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Everything posted by DudeAsInCool

  1. Well, LOD has everyone stirred up over at ZP on this topic. Nice to see some action over there for a change. You can read the freeflowing debate and all its colorful sidetracks - here: For my two cents, give the kids a choice on whether 1) they want to say the pledge, 2) if they do, let them use the words 'under god' if they want to, or 3) if the kids dont want to use the words, they dont have to. Arent their more important things to focus on in this country? http://www.zeropaid.com/bbs/showthread.php?t=19086
  2. Somebody paid the kid, who may be slightly retarded, $20 bucks to carry the bomb... I cant imagine anyone who would set up a kid to die like this.. Whoever it is, sure aint going to heaven.. Absolutely disgusting.
  3. Nice synth/organ and percussion work...
  4. Woke up in the morning... woke up with out my woman out side the rain is pouring inside to, house gots no roof make me no breakfast caz i gots 1 tooth... Late to work, got another warnin' Bossman sez, do this, do that Too tired to get into 'notha spat Outside, the clouds still pouring Inside, brain is rotting Boss is ranting and Im a plottin' Came home, drenched and tired Tv blaring, neighbors sparring outside, rain still pouring inside to, still gots no roof make me no din-din caz i gots i tooth (someone takover, we need refrain) Toothless Man...Im a toothelss man
  5. Interview by Amanda Petrusich Ryan Adams' sprawling public persona is its own kind of self-aggravating prophecy: incessant public squabbling (see spats with Jack White, Jeff Tweedy, Paul Westerberg), shrill admonishments deposited in critics' voicemail boxes (then promptly leaked online), and increasingly unpredictable live shows have cast Adams as rock's newest, and oldest, firecracker. Subsequently, trying to decipher Adams' intentions is almost impossible; given the stylistic scope of his discography and the shiftiness of his recorded work, which ranges from haunted and sincere to absurdly bombastic, Adams is a bafflingly spastic public figure. In November, I wrote a review of Adams' latest full-length, Rock N Roll, calling the record "overblown," "humiliating," and "ridiculous." In January, Pitchfork's Hartley Goldstein deemed the Love Is Hell EPs "maudlin," christening Adams "diet Chris Martin." In early March, newswriters Micah Harding and Ashford Tucker reported on Adams' new label Paxamerican, suggesting that Adams has finally been "run ragged by utter failures." Last week, Adams' manager contacted me to request an interview on her client's behalf. I said okay. It turns out he talks really fast. Pitchfork: Ryan, I was a little surprised that you wanted to talk to me. Ryan: Me fucking too! I'll tell you how I came across Pitchfork. A friend of mine, a writer, came over, and we were having lunch. And he was like, "You know, I read this really funny review. You know this site?" And I was like, "No, is it cool?" And he was like, "No, it's not very cool. It's not very cool at all." And I was like, "Awesome." So I went and I read your review, and I read everything. And I was thinking, these guys fucking hate my guts! Some of the stuff was so mean that I was laughing out loud. Because it was just really super awesome. The kind of conversations I used to have in school. You know, "Did you getDaydream Nation?" "Yeah! John Cougar Mellencamp sucks!" Pitchfork: Are you comparing yourself to John Cougar Mellencamp? Ryan: No. But that would be funny, too. I don't know, it was pretty brutal. And I was like, maybe I should just call and then they'll know I'm a real human being. Pitchfork: It's not that we don't know that. I mean, Pitchfork is... Ryan: No, since I read the thing-- there are records on there that I didn't know were out, and it's a good resource. And I have an idea of what Pitchfork thinks. There's a vibe. It's very indie, it's totally supporting underground stuff which is good. It's just that some of it was so incredibly brutal that I thought: I have to talk to her. I mean, I'm not really even doing interviews now! Pitchfork: We have a lot of freedom to be honest. Sometimes obnoxiously honest. Ryan: By all means! I think that this is the venue to be obnoxious in. Rock records. It's the main source of inspiration for people-- fans, or musicians, or both-- to act out in ways that they wouldn't normally act out. Especially rock critics. Ultimately, records don't really hurt anybody, and neither do reviews. Pitchfork: But do you think it was unfair, what was said? Ryan: No. I mean, I'm pretty aware of the cool/uncool status thing, and that it bends a little bit, and changes shape. And I'm definitely in the market for being uncool. There was some funny stuff, like the thing about making sure I show people that I have tattoos and cigarettes so that they know I'm badass. But really, I do have tattoos! And I do smoke cigarettes sometimes, and I can't change that. But I am not badass, by any means. I do some stuff that's tongue-in-cheek, and some stuff that's on the line. And it could be funny, it could be serious, and I never even know myself, because it could be funny that day, and the next day it's totally embarrassing. Pitchfork: Yeah, but... Ryan: I know that it isn't the cool thing, if I was... I mean, I am super into records. Today I got the first Pussy Galore record for $50 from Final Vinyl, which I've been looking for for so fucking long. So I get cool records. But if I wasn't me, I probably wouldn't be like, "Dude, you have to check out this record, Gold, it kicks ass." But then again, if I write songs like that, I think I better put them on a record. I would be full of shit if I were to just do insane art-rock. That just wouldn't be me. Pitchfork: Yeah, but your records are still so different from each other. Is there any point where you say, this is what I sound like, and this is me just fucking around? Ryan: But that's the thing. Definitely there are times when I want to be plainspoken about my feelings in a song. But there are other times when it's really good to try and get my head around different kinds of song structures, or maybe I might get turned on by trying to write a song that would fit in this one scene in a movie. And by the end of all this, you just end up with a bunch of different ideas. And songs are really just ideas. Putting little ideas into motion and giving them a little bit of spit