Thursday, April 28, 2005

Payroll-Deliverin' Indie Rock (And a Little Bruce)Ipod Mix:

1. Supersuckers, "Flyin' Into The Mid-Day Sun" (Devil's Food)
2. Nic Armstrong, "I Can't Stand It" (The Greatest White Liar)
3. Of Montreal, "So Begins Our Alabee" (The Sunlandic Twins)
4. Lucinda Williams, "Big Red Sun Blues" (Lucinda Williams)
5. Patti Smith, "Because The Night" (Land)
6. Bruce Springsteen, "TV Movie" (Tracks)
7. The Pandoras, "You're All Talk" (Stop Pretending)
8. Hot Hot Heat, "Soldier In A Box" (Elevator)
9. Paul Westerberg, "Little Mascara" (Henry Fonda Theatre, LA 2/23/05)
10. Yo La Tengo, "Shaker" (Prisoners Of Love: A Smattering Of Scintillating Senescent Songs)
11. Golden Smog, "Radio King" (Down by the Old Mainstream)
12. Uncle Tupelo, "So Called Friend" (No Depression)
13. Bruce Springsteen, "Badlands" (Darkness On The Edge Of Town)
14. Pixies, "La la Love You" (Doolittle)
15. The Ramones, "Too Tough To Die" (Hey! Ho! Let's Go: The Anthology)
16. Spoon, "All The Pretty Girls Go To The City" (Kill The Moonlight)
17. R.E.M., "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite" (In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003)
18. Paul Westerberg, "My Dad" (Pantages Theatre, 11/6/04)
19. Camper Van Beethoven, "One Of These Days (Fox Studio Demo)" (Camper Vantiquities)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Indie Record Stores - Is the End Near?

A couple of days ago, I received an email from a like-minded music friend in Minneapolis. At first, this email appeared to be one of those idiotic spam messages that are passed around to everybody…usually multiple times. You know the type – stupid penis or breast jokes, conspiracy theories regarding the far left or right, unsubstantiated urban legends regarding soda pop and fast food chains. In other words, pure junk.
Before I zapped this message, I took a quick look at the contents. This piece of email may have had the tell-tale look of forwarded spam, with its multiple right-arrows (or whatever they’re called) indenting each line by five or six spaces and a recipient list longer than my list of sexual conquests. Oh wait, that wouldn’t be a long list at all.
While the body of this message may have been a mess, the contents were not. The message originated from Ryan Cameron, the owner of Let It Be Records in downtown Minneapolis. Detailing his lifelong love of music, Cameron shockingly announced that his store will close “on or around” June 15.
Let It Be Records may not have been my favorite Minneapolis store (Treehouse, for their collector/indie mentality, and Cheapo’s, for their used selection, get those nods) but it was still one of my major stops during any trip to the big city. Their selection of local music, import singles, and catalog items were second to nobody. Their vinyl section was a haven for not only record collectors but for DJ’s looking for that obscure r&b or jazz album to sample. Reportedly, their basement archives even featured still-sealed 78’s.
What was refreshing about this message, however, was Cameron’s refusal to use the standard complaint that downloading is killing the industry. “Over the past 5 years”, he states, “the music industry has changed dramatically. What did not change was our desire to maintain a great store despite the changes. Music was always our concern. No bongs, incense, refrigerators, etc. Just music. Who knows how the music world will change in the future, but there will ALWAYS be great music. There will always be great record stores (virtual or brick and mortar). Independent record stores are the lifeblood of the industry. I encourage anyone reading this to support indie stores, as they are
ground zero for the music community.”
Almost every city has tales similar to Cameron’s. Record store after record store, from small indie dealers to some of the world’s largest chains, are either closing their doors or eliminating music space. Locally, Best Buy is slowly eliminating much of their inventory, and earlier this year their buyers were reportedly barred from bringing in any new releases that weren’t in their Sunday flier. They are months away from becoming nothing more than a Musicland-type store offering nothing but rows and rows of the Top 20.
But is Limewire, Soulseek, and other downloading sites really to blame? Certainly, it hasn’t helped…except in my case where the opportunity to discover new bands has actually increased my purchases. The real answer can be found in that same local store I mentioned earlier, and two currently cramped sections that will eventually move into the music aisles.
Of course, I’m talking about DVD’s and video games. Don’t believe me? Well, think back to late 2001, around the time the music business was first seeing a drop in sales. At the same time that Mariah and other so-called superstars were not appearing under Christmas trees, DVD’s of Shrek set a then-record with sales over 20 million in less than two months. Think about that – in just 60 days Shrek came close to equaling sales figures that took Pink Floyd and the Eagles over 25 years. And that was over three years ago.
Since then, Shrek’s record has been broken a hundred times, mainly by multiple-sequel titles such as Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. $15.5 billion in DVD’s were sold in 2004, with another $5.4 billion in rentals. Almost 400,000 titles are sold per day, and twenty million DVD players were sold last year. Video games have not quite matched those figures, but they’re not far behind. Ten billion dollars of video games were sold in both 2003 and 2004
Let’s be real. After paying for our cars, our homes, our food, our hookers, and our smack, there’s only so much money for other stuff. If DVD’s and video game sales are skyrocketing, then something has to suffer. Obviously, it’s music.
The labels have nothing to blame but themselves. They are the people who decided a few years ago that it was better to go after short-term dollars instead of career artists who would make money for them forever. They were the ones who created lip-synch divas who put their faces on album covers without any singing, performing, or writing experience. Promotional dollars used to be spread around an entire roster of artists; now most acts have to deal with no publicity while one or two select acts see millions of dollars spent to force radio, retail, and television spins.
The worst offender has to be MTV. In the past, the channel thrived by its diversity. There was something for everybody, and grass roots efforts had more to do with the success of the Cure, R.E.M., Green Day, and even Nirvana than any label hype. These days, MTV is a “lifestyle” channel, creating a fake world of hipness that is designed not to turn people on to music but to sell the cars, clothing, and makeup that make up the majority of their commercials.
Despite the glut of reality shows on the channel, there’s nothing real going on here. Battles between rappers have more than a bit of pro wrestling bravado seeping behind the scenes. So-called rockers appear to be cloned robots – they all look, act, and sound alike. And I refuse to go into the crimes against nature that we know as the Simpson family.
The fallout of this situation is that everyday more people turn away from music, or at least the search for new music. They can’t hear it, they can’t see it, and it’s become harder and harder to find in the stores. Therefore, it must not exist. That’s a shame, as every week there are new albums and bands that deserve a hearing – music for every age group and every nationality. Just yesterday, I spent $150 on new releases, and that’s not an unusual experience. In my case, however, discretionary spending on music probably costs me a social life. That’s fine, though, because my library of Westerberg, Costello, Wilco, the Boss, and my 4000 other friends will never let me down like certain portions of the rest of my life.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Sad News - Let It Be Records in MPLS Will Close

When I was a kid, my mom used to tell people that I learned how to
read off the labels of the 45s my older brothers had passed on to me.
While it did not provide an extensive vocabulary, by the age of 5 I
certainly knew who the Beatles were and their song titles. Later I
progressed to LPs (again, passed on) that I wore out beyond
recognition with that cheap little phonograph that my parents had
bought for me. I was hooked and I never turned back. Music has always
been the background to my life. I knew when I was young that I wanted
to work in a record store, and just after turning 16, I was. I wound
my way through, working at various stores, knowing that someday I would
own one of my own. In 1987, my dream came true. I've always strived
to have the best store possible. Over the years, many co-workers have
passed through the doors (Paulie, Sam, RIP). I credit them, as much
as myself, for making our store a success over these years. And of
course our customers who have supported us in surviving retail for 18
years.

Over the past 5 years, the music industry has changed dramatically.
What did not change was our desire to maintain a great store despite
the changes. Music was always our concern. No bongs, incense,
refrigerators, etc. Just music. Who knows how the music world will
change in the future, but there will ALWAYS be great music. There
will always be great record stores (virtual or brick and mortar).
Independent record stores are the lifeblood of the industry. I
encourage anyone reading this to support indie stores, as they are
ground zero for the music community.

Let It Be Records will be closing our doors on or around June 15th. A
redevelopment of our block has led me to the decision of whether to
relocate the store, and I have decided not to do so. There are many
reasons for my choice, some personal, some business, but it is my
choice. Even if we stayed until the full length of our lease next
year, I had already made the decision not renew it. I've owned the
store for almost half my life, and feel I really need to change
gears. I will be concentrating on my mail order business of rare
vinyl and CDs, based at www.letitbe.com. My co-workers will go on
shaping the local music
scene in their own ways. Many are DJs who spin their musical
favorites regularly.

Thanks again to all the customers over the years, all my co-workers,
the bands/musicians who have supported our store with in-store
performances, my
parents & family, my wife Kellie (owner of Via's Vintage Wear-24th &
Hennepin), and my dear departed dog Calvin. I couldn't have, and
wouldn't have done it without you.

