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Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Velocity is necessary this eve., but a couple quick drops.

Care to know just which secular Western music is acceptable to the Iranian government?

Re Jordan: Kurt may have exaggerated -- didn't he say practically the same thing about The Pixies? -- but there are similarities: Both Nirvana and the first several R.E.M. discs bottle their respective lightnings via forms that aren't just v-c-v (or, on much of Murmur, something like v-v-c-v-c-b-v-c-c) but built up from four-bar phrases repeated, almost exactly, four times apiece (or multiples thereof), w/r/t both vocal melody and guitar part. I have an unconfirmable conviction that this sort of part-whole relation didn't hurt them any in catching a bigger ear than the scenes of which they were outgrowths. Meaning in part, let's not forget that R.E.M, whatever their other merits or demerits, were also the ones who "put it together" from stuff that was coursing around, mostly regionally, below major-label-and-press radar in the early '80s; most obviously, the whole Hoboken-centered crowd (dB's, Individuals, Feelies, Necessaries) that did, I think, have some club currency for New Yorkers during a slackening in avantitude between no-wave and pigfuck; see also some of those bands' pre-existing connections to Don 'n' Mitch. Do I neglect The Bongos? No, I do not -- there is no way Buck and Stipe did not hear "The Bulrushes." Not that anyone claimed otherwise; but how many times will I get to mention The Bongos before I die?

Also, glad to hear John Shaw's ups for some people I've never heard of, and, why not, Sheryl Crow. But, to bring it around, recall that "All I Wanna Do Is Have Some Fun" may be the only recent hit based on an pre-existing on-the-page poem, by one Wyn Cooper, a workshoppy sort with several collections to his credit. (I guess this was before Ashanta started their "New Series.") Cooper did not leave well enough alone -- last year, he and Madison Smart Bell, whose last novel concerned a fictional rock band, recorded Forty Words For Fear. Echt lit-rock -- some spoken readings w/ sounds, at least one okay song called, if I recall, "Blue Nun," and Bell singing like Tom Waits minus a personality. The musically responsible parties, you ask? Dixon and Easter.

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