Monday, September 13, 2004

BLAH BLAH BLAH...

This link right here has been brought to my attention. It regards VICE magazine and their shady connections to some right-wing millionaire putz. I've read the article a few times and still can't figure out whether it's for real or not. It seems so ridiculous and over-the-top as to be a prank of some sort, but since it was published in The American Conservative magazine, I'll assume it's the real deal. Just one more reason to consider VICE mag as the bible for totally clueless fuckheads worldwide!

I wish to drastically switch topics for now and consider the vastly over-rated nature of the band known as RADIO BIRDMAN. I'm not simply playing the Devil's advocate, this is for real. How many truly great songs did they have? 5, 6 tops? I'd count "Aloha, Steve & Danno", "New Race", "Burn My Eye", "Descent Into the Maelstrom" and maybe a few others as top-shelf rock 'n' roll. The rest of their admittedly brief discography I'd say was either 3rd-rate MC5 rip-offs or, at worst, corndog bar-band rock with a laughably militant earnestness in its attempt to save "real rock 'n' roll" or whatever the hell their "mission" was. Don't get me wrong: I have the utmost respect for the band and what they did, and even though I'm not much of a fan I still found the 'Birdman book one of the most interesting (and inspiring) rock bios I've ever read, but the music... I don't get it. The first two Saints albums and everything the Birthday Party ever recorded leaves the 'Birdman for dead. Living in Australia, I do believe I've just uttered a great blasphemy to the rock purists/dullards, and lynching season's just coming 'round...

I was a bit foolishly dismissive of DAWSON's final album, Terminal Island, in my hopelessly rambling retrospective on the Scottish music scene of the late '90s/early '90s last month (the one you all skipped over). It is the BEE'S KNEES, one of the great totally lost albums of the last decade. I've had it on constant repeat in the car the last couple of weeks and it's a pummeling wall of sound that, in retrospect, was probably their finest album. Mix up frenetic, mile-a second, scratchy D. Boon-style guitar heroics with the walloping bass rumbles of a Feedtime or a Birthday Party and blend it in with a tirade of polyrhythmic (and I don't even know what that word really means, but it sounds like it suits this description, so bear with me) percussion - only one drummer? There's gotta be a mountain of overdubs buried in there - and you have Terminal Island. Think Minutemen ca. Punchline and the skin-hitting mayhem of the Boredoms' Super Ar and you're probably getting close. Never released on CD, zilch distribution, I don't know what the chances are of anyone reading this stumbling across it any time soon, but if you ever do... you can thank me later.

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