Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Jenna the Ipod's Sunday Coffee Shop Reading Mix

1. Jeff Tweedy, "Henry & the H Bombs" (Vic Theatre, Chicago 3/5/05)
2. Bruce Springsteen, "Stolen Car" (Tracks)
3. The Breeders, "Lime House" (Pod)
4. Oasis, "Keep the Dream Alive" (Don't Believe The Truth)
5. Ryan Adams, "To Be The One" (Heartbreaker)
6. The Beatles, "Michelle" (Rubber Soul)
7. Ryan Adams, "In My Time Of Need" (Heartbreaker)
8. Tegan & Sara, "Walking With A Ghost" (So Jealous)
9. Pavement, "Newark Wilder" (Crooked Rain Crooked Rain)
10. Elliott Smith, "Rose Parade" (Either/Or)
11. Seedy Gonzales, "Just Killin' Time (Before Time Kills Me)" (EP)
12. Jeff Tweedy, "Black Eye" (Vic Theatre, Chicago 3/5/05)
13. The Jayhawks, "Somewhere In Ohio" (Live From The Women's Club, Volume 2)
14. Lucinda Williams, "Reason to Cry" (Live @ The Fillmore)
15. The Wallflowers, "Here He Comes" (Rebel, Sweetheart)
16. Bob Mould, "Black Sheets Of Rain" (Black Sheets Of Rain)
17. Uncle Tupelo, "If That's Alright [demo-fast acoustic version]" (Still Feel Gone)
18. Paul Westerberg, "Good Day" (Eventually)
19. The New Pornographers, "These Are The Fables" (Twin Cinema)
20. X-Ray Specs, "Age (Bonus Track)" (Germ-Free Adolescents)
21. My Morning Jacket, "Steam Engine" (It Still Moves)
22. Grandpaboy, "Do Right In Your Eyes" (Dead Man Shake)
23. The White Stripes, "I Can Learn" (White Blood Cells)
24. The Who, "Young Man Blues [Studio Version]" (Odds & Sods)
25. Bob Mould, "Out Of Your Life" (Black Sheets Of Rain)
26. Travis, "Happy" (Singles)
27. Nick Lowe, "Heart of the City" (No Thanks! the '70s Punk Rebellion)
28. Paul Westerberg, "Kiss Me On the Bus" (Pantages Theatre, 11/7/04)
29. Uncle Tupelo, "Wipe the Clock" (March 16-20 1992)
30. Spoon, "Was It You?" (Gimme Fiction)
31. Green Day, "Homecoming / The Death Of St. Jimmy..." (American Idiot)
32. Jay Farrar, "Different Eyes" (Sebastopol)
Non-profit Hospitals - Quit Your Whining!!!

There’s a certain medical group that for the longest time preached the beauty of the free market. As their revenue streams grew, they used their cash to expand their reach into our fine city. Their main building expanded, both up and around. Building after building was erected, which some conspiracy nuts believe is the reason why that part of town now has a flooding problem.
They also used their cash to expand throughout the rest of the city and state. Almost every medical clinic was purchased by this so-called non-profit, including one that was physically attached to their biggest competitor. Many of these conquests were billed as “specialty clinics”, dedicated to just one or two specific types of medical care.
Despite all of these acquisitions, this company still had extra cash. I guess five dollar band aids results in a pretty high profit margin. What did they do with this extra cash? Sponsorships. There are few scoreboards or public buildings that don’t feature a logo from these fine folks.
A few years ago, however, a few men and women actually broke away from this company and started their own business. Having spent so many years with this company, they also believed in the free market system. They built their own facility, and specialized in one possibly highly profitable aspect of their former employer.
Suddenly, the free market system isn’t such a great idea. How dare these people try to better themselves financially at the expense of their company’s bottom line!
In the real world, if competition arises you protect yourselves in many different ways. You offer better service, or you advertise the advantages of the services you provide. Or you could strengthen other areas of your company. Maybe, and I know this is completely unheard of in the medical field, you offer a price advantage.
Not these guys. They contacted their buddies in the government. Along with other medical companies in a similar situation, in 2003 they convinced Congress to adopt an 18-month moratorium on specialty hospital start-ups and expansion. When that ban ended recently, the feds opted not to make any Medicare agreements with new specialty hospitals, which essentially lengthened this moratorium.
But this is not enough for these people. They want a new law passed that would basically stop existing specialty hospitals from any expansion of services, beds, and rooms or the admittance of any new doctors. In other words, it’s okay for them to continue to buy out entire neighborhoods to expand the services they provide but not anybody else.
They’re currently expanding their propaganda war to the business community. Just this past week, my family’s business received a five-page packet of garbage bemoaning their self-created disadvantage. A lot of space was given to allegations of abuse due to physician self-referral. On first glance, this does appear to be a legitimate complaint. But with truly independent clinics now a thing of the past, when was the last time that any hospital-owned facility referred somebody to a facility not under the same ownership group? Isn’t there a similar potential for loyal employees of these so-called non-profits to order unnecessary tests and procedures?
Currently, there’s no proof that any of these specialty hospitals have acted in an improper manner. Every company in any industry has a potential for misconduct; that alone is not enough reason for their competitors to limit their ability to do business. When it comes to health care, there is currently enough documentation to investigate any allegations. Lower profit margins are not enough cause to rewrite the rules in one side’s favor.

Monday, June 27, 2005

I have no idea why some of these posts aren't showing up correctly. My apologies while I attempt to fix this problem.
This is the funniest photo I've seen in years - senior citizens "performing" the godawful "YMCA".

Sunday, June 26, 2005

This is a test to see how this new blogger image software works.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Jenna the Ipod's Thursday Afternoon Mix

1. Big Star, "Jesus Christ" (A Little BIG Star)
2. Pixies, "Letter To Memphis" (Trompe Le Monde)
3. The Kinks, "Do It Again" (The Ultimate Collection)
4. R.E.M., "Animal" (In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003
5. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros, "Arms Aloft" (Streetcore)
6. Dream Syndicate, "Tell Me When It’s Over" (Left Of The Dial)
7. Hole, "Awful" (Celebrity Skin)
8. Suburbs, "Cows" (Ladies And Gentlemen, The Suburbs Have Left The Building)
9. Jay Farrar, "Prelude (Make It Alright)" (Sebastopol)
10. Maria Taylor, "Two Of Those Too" (11:11)
11. Supersuckers, "Shake It Off" (Devil's Food)
12. Camper Van Beethoven, "Never Go Back" (Camper Vantiquities)
13. The Blue Van, "New Slough" (The Art Of Rolling)
14. Lucinda Williams, "Changed The Locks" (Lucinda Williams)
15. The Rolling Stones, "Doncha Bother Me" (Aftermath)
16. Jim Norton, "Penile Philosophy & Blackout Humor" (Trinkets I Own, Made From Gorilla Hands)
17. My Bloody Valentine, "Sometimes" (Loveless)
18. The Who, "I'm A Boy" (Thirty Years Of Maximum R&B)
19. Paul Westerberg, "Let the Bad Times Roll" (Henry Fonda Theatre, LA 2/23/05)
20. The Replacements, "Hayday" (Hootenanny)
21. The Replacements, "More Cigarettes" (Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out the Trash)
22. Paul Westerberg, "Swinging Party" (Pantages Theatre, 11/7/04)
23. The Ramones, "Glad To See You Go" (Hey! Ho! Let's Go: The Anthology)
24. X-Ray Specs, "Genetic Engineering" (Germ-Free Adolescents)
25. The Soundtrack Of Our Lives, "Age of No Reply" (Origin Vol. 1)
Karl Mueller's Funeral

This account appeared on the Man Without Ties Paul Westerberg message board:

I went. Overflow crowd, as you might expect. I'd guess 400-500 people, many listening via speakers outside in the sun. Ave Maria was sung. I took some notes. It was hot and sweaty, in a beautiful mosaic-lined chapel at Lakewood Cemetery, where Hubert Humphrey and Paul Wellstone and lots of others are buried. Inside and out was packed with people of all sorts--many cool and music-loving and glamorous, the guy in front of me had on a "Horse They Rode in On" tour shirt. The whole scene was not that far a cry from a small, sweaty club Soul Asylum might have played, and I know they sometimes played to far fewer people than that.

Dave Pirner and Danny Murphy shared eulogy duties. Dave called Karl "a vision of a rock god" and remembered thinking on their first road trip "If I never write a good song people will still come to see Karl play." He said Karl would often look straight at him and say, "I love to rock." Lots of funny lines and stories, like when someone cut a finger on a decorative razor blade Karl was wearing at a party, Karl was the one to faint. Karl's mom Mary was the band's mom, nurturing them in the basement and sticking up for them when neighbors complained. Dave sang maybe all the verses of "Morning Has Broken," his voice breaking even more than usual. In later years of touring Karl developed a "quasi-professional attitude," Dave said, retiring to the hotel for a beer and a call home after a show. Karl said had he not been in a band he might have liked to be a flight attendant. Dave finished by singing "Oh Karl," a song he's working on.

Danny Murphy remembered some Karl nicknames, such as "The Impossibly Handsome Karl Mueller" and "Map Mueller" or "Mileage Marker Mueller." A trip to England in 1978 changed Karl: he left wearing a button shirt and gold chains and came back with a black coat and a Discharge shirt. Loud Fast Rules, the band that became Soul Asylum, was a direct result of Karl Mueller, he said. Karl collected a lot of things: more than 400 snow domes, "rude food" (?) such as Smurf-shaped spaghetti-os, and in the 1970s, all 50 state cans of 7-Up. He was a food nerd, Fed Exing his favorite ribs home whenever the band went to Memphis.

Karl wasn't known as a songwriter but did compose the words to the first Loud Fast Rules song, "Planet Zero": "I don't know about foreign affairs/I don't know who's president/I don't know about you and me/I guess I don't really care." Also a countryish number called "Cold and Frosty Morning."

Danny said the Blue Note in Columbia, Missouri was one of the most welcoming of clubs for the band, and it was at a show there that a fan gave karl a bass that became his Number One Bass from then on. The next morning Danny saw that the case was empty and Karl was embracing the bass as he slept (that instrument is currently on view at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul, he said). Karl applied some green to the bass then scratched "Stay Free" in to the color--his favorite song by a long shot. On meeting Mick Jones in NYC, Karl told him that song had inspired him to start a band, and Jones was (touched? impressed? I couldn't hear that part). Danny finished by quoting the last lines of "Stay Free."

I saw a few well-known people, and I'm sure there were many more I just don't know or wouldn't recognize. Paul Magers, the former Twin Cities newscaster who now does the TV news at an L.A. station, was looking very somber; he flew in just for the funeral, I overheard someone say. I thought I saw at least two members of the Suburbs as well as Greg Norton, Gary Louris and Tommy Stinson (hair: black). Chris Riemenschneider (sp?) the local critic stood silently surveying the crowd outside after the funeral. There was a private reception after to which everyone there was apparently invited but I didn't go--stopped in at Treehouse records instead and spent an hour meditating over the vinyl and cardboard.

Grieving friends of Soul Asylum's
Karl Mueller remember how to smile

Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune
June 23, 2005

It was the kind of funeral where they quoted from the Bible and the Clash.

A who's who of the Twin Cities music scene and many other friends and fans gathered with family members Wednesday at Lakewood Cemetery Chapel in Minneapolis to honor Soul Asylum bassist Karl Mueller, who died Friday from complications related to cancer treatment.

A founder of one of Minnesota's most successful rock bands, Mueller, 41, battled throat cancer for a year.

