30 January, 2013

Prince Buys a Futon Off of Craigslist

28 January, 2013

Your weekly musicians' ads.

Didn't I use to have a theory relating to the weather and the number of wonky musicians' ads? I forgot how it works. Is it when it's warmer out that we have more of them? Because it's warmer than it has been for a while.
Oh and also Craigslist changed up their formatting, so things are going to look a little different. I've tried to keep them looking as familiar as possible, though.

Original Geeky Love Songs (PAID) (Minneapolis)

I'm the music director for an up and coming GEEK based romantic comedy OK, Big Bang Theory, did you really have to engage the caps lock for the word "geek"? I get that I'll never be able to fully escape this whole cool-nerd phase society's trying to foist on me but come on, now we're using the word "geek"? We've gone from "nerd" to "geek"? You are aware that "geek" comes from the guy in the circus sideshows that bit the heads off of live chickens, right? and am looking for some awesome music for the soundtrack. Can't help you there. I'm looking for Geeky style love songs/ "Geeky style love songs"... OK, so you're just trying to say "virgin songs", got it. video game raps/ Because, you know, those never get old, right, MC Chris? anything extremely original with a lot of geek and a lot of heart. My balls. They have shriveled to raisins.

Let's see what you got! Well, raisin balls, now. Submit an MP3 to my email address and if it works for the film, I'll let you know and get you PAID.

Compensation will be based upon how much of your song we use.
$25-100 a song. Way to lowball the geeks, there, Chuck Lorre.

Please email your MP3s and questions! Excited to hear some great work!
  • Location: Minneapolis
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
And the award for the cleverest ad ever goes to...

bass player looking to start a minimalist band (maple grove)

  • Location: maple grove
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Heavy Metal ELVIS (Minneapolis)

image 1image 2
Remember the last time I mentioned Heavy Metal Elvis? How I said it wasn't anything special.
Motherfucker's upped his game.

Looking for musicians(keys,bass,gtr,drums) SSSooo... the whole band? for a new show this show featutes "the King" singing some classic Elvis hits in a more hard rock versions Makes sense. It's supposed to be Heavy Metal Elvis, after all. & singing songs by others like Led Zeppelin, OK. Motley Crue, Which era of Mötley Crüe? (Yes, I did say that. Too Fast For Love and Shout at the Devil were before they got all cheesy with that "Smoking in the Boys' Room", "Girls Girls Girls" bullshit.) Poison, OK, Poison is indefensible. Prince, You have got to be fucking kidding me. You're telling me, with a straight face, that a heavy metal band fronted by an Elvis impersonator is going to sing Prince songs?
Kiss, I once had "Strutter" stuck in my head for a week a few years ago and I think that that was the Kiss song that I actually liked. Rolling Stones, Oh, come on, it's the Stones. Guns n' Roses, You really need only Appetite For Destruction, maybe half of Lies! and maybe two songs total from both Use Your Illusions. Neil Diamond, Wait. Isn't Neil Diamond just Canadian Elvis with better songs in the first place? Wouldn't Heavy Metal Elvis covering Canadian Elvis seem a little redundant?
Oh. Wait. Neil Diamond is a Yankee. Neil Young is the Canuck.
Van Halen, I've always wondered if "Panama" has anything to do wth Panama. [Googles.]
The song was written about a car.[1] According to David Lee Roth this was because critics accused him of writing about nothing more than partying, sex, and cars, but Roth realized that he had yet to write a song about cars.[citation needed] In an interview with Howard Stern, Roth explained the meaning behind the trademark song. Although the song features some suggestive lyrics, it is about a car that Roth saw race in Las Vegas; its name was "Panama Express", hence the title of the song.[citation needed]
You gotta love when Diamond Dave gets his smart-ass on.
Queen, OK, again. Metal band. Fronted by Elvis impersonator. Singing Queen songs. Imagine that shit.
Beastie Boys. I'm out. So it is a outside the box idea influenced by Dred Zeppelin etc. Yeah but Dread Zeppelin is a - Wait. They have an Elvis, too? Fuck, man. You're boned. I have first Booking in mid Feb. But you don't have a band yet. Why are you booking shows without a band? I need two days a week practice till the show. No. You and your whole band need to practice twice a week until the show that you foolishly booked without having a fucking band. I have local agents But no band. coming to see the feb show Without a band. I have good interest so far. From everybody aside from bandmates. Email your info and or call Greg or Gretchen Wait. Please tell me you're a drag queen and your stage name is Gretchen. Please. We can work with that. Think about it: Heavy Metal Charro. Heavy Metal Shirley Bassey. Heavy Metal Nancy Sinatra. I mean, I would absolutely one hundred percent watch the shit out of Heavy Metal Charro sing Prince and Queen covers. You couldn't keep me away. I'd drag friends against their will to that shit. I'd call up old roommates that I haven't talked to in years and bully them into going. Fucking Heavy Metal Tina Turner? Fucking Heavy Metal Tina Turner? You better bet that my ass would be in the fucking front row seat to watch a metal band fronted by a Tina Turner drag queen. Seriously, ditch the Elvis shit. You're doing Heavy Metal Tina Turner. at xxx xxx xxxx Please have equipment and transportation. Please be a drag queen on top of being an Elvis impersonator.
Holy shit.
I just had the best idea ever. A drag queen on top of being an Elvis impersonator. Think of the money that porno could make. Jesus fucking Christ, I'm so goddamned brilliant that not only did I just shit myself, but my shit congratulated me on my idea and wiped itself up for me.
Ooh, wait! Drag queen fucking an Elvis impersonator in a foam-dancing booth. Goddamn, I'm too pretty.
Here is set 1 Yeah, nobody cares anymore.
ROCK N ROLL-LED ZEP Don't care. Not unless you come out as Heavy Metal Tina Turner.
KICKSTART MY HEART-MOTLEY CRUE Wasn't that about the time that Nikki Sixx was clinically dead?
HONKY TONK WOMAN-ROLLING STONES I can't remember if I like that one.
I LOVE ROCK AND ROLL-JOAN JETT Oh, shit. OK, hear me out: Drag Queen Joan Jett. Huh? Huh? You like that one? I think we can talk business, now.
(All songs are to be performed live a half step down to Eflat).
www.rockstarztx.com www.facebook.com/heavymetalelvis 
  • Location: Minneapolis
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