and polish and maybe a little bit of heart if you're lucky. But that's the good thing about playing the guitar: You can take on different kinds of music. I'm always doing something different from the last thing I did because I have the shortest attention span on earth. Pitchfork: Do you understand how that might be difficult for your fans, and for critics? Like, [Whiskeytown's] Stranger's Almanac or Heartbreaker-- those are sincere, graceful records. And they became meaningful to people. And then you gave those people something so different. Ryan: I don't know. I mean, I've had a pretty good run. When I play live shows, it seems like people are excited about the new stuff. I would imagine at this point that people are geared up to think, "I don't know what the fuck this guy is going to do." But then again, I don't know. When I played Rock N Roll, I was expecting people to not want to hear it at all. But it seemed like people were most eager about those songs. I don't really try to think about it. If I thought about what I had already done, with Heartbreaker and Whiskeytown being the foundation of a house, and I'm building the house, I'm building the roof. But that's scary because then you have to think, well, pretty soon I'm finished. The project is finished. And I like the idea of it just being records and songs, just voicing the most immediate thing that you're on about. That way it's fresh to me and fresh to other people. Heartbreaker was a certain place at a certain time, and I certainly couldn't emulate it now. And the same can be said for Whiskeytown, or Gold, or even Rock N Roll. I don't think I could make a record like that again. That's what felt really interesting to do at that moment. When I'm hearing songs back, I listen and want to know if it's making me excited, if it's something I want to listen to. Which isn't always good, but second-guessing is the worst thing, because that, ultimately, can really ruin a good idea. Most of my songs are pretty sketchy. There's not a lot of bass sections. I don't write big bridges. Sometimes I'll try. But it's hard for me to focus that way, because I always think it's more interesting to just see what will happen next. The process of making music is more interesting to me than the end result. If I was a cook, I'd be more interested in cooking food than eating food. Or in tennis, it's like tennis is really fun, and you can win the match. But that's it, and then you're done. I mean, I don't have anything else to do! Pitchfork: What are you doing now, since you've broken your arm? Ryan: I haven't really been able to do much of anything. Part of the problem is that they screwed these things into the bone of my arm, and then they took one and screwed it into the bone of my hand. And then they connected this metal rod on the outside of my arm, and it's tightened so it pulls the ligaments and muscles to a degree where they can't be moved. And then they shot, with, no shit, a compression gun-- they shot two bolts into my wrist to try to stabilize it. For the first week, I couldn't do anything. They gave me painkillers, but it was so overwhelming. I probably slept about two hours a night if I could. For the first month, there wasn't a lot I could do. Television noise would make me nauseous. It was just really brutal. Now, I get the metal out on Monday and I have to start a month and a half of physical therapy where I have to re-learn how to use my fingers and my wrist. Pitchfork: Do you ever think about not being able to play guitar again? Ryan: Every day since it happened. Actually, that was the only thing I really took offense to, or thought was unfair. That story about my record label. Micah and somebody else, saying I couldn't masturbate anymore. I just thought that was bad in general, even if you don't like my records. It was a terrible accident. You shouldn't play with karma like that. That was really terrible. itchfork: Alright, that was a little nasty. But I'm curious about the public persona of Ryan Adams, because there's an element to you, and I don't know if it's performance art, or just being ridiculous, or that you're perpetually getting caught on an off night. But bickering with other musicians, and storming off stage, and all that shit, just being silly-- do you think that might give writers a free pass to respond to you in a way that they feel is equally ridiculous? Ryan: Well, I haven't really stormed off stage in a long time. If anything, I don't leave the stage soon enough. I stay on too long. No shit, really-- if it's a really good show you get a good buzz on, and it's been two hours, you're like, "Fuck it, let's play the new stuff!" Then you think, uh, maybe we should stop now. But disagreeing with other people-- to me, that is a normal fucking thing to do at your job. I've had tons of other jobs, and I've always bitched about people. It's my job, it's my gig, and some shit could be wrong. But I'm never argumentative for the sake of being argumentative, I don't think. And more than ever, I've had to be willing to fight just to get records released, or just to be able to walk away with a little bit of self-respect and pride. Because this can be a pretty humiliating gig. It can be pretty bad. As good as it can be, I get to play music and tour and make records, but all these things come out of nowhere and take your original idea and steer it in wrong directions. And especially dealing with big corporations. Or being in a venue where you can't control the circumstances. And I know how it comes off, people go, "He is such a hothead, he is such an unbelievable dickhead, and oh my god!" Pitchfork: Well, there's that voicemail you left for Jim DeRogatis... Ryan: That was totally my fault, for giving it power. But I've been going to Chicago for a long time, and doing what I think are really good shows. And no matter how good or how mellow or how little I would sing or how engaging I was, I was always getting these really fucked up next-day-in-the-newspaper vibes from that guy. And I think that my point was-- and I stretched it too long, but it was my phone call to him, it wasn't my phone call to the world, and I think it was pretty classless to take that message and put it everywhere. Because he already had that chance. He wrote an article about me, without allowing any form of defense. I think I was trying to say that these are sold out shows. I'm not the cool thing, and I'm not going