Friday, October 16, 2009

10/16/09 - Adventures in Headline Ridiculosity IV

"Creed is Good".

No. No, Creed is not good. Creed is terrible.

Look, I know that's thing is to publish the contrarian position, but sometimes the site can be like that annoying friend you have that always wants to argue and thus winds up taking some kind of ridiculous stance like "The Washinton Monument is a liquid" or some other such nonsense (or, if you will, poppycock).

One can only imagine the essays that Slate turns away to argue "Creed is Good."

"Mortal Kombat: The Great Lost Auteur-Driven Visionary Film of the 1990s."
"Being Impaled is Fun"
"Sand Is A Great Ingredient For A Pie"
"Purple Is Black"
"Saving Money Is For Morons"
"Hummer Brand Finally Turning It Around"
"The Dark Does Not Scare Small Children"
"Vampires Are Cuddly"
"Baby Ducks Are Not Cute"
"Santa Is Real And Hangs Out In The Tropics"
"Jimmy Buffett Does Not Coast On His Lifestyle And Persona"

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

10/13/09 - Music Recommendation: The Jayhawks - Rainy Day Music

The Jayhawks are one of those bands that got a lot of critical praise back in the day but never sold much of their music; stuck in the alt-country gutter they pretty much honed in on a jangly Beatles/Byrds/Parsons groove and rode it through audience indifference and internal dissent. Like a lot of critically praised and audience ignored bands, it's not too hard to figure out why a lot of their material didn't connect; a decent amount of it is so tastefully played and sung as to be indistinct. I gave Tomorrow The Green Grass a good listen back in the day and just couldn't find a way to get in past the surface sheen.

But somehow I got inspired to give a re-listen to Rainy Day Music, one of their latter-day albums with Gary Louris at the creative helm (somehow nothing, I remember listening to "All The Right Reasons" in someone's car and being blown away by how good it was), and I found to my pleasure and surprise that it is a bit of a lost masterpiece. Each song has hooks for days, and the sweet vulnerability running through the songwriting provides the entry point that I couldn't quite find with the Mark Olson Jayhawks. If you like Tom Petty, the Byrds, three-part harmonies, or Beatles-y melodies with Americana arrangements, I can't recommend the album enough.

And here's the song that I still remembered years and years later: