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April 2004 Reviews by

Astropop 3
The Beeps
Ceiling Fan
Comment Piece

Guys With Nose Rings
Kilowatthours / The Rum Diary
Bill Laswell
Manual with Jess Kahr

The Means
New Radiant Storm King

Salim Nourallah*

Pleasant Grove
Pussy Magic

Raising the Fawn
The Rasmus

Carina Round
Les Savy Fav

Shit On A Pig
Some Action
Sounds Like Violence

(Iggy and) The Stooges
We Hate Us

*Top Picks


April 2004 Comment Piece:
The Grotesque Nature of Big Cities

Funny how people idolize and worship big cities, isn't it? We must admit that when we were younger we, too, fell for the familiar trappings. We remember once marveling at skyscrapers...thinking how exciting it was to be around so many people in one place...having so many restaurants, stores, and clubs to choose from...but that was long, long ago. As we began to open our eyes wider over the years we finally came to realize that big cities are anything but beautiful. They are nothing more than hideous filth ruining the true landscapes of the world. The true beauty of the world lies in its natural surroundings...NOT in the pathetic creations man has strewn about in his never ending attempt to dominate everything around him. Let us now consider a partial list of what is BEAUTIFUL...and what is truly UGLY:


The Sky
Other Planets


Manmade Parks
Shopping Centers

Now...you may very well be saying to yourself something stupid like "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." If so, discard that dumb thought IMMEDIATELY. Beauty is whatever WE decide it is...and if you think differently, then you are AN IDIOT SCUM SUCKER. If you don't like being wrong, then you should consider changing the way you think. What does it feel like being retarded? That's easy. It feels like just like US do. You and us has one thing in common though. We is both total RETARDS. (And don't you go thinking we can't use right sounding words. We CAN, we just ain't WANTING to.)

Askeleton - Angry Album -or- Psychic Songs (CD, Goodnight, Obtuse pop)
The world is so full of so-so artists and folks with no imagination...it's no wonder an act like Askeleton stands out like a difficult thumb-like thing. Of course the world is also full of so-so artists with so much imagination that their creativity virtually renders their music unlistenable...and that is even worse. While the folks in Askeleton display a healthy imagination, they have enough common sense to temper their creativity with restraint...coming up with tunes that are not only unique, but also quite easy on the ears. After spinning Angry Album -or- Psychic Songs a few times, we found that we simply could not force ourselves to take it out of the player. This band's music is addictive in a very surreal sort of way. The obtuse pop tunes are not only hummable...but also extremely catchy. We don't hear many bands with a sound as distinct as these folks. Superb cuts include "Queenie," "Ghosts," "Your Big Mouth Will Get You In Trouble," and "A Secret." Great stuff...! (Rating: 5+++)

Astropop 3 - Allies and Stepping Stones (CD, Planting Seeds, Fuzzy pop)
Using only the bare essentials to get their point across, the folks in Astropop 3 seem to get along just fine without using excessive overdubs, busy arrangements, and dumb studio tricks. The band's simple and direct approach works...making their hummable pop both memorable and unique. And without unnecessary clutter getting in the way, the listener is apt to take note of just how good the band's melodies really are. The band consists of Dan Villanueva, Keith Vanetta, Wendell Nicholes, and Angelique Everett. Villanueva, the main songwriter, has a great knack for writing smooth melodies and his vocals are perfectly suited for indie pop. Ten collectible cuts including "Forget Tomorrow," "Fade On Your Own," and "Bubble Gum Breakup." Good stuff! (Rating: 4+++)

Badawi - Clones and False Prophets (CD, ROIR, Electronic/dub/world)
Thick and extremely mental electronic music for the body. Band leader/creator Raz Mesinai's music combines elements from a wild variety of sources, giving his listeners plenty of food for thought. Clones and False Prophets is a highly produced endeavor, with many cuts featuring a mind-boggling display of technology. Middle Eastern sounds collide with dub beats and classical influences...creating a confusing and somewhat dreamy sound that is difficult to describe. Mesinai seems obsessed with arrangements, seemingly tweaking and mixing his music to infinity and beyond. Interestingly, some of these cuts even harken back to the progressive acid music of the 1970s (some of the guitar work would make Steve Hillage proud). Badawi is a clever jolt of smart electronics. Choice cuts include "Enter the Tom Raider" and "The Circle." Amazing stuff. (Rating: 5)

