhope, AL on Mobile Bay's Eastern Shore. As the name suggests, Fairhope is a late 19th century Utopian community, in this case based on the single land tax philosophy of Henry George. Founded in 1894 on bluffs overlooking Mobile Bay, Fairhope became a city in 1908, and to this day, the Single Tax Colony has a beautiful set of waterfront parks, bluffs above the waterfront, and a municipal pier, all belonging to the citizenry of Fairhope. The Henry George Park boasts an insane three-sided obelisk with quotes about Labor, Capital, and Land. This is not your mammy's 'Bama. Fairhope was also the home to the innovative educational techniques of Marietta Johnson, including the 1907 organic, non-graded, uncompetitive school based on the progressive ideas of John Dewey. In fact, Fairhope is America's longest-surviving secular "utopian" community set up to promote social and economic reform.

Today Fairhope is a European village in a Southern setting with a growing artists' colony of painters, sculptors, and authors. Central to the latter are Martin Lanaux's Over the Transom Books and Sonny Brewer's Blue Moon Cafe stories collections. The most recent volume in this series includes a tale by my good friend Brad Vice. Fairhope also has an annual artist's fair, the "Grand Festival by the Bay": here's a photolog of my friend Susan Ford's triumphant 2002 appearance.

For my West Coast readers, think the shopping districts of Menlo Park or Los Altos deposited on an East-West axis leading down a hill to high bluffs above a medium-sized bay held up by award-winning Swamp Tupelo and topped by Magnolias, scrub Pine, and majestic Live Oaks draped with Spanish Moss. The buildings run the gamut from Key West cool to traditional Mediterannean villas to classical Southern Coastal (think the big white houses with wrap-around porches in The Big Chill and Forrest Gump). I guess the reason I like Fairhope so much is because it reminds of home, in this case the older ante-bellum parts of Tallahassee that preserve a slower, more gracious lifestyle in their neoclassical piles, but a heritage that was even in the mid 1960s already "residual," in the terminology of Raymond Williams. I also think Disney has no business no longer releasing The Song of the South (but that's a whole 'nother can of worms for some other entry).

Still if you wanted to find one cool place in the Southeast to spend a romantic week away, THIS is IT, or so I surmise, experience notwithstanding!

Anyway, I spent four days and three nights here for Thanksgiving 2004. I strolled the town, I walked the bluffs, I shopped and found some cool gifts and books, I watched a lot of football. I even had a fantastic meal at the Colony Grill. I highly recommend the Lobster Tail scampi style with arborio rice. The place is also a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence Restaurant. Also seek out the Lobster Nigel extra because the tempura battered asparagus are the best vegetables I have ever tasted, including meals at Charlie Trotter's in Chicago, Fleur de Lys in San Francisco, Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Bern's Steak House in Tampa, Auberge d'Lill in Illhaeusern, Alsace, France, and Das Schabbelhaus in Lubeck, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.

Sorry if this sounds like a Chamber of Commerce plant; it's NOT!

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Flirtin' with disaster.

W is NOT a fiscal conservative.
W is NOT a foreign policy conservative.
W is NOT a domestic policy conservative.
W is CERTAINLY NOT a "compassionate conservative"!

SO Why did all you conservatives vote for him?

I had too much to dream last night.

Here's my proposal for the 3rd annual Experience Music Project Pop Conference.

Poseur Extraordinaire: Robert Pollard and GBV recreate the adolescent male rock fantasy

A friend at Catoptric.com writes:

So, on to the show. Instead of an opening act, GBV began their set with a retrospective film: photos of the band (and especially Bob) faded in and out over stock Deep Thoughts-type scenery while a string version of "Window of My World" that sounded exactly like Ray Conniff played in the background. Though funny, this, like another GBV song says, went on for far too long.... It was so over-the-top cheesy, there's no chance it was meant to be serious. The whole club was laughing. But it WAS a weird prelude.

My slightly different take is that as with much of GBV's mythos it was meant to be cheesy but also to be taken seriously in a large-hearted, good natured way. I mean this is a guy who basically willed himself in his 30s from basement cock rock preening to actual superstardom, in a subdued indie rock kind of way. This is a guy who ironically is given to saying that he's gonna play "all the hits" even though he knows his commercial radio airplay has been minimal despite TVT and Ric Ocasek's best efforts. As fan art demonstrates "Guided by Voices It Started As a Kind of Fantasy 1983-2004" (Jay Robertson, GBV-Inspired Art Work #4, GBV.com).

