Monday, October 28, 2013
Like rock’n’roll, Lou has died countless times already, though I don’t want to get into the negatives here. But neither do I want to write a “tribute.” By the time they built that Clown Factory in Cleveland, rock’n’roll had been buried too deep for anyone to ever pretend to know it, but it does persist like an annoying friend (the kind where you don’t need enemies). I guess it died just about the first time anyone decided that they had this burning urge to write about it, and seeing how there’s not even room in the coffin for another nail, I’m just going to kind of blow my nose over my record collection here.
Now, in the last six years I’ve moved five times, and each time I’ve left a lot of shit behind, including my record collection, except for a handful. I’ve picked up a few at yard sales here and there, but since records are back “in” now it’s too expensive to go out and buy back what I once owned. So here in this small hotel room I’m living in now I’ve got—I just counted them—60 odd records (some odder than others: Dory Previn! The Rockin’ R’s?) I just went through them to see which Lou Reed records I have, and the grand total is two! Most shockingly in absence is my all time favorite, STREET HASSLE (1978) – where is it? There is NO WAY I don’t have that record! Yet, it’s not here. I have been robbed! Just that cover, one of the best album covers ever (what the hell is that red ball?) A great, weird record. It sounds like no other. Oh well, I can’t take it to my grave (maybe Lou did).
Now, this is going to make me really UNPOPULAR but I don’t give a rat’s ass about the Velvet Underground. Sure, I like them, but then I like the ARCHIES, too, but Lou Reed’s second career, as “Lou Reed” is where it really connects for me. And I take that back, Street Hassle isn’t my favorite record, that would be METAL MACHINE MUSIC (1975) which contrary to what people seem to think IS music and you CAN listen to it. It’s not a fuck you to the record company or the fans, it’s a LOVE LETTER. I, however, gave my copy to Jeff Curtis, because he has a radio show and has actually played it on his radio show. In fact, a great tribute to Lou Reed would be to play the entire four sides on the radio (maybe toward the end of the show, then, barricade yourself in all night while the final lock groove goes on and on and on—just an idea). Sadly, I’m also missing LOU REED (1972) with the druggie art cover, I really love that album, but my copy was trashed, and every copy you find looks like someone threw up on it after OD-ing. I also don’t have TRANSFORMER (1972), which is sad because I LOVE that record, but what’s even sadder is that about half the songs have been used in commercials for heinous products and corporations (who I guess didn’t listen to the lyrics?) because it’s about the catchiest set of jingles you’re ever going to hear. I also don’t have SALLY CAN’T DANCE (1974) and CONEY ISLAND BABY (1975) both of which I really love, and shouldn’t have too hard a time picking up somewhere since no one seems to like them. Some of his records after 1978 I enjoyed at the time but don’t really care to listen to anymore.
What do I have, then? Two records I managed to save because they’re like two books of the Holy Bible to me. LOU REED LIVE: TAKE NO PRISONERS (1978) has a way too long title, a hideous cover (though a ballsack is prominently featured) and it’s LIVE. The live rock record is really one of the most dismal mistakes in rock’s portfolio of bad ideas, but THIS record! It’s the one live record you should listen to, and well, just one of my favorite records to put on when I’m in a Scotch and cigarettes kind of mood (but without the Scotch and cigarettes). It’s a double record, folds out, and the inside is a hilarious giant photo of Lou with a cigarette, obviously taken at the same time as the Street Hassle cover (there’s that red ball again), his aviator sunglasses look like they’re covered with perm grease. It’s somewhere between a comedy record, a lounge act, and “live rock” as well as it can be played. It starts out with a pretty formidable version of “Sweet Jane” which he almost immediately interrupts to go into really funny stream-of-consciousness improvisations and complaining: “I never said I was tasteful. I’m not tasteful.” During an extended version of “Walk On The Wild Side” he sets out to tell the story of the origin of the song but keeps interrupting himself, talking about critics, particularly Christgau: “Can you imagine working for a fucking year and you get a B+ from some asshole in the Village Voice?” But also other people like Warhol superstars and celebrities like Norman Mailer: “I met Mailer at a party, he tries to punch you in the stomach to see how tough you are… he’s pathetic… ‘Come on man…’ What? You’ve got to be kidding? Somebody step on him, man. Go write a bible.” Because of the Stereo Binaural Sound recording process, this is a weird listening experience, especially with headphones (not only can you hear Lou brutally addressing members of the audience, you can hear individual members of the audience). “I sing when you shut up.” Causing feedback: “Isn’t that annoying? I can drown you out. Leave if you don’t like it.” But it’s actually all very loving, believe it or not, he loves this audience, and what he’s doing, that’s the sense I get.
I lied when I said those other records were my favorite all-time Lou Reed records because my favorite actually is the other one I have, BERLIN, which is from 1973, the year I believe is the pinnacle of American culture (that’s right, it’s been downhill for the last 40 years). I suppose I’ve listened to this record more than all of his others combined, so I don’t put it on that much anymore—but I still do once in awhile when I need something to cheer me up. People often say it’s depressing, meaning the music, the lyrics, the content, but I don’t understand that, really… I mean, isn’t a lot of art about sad subjects? The songs are all very beautiful, all of them on this record, and I find that uplifting. I think people constantly confuse depressing with sad. I find bad art depressing, maybe, but mostly I try to ignore it. What I love about this record is that it’s so over the top, it’s extreme, melodramatic, emotional. I love to think about these people in the studio, how they must have felt recording it. I hope they felt like they were doing something great. I don’t mean to criticize people who find this record too sad to listen to, I guess, I mean the story it contains IS pretty heartbreaking! But I take it as a story, that’s all. Maybe it’s the ultimate compliment, ironically, if you’re making sad art, when it’s too sad for people to even want to experience. By the way, I sure have quoted Lou Reed a lot over the years, to the extent where it’s like his lyrics have become part of my personality. I think my favorite one of all comes from the last song on this record: “Just goes to show how wrong you can be.”
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Friday, October 4, 2013
Monday, September 30, 2013
Never mind the typo in the headline. That's a subject for a different post. I was curious about the content-to-"crap" ratio. Here's a miniaturized screen capture of the page that I got. I used Photoshop and hid the actual content (it's covered in red). In other words, the red area represents the information that people actually want to see when they arrive.
The content occupies about 5.2% of the page. The remaining 94.8% consists of ads, links to other pages, links to social crap, a Bing search, a Twitter box, unhidable comments, navigation tools, and who knows what else.
The text "facebook" is used 109 times in the raw source document. The text "twitter" is used 122 times.
If you actually read the article, you find that it's just an article and video duplicated from another site -- an excellent example of how a content farm works. This sort of thing probably represents the future of the Web, and it will only get worse. You can avoid some of the garbage by using an ad blocker, but it doesn't hide the fact that this web page is 95% worthless. In fact, it's 100% worthless when you consider the fact that you can find the exact same content elsewhere.
The page where they got the content from is also obnoxious, but not nearly as bad as HuffPo. When you use an ad blocker, it actually looks pretty good.
DLN: What's with all these forwards?
THE MOSS PROBLEM: Really? Get bent, fucker.
DLN: Why are you such a retard? I just asked what you were up to and you act like an ass.
This is why I had to cut off the phone biz. I know part of you can't help it and I feel terrible for the part that can, but sometimes like now I can't tell the difference and I just don't feel like getting treated like dirt for no reason.
If you're well then you're a jerk. If you're not then I'm sorry and I look forward to talking when you've cycled out and into a better state.
TMP: I'm not allowed to call you. I'm not allowed to write to you. Only certain DLN-related topics are discussable.
Sending you an article fucks up your life about as much as seeing my name on your call i.d. screws up your life. Your intolerance is staggering, your egotism outrageous. I love you and all and I always will and I am as flawed as they come and you ARE brilliant and all that but no one calls shots in my life lording whatever over me except my future wife and you are definitely not her. I realize you don't need me, I don't need you, but you're a cool guy and I won't play the abused stepchild ever.
DLN: Get bent, fucker? That's what you say to me when I ask what's going on? And now this? What an overreach. Phone is out for obvious reasons though it doesn't make me happy. E-mail is always fine except when you start this kind of crap. Topics are all on the table; where do you get that we can only talk about me? Because you refuse to talk about yourself? I'm not intolerant, I suppose, unless endless phone calls and being abused in e-mail and not liking it is a sign of intolerance.
