\ Hip Displeasure: August 2006

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Hip-D PodBlast » The BlooGAR Show » Vol. 3

"Sweet Home Alabama"

For this edition of the PodBlast, I took the show on the road to LooGAR's turf, Montgomery Alabama. Sequestered in his office, we fought some technical problems (to be expected when moving so much sensitive equipment), but in the end soldiered on to bring you the worst in entertainment. We do hope that you enjoy it. As always, comments are appreciated--maybe we will read some on the air next time.



Saturday, August 26, 2006

FT » Memoir » A Lummox Looks at 40

Here I sit on the final weekend of my thirties, reflecting on my life and pondering the rather jarring possibility that the road ahead just might be a good bit shorter than what’s in my rearview mirror. This is the first birthday I’ve ever dreaded, after spending 364 days each year anxiously awaiting the previous 39. It’s pretty heavy stuff for a pretty heavy guy.

When my father turned 40, I was halfway through high school. And when my mother turned 40, I was already halfway through college. So shouldn’t the fact that my oldest child just started the fifth grade help reassure me that maybe 40 isn’t as old as I thought it was after all? Plus, both my folks smoked like chimneys and drank like fishes, whereas I do neither (outside of the occasional beer).

Even so, despite my seeming lack of vice, I can’t help but fixate on the fact that my father died at 59 and wonder how genetically predisposed I might be for a similarly premature rendezvous with The Reaper. Death doesn’t scare me, but “ceasing to be” sends chills down my spine. I mean, how will the world get along without me? And if it can, why was I even here in the first place?

Everybody wants to make their mark, but so far the only real lasting impression I’ve made has been on an endless series of irreparably collapsed couch cushions. We all struggle to find our true purpose in life, and it disturbs me that I’m about to embark on my fifth decade without having the slightest clue of what mine is supposed to be.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be noble. I mean, it’s not like I’m going to find a cure for cancer or solve the world hunger problem. In fact, I’m a pretty significant contributor to the latter. So, what IS my reason for being here? I’d certainly be willing to settle for something less Nobel-worthy. There’s got to be some sort of useful application of my sedentary ways. Come to think of it, the upcoming start of football season just might be my time to shine.

Instead of rooting for season-ending injuries to the likes of Jeremy Shockey, Clinton Portis and Donovan McNabb, perhaps I should lead by example and redirect those negative energies toward more positive support of my beloved Dallas Cowboys. Sure, peace in the Middle East would be great, but first let’s try starting with the NFC East. Think globally, act locally.

Besides, everyone knows the Raiders are the real Al-Qaeda of the NFL. The only difference is that unlike Al Davis, Osama actually knows how to find guys who can inflict damage on the opponent with bombs.

OK, so I may not have figured out my true purpose in life, but at least I figured out a way to end this column. And that’s enough to lift the cloud hanging over my impending 40th birthday...at least for now.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Hip-D PodBlast » Sixer » Daryll-Ann

Chances are pretty slim you've ever heard any of the melodic Dutch pop gems from Holland's Daryll-Ann, because they simply have never managed to make any sort of impression here in the States. The only reason I ever stumbled onto them a couple of years ago was the accidental result of Epitonic-fueled boredom.

I almost never take fliers on bands I've never heard of before, unless they were recommended to me by a trusted friend. But this was once instance I did, and will be forever grateful for having done so, because these guys are fantastic!

So, consider me YOUR trusted friend, and give Daryll-Ann a listen. You'll be glad you did (unless you are Goldmember and hate the Dutch)...

  • "Everybody's Cool" (from 2001's Happy Traum)
  • "10:45" (from 2004's Don't Stop)
  • "Serenades for the Lonely" (from 2002's Trailer Tales)
  • "Rollercoaster" (from 1996's Daryll-Ann Weeps)
  • "We Love Danger" (from 2004's Don't Stop)
  • "When You Cry" (from 2001's Happy Traum)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Elvis Fu » Music » Protest Music from (men in their) Sixties

We have a gang of lackluster leaders on the national stage, wars against undefinable enemy, gasoline that's expensive enough to gripe about without actually consuming less and civil liberties getting sucked out the window as if someone opened the Emergency Exit on Air Force One. Now I'm not one of those who runs around alternately screaming/weeping about the End Times, but we've obviously done better for ourselves as Americans.

So where's all the good protest music?

John Fogerty's "Fortunate Son". Neil Young's "Ohio", or Stephen Stills' "Find the Cost of Freedom" on the flipside. Bob Dylan. And in case symbolism or subtlety isn't your bag, spend a few minutes with Edwin Starr yelling, "War! Huh! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing."

What do the kids have today? Green Day. Actually, even that was a couple years ago. The Dixie Chicks get all sorts of press for public statements, but to my knowledge their songwriting still has little in common with Billy Bragg.

The big names in protest music right now are not only from The Sixties, but they are also in their sixties. Neil Young has worked up the Hannity Crowd with his Living in War album, featuring "Let's Impeach the President." I'm consider myself to be a solid Neil Young fan. I'm also don't feel limited to just admiring his music. Young outraged some of his 1960s peers and Rolling Stone magazine by publicly supporting some of Ronald Reagan's policies.

I had planned to use this next paragraph praising Young's non-partisanship, but I think he describes it better than I can: I don't have a view, I have an opinion that changes because everyday is a different day.

I'm not a liberal or a conservative. I'm not like that. With Reagan, some things he did were terrible, some things he did were great. Most people tend to take a president and say you hate...he does one thing you really don't like. Like he builds excessive amounts of warheads or something. So you write him off completely. Which I think is completely stupid. And I think, is very narrow minded.

Anyone can have an opinion and be right, like you don't want warheads on earth. I agree with that, but that is a decision that he made to do that and I disagree with that. On the other hand there are other things that he did that I agreed with. And because I had the ability to say what I feel, people only write part of it, because its news that I would agree with Reagan. So they say Neil Young supports Reagan, so fuck 'em, I don't care what they do.

Here's the good part. I'm not a huge Colbert Report fan, but Young recently appeared on the show, and I thought both Young and Colbert performed flawlessly.

Another songwriter from the 60s-70s has unveiled a new protest song as well. Kris Kristofferson. The song is called "In the News", and you can watch a Flash video here. The song isn't great, but it's not bad. The video is a bit pushy, Kristofferson's strength is in his words, not pictures of GWB giving the finger to Earth. It's still a song that has been crafted, not some hamfisted effort as effigy like "American Idiot" or that George Bush is Dum LOL Vol. 2 with four songs from Bad Religion surrounded by Fat Wreck bands you can pick up for $4 at your local record store.


Mark H. » Music » The Zatopeks - "Smile Or Move"


You Said It Was A Good Size! 7" Review

The Zatopeks
Smile Or Move
It's Alive Records

The Zatopeks offer us a slightly new version of pop punk. Sure it's only "slightly new" but just about any variation in this bubbling sub-genre is worth checking into. The band is heavily influenced by American oldies radio, which accounts for the familiar but always welcome chord progressions, ensuring sing-alongs on the first listen. Furthermore, tunes are well supplied with high school romance stories and doo wop-esque backing vocals, making one think the black leather jackets are more Dion & The Belmonts than Ramones. The twist truly comes in when you recognize the band hails from the UK. While there isn't a huge resemblance to say, the Buzzcocks or the Adverts, there's definitely something gritty and punk in their performance; these tracks aren't from the north east suburbs or sunny California.

"I Dream I'm Home" starts off with a swaying layer of high vocals, the Phil Spector trademarked "heatbeat drumbeat", and vocalist Will Deniro spewing out images of isolation and dessitude before the band revs up and jumps and in and all sorts of pogoing ensues. "Turn To Gold Blues" offers more heartache, harmonies, and handclaps - if you're not a fan by now, there's something wrong with you.

