Don't act like y'all don't know where we be neither.

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Showing posts with label the 90's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the 90's. Show all posts

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Special Needs Relationship - Part One

What follows is C's fault...for posting the bit about Suede.

This is the Londoner Grill in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Sherwood Forest Blvd. across from the Celtic Center. I took this photo while I was staying in Denham Springs because I had business in Scotlandville.

Last night I found my self watching Live Forever: The Rise and Fall of Britpop...for like the sixth time. It weren't any better this time than it was the other five. I'm just easily distracted...easily amused and obsessive. So there you are. I was trying to find a clip of Suede's performance at the Brit Awards in 93....Animal Nitrate. It's been blocked on You Tube by BPI but, I thought I had seen it in Live Forever. I was wrong. In fact, Suede are given pretty short shrift...reduced in significance to a magazine cover. The film ought to be called Live Forever: The Rise and Fall of Oasis and Some Other Bands that Owe Their Existence to James Brown (the puffed up editor of Loaded magazine, not Macon, Georgia's own God Father of Soul).

They could just have easily called it How the Idea of America Manipulates the British Pop Psyche.

For our purposes the discussion begins with Jon Savage...

"The Pendulum (in the early 90's) had swung back to America. There's always this tic-toc, tic-toc, between the U.S. and the U.K. At least in the U.K. Often in America they don't give a toss about what's going on in the U.K."

And continues in part two...

(the usual warning about language when hearing from with these potty mouths)

The Elephant in the Room or How Americans Will Dance to Anything by Day-Pesh-Kamode
e.f. bartlam

To my mind, some obvious questions arise in those passages from Live Forever.  We're gonna get 'em sorted out...sussed if you like. None of them has to do with the sentiment of resentment toward American culture expressed by Jon Savage, James Brown, et al. as a matter of historical fact. Besides you can't argue with sentiment...sentiment just is. What we will try to do is address certain, what is American Culture? That might seem an impossible question to answer in a few paragraphs. It's not. Believe me it's doable. We'll talk about Budweiser.

Two, what does it actually mean to "Make it in America?" This seems to be a recurring issue with certain bands or elements of the British music papers. We may not be able to come up with a definitive answer to that question but, I think we can add emphasis to elements of it that are often overlooked. We'll listen to Band of Skulls do a Ford commercial (we may have to digress at this point and explain that Ford is not actually a British car maker).

Three, is it true that Americans don't normally give a toss about what goes on in British popular culture? I think by answering the first two question it will become obvious that Americans do...that Britain wields a tremendous influence in America. It's not exactly the same as wielding influence over the culture but, it's pretty hard to shape something that barely exists...and to the extent that it does exist, does so under extremely rigid parameters. /

Here is where I should say something about football...just to irritate Kibber but, one of the reasons I'm hiding this post in ridiculous, pretentious "fancy dress" is that there is no football right now and I'm bored out of my freaking mind.

Go Gators...six months from now.

I should also say a word about terminology. Those of you who read this blog know that I have no allegiance to this ridiculous notion of America (me and Spliff call it The Imperial Construct of America)...I'm a Southron and y'all know this. Making that distinction is not necessary, except where it is necessary, in the following discussion. So enjoy the rare instance where I will be including myself, and my people, among these other ragamuffins.

Also, also...we should get Canada out of the way before proceeding. We are honored to have, here at Flimsy Cups, Canada's greatest export..Spliff (aka Dread Pirate Jessica). You can read her thoughts and, if you're lucky, interact with her here on these pages. Nothing more need be said about that.

To be continued...

Cleveland, Mississippi

I know phone booths and double-decker buses. We're dealing, to a certain extent, in generalizations and stereotypes. Don't get your Bowler in a bunch. Go eat a crumpet and settle it down.

Friday, August 24, 2012


Good Morning Captain - Slint

Even adamparsons might not be able to resist this one...there's a wiff of laser lights burning through dry ice smoke in it's epic sweep.

Because I live half my life in hotels I've developed routines that can be carried out in any room with a television and a wireless. Some stability of locking myself out of the important.

Mostly I flip the channels looking for good-bad tv (not only do I love good-bad television..I like bad-bad television. Give me an hour of cars being repossessed or grainy footage of people trying to steal ATM machines...bliss). I smoke and read blogs.

My mind falls into the same meandering pattern it does on Friday afternoons in the office. An actor from an antacid commercial will appear as a victim on Law and Order...I'll wait for the credits and then google 'em. I'm on IMBD Netflix where, of course, I can't find anything I'm looking for.

If there's no Ancient Aliens on pop-up-video reruns of Jersey Shore...I'll throw the headphones on and wait for a distraction.

Last night's came when Wire popped up on the itunes...Heartbeat. A song that I hadn't heard for a long time until recently...a brilliant song and one of my favorite covers by Big Black.

Big Black to Steve Albini...Albini to the one of those records from the late eighties/early nineties that seemed to made specifically for me...Tweez by Slint.

Ron...the guitar bit that cuts through it like mechanical snake just floors me.

There's some language there in the beginning. I wonder if Albini is still in the habit of provoking outburst and recording conversations in the studio. For all his well earned credibility, that crap was mostly corny. The "touch my stuff" bit before Vamos on Surfer Rosa works...the "into field hockey players" does not. Here, when he genuinely seems to be begging for a new set of headphones is good. The "oh mans" seem phony to me.

Slint was actually an off shoot of a band that, in the distortion of a rear view mirror, developed legendary status...Squirrel Bait.

They were great...for a Husker Du tribute band.

I am a fan though (especially after what I made selling that first record a few years ago). One could do a lot worse than ripping off Husker Du.

The real reason Squirrel Bait has the cache that it does is because of the bands it spawned...Big Wheel, Slint, For Carnation, Tortoise, etc.

The picture that serves as a video for Good Morning Captain is the cover of the album Spiderland...the photograph was taken by Will Oldham.

The Brute Choir from Viva Last Blues.*

I think his cousin was in a band that pre-dated Squirrel Bait with some the members. At any rate he was from the same crowd in Louisville, Kentucky and members of Slint went on to play on Palace records.

We drove to Baton Rouge one Saturday afternoon and saw him play for about 45 minutes before they turned the lights on him. Closing time was 2:30 am and was strictly enforced that night. They got a cop off the street to make the announcement because everybody in the bar, including Oldham, was furious.

We had sat through 3 hours of local hacks, burnt up all our pocket money on the pool tables...we were all well oiled and now this? It was all worth it when Martha, the one that never colours outside the lines, got busted for snatching the set list. HA!

In a more direct line of sight is Tortoise. Slint split into two major projects...For Carnation and Tortoise.

Spiderland is sometimes referred to as the first Post-Rock record...well, here's Post-Rock at it's self-indulgent heights. At least Jim O'Rourke played the guitar.

I did go see ' the karlstorbahnhof ...where, evidently they are still pushing the Post Rock.

Unfortunately for Tortoise....they had chosen Doo Rag as their opening act.

Tortoise didn't stand a chance and I don't remember anything those eggheads played that night.

The Sea and Cake was side project between members of Tortoise and a fella from Shrimpboat. To me they sounded like an airbrushed, honkier version of Thinking Fellers Union Local 282.

According to one website they only played about 15 shows in the 90's and I was at one of ' an attic, in a building, in some German town I can't remember the name of. In fact, all I remember was buying a t-shirt with Bees on it and blacking out in the car on the way back.

Long before any of that (92 maybe) I saw Big Wheel (the other off shoot from Squirrel Bait) in a student union center at a college. What really stands out from that show is the opening act...a local band that did the greatest version of Sweet Child O Mine...evar! EVar!

It's a testament to the scope of Squirrel Bait that I've seen (what?) four acts that are direct heirs...and, with the exception of Will Oldham who is untouchable, three of those shows were just something to do. I owned their records and didn't go reluctantly but, I wouldn't have driven 300 miles round trip, like we did for Oldham, to see any of the others.

So, that was Wednesday night...because CSI was all reruns and because Kibber posted this Moon Duo clip back in June. I immediately downloaded it and have been beating it against my brain every since.

Having down loaded it...I wanted more fuzzy beats and more...eventually leading back to a couple of songs I had almost forgotten about...Cheree by Suicide and Heartbeat by Wire.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Welcome Home from the Flaming Lips

In celebration of the return of Flimsy Cups' contributing philospher and resident lunatic...I give you something totally unrelated to Nat's homecoming....The Flaming Lips.

If you strip away the self importance of the late 60's, the pomposity of the early 70's, the anger of the late 70's and the paranoia of the 80''re left with left with loud guitars, soap suds and Christmas lights...The Flaming Lips.

(I love this's fun...and the dark haird girl makes a very passible Martha at 20 years old...scratch passable. I've watched it a few more times now. If I had been across the room from her 20 years ago I would have thought it was Martha...same hair, same eyes, same complexion, same shape.)

Nirvana was packeged for the teenage angst dollar...good show they made of it too, sorta. Pavement spoke directly to the over educated, willfully univolved and bored with anger, middle class record collector.

The Flaming Lips were something else though. They seemed to be effortlessly channeling all that music from the past without any of the baggage.

What fun....what brilliance.

I don't know what they are now. I bought the Soft Bulletin when it came out and didn't really know what I was supposed to do with it...Grandiose, Sweeping...self aware and kinda boring really. But, who cares? They've made a mark for themselves and hopefully some money. They deserve every penny.

Oh yeah...welcome back Nat.