This is all a two-way street. Ponder both sides, please.
TMP: I'm sorry. You're right. "Get bent, fucker," was the extremely worst thing to say. I will regroup, stop spamming you, and try to be human. I suck sometimes.
DLN: Thanks, same here, not trying to pick a fight, I just get it from all angles and it's hard to know when to defend and when to absorb or ignore.
SRM: I accept yer apology...That's the first time I've ever witnessed you flipping-the-fuck-out...Wasn't pleasant. Especially since I seemed to be the one, to have spawned yer Beast. I kept reminding myself that you bark and not bite...I wanted badly to serve you a Karate Chop. But, that probably could have made you imagine that I was a Praying Mantis-style Kung Fu Instructor, at the Fairfield YMCA....and then yer phone call to yr mom would FORCE a call from her to yr paternal arch-nemesis....eventually --tho not TOO far down-- leading to Haldol-induced phone calls begging me to smuggle you-in a few smokes, at Sinclair (sp?) State-where, evidently their professional staff haven't-yet adopted anywhere near-a progressive game-plan, with their five-shelved Darius Case-File...
--I was stuck in the pouring rain. Placed my properties, which you whizzed-out, from yer apartment door-into/onto the floor/stairs...placed them in the dumpster-covered with an empty/discarded Utility of a LaRosa's Pizza Box (a LARGE==My GuD LuK), behind yer complex...waiting fer my Folks to pick me up. They were in the middle of an evening out, enjoying a nice dinner, fer my Dad's Eighty-Years-Old Birthday --forcible phone-- voice interrupting their celebration, soaked, pissed-off, confused, stuck-fer-a-cab (I called about seven friends and cabs-with no dice)...
--(I, the Victim of-)-your overly-physical harangue, coming out-from-nowhere-My tormenting consequence of The Defining dipshittedly, uninspired and garden-variety Flaked Nonsense - (myself, personally-) having nowhere CLOSE to becoming reckoned with-added with disappointing-futility thoughts - "reckoning" what you normally do/who you are, predictable lack of abilities to inspire...Realizing the difference between Rant and mindless middle-aged chatter...
Dexedrine vs. Dextromethorphan....
Talking FAST vs. Talking Mumbo Jumbo...
Ambition vs. Apathy...
Elementary Discussion vs. Confrontational Misinterpretation...
Intentional Personal Neglect (--with available "betterment" means, on hand) vs. Disappointment Surfing With State Aid...
A man and a woman-soon, later, another one of yer neighbors were walking into the building...Was walking towards them, to mostly get out of the downpour...There were NO shelters. No-frills style-parking garages, unlocked buildings, business establishments, nor otherwise...After some kind words, I was let into yer building. Waited in the laundry room, with all my shit (it stayed dry, in the dumpster. LaRosa's Pizza Parlors kick ass...)
...Miserable and rain-soaked approaches lay-down a sympathetic demeanor-even in the most miserable assholes I explained that the crap on the floor was mine and that you'd thrown me out. One of these folks asked me if it was a "lover''s spat" (meaning=You & I = L u V ) - - I said it wasn't...and didn't really bad-mouth you at all, if I remember...I remember a Black girl mentioning that you were (=-she views you as--) "quiet"...No "Gay Talk" was inferred.
I ONLY apologize fer my (sarcastic), confrontational "advice"-regarding yer trends in regards to yer publishing choices/apathy towards profiting from personal Arts & Crafts. etc. etc. etc.
I'll listen to yr voice mails. I'll notice yr e-mails...
That's about IT.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Gilmore Tamny: Started it in November of '90 after I'd moved to Cleveland. I'd been writing stories in college and giving the whole trying-to-get-published thing a whirl, which, ugh, was seeming pretty miserable. My boyfriend showed me some zines--they were a complete revelation--and I knew that's what I wanted to do.
CF: What sort of things were in WIGLET?
Gilmore: Interviews, comics, a confessional or two, essays, short stories.
CF: What thing in WIGLET were you most proud of?
Gilmore: Ah, I think it had a really specific feel to it.
CF: Why did you stop WIGLET?
Gilmore: I'm glad you asked me that. I've felt bad I've never written back to the people who've asked for issues or why I stopped putting it out. It was a convergence of miseries, really. I was having problems which I didn't feel comfortable writing about, it didn't fit into the WIGLET idea, but [I] couldn't really talk about anything else, either. So I just sort of shut down and played guitar all the time. Also, the person who had been the inspiration for WIGLET had gone crazy a few years before and was going in and out of jail and institutions, which was just depressing as hell and I kinda needed to put an end to that era of my life. That's all kind of grim, but I don't know, it worked out for the best, I think I was getting ready to do something else anyway.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Saturday, September 21, 2013
shouting shallow thunder upwards
as i laugh with envy
poor poor priscilla i say
but as always i really mean me
and she loves me until she gets
then flies to a lighthot lamp
i pretend not to care
but as always i suck
and i loved priscilla
(when i was
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Thursday, August 8, 2013
Friday, July 5, 2013
The Bees died off early that Year so Everyone in Town was super happy. Kids never came into Contact with Peanuts or Latex. Shul Neighbor, Barber Shop Owner and Unofficial Town King ordered the Deaths of Three Jews. His Men searched but None were found matching the King's Description: Lamb's Wool for Hair, Giant Bird Beak for Nose, and lengthy Fangs coated in Christian Blood.
Monday, June 3, 2013
Sunday, March 31, 2013
The TV stations stop broadcasting, the radio stations sign off, the police force resigns and the fire department doesn't respond to alarms. The electric utilities and the phone companies give up, all banks fail, all grocery stores declare bankruptcy. Teenagers systematically lay torches to the subdivisions, door-to-door salesman take up serial murder, and you're making love to your boss in a fast-food toilet stall. You're finally happy. The Best Page in the Universe!
Monday, March 25, 2013
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Thursday, March 21, 2013
SPORTY SPICE IS A SCANNER AND A SEXY GIRL I don't care about your warnings, this is real-- Yeah, she's fourteen, I'm aware of that fact, fine, fine-- Yeah, this hallucinogen is super-dangerous, I won't forget-- Yeah, we'll all be killed for certain if we try, I'll remember-- Understand, please, this is not for suicide, this is a real attempt to improve the quality of our lives, that's all. Have you never really heard of Risk? Sporty Spice is about to murder you, no, really, I am Sporty Spice and I am going to kill you in five seconds. Yeah, that's me Sporty Spice in that commercial, on the cover of all kinds of magazines, and the featured player in ten thousand snuff films. My other name is YOUR GIRLFRIEND. So, you're either with Sporty Spice or you probably never really existed at all.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Monday, February 18, 2013
Friday, August 16th is just around the corner kids, and it’s big movie day with not one but three premiers set for wide release. It’s not too soon to fill your bookbag with airpopped O. Redenbacher’s and line your inner pockets with airplane bottles of Jägermeister because folks, this is a TRIPLE FEATURE.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
You already know it’s the sequel to The Lightning Thief, based on The Sea of Monsters. Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman), who is the son of a god, sets out with his friends, who are also kids of gods (an obvious reference to Hollywood brats and the spoiled kids of the power elite) to snag the Golden Fleece and save Camp Half-Blood! What really has us writhing in anticipation, however, is the much vaunted promise of Missi Pyle, Yvette Nicole Brown, and Mary Birdsong as the Graeae. Should achieve 3-D fabulousness in post.
The To-Do List
Set in 1993 (we’re already salivating for that soundtrack) good-girl Brandy Klark (Aubrey Plaza) wants to make up for lost time before college so she assembles a “to-do” list of the following all-star cast: Josh Weston, Sammy Case, Blake Masters, Anthony Holloway, Logan McCree, Diesel Washington, James Deen , Tommy Blade, TJ Cummings, Billy Glide, Mikey Butders, Erik Everhard, and Bryon Long. (And, we hope, Vaseline!) R rating should be achieved through clever cutting in post.
Mark Wahlberg again as a DEA agent and Denzel Washington plays yet another Naval Intelligence officer—but the real reason for seeing this movie is: Bill Paxton, Edward James Olmos, Fred Ward—together again. Convoluted plot about the two stars investigating each other, each suspecting the other of stealing money from the mob, or the Russian mafia, or the Yakuza—when in actuality they are unwittingly stealing money from either the CIA or the FBI, while Doris Day performs on the BBC. Matt Busby. Dig it, dig it, dig it.
Friday, February 15, 2013
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
In a combat zone/Called "I'm-So-At-Home"/Line up for cheap rates on your very own grave!/ Pretty faces, pouty faces, worthless farces/Yet you pay and you pay/For the right to fall into this bed!/No, that bed!/This nightmare won't stop/So I guess I'll walk awayThen, shockingly, the frail-looking DJ throws an effective punch at John's jaw and the wasted young man collapses into Paul's arms. Later, driving north on The Interstate, Paul asks tentative questions about Betty which John answers. Paul announces that they are going to drive all night to Cleveland and John falls asleep happy and calm.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Odds: 12 – 1
This shameless crowd pleaser has very little chance seeing how the last time a musical won an Oscar was like… never. Though it’s not a musical in the strictest sense, since it’s actually a dramatic feature about a documentarian’s failed attempt to create a feature length non-fiction film about the making of a film based on the musical version of Victor Hugo’s classic story of lust, dentistry, and false accusation. Orson Welles did it much more simply, by merely reading in front of the camera, but alas his film has been lost. Director Tom Hooper has come a long way since his classic Texas Chainsaw films delighted children of all ages, but with a nearly four hour running time, one wonders if editing is the first thing to go as the mind atrophies with age. The casting of real-time porn superstar Huge Jackman in the lead is daring, if not misguided.
Odds: 18 – 1
Quentin Tarantino’s “’Blaxploitation” approach to the historical drama is a breath of fresh air among this years mostly stuffy “big movies,” but Oscar has not been known to shine kindly on the “postmodern” approach and it isn’t likely to start this year. As a simple “western” the movie shines as a cross between High Plains Drifter and Blazing Saddles, but one wonders about the lack of historical accuracy in favor of an idyllic, harmonious depiction of what is generally thought to be a brutal period in this country’s history. Still, one can’t help enjoy QT’s trademark humor (men on horseback unwrapping their “Royale with Cheese,” KKK members cutting mouth holes for their Slurpee straws, and QT’s inevitable cameo: “Do you see a sign that says ‘Dead African-American Storage?’” —as offensive as it sometimes is.
Zero Dark Thirty
Odds: 12 -5
What we’ve seen this year is a trend of what once would be documentary films that take a dramatic approach so as not to be “ghettoized” in the overlooked documentary category, ZDT being basically the most audacious with its mix of lusciously filmed night-vision footage and grainy security camera spy video, hot-button subject matter, and nearly four hour running time. Still, director Kathryn Bigelow’s past snubs by Oscar make this a dark-horse long-shot in what is turning out to be “The Year of the Woman II.” The story of the intrigue and backstabbing behind the development of the eponymous energy drink has the stuff of John le Carre, though the misguided casting of Jessica Chastain in the lead nearly sinks this ship (despite the “sports-bra moment”) as she hasn’t quite made the transition from soccer star to leading man.
After pic's uphill battle of being confused with animated kids pic with same name, Ben Affleck’s mockumentary on the Iranian hostage crisis could pull off victory as Oscar wants to justify Himself for crowning a wet-behind-the-ears Affleck for Good Will Hunting—while snubbing him in director category this year. Going for Argo, also, is the 2 hour running time, meaning voters will have been able to see entire pic on NYC to LA flight, between meals. While the movie within a movie within a movie structure confused some, others delighted in the classic Hollywood approach to the basics, and the cruel yet hilarious ridicule of light-skinned, non-Jewish ethnic groups.
Odds: 8 -1
The title alone insists that pic is the last word on the subject despite the long-playing Hollywood franchise of our most celebrated President. The brilliant casting of Bruce McGill in the lead is a fine assault on the gold-standard version emblazoned by Hal Holbrook, but the nearly four hour running time and ticking-clock device in the attempt to dramatize the art of speech-writing, while leading up to the (spoiler alert!) Gettysburg Address may have tested the attention spans of voters. That and reports that Academy members have been rankled by assertions that Spielberg now has so many Oscars he fashioned one as a hood ornament for his Prius.