On the flip, "Even Zatopeks Cry" is another loveable sad-sack ballad, escalating at each chorus and climaxing with a rare guitar solo. Closer "Another Night on the Divide" starts of with some pleasing acoustic picking but explodes into snottiness and speed almost boardering Screeching Weasel territory. Every element in a good pop punk release is here on this platter (melody, harmony, energy) and then some. Worth checking out for curious pop kids, essential for fans of the genre.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Hip-D PodBlast » Harmonic Happenstance » "The Day My Baby Gave Me a Surprize" to "Narc"


In this second instance of a Harmonic Happenstance, I was driving back from lunch with the 'ol iPod rollin' random and stumbled into the glorious transition from Devo's underappreciated "The Day My Baby Gave Me a Surprize" to Interpol's "Narc."

Following up a track by the new traditionalists with one by the new divisionists ordinarily never would have occurred to me, but in retrospect it all makes sense, especially when you consider Carlos D. would be right at home with the single-letter surnamed Akron spudboys. The only poossible source of conflict between these two bands is that Jerry, Mark, Alan and the two Bobs still lag behind Interpol by about 195 couches...give or take a sectional.

Hip-D PodBlast » The BlooGAR Show » Vol. 2

"Yo, This Is A Test"

We cobbled this show together intending for it to be a very short test for doing the show via phone. It ended up being 44 minutes of mainly rambling. So do with it what you will. We will be working on improving the audio quality when we go to this format in the future. Comments as always are appreciated, and thanks as always for checking out and supporting the show.

Audio Selections:
TV On The Radio - "Wolf Like Me"
Lucero - "Sing Me No Hymns"
Belle and Sebastian - "Whiskey In The Jar"

Monday, August 14, 2006

Hip-D PodBlast » Sixer » The Oranges Band

For this second edition of the "Six-Pack" version of the Hip-D PodBlast, let's delve into the fine work of Baltimore's The Oranges Band, fronted by former Spoon bassist Roman Kuebler.

Since their inception in 2000, they've released two EPs and two full-lengths, each of which is just as much a point of pride to Charm City as crabs and Meldrick. Just ask E. Fu...he knows wut-wut. So, without further ado, here's the tracklisting for this Six-Pack....


  • "Keep Your Teeth" (from 2003's All Around)
  • "nextstopexjock" (from 2000's The Five Dollars [EP])
  • "White Ride" (from 2005's The World and Everything In It)
  • "Self and Siddhartha" (from 2002's On TV [EP])
  • "Sweater Weather" (from 2001's 900 Miles of Fucking Hell [EP])
  • "OK Apartment" (from 2003's All Around)

Friday, August 11, 2006

FT » General » A Message from the Lummox-in-Chief

As you may have noticed, there's been a lot of layout tweaking going on around these parts of late. That's because I'm constantly thinking of ways to try and improve the look of the site by streamlining features whenever possible.

The most recent example of this would be the new "Stream" and "Download" buttons for accessing any of our audio content. Now, you don't have to wait for one of our PodBlasts to download before listening, because you have the added option of immediately streaming them whenever you want.

This wouldn't be possible without the tireless efforts and general largesse of the Don Corleone of Self-Storage, our own Yail Bloor. If you get a chance, tell Yail thanks and maybe even rent one of his units to store your valuable collection of 19th Century Prussian erotica. It'll show your parents that you're serious about moving out of their basement by the end of the decade!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Hip-D PodBlast » Sixer » Sunset Valley

This is the first edition of the "Six-Pack" version of the Hip-D PodBlast, which will feature six of an underappreciated artist's best songs rolled up into a single MP3 for your listening pleasure. To kick things off, let's pop the top on some Sunset Valley...