The Beeps - Music for Awkward Situations (CD, Ilegalia, Pop)
The Beeps are a seven piece outfit from New York City: six guys and one platinum blond female vocalist. The band's music sounds something like a combination of lounge music and British pop...somewhat reminiscent of the band Ivy. The band has garnered a good bit of attention based on the attention their tune "Tell Me" has received on the garageband.com web site. Music for Awkward Situations has some great tracks on it. "Wonderland" and the previously mentioned "Tell Me" are obvious standouts. But the album suffers from some lesser material ("Surf's Up!", "The Jesus Song")...making the disc an uneven listen. Thus, if you don't mind skipping a few tracks, you'll find some great stuff in the cracks here. With a bit of fine tuning, these folks would be capable of coming up with a really kickass album next go 'round... (Rating: 4++)

Ceiling Fan - Hot Streets (CD, Imperial Fuzz, Pop/rock)
How many cool bands can co-exist in one small city....? That may be impossible to determine, but we have found Athens, Georgia to be one of the greatest hotbeds of talent in the world over the past decade or so. Gone are the days when ho-hum bands in the 1980s gave the city a bad reputation. Those deadend bands have now been replaced by some truly credible and incredible artists that seem to sprout from the woodwork like smooth mother ducklings. Ceiling Fan is a great little power trio with a decidedly cool sense of humor. The band's songs are direct, punchy, to-the-point, and extraordinarily catchy. The tunes on Hot Streets are simply infectious...delivered with taste, integrity, and style. These three guys aren't trying to be different. Instead, they simply play and sing pure pop the way they know it ought to be played. Cool steady rhythms support some absolutely killer guitar licks. Upbeat fun numbers include "Get Shallow," "Grow Up," "Kill This Bug For Me," and "Dog With Flea." Recommended. (Rating: 5+)

Kilowatthours & The Rum Diary - Killowatthours & The Rum Diary (Split CD, Springman, Progressive pop)
Killowatthours & The Rum Diary is a different sort of split CD featuring, of course, the bands Killowatthours and The Rum Diary. The disc is a sort of East meets West experience, as Kilowatthours is an up and coming progressive pop band from the East (Brooklyn) and The Rum Diary is an up and coming progressive pop band from the West (Cotati, CA). What is most unusual about this disc is the sequence of the tunes. Instead of the first half being by one band and the second half by the other, the songs are all blended together nicely...with one tune ("(Ex)Change") even featuring both. Considering the sequence of the tracks, it is amazing indeed that this disc flows so well. This could be due to the fact that both bands obviously share a similar state of mind. Neither band plays commonplace predictable music...preferring instead to execute their own heady brand of complex pop in a highly stylized manner. The question that may plague many listeners is...which band is best? In this particular instance, that might be difficult to determine...as both deliver quality material that holds up to many repeated spins. Cool cuts include "Letting Go," "The Electroencephalograph," "Halos," and "In Attempt To Reach the Shore." (Rating: 5)

Bill Laswell - ROIR Dub Sessions (CD, ROIR, Dub/electronic)
This is not a new album, but rather a collection of tracks from Bill Laswell albums that have thus far been released on the ROIR label. As such, Laswell fans are most likely already familiar with these juicy tracks. But for the uninitiated, ROIR Dub Sessions is a tasty trip into the mind of the King of Dub. The album features four lengthy cuts: "Dread Iternal," "Thunupa," "Cybotron," and "Ethiopia/The Lower Ground." If you're not familiar with Laswell's music, this disc serves as an excellent introduction. To our knowledge, Bill has never released anything that is less than exceptionally mind expanding. (Rating: 5+++)

