Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I Hate Anna Nicole and All of the Bottom-Feeders Living Off Her Death

Monday morning, I was trying to get through the workday by listening to Opie and Anthony on XM radio. Shortly before the conclusion of their broadcast, they cut to a live broadcast of a press conference that promised to reveal the results of Anna Nicole Smiths’s autopsy.
Normally, I would have just turned off the radio at that point as the less I know of that idiot the better. But knowing that the pair (along with comic Lil’ Jimmy Norton) would undoubtedly add their own unique (and frequently tasteless) commentary, I stuck with it.
I wish I hadn’t. Some government official took the stage first and babbled on and on without providing any information. He then took questions, although the answer to any query resulted in a “the coroner will have provide you this information”.
Finally, the star of the day, the coroner, took the stage. I think somebody fed him some false information, though, as he seemed to think that he had just won an Oscar or Grammy. Instead of just spending two minutes (or less) with the results of the autopsy, this bureaucrat proceeded to thank anybody and everybody who had something to do with the various procedures done to the bimbo’s body. How and why were so many people involved? It makes absolutely no sense, and who exactly cares what their names are?
Twenty minutes later, this segment of the proceedings finally ended, but the coroner was still not ready to provide any answers. No, he then went into an extended biography of the life of Anna Nicole. Who doesn’t know her story? If you don’t, more power to you.
Finally, almost an hour into this press conference, the coroner was ready for his money shot. How anticlimactic; she had a bunch of prescribed drugs in her bloodstream, and died of an accidental overdose. Excuse me while I yawn.
I just want somebody to explain to me why I (or anybody else) need to hear anything about this woman. She had absolutely no talent at anything. Her career arc consists of appearing in Playboy, gaining weight, marrying a billionaire who dies with a disputed will, gaining more weight, starring in an unwatchable fake reality show, losing weight, and screwing any number of men who may or may not be the father of the kid who was born right before her death.
Despite these questionable credentials, the media has treated her death not unlike KELO treats rain clouds. For weeks now, we’ve had her story pushed down our throats. What should be nothing more than fodder for the National Enquirer became the focus for even the most respected news programs (if there is such a thing).
Where oh where can one find real news these days? Remember, there is a war going on. There’s a growing concern with another country that could turn into a second war. Our civil rights are being watered down more and more every day, and our elected officials on both sides of the fence have sold us out with little notice. White House scandals do have a place on the cable channels, but they’re reduced to screaming matches between paid-off “experts” that alternate between desiring public hangings and proclaiming sainthood.
All of these topics and more should dominate news programming, yet we’re stuck hearing the latest rumors involving a bimbo who’s IQ couldn’t have been higher than 80. Yet there’s no sign of the fake news disappearing anytime soon as we now move into the paternity portion of the miniseries. Seemingly every D-level millionaire will have their 15 minutes of CNN time in the coming few weeks. And if this story ever ends, we can count on Donald Trump, Britney, or Paris to pull some silly stunt to begin the next sweeps period.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Possibly the Album of the Year: Arcade Fire

Modest Mouse "Float On" in SF

Modest Mouse "Tiny City Made of Ashes" in SF

SF Modest Mouse Show Hits Pitchfork

From Pitchfork.com

"Does anybody know a way that/ A body could get away/ Does anybody know a way?!"

Isaac Brock attempted to answer his own "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes" query in drastic fashion at a recent Modest Mouse show in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, according to several eyewitness reports. While performing the Moon and Antarctica standout at Ramkota Exhibit Hall on March 18, Brock allegedly began hitting himself in the face with his microphone, then proceeded to draw a knife and cut his own chest.

According to reader Joshua Cole, after deliberately bonking his head, Brock "then walked back to his amp, grabbed a pocket knife, and cut a 12 inch cut across his chest. His assistant had to grab the knife and stop him. He was bleeding the rest of the concert, and later fell off the stage into the barrier before singing in the crowd."

