Thursday, July 16, 2009

Stage Banter Primer

Or, How To Talk To The Audience From Someone In The Audience

Lou Reed, Caroline Says I, Rock and Roll Animal. "Shaddup." Lou said it all, really. At one point in his career, he had elevated stage banter to a fine art. He didn't need to fuck around. He didn't need to tell stories or make off-hand remarks. He knew what he needed to say and he said it. All other stage banter must be judged against this slighty slurry, snotty, one word demand. In other moments of astounding genius, Lou extended it to two words: "Fuck you." Was there anything else he needed to say? Note: This only works if you're Lou Reed.

The Heartbreakers, Chinese Rocks, Max's Kansas City. "Johnny's vacationing in Detroit these days... you can tell by how healthy he looks." Walter was throwing down the commentary, and good thing, too, because I've never seen anyone take so long to get a guitar strap on their guitar. Note: This will only work if you are in one of the most awesome bands ever, you can pull off wearing a zebra stripe jacket with a plaid shirt and a tie of some kind, your lead singer/guitarist is capable of being both wasted and better than anyone else, and you're about to play "Chinese Rocks".

The Cramps, The Way I Walk, Napa State Hospital. "And somebody told me you people are crazy... but I'm not so sure about that. You seem alright to me." Don't you love it when everything aligns, when the right thing happens at the right moment, with the right people at the right place, and the world is briefly as brilliant and wonderful as you knew it could be? As if The Cramps playing at a mental hospital wasn't perfect enough, Lux uttered what might be the best intro, hands down. Note: This will only work if you are fucking cool and weird and are playing to mental patients.

The Ramones
, I Don't Want To Go Down To The Basement. "Hey, hey, quick, let's go. Lively." And various comments as they debate which song to play. Most band conversations are excruciatingly boring; you know they are. "Yeah, so, do you think we'll have enough time to load the gear back in?" The crowd doesn't want to hear your band conversation, trust me. Unless it's a funny one. Like, the drummer wants to play one song, but the bass player really wants to play this one. Really! Note: This will only work if you all have funny New York accents and attitudes and both the songs are loud and under two minutes, just like all your other loud, under two minute songs. If your singer can do a kind of ungaingly sort of danceish thing, that doesn't hurt either.

Antony and the Johnsons
, Cripple and the Starfish, Queen Elizabeth Theatre. "I'd be like, 'Well, maybe you should hit me.' And then I was like, 'Oh, better go to college.'." I was so there! Which makes this special! Most of the modern bands I like eschew stage banter, so it was nice to actually hear from a performer. It was a good balance. He played a bunch of really depressing songs and then broke it up with a funny story about how his high school boyfriend wouldn't touch him and he felt really lost and depressed. Okay, so that isn't funny at all, but he makes it funny. and Note: If you aren't witty, have no clue how teenage girls feel, did not learn the fine art of performing from drag queens and aren't extremely talented, this won't work.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Correspondence 1: John Donne & Johnny Thunders

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Neddal Ayad < >
Date: Fri, Jul 10, 2009 at 3:54 PM
Subject: You know how they call gin "panty remover"?
To: "Nicole V." < >

So is the poetry of John Donne.

(But maybe not this one...)

Talk soon,

- On Fri, 7/10/09, N.A. < > wrote:
From: N.A. Subject: Bodychoke
To: NV
Received: Friday, July 10, 2009, 1:33 PM

Conversation w/Dave:
Dave: Man there's this band I think you'll dug they're called Bodychoke...
Me: Oh yeah?
Dave: Yeah, they were this old band that Released a few records in the
late '90's and came and went. It sounds like Penthouse, B-day Party
and AmRep stuff. The lyrics are really misogynist. You'll dig it.
Me: Like noisy?
Dave: Yeah...w/misogynist lyrics...
Me: What bands were the guys in?
Dave: I dunno, Whitehouse, and some other bands that I never heard of...
Me: Oh

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: NV < >
Date: Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 10:57 PM
Subject: Lou Shares!
To: Neddal Ayad < >

His pre-VU tunes!

