\ Hip Displeasure: November 2006

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An independent music and pop culture commentary collective.


Thursday, November 30, 2006

Hip D Podblast » The BlooGAR Show » Vol. 6

See, we took Thanksgiving week off (actually it was mental recovery from the debacle that was Dave's bachelor party), but didn't allow ourselves to lose any steam by going into another one of those lazy exiles were it just seems like sooooo much work to cut a show. Nope, we persevered for the people. Hope you enjoy the latest edition. Musical selections:

Neil Young - "Come On Baby Let's Go Downtown" (live)
Albert Hammond Jr. - "Back To The 101"
Clipse - "Nightmares" (ft. Bilal)
Jay-Z - "Oh My God"
Kris Kristofferson - "Chase The Feeling"

I'm assuming too that the show being compressed to 128 k mp3 has made it more manageable for all since I haven't heard any complaints. Or, no one is listening.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

jasmine » Film » Rocky Balboa

When I received the email asking, "Do you want to see Rocky Balboa tonight? Sly's scheduled to appear.", I'd just had a long day and was feeling kind of crabby and bored. Sure, I could use a laugh, so I said yes. It's not like celebrities ever show up to these things anyway...

Rocky Balboa's not even scheduled to open in theatres until Christmas Day, so I felt privileged, even after waiting in line for a half hour and in the theatre for an hour and a half. As movie time was approaching, the buzz became a little louder about Sly showing up. I first heard that he was at his hotel, then in the building. When the camera crews came barreling into the theatre, I knew it was real. Sylvester Stallone walked into the theatre, said a few coherent, kind words and introduced his new movie.

I really thought that this was going to be a horrible, cheesy movie. Stallone wrote and directed the film and since I associate real life Stallone as being just like Balboa - a big, dumb ape with a heart of gold - I wasn't expecting much. Boy, was I wrong. Stallone's character was just how I'd imagine Rocky to be at 55+ years of age. He was out of fighting shape, slow and fairly low-key, running a restaurant named after his late wife, Adrian. He seemed like he was only interested in doing goodwill toward others and didn't have too much "tough guy" to him.

What piqued his interest in getting back to boxing was a fight simulation that ESPN computers conducted between 1970's champion Rocky and the current heavyweight champion, Mason "The Line" Dixon. Dixon's a 20-something kid with a bad attitude. He's hardly the bad guy, but there were a few moments where I thought an ass-beating would probably knock him down a few notches.

So, yeah, Rocky trained and fought Dixon in an exhibition match at the end of the movie. I won't say who won the fight, but I will say it was very anticlimactic.

Overall, I think this movie's worth seeing. If you have a son between the ages of 10 and 17, take them. It's a good dad/son movie. Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Elvis Fu » Music » Top 40 Bands in America

I'm a day late and a dollar short on this, but I'm still posting it. Information Leaf Blower has compiled their annual poll results of the Top 40 Bands in America for 2006. The criteria were simple. ILB emailed some bloggers and asked them to rank the 10 artists they covered most frequently in 2006. Foreign bands were obviously excluded. Check it out. It's not all my type of music, but I think it's a fun exercise.

If you want to see all 129 bands that were nominated, it's here.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

jasmine » Music, Film, etc. » ketchup

This has been an interesting year for music. Putting the Days to Bed by The Long Winters is still at the top of my list. However, I don't remember another year where I've heard so few albums that have caught my ear, yet they've really stuck with me. Guess it's quality over quantity this year.

I recently picked up Let's Get Out of This Country, the latest release from twee pop darlings, Camera Obscura. Because they're Scottish, Camera Obscura can really do no wrong in my eyes. However, I believe that it's okay to experiment with different sounds from one album to the next. Although this album is excellent for what it is, it would be nice if it didn't sound so close to their last effort, Underachievers Please Try Harder.

If you like pornography dressed up in an arthouse film costume, please proceed immediately to the nearest showing of Shortbus. The new John Cameron Mitchell film tackles the touchy subjects of finding that elusive female orgasm, open (gay) relationships, suicidal tendencies and the nature of bdsm relationships. All of the main stories are connected by a secret club in NYC called Shortbus, so named because of the likeness of its "special" or "different" users. At Shortbus, you can do whatever you want and Mitchell's definitely not afraid to show everything. So, proceed with caution. It's a sweet story with a LOT of sex.

The Shortbus soundtrack, however, totally easy on the ears and full of music that I've not heard anywhere else. Two pleasant surprises are from stars of the film. Sook Yin Lee, as Lee & LeBlanc, contributes "Beautiful"and Jay Brannan sings about being a lush who's hitting rock bottom in the poppy, "Soda Shop".

Other recent purchases:
Up Jumped the Devil - Robert Johnson; A two-disc set which I got from Tower for $5.99 (after the 40% liquidation discount!).

Jukebox Hits 1943 to 1952 - T-Bone Walker; I tortured myself a little bit with this one. The first mixtape given to me by my ex-husband had the song "I Want a Little Girl" as the first track. I haven't listened to the song in years, so I bought this album and sat down and listened to it today. Memories and emotions came flooding back, but it's worth it because I now own an amazing blues gem.

