2004: The Year of the Nipple

If I were to name the year like the Chinese, I suppose you could refer to 2004 as the Year of the Nipple. What a weird year it’s been. With this surreal debate about decency and morality on the airwaves in the midst of wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Sudan and elsewhere, everything seemed to take on an air of unreality as we grappled with the implications of both terrorism and a nipple at the Superbowl. But luckily, as always, the music never stopped and 2004 was a great year for rock and roll. More bands and more record labels gave plenty to choose from if you were adventurous and based on the feedback I have received, plenty of you still are.
In December 2003, I had been writing The Rock and Roll Report for six months. Originally this site was a vehicle for me and me alone but as time went on I have been lucky to welcome more people on board and 2005 looks to feature even more authors than ever before, all passionate about rock and roll and all with fun and interesting viewpoints to share. Not only will there be more authors but the plan is for more record reviews, more record label and radio show spotlights but most of all, more bands. Over this year I have come across some incredible unsigned and indie rock and roll talent that deserves to be heard. As we kick off 2005, expect more features on more rock and roll artists that you may never have heard of but deserve their slice of the rock and roll pie. It is these artists that keep rock and roll alive and I hope to spotlight as many of them as possible for your reading and downloading pleasure. In addition, The Rock and Roll Report, not content to play just in the blogging sand box will also attempt that other buzz word of 2004: podcasting. That’s right, I am currently organizing the techical aspects of putting together a 10 minute podcast as an audio companion to The Rock and Roll Report highlighting some of the cool things covered over the previous week as well as featuring some of the music you may not have had a chance to listen to yet. Should be an interesting experiment.
Once again I urge you all to support your local independent record store, stores run by people who are passionate about music. The same for the myriad of indie record labels, radio shows, fanzines, websites and blogs that are put together with untold hours of sweat and a love of music. Support them with your mouse clicks and your dollars and together we can continue to foster and grow an amazingly diverse and sonically wonderful rock and roll ecosystem that will shelter us from the Clear Channel infested radio waters and American Idol marketing machines that continue to prey on the unsuspecting. Go out to shows, start your own band, get a blog or podcast going, just do something to contribute to this wonderful sonic machine. If you are interested in joining up with us here at The Rock and Roll Report drop me a line and I will get you involved in whatever capacity you choose.
While 2004 was a great year, I continue to mourn the passing of Greg Shaw, John Peel and Alex Soria, people who embraced music as a vital part of their being and who understood both its power and capacity to inspire. They will all be missed and they will continue to inspire me and I hope you as well.
In closing I wish you all my very best for this holiday season. I look forward to continuing the rock and roll journey with you in 2005 as we seek out the cool, the eclectic, the fun and the spirit of that form of music we refer to as rock and roll. Take care of one another and enjoy the holidays with family and friends. Thank you for reading. I’ll see you all again in the first week of January.

Reviews and Suggestions

Cool Website Alert: Punmaster’s MusicWire

If you are looking for a great source of music news, cool quotes and other assorted rock and roll fun you must subscribe to Punmaster’s MusicWire. It has fast become indispensible to me as I write The Rock and Roll Report. And to top it off, it features great quotes like this one from Hunter S. Thompson:

“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic
hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs.
There’s also a negative side.”
– Hunter S. Thompson

A great music resource. Check it out.

Rock Radio 2.0

Two Tickets to Radio Paradise

Barbara Flaska over at Flaskaland sent me this great interview with Bill Goldsmith from Radio Paradise over at Planet Geek. It warms my rock and roll heart when I read about people who still care enough to put out great radio.

Live Rock and Roll

Rock and Roll Fun Down Under

There are some cool things coming up in Australia starting off with the first ever Pyramid Rock Festival at Phillip Island on December 31st. All the details can be found at the Undercover website but here is the line-up of bands:


11.30am – 12.15pm Willow
12.35pm – 1.25pm Antiskeptic
1.45pm – 2.35pm The Offcutts
2.55pm – 3.45pm The Casanovas
4.05pm – 5.00pm Cog
5.20pm – 6.00pm Ben Quin
6.20pm – 7.15pm Dallas Crane
7.35pm – 8.30pm The Red Eyes
8.50pm – 9.50pm Magic Dirt
10.10pm – 11.05pm The Butterfly Effect
11.25pm – 12.25am Resin Dogs
12.45am – 1.45am Regurgitator

2.00pm – 3.00pm Small Mercies
3.00pm – 4.00pm The Gravy Train
4.00pm – 5.00pm Jester/ Bushido
5.00pm – 6.00pm Blades of Hades
6.00pm – 7.00pm True Live
7.30pm – 8.30pm Bliss n Eso
8.45pm – 9.45pm 2 Dogs
10.00pm – 11.30pm Baggsmen
11.45pm – 1.30am NuBreed
2.00am – 4.00am Dexter
4.00am – 7.00am DJ Charlie Love & guests

In addition, the line-up for the big daddy of Australian (actually Australasian) music festivals, Big Day Out 2005 has been announced and that looks interesting as well:

Full tour. Artists appearing at all shows:

Beastie Boys
System of a Down
Chemical Brothers
The Music
The Streets
Carl Cox
John Butler Trio
Concord Dawn
The Donnas
The D4
Blues Explosion
Scripbe and P Money
Le Tigre
Kid 606

….sideshow alley….
Large Hot Pipe Organ (Sydney only)
Cauac (Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne)
Crsuty Demons FMX Demo

