The Album is Dead; Long Live The Album

This article in the New York Times predicting the end of The Album as we know it got me thinking more closely about what I've been listening to recently, and how I've consciously or not been opting for albums that exist as grander statements than the individuals song they include. While we at the 'drome will treat to you to a fair share of mixes from time to time, which I always love tremendously, they tend to leave me with a feeling that I'm missing something like the scale of the pool the songs swim in. Three albums I've been listening to recently are good examples of artists or bands exploring the Album as a form in and of itself: Arcade Fire's "Neon Bible," Andrew Bird's "Armchair Apocrypha" and Ry Cooder's "My Name Is Buddy."

While each of these albums contain some derivative sounding songs -- Neon Bible sounds like it could have been written in Asbury Park, Andrew Bird sounds like he's Running on Empty, and Ry Cooder is channeling Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and every other folk revivalist of the last half century -- each artist or band puts its stamp on the songs by weaving them into a larger context of themes and stories. In its own way, each album is a testament to the Album as an art-form and the valiant, never-ending struggle against an ever-diminishing attention span. Each has already established itself as a personal favorite of 2007. (Continue for download.)

Cosmodrome Categories: 

Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer

This Wikipedia article on Phil Hartman's old SNL character "Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer" is currently my favorite Wikipedia entry.

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I'm just a caveman. I fell on some ice and was later thawed by some of your scientists. Your world frightens and confuses me! When I see my image on the security camera at the country club, I wonder, are they stealing my soul? I get so upset, I hop out of my Range Rover, and run across the fairway to the clubhouse, where I get Carlos to make me one of those martinis he's so famous for, to soothe my primitive caveman brain. But whatever world you're from, I do know one thing: in the 20 years from March 22, 1972, when he first ordered that extra nicotine be put into his product, until February 25, 1992, when he issued an interoffice memorandum stopping the addition of that nicotine, my client was legally insane."

Read on for an episode of Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer.

Cosmodrome Categories: 

Mel's Back!

Cosmodrome Categories: 

Cobra Verde (y Loco)

I don't care what the movie is about or what the reviews said. Any movie with the screen shot above must be amazing.

Werner Herzog's other movie to be screened this year, Rescue Dawn (cited in our 2007 in movies preview, and opening at unknown date (was originally slated for next week)) looks better and more mainstream than Cobra Verde.

But who could resist that look of "You wanna get nuts?! Let's get nuts!! Actually, I'm already nuts!!!!!!!" on Klaus Kinski's face?

Cosmodrome Categories: 


Every few years, Continuum Publishing issues a bevy of new titles in its 33 and a Third book series. Each title is dedicated to a single (and singular) album that strikes a deep, resonant chord in popular culture, with an emphasis on America and the UK. From dissections of Neil Young's Harvest to Pink Floyd's Piper at the Gates of Dawn, each book provides insight to albums people are seriously passionate about. To have written one and have it published is like having a championship belt in music criticism -- it doesn't mean you're "the best" at what you do, but it's definitely a trophy.

Earlier this week they issued their next batch of books to be published. The list includes Funkadelic: Maggot Brain, Slayer: Reign in Blood, and Fleetwood Mac: Tusk, and others. Also, John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats will be writing the book on Black Sabbath's Master of Reality.

There is some concern, however, that among the 21 titles in this round, the selections skew male. For instance, Tori Amos is the only female performer (if you don't include Fleetwood Mac which had two female members). And there are only a handful of other female musicians considered in the series as a whole.

I don't want to hypothesize about the cause for this gender bias. But I thought that it was worth pointing out because it is so pervasive in the culture and marketing of popular and indie music. I also don't want to blame the publishers. While they may take most of the flak for this bias, their choices were limited by a public RFP issued weeks earlier, and perhaps those submissions skewed male.

In either case, I'm excited for the next round to come out in 2008 and 2009.

Cosmodrome Categories: 

Boxer to Inhofe: You're in My World Now, Asshole

I'm not sure Barbara Boxer has ever been tougher or funnier (or hotter) than she is in this clip, in which she politely tells James "global warming is a hoax" Inhofe to go fuck himself.

Read on for some Tom Delay funnies.

Cosmodrome Categories: 

Racist Photoshopping?

I got the photo below in a forward. I think it's racist and more importantly, not funny. But it produced a reaction, and that's notable, if not good.

Is the photo supposed be funny because (i) rappers can't write/type?, (ii) Microsoft might actually create such a stupid product?, (iii) computers + black people = comedy?, or (iv) 50 Cent already endorses vitamin water? I'm confused.


Cosmodrome Categories: 

"I've never gotten into these issues before."

This NY Times blog post of a few days ago really hits the spot on the nonsense of presidential campaigns - especially those that have been taking place since two EIGHT years before the election.

Here's an excerpt. John McCain on HIV prevention:

Mr. McCain: (Long pause) "Ahhh. I think I support the president's policy."

Q: "So no contraception, no counseling on contraception. Just abstinence. Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?"

Mr. McCain: (Long pause) "You've stumped me."

Q: "I mean, I think you'd probably agree it probably does help stop it?"

Mr. McCain: (Laughs) "Are we on the Straight Talk express? I'm not informed enough on it. Let me find out. You know, I'm sure I've taken a position on it on the past. I have to find out what my position was. Brian, would you find out what my position is on contraception--I'm sure I'm opposed to government spending on it, I'm sure I support the president's policies on it."

Q: "But you would agree that condoms do stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Would you say: 'No, we're not going to distribute them,' knowing that?"

Mr. McCain: (Twelve-second pause) "Get me Coburn's thing, ask Weaver to get me Coburn's paper that he just gave me in the last couple of days. I've never gotten into these issues before."

A couple of thoughts:

1. McCain has been running for President for nearly eight years and has been in Congress since 1982. How can he still not be informed enough on this issue?!?

2. Even though he acknowledges that he's "not informed enough" on the issue, McCain is "sure" that he's "opposed to government spending on it." I am so fucking sick of this pseudo-libertarian nonsense from the right, and think we can expect more of it as a backlash to Bush's spending habits.

3. McCain himself was the one that asked, "Are we on the Straight Talk express?"

Cosmodrome Categories: 

Lazy Sensation

It's been pretty quiet around these parts lately. So here's some music. This (short) mix is a little lazy, a little Michael Hutchence (read: not lazy).

Files here.

1. Silversun Pickups: "Lazy Eye" (Curtis Vodka Edit)

2. Juvelen: "Watch Your Step" (Krazyfiesta Remix)

3. Studio: "Origin (Shake You Down By the River)" (Yearbook)

4. Gorillaz: "El Manana (Metronomy Remix)"

5. Frankie Valli: "Beggin' (Pilooski Edit)"

6. Björk: "There's More to Life Than This" (Debut)

7. The Primitives: "Lazy" (Lazy, 1986-1988)


Cosmodrome Categories: 

Q: What is both obnoxious and amazing at the same time?

Think that's real bread?

Cosmodrome Categories: