Nota Bene #120: Crazy Ivan

“If you can make a woman laugh, you’re seeing the most beautiful thing on God’s earth.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #115: RIP No. 32

“If you’re really pro-life, do me a favor—don’t lock arms and block medical clinics. If you’re so pro-life, lock arms and block cemeteries.” Who said it? Continue reading

Tournament of Rock – Legends: the Graham Parker pod

After considerable sniping and arguing amongst the commentariat over who is more deserving, ELO or NIN, Devo devotees put on a late push to render the whole debate moot. The numbers: Devo 36%; Electric Light Orchestra/Jeff Lynne 33%; Nine Inch Nails 19%; John Hiatt 7%; Chicago 5%; Mountain 0%. Devo now devolves into the Great 48.

Up next, our contest to name the greatest band of all time presents yet another diverse pod of talented artists, this one headed by a man who cranked out his first 5-star record in 1976 and his most recent one in 2007. Continue reading

Tournament of Rock – Legends: the NIN pod

Results: For the second match in a row the seeded artist ran away and hid, as Gainesville’s non-football-related attraction, Tom Petty, lapped the field. The numbers: #10 Tom Petty/Heartbreakers 53%; Jeff Beck 23%; Bob Mould/Husker Du/Sugar 13%; Bauhaus 7%; Kiss 3%; Tears for Fears 0%. Petty advances to the Great 48.

Our quest for the greatest band of all time now moves over to the Red Rocks region, where the most popular industrial band of all time hosts a serious clash of styles. Continue reading

TunesDay: Name those bands – and the winner is….

bandssamlovesThe results of last week’s Name Those Bands contest are in. In first place we have … a disqualification, sorta. Our friend Ubertramp logged in with an impressive 47 of 53. Seriously, that’s pretty damned good. But he has disqualified himself because I’m the one who turned him onto most of these outstanding artists and he felt like he might as well be cheating under the circumstances.

Wow – sportsmanship. What a concept.

So our next highest scorer, and the official winner, is … Continue reading

TunesDay: The best CDs of 2008, pt. 1 – the Gold LPs

Most years are pretty good for music if you know where to look, and 2008 was no exception. It’s a shame that you have to search so hard, of course – once upon a time all you needed to keep track of what was good in the world of music was a radio. These days it requires a little effort, though, and while I lost count a long time ago, I probably sampled a few hundred CDs in the last 365. Thank the gods for the Internet and a growing network of friends who make sure to let me know whenever they hear something worthy, huh?

This is part one of three. The Platinum LP Awards will be along soon, and that will be followed by the CD of the Year post. So here we go with last year’s Gold Awards for Very Good CDs. These are in alphabetical order, more or less. Band Web sites link to the band name, and if the CD is available via eMusic, that links to the CD title. If you want to purchase from eMusic, click on the link in the right column for a really good deal (as in lots of free downloads).

The 2008 Gold LPs Continue reading

Nota Bene #34

Got hot links if you want ’em!

In “Ripping Nine-Inch Nails” at Salon, James Hannaham writes: “Reznor has always had problems with authority. What better way to subvert his own influence than to encourage his fans to remix the new NIN record before it has really solidified in the public consciousness? If he allowed fans any closer to his process, they’d be writing the songs themselves.”

Scott Ritter on the laptop of mass destruction: “The fact that this computer is acknowledged as coming from [anti-Islamic Republic Iranian terrorists] the MEK and the fact that a proper forensic investigation would probably demonstrate the fabricated nature of the data contained are why the U.S. government will never agree to such an investigation being done.” Continue reading

TunesDay: what is, what was and what almost was – the S&R interview with Don Dixon

I’ve been a very big Don Dixon fan since the late ’70s, so when his new CD, The Nu-Look, dropped I was bouncing around the living room like Snoopy doing a happy dance. Sadly, a lot of people don’t know Don’s music – although many know his work as the producer of Murmur and Reckoning by REM and multiple records from The Smithereens and Guadalcanal Diary (as well as stuff from Chris Stamey, Beat Rodeo, Kim Carnes, The Connells, Marshall Crenshaw, Hootie & the Blowfish, Tommy Keene, Let’s Active, James McMurtry, The Pinetops, The Reivers, Matthew Sweet and X-Teens).

The new disc marks something of a departure. Continue reading

Saturday Video Roundup: the best of music video, part 2

Last September we hit you with part one of our best music videos ever, featuring Death in Vegas, The Prodigy and Pop Will Eat Itself. Powerful stuff, to say the least. Today we’re back with round two – alieNation.

Up first is Orbital’s “The Box.” I used this one in a class or two back in the late ’90s. Humanities and the Electronic Media, I think. Just a brilliant bit of short film making here – deftly captures the anomie and alienation of the postmodern urban wasteland. It’s almost magical how we can be so isolated from a character and so connected all at the same time.

Continue reading

The death of DRM is the rebirth of the music industry

By Martin Bosworth

I just wanted to follow up on Brian’s awesome post detailing Sony BMG’s plans to sell DRM-free music through Amazon as part of a Super Bowl promotion by making a few additional points: Continue reading

Saturday Video Roundup: smack my sad Peanuts up

In last week’s Saturday Video Roundup we looked at some of the greatest music vids ever. Today we’re paying tribute to some of history’s more wonderful videos, although these are memorable for … different reasons.

Let’s begin with one of the more sublimely disturbing moments in vid history, shall we?

Continue reading