Currently taking up the sparse supply of my attention not otherwise sapped by screaming children and urgent pop music news...
MUSIC: I hate to confess it, but it's been a mighty long while since I've layed my quaking digits on a new CD. I did begrudgingly download the entirety of the Gnarls Barkley album, St. Elsewhere. I wanted to hate it -- put off by the hype and the stupid name, but between the ubiquity of "Crazy," the bizarrely faithful cover of the Violent Femmes' "Gone Daddy Gone" and the robustly soulful "Smiley Faces," I simpy couldn't stay away. Apart from that, I've been listening to an inordinate amount of Underworld (specifically their live album from 2000, Everything, Everything) and bruising fistfuls of vintage Motörhead, courtesy of the good graces of my colleague, Robert, who nicely bestowed upon me yet another entirely needless box set by same, Protect the Innocent (a collection rendered entirely superfluous by their more comprehensive boxed set, Stone Deaf Forever and/or the largely flawless `84 compilation, No Remorse -- both of which gathering a fine patina of dust on my shelves). Then again, there's never such a thing as too much Motörhead.
FILM: I'm quite sad to report that I did finally get to see "Kill Your Idols" (you can read my feverishly anticipatory post about same right here). I regret to say that the film is rather sizably flawed. While the (fleeting) archival footage of No Wave mainstays like DNA and Teenage Jesus & the Jerks is compelling, and the interviews with Arto Lindsay, Michael Gira, J.G. Thirlwell, Jim Sclavunos, Glenn Branca and the still endearingly irascible Lydia Lunch are interesting and informative, the film's lack of historical context, objectivity and perspecive (to say nothing of visual detail -- don't talk about NYC in the late `70's while showing footage of the city in the current decade) makes it seem a bit incomplete and slapdash. Moreover, the linkage between the No Wave scene and NYC's more contemporary rock scene (filled out by the dubious likes of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Liars, Gogol Bordello, Black Dice, the lamentably idiotic A.R.E. Weapons, and some other also-rans) is hugely tenuous at best. Adding insult to injury, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and A.R.E. Weapons come across rather poorly in their respective interviews (YYY vocalist Karen O is a brain-fryingly ineloquent tangle of "like"s and "y'know"'s, while A.R.E. Weapons front man, Brain F. McPeck displays all the humility, taste and insight of Poison's Bret Michaels), whereas the members of the old guard come across as either pompously disinterested or positively inebriated on the heady wine of sour grapes. A little historical context and background to set the table would've been a nice touch. No great conclusions are reached. The oldsters write off the new breed as cushioned, derivative, nostalgia-crazed sellouts, the new kids pshaw the suggestion that they owe anything to their forebearers. No fruition is achieved. Key players and locales go without a mention. This film could have been so much more, but it fails rather miserably. In fact, apart from the interviews with Lydia Lunch and Gogol's Eugene Hutz, there's really nothing here worth wasting time on. Don't even bother renting it.
WEBSITE: Worst URL's EVER!
TEXT: Over the course of the last couple of weekends, I've been re-reading Jon Krakauer's gripping 1997 best-seller, "Into the Wild," documenting the mysterious trajectory of a doomed, self-styled recluse/Jack London-disciple named Chistopher McCandless, who went well out of his way to renounce all worldly comforts in order to try his luck living out in the unrelenting Alaskan wilderness. Somewhat unsurprisingly, he did not succeed, but the circumstances of his demise and the stories of the lives he touched along the way make for hugely compelling reading.
LYRIC/QUOTE: "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana" [Groucho Marx]