Sunday, August 17, 2014

feeling stupid about a bounced email

Nearly a month ago I got together with Allan Backer and Charlie Shaw, two local musicians whose work I admire, to discuss the possible production of demos. We went through a few songs -- the rewritten version of "Music No One Else Can Hear," "Jackpot," "Five Missing One," "Do You Think of Me (Now and Again)?" and "Funny in My Head."

We talked about possible arrangements, did some very minor wordsmithing, and and talked about the logistics of making demos. Also, Allan asked me to email him the lyrics to "Jackpot" -- he likes it enough that he could see performing it. Anyway, I emailed some informatuion to Allan -- the lyruics to "Jackpot" and some questions about pricing. But I hadn't heard back. I should have followed up, but haven't.

Today I realized that my email got bounced back -- I'm not sure why -- and I never realized it. So I have to resend. But I feel somewhat stupid, since now Allan thinks I'm remiss...

Saturday, August 16, 2014

speaking of grammar rage

I noticed that the Weekly Standard has this item about Weird Al Yankovic's new album Mandatory Fun and single "Word Crimes."

"Word Crimes," to remind, is a parody of Robin Thicke's single, "Blurred Lines." The khop is that it attacks the common abuses of the English language. According to the item in the Standard there are a bunch of linguists objecting to this kind of linguistic piety on the grounds that it's racist and classist.

World, meet end.

Following are the videos for "Blurred Lines" and "Word Crimes."

Friday, August 15, 2014

guys and dolls and grammar range

By way of background, I should note that I suffer from grammar rage. It annoys me when I hear people say things like "If you can, please get back to Vicki or myself," "I feel badly for him" or "That's a picture of my father and I."

So tonight I was at a production of "Guys and Dolls" in upstate New York. I've never seen the show before, though I did buy the Broadway soundtrack album in preparation.

Anyway, at the beginning of the number, "Marry The Man Today," Adelaide sings something about being able to "rely on you and I." I muttered "and me" under my breath. Half a second after that, Sarah sang "and me." And I felt vindicated. The offending-and-vindicating portion is at about 28 seconds into the video below:

Thursday, August 14, 2014

trouble boys pairing reminds me of rockpile

At some point in the last two years, Billy Bremner and Sean Tyla got together and formed a band called "Trouble Boys" after Billy's song of the same name. They released an album, Bad Trouble, which I resisted buying for quite a while. Both Tyla and Bremner have done a lot musically that I love. Each was in one of my favorite bands -- Bremner in Rockpile and Tyla in Ducks Deluxe.

But my experience with their work outside of those bands has been somewhat mixed. Tyla did a great solo album, Sean Tyla's Just Popped Out, with a killer single, "Breakfast in Marin" (see video). But his second solo album wasn't nearly as good. I never got to hear the third album. And I never really got into his band, Tyla Gang. There was too much of a rough edge (I don't really know how to put it better). Bremner had a great single, "Meek Power," but his albums weren't great. His first one, Bash! had some catchy tunes, but I thought it lacked energy. The second, A Good Week's Work, was boring. I never bought the third and fourth albums. Of course, I see that gives Rock Files a good review.

So when I did buy Bad Trouble, I wasn't sure what to expect. But it was really great. Power Pop with catchy hooks. It's got a bunch of really solid pop tunes on it. It seems that Tyla's rough edges have been softened, and Bremner has been toughened up.

It kind of reminds me of Rockiple -- Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe had complementary interests and together they softened each other's excesses.

Sean Tyla -- Breakfast in Marin
Trouble Boys -- Trouble Boys

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

a conundrum for the anal retentive

I ordered the Dave Edmunds Live at Rockpalast CD. It came today. The fourth and tenth tracks are "Loud Music in Cars" and "Trouble Boys" sung by Billy Bremner (who was touring as part of Dave's band). In my database do I indicate that Dave is the peformer on those tracks? Or Billy?


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

sometimes there's a reason things are unreleased

Someone sent me a link to an article in (which, admittedly, I hadn't heard of) about some unreleased Weird Al Yankovic parodies. The article is here. I was a bit skeptical of the chances that these are real, since there are lots of song parodies out there that people think are Weird Al, but aren't really. "Cat's in the Kettle" and "Baby Got Jack" come to mind.

But these seem to be legit. Maybe if Al had devoted some more work to these they could be good parodies. But they're not there yet. The best (by far) of them is a parody of The Beatles' "Taxman"

Monday, August 11, 2014

price discrimination or paranoia?

A funny thing happened on Amazon. After going to, I typed in "Dave Edmunds" just to see if there were any new discs that I wasn't aware of. I do that sometimes -- type in the names of bands or musicians that I like -- just to make sure I'm not missing anything.

Lo, I found something -- Live at Rockaplast, a live album of a concert from 1983. It was released this year. I was interested, but the price -- over $40 seemed steep. Amazon had scanty information about this one, so I had to do a little snooping. There seem to be a couple reasons for the high price (other than that it's a new product): It's an import, and it contains both a CD and a DVD.

Well, I'm not much interested in the DVD, so for me it seemed kind of high. I balked. I came back the next day, still mulling it over in my head. Lo, the price had dropped by about $10. At $30 or so, it was still high. But low enough that I was willing to buy it.

So, the question. Was this just some weird event where prices changed? Or did Amazon's AI price it high (having determined that I'm likely to buy it at a high price) and then lower it when I balked? Am I beuing paranoid? Or are online vendors getting really good at manipulation to wring the most money out of me?

Moish wants to know.

At any rate, here's a video that I think is from the concert on the disc. Enjoy:

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Saturday, August 9, 2014

one of these things is not like the others: twisted sister edition

Twisted Sister recently made an appearance on the Today Show (or some other network morning talk show). I don't know what all was involved, although apparently they did a short concert outside the studios. I didn't see the appearance live, but I did watch it on the intertubes later in the day. What I saw was a brief interview and then a performance of "Stay Hungry." Something struck me.

Four of the guys look like one might expect. Kind of the prototypical aging heavy metal rockers. They have some combination of tattoos, long hair, and rough or intimidating looks. But Jay Jay French looks different. With short, well-groomed hair, and relatively staid dress, he looked more like a lawyer than a rocker. He also seemed to be the most sedate of the bunch -- almost like he's not really into it and just going through the motions.

I don't know if it means anything, but I found it interesting.

Here are a couple videos from recent performances (I couldn't find the one that I saw and am was referring to above -- sorry). Judge for yourself.