His bandmates Dan Murphy and Dave Pirner each delivered eulogies at the noontime service.

"Karl made the cramped quarters and the hard times easier," Pirner said, recounting the band's early years driving Mueller's beat-up truck, nicknamed Clarence, to gigs. The group formed in 1981 as Lou Fast Rules.

When Soul Asylum made it big a decade later with the 1992 hit "Runaway Train," Pirner recalled, Mueller was likely to "grab a couple beers and head back to the hotel to call his wife Mary Beth" instead of enjoying the richer backstage scene.

Murphy did remember one night when the bassist hung out with rock legends Keith Richards and Tom Waits.

"Karl kept asking [Waits] what his name was," Murphy said to laughs from the crowd, which overflowed the chapel.

The guitarist ended his eulogy by tearfully quoting the Clash's "Stay Free," Mueller's favorite song: "I'll never forget the smile on my face 'cause I knew where you would be/ And if you're in the Crown tonight, have a drink on me/ But go easy, step lightly, stay free."

Pirner also fought back tears as he sang "Morning Has Broken," a song popularized by Cat Stevens also used at the funeral of Mueller's father, Gary.

Mueller's body was cremated before the service. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his mother, Mary.

Afterward, the crowd moved to Dixie's by Lake Calhoun, a restaurant that Mueller -- who worked in construction and cooked during the band's off time -- helped build.

Virtually every major Twin Cities rock band of the '80s and '90s was represented at the gathering, including members of the Jayhawks, Replacements, H|sker D|, Babes in Toyland, Suburbs, Gear Daddies, Honeydogs, Polara, Run Westy Run and Magnolias. Many local club and radio employees and former KARE-11 anchor Paul Magers, a friend of the
family, were also on hand.

Former Soul Asylum drummer Sterling Campbell, now in David Bowie's band, said Mueller was a "prince" about teaching him the group's songs when he joined in 1992. "It didn't take long before we found the pocket," he said. "We had a lot of really amazing shows."

The stage is usually where Soul Asylum shined brightest. Fans were reminded of this in October, when the band performed at an all-star Rock for Karl benefit concert in Minneapolis.

Soul Asylum spent the past year finishing its first studio album since 1998's "Candy From a Stranger." The CD's producer, Steve Hodge, said Mueller played on each of the record's 12 tracks despite his chemotherapy treatment.

"At first, it was tough for him to even stay awake, but by the end we had to kick him out of the studio," Hodge said. "My impression was Karl always worked hard like that."

Pirner and Murphy have not yet publicly addressed the future of Soul Asylum, but everyone close to the band believes the group will carry on. Mueller even reportedly gave his bandmates a short list of replacements he thought would work.

Either way, Pirner made it clear that Mueller's passion was often the spark plug behind the band.

"Many times Karl would look me in the eye and say in all clarity: 'I love to rock.' "

Chris Riemenschneider is at chrisr@startribune.com.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

"I Never Thought It Could Happen Here"

Anybody who has read these weekly rants knows that I have issues. I’m the first to admit that I have serious issues.
But if I didn’t have these personal problems, I wouldn’t have the rage to come up with the material to entertain you fine folks week after week. Instead of letting annoying issues simmer inside until I type my thoughts on my computer screen every Tuesday evening, if I were a normal person I would just smile and plead ignorance.
So here I am once again trying to decide which of many possible enemies I should attack. There are so many potential targets but so little time. So I have narrowed this week’s essay down to three topics.
Let’s start with another session with my buddies across the street at KELO. For years and years, one of my biggest complaints has been the “neighborhood reaction” story. Any time there’s a violent crime, the second story is inevitably an interview with a couple of elderly neighbors that “never thought it could happen here”. I hate to break it to you, folks, but rapes, murders, thefts, and other criminal acts can and will happen anywhere. If they didn’t, why would we need the po-lice? They could just narrow their coverage to those undefined areas where we might think it could happen. I guess that would be porno shops, strip clubs, and downtown bars – incidentally, the exact spots in this area where I personally feel safest.
The reason I bring this issue up once again is because of last night’s six o’clock news. As you probably all know, a homeless person was killed in front of the School For the Deaf yesterday. After the obligatory story describing the discovery of the body and the arrest of the accused perp, accompanied by some great shots of yellow tape and cops observing the crime scene, we had to move on with a story that began with these words, “for some neighbors, news of this morning’s discovery near the South Dakota School For the Deaf is a bit too close for comfort.” Shocked senior citizens and a clem with a great mullet performed as if they had been in the 3000 other stories of this nature. “It’s a quiet neighborhood.” “This is real close.” Blah blah blah.
Let’s put an end to this garbage. If a person didn’t witness the crime, or doesn’t have any pertinent knowledge of the victim, the accused, or the incident in question, they shouldn’t be interviewed. These are the only stories more worthless than the dreaded “KELO-Land connection” to any national story – you know, like when a famous person’s baby’s mama’s brother’s cousin once met a relative of a famous star, or when a star’s distant relative once vacationed in the state. Ok, I take it back – those are worse.
Time to move on – you may recall that a few weeks back I described a particular night as the worst evening in television history. I take that back. Every night that Tom Cruise and his pretend fiancé is mentioned is obviously a worse night, but Tuesday has set the new standard.
In many ways, it was a day just like any other day. Too many of my cable channels seemed to be devoted to the same old crap we’ve had to endure for the past few weeks – not only that awful actor and his Dawson’s Creek bimbo but Brad and Angelina’s “did they or did they not” rumors, Lindsay Lohan’s unconvincing babbling that she doesn’t do coke, awful reality shows devoted to aging rock star ex-wives and wannabe male strippers (which nobody needs to endure), and the many lies and lying liars that are continuously ruining our lives in Washington.
Yet there was more evil than normal on Tuesday, and anybody who tuned into the Today Show should have just hopped back into bed until Wednesday. Not ten seconds into their broadcast and the insufferable Ann Curry was bragging about their exclusive interviews with not only Michael Jackson’s mother but the Runaway Bride, or as I like to call her, the Bug-Eyed Bitch.
Obviously, the interview with little Mickey Jackson’s mamma yielded no information. Hell, they didn’t even try. She was interviewed by that raspy-voiced middle-aged cretin who was just fired by Fox, which should tell you all you need to know about her. The art of a follow-up question is no longer a part of the interview process. Of course, this is how you get so-called exclusives – you promise no tough questions.
Now, the Bug-Eyed Bitch segment wasn’t truly a story – it was a ten minute commercial for the Katie Couric prime time special that has been promoted during every NBC ad break for the past few days. Couric sure looks like she’s prodding her subject – she leans in and lowers her voice as if she’s going in for the kill. Yet when Bug-Eyes gives her nothing in return, Couric just giggles and tosses out softball after softball.
Look, I don’t care about this woman. I don’t care that her husband had found God and refused to give her the beef. I don’t that a 500-guest wedding had made her feel overwhelmed. I don’t care that she’s sorry for all the problems she’s caused. I shouldn’t care. Hell, I shouldn’t even know about it. It was never worthy of a national story, and it’s certainly not worthy of an opportunity for Ms. Couric to show off as the heir apparent to Barbara Walters – like that’s a worthy career goal.
What I do care is this – this twit caused a lot of grief to a lot of people, and I’m not just talking about those of us who were force-fed her story. I’m talking about the families sitting by the phone while she was off getting her socks rocked in Vegas. I’m talking about the police and other personnel who worked long hours not only searching for her but investigating her cockaminie story about a Mexican man and white woman who kidnapped and gang-raped her.
You would think that after all of the grief that she caused that she would just quietly hide for the next 30, 40 years. No, instead she gets a book deal worth a half million dollars, and an hour of prime-time oral sex performed by NBC and Katie Couric.
What’s even worse is that after showering once the performance was concluded, what was now on my television screen? A reality show featuring Paris Hilton’s mother! The premise of this show was that Mrs. Hilton was going to teach social etiquette to part-time actors – I mean small-town country bumpkins. No, they’re not performing for the cameras.
Somebody please explain something to me – what could Mrs. Hilton teach anybody about manners, grace, and social etiquette? Her track record’s not that great. One daughter is famous for many things - her expertise in chatting on her cell phone while filming an amateur porn video, two seasons of misbehavior on her own reality show, and salacious incident after salacious incident in nightclubs and hotel rooms all over the world. The other daughter, while not as headline worthy, has had her own share of bad behavior, including a surprise Britney Spears-type Vegas wedding. I’m sorry, Mrs. Hilton, but I’ve seen June Cleaver, and you’re not her.
Well, I see that my allotted time is up, and I haven’t even gotten to many of the topics I wanted to address today. Nationally, we have what should be (but probably isn’t) the wrap-up of the Terri Schiavo case and the embarrassment this is causing some moronic politicians, along with the repercussions of the Downing Street Memos. Locally, there’s plenty to bitch about – from road construction nightmares to zoo mismanagement to the fiasco at Dan Dugan Park to an incident involving a group of bicyclists and the police. And let’s not forget about the self-serving actions of a certain hospital that sure likes the free market when it’s to their benefit but doesn’t believe that others should have the same rights. More on that next week.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Soul Asylum's bassist, Karl Mueller, dies at 41

Jon Bream, Star Tribune
June 18, 2005

Soul Asylum bassist Karl Mueller, a founding member of one of the Twin Cities' most popular and successful rock bands, died early Friday morning at his home in south Minneapolis. He was 41.

Mueller had been in and out of the hospital recently. His throat cancer was diagnosed in May 2004.

"Everyone was surprised it happened [Friday] morning," said Maggie Macpherson, a friend of Mueller's since 1980 and a longtime worker in the Twin Cities music scene. "We had all hoped he'd come through the worst. We knew his time would be shorter than hoped ... but he was due for surgery on Monday."

Macpherson was among the members of the local music community who gathered at Mueller's home Friday. Also there were Soul Asylum guitarist Dan Murphy, Gary Louris and Marc Perlman of the Jayhawks, Lori Barbero of Babes in Toyland and singer-guitarist Kraig Jarrett Johnson, who along with bassist Jim Boquist had painted Mueller's house after he became ill.

Another longtime friend and local music maven, LeeAnn Weimar, said: "Karl was an intelligent guy and had a dry, sarcastic, sardonic wit. And he was a damn good cook. He and [his wife] Mary Beth liked to entertain. He was a really good friend."

Mueller was so well-liked in the local music community that an all-star benefit was held for him at the Quest nightclub in October last year, featuring an unprecedented lineup of 1980s and '90s Twin Cities rock luminaries including Paul Westerberg of the Replacements, Bob Mould and Grant Hart of Hüsker Dü, the reunited Gear Daddies and, of course, Soul Asylum, with Mueller participating in a full set of music.

"Even if I didn't know me, I wouldn't have missed this show for the world," Mueller said backstage that night.

It was his last gig, though he continued to work in the recording studio.

Soul Asylum completed a new album this year, with Mueller and new drummer Michael Bland. The band has been in negotiations to release it on a major label early next year.

The band's lead singer, Dave Pirner, who lives mostly in New Orleans, was en route to Minneapolis Friday night after learning of Mueller's death. Soul Asylum is expected to release a statement today.

"Karl was the person most likely to not be confused as a rock star," said Hart, a St. Paul singer-songwriter who played at last fall's benefit. "That word didn't ever work for Karl."

Said Minneapolis singer-songwriter Paul Metsa: "Karl was blue-collar and a barroom buddy in the best sense of the word. He had a tremendous work ethic. I will never forget seeing him on a Friday night on David Letterman and the following Monday working the kitchen at the Loon Bar and Café downtown."