Based in Portland, Oregon and fronted by Herman Jolly, Sunset Valley has released four outstanding albums since forming in the late '90s. The tracks featured in this Six-Pack are taken from all four of these albums. Here is the tracklisting, along with the album and release date:

  1. "Red Thai Sunday" (from 1998's The New Speed)
  2. "Megapills" (from 1999's Boyscout Superhero)
  3. "Wired Nights" (from 2001's Icepond)
  4. "Grubby Cartoon Hands" (from 2004's Goldbank 78 Stack)
  5. "Happily Frozen" (from Boyscout Superhero)
  6. "Touch You" (from Icepond)

For more info, check out the band's website at http://www.sunsetvalley.net.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Chris » Film » The Criterion Project: "A Woman Is A Woman"

A while ago, on one of my excursions to Virgin Records Union Square, I noticed a particular section of DVDs for sale.
All sorts of genres, that would normally be placed in separate sections, were sitting there on the shelf as one.
I quickly came to realize this section was known as the Criterion Collection.
This, of course, piqued my interest.
It had occurred to me, these were classic films that I had heard of but had never watched.
In fact, out of the hundreds of films in stock, I had only watched three of them.
Being a huge fan of the cinema, I wondered why I had failed to take notice of films that were highly recommended by film critics and friends.
Films that were influential to some of my favorite current filmmakers.Right then, I knew I had to, at least, give the films in the Criterion Collection a chance.
Last weekend, began my official journey...


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A WOMAN IS A WOMAN
"Une Femme Est Une Femme"
Directed
by
Jean-Luc Godard
1961

Jean-Claude Brialy
Anna Krina
Jean-Paul Belmondo










Jean-Luc Godard is a genius at writing small talk that arouses interest and incites one's imagination.
In a genre such as romantic comedy, where the subject matter can be so ordinary, to be able to sustain an entire motion picture just on dialogue is no small feat.
Striptease artist Angela (Anna Karina) is at odds with her live-in boyfriend, Emile (Jean-Claude Brialy), when he refuses to have a baby.
After several attempts of trying to reason with him, Angela takes up with his best friend, Albert (Jean-Paul Belmondo), in order to make the laconic Emile jealous.
In the meantime, Godard brings to our attention several pleasant surprises and provides some funny and moving sequences.
None funnier than "the pronunciation of R's in the correct French dialect".
With that said, the plot is as insignificant as it can be.
Godard seems content in simply showering us with joyful moments of beautiful people fascinated by the allure of being in a musical.
Nevertheless, a minor snag in what is an otherwise charming, beautiful, exuberant, and most of all, enjoyable picture.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Hip-D PodBlast » The BlooGAR Show » Vol. 1

I’d like to say that this latest PodBlast was a great experience, but as the man likes to say, “It was real, it was fun, but it wasn’t real fun.”

The man, of course, is our own LooGAR, who was gracious enough to sit in with me, shoot the shit, and play some songs this past Saturday.

The result? You guys will have to be the judge of that, but I think that we are progressing (albeit at a snails pace) with this thing. As always, your comments are appreciated–they really do help.

The BlooGAR song selection:

Let Your Light Shine On Me - Blind Willie Johnson
30 Days - Chuck Berry
Rocks Off - The Rolling Stones
Blame It On The Stones - Kris Kristofferson
Its Not Enough - Johnny Thunders
Shut Up And Get On The Plane - Drive By Truckers
I Love How You Love Me - The Paris Sisters

Chris » Film » The Criterion Project: "Lacombe, Lucien"

A while ago, on one of my excursions to Virgin Records Union Square, I noticed a particular section of DVDs for sale.
All sorts of genres, that would normally be placed in separate sections, were sitting there on the shelf as one.
I quickly came to realize this section was known as the Criterion Collection.
This, of course, piqued my interest.It had occurred to me, these were classic films that I had heard of but had never watched.
In fact, out of the hundreds of films in stock, I had only watched three of them.
Being a huge fan of the cinema, I wondered why I had failed to take notice of films that were highly recommended by film critics and friends.
Films that were influential to some of my favorite current filmmakers.
Right then, I knew I had to, at least, give the films in the Criterion Collection a chance.
Last weekend, began my official journey...