need help!!!! (Washington )

Hey guys are you looking for a band? Why? Did I lose one? You want to do this as a long-term job?? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Go ahead. Well you found the right person. I have? Im looking for a 2x guitarist bass player What the fuck is a 2x guitarist bass player? Is that like the guy with one of those Gibson double-neck jobs but one is a bass or like Charlie Hunter's eight-string bass/guitar hybrid? What the fuck is that? i have aj good ass drummer that has good talent. You hear that? AJ is a good ass drummer with good talent. I think that says it all. We're golden, here. You must be willing to do this as a long-term job. Gigs show etc.
You have good transportation we also need frontmanw who can sing good music Yes, frontmen who sing bad music need not apply because AJ does not have time for that bullshit.
Plz contact me if interested.. no BS!!!!
  • Location: Washington
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

4-Story Mansion looking for Musicians to Play for Public (Saint Paul, MN)

Curiosity piqued.
Dr. Chocolate's Chocolate Chateau I'm sorry, what? Dr. Chocolate's Chocolate Chateau That's what I thought you said. is a 4-story Victorian Mansion on Selby Avenue in Saint Paul. [Googles.] A four story chocolate, uh, restaurant? I had no idea that there were even "just chocolate" restaurants and now you tell me that the first one I've ever heard of is four fucking stories? How much fucking chocolate are you selling? We book live music for our guests to enjoy throughout the week. I'm just going to go ahead and assume that your guests - the kind of people that go to a four story just chocolate restaurant - would not be into my band. We are looking for new musicians and groups to fill some open slots. I'll fill your open slot, baby. Cheap shot!

To be considered, please send sound clips or link to follow to hear your music, and your price to play for either 1 or 2 hour blocks of time. Eleventy bajillion dollars.

We look forward to working with you. Uh, yeah, you kind of won't be because I have strong doubts that we're up your demographic's alley.
Really, I just wanted to share that I just discovered a four story just chocolate restaurant.

