One of our old columns...

1999: The Recap

Hrm... starting my first column of the New Millennium (tm) by eating my own words. Not a good start, but it'll have to be done.

"So it comes out like this, as 1998 being an obvious transitional year. A transition into what, I havnt the slightest idea." Me, January 1999

"We're not in a slump -- we've just opened the book to a blank page. It's not a low point in music evolution -- it's the Dawn of a New Age." Me again, August 1998.

Oops. My bad.


23:59 End of the World

Like it needs to be said: New Year's Eve has always been one of the most depressing times of the year. All that forced "celebration" and approved inanity, all those out-of-touch, sad twits trying to show how "wild" they can be...all that insincerity. We know the best times of your life are when they aren't expected or planned, the worst times are when you see them coming a mile away. And New Year's Eve is like your high school counselor donning a pair of shades and trying to plan a "rave" for da kids.


An Open Letter To Alan McGee

An Open Letter To Alan McGee:
Creation Records, London

Dear Alan,

Piss off. Please allow me to elaborate.


Fatboy Slim Has Lost His Appeal

Fatboy Slim has lost his appeal. Fatboy Slim has lost his appeal. Fatboy Slim has lost his appeal. Appeal. Appeal. Appeal. Appeal.

Fatboy Slim has lost his appeal. Fatboy Slim has lost his appeal. Fatboy Slim has lost his appeal. Appeal. Appeal. Appeal. Appeal.


Where Angels Play

Distant, metallic noises. A small swirl of wind. A growing, sinister gasp of machines. And then, out of the haze and out of somewhere above, one of the most emotional bass-lines you've ever heard breaks out like cold sunshine. It is a singular, defining moment in "indie" music. One that has changed lives, saved lives, and has yet to be toppled with such grace in the past ten years. By the time the final chorus hits its climax, by the time you scream with pride, "I gotta be adored...," you've been instantly converted into nearly worshipping a band for the rest of your life. You have no choice.

That's just how it is.


A Long & Tiresome Post About The Stone Roses

The following was originally posted to the Excellent Mailing List on October 5th, 1999, as my direct response to a thread on the Stone Roses. You see, it's a bit of an anniversary this month, as the world (or at least Silvertone Records) are celebrating the 10th anniversary reissue of "The Stone Roses," an album some would claim to be (one of) the greatest of the decade. One member's pro-Roses message to the list brought forth a surprising number of anti-Roses posts, and no sooner than you can pull out a knife and carve "4 REAL" into your arm, we've got a full-on brouhaha on our mailing list. Which made me sit back, take a deep breath, and wonder just what all the fuss is for. My comments are below.


Why People Suck

Uh-oh. You'd better brace yourself for this one... cause I'm in a reeeeal mood, and it's time to switch the Whiny-bitch-o-tron to full blast.

I've just had one of the more miserable concert experiences of my life. And it's not anybody's fault but the crowd's.
Super Furry Animals was the band, Chicago was the place. We arrived at the venue on a good note: an interview with the band had gone superbly a few hours prior, and the vibe was pretty much right.



Think they can do it? Think they can pull it off? For the first time in, sheesh, I don't know how many years, America is hosting a 2-day, full-on, eclectic, seemingly non-PepsiWallmartMegaCorporateCo music festival. Everything from MORRISSEY to JEGA to THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS to SPIRITUALIZED to about a dozen random DJs per hour somewhere. After so many homogenized and Top 40-focused music "festivals" put out by various radio stations around the country (all controlled by the same owners, no less), after far too many focused and quite bland "world music" festivals (anybody else hankering to hear countless clones of the Shmenge Brothers?), after the true "Can't really blame `em for acting like drunken shit-wits...we would lash out the same if we were forced to grow up with the likes of KORN and LIMP BIZKIT too" horror of Woodstock '99 (and yes, the mere technique of putting the year after the name is enough to instill leagues of ominous foreshadowing), there might actually be a ray of hope for one of the most musically disinclined countries in the world.

Yeah, I'm referring to the Coachella Festival (or "Kuala," "Coke-a-shell," "Wankle Rotary Engine," or any other popular mis-interpretations of the word). A weekend in October. Kinda near Palm Springs in Californicationland. A festival that actually seems like it might not be that bad at all.


Why Orbital is Poo

Let's not beat around the bush here. Out of the multitudes of electronic acts out there, out of the countless dance acts out there, out of the prime few "say you don't love them and you get stares of pity" groups of musicians out there, ORBITAL are easily one of the most amusing. It's not often that there has been such a difference between Reputation and Actual Quality. There are reasons for this. Come on, take a gander



What a fucking waste.

As I type this, MTV is concluding their coverage of the good ol' Woodstock '99 festival. And I'm appalled. Simply, truly appalled. This, kids, is the reason I listen to the music I listen to. Because American culture... American rock... is so hopelessly fucked up that my only choice for decent entertainment is to IMPORT it.



As I'm typing, massive fires are breaking out all about the festival grounds.  With any luck, maybe they'll successfully injure some people.  I can't believe I just said that, but this is just plain pathetic.  I know that YOU already know what I'm gonna say here, but I think it needs to be spelled out in black and white.