Boy, didn’t I just do one of these? A week used to take longer to go by, seems like. Anyhow, here’s what happened last week. That you probably missed.
But you know, on the general subject of Web 2.0’s path of destruction, I noticed just recently as I was searching for confirmation of details and background for some of my Vinyl Collector write-ups of records, that the information accessible through searches overwhelmingly comes from sources written in 2005–2010. And it’s not hard to see why: that was the golden age of music blogs, which was basically a thriving culture of people like me doing pretty much what I’m trying to do now with my music posts. Web 2.0 and social media killed this culture along with killing all blogs, and dumbing down pretty much everything. Musical knowledge of the kind I’m interested in is preserved in amber because no one is doing this kind of writing anymore, at least, not in a way that is easy to locate. So, increasingly, it is becoming ancient lore. Wikipedia is all we’ve got now in the way of currently-updated sources, and it lacks… personality and depth, I guess. Also, it isn’t even always all that currently-updated, nor is it always very accurate. (The MTX wikipedia is abysmal, e.g. At least, I think it still is. I’m afraid to look.) I am grateful for discogs.com, however.
But zooming out on this beyond just music, the general dumbing down of everything that is revealed and exacerbated, at least, by social media (if not literally caused by it) really is rather shocking. We are re-fighting battles I’d thought were settled long ago. (And losing them.) Propriety once again appears to preclude, for example, display of nudity in classical art, a position in favor of preclusion that once was unequivocally the mark of a hopelessly retrograde, intolerant ignoramus, but is now, somehow, rather hip. Erotic art, vulgar jokes, “deviant” discourse, and verboten words are once again suspect, and risky. (Most with-it people these days, I suspect, would side with Tipper Gore against Frank Zappa, though I imagine few would admit to it.) Paintings are removed from museums, plays cancelled, songs banned from the radio, and the public is demanding censorship of various kinds every which way — and getting it. NSFW, once a useful tag to ease decisions about appropriate time and place for viewing risqué material has become an effective order of suppression. (e.g. the new Tumblr.) In our digital public square, everything must be safe. For work.
Possibly I exaggerate. Possibly. I still have confidence that there will be a massive corrective backlash when people finally get fed up with being told what to do and say and think, as there always has been historically, and I’m looking forward to it, but it sure is taking its sweet time. (I’m gonna blame Web 2.0 for that as well. It was the worst idea we’ve had in a long, long time.)
Well, that was depressing. Let’s just jump into the link round-up then, shall we? (But by the way, doesn’t that shirt look cool? Read on and see below if you said yes in your head just now.)
— Shows: there are three coming up.
Saturday, December 22, Berkeley, CA: “Holiday Hootenany” with Dr Frank, Kepi, Grim Deeds, and the Gretchens. Arthouse Gallery and Cultural Center, 2905 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley CA. 8 PM. $5 for nice people, $25 for jerks. Tickets link is here.
Friday, January 11, Indianapolis, IN: MTX, the Putz, Cover Flops. Punk Rock Night at the Melody Inn, 3826 N. Illinois St., Indianapolis, IN. 9PM. Tix go on sale Friday 11.29, 10 AM local time. Here’s the ticket buy link. Still a few tickets left, but it will sell out so act now if you want to go.
Saturday, January 12, St Louis, MO: MTX, the Fuck Off and Dies, Horror Section, Haddonfields. 7th Anniversary Party for the 4 Hands Brewery, 6133 Delmar Blvd, Delmar Hall, St. Louis, MO. 8PM. Free show.
The 20% discount offer goes through 12/07, which is today, but you can still get the stuff after that. Plan your purchases accordingly.