This talk will examine the ways in which Bob from Dayton became the Fading Captain and turned GBV from a basement recording project into semi-legendary indie rockers by examining the band's self-created mythos, its live performance style, and its recorded output. I will make a multimedia presentation including sound, images, and video/DVD captures. I begin at the moment when GBV almost imploded before it really ever began. By the 1992 self-produced Rockathon LP Propeller, GBV still really hadn't played live. But Pollard wanted to start his album with a Rock Anthem in the Live at Buddokan mode. No problem--he creates an excited crowd shouting "Gee Bee Vee! Gee Bee Vee! Gee Bee Vee!" His every song sounds like a completists' best rock riffs mixed up in a Vegomatic. He has studied every leg kick, microphone helicopter, and assorted other cock rock classic poses as performed by Jagger, Daltrey, et al. And 20 years on, Pollard has for his small but faithful fans become what most ten year old boys dream about while bouncing on beds and riffing on their air guitars: A Bona Fide Rock Star!

And speaking of rock and roll fantasies, here's mine:

If I had a band, its name would most definitely be "This happy breed of men" and it would play loud dour guitar music somewhere between The Mission of Burma and My Bloody Valentine. Several song titles already come to mind: "Pursued by a Bear," "The very naked name of love," "Seen the Spider," "Gazer Joy," "Because my name is George," and "The muzzle of restraint." For good measure our set would end with a Jonsonian encore of the punky "Turd i' your teeth" followed by three covers: This Mortal Coil's "I am the Cosmos," The Mr. T Experience's "A Song About a Girl Who Went Shopping," and a frenzied finale of The Weddoes' "Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft" in full Albini effect. That's the harmony in MY head; such is the stuff dreams are made on.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

More than a feeling.

Many of you know of my disdain for The Replacements. out of the money
behind Husker Du, Prince, and The Time in my book.

I decided to give them another chance and ordered the mid career three:

Let it Be
Pleased to Meet Me.

Let me just start by posting another such grouping:

Bee Thousand
Alien Lanes
Under The Bushes, Under The Stars.

Sorry Westerberg, Pollard rocks you off the planet.

However, the albums held up better for me than I remembered.

Let It Be
O.K. but let's face it, it's really just a youthful Americanized Faces rekkid.

Back in the day all I remember was "Kiss Me on the Bus" and the waitress thingy.
Shouldn't an ex-Ramones have made a harder edged record.
"Left of the Dial" and "Here Comes A Regular" were revelations this time around.

Pleased to Meet Me
This is the one I kinda liked back then and have on vinyl. But don't get me
started on Alex Chilton, Gorjus!

"Lonely days are gone, I'm a-goin' home,
'Cause my baby wrote me a letter."

Heckler spray.

One of my favorite things about the show was my promo/intro. Here it is.

The clips in order are Don Pardo, The Flaming Lips, Fugazi, Neil Young, My
Bloody Valentine, Kevin Shields, The Mr. T Experience, David Gedge, The
Wedding Present, GBV, The Wedding Present.

Thanks to Bryan McCann of WMSV for help with preparing the audio files.

I wanted to have a classic FM type promo except with indie rock beds. Yes,
I stole the concept from legendary KZSU DJ Joe Radio, who presented the
deepest Industrial grooves like he was Johnny Fever's bastard love child.
(Think the Sklar Bros. "Power106" bit)

Monday, November 22, 2004

My town is a salad bowl.


Florida's capital city sits in one of the few hilly regions of the state. Visit the two capitols (the historic old capitol and the newer high-rise), the Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Science and the Alfred B. Maclay State Gardens (blooming azaleas and magnolias in season). The Park Avenue Historic District contains fine examples of old southern mansions enveloped by palmettos and large oak trees dripping with Spanish moss.

Two Hundred Miles from Anywhere Else
Gloria Jahoda, The Other Florida

Florida with a Southern Accent
Local booster bumper sticker

Born April 26, 1964 to Jeanne and Robley Light at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital one George Evans. weight 4 lbs. 9 oz.
Released January 27, 2003 by John Darnielle et al. one triple gatefold CD with booklet, Tallahassee. weight 13 oz.

Tallahassee is my birthplace and former hometown for 17 formative years. Tallahassee is John's mystical muse of inspiration. My Tallahassee is 37-9, Larry Key and the thrill of the 1979 Tangerine Bowl (or any bowl for that matter), not the Tomahawk Chop, Heisman QBs, and ho hum another BCS bowl berth. John's Tallahassee is "Tampa Bay takes it all the way to January" and other improbabilities, but will he ever love her again? My Tallahassee is "Das Kapital" in the Flambeau but not Diane of NPR, The Oxford American, and the dread Crimson Tide. My Tallahassee is backyard Belgian hares, live oaks and Spanish moss; John's is front yard peacocks, scrub palmetto and the nectar of plums. What follows is a meditation on a town, an album, and the intervening personal mythologies which created them both.


My Tallahassee is Parga Street; John's Southwood Plantation Road. Mine is West Tennessee, Mission, Tharpe, and sundry old canopies like Meridian, Micosoukee, and St. Augustine. John's "roads leading out to the sea � all of them lined up." My Tallahassee is seven hills, Mission San Luis and the first Christmas in America. John's is a point on the edge of a map, a funny name. He is, after all, the pomo Stephen Foster way down in Leon County.

Given Tallahassee's neither here nor there reality, not quite Florida and certainly on no map of the Old South, it makes sense that her poet laureate would be a native Chicagoan who came to town via Manhattan. Gloria Jahoda wrote the classic The Other Florida in 1967; its descriptions of Tallahassee, however, outdated, have never been surpassed:

Tallahassee is an unsettling paradox made up of paradoxes. There is no city in Florida, or in the South, quite like it. . . . This is why it is like no other city you or I have ever seen--an outpost willing to pay for Hungarian maestros, a haven of rural philosophers who want atomic research, and a boom town which honors its ghosts. Above all it is utterly American because it refuses to be typical of anything whatsoever.

Such paradoxes will continue to inform this essay's appreciation of the similarly named album.

It should come as no surprise then that Tallahassee's great lyrical proponent is a native of California who makes his home in Iowa and now records for a famous English record label. In fact, Tallahassee is far from John Darnielle's first recorded paean to my home town.

Top 5 non-Tallahassee Tallahasee songs from the home office in Ames,
1) alpha sun hat
2) going to georgia
3) alpha omega
4) alpha acquae
5) going to dade county

In The Tallahassee Democrat, Darnielle opines, "You hear about certain towns and something sticks. For me its places on the edges." 20 miles from Georgia and 30 from the Gulf Coast; surrounded by lakes, swamps, and a National Forest, Tallahassee is as edgy as it gets, center of its own alternate universe revolving around that crucial mix of athletics (high school, college and semi-pro), education (2 universities, major research sites including the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and a major community college), politics (county seat and compromise state capital), and their genetic offspring--corruption writ large.


Tallahassee is an album by the Mountain Goats. Its fourteen songs document the decay and eventual collapse of a house in the city of Tallahassee, Florida, as well as the concurrent decay & collapse of the two people who lived inside of it.

My Tallahassee is John Kurzweg and the Night but never ever ever Creed. My Tallahassee is Robert Shaw conducting me as a member of the boy's choir in Britten's War Requiem, Marcus Roberts at the Opperman amphitheater, and the Psychedelic Furs at The O.K. Club (1980). John's Tallahassee is "a terrible silence," Frankie Valli on the stereo, Howlin' Wolf on a sympathetic station (WANM?), and The Mountain Goats at the Beta Bar (2002). His Tallahassee is a 4AD-released song cycle of 14 anecdotal nuggets from the alpha couple's last gasp. My Tallahassee is Stinson of the Democrat, and so is John's.

Unlike previous Darnielle creations (he is the Mountain Goats with only occasional support from various hands, most famously Rachel Ware on bass, but see cool beans #4 for the crucial input of the bright mountain choir), Tallahassee abandons the lo fi recording technologies of Panasonic sx 1700, Panasonic RX-FT500, Marantz PMD 222, and telephone machinery for a proper studio, Tarbox, and producer, Tony Coogan of Belle and Sebastian and Mogwai fame. Darnielle also highlights one main co-conspirator Peter Hughes (on bass and drums). Instead of tape hiss, Tallahassee has a finished sound that is no more complicated than the previous 10 full length tapes and CDs. This finished studio sound remains spare and elegant - borrowing from the Miles and Thelonious vein - and a willful riposte to those idiotic critics who link quality with speed and quantity and who will never understand the concept of half time.

This is not a record review nor will I plumb the meanings of Darnielle's winsome and yet still world-weary lyrics. If you've read this far, go out buy the disc and judge for yourself lazybones!


The rooms on this site, whose details were cobbled together from the terrible mess they left at the site of their love's last great flaring-up, contain areas for further investigation which can be viewed by clicking on any item that illuminates itself when you scroll over it with your mouse. In an irony worthy of our electronic age, this is perhaps the only illumination ever to take place within the walls of this house. Feel free to explore every corner of every room, but in feeling such freedom, do spare a thought for our heroes, who were only able to feel free when they'd traded in their freedom for a couple of vodka gimlets.

My Tallahassee is Edward Kilenyi's Casey Stengel anecdotes between Beethoven sonatas. My Tallahassee is Hickle the Bald Eagle and Ole Joe at the Wakulla Springs Lodge; John's is "innumerable gibbons," vultures and other improbable critters. My Tallahassee is road trips to Alligator Point, Camp Weed and points west; John's is night driving from Tampa to Cedar Key and points northwest. My Tallahassee no longer exists if it ever did outside my own imaginings, and the same can be said for John's alpha couple and their south Tally digs.

Cue the legend.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

The light pours out of me.

Perhaps the best song title ever, except for HMHB's
"All I Want for Christmas is a Dukla Prague Away Kit."
Thanks Howard, even if you did bail on The Buzzcocks.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Rock you like a hurricane.

Beer and the Bard or how Dutch hops made the English English

Shillingsburg made me do it

Funny I was good enough for Oxford University Press

Jonesin' in USA Today

Being for the benefit of Mr. Peel

Wire at the Double Door in Chicago

The Fieldstones, Memphis Blues Today!: You simply must buy this record

Perhaps My Favorite Song of All Time

Thanks, Eric!

I Believe. Buzzcocks. House of Blues. NOLA.

This didn't run when and where it was supposed to.

G. E. Light � 2003
DATELINE: New Orleans, LA 5/29/03
House OF Blues Music Hall

Opening the Big Easy mayhem was the local fave, punk metal karaoke. Check the list on the bar, see a song you like, sign up and next thing you know you're on stage backed by a full band prancing and singing to your heart's content. Tactfully tonight "Orgasm Addict" had been inked off the options menu. Several HOB employees had clearly been lip syncing for months practicing to perform Cheap Trick's "Surrender" (curiously listed as punk) and Sabbath's "Paranoid," the latter implausibly performed by a suit, even if his hair was short and spiky. Two highs were the girl who later stood by me at stage's edge doing Pat Benatar's "Heartbreaker" and a short pudgy baldheaded, yellow-shirted security guy laying into Motorhead's "Ace of Spades" as if his very job depended on it.

Rock City Morgue were appropriately named as they cull over almost every moribund mid '80's metal cliche. The lead singer seems like a chemistry experiment gone awry: take 1/3 Axl with lame bowler, 1/3 swivvely Iggy and 1/3 bleeding mascaraed Alice Cooper, mix and ignite. Still, the female bassist was fab and the set took off with a wonderfully Gothy cover of the Cars' "You're Just What I Needed." Props to the lead singer for knowing that RCM weren't the most appropriate opening for the punk legends and not caring one iota.

Then came Manchester's likely lads. It was nothing less than Rock 'N' Roll 301: a master class. Or as John Peel would have said, "None of that poser Bullshit!" They Came, They Played, They Conquered.

The hour-long main set included no less than 21 tunes interrupted by only an occasional guitar change and the random odd song title. It was seamless; the band's promo photographer told me had to get his pics in the space of 3 songs. At the second "break" he asked, "2 songs?" Alas, no they had already blistered five tracks from the opener and Spiral Scratch EP cut "Boredom" right the way through to "Autonomy."

