\ Hip Displeasure: September 2006

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An independent music and pop culture commentary collective.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Hip-D PodBlast » Mixer » "These Minstrels Will Soothe My Jangled Nerves"

For my second Mixer, I thought it would be fun to see what it might be like if I were the Program Director at a "Classic Rock" station. Because instead of playing all the same tired old hits, I'd find some quality stuff by artists you just THOUGHT you were tired of hearing, and prove they're still worth spinning, after all. Or, in a few instances, great solo tracks by members of legendary bands.

Here's the tracklisting:

  • "Hey, I Think They Liked Us!"
  • The Rolling Stones - "Live With Me"
  • Van Halen - "So, This Is Love?"
  • The Pursuit of Happiness - "Ten Fingers"
  • David Gilmour - "Blue Light"
  • The Church - "Reptile"
  • Payola$ - "Eyes of a Stranger"
  • Alice Cooper - "Grim Facts"
  • ZZ Top - "Pearl Necklace"
  • Michael Penn - "Free Time"
  • The Police - "Canary in a Coalmine"
  • Joe Walsh - "Happy Ways"
  • Jerry Jeff Walker - "Sangria Wine"
  • Van Morrison - "Blue Money"
  • Buffalo Springfield - "Good Time Boy"
  • Steppenwolf - "Everybody's Next One"
  • Steve Miller & Paul McCartney - "My Dark Hour"
  • Joe 'King' Carrasco and The Crowns - "Let's Get Pretty"
  • Jerry Harrison/Casual Gods - "Never Let It Slip"
  • Robert Plant - "Pledge Pin"
  • Neil Young - "Pressure"
  • R.E.M. - "Low Desert"
  • Pete Townshend - "Jools and Jim"
  • The Ramones - "Teenage Lobotomy"
  • "We Need Another Vietnam"

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Patrick » Music » Alt-Country

I'm not sure if anyone knows who coined the term, 'alt-country', but it's fairly easy to tell who the earliest influences were: individual singer-songwriters who fell just slightly outside of the box of traditional country music. Gram Parsons was in the box for the most part, but always seemed to have one foot out, ready jump. Townes Van Zandt would also prove to be considered a luminary in the field. Guy Clark, Joe Ely and Jimmie Dale Gilmore would further explore the boundaries of country music, and Steve Earle would help to infuse a 'rock' sound with Guitar Town, in 1986. Dylan, Springsteen, and Beggar's Banquet-era Stones also remain major influences.

Substances destroyed Parsons and did the same to Van Zandt. No doubt we've seen Ely, Clark and Earle impaired more often than not, but herein lies the tragic beauty of the genre. The ability to paste the raucous attitude of the 1970's punk into a Woody Guthrie chord structure and couple that with the idea that its okay to get as drunk as you want as often as you want. Well, now...that's just living a dream, isn't it?

Uncle Tupelo came along in 1990, rejected-punks-turned-country geniuses, and Farrar and Tweedy have continued to give us great music ever since with Son Volt and Wilco (although many would argue that Tweedy hasn't put out any 'country' music in 10 years). Latter day traditionalists such as The Jayhawks, Whiskeytown, Neko Case and Richard Buckner are typically more 'country' than 'alt', while you're much more likely to hear bands like the Old '97s and Drive-By Truckers on alternative rock stations or in amphitheatres.

So, its with all this that I offer you some of my favorite songs from some of my favorite 'alt-country' bands. A few classics, a few new, some will be familiar, some not, but with their subtle twang, occasional fiddle, perfect sing-along melodies, and often heartbreaking lyrics they give unique takes on such classic country themes as love, death, drinking and sex, sometimes all in the same three minutes.

