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Sunday, June 05, 2005


The last time I can remember being jazzed about a new release was about fifteen years ago. I know, so don't start - yes there are great new bands, and if you want to hear about them, check out Fred's blog.
In 1988 my friend Brian suggested I get a copy of the Dead Milkmen's "Beelzabubba", man was he right. 'Stuart' alone makes this a worthwhile purchase, but it's just chock full of gems like 'Bad Party', 'Drinkin' Bleach', 'Sri Lanka Sex Hotel', 'RC's Mom', and of course the hit 'Punk Rock Girl' which contains the sage advice to record stores everywhere: "If you don't know Mojo Nixon, then your store could use some fixin". The great Mojo Nixon/Skid Roper Lp 'Root Hog or Die' had just been released as well, which contains 'Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant With My Two Headed Love Child', but that's another post. I just love this record (Beelzabubba). Their previous release, 'Bucky Fellini' is worthy as well, but 'Beelzabubba' is their Ace card for sure.
In 1989 the world changed forever with the release of 'Paul's Boutique'. I cannot understate the significance of this record, and if you don't own it you suck - period. I've often called 'Paul's Boutique' the Sgt. Pepper of my generation, and I stick by it. On this record the Beastie Boys grew from a novelty status/future one hit wonder act, to full fleged artists creating something timeless and monstrously influential. If I didn't own this record, I'd shoot myself for being such a suck-head.
The pastiche, the tapestry, that is 'Paul's Boutique' is only rivaled by 1990's They Might Be Giants record 'Flood'. "A brand new record for 1990......" And that's what it was. Totally fuckin'new. The album flows like a well thought out series of vignettes. Highlights include 'Birdhouse In Your Soul', 'Istanbul (Not Constantinople)', 'Dead' ("I returned a bag of groceries accidentally taken off the shelf Before the expiration date. I came back as a bag of groceries accidentally taken off the shelf Before the date stamped on myself"), 'Your Racist friend', 'Particle Man'(hates triangle man...), 'Letterbox', and 'Road Movie To Berlin'. Much like 'Paul's Boutique', 'Flood' belongs with 'Dark Side Of The Moon' in the category of records best not interrupted. I believe the same year brought us the first Black Crowes LP, REM's 'Automatic For The People', and the last time I recall being jazzed about new music.

new or old it doesn't matter.

i just love listening to music i haven't heard before.

so its off to Rhapsody to check out Beelzabubba and Paul's Boutique.
HOLD THE PHONE, CHUCK!!! Rightbackatyou does not own a copy of Paul's Boutique?! Man, that could seriously damage a popular blogger's rep as a respected musicologist. Skip Rhapsody and buy the disc. It's a cover and sleeve worth owning. Jackson couldn't be more on the nail.

BTW Jackson, in an interview with The Boss I was reading this weekend, Bruce was asked who'd he been listening to while making Devil's and Dust and his reply was, "...as with the Tom Joad record, I've been tuning out a great deal to Peter Case records".

I now humbly and reverently apologize to Bruce for all the years of heavy mockage and laughing at your (Jackson's) Bruce as a seventy year old man impersonation.
and don't forget 'Flood', if you don't like it, somebody in the house will.

My Boss impersonation was always deserved and spot on. Just because I now respect him as an artist does not refute the fact that he looks and sounds like an old man taking a shit.
Forgive me, but I really don't think anything by "They Might Be Giants" should be mentioned within 10 miles of "Dark Side of the Moon." TMBG are certainly a beloved band in frat houses across the country (college kids discovering They Might Be Giants is like teenagers discovering sex, they keep thinking they're the first ones), but "Dark Side of the Moon" has a bit more depth and meaning (not to mention longevity - and I ain't just talking about sales) than "Flood." Sure they've got some catchy melodies and wacky lyrics, but so did the Patridge Family. I guess I just can't get behind ironi-rock. Maybe that's why I hate Bare Naked Ladies too.

"Paul's Boutique," on the other hand, is the "Velvet Underground and Nico" of white Brooklyn rap. And that's a good thing.
You are just plain wrong my friend, I know you had some bad run in with these guys or a fan or something and you don't like them due to an association, but you are judging without listening, "Flood" is a masterpiece, a themetic record with a purpose and a flow. I once knew a guy who hated the Chilli Peppers because of something Flea said in an interview, it didn't matter to him what the music was like, he turned off completly because of a comment made by an asshole who happens to be a great bass player. TMBG are geeks, but they made at leat one great record way back in 1990. AND I only compared it to Dark Side because of it's continuum, the flow that should not be interupted, not because it's as good as, or sounds like, jeez, reading comprehension dude, get it.
Well, I agree with Chris entirely on the TMBG thing, but promise to give Flood a listen anyway, but don't fret Jackson, Katie's on your side. She loves TMBG's Higglytown Hero's soundtrack. She jams to it every morning on the Disney Channel.
Nobody has to like 'Flood', but don't disregard it due to an association.
Great blog great comments.

That music brings back a lot of great memories: The milkmen, Mojo... and i'm sure you know how I feel about Boutique.