to be the cool thing for a really long time, and it isn't like I'm not the cool thing and I sell 3,000,000 records every time. I'm not the cool thing, and I barely sell 150,000 records, if that, ever. So I'm obviously working really hard to sustain myself. I'm actually a target to be dropped, because that's just not enough records for a big company. But as far as my live shows, I was like, you don't like it, you've been a couple of times, you don't like me, so why go the third or fourth time? Why not give that ticket to some kid that does like it? Pitchfork: I thought some of the things in DeRogatis' review were a little curious. He called "Do Miss America" misogynistic, but... Ryan: I think "Do Miss America" is retarded. I think it's really fucking funny and retarded. And I just don't understand anyone thinking it should be serious. The whole record, Rock N Roll, is funny as shit. I thought it could be a wild, fun knockoff to late-80s/early-90s alt-rock. I fucking love those records, and I love to play like that. And I was thinking, I need a record which isn't so fucking self-serious. Being a rock musician is already like ego-tripping hardcore. You're self-consumed, and you're always thinking. It's really easy to say, "I'm going to write a song about this situation, and when I'm done, everyone will care." To everybody else, that's ego-tripping. And I was tired of it. I thought it would be really nice to make a record that would be super-fun to play live-- a record that would be funny, with a little bit of heart. Obviously, I'm not confessing my sins, or revolutionizing modern rock. I'm not expecting that from myself. I don't really think I have the responsibility to make any landmark statement, I'm just trying to be myself. And fuck, that's hard enough. I get shit for being a hothead, or for being overzealous, or for being a bigmouth. But I'm not editing, I'm not being pretentious and saying, "I'll watch my mouth here, and then they'll think I'm cool." It's hard enough just to say, "This is what I'm like." But that isn't going to be interesting to any news forum. You know: Ryan Adams Gets Up and Says Something Nice! Ryan Adams Makes Cup of Ginger Tea! Billy Corgan Spends Afternoon Writing 'Thank You' Notes! Being a human being is lost. For 120 shows, the one that goes bad is the one that people will talk about. And I got good advice from people when I was first coming around-- that it was hard, don't hang on to it too much. It's a weird job, too, 'cause it's the kind where your feelings can really get super hurt. When I was a plumber, I didn't get shit from anybody if the toilet didn't work. We just went back and fixed it. Bullshit was already implied in that job. This is a different gig. Pitchfork: But like you said earlier, rock writing is really the exact same kind of exhibitionism. I mean, we're not cool. I'm not cool. I listen to the Grateful Dead. Ryan: I fucking love the Dead! Jesse Malin got me for a coupon for a Steal Your Face tattoo for my birthday. 'Cause, you know, I want to be badass. [Laughs] There are a lot of things expected and not expected. I mean, back in the day, Jim Morrison fucking going crazy in Florida and maybe or maybe not pulling his penis out, or attacking a police officer-- all this unbelievably decadent shit. That was news. Now it's "singer/songwriter can be slightly hotheaded." I'm not trying to hurt anybody. Pitchfork: And I wouldn't say we're trying to do that, either. Ryan: No, I don't think you are, either, and I'm really not coming at this from a defensive standpoint. I just wanted to put a human being on the other end of the phone. And I'm not saying anybody has to like my records. I don't know. But Micah, and who was the other guy? They need to be careful if they're ice-skating anytime soon. Karma. Karma! I mean, of course it should be open for people to talk about whether music is up to standard, or good. I really don't like Sting's new music very much, but he has a total right to make records. I wouldn't call him up and say, "You gotta stop making records, man, you suck!" I think it's fair to be open about it. I'm a fighter, too. It's not been easy. I've definitely gotten breaks that other people haven't gotten because I'm making records, but it's been as much of a fight as anybody. And trying to break into people's heads to put these fucking records out. There are a couple of records that still aren't out, from before and after Gold, that I think would have told a different story. It's not always easy. Pitchfork: Was it hard, then, to hear that Love is Hell was being shelved? Ryan: That was a weird time for me in general. There were a lot of things getting shifted around. And at the time, the record that I made was so totally different. Not just for me, but for everything that was going on. Which to me was good. [Pause] I was probably crushed, more that ever, but that was only because I really, really liked it. At the time, I was like, "I really fucking like this. This is something, it fits my mood, I've gone to new places." But good stuff happened out of it. I got to make another record on top of it, and get that one out. And fine, some people really don't like Rock N Roll, but it was fun as fuck. Pitchfork: You recorded that on Avenue A, near Hi-Fi? Ryan: Yeah, we would just go down there and write songs everyday. Just go down there and bash them out and have fun. If people think the ones on the record are stupid, they should hear those-- some of them don't even make any sense at all. But that's funny, it's good to come out of the fog and see what's good. Hey, did you get the Winterland DVD box set? Pitchfork: Not yet. Ryan: Aww, you gotta get it. It's so fucking good. It's that whole era, the first real introduction of the band. It's really slow, but it's pretty fucking amazing, and it's pretty long, and the audio is kickass. Pitchfork: Sometimes I stare at it in record stores. Ryan: You can get it from channel 13, through PBS. And all the money goes to keeping the station on the air. It's kind of expensive, but it's worth it. They also have this super badass Mister Rogers documentary. Pitchfork: I suppose I should do more shopping through PBS. Ryan: Yeah! Listen, I'm gonna go make some food now, but it was nice talking to you. Pitchfork: Right. I appreciate it. Ryan: Well, I figured, why not call these people? At first I was like, I'm throwing myself to the dogs! But you know...take care.
  6. Iron & Wine Our Endless Numbered Days (Sub Pop) Sam Beam sings with the voice of someone who's seen the downside of living and made peace with it. Over the 12 disarmingly simple songs that make up Our Endless Numbered Days, the Iron & Wine singer-songwriter quietly touches on death, love, and their relationship to each other, as if engaging in a casual back-porch conversation. Beam has a lovely lilting voice, a light instrumental touch, and a casual flair for drama. When he slows down to deliver a line like "Life strikes a deal with each coming night," he makes the observation hit with a wallop while barely breaking a whisper. In another life, Beam works as a screenwriting instructor at a downtown Miami college. In a rare comment on his work, he recently cited the switch from a four-track recorder to a computer as a turning point. But where half of his identity is tied up in 21st-century trappings, the other half looks to centuries past. Beam doesn't so much imitate American folk tradition as bend it to suit his particular voice. Like Will Oldham's early albums as Palace, Iron & Wine gives the impression that a musical species long thought extinct has instead found a way to adapt and thrive in some forgotten corner of the world, even if that world is limited to a bedroom in south Florida. Music out of time, Our Endless Numbered Days would fit as easily in a pre-modern pastoral as in the post-industrial idyll of a David Gordon Green film; it comes from a place that, however peaceful, hasn't forgotten the troubles of the world. When the lover of "Naked As We Came," one of the album's sweetest songs, sings to her beloved, it's to confirm a lifelong devotion while simultaneously making funeral arrangements. "Passing Afternoon" brings the album to a close and sums it up with images of ships sailing and hands remembering long-lost lovers, making life's slow fade to black sound as vital an experience as all that's come before. —Keith Phipps http://www.theonionavclub.com/music/
  7. Franz Ferdinand Franz Ferdinand (Domino) The problem of translating massive waves of British hype into American sales has long puzzled the U.K. rock machine. Once in a long while, a chart-topping, magazine-cover-dominating band will make a splash here, but most hit the rocky crags of American shores and sink. For every Coldplay, there's an Elbow, a South, a Gay Dad, a Cast, and a Kula Shaker wondering how such a deafening roar of approval could be so dim just an ocean away. Prepare, gentlemen of Franz Ferdinand, Scotland's newest rock-journal omnipresence, for a potentially lukewarm hello. A New Musical Express cover star well before the release of its full-length debut, the band (named after the assassinated Archduke whose death began WWI) met celebrity almost at birth. "Darts Of Pleasure," Franz Ferdinand's first single, sparked the fuss, and rightly so: The slinky, charging pop song recalls Interpol and The Wedding Present in equal measure, almost perfectly distilling 20 years of indie-rock. It serves admirably as the centerpiece for Franz Ferdinand, the group's debut album, and what circles in close proximity does a fine job of nearly catching up. The album-opening "Jacqueline" teases with an acoustic introduction before pedaling up to the disc's near-constant pace of martial beats and snaky, disco-indebted bass lines; hip-shaking is clearly the goal of both "Auf Achse" and "Come On Home," which rides on an undercarriage similar to Blondie's "Heart Of Glass." Occasionally, Franz Ferdinand slips into a different mode, such as the Pulp-y "The Dark Of The Matinee" and the uncharacteristically sunny "Tell Her Tonight," but the album is largely content to hover around the one note it plays so well. Though not likely to make more than a ripple in the big pool, Franz Ferdinand still provides an admirable diversion. —Josh Modell http://www.theonionavclub.com/music/
  8. Bonnie "Prince" Billy Bonnie "Prince" Billy Sings Greatest Palace Music (Drag City) It probably shouldn't count against Will Oldham that his two best records to date contain many of the same songs. Back in 1997, when his tangled Palace discography made pursuing his work difficult and often unrewarding, Oldham collected scattered singles and alternate takes on Lost Blues & Other Songs, and made a case for his raw, haunted folk-rock. Now, having settled into his new persona as Bonnie "Prince" Billy for three consecutive albums (the last two of which have been superb), Oldham revisits and reinvents his most popular Palace material on Bonnie "Prince" Billy Sings Greatest Palace Music. The difference is striking. After his experience recording last year's Master And Everyone in Nashville—where Oldham was amazed at how easy it was to order up a top-flight fiddle player in the middle of the night—the singer-songwriter decided to give his back catalog a countrypolitan polish. The MVP of Greatest Palace Music is Hargus "Pig" Robbins, an industry veteran who's played on hit records for everyone from George Jones to Travis Tritt. Oldham's revamped "Gulf Shores" reveals the influence of Robbins, who plunks gently between the lines of the Palace classic, distantly answering Oldham's lyrics about defiantly and somewhat forlornly wasting away on the beach. The other 14 Greatest Palace Music tracks incorporate approaches ranging from typically dirgey to atypically swinging, like the teary honky-tonk version of "Ohio River Boat Song" and the jaunty run through "I Send My Love To You," both of which replace the originals' rough, homemade quality with lushness. Longtime fans may be appalled, but the best of Oldham's songs—like the mournful, gospel-tinged "Agnes, Queen Of Sorrow"—have always felt like country-rock standards in the making, lacking only a nimble steel-guitar line or a soulful backup vocal to push them up. —Noel Murray http://www.theonionavclub.com/music/
  9. Murs Murs 3:16 — The 9th Edition (Definitive Jux) Like most people who listened to Little Brother's The Listening, Murs fell in love with the lush, buttery beats and timeless sound of producer 9th Wonder. Unlike most 9th Wonder fans, Murs is a vivid storyteller, witty lyricist, acute chronicler of sexual and racial politics, nimble rapper, and member in good standing of two of underground rap's most respected crews: West Coast supergroup Living Legends and El-P's mighty Definitive Jux label. Intent on graduating from fan to collaborator, Murs secured 9th Wonder to produce an entire album, Murs 3:16 — The 9th Edition. Seldom has the gospel sounded this good. The antithesis of El-P's assaultive, dystopian soundscapes, 9th Wonder's beats are as soothing as a glass of warm Ovaltine, but Murs' sometimes prickly persona gives their collaboration a bracing friction. On "And This Is For...," Murs mounts a well-reasoned and literate attack on white co-option of hip-hop, biting the white hands that pick up his CDs and reminding Caucasian 2Pac fans that "we ain't the same color when the police show up." Yet, on "The Pain," he laments, "I'm more Coldplay than I am Ice-T," which feels like a bone thrown to the white collegiate audience that makes up a huge percentage of his, Def Jux's, and Little Brother's fan base. A self-professed "Californicator" and "street narrator," Murs gets in touch with his inner Too $hort on "Freak These Tales," where he boasts about sexual conquests that, contrary to what he says in "The Pain," owe more to Ice-T than the pale, sickly looking young men in Coldplay. Like Murs' excellent debut, Murs 3:16 brings to life a milieu where gang violence has permeated the fabric of everyday existence. Though "H-U-S-T-L-E" is decidedly law-abiding, crime plays a central role in the album's two most compelling narratives, the noir-hued "Walk Like A Man" and the darkly funny "Trevor An' Them," where a chance reunion between Murs and a dim-witted acquaintance takes an absurd turn. It's a testament to hip-hop's liberating ability to transcend geography that a Californian, a brilliant young producer from North Carolina, and a New York-based independent label have united for an album that says more in 35 fat-free minutes than most rappers will ever say. —Nathan Rabin http://www.theonionavclub.com/music/
  10. George McGovern was the Democratic nominee in 1972, who ran against Richard Nixon at the height of the Viet Nam War. In some ways, he garnered the same kind of idealistic supporters that Dean had at the beginning of his campaign. Like today, the country was divided over the war. Had Watergate been revealed a little earlier, Nixon would have been toast. McGovern lost in a landslide, despite his principled and moralistic call to America. Look up his acceptance speech on being chosen as the candidate called "Come Home America." And a tip of the hat to you from the Cactus man on the compliment..
