Friday, December 09, 2005

The Unofficial Start.


Just when I thought Wilco's Yankee Foxtrot Hotel could not be appreciated anymore than I was appreciating it:

On YHF, Wilco use short-wave radio as a metaphor for communication in a relationship.

That girl really likes that record (as evidenced by her 10-page entry). All the information she provides on the album's interpretations and the band (name from radio jargon "will comply") makes me appreciate the album about five times more than I did. And I've had it the thing on repeat on my MP3 player for the past week or so.

And I never researched the title of the album.

YHF is a high-traffic station on the network of short-wave radio stations operated by Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency. These stations have played an essential role in allowing Mossad to communicate with agents by broadcasting one-way transmissions usually identified with a tactical call-sign consisting of three phonetic letters, such as "Charlie India Oscar" or "Echo Zulu India". Although the broadcast voice is always female, it's not an actual person but a speech synthesizer -- automatic machines do the actual announcing, sending out a seemingly endless stream of rota-styled messages.


"[W]e're not the biggest band in the world, but we are part of the fabric of certain people's lives. . . . And there is no doubt in my mind that for some people out there, we are one of the threads they are hanging on to. And I think what we have to do as a band is to make those people aware of how we need them as much as they need us. To me, music is love, and I need it in my life just as much as they need it in theirs". --Tweedy


There is just something so magical, pseudo-depresso, honest, true-to-life about Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. I don't know what it is, and I don't know why about 6 or 7 years ago I probably would have thought it was too boring, but now I'm just immersed in it. It's lyrically simple, simple images, simple chords and basic arrangements, though a lot of bells and whistles and a bit of fuzzy edges. Nothing too over-complicated in the rhythm section, although I usually enjoy drum and bass complications. But the guitar work. Man. And those strings on "Jesus, etc." -- they get me every time. Look at me, I'm writing like Holden Caulfield here (I've been reading that lately). ... Those strings are on the edge of corny, but they just kill me. Get me every time.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

I think that's about the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

We watched Taxi Driver tonight (yeah, the title of this post is a quote from a funny part in the movie). I thought it had great direction and action and acting, but ... I also thought it dragged a bit at times. But, hey, maybe that's just me.


I always think about making New Year's Resolutions, but I always think of how long a year is and get kind of disenchanted with the idea. Even something that sounds relatively painless, like keeping a list (with short descriptions) of each band I see live sounds kind of staggering. Or keeping a journal. I tried that one time daily for a couple of months. The entries got pretty monotonous and same-same, even if something cool happened.

Whenever I think about it too much, I just read Calvin's New Year's Resolutions.

Maybe I want to draw a comic strip. That would be cool. We did one (just one) in fifth grade (when our teacher, Mr. Nieves, was also an artist), and all I did was copy the first Calvin and Hobbes strip, blatantly stealing the joke, characters, and everything.

Even in my award winning short story, "The Underground Kingdom," (ha) in fifth grade, I named the two main characters Calvin and Hobbes. My teacher suggested that I changed the names, and I did, to something obviously more bland (blander?) and boring, since I can't remember what they were in the end. I still kept the girl in the story named "Roxanne," though, since I was hiply (hipsterly?) listening to the Police at that age.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


I checked back in on the weeze web site, found the video for perfect situation (meh -- they cut out the cool part of the beginning guitar solo! gwaaah!) and found a link to the AOL sessions.

I wished they had played like this in Orlando.

I had seen Rivers use the talk box on Letterman, but he didn't in Orlando.

If you want, you can fast forward to 1:40 and 3:10 in Beverly Hills (though the song sounds a lot better than the recording). But still watch the half-step risen "Don't Let Go," ... actually, all the videos are good. Perfect Situation a little less so, but still better than the recording (they added those background vocals, "peerfect situation" at the end for the single -- it's in the video too). Even the "Island in the Sun" acoustic is good.

Still don't care for the palm-muting on "Buddy Holly," but I grant them the right to change that song, since they've probably played it over a thousand times.

Watch the interview clips (under transcript) -- they're hilarious! Everyone just staring at the ground while Rivers talks. Those guys love messing with the media... I don't believe anything in that Rolling Stone article about the band.

Pinkerton = Blue > Green > Album Five Scrapped Demos > Maladroit > Make Believe.

I haven't changed my opinions on Make Believe; I still blame Rick Rubin for the production on that one.