Tag Archives: music

Money, money, money, money … MONEY!

“We’re interested in anything that’s going to earn us a fair wage. It’s not to say it’s not about art, but we made that art fucking 20 years ago. So forget the fucking goddamn art. This ain’t about the art anymore. I did the arty farty part. Now it’s time to talk about the money.”

— A candid Black Francis of the Pixies talks about the possibility of doing shows that rehash songs from early albums like 1987’s Come on Pilgrim and 1988’s Surfer Rosa. Next thing we know Pavement are in it for the chicks…

Pushing the boundaries

Jazz greats Duke Ellington, left, with drummer Max Roach, center, and bassist Charles Mingus, back right.

“Oh no, Charles, let’s not go that far back.”

— Duke Ellington, when asked by Charles Mingus to record “something really avant-garde.”

What is success?

“What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”

— Bob Dylan

What I’m listening to right now:

* “The First Days of Spring” — Noah and the Whale
* “No One’s First and You’re Next” — Modest Mouse
* “To Willie” — Phosphorescent
* “69 Love Songs” — The Magnetic Fields
* “Leaves in the Gutter” — Superchunk


The Selvedge Yard is my new favorite Web site. It’s simply a WordPress blog that finds old magazine articles and pictures and repurposes them into something new.

Take this excellent post on Johnny Cash, filled with wonderfully iconic images of the Man in Black posing next to some railroad yards.


The best camera is the one you have with you …

Fall means many things for many people. For me, it’s been this Belle and Sebastian song, “Another Sunny Day,” long car rides, Sunday hikes, farms, covered bridges, holding hands and taking pictures. Lots of pictures.

Here are a few I’ve been meaning to post for a while:

Another sunny day, I met you up in the garden
You were digging plants, I dug you, beg your pardon
I took a photograph of you in the herbaceous border
It broke the heart of men and flowers and girls and trees

Jess sunshine

Another rainy day, we’re trapped inside with a train set
Chocolate on the boil, steamy windows when we met
You’ve got the attic window looking out on the cathedral
And on a Sunday evening bells ring out in the dusk

Ky dusk

Another day in June, we’ll pick eleven for football
We’re playing for our lives, the referee gives us fuck-all
I saw you in the corner of my eye on the sidelines
Your dark mascara bids me to historical deeds


Everybody’s gone, you picked me up for a long drive
We take the tourist route, the nights are light until midnight
We took the evening ferry over to the peninsula


We found the avenue of trees, went up to the hill
That crazy avenue of trees, I’m living there still

Brick leaves

There’s something in my eye, a little midge so beguiling
Sacrificed his life to bring us both eye to eye
I heard the Eskimos remove obstructions with tongues, dear
You missed my eye, I wonder why I didn’t complain
You missed my eye, I wonder why, please do it again


We have a lot of catching up to do …

A lot of my life is lived as a reaction to something else that preceded it.

I spent the first 20-plus years of my life with nary a hair anywhere but the top of my head, and so, as soon as I could, I grew a beard. Pitiful as it might be, it’s still a beard.

My high school years flew by in a rush with little attention paid to academics. Once college arrived on my doorstep, I became a book nerd and graduated with high honors.

Throughout college I avoided most of what passed for pop culture and have since spent that time catching up, reading classics I never read in high school, listening to all the “cool bands” I missed out on in college, watching all the “seminal” movies I didn’t get to watch.

But in all this catching up, I neglected keeping up with a bunch of stuff I had knowledge of previously. Mostly, I refer to bands, which fit neatly into any desired hipsterness I might have clung to, as I could just claim the bands I listened to in high school had “sold out,” and “only their early stuff was good.”

As you can maybe tell by my last few blog posts, I’m coming around on this way of thinking, specifically, by invoking two bands I can’t believe I’ve even attached my name to in recent weeks: Phish and Pearl Jam.

Nothing against those two bands, they’re surely talented and write decent to good songs. But for most of this decade I’d have rather listened to TV on the Radio or My Morning Jacket or The White Stripes — bands that seemed to be creating something new, even if it was a borrowing of the past in some ways.

But what’s so great about the new, besides its cultural currency? Sure, I can claim to be cool and in the know and up-to-date on the latest happenings. But how will I fully understand what’s knew and what’s happening, if I don’t understand the past?

Give me the tried and true. Give me that which has been tested by fire and yet still stands tall and strong.

And yet … I have many other holes to fill in my pop culture education.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why the only Rolling Stones album I’ve listened to is Exile on Main Street, and even that only a few times. Or why I’m not more familiar with the Talking Heads or the Band or Fugazi and Minor Threat.

So, what about you? What’s the one pop culture movement — whether it’s a movie, band, book, etc — that you’ve neglected over the years and why?