Limited tour. Artists appearing at selected shows:

The Hives (NZ and East Coast Only)
Polyphonic Spree (NZ and East Coast Only)
Spiderbait (AUS Only)
Leeroy (East Coast Only)
Hilltop Hoods (Aus Only)
Eskimo Joe (Aus Only)
Infusion (Aus only)
Butterfingers (Aus Only)
Little Birdy (Aus only)
Dallas Crane (Aus Only)
Spazzys (East Coast only)
Wolfmother (AUS Only)
Decoder Ring (Aus Only)
Bexta (Aus Only)
The Mess Hall (AUS Only)
Frenzal Rhomb (AUS Only)
DJ Jonathan Wall (AUS Only)
Money Mark (NZ and East Coast)
Digital Primate (East Coast Only)
Kid Koala (NZ and East Coast)
Rise Against (NZ and East Coast)
RJD2 (NZ and East Coast)
Evermore (NZ and East Coast)
Cut Copy (East Coast only)

I’m curious to know if The Hives actually make it. Sounds like fun none the less. Later.

Reviews and Suggestions

Christmas Music Tips from Fufkin

The always excellent Fufkin has two articles in their new December issue that are perfect for this time of year. The first is Christmas Sounds: Sixty-Plus Years of Holiday Recordings by Michael Lynch, a wonderful checklist that you can use in putting together that perfect Chrismas mix tape. The second article is It’s Beginning To Sound Alot Like Christmas: Sonic Suggestions for Only the Most Musically Discriminating by Gary Pig Gold, a great gift guide for the music fanatic that has everything you can possibly think of. On top of these two Christmas themed articles are the usual assortment of great features that always make Fufkin an engrossing rock and roll read. Check it out.

Live Rock and Roll

Smile at Glastonbury?

Apparently Brian Wilson will be bringing his “Smile” show to Glastonbury for 2005 according to Drowned in Sound. Now that would make a cool event even cooler!

Reviews and Suggestions

A purely subjective list of the best Canadian releases of 2004

Pop (all love), a great Canadian music blog by Aaron Wherry has posted the results of a poll he circulated amongst Canadian music bloggers on the best Canadian releases of 2004 called “Bowling for Music”. I was honoured to be asked to contribute and he has the results posted on his site so check them out, especially if you hail from South of our border or live across the pond! There is a lot of great music to be had in our neck of the global woods.

Rock Radio 2.0

A New New Year’s Eve Tradition

Since Dick Clark is out of commission this New Year’s Eve, perhaps it is time to start a new tradition and to me nothing quite says “Happy New Years” like “Louie, Louie.” Turn Me On Dead Man, a great Internet radio show is putting on their second annual New Year’s eve “Louie, Louie” marathon where they play every possible combination and permutation of the rock and roll classic every recorded. A very cool and different way to ring in 2005! It all kicks off December 31st at 9:00 PM EST. You can listen online here.
Not only that but Turn Me On Dead Man is currently featuring “garage band classics” for the month of December, songs that have become true rock and roll classics. All great rock and roll radio as usual at Turn Me On Dead Man.

Odds & Sods

“What Would They Be Doing Today?” Revisited

Just a reminder that we are still running our “What would they be doing today” contest and we are looking for some more snappy entries. Think, dream, fantasize but more importantly get in your entry today! Operators are standing by. The deadline has been extended until January 3rd, 2005. For a quick recap, here is the original announcement:

When I have too much time on my hands, I occasionally amuse myself by speculating about what Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison would be doing today if they were still alive. The possibilities are endless but, after giving the matter considerable thought, these are my favorite scenarios. Sure they’re absurd, but that’s what makes it fun. Besides, stranger things have happened. Thirty years ago, who would have believed that Jane Fonda would wind up marrying a billionaire and cheering on his baseball team by doing the “tomahawk chop” during the World Series?

Janis Joplin – After one too many drug and/or alcohol induced near-death experiences, she became a born-again Christian and launched a new career as one of the most popular right-wing radio hosts in the U.S. with a call-in show called, “Piece o’ My Heart.”

Jim Morrison – Quit the music business to become an independent filmmaker churning out pretentious cinematic twaddle characterized by incomprehensible symbolism so dark and disturbing that he makes David Lynch seem like Walt Disney.

Jimi Hendrix – Still boldly exploring the uncharted frontiers of rock and roll despite ballooning to 280 lbs. from thirty years of staying clean and sober by bingeing on chocolate chip cookies and Mountain Dew. His fans are bitterly divided over whether his commemorative postage stamp should feature the “Thin Jimi” or the “Fat Jimi.”

The best part of this activity is that it can be enjoyed anywhere without the need for special equipment or strenuous exercise. If you’re inspired to embellish these scenarios or create your own, please send them in to The Rock and Roll Report. The best contribution to this rock and roll bizarre alternate universe as judged by our esteemed panel of semi-lucid judges will receive a copy of the great CD “Trouser Load of Love” by the Mod-est Lads for their troubles. You could change rock and roll history, or at least come up with an interesting twist to those always imagined “what-ifs” that you have often pondered in the late night hours or after one too many Brandy Alexanders. Go ahead and give it a shot, we could have a lot of fun with this!

Reviews and Suggestions

Drowned in Sound List their Best of 2004

Drowned in Sound have posted their various year end polls for all to argue about. A great read from across the pond as usual.