Elvis Fu » Music » Lucero in Baltimore. 14 Nov 2006

The Ottobar
Opening Bands: Drag the River Trio & Rocky Votolato

Drag the River Trio turned out to be a duo, and a glance at their webisite doesn't even mention Trio. Not bad, but not terrific brand whiskey-soaked reject country-rock. They have the potential to grow into a pretty decent act, but I wasn't feeling it just yet. They had a surprisingly large crowd that was familiar with their music. Not bad for a band in from Fort Collins, Colorado. They were considerably better when the Lucero rhythm section joined them for the last couple songs. The two guitars & two vocalists set-up wasn't bad, just a bit flat. After hearing some Drag the River samples I found at Punk News , I like them a good bit more. The pedal steel helps a lot.

Rocky Votolato is from Seattle. Mr. Votolato's music is also not my cup of tea. Sensitive guy with a Telecaster and a harmonica he hasn't quite mastered yet? No thanks. All the gals with big black eXes on their hands sang along, though. I was especially displeased when he covered "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" & "Plastic Jesus". There are some tracks you can listen to over at Mr. Votolato's label, Barsuk.

The Main Event
Lucero came on around 11:30 and played for damn near two hours, loud. Good mix of new stuff & old stuff, plus some stuff I don't think I've heard before. The band seemed surprisingly sober, outside of bassist John C. Stubblefield, who was beyond inebriated. He played well though despite being up a bit too loud.

One thing that really came through is how much drummer Roy Berry really rounds out their sound. The new album showed this more than previous efforts, but live it really came though. I'm no expert nor musician, but damn I really like his playing.

I was also expecting them to be more reckless or sloppy—not in a bad way, mind you—but that wasn't the case at all. They played a lot of requests, and on a few they admitted they hadn't played them in some time, but overall they were damn solid. Some added live goodness on a Venable solo or some extra growls or whoops from Nichols keep the songs from treading anywhere near a stale replica of the recorded versions. Definite high points were two new songs, "Sing Me No Hymns" and "The Mountain". It was a nice suprise to hear "Chain Link Fence" as well.

Favorite Non-Musical Part
During a brief break between songs, Stubblefield stumbled over to the mic to say, "I just want to take the opportunity to say that I'm glad we're back in The South."

Nichols gave him a looked, and with a sly grin replied, "Well, barely."

Stubblefield yelled something (he didn't have his own mic).

Nichols replied, "Hell, I know where the Mason-Dixon Line is, and from what I can tell they put it too far North."

That cracked me up, and rankled some of the Maryland crowd. Speaking of the crowd, I haven't hung in Baltimore in a while (I live about 45 mins from
The Ottobar), and god it's turning into John Waters' wildest dreams. So trashy. I'm not hip by any means, but I was surprised at the sheer number of horrible neck tattoos ("It's an eye to watch my back, yo") and young girls with full ink sleeves. No wonder the unemployment rate is 30% in some parts of the City. Jesus.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Hip D Podblast » The BlooGAR Show » Vol. 5

Hey we made it back pretty quick, no? Always a pleasure to have The Senator actually in the same room. No idea what we discussed but here are the musical selections:

Jerry Lee Lewis - "Evening Gown"
Vietnam - "Priest, Poet and the Pig"
La Rocca - "If You Need The Morning"
T.I. feat. B.G. & Young Jeezy - "I'm Straight"
Jim White - "That Girl From Brownsville Texas"

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Hip D Podblast » The BlooGAR Show » Vol. 4

Uh hmmm. We finally got around to cutting another one of these buggers. Musical selections:

Brakes - "Mobile Communication"
Phoenix - "Lost And Found"
My Morning Jacket - "One Big Holiday"
Fontän - "Lesbian Girls"
Weezer - "Pink Triangle"

Also, I converted this to MP3 at 128 kbps so while the sound quality may not be as great (especially on the music), it should hopefully be a more manageable file size for you downloaders out there.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Darrin Frew » Music » Stephen Yerkey - Metaneonatureboy

There's no shame in not having previously heard of Stephen Yerkey. You don't get much more off the music scene radar than working, as Yerkey does, in a juvenile security facility. On top of that it’s taken him 12 years to follow up his debut album 'Confidence, Man' released way back in 1994. No, the real shame would be, having been tipped off as to his existence, not to give this album the chance it deserves to impress you.

Aided by Eric Drew Feldman on production duties (PJ Harvey, Frank Black) Yerkey peddles the sort of jazzy/honky-tonky/bluesy hybrid that a more straight forward Captain Beefheart might if he teamed up with Ry Cooder and Louis Armstrong.

Split evenly between rockier numbers and slower, more atmospheric tracks, it's the latter that really stand out, although that is not intended as a slight on the up tempo bar blues of ‘Songs Put Things’ or ‘Link Wray’s Girlfriend’ which are well above average in their own right.

Highlights include 'Dark And Bloody Ground' which would sit comfortably on the 'Paris, Texas' soundtrack while 'Fall Out Of Love' could be straight out of a 1940's LA piano lounge filled with grizzled private detectives, chain smoking while they ponder, heart broken, over the Ava Gardner look-a-like that slinked into their office three weeks hence. 'Mood Swing Era' offers a late night jazz vocal that combines grooviness with an ominous, disturbing air, courtesy of woodwind interludes, that's reminiscent of The Beatles 'A Day in the Life'.

This is adult music with the weight of experience behind it and the lyrics are some of the most interesting heard in a while, particularily on ‘My Baby Loves The Western Violence’ which you suspect have been gleaned from his experiences working in a security facility.

Those looking for cheap, tinny or frantic thrills will no doubt want to look elsewhere but for those left, this twin sided peregrine of an album will no doubt find a happy home among your racks.