I was actually trying to get to the Lou's Views part of the site, but it's a monster.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: NV < >
Date: Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 4:35 PM
Subject: Furries are gross
To: Neddal Ayad < >

Jesus, what's wrong with people? Can they not get a grip? I think most furries are stuck around the age of five, an age when most people are watching cartoons that feature all anthropomorphized animal casts. But most us get over that and develop crushes on our classmates, neighbors, human celebrities, or just plain human anything.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: NV < >
Date: Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 1:24 PM
Subject: I find that shocking too
To: Neddal Ayad < >

This came up when I tried looking for Little Bit of Whore. Tony Wilson interviewing Johnny and Walter Lure, who make him look like an idiot, but in that gentle kind of way where they let him hang himself. Near the end, Wilson comments that he finds the drummer's drinking "shocking" and Johnny says, "I find that shocking, too."

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Nicole Votta < >
Date: Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 4:39 PM
Subject: "I Like Girls"
To: Neddal Ayad < >

Check out the pictures of Sparks.

Are you more disturbed than you were before? Because that button and shorts are nothing if not disturbingly ambiguous.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: NV < >
Date: Sun, Jun 28, 2009 at 1:03 PM
Subject: Re: Inspiration
To: Neddal Ayad < >

Anthropology of evil - so, is that why you took anthropology? And you were super disappointed when it was just pottery shards and carbon dating?

I have to admit, the Shakira/Danzig thing is pretty awesome.

--- On Sun, 6/28/09, Neddal Ayad wrote:

From: Neddal Ayad < >
Subject: Inspiration
To: "Nicole V." < >,
Received: Sunday, June 28, 2009, 7:00 AM

Danzig on books:

Danzig and Shakira -



Talk soon,

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: NV < >
Date: Sat, Jun 27, 2009 at 3:08 AM
Subject: Things That Don't Go Together
To: Neddal Ayad < >

The Cramps on Beverly Hills 90210. Yes. That Beverly Hills 90210. I think my head just exploded.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I'm Done W/Classic Rock

I've heard so much classic rock over the past 10 days or so that I can't even write about it. That or I need more distance. In the meantime, a mini-mix:

MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes

or click on this link.



Words of Wisdom, Version Two

"Because they're boys, and boys are lazy."
-Anonymouse mother to her daughter

-N. Votta

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Nadja - Desire in Uneasiness

Brian Eno said that ambient music should be ‘as ignorable and as it is interesting’. When I say that Nadja have achieved that with Desire in Uneasiness where so many others have failed, it’s not a putdown. By treating the tropes and riffs of doom metal like parts of a soundscape they’ve created an insidious, rocking type of atmospheric noise. They have more in common with Grails, who they’ve toured with, than the obligatory name-drop, Sunn 0))).

It is loud and heavy, prickling with feedback and reverb. Live, it might actually flatten you. On CD, the buzzing and sub-sonic vibrations are smoothed into a wall of sound, an effect that makes it subliminal, part of the atmosphere. You’re barely aware that ‘Affective Fields’ ends when the rising crescendo of ‘Uneasy Desire’ creeps up on you, chthonic and droney and a bit psychedelic. The subconscious asserting itself.

They’ve struck a balance between the heavy and hypnagogic. You could probably headbang to it, if you really wanted to, or you could read de Nerval. It’s the fact that Adrian Baker and Leah Buckareff are probably doing ‘ambient’ better than most ambient bands out there that fascinates me.

-N. Votta

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Method listening (aka Oh fuck, I really am listening to nothing but classic rock...)

I've suspected this for a while, and I'm sure various co-bloggers and bandmates will vouch for this: When it comes to music and music-related endeavors I'm a bit of a masochist. I will listen to music I hate to see why it works e.g. Katie Perry's I Kissed A Girl. It's like neurolinguistic programming, that song. Put the words "curious", "kissed a girl", "taste", "cherry", "I liked it", "not what good girls do", "it felt so wrong", "so right" in a song, make the singer a hit chick dolled up like a 50's pin-up, and boom, instant Top-10. That and the song sounds like a mash-up of Tainted Love - which always makes for a good hook, see Rhianna's S.O.S., that Pink song w/the textspeak title, and an outtake from NIN's Broken e.p. Which makes it electro/house enough for the hipsters to dig ironically. Never mind that the production is bloody awful. I get it, you made out w/a girl. Stop shouting at me. Read Nick Southall's article on the abuse of compression then listen to the song and you'll see what I mean. As a complete aside to this aside, eventually I'm going to track down the paper mentioned in this blog post re: manufactured celebrities. (Unfortunately the links in the post itself are dead.)