Let It Be,
Ryan Cameron
Owner

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

This Week's Rant: The Sad State of Network Television

This past Sunday marked the season finale of Arrested Development, network television’s finest series. If the rumors are true, it may have also been the final episode ever. This season was already cut short by four episodes so that Fox can air an idiotic countdown show starring the insufferable Ryan Seacrest.
That’s a real shame, as AD is the most original show since the glory days of Seinfeld. The writing lends itself to repeated viewings; the DVD release of the first season revealed lines and references that I didn’t catch on the original run. And any show featuring David Cross as a stand-in for the Blue Man Group and dressing up as Mrs. Doubtfire is worthy of attention.
It was probably doomed from the start. They didn’t utilize a laugh track or punch lines that were telegraphed five minutes in advance, and the cast didn’t include a chubby fat guy with a hot wife and two precocious kids.
It’s a sad world where That 70’s Show is renewed for an eight season, and AD barely lasts two. It’s also the reason why television is so awful these days. In fact, I’d say that the current state of television hasn’t been this awful since the early 80’s heyday of Love Boat, Different Strokes, and Dallas.
Really, I beg of everybody to come up with three network shows worth watching. I can’t come up with anything, and the only cable shows worth watching are Real Time With Bill Maher, The Daily Show, Springer, Cops, Cheaters, Judge Judy, Family Business, and the baby/daddy episodes of Maury. Ok, the opening monologue of Jimmy Kimmel is the best of all the talkshows, but it’s painful to watch him deal with his lame-ass guests.
With all this in mind, and because I’ve probably angered enough city leaders in the past few weeks, I’m here today to rant and rave about aspects of television that need to be stopped. Sure, I’ve done this topic before, but I’ll refrain from babbling about American Idol, Raymond, Pat O’Brien, Leno, Oprah (aka Satan), and Dr. Phil (aka Satan’s Bitch).
Up first is the person who does the voice-over work for NBC. I believe this deep-voiced cretin also does movie trailers, but I guarantee that any show he’s hyping I’m not going to watch.
Maybe it’s not his fault, though. My beef with him is the over-the-top hype that he’s forced to read. Every ER episode is ground-breaking; every episode of that fire department drama that I’ve never seen is a show you’ll never forget. His spots for the Apprentice always go on and on about a “shocking board room, but what happens after the boardroom will be talked about for”…well, until the next shocking promo.
This guy is not the only offensive aspect of NBC. That award has to go to the over-reliance on Law and Order. I must admit that I occasionally view an episode or two of these shows, but no network should be so reliant on one franchise. There are four different Law and Order programs, and NBC rotates them up to 12 hours a week, not including the reruns on various cable channels.
Not that CBS is any better. There are two kinds of shows on CBS – the fat guy/hot wife comedies I’ve bitched about before, and all of the different variations of CSI, the most overrated show on television. Even cop shows that aren’t CSI are scripted and filmed like they are CSI, so it seems like these shows are on all the time. This has to be stopped.
I guess I need to also chat about ABC. Truthfully, though, I don’t think I’ve seen anything on their prime-time lineup. I can’t imagine watching that blind cop show with a straight face, and the reality show that builds houses for handicapped people is completely unwatchable.
It’s pretty easy to pretend that these shows, along with the Bachelor and the Nanny show, just doesn’t exist. But one has to live in complete seclusion (which is close to my lifestyle) to not hear about Desperate Housewives. There are some people I’m acquainted with that love this show, calling it a network version of Sex and the City. Well, that’s not exactly a ringing testimonial. (Right here I must bring up the worst commercial on the air these days - those stupid Gap commercials with Sarah Jessica Parker singing how much she loves being a girl. Sarah, you’re 40. You’re not a girl; you’re an old hag.)
Back to Desperate Housewives. I’ve never seen it, and I’m still sick of it. You can’t open a magazine, or scan through the news channels, without seeing pictures of these twits or self-congratulating stories about how groundbreaking they think they are. Yeah, that Eva girl is pretty hot, and for an old lady that woman from Lois and Clark still gets it done, but I can’t even deal with these whores any more. Please, go away.
I probably should also talk about UPN and WB, but all I know about these channels is that Fran Drescher, Reba, and Jeff Foxworthy have shows on these channels. That’s enough reason to not tune into any of their programming.
I suppose that I should also mention something about cable programming. Let’s start with the fake reality shows that are plaguing not only E! but also A&E and TV Land. Shows starring Farrah Fawcett, Evel Knievel’s kid, the mother/daughter show where the mom thinks she’s as hot as her daughter, and the show about the princess who wants to be a country singer. I’ve been told by reliable sources that most of these shows are not really reality shows at all. They’re called unscripted fiction, where situations are set up and people are cast not as themselves but as characters to fit these situations. The princess show in particular is widely known to be a project by an out-of-work actress and her acting class buddies. I have a feeling that even some of those shows that I don’t find so bad, such as Viva La Bam and the new one starring Blink 182’s drummer, has a similar background.
FX has gained some notoriety in recent months for their original programming, but the promos that run during every Married With Children commercial break do nothing to make me watch them. Case in point is The Shield. I’ve been told that it’s a good show, but I cringe every time I see the commercial where Glen Close dramatically exclaims, “I need to trust you. Right now, I don’t” or the one where the lead guy says, “I don’t step down. I step up”. If that’s typical dialogue, then I don’t think I’m missing anything.
The good news about the awful state of television is with warm weather finally arriving, I now have an incentive to do something with my life. Hopefully, I’ll get projects such as the CD room finished, or finally start working on converting my basement into a media room. Hell, maybe I’ll even get some exercise. On second thought, that probably won’t happen as long as my DVR continues to fill up with Springer and Stern. But Fox, please, please, please give AD a third, fourth, and fifth season. There are too many unfinished story lines that deserve to be played out.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Big Drop-off: Taking Alec to Watertown Ipod Mix