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Odds: 18 – 5
Low-budget Sundance pic fought an uphill battle after misconceptions that it was animated, but this quirky, Southern tale of the power of the magic of childhood certainly has struck a chord with voters who look at their own children and are able to remember the pain, confusion, magic, and misguided perceptions of their own childhood. Very little chance, however, that unpronounceable names will challenge those presenters tipsy at the podium, and that includes names of the director, screenwriter, lead actress, and much of the cast. Unconfirmed at press time is that the optimal running time may be compromised by opportunistic and misguided attempt to infuse Superstorm Sandy’s tragic devastation into the plotline.
Odds: 28 – 1
Undoubtedly the artiest of the nominated films, pic has not a snowball’s chance in LA for several reasons: it’s about old people, it’s about French people, the title is not in English, and its director, Michael Haneke is not allowed in North America due to his movie, Funny Games (1997), one of the rare films that is considered, itself, a crime (and in a bizarre twist was remade in 2007 by someone impersonating Haneke). Amour is also a horror movie, and the last time a horror movie won the Oscar was like… never. It’s edginess, and the controversy surrounding the director, increase the weight of the nine nominations, however—however, it’s a foreign language film and the Academy has a foreign language film ghetto for foreign language films.
Life of Pi
Odds: 7 – 1
BO stands for “box office” in Hollywood, unlike Peoria, and that counts for a lot when figuring the odds. Plus, having been snubbed by Oscar in the past, director Ang Lee has an inside track, though he might just be the kind of guy, like Scorsese, they continue to snub. The biggest things pic has going for it, CGI and 3-D, are also detrimental, as those features are unable to be exploited on a flight between NYC and LA. But is it live action or animation? Oscar voters are likely to be as confused by that issue as they are about pic's dream within a dream within a dream structure. Also, there are no movies stars within a thousand miles, except for the great Gerard Depardieu—who is like the final nail in the coffin.
Silver Linings Playbook
Odds: 2 – 1
Accolades abound for this delightful and offbeat romantic comedy about mental illness, violent jealous rage, sexual addiction, and sports betting, and the time might be right for director David O. Russell who was previously snubbed by Oscar for his undisputed masterpiece, I (heart) Huckabees. While the excessive attention to the particulars of pharmaceutical details will put voters on comfortable ground, the bizarre, existential ending—essentially a retelling of the “donut shop” scene in Buffalo 66 (and the donut shop scene in Boogie Nights)—is liable to leave them scratching their heads.
Saturday, December 1, 2012
This article was delivered to me by a bike messenger wearing a T-shirt with that Pynchon Trystero muted horn symbol on it (making me suspect he worked for some kind of post-post underground postage courier) as I made room for cream in my morning Venti brewed house roast at the Starbucks on Beverly and La Cienega. Handwritten with what seems to be a piece of coal on margins of discarded newspaper, I found it necessary to type it up myself — so Mr. Smith will forgive me if I have made any mistakes — and I withhold his usual fee. —Anthony Franciosa, 2012
Heather Prescott—true Queen of England and future Empress of New India. A full-kit rock'n'roll drummer and former L.A. studio whiz kid, she is now plotting her next move in New Zealand. Pay heed, kids.
What do I know about Tiffany Richardson? Well, she carries Flowers of Evil with her wherever she goes for the past three years (she is 22). Also, she is the premiere visual artist of the Western Hemisphere, and the finest performance artist worldwide. A quick example of her third towering ability, her sometimes kind, sometimes devastating wit: "We loved you until you were a success. When you were a has-been we loved you again (some of us) even more. When you died, when we played your songs, we died a little in a happy way and you were reborn, every time." Actually, I suppose this isn't "wit," only an excerpt from a paper (!) letter, including envelope and stamp.
Who is Monica Todd? She is a mystery girl, a Girl Scout, a Marine squad leader, librarian, and mad poet. Currently Secret Queen of America, in love with the modern world and at war with the modern world, Monica is a go-go Eighties Anti-Christ, and my favorite person who ever lived.
Sybilka "Eye-Witness" Storie is everywhere I look, as a model for a Supergirl comic book, her face on an acne treatment box for ten years, lately is seeing everything as for the first time, becoming alternately exuberant and deeply despondent all day every day—so she bought a camera so to have a little more control over what she sees for now—in the end she will control an entire Empire. If she even dared to learn guitar and voice she would soon command an Empire of Sight and Sound.
