Sunday, July 23, 2006


I'm glad I used this instead of that Nick Nolte mugshot

Having a music blog is all about making playlists with arbitrary themes. For instance. If it's Tuesday and your elbow itches, you search your itunes for the words "elbow itches Tuesday" and you will probably find a Pavement b-side and a song Daniel Johnston wrote because Captain America told him to. But two tracks will barely get you in the door with Sally Anne Rottencrotch down the street. So you broaden the theme to "appendage discomfort." This is no good either, since this only gets you a Bloodhound gang concept album about venereal diseases. To simplify things, you go for songs with "hurt" or "pain" in the title. If you stretch the theme to include artist names, you can juxtapose "I'm In Luv Wit a Stripper" with "Everybody Hurts"; this winking, virtuosic turn will bring sally to her knees before you can say "drip the hot wax on my toes BEFORE you call me J. Edgar Hoover, not AFTER!"

Now, I want to have a "music blog" about as much as I want an orifice right here (imagine me pointing to the back of my hand, which is somewhere without the proper market infrastructure to support an orifice). But I gotta get that hot wax on my toes as much as the next guy, so I'm going with the theme thing.

Clean, the movie's called. Just out on DVD. Slept on terribly. Although every movie that's (a) foreign, (b) independent, or (c) lacking Portman--is slept on, so not sayin much. But critics were wrong on this one. Nick Nolte holds down the movie. He talks like he beat Tom Waits in a cigarette-smoking contest, but he's not all Blue-Chipped up. Indeed, I wanted to sit on his lap and drink hot apple cider by the end. And Maggie Cheung, a big Hong Kong star, who you know if you're into my man Wong Kar-wai--in the movie she speaks three languages fluently and manages to imbue a character with quietude and charm who is (a) sick because methadone is not as good as heroin (b) just out of jail (c) bisexual, and (d) reeling from her husband's death. Most of what makes the movie good is the Brian Eno music that is deftly placed during shots of skylines and sunsets; and Maggie Cheung's hair's all puffy. The thing's about junkies who die and abandon their kids and stuff, but its treated at a distance (constipation isn't a major theme a la Trainspotting, no sped-up withdrawal tossing and turning a la Ray). Ultimately its about Maggie's character trying to become a normal person and get her kid back (with the help of Nice Nolte). Plus there are monkeys and giraffes in once scene. Everyone in the movie dresses way too cool and Tricky is in it for no reason, but imho this might get close to the founding fathers*. Rating: William Henry Harrison

The Clean, the band's called.

Download - The Clean - Beatnik

New Zealand's best lo-fi post-punk band. Also New Zealand's best rock band (I don't know another rock band from New Zealand, but I've heard this is true.) Rating: James Buchanan

Download - Tricky - Aftermath

Tricky plays himself in the movie. He appears, then declines to help out Maggie and leaves the movie. What a dick! we think. Then we realize that might not be a proper representation of Tricky. Then we wonder why Tricky would want to be portrayed as dick if he wasn't one. Then we listen to this song and think if might be like heroin.
Rating: Martin Van Buren

Download - MF DOOM - Mr. Clean Rating: Andrew Jackson
Download - The Jam - Mr. Clean Rating: Martin Van Buren

If you don't know yo history, DOOM pities the fool like Mr. T (who took off his gilt chains and gave them to katrina victims to eat). The Jam pities the fool who don't wear pleated trousers and listen to skiffle.

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