Memories of… “Deep Shag”

Few things can trigger a long lost memory like music. It can happen anywhere.  For me it usually happens in the car. The other day, I was driving to work and flipping channels on the satellite radio. I stopped on Lithium the 90’s alt-rock channel. They were playing a cool old song from the early 90’s that I had forgotten all about, Luscious Jackson’s “Deep Shag”.

I was quickly taken back to Fall 1994. I was driving around smoking Camel Lights and listening to Nine Inch Nails when I decided to stop off at a friends house for a bit. I pulled up to the house and noticed hanging out front was the same group of dopy 15 year old skateboarders I saw every time I stopped there. They always asked me for some smokes. I always answered back (usually with one dangling from my lip) “No, that shit will kill you”. They would grumble something back and that was the extent of our relationship. My vehicle had an alarm system but for some reason I didn’t turn it on. I must have thought my little buddies out front would keep an eye on things.

So I went into my friend’s place and we hung out for a couple of hours. When it was time to go I hopped in my car and drove off sensing something was amiss. Nine Inch Nails “Head Like a Hole” was still playing and I decided to change CDs in my super high tech Discman. On the floor of my car I had a small 10 CD case in which I kept my go-to music of the week. I reached for it and to my surprise there was no case! My heart skipped several beats. Back then the thing I valued the most in life was my music collection. I was 19 and had a crappy part time job. Replacing 10 CD’s would be next to impossible.

In a panic, I pulled over to calm down and search my vehicle. Easy Todd, maybe you just misplaced the CDs. Maybe you left them at home. After a quick search, I realized they were definitely gone. I had been burgled. This was a travesty! Who would do such a thing to me? I reached in the console between the seats for a delicious and calming Camel Light, but hey were gone too! Who would take my CDs and my smokes?………….Those little fuckers! Now I was more pissed knowing that I had been burned by that group of prepubescent criminals. I was sure they were laughing it up. Listening to my music and smoking my smokes. Bastards.

I drove back to see if I could find the little bastards but it was late and no one was around anymore. The next few times I went back over to my friend’s place I tried to find the culprits but I never saw them again and I didn’t have much proof even if I had found them.

The real problem came after the fact.  What do I do about replacing these CDs? As already referenced, I had a crappy part time gig and couldn’t afford to replace them all right away. There was also new music coming out all the time that needed purchasing. So I had to prioritize. I organized the lost CDs into tiers of importance.

Tier 1: You Fucking Assholes. I Love That CD and I Must Sell Blood, Semen or Organs to Get the Money to Replace It.

Smashing Pumpkins, Gish

Songs of note: Well, all of them, but “Bury Me” may be my favorite today.

Replacement Status: Repurchased 1 week after incident at full price. I have purchased this album in every available audio format over the years. Cassette, CD (twice) and digital download.

 

The Jesus and Mary Chain, Stoned and Dethroned

Song of note: “Sometimes Always”

Replacement Status: Repurchased 2 weeks after incident at full price.

 

 

Beastie Boys , Ill Communication

Songs of note: “Sure Shot”, “Root Down”

Replacement Status: Repurchased one month after incident at full price.

 

 

Tier 2: Awe man, that sucks. I’ll have to get that back when I get the chance.

Luscious Jackson, Natural Ingredients

Song of note: “Deep Shag”

Replacement Status: Not replaced yet. Will be scouring the inter-webs for a suitable torrent as soon as I am done with this post.

 

 

Weezer, The Blue Album

Songs of note: “Say it Ain’t So”, “Undone – The Sweater Song”

Replacement Status: Not replaced yet. Napster-ized a few of the key singles on this release but have not as of yet replaced.

 

 

The Sugarcubes, Stick Around for Joy

Songs of note: “Gold”, “Hit”.

Replacement Status: Repurchased summer of 1997 for $1 at CD Xchange. What a bargain!

 

 

Tier 3: You can have it. I won’t be buying that one twice.

Helmet, Betty

Song of note: “Milquetoast”

Replacement Status: A friend recommended it. Never liked it. Never considered replacing it.

 

 

Medicine, The Buried Life

Songs of note: “The Pink” ”She Knows Everything”

Replacement Status: Liked the record but never really considered replacing it. Also had other releases by Medicine to help fill the gap. Medicine is a bit different.  I wish I could have seen the look on those little assholes faces when they first heard this one.

 

Various Artists, DGC Rarities Vol. 1

Songs of note: Counting Crows, “Einstein on the Beach (For an Eggman)”  Nirvana, “Pay to Play”

Status: I Napstered the crap out of the Counting Crows song but the rest was of little interest to me. Never considered replacing.

