April 14, 2008

I think this is the new M83

But I don't know, really. Any ideas?

April 12, 2008

Were you aware?

Have you ever watched the Buster Poindexter video, Hot Hot Hot? I mean, really watched it? Because if you have, you may have noticed this little introduction:

Buster: Now, not all you kids may remember this. About 15 years ago, as a matter of fact, I was in a band called the New York Dolls.

Yes, you heard that right. Buster Poindexter, the tux-wearing, pelvic-thrusting mambo cheeseball, was, in reality, no more than a character played by protopunk icon David Johansen, frontman of the New York Dolls. For me, this was probably the most insane "same person!" revelation since Norman Bates turned out to be his own mother. Although the new information left me feeling obviously chagrinned on Johansen's behalf, in truth, I was also a bit doleful to learn that no real Poindexter ever existed. That such a charismatic guy never walked the earth in earnest is no doubt a loss for all of us. The fact is, the man was a catalyst for a lot of zany, fun times, and if he were still around, he would definitely be owning the Don Ho/Jimmy Buffett party circuit.

As you may know, Mr. Johansen eventually succeeded in shaking the shadow of his alter ego, and returned to his New York Dolls roots with some fanfare. He still refers to his turn as Poindexter as "the bane of [his] life," but I think he secretly knows that he wouldn't be the showman he is without that little bit of Buster in him.

In conclusion, despite some serious ups and downs, everything seems to have turned out fine for good old Davy J. I feel the lesson we can all learn from this amazing story is, "Be yourself."

April 10, 2008

Words from the Patron Saint

LONDON (AFP) - An animal protection group is investigating claims made by British band The Falls Mark E. Smith that he killed two endangered red squirrels and condones the deliberate running over of seagulls, it said Thursday.

The revered but unpredictable frontman of Manchester band The Fall said that he would not hesitate setting about a squirrel with a pair of hedge-clippers.

"Squirrels mean nothing to me. I killed a couple last weekend actually. They were eating my garden fence," Smith told Uncut magazine, although it was unclear whether he had confused the animal with their more prevalent American grey cousins.

The singer, whose group has gone through 50 different members and produced 27 albums in their career, also said he "wouldn't have a problem" with people purposefully driving over seagulls in their cars.

"The comments made by Mark E. Smith are extremely irresponsible and he has basically admitted to committing an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act by killing two red squirrels," the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) said.

"These animals are highly protected and anyone killing, harming or taking red squirrels from the wild is liable to prosecution and can face up to six months in prison and/or a fine of up to 20,000 pounds. Likewise, running over gulls is also an offence, the group said.

"To suggest in a magazine read by youngsters that it is a good idea to harm wildlife is both extremely stupid and highly irresponsible."

Thanks, Dan

April 9, 2008

Surprise: I'm really digging the new British Sea Power

I didn’t spend too much time with the new British Sea Power album at first; I listened to it once through and wasn’t really blown away. A couple of days before their March show at Bottom of the Hill, I thought to myself, “I’ll probably go to the show and end up loving the album.” That’s pretty much what happened. Much like Cornelius, British Sea Power plays straight-ahead rock. They're probably one of the few bands left in 2008 that owe anything to Echo and the Bunnymen. Nobody else is on that really epic rock tip these days, I think.

They led off their concert with “No Lucifer.” When I first heard this song I thought it was a little too blunt to be a BSP song, but I think it's just fine now. There's no question that Do You Like Rock Music? is not as challenging as The Decline of British Sea Power. I’m sure some people will roll their eyes at this album for its aspirations of rocking on a larger scale, and it's not for nothing that the name U2 has cropped up in some reviews. But actually ‘selling out’ isn't about your music. Even with more stadium-friendly production, British Sea Power aren't pandering to their audience. That’s a sign of a band that's ready for the big time.

British Sea Power - No Lucifer [Do You Like Rock Music? LP, 2008]

British Sea Power - Canvey Island [Do You Like Rock Music? LP, 2008]

British Sea Power - Open the Door [Do You Like Rock Music? LP, 2008]

April 1, 2008

Concert suggestions for April

If you live in San Francisco, here are some concerts that would be worth checking out this month:

4/2 Black Keys @ Warfield

4/5 Autechre @ Mezzanine

4/5 Maurice Fulton @ Gun Club (!)

4/24 Excepter @ Hemlock Tavern (!)

4/25 Sic Alps @ Hemlock Tavern

4/25 Booka Shade @ Mezzanine

4/26 Goldfrapp @ Warfield

4/30 Akron/Family @ Rickshaw Stop (!)

4/30 The Field @ Independent

My list is biased against The Independent, because I think it sucks. There are a number of head-to-head matchups this month, but I'd side with Maurice Fulton - Booka Shade - Akron/Family if you're looking for guidance.