1. The Clash, "Career Opportunities" (Clash On Broadway)
2. Guided By Voices, "To Remake The Young Flyer" (Human Amusements at Hourly Rates)
3. Shane MacGowan & The Popes, "That Woman's Got Me Drinking" (The Snake)
4. Clem Snide, "God Answers Back" (End Of Love)
5. Archers Of Loaf, "Last Word" (Icky Mettle)
6. Bruce Springsteen, "Bring On The Night" (Tracks)
7. The Pandoras, "You Don't Know (Demo)" (Stop Pretending)
8. The Jayhawks, "Six Pack on the Dashboard" (Bunkhouse)
9. Grandpaboy, "Homelessexual" (Grandpaboy EP)
10. Elvis Costello, "Waiting For The End Of The World" (My Aim Is True)
11. Graham Parker & The Rumour, "Don't Get Excited (Live)" (Squeezing Out Sparks & Live Sparks)
12. The Replacements, "Sadly Beautiful" (All Shook Down)
13. Morrissey, "Sunny" (The Best of Morrissey)
14. The Jam, "When You're Young" (Direction, Reaction, Creation)
15. Chappaquiddick Skyline, "Breakneck Speed" (Chappaquiddick Skyline)
16. British Sea Power, "North Hanging Rock" (Open Season)
17. Nic Armstrong, "On A Promise" (The Greatest White Liar)
18. The Smiths, "These Things Take Time" (Louder Than Bombs)
19. The Brian Jonestown Massacre, "Not If You Were The Last Dandy On Earth" (A Retrospective: Tepid Peppermint Wonderland)
20. The Kinks, "David Watts" (Something Else)
21. The Decemberists, "Los Angeles, I'm Yours" (Her Majesty the Decemberists)
22. Yo La Tengo, "Our Way To Fall" (Prisoners Of Love: A Smattering Of Scintillating Senescent Songs)
23. The Beatles, "Think For Yourself" (Rubber Soul)
24. Paul Westerberg, "Making Me Go" (Come Feel Me Tremble)
25. Stiff Little Fingers, "Rough Trade" (Inflammable Material)
26. Spoon, "The Two Sides Of Monsieur Valentine" (Gimme Fiction)
27. Bob Dylan, "Buckets Of Rain" (Blood On The Tracks)
28. The Replacements, "Androgynous" (Let It Be)
29. Grandpaboy, "Get A Move On" (Dead Man Shake)
30. Morrissey, "Hairdresser on Fire" (The Best of Morrissey)
31. Golden Smog, "Jennifer Save Me" (Weird Tales)
32. Adam Green, "Choke On A Cock" (Gemstones)
33. Billy Bragg & Wilco, "Secrets Of The Sea" (Mermaid Avenue Volume 2)
34. Spoon, "You Gotta Feel It" (Kill The Moonlight)
35. Golden Smog, "Yesterday Cried" (Down by the Old Mainstream)
36. The Ramones, "Glad To See You Go" (Hey! Ho! Let's Go: The Anthology)
37. Grandpaboy, "What Kind Of Fool Am I?" (Dead Man Shake)
38. The Ramones, "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" (Hey! Ho! Let's Go: The Anthology)
39. The Velvet Underground, "White Light/ White Heat" (Peel Slowly And See)
40. Paul Westerberg, "Meet Me Down the Alley" (Come Feel Me Tremble)
41. Elvis Presley, "Ready Teddy" (The Ultimate Collection: Elvis Rockin')
42. Bash & Pop, "He Means It" (Friday Night Is Killing Me)
43. Ray Lamontagne, "Hannah" (Trouble)
44. Whiskeytown, "Turn Around" (Strangers Almanac)
45. Lou Reed, "Dirty Blvd." (NYC Man)
46. British Sea Power, "Oh Larsen B" (Open Season)
47. R.E.M., "9-9" (Murmur)
48. Magnolia Electric Co, "The Last 3 Human Words" (Trials & Errors)
49. Billy Bragg & Wilco, "Another Man's Done Gone" (Mermaid Avenue)
50. The Soundtrack Of Our Lives, "Song for the Others" (Origin Vol. 1)
51. Joy Division, "Ice Age" (Heart And Soul)
52. Camper Van Beethoven, "Wasting All Your Time" (Telephone Free Landslide Victory)
53. David Bowie, "Fame" (Stage)
54. Hoodoo Gurus, "I Want You Back" (Left Of The Dial: Dispatches From The '80s Underground)
55. The Ramones, "Endless Vacation" (Hey! Ho! Let's Go: The Anthology)
56. Otis Redding, "Come To Me" (Complete Stax/Volt Singles: 1959-1968)
57. The Ramones, "It's Not My Place (In The 9 To 5 World)" (Hey! Ho! Let's Go: The Anthology)
58. The Kinks, "Who'll Be The Next In Line" (The Ultimate Collection)
59. The Brian Jonestown Massacre, "Who?" (Tepid Peppermint Wonderland: A Retrospective)
60. John Doe, "Worried Brow" (Forever Hasn't Happened Yet)
61. Modest Mouse, "Life Like Weeds" (The Moon And Antartica)
62. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, "Scum" (B-Sides And Rarities)
63. The Cure, "Shiver And Shake" (Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me)
64. Paul Westerberg, "Kickin' The Stall" (Mono)
65. Elvis Costello, "This Year's Girl" (This Year's Model)

Thursday, April 14, 2005


Skippy Blechinger For Mayor!!!
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A Perfect Ipod Mix

Today I was treated to a great mix of old classics and tracks from new releases.

1. Anders Parker, "C'mon Now" (Tell It To The Dust)
2. Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, "Pretty Gone" (Easy Pieces)
3. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, "Over And Over" (Ragged Glory)
4. Beards, "Thalassocracy" (Funtown)
5. Morrissey, "You Know I Couldn't Last" (Live At Earl's Court)
6. Spoon, "You Gotta Feel It" (Kill The Moonlight)
7. Yo La Tengo, "Evanescent Psychic Pez Drop" (Genius + Love = Yo La Tengo)
8. The Rolling Stones, "Lies" (Some Girls)
9. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, "Love To Burn" (Ragged Glory)
10 The Ramones, "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" (Hey! Ho! Let's Go: The Anthology)
11. Morrissey, "You Know I Couldn't Last" (You Are The Quarry)
12. The Who, "I Can't Reach You" (The Who Sell Out)
13. Billy Bragg & Wilco, "California Stars" (Mermaid Avenue)
14. Bright Eyes, "Old Soul Song" (I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning)
15. Paul Westerberg, "I.O.U." (Henry Fonda Theatre, LA 2/22/05)
16. Vic Chesnutt, "Guilty By Association" (Is The Actor Happy?)
17. R.E.M., "Just A Touch (Live In-Studio)" (Life's Rich Pageant)
18. Hot Hot Heat, "Middle Of Nowhere" (Elevator)
19. The Replacements, "Don't Ask Why" (Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out the Trash)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Payroll Delivery Ipod Mix:

1. Kathleen Edwards, "Old Time Sake" (Back To Me)
2. Pixies, "Monkey Gone To Heaven" (At The BBC)
3. The Replacements, "Skyway (PTMM 87 demo)" (Flowers in the Dark)
4. Steve Earle, "The Unrepentant" (I Feel Alright)
5. Supersuckers, "Ron's Got The Cocaine" (The Greatest Rock And Roll Band In The World)
6. Frank Black & The Catholics, "The Snake" (Show Me Your Tears)
7. Paul Westerberg, "Only Lie Worth Telling" (Stereo)
8. Pixies, "River Euphrates" (Surfer Rosa & Come On Pilgrim)
9. Grandpaboy, "Get A Move On" (Dead Man Shake)
10. Paul Westerberg, "Hide N Seekin'" (Eventually)
11. Richard Buckner, "Fuse" (Dents And Shells)
12. The Cure, "Kyoto Song" (The Head On The Door)
13. Elliott Smith, "Don't Go Down" (From A Basement On The Hill)
14. Aimee Mann, "Wise Up" (Live At St. Ann's Warehouse)
15. Descendents, "Suburban Home" (Left Of The Dial)
16. Camper Van Beethoven, "Good Guys & Bad Guys" (Camper Van Beethoven)
17. Yo La Tengo, "Speeding Motorcycle" (Genius + Love = Yo La Tengo)
18. Bruce Springsteen, "Ricky Wants A Man Of Her Own" (Tracks)
19. Bruce Springsteen, "I'm A Rocker" (The River)
20. Bright Eyes, "Let's Not Shit Outselves" (Lifted Or The Story Is In The Soil, Keep Your Ear To The Ground)
21. The Replacements, "Attitude (ASD demo)" (Flowers in the Dark)
22. Frank Black, "Pie In The Sky" (Teenager Of The Year)
23. The Cure, "Faith" (Faith)
24. The Replacements, "Hayday" (Hootenanny)
25. The Rolling Stones, "Happy" (Exile On Main Street)
26. Wilco, "In A Future Age" (Summer Teeth)
27. Bruce Springsteen, "Thundercrack" (Tracks)
28. Babes in Toyland, "He's My Thing" (Spanking Machine)
29. R.E.M., "Undertow" (New Adventures In Hi-Fi)
30. Jeff Tweedy, "Secret of the Sea" (Vic Theatre, Chicago 3/4/05)
31. Stiff Little Fingers, "Wasted Life" (Inflammable Material)
32. The Weakerthans, "One Great City!" (Reconstruction Site)
33. Uncle Tupelo, "Atomic Power (1991 acoustic demo)" (March 16-20 1992)
34. The Rolling Stones, "Soul Survivor" (Exile On Main Street)

The future Mrs. Scott Hudson
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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Hot PETA Chick and Other Out-of-Towners

Yesterday started off like any other day. The alarm rang at 6:30, just three hours past when I finally fell asleep. Two cups of Black Sheep coffee later, I made my way to my office.
I had just finished payroll when the phone rang. It was Amanda, one of the more annoying employees at our east side location..
“Scott, it’s crazy around here.”
Yeah, sure. This is a woman who proudly wears shirts advertising unknown small-town dirt track racers. Shopping at Wal-Mart and singing awful Lorrie Morgan songs is considered excitement in her dreary life.
She continued on, much to my boredom. “There’s a protest going on next door. There’s people picketing, and some radio guys are here. KSFY just pulled in. And there’s a girl in a bikini.”
I yawned, waiting for her to end her tale, when that last sentence struck me right in the face. Girl in a bikini! “Amanda, I’ll be there in a few minutes.”
Three or four minutes later, I enter the parking lot. Where’s the hot chick? I see the morons from that awful radio station, The Wolf, mounting a counter-protest with signs and costumes that made no sense. On the other side of the entrance, I see a couple of other dudes holding signs.
Then I saw my goddess.
Ok, she looked a little ridiculous in her chicken feather headdress. But there was no mistaking her natural beauty – I’d say she was about 25, probably was a size 4, and she had eyes that could melt any known (and unknown) substance. Clothed in a yellow bikini, her legs, stomach, and breasts were perfect.
I had to get a closer look. I hopped back in my Jeep and pulled around to where she was waving her “KFC Tortures Chicks” sign. “Hey, can I take a picture for my website?” I asked.


Hot PETA chick stops traffic on 10th St.
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After getting the ok, I quickly lined up for the photo. Although an unfortunate fall onto my garage floor had shattered the lens of my cell phone, it was all I had. As I took the photo, one of her co-conspirators approached and thrust one of their propaganda papers in my hand. “Can I take a photo of the two of you together?”
That answer was obvious. I handed him the cell phone and posed with my future wife. Despite the pledge that I made a month ago after the disastrous photos with Paul Westerberg, I couldn’t back down from this opportunity. Plus, nobody’s even going to notice I’m in this photo.
As much as I wanted to rescue this beauty queen from the cold air and pouring rain, I knew they had a job to do. I jotted down my website address, and told them a little about my weekly radio rant, and sadly went on my way.


Me and the hot PETA chick.
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But I’m not here today to express my love for people that I’ll never see again. My job is to kick somebody out of town. It’s hard to turn on the anger after reliving my five minutes with PETA’s hottest body, but I’ll do my best.
Today’s rant begins three days ago, as I made my way to Black Sheep Coffee for my late Sunday morning pick-me-up. Normally, the quickest way to get to my second home is via the back roads just west of Minnesota Avenue. There’s few stop signs, and traffic is generally light.
Not on this rainy Sunday morning. First, a little background on the situation that’s about to unfold. A few years ago, the city initiated a program that allowed targeted neighborhoods to pile unwanted possessions for city pickup. I approve of this program, even though my neighborhood is never selected.
After turning onto one of these side streets, I immediately had to lunge around a giant pickup with Minnesota license plates that was parked at close to a forty-five degree angle. The clem owner of this truck was sorting through a pile of damp wood scraps, furniture, and other trash. Finishing with one pile, he walked down to the next house and picked up a mattress that appeared to have been used for a virgin sacrifice. MMM - stained, damp, and comfy!!!
Hoping this was an isolated incident, I made the turn onto 13th Street. This time, it was a vehicle with an Iowa plate. The actions of the prior vehicle were repeated, but his pickup was filled with garbage. But he was just as good at parking as the Minnesotan. Passing his pickup, I looked inside and found this heavyweight woman with a newborn on one and a smoke in her other hand. No car seat was in sight…but maybe that was one of the items they were looking for.
This scene was replayed throughout the entire neighborhood – strangers burrowing through other people’s trash. I guess you could call it Clem-ingwood Rummage. But it’s wrong. I know what some of you are thinking – they’re throwing it out anyway. What’s the harm?
Well, I don’t go through your garbage, and when I set my garbage out every Monday I don’t expect anybody to tear through my trash. It’s private property, and unless you ask permission, it’s trespassing.
God, I’m getting upset once again. It’s time for me to re-read the opening paragraphs, and recall the hot babe that stole my heart for almost five minutes. If you’re listening, my beautiful defender of poor feathered creatures, you can come protest anytime at my house!

Monday, April 11, 2005

Friday, April 08, 2005

Friday's Extended Journey Ipod Mix:

1. Pixies, "Gigantic" (Surfer Rosa & Come On Pilgrim)
2. Aimee Mann, "Amateur" (Live At St. Ann's Warehouse)
3. Marianne Faithfull, "Desperanto" (Before The Poison)
4. Yo La Tengo, "The Summer" (Prisoners Of Love: A Smattering Of Scintillating Senescent Songs)
5. The Jesus & Mary Chain, "Upside Down" (21 Singles)
6. Son Volt, "Live Free" (Trace)
7. Replacements, "Perfectly Lethal" (Let it Be Plus Outtakes)
8. Replacements, "I Wanna Destroy You" (Simply Unacceptable)
9. The White Stripes, "A Boy's Best Friend" (De Stijl)
10. Kathleen Edwards, "What Are You Waiting For?" (Back To Me)
11. The Smiths, "Bigmouth Strikes Again" (The Queen Is Dead)
12. The Rolling Stones, "Salt Of The Earth" (Beggars Banquet)
13. Le Tigre, "Hot Topic" (LeTigre)
14. Wilco, "I'm a Wheel" (Orpheum Theatre, 10/27/04)
15. Grandpaboy, "Take Out Some Insurance" (Dead Man Shake)
16. The Jayhawks, "Miss Williams' Guitar" (Tomorrow The Green Grass)
17. Sarah Lee Guthrie And Johnny Irion, "In Lieu Of Flowers" (Exploration)
18. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros, "Arms Aloft" (Streetcore)
19. The Replacements, "Happy Town" (All Shook Down)
20. Son Volt, "Picking Up The Signal" (Straightaways)
21. Uncle Tupelo, "Won't Forget" (No Depression)
22. The Raveonettes, "Red Tan" (Pretty In Black)
23. R.E.M., "Sweetness Follows" (Automatic For The People)
24. Wilco, "Candyfloss" (Orpheum Theatre, 10/27/04)
25. The Rolling Stones, "Rocks Off" (Exile On Main Street)
26. Bruce Springsteen, "Sherry Darling" (The River)
27. Camper Van Beethoven, "Where The Hell Is Bill?" (Telephone Free Landslide Victory)
28. Elliott Smith, "No Name No. 5" (Either/Or)
29. Wilco, "Via Chicago" (Orpheum Theatre, 10/27/04)
30. Beck, "Girl" (Guero)
31. The Who, "Glittering Girl" (The Who Sell Out)
32. Jason & The Scorchers, "Are You Ready For The Country" (Are You Ready For The Country?)
33. Pixies, "Blown Away" (Bossanova)
34. X, "We're Desperate" (No Thanks!)
35. Kaiser Chiefs, "Oh My God" (Employment)
36. Radiohead, "Street Spirit (Fade Out)" (The Bends)
37. The Velvet Underground, "Temptation Inside Your Heart" (Peel Slowly And See)
38. Hole, "Reasons To Be Beautiful" (Celebrity Skin)
39. Brendan Benson, "Flesh & Bone" (The Alternative To Love)
40. Cursive, "Some Red Handed Slight Of Hand" (The Ugly Organ)
41. Vic Chesnutt, "Gravity Of The Situation" (Is The Actor Happy?)
42. Lucinda Williams, "The Night's Too Long" (Lucinda Williams)
43. Aimee Mann, "Stupid Thing" (Live At St. Ann's Warehouse)
44. The Kinks, "David Watts" (Something Else)
45. The Pandoras, "I Didn't Cry" (Stop Pretending)
46. Iggy Pop, "Home" (Nude & Rude: The Best Of Iggy Pop)
Secret Of Ashlee Simpson's Success

From the Smoking Gun: Pop singer's backstage rider reveals pickle relish requirement

APRIL 8--This Ashlee Simpson gal really cracks us up. The singer's most recent backstage concert rider, which you'll find below, describes her four-piece band's "orchestration" thusly: "Drums, Bass, 2 Guitars, and pre-recorded sequences operated by the drummer." Along with keeping the beat, Ashlee's poor bandmate also has to press the play button (an indignity never suffered, of course, by Max Roach, Charlie Watts, or even the Spinal Tap drummers). The rider also includes the 20-year-old performer's dressing room demands, which include a jar of pickle relish and a "Ubiquitous Deli Platter with appropriate condiments." We're pretty sure someone besides Ashlee came up with (and spelled) the word ubiquitous. Simpson's rider, which was updated a month after her "Saturday Night Live" lip sync debacle last October, also requires Throat Coat tea, a favorite of singers who actually sing. Perhaps Ashlee should also make sure that promoters lay in a supply of AA batteries for orchestration purposes.
Ashley's Concert Rider

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Oops!!! I Made a Mistake!!!

It has come to my attention that in my latest "Get Out of Town" rant I made a couple of factual errors. My apologies to the person in question. The mistakes have been cut out of the offending post.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