1. "Last To Know" - Alejandro Escovedo
2. "In State" - Kathleen edwards
3. "Sky And The Ocean" - The Volebeats
4. "The Ocean Cliff Clearing" - Richard Buckner
5. "Thanks A Lot" - Neko Case
6. "Houses On The Hill" - Whiskeytown
7. "Ain't So Lonely" - Lucero
8. "Tom Ames' Prayer" - Robert Earl Keen
9. "I'd Run Away" - The Jayhwaks
10. "Busted Afternoon" - Old 97's
11. "John Peel" - Paul Burch
12. "Little White Dove" - Jess Klein
13. "Flowered Dresses" - Slaid Cleaves
14. "Can't Let Go" - Lucinda Williams
15. "Drown" - Son Volt
16. "Say You Miss Me" - Wilco
17. "L.A. County" - Lyle Lovett
18. "Last King Of The Road" - Jon Langford And The Sadies
19. "Mind Over Matter" - Ana Egge
20. "Post To Wire" - Richmond Fontaine
21. "She Took A Lot Of Pills (And Died)" - Robbie Fulks
22. "No Depression" - Uncle Tupelo
23. "His Indie World" - Mary Lou Lord

click the link...

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Hip-D PodBlast » Sixer » Treat Her Right

Before making his name with the critically-acclaimed Morphine, Mark Sandman played stand-up bass and shared lead vocal duties with a down and dirty Boston dive bar outfit known as Treat Her Right, no doubt named after the classic Roy Head hit song. When you listen to this band, you can practically smell the endless ounces of stale Falstaff spilled on the floor and see the Pall Mall smoke from a dozen desperate barflies wafting through the speakers. This ain't no happy music, but it's not mopey in the least, either. There's a primal power at work here, which makes the listener just want to go smash a longneck over some guy's head and start a barroom brawl that would rival one of Philo Beddoe's legendary backlot bare-knuckle boxing matches.

Tragically, Sandman's untimely onstage death pretty much guarantees there shall never be a Treat Her Right reunion, but few bands ever packed more of a wallop into a mere three albums. Most folks continue to point to his work with Morphine or his subsequent solo recordings as being the cornerstone of his legacy, but as far as I'm concerned, Treat Her Right was every bit as good as anything else he ever did. And speaking from personal experience as recent as the compiling of this Sixer, this is about the best music around for drowning your misery. It's certainly a lot less likely to land me in jail than flying up to South Bend and bashing a longneck over Brady Quinn's head, which is what I was fully intent on doing before hunkering down to get some content posted to Hip-D for the first time since The Carter Administration.

  • "An Honest Job" (from 1986's Treat Her Right)
  • "Big Medicine" (from 1989's Tied to the Tracks)
  • "I'm Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail" (from 1991's What's Good For You)
  • "I Think She Likes Me" (from 1986's Treat Her Right)
  • "Hank" (from 1989's Tied to the Tracks)
  • "Standing By Your Window" (from 1991's What's Good For You)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Hip-D PodBlast » Mixer » "Wait a Minute -- This Sounds Like Rock and/or Roll!"

This marks the first installment of a new recurring feature here at Hip Displeasure: Mixers. Basically, mixers are streaming mix CDs created exclusively for Hip-D, and this one is called "Wait a Minute -- This Sounds Like Rock and/or Roll!"

Here's the tracklisting:

  • "Remember when we used to make out to this hymn?"
  • "Kick Me And Cancel" - Robert Pollard
  • "Thou Shalt Wilt" - Loose Fur
  • "Knee High" - French Kicks
  • "Elijah" - Frank Black
  • "Magic" - Ben Kweller
  • "Never Do This Again" - The M's
  • "Plow You Under" - Scott H. Biram
  • "Monument Sails" - Centro-Matic
  • "The Bee" - Starlight Mints
  • "The Education Song" - The Gourds
  • "Weed Party" - Band of Horses
  • "Hummalong" - The Drams
  • "Fire Island, AK" - The Long Winters
  • "White Collar Boy" - Belle and Sebastian
  • "Cope" - The Futureheads
  • "Summersong" - The Decemberists
  • "European Oils" - Destroyer
  • "Night Driver" - Tom Petty
  • "Maybe Sparrow" - Neko Case
  • "VERA said that?!?"

jasmine » Music » so i don't get fired from hip-d

Here's a little fill-in on what I've been listening to lately:

King Biscuit Time - Black Gold: This is a side project of Beta Band member, Stephen Mason. When I first heard, "Impossible Ride" last week, I thought, "Hey, now here's a Beta Band song that I haven't heard...". So, that's what this album sounds like... the Beta Band.

The Lights - "Mr. Pussy": The Lights is a Seattle band and "Mr. Pussy" is a song that sounds a lot like Joy Division. The drumming in this song is comparable to Jimmy Chamberlain's thud thud on "God" by the late, great Smashing Pumpkins (yes, I said great). Around the two minute mark, singer Craig Chambers breaks out his very best Ian Curtis impression and I eat it up like a little kid eats a bag of candy. Look for their 2006 release, Diamonds and Dirt.

In other music news, I'm going to the Touch and Go 25th anniversary celebration this weekend. Scheduled to appear: Shellac, Big Black, Ted Leo, Shipping News, Tim & Andy of Silkworm (without the deceased Michael Dahlquist around, I'm sure this set will be a tearjerker), Calexico, Black Heart Procession, Tara Jane O'Neil, Man... Or Astroman?, Seam, and many, many more. I'm excited to see how many punk rock kids from the 80's and 90's make an appearance this weekend. I hope to have pictures, too.

ami la musica!

FT » Film » Idiocracy

Up to this point, Mike Judge has done no wrong. Every single one of his creations has been both absolutely hilarious and absurdly realistic. Beavis and Butt-Head, King of the Hill and Office Space all seemed pretty ridiculous at first blush, but each revealed unflinching truth beneath a veneer of whimsy. So, that being the case, why has it taken more than a year after being finished for Judge's "new" movie, Idiocracy, to finally be released -- and only an unpublicized limited release, at that???

Rumors have run rampant, including everything from repeated script rewrites, disastrous test screenings and even withdrawn financing. And given the fact that it sat on the studio shelf for more than a full year before being unceremonously dumped into a handful of theaters with no trailers or ads of any kind to be found, it would seem that perhaps rumors of Idiocracy's demise were not exaggerated in the least.

I had been desperately trying to keep track of developments on the Idiocracy front, which was made even more difficult by the fact that the oft-referenced "Untitled Mike Judge Project" has also been known at one time another by such working titles as 3001 and Uhhmerica. But a few months ago, I had pretty much given up hope on ever seeing this film, no matter what the title. So, it was quite a surprise when checking the local movie listings this past Saturday to find a late showing of Talladega Nights: The Legend of Will Ferrell's Undies (or whatever the heck it's called), I saw Idiocracy right there alongside the other films now showing at the neighborhood cineplex. I immediately notified all three of my friends, and off we went.

The premise of the film is classic Mike Judge: a stultifyingly average Joe (literally) gets volunteered by his Army bosses to participate in a living cryogenic experment, along with a low-rent hooker (played by SNL's Maya Rudolph), only to discover upon being unfrozen 500 years in the future that the world's entire population has been overrun by the unchecked breeding of mentally-deficient white trash and similarly dim-witted and empty-pocketed schlubs of all ethnicities. As a result, Joe (played by Luke Wilson) has shockingly found himself the smartest human alive.

Idiocracy plays something like a live-action Futurama crossed with the original Planet of the Apes, as Joe discovers his severely altered planet of tomorrow contains equal parts wackiness and danger. The condition of Earth five centuries from now proves to be fertile ground for Judge's biting satiric wit, as he attacks many of our developing societal ills with hilarious precision. Whether it's our growing prediliction for fatty foods, reality television or celebrity politicians, each target gets blasted by Judge's acerbic ray gun.

All that being said, it certainly is somewhat understandable why the studio might have been unsure exactly what they had on their hands here. Unlike the disaffected teens, suburban rednecks and downtrodden cubicle dwellers who inhabited his previous works, the masses might not be able to as easily identify with the characters from Idiocracy. The plot is a good deal more bizarre than what we've seen from Judge before, and though the gags are almost universally hilarious throughout, some of the performances and production values are not quite up to challenge.

But at the end of the day, a comedy is ultimately "judge"d by just one thing: whether or not it was funny. Any plot holes, production snafus or acting shortcomings aside, the humor in Idiocracy is relentlessly hilarious. And for that reason alone, it is definitely a movie worth seeing. The only question is whether or not you'll even get that opportunity. As it stands today, unless you live in or near Austin, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago or Toronto, you might not. If the powers that be decide to skip the nationwide theatrical release and plop it onto DVD, be sure and snatch it up when it hits store shelves.