Thank you,
  • Location: Saint Paul, MN
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

26 January, 2013

Recent, uh... (Madison Edition)

Dharmonic Deluxe, Golden Arrow
OK, so this starts with an A Clockwork Orange style arpeggiated synth line and I'm pretty sure it's going to be OK. I mean, who did the soundtrack for that movie? Was that Wendy Carlos? [Googles.] Yeah, except she was still Walter Carlos when she did that. Anyway, yeah, the synth line opening this record is reminiscent of that sound that my brain will forever link to words like "bleak" and "distopian" (or, as Burgess preferred, "cacotopian"). And then there's a layer of synth that evokes old 8-bit NES games. And then there's some slightly dirty, single-coil pickup spy movie guitar. So far, so good.
And then the "Dance dance dance dance!" octave bass line comes in and I sit here thinking, Fuck. This is going to be one of those records.
But by the time we leave the intro and get into "Deco Dance", there's enough of a Franz Ferdinand coked out indy-sweat-sleaze element that I can relax because I'm not spending a Saturday afternoon listening to fucking disco. I could almost fuck to this but the unison boy-girl vocals would probably distract the shit out of me and my paramour. In the meantime, I suppose that I'll make do with dreaming of driving a convertible through Monaco or some similar exotic seaside locale.
I got about forty seconds into "Golden Arrow" and I got lost and had to start it over; I had no idea what was going on. "Golden Arrow" is perhaps the centerpiece of the record, with as many aesthetic shifts in its four minutes and fourteen seconds as there were on side B of Melvins' Stag. For some inexplicable reason though, it reminds me of the closing song from Sound of Noise...
... even though now that I went back and listened to it, it sounds nothing like that.
"Your Friends Won't" starts off with a dirty little Mexicali guitar and then it gets weird. Too weird for me. For real. When the up & down two-step thing kicks in, I've made up my mind that I probably don't like this. And, hey, that's OK. Dharmonic aren't making music for guys like me. Most bands falling under that banner don't make it to the fourth song, so that should be an indication that I don't outright hate this record, just that I'm not down with this song.
Hey, at least I've got a challenge on my hands, right?
Now, because I want to shirk responsibility and just throw a bunch of comparisons in here without adding an original thought or analysis of my own, I'll go ahead and say that "Awesome Never" brings me back in by reminding me of Pain Teens' sexier moments, like say "Coral Kiss", and not because of the female lead vocals. (To put it flatly, Dharmonic's Courtney doesn't sound anything like Bliss Blood.) (Though in her softer moments she reminds me of Beth from Portishead.) Rather, it's the whole vibe of the song; a mix of sensuality and aggression that's always sadly in short supply. Some bands can do one and not the other. Here, Dharmonic have melded those two elements. "Awesome Never" could easily be on the mix tape before or after Pain Teens' "Coral Kiss" at your local dominatrix's fuck dungeon. Is it a master class in combining the sultry and the rapacious? EEEhhh... let's say it's close. Very close. Like a smidgen off. The fact is that while this definitely the get down track on Golden Arrow, there's just a little too much going on.
It could stand to be streamlined (in my opinion that has no weight on what this band does); I'm not at all into the part of the song from 2:22 to 2:38 but I'll also go on record as saying that the stretch from 2:38 to 3:08 is the probably the prettiest thirty seconds of rock music that I've heard this week. That's the part that I'm going to sample.
When "Matriarchetype" starts, I know that I'm not going to like it. I listen to it anyway and it's not my thing. That's all I can say about it: It's not my thing. Same goes for "Bound to the Cross".
And I'm going to say this, which is supremely dickish of me to say but when have I ever been a nice guy, really? Anyway, I'm going to say this: If you're going to name a song "Bound to the Cross", it had damned well better be some nasty-assed-dropped-D-two-fuzz-pedals-and-an-octave-divider sludgy stoner doom drone. Hey, I didn't make that rule but that's the rule. You want to bring Golgotha into some shit, you need to drop the BPM to, say, thirty and down tune the guitars. That's the rule. M. will tell you the same thing, he knows how this works.
"Greetings! From Your Future" pulls me back in by reminding me of the synth pop scene that failed to take hold in BG before I left town. It has a Berlin (think "Metro" not "Sex (I'm A)") and Blondie vibe to it, especially in the first half. The second half, however, reminds me of a Tim Burton movie.
"Phantom" briefly starts off sounding like the opening from Klute (which, if you haven't seen it, is one twisted and tense movie). The guitar will convince you that there's a storm brewing outside for how foreboding it is and the A Clockwork Orange synth makes a comeback. "Phantom" also handily sums up my feelings about this record on the whole: The songs I like on this record are songs I'm nearly instantly claiming as my favorites whereas the ones I don't like I really don't like. It's a fairly polarizing record; one song will have me going Oh, fuck yeah, and then the next song will have me wondering how much credibility I could maintain if I reviewed this record while skipping songs.
As much as I hate to be self-referential or refer back to other reviews that I've written, I think I wrote once before that a band is doing something right when they're doing something that not everybody likes. I've measured maybe one or two bands by that metric before and it seems like a cheap cliché to fall back on but it holds true.
So I've got this record in front of me and I like pretty much only half of it from a songwriting perspective. The musicianship is as tight as Bonham's kick drum and the production is professional and well balanced; all told, it's a good sounding record from front to back. Also, even though I made allusions to maybe, what? every band ever and the last half of the twentieth century's cinematic output, Dharmonic Deluxe fails to wear their influences on their sleeves. It's not so much that it's out of left field, it's that you don't know which field it came out of. It could have come from the woods, ferfucksake. The long and short of it is that I don't know what to make of it. I can tell you that most bands that label their stuff with "progressive" and "dance" on their Bandcamp pages probably wouldn't appeal to me as much as Dharmonic does and, even then, I've admitted probably four times already that only half of this record does anything for me.
It's one of those records that you'll have a hard time explaining to your friends (unless you're into this kind of music, then it's probably pretty easy for you), you're just going to have to put it on and listen to it and then make up your mind about it. Yeah, it can be a little confounding, sometimes aggravating, sometimes electrifying. If you want something new, if you're feeling a little adventurous, then check this out.