By Request, Today's Ipod Mix

1. Uncle Tupelo, "Anodyne" (Anodyne)
2. Whiskeytown, "Inn Town"(Strangers Almanac)
3. Wilco, "I Thought I Held You" (A.M.)
4. Blue Rodeo, "Willin' Fool" (Lost Together)
5. Whiskeytown, "Avenues" (Strangers Almanac)
6. Pavement, "Pueblo" (Wowee Zowee)
7. vis Costello & The Attractions, "Busy Bodies" (Armed Forces)
8. Tommy Keene, "Andrea" (The Real Underground)
9. The Jam, "The Modern World" (No Thanks! Disc 2)
10. The Weakerthans, "Over Retired Explorer" (Reconstruction Site)
11. Otis Redding, "Satisfaction" (The Complete Stax/Volt Singles: 1959-1968 Vol. 5)
12. Kathleen Edwards, "Copied Keys" (Back To Me)
13. Bob Dylan, "Mama, You Been On My Mind" (The Bootleg Series, Vols. 1-3 : Rare And Unreleased, 1961-1991)
14. My Morning Jacket, "Steam Engine" (It Still Moves)
15. Centro-Matic, "Breathe Deep, Not Loud" (Love You Just The Same)
16. The Pernice Brothers, "Chicken Wire" (Overcome by Happiness)
17. Lloyd Cole, "Speedboat" (Rattlesnakes)
18. Paul Westerberg, "AAA" (Pantages Theatre, 11/6/04)
19. Dave Alvin, "Blue Blvd" (Blue Boulevard)
20. Paul Westerberg, "How Can You Like Him?" (Folker)
21. R.E.M., "Nightswimming" (Automatic For The People)
22. Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, "Rich" (Easy Pieces)
23. The Shins, "One By One All Day" (Oh, Inverted World)
24. Ultravox, "Saturday Night In The City Of The Dead" (No Thanks! Disc 2)
25. Replacements, "Who's Gonna Take Us Alive" (Let it Be Plus Outtakes)
26. Paul Westerberg, "Alex Chilton" (Henry Fonda Theatre, LA 2/22/05)
27. Bob Mould, "Poison Years" (Workbook)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Thompson's ashes to be shot from cannon
'He loved explosions'

DENVER, Colorado (AP) -- Hunter S. Thompson's ashes will be blasted from a cannon mounted inside a 53-foot-high (16.15 meter-high) sculpture of the journalist's "gonzo fist" emblem, his wife said Tuesday.

The cannon shot, planned sometime in August on the grounds of his Aspen-area home, will fulfill the writer's long-cherished wish.

"It's expensive, but worth every penny," Anita Thompson said. "I'd like to have several explosions. He loved explosions."

Thompson, 67, shot himself in the head on February 20 after a long and flamboyant career that produced such new journalism classics as "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and cast his image as a hard-charging, drug-crazed daredevil.

The cannon shot will be part of a larger public celebration of Thompson's life. Some details remain to be worked out, including the exact date, what kind of cannon will be used and the specifics of the gonzo fist, his wife said.

She said the gonzo fist will be mounted on a 100-foot pillar, making the monument 153 feet (46.63 meters) high. It will resemble Thompson's personal symbol, a fist on an upthrust forearm, sometimes with "Gonzo" emblazoned across it.

Anita Thompson has said the monument will be a permanent fixture on the writer's 100-acre property.

She said planning for the fist has been guided by a video of Thompson and longtime illustrator-collaborator Ralph Steadman, recorded in the late 1970s when they visited a Hollywood funeral home and began mapping out the cannon scheme.

Meanwhile, Playboy magazine this week is publishing an interview with Thompson based on a series of conversations he had with magazine staffer Tim Mohr in December.

In the interview Thompson discusses a range of topics from political freedom to the best kind of snow tires to buy but offers no obvious hints of his impending suicide.

"He was really enthusiastic and full of energy," Mohr told The Associated Press on Monday. Thompson even talked about embarking on a long-term project to expand the Playboy piece into a book, "a guide to life, sort of a handbook," Mohr said.

The interview appears in the magazine's May issue, which hits newsstands Friday.
De Knudson, Get Out of Town

Wednesday, April 6 – Day Five of the Dead Pope Crisis. To borrow from a classic Saturday Night Live skit, Pope John Paul George Ringo II is still dead.
I don’t mean to offend those of the Catholic faith (or any religion), but I’m tired of hearing about this man. It’s not like we didn’t know this was coming. After all, he has been extremely ill for quite some time.
It’s a shame that the world’s most powerful religious leader became the latest in the Laci Peterson/Robert Blake/Michael Jackson/Ashley Smith/Terri Schiavo never-ending cable news story. He deserved better than to be the focus of the swine who endlessly babble on our cable news, and local, channels.
I guess once Ms. Schiavo died, it was time for the networks to move on to the next story, and the Pope’s worsening condition fit the bill perfectly. Being the king of ultra-losers, I was scanning the dial Friday night endlessly looking for something to pass the time before mercifully passing out. When I saw that all three news channels had the same shot of the Vatican, I assumed he had passed. Unfortunately, so did Fox as they announced his death a mere 22 hours before it actually happened.
Despite the fact that he was still alive, the entire night was still devoted to that same shot. And when he finally did die the next day, we were treated to expert opinions from seemingly every Catholic in the world. KSFY followed their network’s 30 minute newscast on the Pope with an additional ten minutes of the same stories, accompanied by a token local reaction story.
Don’t get me wrong – it was obviously an important story and deserved attention. But the world didn’t stop turning. News continued to occur…unfortunately it was ignored. For example, there were a series of attacks at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison. Except for a couple of buried newspaper stories, there was little talk of this story. Yesterday, I did an informal poll and nobody was aware of these attacks.
Today’s rant, however, is not about the Pope. I’m here to give the boot to a city official that I have mentioned before but have never given her the benefit of a full-blown bitchfest. I thought that this person would have disappeared years ago, but somehow she still holds office.
What sent me over the edge was last week’s so-called press conference involving the controversy surrounding Mayor Munson’s contracts to complete Phillips to the Falls and Pasley Park. Well, it was supposed to be a press conference but his buddies, including the person I’m about to name, turned it into an organized pep rally. It reminded me of the sham town hall meetings that helped Bush win reelection last fall. Hell, everybody involved with the show last Thursday should apply for jobs with the Bush Administration.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Munson shouldn’t have his supporters showing their support during troubled times. But that’s not what a press conference is all about. Munson should have just read his statement, taken a couple of softball questions from the TV stations and a token “tough” question from the Argus, and met up with his buddies at Skelly’s.
One of the leaders of this sham, and easily the most quoted of these twits, is city council woman De Knudson. In her eyes, either there never was a problem or if there was it was everybody else’s fault. She can’t make up her mind. I guess love is blind. Or love of the status quo is blind.
Just weeks ago she was right next to Linda Barker in damning anybody that dared to have negative thoughts about the planned Event Center. I realize that I’m surrounded by people who disagree with me about this building, but even if you are 100% in favor of the project you have to allow for opposing viewpoints – especially when one is talking about tens of millions of dollars. There are valid questions about everything involved – from the formation and make-up of the task force to the location and funding. Just handing out rubber stamps to any of Munson’s ideas is a dangerous practice.
And that’s what Ms. Knudson is – a rubber stamp. Despite what another city council member told me about Munson (“he’s not sophisticated enough to have hoped for a rubber stamp”), she has yet to showcase an original idea. As for the Mayor’s current problems, her opinion is that the ends justify the means. Who cares what laws or procedures were broken? We got that two block parking lot entrance built, and that beautiful hot dog and chicken strips restaurant. After all, the City Council funded it months later. Well, they had no choice.
Now she doesn’t believe that we should even look into this controversy. She was the lone vote against an independent audit. I’ll bet she wouldn’t have that attitude if one of those nasty America-hating liberals were in charge.
I’m certainly not saying that some of the other city council members didn’t have ulterior motives in this controversy. My prediction is that at least one of them will not survive their next election. But didn’t our city need some young blood to shake things up a bit? Should our city continue to be run by a handful of crooked real estate agents and business leaders? I think not, and the best way to ensure our city’s future as a great place to live and work is to replace professional beaurucrats such as this twit. Maybe I’ll run against her. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Here's my new buddy, Gabriel, born last Thursday evening.
Posted by Hello

