30 March 2010

Tuesday's Fortune: 30 March 2010

MEAL: 1 Roast Pork Egg Roll + 1 small order Moo Goo Gai Pan = $5.35 + $1.65 tip

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , , ,

26 March 2010

Something 4 The Weekend # 159

It's officially spring, and like evil fucking clockwork, the squirrels are back, traipsing around the yard like they own it. And as I like to do every spring, I'm welcoming the squirrels back in a fun and exciting way. This year, I'm lacing a pecan pie with LSD and setting it out on my front porch. If I know these squirrels (and I do), they're gonna scarf that pie, and then I'm going to sit at my living room window and watch 'em all lose their minds. I'm gonna laugh, eat some Choco Tacos, maybe take some pictures, and listen to this Fang Island album because it's the sound of absolute triumph.
Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

25 March 2010

Maneuver The Drum Sideways

After hanging around YouTube a bit tonight, checking out the Bongwater offerings, I gotta say, I'm disappointed. Considering the boho artsy leanings of the band, you'd think they could make better music videos, or at least work with better directors. Nope, the pickings are pretty slim, and what we've got just doesn't impress. Here's one for "The Drum". Kinda ho-hum. It was 1990, and I'm thinking it was the era of the lo-fi music video, the obvious reaction to the big budget glossy videos of MTV's first decade.

Whatever. Lalalalalalalalalala...

Hotcha? Hank

Labels: , , ,

23 March 2010

Tuesday's Fortune: 23 March 2010

MEAL: 1 Roast Pork Egg Roll + 1 small order Chicken Lo Mein = $4.85 + $1.15 tip

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , ,

19 March 2010

Something 4 The Weekend # 158

For the better part of seven years, during my lo-fi 4-track era, I wanted to be Kramer, the musical half of Bongwater. During this same period, I wanted to have kinky sex with Ann Magnuson, the vocal half of Bongwater. Nowadays, I still think their records are fabulous fun, but I'm more inclined to ape Animal Collective and fantasize about Zola Jesus. That's just the ephemeral nature of pop culture, right?
Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , , , , , ,

17 March 2010

Alex Chilton, Rest In Peace

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , , , , ,

Burnin' Sideways For You, Maneuver


I all-capped that fact because it needs to be remembered that Buck Dharma wrote and sang one of the five best rock songs of all time, a song so perfect that we forget just how perfect it truly is. I'm talking about "(Don't Fear) The Reaper", of course, a song we've heard so many fucking times it's easy to take for granted, and yet you know as well as I do that it's one of those rare songs that will still be taken for granted 100 years from now...200 years...In other words, a timeless song.

Buck Dharma wrote that tune. He also wrote this song, "Burnin' For You", which isn't as good a song as "(Don't Fear) The Reaper", but is flawless in it's construction and the second composition of Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser's that I believe is timeless. Like "reaper", this song will be taken for granted 200 years from now, but it'll be played nonetheless.

If two timeless rock songs weren't enough, Buck Dharma also wrote "Godzilla", which might be seen as a novelty song, but also contains not only one of the most recognizable riffs in hard rock, but also a brilliant two-note lead guitar thing that sets the whole fucking thing on destruct - two notes that are as recognizable as the riff itself. Two little notes so completely entwined with that riff that they are inseparable. "Godzilla" is not a perfect song, but it just might be timeless.

One man, three timeless hard rock songs...

Indeed, BUCK DHARMA RULES, even in a gold lame' blouse.

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , , , , ,

16 March 2010

Tuesday's Fortune: 16 March 2010

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

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , ,

12 March 2010

Something 4 The Weekend # 157

I've been sick with the flu since Tuesday. I'm gonna work my way through the Nyquil haze just long enough to say, here's some Blue Oyster Cult.
Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , , , , , ,

09 March 2010

Tuesday's Fortune: 9 March 2010

MEAL: 2 Vegetable Spring Rolls + 1 small order Pineapple Fried Rice = $6.45 + $1.55 tip

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , ,

05 March 2010

Something 4 The Weekend # 156

One hundred and fifty-six editions of S4TW, and this is the first time I've streamed the Femmes...amazing...
Now, I don't know how it was/is by you, but in Milwaukee, we always simply called 'em "The Femmes" and never "Violent Femmes" or even "The Violent Femmes". We called 'em "The Femmes" because they were a Milwaukee band, homegrown, familiar...
I don't know how it was/is by you, but in Milwaukee the Violent Femmes were pretty much legendary, at least among the hipper kids and the college crowds...Going from coffee house gigs and streetcorner busking to opening for The Pretenders at The Oriental on one fateful night in 1981, and from there they pretty much ruled the city for the next two to three years...
At least that's how I remembered it - I was a year or three too young to catch a full, first-hand account of the Femmes...By the time my friends and I were travelling into the city from the suburbs, the Femmes weren't busking anymore, and they were certainly too mighty for coffee houses and the smaller clubs around town...By the time I was old enough to see the Femmes, they were headlining the Oriental themselves, riling up 1000+ of the faithful, and that's a pretty impressive number for a band like Violent Femmes in a city the size and temperment of Milwaukee...By the time me and my friends started going to shows in Milwaukee, the Femmes were hanging out and recording in NYC, and starting to tour internationally...I seem to recall they "conquered" New Zealand and/or Australia on one short tour, and later on, from 85 to 87 when I was living on the east side of Milwaukee, I "ran into" bassist Brian Ritchie from time to time (well, four times, by my reckoning), including once at Lisa's Pizzaria where he recognized me enough to say "hello".
I sound like such a fucking fanboy!
But I don't know how it was by you...I don't know how much the Femmes meant to the typical youth in places that aren't Milwaukee, but considering the kind of raw, wild and literate kind of music the three of 'em made, they were loved enough, by enough, to get requested with regularity at our high school dances...And I also seem to recall RP The DJ getting his ass chewed out after spinning "Add It Up", during which he cut the PA as Gordon Gano sang "Why can't I get just one fuck?", leaving a cafeteria of 200-300 kids singing the line by themselves.
"Add It Up" never got played at a dance again, but there was still "Blister In The Sun" and "Kiss Off", "Prove My Love", "Gone Daddy Gone" and even "Good Feeling" during the slow dance romance segments of RP The DJ's 3 hour set. What I'm trying to say is that the Femmes debut album is really fucking good and solid from start to finish, because here we are with "To The Kill", which is perhaps my favorite song on this album. So now I've mentioned seven of the album's ten songs, which I think is a pretty good indication of just how undeniably great and huge this album is, to me, and a few others like me that I know or knew...
Like I said, I don't know how it was or is by you...The critics generally adore Violent Femmes, at least in those early years, those first two or three albums. I tend to respect the field of criticism, but your opinion may vary. I happen to like their weirder, more difficult second album, Hallowed Ground, a bit more, but this debut is certainly the better album, a true object of art, imbued with the magic of the time and place from which it came to be, pretty much perfect in it's completeness of tone and flow from beginning to end. Every song a slayer, and the whole thing still sounds good, like it hasn't aged a day, much less 28 years!

28 years!

I guess "timeless" is just a nicer way of saying "Holy fuck, I'm getting old! The Femmes are getting old!"
Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

04 March 2010

A Band By Any Other Name Still Smells Like The Drummer's Sweatband

The new issue of Alternative Press (#261 if yr counting) contains their annual compendium of 100 bands we need to know about this year, and as I have done the past couple of years, I'd like to take this opportunity to list some of the very ridiculous and sometimes outright horrible band names found within.

As I've mentioned before, I've always been fascinated by band names. So much so, that I've accumulated my own extensive list with the help of friends and enemies over the past 25 years. Further, I'm willing to admit that our own list contains at least 75% ridiculous and horrible band names that no sane person would ever use to conquer popular culture. Plenty are inside jokes (never a good idea for a band name) while others are merely the result of substance abuse.

(Also - I was once in a band called Those Amazing Foreheads, which is probably worth keeping in mind...)

The difference is - the bands on the following list ARE trying to make a living as professional musicians, and in my own opinion, have one huge strike against them from the get-go by choosing the monikers they have chosen. Hindsight should inform us that at least 90% of these bands will never have any lasting relevance in pop culture, and this failure has almost nothing to do with the music (some of these bands are very good at what they do) and almost everything to do with luck...and their names. I've listed 40 of these 100 bands here, but I could have named a many, many more that aren't half bad, but aren't really half-good either.

Anyways, I realize that after 60 years of Rock'n'Roll, it's become a bit difficult to come up with a cool and original name, but it's not impossible. These kids today, they're either trying too hard, or not trying hard enough. I dunno - you be the judge.

Canada Water (huh?)
Abandon Kansas (first there was Kansas, then there was Bleeding Kansas...)
Zlam Dunk (Slam Dunk might not have been so bad, but that fucking Z!)
Worn In Red
Flood Of Red
The Bigger Lights (What does this mean?)
We Are The In Crowd
We Are The Union
Two Hours Traffic (ugh)
Litany For The Whale (the worst band name on this list)
Freelance Whales (a close second)
Exit_International (underscore essential)
DD/MM/YYYY (meh, maybe not that bad, but certainly a mouthful - "Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome dee dee, em em, why why why why!")
How Dare You (choose such a weak sauce name)
Nightmares For A Week
Those Who Lie Beneath
Cymbals Eat Guitars (Snares Chew Pianos...Rototoms Regurgitate Double Bassoons)
Let's Get It (Get what? I don't get it.)
The Riot Before
The Joy Formidable (Can a band with "formidable" in their name actually ever succeed? Let's find out.)
A Silent Film
All The Day Holiday (???)
Sent By Ravens (Why? Sent for what purpose? What do these ravens want? Why can't these damn ravens do it themselves?)
The Phenomenal Handclap Band
Free Energy
1,2,3 (I maintain that 15,16,17 is as good a name)
The Wonder Years (naming your band after a movie or TV show is almost never a good idea)
Stray From The Path
Here We Go Magic
Breathe Electric
The Downtown Fiction (as opposed to The Uptown Non-Fiction, The Suburban Biography, and The Rural Self-Help Manual)
Stereo Skyline
Red Knife Lottery
A Loss For Words (Indeed, I am...)
Brian Bonz & The Dot Hongs (I assume this is a play on "Hot Dongs", but that still doesn't make this name any better in my mind)
Goonies Never Say Die (really? REALLY? REALLY??? )
The Color Turning
Miss May I

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , ,

02 March 2010

Tuesday's Fortune: 2 March 2010

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

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , ,