* You may know that Taylor Swift practically annihilated last night's Billboard Music Awards, taking home eight of the 11 trophies for which she was nominated and telling fans, "You are the longest and best relationship I've had." Aww. Well, Babygirl Tay-Tay also happened to catch a glimpse of Justin "I Should Be Taken Seriously" Bieber getting his kissy-face on with Spring Breakers star and on-again-off-again boo Selena Gomez. The moment was immortalized in GIF form, and you can see that over there on the left. Hardly worth mentioning, but here we are!
* Locals Diarrhea Planet just debuted their song "Separations" via Pitchfork. It's a brief, breezy and guitarmony-laden punk-pop number that sounds to me reminiscent of DP cohorts Fucked Up — smitten P4k writer Jayson Greene notes that "three of [the guitarists] seem to be playing the same power chords while the fourth finger-taps 'Muppet Babies' versions of Van Halen solos." "Separations" will be featured on DP's forthcoming LP I'm Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams.
* Plastic Visions just debuted their brand-new eponymous EP via Consequence of Sound. The Visions of course dropped their "Kamikaze" video on Friday, and I called the tune "a snotty, blown-out, three-minute fuzz-pop burner that lands somewhere in the vicinity of Flaming Lips' psychedelic art rock" for the second time. The rest of the EP follows suit, redlining and buzzing through punky arrangements and bratty lyrics.
* Logue's Black Raven Emporium is the East Side haunt known for hosting screenings in its Cult Fiction Underground movie theater, not to mention hosting occasional rock 'n' roll shows. Well, they want to build a patio in time for their "Charles Bukowski vs. Hunter S. Thompson Beer Bash," and they're doing the Indiegogo thing (who needs Kickstarter?). If you're feeling benevolent, get your donation on. There are incentives.
* Oh, and Jann Wenner's kid runs RollingStone.com now.
That's everything on the Internet today.
Speaking of crying, I did a lot of it, because it’s easy to forget just how freaking cool, and simultaneously close and distant, space travel is. If I can’t time travel, I’d like to at least space travel: spend a day puking amongst the stars, terrified that I’ll die at any moment. I may not “work hard” or “be good at science” or necessarily “deserve” it, but I want it. And — fake out! That’s the theme. Not space (which I concede is very cool), but an even more human desire that can be found over and over in children’s entertainment because kids are just little balls of cuteness sand WANTING: really really yearning for something.
Oh God, I hate this.
There are plenty of significant dates in the ol' rock 'n' roll calendar. January 8. March 20. October 9. October 18. February 3, aka The Day the Music Died. But let's focus for a minute on April 9. Yes, 4/09, the day I spent trying to ignore how awesome it was outside until I could peace out and go, y'know, fly a kite and stuff.
Before it was an area code in southeast Texas, before it was a kitchen cleaner, "409" was a huge hunk of metal, a 409-cubic-inch Chevrolet Big-Block engine that dominated stock car racing and the hot rod market in the early 1960s. I could point out how the proliferation of said engines might have an impact on today's balmy weather, but I'd rather focus on its impact on pop music. Feast your ears on The Beach Boys' tribute to the Chevy's mean machine, aptly titled "409." This sunny li'l nugget of pop 'n' roll, drenched in classic doo-wop-inspired harmonies, was the B-side to their first smash hit, "Surfin' Safari," in 1962. As an ode to a fast car, it's nowhere near as complex as their later work (forgoing the easy target, Pet Sounds, just skip a couple tracks down the Surfin' Safari LP to "Heads You Win"), but daydreams of summer were made for these expressions of teenage exuberance. Most contemporary "teenager" songs have to do with another kind of lust, and that's all well and good, but there's a special power in the longing for independence portrayed in this song.
Find a couple of additional "409"-related gems after the jump.
Now join us as we ask ourselves what the fuck exactly is happening in the Craigslist "Musicians" Community.
The '70s were a great time for that. But the over-the-top bombast or sheer weird earnestness of '70s music tended to overshadow the actual mundane facts at hand. Like what? Like this:
Well, when they're not fending off surprise attacks from ceiling-roving possums, local power-punk sextet Diarrhea Planet is wandering the streets of Austin, spelling out their lyrics for blogs with names like Do Less Meth. See frontman Jordan "Hodan Dickie" Smith clarify the shout-along gang vocals of the DP songs "Raft Nasty" and "Warm Ridin'" in the Do Less video above. "Street rip," eh? I actually thought it was "street rat." Shrug.
As a child of the '80s, I’m sure I’m not alone in designating a member of The Monkees as my first love. After all, if you tuned in to MTV or Nickelodeon in the mid-'80s, when the kid-friendly network aired the show daily, you probably watched the antics of the Pre-Fab Four on more than one occasion. You probably know the theme song by heart, and it is now likely stuck in your head for the rest of the day. (You’re welcome.)
But while most girls went for the seemingly innocuous, cute little Davy, I preferred the tall drink of water in the green hat, Mr. Michael Nesmith. He seemed kind of moody, maybe a little complicated, like he wasn’t entirely in on this schtick of pretending to be in a cuddly little band. He played a guitar, not a silly tambourine. Hot! He had a Southern drawl and an impressive set of sideburns. Double hot! And I figured that — unlike Davy — he was probably taller than me. Because these are the things you worry about when you’re choosing your ideal man at the age of 7. In fact, I think I can safely blame him for my propensity to chase tall, dark, complicated men with guitars. Thanks, Papa Nez.
I’d watch The Monkees on TV as frequently as my parents would allow, subsequently dreaming of riding away on a white unicorn to a humongous castle with my man Mike. So when my parents surprised my sister and me with tickets to see The Monkees live, I was as thrilled as a tapioca tundra. (Twenty-five years later, I still have no idea what the hell that means. If one you could explain it to me, I’d be forever grateful.)
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