  11. Music Box Pop, jazz, and classical. Going Their Own Way Why is Fleetwood Mac the least influential great band ever? By Douglas Wolk Posted Friday, March 19, 2004, at 2:48 PM PT Chemistry that can't be copied Has there ever been a less-influential great band than Fleetwood Mac? The three albums they've just reissued in expanded form made them international stars in the 1970s and 1980s.Rumours (Warner Bros., 1977) is one of the best-selling records ever, recently certified at 19 million copies and counting in the United States; Fleetwood Mac(Reprise, 1975) and Tusk (Warner Bros., 1979) went multiplatinum, too. "Landslide," "Never Going Back Again," and "Dreams" have been radio staples for decades. And yet almost nobody has tried ripping off Fleetwood Mac's basic sound and style—even unsuccessfully. Dozens of hit records have been derived from Led Zeppelin and Shania Twain and Michael Jackson; the only Fleetwood Mac pastiche that comes to mind is the Magnetic Fields' 1999 joke "No One Will Ever Love You." Bonnie Tyler and Courtney Love have tried to evoke the white-winged-dove essence of singer Stevie Nicks—but Stevie Nicks is not the same thing as Fleetwood Mac. And that's part of the problem in trying to imitate them. In the late-'70s period documented by these reissues, the band had three front-people—Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, and Christine McVie—who individually wrote and sang major hits, an almost impossible feat. (The only other group to have done anything like this in the past 20 years was the Traveling Wilburys—more an all-star joke than a real group.) What really made these three albums tick, though—and made their sound basically irreproducible—was that late-'70s Fleetwood Mac was an improbable balancing act, powered by internal conflicts and bizarre chemistry. I don't mean the infamous intraband heartbreak (Christine and bassist John McVie, Nicks and Buckingham, and drummer Mick Fleetwood and his wife all split up before Rumours) or their massive drug intake, but their griffin-like hybrid of pop traditions. A California-to-the-core studio obsessive with a permanent case of the jitters (Buckingham), a dreamy mystical type with a gift for ornate, languorous melodies (Nicks), and a veteran British rhythm section with roots in raw electric blues (Fleetwood and the McVies): Try faking that combination. Continue Article The group had struggled for years to find the right lineup. It's easy to forget that Fleetwood Mac's self-titled 1975 album, the one with "Rhiannon" and "Say You Love Me," wasn't their first—it was their 11th. They'd started out as a straight-up British blues-revival band, a sort of cut-rate Cream. (The band's first single, back in 1967, was "I Believe My Time Ain't Long," a verbatim rip-off of Elmore James' "Dust My Broom.") Over the next eight years, they drifted into psychedelia, had a huge U.K. hit with an instrumental called "Albatross," lost their first three singer-guitarists to burnout, madness, and a cult, gained singer-keyboardist Christine Perfect (subsequently McVie), and burned through a few more frontmen. Finally, they hooked up with the American duo Buckingham Nicks—Lindsey and Stevie, who'd previously made a flop LP together—for their lush, mellow commercial breakthrough. Its reviewers called it "impressively smooth" (Rolling Stone) and "this year's easy listening classic" (Village Voice). As these reissues point out, though, Fleetwood Mac stayed closer to their blues origins than they let on. The only constant members of the band were Fleetwood and John McVie, who never stopped trying to play Chicago blues, no matter what the rest of the band was doing. ("Don't Stop" is nobody's idea of a blues song, but the Rumours reissue's demo makes it clear that the rhythm section was pretty much treating it as "Dust My Broom," Part 18.) Singer-keyboardist Christine McVie's first hit, with her previous band Chicken Shack in 1969, was a cover of Etta James' "I'd Rather Go Blind," and blues conventions turn up in her songs again and again, dressed in beachwear. Listen closely to the opening of "You Make Loving Fun": The beginning of McVie's first line—"Sweet wonderful you"—turns a poppy minor chord into a much bluesier minor seventh chord. (Imagine her singing "sweet" a note higher, and you'll hear the difference.) Her lyrics pull off similar tricks, like the first line of "Say You Love Me": "Have mercy, baby, on a poor girl like me." None of which is immediately evident from these warm, breezy, minutely detailed albums: The surfaces of all of them are ear candy in the California pop tradition. ("Don't Stop" is right up there with OutKast's "Hey Ya!" and Sly and the Family Stone's "Thank You [Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin]" in the pantheon of desperately unhappy feel-good anthems.) And much of the songs' attractiveness comes from another irreproducible effect, the combination of three peculiar singing voices. "Farmer's Daughter," a cover of a Beach Boys obscurity that's one of the bonus tracks on Tusk, strips the harmonies almost bare; you can hear the eccentricities of the voices—Nicks' incantatory bleat, Buckingham's uptight tremble, McVie's plummy enunciation—and how unlikely it was that they sounded so creamy together. The Rumours and Tusk reissues have an extra disc apiece of rough versions and outtakes, and Fleetwood Mac now includes a pointless 1975 jam and four single mixes. But what's most striking about the bonus material is how little it adds to our understanding of these three immaculately buffed albums. It mostly reinforces the myth that Fleetwood Mac knew exactly what they were doing in the studio from the get-go and were primarily concerned with getting the sound of every instrument exactly right (even if that meant, in a few cases on Tusk, putting the drums away and whacking a cardboard box instead). That's not entirely true. Bootleggers have circulated some Nicks demos that sound very different from what they became, but they're not here. We do finally get to hear a fragment of "Butter Cookie (Keep Me There)," a Christine McVie throwaway that allegedly evolved into the entirely different song "The Chain." Frustratingly, we don't get to hear how that happened. The new version of Rumours also indulges in a bit of Let It Be ... Naked-style historical revisionism: Stevie's lacerating kiss-off to Lindsey, "Silver Springs" (famously omitted from the final sequence and exiled to the B-side of Lindsey's own kiss-off to Stevie, "Go Your Own Way"), blithely shows up in the middle of the album as if it'd always been there. Of the three albums, the one that's aged best is Tusk, which was originally considered a catastrophic stiff (it only went quadruple platinum). At once more sprawling and more intimate thanFleetwood Mac and Rumours, it retains a certain mystery that its precursors have lost to overexposure—partly because the band was trying so hard not to repeat itself (Buckingham's stabs at new wave miss the mark but anticipate the lo-fi movement of the '90s); partly because it's counterintuitive from its smallest details (Fleetwood's drum crescendo at the end of "Over and Over") to its overall sequence. Tusk is the only extant proof that it's possible to go into a recording studio for two years with millions of dollars and a mountain of drugs and emerge with something subtle. If anyone tried to follow Fleetwood Mac's example there, it's not surprising that they failed. Douglas Wolk writes about graphic novels for Publishers Weekly. Audio clips from Fleetwood Mac © Reprise; audio clips from Rumours and Tusk © Warner Bros. Photograph of Fleetwood Mac by Ho/Reuters.