For skeptics this was no mere reunion gig but rather "nostalgia for an age yet to come" covering songs from both the 1976-81 and the post-1990 bands and including several tracks from their current Merge disc. Yes, The Buzzcocks have a real eponymous album out just like Wire and The Undertones. Is it 1980 all over again? From the get go, Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle laid down an awesome display of punk rock guitar heroics that would have made Andy Gill and the late Joe Strummer proud. It was all on display from Shelley's cocked head, lip sneering, quizzically snarly delivery to Diggle's cock rock antics and amiably laddish mugging for the crowd. Highlights of the set included Diggle inducing the crowd to sing along to the chorus of his classic "Harmony in My Head" and the set-closer "I Believe," clearly a fave of the GEN X and GEN Y contingents. Lyrics done, Shelley strode off the stage so Diggle could turn Crescent City Madman ending a short guitar freak out with his axe wedged under the Marshall amp still emitting squalls of feedback as the new rhythm section got a few minutes to show their funky stuff

The fifteen-minute encore brought four more classics to close including inevitably "Orgasm Addict." And then they were done.

CLASS DISMISSED! After fifteen years of Green Blinkin' Sums, the Kids are now finally All Right Again.


On my radio.

As some of you know, this is blog is named after a short-lived but much loved (at least by me) radio show I presented at WMSV in the spring of 1999. I've been doing shows on two continents since 1986 at URY, KZSU, and WMSV. This one was my favorite. I took the BBC Office approach of less can be more. So these were the four best shows I could put on given my knowledge of music and my available resources (translation if I didn't own it, WMSV sure wasn't gonna have it).

I'm particularly proud of these shows for 3 reasons:

1) I'm positive there was something in every show that had not nor has been still ever played in Mississippi on the air before. For you cosmopolitan types, the reality is that this is probably true for 80% of listening areas in this country-the red ones. And boy do they need some help!

2) I successfully pushed the boundaries of "community standards" in the Bible Belt. Remember this was before Nipplegate, but Don Wildmon's America Family Association is just up Highway 45 in Tupelo. Not one call of complaint ever. Even on Show #3 when I played a bunch of N(ot) A(ir) Q(uality) songs. NAQ was WMSV code for profanity.

3) Yes I obsessed about this show. I have three evolving potential playlists for the first show. But anything worth doing is worth doing well. And I think I did o.k.

The Nevermind Aesthetic Show #1

10 PM
Negativland-Kasem/U2 (edit)
The Creamers-Cover Your Ass
Hüsker Dü-New Day Rising + In a Free Land (live)
MC5-Kick Out the Jams
Amboy Dukes-Journey to the Center of the Mind
Iggy & the Stooges-Search and Destroy
Pere Ubu-Final Solution
GBV-Over the Neptune/Mesh Gear Fox
Tesco Vee's Hate Police-Losing My Religion
Hi-Fives-Tainted Love
Ciccone Youth-Into the Groovey
Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy-California Über Alles
Lee Ranaldo-Fragile
My Bloody Valentine-Map Ref 41N 93W
Electric Hellfire Club-Callin' Dr.Luv

Simple Machine-Nothing
Molly Gish-Song #1
John Brocato-Me and My Kind
John Black Attack-That's When I Reach For My Revolver (Live at Rick's)
Men from Nantucket-Daguerrotype (Live at Dave's)
JBA (Gordon)-Pickup Lines (Demo)
Billy Bragg-A 13, Trunk Road to the Sea
Mudhoney-Touch Me, I'm Sick
Warren Zevon-Lawyers Guns and Money
Syd Barrett-Let's Split
Echo and the Bunnymen-Do It Clean (Live at the Royal Albert Hall)
Boredoms-Pop Tatari
Flying Luttenbachers-Metal Machine Muzak
Swell Maps-Let's Build a Car
Henry's Dress-Definitely Nothing
Magazine-The Light Pours out of Me

The Nevermind Aesthetic Show #2

10 PM
Archers of Loaf-White Trash Heroes
John Black Attack-Sexy Like White Trash (Live)
AC DC-You Shook Me All Night Long
Big Star-In the Street
Flamin' Groovies-Tallahassee Lassie
Led Zeppelin-Communication Breakdown
The Wedding Present-Kennedy
The Misfits-Bullet
Human League-Seconds
Human Sexual Response-Jackie Onassis
Buzzcocks-I Don't Mind (Live)
Tobin Sprout-And then the Crowd Showed Up
Imperial Teen-Year of the Tan
Pet Shop Boys w/ Dusty Springfield-What Have I Done to Deserve This
The Real Kids-Bad to Worse
The Neighborhoods-No Place Like Home
Unnatural Axe-They Saved Hitler's Brain

