Tuesday, January 31, 2006

lover don't turn yr head

The first thing we noticed about Evan Dando on Saturday night was that his hair was clean. Really clean. When he played at Maxwell's 2 years ago, he was wearing an old man cardigan and a hat over a scuzzy ponytail. This time his hair was all shiny, and he had bangs. He kind of looked like a shampoo commercial. But not in a recovered rockstar kind of way. More like maybe he's healthy and not doing lots of drugs. Good things.

Evan! Thank you for starting your set with the booger song! Thank you for finishing with "Big Gay Heart." Thank you for a supply of happy bouncey music and stripped down acoustic sets and the simple radness that is Baby I'm Bored, for making me think about Sassy magazine's Cute Band Alerts, and the greatness that was and is and maybe will still be The Lemonheads.

For a little while longer, you can still smoke in bars in New Jersey. It's been awhile since I've come home from a night out with my clothes smelling like cigarettes, where that kind of thing used to be my badge of honor. It was disgusting, but also nice, like most kinds of nostalgia. Oh, New Jersey.

Have you heard the new Gossip record? Holy crap. It's slightly more polished than their first 2 (as these things go) but it is Just. So. Good. I can't stop listening to it, and marvelling at 1) how just one guitar and drums backing the vocals can sound so explosive and 2) how that keeps their sound from being too clean or overblown, keeps them sounding vaguely dirty and garage-y no matter how perfect the production is. The Gossip. Don't-fuck-with-me punk, with soul. I love listening to them when I'm walking around late at night, scowling and grinning at the same time. As soon as Beth Ditto starts to sing I start to swagger. I start to be really conscious of my hips, if that makes any sense.

I'm also loving the new Cat Power, and slowly getting into Jenny Lewis' solo album. 3 ladies with voices in one week, the first CD's I've bought in a few months, since I finally started downloading music from the interweb, only about 6 years after everyone else figured it out. By the way, did you catch Ben Ratliff in the Times awhile back referring to Chan Marshall and Beth Orton as "the sad slacker divas," in contrast to the "great female singers of exultation -- Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé"? He meant it in a good way, but it's still incredibly dumb. Why are they slackers? Because their music is laid back and they don't over-sing their songs (oh, and they write them themselves)? Let's start calling Ben Gibbard and Conor Oberst and the legions of less interesting emo dudes who persist in making albums "weepy freeloading [something... I can't think of the male version of "divas"]." Nothing against Ben or Conor (mostly). But come on already.

I picked up the February issue of Spin because Jessica Hopper and Julianne Shepard have an article about the various lawsuits and troubles going on with SuicideGirls. I haven't read that magazine in a million years, long enough that I was actually shocked to see how tiny and flimsy it is now. I remember it being a direct competitor to Rolling Stone. I guess now Spin is actually putting bands on the cover of their magazine while RS is publishing pin-ups of Jessica Alba, hence the size differential. Anyway, the magazine does not totally suck, and even though it's super skinny, it's surprisingly light on ads (relatively). There's an interview with Jenny Lewis by Chuck Klosterman, and it's largely about Blake Sennett and very gossipy (with the obligatory reference to her being a former! child! star!), but you didn't hear me scream because it was pretty entertaining. Or maybe I was just really tired when I read it. There's also an article about radical marching bands which I haven't read yet. Weird how much interesting content there was. I wonder if it was a fluke.


Cheesegirl said...

Hey let me know if the article on radical marching bands is any good! I wonder if the RMO is mentioned... :) -betsy

elfstar said...

Have you noticed that every magazine in the world has had an interview with Jenny Lewis in the last three months? What is up with that?