As for Mueller's bass playing, Metsa called it "both deceptively effortless and incredibly powerful."

Said Hart: "It was never a flashy thing, but that was the core of his humility."

Pat Montague, owner of J.D. Hoyt's restaurant and bar, where Mueller's wife used to work, knew him "as a guy who did crossword puzzles at the bar every day. You'd never know he was in the music business. He was a down-to-Earth guy."

Mueller could often be seen walking his two Scottie dogs -- one black, one white -- around his south Minneapolis neighborhood. But he was famous for what he did with Soul Asylum for more than two decades.

From punk to prom

The Twin Cities quartet was a mainstay on the local scene since the mid-1980s, rising to national prominence in the early '90s with the hits "Black Gold" and "Runaway Train."

Mueller, Pirner and Murphy started together in 1981 as Loud Fast Rules before evolving into Soul Asylum in 1984 with the album, "Say What You Will Clarence ... Karl Sold the Truck" for Twin/Tone Records of Minneapolis.

At first, Soul Asylum played second banana on the local scene to the Replacements and Hüsker Dü. But after making three albums for Twin/Tone, it graduated to a major label, A&M, recording two more albums before moving to Columbia in '92 for "Grave Dancers Union," the quartet's biggest seller.

The band has released three more CDs for Columbia, the most recent being last year's live recording "After the Flood: Live from the Grand Forks Prom June 28, 1998."

In addition to his wife, Mary Beth, survivors include his mother, Mary. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Friday, June 17, 2005

A much better picture of the late great Mr. Mueller.
Posted by Hello

Soul Asylum's Karl Mueller and Dave Pirner at last year's Rock For Karl benefit.
Posted by Hello
Soul Asylum bassist Karl Mueller dies


Pioneer Press

Karl Mueller, bass player and founding member of the band Soul Asylum,
died Friday morning in his Minneapolis home due to complications from
esophageal cancer. He was 41.

Soul Asylum rose to local prominence in the '80s alongside Twin Cities
bands the Replacements and Husker Du. In 1989, the band signed its first of
two major-label deals. Three years later, Soul Asylum's disc "Grave Dancers
Union" became a breakthrough, double-platinum hit and the band performed at
Bill Clinton's inaugural ball.

In May 2004, doctors discovered a tumor growing between Mueller's
trachea and esophagus, just below his vocal chords. He underwent
chemotherapy and was in remission during an October benefit concert that saw
performances from Soul Asylum, the Replacements' Paul Westerberg and a
reunion of Husker Du's Bob Mould and Grant Hart.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Jenna the Ipod's All-Westerberg Mix

1. Lay It Down Clown, Tim
2. Knockin On Mine, 14 Songs
3. Love Untold, Pantages Theatre, 11/7/04
4. How Can You Like Him?, Pantages Theatre, 11/7/04
5. Kickin' The Stall, Mono
6. Valentine, Ogden Theatre, Denver 3/3/05
7. Can't Hardly Wait, Pantages Theatre, 11/6/04
8. Merry Go Round, Henry Fonda Theatre, LA 2/23/05
9. Someone Take the Wheel, Henry Fonda Theatre, LA 2/22/05
10. Making Me Go, Pantages Theatre, 11/6/04
11. Rock & Roll, Pantages Theatre, 11/7/04
12. I.O.U., Troubadour, Hollywood 9/17/96 D2
13. If I Had a Hammer, Ogden Theatre, Denver 3/3/05
14. Tears Rolling Up Our Sleeves, Suicaine Gratification
15. First Glimmer, Pantages Theatre, 11/6/04
16. Merry Go Round, Detroit, 4/22/05
17. What a Day (For a Night), Come Feel Me Tremble
18. Love Untold, Besterberg: The Best Of Paul Westerberg
19. My Dad, Folker
20. Here Comes a Regular, Pantages Theatre, 11/7/04
21. Let the Bad Times Roll, Pantages Theatre, 11/7/04
22. Live Forever, Ogden Theatre, Denver 3/3/05
23. Jingle/Folk Star, Henry Fonda Theatre, LA 2/23/05
24. Swingin' Party, Ogden Theatre, Denver 3/3/05
25. Borstal Breakout, Henry Fonda Theatre, LA 2/23/05
26. High Time, Mono
27. Mr. Rabbit, Pantages Theatre, 11/7/04
28. Now I Wonder, Detroit, 4/22/05
29. AAA, Henry Fonda Theatre, LA 2/22/05
30. First Glimmer, 14 Songs
31. Crackle & Drag [alt. version], Come Feel Me Tremble
32. Angels Walk, Troubadour, Hollywood 9/17/96 D2
33. Little Mascara, Detroit, 4/22/05
34. I Think I Love You, Ogden Theatre, Denver 3/3/05
35. We May Be the Ones, Stereo
36. Nowhere Man, I Am Sam
37. Soldier of Misfortune, Come Feel Me Tremble
38. Whatever Makes You Happy, Suicaine Gratification
39. Lookin' Out Forever, Suicaine Gratification

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Argus, Mickey Jackson, and Pat O'Brien