  12. Microsoft looks to unite PC, Xbox games By David Becker Staff Writer, CNET News.com March 24, 2004 SAN JOSE, Calif.--Microsoft announced a new set of development standards and tools Wednesday intended to cover both PC games and titles for the company's Xbox console. Speaking at the Game Developers Conference here, Microsoft executives said the new XNA platform would make it easier for game developers to handle the technical aspects of creating games and would allow them to begin working now with the tools they'll use for next-generation titles. XNA tools will help in the creation of games for the current Windows XP operating system for PCs and the current Xbox, said Vice President J. Allard, and will be extended in the next version of the Xbox and Longhorn, the successor to Windows XP. "As a developer, you can just depend on a stable and robust environment--and not just stable for this generation," Allard said. "Are we going to sit and wait for hardware to decide when the next generation of gaming begins?" Allard continued. "I say no. I say the next generation begins today." Robbie Bach, senior vice president in Microsoft's Xbox division, said in an interview that XNA will create a stable architecture so that game developers and middleware partners can develop better tools for creating games. "What XNA is about is ensuring developers have the same set of tools to work with," he said. "It's giving people a lot more efficiency and effectiveness so they can focus on the creative aspects of making games." XNA will allow developers to easily reuse code and tools between PC and Xbox titles, speeding the creation of games for both systems, Allard said. Many games such as sports titles and shoot-'em-up games are released for both consoles and PCs, but porting between the two is usually a time-consuming and costly process. Microsoft began simplifying the process with the Xbox, which uses common PC components and the DirectX graphics library developed for PC games, but XNA will accelerate the process, Bach said. "Why was it so easy to get people to create Xbox games? Because they knew DirectX," he said. "This is just an extension of that same strategy." P.J. McNealy, an analyst at American Technology Research, said any attempt to unite PC and console game development is likely to be troublesome, as the two systems have different business models and price norms. "If you're really going to merge PC games and console games, there's going to have to be a change in business strategy," he said. PC-Xbox portability also will mean more connections between Xbox Live, the online gaming service for the console, and PCs. Back-end Xbox Live services such as billing and authentication could easily be extended to PC games, Bach said. But actually having an online game include PCs and consoles is another matter. "We'll be looking at which direction we want to go based on the feedback we get from people," he said. While Bach and Allard promoted XNA as a way for developers to begin learning the tools they'll use to create games for the next Xbox, they offered no details on what that machine will be like, despite continuing speculation from game developers and fans. John Schappert, general manager of Canadian development studios for leading game publisher Electronic Arts, said in a presentation at the conference that EA has about 100 people working on code for upcoming consoles, even though clues are still scant about what those machines will contain. He told developers to be patient as they wait for details on the new machines. "You'll know when you need to know," he said. "These folks (console makers) are our partners...and it's in their best interest to get you the development kits as soon as possible. They're not purposely trying to keep you in the dark." Schappert also warned not to pour too much money into new systems at the expense of current consoles, noting Sony's ongoing sales for the original PlayStation. "PlayStation 2 and Xbox won't disappear the day the next generation arrives," he said. "Current consoles will be relevant until at least 2007...You want to make sure you're ready for the transition, but you don't want to miss where the gravy train is today." http://news.com.com/2100-1043_3-5178848.html?tag=nefd_top
  13. There's something sick about shooting someone in a wheelchair, but I love the sound efx of this video game! Line 'em up, MikeH: Shoot the Sheik!!! http://home.hccnet.nl/v.kleijnendorst/ :duck hunt: :shootin: :duck hunt: :shootin: :duck hunt: :shootin: :duck hunt: :shootin:
  14. ARENDAL, NORWAY: Armed «Ninja» robbed gas station/Ninja» robber wanted tip-off money A gas station in downtown Arendal was robbed around 5 a.m. Tuesday by a person dressed as a Japanese ninja, armed with a sword and a knife. He took off on a bike. This information was provided to the local paper Agderposten by an eye witness, who also stated that the robber was carrying both a sword and a knife. «I was going down there to buy cigarettes, when I saw a man run into the gas station,» the eye witness explained to the paper. «He was wearing something that looked like a ninja hood, carrying a knife, and he had a sword sticking up from the back of his pants.» David Stamnes at the Agder police district confirmed that that robber was wearing some sort of mask, armed with a knife, and had something unidentified sticking up from the back of his pants. «The robber was allegedly of foreign decent, and he threatened the clerk and got a hold of a couple of bills,» Stamnes said. There was one person on duty at the gas station when the robber occurred around 5 am. Norwegian news bureau (NTB) http://pub.tv2.no/nettavisen/english/article204005.ece