My Tonya Shelley: Born a White Goddess in Central Africa, sometime suburban punk, sometime street punk, sometime gutter punk, Miss Shelley currently plays a feisty, aggressive, sometime drunk skate punk on a Russian comedy-drama called Every Young Superstar You Could Imagine. Of course they are all unknowns on the show, but yes, the actors all command a forceful style, especially Tonya, and it would be a crime against humanity if Miss Shelley doesn't become a worldwide star. Not that she really cares….
Here's all I know about Heather Dameron: she successfully revived The Popular Front in 2000 and now tens of millions of Americans are secret communists. They wait only for Miss Dameron's signal to crush the U.S. Government. It should take ten minutes. She said it's OK to admit that The Moss Problem is a key part of the Popular Front, all the better to admit it now when it comes across as just another joke. But, reader, realize this: Heather Dameron is the only child of Miss January 1962. Her father is JFK. So there.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Saturday, July 21, 2012
First of all, when you see pictures of the The Saints from that time, on say the cover to this record, "The Saints" and "(I'm) Stranded" is painted on the wall behind them in a red scrawl (meant to evoke, no doubt, blood). Not spray paint, but definitely graffiti-style. But who ever used a parentheses in graffiti? The answer is NO ONE.
The band name itself, The Saints, is an odd choice, and one must presume, ironic. The 1976 New Orleans Saints were a lackluster affair, with one strange exception. The team happened to be graced by a defensive bench warmer named Robert Pollard, who then went on to become the greatest American pop/rock songwriter of his, or anyone's, generation. But that's another story.
Perhaps The Saints, growing up "Down Under," were fans of the 1960s TV show The Saint, as they were unable to import the classic American fare, lost in translation as is was, like All in the Family and Sanford and Son. The Saint, nearly forgotten now, was the training ground for actor Roger Moore to later become James Bond. And The Saints, a band that over the years has had more members than the UN, no doubt was graced at one point or another by a musician named Simon Templar.
But back to "(I'm) Stranded," the song. It's one of those songs, when you think about it, you say, ehhhhhh, pretty good song, but so-so. But then when you actually listen to it again you're astounded by its energy, its catchiness, and its perfection. There are songs that rate very high in one's memory, when heard again, pale and buckle under the weight of expectations. "(I'm) Stranded" is the opposite. It's a song that always surprises you, and has stayed fresh and vital for nearly four decades.
But what does it mean? "Like a snake calling on the phone," it starts out, and then goes on to make even LESS sense. My theory is that the lyrics are deliberate nonsense, just meant to fill space between the crucial word: "stranded." Even the brief chorus ("on my own/so far from home") is just filler, as is the "(I'm)" of the title. The crucial word here is STRANDED. This is, essentially, a one word lyric.
And so, what does "stranded" mean? It means everything, or if not quite everything, it means A LOT, and that is the beauty of this song. First of all, though Australia is a happening place, with its own vibrant culture, music scene, blah blah blah, it is STILL far from London, New York, Hollywood. It is, essentially, a desert island, though a big one-- as big as a continent, in fact it IS a continent, last time I checked. Yet for a band with the talent and lofty aspirations of The Saints, it must have seemed to some degree like a desert island on which they were "stranded."
Another meaning of the term "stranded" is when you find yourself, immediately post-defecation, with no toilet paper, preferably (as in preferably NOT) a public toilet stall. This happens to me at work all too frequently. High and dry. Though, unfortunately, NOT dry. These moments are only made bearable by launching into an A CAPPELLA version of "(I'm) Stranded."
Finally, the most likely meaning of "stranded," and the one most often evoked by this song, can be summed up with one word: BLUE BALLS. And while there have been countless, over the years, odes to that somewhat uncomfortable state, including many songs actually NAMED "Blue Balls" (and indeed, bands named Blue Balls), this song is the ultimate blue balls song (and, as the greatest rock song ever recorded, why not?). What is the cure for blue balls? Write a song like "(I'm) Stranded."
Saturday, April 7, 2012
"If nautical nonsense be something you wish, SpongeBob SquarePants, then drop on the deck and flop like a fish!"
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