By Francis Cabal
If the Mayans were right, the world might end tomorrow. How do I plan on spending what might possibly be my last day on Earth? Am I spending it with my family and friends, celebrating all the good times while laughing about the bad times? Am I in church, confessing my sins? No. Here I am, presenting you with this mix. Because like many others, I have my doubts regarding the Mayans (long story).
One thing‚Äôs perfectly clear though, this is too good an opportunity to pass up. IF the Mayan‚Äôs were right, I would like to go out with a bang and some kick-ass tunes (who wouldn‚Äôt?). So here it is, probably the last mix I‚Äôll ever make. And I made sure it‚Äôs my best one. While the usual suspects are all there (ehem ehem REM ehem ehem), I decided to throw in some curveballs for good measure.
Will we make it through Christmas? Will I still be posting more mixes and articles for all of you? I sure hope so… I would love to keep my job if the world fails to explode in a ball of flames. Either way, it has been a good run.
Imagine how silly we‚Äôd all feel if we‚Äôre still around on the 22nd?
When people talk about DIY, people immediately think about ‚Äúdo-it-yourself arts and crafts‚ÄĚ, but it is actually more than that. DIY is a movement that relies solely on self-sufficiency, by doing things by yourself without the aid of a professional. The punk subculture embraced this ethos as a way of ‚Äústicking it to the man‚ÄĚ, gravitating towards DIY‚Äôs anti-consumerist/anti-establishment slant.
DIY applies to everything, but none more evident than in music. In the 1980s, young bands (especially punk bands) who grew up on the poorer areas of their respective countries found ways to circumvent the system by recording material on their own and releasing everything on their own record labels. One such example is Flying Nun Records from New Zealand, one of the stalwarts of lo-fi music. Flying Nun Records with the help of musician Chris Knox had a way of recording their bands without the aid of a recording studio: just a 4-track and some cheap instruments.
The spirit of DIY is still very much alive, with bands retreating to their bedrooms to create their masterpieces. With the aid of technology, making music has never been easier. DIY encompasses everything, from producing music to setting up shows. Everything can be done by yourself, and you know how the saying goes…
‚ÄúIf you want something done right, better do it yourself‚ÄĚ.
So here are a few things to remember if you plan on doing it by your lonesome:
By Francis Cabal
Neal Pollack‚Ä≠ (‚Ä¨not to be confused with the book‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s writer who‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s also named Neal Pollack‚Ä≠) ‚Ä¨is a near-mythical‚Ä≠ (‚Ä¨albeit fictional‚Ä≠) ‚Ä¨figure who has been around throughout rock‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨‚Äėn‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨ roll‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s most important moments:‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨from Elvis‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨ rise,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨the formation of punk legends The Minutemen,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨and even had a hand in the love affair between Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love‚Ä≠ (‚Ä¨who is referred in the novel simply as‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨‚ÄúThe Widow‚Ä≠‚ÄĚ‚Ä¨ or‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨‚ÄúShe Who Shall Not Be Named for Fear of Lawsuit‚Ä≠‚ÄĚ‚Ä¨).‚Ä≠
In that regard,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨Neal Pollack is like a mean-spirited version of Forrest Gump.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨Instead of the innocent Gump‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s journey through the heart of‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨‚Äúwhat-makes-America-great-ville‚Ä≠‚ÄĚ‚Ä¨,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨Pollack‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s journey is that of decadence,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨drugs,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨and music…‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨specifically music that rocks and rolls.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨‚ÄúNever Mind The Pollacks‚Ä≠‚ÄĚ‚Ä¨ is not just‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨a satire about music as it is also a satire about music criticism.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨Pollack the character is painted as a Christ-like Lester Bangs,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨prescient to the point of being one step ahead of music trends,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨but ultimately doomed to obscurity and failure.‚Ä≠
Our narrator in the story is fellow rock critic Paul St.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨Pierre,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨equal parts rival and‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨prot√©g√©.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨St.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨Pierre‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s life unravels while in the course of deconstructing that of Pollack‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s life after the latter dies an untimely death.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨The stories that follow St.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨Pierre‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s research‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨include cameos by rock‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s biggest and most important figures,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨mere caricatures of their real-world counterparts.‚Ä≠
Throughout the novel,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨we get glimpses about Pollack‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s higher calling‚Ä≠; ‚Ä¨searching for the soul of American music,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨whether it‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s blues,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨rock‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨‚Äėn‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨ roll,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨punk and even hip-hop.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨The novel is also peppered with fictional songs written by Pollack‚Ä≠ (‚Ä¨the author‚Ä≠) ‚Ä¨to read like lyrics to songs of bands such as The Stooges,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨The Velvet Underground,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨Bob Dylan,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨The Minutemen and more.