I can’t believe it’s been nearly 20 years now since that Luscious Jackson CD was taken. I also can’t believe I had forgotten all about it until they played it on the radio.  Is there a moral here? Probably not. I did learn that you can’t trust a pack a 15 year old skateboarders unless you give them cigarettes upfront. And hey, things could have been worse.  They could have found the 3 cases of Milwaukee’s Best in the back seat.

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From the MoSS? Pit: Sleigh Bells

sleigh bells posterIn our first “From the MoSS? Pit” dispatch, we teased that we would be attending the War on Drugs/Dirty Beaches show at Mission Creek. Yet no post materialized on Music or Space Shuttle? Trust me, it was for your own good. Dirty Beaches was a total letdown (rambled through two songs from the album, then droned on for 30 minutes). War on Drugs singer spent half the night yelling “Whoo!” That gave the crowd something to do, mimicking each one for the majority of the set. The sound sucked—but it was Gabe’s, so what else is new?!

But Sleigh Bells…well, yeah. Absolute fucking dominance.

Sixteen songs from their two albums. Relatively good sound at another venue notorious for bad sound (IMU Main Lounge). Energy aplenty. Sweet light show. And a great crowd (although smaller than I ever would have imagined—come on, Iowa City!).

I was far from convinced that the show would be a winner, as I endured two travesties earlier in the evening: Donnelly’s Pub was out of Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale, and Elite Gymnastics tried to scare everyone out of the IMU with its opening act. As scary as the absence of ale might sound, trust me, the Elite Gymnastics fiasco was much worse.

Constant shrieking guitar; off-kilter live drumming performed by someone wearing a “Fuck Real Life” shirt; a lame karaoke-style video display, which didn’t seem to help the vocalist, as he stopped “singing” (read: mumbling) at one point and then pointed at the video projection and said “these are the lyrics I should be singing, so, um…Iowa City!” It was bad, bad, bad. Which surprised me, as the recorded material on Ruin is pretty good. Alexis mentioned during the SB set that this was Elite Gymnastics first tour—a surprise to absolutely no one in attendance.

I did not take video of EG. I wouldn’t do that to my phone.

But I did grab some footage from the SB set. First up, the pre-concert intro music and set opener “Demons” (the lights come up around the 1:40 mark):

And I was able to get Alexis talking about this being their first trip to Iowa, before they lit into “Born to Lose”:

We got seven songs from Reign of Terror and a whopping nine from Treats (but not “Run the Heart,” sadly). They skipped my least favorite song on each album, and played a song that I love but didn’t think was a guaranteed inclusion in the set list (“Leader of the Pack” from Reign). Alexis sounded good, even while crowd-surfing, and they all seemed to be having a good time.

Just like the people in the crowd. (Including the pregnant lady who hung with the MoSS crew for the evening!)

Click here to see our friend Bill Adams’ photos from the show.

Next week: M83

Still More Road Trip Revelations

My job sometimes requires me to spend a lot of my day in the car. Today was one of those days with quite a few hours of windshield time. I don’t mind too much. It gives me time to think, reflect on my life and most importantly listen to great music. So, on days like today I sit back, relax and turn up the tunes. After many hours alone in the car though, I tend to have a few random and moronic thoughts. These are just a few of the revelations I came away with on the road today.

Even My Beloved Sirius XMU is Guilty of Massive Repetition

One of the reasons I bought satellite radio, besides the variety, was because I was sick of the repetitive crap on regular radio. I’ve noticed that over the last few road trips my favorite station, Sirius XMU, is terribly repetitive at times. There must be a quota on certain songs because they get played a lot. Ever since Wild Belle took SXSW by storm, their track “Keep You” has been played almost hourly. It’s a great song but come on, let’s not ruin it.

Another song on ridiculous rotation is Tanlines “All of Me”. Over a 10 hour period, I ran a test to see how long it took to them to play “All of Me” after I tuned into the station. Here are the results in the S.H.I.T. scale “Songs Heard In-lieu of Tanlines”.

At no time did they NOT play “All of Me” before I turned the station. So I make a plea to the Sirius XMU DJ’s, “Please, take it easy on the repetition. You’re killing songs for me before they’ve had a chance to live their natural life span…….Fuckers”.

Nothing Oozes Class Like a Set of Fake Testicles on the Back of Your Truck

We’ve all had this experience. You know you’re super cool. Your friends know you’re extra classy. How can you let strangers know this same information while driving your truck around town? Why, trailer hitch testicles, that’s how!

It seems like I’ve seen a million pairs of these truck nut sacks hanging low lately. Here is one I saw on my trip today.

Is this meant to be cool? Is this meant to be funny? Does this guy know he just upped the Hillbilly Coefficient on his truck by an exponential rate? Was the Calvin & Hobbs sticker with Calvin peeing on a Ford logo too highbrow? It just seems spectacularly dumb to me. Maybe I am missing something…nope it’s dumb.

2012 Has Been the “Year of the Women” in Indie Rock

Last year, almost all of my favorite albums were made by male artists. Class Actress’ Rapprocher was the only album by a female artist to make my Top 10 and Cults barely squeaked into the Top 20. This year is totally different. The women are stepping up their game. Frankie Rose, Tennis, Grimes, Mr. Little Jeans (odd name for a solo female), Sleigh Bells, Memoryhouse, Blouse, Field Mouse, 2:54 and Wild Belle have completely taken over my playlists. Granted, some of these are male/female duos, but the dudes are hiding in the background while the chicks are up front kicking ass.

There have been a few dude rockers that have fought there way into my iPod. Bear in Heaven, Tanlines and the aptly named The Men have had short stints in my ever-changing “Love That New Song Smell” playlist. Very few have stuck as long as the women. Congrats ladies. Keep it coming. Hey guys! Wake up! You’re looking bad in 2012.

Van Halen’s “Eruption” is Still Bad-Ass

I flipped to the classic rock channel today and was greeted with the opening guitar lick of Van Halen’s “Eruption”. I turned my car stereo up as loud and these 37 year old ears could take and air guitared along with Eddie just like the old days. It was exhausting, but Eddie and I can still pull off one of the best guitar solos in rock history. Revisit all the Van Haleny goodness below.

All in all it was a pretty good day.  Plenty of tunes. Plenty of low hanging trailer hitch testes. If you see me cruising down the interstate sometime, go ahead and wave. I might just stop my Eddie Van Halen air guitar and wave back.

MoSS? Monthly Mixtape: April 2012

Side A : Todd’s Picks

1. Diamond Rings, “On Our Own”

2. Mr. Little Jeans, “Runaway”

3. Blouse, “Into Black”

4. Wild Belle, “Keep You”

5. POP ETC, “Halfway to Heaven”

Side B : Chris’ Picks

1. Crocodiles, “Sunday (Psychic Conversation 9)”

2. Writer, “Family Dinner”

3. THEESatisfaction, “QueenS”

4. Lee Ranaldo, “Off the Wall”

5. Colleen Green, “I Wanna Be Degraded” (live)

MoSS? Madness 2012 Championship Results

MoSS? Madness 2012 is finally over. The MoSS? servers struggled to keep up as the votes flooded into our system during the last round. Most of you will be shocked at the results. In the final match-up between The Beatles and Johnny Cash, we have a tie. 23450 votes to 23450 votes ………. Just kidding. Johnny Cash received 3 votes. The Beatles easily rolled over him to claim the 2012 MoSS? Madness title!!!!  Congrats to the Fab 4 for their impressive victory.  I placed calls into representatives of the last remaining Beatles to notify them of their win and I was greeted with a resounding “What Madness? Stop calling here!”

What a tournament it was though. We started things off with controversy as readers were upset about artist seeding.  Some of the the strongest opinions were about Michael Jackson’s #7 seeding. Well quit your whining, M.J. didn’t get past R.E.M. in the first round. Yeah, “Shiny Happy People” beat “Thriller”.  Based on that performance he may not even make the round of 64 next year. Or maybe he will have to win a match-up against the likes of Slayer or Dokken just to get in. Time will tell.

So many upsets.  We lost 4 of the top 8 seeds in the 1st round. I’ll never be as proud of society as I was the day Elvis lost to Pearl Jam. Not that I like Pearl Jam as much as I really dislike all things Elvis. Suck it you pill popping hillbilly.

Thanks to all of you that voted and stuck with us until the end. Feel free to make your case in the comments section for any artist that you think should be in the tourney next year. We may have to retire The Beatles to give other artists a fighting chance.

I leave you with this video of the last public Beatles performance from Jan. 30, 1969 on the rooftop of the Apple Corp studios. The first song is “Get Back”, followed up by my favorite Beatles track “Don’t Let Me Down”. So much weird facial hair. Enjoy.

MoSS? Madness 2012 Championship

The votes are in. After weeks of debate, hours of agonizing decision making and unknown amounts of work productivity lost, we are finally down to the last 2 remaining artists in the MoSS? Madness 2012 Tournament.

The final match-up will be between The Beatles juggernaut (seriously, no one has even come close to beating them) and (the biggest surprise in the tournament for me) Johnny Cash. Johnny has been in dogfight after dogfight and always come out victorious, never winning by more than 3 votes. Well done Mr. Cash. You are a scrapper.

Can Johnny squeak out yet another closely contested win? Will The Fab Four dominate yet another match-up? It is now up to our readers to decide.