Wednesday, March 30, 2005

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Here's a pic of Andy Sartori for Jessica.
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An article from The Washington Post outlining what's happening with the most recent case before the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Weighs File Sharing

Friday, March 18, 2005

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Ryan Pound with "The Stone Roses"

Another crappy digital camera photo -- this one from last night at Kings, where Ryan Pound, Erik Sugg and a couple of other guys I don't know (the bass player was from The Weather, I know that) reprised their Stone Roses performance from The Great Cover-Up.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

I got to check out most of the Ramones documentary, End of the Century, last night during a preview showing at Kings (I didn't get off work in time to catch the beginning).

Two quick impressions: The early live footage is so incredibly powerful, and really, the epitome of rock 'n' roll; I truly wish I could have been at that July 4, 1976 show in England.

Secondly, they could have gone back and included an epilogue on Johnny Ramone. After spending so much time on Johnny's and Dee Dee's deaths, to not even mention Johnny was a glaring error and left me seriously disappointed with an otherwise engaging and well-done movie.

Monday, March 14, 2005

(Artwork lifted from
I've been racking my brain trying to figure out how to write a review of The Mars Volta's latest CD, Frances the Mute, but it's proving a slippery beast to try and grasp.

I thought it would help to read what other reviewers have to say (and every reviewer in the world is writing about it). It seems like they're all stabbing in the dark, too, wildly throwing labels at it in the hope that one or two stick. Is it brilliant melding of Latin and prog-rock influences? Yes. Is it an indecipherable, self-aggrandizing mess? Oh yes. A complicated math-rock enigma? Yeah, kind of like math-rock for literature majors who can't decide which makes less sense: Finnegan's Wake or Naked Lunch.

Most importantly, is it worth shelling out your hard-earned cash? Hmm. That depends. How high is your tolerance for psychedelic sound-scapes, endless guitar wanking and nonsensical lyrics delivered, alternately, in a blood-curdling wail and a breathy whisper? Think of Frances the Mute as a musical Rubik's Cube. How long did it take you before you threw the thing down in frustration?

I guess my tolerance for that sort of thing is somewhere in the middle, because I want to turn everyone I know onto The Mars Volta, but I plan to do so by presenting the band's more straight-forward previous effort, De-Loused in the Comatorium. That's the one people are talking about when they try to claim The Mars Volta sounds like Led Zeppellin (which they do, and don't). Then, once they're hooked I'll lob Frances at them. That is, except for my old pal Joe V., who is the only person I know who regularly listens to Bill Bruford's solo work. He gets Frances right off the bat.

About the only thing that can be said with certainty about Frances the Mute is that you won't hear anything else like it out there. And if you're the type who managed to get your cube back together again, you'll find Frances to be an endlessly rewarding odyssey -- one best experienced with a good set of headphones in a dark room.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Now listening to: The Mars Volta, Frances the Mute

Nick Mamatas writes about his experience being suied by the RIAA in the Village Voice.

A good USA Today explainer on how P2P networks are servicing niche music fan communities that mainstream labels can't -- or don't want to -- reach.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Here's a link to The Fire Ant Gazette, a cool blog that I just now stumbled upon. Haven't had a chance to really look at it, but the first few posts I read look interesting.

I found it by looking for an article that was in today's N&O on "Godcasting," which is a term for the proliferation of religion-themed podcasts out there. Unfortunately, the N&O doesn't carry Cox News articles, so I'm still looking elsewhere for it. Scroll down to Feb. 16 in The Fire Ant Gazette and you'll find two interesting posts on podcasting -- one on The Godcast Network and the other on Pale Groove Studios, which offers a place for people to go and create their own podcasts. One day I'm going to get on the ball and do a local club podcast -- that is if I get over the flu, quit stressing over my Flash class and actually get the energy to leave the house.

In other news, I purchased my first iTunes download the other day. Though I'm a big supporter of digital music, most of what I've downloaded sounds terrible, which isn't a problem if I'm not paying for the music. Therefore I've still been buying CDs and uploading them to my iPod. My desire to get hold of The Mars Volta's new CD, "Frances The Mute," made me go ahead and give it a try. It sounds OK, but I wish I'd gone ahead and bought the CD. I'll give a full review of the CD at some other point (quick take -- it's not as good as "Deloused in the Comatorium").

I will say that I vaguely approve of the whole prog-rock/concept album resurgence. I love King Crimson (specifically the "Starless and Bible Black," "Larks Tongues in Aspic" and "Red" trio), and The Mars Volta really sounds like a cross between King Crimson and Santana, with "Deloused" having more Zeppelin overtones. I'm also still trying to gather my thoughts on last year's Iced Earth Civil War concept album "The Glorious Burden," which I really want to like, but so far it hasn't really stuck with me.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Washington Post article on artists who see legitimate uses for file-sharing services like KaZaa and Grokster.

Artists Break With Industry on File Sharing