I’ve got a lot to rant about today, so let’s not waste any time.
Last Thursday, the Argus wasted four pages with another insipid “Best of Sioux Falls” compilation. I must admit that this year’s effort was a vast improvement over last year. Accompanying the predictable reader’s choices were additional victors chosen by the Argus’ staff, a suggestion that I made on this station last summer.
They also added a few not-so-positive awards, although not nearly as many as they should. That was pretty enjoyable, especially when a couple of insufferable TV twits were given a bit of a tongue-lashing, and not the type they’re generally used to receiving.
But overall, there really wasn’t that much of a difference this year. Once again, there were too many categories that were nothing more than rewrites of each other. Predictably, the same bars and restaurants swept these awards. I must add that I really don’t understand the Argus’ hatred of Touch of Europe – did a server fail to give up the goods to a staffer of the paper? Or is the business suffering because one of their waiters is a well-known local artist who is even mouthier than I?
One other aspect of this birdcage lining bothers me – I’ve been told that only 200 ballots were sent in to the paper. It’s pretty hard to establish a consensus with so few contributors…especially when 50 or so of them supposedly came from a certain local business that just happened to win more than a few awards. If this tidbit is true, I’m extremely disappointed. These folks are extremely well-liked, and probably didn’t need to stuff the ballot box.
Let’s carry on – as everybody in the world knows, the Michael Jackson case finally came to a close yesterday. Thank God. Can we finally move on to more important topics…oh, wait, the Phil Spector trial commences in a few weeks. Never mind.
Like most people, I did tune in to the verdict. Of course, I had no choice as it was carried on every channel. Afterwards, I was ready to move on, but the brainiacs that run the television industry were not yet ready. It was an orgy of loud-mouths –male, female, and more than one that whose gender was questionable. Apologists claimed that he was vindicated. Yeah, right. Others said that he would return to the top of the charts. Uh, that hasn’t happened since Nirvana replaced him that magical week in late 1991.
Those on the other side were just as ridiculous. Nancy Grace, easily the most despicable talking head in television history, berated the jury, stating that they should have found him guilty even if the case wasn’t legally proven. Although that juror who claimed she knew how she was voting because of how the accuser’s mother wagged her finger should have never been allowed on a jury.
Hopefully, this is the last time the name “Michael Jackson” ever exits my loud mouth. However, I do have to bring back one more name that has been berated many times in this timeslot. This is a man recently shared the spotlight with the Gloved One thanks to his tawdry tale of booze, babes, and blow.
Yes, I’m talking about Pat O’Brien, who somehow made it back into Hudsonland despite being exiled two or three years ago by the Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla, aka me. He made it back thanks to a silly bobblehead promotion by our friends at “The Birdcage”.
I have nothing against our minor, minor league baseball team. I’ve been to a few games, and it is quite enjoyable to drink a few beers on a cool summer evening. Inevitably, I leave around the 7th inning with the homeboys down by six or seven runs. Maybe instead of investing a bunch of cash in a promotion that was tired and old five years ago, they could throw a few bucks at a few players that could result in at least a .500 record.
No, it’s easier to entice some publicity-hungry so-called “entertainment journalists” to act like big shots for an hour or two. First we had Entertainment Tonight’s Mary Hart. Yecch. I know she’s originally from Hudsonland, but couldn’t we just extend the border to include that young, dark-haired hottie from her show?
Worse yet was last week’s appearance by Pat O’Brien. Of course, he was accompanied by not one but two front page newspaper articles where he dropped every name possible. Roger Clemens supposedly gave him tips on “getting the ball to the plate”. Another sports icon, Wayne Gretzky, says he’s “always there for him”. David Brinkley gave him his first job because he was from South Dakota. He claims that going on Dr. Phil was “courageous”, despite their corporate connections and questions lobbed softer than a Canaries middle-reliever. He even name-dropped local celebrities such as Captain 11.
“The people have forgiven me”, he proclaimed to writer David Kranz. No, the people don’t give a damn. Keep that gigantic ego in L.A. with your fake friends who only like you when they have a crappy record or action movie to sell. We don’t need you, and we don’t want you.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Jenna The Ipod's Fixin'-the-Garage Megamix