11 PM
Mission of Burma-Max Ernst (The DaDa song) (Live at the Bradford Hotel)
Mission of Burma-That's How I Escaped My Uncertain Fate
Galaxie 500-Hearing Voices
The Spinanes-Dangle
Liz Phair-Polyester Bride
Shop Assistants-Fixed Grin
Sundays-24 Hours
X Ray Spex-Germfree Adolescents
Minor Threat-Cashing In
Ben Lee-Ship My Body Home
Magnetic Fields-All the Umbrellas in London

The Nevermind Aesthetic Show #3: Nobody Asks Questions

10 PM
Kasey Kasem Outtakes (NAQ) Date of Airing: TBA
Sex Pistols-EMI
Consolidated-College Radio
Public Enemy-Bring the Noise
Circle Jerks-Bad Words
Swingin' Utters-Expletive Deleted
Victim's Family-Sinatra Mantra
Wire-Dot Dash
Wire-Field Day for Sundays (NAQ)
Wire-Outdoor Miner
Wire-Culture Vultures
Wire-12XU (Fragment) (live) (NAQ)
Albini produced Bizarro (Import) Giveaway "Name another band from Leeds and no the Who don't count!"
Wedding Present-I'm Not Always So Stupid (live)
Cinerama-Au Pair
Gang of Four-Damaged Goods
Mekons-Hey! Susan
The Three Johns-English White Boy Engineer/Brainbox (optional)
Soft Cell-Sex Dwarf
Scritti Politti-Perfect Way
Bob Pollard-Subspace Biographies
Guided By Voices-Non Absorbing + On the Tundra (optional)
John Brocato-Tractor Rape Train (unplugged on Home Grown)

Some gameday substitutions might include:

The Wimps & The Pussies's Pavement Cover ("Here")
Pavement-something off Westing
Local music: Lack/Kaiser Peas/Simple Machine/Molly Gish
David Bowie-Ziggy Stardust
Commodores-Slippery When Wet
Molly Hatchett
The dBs-Everytime Anytime

Avengers-The Amerikan in Me
Misfits-Bullet (NAQ)
Steinski & The Mass Media-The Motorcade Sped On
White Trash Debutantes-Bad in Bed
Great Society-Somebody to Love
The Descendents-My Age
Jesus and Mary Chain-Never Understand
Hüsker Dü-Makes No Sense At All
My Bloody Valentine-Honey Power
Neil Young-Hey Hey My My (Into the Black)
Henry's Dress-Disc 2 Track 8
John Black Attack-Solid Gold
Young Agent Jones-All American
Warsaw-Track 1
Kiss-Rock and Roll All Nite
N.W.A. (sample)/Screaming Trees-Flashes (NAQ)
Mr. T Experience-A Song about a Girl who Went Shopping
Grumpies-No One Knows Why
Bikini Kill-This is not a Test
White Trash Superman-I Couldn't Even if I Tried (NAQ)
Revision A-Message Well Sent
Emma Peale-Window Seat
Psychedelic Furs-We Love You
Lynyrd Skynyrd-Workin' for MCA
firhose-For the Singer of REM
The Minutemen-God Bows to Math
Black Flag-Six Pack
Camper Van Beethoven-Club Med Sucks
The Three Degrees-When Will I See You Again?

The actual show

Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 08:46:04 -0600 (CST)
From: bulb@Ra.MsState.Edu
To: msu-music@MsState.edu

Subject: The Nevermind Aesthetic Version 3.0

First broadcast 3/25/99 (Yup I was almost as suprised as you!)