  15. My first vote, too. Voted for McGovern, who I still consider myself to the left of
  16. MARCH 24--One of the bikini-clad models who starred in those Miller Lite "Catfight Girls" commercials claims she was duped by the producers of a "Backyard Wrestling Babes" video. You see, Kitana Baker (real name: Christi Josenhans) expected the wrestling video to be done in a "high-class manner." Amazingly, this was not the case, according to the below complaint filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court. Baker, who had agreed to perform a sexy striptease in the video, claims she was tricked into signing a release and that the company is now improperly using her likeness in videogames and other products. That likeness, by the way, was named Playboy's 2003 Lingerie Model of the Year. Baker is seeking millions in damages. Read the court doc here at The Smoking Gun: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0324041backyard1.html
  17. Here's a followup article from the NY Times: NEWS ANALYSIS Paring Away at Microsoft By STEVE LOHR Published: March 25, 2004 NewsAnalysis The European Commission issued an antitrust ruling against Microsoftyesterday that is intended to force the company to change its fundamental business strategy of bundling new products into its Windows operating system, which runs more than 90 percent of all personal computers. The ruling imposed a $603 million fine. It also required Microsoft to offer a version of Windows without its Media Player and divulge technical information to competitors so that they can create software for business servers that would work well with Windows. The impact on the future of the global software industry may well be greater than on the company's immediate business prospects. The fine is pocket change for Microsoft, which has more than $50 billion in cash in its corporate coffers. The sanctions, according to industry analysts, are not likely to have any significant near-term effect on the computer industry or the market for software that plays music and videos sent over the Internet. And Microsoft executives declared that there would be no changes in their product plans or business practices as a result of the European decision. But the ruling could set profound new ground rules for Microsoft in Europe, and perhaps in other markets around the world, as well. If upheld on appeal, it would leave Microsoft with a regulator in Europe standing over its shoulder, scrutinizing what it puts into future generations of Windows and what it leaves out. The antitrust settlement the company reached with the Bush administration in 2001, by comparison, merely gives personal computer manufacturers the ability to place rival software on the Windows desktop, but does not require that Microsoft's bundled software features be removed from Windows. On its own, the European ruling might be seen largely as a nuisance to Microsoft. Yet it comes as other forces are also weakening Microsoft's grip on desktop computers. Beyond the moves to open the Windows desktop to rivals, Microsoft faces growing competition from Linux, an operating system that is distributed free. Even more important, Microsoft's dominance is threatened by a shift in computing from the personal computer to technologies like Internet-connected cellphones and Internet-based services offered by Google and similar companies. "The significance of Europe is not the decision itself, but it adds to the other pressures on Microsoft," said David Yoffie, a professor at the Harvard Business School. Those pressures may be having some effect. There are signs that Microsoft has altered its practices since the settlement with the Bush administration — and the European ruling could provide a further prod. Industry analysts note that work on the company's next generation of Windows, expected in 2006 or 2007, emphasizes programming code as building blocks, or modules, that can be removed and snapped into the larger program. This approach may be paving the way for the day when Microsoft shifts away from its bundling approach. Skeptics, however, say that Microsoft may be adopting this approach simply because it needs to be able to locate and combat security flaws in Windows more easily. Other analysts say that the Microsoft division responsible for MSN Web sites — and not the Windows division — is working to develop a Web search service to compete with Google. To be sure, Microsoft could eventually decide to fold its search software into Windows, as it has with other products in the past. Critics and competitors contend that the company, having long used the bundling strategy to protect and extend its Windows monopoly into other software products, will not significantly change its approach. "How do you really deter Microsoft from pursuing this bundling strategy when they have bet the company on it?" asked Andrew I. Gavil, an antitrust expert at the Howard University law school in Washington. Timothy F. Bresnahan, a professor at Stanford University who was chief economist for the Justice Department's antitrust division during the Clinton administration, said, "Microsoft sees a new product and says, `We were about to invent that, too,' comes up with its version and bundles the software into Windows." The result, he added, is that "the early leader in some promising new technology is bundled out of the market." "It's an innovation tax that is a problem for society," Mr. Bresnahan said. **** Bundling was at the center of the federal antitrust suit in the United States, filed in 1998 by the Clinton administration. Microsoft lost the case, but a federal appeals court said the charge that the company engaged in anticompetitive tying should be reconsidered. The Bush administration decided not to revisit the tying claim and settled with Microsoft in 2001. Advertisement Microsoft contends that putting new things into Windows is good for consumers, even if it is bad for some competitors. It was over the bundling issue that settlement talks with the European Commission broke down in Brussels last week. For Microsoft, the immovable line in the sand is still its right to add whatever it wants to its dominant product, Windows. "We believe that every company should have the ability to improve its products in the interests of consumers," Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive, said yesterday in a conference call with reporters. "We are protecting the fundamental principle of innovation." Microsoft executives say that after the bundling issue was taken off the table in the United States, its competitors sought a more sympathetic audience in Europe. "This was the core issue during several years of judicial