"The show carried on despite Isaac's bleeding and various people's concerns," said Cole.

A separate report on Sioux Falls blog Link described the incident further: "It appeared [Brock] had some sort of object in his hand that he used to make two swift cuts on his torso. Immediately after the frantic moves, the band's bearded stage hand/sound guy/roadie seated to Brock's left jumped on stage and grappled with Brock, making sure the singer's arms couldn't reach his body for further harm. Brock then cooled down a bit, embraced the stage hand and they talked in each other's ears for a second before each released the other and Brock returned to the mic. It all happened in about 10 to 15 seconds.

"After the incident, Brock's white T-shirt had two clear slices on its front with blood stains building around the cuts...Yet, he didn't miss a song and played through several more of the band's tunes before breaking for an encore."

A super sloppy YouTube clip of "Tiny Cities" in Sioux Falls shows Brock muttering indecipherables, presumably just before he put the knife to his own chest. Another clip depicts Brock subsequently performing "Float On", looking a bit dazed, perhaps, but not seriously hurt despite a blood-like substance clearly visible on his shirt. 'Twas only a flesh wound?

Modest Mouse's We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank hits shops today, March 20. According to the band's publicist, they have no statement and will continue their North American tour in Seattle tomorrow night.

For something truly gruesome, check out the new Ford advert featuring "American Idol" contestants kidz-bopping to "Float On".

Save Munchies!!!

I’m a creature of habit. I have a routine of businesses that I frequent, and at my old age it’s virtually impossible to change my daily routine. This is one of the insane reasons that I tend to not show up at events that friends and acquaintances feel I should hit. If I don’t think I’m going to feel comfortable, then I don’t bother. I know, I’m a messed-up idiot.
Part of my daily errands includes a stop at a convenience store to pick up newspapers, snacks, something to drink, and, if needed, gas. My gas station of choice was picked through a variety of factors, including the ease of entering and exiting, and how it fits into where I am throughout the day.
It shouldn’t surprise anybody that my retailer of choice is located relatively close to Black Sheep Coffee. Well, not exactly close, but on my way to my wake-up (and stay-awake) beverages. Muchies on 10th and Minnesota fits perfectly into my criteria. Yes, it would be easy to stop at the Get ‘n’ Go at 14th and Minnesota, but their parking lot, like too many in this town, is way too cramped and close to impossible to get in and out.
Those two retailers are basically the only spots to get gas in the downtown area. Unfortunately for me, my store of choice is set to close sometime this year. While it had been rumored for quite some time, earlier this year Taylor Oil Company announced that it was going to transform that spot into a used car lot.
What a huge mistake. Why would any car dealer even want that location? Don’t they realize that the meth-head animals that live in that area are going to destroy those vehicles in the middle of the night? We’ve heard for months how that area is supposedly a ghetto (which I don’t believe), but now somebody is going to chance thousands of dollars of prime autos and accessories to these clems?
Enough about the business decision…I’m going to do a Tyra here and make it all about me. Where am I now going to get my treats? Besides that Get ‘n’ Go, there aren’t any other similar shops until 4th Street to the north and 21st Street to the south. Going east or west the distance is even farther. Trust me, when I need coffee I need it immediately. I don’t have the time to go so far out of the way.
If anybody from Taylor Oil reads this, I beg, beg, beg you to reconsider this decision. Munchies is quite possibly the best laid-out convenience store in this city, and has a virtual monopoly on downtown gas and junk food sales. Where are those hot sales girls from the Argus going to get their extra-large Diet Cokes? If you know, please forward the information to me. A little eye-candy will help ease the pain of changing my boring routine. But it sure would be easier for me if you just kept the store open.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Hudson's Helpful Hints

As some of you know, I actually made it out into the real world the other night to witness a stirring set by one of my favorite bands. While a good time was had by not only me but everybody present at this show, there were some issues that I thought I should address.
Unlike most of my weekly presentations, I have no vendetta towards anybody that I am addressing today. I believe the club in question had some great potential, and I hope that any representative of this company will take what I have to say as suggestions…or at least helpful hints.
First off, while the show was relatively well-attended, nobody I talked to had heard any promotion for this nationally-known act. In fact, at least six people who approached me informed me that it was through my website that they discovered the show. Others said that they learned of the show through word-of-mouth. Many fans of the band that I encountered in the next couple of days said they either had not heard of the booking or thought it was just a rumor.
This is obviously not a new problem in this town. Many local promoters seem to have a “if we book it, they will come” mantra, and then blame the “lameness” of our city’s music scene when the crowds don’t arrive. You have to work to bring shows to the attention of the public. I realize that you can’t force the Argus or other media outlets to feature your shows, but one has to at the very least get posters out all over town.
But promotion was not actually the biggest problem of the evening. That award goes to the person running sound that evening. It was a unanimous opinion that the mix for both bands that performed was beyond awful. Those in the know supplied me with a plethora of information about the culprit responsible for this problem, but I learned a few months ago to not listen to second-hand rumors…or at least not print them on this site. One person even claimed that the sound guy is legally deaf. I hope that’s not the case.
What was the problem with the sound? Well, let’s just say that settings that are perfect for Warrant and Dokken are not the standard mix for every band of every genre. The band in question played Stones-y southern rock with just a hint of old-school country. Think of Neil Young, CCR, and Son Volt tossed into a giant mixer. Mixing the drums way up front with the vocals buried is probably not the way to handle this band.
On a similar but admittedly much less important note, maybe the music played before the show and in between the acts could have at least attempted to match the acts. Was there really a need to play a track from Saturday Night Fever? Or the one overplayed hit of the Proclaimers? We really didn’t know whether to laugh or scowl. I did both.
This should be a really easy problem to fix in the future. If you don’t have any music that fits the sound of the booked act, ask to borrow some of their discs. Or call me. I used to pretend to play DJ when bands I loved were booked at the Pomp Room, and I’d be happy to do the same for the high price of a free Windsor/Coke or two.
The most bizarre moment of the evening came at the very end. Within seconds after the band’s concluding cover of Neil Young’s “The Loner”, a disco remix of “Sweet Home Alabama” was pumped at blasting volume to the groans of everybody. Well, not quite everybody. Although it was refreshing for a show to conclude so early (midnight), few attendees had knowledge that the bar would immediately switch over to a dance format. I guess the first clue should have been the entrances of the young and the scantily-clad clueless during the final couple of songs of the band’s set. Still, it seemed a bit puzzling to go from pure roots-rock to computerized dance music in such short time.
As I said before, I have nothing against the owners of the club in question. I wish them the best of luck in the future, and I really hope that they continue to occasionally book acts that the long-neglected indie rock crowd can enjoy. If there’s anything I can do to help them out, I hope they have no qualms in contacting me. That offer goes out to anybody in this town. Despite my public persona as a negative creep, my main desire is to once again foster a live music scene in this town. After all, my son’s gotta have somewhere to play when he’s old enough to go to bars.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I Sold Out!

I hate to say this, but this is a sad day for regular readers of my Get Out of Town series. I’ve created this weekly rant for years and years with little to no interference from any corporate influence.
Well, times change. Corporations have slowly infiltrated even the most independent-minded artist, musician, or writer…and I’m no longer an exception. Today, March 7, 2007, this space has been taken over by…

(Cue Sanford and Son Theme)

That’s right, like the majority of Sioux…I mean Sanford Falls…I have been acquired by Fred and Lamont. But don’t expect too many changes; there will be just a tad difference in attitude.
Thanks to Fred’s vast empire, now under the trust of his bastard son, Lamont, Sanford Falls has immediately risen from the status of a large town to a megalopolis. The entire country…no, the world…has already taken notice that this is the new center of the universe. Nobody in their right mind will even notice cities such as New York, Miami, or Los Angeles ever again.
Why should they? I mean, look at the people of the world’s greatest city. We’re now all morally righteous, family-friendly, god-fearing, John Thune-loving Christians living in beautiful little homes decorated by the fine directions of Martha Stewart and Oprah. We look at Dr. Phil to answer the few questions we have about how to live our life. Entertainment Tonight tells us everything we need to know about music, movies, television, and those wacky Cruises.
Fred gave me instructions to give much love to our fine Mayor, Dave Munson. What a man! Just look at his accomplishments! Ummmm…well, we must thank him for that great two-block road to get to Fred’s Falls. We also can’t forget about his wonderful assistant, Jodie Schwann, who is always (and I mean always) available to give Lamont advice on how to improve our perfect city. She loves suggestions from the public; give her a call later today.
Our media people are also fantastic. Superb! We must give thanks to the fine folks at KELO for always alerting us to those pesky little storms that give us just a few minutes of inconvenience. Those kids are so great at not only predicting with 100% accuracy what’s going to happen in the future, but they also nicely provide us with little reminders on what to wear or how to drive if, by some small chance, we just have to ignore their warning and head out on the always freshly-plowed streets.
But it’s not just their great weather technology that tickles Fred’s ageing testicles. What a crack team of reporters. Not that anybody in this town would ever commit a crime, but they are right on the ball to dive headfirst into any story. Special notice has to go to Jayne Andrews. Both Fred and Lamont owe their lives (or at least 10% of Fred’s empire) to the outstanding work she did in explaining our vision to the fine citizens of Sanford Falls. And, if by chance, you miss one of her groundbreaking stories, don’t worry they’ll be kind enough to replay them over and over.
The daily paper is almost as fabulous. We’re hoping someday to acquire that tabloid, but until then we couldn’t be more pleased as to how they take care of us. We’ve been able to save tens of thousands of dollars in advertising (and remember, that savings is passed on to you) thanks to their willingness to publish all of our wildest hopes and dreams.
One of these dreams we’re hoping to fulfill in the next few years. It’s time, folks, to reward you people with that long-desired new Arena. But we think you people deserve something better than a 12,000 seat building. Our plan is to purchase the entire neighborhood between 18th and 12th Streets and construct a domed stadium that will hold over 100,000 people. There will no longer be any excuse for any act (family-friendly, of course) to not come to Sanford Falls. We also promise to become the permanent home of not only the Minnesota Vikings (we won’t settle for training camp) but the Summer and Winter Olympics.
This will be fantastic for tourists. Out-of-towners will never have to battle the rain, snow, or even sunshine. The Sanford Arena will be connected by portals to not only our hospital but a hotel complex (the Sanford Arms) and an elaborate shopping center that will sell all of the Fred and Lamont merchandise one could envision.
Whey they’re tired of shopping, we invite everybody to visit our wonderful new facilities, including the Elizabeth Heart Center, Bubba’s Rehab wing, Grady’s Alzheimer’s wing, and, of course the Dummy Psychiatric Ward (Lamont had a different name for that section but Fred held out for his pet name for his son). They can also enroll at the Donna School of Nursing, and pray at Aunt Esther’s Sucka Chapel.
This is an exciting time for not only Fred and Lamont, but all of the citizens of Sanford Falls. Hell, it’s a great time to be breathing the same air as the wonderful Sanfords. Please check this site out every week for Hudson’s analysis of the latest endeavors of Fred, Lamont, and the rest of the wacky Sanford characters.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Best Email of the Week - Bottle Rockets Coming to Town March 10

Scott,

Just wanted to let you know, in case you haven't heard, that Bottle Rockets will be playing at Lava Lounge on Saturday, March 10th. If you could tell your circle of friends, I would appreciate it. Tickets will be $8 at the door.

Thanks,
Bob Reisch
Lava Lounge