23 January, 2013

16 January, 2013

14 January, 2013

Where are your weekly musicians' ads?

Seriously, you would think ads titled "Heavy Metal ELVIS Show" and "Transwoman - Blues Musician" would be at least a little out there but, no. Heavy metal Elvis is boring and there's nothing out of the ordinary with the trans blues woman - other than that, for some reason in my bigoted mind, I never figured that trans people were into the blues.
So there's that.

04 January, 2013

It's Friday: Let's Piss Off People Who Say "Life Happens"!

I hate the phrase "life happens".
I hate it.
It speaks to a deferment of responsibility on behalf of the speaker, as though they are absolved of any fault that they may have landed themselves in a less-than-desirable situation. All they have to do is speak these two little words, "life happens", and then they're completely free to do as they please without having to suffer the consequences of their actions.
Hearing these words grates on my nerves and immediately evokes the imagery of your standard, generic paper towel commercial. You know the one. The one with the well-dressed Caucasian soccer mom, arranging a bowl of berries on the island counter, never more than arms' length from her iPhone in a suburban kitchen so antiseptic and clean that even world class hospitals get a jealousy boner from the sight of it. The husband (these ladies are always heterosexual, mind you) is never present as the kitchen is the wife's domain (he's in the Craftsman tools Xmas commercials, in case you were wondering). Out of nowhere, the kids come in, caked head to toe in chocolate or dirt, or the dog, fresh from running through wherever it was that he got wet on a sunny and seventy two day, comes dragging dirty paw prints over the freshly swiffered linoleum. And then that omniscient voice of a failed actress who got into voice-overs instead of pornography to pay the rent comes over the audio feed and says, "Life happens." Sometimes with the inflection on "life", sometimes on "happens", but most of the time on "life". And then we're shown the product:
An ultra quilted with patented vacuum-pocket technology™, triple ply tree killer, with patented select-a-size™ perforations (which really just means it's perforated in more places) that picks up a thousand percent more spilled coffee than the competing brand. It's exactly what you need when life happens. Or at least what this soccer mom needs, shortly before she goes back to leaning against the island counter and drinking a mug of coffee with two hands while looking off into space, contemplatively, thoughtfully.
Life happens.
Even in the commercial, it's OK. Nobody's responsible. The paper towel picks up the mess. No need to teach your kids to wipe their feet before coming in the house or train the dog to not chase after the raccoons in the drainage ditch or wherever. There are paper towels for that.
Life happens.
I'd like to note that none of my friends talk that way. First of all, very few of my friends have kids, live in the burbs, or have dogs. The majority of my friends have cats, actively avoid having children, and live in a city. Our kitchens are hardly sparkling affairs. There are mismatched potholders and ad hoc collections of juice glasses, dilapidated ranges polished up and called vintage, and these places are egalitarian, gender-wise, places of toil and craft. There's a broom in the corner, gunk on one of the stove burners, a drawer with five spatulas where the cork screw is supposed to be, clean dishes still in the strainer, and a paper bag of cheap beer cans ready to go out for the recycling. There's a playful slap on the ass and the occasional honey-can-you-Google-a-substitution-for-marjoram. There is no, however, "life happening". Sure, life is happening, it's just that "life", note the quotation marks, is not.
In my line of work, you could say that "life happens" a lot. Or at least that's what I hear. Generally from flakes of all sorts. I've heard it from catty homosexuals with speed habits, freshly evicted from their apartments because they bounced another rent check. I've heard it from space-cadet strippers who bounce in and out of town every five or six weeks because Arizona didn't "work for them" and neither did Madison, Philadelphia, or Miami. Good Christian divorcés who are in the throes of trying to convince a judge that their living situation is stable enough (in a hostel) for joint custody of their children. And that's not the whole list. Trust me, it's a wide mix of people.
