Oct 30, 2011

Tom Waits kissed me like a stranger again.

There are few things left in life to genuinely get excited over; the weekends, catching up with old friends, a few hours with no responsibilities, and a new Tom Waits album.  Tom Waits requires either no introduction, or a full story board to explain the most minute detail from this mans eccentric and excellent career.  Having refused to sell his heartfelt material for commercial use, only the die-hard fans of music will know who he is, with the unforgettable howl, courting the banshee drum beats with an eerie horn and string section that would invoke fear, if it weren't for the revealing lyrics that exposes the troubled characters only seeking love and acceptance.  The casual music fan who's musical taste simply floats with the next Doritos's commercial, will never receive the opportunity to experience the grandiose details planted into every strictly deliberate aesthetics injected within Tom Waits material.  And these honorable compliments remain valid, even without the consistent quality of in his new album, "Bad As Me."

Throughout his career, Waits has ranged from tearful ballads, to ship-sinking pirate dance melees, to rubber-burning road tripping odysseys.  However, typically, each previous album would be more potent with one specific style.  With this album, Waits presents a catalog of each style.  Ballad wise, Waits delivers with the usual and expected quality of lyrics that could only be challenged by the magnitude of Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan.  "Last Leaf" and "Kiss Me" are the most lyrically powerful ballads Waits has provided since "Alice," which are accompanied with the balladly great "Face to the Highway," which the title should allude to the self-explained sympathy, and "Back in the Crowd" (which may send mixed messages because of the playful ukulele).    However, as good as these heartfelt ballads are, Waits's music sings loudest and most memorable with the the back alley cat howls that run a muck through midnight dreams.  Waits's flagship has always been his raspy, mongrel, blue-colored, industrial, chronic-smoking voice, sacredly embedded with the bombastic, grab-you-by-the-throat percussion, which is evenly mixed in this album with the ballads.  "Chicago" opens like a mischievous traveler, looking for a little hot trot, "Hell Broke Luce" is simply frighteningly enjoyable (especially from the location of a pitch black room, belting through a stereo at its highest volume, as suggested by my good friend Bill), and my momentarily favorite, "Get Lost," which displays Waits existential side, pissing away worries of money and occupation, only hoping to hit the road with his baby.   Nothing relatively new or inventing on this album, but certainly reinventing, as "Hell Broke Luce" is a successful attempt for Waits to show his adoring fans that he's still got some ingenuity left in his 62 year old tank.

What does set this album apart are the short, sucker-punch songs, clocking in at no longer than 4 minutes a piece.  They definitely don't possess any familiar qualities of previous work, for his deep and allegorical monologues, typically plagued with characters of unfamiliar motives.  But, considering how almost unatainable it would be to even attempt to recreate the quality of albums like "Swordfish Trombones" and "Bone Machine," it makes sense that Waits doesn't even attempt to challenge his own prime.  This is an excellent album, wonderful to listen to, easy to enjoy, as Waits provides what we all expect, an artist that is truly devoted to his talent, delivering what he has come to expose himself as being.  It is clear that we are experiencing an aged Waits.  But by no means is this the same as an aged Dorito-pop star, as Tom Waits and his new and great material is easily one of the most enticing and exciting things that this world has to offer.  

Oct 26, 2011

Comsumer Guber! recent product purchase and review!

It was brought to my attention that there are some really high-end head phones, that do justice to the full range of noise that these quack rock artists meticulously apply to their respected craft.  Considering the devotion I've forfeited to these quacks, I seemed rudimentary that a pair of high end head phones found their way strapped across my oval noggin.  But, i didn't know where to begin.  