TNA Version 3.0: Nobody Asks Questions

TNA Intro

Public Enemy, Bring the Noise
Circle Jerks, Bad Words
$wingin' Utter$, Expletive Deleted
Victim's Family, Sinatra Mantra

Wire, Dot Dash
Wire, Field Day for Sundays
Wire, Outdoor Miner
Wire, 12XU (Fragment) live
Wire, Culture Vultures

Please "Take Me!" Import Only Bizarro (RCA UK) giveaway
The Wedding Present, I'm Not Always So Stupid (live)

The Ukranians, Batyar
Cinerama, Au Pair

Gang of Four, Damaged Goods
11pm Legal ID
Mekons, Hey! Susan

Bob Pollard, Subspace Biographies
John Brocato, Tractor Rape Chain (live unplugged on Home Grown)
Guided By Voices, Non Absorbing
Misfits, Bullet
White Trash Debutantes, Bad in Bed
Great Society, Somebody to Love

The Descendents, My Age
Jesus and Mary Chain, Never Understand
Hüsker Dü, Makes No Sense at All
My Bloody Valentine, Honey Power
Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Hey, Hey, My, My (Into the Black)

Henry's Dress, Sunshine Proves All Wrongness
John Black Attack, Solid Gold
Young Agent Jones, All American
Warsaw, The Drawback

Kiss, Rock and Roll All Nite
Screaming Trees, Flashes
Mr. T Experience, A Song about a Girl who went Shopping

White Trash Superman, I Couldn't Even if I Tried
Bikini Kill, This is not a Test
The Grumpies, No One Knows Why

This show was dedicated to the memory of Julie Ann Switzer.

Dane and Gene virtual shows heading your way.

U2 can listen to TNA and other fine WMSV programming on real audio:

The Nevermind Aesthetic will Rock (Your World) for Food--if U let it!

TNA Version 4.0 The Wide World of Muzak coming soon to a frequency near U

lots of stuff in languages other than English (including Superconductor in
Canadian), a ton of psychedelic nuggets (props to Lenny Kaye and the new
box set) and some really Stiff rekkids (like "One Chord Wonders," "So it
Goes," "Brilliant Mind," and "I Love My Label").


First broadcast 4/22/99

TNA Version 4.0: The Wide World of Muzak

TNA Intro
Sleater-Kinney, The Hot Rock
Kasey Kasem outtakes via Negativland
Sex Pistols, EMI
Consolidated, College Radio

Wide World Of Muzak Feature
Shonen Knife, Explosion (Japanese)
Abba, Waterloo (Swedish original)
Abba, No Hay a Quien Culpar (Ibiza beat)
The Sugarcubes, Cat (Icelandic)
The Ex, Nem Úgy Van Most (Hungarian)

IE, Reasoning
Deep Blue Something-Breakfast at Tiffany's (request)
Unwound, Sonata for Loudspeakers
The Fugees-Killing me Softly
Fear, Let's Make a War
The Clash-Hate and War
Country Joe and the Fish-The F.I.S.H. Cheer/Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To Die Rag

11pm Legal ID
The Castaways, Liar Liar
The 13th Floor Elevators, You're Gonna Miss Me
Max Frost and the Troopers, Shape of Things to Come
The Torrez, Don't You Know

Pearl Jam, Do the Evolution (request)
The Beastie Boys, Sabotage
John Black Attack, Strange Eros
Translator, Everywhere That I'm Not

Nick Lowe, So It Goes
Richard Hell & the Voidoids, (I Belong to the) Blank Generation
The Adverts, One Chord Wonders
Devo, Jocko Homo

Frank Black and the Catholics, I Switched You
Eminem, My Name Is
Foo Fighters, For All the Cows
Neutral Milk Hotel,In The Aeroplane Over the Sea
The Mountain Goats, Cubs in Five
Heaven 17, (We Don't Need No) Fascist Groove Thang

Lynyrd Skynyrd-Workin' for MCA

That concludes series 1 of TNA

As a bonus here's my Best of 1999 lists

Best Music

2000 preview

Jumping the gun a bit; I predict Primal Scream, XTRMNTR will be my favorite album of 2000. Yes, I bought an import copy off NME.Com (which by the way is over 10 bucks cheaper than buying it as an import from CDNow). The Kevin Shields' produced "Accelerator" is an amazing wall of guitar noise, and Bernard Sumner even lays down a nice groove on "Shoot Speed/Kill Light."

