Can you believe we're already halfway through August? Jeez Louise, time freakin' flies! In any case, this month -- when not gnashing my teeth and ripping my hair out -- I've been busied by the following:
MUSIC: Based on the testament to its unlikely greatness from my colleague, Gil, I picked up the new New York Dolls album, One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This, and am continuing to give it a fair shake, despite it not immediately grabbing me. It's not bad, but it's just not getting me too excited, which might suggest a bigger point: maybe I was never a fan of the `Dolls to begin with. I remember picking up the band's seminal eponymous debut album from 1973 when I was in high school -- as they were name-checked by everyone from the Smiths to Hanoi Rocks as a huge influence. I'd always liked "Trash" and "Personality Crisis," -- and you'd have to be completely blind not to see their moves ripped off by more successful bands from the Sex Pistols through Motley Crue -- but it never felt especially crucial to me. I'm sure in the context of their original era (the drab early 70's), the band's shambollic rock'n'roll probably sounded like nothing else on the planet, and their sartorial/tonsorial take on "glam" made the likes of Bowie and Bolan seem as transgressive as impolite nuns. I quite enjoyed the bittersweet documentary, "New York Doll", which documented the band's Morrissey-orchestrated reformation, concentrating on the surprising post-band trajectory of original bassist, Arthur "Killer" Kane. But with original `Dolls members, drummer Billy Murcia, legendary guitarist Johnny Thunders, second drummer Jerry Nolan and Kane himself all dead (the gentle giant passed away just prior to the release of the afore-mentioned documentary), it seems a bit rich to dub this new band (fronted by only original members, vocalist David Johansen and guitarist Sylvain Sylvain) the New York Dolls. Moreover, the New York Dolls without shock-haird junkie stormtrooper guitarist, Johnny Thunders (pictured below playing with his more ass-whuppin' post-Dolls band, the Heartbreakers) makes about as much sense to me as AC/DC without Angus Young. Regardless, it's still not blowin' my skirt up either way. I'm sure they'd be fun to see live, though.
The other album I've been spinning a bit lately is a hugely screamy little record by a Seattle combo called The Blood Brothers. Young Machetes is actually the band's fifth album (not out in stores until October) and I can't decide whether I love it or hate it, and that's always a good sign. "Set Fire to the Face on Fire," the album's opener, is shrieky, purple-faced call to arms that makes one want to break every window in one's house, spew lighter fluid around and strike a match. Dinner party music this is not. If you have a wife, chances are that she'll hate it.
FILM: Now that the movie's finally out, can we all stop freakin' talking about "Snakes on a Plane" now? Please?
WEBSITE: CATS THAT LOOK LIKE HITLER!TEXT: Maybe his fifteen minutes have been up for a year or two now, but I still think Anthony Bourdain is one cool motherfucker. I loved "Kitchen Confidential" (despite the abortive "sit-com" they made out of it that sank from view quicker than a cockroach in a pot of gazpacho), equally thrilled to "A Cook's Tour" and read his last book of culinary-noir (culinoiry?) fiction, The Bobby Gold Stories: A Novel. Hell, I even picked up his Les Halles cookbook (the Tartiflette -- basically a deadly concoction of potatoes, cheese and bacon -- is the shit!). So, I of course had a hard time not picking up his latest opus, "The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones." I'm only a couple of chapters in -- and it's basically the same sort've fare (pardon the pun) you'd expect. But it's fun stuff. Plus, the book is dedicated to Joey, Johnny and Dee Dee. Respect!
QUOTE: “My earliest memory is shouting: at what and for what reason, I don't know. Probably a tantrum; or I may have been rehearsing. I was always an early starter.” - Lemmy
**NEW** SHIT THAT'S PISSING ME OFF THIS MONTH: After working the Friday overnight shift there for over a damn decade, TIME Magazine has evidently decided to change its big closing night from Friday night to Wednesday night. Yeah, sure -- wait `til after I've left to make it easier, why don'tcha? Bastids!
**ALSO NEW** OLD TIMEY VIDEO CLIP OF THE MONTH: If for no other reason than that it rocks so damn hard, herewith the truly disquieting and slightly silly video for "Envoye" by Swiss industrial weirdos, The Yong Gods, looking a bit like the Blue Man Group's retarded cousins. Put simply, it's tres awesome!