Manual with Jess Kahr - The North Shore (CD, Darla, Ambient)
Wonderfully smooth, calming, and clear ambient mood music. Like some of Eno's more obtuse ambient albums, The North Shore can either be listened to...or played in the background as a sedative. Manual (Jonas Munk Jensen) teamed up with collaborator Jess Kahr to record an album that is as soothing as a mountain stream or ocean waves. There are no rhythms...no lyrics...no conventional instruments...only cool, serene, and meticulously crafted subtle sounds. This music is to be absorbed and taken internally...like medicine. Beautiful music...that breezes by...like cool organic waves... (Rating: 5)

The Means - The Divine Right of Means (CD, Doubleplusgood, Rock)
Columbus, Ohio's The Means follow up their debut album (Vil/Viol) with an even stronger release. Recorded on and off during 2002 and 2003, The Divine Right of Means is a heavy dose of smart and intense rock. While the band's harsh assault may initially sound like a thousand others, upon closer inspection it becomes clear that these guys are playing some rather complicated and unusual material. And while the vocalist is a screamer (and man, what a screamer he is), he actually manages to carry a tune while tearing his vocal chords to shreds. In addition to the loud stuff, The Means also include some unexpected twists this time around...most notably the unnamed seventh track...which has a spooky, moody sound (musically not unlike The Residents). Obviously destined for obscurity, The Means are playing for a small, select crowd. Most folks will hate 'em...but their diehard fans will most likely remain loyal for many years to come. Strange out-of-control rockers include "Dear Hendrie," "Australians," and "Campaign Blvd." (Rating: 5)

Decomposure - Taking Things Apart (CD, Unschooled, Electronic/experimental)
Decomposure is a different kind of electronic entity. Rather than taking the usual approach of deadening the listener's senses with minute after minute of repetitive movements...the approach here is to keep repetition to a minimum...while challenging the listener with familiar and unfamiliar sounds. Sound confusing? It is. The music of Caleb Mueller (the man who is Decomposure) is mostly unstructured and follows no familiar paths. His creative approach is reminiscent of bands like PanSonic without being derivative. Mueller seems quite fond of cutting and pasting sounds together in random order...but doing so in such a way that it actually seems to makes sense. This man is playing for a very small audience. Most folks will probably want to tune his music out because it sounds so unfamiliar. Taking risks is a very important thing, however, and as a result Taking Things Apart succeeds. This strangely compelling album isn't likely to sell that many copies...but the reviews are bound to be entertaining. An exceptional cut is the heavenly "Piano/Toy Electronic Drumsticks," which effectively combines the abrasive with the serene. (Rating: 4+++)

Doro - Fur Immer (Double DVD, SPV USA, Live concert/rock)
This double DVD features hard rocking beauty queen Doro and her associates rocking out BIG TIME for a theater full of enthusiastic fans in Germany (two entire concerts)...plus extra footage and twelve of Doro's studio videos. Doro and company are serious head slingers...but their act isn't a mere act or gimmick. Doro's band plays with intense precision...hammering out her tunes with exacting ferocity...while Doro pleases the fans with her masculine persona and intensely platinum hair. This lady is much more than just a pretty face. She is truly magnetic...igniting the stage with her presence. Doro truly knows how to get an audience worked up. By mid concert, she literally has her fans bashing to the music in a sweaty writhing ball of excitement. The studio videos on these discs are entertaining...but they don't come near to the intensity of the band in concert. This lady is no diva, as is evidenced by the documentary. Doro comes across as just one of the guys. Doro fans will go APE over this double DVD set. Folks who have never experienced the real thing...will find this to be a curious introduction to one of the true female legends of hard rock. Fans of Judas Priest should find this particularly appealing. The audio and video quality of the concert footage is fantastic. (Rating: 5)

Guys With Nose Rings (Goddamn Poem Kind of Thing)

Guys with nose rings are
Terrible things.
Thinking they are unique
They strut around like freaks...
Making sensible adults
Shudder in disgust.

