Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Scott's Dream For The Upcoming Political Season

It wasn’t that many years ago that people could actually have intelligent political discussions without resorting to clichés and name calling. People had their own opinions, but also respected that others may think differently.
Obviously, that has changed in the past ten years or so. The rise of multiple cable news channels, along with the AM talk radio boom, led to not only the rise of Howard Stern-ish political shock jocks, but the cottage industry of paid experts whose entire careers consists of spouting talking points on both radio and television.
Add to this brew the continued use of the internet, and the emergence of politically-oriented blogs that don’t have any obligation to present actual facts, let alone both sides of an issue. It’s a sad state of affairs when made-up internet stories are now utilized as facts in the mainstream media.
I’m sure some of you are going to read those above paragraphs and automatically assume which side of the political fence I’m on. No, you can’t. The sins of one side are just as much part of the other side’s game. Sean Hannity may sneer “liberal” as if it’s one of George Carlin’s “Seven Words” to anybody who doesn’t agree with everything he says, but Democrats are just as guilty when describing a Republican.
There’s absolutely no civility in politics these days, even though there really is little difference these days. The fiscally responsible side spends like a long-lost Kennedy cousin, and there’s not a Democrat who wouldn’t sell out his virgin daughter for a political contribution.
Yes, I’m also guilty of a cliché or two in that last paragraph, but the point is that despite the rhetoric and the silly games of one-upsmanship, it is business as usual in Washington. At what cost, though?
With this environment, is there any real surprise when we hear of a nonsensical violent act like the type that occurred this past weekend at a church in Tennessee? I’m actually shocked that there haven’t been more shootings, bombings, or other acts of violence against people or groups of people that have different beliefs.
I’m not blaming any persons or organizations for the actions of Jim David Adkisson. Yes, he reportedly targeted this church because of his hatred of so-called “liberals”. This same crime could have been perpetrated against an anti-gay church by somebody who hates Bush. It’s the climate of close-minded hate that I despise. Neither party has the one and only answer on any single issue, let alone an entire agenda. As the various social, economic, and environmental issues become more essential to our future life and well-being, we must put aside the labels and the games and actually begin working together. We’re heading towards a few months where we’re going to bombarded by political rhetoric. My hope is that we don’t repeat the circuses we endured in 2000, 2004, and 2006. Hey, a boy can dream.

This Week's Personal Charts

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Even Better Westerberg News

Available June 49, 2008:
49:00 of Paul Westerberg for 49 cents

Frontman Paul Westerberg is planning to release a host of new music for 49 cents via his Web site on Saturday (July 19). The artist's last solo release was 2004's "Folker."

Screw Jazzfest; I'm spending the weekend with Paul!

Replacements Sire Records Reissues Info

They'll be a little late for my birthday, but the final four Replacments reissues will hit the stores on September 23.


01 Hold My Life
02 I'll Buy
03 Kiss Me on the Bus
04 Dose of Thunder
05 Waitress in the Sky
06 Swingin Party
07 Bastards of Young
08 Lay It Down Clown
09 Left of the Dial
10 Little Mascara
11 Here Comes a Regular
12 Can't Hardly Wait (acoustic, Alex Chilton sessions outtake) [previously unreleased bonus track]
13 Nowhere Is My Home (Alex Chilton sessions outtake) [bonus track]
14 Can't Hardly Wait (electric, Alex Chilton sessions outtake) [previously unreleased bonus track]
15 Kiss Me on the Bus (Tom Erdelyi demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
16 Waitress in the Sky (outtake, alternate version) [previously unreleased bonus track]
17 Here Comes a Regular (outtake, alternate version) [previously unreleased bonus track]

Pleased to Meet Me:

01 I.O.U.
02 Alex Chilton
03 I Don't Know
04 Nightclub Jitters
05 The Ledge
06 Never Mind
07 Valentine
08 Shooting Dirty Pool
09 Red Red Wine
10 Skyway
11 Can't Hardly Wait
12 Birthday Gal (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
13 Valentine (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
14 Bundle Up (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
15 Photo (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
16 Election Day [bonus track]
17 Alex Chilton (alternate version) [previously unreleased bonus track]
18 Kick It In (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
19 Route 66 [bonus track]
20 Tossin' 'N' Turnin' [bonus track]
21 Can't Hardly Wait (alternate version) [previously unreleased bonus track]
22 Cool Water [bonus track]

Don't Tell a Soul:

01 Talent Show
02 Back to Back
03 We'll Inherit the Earth
04 Achin' to Be
05 They're Blind
06 Anywhere's Better Than Here
07 Asking Me Lies
08 I'll Be You
09 I Won't
10 Rock 'N' Roll Ghost
11 Darlin' One
12 Portland [bonus track]
13 Wake Up [bonus track]
14 Cruella DeVille [bonus track]
15 Talent Show (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
16 We'll Inherit the Earth (mix 1) [previously unreleased bonus track]
17 Date to Church [ft. Tom Waits] [bonus track]
18 We Know the Night (outtake) [previously unreleased bonus track]
19 Gudbuy T' Jane (Slade cover) (outtake) [previously unreleased bonus track]

All Shook Down:

01 Merry Go Round
02 One Wink at a Time
03 Nobody
04 Bent out of Shape
05 Sadly Beautiful
06 Someone Take the Wheel
07 When It Began
08 All Shook Down
09 Attitude
10 Happy Town
11 Torture
12 My Little Problem
13 The Last
14 When It Began (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
15 Nobody (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
16 One Wink at a Time (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
17 Torture (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
18 Attitude (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
19 Happy Town (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
20 Tiny Paper Plane (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
21 Sadly Beautiful (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
22 Kissin' in Action [bonus track]
23 Ought to Get Love [bonus track]
24 Satellite [bonus track]

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pick An Album For Every Year You've Been Alive

If you're as bored as I am today, here's the project for you. Take every year you're alive, and choose your favorite album of that year. Here's mine:

1962. Bob Dylan - Bob Dylan
1963. Please Please Me - The Beatles
1964. 12 x 5 - The Rolling Stones
1965. Rubber Soul - The Beatles
1966. Blonde on Blonde - Bob Dylan
1967. The Velvet Underground and Nico - The Velvet Underground
1968. The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society - The Kinks
1969. The Stooges - The Stooges
1970. All Things Must Pass - George Harrison
1971. Who's Next - The Who
1972. Exile on Main St. - The Rolling Stones
1973. Berlin - Lou Reed
1974. Radio City – Big Star
1975. Blood on the Tracks - Bob Dylan
1976. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
1977. Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols - Sex Pistols
1978. This Year's Model - Elvis Costello and the Attractions
1979. Rust Never Sleeps - Neil Young
1980. London Calling - The Clash
1981. Wild Gift - X
1982. Nebraska – Bruce Springsteen
1983. Murmur – R.E.M.
1984. Let It Be – Replacements
1985. Replacements – Tim
1986. R.E.M. – Life’s Rich Pageant
1987. Prince – Sign of the Times
1988. Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation
1989. Pixies – Surfer Rosa
1990. Neil Young – Ragged Glory
1991. Nirvana – Nevermind
1992. Jayhawks – Hollywood Town Hall
1993. Liz Phair – Exile in Guyville
1994. Pavement – Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
1995. Son Volt – Trace
1996. Steve Earle – I Feel Alright
1997. Radiohead – OK Computer
1998. Lucinda Williams – Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
1999. Wilco - Summerteeth
2000. Ryan Adams – Heartbreaker
2001. Bob Dylan – Love and Theft
2002. Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
2003. White Stripes – Elephant
2004. Paul Westerberg - Folker
2005. Decemberists – Picaresque
2006. Beck – The Information
2007. Radiohead – In Rainbows

Sunday, July 06, 2008

New Poll!

The Boston Phoenix recently named Indigenous as South Dakota's greatest band ever. Who do you feel deserves this award?
Red Willow Band
Janitor Bob
12 1/2 Children
Kory and the Fireflies
Ill Bill and the Spinal Chills
Spill Canvas
No Direction
Nodes of Ranvier
Flag With Hank
Blinding Light
Soulcrate Music
Other (Please Note In Comments)
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Sunday At The Falls

Since my friend Katja thought my excuse for not biking yesterday was lame, I was determined to put in a few miles today. Despite the worst humidity of the year, I made it to our namesake falls and took a few pics.

These first ones were taken on my cell phone.

These were taken on my regular cam. I have no idea why the color's so awful.

This Week's Most Played Artists and Albums

Although I signed up to Last.fm almost two years ago, I finally set up my computers and Ipods to compile my weekly "scrobbing" statistics. To check out more statistics, or what I'm listening to this very moment, check out my last.fm profile

Top Artists for the week ending Sunday 6 July 2008

1. The Replacements (46)
2. Liz Phair (12)
3. Beck (10)
3. Camper Van Beethoven (10)
5. The Hold Steady (9)
5. Van Morrison (9)
7. Guided by Voices (8)
8. The Byrds (7)
9. Dennis Wilson (6)
9. Babyshambles (6)
9. Sebadoh (6)
9. Paul Westerberg (6)
9. The Futureheads (6)
9. Supergrass (6)
15. Pavement (5)
15. The Weepies (5)
15. Hüsker Dü (5)
15. Alejandro Escovedo (5)
19. Jackie Greene (4)
19. Teddy Thompson (4)
19. Alkaline Trio (4)
19. Yo La Tengo (4)
19. Otis Redding (4)
19. The Lemonheads (4)
25. Steve Earle (3)

Top Albums for the week ending Sunday 6 July 2008
1. The Replacements - Let It Be
2. The Replacements - Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash
3. Liz Phair - Exile in Guyville
4. The Replacements - Hootenanny
5. Supergrass - Diamond Hoo Ha
6. The Weepies - HideawaySebadoh - Bubble & Scrape
7. Van Morrison - Veedon Fleece
8. The Replacements - Stink
9. Teddy Thompson - A Piece of What You Need
10. Jackie Greene - Giving Up The Ghost
11. South San Gabriel - Dual Hawks
12. Pavement - Stuff Up the Cracks
13. The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age Of The Understatement
14. The Hold Steady - Separation Sunday
15. Rancid - Life Won't Wait
16. Alejandro Escovedo - Real Animal
17. Van Morrison - No Guru, No Method, No Teacher
18. Dennis Wilson - Pacific Ocean Blue
19. Mission of Burma - Signals, Calls and Marches
20. Eels – Daisies of the Galaxy

Saturday, July 05, 2008

50 Bands, 50 States

The Boston Phoenix recently ran an ambitious project where they listed the greatest ever band and solo artist, along with the best new artist, in each of the 50 states. Here's our entry:

All-Time Best Band: Indigenous
All-Time Best Solo Artist: Bob Stewart
Best New Band: The Reddmen

INDIGENOUS (yeah, that’s the name of the band) were a family affair from the town of Marty, featuring a quartet of Nakota-tribe siblings from the Yankton Indian Reservation. Leader Mato Nanji sounds remarkably like Stevie Ray Vaughan, both vocally and, even more impressively (considering Vaughan’s talents), on his scabrous-but-velvety blues-rock guitar solos. After splitting with his sibs, Mato today carries on the Indigenous name by himself as a solo act. | Born in Sioux Falls, virtuoso jazz tuba (yup, tuba) player BOB STEWART is doing his very best to earn the orchestra’s least respected instrument some love. He may not land the tuba on the musical equivalent of his home state’s Mount Rushmore, but the man can blow, and he’s toured or recorded with Mingus, Dizzy, and Wynton. | Rapid City’s the REDDMEN comprise brothers J. Waylon Porcupine and Miyo One Arrow, who are Northern Cheyenne and Lakota Plains Indians, along with Trevor Leo. The trio make infectious little British Invasion ’60s nuggets injected with incendiary Green Day punk pop.

I'll admit that I don't agree with this assessment, but congratulations to the folks in Indigenous. Do you think the Argus would argue for Spill Canvas?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Why Do I Put Myself Through Such Misery?

Against my better judgment, I once again spent a few days watching local news broadcasts. Why do I constantly torture myself like that? I guess I’m a bit more of an optimist than most people may think, as I always hope and pray that maybe somebody out there may possibly be showcasing some integrity and innovation.
I will make one positive note. After years and years of bad lighting and camera work, KDLT has been treated to a makeover that’s a huge improvement. No longer do they look like a cable access; they just act like one.
After a week or so of viewing telecasts on all three channels, I have figured out the standard format of their news segment, aka the first three minutes of the telecast.
Unless there is some true breaking news, we start off the broadcast with a story on gas prices. (Hell, even if there is a hot story, we still quite often open with that story.) A few clems will complain about how ridiculous the prices are, or they’ll babble about how they now drive less. It’s really the same story you saw yesterday, the day before, and will inevitably also view tomorrow. What I find humorous is that anytime somebody talks about driving less, or saving money by driving hybrids or scooters, it has to be pointed out that the state loses tax dollars when people conserve.
Now, sometimes they are forced to cover a “real” story. Too bad even in those situations they’ll resort to clichés and tired formats. Take the case of the recent tragedy involving that house that blew up. Don’t get me wrong; I feel terrible for the family whose home and possessions are no longer. It’s just that whenever there is this kind of devastation, including damage caused by fire, flood, lightning, or wind, they just have to have that moment where they show the pictures that somehow managed to avoid destruction. We feel bad enough for the family that you don’t have to stoop to such lows.
With one news story out of the way, it’s now time for the weather…especially if there’s a dark cloud somewhere/anywhere in the state. Even if the forecast is perfect, somehow they’ll find a way to warn us about devastating storms that will cause us to spend the evening in the basement with a portable television to watch their marathon coverage.
If there is any hope for a storm, the next story will also be weather related. We may once again be told the difference between a watch and an advisory. Or we’ll be shown footage of a previous storm, particularly if it’s around the anniversary of a major storm. If that’s the case, expect a lot of self-serving memories about how “they” saved so many lives by staying on the air for so many hours. Yeah, right.
After the first round of weather and weather-related tales, it’s now time to give some props to their biggest pals in town – whichever hospital is footing the majority of the broadcast. This comes from a variety of different stories – from courageous tales of individuals fighting rare diseases to new technologies to the self-serving party that not only included awful, over-compensated music but also the unveiling of another T. Denny statue. No matter who or what the story is about, you can bet that not a bad word will be said about anybody affiliated with their pals.
Yet the product placement isn’t quite over. It’s now time for some sort of promo for somebody. At least once or twice a week, it’s a non-story to promote tourism. Yes, we know that tourism is important to the state. You don’t have to remind us so often. If it’s not tourism, it’s almost always a hidden promo for a car lot, or Lewis Drug. This week, it’s all about the fireworks stands. I do have a bit of advice for that story, though. If you really have to use the cliché, “business is booming”, it might be smart to get a shot or two that does give the appearance that the store you’re visiting is busy. A shot of a long aisle with only one or two customers just doesn’t quite convey that message.
After all of these phony stories, it’s now time to toss in a couple of real stories before you get to the important stuff – commercials and more weather. We get a couple of courthouse shots, especially this week with the sexual battery lawsuit involving that Mitchell school teacher, and a perp walk or two from recent drug busts. That’s about it, and it all seems like an afterthought. Shouldn’t these, and many others, be the stories that are highlighted and delivered with emotion rather than the human interest, weather, and product placement that almost brings tears to Ms..Kennecke’s eyes?