Things are a-changing in my music head: Does vinyl really sound better, really? Anti-cop songs are now OK, The White Album has the Beatles crooked, Canada is not what John Candy makes it out to be, There is a USE for music.


Tigs has been floating this blog for August, so I got to get on my game. It’s August 13th, dammit. Where the hell has the summer gone? It’s not hot enough for me yet. I want my vinyls to be black and gooey in their boxes. Oh, nice tie in Adam. Yea, that’s right. I got a record player. And guess what? Vinyl sucks. Go suck on that shit you ole fuckers and new music-hipster-cologist fuckers. I’m going to immediately take that back because yea, alright, it does sound better. But its a fucking nuisance. I took (stole) an old turntable from my parents that hasn’t been played since, well, probably the 80s when they started on tapes. The needle is shot. Everything sounds tinny and a hundred yards away. So in my stupid mind I thought, oh, I can bike downtown to Sam Ash and get a new needle. They’ve got an entire block of stores for every thing you could imagine. It turns out there are as many different types of needles on different turntables of different years and models than there are actual records made the entire time they made records. And fuck, there are a lot of BeeGees records! I just counted 11 in 8 years of the BeeGee heyday. OK, I’m not going to use it for BeeGees, but I do have SST001, Minutemen- Paranoid Time, Orphan- Aborted by Birth, a bunch of Van Morrison I stole from my dad and the White Album that I’d like to experience on that great spinning machine. Besides, I’m a music critic, I’m SUPPOSED to listen to everything on vinyl and settle for the other shit. What a pain in the ass. I just got back from Kansas City visiting my friend and he ONLY listens to vinyl, though they just painted and somehow two drops of paint got on the one record I had to hear- Deja Vu by CSNY. Such a shame.

I’ve been planning a lot of different SWR posts in my head lately, but have not followed thru with any of them. This one is going to be one BIG one to clear my head and get the blank slate going. I’ve had a lot going on with music the last week, so the epiphanies will keep rolling. Backwards actually since the vinyl thing happened today. Going back to a few days ago, I was in Kansas City drinking, playing RISK, yelling about how much Sublime sucks and listening to records records records while I fiddled with a shotgun. I noticed on my friend’s White Album record “The Beatles” was crooked. I thought it was a mistake because online, all they show are those two words in grey straight across the all white cover. When I got out of the Midwest, I noticed on my White Album it was also crooked. It’s supposed to be that way. What a fucking world!?

Going to KC was perfect timing because I needed to get the hell out of the Bronx. The weekend prior, I was taught a very valuable lesson by a member of the NYPD: I have the right to free speech, but if I am stupid enough to use it, I will get kicked. Long story, but my confrontation in front of my building left me on the ground having been kicked twice by an officer of the law. What this meant for me in music is this: I have always rolled my eyes listening to bands (mostly hardcore bands, some rappers) scream about hating cops, killing cops, stupid pigs, millions of dead cops, police stories, fucking the police, the dicks hating the cops, the list goes on and on and I’ve seen tons of hardcore bands live spew this mentality that cops are assholes and should be killed. I never thought that. I never liked those songs. NOW- I fucking love those songs. I get it! I’ve lived it. I think a lot of music is like this. You can’t understand the blues if you’ve never had your heartbroken. You can’t understand the Dead if you’ve never been high. You’ll never really GET Captain Beefheart if you aren’t a little bit, a lotta bit insane and like to fingerpaint. You can’t get the Dave Matthews Band unless you’ve popped that damn collar and date raped a girl. After being beaten by a cop for calling him a pig, I now now truly get “Police Story.” And I can sing “Cop Killer” in the shower and not feel like a dick.

Here’s a segway and call back to my last post:

Canadian Mounted, baby
Police force at work
Red and black
It’s their color scheme
Get their man
In the end
It’s all right…………It’s all right

(R. Meltzer)

Canada doesn’t suck. One of the best albums of the year so far is Failed Musician by the Canada’s Nutsak. I’ll post a song next post, but right now I just wanna say: get this album right now! Nutsak is awesome. Great band name. Crazy jazz freakout guitar music with some good ole rock ballads mixed in. I can’t stop listening, it’s some of the most inventive music I’ve heard come out of the big tiring rock machine in a while. I use it the same way I use Beefheart. It’s good music for 94 degrees with top humidity. I don’t have air conditioning. So, for instance, today when I got back from a long bikeride, the sky broke open and the heat broke with a beautiful rain just as I pulled up to my building, I decided, fuck it, I’m going to do my laundry. So I gathered it all up and brought it over. Then as I got back to my room, I decided, fuck it, I’m going to write a couple songs for the band, so I pounded on my guitar for over an hour and I got so sweaty I almost passed out and needed about 5 FLA-VOR-ICEs to level my head. I went to get my laundry, two full bags! (evelyn’s too), and came inside and threw it down. My head was a mess, I had not sat down in hours. I was dizzy and confused and angry it was my last day of vacation, which it is. I put on Nutsak. The perfect thing for a mad, run down mind: listening to something even crazier than you. That’s a good way to live, if you are running crazy, don’t listen to Elliott Smith or some pappy crap music to calm yourself down- listen to Ornette Coleman! Listen to the Minutemen! Listen to Beefheart! Dolphy! Coltrane Live in Seattle 1965! Half Japanese! Nutsak!

It’s when you are calm you should listen to calm music. Music shouldn’t be injected, it should push you. That’s how I use music.

And this is something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. For music writing, specifically, most writers write about the music. They try to describe the music using thesauruseses. I think I’ve done this rant before, but I do it ‘cus it’s important. They don’t actually think about what the music is good for. There is a use for music. A lot of times I think the use is more for the person/persons making it rather than the audience, but occasionally, and this is when you get the really good stuff, the listener can use someone else’s music for themselves and do something with it. It isn’t ours until we use it. So, stop dissecting and use the fuckin shit, man.

OK, I’m done. I think tomorrow I’ll buy a gun.