Categories
Odds & Sods

The Right Side of Weird: Cool and Strange Music Magazine

Today I introduce to you The Right Side Of Weird. The Right Side Of Weird will highlight something that is, well weird, that I thinks is cool. Now, the relationship between weird and rock and roll is well established (listened to any Captain Beefheart lately?) but this is one segment that might veer from the rock and roll path every once in awhile because it’s not just about rock and roll but relax! I’ll try to keep it connected to rock ‘n’ roll in some tangential way as much as I can. Today I introduce to you a really cool magazine called Cool and Strange Music Magazine. Bizarre, funny and certainly strange, this is a very cool, very weird read. A quarterly magazine that features “’Incredibly Strange Music,’ Exotica, Space Age Bachelor Pad, Lounge, Swing, Surf, Comedy, Electronic, and offbeat LP covers” this is one of those magazines that might turn you into a raving lunatic record collector who insists on collecting only ‘50s era jazz records with pictures of fish on them. If you see it on the magazine racks grab a copy. If not you can order it from their web site. This is a really cool way to spend some time when you’re not listening to rock and roll and need to fire up your synapses with a jolt of musical madness. And I thought Frank Zappa was weird! Have a great weekend everybody.
Later.

Categories
Rock and Roll Reads

Cool Magazine Alert: Bang Magazine

Finding good mainstream rock and roll magazines can be a real chore. The Rock and Roll Report has highlighted some really cool web based and print magazines that are amazing but definitely outside the realm of the typical shopping mall magazine buying public but there some good ones that you can find at places like Barnes and Nobles or Chapters. One such magazine is Bang. Based in the UK, Bang is a pretty cool print magazine that has its moments. With the motto “It’s only rock ‘n’ roll” Bang has the typical UK attitude and covers all of today’s rock and roll with aplomb and their website features a pretty cool message board/blog that you can vent on if you wish. The issue this month features a story on the rise of Christian rock! I love those kinds of articles. At least it doesn’t feature a fashion spread, yet.
UPDATE! It looks like Bang has gone poof! Too bad.
Later.

Categories
Rock Biz

The Heavenly Jukebox Revisited

Remember the days when you could buy pet food on the Internet, or watch a short movie for free online, or be inundated by a bunch of “dot com” commercials from companies you never heard of run by computer obsessed geeks barely out of university with no business knowledge but loads of stock options? That’s right I’m talking about Y2K when all things Internet related seemed so …..hyper. Well Coolfer has given me the heads up on an excellent article from the Atlantic Monthly written during that momentous year on the MP3 “phenomena.” Titled “The Heavenly Jukebox” this piece is most definitely the best introduction to the issues of technology, music and copyright that I have read and it is still relevant today. What should happen and what can happen are still evolving but as this article points out “Allowing the travails of a single industry — no matter how legitimate its concerns — to decide the architecture of that arena would be a folly that could take a long time to undo.” This to me is still the fundamental point. Allowing the recording industry to determine how technology evolves will erode the Internet to the point where not only will it be useless to the average music fan, it will also be useless as a legitimate forum for self expression and the dissemination of ideas. And that would be not only a sad thing but a potentially disastrous thing for all of us. Thanks Coolfer. Check out his site right now. Good stuff from someone who cares. And check out that pledge! We all thank you for that.
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Categories
Features Rock and Roll Reads

Don’t Tread On Me! Rock Out Censorship

Democracy has always existed in the west as an idealized form of governance that promotes individual liberty and happiness. That is the theory. Realistically we know that censorship has reared its ugly head continuously and the trend seems to be accelerating in recent years. The only way to battle censorship in all its forms is to confront it head on as complacency is the enemy of any true democracy. Now what does this have to do with rock and roll you ask? Don’t ask me, ask the gang at Rock Out Censorship, an excellent website that deals with this very issue. According to the ROC website “We are a grass roots anti-censorship organization seeking to counteract efforts being made across the political spectrum to deprive us of our First Amendment rights… and we are
NOT HAPPY!
To put it bluntly, we are fed up, disgusted, offended, and pissed off about having our First Amendment rights trampled, ignored, desecrated, and pissed on by spineless politicians that have sold out this country to corporate interests, religious zealots that seek to turn this once free nation into an intolerant theocracy where we all MUST worship THEIR God, THEIR way, or burn in Hell for all eternity, and the so-called liberal sentries of political correctness in which nobody can dare utter a single word that might be construed as something that might offend someone.”
They’re not shy are they? Not only are these guys hard core in their defense of First Amendment rights (they are U.S. based but are slowly spreading around the world), they put together an excellent rock and roll e-zine and resource site. Check them out. At the very least you will get some cool rock and roll stuff to read, at the very best you might come away from reading the site just a little bit more concerned about what is happening to your rights and maybe you will even do something about it. Either way you’re a winner. Who said you don’t learn anything in rock and roll?
Later.

Categories
Rock History

Robert Palmer Dies

This is a shocker. According to Sky News Robert Palmer has died. He was only 54. R.I.P.
Later.

Categories
Odds & Sods

Psst, Wanna Buy a Used CD?

Pitchfork has an excellent article called Pitchfork: Castoffs and Cutouts: The Top 50 Most Common Used CDs which lists the top 50 used CDs with hilarious commentary. Argue at will.
Later.

Categories
Rock History

Bottoms Up!

Looks like the Bottom Line has been granted a lifeline (RollingStone.com: News: Bottom Line Granted Reprieve). Excellent.
Later.

Categories
Record Labels

This Record Label of the Week is Not Lame

Power Pop is a sweet and delicious rock and roll confection that is fun to listen to and tastes just right. And nobody does it better than the gang at Not Lame Records. I briefly mentioned them in a post last July but you should really head on over to their site and check them out. If you are new to the world of Power Pop, pick up one of their fine compilations and relax with the old headphones on. I am sure that you will like what you hear and be ready for more. With the simple philosophy that Not Lame “exists to provide good music for good people” Not Lame Records is yet another example of a great record label that will perk up the ears of any jaded rock ‘n’ roll fan. Give ‘em a try. As Ned Flanders would say “Ummmmm, satisfyin’.”
Later.

Categories
Artists and Bands Features

Peter Buck’s Reflections On Being In a Rock and Roll Band

I have always admired Peter Buck. He belongs right up there with some of my own personal rock and roll inspirations such as Greg Shaw, Keith Richards and Little Steven (and this from a guy who is not much of a Springsteen fan), people that live and breath rock ‘n’ roll. When I first started getting into R.E.M. during their “Document” period, I would read about Peter Buck recording with Nicky Sudden or producing someone like The Replacements and to this rock and roll fan bred on Zeppelin, Rush and Van Halen I could only scratch my head and think “who are these guys”? He would list a bunch of cool rock and roll that he was listening to at the time from bands that I had never heard of like they were in heavy rotation in some bizarre parallel rock and roll universe to my own. The curiosity over who and what he was listening to led directly to an expansion of my rock and roll tastes into music that was not only not on my usual rock and roll listening path but was way out there in the unknown, slightly prickly indie bushes. This is exactly the same way that Keith Richards and Jimmy Page yammering on about Chess Records and Robert Johnson introduced me to the blues. Any rock and roll band worth listening to should lead you to explore new branches on the rock and roll tree. Whether it stems from their stated influences, choice of opening acts or covers recorded, part of the fun of being a rock and roll fan is discovering the unknown, the forgotten and the rock and roll flotsam and jetsam that is the living legacy of rock and roll and guys like Peter Buck, Greg Shaw, Keith Richards and Little Steven are the perfect tour guides. Jim Derogatis recently interviewed Buck and his thoughts on rock and roll life, aging and R.E.M. are interesting and insightful. If you ever wanted to change rock and roll paths and check out some cool, and not so cool rock and roll, all you have to do is follow the career path of Peter Buck. To say that it is a rock and roll education is an understatement. Any man who owns a house in Hawaii but spends most of his time listening to his (at last count) 10,000 records in the music room when he isn’t gigging with his approximately 50 other rock and roll side projects is a man that knows and loves his stuff. Now if only I could get him to put together a compilation for The Rock and Roll Report……
Later.

Categories
Rock Biz

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try Try Again!

Look, I have a legal background so this kind of stuff happens (Recording industry withdraws suit) but it’s funny none the less. The law and technology are never, ever in sync with each other. Did I say ever? Never.
Later.