Thursday, March 18, 2010

You can't have him

Was just listening to sister Lovers/third on my way to work this morning because I do that when I’m sad not knowing the immortal alex Chilton had actually died. RIP AC I felt like you and me were tight. His music had so much goddamn life in it and that’s why I always turned to it because in those times I obviously needed it. He gave me life.

Monday, March 15, 2010


I have two friends both called Tristan. One is very slight of build and the other is something of a tank. The bigger fella I’m not as close to, but he got last night’s setlist and that’s why I’m bringing it up: 27 mind-blowing cuts to stroke the ear. Their arsenal of song is astounding.

At one point in the show I heard an indignant guy yell out: this ain't heavy metal!

Well it's the closest I've come to heaven. I really don’t know how I physically existentially managed to see Malkmus on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (life presently in disarray), but I did and I did it with a fervour usually reserved for bundles of dynamite. Dreams came true all over the place.

The band couldn’t stop smiling. They sounded incredibly special and loud enough to drown out my furious belting of their tunes. Get these five guys in a big room with their toys and as stupid as it sounds, magic happens.

I took some notes in an attempt to explain their charms to myself and to an audience on the radio earlier in the week.

Can we start with Stephen’s voice and what comes out of it?

* I find it very stimulating. Couldn’t do an entire album of Steve a capella — no I need the rest of it.

* The first song I ever heard was Half a Canyon off Wowee Zowee, the opening yelp perfectly encapsulating how I felt at the time. I was 24 and a mite bit angsty.

* The lyrics have a literary-bent. Discuss the appeal of riddle-speak and a bands' charms partly these inscrutable secrets.

* A pose that is ironic in the sense that he’s not self-important enough to think that his words can feed Africa. Doubly ironic is that his words are vastly more quotable than Bono’s. Triply ironic is whether Bono gives a shit when he’s on the golden toilet in his jet and no he does not.

Malkmus seems to pretend he doesn’t care and there’s something alluring about that, but the fact of the matter is, he cares more than you would ever know, except he doesn’t care much about the videos Pavement made otherwise they wouldn’t all stink. They’re okay I guess (the vids), pretty corny and fail to reflect the art-damaged aesthetic of their sleeves, and that’s what bribles.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Pip Proud

Pip died. David has more information on his blog. Mia says he’s in a better place hanging with Bach and Mozart. Perhaps he’s having a beer with Barry Hannah as we speak.

Here’s a review I wrote a few years back about Pip's first gig in forty years. Thanks to Ariel Pink for recognizing a true outsider and making it happen. If this performance was any indication, Pip's poetic fires raged undiminished until the end. You can’t ask more from a life than that.

Ariel Pink, Pip Proud, East Brunswick Hotel, Melbourne

Could Pip slip? Don’t know, but our nerves sure shake. Last time Pip played was pre-Woodstock, for goodness sake. Since then, the far-out Oz folksinger’s been speaking to angels and literally blinded by love - a 37-year hiatus. Our faith is restored the moment he starts singing about ‘dueling dildos’ – with suction sounds added for shits and giggles.

Fronting an unfathomable rhythm — sitar moans, eerie keyboard drones and the like — Pip and the guitar girl duet: “Will you tell me about Los Angeleeeze? Where they stripteeeze all day and all night, will you tell me?”
“You don’t want to know!” she cautions, while drummer David Nichols hypnotises us into believing he’s Mo Tucker.
“Tell me, you bitch,” Pip pleads and so on. It’s really something else.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

RIP Barry Hannah

“The canned dream of the South is something I’ve resisted my entire career; it disgusts me,” Hannah said. “And being Southern isn’t always a graceful adjective; it’ll kill you sometimes. Often, it’s shorthand for ‘Don’t bother reading this because it’s just gonna be a lot of porches and banjos.’”

more from a profile written by Wells Tower in 2008

When I came in to work this morning after being out all night with my barber there was an email from H telling me Barry Hannah had died. Barry was 67 – my number in third grade basketball. I had my own trading card and everything. I was four foot ten and eighty five pounds. I was a natural blonde. I wanted to be a coal miner. But enough about me. Barry was a strange writer and a true love of mine (different from being lovers) and like most things in life that I love I have trouble describing why it is that I love it more than the next thing. Often with me it comes down to a writer of special sentences and Barry was one. He didn’t write non sequiturs per say, but his sentences would take you to unexpected places and that blazing talent of his was enchanting to me and a constant reminder of why reading is such an unearthly delight.