A few 1999 things I liked:

Moby, Play (simply brilliant) [remember this was before the big commercial sell-out!]
Goodspeed! You Black Emperor, Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada e.p.
Built to Spill (loved Plouff since he was in The Spinanes), Keep It Like a Secret
Flaming Lips, The Soft Bulletin
Unwound (a late 98 release), Challenge for a Civilized Society
Ricky Skaggs, Ancient Tones
Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy, Vol. 1-Odyssey of Funk and Popular Music (a great trumpeter dead before his time)
Omar Sosa, Spirit of the Roots
Jim Cullum, Deep River, The Spirit of Gospel in Jazz (late 98 release), esp. the versions of "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen" and "Go Down, Moses"

and no Do the Collapse does not make the Grade. Sorry Bob.

Best Packaging

Hands down Vols. 1-3 of The Magnetic Fields, 69 Love Songs, which suffers the same fate as Sandanista, 1.5 records worth of great songs do not a triple CD make. The booklet is really interesting.

Live Shows

Ken Vandermark live at the Empty Bottle in Chicago (Punk meets Ornette Coleman--a combustible mix) [this was part of his Chicago Improviser's Macarthur Grant-funded series while I was at MLA chairing and responding to Anston's great panel, “The Dutch Republic and English National Identity.”]
Subarachnoid Space, at Cafe du Nord, SF, CA
Omar Sosa, Album Release House Party at 7th Note Showclub. SF, CA (dig the dancing midget)
Guided by Voices at the Nick in Birmingham, AL during Winter Storm 2000 [they cancelled the next night's show in Asheville which would then become the last show of their tour that year see Greer, Guided by Voices: A Brief History, Apendix IV, pp. 308–9.]

Noonday organ concert at San Pietro in Vincoli, Roma, ITALIA (Michelangelo's Horned Moses is here)

White Chocolate at Dave's Dark Horse Tavern, Starkville, MS
Young Agent Jones at Rick's, Starkville, MS

I found that essence rare.

This is the first paragraph of my current project

Honky Tonkin' in Leeds, Nashville, and Chicago: The Place of Punk in Alt.Country

Play my song on the Nashville radio,
My life will never be the same.
They threw me off the Grand Ole Opry,
Cuz I couldn't behave.
They don't play my songs on the radio,
It feels like I never was.
-"Nashville Radio", Jonboy Langford

Rivers Run Through Them
Many commentators have long noticed the connections between London punks and their West Indian reggae brethren in Brixton and Notting Hill (Coon 71, 79, Gray 229, Hebdige 25-9, Marcus 1993, 30, and Savage 330, 398, 488-9). But what of the Northern branch of punk rock with its roots in Liverpool, Manchester, and especially the Leeds art school production line of the Gang of Four, Delta 5, and the Mekons. Do they have a similar musical wellspring? Or more interestingly a distinctly different one? Both towns are sited by rivers. London exists at the first place the Romans could successfully ford the Thames and through the First World War was England's major commercial port. As Tom O'Rage notes in Mekons United:

Were it not for the river Leeds would not be there. At first only a rough Celtic settlement in the marshes - Leeds simply meaning a wet place - the conquering Germanic tribes from Saxony built a settlement where the parish church now stands and the river could be crossed. The a bridge was built across the Aire and it became a place.... A cross current at the heart of the heart of the country almost equidistant on a north-south axis from London and Edinburgh, and east-west from Liverpool and Hull, Leeds was made by the industrial revolution (15).

Two rivers, two cities, two different yet linked economies. Conversely, think of the potentially nice distinctions between cosmopolitan southerners and their linkage to urban decay, decades of immigration, and post-colonialism and provincial northerners and their roots in post-industrial blight, centuries of emigration, and the concomitant colonialism in the Americas and beyond. Contrast the vastness of London that infernal wen with the relative closeness of Leeds, which 'is like a small town with loads of industry....[[and] a big, huge university/polytechnic right in the center of the town ' (Hargus). These Northern punks then look to North America, specifically the southern United States (not the Caribbean) and country (not reggae) to express their outrage and politics musically. That's the kind of clever concoction Greil Marcus would make of Hank Williams, Bob Wills, and the Mekons. But, as Jon Langford himself might say in that South Wales accent whetted and hewn to a harder edge with some West Yorkshire lime, that story is a 'load of shite! ' Ever feel like you've been cheated?

UPDATE 1/18/05
The entire essay can now be found on my home page. Click on Writing Samples link.