29 January 2010

Something 4 The Weekend # 152

I wrote and recorded this song exactly ten years ago today. How do I know this? Because despite the Psilocybin mushrooms I ingested that evening, which may very well have blurred my memory, it was my birthday. It's hard to forget one's birthday, even while under the influence of hallucinogens.
This song is called "No Returns". It's a play on the old playground saying "girl germs - no returns", but more to the point, it's meant to represent the forward movement of our lives, the idea that we cannot recapture the past. Thus, the sounds of kids playing, and underneath, the slow mechanical sounds of time forever moving forward.
On the surface, it may sound as if this song is nothing but 5 minutes of repetition, but if you listen closely, you will hear new instruments and new melodies continually being introduced to the song - the sounds of experiences constantly being acquired as we age. It may seem that we never really get anywhere in this life, but in reality, nothing ever quite stays the same.
So, here I am, ten years later, and at first glance it may seem that my life hasn't changed very much since then - I still live in the same house I did then, I still work at the same job, I still have the same two cats and many of the same friends - but in reality I've travelled in the past decade, I've made new friends and lost old friends. I've had alot of new experiences, I've shared my bed with new women, read new books, seen new movies, heard new music, written and recorded new songs. I've accumulated knowledge and forgotten other knowledge. Memories have slipped away, only to be replaced by others. In some respects, I'm still the same man I was in 2000, but in many other respects, that man is a stranger to me now. And so it goes...
Hotcha! Hank

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28 January 2010

Swim (To Reach The Sideways Maneuver)

Surfer Blood, doing "Swim (To Reach The End)" live in the KEXP studios...

Hotcha! Hank

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26 January 2010

Tuesday's Fortune: 26 January 2010

MEAL: 1 Roast Pork Egg Roll + 1 small order Hunan Chicken = $5.65 + $1.35 tip

Hotcha! Hank

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25 January 2010

Disturbing And/Or Arousing?

I don't know whether to look away, or unbutton my pants...A more disturbing and/or arousing animated gif can be found here: http://i.imgur.com/ksll5.gif

Hotcha! Hank

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23 January 2010

Conan's Free As A Bird Now...

You wanna get an idea of how much stupidity exists on the internet?

In the wake of Conan O'Brien's final Tonight Show, and this performance in particular, I was surfing the web last night and came across any number of ignorant comments at several different blogs (which shall remain nameless)...

One person wrote - "Holy shit, I didn't know Ben Harper played keyboards!" when clearly the man is playing a pedal steel guitar. Nobody else at that particular blog corrected the mistake, and I wasn't about to create an account just to get all pedantic on his ass...

At several blogs, a whole bunch of people mistook Jimmy Vivino for Elvis Costello, which is sad beyond belief since Jimmy Vivino has been the guitarist in Conan's band (The Max Weinberg 7) since his Late Show's inception way back in the early 1990's...Hell, even the notes for this YouTube video states that "No, that isn't Elvis Costello"...Who the fuck would ever think that's Elvis Costello? Embarrassing, and disrespectful to Mr. McManus and Mr. Vivino, and certainly makes me wonder how many of these people who have joined TEAM COCO in the past couple weeks actually ever watched his show over the past 15+ years.

Another commentator elsewhere on the internet misidentified ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons as his bassist bandmate Dusty Hill, and again, nobody bothered to correct that moron...

More esoteric but still maddening to me - Another blog commentator successfully sussed the fact that Will Ferrell was impersonating the late Lynyrd Skynyrd vocalist Ronnie Van Zant (not difficult since they were playing fucking "Freebird"), but wondered why the hell he'd wear a Neil Young shirt because of, you know, that whole "Southern Man"/"Sweet Home Alabama" dustup from the 1970's...Fair enough, but this commentator certainly didn't realize that the dustup was mostly tongue-in-cheek, that Neil Young and Ronnie Van Zant were actually mutual admirers, and became actual friends, before Ronnie's untimely demise in that infamous plane crash that took half the band. Hell, Neil Young even wrote the song "Powderfinger" for Skynyrd, which they unfortunately never got the chance to record. More to the point, however, is the fact that Ronnie Van Zant wore the exact same t-shirt on the cover of Skynyrd's final album, Street Survivors, in honor of Neil Young, and to imply that there really were no hard feelings between the two men.

Now, I'm certainly no genius, but I think I can say that when I'm unsure of what I'm talking about, I just keep my fucking mouth shut. Unfortunately, that's not the case with far too many people one encounters on the internet...Something to think about next time you read that, I dunno, A Clockwork Orange was Hitchcock's best film.

Note: I was impressed when Farrell shouted "How 'bout you?", which Van Zant asks the crowd himself on the One More From The Road album...All that was missing was him saying "Play it pretty for Burbank, Conan!"