And I'm not devaluing the effort these people are putting into overcoming their ordeals. The speed-freak is trying to straighten himself out in a communal environment where he knows nobody but is pretty sure that nobody is going to play his shit if he has a freak out at two in the morning in a dormitory. He knows he has to be on best behavior unless he wants to get reported to the office. The stripper is working when and where she can until she can find something better and is probably filled with self-doubt as to whether she's qualified for something else. The divorcé is in a shitty situation, freshly moved out of his ex's house and struggling like hell to find an apartment PDQ.
But they all say the same thing happened to them: Life.
Life didn't happen to you. You blew the rent on speed too many times. You thought waiting tables was beneath you for all it paid. You let the stress of work get to you and you hit the bottle on a nightly basis.
I'd like to give these folks the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they're using "life happens" as the short version for "I fucked up". Maybe they don't want to get into their stories; they want to focus on where they are now without bringing up how they got there. But I've never heard it that way. It's always used in the same manner, as a flippant dismissal of responsibility.
The last time a person said this to me, they asked me over the phone if the hostel that I run has a quiet place where they could have a phone conversation. I said that there was always some little pocket of the house people find so, yeah, no problem. She then asked what our policies on loud, perhaps disruptive phone calls was. I was as blunt as possible: "Ma'am, if your phone call disrupts the other guests, we'll have to ask you to leave."
Now, sure, I don't kick people out. Not on the first go around. I ask them to keep it down. If I don't like them or it's the second time, I tell them to keep it down. Then they get the final warning after that. And after that, their money is no longer green here and they have to find somewhere else. Doesn't matter what time, doesn't matter what kind of weather; you fucked up, you kept fucking up, and you're out of here.
ANYhoo... The woman proceeds to briefly tell me that she's going through some turmoil with her (adult) kids (I can guess she's middle-aged by her voice) and that, sometimes, "life happens".
Shirking responsibility.
Her phone calls might get loud and disruptive because life happens.
And I think to myself, "No. Your phone calls might get loud and disruptive because you can't keep your shit together on the phone. Even if it is your kids' fault, you're still older than they are. You should be able to keep your cool and not lose your shit during a phone call. Don't blame this shit on life happening. Suck it up and learn to take control of a situation, take responsibility for your actions, and not yell over the phone.
"Beside that, you're on the phone. How much more futile can you get than yelling over the phone? Yelling accomplishes nothing face to face unless you want to intimidate, humiliate, and belittle the shit out of somebody. If you want to scare them out of their wits that you're capable of flipping right the hell out, yell in their faces. But over the phone? You're nowhere near them. You're ineffectual. You just come across as a raving dumb ass lunatic with no sense of self control.
"'Life' isn't 'happening' when you can't prevent yourself from making poor choices. 'Life' doesn't 'happen' because you don't want to admit to yourself that you're fucking up."
What I said, though, was, "I understand but you can't disturb other guests anymore than I can allow them to disturb you."
Cut to a few hours later.
She arrives.
And, sure enough, she looks like the mom from a paper towel commercial.
So I beg that we actively strive to put an end to this "life happens" nonsense. I say that, from here on out, when we hear someone say "life happens", we punch them in the nose. Hard. And when they ask us why we did that, we tell them, "Shit happens."

03 January, 2013

It's like Portlandia knows me.

Yeah, I know, it's only four seconds but, hey, I am Charlie and I haven't had coffee in a year and a half. It really wasn't that hard to give up. In fact, I didn't intentionally give it up. It was just 80°F one summer morning and I didn't feel like a hot drink. And then it was like that the next day and then the next day and then the next day.
Whatever. Watch this video.

02 January, 2013

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