review in the United States," Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, said in an interview. "The irony is that in Europe the claimants were the very same American companies that had their day in court in the United States." The European Commission has ordered Microsoft to offer a version of Windows stripped of its Media Player within 90 days. And it has told the company that within 120 days it must share more technical information with software competitors in the market for server computers, which run corporate networks. Microsoft said it would seek a temporary halt to both sanctions, while its appeal makes its way through the European courts, a process that is expected to take years. Microsoft's leading competitor in media-playing software is RealNetworks, the early front-runner, whose market share has declined sharply since Microsoft began bundling Windows Media Player into its operating system. "This would be a step in the right direction, helping to open up the industry further for competition and innovation," said Rob Glaser, chief executive of RealNetworks. But even Mr. Glaser has modest expectations for the immediate impact of the European ruling. Instead, he pointed to the long-run importance of challenging Microsoft's bundling strategy. "If the Windows operating system is seen as completely mutable — something that anything can be put in — that doesn't mean there won't be innovation in PC software, but it does tend to inhibit it," Mr. Glaser said. Under the ruling from Brussels, the pared-down Windows without the Media Player applies only to European markets and does not have to be sold for less than Windows with the Media Player. "If there's no price difference, there will be no impact on PC makers' choices," said David M. Smith, an analyst at Gartner Inc. The ruling's demand that Microsoft share more technical information with competitors in the server market, like Sun Microsystems, I.B.M. and others, is intended to ensure that Microsoft does not unfairly extend its monopoly beyond the desktop to the server market. The United States settlement also required that Microsoft share some technical information, but the European order requires that more information be shared. Microsoft contends that the European order amounts to an unwarranted and sweeping grab of its intellectual property rights. It also says the unbundling ruling, if imposed, is an assault on its valuable Windows trademark. "It will be a derivative product that the European Commission is designing," Mr. Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, said. "It will cause confusion to consumers, and whatever it is, it's not Windows." http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/25/technology/25IMPA.html?hp
  18. He held the line against the censor folks and religious nuts
  19. Valenti to retire from Motion Picture Assoc. LAS VEGAS, March 23 (Reuters) - One of Hollywood's most powerful men said goodbye to the silver screen on Tuesday after an almost 38-year-long career in which he never acted, directed, produced or wrote for the screen. Hollywood's chief lobbyist Jack Valenti, the chief executive of the Motion Picture Association of America, announced he will retire from the powerful industry group in a few months, confirming speculation he would step down. "This is the time for me to depart as CEO. I feel that in my gut," Valenti told reporters at the movie theater industry's ShoWest trade gathering. Valenti, 83, and a former aide to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, has run the MPAA for nearly 38 years and is one of Washington's most powerful lobbyists on entertainment and media issues. The MPAA is the lobby group for Hollywood's film and television studios. Valenti said the group has hired a search firm to find a replacement, and added he was "hopeful to have somebody in place in the next two or three months." Valenti said he planned to "stay connected" to the film industry after his retirement, but did not elaborate. "I must say I look at this with mixed emotions. When you've done something for so long, it's very difficult to tear yourself away from it," Valenti said. John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners which represents movie exhibitors in Washington, called it a "sad day" for his group because Valenti had been a strong champion for the industry over many years. "If I didn't know he was very serious ... I would try to use all my lobbying skills to get him to stay," Fithian said. Over the years, Valenti has been a strong advocate of the movie ratings system and a defender of free speech rights. In recent years, he has spearheaded the film industry's battle against illegally copying movies in theaters, at home and on the Internet and re-selling the copies in black markets. PIRACY AND SCREENERS Valenti has often called digital piracy the film industry's newest and biggest threat as it could reduce ticket sales in the future and wipe the film industry off the map. Only one day earlier, he unveiled a plan to show anti-piracy trailers in theaters overseas and follow them up with an educational program in schools much like the industry is doing in the United States. The MPAA chief suffered one of the few major setbacks of his long career in 2003 when Hollywood's major studios tried to institute a ban on sending out "screeners" -- videotapes and DVDs of movies competing for awards during Oscars season. Small, independent companies claimed the ban was an unfair trade practice. A New York judge agreed and lifted it. "If I had it to do all over again, I probably would have shaped and formed (the ban) differently," he said. Valenti added that this year, the MPAA will take no role in any sort of ban proposal and the sending out of screeners would be decided by each, individual studio. A Texas native, Valenti ran an advertising agency in Houston before heading to Washington to work for Lyndon B. Johnson, then majority leader of the U.S. Senate. Valenti worked as a press attache in the administrations of both Kennedy and Johnson. In November 1963, when Kennedy was assassinated, Valenti stood next to Johnson as he was sworn in as president on the plane carrying Kennedy's coffin. Valenti continued as a special assistant to Johnson. He was hired to lead the MPAA in 1966. (Reporting Bob Tourtellotte, writing by Peter Henderson, editing by Michael Miller; email: [email protected]; +1-213-955-6754)) http://channels.netscape.com/ns/news/story...0&w=RTR&coview=
  20. My dad recently read a Ken Kesey book and asked me to get him an album which had rip-roaring guitars...I recommended this and he dug it..
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