And, of course, that whole bit above has nothing to do w/what I originally intended to write about. To get back on track. Last week my bandmate Carol and I were talking about new does songs, etc..., etc... A while back the goslings had mentioned something about collaborating on a cover of Bad Company's "Feel Like Makin' Love." That never worked out, but I liked the idea. Then I got to thinking about classic rock, covers, and how a good 90% of what most people listen to is either classic rock, or sounds a lot like classic rock. I suggested that instead of doing a cover we just write a song that sounded like a classic rock song, just really fucked up. (Yeah, yeah, Pussy Galore did it, they covered ALL of Exile on Main St., whatever, blow me.) Carol was down. Then last Wednesday. I figured we should take it a step further, and before we start writing, listen to nothing but classic rock for a week. The cut off date is 1983. Although I could have went later, they play Pearl Jam and Nirvana on classic rock radio now. We're about mid-way through, and I gotta say, I'm looking forward to Wednesday. I don't own a lot of "classic" records, not the stuff I consider classic rock anyway, i.e. Skynyrd, ZZ Top, Foghat, so it's been classic rock radio for me. Some observations, from the past four days (Carol's been blogging on behalf of herself and Alex here):

AC/DC rock. Period. I can see why they seem to be the only rock band Keith Richards has anything good to say about. And since they're "classic", K-Rock here in St. John's has been playing their new song. It's way better than it has any right to be. The production could be better, but fucking hell, Malcolm just cranks out those riffs.

Those Lynyrd Skynyrd ballads (Freebird, Simple Man), are depressing as hell. They make you want to smoke Marlboros and drink whiskey. The someone yells out, "Play Freebird!" at a show, I just might.

I've gained new respect for Neil Young. I especially like that the best riff in Cinnamon Girl is played once or twice at the end of the song. He's Neil Young, he can throw that shit out at you.

I loathe Rush. The guys in QOTSA must really dig on Tom Sawyer though. Make the lyrics about a girl instead of Objectivist nonsense and add some Zep drums and boom. Tom Sawyer could be a Queens song.

Thin Lizzy = Led Zeppelin divided by AC/DC = Brilliant.

Why do people even mention Jeff Beck in the same sentence as Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page, yeah they were all in the Yardbirds, but Beck is ten times the guitar player than either of them.

ZZ Top were good before the drum machines. The drum machines fucked up a good thing. Cheap Sunglasses man.

Any 70's (and even late 80's) Aerosmith song is worth listening to just to hear the guitar solo. And while the stuff they play on the radio is good (Deuces Are Wild, Walk This Way, ...), it ain't no Chip Away At The Stone.

I've vastly underestimated Free. Really.

Led Zeppelin sound huge.

I have no idea how anyone can listen to early 'Stones aside from Paint It Black and Under My Thumb. Jagger could have been a brilliant lyricist had he not hit the coke so hard and got with the social climbing.

The Beatles confuse me. I've tried. They do absolutely nothing for me and I don't quite get what they do for other people.

Fuck the Eagles.

Fuck Bruce Springsteen. I'm sure he's a nice guy, but fuck him.

Fuck Elton John and his lame Ziggy rips. Rocket Man? Yeah? They should only play Tiny Dancer. And not very often.

Heart are underrated.

Queen are...what can you say about a song like Killer Queen? What can you say about Queen? In their way they out-weirded Bowie, but no one knew at the time.

70's Bowie = The good stuff. (No pun intended.)

I loathe Pink Floyd. Maybe not Pink Floyd, I loathe Roger Waters. Fuck. "His lyrics are brilliant." Yeah, in the same way that Marilyn Manson is "intelligent". Compared to say...Rod Stewart, anyone's lyrics are gonna seem brilliant.

Golden Earring are not only hilarious, Radar Love is a great song.

I'm completely ambivalent about Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

If the Doors had a Keith Richards-type to counter Morrison and toughen up the sound, they could have been the best rock band of the past 40 years.

...and I still have three days to go.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Because Nothing Says 'You Rocked' Like Vandalism and Theft

Apparently, some first class knobs stole Ian Curtis' headstone. I sincerely hope they catch them quickly and the headstone can be returned.

-N. Votta