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MUSIC SUCKS AND CASH RULES EVERYTHING AROUND IT

Posted by Billyjam, November 7, 2007 07:00am | Post a Comment
chris rock
"Music kind of sucks. Nobody's into being a musician. Everybody's getting their mogul on. You've been so infiltrated by this corporate mentality that all the time you'd spend getting great songs together, you're busy doing nine other things that have nothing to do with art. You know how shitty Stevie Wonder's songs would have been if he had to run a fuckin' clothing company and a cologne line?" says Chris Rock In a wonderful new interview in Rolling Stone  (Nov 15, 2007 issue 1039) in which the magazine accurately notes that in this age of hip-hop it is more than common for most rappers to utter those words that we have heard a zillion times already: "I'm not a rapper, I'm a businessman." And Chris Rock responds, "That's whycb4 rap sucks, for the most part. Not all rap, but as an art form it's just not at its best moment."

The always articulate, observant and funny comedian/social satirist Rock has built a career on consistently poking fun at rap music in particular, from his SNL impersonations (including one of MC Hammer) to his hilarious lead role in the excellent 199chris rock bigger and blacker3 obviously NWA inspired, faux-gangsta rap group comedy CB4 as the fictional emcee Gusto, to such things as the cover art of his 1999 comedy album Bigger and Blacker which mocked the (at the time) predominant No Limit/Cash Money record labels' styled rap album cover art. Rock never misses a beat in taking shots at rap music and at the music scene, um business, in general.

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GRAM PARSONS' LEGACY CONTINUES TO GROW

Posted by Billyjam, November 6, 2007 09:57pm | Post a Comment
   

As you likely already know, today (November 6th) was the release date of the anticipated Gram Parsons with the Flying Burrito Brothers' Live at the Avalon Ballroom 1969 2CD set -- the first volume in the long lost sessions from the late great artist who created "Cosmic American Music," and the second release from the recently launched Amoeba Records. (The premiere release a couple of months back was Brandi Shearer's Close To Dark.) Coincidentally, there is also a new biography just out on the artist titled Twenty Thtwenty thousand roadsousand Roads: The Ballad of Gram Parsons and His Cosmic American Music written by David N. Meyer and published in hard copy by Villard Books.

Gram Parsons, who died of a drug overdose at the young age of 26 and who would have celebrated his 61st birthday yesterday, November 5th, is one of those great artists whose contributions to American music are realized increasingly more and more in every year since his 1973 tragic death. And as each year progresses the legions of fans and artists directly touched by this long deceased singer/songwriter/guitarist/pianist just seem to continue to grow.

"Parsons was born in 1946 into a rich but dysfunctional Southern family; his father committed suicide when Gram was 12, and his mother died of alcoholism the day Gram graduated from high school. Although he grew up in Georgia and Florida, Parsons wasn't turned on to country until he went north to Harvard (where, obsessed with music, he flunked out freshman year), but once he discovered Buck and Merle, he was smitten," wrote the New York Times in its lukewarm review of the new 559-page biography on Parsons. The book, and other reviewers agree, is by no means a perfect biography -- skipping some important details and over-emphasizing others -- but it is a good book to have, especially for diehard fans and Parsons completists. It is also by no means the the only book out there on the fascinating character that was Gram Parsons. Others include Grievous Angel: An Intimate Biography of Gram Parsons by Jessica Hundley with Polly Parsons (Gram's daughter) that was published by Thunder's Mouth Press a couple of years ago and is available in both hard-cover and on paperback. There is also the recommended Hickory Wind: The Life and Times of Gram Parsons by Ben Fong Torres that is well worth reading to further understand the artist. Other books in the long list under Gram Parsons' bibliography include Pamela Des Barres' I'm With the Band: Confessions of A Groupie which was published by Jove Books in 1988. DeBarres, who counts Gram Parsons among her closest past friends, also wrote the liner notes for the new Amoeba Records release.

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Skeleton Coast

Posted by phil blankenship, November 6, 2007 09:55pm | Post a Comment
 









Nelson Entertainment 7744

Heckler - Only Bitches Talk Ish

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 6, 2007 06:09pm | Post a Comment
I saw Heckler at an AFI screening the other night. In it, the nearly universally-derided Jamie Kennedy turns the camera in the direction of hecklers and online film critics, attempting to argue that they're essentially the same thing. In the process, comedians, filmmakers and a dancer share anecdotes
about how they deal with relentless negative criticism and live with the pain caused by disruptive heckles. That may sound awful but it's actually quite enjoyable.

  
Jamie Kennedy in the ten-years-too-late Kickin' It Old School, which Richard Roeper courageously gave a "thumbs down," which is good, because I thought it was going to be a masterpiece along the lines of Seabiscuit.

The first part of the film focuses on the hecklers. Comedians that I don't even usually find terribly funny are, for the most part, pretty successful at making the viewers feel sorry for them and a lot of the filmed scenes of comedians being heckled are extremely tense (and in some cases, familiar from YouTube). If you have any sort of recognizable emotions you'll feel sorry for these easy targets of doltish goons trying to learn us something.

The second part of the film attempts to portray online film critics as no more than hecklers operating behind the safety of anonymity and protected from recourse from the heckled comedians. In this portion of the film, Jamie Kennedy is filmed confronting some of the writers of the most mean-spirited criticism and personal attacks which also ends up creating an alternately funny, sad and tense air. But I even felt sorry for the critics, who seem like harmless, socially-retarded dorks across the board (and I don't mean that in a mean way).

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11/6 new releases...sigur ros...

Posted by Brad Schelden, November 5, 2007 11:12pm | Post a Comment

I still remember the first time that I heard about Sigur Ros. I had read an article about them in NME and was immediately intrigued by this new Icelandic band that looked sort of like Radiohead. I decided then that they would be one of my new favorite bands. I put a picture of them on my wall at work before I had even ever heard them.  I had no idea what an affect they would actually end up having on my life. They were described as a little bit experimental and a little bit classical. They were maybe a mix of a band like Radiohead and a band like Slowdive. Ethereal and dreamy and shoegazey. Exactly the kind of band that I could easily fall in love with. The first thing I picked up from them was the single for Svefn-g-englar in 1999. I couldn't really pronounce the name of the band or the single. But Sigur Ros easily and quickly became my new favorite band. They are even to this day sort of hard to explain. I often try and explain them to people and find it easier to just make them listen to it. Much like an artist like Bjork, you quickly will discover if you hate them or love them. There is really no in between. Jonsi Birgisson really has a  magical voice. There is really nothing that I have ever heard before that sounds anything like it. Sort of like Elizabeth Frasier from the Cocteau Twins. You just hear it and can't help but be impacted by the power of the voice. The music of Sigur Ros is also really fantastic. With the combination of the music and that magical voice, these Sigur Ros albums are easily some of my favorites.

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