Monday, April 04, 2005

SON VOLT RETROSPECTIVE TO BE RELEASED

Rhino has announced plans to release Son Volt: A Retrospective 1995-2000 on May 24th. The 20-track compilation will feature 5 unreleased tracks alongside album tracks, rarities and demos:




1: DROWN
2: WINDFALL
3: ROUTE
4: REX'S BLUES
5: LOOKING AT THE WORLD THROUGH A WINDSHIELD
6: TOO EARLY
7: BACK INTO YOUR WORLD
8: PICKING UP THE SIGNAL
9: I'VE GOT TO KNOW*
10: CREOSOTE
11: STRAIGHTFACE
12: TULSA COUNTY
13: DRIVING THE VIEW
14: AIN'T NO MORE CANE*
15: FLOW
16: HOLOCAUST
17: TEAR STAINED EYE (Four Track Demo)*
18: LOOSE STRING (Four Track Demo)*
19: MEDICINE HAT (Live - Acoustic Café)*
20: OPEN ALL NIGHT
*Previously Unissued

In other Son Volt news:
On May 10, New West Records will release Son Volt's 1997 Austin City Limits performance in its' entirety on DVD. The session was edited to 30 minutes and was originally aired on PBS alongside a performance from Gillian Welch and David Rawlings.
The band has also finished recording their fourth album -- the first new release since 1998’s Wide Swing Tremolo (Warner Bros. Records). This time around, though, fans will be seeing (and hearing) a different collection of side musicians performing with Farrar. After several months of discussions and planning with the original Son Volt players—Dave Boquist, Jim Boquist and Mike Heidorn—Farrar was unable to reach acceptable business terms with the original line-up. “Times change, and so do people, I guess,” reflected Farrar. “While I was looking forward to the reunion aspect of working with those guys, it just wasn’t meant to be. It’ll be liberating to get down to work with a different group of musicians. I had always envisioned Son Volt as a vehicle for my songwriting and expected it to evolve over the years. When I reformed the original band this year to record our track for Por Vida [the Alejandro Escovedo benefit album (Or Music)], it seemed like we might be able to extend that two-day session into two years of recording and touring--but it doesn’t look that way now.”
Collaborating with Farrar on these new sessions are Brad Rice (guitar--Tift Merritt, Ryan Adams), Andrew Duplantis (bass—Jon Dee Graham, Meat Puppets, Bob Mould), Eric Heywood (pedal steel—Son Volt, Calexico) and Dave Bryson (drums—Canyon). Fans had access to these sessions through web cameras installed in the studio beginning October 12, providing a very rare glimpse into Farrar’s recording process as it actually unfolds. During the two week recording period, there were 15 million hits on the site!



Posted by Hello

Sunday, April 03, 2005

I Hate Daylight Savings Time!!!

Sure, back in the days when I was a fun guy I loved having that extra hour of drinking in October. But this whole add an extra hour thing is the worst...especially when I stayed up until 4 (or was it 5) watching the People Vs. Larry Flynt on Showtime.
So it's 11:30 when I stumble out of bed and I still didn't get anything near 8 hours of sleep...which isn't unusual. Now the whole freaking day has taken forever to go by and I know that even the best over-the-counter pharmaceuticals isn't going to get me to sleep at a decent hour tonight.
What a strange weekend. Not exciting strange, just strange. Hoping to cure myself of the typical weekend blahs, I set my Ipod to just randomly play Replacements tunes all weekend. Friday night I was so restless that I actually hauled that toy to Barnes and Noble, grabbed a book and read almost half of it with nobody to bother me except for "Unsatisfied", "Color Me Impressed", and the occassional mini-skirt that wandered by.
Out of the blue the next day, a good friend that I rarely see these days called me to go out to lunch. Then while moping at the coffee shop, I managed to lock my keys in the car. Ultra-loser, that's my name.
Fuck it, I can't go on with detailing my non-eventful life. I'm just going to turn up the surround sound version of the new Beck album and wait for Arrested Development.