Like all savvy and progressive consumers, the best place to research and learn of the possibilities is Amazon.  It turned into a 6 month process.  I wasn't sure if it was worth spending $120 on a pair of slick, pretentious head phones.  I really don't have an cautionary tales to offer for you ravenous readers.  But from what I've learned, is don't get Bose, and don't get Beats by Dre.  Both are overpriced, but Beats by Dre don't even provide the mids and treble for guitar aficionados.  Hell, from my understanding, Beats doesn't even compliment the drumming complexities.  Rather, they'll just ear-rape the hell our of your innocent eardrum, by pushing and prodding and invading your audio orifice with unloving thrusts of over emphasized buzzing.

So, knowing that I don't have much to offer regarding physical components or properties to justify the pair that I did purchase (the ones shown above), I must say that i do fully support them and recommend them full heartedly.  First, it's a clear range.  Bass lines aren't getting obnoxiously getting jumbled with the bass drum, and guitar strumming isn't creating some whiny, secondary noise as a resulting from the slop strumming from the music I tend to absorb into.  These "cans" (as i've learned to be the language ululated by the novices) organizes the full range of noise that these quacks produce, very nicely, and layers them ontop of one another extraordinarily appropriately.  The bass is heavy enough to push the back bone of punk/rock/jazz tunes that i frequent with, as well as clearly separating the treble, making the guitar work very notable and easily appreciable.  I'm not big into head phones or wasting money, but i am big into music.  And for only $65 (only, considering that some "cans" exceed $300, such as Dre's Brain-Beaters), these tune justifiers are a great investment for any audiophiles that are ordinarily intimidated by the high prices that segregate most music aficionados from their crap ipod buds that actually destroys music.  


Oct 9, 2011

what I've learned today...

Something that I learned today is not something that I learned today, but rather, an accumulation of things that I have learned over the span of 26 years, which reminded me today why it is that I had learned what it was that was learned over the past 26 years and beyond.

Again, during the execution of Awful, Ohio, it has been brought to my attention that there are more errors in the book.  This is incredibly unfortunate, as, once again, the initial release is pushed back.  Admittedly, I feel that it is at no fault of my own, as I've read Awful, Ohio over 20 times, and by now, I am utterly sick of it.  I've deeply considered just letting the errors go, to be encleaved permanently in the eternal being that is Awful, Ohio, to be read by future viewers and generations (pending that it makes it that far), regardless of the apathetic appearance that these careless incongruousness inflict upon my own reputation.  But then, every time it's considered, I'm reminded of exactly that: that this is an attempt to prepare a perfect copy.  A copy that will please the customers and readers, for its polished grammar and syntax, as well as its coherent plot, rather than some sloppy, half-assed crack of randomly stapled papers containing verbal barf coating the pages.  This isn't some high school, night-before-it's-due paper, nor is this some forgettable college coarse on some golden aged poet that never intrigued me; this is the personal work of 2 and a half years of dedication, that fought strong through obstacles and detractants that have attempted to prevent this magnus opus from accruing!  I'm not seeking some grade just to post on my mom's refrigerator, as I don't live with my mom anymore!  There is much more to gain.  This piece of work is my cathartic release of pent up, artistic expression that's been collecting since the conception of the initial plot for Awful, Ohio!  It is my duty, for the being of me that divinely is being, to perfect this piece of work, to allow this gilded craft of otherworldy powers, to reach the maximum potential that it has undeniably deserved.  

But not only is it a disservice to the being that has conglomerated into the entity which is the being that is this book, it is a disservice to the indie publishing community!  Too often, indie published work has been stigmatized for it's incredulous plots, improper grammar, and ennuied stories lines.  And here I am, providing more proof for these claims, which indie authors are working so hard to acquit.  The perfection of Awful, Ohio not only benefits me, the author, but the credibility of the entire Indie community!  So, the overall lesson that’s been presented by the unfortunate situation is that you can never finish editing, whether the story has been read only once or over 1000 times.  

For the indie authors reading through this blog post, do make effort in allowing others to read your masterpiece, before submitting it for publication.  Sure,  it seemed like a grandiose idea of just popping out of the blue with bounded copies of your own work, handing to your unknowing friends and family.  But, the gratification quickly dissipates, when the first smart ass makes it an objective to point out as many errors as possible.  So, clearly for the next book, which is being worked on, I will certainly find editors to help catch all of the grammar and mechanics that may have been over looked. So forget the rest of this entry, and dismiss any obligation to my followers that expect me to post an entertaining and informative blog entry.  As I now forfeit the rest of the night to rereading Awful, Ohio once more, regardless of the daunting task and monotonous refuge, and I will perfect Awful, Ohio, to be all that it is meant to be, and not limit it to the boundaries of suppressive laziness that I have succumbed it to!  FAREWELL!!!

Oct 2, 2011

Stephen Malkmus is 45 years old, and I support that.

"This is for the losers in the back," harked Stephen Malkmus, with the Jinks standing at his side, on stage in the Ram's Head in Baltimore.  I turned around to check out the undeserving suckers who received Stephen Malkmus's forfeiting pledge, but only to turn to no one but the graffitied wall.


Stephen Malkmus is 45 years old, and I support that.  

So it’s extrememly unfortunate that Malkmus and the Jinks are being held hostage to Pavement expectations.  I, as everyone else knows, that Pavement was one on the greatest, most creative, relentlessly-devoted-to-their-art bands that english speaking humans have ever had the opportunity to enjoy.  Routinely, I can be discovered listening to Slanted Enchanted, Brighten the Corners, Crooked Rain, and Wowee Zowee (not so much Terror Twilight), decades after their initial release.  And they still haven’t been fully depleted of their aesthetics, as every song reveals more  characteristics that are yet to be discovered.  So, I can understand instinctual yearning for more Pavement, as they are the most fulfilling band for every music connoisseur to experience.  

But, to withhold the artist from continuosly morphing and evolving, to cease the never ending journey from total enlightment, from a lifelong’s worth of searching for inner peace and self discovery, is oppressive.  Oppression, one of Pavement’s major themes and teachings, which all of their starving fans are now holding Malkmus to.   

Malkmus is still making excellent songs.  “Tigers” is a unique country folky bum song, which i felt compelled to start square dancing in the aforementioned Birkenstocks.   And then “Stick figures in love,” which caused impulsive, bodily movements from the entire audience, regardless of lacking the exhaustive overdrive familiar with most Malkmus material.  But, ever for the nostalgic Pavement fans, there was still plenty to roar about, as “Senator” invades the airwaves with as much angst and aggression as any Rage Against the Machine song, along with “Spazz” and “Tune Grief” being favorable, heavy hitters for their performance as well, getting a strong motion from what appeared to be a stiff crowd.  

But, confessionally, “Forever 28” maybe the most important performance, subliminally messaging to the crowd that, “even though I am 45, married, with 2 children, and am established, and live in a respectable home, I still have the punk intentions at heart.”  Which, having read the lyrics to “Forever 28,” one would understand that the song is about being brutally honest, without the hindrance of maturity and respect for the stupidity of others and their inexplicable emotions getting in the way for what’s really on his mind.  

Certainly, this is not Pavement.  And nor should anyone attending these shows, or listening to these albums, expect Pavement.  This is Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks, and from listening to these shows and albums, it should be encouraged to know that Stephen Malkmus can still release his unforgiving honesty in the most bizarre and originally exposing messages that only he could release.  The show was amazing, watching him on stage, fully enamored with his talent, switching back and forth from fender to gibson, capable of remembering every obscure word for all of his delightful songs.    

And, even for the Pavement fans, that were there anticipating a raucous show with kittens and donuts being flung headstrong into the wind, Malkmus and the Jinks were able to deliver one of the wildest encores I’ve ever been a part of, strumming the chords to the majestic “Wild Thing,” like it was song straight from the underground of a punk secret society meeting.  Malkmus jammed, as did the rest of the Jinks, who pleased everyone in the audience, even the losers in the back.