1. Hole, Gutless (Live Through This)
2. Steve Earle, Transcendental Blues (Transcendental Blues)
3. Paul Westerberg, Dyslexic Heart (Besterberg: The Best Of Paul Westerberg)
4. Young Fresh Fellows, This One's For The Ladies (This One's For The Ladies)
5. Cursive, Harold Weathervein (The Ugly Organ)
6. Green Day, Boulevard Of Broken Dreams (American Idiot)
7. Lucero, And We Fell (Nobody's Darlings)
8. Supersuckers, Roadworn And Weary (The Greatest Rock And Roll Band In The World)
9. Sarah Lee Guthrie And Johnny Irion, Gervais (Exploration)
10. Paul Westerberg, Folk Star (Folker)
11. Teenage Fanclub, Hang On (Four Thousand Seven Hundred And Sixty-Six Seconds)
12. Wilco, Heavy Metal Drummer (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot)
13. Supersuckers, She's My Bitch (The Greatest Rock And Roll Band In The World)
14. The Ramones, Poison Heart (Hey! Ho! Let's Go: The Anthology)
15. Close Lobsters, I Kiss The Flowers In Bloom (Foxheads Stalk This Land)
16. Super Furry Animals, Blerwytirhwng? (Super Furry Animals Songbook)
17. Paul Westerberg, Crowd Noise (Henry Fonda Theatre, LA 2/22/05)
18. The Soundtrack Of Our Lives, Wheels of Boredom (Origin Vol. 1)
19. Robert Pollard, I Surround You (Naked From a Compound Eye)
20. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Mansion On The Hill (Ragged Glory)
21. Tribute to Gram Parsons
22. The Replacements, Time Is Killing Us (PTMM demo) (Flowers in the Dark)
23. The Rolling Stones, I Am Waiting (Aftermath)
24. Jeff Tweedy, Remember the Mountain Bed (Vic Theatre, Chicago 3/5/05)
25. The Who, Leaving Here (Odds & Sods)
26. The Clash, What's My Name (Clash On Broadway)
27. Centro-Matic, Supercar (Love You Just The Same)
28. The Cure, Faith (Live At The Sydney Capitol Theatre 8/81) (Faith: Rarities 1980-81)
29. The Jam,Down In The Tube Station At Midnight (Direction, Reaction, Creation)
30. Pinback, 3x0 (Summer In Abaddon)
31. Tribute to Gram Parsons
32. The Futureheads, Trying Not To Think About Time (The Futureheads)
33. The Pandoras, The Hump (Stop Pretending)
34. Nick Cave, Let It Be (I Am Sam)
35. Ben Lee, Get Gotten (Awake Is The New Sleep)
36. Minutemen, Political Song for Michael Jackson to Sing (Left Of The Dial: Dispatches From The '80s Underground)
37. The Ramones, Howling At The Moon (Hey! Ho! Let's Go: The Anthology)
38. Jeff Tweedy, Someone Else's Song (Vic Theatre, Chicago 3/5/05)
39. Superchunk, Swinging (Superchunk)
40. New Order, Guilt Is A Useless Emotion (Waiting For The Sirens' Call)
41. Aimee Mann, (Going Through The Motions Live At St. Ann's Warehouse)
42. Son Volt, Medicine Hat (Park West, Chicago 9/11/99)
43. The Replacements, Happy Town (All Shook Down)
44. Lucinda Williams, I Just Wanted To See You So Bad (Lucinda Williams)
45. The Boomtown Rats, Lookin’ After No. 1 (No Thanks! Disc 2)
46. Paul Westerberg, Valentine (Ogden Theatre, Denver 3/3/05)
47. R.E.M., Low (Out Of Time)
48. The Jam, The Planner's Dream Goes Wrong (Direction, Reaction, Creation)
49. The Jam, The Place I Love (Direction, Reaction, Creation)
50. Paul Westerberg, Kiss Me On the Bus (Pantages Theatre, 11/7/04)
51. The Kinks, Situation Vacant (Something Else by The Kinks)
52. Maria Taylor, One For The Shareholder (11:11)
53. The Jayhawks, Lights (B-Side) (Bunkhouse)
54. The Jesus & Mary Chain, I Hate Rock N Roll (21 Singles)
55. Wilco, Company In My Back (A Ghost is Born)
56. The Cure, Foxy Lady (Three Imaginary Boys)
57. The Flamin' Groovies, Paint It Black (Now)
58. Paul Westerberg, Jingle (Folker)
59. Blue Rodeo, Hasn't Hit Me Yet (Greatest Hits)
60. Jeff Tweedy, How to Fight Loneliness (Vic Theatre, Chicago 3/4/05)
61. Elvis Costello, Little Triggers (This Year's Model)
62. Modest Mouse, Dark Center Of The Universe (The Moon And Antartica)
63. Beck, Qué Onda Guero (Guero)
64. The Clash, Jail Guitar Doors (Clash On Broadway)
65. The Replacements, Wake Up (All For Nothing Nothing For All)
66. The Who, Rael 1 (Thirty Years Of Maximum R&B)
67. Woody Guthrie, Pretty Boy Floyd (Folkways The Original Vision)
68. Will Johnson, As Victims Would (Vultures Await)
69. Patti Smith, 1959 (Land (1975-2002))
70. Son Volt, Carry You Down (Wide Swing Tremolo)
71. Ryan Adams, Nighttime Gals (Destroyer Sessions)
72. Golden Smog, I Can't Keep From Talking (Weird Tales)
73. Echo & The Bunnymen, Bring On The Dancing Horses (Crystal Days)
74. Neil Young, Field of Opportunity (Comes A Time)
75. Sleater-Kinney, Night Light (The Woods)
76. Jeff Tweedy, Far, Far Away (Vic Theatre, Chicago 3/4/05)
77. The Dictators, Two Tub Man (No Thanks! the '70s Punk Rebellion)
78. Joy Division, Atrocity Exhibition (Heart And Soul)
79. Frank Black & The Catholics, Bullet (Dog In The Sand)
80. The Cure, Faith (Faith)
81. Uncle Tupelo, I Wish My Baby Was Born (March 16-20 1992)
82. Ryan Adams, Hallelujah (Demolition)
83. Bruce Springsteen, When You Need Me (Tracks)
84. Pixies, Monkey Gone To Heaven (At The BBC)
85. Damien Jurado, Sucker (On My Way To Absence)
86. X, What's Wrong With Me (The Best - Make The Music Go Bang)
87. Keith Richards, How I Wish (Live) (Eileen)
88. Hoodoo Gurus, Dead Sea (Mach Schau)
89. Paul Westerberg, Different Drum (Detroit, 4/22/05)
90. Stiff Little Fingers, 78 RPM (Inflammable Material)
91. Yo La Tengo, Dreaming (Prisoners Of Love: A Smattering Of Scintillating Senescent Songs)
92. Graham Parker & The Rumour, Waiting For The UFO's (Live) (Squeezing Out Sparks)
93. The Shins, One By One All Day (Oh, Inverted World)
94. Bright Eyes, When the President Talks to God
95. Marianne Faithfull, The Mystery Of Love (Before The Poison)
96. Elvis Costello, Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood (King Of America)
97. Wilco, Theologians (A Ghost is Born)
98. The Decemberists, The Legionnaire's Lament (Castaways And Cutouts)
99. Modest Mouse, Bury Me With It (Good News For People Who Love Bad News)
100. New Order, Working Overtime (Waiting For The Sirens' Call)
101. Steve Earle, Another Town (Transcendental Blues)
102. Richard Buckner, On Travelling (Devotion & Doubt)
103. Pixies, Caribou (Surfer Rosa & Come On Pilgrim)
104. The Passions, I'm In Love With A German Film Star (Left Of The Dial: Dispatches From The '80s Underground)
105. Joy Division, She's Lost Control (Heart And Soul)
106. Paul Westerberg, Waittress in the Sky (Troubadour, Hollywood 9/17/96)
107. Yo La Tengo, Season Of The Shark (Prisoners Of Love: A Smattering Of Scintillating Senescent Songs)
108. Weezer, Pardon Me (Make Believe_
109. The Replacements, Nightclub Jitters (Pleased To Meet Me)
110. Uncle Tupelo, Whiskey Bottle (live) (No Depression)
111. The Jam, The Bitterest Pill (Direction, Reaction, Creation)
112. Son Volt, Holocaust (A Retrospective: 1995-2000)
113. The Smiths, Asleep (Louder Than Bombs)
114. The Smiths, Shakespeare's Sister (Louder Than Bombs)
115. Big Star, The India Song (#1 Record/Radio City)
116. R.E.M., Driver 8 (Fables Of The Reconstruction)
Damn Those Commercials!

Before we begin, a mini-bitch of sorts. A few weeks ago, I mentioned my displeasure in discovering that one of my recent CD purchases, the latest by Kings of Leon, was copy-protected and could not be transferred to Jenna the Ipod. Luckily, it didn’t take a lot of work to find MP3’s of that album online.
This was the only case in the five hundred or so albums that I have copied to Jenna…until yesterday. A friend of mine has been raving about this new band called the Dead 60’s that features a sort-of updated rewrite of London Calling-era Clash. Sounds like something I can enjoy, right? Yesterday I purchased this disc, and placed it in my pile of new albums waiting to go inside Jenna. Well, you probably already figured out that it was another of those discs that the record company wants to dictate where and when I listen to it.
The album can be played in almost every normal CD player, but when placed in a computer it can only be played on a Windows Media Player or a Sony portable player. I call bullshit. Once I’ve paid my hard-earned cash, I should be able to do whatever I want with the disc. This is the (hopefully) the last time I will purchase this sort of disc, and if I’m burned again you can bet that I will happily illegally download and hand out multiple copies of any artist on this act’s label.
With that out of the way, it’s time to move on to the topic of the day. We’re going to chat about commercials. Don’t worry, Cade, you shouldn’t get any phone call from angry sponsors. I’m talking about television commercials – more specifically, the music placed in TV ads.
For years, I have struggled with the idea of artists selling out to automakers, soda companies, and other multinational conglomerates. Eric Clapton and Genesis started this trend in the late 80’s when they sold songs to Michelob. They didn’t sell just any old song, though. Conveniently, these tunes just happened to be their latest singles timed for simultaneous release..
It’s not like either of these acts needed the extra publicity. You couldn’t escape the horrific Phil Collins – between soundtracks, solo albums, and those awful Genesis albums he was everywhere. And while Clapton had not released anything listenable since “Layla”, his latest releases were still all over over commercial radio and MTV.
For the most part, though, artists were hesitant to license their material for ad campaigns. It was just considered a no-no, and not worth the backlash. It was also cheaper for companies to just license oldies and have them remade by session musicians.
In recent years, though, it’s become commonplace, and, truthfully, I don’t have as big of a problem with it as you may expect. I’m still against the big names offering up their latest singles, and Moby certainly went way too far when he license every single track of Play to various commercials.
When it comes to indie rock and under-heard classics from the past, however, I have no problems. There are fewer and fewer outlets for these sorts of acts, and it’s almost refreshing to actually hear a good song – even if it is for only thirty seconds. And if the money allows these struggling acts to record another album or drive a bit more comfortably from gig to gig, more power to them – although it is a tad strange to hear the Shins in a McDonalds’ commercial. And I always smile when I hear the Kinks’ “Picture Book”.
But rock ‘n’ roll and big business are certainly strange bedfellows, and quite often I’m hearing products being hawked to the accompaniment of lyrics that obviously were not read by the admakers. Take the case of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, which is currently using Iggy Pop’s “Lust For Life”. This is a track that was the principal theme song of “Trainspotting”, and for good reason as the entire song is about shooting up smack.
In a similar vein is “There She Goes”, originally written and recorded by The La’s, but turned into a saccharine hit by Sixpence None the Richer. I’ve heard this tune in a half dozen or so different commercials, as well as a number of movie trailers. Again, this is a song about the exploits of a heroin addict!
The NFL even went one step farther for last year’s Super Bowl. Accompanied by a montage of fake home movies and highlights, the ad was set to Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day”, a track not only about heroin but also suicide. Good, clean American fun.
Speaking of Americana at it’s strangest, how about Wrangler’s use of CCR’s “Fortunate Son”. Folks, there is a reason why this was the centerpiece of John Fogerty’s set at last year’s Vote For Change – the entire song is anti-war, anti-government, and anti-rich. Yet Wrangler’s sets the tune against a backdrop of waving flags and tight jean-clad asses. Sure, the more controversial lines are edited out, but I have to believe approximately 51% of the country would be upset if they paid attention.
“Fortunate Son “ is one of many anti-capitalist tracks that are currently being used to celebrate consumerism. There’s also Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz”, Applebees’ rewrite of “Take This Job and Shove It”, Sheryl Crow’s “Soak Up the Sun” for Best Buy, H&R Block’s theft of the Beatles’ “Taxman”, and Nissan’s use of the Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. What’s especially humorous about the Nissan ad is that the lines used to introduce a redesigned vehicle include “meet the new boss, same as the old boss”. That sure says a lot about this car.
This isn’t the only time Nissan has sent mixed messages with their choice of background tunes. I recently saw a commercial that for their Maxima that utilized the Smiths’ “How Soon is Now”, one of my favorite mid-80’s tunes but also one of Morrissey’s most depressing tunes. “You stand on your own/and you leave on your own/ and you go home, and you cry/and you want to die”.
The ad that makes me laugh the most, though, would have to be GM’s attempt to appeal to male rock and rollers with the record setting purchase of Led Zep’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll” for their so-called “new” Cadillacs. Aren’t car commercials supposed to make a guy think that a hot car will result in hot sex? Yet in this song Robert Plant is complaining that it’s been a “lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time”. I guess the new message of this era is that one should buy a Caddy and forget about getting laid!?!