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LACOMBE, LUCIEN
Directed
by
Louis Malle
1974

Pierre Blaise
Aurore Clément
Holger Löwenadler
Therese Giehse










"Lacombe, Lucien" is striking in its understated portrait of how one's own interest and pride can lead to regrettable choices.
The film's major achievement is in showing the appeal that collaboration had to the disaffected youth and the underachievers in the community, as did, the attraction of unearned power.
The film tells the story of Lucien, a rural French teenager who, having been rejected by the French Resistance for being too young, joins in with the German occupiers.
As an individual without status or a sense of self-worth, Lucien becomes attracted to the Gestapo, but ultimately must be held accountable for his ignorance.
As the news on the war gets continually worse, Lucien, along with the collaborators hang out in a local hotel, getting drunk and lamenting their lot, eventually getting picked off by the emboldened locals.
Using his recent power as a bullying tactic, Lucien forces himself into a sexual relationship with a not-entirely unyielding young Jewish immigrant woman.
Unexpectedly, the two develop what seems to be a genuine, although short-lived, affection for one another.
In the end, Lucien's decisions would prove fatal.
Devastating and unforgettable.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Hip-D TV » Lo-Def Theater » "Celebrity Mugshot Chat Room"

Watch what happens when celebrities in trouble with the law get together to chat...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

stacey » Music » Warped Tour

"Stacey eats dirt, likes breezes."

Josh Ritter, Peter Mulvey, John Vanderslice, Page France and Alexi Murdoch are amongst my best shows or discs of the year thus far and, dammit was I bummed when I missed the Fiona Apple, Damien Rice and David Garza show last week. So, logically, I found myself at the Warped Tour Wednesday.

Welcoming this fish out of water was the Fitchburg, Massachussetts ariport, a heat index of 100+ degrees, I don't know how many thousands of mostly sweaty, bandana clad, sometimes parent guarded teenagers and, oh yeah, some wicked hardcore bands.

I went deep undercover to bring Hip Displeasure my half assed report.

As I entered the airport grounds I, well, I couldn't receive the free goody bag from the Cingular tent because, apparently, showing them my US Cellular phone was NOT the same as showing them my Cigular phone. I'm pretty sure I didn't want their stickers anyway. I was accompanying my friend and her 16 year old brother attending his first show of any kind. This was their trip, their music. I was the passenger, the skateboarder holding on to the back of the car. Basically, I had no control over the bands we saw or the tents we visited.

The first band for us was the Fully Down, ushering in my day of screaming, lyrics I couldn't understand, mosh pits and dirt. Lots and lots of dirt.

If this didn't all ready make sense to you, let it be known now; sweat + dirt = sandpaper people. By the end of the day I'm sure I could have rubbed down a post for a fence with my dirt covered arm and made that sucker as smooth as, yes, a baby's bottom. So the thought of maintaining any sort of cleanliness escaped my mind fairly quickly and I didn't really care that the "misting booth" only attracted more dirt after my exit from it, because got-dammit, that water was a fleeting oasis on what had become my desert body. The water we brought went quickly, but the $3, 16 oz. waters and $4 bottles of Gatorade were plentiful. I didn't spend a single cent on any band merchandise, but still my "Don't call me, I'll call you" change purse found itself empty at the end of the night.

As we passed shirtless teenage boy upon bikini topped teenage girl I thought 'am I the oldest one here?', but then I saw them. Only a couple at first, but little by little they emerged from their big, floppy straw hats and worried expressions, one even wore a tshirt stating exactly what they were -- "Warped Tour Mom". I toyed with the idea of telling one of them I had lost my parent somewhere to con at least one bottle of free water, but later decided they were most likely spending too much money and worry on their own children, so just observed from afar. My favorite parent sighting, which I captured on ten seconds of silent film, took place during Less Than Jake's set. I was standing behind a floral print dressed mother with two girls. She was shaking her khaki clad hips as her daughters (?) stood motionlessly at either side of her. They did not seem to be embarrassed by her, which I thought refreshing. All three were having a good time. Then, the circle pit (more on that later) made its way around and passed directly in front of the woman. She shook it like a Polaroid picture and for some reason, the site of moshers storming their way in front of a mom jamming to Less Than Jake made me chuckle.