You are correct about "Flood". It is a great example of one of those "play the whole damn thing" kind of CDs. It flows so nice. Although it is "irony rock", it's well written "irony rock". I've liked TMBG for 20 years (don't let's start, and kiss me son of God). I have recently rediscovered them through my son. They have released two of the best childrens CDs I've ever heard, "NO!" and "Here Come the ABCs". I am totally convinced that "Here Come the ABCs" was huge part of getting my 3 year old boy to finally talk. As far as driving around with the kids - I'd rather listen to TMBG over the Wiggles anyday!

I'm not sure what you think of the Boss' new CD - it comes with a photo book insert... It should have come with a triple shot of esspresso (yawn). I couldn't figure out if I wanted to fall asleep or kill myself.

keep up the great work


I built a little empire
out of, some crazy garbage
called the blood of the exploited working class
now I laugh and made a fortune
off the same ones that I tortured
and the world screams,
"Kiss me son of God"
Are you fucking kidding me? Sorry to burst your little bubble "Jackson" but not only have I heard the entire record many many times I owned it for years. I've heard the damn thing straight through plenty of times, I know the lyrics to "Istanbul" and to "Birdhouse." When was the last time I judged music without listening to it? Is this something you know me to do? I think of myself as a very careful listener. I've seen them live (the thing with playing along to the radio was pretty crappy - Ithaca radio ain't very good). I hated TMBG for their music LONG before I had any contact with them or their fans.

It's perfectly fine to hate a band because of associations, if you don't like Flea you're perfectly entitled to hate the Chili Peppers (note the correct spelling). But that's absolutely not what I was talking about (reading comprehension, dude, get it?). I was talking about not liking the band or the record, and I think I'm entitled to my opinion without Jackson telling me I'm "just plain wrong." Granted, you're obviously an expert on all things music (as long as they are in your record collection, of course), but I've heard and made a few records in my day, and I'll hate them if I like.

I'm pretty sure I understood what you were saying, but comparing "Flood" to "Dark Side of the Moon" is like, well, comparing "Flood" to "Dark Side of the Moon."

I'm happy some people like the band, it's great they're making great children's music, but I still don't like 'em. And if that's a problem, well tough shit.
Okay you don't like them. I don't know why you'd want to be so well versed in something you don't like. Why would you listen to it so much if you disliked it so?
Like I said, they're catchy melodies and wacky lyrics, and a good friend of mine (in college, of course) was a fan, so I listened and went to see them with him. He might have given me the tape, somehow I acquired it, I don't really remember. Either way he certainly played it a lot, and I heard it a lot, and I remember it quite well. All I was saying was that I've heard the record and formed my opinions based on that, which you have no response to.

Believe it or not, it's possible to be knowledgeable about things you don't like, or used to like, or may come to like in the future. There's tons of music eternally burned into my brain that I don't like at all. And you wrote some of it! (That last line is a joke, I actually like Jackson's songs.)
I will conceed your right to dislike, and given the back story it sounds alot like your Jethro Tull experience, which is completely understandable. Of course I repect your musical views, I wouldn't submit myself to endless hours with you in the room with no windows if I didn't.
Oh my God, the Tull experience. For those who don't know the story, my freshman year roommate (otherwise a perfectly nice guy) was a big Tull fan, and would whistle along to all of the flute solos. And this was serious whistling, it'd been practiced, all the swoops and dives and everyone were there. Now I have no particular dislike of Jethro Tull, and I'm a fan of their live work, but it's hard to listen to them now without hearing that damn whistling.
I could be wrong of course, but I would venture to say that never has the virtue of They Might Be Giants music ever been debated with such vitriol and conviction.

Jackson, I think you may have ventured to close to sacred ground by placing anything TMBG recorded in the same universe of Dark Side of The Moon. Now, I haven’t heard Flood all the way though, but my wife love these guys and I do recall the last time she through it on I commented, “…is it cool if we move the disc changer along?” Which is to say that if it were truly worthy of a DSOTM and Paul’s Boutique I’d probably have said something different. Maybe will check it out while you’re here and you can try to convince me.

I do know one thing for sure, I hate the Istanbul/Constantinople tune. Makes me want to drive a nail into my ear. I do like the Higglytown Hero’s theme song a great deal though…
This will be the last time I say this, I was not comparing the content of those two records, but the arrangement of the LPs as completre works - they flow well, and as long as you DON'T HATE the record, you'll find it's one of those records you just don't want to skip around the tracks while listening to. For the record, and this will kill you all, I do not currently own a copy of it, and can't say I've heard anything off it in years. That being said, I can hear it very clearly in my head. And Tony is right, this is a world record holding TMBG debate, and probably wouldn't be worth all this time being spent on it - except it's so damn fun to argue about something with somebody who you can't see or hear, it's a weird perverse side of blogging that I really enjoy, because of course I'm very weird and extremely perverse.

Sad to hear your Jethro Tull experience has been forever ruined by your old roommate.

Doublely sucks considering I've been practicing and have completely mastered a wistled version of UFO's "Rock Bottom" (from the live record) guitar solo for you.
All five minutes? That's a lot o' whistlin', you must get fairly thirsty, perhaps you might have a Heineken to keep the lips loose.

HEINEKEN.....Fuck that shit, PBR!

Thanks Frank.
That's pretty funny, Tony. You know what, in this case, I'll make an exception and listen to the sweet sweet whistlin'.
Maybe we should cut a whistlin record, the funny thing is that George would probabaly get behind such a project.
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