Hotcha! Hank

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22 January 2010

Something 4 The Weekend # 151

I was stumbling around eMusic last week, and happened across Surfer Blood. Of course, it was the album cover that caught my eye immediately, and seeing that the band was called Surfer Blood, I was pretty certain they would play some form of Fucking Metal. I mean, ya got the ancient violence of a great white shark on the cover, combined with one of the coolest band names I've run across in quite awhile, it's gotta be Fucking Metal, right?
Wrong...But that's quite alright, because Surfer Blood plays a rather attractive kind of Power Pop, still reliant on guitars, but nothing that really comes close to Fucking Metal. Now, I downloaded the album immediately, and while there are a couple of unformed duds on the longplayer, there's still plenty of full-formed songs that convincingly prove that this young band from Florida have a bright future if they want it. Including this song, "Floating Vibes", which kicks off the album with a riff that is utterly undeniable, at least to me. Good stuff, and I'm looking forward to seeing where this band goes...
Hotcha! Hank

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All Hail The Flying V!!!!!

It's strange how we're willing to watch the most inane bullshit if it's an artist/celebrity that we happen to like...

Once again, rest in peace, Jay Reatard!

Hotcha! Hank

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19 January 2010

Tuesday's Fortune: 19 January 2010

MEAL: 1 Vegetable Spring Roll + 1 small order Chicken Chow Mein = $5.45 + $1.55 tip

Hotcha! Hank

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16 January 2010

Something 4 The Weekend # 150

Memphis Garage Rock wunderkind Jay Reatard (Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr.) was found dead in his home earlier this week, and while very few details have been released so far, he had been complaining of flu-like symptoms in the days leading up to his death. He was 29.
Jay Reatard was a fantastic songwriter in his chosen genre, squeezing maximum entertainment value out of a very straightforward, economical Rock style. More importantly, he's one of those musicians I like to call a "true believer" because there was absolutely no bullshit in his work and play. He loved and believed in the music, a love you could see, feel and hear. Plus, he played a Flying V. It's been my experience that dudes who play Flying V's are more righteous rockers than most who don't.
Now, the song I chose for this week's S4TW isn't Reatard's typically amped up Garage Rock, but it is my favorite song of his, and a great example of his songwriting chops, revealing a melodicism that can often get a bit lost at higher BPMs and volume.
Rest in peace, Jay. It was way too soon.
Hotcha! Hank

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12 January 2010

It's A Wonderful Sideways Maneuver

Since I mentioned Craig Ferguson in a previous post, I thought it would only be right to post one of his great cold opens with the lip-syncing and the puppets. Craig struck on a bit of broadcasting genius when he realized what we need more of at the end of the day is puppets.

Puppets aside, Mr. Ferguson is currently host of the most entertaining talkshow in late night.

Hotcha! Hank

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Don't You (Forget About Sideways Maneuver)

One possible anthem for Generation X.

Hotcha! Hank

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Cock Rock

I imagine this rooster's name is "Steely Dan", and if you get the reference, yr probably reading the right blog.

Hotcha! Hank

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Team Coco!

I must admit, I rarely watch The Tonight Show, even though I do like Conan O'Brien. However, since everyone and their Great Aunt Gladys is choosing sides in this latest late night shakeup on the TV landscape, I'm with Coco. NBC and Jay Leno appear to be giving him the fucking shaft. Plus, Jay Leno hasn't been funny since about June of 1985.


Hotcha! Hank

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Tuesday's Fortune: 12 January 2010

MEAL: 2 Roast Pork Egg Rolls + 1 order (8) Steamed Dumplings = $7.95 + $1.05 tip

Hotcha! Hank

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08 January 2010

Something 4 The Weekend #149

You wanna talk big, bombastic UK bands from the 1980's? Yes, yes you do...
Well, they didn't get much more grandiose than Simple Minds, and that includes U2, Bono's ego included. And I don't necessarily mean this in a negative way, because for a few years in the early-mid 1980's, there were few bands that delivered as grandly as Simple Minds. Not only did they have a larger-than-life sound that could fill even the biggest stadiums, but they had good songs. Sometimes even great songs. It isn't a fluke that "Don't You (Forget About Me)" remains one of the best-known and most-loved songs of that decade. Jim Kerr and company had skills.
They had evolved from what I can only describe as "Art Punk" beginnings, into something much more accessible and engaging, and like I said, they got so good at what they did that I'd argue they beat U2 at their own game - that being the big, bombastic sound I mentioned before. Hell, I preferred Simple Minds myself, much as I loved U2, because Kerr didn't mire his lyrics in self-important political claptrap the way Bono often did. Simple Minds were a serious band, but they weren't fucking humorless, and they didn't take themselves too seriously. They weren't interested in changing the world, they just wanted to be the best band they could possibly be. And for a brief glorious moment in time, they were.
Plus, Jim Kerr was married Chrissie Hynde for awhile, for my money the most righteous babe to ever strap on an electric guitar and school the boys in RAWK. That adds plenty of legitimacy in my book.
Hotcha! Hank

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05 January 2010

Tuesday's Fortune: 5 January 2010

MEAL: 1 Roast Pork Egg Roll + 1 small order Sweet & Sour Chicken = $5.35 + $1.65 tip
Hotcha! Hank

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