Guys with nose rings are
Manipulated like strings.
Thinking they are exceptional
They all really look identical...
Instead of showing their masculinity
In reality they display
Their faggot sensibilities.

Guys with nose rings are just like
Girls with nose rings are just like
Guys with nose rings are just like
Girls with nose rings.
They're all scum sucking generic freaks.

Jem - Finally Woken (CD, ATO / BMG, Pop)
Jem Griffiths is one of the most unique voices in modern pop. Although much has been made of the fact that Madonna recorded one of her tunes...in reality, Ms. Griffiths has even more to offer the world than the material girl herself. Jem has a voice that is so smooth and inviting that virtually everything she sings sounds absolutely perfect. Unlike Madonna (who is to be greatly admired as an individual and as a marketing genius), Jem is a truly gifted artist whose music has depth, substance, and a truly unique flair. Above all, however, Ms. Griffiths (along with her songwriting partners) writes absolutely magnetic and magnificent pop tunes that feature gliding melodies, intriguing arrangements, and an overall spectacular vibe. In addition to five tracks that were featured on her last EP (It All Starts Here...), Finally Woken presents six additional juicy cuts. It is rare indeed when an artist comes along whose music has artistic integrity and has the potential to appeal to a large audience. Smooth modern pop doesn't get much better than this. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. (Rating: 6++)

Miles_Gurtu - Miles_Gurtu (CD, Shakti, Moody instrumental modern jazz)
Miles_Gurtu is the collaborative effort consisting of Robert Miles and Trilok Gurtu. The album is a wonderfully dreamy trip into the world of modern electronic jazz. The compositions float by like clouds...presenting a variety of moods and emotions along the way. Miles and Gurtu enlisted the support of some top notch players here...including Jon Thorne, Mike Patto, Nitin Sawhney, and more. Miles handles keys, sounds, and production while Gurtu displays a most impressive command of various percussion instruments. The production on this album is flawless. While the overall sound is slick and well produced, the compositions are not overproduced. A great deal of space was intentionally left in these pieces...allowing the listener to be able to grasp exactly what is going on in most cases. Sultry, seductive, calming, and slightly trippy...the tunes on Miles_Gurtu offer proof that these two artists (and their associates) are perfectly suited for each other. Excellent. (Rating: 5+)

Mus - Divina Lluz (CD, Darla, Soft pop)
True to the claim of the press release that accompanied this disc, Divina Lluz truly is the best release yet from Spain's Mus. Considering the quality of the duo's previous releases, that is really saying something. Fran Gayo and Monica Vacas have a distinct and identifiable sound. Their music is moody and subtle...yet strangely powerful despite their soft and subdued approach. Most of the lyrics on Divina Lluz (translated as "Divine Light") are sung in Asturian, an exotic language spoken in the northwestern part of Spain. Gayo and Vacas write tunes that are very personal, very moving, and very effective in terms of communication. Some great guest artists lend their talents to the proceedings, including Iker Gonzalez, Manuel Molina, Pedro Vigil, and Jose Luis Garcia. Because we don't comprehend Spanish, we have no idea what most of these tracks are about. But when tunes are delivered with this much class and passion...who cares? Mus continue to entertain and amaze their listeners with their confidence and sheer command over their music. Divina Lluz is a classic. Highly recommended. (Rating: 5+++)

New Radiant Storm King - Leftover Blues 1991-2003 (CD, Contraphonic, Pop/rock)
While big time fame seemed to allude New Radiant Storm King during their twelve year career, they still managed to garner a rather intense and dedicated fan base along the way. Leftover Blues 1991-2003 presents lost singles, hidden tracks, alternative takes, and b-sides from the band's illustrious career. As such, it provides ample evidence that this band should have made it to the major leagues. These tunes present a duo with a hefty imagination that--combined with a great ability to write superb melodies--was able to record memorable tunes that weather the test of time. Matt Hunter and Peyton Pinkerton's tunes are uniquely different in subtle ways. While the songs have punch, they also possess definite threads of humanity and real emotion. Their music transcended the genre in which it was created, giving their fans and listeners some very meaty treats to munch on. This rarities collection is unique in that it does not present "junk"...but rather collects some wonderful treasures that just happened to get lost along the way. Cool cuts include "Quicksand Under Carpet," "Mercy," "Untenable," and "Phonecall." Excellent. (Rating: 5+)

Salim Nourallah - Polaroid (CD, Western Vinyl, Soft pop)
Possibly the most talented pair of musical brothers on earth, Faris and Salim Nourallah are most definitely two of the most gifted songwriters around. They began as The Nourallah Brothers and have now each begun solo careers. Both brothers write classic soft pop that harkens back to the golden era of bands like The Beatles and The Kinks...without ever sounding too much like either. It would be impossible to pick a favorite, because both Faris and Salim are so exceptional and original...that comparisons are not even necessary. Polaroid is an exercise in subtle melodic pop music. The tunes are simple...featuring sparse arrangements...and sporting vocals that are absolutely out of this world. The beauty of this music is that you don't get it immediately. Instead of clobbering you over the head, Salim's music has wonderful, distinct qualities that only become apparent after many repeated spins. In an era where so many artists rely on technology and gimmicks, it is truly refreshing to hear someone like Salim...whose tunes are so genuinely and sincerely tasteful and real that the listener falls helplessly in love with the music. Killer cuts include "Everybody Wants To Be Loved," "Nothing Ever Goes Right," "A Family Disease," and "Christmas Eve." Fantastic and addictive. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. (Rating: 6+)

Pagoda - Dearly Departed (CD, Lazyline Media, Soft progressive pop)
If you're looking for a quick fix, this is not the band for you. If you have some patience, however, you will be deeply rewarded by the music of Washington, D.C.'s Pagoda. Dearly Departed is a wonderfully varied experience...featuring strange progressive pop music that is subtle and full of unusual arrangements. Coming up with influences and comparisons is difficult, as these fellows' music stands squarely on its own as a unique entity. One thing is certain...the more you listen to this album...the more you get out of it. With so many albums, the exact opposite is true...you listen a few times and then you're bored. With the music of Pagoda, the more you spin it...the more you dig it. Highly effective tracks include "Cajun Prairie," "Ham On White," "Mesa Verde," and "Paper Fingers." Consistent...and rather excellent indeed... (Rating: 5+)

Pleasant Grove - The Art of Leaving (CD, Badman, Progressive pop)
Texas-based Pleasant Grove play an organic brand of easy going rock music that is soothing to the mind and the ears. After spinning The Art of Leaving over a dozen times...we are still somewhat confused about this band. Some of the tunes on this album are absolutely absorbing and incredible...but there are a few throwaway tunes shuffled into the deck. When these guys are good, however, they are really, REALLY good...so it makes it easy to put up with a few clunkers. In the "keepers" stack are "Elaborate Man," "Calculated Approaches," and "Commander Whatever" (this, the last track, is incredible). In the throwaway stack are some so-so tunes like "Impossible" and "Tug of War (Twenty Arms)." With a bit of fine tuning, these would be capable of turning out a magnificent album. With the ups and downs of this collection, we'd still recommend it...as long as you don't mind skipping around a bit to get to the good stuff. (Rating: 4++)

Pussy Magic (Goddamm poem kind of thing)

Stretch the wrong thing
Until the witch crowns.
Watch the wrong fawn
With magazine hounds.

We all fall for
Pussy magic.
Just like the kings
And the cheese dogs of old.

Pass the wrong side dish
And kick the wrong dog hole.
Wax the wrong sassy-poo
And pluck off the stove porch.

We all smell for
Mussy pagic.
Just like the magic
We cracked in our corn.
Just like the magic
We raped when we stacked it.
Just like the pussy
That made magic Mary.