Speaking of moshers and pits, admittedly this was my first viewing of the Conga Line on crack AKA the Elanie Bennis dance on tour AKA the running of the moshers AKA the "circle pit". Is this new? I had no idea what was going on until the singer of Less Than Jake wanted the circle pit to become the "clit pit" for the last song of their set, stating "if we see any guys in there, we'll all know you have a small dick". As the song began and the clit pit became increasingly larger, a random girl I was standing next to and I turned to each other and asked "aren't you going in?" at the same time, to which I replied "I don't think my clit is up to that". She was my first Warped Tour friend.

As the day went on and the bands played on I became pretty good at spotting the early warning signs of the birth of a mosh pit, as if they were isolated, spontaneous tornadoes during an Oaklahoma summer. The boys tying bandanas around their faces as if railroad thieves in the Old West, the violent shaking of the head, the "test" push... and then BAM move back! Move out! There's a dust storm a comin'!

I did actually hear music as well. Joan Jett can bring it, Motion City Soundtrack inspired dorky dancing of my own with 'The Future Freaks Me Out' and surprisingly (to me) awesome live bands did Thursday, Less Than Jake and 30 Seconds to Mars make. The rest of the bands I viewed (Bouncing Souls, Autumn to Ashes, Moneen, yada yada yada blended into one gigantic mosh pit in my memory and I couldn't separate them if even I were a burly, sweaty body guard).

And while I had many 'clever' things to shout at bands throughout the day ("play some Sufjan Stevens!!!"), the only thing I managed to spew was during the last band's set (Thursday) as the sun was setting on my pseudo-punk rock day... in response to the lead singer thanking Saves the Day "from New Jersey" for being there I screamed, "Woo! Jersey!", much to the chagrin of my friend. I am a cool kid.



Final thoughts:

Mom in the Blondie tshirt: your fifteen year old may not appreciate you, the 14,745 other fifteen year olds there may have not appreciated you, but dammit, I appreciate you.

Guy wearing the pink cowboy hat and smoking the cigar: sure.

People who started throwing mounds of Earth: listen, kids; you wanna throw water bottles to create some sort of "atmosphere", that's cool, but when you start propelling dirt and grass and possibly rocks, that's not cool (am I old for saying that?).

The band who dedicated their last song to "The most evilest bitch ever": those are the only words throughout your entire set I understood.

Girl with the "dehydrated and poor" sign: I hope you conned the parents better than I.

and, finally, from some kids at warpedtour.com...

"well i had front row and i was just astonished at Ronnie Winter and Elias Reidy... i was like =O! haha, i kept screaming RONNIE YOU'RE FUCKING GORGEOUS and some mom kept looking at me. I was like YES FUCKING GORGEOUS FUCK ME NOW! just to piss her off"

"I LOVE WARPED TOUR '06!!! this was my first concert in i loved it. da bands were awesome n da ppl were cool. especially da cute skaterboarder dan. : D"

"hah my mom was in the parent tent haha she made friends with the chcik running it. lol shes been to atleast 4 warped tours since me and my brother have been going."

jasmine » Music » Frightened Rabbit

When a friend told me about a Scottish band called Frightened Rabbit, I thought, “Well, I do love all things Scottish, so I’m sure I’ll love this band.” Not so fast, Jasmine. I found after one listen to Sing the Greys that it was lifeless and boring and I didn’t get anything from it. I quickly forgot about it.

Then, through the magic of iTunes shuffle, I heard the gorgeous chorus of “Behave!”: “Behave… behave… I don’t know quite how to behave/Behave… I don’t have a clue how to behave when I’m around you…” and now I’m hooked. I would compare them to Maximo Park. Perhaps as a lo-fi kid brother. Other fantastic songs include "Be Less Rude"and "Yawns". The music's simple, the lyrics are heartfelt.

Anyway, listen to the songs that I've posted and pick up the album. Unfortunately, their touring is still confined to Great Britain, but perhaps someday they’ll jump over the big pond and visit the US.

And come on… who couldn’t love a couple of crazy kids who have this on the front page of their website

“Frightened Rabbit are a drummer called Grant, born in 1984, and a guitarist called Scott, born in 1981. We are brothers and are therefore related. We don’t have anyone else in the band because we don’t have any other friends who are awesome

Exactly.

For more information on Frightened Rabbit, check out their website or myspace page.