With Neal Pollack‚Ä≠ (‚Ä¨the author‚Ä≠) ‚Ä¨being a humorist,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨it‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s clear that the novel‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s intent is to satirize the egotism and hero-worship that surrounds rock‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨‚Äėn‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨ roll and rock criticism for that matter.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨But as a satire,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨the novel falters and veers‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨too much into‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨‚Äúloving tribute‚Ä≠‚ÄĚ‚Ä¨ territory with its penchant for rock trivia and the reverence given to the fictional counterparts of real-life artists‚Ä≠ (‚Ä¨except Courtney Love and‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨Michael Stipe,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨who‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨briefly appears as a sad-sack hipster bordering on pretentious douchebag‚Ä≠)‚Ä¨.‚Ä≠
When you don‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨t read‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨too‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨much into it,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨it‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s actually a funny book about the history of American music and the figures that shaped it from the musicians to the critics.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨It‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s a funny novel about American pop culture,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨nothing more and nothing less.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨It‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s a tribute to what makes American music so great.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨Think of it as a Nick Hornby novel if Nick Hornby was a punk who grew up listening to the MC5‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨instead of The Smiths.‚Ä≠
All in all,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨it‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s a fun and gritty romp throughout rock history and it‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s worth reading for‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨its sheer audaciousness.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨Neal Pollack‚Ä≠ (‚Ä¨the author‚Ä≠) ‚Ä¨may not be the best writer around,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨but he sure as hell is one of the ballsiest and funniest writers to ever write about the subject.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨And with Neal Pollack‚Ä≠ (‚Ä¨the character‚Ä≠)‚Ä¨,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨he was able to project all his frustrations and fantasies in a way that‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s loveable in its pure,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨unabashed narcissism.‚Ä≠
The Rolling Stones‚Äô 50th anniversary tour may have ended with the December 15th concert in New Jersey, but according to former Stones guitarist Mick Taylor, the band could still do more shows if they wanted to.
Taylor became part of the Rolling Stones from 1969 to 1973 after replacing the band‚Äôs original guitar player, Brian Jones. Many different reasons have been cited regarding his departure from the band, including creative disputes stemming from Jagger‚Äôs failure to credit Taylor‚Äôs contribution to some of the songs for ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs Only Rock ‚Äėn‚Äô Roll‚ÄĚ.
But all of that is water under the bridge now, it seems. Mick Taylor was a guest performer for 4 out of the 5 anniversary shows where the guitarist joined the band onstage for their song ‚ÄúMidnight Rambler‚ÄĚ.
Mick Taylor had nothing but kind words about the band and this pseudo-reunion. In an interview with Billboard.com, Taylor had this to say about the anniversary shows:
“It’s been really amazing, thrilling and exciting. It’s been great to play with the band again. I still get the same feeling that I used to get when we played on stage before. I’m a lot more outgoing and not quite as shy as I used to be, so in that respect it’s different. I feel re-energised by the experience, too.”
“I think everybody is having a good time on stage. It’s more than just nostalgia. I think they just feel re-energised and possibly very enthusiastic about doing things in the future. I just have an intuitive feeling that if they want to do some more shows, they can. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t be able to.”
And it turns out, the band might not be stopping after all. There are rumors about The Stones headlining next year‚Äôs Coachella festival in April.
Prior to the 12/12/12 benefit concert, there have already been rumors that a Nirvana reunion will happen with Sir Paul taking on vocal duties.The idea was crazy enough that people tuned in to the benefit concert that was aired yesterday, eagerly awaiting the performance. People sat through Chris Martin, Bon Jovi, and Billy Joel just to see what the Nirvana and Sir Paul are up to.
It was finally time for Paul McCartney to perform, and after a couple of songs, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear joined him on the stage. ‚ÄúI finally understood I was in the middle of a Nirvana reunion.‚ÄĚ Sir Paul quipped, while introducing the band. People who were waiting for the band to play some of the classics were either disappointed or utterly pleased. The band opted to play a new song they wrote and recorded for Grohl‚Äôs ‚ÄúSound City‚ÄĚ documentary.
The song is called ‚ÄúCut Me Some Slack‚ÄĚ, and they have already been teasing about it even before the performance. Sure it wasn‚Äôt a Nirvana reunion. No one could ever replace the late Kurt Cobain. But could it be that we have witnessed the birth of a new supergroup? We definitely hope so.
The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame is still an important benchmark of whether you‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨ve‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨‚Äúmade it‚Ä≠‚ÄĚ‚Ä¨ as an artist or not.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨Of course,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨some people might dismiss it as‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨a‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨formality at this point in time,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨but‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨a little recognition goes a long way…‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨that and‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨not to mention the‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨bragging rights earned.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨The past year saw the addition of Guns‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨‚Äėn‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨ Roses,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨Red Hot Chili Peppers,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨The Small Faces and many more to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨A great time was had by all,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨band‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s performed,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨and people clapped.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨All in all,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨it was great.
Fame induction ceremony.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨The new batch of inductees have been announced,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨and boy it‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s a doozy.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨Just like we did for the‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨2012‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨inductees,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨we will now talk at length about the artists to be inducted next year,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨because that is what we do.‚Ä≠
This Friday,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨Boom Bap Fridays in collaboration with Splintr.com will be holding the annual‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨year ender event‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨‚ÄúEat Your Beets‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨2012‚Ä≠‚ÄĚ‚Ä¨ at‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨The Collective.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨And for something completely different,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨the event will feature two stages‚Ä≠; ‚Ä¨one at the courtyard and one at the bar,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨featuring some of the country‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s best Hip-Hop and Electronic acts.
The updated poster has been released,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨and based on this year‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s line-up there‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s bound to be something for everybody.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨If you want to know more about who will be performing this Friday,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨you have come to the right place‚Ä≠!
So to give you more reasons why you shouldn‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨t miss the event this Friday,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨here‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s a brief rundown of some of the artists who will be performing.‚Ä≠
The life of a full-time touring musician may all be fun and games until someone loses an eye‚Ä≠ (‚Ä¨worst case scenario‚Ä≠)‚Ä¨,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨or at the very least,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨until someone gets arrested.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨Rock stars are not entirely untouchable,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨and a lot of them have brushes with the law just like the rest of us.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨This is a rundown of some musicians arrested‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨in‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨the past year.‚Ä≠