Thursday, May 18, 2006

Lovelee Sweet Shields

Chanced upon this news tidbit this morning. Needless to say, I'm intrigued. We once had a connection, he and I. Eyewitnesses remarked that it was stunning.

Like most reasonable individuals, I'm still patiently waiting for the next MBV album. In the meantime, though, I'm willing to tolerate the remix work he's done for lesser artists. For example:

Primal Scream - If They Move, Kill 'Em (My Bloody Valentine Arkestra)
Lush - Sweetness & Light (The Orange Squash Mix)
DJ Spooky, w/ Kevin Shields - Rapper's Relight
Placebo - Pure Morning (Kevin Shields Remix)
Curve - Coming Up Roses (Kevin Shields Remix)

Sadly, his remix work on Mogwai Fear Satan is much too long to upload. Sadder still, I cannot seem to locate some of his other remixes that I had once worked so hard to accumulate, such as "Autumn Sweater" and "Only the Strongest Will Survive." I suppose Bow Wow Wow will have to do for now.


This past weekend Over-the-Rhine played host to the unfortunately named event Jammin' On Main 2.0. Something like 70 local and area bands performed to roaming packs of wristbanded and slightly intoxicated in the historic Main Street district. [Please take note: When I call my neighborhood "historic" I am not simply falling into the come-hither marketing language that pervades these events. I honestly mean that my neighborhood has been recently named one of the 11 most endangered historic sites in the United States, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.]

The event I would call a surprising success. With the help of Cinti guru and concert buddy Jilly, we managed to stake out some exceptional regional talent. Outside at Neon's, I kicked off my evening with indie rockers The Turnbull AC's. With cooler weather sneaking in, I headed off to alchemize to catch the magnificent Fairmount Girls, whom I later termed "'60s bedroom pop." They said they had never heard that one before. With that, Jilly sent me along to Jefferson's, where we caught the end of The Swarthy Band's set. I couldn't help but smile at the sweat and gymnastics put into their performance. The real reason we came to Jefferson's, however, was to witness The Sundresses, who were also quite good, but Wussy was playing at the same time in Mr. Pitiful's, so we had to wander across the street to get the best of both worlds. Back at alchemize the night devolved into drinking and dancing and dj's and one final unremarkable band.

Saturday took greater effort to get moving. And for good reason, too. MOTH, who started out my night, are technically from Cincinnati, Ohio, although they would have you believe they were Pete Doherty's buddies from across the pond. At least Dayton's Lab Partners, with their Verve idolism, ended the weekend with a blissful touch of the delay pedal.

As much fun as that was, I doubt it will hold up to this. Anyone planning on visiting the tri-state this June?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

We could use the wood

So, for the past few days - weeks even - I've been scratching my head, wondering why the jackass who runs this website doesn't update his content more regularly, like every other responsible jackass in cyberspace. It was with no small amount of guilt that I realized that the jackass is me. Truth be told, it's hard work maintaining the international presence of the Well Respected Blog bureau. There are all the little things that can easily be taken for granted: concocting my weekly conceit to justify why I'm blogging to you; hand-selecting choice tracks from a variety of tunes I'm currently grooving to, uploading the songs, and making them available for your previewing pleasure; and presenting it all in a package that is informative, entertaining, and at the very least not entirely self-indulgent and boring. I hope you appreciate the labor and criminal risk that goes into this endeavor.

I bleed for this. I lay awake at night beating my chest, ashamed of the neglect this comely corner of the internet has had to endure.

If you get no other satisfaction out of this weblog, please savor the delicate care with which I lay down my run-on sentences.

It is possible, you realize, for me to update more regularly, but with admittedly less substance.

For instance:

Tuesday, 5:40 p.m.
My new spectacles seem to suit me well. However, several people at work asked whether they were only decorative. Do I really seem like that type of character?

Current mood: Ambivalent.
Currently listening to: Os Mutantes, Everything is Possible


Saturday, 7:02 p.m.
Sanctuary! Relief is finally in sight as the wedding plans are starting to materialize after five months of dawdling and second-guessing.

Current mood: Overwhelmed.
Currently watching: Iron Jawed Angels


Thursday, 2:36 p.m.
Safely exited my 2:00 conference with Janet Ashcroft. Boy, was she pissed.

Current mood: Flirty.
Currently reading: An editorial that has caused me to lose all respect for Sasha Frere-Jones.

So, there are possibilities. Not that I'll ever fall into that trap.

Two weeks ago (has it been that long? I believe it has) Dan came down to visit. We dallied about rooftops and art galleries and Northside, talking enthusiastically about music and life and rhythm, as if there was a difference. Before we know it, Dan and his little missus will be packing up their covered wagon and leaving behind the fair and fertile grounds of the Midwest for the golden coast. And as much pleasure as I took in warning him of the near certainty with which poverty will meet the pair in Oakland, a small fire in me believes that, like a cat, they will land on their feet.

It's been over a year now since our band released our finest recording to the public at Mac's Bar. Thankfully, for the rest of us, Daniel has kept up with his true love.

Listen, learn, and love:

Fancy Dan - So Long
Fancy Dan - I've Had Enough
Fancy Dan - Plenty

As we parted, we exchanged mix CDs. What else would you expect? He included the Tom Waits track "Come On Up to the House" somewhere in the middle. My strongest memory of that song was when I played in loudly in front of my piano class at State, showcasing Waits as an example of a modern piano player I admired. I smiled smugly at Tom's absurdist humor, his booming voice knocking out lines like "You're singing lead soprano in a drunk man's choir" and violently thrusting in Hobbesian imagery. Listening to it recently, it struck me how powerfully sincere the song is. It's a genuine appeal to acknowledge the flaws in your life and your lack of complete control of those events, and still to not be crushed by those burdens. This song has become my mantra of late - it's so compelling to want to plan everything out, listen to every record that sounds remotely interesting, read every book that you've been told is great or inspirational or enjoyable, constantly explore new territories, make new friends, become a better cook, exercise, learn a new instrument or skill, find better jobs, write everything down, get an advanced degree, and still make time for the Amazing Race, a bowl of popcorn, and a meaningful conversation with someone you care about. It's just too much to keep up with it all; sometimes you just gotta let go.

The world is not my home, I'm just a-passin' thru:

Tom Waits - Come On Up to the House (from Mule Variations)