First off--my well of Ponygirl Club contributions has been running a tad dry of late, leaving my fellow Bloggers gasping for air like rainbow trout marooned on a parched riverbed after a long summer's drought. For that I apologize. Depending on who you ask, I have spent the last several weeks either:
a) Held up in a villa somewhere in the Balkans riding horses and playing the accordion.
b) Learning to fire breathe.
c) following the Silver Jews on tour and stalking Cassie Berman.
While all or none of these may be true, none of this qualifies as a reason to neglect my blogging duties. I guess part of the problem is I haven't had anything to bitch about lately, and what is the point of blogging if you're not going to bitch?
So, in the spirit of trying to get through this blog with as little shit talking as possible, i'm going to fire up the ole' shuffle on my Ipod, and talk about the first ten songs/bands that come up. I promise I won't cheat to look cool.
1. Neko Case- "Hold On, Hold On"
I like Neko Case. She has a good voice and she's pretty foxy, but man, if it's possible to scream "I'm a total bitch" with no more than a few pictures, Ms. Case has it perfected. She's also in the "indie rock supergroup" The New Pornographers along with Dan Bejar of Destroyer fame. Personally, I like Case and I like Bejar but the New Pornos pretty much suck. It's just run of the mill power pop crap mixed with a few gems from one of these two. Anyway, I have no doubt in my mind that if Neko Case wanted to become a big Country superstar she totally could. People wouldn't even have to write songs for her! But then again, "country," or at least it's popular incarnation, has really become a pretty hideous swamp thing of a genre in the last decade or so.
2. Bear vs. Shark- "Baraga Embankment"
Fuck yeah. I've always loved BVS. People ask me to describe them, and the best I can come up with is "If At The Drive-In were a bunch of white dudes instead of a bunch of Mexican dudes and there was no Acid involved." Seems fair to me. Anyway, these dudes rocked and it's a pretty big bummer that they broke up. Check out this video for "Catamaran" off of their last album "Terrorhawk." It's the opening track, and a pretty kick ass one at that.
3. The Microphones- "I Felt My Size"
If this were like four years ago you would've been witness to me raving about how much I love this album, "The Glow, Pt. 2." But, well, it's just not something i'm really ever going to throw on anymore. Phil Elvrum has always had a pretty good thing going for him...he's super earthy and organic and shit and it comes through in his music, which is super bare-bones and folksey and woodsy. I dunno, maybe i'd like it more if I lived in like, Washington. It's the kind of album which, despite it's quality and how much I loved it at one point or another, I just don't really have much use for anymore. Kind of like Spiderland.
4. A Silver Mt. Zion- "Track 01"
Another band I used to like a lot more than I do now. Make no mistake...I was a huuuuge Godspeed You! Black Emperor fan back in the day. They played at the Casbah once but I wasn't old enough to go, then they broke up and I never got to see them live. So, therefore, I had to kind of hold out for a time when they would either get back together, or I was going to have to live with just seeing Silver Mt. Zion live. I did. It was boring. There were a ton of childhood emotions and expectations riding on that show...I wanted them to be a band they weren't. But, you know, that show made me realize that, as necessary as the breakup of GYBE seemed to be at the time, ASMZ just can't compete. At all. Efrim can't sing. He isn't a band leader. He was never supposed to be any of those things. These weren't people who spoke out about politics or or talked shit about other bands. They were supposed to be different. But, whatever. The death of Godspeed, to me, meant that post-rock was done and dead and people needed to move on. Too bad no one else did.
5. Modest Mouse- "Jesus Christ Was An Only Child."
Modest Mouse is one of those unfortunate bands that got popular at the wrong time. They got popular after they were done writing terrific music and, well, that just meant that their back-catalog would never be appreciated by certain people. It's like the Weezer effect...once you become popular and start writing crappy music, a whole new, young generation of "indie" kids will know who you are, but in a way that just means they aren't old enough to remember that you were good once and won't care. "Oh, yeah, Modest Mouse fucking sucks." Yeah? Listen to The Lonesome Crowded West and fucking tell me that. Damn these guys used to be good. Not that their new albums are terrible....they're not...but really, they're never going to even come close to their three big early albums. Oh, and Issac Brock's lisp is fucking annoying. I should do a piece about musicians with lisps. Who else has one besides him and that fruit from Belle & Sebastian?
6. Hot Snakes- "Let It Come"
Ah, the Reis/Froberg tandem, aka the best thing to ever happen to San Diego music. I seriously love these dudes. Sure i'm not as big on the whole greaser-punk vibe of Rocket From The Crypt, but I think it has to do more with me really like Rick Froberg's voice. Drive Like Jehu is one of my all time favorite bands, and while Hot Snakes decided to shed a lot of the more experimental and mathy aspects of Jehu's last album, they still know how to fucking rock. Drive Like Jehu is a perfect example of bands that existed at the same time as Nirvana, did a similar thing, and kicked infinitely more ass yet get little to no credit for it. God, I fucking hate Nirvana. Sweet, it's the Meat Puppets without anything that made the Meat Puppets interesting! Where do I sign up?
I don't know what the fuck is going on in this video but I kind of like it:
7. The Aquabats- Dear Spike
People who do not like the Aquabats are the enemy of fun. Now is a fitting time to listen to them, too, as Travis Barker is like, dead or something. Yes, it is a little known fact that Travis Barker used to be in the Aquabats, where he went by the name The Baron Von Tito. They probably kicked him out for not being Mormon?
It's definitely kind of sad that they're still a band. But, you know what? Who cares. Let them keep on rocking until Jesus comes back to earth or whatever!
8. You know what? There is no #8. I'm tired of this.