Raising the Fawn - The North Sea (CD, Sonic Unyon Recording Company, Pop/progressive)
This is not a new album but rather the second album from Raising the Fawn that was shelved after it was recorded, as the band members opted at the time to concentrate on an EP instead (By the Warmth of Your Flame). After months and months of sitting around, the band members then gave the album another spin and decided they felt good about the sound of the album. Canada's Sonic Unyon label then released it. The North Sea is a cool treasure that truly warranted release. The album features heavenly progressive pop that is soothing and highly melodic. The tunes are not obvious and the beauty of the music is hidden in the subtleties. As such, the album gets increasingly better the more you spin it. These cool heady tracks are well thought out and memorable...presenting a band at their peak (although they may have not known it at the time). Great progressive pop cuts include "The News," "July 23rd," "Top to Bottom," and "Eta." Excellent stuff. (Rating: 5)

The Rasmus - Dead Letters (CD, Interscope, Rock/pop)
Reviewers, like most people, generally make hasty and rash decisions. Because of the volume of music literally thrown at them every day of the year, most reviewers tend to throw discs in the player and then promptly rip them out...basing their decision NOT to review the band based simply upon the fact that either (a) they themselves are in a bad mood or (b) they don't have the time to give the band a reasonable chance to make an impression upon them. When we first slammed Dead Letters into our player our first reaction was Oh no...another generic twenty-first century loud rock band. Instead of going onto the next disc, however, something caused us to hit repeat...and we gave The Rasmus a second listen. This time they sounded better...so we hit return again. By the fourth or fifth spin, we realized that this band is actually credible and impressive. While their tunes may at first sound very similar to a thousand others, the reason these guys stand out is simply because they write some very good songs. The melodies are far above and beyond what you normally get from a major label band. Dead Letters contains smart, concise, and catchy tunes that are delivered with integrity and style. Even though this band has a sound that may very well appeal to millions...their music is still credible and real. The vocals are exceptional throughout. Cool rockers include "In The Shadows," "In My Life," "Back In The Picture," and "Video: In The Shadows." Really good stuff...! (Rating: 4+++)

Carina Round - The Disconnection (CD, Interscope, Pop/rock/industrial)
Britain's Carina Round sounds exactly like so many other artists...that it is rather difficult to determine exactly who she really does sound like (!)...and that just may be her main appeal. The Disconnection is the second release from this seductive young lady. Her voice is so smooth and precise that listeners won't be able to resist her appeal. Combining elements of pop and rock music with hints of industrial technology, Ms. Round is seemingly influenced by a wealth of artists from the past right on through to the present. What we most impressive about Carina's music are the highs and lows. She can be seductive and kittenish...but she can also be wild and intense. Despite the fact that The Disconnection is a decidedly slick affair...the songs are strong enough to cut through the sometimes thick production. The rockers are cool...but even cooler are the more subdued pieces. "Paris" and "Elegy" are particularly appealing compositions. Few artists seem to be able to effectively break into the U.S. market. This lady may be one of the few exceptions. A grand album full of unexpected leaps and triggers. (Rating: 4+++)

Les Savy Fav - Inches (CD, French Kiss, Pop/rock)
Punchy post-punk pop. Inches is the album Les Savy Fav have been working on since 1996...releasing tunes from this album as separate 7" vinyl releases during the course of their career. For folks who missed out on the original releases, they are now all conveniently combined onto one easily accessible CD. These eighteen tracks present a band with a clear and identifiable sound. Considering the fact that these recordings were originally released at different times, the overall sound is incredibly consistent. Steady rhythms support jagged guitars while spirited vocals are the glue that tie everything together. The band's tunes recall a variety of other sources including (but not limited to) The Buzzcocks, early Gang of Four, and Brainiac. Inches is a quick trip through the smart world of Les Savy Fav's intelligent art rock. Despite the band's artistic leanings, the music is surprisingly unpretentious. Classy cuts include "Meet Me In The Dollar Bin," "Obsessed With The Excess," "Bringing Us Down," and "Rodeo." Cool stuff. (Rating: 5+)

Shit On A Pig (Goddamn poem kind of thing)

I shit on a pig.
You shit on a pig.
We all shit on a pig.

Shit on a pig.
Shit on a pig.
How grand it is
To shit on a pig.

Shit on a goddamn pig today.
Then you will have some fun today.

You shit on a pig.
I shit on a pig.
We all shit on a goddamn pig.

Shit on a pig.
Shit on a pig.
Pigs are just like life.

We shit on that too.

Some Action - Some Action EP (CD, Gigantic, Rock)
A hot little EP from a hot little band. New York's Some Action get down to business on this EP...delivering cocky loud rock that is something like a cross between The Dead Boys and The Strokes. The band's approach is simple. Play loud and fast...and add no unnecessary ingredients. These fellows' stripped down approach works...mainly because their songs are strong and they play with furious intensity. These five tunes set the stage for what is sure to be a quick rise to fame. Killer cuts include "Drawing Blood," "Hurt Tonight," and "Some Action." The road is paved solid for some wild curves ahead. Great packaging on this one. Cool stuff. (Rating: 5)

Sounds Like Violence - The Pistol (CD EP, Deep Elm, Rock)
Rip-roaring loud aggressive and intense modern rock music with spastic tendencies. This Swedish quartet plays with abrasive verocity...and yet their tunes are surprisingly smart and inventive. In some ways, the tunes on The Pistol sound like The Pixies at their most violent peaks. Sounds Like Violence consists of Andreas Soderlund, Philip Hall, Daniel Teodorsson, and Daniel Petersson. These four guys are tearing down the preconceptions most folks have about Swedish bands. Obtuse cocky rockers include "You Give Me Heart Attacks" and "Grow/Blow." Good stuff. (Rating: 4+++)

Iggy and The Stooges - Live in Detroit (DVD, Music Video Distributors, Live concert footage)
While some folks may balk at the idea of Iggy and the Stooges reuniting to play their tunes at this late stage of the game, the main point may be missed entirely.  While this concert could never match the intensity of these fellows in the early stages of their career, it proves one thing: Iggy, Ron, and Scott have never sold out.  Before watching this concert footage, one must bear in mind that these guys are now old enough to be grandfathers.  As a result, one can forgive Scott and Ron Ashton's seemingly bored state during the show.  They play well...but neither seem very interested.  (After playing these songs as many times as they have, it's no wonder!)  Guest bassist Mike Watt, on the other hand, adds plenty of excitement and energy to the proceedings.  Iggy is in fine form...still hashing out attitude like he was a teenager.  There are several priceless moments, not the least of which is the segment where Iggy invites the entire audience on the stage and everything turns into drunken chaos.  By the end of the show, Iggy has almost lost his pants (a performance trademark)...shaking his bare ass to the delight of the audience.  The real surprise here...and the true draw of this disc...is the bonus "in store" performance...in which the band (as a trio) plays stripped down versions of their hits.  This is by far much meatier than the "real" concert footage...and the quality of the music is infinitely superior.  Iggy's vocals are superb.  It would have been nice if the band had chosen to include some of Iggy's solo material in these shows...but then that may have tarnished the desired effect.  If nothing else, this high quality DVD captures Iggy and the boys while they're still alive...sticking it deep inside for one last time.  Chances are this is the last Stooges reunion ever.  If nothing else, that is reason alone to have this disc. (Rating: 4+++)

We Hate Us (Goddamn poem kind of thing)

We hate us
And we want us
To hate us too.

Hate, hate, hate.
It's as cool as cool
Is cool.

Don't hate others,
Hate yourself.
But don't hate yourself,
Hate others.

Hate is love and
Love is hate and
Love is love and
Hate is hate.

We want us to hate us too.
We want you to hate you too.
We want we to bleach and chew.
We want we want, snoo-snoo-snoo.

Don't hate.
Hate is crummy.
Don't love.
Love is crummy.

Don't anything.
Anything is nothing.
Don't nothing at all...because
Nothing is SNUNKY.

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