Monday, September 19, 2005

If I Wanted To Read, I'd Go To School 

The CMJ Music Marathon is a great idea, but I couldn't bring myself to go to any of the shows this year. I've had too many bad experiences at CMJ shows in the past—inattentive and overly loud audiences, crowded venues, problems at the door—that it's just not worth bothering unless there's a band playing that I just have to see. Call me crazy, but I didn't see any of those among the hundreds playing this year's fest. Surely I missed out on some great shows, but I can live with that. For those of us who sat it out, My Blog Is Poop's CMJ Awards is the only summary anyone needs. Via Brooklyn Vegan, who of course did a thorough survey himself. Extrawack! was there, too.

Speaking of Brooklyn, the planet responds: two bands I've played on my show, Secaucus' beloved Wrens and NYC's Harlem Shakes, join They Might Be Giants, Tony "24 Hour Party People" Fletcher, and more at Katrina benefits at Southpaw this Wednesday and Sunday. Very generous entertainment value for a $15 cover each night.

Power-pop gods The dB's, with all four original members in tow, return to Maxwell's tonight and tomorrow for their first shows in their spiritual homebase of Hoboken in several centuries. The shows are sold out, but the band's website has a free download of the new track "World To Cry." And get their cover of the Motown classic "What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted," with proceeds going to Katrina relief.

Edwyn Collins update: he's made major strides since his two brain hemorrhages in February, but his wife Grace's latest report is that he's still battling physical and mental difficulties—he can't move his right hand, he has trouble expressing his own thoughts and comprehending the words of others, and he has memory loss. The message board on Edwyn's site is the best place for up-to-date info, but this BBC profile back in August was good. What better way to wish Edwyn well than by purchasing the spiffy new reissue of his old band Orange Juice's early recordings, The Glasgow School, as well as the fine debut album by Little Barrie, which Edwyn produced.

An update on Lookout! Records in the wake of the Green Day pullout. Of note is this story's mention that Bloomfield, N.J.'s own Ted Leo is apparently financially aiding the label that ought to be paying him. Via Velvet Rope.

Can't quibble with too many of Stylus' top 50 basslines of all time, but where the heck were The Jam's "Town Called Malice," Steely Dan's "Peg," "Cannonball" by The Breeders, "Rain" by The Beatles, and The "Barney Miller" Theme? Joe Jackson's "Got The Time" and Pretenders' "Mystery Achievement"? Anyone, anyone, Bueller?

"Bet You Didn't Think Stereogum Would Be The Place To Tip Me To A New Republic Article Department": some thoughts on rock snobbery in the iPod age. I need to read this again before I decide how much I agree with it.

Pandagon's Jesse on The Thirty-Five Percent Rule: "When Democrats agree with 65% of America, they are no longer hyperpartisan, traitors, dangerous idiots, or anything else that can be found on the cover of an Ann Coulter book. Thirty five percent makes you an ideological minority, and insulting the overwhelming majority of American people really isn't a smart idea."

Go Yanks!

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