SMELLS LIKE MTX
— Minor Secrets of the Mr T Experience Revealed, Part X. It’s hard to believe I’ve already done this ten times. Here are my past few weeks of “minor secrets” write-ups of “songs for Odin”, aggregated so they may be found if ever needed. "Sackcloth and Ashes,” “Here She Comes,” “Psycho Girl”, “There’s Something Wrong with Me,” “Up and Down,” Lauren’s “Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend” cover… read all about ’em. Many have suggested that this be turned into a book one day, and it really isn’t a bad idea, except there’d be no video… or could there be, somehow? Hmm…
— And here’s the new one, from this past Wodensdæg, “Don’t Come Close” live at Nessun Dorma in Genoa, Italy, 10.28.96, video on YouTube. And here are the “minor secrets” concerning this song, this show, and the MTX Road to Ruin cover album. And here’s my YouTube Channel, where other stuff of this ilk may be found.
— Someone made a video pairing up the Spider-Man cartoon intro with the MTX “Spider-Man” theme song cover. It doesn’t quite work because the song is longer than the visuals, but I found it fun.
— Your Friday morning “More Than Toast”, from our good friend Matt Riggle.
— It’s an MTX-mas miracle! via our friend, Klode Maloon.
PONGS LIKE DR FRANK
— Pete Shelley died. I’m not one to make myself into a spectacle of public anguish in such situations, and I won’t here. Instead, as is my habit, I commemorate the man and his work, quietly to myself. Few writers have meant as much to me through my life. At least we still have the songs.
— Songs and grandsons. Seen on twitter:
hm words coming out that Pete Shelly died in a year where a generation of people have been desperate to reclaim pop punk the father of that shit dies this year course i doubt some of the people going over “the history” will really care casue the buzzcocks have been canonised all to hell and some people any further back than like 2002 wont bother but yeah Blink 182,the mr t experience and them are his songs and grandsons
— Here’s me with the Smoking Popes doing “What Do I Get?” just a few months ago. It seems an age. The write-up is here.
— It’s a little hard to explain why Saint Barbara is the patron saint of artillery, but she is.
— Mareridt / Nightmare (Detail), 1846 — Ditlev Blunck
OTHER PEOPLE’S MUSIC
— I posted some more write-ups of my favorite records on the Vinyl Collector group (on minds.com):
[a] Herman Brood and His Wild Romance. And here’s “Rock ’n’ Roll Junkie:
[b] Appreciating the Wombles’ spectacular third album Keep on Wombling.
— Fellow vinyl collector (and our host at Vinyl Collector) did a post about the Turn It Around soundtrack. My worlds have collided.
— Aaron pointed out another example of former bandmates recording different versions of what began as the same song before they parted ways. (My example was Magazine / Buzzcocks “Shot By Both Sides” / “Lipstick”.) Well, it’s Richard Hell’s “Love Comes in Spurts” (music by Walter Lure and lyrics by Richard Hell) subsequently recorded with new lyrics as “One Track Mind” by the Heartbreakers after Hell left the band. Well-spotted. I hadn’t ever noticed that one before! (“Love Comes in Spurts”; “One Track Mind”.)
— I really loved this video of Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Carl Perkins doing “Matchbox”.
— I don’t know how I stumbled on this video of a woman named Kelly Allek belly-dancing with a lit candelabrum on her head, but it reminded me of the Crazy World of Arthur Brown:
IN THE NEWS
— Blind man sues Playboy over photos on its website. The law apparently requires a “text equivalent for every non-text element”; I offer my services as a writer of these text equivalents and provide a sample.
— Some song I never heard of before (from the Little Mermaid film) was judged to be problematic or something and can no longer be performed by a Princeton a cappella group. It’s the kissing, apparently. I found the performance in the video rather tedious, but charming in the problematic kiss bit, and the song was pleasant enough. The people at Facebook didn’t seem too mad at the song, but they were really mad at the guys’ shorts. Which, I agree, no man should ever wear shorts. But kissing: I hate to break it to you, but everybody kisses, to adapt the usually more vulgar aphorism.
And here’s a good quote from Flannery O’Connor that someone left in blog comments somewhere:
“And if the student finds that this is not to his taste? Well, that is regrettable. Most regrettable. His taste should not be consulted; it is being formed.”
Those were the days, Flannery. Those were the days.